I didn’t set out to write a series!
Death Of A Temptress was never intended to be the first book in a series. At that time I wasn’t even sure I was capable of writing a novel, and it was always intended to be a one-off event, just to see if I could. With an annoyingly short attention span, and I had always thought writing a full length novel would just be beyond me, but a character called Dave Slater had other ideas.
He had first popped into my head when I was writing the Alfie Bowman Novellas. I needed a good cop for one story and this guy called Dave Slater got the part, and then went on to became a regular in the series. As I grew to like Slater, he kept suggesting he would be the ideal candidate should I decide to try and write a novel. He would grab my attention at all times of the day (and night) offering little scenarios that I might like to try until, eventually, I gave in and we made a deal.
Slater and I agreed I would attempt to write a novel on the proviso it would be a one-off and he wouldn’t expect any more of my attention after that. I was quite sure I would get halfway and lose interest, sow hat did I have to lose?
Writing By The Seat Of My Pants, A Style Is Born
I’m a bit more organised now, but when I started writing Death Of A Temptress, I had just the flimsiest of plots, and no coherent plan of how events would unfold. Norman Norman wasn’t planned, he just arrived in much the same way Slater had infiltrated the Alfie stories. Even after Norman joined the cast, I still had no idea where the story was going to end up, but as it unfolded the boys developed a working relationship that was based on luck, persistence, intuition, experience, and a fair degree of bumbling, yet somehow they managed to solve the case.
It was June 2014, and at the ripe old age of 61, I had finished my first novel. I’ll admit it was more by luck than judgement that I got to the end, but I made it, all on my own. Persistence and sheer bloody-mindedness had overcome my short attention span. Why? Because, for the first time, I had found something that was fun, and that I loved to do, and in the process I had created a style of my own!
Bet You Can’t Do That Again!
Of course, Slater now began to suggest it had been a fluke, and this time he had Norman to back him up. They bet me I couldn’t do it again. I had to concede it had been fun writing that first story, and I thought it might be as much fun to write a second book, so I agreed to have a go.
Now, I’m ten books in, and after adding a variety of colleagues, (some effective, some wayward), villains in various guises, and plots that are sometimes rather unbelievable (And why not? This is fiction, after all!) I have a series that has taken on a life of it’s own.
Although every book in the series is a complete story in it’s own right, there are threads that run through the series which follow the ups and downs in the private lives of the two main characters.
This was never intended to be a heavy, dark series, and was always meant to be a mixture of mystery and fun. Because of this it manages to straddle genres such as Police Procedural, British Detective, and even Cozy Mystery.
I just hope it’s as much fun for you to read as it is for me to write.