So, here's the thing! I published my latest - The Flesh is Weak (Parish & Richards 3) - three days ago and its already riding high in the Police Procedural bestseller lists. As one of my reviewers said, "You've got a good thing going with Parish & Richards", and so it would seem.
An American reviewer likened the partners to Mulder & Scully, while here in England someone compared Parish to RD Wingfield's Jack Frost. I'm flattered, but also pleased, because in terms of these two characters, my influences have been the dry humour of RD Wingfield's Jack Frost and Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe. I suppose they should be flattered as well, because imitation is a form of flattery - or something like that!
As usual, I stumbled off the track! I was going to talk about the pressure to keep writing. I've had emails - well, you do don't you - saying, "More, we want more, and we want it now!" Well, something along those lines! I mean, it takes me (at least) about 4 months to write a book, and a reader gobbles it up in a couple of days! That's not fair is it? There's a definite inequality between writers and readers. Readers should be rationed (gets fingers out): 300 pages would equate to: 75 pages per month, 19 per week, 2.7 per day. Thus, by the time the reader finishes reading a book, the writer (that would be me) has finished writing the next book! Synchronisation - a well-oiled machine - nice and neat. You gotta love people with OCD!
So, you ask, what's next? There's no rest is there? I mean, I finish one, and you're already asking me for something else! If I said I was taking a couple of weeks off, how would you react? Okay, stop tearing your hair out, I'm not taking any time off - with so many ideas I can't stop writing for two weeks! Here's what I'm going to do, so that you can begin to count the days, plan your itinery, fit in the birth of a baby, or plan a visit to see your loved one in the prison after the riots! 1) I'm going to edit and upload my father-in-law's book - I know, you're saying, "What's in it for me?" Well, nothing really, except you'll have a warm glowy feeling and, if you like historical first-person narratives about the 'good old days' in Bishop's Castle, then you'll enjoy the book. 2) I'm going to finish a collection of short stories and publish that - Hey, call it a bonus for being good and waiting a couple of weeks! 3) Now, I don't know in which order I'm going to do these, so you'll have to be patient - Complete The Timekeeper's Apprentice, which is currently at 26,000 words, so I'm half way through it; Complete a novella (17,500 - 40,000 words) as a prequel to Quigg 1 (without the sex) ready for Xmas because its called The Twelve Murders of Christmas - I know, how spooky is that! And, get cracking on Quigg 3 (Yes, I've heard you all: NO SEX PLEASE, WE'RE BRITISH - And you Americans don't like sex either! What's the world coming to?) The Skulls Beneath Eternity Wharf. But there's so many others I want to write: Footprints of the Dead - I'm really keen to get my hands on this; then there's Triple Helix - a biopunk novel, and... so many.
I received another 5* review for A Life for a Life from a wonderfully discerning person in the USA who thought it was, "A great read from start to finish", and then I got one in the UK by a different fantastically sagacious lady who said it was, "A must for crime fans to enjoy". I would like to say thank you to those fantabulous people. Sometimes the wife and I make utterances to each other, and I happened to utter this morning that - and I don't really want to tempt fate here, so bugger off fate - anyway, I said that I hadn't had a bad review of this book! Maybe the people who hate it - if there are any asylum inmates roaming free out there - just couldn't be bothered to write a review, thinking they'd wasted enough of their life reading the book. Ah well, whatever will be will be!
So, how should I finish this bloggy thing off? I've said how wonderful I am, plugged most of my books and then some, discussed my OCD again - you'll be fed up of hearing about that, I'm sure. I haven't told you about the fire we've just had in the field at the back of our house. Fire brigade came with two engines, my wife was out with the hose and then the camera, dogs were barking, ash fell over everything - and here's me trying to watch Coronation Street and have my dinner. The wife gets excited easily. My excitement lasted all of two minutes and then I became bored.
I was just looking at the bestsller lists - as you do - and I was struck by the different sized book covers. Now, I've mentioned my OCD a couple of times, and how I like to have everything lined up and squared off, ship-shape and Bristol fashion, well these damned covers are all shapes and sizes and don't exude professionality. I mean, it all looks a bit messy, odd, and scrapbook-like. Amazon should stipulate 500 x 750 pixels, don't you think? Anyway, I'm all writ out now, so toodle pip!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.