I am delighted to be joining in with Tony J Forder’s Bad To The Bone blog tour! 🙂
Many thanks to Sarah Hardy, at Bloodhound Books, for inviting me to take part.
Writing day/business day
My writing routine has altered dramatically since the start of 2017. With a full-time job in a pretty pressurised environment I write as and when I could squeeze out the time – mostly late at night, or in the early hours of the morning sleep eluded me. Now I have a part-time business, and I get to devote 2-3 days’ a week to my writing – a genuine luxury.
On those days I can generally be found bashing away at my laptop from around 8.00am. After lunch I do another couple of hours. If the work is going well and I’m in the groove, I can often still be caught hard at it at five or six in the evening. I also still write longhand at times, on A4 pads which I keep close by in case inspiration strikes whilst I’m watching the TV or reading. I tend to get consumed by my work, no matter what it is, and when I’m in that mode I find it almost impossible to switch off completely.
Structurally, I do a basic outline of the story I want to tell. I list the key points, and then try to fill in a little of what comes between in order for the story to flow. The starting point usually suggests itself fairly quickly, and I’ll let others be the judge as to whether I get that right. I then need to figure out the characters I’m going to need in order to tell my story in the most appropriate way. I mull this over for a few days, let it stew, but I like to begin the writing process not long after I have all the pieces in place.
For the first 5 or 6, and then 10 or 12 chapters, I write and edit, write and edit. This pattern will often lead to new threads, new plotlines, new back story, new characters, and new chapters. Once I have that, I have the story firmly fixed inside my mind. From that point on I write and don’t look back again until I am done.
The first draft then gets sidelined for a while whilst I work on something fresh. Once it comes out again, that’s when the story comes alive. I write thin to fat to thin – I usually describe it as follows: I create the skeletal framework upon which I will later add the flesh. That flesh tends towards obesity during the second draft, and then every visit afterwards is designed to prune back. Make it lean, adjust the pace, get the voice right…really, there is so much to look out for, and so many obstacles upon which you can stumble.
In my book Degrees of Darkness I knew who the villain was and how I wanted to end the book from the word go. With Bad to the Bone I changed my villain – or one of them at least – right near the end, and so then had to go back and rewrite so as to drop subtle hints (hopefully). With the book I’ve set aside having completed the first draft, I could see the end but it was like those motes you get in your eyes which float around and the moment you try to focus on them they swim out of view. I was starting to panic, and then in the most glamorous turn of events I was in the toilet when the ending of the book came to me in a rush – just like I was afterwards as I hurried to jot it down (and yes, I did flush and wash my hands). As for my WIP…I know roughly how it ends, but it needs a little finesse and I hope that by the time I come to write it I have improved enough to do it justice.
Bad to the Bone was written quite a while ago, but when I came to look at how I wanted it published I decided not to update it. I like the feel of its time and place. I remember my late night sessions piecing that book together, and I think I grew as an author during its creation. I like the story and I’m pretty sure I’d get on well with DI Bliss. I could see myself having a pint with him and chewing the fat about football and music and…dead bodies.
Writing can be hard at times. But I’ve always believed you should write for pleasure, because if you don’t enjoy it then what’s the point? Whilst I am my sternest critic, I also know my own limitations. But I’m proud of Bad to the Bone, and now that it’s out there I can only hope that people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Many thanks, Tony.
Publisher: Bloodhound Books (22nd April 2017)
A skeletal body is unearthed in a wooded area of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. DI James Bliss, together with DC Penny Chandler, investigate the case and discover that the young, female victim had been relocated from its original burial site.
A witness is convinced that a young female was struck by a vehicle back in the summer of 1990, and that police attended the scene. However, no record exists of either the accident or the reported victim. As the case develops, two retired police officers are murdered. The two are linked with others who were on duty at the time a road accident was reported.
As Bliss and Chandler delve deeper into the investigation, they start to question whether senior officers may have been involved in the murder of the young women who was buried in the woods.
As each link in the chain is put under duress, so is Bliss who clashes with superiors and the media.
When his team receives targeted warnings, Bliss will need to decide whether to drop the case or to pursue those responsible.
Will Bliss walk away in order to keep his career intact or will he fight no matter what the cost?
And is it possible the killer is much closer than they imagined?
Buy a copy HERE
About the author…..
On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who will publish his new edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone this spring. It is the first in a series.
Later this year, Tony’s second novel for Bloodhound Books, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will be published.
Tony has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.
The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale.
During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: “The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer.”
Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley’s wife, Dorothy.
Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn’t so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day.
As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.
This year, however, Tony has been inspired by new ideas, and has been working hard on two new books, both of which should be completed in 2017. In the meantime, he hopes you enjoy Bad to the Bone, introducing DI James Bliss and DC Penny Chandler.