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Books, Publication, The Short Straw

THE SHORT STRAW is available to pre-order now

24th August 2023

My next novel, The Short Straw, will be published in hardback, ebook and audio in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand on 14th September 2023.

Leaving isn’t safe… But staying would be deadly.

‘An addictive read. . . Patricia Highsmith meets Shirley Jackson’ – GILLIAN MCALLISTER
‘The Short Straw practically pulses with foreboding and menace. Get ready to stay up all night! Fans of Shirley Jackson and Ruth Ware will love this. No one writes of family dynamics quite like Holly Seddon.’ – JACK JORDAN

Three sisters find themselves lost in a storm at night, and seek safety at Moirthwaite Manor, where their mother once worked. They are shocked to find the isolated mansion that loomed so large through their troubled childhoods has long been abandoned. Drawing straws to decide who should get help, one sister heads back into the darkness. With the siblings separated, the deadly secrets hidden in the house finally make themselves known and we learn the unspeakable secret that binds the family together.

You can pre-order it now from a range of retailers and receive it on the day of publication!

Get a signed edition from Goldsboro Books

Order from Waterstones

Order from Amazon

Order from an independent book shop via


Books, Paperback, Publication, The Woman on the Bridge


3rd February 2022

My fifth book, The Woman on the Bridge, is now available to pre-order in ebook and paperback.


How far would you go to save a perfect stranger? 

Maggie is trapped. Dumped on her wedding day, rejected by her family and hounded by a man determined to make her suffer.

Charlotte is desperate. Double-crossed by her only friend and facing total ruin, she will go to any lengths to save what matters.

Two women, one night. A decision that will change everything.

Books, Don't Close Your Eyes, Paperback, Publication

Don’t Close Your Eyes is now in paperback!

4th January 2018

…So the day is finally here. My second novel, Don’t Close Your Eyes, is published in paperback in the UK and Ireland!

Paperback cover for Don't Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

I’m still in The Netherlands for the moment, glamorously dealing with my son’s chicken pox and using my literary skills to do loads of laundry as we’ve still not caught up after Christmas’s Norovirus outbreak.

But I’m vicariously living through friends and readers who are kindly sharing pictures of tube and rail posters like this one from my schoolfriend Charlotte. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m so grateful to my publisher, Corvus Books.

Don't Close Your Eyes poster, Charing Cross Underground Station.

Don’t Close Your Eyes poster, Charing Cross Underground Station.

It’s an absolute privilege to publish a second book, and I really hope you enjoy it.


Books, Life

A Love Letter to All the Libraries

8th August 2015
Holly Seddon and baby outside a library

When I was a kid, I was weird. And not in that floppy-haired, no-one understands me but I’m still really cool and actually, if I just took off my glasses everyone would hoist me on their shoulders and carry me around ‘weird’, but plain weird. One time, I rescued a bee – a dead bee, mark you – from the school playground so I could take it home and give it a proper burial.

Another time, I took it upon myself to deliver a ‘Just Say No!’ anti-drug workshop for my peers, complete with ‘chasing the dragon’ tin foil handouts so they knew what to look for. On the eve of my big presentation, my mum swerved me away from this (apparently doomed) course of action and I had to cobble together a presentation on fashion instead. Considering that from the age of nine to twelve, I had one standard outfit (dungarees and school shoes), this was a horror show.

So I was weird. And a lot of times I was quite lonely. Sometimes, and I never knew why at the time but probably due to all of the above and more, no-one wanted to talk to me, or play with me. And this is where all the libraries came in, like knights in paper mache armour.

The school library was a lunchtime haven, where I researched witchcraft and the occult for the ghost stories I was writing (entirely inspired by the Ghost of Thomas Kempe) and where I had my first fist fight with a dimwit called Edward over the spelling of psychic. Blood was shed.

I’ll always love the local library in town where I used to spend hours after school doing my drug research (I know…) and reading autobiographies like Moonwalk by Michael Jackson (which I now feel left considerable chunks of information out).

I checked out as many books as I was allowed, honestly I don’t really think I ever bought a book back then. I got 60p pocket money each Saturday, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have afforded to buy a book even at 1980s prices. I made a special trip just to visit this library once more before I left the country recently, and I was taken aback by how tiny it was because, as a kid, it contained EVERYTHING as far as I was concerned.

I carried on checking out piles of books from libraries throughout my childhood and teens. I always had a book on the go, often more than one, and while my teen years were way happier and less lonely than some previous years, books were still a sanctuary. I am absolutely certain that I could only have read a fraction of those books if I had needed to buy them. And there wasn’t exactly an embarrassment of bookshops where I lived either, so it was basically whatever had been donated to the charity shops.

It’s not just about books though. The college library was where I first got an email address and used the computers to do my A level work and search for jobs in London to daydream about. I’ll call that era ‘the Netscape Years’.

When I was a very young and very skint mum, libraries were a haven. A free (and warm) source of entertainment for my tiny kids.

Libraries are not just about books, especially in adulthood. Especially when you’re vulnerable or even just a bit lost. For a long time, for me, the library was the only way to get online. I can’t even imagine – in this time of paperless Universal Credit applications – how some people would fare without this.

I haven’t needed the library so much in recent years, but when we went to register our youngest child’s birth in January, the registrar was based in the library and it made my heart soar to see how well used it was. The buggies stacked outside the kids’ library section, the older people talking about books and a few quiet browsers of all ages in between.

I live in a new city now, in a new country. At times, I feel lonely and cut off. I’m still a bit confused about the rules and my place in this new life. My youngest son starts at nursery in a few days and I’ll finally have proper chunks of writing time back. I was out walking with the rabble the other day when I stumbled on something that instantly made me feel calmer, and more at home: the library.

Admittedly it was called Bibliotheek, but it was as familiar as any library back home. Books to the ceiling, people quietly working at desks and computers, that smell that you can’t quite describe but is instantly recognisable. I immediately knew where I would head to spend my writing time, alone but surrounded by people. Just like I’ve always needed, just like libraries have always given me.

Libraries are so much more than books. They are still relevant, they are still vital. They will help the next generation of readers and writers to find their feet, the next generation of young and skint parents to give their kids a love of reading that costs nothing, the next generation of job seekers a route to apply for employment if they don’t have online access of their own.

To lose any libraries is to lose a part of ourselves, our history and our future. I’m so glad that authors like SJ Watson are standing up for libraries, and I hope everyone that ever lost themselves in a good book, and found themselves in a great library, will stand up too.