About olivertidy

On the road to either self-publishing, fame and fortune, or self-publishing, obscurity and destitution.

The Harm Farm

 

The Harm Farm kindle and paperback shot

The Harm Farm is now available to download from Amazon using the following links.

Amazon.uk ebook   @£1.99    Amazon.com ebook    @$2.99.

The book will also shortly be available in paperback form from Amazon outlets.

Of course, I dream that everyone who owns a kindle will buy it, love it and then leave rave reviews all over Amazon, social media and the wider web. Perhaps even write letters to whoever owns Netflix demanding the screen rights be optioned for a healthy six figure sum so that I might retire to the south of France and write all day from my balcony overlooking the sea.

Failing the realisation of my delusional fantasies (we all need them) I would be quite content if some of my readers found the blurb appealing enough to download a copy read and review. If that’s you, I thank you in advance for your ongoing support. As always, it is sincerely appreciated. I hope you find something in it to enjoy.

All the best, everyone.

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 represent 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.

 

It’s been a while.

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I’ve been so appreciative of having this on my doorstep during lockdown

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.

THE HARM FARM EBOOK COVER

 

 

 

 

An encouraging start.

My latest novel, The Prole Soldier, became available for download this week. There are already a few reviews up on Amazon and I wanted to share how happy the general response to my change of genre has made me. I thought about copying and pasting them below but that’s going too far. I would like to share a couple of sentences, without attribution. If you’d like to read more, please click on the image link above. It will take you to the book’s download page and from there you can scroll down to the comments section. A word of caution, a couple of the reviews are quite detailed, so for anyone who intends reading the book and doesn’t like to know too much before going in, perhaps it might be wise to wait. That said, I don’t believe there are any spoilers there.

I came to know this author as the writer of crime/mystery/thriller stories. This isn’t so much a change of genre as a widening of the horizons, as there are crimes, thrills and mysteries enough for anyone in here.

I was hooked from the start. The whole thing is believable if not frighteningly so.

Dystopian fiction works best when it’s believable and Rainbow City is only too easy to imagine. A disaffected electorate who are persuaded to relinquish more and more control to the Government following acts of terrorism and who don’t bother to vote – the results are frighteningly easy to believe. Perhaps like Orwell in 1949, Oliver Tidy has written a book that should be considered a prophetic cautionary tale… The Prole Soldier is a thoroughly gripping and intelligent page-turner of a novel and after this superb start to the series I can’t wait to read what comes next!

The book is excellent, really well written as I hoped (and expected!), the characters are great and work really well together and the plot is superb. It is such an easy read and I flew through the pages, I was hooked and needed to read it in one sitting.

Will Oliver Tidy never stop astounding me? Yet another change of genre from him, and flippin’ ‘eck job’s a good’n! I was completely involved. It’s deep. It’s meaningful. It’s painful. It has parallels in history and warnings for the future. It’s frightening. It works. I cannot praise it enough.

I also did a Q&A for the blog tour that is ongoing. I’m posting that below. Because I can.

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
Is it OK if I just give you the blurb for the book? I’m worried that if I start going on about me or this book most of the people reading this won’t get to question two.
Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?
Generally, I have an idea. I give it some thought. I start writing. And then, usually, it pours out of me like a broken pipe. That’s the way most of my books get written. On the Creative Writing MA courses I believe they call it ‘making it up as you go along’. That’s me. I think through my finger tips as I type.
I’m essentially a self-publisher. But I’ve always wanted to be traditionally published. I really believed The Prole Soldier was a book that was worth touting to literary agents. So I did. Three of them. And then I got fed up waiting three months not to hear back from anyone and decided to self-publish. Because life is too short and I could get killed by a bus next week and then no one would get to read my story.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
As the title of this novel suggests (I hope) the story is strongly influenced by George Orwell’s 1984. I read other books that encouraged me for this one: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. The Iron Heel by Jack London. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. There were also films, notably The Hunger Games trilogy. I was going through a phase. Actually, I’ve been rather susceptible to a good dystopian tale for as long as I can remember.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
I cannot remember the title of a single book I read as a child/teenager. I did read but it’s all a blur. I can say that my earliest reading memories are of when I was a young man and devouring Wilbur Smith, Dick Francis, Desmond Bagley and others like them.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
I can’t say that there has been one special experience about being a writer. But I consider that my greatest achievement as a writer involves The Prole Soldier. I had a real and well-known literary agent ask me for the full manuscript for the book after I’d submitted it for consideration. (Yes, one of them got back to me.) That was amazing. She wasn’t interested in taking it any further, which wasn’t so amazing. Apart from that, every time I hear from a reader who has enjoyed one or more of my books is a very special moment. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It’s a ray of sunshine in my day.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
Undoubtedly it’s my readers, most of whom I have never met. The encouragement and ongoing support I’ve received from a good many regulars has been touching and motivating and among the most rewarding aspects of being a writer. There are a number who have gone the extra distance in their support, but I shan’t mention any names for fear of embarrassing them and missing out others. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. My sincere thanks for everything.

Have a great Sunday, everyone. 🙂

 

The Prole Soldier is coming.

