A Good Start.

A Dog's Life Final (Medium)

Writer’s diary: stardate: 11.04.2014

A Dog’s Life (R&M#4) was released last week. So far, so good. Sales have gone well. For a few days it hovered around the top twenty for the ‘British Detective’ category. (Nothing to get over-excited about. As Amazon categories go, it’s a very distant, mentally deficient, locked in the attic, bastard cousin twice removed of the ‘Police Procedural’ category.) And there’s been a ripple of benefit for the other three in the series.

Sales of my R&M Files always, every single month, without fail (to stress a point), outsell my other three books by a long way. I don’t think that the R&M Files are better than Acer or B&C. I just think that the ‘Police Procedural’ genre attracts more interest from more readers. It makes me think that if I concentrated on just churning out R&Ms I could make half-a-living. But that’s not me. I’m writing different characters in different series because I enjoy writing different characters in different series. Last night I was looking for something and I came across my ‘False Starts’ folder. I’ve got the first two or three chapters of five books that I’ve started and left to cool. I ended up reading them all (of course) and each one I finished I wanted to put everything else aside and crack on with it. They’re not bad. Really.

Amazon uploaded A Dog’s Life very quickly – it took about two hours instead of the scheduled twelve. That saw the book in the store and available for download on Monday evening. (I wanted to get it out April 1st.) After I’d wrestled the ipad off the screaming-in-protest infant when I woke up Tuesday morning I discovered to my great amazement that there was already a review! I was staggered. Since then I’ve had a few more reviews. These are from readers who have taken an interest in the series and were obviously looking out for the release of the next in it. (Once again, that makes me almost want to pinch myself. This time last year I was an absolute no one on Amazon. Now, readers are anticipating a new release. Not in their trillions, of course. JKR, I’m not, but still…) All reviews received thus far have been favourable, very kind and positive. I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who have downloaded a copy, thereby demonstrating their continuing support for my writing. I mean it. Thanks a lot. Readers are to writers what horse is to carriage; what butter is to bread and what Romney is to Marsh (the place, not the duo. I’m quite sure Tom could function just fine without Joy.)

I had a comment on Amazon.com from a reader who believed I’d made a mistake in R&M#4. In it Romney is moved to discuss his dead mother. In R&M#3, Romney told DS Marsh that his mum and dad were sunning themselves in the Algarve. It was my intention with the Algarve remark that Romney just made it up off the cuff, so to speak, to make Marsh feel a little foolish for her remarks after ‘that’ interview and to deflect further discussion of, and to slam the door shut on, an aspect of his personal life – Tom doesn’t like talking about his personal life with his subordinates (not unless he’s drunk). This is the way I saw it. And it didn’t occur to me that readers might not have taken it that way, or at least questioned the veracity of his remarks. But I can see now how the confusion has arisen. It’s bothered me.

Now that the book is out and it’s been read I think I will indulge myself by saying that there was only one scene in it that I worried slightly over whether to include. I feared readers might think it was too much. And I’ve not heard a peep about it. That surprises me. I won’t spoil my own book for anyone who hasn’t had the ‘pleasure’ yet. Suffice it to say, it’s the last very last scene. Did DI Romney go too far for anyone, I wonder?

I’m still writing – Acer #3. He’s certainly getting about in this one.

I’m also reading. A book I discovered in our school library. I’m having a job putting it down. It’s making me hoot and I’m simply relishing the language therein. It’s called the Oxford Book of Humorous Prose, edited by Frank Muir, who was quite a wit himself, I seem to remember. It’s a weighty tome. Probably why it was being used to keep the fire door open. It’s filled with absolute gems of amusing writing by the great and good of writers in the English language. And it’s made me want to hunt them out in their fullest forms. I think this book will end up in my book rescue centre. They’ll have to find something else to wedge the fire door open. That big useless lump from 2D, perhaps.

 

9 thoughts on “A Good Start.

  1. Hi again Oliver,
    Two points: one – the comment Romney made about his parents in book 3, I understood exactly what you were trying to do. Romney will say anything to get out of prying personal questions, so don’t beat yourself up. Two – those ‘trunk’ novels, as I call them, perhaps you should finish them. Writers are actors who can’t act, so we invent different characters to play out on the page. What fun we have doing it, though.
    Best wishes. Pat.

    • Pat,
      I sometimes wonder what ı did to deserve you as a vırtual friend. It must have been something quite good. I like ‘trunk’ novels. It was nice to realise that I have them and that ı like them. That way I know that if I run out of ideas wıth the other lot I’ve got something to fall back on.
      I thought that ı was a teacher because I can’t act. Now there’s a performance eıght times a day. No wonder ı’m so tired.
      It’s great fun, isn’t it.
      Best wishes.

      • Oliver,
        Just back from hols and only just picked up your comment. So, thank you, for those kind words. You will go to heaven, after all. But I think we’ll have more fun in hell.
        Take care.
        Pat.

      • Oliver,
        Just back from hols; only just picked up your comment. So, thank you for those kinds words. You will go to heaven after all, but it’ll be more fun in hell.
        Take Care.
        Pat.

  2. When I read your comments about the last scene in R& M 4 I had to go and check my review on Amazon because I remembered writing about it. It appears that I was kind and deleted my comments before posting the review. I must have also been having a good day because I didn’t email it to you either – must be slipping, will have to have ‘words’ with myself 😉

  3. Hi Oliver, I thought the final scene reflected perfectly the type of copper Tom is. I recommended the R&M series to friends of mine, and they have downloaded them all to read during their hols in Cyprus. One of them is a retired DI who spent most of his career at Dover nick, and was particularly keen to read them.
    Keep up the good work
    Andy

    • Hi Andy,
      I really appreciate your comment on that final scene. Its exactly the kind of thing I see Tom capable of from time to time. Certainly not in his best interests but he’s often spontaneous and he’ll deal with the fallout later. (Probably, just lie in this case.) I knew a policeman a few years ago and he told me a similar story of when a young thug pulled a knife on him and his partner. A short, sharp, shock they called it. And I don’t blame them.
      I’d like to describe my alarm that a real ex-DI from Dover is going to read one of the R&M Files (I doubt he’ll have the time for four given my take on police procedure) but all of a sudden I need the toilet.
      Many thanks for the recommendations. Sincerely appreciated.
      Best wishes.

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