1. The spark which triggered the idea for the book came from a local newspaper report about police investigating a pony which had been ritually slaughtered on Dartmoor. It later turned out the pony had died of natural causes, but I wasn’t about to let the truth get in the way of a good story.
2. A tell tale is not only somebody who sneaks on some one else, it is also a piece of thread on the sail of a boat. The tell tale guides the sailor in setting the sail, thus achieving the best performance. The double meaning is, of course, intentional.
3. The designer came up with the cover image without knowing that a lake plays a large part in the book.
4. Unfortunately, due to unavoidable circumstances, I failed to complete Tell Tale by my June deadline and spent the whole of July and August finishing the book without a break. My summer holiday consisted of one day at a local beach. My wife and kids were not best pleased.
5. The final scene in Tell Tale was the first to be written. It was the one and only thing in the story I was sure about (see next point).
6. Tell Tale was the hardest of the four Charlotte Savage books to write due to the problem of resolving the cliffhanger at the end of Cut Dead. When I wrote the last line in that book I had absolutely no idea how much trouble I was creating for myself.
7. If you are ever on Dartmoor it is well worth visiting the ancient sites mentioned in the book, specifically the complex at Merrivale where there’s a kistvaen (a small burial chamber topped with a stone), a stone circle and a set of stone rows. The purpose of the latter is still a mystery to archaeologists with their ‘best guess’ being it is some form of calendar.
8. I write Monday to Friday and my weekly word target for the first draft of a book is a fairly modest 7,500. If I don’t achieve the target then the weekend gets cancelled.
9. Aside from DI Charlotte Savage I don’t really have a favourite character, but the easiest to write is the pathologist, Andrew Nesbit. There’s nothing I look forward to more than Nesbit wielding his scalpel in a nice juicy post-mortem scene.
10. Tell Tale has a complex and twisty plot with many threads. I’ve promised myself and my readers that the next book will be a straight up serial killer hunt… but then again you should never believe anything a crime writer says.
Summary from Amazon UK
‘A wonderfully twisty maze’ JAMES OSWALD
DI CHARLOTTE SAVAGE KNOWS WHO KILLED HER DAUGHTER
But before Charlotte can get her revenge, disturbing events start to unfold on Dartmoor…
A woman’s naked body is found near an isolated reservoir on the bleak winter moors. When the woman’s housemate also goes missing, Charlotte knows she must move fast.
But in a police force tainted by corruption, Charlotte’s hunt for the killer won’t be easy.
And resisting her own urge to kill will be even harder…
A page-turning, terrifying crime thriller, perfect for fans of Peter May and Tim Weaver, and TV series Broadchurch and Scott and Bailey
About the Author
Mark Sennen was born in Surrey, but spent his formative years in rural Shropshire where he learnt to drive tractors and worm sheep. He has been a reluctant farmer, an average drummer, a failed Ph.D. student and a pretty good programmer. He lives, with his wife and two children, beside a muddy Devon creek from where he tries to write full-time.