Writing this post I was reminded of distant, different and more settled times. I was also reminded of something I used to say often and meant every time: writers are nothing without readers. When I was in my writing zenith I had a number of readers who not only engaged with me through social media regularly, encouraging my writing, but were game to give everything I wrote a try, whatever direction I went in. I was a very fortunate writer to have such support. I’m thinking about all my readers as I write this, and hoping sincerely that you are faring well in these extraordinary and worrying times.
It’s been over two years since I last wrote a blog post. Nearly two and a half years since I last self-published a book. Probably three since I last wrote one. Since then, I’ve started and paused at least half-a-dozen writing projects. I didn’t abandon any because I thought they weren’t worth pursing or because I didn’t know where I was going with them. (I’ve only known where I was headed with one book, so narrative direction isn’t usually an issue.) I just got distracted from writing. On the bright side, I’ve some good starts in the bank for a rainy day.
Getting distracted part way into a project is fatal for me, whatever it is: writing, DIY, cooking dinner, parenting (as my children never miss an opportunity to point out). I lose momentum and enthusiasm and sometimes the thread of what I was involved with. Usually, by the time I’ve made room for myself to carry on with whatever it was, I’ve forgotten why I was doing it in the first place, or I’ve got myself embroiled with something else, something with greater immediate appeal.
It wasn’t like that when I lived in Turkey. I was productive there. I was disciplined and organised and focused. I could be all those things because, apart from my young son, there were no distractions worthy of the label. My writing and parental duties aside, life was uneventful and quite dull. I always knew that coming back to the UK to live was going to be challenging for my writing. The upside is it’s definitely been a lot more fun and interesting than my years abroad.
Why have I chosen now to remove the dust covers from what was always the hub of my online presence? I’ve written another book, so an entry in my writer’s diary seems appropriate. This slice of cyber space has always had a symbiotic relationship with my writing. It’s been a place where I could record events in my writing life and somewhere interested readers could keep abreast of what I’ve got in the pipeline, maybe leave a comment. There was no other purpose for it. No writing = no need for blog posts.
The first draft was done late last year. It’s been sitting in the virtual bottom drawer since then, waiting for I-don’t-honestly-know-what. (Actually, I got distracted by something.) I’ve been working on revisions for a couple of weeks, and now, after the invaluable input of some good friends, I’m about as happy as I can be with it. It’s called The Harm Farm and weighs in at just under a hundred thousand words – about three hundred pages of a paperback book. Here is the blurb:
Megan Granger, an investigative journalist, discovers a rundown farm in the English countryside is being used to detain and torture convicted criminals for pleasure and profit. Unable to resist a story that could make her reputation, she becomes entangled with people for whom extreme violence and murder is a way of life. As the danger escalates, Megan understands she will need to become like them, if she is to survive to tell her tale.
I’ve got a cover for it, too.
I’m hoping to have the book self-published in the next few weeks, if I can remember how all that works. Details to follow.
All the best and stay safe, wherever you are.
So pleased to see a new book coming out, already this posted on UK CBC..
Many thanks, David. Much appreciated.
Yeah ur back in the saddle been missing your books ,but glad you ok
Many thanks, David. Trusting all is well with you.
Yes thanks all doing well still in work 😁
Good to hear from you Oliver. I look forward to reading your new book. You name as an author as stuck with me , so I know I am in for a good read. All good wishes for its success. J.
Much appreciated, Jay. Thanks.
About time !
Excellent news , Oliver, must admit to being a bit concerned that not heard anything, just thought it might have been ‘ writers block’ or all the work you took on at your house.
Any way – Welcome back.
Thanks, Bob. Much appreciated. The creative juices are still oozing (ewww).
Great news! I look forward to your new book and ready for a wonderful reading experience!
Thank you, Marilyn. I hope you’ll enjoy the read.
It’s about time to my favourite author doing what he does best been missing good stories
Thanks, Trevor. Good to hear from you.
So glad to hear you are back. Look forward to reading the new book when it comes out.
Many thanks, Linda. I hope you enjoy it.
That sounds very different. I look forward to reading it.
Thank you, Judy. Good to hear from you. Much appreciated.
So pleased to hear that you have resumed writing. You were one of my original independent authors/publishers whose books I thoroughly enjoyed. Can’t wait to read your new novel which looks very interesting. Glad to hear that you have found the time to resume something you are incredibly good at!!
Thank you, Sue. Much appreciated. I hope you enjoy it.
Hi Oliver. It’s great to hear from you again. I’m now greatly looking forward to the new book. All the best, Wayne.
Many thanks, Wayne. Much appreciated. I hope you enjoy it.
