The bestselling novelist found fame with her DCI Ryan Mysteries, a series of crime novels woven into the unique landscapes of the North East
Having grown up in Ponteland, she then moved to London to study law. Before she could move back in person, she returned ‘home’ on the page – with her evocation of Northumberland capturing readers' imaginations and making her first novel, Holy Island, an international bestseller on release in 2015.
Since then she has returned to live in Tyne Valley with her husband James and son Ethan, and seen her literary success rocket. She now has 17 DCI Ryan novels and several other books now in print, more than 5.5 million copies sold, and her own publishing company.
“The North East will always hold a special place in my heart, because it’s the place where I was born, grew up, and am proud to call home,” she says. “However, even if I hadn’t been fortunate to grow up in that part of the world, with its combination of incredible coastline, rivers, mountains and ancient historic landscapes, I wouldn’t be able to resist its charm!
“To top it off, the people and communities across the region are renowned for their warmth and good humour, which is something I’m very proud of.”
That affinity for the local people has made seeing the damage caused by the pandemic over the last year all the harder to bear – and Louise was determined to help.
Read, Write, Walk
Last year she set up her new initiative, Read, Write, Walk North East – with LJ Ross, which is designed to celebrate, promote and support the region, in response to the challenges created by the pandemic.
And after years of having fans ask about the locations used in her books she is offering fans the chance to win a Golden Ticket, giving them the opportunity to explore the best the North East has to offer.
“Over the past few years, I’ve heard from many readers who’ve enjoyed my DCI Ryan mystery series to ask whether there is a book trail they could follow to re-trace the steps of my characters around some of the beautiful landmarks featured in the storylines,” she explained.
“As part of Read, Write, Walk North East, which offers a number of individual projects to support literacy, arts and local business, including community grants, cash prizes for literature and photography celebrating the spirit and heart of the region, I’m now offering interactive walking trails people can follow.”
Win a golden ticket
“And to celebrate the beginning of summer and to support local businesses and attractions who’ve suffered through difficult times over the past two years, I wanted to go one step further and offer these golden tickets to five lucky families who can explore some of the best the area has to offer.”
The stunning range of prizes includes free entry to local museums and attractions, as well as gift vouchers and food and drink vouchers, all backed by local businesses eager to encourage visitors to come back and find out what they have to offer.
“All the businesses we approached were so positive and kind, which is no surprise given how lovely the people are in our part of the world,” said Louise. “I’m very pleased to partner with them and lend my support, financially or otherwise, and know that there are many more wonderful businesses I’d hope to spotlight in the future, too.”
The author has of course been keeping herself busy during lockdown, working on her latest thrillers – and she admitted that when she wasn’t working she would be out enjoying all the benefits the area has to offer.
“I have so many new stories to tell, not only in the DCI Ryan series but in the other series that I write – in particular, I have the first book in my new ‘summer suspense’ series coming out this July, ‘The Cove’, which I hope readers enjoy,” she says.
“Aside from writing, I’m looking forward to getting out and about to enjoy the beaches and forest trails myself, hopefully gathering inspiration for the next plotline!”
The best-selling author of the DCI Ryan Mysteries is working to boost local businesses hit by the pandemic with a ‘Golden Ticket’ for fans to experience the stunning locations that feature in her work.
The prizes include:
£100 dining voucher to spend at The Ship Inn, Holy Island
1x Free family entry to Lindisfarne Castle
£40 voucher to spend at Pilgrim’s Coffee, Holy Island
1x Free family meal and £50 worth of drinks to spend at The Crown & Anchor, Holy Island
£120 voucher to spend at Walwick Hall Hotel & Spa
1x Free family entry to Bamburgh Castle
£150 voucher to spend at The Potted Lobster, Bamburgh
£100 voucher to spend at Kielder Observatory
1x free guidebook and entry to The Grace Darling Museum, Bamburgh
£90 voucher to spend with Golden Gate Farne Island Tours, Seahouses
1x Free family entry to Cragside House & Gardens
£200 dining voucher to spend at Dobson & Parnell
£150 brunch voucher to spend at Black’s Corner, East Boldon
1x Free family tour of the Victoria Tunnel, Ouseburn
£100 dining voucher to spend at Ernest restaurant, Ouseburn
£100 dining voucher to spend at Colman’s Seafood Temple
1x Free family entry to Chillingham Castle
£50 voucher to spend at Forum Books and The Bound
£50 voucher to spend at Cogito Books
£100 dining voucher to spend at Dil & The Bear, Tynemouth
£150 voucher to spend at The Cookie Jar, Alnwick
£30 voucher to spend at Dibbley’s, Tynemouth
1x Free family entry to The Alnwick Garden
1x Free family entry to Alnwick Castle
£50 dining voucher to spend at Vennel’s Café, Durham
£30 dining voucher to spend at Penshaw Farm Shop & Tea Room
For full terms and conditions and to enter, go to mailchi.mp/14125a92567d/golden-ticket before 31 July 2021.