Writer’s diary: stardate: 24.01.2014
After a year and a bit of weekly blog posts I sometimes struggle to find things to write about. (My mum thinks that’s been evident for a good while.) So it is a relief to have something special to blog about this week. Special to me, anyway. I’m releasing my sixth novel. It’s called Bad Sons and it is the first of my Booker & Cash stories.
I finished the first draft a year ago. Something I find quite incredible. The fact that it’s taken this long for me to get around to getting it out there bears testimony to how busy I’ve been with my author-publishing in the last twelve months. Still, I always think that newborn stories and authors should spend time apart – a bit like authors and newborn babies, although for different reasons.
I was inspired to write Bad Sons after reading a Raymond Chandler, which I was pretty smitten with. I remember being bowled over by his style and turn of phrase. I remember thinking, I can do that. I’ll have a go. Actually, I can’t do it. Not yet. About the closest I’ve come to any of Chandler’s books with Bad Sons is that the chapters are short. It’s a start. (Look at me being all positive for a second.) Regardless of me failing to emulate Chandler’s style, wit, turn of phrase, characterisation, plotting and sense of drama, I honestly think that Bad Sons isn’t a bad read.
When I self-published my Acer Sansoms, I blogged about whether I should have written them under a pseudonym. I’m glad I didn’t. Now, I’m wondering/worrying whether I should publish Bad Sons under a pseudonym. (Raymond Chandelier sounds good to me.) But for different reasons. Maybe I’ll be sorry that I didn’t this time. And here’s why.
The book is based in my ‘home’ village: Dymchurch – a small seaside settlement on Romney Marsh, Kent. That’s in England. (I just can’t stop writing about Romney Marsh, Romney & Marsh. Next book is an alien invasion novel called Romney Martians.) In fact the ‘bookshop’ that is the main location in the story is a property I own. (I’m taking write-about-what-you-know to the limit with this one.) It’s not a bookshop at the moment, but I can dream.
The reason I’m slightly anxious about putting out Bad Sons under my own name is that I have not been gushingly complimentary about the area in which I spent over forty years of my life – and still visit a couple of times a year. In places I may come across as a tad…unenthusiastic. Some local people might take offence. Some might take the gate, if it’s still there. Some people might take it upon themselves to put the odd brick through my front window. (That wouldn’t hurt me, by the way. I don’t run the business that operates out of the ground floor and you’d have to have a bloody good arm to reach up to my bedroom window with a house-brick.) I feel some of what I’ve written about the area, but I’ve also exaggerated a bit. It’s a work of fiction. Every location I’ve referred to, bar one, exists and I have described them as I see them, as I know them. Every character in the book is made up. (Should I put that bit in block caps?)
For the record, my personal feelings for Romney Marsh, as I get older and wiser and more appreciative, are overwhelmingly positive. More on that in book two. But you’ve got to start somewhere.
Bad Sons should be on Amazon tomorrow, Saturday, all things being equal. It will be £1.99. (This week I aligned all my books’ prices at £1.99. More on that in another post.) But I don’t want any of the followers of my blog, you good people who have been so supportive of my writing, to pay for the book. I’m enrolling it in Amazon’s KDP Select programme so that I can give it away for free on Sunday. This will probably be the only day I do give it away, so get it while it’s hot. It’s something of a thank you, a token of my sincere gratitude for your continued support.
I sincerely hope you enjoy it.