So, here's the thing! I've just published my new book. Yeah, it's that one on the left, as if you didn't know!
Anyway, besides that, I read an interview with Stephen King in which he talks about opening lines. Hey, I've read about opening paragraphs, scenes and chapters, but opening lines!
So, it got me thinking . . . Well, it does, doesn't it? If it's good enough for Steve, it's good enough for me. I had a look at my opening lines:
A Life for a Life (Parish & Richards 1)
The machine swallowed Greg Taylor’s day-return ticket to London.
The Wages of Sin (Parish & Richards 2)
‘Right, Richards,’ Detective Inspector Jed Parish said as he pulled away from the kerb outside 38 Puck Road in Chigwell in his nearly four year old Ford Focus.‘
The Flesh is Weak (Parish & Richards 3)
‘Are you sure you don’t want to give this one to Kowalski and Gorman, Chief?'
Footprints of the Dead (Tom Gabriel 1)
Tom Gabriel poked the business end of the Smith & Wesson 686P six-inch 7-shot double-action revolver into the soft unshaven flesh beneath his jaw and pulled the trigger.
Solomon's Key (Harte & KP 1)
The woman’s breasts had been removed.
The Breath of Life (Parish & Richards 6)
‘Breathe in, and hold...’ the antenatal midwife said. ‘Slowly breathing out.’
The Dead Know Not (Parish & Richards 7)
He placed his Blackberry on the desk in front of Kowalski and said, ‘Listen.’
The Graves at Angel Brook (Quigg 3)
‘Shit, Duffy. Don’t you take contraceptives like normal twenty-one year olds?’
The House of Mourning (Parish & Richards 9)
He’d heard about murderers being able to get hold of drugs, syringes, guns and all the other paraphernalia that was needed to be a proper murderer, but he didn’t have any of it.
Through a Glass Darkly (Parish & Richards 10)
Viktor eased the lever clockwise on top of the trephine. It had been many years since anybody had operated the contraption.
"I don't know! What do you think, Toady?"
"Some of them are a bit bland, non-committal, boring . . ."
"I don't think you need to get over-personal.'
"Sorry, Boss - you did ask."
"True, but let's keep things positive, shall we? Some of them are pretty damn good."
"True. What did Steve say?"
"He hasn't read my opening lines."
"I find that hard to believe, Boss! I mean, everybody who's anybody has read your opening lines."
"Have you read my opening lines, Toady?"
"That's true. Steve said that teachers advise you to open a book in the middle of a dramatic or compelling situation."
'You can't tell that from your opening lines.'
"No, but take the first one - Greg Taylor is walking to his death; and the second one - Richards is just about to describe an horrific murder."
"Yeah, but I think Steve means you have to grab 'em by the . . ."
"This is a family blog, Toady"
"He says that it begins by voice - he thinks people choose a book because of the voice."
"You've got a voice, Boss."
"Is it a fingerprint? If people pick up one of my books would they know it was one of mine?"
"I think they would. It'd have your name on the front."
"Sometimes I wonder about you, Toady."
"He says his favouritist first line is: "You've been here before." It's from Needful Things."
"You've been here before?"
"If I'd been there before, why would I want to go again?"
"I think we're done for today, Toady."
"Right you are, Boss."
So, here's the thing! Let's talk about typos - typographical errors. I mean - come on! Who's ever read a book without a typo? Answers on a postcard to . . . Is there such an animal? I've just finished a book by a well-known author and there was at least a baker's dozen of typos. So, if the traditionally published books are still riddled with typos - what hope for the rest of us? Yes, I know - proofread, proofread, proofread - and when you've done that, get someone else to proofread. Yep, done all of that, seen the DVD, wearing the T-shirt and yet . . . those typos still get through. Humans are just imperfect beings, this human most of all. But . . . at least my typos aren't featured HERE!
I know, you're thinking: Who's that good-looking guy? Well, the wife has nearly finished my bust. She's thinking of throwing me out of bed and putting this on the pillow beside her instead, and who could blame her? Not I!
Now, if you were wondering where my plot ideas come from - wonder no more. The wife has revealed my well-kept secret - I have a pole inside my head instead of a brain!
As you can see, the pole is a space-saving device and leaves plenty of room for ideas to accumulate and mature like vintage cheese or wine!
If you're interested in replacing your brain with one of these poles, please send another postcard to . . .
Anyway, I've waffled enough for today, but my new book 'Through a Glass Darkly' (Parish & Richards 10) will be published in two weeks time.
So, here's the thing! I have a new opportunity for someone who likes to live dangerously, push the envelope, teeter on the edge, balance on the rim . . . Anyway, I'm surprised no one has come up with the idea of a loaf of crusts! I don't know if you've peeked inside a loaf of bread lately, but it only has two crusts - one at either end! I know, how mean is that?
Let me elaborate - I like to have two pieces of brown bread in the morning, but here's my dilemma - once I've eaten the first crust I have to wait nearly two weeks before I can have another one. Of course, I cheat a lot. Well, you'd expect it of me, wouldn't you? I give some of the middle slices to the birds - In fact, the birds where I live can hardly fly and because of all the roughage they eat, and they go to the toilet regularly as well. Also, I squeeze my hand over the last few slices and eat the second crust early - desperate times need desperate measures. Or as my wife is fond of saying, "Monkey see, monkey do!"
So, what I'm saying is that someone should start a business selling "Sliced Crusts"! I can't be the only one who is a crust addict. My wife doesn't like crusts, which is probably a good job for her. Anyone who thinks they can steal my crusts and live to tell the tale needs their head examining.
So, we have people who like crusts and people who don't like crusts - the answer seems obvious to me - sell loaves of sliced crusts and loaves of sliced bread. Now, the mechanics involved in this chicanery require a calculator and a waste bin. Let's work on a figure of 20 - can you imagine the joy of having two crusts every morning for ten days? I mean, that would be like having a birthday every day of the week. So, snaffle the crusts from 9 loaves, put the slices from those loaves in the other loaves, and anything left give to the birds, homeless shelters and so on.
Now, I'm not setting a precedent here. Oh no! Let me take you back a few years and whisper the name "SPOG" in your lughole. You've never heard of it! Gott in Himmel! Where have been? Open a bag of Liquorice Allsorts and those liquorice jelly sweets are just the best - Well, someone had the bright idea of selling them separately, because people loved 'em - I loved 'em! And then there was those green triangular chocolates from Quality Street, so you wouldn't be alone in your endeavours. You might even do some market research first to see if there are more people out there like me - I bet there are! I bet the truth is out there!
Now, you're probably wondering why I don't run with it, shoot the rapids, patent the whole concept and pitch it to the bread industry. Well, I'm writing! Hey, that's what I do. I'm not a bread entrepreneur. My days of tottering on the abyss are long gone - I do a lot of tottering, but I stay clear of the abyss because you never know what might crawl out and grab you! And talking of writing, I'm over half-way through the next Parish & Richards - Number 10: 'Through a Glass Darkly', which is due out during the last week of July. Hey, that's this month - gotta go, I've a book to finish! Love ya, hugs and kisses, blah!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.