December 31 2017
It’s been a really productive seven or eight months for me. I dusted off a 29, 000 word novel opening, realised why I’d originally abandoned it in 2013, performed the necessary surgery, wrote the 50, 000 additional words needed to complete it and sold it to Severn House. It will be published as The Lucifer Chord (finally!) in May. What was mostly wrong with it was a boring main protagonist. As soon as I gave Ruthie Gillespie her roll, matters took on a new lease of life. So this is Ruthie’s first full-length stand-alone, something I think she deserves.
Another character close to my heart is Patrick Lassiter, someone who has battled demons of his own and other people’s in my fiction, as well as suffering more than his share of grief. Realising I still had something in the tank after The Lucifer Chord, in November I began a prequel novel featuring Patsy as its central character. It’s 1983 and he’s a rookie Detective Constable stationed at Kentish Town. I was a North London based journalist back then, visiting that nick on a a weekly basis to go through the crime book with its press liaison officer. So no research necessary and the memories are fresh and vivid. As they should be in a novel set during a july heatwave I well recall. I’m on schedule to finish it by my birthday at the end of January. Birthdays are no fun at my age and I’m determined to have something to celebrate.
On a day when time is on all our minds, today’s picture is my son Gabriel with me when only a couple of weeks old. Yesterday we met at the Boaters Inn on the Thames at Kingston for a seasonal drink. The 20 years in between have been eventful, but I’m immensely proud of the man he’s become. And on that contented note, I’d like to wish everyone taking the time and trouble to read this a truly wonderful New Year.