What’s happened since I’ve been away?

Friends, fans and readers alike. Amazingly, it’s been two years exactly since my last WordPress blog. And boy, has a lot happened since then!!

Two Springs ago, I told you how I was preparing for the publication of my third Detective Constable Dominic Strider crime novel, Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere. Best laid plans and all that?

Since then, well, let’s not dwell too much on the details, but in summer 2019 we sold our flat (the process was a nightmare). I subsequently had health issues caused by the stress and needed medical check-ups (another nightmare). Then a certain little bug started creeping its pernicious way into our lives…..

These things have all conspired to distract me from my novel-writing for quite a while, unfortunately.

Throughout it all, there have been two constants, which I am very lucky and grateful to have.

The first is my undying enthusiasm to get my novel in print. I think it’s the best thing I’ve written since the first one (and is possibly better, as I have definitely matured as a writer).

The second constant has been my wonderful publishers, David and Kelly from Britain’s Next Best Seller. They too have been affected by the spread of the virus, as has every aspect of our daily lives, work, ambitions and relationships.

But David and Kelly have kept in touch throughout, even saying they’d understand if I wished to take my work elsewhere. I refused to do that because a) they are awesome people, and b) loyalty is profoundly important to me.

So we have reached the two-year anniversary of my last blog on WordPress. I have completed another final proofread of my book, and thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in DC Strider’s action-packed, laddish (and sometimes tragic) world.

Regarding ‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’, my third DC Strider crime novel

I think it’s the best thing I’ve written since the first one (and is possibly better, as I have definitely matured as a writer).

We have the cover design to agree, then we are good to go. Is it too ambitious to think we might be releasing this summer? Who knows?

But I have waited for so long, what’s another few months, when I know the book looks great, my publisher has done a brilliant job for me, and they have exciting PR opportunities lined-up including a podcast, interviews, press and such like.

And – when lockdown finally finishes in the coming weeks and months – I even plan to revisit Chester for the first time in ages, to walk those same streets that Strider patrols, knowing that whatever life throws at him – a bomb threat, double murder, a treasure hunt and a personal tragedy in Road to Nowhere – he will survive and thrive.

As will we all. So please stay safe and healthy, have the vaccine, keep reading, and I look forward to seeing you at some socially-distanced book signing one day in the near future.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, DETECTIVE?

‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’ starts on the first day when policeman Dominic Strider joins Chester CID.

He is immediately plunged into action when he finds a bomb outside Chester Cathedral, primed to detonate in four minutes. With no sign of the bomb squad, he has only one option to avoid disaster – he recklessly picks up the bomb and runs through the crowded city centre streets with it, hoping to throw it in the river before it explodes. Well, they say you should always start your novel off with a bang!!

That’s only Chapter 1.

Who planted the bomb and why? Who murdered a local newspaper reporter and an elderly lady, and what’s their connection to the mysterious disappearance of a treasure trove? Can DC Strider catch the bank robbers and drugs kingpin bringing misery on the city? And why does DC Strider dress up as a Roman centurion to save his best friend’s life?

All these questions and more will be answered in the book.

Preparing for publication – the final proofread

They say writers can get ‘word blindness’ from reading their own work over and over.

Which is why it was important I had a break of several months between submitting my 3rd novel – Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere – to my brilliant publishers Britain’s Next Best Seller, and giving it one final proofread.

I re-read it again this week, while on leave (in Chester actually, where my DC Strider novels are set!), and found a lot of really tiny mistakes I’d made – a missing colon, here, an extra letter here, etc. Small stuff for sure, but important to get them corrected too, perfectionist that I am.

All of these corrections have been submitted to BNBS now, and I look forward to the next stages of publication, including discussing the cover design and getting a marketing plan in place (I’ve already started contacting some local booksellers about arranging book signing sessions).

As a former newspaper reporter and currently working as a comms professional for the government, accuracy in my work is of paramount importance. But so too is keeping that distance….

So finish your work and leave it alone. Lock it in a drawer, go on holiday, just forget about it for a few weeks. Then you’ll return it feeling renewed, with a fresh pair of eyes. Just take your time, don’t skim over the text, read it slowly and carefully. And don’t let your ego get in the way – we all make mistakes, so be open to the fact you’ll have inevitably messed up a spelling here, some punctuation here. Just mark it down and either make that correction yourself or send it onto your publisher.

If it’s the latter, I find it easiest to write down the page number and which line on the page the correction occurs, what my mistake was and, in bold, what it should actually read.

So best of luck with your own work, and giving it that one final check. And if you can get an editor to go through it as well – that’s even better. New readers might spot things you keep missing.

At the end of the day, whatever way you do this, all we writers want is the best, most professional-looking, perfectly-written book possible. 🙂

MORE INFORMATION

My website

My Author’s Page on Amazon.com

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, DETECTIVE?

‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’ starts on the first day when policeman Dominic Strider joins Chester CID. He is immediately plunged into action when he finds a bomb outside Chester Cathedral, primed to detonate in four minutes. With no sign of the bomb squad, he has only one option to avoid disaster – he recklessly picks up the bomb and runs through the crowded city centre streets with it, hoping to throw it in the river before it explodes.

Well, they say you should always start your novel off with a bang!! That’s only Chapter 1.
Who planted the bomb and why? Who murdered a local newspaper reporter and an elderly lady, and what’s their connection to the mysterious disappearance of a treasure trove? Can DC Strider catch the bank robbers and drugs kingpin bringing misery on the city? And why does DC Strider dress up as a Roman centurion to save his best friend’s life?

All these questions and more will be answered in the book. 

Two weeks left to help me get published – have you joined my Kickstarter campaign yet?

Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere

You’ve just two weeks left to join my Kickstarter journey and help me get my latest crime novel published.

My publishers, being a small family-run firm, just don’t have the capital investment that’s available to large conglomerates. So instead, they help authors like me achieve their dream of getting published with a different, innovative new way.

They launch Kickstarter campaigns for their authors. Everyone has a fundraising target and one month to achieve it. Raise enough cash and you get your book published. But if you don’t raise enough funds…..  😦

My Kickstarter campaign is to get my new crime novel ‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’ published. I have a target set at £850. But I’m nowhere near that yet – and I need your help please, my friends.

Please click on the link above and watch the KS video of Chester landmarks (which I produced and edited myself).

Read more about WHY I have turned to Kickstarter to try and get published, and PLEASE click on the ‘Donate’ button to pledge your support.

For just £1 you will get a downloadable copy of the book. For £8 you’ll get a paperback version of it and a signed copy for £12 – that’s IF I can manage to raise enough to get it printed and released, that is!!

Many thanks in advance for all your help and support, and many regards! 🙂

MORE INFORMATION

My website

My Author’s Page on Amazon.com