Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
A fascinating guest post I'm sharing with you today - Read on to see what Colin Garrow has to say. I really enjoyed discovering more about how he writes each book Very different to most - go take a look! Personally, I like his method and can relate to it, too, What do you think - does it seem great to you? Many thanks to him for this guest post that gives an insight Into this author and how he chooses to write. Read on to discover more about him and his book At which I hope you'll then take a look!
As a reader, I’ve never liked knowing what’s going to happen in a book before it happens. Those troubled individuals who have to read the last page before reading the rest, make my head spin. With writing, it’s exactly the same.
Way back in the summer of 2013, when I began to write novels seriously, I had a very specific way of coming up with story ideas. Instead of struggling to work out a plot, or a ‘what if’ situation, I played around with words until I came up with a title. Usually, not being more than four or five words, this would be relatively painless, creating enough of a spark to get me started. These titles were intended to pose questions, puzzles, or point me in a specific direction, giving clues to what the story might be about. I would then use the title as a writing exercise to start the novel. Early titles included The Devil’s Porridge Gang, The House that Wasn’t There and Death on a Dirty Afternoon.
This last one is the first in my Terry Bell Mysteries series and that style of title has continued: A Long Cool Glass of Murder, The Jansson Tapes and Six Feet Under. (Book five will be No Cure for Death.) These titles have all proved useful in getting started, allowing me the freedom to let the characters and the story go off in whichever direction makes the most sense.
The Watson Letters books have been a little different. From the start, I wanted titles that were quirky, amusing and in some cases reminiscent of classic murder mystery novels. The first one, for instance, The Watson Letters Volume 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes suggests a cross between The Wicker Man and a certain book by Ray Bradbury. Book two, The Watson Letters Volume 2: Not the Thirty-Nine Steps, is an obvious reference to the John Buchan classic spy tale (in fact John Buchan himself appears in the story).
Since those heady days, I’ve found it less important to have a title that works as a writing exercise and instead I’ve gone for more generic titles that are suggestive of their genre. For instance, the first book in my Inverness-set thriller series is titled Terminal Black (Black being the surname of the main character). The second book (currently a WIP) will be Crucial Black followed by Deadly Black. I copied this idea from crime writer Peter James, whose books often include the word Dead: Dead Simple, Looking Good Dead, Not Dead Enough etc.
With the Rosie Robson books, I went back to the Watson Letters style with titles like Blood on the Tyne: Body Parts and Blood on the Tyne: Head Shots thereby making it clear they were part of the same series, with a clue to the topic of each story. (Body Parts was originally going to be about a killer who chopped up his victims, but the story ended up going in a different direction.)
As with Terminal Black, I find I no longer need a title with a clue in it to tempt the muse before beginning writing. Instead, I come up with one that seems to fit the type of book I want to write, and then start writing with very little idea what the story will be about. This might sound a bit wiffty waffty, but I’ve discovered that once I’m writing, the words just come out. Obviously, it doesn’t work perfectly every time and some days I have to stop and work out where the story will go next, but so long as I’m bashing away at the keyboard, I usually get there in the end.
The point is, you don’t need to sketch out the whole plot beforehand, or even have a specific storyline in mind. Far too many writers get caught up in the need to know exactly what will happen in each chapter before they even begin to write the book. In my (occasionally humble) opinion, this kills creativity stone dead. It also flies in the face of those authors who can’t get out of bed without a plot outline, but as with everything else, it’s horses for courses, and my horse is doing alright.
An invitation. A ghostly spectre. A criminal mastermind.
When Sherlock Holmes is invited to visit an old school friend, he and Doctor Watson are plunged into the first of three adventures involving the Dark Arts and the supernatural. From the ghostly spectre of a dead sister to the search for an ancient book of spells, the detecting duo learn that each case is connected, leading them into a final showdown with their deadliest adversary yet.
Adult humour throughout.
True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor. He has also occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin’s published books include the Watson Letters series, the Terry Bell Mysteries and the Rosie Robson Murder Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in Northeast Scotland.
Website (Adults) https://colingarrow.org/
Website (Children) https://colingarrowbooks.com/
The Watson Letters https://thewatsonletters.com/
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B014Z5DZD4