Wilkie Martin - Surviving Publication


Author of the unhuman series of addictive comedy cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. This documents my encounters with publishing and includes things I hope will be useful later. It also covers some local writing competitions and reviews some writing events.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Read free book samples of humorous unhuman mysteries

I am feeling very lucky to now have some biblets (or widgets) from Book2Look (http://book2look.com/) that allow the opening chapters of all three of my books to be read and shared, including my latest Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers (http://www.book2look.co.uk/vBook.aspx?id=o8I6rbXQPo) which is published on 30 September 2014. They also include links to some of the reviews.


The biblets are now available for all the books in the unhuman series of Cotswold comedy crime fantasies, or humorous mysteries. They are cozy detective stories with lashings of great food and. feature the same selection of characters, including:
  • Inspector Hobbes - the unhuman and occasionally monstrous detective
  • Andy Caplet - the hapless narrator of the story
  • Mrs Goodfellow - the unsettling and kind housekeeper and magnificant cook
  • Dregs - the delinquent dog
So far there are three adventures and the books themselves are available as paperback or in kindle, epub or ibook formats from all the main e-retailers and are available to order from bookshops.

Inspector Hobbes was inspired by a programme in which Alan Titchmarsh, who was made up as a Neanderthal but dressed in normal modern clothes, walked down a busy street and only attracted one person’s attention. It made me think, what if Neanderthals, or possibly individuals from some other fallen branch of the human tree, still existed in our midst, but were generally unremarked? Shortly after, Inspector Hobbes came to life as a character in a short story. The façade of being a police detective hid the fact that he was not quite human, that he possessed extraordinary strength and retained certain animal characteristics and senses.

Since it was tricky to get into his ‘unhuman’ mind, in the same way that I cannot really understand what is going on in a dog’s head, I decided to use a first person narrator, similar to Conan Doyle’s Dr Watson. Andy Caplet became my narrator and I made him a local reporter to give him a reason for meeting Hobbes. Andy's name came from seeing an old photograph of composers Claude Debussy and André Caplet; Debussy came across as large and hairy, a bit like I imagined Hobbes, whereas Caplet appeared small and insignificant. As the novel developed, Andy, struggling against his many flaws, turned into the central character.

I wrote about some the influences behind the stories in my blog 'Alan Titchmarch was my inspiration for writing Inspector Hobbes and the Blood' http://blog.wilkiemartin.com/search/label/Alan%20Titchmarsh



Inspector Hobbes and the Blood (unhuman I)

'Odd, inventive and genuinely very funny indeed' (Cotswolf Life)


Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, unhuman I, is a fast-paced comedy crime fantasy set in the Cotswolds. When Andy Caplet, an inept local reporter, is assigned to Inspector Hobbes, a police officer with a troubling reputation, he has no idea what horrors his future holds.  

‘I ought to tell you, dear, he can get rather wild when he’s hungry’

In my blog 'What's in the Blood' I discuss some of the reasoning behind the title. http://blog.wilkiemartin.com/2013/10/whats-in-blood_7.html
And on PIinterest I include some of the photos that were given to the cover designer to give them a feel for the Cotswolds http://www.pinterest.com/wilkiewrites/cotswold-snaps-for-cover-designer-of-inspector-hob/

Read the opening chapters of Inspector Hobbes and the Blood here http://book2look.com/vBook.aspx?id=ZrFHGPVxgR



Inspector Hobbes and the Curse (unhuman II)

Again set in the Cotswolds, it concerns Andy's infatuation with a dangerously beautiful woman during Hobbes’s investigations into sheep deaths and the mysterious disappearance of pheasants. These incidents appear to be connected to a rash of big cat sightings and something horrible seems to be lurking in the woods, something that will arouse Andy’s primeval terrors.

‘Love may be on the horizon, but beware, something wicked this way comes’

Read the opening chapters of Inspector Hobbes and the Curse here http://book2look.com/book/NqlwpcMhNm



Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers (unhuman III) - published 30 September 2014


Receiving unwanted attention after foiling an armed robbery, the unhuman Inspector Hobbes takes a long-overdue camping holiday, with Andy, his accident-prone friend, and Dregs, the delinquent dog. In the bleak and dangerous Blacker Mountains, Andy stumbles across something shocking, before falling for an attractive widow. On their return to the sleepy Cotswold town of Sorenchester, Hobbes is dumbfounded when Kathy, a reminder of his hippy days, turns up on the doorstep with her baggage.

'I always knew you'd get ahead some day.'

Read the opening chapters of Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers here http://www.book2look.co.uk/vBook.aspx?id=o8I6rbXQPo


Coming Up:

30 September 2014 - book launch for Inspector Hobbes and the Gold Diggers
5 October 2014 - Gloucesterhire Writers Network at Cheltenham Literature Festival
27 November 2014 - Writers in the Brewery at the New Brewery Arts Theatre (by WH Smiths) in Cirencester


Let me know what you make of the books.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Breathing on Glass with Jennifer Cryer at Writers in the Brewery 24 April 2014



In a continuation of the events supporting writers with a local connection, we had a fantastic evening using a slightly different format, in which organiser Rona interviewed Jennifer Cryer about her book Breathing on Glass (http://www.amazon.com/Breathing-On-Glass-Jennifer-Cryer/dp/0349000085 ). Jennifer wrote it for her PhD in creative writing and it was so good and different that it was immediately taken up by an agent and publisher. The novel is an unusual mixture of romance, stem cell research and human fallibility and, as it reflects her earlier career as a scientist, it comes across as authentic and atmospheric. Jennifer said she uses her writing to think about contemporary issues and recommended Stephen Pinker’s ‘The Stuff of Thought’ as an insight into words and how they influence our thoughts.



