The other noble art?

Is there any occupation more noble, more admirable, more worthy than being an author of novels?

This is the question I asked myself as I hoofed it home after being dropped off the school bus this evening at the (not) end of the working week. (We’re in on SUNDAY!!! For an open day. Hells bells!)

Within five paces I’d reconsidered to include anyone who is artistically creative: songwriters, artists, poets and the like. People who bring untold pleasure to others through the arts.

Another couple of steps and I was thinking that doctors and people who put out fires and people who care for the sick and dying and those who strive to save species from extinction might be considered more worthy individuals than writers of fiction. Still, it was nice few yards while it lasted.

Where did this indulgent feeling about my adopted semi-profession come from? Owing to a bit of heavy traffic I was able to finish Lamentation, the sixth book in the Matthew Shardlake series of historical mystery novels by CJ Sansom, just before I got dropped off. What a book. What a series. What a writer. If you haven’t given the Shardlake books a try, do it now and start at the beginning. A master story teller.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this one from before it was published. Noticing its reduced price of only £1.99 on Amazon last weekend, I couldn’t resist. (In the UK I have three pristine signed first editions of this title to go with my others in the series but I can’t read them.) I’ve been devouring this one on the daily commute. As soon as I opened my Kindle I was transported into the period and the story. I become totally oblivious to everything. Sansom has been one of my favourite authors for a while. He has only increased his stock with me for this addition to the Shardlake canon.

Surely one of the most wonderful compliments that can be paid to an author is when a reader is moved to cry, or laugh out loud or, as in my case today, literally audibly gasp at a turn of events. I hardly believe I did but it’s true – the person sitting next to me asked if I was all right. I don’t think I’ve ever gasped while reading before. (I don’t include that letter from my ex-wife’s solicitors asking for a lump sum settlement.) It’s wonderful to be moved like that by a writer.


Enough of blowing smoke up Mr Sansom’s backside. This blog is supposed to be about my writing.

Romney and Marsh #5, Particular Stupidities, is going well. I careered through the 80,000 word barrier last night and there’s still a way to go. This, then, looks like being the longest R&M I’ve written.