Deadly Reunion

All about the indie life v traditional publishing: See my article on the storyreadingapesblog

I wrote an article about my experiences both before and after I took up the indie author lifestyle for thestoryreadingapesblog. I enjoyed writing it and I’ve had some lovely, appreciative comments for my honesty (Rafferty’s family wouldn’t be impressed!). If you’re contemplating the indie life yourself, you could do worse than take a look. Here’s the link:

http://wp.me/p3mGq7-1QU

 

PUBLICATION DAY! DEADLY REUNION!

I”m delighted to announce that Deadly Reunion is published today. Deadly Reunion is my eighteenth novel and the fourteenth in my humorous Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series. Here’s the blurb:

Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty is barely back from his honeymoon before he has two unpleasant surprises. Not only has he another murder investigation – a poisoning, courtesy of a school reunion, he also has four new lodgers, courtesy of his Ma, Kitty Rafferty. Ma is organising her own reunion and since getting on the internet, the number of Rafferty and Kelly family attendees has grown, like Topsy. In his murder investigation, Rafferty has to go back in time to learn of all the likely motives of the victim’s fellow reunees. But it is only when he is reconciled to his unwanted lodgers, that Rafferty finds the answers to his most important questions.
Watch the trailer I made:
Read an extract:
DEADLY REUNION
A Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel by Geraldine Evans
EXCERPT from Chapter One
‘Poisoned? Are you sure? Detective Inspector Joseph Rafferty regretted his rash query as soon as it left his mouth. For Dr Sam Dally let him have it with both barrels.
            ‘Of course I’m sure. Would I be telling you the man was poisoned if I wasn’t? I never question your professional judgement’ – which was an out and out lie – ‘so I’d thank you not to question mine.  Conium Maculatum was what killed him. Or, to your uneducated ear, hemlock.’
            ‘Hemlock?’
           ‘That’s right. A very old-fashioned poison. Goes back to the classical Greeks, so I believe. Maybe even further back. Now, is there anything else you’d like to question while you’re at it?’
            ‘All right, Sam. Keep your hair on,’ said Rafferty. Which – given Sam’s rapidly balding pate, was another unfortunate slip of the tongue. But this time it brought nothing more than the testy,
            ‘Well? Is there anything else you’d like to question my judgement about?
            Rafferty felt – given his mounting foot-in-mouth episode – that a simple ‘no’ would suffice.
            ‘Hmph.’ Dally sounded disappointed as if he was just in the right frame of mind to have another go. ‘Ainsley had been dead between fourteen and sixteen hours before he was discovered. The first symptoms would have started after around half an hour. He’d have experienced a gradual weakening of muscles, then extreme pain and paralysis from the coniine in hemlock, the effects of which are much like curare. It’s probable he went blind, but his mind would have remained clear till the end.’
            ‘Christ. What a horrible way to go.’
             ‘Yes. Death would be several hours later from paralysis of the heart.’
            ‘Is the poison likely to be self-inflicted?’
            ‘’Well, it wouldn’t be my choice.’
            Nor mine, thought Rafferty. He couldn’t believe that a sportsman like Adam Ainsley would choose such a way to go.
            ‘But figuring that out’s your job, Rafferty. I suggest you get on with it.’
            Bang went the phone. Or it would have done but for the frustrations caused by modern technology, which didn’t allow anything so satisfying.
            ‘Sam and Mary must have had a domestic this morning,’ Rafferty said to Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn as he leaned back in the now shabby executive chair that Superintendent Bradley had decreed was the appropriate seating for his detectives. ‘He just bawled me out something chronic.’
            Llewellyn, who had never been known to make an ill-advised remark, gave a gentle sigh. ‘Dr Dally has never appreciated having his professional conclusions questioned.’  It was a gentle reproof, but a reproof nonetheless. ‘You were talking about the body found in the woods, I presume?’
            Rafferty nodded. Adam Ainsley had been found in Elmhurst’s Dedman Wood around eight in the morning two days ago by a local woman walking her dog. There had been no visible signs of injury and it had been assumed the man had had a heart attack while out for a too energetic run; the track suit and trainers had suggested the possibility. Ainsworth had been attending a reunion at Griffin School, an exclusive, fee-paying establishment for eleven to eighteen year olds situated two miles outside the Essex market town of Elmhurst, where Rafferty’s station was located.
            ‘Did I hear you mention Hemlock?
            Rafferty nodded. ‘I thought that would make you prick up your ears. That’s what Sam reckons killed him. Said it goes back to your pals, the ancient Greeks.’
            ‘Yes. According to Plato it’s what Socrates used to kill himself after he was sentenced to death. He drained the cup containing the poison and walked about until his legs felt heavy. Then he lay down and, after a while, the drug had numbed his whole body, creeping up until it had reached his heart.’
            ‘Yeah, Sam said it was paralysis of the heart muscle that would have killed him. Sounds like hanging would have been quicker, even without an Albert Pierrepoint to work out the drop required. Anyway, enough of this classical Greek morbidity. We’d better get over to the school,’ said Rafferty. ‘Can you get some uniforms organized, Dafyd? I’ll go and tell Long-Pockets what Sam said and meet you downstairs.’
            ‘Long-Pockets’, otherwise known as Superintendent Bradley, was obsessed with the budget, in Rafferty’s opinion, hence the nickname. As far as he was concerned, crimes took what they took, in time, money and manpower.
            The uniforms were quickly mobilized by the simple expedient of roistering those on refreshment breaks out of the canteen. After Rafferty had gone to see Bradley, he returned to his office and rung the school to let Jeremy Paxton, the headmaster, know the results of the toxicology tests and that they were on their way; that done, he went down to reception to meet up with Llewellyn and the woodentops and headed out to the car park.     
The August day was gloriously fresh and bright, just as a summer day should be, with a light breeze, to stop it getting too hot, and a deep blue sky without a cloud in sight. Rafferty, Llewellyn and two of the constables, Timothy Smales and Lizzie Green, piled reluctantly into the car, which was as hot as Lucifer’s crotch as it had been standing in the sun. Rafferty, not a lover of air-conditioning, which, anyway, would barely have started to work by the time they got to the school, wound his window right down and stuck his head out to catch the breeze.
              The run out to Griffin School was a pretty one, past lush farmland, via roads overhung with trees whose leaves formed a soft green bower over the tarmac. On days like this, it felt good to be alive, though this latest suspicious death lowered his spirits a little. Winter was a more fitting season for death.
Adam Ainsworth had been staying at Griffin for a school reunion. Unusually, the reunees had opted to get back together for an entire week rather than the more usual one evening and, conveniently for Rafferty, were still put up in the school’s dormitories. He wondered if they were regretting it now. Being cooped up beyond one’s desire with old enemies, as well as old friends, was a recipe for rising antagonisms that could be helpful to their investigation. There was nothing like spite for encouraging gossipy revelations

