I’ve been wanting to write an article on M C Beaton for a while. She is, without doubt, one of my favourite authors, for a number of reasons. But before I start, let me tell you a little bit about her, in case you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know who she is.
Success – Can I get a little?
M C Beaton, or Marion Chesney, which is her real name has written over 100 novels in 19 different series ranging from modern cosy mysteries, to regency romances. Her two most well known series feature Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, both of which have been made into TV series (remember Robert Carlyle rather gorgeously played Hamish in the 1990’s), and her Poor Relation series is currently being optioned.
Now, that isn’t a bad career for a writer, is it? If I ever manage to get a smidgen of that sort of success, I’d be a happy bunny.
Gimme some of that style!
The other thing I like about her is her writing is timeless. Though she started writing in the late 1970’s, a lot of the time, you don’t know it – they could have been written yesterday. Often it’s only the odd political reference that gives the game away, but certainly for any of her novels set in the regency period, you wouldn’t know.
For me, her writing is a wonderful combination of just enough description (I hate pages and pages and pages of needless description telling me the colour of the leaves and sky), dialogue and action. She also writes in third person omniscient, which is one of my favourites, even though it’s considered a bit old fashioned. Most of all though, she has such a wicked sense of humour that shines through and brings a smile to my face. She is so entertaining!
Nowadays we’re also told that the murder should happen in the first chapter, to grab the reader’s attention. In a lot of her novels , the murders happen about a third of the way through. You never really realise when reading them because you’re so interested in the characters and in the story, it doesn’t matter.
Working nine to five – what a way to make a livin’!
The final part of my love-in for Marion Chesney is her amazing work ethic. She has published up to 5 books in a year over her different series, which means she must be writing at least 2 or 3 a year, if not all of them! I think this is amazing and if I can one day emulate that, I totally would.
I love M C Beaton, if you haven’t read her stuff then do it! Now! Visit her website: www.mcbeaton.com, sign up to her newsletter and get learning from one of the best.
By the way, her latest Hamish Macbeth novel, Death of a Ghost, will be released on 21st February 2017.