Back on the Road Again

AFTER a short break it’s time for me to get back on the road again as I build up to the final of The People’s Book Prize on May 23, in which my latest novel ‘The Shift’ has made the final of the fiction category, at The Stationer’s Hall in London.

Over the next four Saturday’s my friends at WHSmith Scotland have kindly set me up with signings at East Kilbride tomorrow, Sauchiehall Street Glasgow on May 6, Paisley on May 13 and my hometown store in Stirling on May 20.

The name of the game for this whistle-stop tour is all about getting people who buy my books to vote for me when voting opens via The People’s Book Prize website on May 15.

But one things for sure if things go as well as my North of England tour in February & March I will be really pleased.

But while there was a short hiatus between tours I have been very busy starting on a new Second World War project!

As anyone who has read my previous blogs will know I have now signed with The Susan Mears Literary Agency and Susan has been pitching my two unpublished manuscripts ‘The Blood Acre’ and ‘Heist’ at The London International Book Fair and on a visit to New York where she met with some leading American Publishers.

Subsequently I’m delighted to say that 12 ‘blue chip’ publishers then requested excerpts from these works and now it is all about the waiting game….but of course there are no guarantees!

While all of this was going on I had the ‘idea’ for the WW2 novel which Susan liked and we have now had further interest in this work, which meant a frantic 10 day period where I completed four chapters totalling just under 10,000 words for perusal.

This also meant dropping the follow up to ‘Heist’ which is entitled ‘Fear’ at the 40,000 word stage….confused….how do you think I feel!!

But the new work has posed real problems of research.

Dates have to be checked and because real people flit in and out of the MS I need to have a collar on where they were and when they were there in 1945….and that can be problematic.

Also for the first time I am writing about places and an era I have no experience of…so to say this is different is the understatement of the decade.

While the internet is a big help in terms of research there is no substitute for good reference work and I have been sifting through tomes by Anthony Beevoir and Max Hastings.

The early stages of the novel are set in Berlin, or what was left of it, and it has been fascinating trying to build up a picture of the German capital at the point of its destruction!

But suffice to say that my usual 1000 word daily output is now taking three to four hours instead of two!

Anyway if you have a free time and like your crime thrillers full of betrayal, heartbreak, revenge and bullets you know where you will find me over the next four Saturdays between 11am and 3pm!


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