Links:
I hope you enjoy the book should you decide to read it.

BLOG TOUR POST WITH HOST RHONDA DOSSETT

Follow my Blog Tour. Here’s the latest post: http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com/2011/02/princess-of-crime.html

Marketing For Writers

Your book’s been accepted. How wonderful! Congratulations.
It’s a terrific, feeling, isn’t it, after all those rejections?

But now comes the real work. What? You thought you’d done
the work and that now came the pleasure? Ha! Think again.

Writing the book’s only half of it. And if you’re a techno-thickie,
like me, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn to do; I certainly
was.

Everyone knows about the signings and the crowds of people who come to each. But everyone would be wrong. Unless you’re very

well-known, you’ll be lucky to get more than a handful of signings, if that. Think about it. Why would a bookstore manager want to

 
put himself to the trouble for a writer that no one’s ever heard of? For a writer who’s unlikely to sell more than one or two books (and one of these purchases will probably be made by the writer’s partner)? What happens most often is that the writer sits behind a desk with a pile of his/her books and no one comes. That, believe it or not, is the harsh truth of most book signings. You don’t need to take my word for it. Watch this video made by writer Parnell Hall and have a laugh while the sober truth sinks in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoJ5OKmEJY.

So what can you do? There are other things. Libraries are always welcoming to the idea of your giving a talk. Ring around a few libraries, ask to speak to the librarian and introduce yourself and your new book. You should get an invitation or two to speak. No good at speaking off the cuff? Don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to use notes. I do myself as my short-term memory is shockingly bad and I’m hopeless at speaking without a crib. You may even sell a few books.

There are also other things you can do to draw attention to yourself. I’m in the middle of preparing for a seventeen-date Blog Tour in February. It’s a lot of work as you have to prepare posts to go on other people’s blogs and you won’t be too popular if you repeat the same blog on several people’s sites. You’re expected to be original and, as I said, originality brings a lot of work.

How did I organise this? I’m a member of a number of writing/book sites and I checked on the File listing of one of them: Yahoo Group’s MurderMustAdvertise, for those members who were prepared to host other writer members and contacted each one. You’ll need to be organised and create a Blog Tour folder on your computer where you can store the emails listing what you’re to do. You should also set up a folder in Documents with docs for each of the separate posts you’ve been asked to make and note in your diary the names, email addresses, dates, blog addresses and what your post is to consist of. If you don’t do all this you’ll get in a hopeless muddle. I could have arranged more Blog Tour dates if I’d contacted members on other book or writing sites, but I thought seventeen gigs was as much as I could cope with. This is my first Blog Tour, after all, and I didn’t want to over-reach myself.

