It’s definitely a coincidence, but nonetheless quite apt.
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To mark the publication of the fourth and final novel in
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER series,
the first novel is being offered free from March 1st-5th on Amazon.
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The final novel in THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER series is out at last, slightly later than originally intended, but my somewhat unusual excuse is that I’ve only just returned from the trenches. No, I haven’t been at war, just trying to make some order of the chaos that is Great Ground Farm.
First there was the comparatively small job of digging a trench to plumb in the loo…
Then there was the trench for the “Great Wall of GGF”…
Then there was the small matter of landscaping the garden…
Not content with that, I then set about trying to find the water main in order to lay on water to the stables…
Before I’d recovered from that, the new electricity main and water pipe for the workshop needed yet another trench…
And the spring in the paddock needed to be rerouted to the water troughs for the alpacas…
By which time, planning had been approved to build the house…
And then there was the little matter of digging trenches for the rainwater drainage…
And then another trench for the foundations of the steps…
And yet another trench had to be dug (this time for the loo in the fleece workshop)…
And finally (I hope) a very long trench to take mains water down to the top alpaca paddocks, which involved getting out the dowsing rods to find the original pipe….
It would be fair to say that I was all trenched out and more than content to be ensconced at my desk in the Book Shed for a while to finish THE SKIPPERESS’S TALE…
So if anyone needs a cure for writer’s block, one option is to dig a trench or two!
My eight year old nephew looked at my to-do list (a blackboard in the kitchen) on which I’d put a large tick next to ‘KILLING MAGPIES’. I quickly allayed his fears at what I’d been doing to explain that it was the title of a recently completed novel. Needless to say, he was very relieved (as am I at having finished it!) Set on a farmstead dominated by a Queen Anne house built onto the remains of a medieval priory (the fictitious Rattledown Priory) which is run as bed & breakfast/farmshop/alpaca farm/glamping site & wedding venue, it tells the story of a failed actress who falls in love with the place before being drawn into a plot involving an ancient curse, murder and mystery.
Where, he asked, did I get my inspiration? I luckily hadn’t gone into detail about the curse and murders, so was able to wave a hand casually over the surrounding Great Ground Farm – with its alpacas, reindeer and shepherds hut and tell him that I was writing about what I know and experience daily.
‘So,’ he asked sagely, looking at the next entry on my to-do list, ‘I suppose that means I won’t come next time to find you walking on eggshells?’
PUBLICATION DATE 21st February 2017
This means THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER tetralogy is now complete…
Even though I put my MacBook down for a while to go on an extensive camel ride on Christmas Day, I picked it up again as soon as I’d got off to continue with putting the finishing touches to an extensive rewrite of the first Amelia Wilde novel (which I thought I’d finished in July, but such is the nature of the creative process).
Anyway, it’s really finished now – retitled RING OF DECEIT and the four following stories are underway, provisional titles being
2) ILLUSION OF MURDER (which might still be called SLAUGHTER IN THE COTSWOLDS)
3) PREMEDITATION IN PARIS
4) MASSACRE IN MARRAKECH
5) MURDER IN MONTE CARLO
Any guesses which one I was researching on the camel in the Moroccan desert?!
Back to RING OF DECEIT, I thought this photo really gives a flavour of Amelia Wilde’s talents. Of course, it isn’t Amelia as she’s a figment of my imagination – it’s actually my good friend Amanda Sandow.
Personally, I’ll stick to riding camels…
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“The knowledge that someone believes in your ability to accomplish something is usually a catalyst to that achievement; a combination of encouragement, incentive and imbuement of duty, it invariably acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
My fictional ‘Lord George Wilde’s Circus’ (© Drew Thomas 2014) took shape at a pace that makes it seem that it was there anyway and that I just had to find it.
‘Lord’ George Wilde (deceased) b.1893 = Wilhelmina b.1894
‘Lord’ George Wilde b. 1924 = Mary (nee Tapley) b.1948
‘Lord’ George Wilde Jnr. b. 1972 = Amelia (Mel) Wilde b.1973
‘Lord’ Georgie b.1995 & ‘Lady’ Sarah b. 1997
‘THE SHOCKING SINS OF THE MOTHER-IN-LAW’ (Amelia Wilde 1) is now complete.
Future titles in the series:
DICING WITH DEATH AT GOD’S ACRES (Amelia Wilde 2)
PREMEDITATED PRANKS IN PARIS (Amelia Wilde 3)
MALICIOUS MURDER AT MONTE CARLO (Amelia Wilde 4)
CELEBRITY SLAUGHTER IN THE COTSWOLDS (Amelia Wilde 5)
I was asked the other day by a man who came to see if I was eligible for solar panels (shortly before he fell off the roof & decided I wasn’t) where my inspiration comes from. This was just after he’d told me that he and his wife like to – for enjoyment – hide behind the shed at the bottom of their garden and watch their neighbours cook (well, I think he said cook, but he was from Barnsley).
Inspiration for settings is easy – they’re all around. Here are a few of those that inspired The Hairdresser’s Tale: