Working my way back.


Hello to all readers old and new. I sincerely hope that the New Year has started well for you.

Surprised to find me in your inbox? Me too. I didn’t think I’d be writing a blog post again for a while with the way my writing has been going (or not) in the last few months. But here I am. Back at a chair at a table tapping away.

I returned to the UK in the summer after living abroad for a few years. My life in exile provided me the opportunity to explore my writing ambitions because I was largely responsibility free. I was quite productive. And I enjoyed the daily life of a writer. Returning home to the UK, as I feared, was the kiss of death for that side of me. Not only was I swamped with ‘real life’ and a house renovation project but all those other things I’d missed whilst away were suddenly freely available to me and I indulged myself wantonly, like a long term prisoner finding himself suddenly on parole.

But cometh the New Year cometh the New Year resolutions. I decided that I needed to get back to my writing. I had to MAKE time for it. And that means giving up a few things, like TV and beer and sleep. So that’s what I’ve been doing.

In the six months before Christmas I’d not written anything new.  I’d done some editing on my next book out – something I finished in Turkey – and that is now ready for self-publication. It’s called The Prole Soldier and should be out in February. More on that another time.

As well as time, a large part of my problem with not being able to write here has been that I haven’t found any place to write – somewhere I can be comfortable enough that my creative juices can make a mess on the carpet. While the weather was good I tried the shed but it’s too cold down there for that now. I’ve found somewhere now. I’ve put an old table at the window in my bedroom. The view could be better but it could also be worse. And it’s quiet this side of the house. I feel comfortable here. That’s important. Really important. And I am writing again. A few hours a day.

It hasn’t been easy getting back into things. I didn’t know what to start with. I had ideas for additions to existing series and new standalones. I started Jess Albion #2, working title The Avenging Agent. (Title of #1 was The Fallen Agent. Anyone see a theme emerging?) Things went slowly at first but after a couple of sittings the mechanics of writing started to return. I got twenty thousand words to the good with avenues to explore but wasn’t feeling that necessary burning desire to continue her story. I looked again at Booker & Cash #4 – I already had a good start in the bank from my days in Turkey. But again, the urge wasn’t there. I started an idea I had for a standalone. It began well enough. And then I had an idea that got me so excited a little bit of wee came out. Could I make some alterations and turn this into a Romney and Marsh? Could I? Should I? Would I?

I thought I was done with them. I had no plans to write another in the series, despite the series being my most popular. But I’ve never said never again. So I tried it. I adapted what I’d written. It’s going well. Most importantly I’m feeling that keeness to write about them. And the more I do the happier I am. I feel like I’m spending time with old friends. And it feels good. I don’t know how the rest of it is going to go. I don’t know if, when I finish it, I will deem it unworthy of putting out. What I do know is that I am back writing. I have found somewhere I am comfortable writing. I have characters I care about. I’m enjoying myself.


56 thoughts on “Working my way back.

  1. Delighted to have you back in the land of the living / writing.
    Also delighted that you are considering a further R&M. I have suggested before and will again- Please put Tom and the Ginger Ninja together, however briefly, in a cringe worthy, mutually embarrassing episode. Some of your readers are still laughing about the episode on the stage…
    To me part of the considerable joy I get from your work is the humour that occasionally appears. Keep up the good work.

  2. Oliver you have no idea how much of a lift the news that you are writing again has given me. Even better that it’s a Romney and Marsh. Today that lift is particularly needed and I am looking forward to the publication date.

    I will, of course, as usual, be chivvying you along until it appears but you wouldn’t expect anything less would you?

    • Hi Dawn,
      Lovely to hear from you. And thank you for your comment. Sincerely appreciated. I’ve missed writing but had to prioritise with things here.
      I won’t be able to write as quickly as I used to, so pleeeeease be patient with me. 🙂
      Best wishes

  3. Good to hear you have found your comfortable place, we all need one. I am looking forward to your next publication. Which ever it might be. J.

  4. Thats great news Oliver, well done. Have you ever thought of writing a story where Romney and Marsh and Booker and Cash paths cross. They are in the same part of the county so could happen in their line of work. Leave that with you.