The new book sounds intriguing and I’ll definitely be buying it as soon as it’s available but I don’t mind admitting I was disappointed to read no mention of Dover CID
Please tell me that now you are back into writing you will be pursuing the book you promised a while ago
I hope lockdown hhas been kind to you and yours and that the writing bug is well and truly back
Hi Denise, Good to hear from you. All good here, thanks. I hope that lockdown hasn’t been too trying for you and yours.
I wrote this one before I got going on Dover CID. When it’s off my hands, so to speak, I’ll be cracking back on with R&M#8. It was going well before I had to abandon normal life to home-school and generally entertain my eight-year-old for most of the week.
I’ve read all your books and haven’t been disappointed yet. Can’t wait to get stuck into this one.
Many thanks, Mark. I hope you enjoy this one, too.
Excellent news Oliver. I was moaning recently to a friend (via Zoom) that you had ‘disappeared’ So good news for me. Like Denise I still await a brief romantic / hilarious/ disastrous entanglement between our hero at Dover CID and the ‘Ginger Ninja!’ Delighted to hear your news.
Hi Les, Thanks for your comment. Back to R&M when this one is out there, unless another doggy-distraction comes my way. 🙂 Romney and Boudicca have unfinished business.
I’m so happy to hear from you and I’m really looking forward to reading your new book. Glad you’re doing well and that you haven’t forgotten us.
Hi Fran, Many thanks for your comment. I could never forget the readers who’ve given me such support and pleasure over the years. I hope you enjoy the next book.
Hi Oliver, how lovely to hear from you after so long.
I’ve missed your books and sincerely hope we will se something from you this year.
Wishing you all the best
Rachel from Folkestone
Hi Rachael, Many thanks for your comment. Much appreciated. I’m hoping this one will be out soon.
Dear Oliver – I am delighted to see you back! Although I obviously knew that you had not disappeared from the face of the earth ( I occasionally see you in person) then I did wonder if you had become the victim of the dreaded writer’s block. Your new book sounds exciting – just the thing for lockdown reading if we are still in its throes when you publish. It will also be something to look forward to when we come out of lockdown so win/win.
Well done, Oliver!
All best wishes – Ann Stark.
PS Will there be a secret bonus with the appearance of your mother thinly disguised as one of the characters?
Hi Ann, Good to hear from you and thanks for your comment.
Writer’s block doesn’t seem to be a problem. Writer’s discipline definitely is. That and a hyper-active eight-year-old boy. We’re both in bed by eight o’clock.
As for mum as a character? It’s something I try to resist. I just know I’d end up doing something to her that I’d regret. 🙂
Great to hear all is well with you and a new book is almost ready. Missed you!
Thanks, Bee. I trust all is well with you, too. 🙂
Good to hear you are back in action
Many thanks, Mike.
I’m so glad to hear of new things from you, Oliver. Your characters, varied, loveable, and unloveable, reside in my head. You have immense talent and I can’t wait to read another of your books. Good luck with publishing.
Kit, Many thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.
Yea, new R&M book, I can finally read White Knuckle Ride, knowing there’ll be another, had a bit of a readers block there for a while 😉. Looking forward to reading your new book, nice to see you are still alive a kicking!
Roz, good to hear from you. Many thanks for your comment. R&M 8 somewhere in the pipeline. 🙂 Hope all is well with you and yours.
Welcome back Mr Tidy. You’ve been missed. I have occasionally checked online several times in case I had missed something. I’ve been making do with some pretty average stuff for too long.
Many thanks for your comment. Much appreciated. It’s good to be back.
I almost forgot who you are, nice to hear from you and good luck on the new book.
Hahaha, I feel like that every morning I look in the mirror. Thanks, Kelly.
Hey Oliver – great to see you back on the scene once again. Hope you’re well.
Many thanks, Andy. All good here, hope you’re well.
I am pleased you have a new book coming out Oliver. It sounds gory – I’m a delicate soul. have missed Romney and Marsh and Booker and Cash so much.
Hi Bobbie, Thanks for your message. I miss them, too. 🙂
So very happy you are back on the page. It’s been too long. Can I preorder now or will that come later?
Many thanks, Susan. I don’t have preorder set up for this one. I’m anticipating listing it with Amazon and then I’ll announce on the blog with links. Soon, I hope.
Wonderful! The story sounds great as per your usual ♥️
Thank you. I hope you enjoy it.
Really pleased to see you back in the saddle. Have read all your books and liked them all whichever genre. Look forward to reading the latest Harm Farm. Keep writing.
Hi Pat, Good to hear from you. I hope all is well with you. Thanks for your support.
Hooray. I am so glad to see you back. I was worried that you had decided to follow the same path Tin Larrick took. I couldn’t bear the thought of no more Oliver Tidy books. I have kept checking here and Social media and was always disappointed – but no longer!
Looking forward to the publication of your new book.
