What can I do… sometimes?

What can I do… sometimes? This might not mean much to anyone outside Turkey but in recent years this English phrase has become integrated into Turkish everyday speech. It is often followed with much knowing laughter by those around who ‘get it’. And just about everyone does.

It is a phrase that was coined by Fatih Terim, the manager of the Turkish national football team. He said it in a TV interview. It’s been adopted into popular culture by millions to explain away things that they feel they can’t do anything about – situations out of their control. It’s usually accompanied by a shrug and a countenance of resignation.

What can I do… sometimes is the phrase that occurred to me when faced with my dilemma of when to self-publish A White-Knuckle Christmas (Romney and Marsh File #7). It sums up my feelings perfectly.


The issue is that it’s almost spring and the book, as the title and cover suggest, has a winter/Christmas backdrop. Will readers want to read a book about winter and Christmas in the spring? I gave this more thought than I really should have. Because the answer is a simple one for a CWAP writer like me: self-publish and be damned.

Look, the book is written. It came back from the menders this week. I’ve formatted it and it just needs a read-though. It’s almost ready to leave the nest.

It’s a Romney and Marsh File, it’s not exactly Harry Potter, is it? Why would I wait another nine months to publish it? OK, so it might lose some impact because of the time of year. I will have to accept that. But I wouldn’t mind betting that in ten years time if this book is still floating around in the ether readers won’t care when they read it. I read winter-themed books in the summer and summer- themed books in the winter. The same goes for watching films and I always manage to enjoy them out of season if it’s something I can enjoy in the first place. Believe it or not, this week at the gym Wham’s Last Christmas was played over the sound system. In February. And guess what? As I bench pressed my usual 10kg I caught myself singing along.

I’m a CWAP. I can’t afford to have a finished novel sitting on my computer for the ‘right time’ to publish it. Being a CWAP is as much about momentum as it is about anything. And anyway, one of the primary reasons I write is to be read. There are a good number of R&M Files readers out there who I know want me to release this one as soon as it’s ready – for them, like me, the R&M Files is about the characters. It doesn’t matter where or when in the year they are. Why would I disappoint them with a commercial strategy? Something that could, ironically, end up back-firing and hurting the R&M Files as a commercial entity, if we must look at them in that way. Let’s face it, I’m not such a successful CWAP that it’s going to make that much difference when it comes out.

And what if I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow? I do live in Turkey you know, where to fifty percent of the drivers at large a red light at a traffic crossing  means proceed with caution (ha!). Who would put R&M#7 out then? The sobering truth is there is no one. I’m not kidding.

For any one who doesn’t want to read it now, for whatever reason, I suppose I would just have to hope that if you like the R&M Files you’ll download it and keep it for Christmas or download it at Christmas when you’re in the mood for a cover with a snow-storm on it.

A White-Knuckle Christmas (Romney and Marsh File #7) is going to soon be available for pre-order. I just haven’t decided on a release date yet. Having Three Short Blasts coming out on the 12th is a spanner in the works. I’ll probably have made a decision by next week.

Maybe I can whet an appetite or two with the blurb:

A particularly nasty series of crimes is casting a pall over the members of CID and an unusually white Dover in the run up to Christmas on the south coast of England.

The festive period is further marred by the report of a pair of suspicious sudden deaths on the frozen outskirts of the town.

Detective Inspector Romney and his loyal team are dealing with evil on all fronts and against a ticking calendar.


Three Short Blasts is still available for pre-order here Amazon UK and here Amazon US

Three Short Blasts  (Medium)

Three Short Blasts is a collection of three original stories that are not to be found anywhere else. There is one story in each of the three series that I write: The Romney and Marsh Files, Acer Sansom and Booker & Cash.

Going on industry standard word count, the three stories range from forty to sixty pages of a paperback novel in length – significantly longer than short stories but not quite novellas.

There’s also an introduction in the book where I explain the motivation behind it. You can skip that bit if you like and get straight into the reads, which I hope you will enjoy.



Deep State (Large)Regular blog followers will know that I have enrolled a book in the Kindle Scout programme. Deep State (Acer#4) has got a couple of weeks to go. For any one who hasn’t seen about it and who would like to know more, please see this blog-post and follow the link therein. Kindle Scout – Deep State (Acer#4)

This week I’ve been back working on Booker & Cash #3 Waifs and Strays. It’s been slow going as I get back into a B&C frame of mind but at least it’s moving forward again. I do get grouchy if I am forced to go for long periods without writing something new.

Six weeks and counting.

21 thoughts on “What can I do… sometimes?

    • Hi Sarah, How spooky is that? I just uploaded this week’s blog-post (What can I do … sometimes?) where I deal with the release date issue and then this comes through from you. Perfect. Thank you.
      Best wishes.
      EDIT: Sorry just realised that your comment is on that post. (Sheepish face emoticon).

