Tag Archives: Books

It’s been too long…

It’s been a long time since I last posted, and I’m afraid this is going to be quite a brief post.

As with most things in life, things just seemed to get in the way and I wasn’t able to devote the sort of time to my blog that I had done in the past.

But I’m happy to say that I am now back and with you, and I’m working on bringing the next Giles story, The Court of Obsessions, out by the end of the year.

Over the next few months, I’ll put out some tasters of what to expect with this latest addition to the Giles saga, and I may even be putting a call out for volunteers who’d like to preview the next book.

If you’re interested, give me a shout.

I’m also hoping to bring back a bit of the analysis of other author’s work that used to be a staple of this blog before I brought out The Bluebell Informant. Stay tuned for more details of this, hopefully coming next week.

In the meantime, I’m glad to be back, and thank you to all those who are still with me and anxiously waiting for my future posts.

All the best!

Nick

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Why Did I Want to Become a Writer? – Good Question…

 

Picture this.

A young Nick Tingley, still at school – probably about primary age – coming home one day and scooting up to his bedroom. On his bookcase, there are a fair number of books. Some of them have been read to death, others have hardly been touched at all. Occasionally he might stop and look at the whole expanse of vibrant covers. He would spend minutes at a time carefully examining each individual book for what he wanted…

But it was all kind of pointless really. He would invariably reach for the same one every time.

Few of his friends had heard of Gideon Gander Solves The Worlds Greatest Mysteries by David Henry Wilson. Those that had didn’t really make a point of reading it all that often. But Nick absolutely loved it. There was something about this quaint story of a farmyard gander who went around poking his nose into other people’s affairs and solving crimes that didn’t actually exist that inspired that young boy.

In fact, it was that book that fuelled Nick’s love of crime fiction. So I guess David Henry Wilson is to blame for it all…


Flash forward fifteen to twenty years or so. 

Nick Tingley is now grown up. Well, he’s supposed to be grown up – but in reality he still thinks very similarly to that young boy who used to read about Gideon Gander and his adventures. Only I suppose he’s a little wiser and more aware of the world around him.

He still stares at bookshelves for hours on end. Not necessarily because he wants to read something, but more because there is something oddly comforting about them.

You see, Nick Tingley suffers from extreme anxiety – most people would call it OCD. In fact Nick has been known to spend hours attempting to leave his apartment – he seems to get stuck in an endless loop of checking everything from locks to plug sockets. And it’s not because he is an overly cautious person normally – it’s just like there is some sort of demonic being inside his head, constantly poking and prodding at him, questioning every action and decision he makes.

He stares at the books, not because he is looking for something to read – most of the books he stares at are those he has read a dozen times before. No. He stares at them because they are the single fixed point in what is a constantly changing world. Those books will always be there. And they will never be anywhere other than precisely where Nick has put them…

And that is relaxing for him.

The only difference is that Gideon Gander is no longer on the shelves. That book disappeared a long time ago. Nick can’t even remember when and how…

When he’s writing, Nick is at peace. He writes because he enjoys it, he writes because he loves telling a good tale. But he also writes because the world outside is so complicated, and everyone seems to have their own opinion of it, which only serves to make it even more complicated. The stories that Nick writes are his way of explaining the world. He takes all the issues that he sees around him and condenses them down into a single problem. Then – using the narrative of his stories – he solves that problem.

In those hours, he can type away and dream and understand. In those hours, he can fly…

But there is still something not right…


There’s one more place I want to take you. 

A few weeks ago, I just happened to remember Gideon Gander. I recalled those hours I spent devouring that book and reading it again and again until the pages frayed and began to fall out.

I went online and I found it. It’s not been printed for a good time but, by some stroke of luck, someone was selling one second-hand (or third or fourth – I didn’t really care). I bought it and it arrived at my home a few days later. I held it in my hands and admired the front cover.

This was the book that inspired me to write.

This was the book that created my love of crime fiction.

This book allowed me deal with my own problems in a way that was fun, hard work and intensely rewarding.

All those hours and days and weeks and months of diligently ripping apart my own work, breaking it down and starting again; the characters and the plots and the unnervingly real settings all stemmed from the love of a single book.

And now I have it again. Sat on my desk at all times where I can’t miss it.

