Great news! The Unforgiven Dead has been chosen as one of the additional winners of Inkshares’ Mystery & Thriller contest. I’m not one for hyperbole, but this is THE BEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENENED TO ME! (Apart from the birth of my children. And my wedding day. Obviously...)
There is, however, still a lot of hard work ahead as I work with Inkshares’ editorial ninjas to polish my manuscript into a polished thing of shinny magnificence. (Ok, maybe I am one for hyperbole.)
Anyway, I would like to thank Inkshares and everyone who has supported my project. There’s been times in the last ten years when I’ve seriously considered quitting this writing lark and taking up philately instead. All seems worth it now!
It’s a little late for Happy New Year, but nonetheless, I wanted to provide an update on my progress with “Gumshoe Rules.” My goal was to finish the fourth draft in January. I am happy to report that I met that goal and submitted the manuscript to my publisher Inkshares last week. There are a few other books in the editing hopper ahead of me, so I expect it may be late February before I get feedback.
The fourth draft is much improved over earlier versions with more developed character arcs, stronger atmosphere and faster pacing. I received especially valuable input from my editor and a couple of beta readers. Most of these changes occur in the second half of the book when things get, ah, a bit weird. I have also made minor changes in the first twelve chapters that have been posted online at Inkshares.com under the READ tab. These changes help establish the 1950s noir mood and hint at some of the strange things that happen later on.
I knocked and was greeted by a shapely silhouette in a black dress lit from the hallway behind her. “Well if you’re not the fuzz, I don’t know who is.” She said the word fuzz with a few extra Z’s on it and the effect was like Lana Turner blowing a kiss at you. She tipped me for a moment, but I was all business.
She was a student at Miskatonic University, that never-quite Ivy league school to which the rich forwarded their less ambitious offspring in the hopes of educating, drying out or marrying them away. But there was always something a bit off about the school and Arkham in general. Amidst the bucolic colleges of literature and late-rising frat houses shaded by the city’s famous Dutch elms, there was a sanitarium for the criminally insane. Every college had it’s share of misfits and pranks, but Miskatonic always seemed to rise to the top when it came to unexplained scandals, secrets and suicides.
In the meantime, it’s been cold and snowy in Michigan. Now that I’ve put the novel aside for a few days, I thought I might see if I can create a short story about Jack Waters, set between his return from the war in 1945 and 1950 when Gumshoe Rules takes place. I have some ideas that tie to a still unsolved case set in Adelaide, 1948. We shall see what that leads to.
Thank you everyone who supported this creative project. It’s because of your support that Gumshoe Rules is being published. I’ll keep you posted on any updates from my publisher in the coming months.
Thank for all your support on this project.
PS. I don’t know why I committed to Dry January while editing my book. Nonetheless, I put an early end to that on January 30 when I submitted my manuscript. Cheers!
A happy new year to everyone, and all the best for 2019! We’re kicking things off with an interview with Battles of the First World War, a podcast which delivers exactly what it says in the name, a comprehensive examination of individual WW1 battles. Mike, who runs the podcast, took a break from the trenches to have a few words with me about my own military experience and how it relates to my fiction.
So, things seem to be going well. Over on Amazon.com, we’re just four (4) reviews short of fifty. I’m told that fifty reviews is when Amazon begins to take a book seriously, and starts doing a bit of the work in pushing it -- which in turn means I and everyone at Inkshares can devote more energy to creating the next book. So if you haven’t left an Amazon review yet, please do.
As for the "next book", an initial draft of "Cat’s Paw" has been written; tomorrow, I begin working on the next draft. I think we should be getting definitive news within a few days about whether it’ll be chosen as one of the "additional winners" of the Mystery & Thriller contest. Fingers crossed!
(Pre-ordering now should entitle you to a signed first edition, by the way. I admit that I never really understood the draw of things signed by me -- unless it’s a cheque -- but I was recently contacted by a bookseller asking for a signed copy of "A Gentleman’s Murder", so clearly I know nothing about how these things work.)
Meanwhile, I’ve also been working on a pilot screenplay (there’s a possibility I might be tapped to write the proposed TV adaptation of "A Gentleman’s Murder" myself) and catching up with my reading. On Inkshares, the latest projects to have caught my interest are "Goodbye Horses" and "All That Glitters". "Goodbye Horses" is a comedy; there’s murder involved, of course, but primarily it’s about the madcap woes of a Texas small town sheriff. "All That Glitters" is a mystery woven through one woman’s relationship with her parents when repeated murder attempts come knocking. So, yeah, check ’em out.
And have fun!