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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > September 2018 > QUEEN OF THE UNDERWORLD


Crime queen Jessie Keane pulls no punches in her gritty gangland novels. Tina Jackson discovers the Romany roots and East End upbringing behind her fiction


Perfectly composed, elegantly dressed, softly spoken and friendly, Jessie Keane is lovely company. At least she is until, talking about her latest novel, Fearless, she drops in a reminder of why it doesn’t do to mess with her.

‘I’ve always loved boxing,’ she says, smiling sweetly but with a direct, defiant gaze. ‘I’m a bit violent I suppose.’ Not for nothing is the bestselling crime writer known as Queen of the Underworld. Jessie writes no-holdsbarred gangland fiction packed with violence, retribution and horrific comeuppances. Her terrifying characters occupy a world with its own rules and its own justice, and the women – for instance her series character, gangster Annie Carter – are stronger, harder and even deadlier than the males.

Fearless is a standalone: a 592-page beast of a gangland thriller set in a Romany community and the world of bare-knuckle boxing. And this time, for Jessie, it’s personal.

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About Writing Magazine

EXCLUSIVE this month, with your Writing Magazine: How to Perfect Your Submission - Tips from a Publisher Publisher, author and consultant Scott Pack offers a definitive guide to the publishing package and everything you need to include to give your manuscript submission its best chance of success. AND In this month's main magazine: Check out the latest competitions and opportunities to get published in this month's Writers' News – there's £48,800 in writing prizes to be won and over 40 opportunities to get published. Author advice • We explore ways of getting your writing to new readers, with details of how to run a memorable author event, and how to approach schools to set up school visits. • Should you be happy with a small boutique agency or hold out for a big hitter? • Will your young editor understand your older characters? • The value of listening to your characters Industry insight • Innovative publisher Clare Christian considers whether publishing needs a new business model. • Womag writers are up in arms at new rights terms from Woman’s Weekly. We explain the controversial new terms and their impact. • Why are author incomes falling? Agent Piers Blofeld calls publishers to account. • Where the weird world’s at – explore the fantasy publishing landscape. Interviews and profiles with authors of all levels, including: • Star interview with gangland crime bestseller Jessie Keane, talking about the no-holds-barred approach that makes her Queen of the Underworld. • Chick-lit bestseller Carole Matthews charts her writing day and recalls how she got her first break in Writing Magazine! • Explore the life and career of the father of modern bestsellers – Mark Twain • Novelist Kerry Fisher explains how she straddles the worlds of feelgood fiction and domestic noir