So, here's the thing! A triple dose of Parish & Richards: Conjeries of the Dead, all proofread and shiny new - what more could you want for Christmas? What, it's not Christmas! Peeks through curtains - ye Gods sunshine! But hey, you can never be too early for Christmas shopping!
And anyway, it's the holiday season - mind you, every day is a holiday for me! Being retired is something I can recommend!
So, I thought I'd bundle up my Parish & Richards books. Well, first I thought I'd get them all proofread after a slack handful of complaints about the typos etc. Those typos get everywhere! You can be staring at a typo for half an hour and still not notice it! That done, I compiled my first conjeries, and put it out there.
Can you imagine! You managed to get up early enough to snaffle a sunbed from those Germins - I know, you probably didn't even go to sleep! Those Germins wander around the pool at all hours of the night claiming sunbeds in the name of vorsprung technologie!
So anyway, you're lying there in your Union Jack bikini, or is that a mankini? My wife wants me to get one, you know! So I said to her that even though I've got a body of a Greek God, I'm still 59 for goodness sake. There's a few wrinkles showing and grey hairs sprouting, so I said I'd pass on the mankini thing if it was all the same to her. I could see she was hugely disappointed - Well, who could blame her!
Anyway, you're on your sunbed, it's 40 degrees, the umbrella is strategically positioned so that you don't actually get any sun, you've got your florescent beach towel covering the tops of your feet because they're looking a bit red, a Bahamas Mama cocktail with a sparkler and a little flag in it is sitting on the table next to you, the pool is an inviting green, and you have three full-length addictive books in a conjeries on your Kindle - What do you do?
You get your Happy Hippo lilo out, put it in the pool, scramble on it with great aplomb and balance using your well-developed cheek muscles, grab your cocktail with one hand, and your Kindle with the other, and... Well, that's the thing, isn't it? You can read a Kindle with one hand! The joys of modern living. eh!
But that's not all. Oh no, not by a long walk off a short pier. As soon as I finish 'The Breath of Life' (Parish & Richards 6) in three weeks time, I'll be publishing my second conjeries, which will include The Shadow of Death, His Wrath is Come, and The Breath of Life. I've also got a third conjeries in the pipeline, which will include the four Quigg books once the middle two have been proofread: The Twelve Murders of Christmas (as a bonus), Body 13, The Graves at Angel Brook, and The Skulls Beneath Eternity Wharf - Christmas has come early!
And another thing! Have I told you about 'The Dead Know Not'? Of course I haven't, because I've only just thought of it! Parish & Richards 7 if you were wondering. No, it ain't been written yet, but I like to have a title and a cover to start with. Army training, you see! Everything has to be squared-off, the corners like razor blades, no creases or loose ends - ahhh, doesn't it warm your cockles? Anyway, I think I've waffled on about nothing for long enough - what do you think, Toady? Did I see your lips move then?
So, here's the thing. I got an email a while ago from Rick Murcer - yeah, he's the nabob who writes those moon books - Caribbean Moon, Emerald Moon, and hey you get offa my moon - you know the stuff. Anyway, he said, "We're scraping the barrel, but do you want to write a little yarn about murder in the sun - a bit like the usual rubbish you write - for inclusion in an anthology?"
"I'm flattered," I said.
"Yeah well, we wouldn't normally have asked you because you're a Brit, and us Americans can hardly make sense of what you say, never mind what you write, but a couple of really great writers have dropped out, and somebody knew somebody's aunt's friend who had mentioned your name in a homeless shelter."
"Hey, I'll try and make it legible - Americanize it, so to speak."
"Okay, well we'll give it a go, see what you come up with. You'll be competing with the likes of Dani Amore, Traci Hohenstein, Lawrence Kelter, Rebecca Stroud, Gary Ponzo, and of course, me - and we're all celebrities. So, it had better be a good story - don't want you lowering the tone of our anthology."
"I don't know what to say - great writers and superstars all. And, of course, you're my hero, Rick. I'll write the very best story I possible can."
"Well, give it your best shot. Think of yourself as Rocky..."
"Balboa... This is your shot at the title kid! We like to give half-decent writers a leg up - be philanthropic now that we're all heavyweights."
So, that's how the conversation panned out. I got busy and writ the very best story I could... It's about murder, it's about... Well, I suppose if you're gonna buy the book when it's published around 1st June so that you can read the stories all those other panjandrums have writ then you'll stumble over my little yarn - I hope you like it, and I hope I don't let those other megastars down!
So, here's the thing! "The writing and structure by the author is different from what I usually read so in the beginning I did struggle trying to understand the banter but I got to grips with it." That's a quote from a 5* review. I mention it because of the beginning: "The writing and structure... is different from what I usually read!" Which begs the question, "What does he/she normally read?" Earlier in the review they mention "...so much dialogue and banter going on...' Ah! Maybe that's what lies at the heart of "Writing and Structure"!
It's true, you read most books and the dialogue is tight, focused on the storyline only. In effect, there's no banter. Yeah, I have a lot of banter in my books. I believe that dialogue/banter helps to develop character, it reveals motivation, it obviously contributes to the plot/storylines (and for those who take a keen interest - I have a number of underlying storylines/subtexts going on in my banter), it can reveal backstory, and it helps with pacing and variety. Have you ever picked up a book, flicked through the pages, and seen very little dialogue, but lots of narrative blocks. Personally, I don't bother with those types of books - they're hard work. I've actually read some books where a paragraph goes on for two or more pages! Phew, I hate those books!
Now look, some people have complained that I know nothing about police procedure, and I guess those are the people who know nothing about police procedure! Let's get something straight - the police procedure in my books is what I say it is. I could stick slavishly to correct real-life police procedure, get my characters to fill in forms for hours, and I could have a whole task force with a myriad of people investigating the serial killer murders I invent, but I'm not trying to imitate real-life. I don't know if you've noticed, but real-life is damned boring. If you want real-life, read 'True Crime' books - I do, that's where I get some of my ideas from.
Many people like my books. They like the intricate plots, the complex characters, the humour and banter between the characters, the suspense, and many other things, so I think I'll just carry on carrying on if that's all right with you, Toady? I like to make things up if you hadn't noticed. Some things in my books are based on facts, i.e. there are people, places, and things happen to those people in those places - what more do you want? As Simon Cowell said: "You can't please all the people, all of the time!"
Hey, but listen. There's two events coming up soon. First off around 1st June, The Killing Sands will be published. WHAT! You've never heard of The Killing Sands! Gawd, where you bin since you were knee-high to a cockroach? The Killing Sands is an anthology, a collection of stories if you will, and your's truly is included in this magnus opus with As You Sow, So Shall You Reap. Who else is in there? Well, we got Dani Amore, Traci Hohenstein, Lawrence Kelter, Rebecca Stroud, Gary Ponzo and Rick Murcer. Yep, it's gonna be a blockbuster all right!
Second, around 20th June, The Breath of Life will be published. This will be Number 6 in the Parish & Richards series, and I do believe it will be my best. And hey! There are gonna be some answers in there, Kowalski done got a new partner - ain't that the truth, and unexpected people are gonna die! Oh, I can hardly wait.
Also, as I write, two books are in the Top 100 - can't say fairer than that can I? Thank you readers - most kind. The Twelve Murders of Christmas (Quigg 1) is No.53 and The Skulls Beneath Eternity Wharf (Quigg 4) is No.72! And I haven't even mentioned The Terror at Grisly Park (Quigg 5) coming out in August or October.
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.