I’ve written several question and answer sessions, prepared a few different excerpts of Deadly Reunion, my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel which comes out on 24 February, with links to the other excerpts. Deadly Reunion is the reason I organised the blog tour.


What else have I written? Another blogger asked me to produce a post about my writing ‘Made it Moment’. LOL! Shows how deluded one can be! One asked me to supply my Top Ten Tips for writers. Another wanted me to write a post about my ebook experiences since I’ve published two of my Rafferty novels to kindle et al. They all wanted a short bio and brief synopses of both Deadly Reunion, my latest hardback, and Dead Before Morning, my latest ebook. Another blogger wanted me to tell her readers about how I set about making my various video book trailers. I did it The Hard Way, I thought! The first one was made from a basis of total ignorance. Boy, this marketing mallarkey is a very steep learning curve. I’ve also collected up the links to various reviews, to my youtube video book trailers, to amazon and, of course, my blog and website. I’m still working on some posts. But when I’ve finished, I’ll put up a list of all my Blog Tour gigs and you can follow me through the Tour if you wish. You’ll probably be asked to provide a few prizes. I think the most usual is that, at the end of the Blog Tour, a drawing is made of all of those people who have made a comment during your Tour. It’s up to you to check on each of the blog sites for the comments and to note down the details of each so you can make the draw.


What else have I done? I’ve made a video interview of myself, using the webcam on the computer, with my poor husband acting as the interviewer. Here’s the link if you want to take a look and have a laugh at our pretty inept efforts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoMLVcKxzBw This was about our fifth attempt, so you can imagine how poor the earlier efforts were. It was originally done for The Lit Chick Show, a video blog that hosts author interviews. But I’m going to do it again for the show and hope that both of us manage to project ourselves a bit better! Practise! Practise! Practise! The interview’s not due to air until the 25 February, so we’ve got time to apply a bit of polish. You could do something similar and put it up on youtube, then at least you’ll have something ready for your Blog Tour when you organise it. You can try to get radio interviews; local radio is generally pretty willing to host you and local newspapers might well feature you if you contact them.
I’ve explained before, in a previous post, that you’ll have to provide your own marketing materials, like bookmarks, flyers and postcards, as it’s unlikely that your publisher will do it. I’ve just altered the design of my bookmarks, but I’ve had a hell of a job lining up the two sides of the bookmarks. It’s been very wasteful of my white card and my computer inks, not to mention my time. But fingers crossed, they’re lined up now. My next printing will tell. Oh for the money to be able to pay someone else to make the blasted things! Hey, maybe next week, I’ll have time to do some actual book writing!
Now. To market! To market!

Here’s a few of the latest interviews of me, plus a couple of excellent reviews.

This in a video interview I did for The Lit Chick Show. This is my first attempt at doing a video interview – well the first one that I actually put up on youtube! In the previous attempts to capture this video, my mind went blank as I tried to find what I wanted to say. In the next effort, my head kept almost disappearing off the side of the screen. And then, my husband unaccountably forgot how to speak, and in the next he had a coughing fit. This one is the best of a bad job! See what you think. Laugh at my husband’s attempts at doing a posh, literary accent. I did.

Here are a couple of lovely reader reviews on amazon. Add your own if you have liked any of my novels. Don’t bother if you haven’t!
Five Star Review of Dead Before Morning ebook, first in my Rafferty crime series, on amazon – link http://www.amazon.co.uk/Before-Morning-Rafferty-Llewellyn-crime/dp/B004EYUHN8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294335777&sr=1-1
 Five Star Review of Down Among the Dead Men ebook, second in my Rafferty crime series, on amazon – link :  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Down-Among-Rafferty-Llewellyn-crime/dp/B0042P53NS/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1294335777&sr=1-3
I was interviewed by Beth Hull (Nebula Contact) on http://bethhull.com/2010/12.03/nifty-author.geraldine-evans
I was interviewed by Jean Henry Mead for Mysterious People: http://mysteriouspeople.blogspot.com/Geraldine-Evans
 My interview with Rebecca Dahlke http://www.allmysteryenewsletter.com/  will feature on 8 January 2011.
I’m currently in the process of organising a blog tour for the month of February, to coincide with the publication of my eighteenth novel and fourteenth Rafferty & Llewellyn, Deadly Reunion.
 This is taking up quite a bit of my time as it’s quite complicated, coordinating all the gig dates and making sure I’m not repetitive with the content, so I hope you’ll forgive me if my posts here aren’t as frequent as before. I will post a list of the gigs and the links as soon as I know them all, both here and on my website (http://www.geraldineevans.com/ ). I’m quite excited about this. It’s my first blog tour and I’m terrified I’ll make an administrative hash of it and never get invited on anyone’s blog ever again! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Proofreading Finished At Last!