    • Hi Maurice, Many thanks for your comment. I have thought about doing what you suggest. I’m going to save it for when I absolutely, positively, definitely never want to write another story involving those characters again – and i’m going to blow them all up. What an exit!
      Best wishes

  5. Hi Oliver, hope this inspires you! Your books have given me an escape from the sadness that this world has unkindly dish out to me in the last two years. We all need escapism and your books supply me with that, especially the Romney and Marsh titles. We all have real worlds that we have to deal with but your ability to create an ‘on the paper’ world is a very important talent. Wish you every success and the necessary creative juices to continue your writing. WE NEED YOU 👍😉 best of luck Shirl

    • Hi Shirley, Many thanks for your comment. I am always grateful for, and motivated by, positive feedback for my writing, so thank you.
      While I’m sorry to learn that the last couple of years have not been your happiest, it is good to know that the books have brought you some distration. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you for your kind words. Here’s hoping that 2018 is a good one for you.
      Best wishes 🙂

  6. Hi Oliver, as one of my favourite crime fiction writers – the other is Joseph Wanbaugh – I have to say that my wife and I are really pleased to hear another R&M book may be in the pipeline! Day after day they are getting on with solving crimes, but their efforts are going unnoticed. We also both enjoy reading the Booker and Cash novels
    If you are looking for a character of a sleazy old villain who spends his life chain smoking, drug taking, boozing, letching and resorting to gambling and kidnapping to try to solve his many problems, then I would suggest you seek inspiration from Philip Skinner. He was one of the main characters in Joseph Wambaugh’s ‘The Black Marble’. I have returned to that book many times over the years.

    • Hi Graham, Many thanks for your comment and your kind words. Much appreciated.
      I’ve not read any Joseph Wanbaugh but I’m always on the lookout for new authors to try. I’ll seek out The Black Marble – Skinner sounds interesting.
      Best wishes

    • Many thanks for your comment and your support, Patricia. The mojo is a little dulled with lack of use but I’m going to give it a good polish and see what happens. 🙂
      Best wishes

  7. Another story from Mr Tidy…blah, blah, stand alone, blah, Jess Albion, blah….wait! WHAT! WWHHAATT!!!!!

    Yay! R+M are coming back. Book launch party round at mine!

    Well done Oliver, about time you went back to basics. It’s all very well exploring new avenues which personally I’m not so keen on. Well written in your style obviously, but I know where I first found Oliver Tidy – author. And it was in a police station in Dover.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, but don’t alienate your original and (probably) most loyal readers and supporters.

    • Hi Richard, Many thanks for your honest comment. Good to know that you’re still around to see R&M demothballed. 🙂
      I’ll be forever grateful to my original readers – how else would I be able to afford four holidays a year in the Bahamas? Seriously, if i can turn out another R&M that doesn’t let the side down I’ll be happy.
      All the best.

  8. Oh wow!! So good to hear from you with such exciting news.
    Glad the creative juices are flowing again.
    I’m one of your top fans.
    Best wishes as always

  9. I’ve never been so excited reading an email before(my daughter thought I’d gone mad as I stood with my phone jumping up and down shouting YES YES YES!!!!!

    It was great to read you are back writing again (my withdrawal symptoms have been really bad)
    But then you saved the best bit until last. To quote you on the subject of R and M
    “I feel like I’m spending time with old friends” So you’ve finally got what we’ve all been telling you for years now. Dover CID are our friends and we want to keep reading about them

    That said I’ll be interested in all of the other books just not as much

    I’ve been having a rubbish time health wise so you’ve really cheered me up
    2018 just got better
    Thank you

    • Hi Denise, Thank you for your comment. It put a smile on my face.
      I’m very pleased to get so much positivity for my return to the keyboard and especially R&M. I just hope this one doesn’t let the series down.
      Sorry to hear that your health has not been all you would like it to. I sincerely hope things are improved for you in 2018.
      Best wishes

  10. R&M in the works? Please do not tease! This would be received and read in delight here at Double K Ranch in Arizona. I really enjoy all of your characters but I could read a new R&M book every 6 months. I understand how working at home, those to do lists can be all consuming. Our ranch always have chores that get in the way of raising beef and horses, but if you put an hour or two daily to the chores, the work can be done. Good writing Oliver!

    • Hi Nancy, Many thanks for your comment. I was sitting down to dinner with my family when it came through and I had to share. I think it’s fantastic that the R&M Files are being read as far a field as Arizona. 🙂
      You’re absolutely right: time needs to be found every day. Little and often is fine. The wheels must keep turning.
      Best wishes

  11. Wanton indulgence?? Surely not! It is great news that R&M are back in business! I will welcome these old friends too!
    all the very best
    Colin Ward
    New Zealand

  12. ‘The pen is mightier than the trowel’ as someone might have said. Glad you’ve found that to be true. I just don’t know what unspeakable privations you have to put yourself through to feed us hungry fans with Tidyist books. Eschewing TV and beer ! A very Happy New Year to you and family, I hope you are all happy on the marsh. Love the new pup. Take care.

    • Hi Keith, I think it was Nelson Mandella as he walked free from prison. But I could be wrong. ‘Unspeakable privations’ sounds paradoxically deliciously indulgent. Or is it just my weak grasp of the English language that makes me think that? Whatever, thanks for your comment and good wishes. The Marsh continues to be good for the soul and the pup is turning out to be a real pleasure to have around – a positive influence. So much so that a certain DI has also gone down the canine ownership route.
      Best wishes to you and yours.

