Yes, I’ve finally got around to sorting out my website and have transferred all of my posts to my self-hosted domain – waynekellywrites.com
WordPress Followers . . . please follow?
Many of you may already be using that domain name and so won’t see any real difference, but I really don’t want to lose touch with all the lovely bloggers that have commented and follow this blog by email. Unfortunately, as this is the free version of WordPress, I have no way to take you with me. However, I would love you to pop over to the new site, have a look around, and take a few seconds to join my new email list?
All of my old content is already over there waiting, with new stuff being added every week. As if all of that wasn’t enough, in the coming weeks, there will be some free bonus content for members of my mailing list, as I move towards the release of Safe Hands in June 2018.
I want to thank you for supporting and following the blog so far and hope I can continue to improve my content for you and keep the conversation going.
If you have even a passing acquaintance with this blog, you’ll know that I don’t really do book reviews, but do give the odd recommendation here and there and love to share the work of other book bloggers in the Book Blogger’s Corner segment of The Joined Up Writing Podcast.
However, after receiving an advance copy of Richard Rippon’s ‘Lord Of The Dead’ from new small press, Obliterati and – crucially – actually enjoying it, I felt compelled to tell you all about it.
Lord Of The Dead
As soon as I read the blurb, I had a feeling this book would be up my street . . .
‘A woman’s body has been found on the moors of Northumberland, brutally murdered and dismembered. Northumbria police enlist the help of unconventional psychologist Jon Atherton, a decision complicated by his personal history with lead investigator Detective Sergeant Kate Prejean.’
All of which leads to a page-turning hunt for the serial killer known as Son of Geb.
Location, location, location . . .
Prejean (pronounced pray-jean – think ‘French’) and Atherton are skillfully drawn and realistic characters. Atherton suffers from cerebral palsy, but his condition is treated in a subtle believable way and is just another trait in what is a complex and compelling character. Prejean lacks no such physical vulnerability and is a strong woman leading from the front in what is still a very male dominated world. Their relationship, past and present, hangs over proceedings, and Rippon uses it to inject humour and pathos in equal measure.
I loved the North-East of England setting and, again, it’s there in the description and dialogue but never overdone. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of violence and dark themes running through the book, all adding to the suspense as our protagonists try to track down the killer before he strikes again. The police procedure side of things is done well and you really get a sense of the tight-knit teams that are often at the centre of these types of murder investigations.
I’m not a fast reader, but I raced through this, desperate to know the identity of Son Of Geb and to see how everything played out. I wasn’t disappointed.
Overall, it’s a brilliant debut for Obliterati Press and Richard Rippon and I’m delighted to be able to tell you about it. Grab a copy now from Obliterati Press or Amazon and let me know what you think.
Listen Up . . .
You can find an audio version of this review on the latest Joined Up Writing Podcast, in Book Blogger’s Corner and author Richard Rippon will be a guest on the show in January.
Any other recent reads or books you want to recommend? Do you blog about books? Perhaps you want to feature on Book Blogger’s Corner? Let me know in the comments below.
Another of my weekly updates on the progress of my debut crime novel, Safe Hands, about an ageing safe cracker forced out of retirement for the sake of his dying wife and a son that hates his guts.
Last week was all about getting my productivity back on track but the theme for this week has been trying to keep the story itself on the rails.
The Ripple Effect
My second draft continues to take shape and a huge part of that has been the structural overhaul I’ve been pushing ahead with. It’s all about the ripple effect for me this week. What do I mean by that? Read on . . .
I finished the new chapter between Mickey and his estranged son, but also spent a lot of time editing other chapters and continuing to refine the structure of the book. Well, for anyone that’s used Scrivener to write their books, you’ll know one of its biggest strengths is giving you the ability to easily drag chapters and scenes around to change the order of things and generally play with the structure of your story. But what you don’t tend to think about are the repercussions involved.
Great Scott, Marty!
Honestly, I feel like I’m involved in a remake of Back To The Future or Twelve Monkeys – thinking about how one change to an event in the past will ripple down through time changing everything in the present. And it isn’t just in terms of practical things, like keeping an eye out for when characters refer to an event that may now not be happening for several chapters – or actually happened two chapters earlier – but also maintaining the emotional consistency of your characters. For example, in my novel, Mickey loses someone close to him. Originally this happened very early in the story and had an effect on how Mickey behaved and felt in the subsequent chapters.
After analyzing my structure, I realized this event would have more impact later on in the book – but now all the chapters in between need to be tweaked to reflect that change in Mickey’s emotional state. It’s complicated, thought intensive work but I know my story will be better because if it. This is just one of the reasons that many authors plan their stories meticulously before starting to write a novel. In the most recent episode of The Joined Up Writing Podcast, I chatted to Thriller author, Rachel Amphlett about her writing process. She, like me, describes herself as a ‘Plotser’ (actually, I always preferred ‘Planster’, but you get the idea). Either way, when I start work on my next novel, I think I need to put a little more emphasis on planning and structure.
That was the week that was . . .
So, it’s been a busy week as I’ve tried to wrestle the book into some kind of shape. It’s getting there, slowly but surely. I was 30 minutes off my 3 hour target again this week, making it two weeks in a row I’ve failed to make the grade. Note for this week: MUST TRY HARDER.
Meanwhile my writing buddy, Maria Smith, has been achieving her goals despite doing her best to sabotage her own plans! Head over to First Draft Cafe to see what I mean.
What about your writing? How do you approach structural changes in your story? Do you use Scrivener in the same way? Maybe you do all of the grunt work before you even get started? What sort of issues have you faced during the editing phase? I’d love to hear about it, so let me know in the comments or drop me a line on Twitter @MrKelly2u.