Our daughter, Ceskie, is a musician. The song that played automatically when you arrived at this website was composed by her as a trailer for my books. She also wrote and performed Cat’s Lullaby, which features in Fatal Finale.

The trailer piece is probably a little too cinematic and horror-movie-like for my books, but that’s because she hasn’t actually had time to read them yet!

Fatal Finale is set in an imaginary classical music school. There are no music schools in the UK that are like this school. From the age of 12 to 18, Ceskie attended one of England’s leading music schools and she had the most wonderful education there, in an environment that nurtured and supported her musical ambitions. Like all of the British schools supported by the UK government’s Music and Dance Scheme, entrance is based purely on musical potential.

Yet, even today, there are some teachers who prefer to use the stick rather than the carrot, and in my opinion, this is an outdated and counter-productive teaching method. It certainly doesn’t work for 99% of students in a music school where the young people have a passion for music and are desperate to do well. Karl Edstol’s character is a parody on this.

And yes, there are very pushy parents! Interestingly, the kids with the pushiest parents tend not to last the distance, or else they do stick with their artistic passions but rebel directly against their parents. I never came across anyone quite like Martha Jones in Fatal Finale, but I certainly experienced elements of her.

Finally, music schools in the UK support children through primary and secondary education (normally from the ages of 8 – 18). After A Levels, students go onto a Conservatoire or University. Consequently the Edstol’s Music Academy just wouldn’t exist!

Despite some of these factual stretching of the truths, I hope you enjoy the book. Although I’m not a violinist, I sat through years and years of violin lessons (and yes – I should be receiving a medal because for the first five years or so, it was painful!!), so hopefully I got those bits correct!