Hi Dawn, Many thanks for your message. There’s life in this old dog yet. So many ideas, so little free time. 🙂
About time! Has Sargeant Marsh had her baby or not? You leave stuff hanging! I have sleepless nights worrying about her. And wasn’t there supposed to be another R+M? Good to have you back mate. Make sure you let us all know when this latest offering is going to be out.
Hi Richard, Good to hear from you. I can’t go giving away Joy’s news on social media :-))) You’ll have to wait for R&M8. By the time that sees the light of day, any children she has will probably be of pensionable age, if I don’t pull my finger out.
I’ll be sure to post news of the ‘birth’ of my latest here in due course.
Brilliant news, looking for it already!
Many thanks for your message, Ernie.
Oliver that is such good news, I thought you had retired from public life.
You really know how to bring your characters to life and I have so missed your blog.
Sitting on my balcony in Dover, salivating over a new book. Bring it on my friend, the sooner the better.
Hi Andy, Many thanks for your message. Much appreciated. That balcony must be getting some use in this weather. Enjoy. Hope to have this latest offering out soon.
Hello Oliver! greetings from New Zealand! I see the English gift for understatement has not left you – quite a while!! I understand the distractions available though! Good luck with the new book. and what of Booker and Cash? will they ever return? all the very best Colin Ward ________________________________
Hi Colin, Good to hear from you. The English gift for understatement comment made me laugh.
Thanks for your good wishes for this one. I hope you’ll give it a try. As for David and Jo, they are one of those starts I made and then put on hold because something else cropped up. I will get back to them before they get too old. Best wishes.
My God, at last! I even wrote recently wondered if you had fallen down a hole somewhere. Can’t wait to get my few remaining teeth into some more of your fabulous characters.
Oliver, don’t stop now, you know we will all be wanting more…
Keep up the good work.
Hi Peter, Many thanks for your comment. Much appreciated. I’d like to think I can be a little more productive now, but I just know there’s another hole out there with my name on it.
I hope you like this one. Best wishes.
Great to hear you have a book coming soon. Since this lockdown started here in Ohio, I have read a lot of books. Now I have one more to look forward to later this summer.
Hi Brenda in Ohio! Good to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. I hope you enjoy the read. Best wishes.
Yay! Great to hear from you! Glad you’ve been enjoying being back in the UK and that’s why we haven’t heard from you!
Did you finish the renovations or whatever you were working on?
Can’t wait to read your new book!
Hope the pandemic is not impacting on you too badly.
Cheers, Annette in Australia
Hi Annette, Many thanks for your comment. Much appreciated.
I finished one lot of renovations. Then I got swept up in a camper van conversion project. Really enjoyed that and I’m looking forward to when we come out of lockdown so that I can have some trips.
I hope the pandemic hasn’t impacted too greatly on you. Best wishes.
We’re in Victoria and having a second wave of COVID-19 unfortunately!
Where will you take your renovated camper? I LOVE England and hope to get to travel there again if things ever get back to normal.
Thinking about all your fabulous books, I think I’ll start from the first and reread them all!!! You really are an excellent writer!!
This virus is just going to keep coming and coming, I think. Only a matter of time before UK gets locked down again, judging from the lack of social distancing and face masks that I’ve seen.
Do you have Instagram? You can see my van conversion here: CosyVanTooty. I’m still awaiting the opportunity for my first trip with my son. So many camp sites are still closed here. I’m determined to get a few days away before the summer is over. My dream is to travel the coast of Europe. Impossible right now.
Thanks for the continued support.
Welcome back Oliver! Brilliant news, it’s made my day!! Missed you so much….wondered if you had gone to live with Theo in Rainbow City??!! Best of writing luck & looking forward to more books. Very best wishes
Hi Sylvia, Many thanks for your comment. Sincerely appreciated. Living in lockdown has felt a little like Rainbow City at times :-)). I hope you enjoy the new book. Best wishes.
Welcome back from someone who has been in lockdown for the past 16 weeks in your old stomping ground Turkey and have chomped through many books. Read your whole output so far, bar one, and looking forward to your latest offering. Best regards Peter
Hi Peter, Whereabouts in Turkey, I wonder. I gather from the news that they’ve made a better fist of getting control than here, but then they’re are rather expert at control. Allegedly. Thanks for your ongoing support. Much appreciated. Best wishes.
You’re back with a new book! I got an email from Amazon today and ordered your book straight away. I started with Romney and Marsh book 1 when it was a freebie and then went on to order all your other books. I particularly enjoyed Booker and Cash – Bad Sons as my grandfather was an engineer involved in the PLUTO project. Looking forward to reading the new book and more to come. Glad that you’re back writing and hope it won’t be too long until your next one.
Many thanks for your time and trouble to leave a comment. Much appreciated.
It’s always good to hear from a reader who has read the series and gone on to try others.
Thanks for ordering the latest one. I hope the read rewards your ongoing support.