Breaking the script

Sitting at my desk after the Easter long weekend and pondering renewal…

In my last post, I mentioned being stuck in a reading slump. This pandemic and all the chaos that has surrounded it seems to have changed my reading taste.

I know many people turned to romance to escape, but I found I couldn’t read anything. I’d start a book and read a few pages then put it down. Same with Netflix etc. I’d start watching a few episodes of something and then lose interest.

All of this has had me rethinking my series and even whether I want to keep writing at all. This, in turn, has had me exploring new genres and just plain old searching for something different.

I’ve discovered a whole lot of old cozy and detective story TV shows/movies on Youtube or second hand. I’m rewatching shows like Moonlighting and Murder She Wrote, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Poirot and even Jeeves and Wooster. It has actually been great. 

So why ‘breaking the script’? Well, what all of this has led to is the realization that I am feeling hemmed in by the so-called ‘rules’ of writing. We’re meant to ‘write in a series’, ‘make the books the same but slightly different’, ‘write consistently’ and do all of this at a fast pace to suit Amazon’s algorithm.

Well, sorry, but no. I’ve had enough. I’m not interested in writing the same book over and over again. The very idea bores me to death.

I’m also not  interested in writing a million sex scenes and making them hotter and more taboo just for the shock value. Same as I’m not interested in dreaming up more and more extreme ways of torturing murder victims. 

What I am interested in are characters and their relationships as well as simple old-fashioned murder mysteries and suspense. I am thinking of starting a cozy mystery series that will take all of this into account.

I still plan on finishing Highwater (Book 3 in the Cornish Heroes series), but all I can guarantee about it is that it will be set in Cornwall and involve romance and suspense. I don’t want to be hemmed in by any other rules. I am excited to write it simply because it will be a murder mystery set in an old country house and yes, a skeleton will be unearthed …

For some people, that may sound like a cliche. But I love those old plots and the merit of the book is in the execution not the idea. All of the ‘high concept’ ideas are just there for marketing hype. And I’ve been so disappointed by all of the ‘hyped’ books I’ve read lately that I no longer believe in any of it.

One of the benefits of doing this as a hobby and ‘toiling away in obscurity’ is that I get to set my own rules. So my new rules are as follows:

  1. Write what you damn well please and have fun doing so
  2. Stay away from social media.
  3. Read what you want to read, when you want to read. No schedule necessary

From now on, the best and probably only place to find me will be this website. I’ll also be doing more normal posts like these. I don’t think I will continue posting simple lists of what I’ve read. I’d rather just blog about writing and then only link to books I would give  a 4 or 5 star rating (I should have listened to younger me!).

Anyway, that was just an update. Here’s a ‘Cheers’ to anyone else out there who has found themselves rethinking life and wanting some pure escape. 

PS. I have made Ebb Tide free everywhere because I am stopping advertising so I can concentrate on writing. The costs have just become ridiculous now.

You can’t set a book to free on Amazon but I’m hoping they will price match soon. If you do see this, you can ask them to do so and add a link to the free book in another store … Of course, it is a private company and they can decline if they so wish.

As for Cross Current, I have it listed at a cheaper ‘entry’ price but all other books will from now on only be sold at full price.