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Murder at Cobblehouse Farm |

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Direct from the desk, and heart, of Donna Siggers

Travel hadn’t been on my agenda for some time after an assault that left me traumatised both physically and psychologically until twenty-eighteen. As the New Year arrived, as did the promise to myself that it wouldn’t be one for resolutions but instead a year in which I’d make meaningful memories. Until then, all I had were negative ones to dwell upon and a nagging need to turn a positive corner. Travelling alone was a challenge that daunted my family as I endured seizures several times per week. Waiting the other end of my twelve hour train journey was my cousin and her family, Emma and Graham Miller who handed me a lifeline.

Forever grateful, my gratitude has been embedded the best way I know how these days, and that’s through my writing. Embarking on such a long train journey meant I had long periods of writing time and that journey exists within my second novel, Betrayal. Spending time at Cobblehouse Farm, walking along the tracks and taking in the surrounding scenery also had dramatic impact. The River Deveron features heavily in both Betrayal and Bound. Moreover, the fishing hut—or gilli hut—at the bottom of the farm is where I base a gruesome murder scene. I physically sat inside it during a rain storm and allowed those scenes to unfold at the table upon which they occur. There’s also a body dump location that sets the farmer up as a suspect in some folk’s eyes, especially as a knife from the farmhouse has been used! Bound is dedicated to Emma and Graham.

Within a few months of the initial journey I’d made alone to Scotland, I was heading to America. Again, embarking on what was now an enormous endeavour, I’d be flying a total of 8k airlines alone for my debut novel Broken had been nominated for an award. I was required to deliver a speech. Yes, that’s a long way to travel to speak for three minutes but when you’ve rebuilt your life the way I’d done after losing every aspect of who I was, it was important—vital—to go. My book won, I spoke numerous times and became an advocate for seizures, memory loss and PTSD as a result. Had I not travelled to Scotland earlier in the year, the further opportunities wouldn’t have followed and the rest of the Warwick Cooper Thrillers trilogy would have developed on a different path.

My imagination is fed through time spent on location, conversations and the trust others place within me to do the right thing with what they share. Combined with my own life experiences that I twist into fiction, my novels come alive with believable storylines that will have you hooked from the beginning—they’ll have you on the edge of your seat too!

For more information on my life and work you can visit cousin of Donna Siggers

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