The Secret is the brilliant and terrifying new crime novel from grip-lit superstar Katerina Diamond, author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Teacher. Here the author discusses her sudden rise to chart-topping success.


It’s been a year since I have been published, and around 8 months since my debut novel The Teacher came out. What a year though! Everything has changed so much and I am still catching up with it. I had no idea the amount of work that goes into writing a book besides the actual writing of the book. Luckily I had already written the first draft for my second novel The Secret by the time The Teacher had come out, or I would not have been able to concentrate at all.

No one could have been more surprised at the response The Teacher received than me. When my editor told me I was number 6 on the Sunday Times bestseller list I was very calm about the whole thing, mainly because it hadn’t even occurred to me that that would be a possibility. I am not entirely sure it has even sunk in yet. There were so many positive reviews for it, and I was nominated for the CWA John Creasey and the Dead Good reader award for darkest moment. I still can’t believe it, but there it is. As this is my only experience of the novel writing world, I forget sometimes that this is pretty unusual, and that not every debut author has an experience as overwhelmingly positive as mine.

“No one could have been more surprised at the response The Teacher received than me… I am not entirely sure it has even sunk in yet.”

The strangest thing to adjust to has been people messaging me and telling me how much they loved the book, how they can’t wait for the next one to come out. Even people I know have read it, and knowing how extreme some of the content is, I find it hard not to apologise for any offence or upset I may have caused!

Another thing I have found is a wonderful sense of community with other writers, specifically crime writers who are incredibly warm, if a little twisted. I have received so much support and invaluable advice over the last year and thank goodness for that. There is a lot of advice out there for people wanting to get published but not a whole heap of it for people who have just been published, and believe me it’s a minefield on this side of the fence, too. With the help and support of all the people around me I have managed not to humiliate myself too much.

‘Knowing how extreme some of the content is, I find it hard not to apologise for any offence or upset I may have caused!’

I have also been writing a third book, which is hard when there is still so much noise and activity from the first book, not to mention the build up to the second book coming out. I find myself complaining a lot about how tired I am or how unfocused I am, how messy my house is or how I haven’t got any time but the truth is, I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to live out my dream, and this has been my dream for many years. I have to pinch myself sometimes. It’s been an incredible year; I hope it’s just the first of many.

Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives in the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. Her debut novel, The Teacher, was a No.1 bestseller in ebook, and a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback.