So, here's the thing! I've just published the 4th Parish and Richards novel - The Shadow of Death. I know, it's a bit scary. Why is it scary you ask? Well, although it's my 16th book, you wonder if the reader will like the story, the plot, the characters, the descriptions, and well... I'm sure you get my drift? And when I say "You" I do, of course, mean Toady! I don't care, I say 'publish and be damned', but Toady always worries. As soon as I upload the tome to Amazon he begins to have panic attacks. I have to keep a stock of brown paper bags (you know the ones, the small ones with dinky little handles from Primark), soothing phrases like 'pull yourself together wimp', and marzipan chocolate bars - you don't want to know about those!
Anyway, you'd think it was a pleasant experience, but with Toady nothing is ever simples. I mean, I'm moving on with my life - you know, catching up with my emails, saying 'Hi' to people I've ignored for 4 months, reading stuff that has come through the letterbox and been added to the pile, filling in forms, ringing the bank and pleading with them to reinstate my dedit card, and a million other pathetic things that create stress and never-ending aggravation - In fact, I said to the wife only yesterday, 'Get to the nub. What do you actually do?' So, she says, "Assess whether parents are fit to look after their children!" She's a Social Worker by the way. Yes, I know, they're like the worst kind of effluent in society, but somebody has to keep our children safe from the deranged people who have them. Hey, if the cap fits...
Where was I? Oh yes, Initial Assessment! So, I said: 'What prevents you assessing and reporting on that assessment?', which is what she's paid to do?' Here are some of the things she told me: Hot desking - when she gets in she has to find a desk to sit at; the docking station at the desk she sits at won't work with her laptop - she has to find a computer tech' to sort it out - by the time she actually gets on the computer it's bloody midday - It's a good job I don't work where she works because I'd have to kill someone (or everyone); a million emails from jobsworths; forms that run to pages and pages, which repeat information on other forms attached... Anyway, what I'm saying is: 'What do you actually do?' I write, anything else is an obstacle to be overcome. Things don't get done in my house until I've finished writing my novels. We could all say, but... 'life gets in the way!' Yeah, that's what Toady says. Sometimes, Toady makes me want to strangle him with a wet nappy!
Oh yeah, Toady! Well, as I said, I'm moving on with my life, but that crazy frog is checking to see if anyone has emailed to say how much they loved the book, checking the KDP sales every... 17.5 seconds, checking the book's position in the charts, checking to see if anyone has left a 5* review... Toady drives me to distraction with his checking!
Anyway, the book's out there, at the mercy of readers, waiting for the thumb's up, or the thumb's down. And you know what? I'm trying not to write. WHAT? I hear you mutter. Well, as I said, I've got all these admin' tasks to do, but I created a character called Celia Rowe for the next Parish & Richards book - His Wrath is Come. She's a Haitian and practises voodou, and... Well take a read, you'll get the idea. Characters are like members of the family, and you can hardly move in my house with the number of characters that are vying for my attention. So, this Celie wants me to write about her - Pah! She should be so lucky!
And while we're talking about members of the family - I had five shitzhus until Monday evening, but now I've got four! I know, Mim was 10 year's old, but had tumours in her ear, so the wife and I agreed that it was time to let her go. Not an easy decision, but the right one. We had 10 years of fun and love with her, and she gave us three puppies, which we've still got, so it's not all bad. I've only ever cried twice in 40 years - both times when we lost dogs! Right, Toady and me have got to go now, but... oops, forgot to finish it off... but what? Well, I suppose we'll be back... Didn't someone say that once? Have a good one!
Hi, I'm Tim Ellis - I write a lot and I hope you enjoy what I write.