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The Prole Soldier is out in a week. Three people that I know of have read the full-length version. Their feedback has been encouraging. I’m looking forward to seeing what these members of the book blogging community think of it. And of course, I really hope that a few of my regulars might be persuaded to dip a toe in my dystopian future and feedback their views.

The book is available to preorder from the following links. Amazon UK Amazon US Many and sincere thanks to those of you who have already done so, thereby taking a chance on me writing in a different genre. Your ongoing support (and faith) is greatly appreciated.

 

 

The Prole Soldier

The Prole Soldier (Large)

I am very happy to share the rather excellent cover for my next release: The Prole Soldier. It is available for preorder from Amazon UK and Amazon US as of today by clicking on the blue highlighted links. Publication date is 20th February.

The Prole Soldier is a departure from my usual crime and thriller writing and contributes to my ambition to write in different genres. If I had to choose one category to list it in it would be the wonderfully named ‘speculative fiction’.

As the title suggests (I hope) the story is strongly influenced by George Orwell’s 1984. I read other books that encouraged me for this one: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. The Iron Heel by Jack London. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  There were also films, notably The Hunger Games trilogy. I was going through a phase. Actually, I’ve been rather susceptible to a good dystopian tale for as long as I can remember. I intend to make The Prole Soldier the first in the Rainbow City Trilogy.

I wrote TPS while I was in living in Ankara. There’s a good reason why it’s taken me so long to self-publish it. (When I remember what it is, I’ll write a blog post about it.) For now, I only want to celebrate the fact that TPS has finally gone into labour.

Here is the blurb:

Theo lives and works in the Blue Zone of Rainbow City. He is almost sixteen at which age he will begin four years conscription – military or mines. He wants neither. He hates his life and despises the cruelty, injustice and inequality that prevails. When the opportunity arises for Theo to be involved in the fight for change he grabs it, knowing that failure will cost him everything.

If you missed the links above, here they are again. Amazon UK Amazon US. As always, all support for my writing is sincerely appreciated. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Working my way back.

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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.

 

Now appearing at…

From the 17th – 26th of November the Folkestone Book Festival will be taking place. It’s quite a literary event on the south coast.

As well as the big names that make the festival calendar (see above) there will also be a number of smaller events taking place throughout the week as something of a fringe festival. I am excited to share that I will be appearing at The Steep Street Coffee House on Thursday 23rd November at 6.30pm to talk about self-publishing and my particular journey.

I’ve visited Folkestone a couple of times recently and I’m really impressed with the way the old high street and the harbour area in particular continue to benefit from an extensive regeneration programme. It’s very diverse and interesting and arty and bohemian round there these days.

The Steep Street Coffee House is located in Folkestone’s old high street. It’s a book-themed coffee house (just like Bookers from my Booker & Cash series). I fell in love with the ambience of the place when I paid a visit last week to speak to the very friendly and enthusiastic owner.

It would be brilliant if one or two of my local readers were able to come along and say hello. The one and only time I’ve attended anything like this as a speaker only one hand went up when I asked if anyone had ever heard of me. Awkwarrrrrrd. (Shelagh – thank you. You made my night 🙂 )

Spaces will be limited – it’s a cosy establishment – so be sure to get there early. Even if I turn out to be boring, the coffee and cake on offer are well worth the trip.

Just a thought: I’m thinking about having a box for attendees to pop an anonymous question into. You can ask me anything you like. I’ll attempt to answer as many as time allows for, and as honestly as I can.

 

Many thanks!

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Today was the final day of the blog tour for The Fallen Agent. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those book bloggers on the list above for taking part and for their overwhelmingly positive and encouraging feedback for the read. Your time and involvement is much appreciated.

I would also like to say a huge and special thank you to Caroline Vincent at BitsAboutBooks for organising the blog tour and for working so energetically to ensure that The Fallen Agent received plenty of social media coverage. Caroline, you are brilliant.

 

The Fallen Agent

The Fallen Agent(1)

In my last days in Ankara, as the clock ticked down to my leaving date, I worked quite feverishly on a story that had gripped me in its unfolding. I have called it The Fallen Agent. I have plans to make it the first of a few featuring the main character. I do like a series.

For a change, for me, the lead is female. Her name is Jess Albion. It needed to be pointed out to me that all my leading ladies’ names start with the letter ‘J’: Joy, Jo and now Jess. I cannot explain this attraction to the ‘J’ sound. Do I need to?

Here’s the blurb:

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.

The strapline for the book is: Can a killer escape their past? And that’s where the story begins.

This book has a rather extended dedication. It tells anyone all they need to know about the motivation for the story. Here it is.

The Fallen Agent was inspired by the BBC TV drama Spooks, in particular Season 3 Episode 6. This book is dedicated to every single person who had anything to do with bringing that finest of British TV dramas to the small screen. Thank you one and all.

Initial feedback for The Fallen Agent from those long-suffering family and friends who usually read my stuff first has been positive and encouraging. My ever-critical daughter (love her) gave it a 7/10 – praise indeed by her miserly scoring standards. She did need to borrow some money, though.

Caroline at bitsaboutbooks has very generously organised a blog tour for the launch of The Fallen Agent. I’m also very grateful to her for other sound advice related to aspects of bringing a book into the world.

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The Fallen Agent is out on 10th October and is available now for preorder here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Many thanks for your ongoing suppport of my writing.