One step beyond … Beyond The Law


Originality is relatively easy when an author is working on a single title. When the title/premise goes to a second, third or more, the idea must be examined closely to see how far it can be taken without repetition.

Certain sub-genres can run for several books and if the author is careful and inventive the fictional world will remain exciting to the reader. This must be paramount in the mindset of the creator of the work. Reader satisfaction is everything.

Beyond The Law: Formation was published in 2013, Beyond The Law: Retribution in 2015, and Beyond The Law: Consequences in 2017. In terms of timing, I’d be on target now to produce the next if it were an ongoing series.

I have no worries about a continuing story, but I enjoy stretching my writing creativity in different directions, which is why I ended the Beyond The Law (BTL) idea and proclaimed it a trilogy.

As a reader and a writer, certain characters lend themselves to the spotlight and become favourites. For me as an author, one such character is Rachel Donoghue. When the BTL trilogy ended, the door was left open for several characters to make another appearance. Rachel was crying out to be given a standalone adventure. From this premise was born Codename: NightshadeRachel’s antics will provide continuity, closure in certain areas, and further entertainment for those who have enjoyed the BTL trilogy.

As a precursor and to get me in the right frame of mind I recently reread and made several edits to each book of the BTL trilogy. Plot and detail were not affected, but some dialogue and narrative were tightened to improve the reading experience.

In the new story, a few names from the past from both sides of the law will show up, combined with new good guys, and new bad guys. This will not be a fourth BTL story, but by its nature, it will lean in that direction. The key aspect of the tale for me is to highlight an individual character.

The first five chapters of Codename: Nightshade all appear in my Work in Progress menu. They’re not the finished article, but they give a flavour of how this individual character will demonstrate her skills and how much promise she has as a central protagonist. As an author, I’m thoroughly enjoying expanding my notes and ideas, many of which have been made over the past year. For me, Rachel is already real, and out there doing her best … to the worst.

I aim to produce the book in June 2019, which means that by May I hope to be asking for beta readers to help refine the tale.

In the meantime, thank you for reading and in particular, thank you to the followers of the BTL story. I have to go now … gangsters, guns and a girl are waiting for me. 🙂


G … is for gratification

G[1]  is for gratification. You might be wondering what gratification has got to do with my chosen theme of writing. Please read on and allow me to explain.

When we first write a story, however long, it may be ultimately for others to read, but we write it primarily to give us satisfaction. As we refine that same story, through careful and ongoing editing, we are preparing it for other people to enjoy.

Why then have I encompassed my multiple sensations with gratification?

In my own writing, I’ve occasionally found a tear come to my eye – no, not because the writing was so bad! I have felt the emotion of my character; be it love, pain, joy or whatever else. Sometimes, depending on the passage (pardon the pun), I’ve been sexually aroused, because I’m at one with my character. I’ve felt anger, disappointment, frustration, happiness; all through the depth of feeling of a character.

When an occasion arises, and I don’t feel any of these emotions, I know the writing isn’t working; it isn’t good enough.

Is this always the case for me?

Yes, be it poem, short story, or novel. I must feel a connection, an empathy with my characters. If I don’t feel it through the written word, through my own creation, then how is anybody else supposed to feel it? They will not.

The reward for the reader is to feel they have been entertained, and they have the satisfaction of knowing that the author worked towards that goal.

For the writer, the reward comes when there is a positive review of the writing. Okay, some of us may now be seeing a small cash reward too, and that does feel pretty special; to be paid for your writing.

In summary, gratification is an appropriate word in my theme, because when the writing is to a good enough standard, the result is mutual satisfaction for writer and reader.

Thank you for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with thoughts on ‘H