Crusader … is available

Crusader is available as an eBook, and the paperback edition will follow soon.

Once again, I immersed myself in the story, aiming to create not only believable, but memorable characters and situations. There are only so many plots irrespective of the genre, so it’s the duty of the author to create twists and turns to develop the tale from the first word to the last.

Writers often create a formula which works for their readers, and while this is acceptable, it is the differences that will spell success or failure for an individual story.

Another area that can affect how a new tale is received is the length. My first draft of this story ended at 120k words. It took a lot of work to reduce it to 112k words which is how it went out to my beta readers. In response to their feedback, and because I wanted to tighten up the narrative, I reduced the content to 106k words.

As explained in a previous post, my secondary character was taking centre stage too often, so I removed whole chapters, and Constance deserved her own story. You’ll see from my Work in Progress that her tale will be the sequel to Crusader.

For those of you interested in such things, a handful of characters from the Beyond The Law and Codename titles play cameo roles in Crusader, and they earn the right to be there. I may get Constance: Crusader – Part 2, underway, but I’m in no rush. It has to feel like a different hero taking the lead, and to create that, I must leave the Jason and Constance team alone for a short while.

If you’ve never read my crime thrillers, this would be a good one to try. If you have read my work, I’m confident that you’ll enjoy Crusader.

Thank you, once again for valuable input from fellow author, Carmen Lopez, and from IASD authors: Lesley Hayes, Barbara Speake, Penny Luker, and Ruth Coulson.

My thanks also to those who take the time to read my work, and this writing blog.


Attempted Murder

or ‘Killing your darlings: Part 2

This is a sequel to my January post, in which I explained that killing your darlings is not related simply to characters, but also to words, sentences, pages or whole chapters.

In our editing process, writers must recognise when something isn’t earning its place in the story. During an extensive edit, I removed characters, passages, and entire chapters from Crusader. When I thought I had the job done, I sent my manuscript out to six beta readers, and waited patiently for verdicts.

A few days later the beta responses started to come through. After a few deep breaths and a strong black coffee, I read them and made notes where applicable. I was delighted to see that except for one person, the story was enjoyed. From the others, I highlighted a few minor issues. Other points suggested to me that I hadn’t been sufficiently brutal in the pre-beta edit.

Only when I had all of my feedback, I armed myself with coffee, a large portion of humble pie, a fresh red pen, a highlighter, and a determination that the story would be treated to a line by line pounding. It’s not a brave author, but a lazy one who shies from personal misjudgement. Being honest with yourself is much harder than the same thing with someone else.

It took eight days of rewriting, and the removal of nine thousand words to produce what I now believe to be a much improved story. Every detail highlighted by my beta readers has been addressed, and apart from areas of revision, and removing more passages to the sequel, I’ve completely revised the first chapter. The story will now ‘rest’ for about two weeks before I read it on my Kindle. If it passes muster, I’ll publish by the end of March 2023.

If you’d like an insight, the revised Chapter 1 is now in my Work in Progress.

Crusader – Chapter 1: Judgements

As authors, we should never be so full of confidence that we produce something less than our best for our readers. Remember, don’t simply injure your ‘darlings’, kill them.

Thank you for dropping by. Comments are welcome as always.