And it isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

It’s Release Day!

It’s been a long time in the planning, but the day is finally here. The Bluebell Informant has finally been officially released to download!! Check it out at Nook and Kobo to get it for free! (If you’re a Kindle reader, here’s the Amazon link – but read on if you want to get it for free!)

That’s right – after nearly two years of work, I’ve finally got the first chapter of the DS Evelyn Giles series out into the world, and so far the response has been awesome.

How do you catch a killer who is already dead?

One year ago, the Bluebell Killer killed his last victim. He was shot and killed, leaving behind a legacy of twenty corpses and a name that people will fear for years to come…

A year later, a man is shot in the back of the head and left in a field of bluebells.
Is it a mugging gone wrong? A copycat killer? Or is the Bluebell Killer still out there, waiting to pounce on his next victim?

For DS Evelyn Giles the solution is simple – it’s just another dirty politician caught committing an unforgiveable crime. But with the evidence stacking up against him, Giles’ suspect has one more surprise in store for her…
And his words will throw everything she knows into question…

‘It’s not over yet.’

The past is coming back to haunt DS Giles. She’s already sacrificed much for the lie. The only question is how much more will she suffer for the truth?

Add on top of that – the first Giles Case is coming to its conclusion today. If you haven’t been following the case so far, check it out now. There is a chance to win some nice little goodies if you can guess the identity of the killer and the motive for murder – perfect for all you crime fiction buffs out there. The competition closes on the 14th April, so make sure you get your entries in by then. It’s free to enter and should be quite fun.

And – as if that wasn’t enough for today – I am delighted to announce that I am currently elbow deep in sorting out a paperback version of The Bluebell Informant, which should be released in the coming months. As some of you may know, I wanted to give the Bluebell Informant away, but a large portion of my readers are keen to have a physical copy even if it will cost them a bit to get it…

What was that rule about giving the people what they want…?

Anyway, more updates on that to follow.

Oh – and on the subject of cost…

Despite their price matching promise, Amazon are still charging for the Kindle version of The Bluebell Informant – for the time being at least. Sure it’s only £0.99 (or $1.23) but that’s still £0.99 more than I wanted to give it away for.

So – being a man of my word – I have set up my own giveaway so that the Kindle readers amongst you can still get a free copy to read. Just follow the link and you will be able to download a copy that you can then send to your Kindle address…

Just follow this link. 

Check it out and – if you get a chance – please take a few moment to leave a review as well. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Four Titles for 2017

Well, 2016 is nearly over.

Now is the time of year where people look back at the year gone by and think about what they’d like to change about themselves. Maybe they want to lose weight, or join a gym. Perhaps they want to finally write that novel they’ve been thinking about for five years. Maybe they want a new car, or a kid, or look for a new job, or give up chocolate, or only eat smoked salmon on special occasions…

Now comes the flurry of New Year’s Resolutions.

And, in a way, what I’m about to announce could be seen as a sort of New Year’s Resolution – but I like to see it more as a marketing plan…

So, without further ado…

It is my very great pleasure to announce that Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles will leap into the published world this year!

That’s right, after nearly three years of wrangling with her – and two years of writing her first novel – The Bluebell Informant will be available to read from April this year!

But there’s more.

I’ll be releasing it for free!

That’s right – free!

But wait, there is still more to come.

The release of The Bluebell Informant will mark the start of a (punishing) release schedule over the next twelve months. Following in the wake of The Bluebell Informant, I intend to release not only the next instalment in the Giles series, The Court of Obsessions, but also a collection of my short stories AND the first in my Patrick Conroy series, The Butcher of Barclay’s Hollow.

That’s right – four books of varying lengths will be released over the course of 2017.

I think it’s safe to say that 2017 is going to be a very tough, yet hopefully rewarding, year for me.

Want to be first to know when these books are being released?

Sign up to my Nick R B Tingley New Releases newsletter for more details.

In the meantime, I thought I’d leave you with something quite exciting – the cover art for
The Bluebell Informant.

3dmodel

Excited yet?

I know I am…

 

You win, I win.

So, I’ve spent the last few days frantically writing my new Giles story. But, unlike most of my work to date – in fact, unlike most writer’s work – this story is completely different in that I will only be writing the ending…

What?

