Crawling out of the coffin…

In my last but one post, I mentioned that if ever I started writing crime and noir again you’d be the first to know. Well, guess what?

Pic credit: Allan Stewart on

It’s been a long time away from the genre, but I never expected two years of pandemic, when I could hardly bear to think about crime fiction let alone write it. But for the last few months I have, at last, been able to sit down and work on a darker book again. And the great news is that I’ve actually finished writing it.

So what is it, I hear you ask? Well, it’s called ‘Embers of Bridges’, and it’s a humorous gay noir set in Birmingham (where else), featuring a hapless gang of robbers, the Jewellery Quarter, and a getaway on a canal boat. I first had the idea over a decade ago, but it’s never quite gelled before. Now it has, and I’m surprisingly pleased with the result.

Of course, it’s not quite ready to go out into the world yet. I started on the edits this morning, and as usual it’ll need quite a bit of work. But I already have a cover and a blurb, and I’m really hoping I can turn this baby around in the next few weeks. In which case, once again, you’ll be the first to know…

One step forward…

…and three back.  Yesterday I had a really good writing day, finishing an entire (if brief) chapter on my current work-in-progress and chalking up almost 1,000 words.

This morning, I woke to the slightly grim realisation that although there’s nothing particularly wrong with what I wrote, there’s a better and more dramatic way to structure the scene involving more action and a stronger ‘inciting incident’.  As it’s fairly close to the beginning of the book, the more action the better, so out those 900+ words will have to come.

I’m sure the chapter (and the book) will be better as a result but it can be a little soul destroying having to re-write so much at once.  And anyone who says a writer’s life is an easy one can come round right now and watch me tear out my hair!

Another bridge crossed…

…on A Bridge Too Far, because after months of slog I’ve finished it. Not just the writing, but the endless drafts and edits and polishes and re-drafts and re-polishes which can drag on and on, but which are worth it in the end because you end up with a manuscript you’re happy with rather than a dog’s breakfast.

This morning I polished the last couple of chapters within an inch of their lives, and caught a couple of minor howlers. Now I’m happy that the whole thing makes sense, hangs together as a single entity, and reads well without the sort of trips and skips that can make any book a bad experience for readers. I may yet still fiddle here and there, of course, the same way I do with all of my work. But if I found a publisher tomorrow, I’d be happy to put my name to the work and send it off.

Which is always nice.

Question is, what do I work on next?