Abigail is hoping to make a killing with new novel

Abigail Tarttelin in reflective mood ahead of the launch of her new  book.
Abigail Tarttelin in reflective mood ahead of the launch of her new book.

Abigail Tarttelin’s English teacher at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School was quite perceptive.

In one of Abigail’s old school reports, he noted that she showed a lively and imaginative mind for creative writing.

Tomorrow (Thursday) sees the launch of Abigail’s third novel.

The first - Golden Boy - was an international success and was translated into 18 different languages.

Since then, Abigail admits her career hasn’t gone as 
she’d hoped.

A serious injury to her then partner while they were living in America meant her own life was put on hold while she cared for him.

She did publish a second novel ‘Flick’, toyed with a singing career and tried 
acting - but writing was 
always her passion.

Now, she hopes she is back on track with the publication of ‘Dead Girls.’

The book centres around Thera - an 11 year old girl.

When her best friend Billie is found murdered, Thera considers it her duty to find the killer.

Abigail admits writing about an 11-year-old as the central narrative character was not easy and also accepts people will question whether a young girl that age would 
track a killer.

Murder aside, she admits she has drawn on some of her adolescence, growing up in a rural setting near Horncastle.

“She adds: “Thera is very precocious - and very determined. Basically, she wants revenge for the death of her friend.

“I think we tend to underestimate what children that age are capable of thinking - and doing.”

Abigail started writing the novel in 2015 although the idea was ‘swimming around 
in her head’ much earlier.

The first draft was completed and the book sold to a publisher in 2016. Then, there were the countless re-writes and sleepless nights agonising over characters and twists and turns in the story.

Finally, everyone - author, agent, editor, publisher - was happy.

Pre-launch, critics have praised the book.

Abigail, who recently celebrated her 30th birthday, says she is much more mature and confident as a 
writer and in general life.

She is already hard at work on her next book and believes Dead Girls could translate to TV or the cinema.

But does Thera succeed?

“That would be telling,” says Abigail. “I don’t want to give too much away. You’ll 
have to buy the book!”

•Dead Girls is published by Mantle.