No, I still haven’t lost it yet. And yes, I am absolutely on the level.

My latest Giles story, The Cheating Jeweller, is going to consist of a single chapter that forms the very end of the story.

Seriously. What?

Alright. Let me explain.

A few days ago, I announced the arrival of DS Evelyn Giles on the Twitter stage. Since then, I’ve had had some varied responses from some equally intrigued readers:

‘Is this just a gimmick?’

‘Is there any point to this?’

‘How are you going to make this work?’

In answer to these questions:

Yes, it is a gimmick – of sorts anyway. I wouldn’t do something like this without having some sort of plan and the ultimate plan is to spread the word about my character and my stories, so yes it is kind of a gimmick – no way around that one I’m afraid.

Yes, there is a point to it – the idea is to introduce the character of DS Giles and my stories to people in a way that is (a) a little different (and b) in bitesized chunks so that readers can fit it into their otherwise busy lives. By the time I’m finished with the DS Giles Twitter account, I will hopefully have given people not only a taste of the Giles character, but also of my work in general as well…

Which brings me to the third question. How am I going to make this work?

Hence my comments at the beginning of the post.

I have designed a story called The Cheating Jeweller, which will be released to those who follow Giles Twitter account (and also to anyone who reads this blog) over the course of five days, and in bitesized chunks.

Over the course of these five days, I will be encouraging readers to try to solve the crime before a set deadline. Anyone who submits their solution and gets it right will automatically be entered into a draw to win some cool crime fiction prizes and then the solution to the crime will be released to all in the form of the final chapter of the story.

So, what’s the benefit for you, the reader?

Well let’s start with the obvious: You get a chance to work out the solution to a crime as you watch it unfold over Twitter, you could win some cool prizes and (even if you don’t) you get to have a bit of fun while you’re doing it. In addition to this you’ll basically get a sample chapter of my work (a chapter that no one else will ever see) for free – not a bad deal for a few minutes of your logic.

The benefit for me?

Well, first off I get to do something a little different – I always wanted to try my hand at writing a story over Twitter and this gives me the perfect excuse to try it. Second off, I will hopefully be exposing DS Giles to a whole new collection of readers, and maybe – just maybe – some of them might decide they like what they read and come back to me when I release The Bluebell Informant.

Even if that doesn’t pan out, I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, which is really a reward in itself.

As far as I’m concerned it’s a win-win situation. So if you’re interested in taking part, follow Giles on Twitter or keep an eye out for the daily updates as they start coming through this blog.

I hope you have as much fun engaging with it, as I did creating it…

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a chapter to polish…

DS Giles is on Twitter!! And she’s offering prizes…

That’s right, my main character, Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles, is now on Twitter.

And no, I haven’t gone mad.

Not yet at any rate.

A few days ago, I created a Twitter account for DS Giles, which you can now find here if you wanted to check it out.

And I thoroughly suggest you do (you’ll see why in a minute).

My reasons for doing this are long and varied, but ultimately it comes down to a number of factors:

First – I wanted to draw in some potential new readership by allowing people to interact with Giles and see the world through her eyes before ever having to read any of her books – a test drive if you will.

Second – I wanted to do something a little fun, do something a little more experimental with my character. I mean – in a world where we can interact with the news, why can’t we interact with a character from a novel. It’s a little weird, yes, but I’ll have a lot of fun with it – and I’m hoping you will to.

Remember, you can find Giles’ Twitter page right here. Check it out.

Now, as part of this interactivity, I wanted to appeal to my readers in a unique way. Most people who read crime fiction have at least a basic desire to experience the thrill of a criminal investigation or even the crime itself. We like to second guess our suspects and try to work out the solution before our hero – it’s what we all live for.

So I thought, why can’t I put my readers up against Detective Sergeant Giles?

The simple – and wonderful – answer is, absolutely nothing.

So this is how it’s going to work.

At set times, DS Giles’ Twitter account will announce that on a certain date she will begin investigating a case (that I have designed) from the moment she is called out. She will tweet every clue and red herring she comes across, every feeling or observation and quote from all the suspects and witnesses. A little bit of the case – every day.

Just like in a crime fiction novel – only simpler.

And, as readers, you will have the chance to follow her and try to find the solution before her. You can follow her through her Twitter account or simply through the hashtag #GilesCase .