Paula Coston also read an extract from her new novel, ‘On the Far Side, There’s a Boy’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Far-Side-Theres-Boy/dp/178279574X and there were good readings from Jim Muller, Pam Keevil and Graeme Fletcher. All in all, a very good evening – and I won a bottle of wine in the raffle!

Writers in the Brewery
For more about Writers in the Brewery see the New Brewery Arts website http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk/making-a-visit/writers-in-the-brewery
Writers in the Brewery events are held in the Theatre of New Brewery Arts (next to WH Smiths) on the last Thursday of each month, doors open 7pm for a 7:30pm start and 9:00pm finish. Price £4, which goes to the venue (as does the bar money), so supporting the raffle which helps with the expenses of the speakers/performers. Events are organized by, creative writing teaching, Dr Rona Laycock.

Next Writers in the Brewery
Kevan Manwaring (http://www.kevanmanwaring.co.uk/about-kevan.html ) on 29 May 2014.

Previous Writers in the Brewery
In pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilkiewrites/sets/72157633836920506/

And in words:A touch of Wales from Chris Keil at Writers in the Brewery 27 March 2014
Evan Burgess The Vagrant Troubadour at Writers in the Brewery 27 February 2014



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

A touch of Wales from Chris Keil at Writers in the Brewery 27 March 2014



An enjoyable evening in March at Writers in the Brewery with Chris Keil who is working on his 4th novel in 20 years! It is about Russian oligarchs in London. However, he mostly talked about his third novel, Flirting at the Funeral (Cillian Press Limited). It sounded very interesting, featuring love, sex, money and power during the Portuguese revolution of 1974-75. He read an extract, where the heroine was in a jazz club, which showed what an amazing talent he has for getting across a sense of atmosphere. 

The first part of his talk was quite formal and scripted, but during the second half, he had us laughing and thoroughly engaged in an enjoyable discussion of writing, its pleasures and its pitfalls. I’m not sure how relevant my input was, but I had a memory of the Eurovision Song Contest during the Portuguese Revolution, when the Portuguese singer was in uniform, with a pistol on his hip. According to Chris, that was 1974, the year Abba won with Waterloo!


Writers in the Brewery
For more about Writers in the Brewery see the New Brewery Arts website http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk/making-a-visit/writers-in-the-brewery
Writers in the Brewery events are held in the Theatre of New Brewery Arts (next to WH Smiths) on the last Thursday of each month, doors open 7pm for a 7:30pm start and 9:00pm finish. Price £4, which goes to the venue (as does the bar money), so supporting the raffle which helps with the expenses of the speakers/performers. Events are organized by, creative writing teaching, Dr Rona Laycock.

Next Writers in the Brewery
Kevan Manwaring (http://www.kevanmanwaring.co.uk/about-kevan.html ) on 29 May 2014.

Previous Writers in the Brewery

In pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilkiewrites/sets/72157633836920506/

And in words:
Evan Burgess The Vagrant Troubadour at Writers in the Brewery 27 February 2014
Jenny Farley and David Clarke at Writers in the Brewery 26th September 2013
Howard Timms at Writers in the Brewery, 27th June 2013
Moses Wiggins at Writers in the Brewery, 30 May 2013

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Evan Burgess The Vagrant Troubadour at Writers in the Brewery 27 February 2014



I’m playing catch-up a bit here as I’ve missed writing up the last few Writers in the Brewery events at the theatre of New Brewery Arts, Cirencester. These are regular evenings featuring a mixture of a guest speaker, normally a local writer, and an ‘open mic’ (for fellow writers to test out short pieces. The next session is this week on 29 May 2014 when Kevan Manwaring (http://www.kevanmanwaring.co.uk/about-kevan.html ) will be the guest.

Evan Burgess - Vagrant Troubadour




Evan Burgess got the year’s writing events off to a fantastic start, talking about his time as a busker in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany, singing us some songs and reading a sample chapter from his new book (The Vagrant Troubadour, published by Cotswold Sparrow Publishing). Evan has a great voice, and I could see why, when busking, he was invited to perform at other events. His book covers his adventures and misadventures while busking. Some of his stories are frightening, others are gruesome and some involve more bodily fluids than you would normally come across, but it is a time he wouldn’t have missed for anything. It has left him fluent in Swedish and Danish and with a working knowledge of Norwegian and German, which has got to be useful with so much Nordic-Noir about.




Evan’s book is available by contacting him through entslrs@gmail.com

 

Writers in the Brewery

For more about Writers in the Brewery see the New Brewery Arts website http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk/making-a-visit/writers-in-the-brewery
Writers in the Brewery events are held in the Theatre of New Brewery Arts (next to WH Smiths) on the last Thursday of each month, doors open 7pm for a 7:30pm start and 9:00pm finish. Price £4, which goes to the venue (as does the bar money), but supporting the raffle helps pay the expenses of the guest speakers/performers. Events are organized by creative writing teaching, Dr Rona Laycock.

Previous Writers in the Brewery

In pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilkiewrites/sets/72157633836920506/

And in words:
Jenny Farley and David Clarke at Writers in the Brewery 26th September 2013
Howard Timms at Writers in the Brewery, 27th June 2013
Moses Wiggins at Writers in the Brewery, 30 May 2013