A successful, self-published author from the North East is putting Northumberland on the map by topping bestseller lists across the world.
Louise Ross, from Ponteland, who writes under the name LJ Ross, has seen her DCI Ryan novels – Holy Island, Sycamore Gap and recently released Heavenfield – reach the top 10 of Amazon’s charts in the UK, Australia, France and India.
In addition, all three have been ranked number one in the ‘Romantic Suspense’ category in at least one of those countries and Holy Island was number one in the UK. All three books have been top ten bestsellers across all book categories in the UK.
Holy Island has now been translated into German in a deal with Amazon Crossing and is expected to be released in Germany on May 17th.
Crime author Louise, 31, previously worked as a regulatory lawyer in London before being inspired to write her DCI Ryan murder mystery series while travelling on a train from Newcastle to Edinburgh.
Since the launch of Holy Island, in 2015, she has gone on to sell more than 250,000 copies of the novels, with Holy Island and Sycamore Gap named among Amazon’s top reads of 2015.
Louise said: “It is amazing to think that my initial thoughts on a train journey have resulted in this success, which is far beyond anything I could have imagined. To be listed in the top 10 in a number of countries is a fantastic achievement and I can’t thank my readers enough for their support throughout the DCI Ryan journey.
“It feels fantastic to be doing my bit to put Northumberland on the tourism map. Many readers get in touch to say they didn’t know much about Northumberland before reading my books and they’ve been inspired to visit because of the descriptions of the landscape. Thankfully, they’ll find Northumberland is a much more peaceful place in real life than in the world of DCI Ryan.”
Holy Island opens with a grisly murder among the remains of Lindisfarne Priory whileSycamore Gap begins with the find of a body among the stones of Hadrian’s Wall. Heavenfieldis set around the tiny church of St Oswalds in Wall, Northumberland, believed to be the location where King Oswald raised a wooden cross before the Battle of Heavenfield in AD 635. The book concludes the themes explored in the first two in the series, including the mysterious “circle”.
Louise now lives in Bath with her husband James and their two-year-old son. She grew up in Ponteland and still returns to the North East regularly to visit her parents.
Despite being offered traditional book deals after sending off her manuscript to a number of publishers, Louise opted to self-publish through Amazon, which has since paid dividends.
Louise added: “I haven’t looked back since deciding to self-publish. Publishing has undergone a massive shift from print to digital and has produced a number of opportunities and success stories for aspiring writers and authors. I have been overwhelmed by the reaction to my novels and self-publishing has allowed me to share my work more directly with my readers.”