Saturday, 22 November 2014

Will the police find a body in the house.....

In this extract from 'Model Murder' the police go to the murder victim's house to break the news....

No reply at the locked front door.  No reply at the back door which, fortunately, was unlocked.  Chris, who had put on some protective gloves, cautiously opened the door and called, ‘Halloooo!  Anybody home?’
Silence.  Not even a burglar alarm shouting the odds.
‘Do we go in, guv?’
‘Very carefully.  We wouldn’t want to disturb a crime scene.’
‘If there is one.’
Always prepared Chris handed him some plastic bootees to put on over his shoes and did the same for herself.  Sinclair gave her full marks.  Ideally they should have suited up but if Mitch Pepper was merely snoozing or had been knocked out that might scare him.
Together the pair checked out the rooms on the ground floor including what appeared to be a small flat for an absent housekeeper.
‘Might be her night off,’ Chris commented quietly.  Sinclair merely nodded.
Nothing seemed to be out of place so they went upstairs and glanced through those rooms.  Again, there were no signs of damage, nor bodies – alive or dead.
Although there was an office on the ground floor they also found what appeared to be an office upstairs for Amaryllis.  ‘Guv, there’s something written on the wall chart.’
They went to look at it.  ‘She should have been in London.  Went up Saturday and due back tomorrow.  Who’s this Ricky Davison? Name sounds familiar.’
‘He’s an actor, guv.  Looks like they had a function up there.’
‘Address book?’
On the desk.  Very carefully the DC opened it to find details for Ricky Davison. ‘Got it,’ and she jotted the information in her notebook.
‘Is Jonathan Pepper in there?  In case Sergeant Roberts hasn’t had any luck.’
As soon as Chris had that information they returned downstairs to Mitch Pepper’s office.
‘Nothing,’ Chris said with a sigh as she looked at the blank page in his diary.
‘Do we wait for him?’
‘He could be away for the night.’
‘Or for good?’

‘Don’t be a pessimist.  We’ll leave someone here.  Now let’s get out and see who’s arrived.’
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Editors and Reviewers

Oh dear, I've just finished reading a book by a very well published author and found a howler of a mistake. Do you know of any Spaniards called Paolo? That's Italian - in Spanish it would be Pablo. And I asked myself how could such an author make this mistake? I suspect that her mind set is back in the good old days when her publisher provided an editor. And it is so easy these days to find names in other languages - thanks to web searches.

A friend recently told me that she read a self-published book which was pretty 'dire'. The writer had paid an editor to go through it. The unfortunate thing these days is that there are unqualified people jumping on the bandwagon. You don't need qualifications to advertise your 'service'.

Self-publishers - beware! Get an editor who has been recommended to you or, better still, if you are a member of a group such as the Society of Authors, ask their advice.

Even if you have used a professional editor, always read through your MSS two or three times more. Maybe the editor hasn't quite understood what you meant and so has, inadvertently, changed the context.

Free Reviews

Another area where self-publishers need to be very careful.

Some of these reviewers are simply advertising their service to get free books and don't give you a review. But the worst ones are those who give you a review without actually reading your book.

My worst one was a two-star review by an American man who, not only hadn't read it (just dipped in here and there), but didn't realise it was written in English-English. He said there are lots of spelling and grammatical mistakes!

And on the subject of poor reviews - I was always taught that if you can't say anything nice it's best not to say anything at all!