Fweedom of sshpech.

SPOILER ALERT: OK it’s not exactly a spoiler alert but I am going to talk about an aspect of Particular Stupidities in this post and if you haven’t read the book, but intend to, you might like to look away now. Come back once you’ve finished it, perhaps.

Particular Stupidities (Romney and Marsh File #5) has been available for downloading and reading (and reviewing) for a week now. Time to take stock – for the record.

All in all the pre-ordering experience was a good one, despite my pre-ordering-anxieties (see previous post here) and I’ll look at doing that again. Sincere thanks to all who grabbed a copy then and since. Your ongoing support of my writing is much appreciated.

I mentioned feedback. I’ve had some already. Overall I’m very encouraged by it. But not everyone has been thrilled by all aspects of the read. The old adage about pleasing people springs to mind. One ‘particular’ element of the story that has been highlighted by more than one reader as becoming a little tedious is when one of the characters is afflicted with speech difficulties. (I’m really not giving anything away there for any one who hasn’t read the book.) The feeling by those who’ve mentioned it is that it went on a bit too long. On reflection I can’t see how it could have gone on less but I do take the point. That said, when my head hit the pillow last night I’d just read another comment about it and I was thinking things over. And then I started laughing. In the dark. Into my pillow. I was imagining readers trying to decipher the speech as it was written by, as a couple of them have told me, reading it aloud to make sense of it. I can’t deny that I was having some fun with my readers over this. I don’t begrudge myself that indulgence. I can only hope that readers will forgive me. Yes, it might interrupt the flow, slow down the narrative and the reading and I know that a writer should not really seek to be guilty of such things but I don’t regret it. Yet.

As well as last Thursday being publication day it was also the day that I’d been booked to take part in an online author chat session over at Crime Book Club. I was more than a little anxious about the kinds of things I might be asked to explain and account for. It was timed to run from midday to seven-thirty in the evening. The first five hours could have been the quickest five hours of my adult life – they flew by. It was enormous fun. I chatted with some lovely people. I was asked some interesting questions that made me think about my writing. (The second question I was asked, about five minutes in, stumped me for going on an hour [I answered a ton of other questions in that time] and made me fear for what I’d got myself involved in.) It turned out all right in the end. I signed off at seven-thirty exhausted but really happy with the way things had gone. Thanks, again, to all those who took part.

I’ve got another ten days in the UK and then it’s back to Turkey and flat hunting in Ankara, my new city of residence. I hope we can find somewhere to live and get settled in quickly because I’ve got some books to write.

12 thoughts on “Fweedom of sshpech.

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the book, saw quite a different side to Romney than he normally is. Must admit the speech impediment bit went on for a bit too long. Oh well his teeth should be fine in the next book hopefully!!

    • Hi Pauline
      Thanks for your comment. It’s good to know that you enjoyed the read. Yes, Romney was different in this one – blinded by his own ‘particular stupidity’, I like to think. I also hope that he’s more himself in R&M #6. I’m sure he will be.
      As for Grimes teeth, you can count on it. 🙂
      Best wishes.

  2. Haven’t read it yet, Oliver, but read some of the reviews. Have to agree, no way you can keep everyone happy. I’m still so enjoying Rope Enough- I used to read a novel in a few days, now I just don’t have the time. As a writer, I enjoy seeing how others do it. 😉

    • Thanks for your comment, Valerie. It took me too long as a writer to fully understand that not everyone would feel the same way about what I write. Now that I ‘get it’ I’m a lot more relaxed about those reviews that are, shall we say, less than enthusiastic.
      Good to know that you’re enjoying RE.
      I know exactly what you mean about writing impacting on reading. I’m making the most of my holiday reading time now knowing that once I get back home my priorities will change.
      Best wishes and good luck.

  3. I enjoyed this book. I like your humour. I switched between totally disliking Tom Romney and then feeling so sorry for him and his longing for Julia. I’m afraid that I guessed the ‘who Done It’ more or less straight away, but not the why! Grimes is an amusing character. I also had to read the speech impediment out loud to translate it and it did go on a tad bit too long, but I don’t think it detracted from the storyline

    • Ruth
      Thanks for your comment. Good to know that you enjoyed the read and the humour. I’ve never had a reader express sympathy before for Tom. I appreciate that. 🙂 And I’m glad someone does. I felt for him towards the end too, although he brought it all on himself, of course.
      I enjoy writing Grimes. He gives me a lot of laughs.
      Best wishes and thanks again.

  4. Just over half way through. Pashed the funny schpeech bit and loved it! Really enjoying the book as I have the previous 4. Only downside, ( my fault, not Olivers) is that I read Night Frost by R D Wingfield just before and I keep visualising David Jason as Romney!

  5. I have just read your book and I loved it, I love the Romney and Marsh files and preordered the book but waited till I went on holiday to read it. I love the Grimes character, in fact my husband got fed up with me giggling all the time. I think with the funny speech bit, perhaps it’s because I imagined Grimes with his mouthful teeth and tan and his lotto win annoying Romney. I will put a comment on Amazon, but well done Oliver, now you are a full time writer get on and write the next R and M file.

    Kind Regards,


    • Hi Chris
      Thanks so much for getting in touch and for your lovely comments both here and on Amazon. It’s always great to know that my idea of what’s funny appeals to readers too. Good to learn that you enjoyed the read.
      R&M#6 is under construction.
      Best wishes.

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