  1. Morning Oliver,
    I tried to leave a comment on my new smart phone when I was sitting in the kitchen having my first cuppa of the day, but as always I think I cocked it up. Anyway here goes again.
    For what it’s worth – my opinion, that is – I would personally wait until Three Blasts is well and truly up-and-running, then blast us – I like that – with R&M 7. Howzat?.
    Good luck and stop pontificating on the matter, if we argued the what-ifs all the time, we’d never get anything done. Just do what you want.
    As always, best wishes.

    • Morning Pat,
      Smartphones? Is there no stopping you and technology?
      It’s a bit of a conundrum. I don’t want it to clash with TSB, you’re right. Maybe later in March or April 1st… no maybe not.
      Best and have a good weekend.

  2. Yes please get “White Knuckle Christmas” printed…i’m getting withdrawral symptems not have one of yor R&M books to read..

    • Thank you Veronica. That’s great to know that you’re keen to read this one. I just need to make some time for final checks and then it’ll be out there. I’ll post on the blog when I know more.
      Best wishes.

  3. Good morning Mr Tidy
    You have TSB out on 12 March, you have Acer#4 on KS, R&M#7 is ready to go after a last read-through and you’re working on B&C#3. What next?
    In the remote possibility you can stay off social media long enough to write the thing, it could be ready well before Christmas, so you’re painting yourself into corner with another Acer. You can’t release R&M#8 before #7. That’s just not logical Captain. Not in hypospace!
    Release the beast . . .

    • Morning ma’am,

      I must admit that the thought of stymiing (?) myself over another R&M did occur to me. But… I said but… will there be another R&M! Da da daaaaaaa.
      I’m sure I’ll think of something else to write because I’m hypoactive like that. 🙂
      As soon as I’ve found time for a read-through it’ll be unleashed. (You just wouldn’t believe how hectic life is as a CWAP.)
      Best wishes.

  4. Well I’m off on holiday at the end of April and it would make it perfect if I had R and M 7 to read (provided I can wait and not read it as soon as it is available) not got a very good track record regarding patience when it comes to your books though
    It has to be your decision so you should go with your gut feeling

      • I tried to post the above message on my phone yesterday and didn’t think it had worked hence a similar message later in the day from me.
        I’m off to Majorca so yes somewhere nice

      • 🙂 That clears that up then. 🙂 I’ve never been to the Balearics. But I want to. I hope you get to enjoy R&M #7 while drinking chilled white wine on a sunbed around a pool.
        Best wishes.

  5. Hi, Thanks for writing such a good book I’m reading the first one in Romney and marsh series. Also you should publish a white knuckle Christmas as soon as you can because don’t forget it’s always winter somewhere in the world… Ha ha… Good luck in all your book writing. Sherley xxx

    Sent from my iPad


    • Hi Sherley,
      Thanks for the comment and your good wishes. I will get it out sooner rather than later. Your ‘winter somewhere in the world’ comment made me laugh. I wish I’d thought of that for the blog-post.
      Best wishes.

  6. I’m so glad you are leaning towards not delaying the release of R and M 7 I’m due to go on holiday at the end of April so it would be perfect timing for me (provided I can hold off reading it the minute it becomes available of course)
    Track record not good on that score though

  7. Well we just had a big dump of snow here in Canada so it still feels like winter, maybe not Christmas but there are still some fairy lights out there!
    As one of your loyal fans who have every one of your books I don’t care when it come out. I am sure you will get people buying it just because they survived Christmas and the title is intriguing!
    I was also a little disappointed to find out that Romeny had gone on a health kick, but relieved to see he went back to his old bad habits, he’s a copper after all. At least he still runs. (My husband’s an ex copper so I can say that! 😉 )
    Looking forward to it.

    • Hi Roz
      More snow? I thought things were supposed to be warming up there. Have I got my seasons mixed up?
      I really appreciate your comment and your support. Thank you. It’s good to know that R&M Files readers like yourself won’t let the timing put you off. I hope to make an announcement soon on a release date.
      Romney was never going to stay health focussed for long. Like you say, he’s a copper after all. (And a man. No will power.)
      Best wishes.

  8. Publish it now because we can’t wait – well we can wait until after Three Short Blasts, but not much longer! Around October/November pull it “for updating” or whatever – you don’t actually need to do anything, then relaunch it in time for Christmas and publicise like mad. That way you get to launch it twice including at Christmas – problem solved.

    • Hi Dawn
      Thanks for your comment, which mirrors my own thinking as proved by the fact that about two minutes after I’d done the dirty deed (uploaded the book to Amazon for pre-order) your message came through. Great timing. 🙂
      I like your idea for a Christmas boost. I’ll do that. Thanks.
      Best wishes.

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