Best-selling author LJ Ross has never lost her passion for the North-East, which has inspired her popular novels

LJ, who grew up near Ponteland, released her debut novel ‘Holy Island’ in 2015, the first of the highly-popular DCI Ryan crime series.

She had worked as a lawyer in London for 10 years, before turning her hand to writing.

“I was on the train with my husband and I remember we were passing this stretch and Holy Island was there," she said.

"It was a very atmospheric day and it was kind of poking up from the water, and I was thinking someone should really set a murder mystery on that island.

“And I decided why shouldn’t that somebody be me? And the rest is history really.”

Since then, LJ – real name Louise – has written 18 books in the DCI Ryan series; four novels chronicling the forensic psychologist Dr Gregory series; and a Cornish suspense mystery.

Both the DCI Ryan and Dr Gregory Series are set in the North-East and have sold more than seven million copies worldwide.

On what she loves about Northumberland, LJ, who now lives in the Tyne Valley, said: “I am hugely biased but I just think it’s got a bit of everything.

"It’s got the castles, the coast, the countryside, the history. I think it’s a really rare county to be able to get all of that in one.”

LJ said she was currently working on several projects.

The next DCI Ryan novel, ‘Bamburgh’, will be out before Christmas, and she is also working on the next Dr Gregory novel, due to be released in the new year.

“We also have a brand new series which is in development at the moment which is also based in the North-East,” she said.

LJ has also launched a range of initiatives, including ‘Read, Write, Walk North East with LJ Ross’.The initiative includes writing prizes, photography competitions, school reading challenges, and literary trails.