On the final day, Giles will post a link and everyone who has taken an interest will be given the opportunity to submit their solution to the crime. From those who successfully work it out, one lucky winner will be randomly selected to win a cool, crime-fiction related prize.

Still not checked out Giles’ Twitter page yet? Well here it is just in case.

So, what’s the benefit for the reader you may ask?

Well there are actually three benefits:

  1. You get to test drive Giles and my skills of creating a compelling crime before you have to dedicate any real time to reading one of my books.
  2. You get to pit your own detective skills against Giles.
  3. You get the chance to win some pretty cool prizes.

And, for those of you who aren’t using Twitter but are still loyal readers nonetheless there is a fourth benefit:

4. I will posting a transcript of the day’s tweets at the end of each day – so you can still      join in the fun without having to go through the palaver of signing up to Twitter just to take part.

Sounding fun? Here’s that Twitter page one more time

Follow Giles’ account and stay tuned. I get the feeling there’s a case coming up right around the corner…

First Lines: The Ghost – Robert Harris

The moment I hear how McAra died I should have walked away. I can see that now. I should had said, ‘Rick, I’m sorry, this isn’t for me, I don’t like the sound of it,’ finished my drink and left. But he was such a good storyteller, Rick – I often thought he should be the writer and I the literary agent – that once he’d started talking there was never any question I wouldn’t listen, and by the time he had finished, I was hooked.

And so are we.

Robert Harris’ political thriller, The Ghost, was truly a story of its time. The tale of a ghostwriter uncovering the secrets of a former prime minister, resonated well with the British public as news of Tony Blair the Iraq conspiracy hit the headlines. Written and released within months of Blair’s resignation, the story tapped into many of the conspiracy theories that were floating around at the time and, for that reason alone, guaranteed that it would be read by a wide audience…

But it is the opening lines that really launch this story.

In the first instance, we are hit with a horrible revelation. Macro – whoever he is – is dead. We don’t know who he is or what he does, whether he has a link to our main character or not – all we know is that he’s dead and, by virtue of being mentioned in the very first line, we know it has something to do with the rest of the plot.

From the very first sentence, we are set up to expect a thriller where murder is on the cards.

More than that though, we also learn something about our main character in these first words. ‘I should have walked away’ – our main character can sense the danger he is in from the very first line and yet curiosity keeps him from walking away. It doesn’t surprise the reader later on that the whole story is driven by the investigative instincts of this character (who incidentally is never named) and the reason why the reader accepts it so readily is because the detail is there right in the opening line.

As an introduction to the themes of the book, the opening passage does it quite well (and subtly).

 

The entire story of The Ghost revolves around the main character attempting to pick apart the various stories that the main characters have. All of them – whether it is the Prime Minister or his PA or his wife – tell tales throughout the novel, masking the truth behind a veneer of good storytelling. Even the main character himself spends the vast majority of the first part of the novel attempting to do precisely the same thing – weaving a convincing story about the Prime Minister’s life that would entertain readers whilst forwarding the politician’s agenda…

And that theme is right here in the opening paragraph.

Sure, there is no mention of politics at this stage, no talk of corruption or double dealings – even the death of McAra is explained so briefly that the reader is unsure of whether it was an accident or murder. But the unnamed ghost writer’s musings on how good a storyteller Rick is – how he manages to weave a convincing tale in order to get him interested – is not unlike the actions of the characters in the rest of the story. Right from the beginning, Harris sets the precedent – anyone will tell a story to get what they want. And that idea follows through the whole novel right up to the final pages.

In little more than a few sentences, Harris has us hooked – and the rest of the book is just as intriguing…

Now it’s your turn.

What does this opening do for you? Does Harris get you hooked or do you still need a bit more convincing? Is the introduction of the themes of this book too subtle for your liking? Have you read The Ghost? Did you enjoy it?

As always, if you like what you’ve read (and I would hope if you’ve read this far that you did), press that like button at the bottom of the post. Or, if you’re not a blogger, share it on Facebook, Twitter and whatever else you can think of.

Don’t agree with me? Didn’t like the post? Leave a comment down below and let me know why. Anyone can comment so don’t be shy.

And if you have a suggestion for a future First Lines book? Leave your suggestion below.

Keep on reading.