In Their Footsteps

Pitlochry, Scotland

In mid-September I spent a week up in Scotland—in the picturesque Highland village of Pitlochry. It was an appropriate place to finish off the first full editing session of Codename: Foxglove. Dominique (Foxglove), went there to visit her mentor, Rachel (Codename: Nightshade).

The Foxglove story will rest until mid-October, and from then it will undergo at least three further sessions with two-week breaks between. If it feels ready, I aim to send it out to beta readers in late November. When published, this tale will bring the Beyond The Law stories to a close, so, as might be expected, it will be done with a heavy heart, but by the same token, some series’ run their course. I’d like the final story to be a worthy conclusion to the tales which started life as a single experimental poem about a man who was compelled to end his military career.

Pitlochry saw several scenes from Codename: Nightshade which involved the Mental Riders Motor Cycle Club among others. Characters from both sides of the line came unstuck in a big way in the village. Locations like the filling station, a (renamed) bar on the main road, a large hotel, a car park, and the railway station all held a special significance for me. I travelled along the road which was used in a car and motorbike chase and felt justified in having used the route in the scenes.

While in Scotland, I visited Braemar which featured in Beyond the Law: Retribution. As the author of action scenes, death and mayhem, it creates a peculiar feeling to be on site and imagine what took place in my imaginary world.

Apart from those places I also spent a day at Aviemore and on several of the countryside routes in the area. Here, of course, I was reminded of the characters from my Light at The End trilogy, and in particular my heroine from the spinoff, Sylvia.

In visits to Glasgow, my home town, I’ve enjoyed the ‘sense of place’ when thinking back to the Beyond The Law trilogy, and in recent visits to Edinburgh I sensed the presence of Bryce, and several other characters from Czech Mate.

A knowledge of the locations used in stories complements the imagery and to a certain extent, the action. Returning to ‘real’ places after the job is done is a surreal experience and provides a healthy dose of satisfaction—I’d recommend it to fellow authors.

Thank you for indulging me with your time and comments.

***

Beyond the Comfort Zone

***** Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse is now available *****

As many writers do, I push myself in my craft. There’s little point in creating characters who are compelled to operate outside of their comfort zone if the author is taking the soft option.

I profess to be a multi-genre, multi-discipline author. In other words, I write stories across a wide variety of topics and I work on novels, novellas, short stories, and poetry.

For this reason, I dipped my toe in the waters of the post-apocalyptic genre, uncertain if it would result in the completion of a story. As things turned out, Light at The End: Surviving the Apocalypse became the first tale in a trilogy. I’m pleased to report that the three books are among my most popular titles. 

Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse, is a spin-off from Light at The End – The Trilogy. Like most spinoffs, Sylvia’s backstory relies heavily on the trilogy that spawned the idea, and will appeal to anyone who has read the original tales. Unsurprisingly, the main character of this book is Sylvia, however I’ve used the story as a vehicle to elaborate on the world inhabited by the characters who peopled the original trilogy. Time (and reviews), will tell if I’ve done the job well.

Codename: Nightshade was the first spinoff story from the Beyond the Law trilogy, and apart from featuring Nightshade, the tale introduced Foxglove, a new heroine.

Codename: Foxglove is now my priority Work in Progress, and yes, it’s another crime thriller. Foxglove provides continuity and will see the end of the BTL series. I enjoy the creation of a trilogy but if there is a downside it is that the author becomes a hostage to the story.

My other main project this year is Crusader, which will be developed as a standalone crime thriller. The main work with Jason, his friends, and foes, will be later in the year but it’s always good to create characters as they come to mind, placing them in scenarios to see what happens.

For those of you who like an insight, the first chapter of each of my WIP is available at:

https://tombensoncreative.com/work-in-progress/

 As always, comments are welcome.

Tom