  13. Just goes to show that sometimes these things take things n a life of their own and you just can’t fight it! Life brought you back to the UK and in turn brought you back to where it began ….

    • Hi Helen, Thanks for your comment. How true. Some things are impossible to resist, like breathing and the call of the keyboard and those distant nagging voices insisting on being heard and… beer.
      Best wishes

  14. Woohoo! Am really pleased for you that you’re back doing something you so obviously love & delighted that there may be a new addition to the Romney & Marsh Files!
    I’ve read all of the R&M series, the 3 Booker & Cash & am currently reading the first Acer Samson (& enjoying it). I’ve loved all of the above & the short stories too – will keep my fingers crossed for the new R&M….
    Love commenter Maurice Bean’s suggestion about R&M and B&C crossing paths – although maybe not your response about blowing them all up!
    Best wishes,

    • Hi Cas, Many thanks for your comment and encouragement. Much appreciated.
      It always great to know when a reader has enjoyed one of my series enough to try another. That you’ve given them all a try is brilliant.
      As for Maurice’s comment, maybe there could be some fun in that somewhere down the line.
      Best wishes

  15. First time I’ve found you. If your post is anything to go by I must read some of your work.. Love your honesty and it made me giggle. Look forward to following you. X

      • The first two books in two of my series are free downloads from Amazon but they might not be to your taste – police procedural and a thriller. If they are, then great. I do have a couple of standalones that I like to think are worth reading (I would, of course 🙂 ). To get an idea of these and others maybe taking a look at the menu bar on my website would be the best thing.
        Best wishes

  16. Oliver
    What a delight to read your blog. It is almost as interesting as your book(s). Just finished the first Booker & Cash and immediately ordered the 2nd. Your descriptive phrases are wonderful – especially the humorous ones! I even stop to chuckle. You will certainly be put on my list of favorite authors. So much of your character’s activities make them real – like eating meals, sleeping, & where they get the money to do what they do. Your new little nook to write in needs a vase with a couple of flowers!
    Harlen Cobin would be an author I would recommend to you.
    Smiles, Grandma Sal – Over here in Michigan!

    • Hi Sally
      Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to get in touch. I’m always very pleased to hear from readers who are enjoying the books. And I get a kick out of knowing that my books are being read such long distances away. All much appreciated, as are your kind words for my writing (blog and fiction).
      Flowers is a nice idea. I’ve got a few daffodils coming up at the moment in the garden.
      I’ve read a couple of Corben’s books, and enjoyed them.
      I sincerely hope that the rest of the B&C series continues to provide you with reading pleasure.
      Best wishes

  17. Oliver, I have just completed The Prole Soldier, having read all of your work.
    Yet another fabulous, gripping story. I have read all of the R&M series twice, initially out of sequence and then in the correct order. Recently I thoroughly enjoyed Agent Joss, although devastated that the sub hero met an early demise.
    It is a great shame the publishing houses treat you so meaningless as I for one, find your writing superb and compared with other self published writers, your books are extremely well crafted and an absoloute minimum of typos. Your characters are all completely life like, fully believable and you have the ability to bring them to three dimensional life from the page.
    My only distress is you can’t write fast enough for the insatiable appetite you have now created.
    I hadn’t read a book for 20 years, save technical stuff. Never had time to enjoy, save an odd holiday read which failed to sustain interest and we’re certainly not memorable. Since starting your collection of works all that has changed. You have re-ignited the love of the written word I had from many years before. Do, please, keep up the good work. I am now a most loyal fan.

    • Hello Peter,
      What a truly inspiring message for me to find in my inbox this cold and gloomy morning. Thank you. I sincerely appreciate your time and trouble to get in touch, and your words of encouragement for my writing.
      Hearing from readers who are enjoying my books is a very motivating thing. Now and again, I receive a comment, like yours, that says my stories have provided them fresh interest in reading. Apart from huge personal wealth (looking more and more unlikely by the day) nothing can bring me greater pleasure from my writing.
      Best wishes and, again, many thanks.

  18. Ooooohhhh really a new R&M Brilliant. I have been keeping up with your other stories and all are written as engagingly as your series stories, but a new R&M will be such a treat. Must say haven’t reviewed your last few stories as life has got in the way. Cold Kills was rescued by your story telling in my opinion, not my favorite. Start Prole Soldier yesterday whilst sat in recovery from a minor operation and already 50% through it. This one I will review as I have some opinions on it

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. Very good to know that you’re sticking with the stories, whether they be tales to your liking or not. That kind of support is sincerely appreciated.
      Best of luck with your recovery from surgery and I’m looking forward to your thoughts on TPS.
      Best wishes

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