During my research for Book 3, I started digging around into naughty villains from across the sea and their effect on crime here in Britain. I always knew things were bad but I didn’t quite grasp the scale of it.

I found an article on Albanian gangs and people trafficking.  Not going to give too much away but, my next book involves Albanians, but not people trafficking. That’s it. That’s yer lot. Oh, and to give you an idea what these chaps are like, have a little read of this.

Book #3 has returned from the editor. There’s a fair bit to check over and she has cut a considerable number of words but from what I’ve seen so far, the book is all the stronger for it.

I’ve always found it somewhat daunting when it comes back because you send it in thinking you’ve done a pretty decent job of self-editing and then when I go through her edits side-by-side with my submission document, I feel pretty silly. I’m just grateful that I have another set of highly-trained eyes going over it and cutting out all the unnecessary crap that I thought, first time around, was brilliant and necessary! What do I know?

Soon as I’m done, back it goes to have a cover and blurb attached and with a bit of luck and a following wind (plus getting it fitted into Joffe’s schedule) it will be released sometime early/mid November.

 

It’s been just over six weeks since my debut novel ‘Their Last Words‘ was released into the world and I’m astonished at how well it is doing. I thought I’d indulge myself a little bit here and write about its fortunes to date. The facts and figures I give here are accurate at the time I recorded them but may not be true now. By the same token, they may well have done even better than I think but I haven’t been looking at the charts on a daily basis. Although every fibre of my being wants to, that way lay madness, my friend.

Please note that none of this is meant as a brag. It’s just so damn weird!

Six weeks ago I was unpublished and since then I have been on bestseller charts with some of the biggest names in the world. For a while, I was in front of Lee Child and James Patterson, Clive Cussler and even J.K Rowling.

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top 100 No 100 near JK Rowling 27-07-18

(Never thought I’d see myself next to JoRow. Bet she never thought she’d be next to me either!)

For an unknown author with no back catalogue and no readership, it’s unreal and is down to the efforts of my publisher Joffe Books and the marvellous team who have worked hard to get the book seen and noticed.

Everything here refers only to Amazon and their respective bestselling charts.

So, to my knowledge, I peaked at No 31 in the Amazon bestsellers chart and as of today’s date, I am at No 100. I have been at No 5 in the serial Killer category and No2 in Heist Crime category (I have no idea why I’m in there).

In Australia, on the 8th of August, I am No 5 in Crime Thrillers, No 3 in Crime and No 12 in Noir and to my immense satisfaction, find myself next to the great Michael Connelly at No 11. 8th August 2018 No 12 in Noir Next to Michael Connelly

(Me and Mike, tearing it up…)

I have had some fantastic reviews and I’m grateful to everybody who took the time to write their thoughts and feelings about the book (even the ropey reviews too, but they weren’t particularly constructive). I have been humbled by some of the things that people have written and it gives me hope for the future. I have also had some fantastic emails from people who tell me how much they enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next in the series. I am truly grateful.

Amusingly, from what I can make of it, it would seem the Aussies don’t like the book at all. Seems they don’t like the swearing! That I do find amusing particularly as I remember the song by the Australian warbler, Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson, which was entitled, ‘You Can’t Say C**t in Canada.’ After singing the title line he followed it up with, and I paraphrase, ‘Well, you fucking well can in Australia!’ Still, you can’t please everybody.

The Americans are better. For the most part, they have been positive in their reviews but again, there are a few complaints about the language. I will at some point write a post about the language I use but for now, I’m struggling to understand why people read the blurb, presumably use the ‘Look Inside’ feature, read other negative reviews (misery loves company) and then go off on one about it being violent and full of bad language. Well, there’s a shocker. Who saw that coming? One bloke said it was a waste of his $1.49. But he read it all the way through though!!

The other thing that has been interesting is to read the reviews of those who state that some bits were implausible and that ‘that wouldn’t happen in real life.’ Wouldn’t it? My friends, you have no idea. I have seen and done things that you couldn’t make up. Genuinely couldn’t make up. So, maybe a few bits have been exaggerated (it is, after all, a story) but please be under no illusion about what would and wouldn’t happen in real life.

So, a bit long this post, but it’s been a surreal period of my life and I wanted to document it for my own benefit as much as yours. One day I’m going to look back on this and go, ‘WTF!’

 

Right. I’ve done my editing so I’m sending it off to Joffe tomorrow and keeping my fingers crossed that it’s good enough to move forward to the next stage which I believe will be copyediting and proofreading. After that, a cover, some blurb and off we go (I think!).

Oh, while I’m at it, I’ve also been writing my third book and that’s near to completion so now I’m planning out my fourth. Does anybody else use the same sort of hi-tec solutions to planning out a book as me?

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Just curious…