This was back in 2004!
However, the time wasn't right; my agent was pushing me towards non-fiction books and, sure enough, that's what I wrote for the next ten years.
However, in 2015 I decided that I wanted to break into fiction. Over the previous two decades I'd written thirteen novels and so I pitched the strongest of these to my regular publishers, Unbound. And they liked it. So I went into their offices to discuss it and something odd happened ... when asked whether I saw the novel as a one off or as part of a series, I explained that I had a series in mind and described the plots to them. 'They're great!' they said. 'But we'd like the murder mystery one first.'
That, of course, was A Murder To Die For. So, I went away and wrote it.
I very quickly decided that it should be set at a murder-mystery convention so that we could have lots of cosplay. I also decided to base the convention around the work of a single writer called Agnes Crabbe. As a name, Agnes Crabbe was an obvious nod to Agatha Christie but what to call her greatest creation? Her lady detective started life as Miss Lettice Quimper but I knew that it wasn't right. Names are important (see here). She then became Miss Magnolia Chetwynd but still wasn't quite right. But then, after I'd completed the first draft, the name Millicent Cutter came to me and it was just right. It was even better when a friend suggested that the fans could be called 'Millies'. That would never have worked with Lettice or Magnolia.
Eight months later I delivered the manuscript.
And now you can read it ... fourteen years after that first pitch.