Well I’ve finished all my proofreading. I’ve done the proofing for both Deadly Reunion, my next hardback for Severn House and Dead Before Morning, my second ebook, which will shortly be up for sale on kindle, iBookstore, nook, sobo, android, etc. Deadly Reunion is due to be published on 24 February 2011.


It’s such a relief to get both lots done and finished. It’ll be a joy to get back to the creativity of actually writing rather than the boredom of checking. Do you hate checking proofs? I know they have to be done if your final book is to look as you intended, but God, it’s a chore!

To change the subject – how are your Christmas preparations coming on? I’m feeling pretty smug. Not only have I bought all my Christmas presents, I’ve got the damn things wrapped as well! Next, it’s the Christmas cards. They seem to take longer and longer each year. But I’ll get to them; I’ve got Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn’s work ethic in spades.

How are your Christmas preparations going? Have you ordered your turkey from the butcher or do you buy a frozen one from the supermarket? We bought a fresh one the other year, but it’s so expensive, we’re switching back to frozen. I can’t say I find the taste any different.

Better go. Those Christmas cards are calling…

Work in Progress – Latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel

Well, I’m halfway through the first draft of my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel. Hit a snag with the subplot. Going to have to rework it. Luckily, I’ve come up with a cunning plan! At least, I hope it’s cunning. Time will tell.

Not entirely happy with the main plot, either. Gawd! What to do? Scrap the lot and start again? But I’m over a hundred and fifty pages in, so I’m reluctant to do that. I think devilish ingenuity will save it. I often find first drafts a bit lacking. But they’ve generally been rescued in later drafts. Must be true, otherwise why would my copy-editor for Deadly Reunion (out February 2011), say I handled the character development ‘superbly’? Love that man…

With first drafts, of course, you have so much to think about, you just want to get the story down; the characters, the plot development, the subplot (grrr!) and the rest. You haven’t got any brain to spare to get it right. That’s what later drafts are for. When I think how many drafts I had to go through for Dead Before Morning, my very first crime novel, I’m amazed I finished it. But I did finish it and I’m still proud of it these many years later.

The problem with the subplot I should have seen coming. I would, too, if I could add two and two. Though I might have been all right if it had only been adding. But this was subtracting – a whole different ball game. The problem was obvious from the word go. The problem is one of time. Eight bloody years of time! Way too long a time period to smudge over. But not to worry. As I said, I’ve come up with a way round it. Will wait to see what it looks like when I get it down on paper.

To divert from the work in progress, my last post was an interview with David Wisehart. I’ve posted it here on my blog (see below), I’ve posted it on my website, on Twitter, Facebook, CimeSpace. The trouble I find, is trying to remember where else I should post it. Must make a list. Another one. I’m always making lists. I find them essential or I’d never remember anything. Memory’s going, alas.

One of the problems with the main plot is I have one hell of a lot of characters. Admittedly, a lot of them only appear once. At least the suspects are limited, which is the main thing. I often wish I could have my characters marooned snowbound somewhere, as Agatha Christie did, with the telephone lines down and no signal for the mobiles. Trouble is my novels are set in the fictitious Essex town of Elmhurst, not the Scottish Highlands. Could always do as Raymond Chandler advises and have a man come in the room with a gun, I suppose, and shoot half of them. That would be a solution, I suppose. Not a good one, admittedly, but- No, no. Must resist the temptation, if only to keep Dr Sam Dally sweet. He’d be none too pleased to be presented with as many bodies as in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Have you hit snags with your latest novel? Why not post a comment about it? A trouble shared and all that…

Must go. I have to get the copy-edited pages back to my editor. Then I have to wrestle with my latest Rafferty & Co effort. It’s not all fun being a writer. But a lot of it is. Better than my many day jobs, certainly.

Till next time.

Newsletter

The Author

Geraldine Evans is a British writer of police procedurals that contain a lot of humour and family drama Her15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn series features DI Joe Rafferty, a London-Irish, working-class, lapsed Catholic, who comes from a family who think - if he must be a policeman - he might at least have the decency to be a bent one. Her 2-strong Casey & Catt series features DCI 'Will' Casey, a serious-minded, responsible policeman, whose 'the Sixties never died', irresponsible, drug-taking, hippie parents, pose particular problems of the embarrassing kind.

AUTHOR MEMBER: ALLi

The Alliance of Independent Authors — Author Member