Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Introducing "Wildfire"

I don’t remember the exact date that I decided to write crime, although I’d been mulling over it for  long time before I first mentioned it on my blog, back in late September. (Back in late September? That’s…less than two months ago).

I’m pleased, if rather shocked, to be able to say that I now have the first draft of the opening novel in what I hope will be a series. My enthusiasm for the project rather overwhelmed me. Not only did I rush to draft one crime novel, but I also have ideas for two or three more, and I’m pretty certain how the stories of the main characters will develop over the series, too. Although I wouldn’t count on that, because characters have a habit of surprising you.

But it’s here, in initial draft form, at least — 67,500 words of error-strewn storytelling waiting for revisions and the for the bugs in the plot to be trapped and eliminated. Wildfire introduces us to DCI Jude Satterthwaite and his team as they struggle to find the identity — and the killer — of a body discovered in the burned-out shell of a ruined building following a grass fire on the shores of scenic Haweswater.

I won’t tell you too much, because no crime novel ever survives a spoiler. But I will say that I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed the puzzle, deciding who the killer was and how s/he committed and covered up the crime. I enjoyed the intellectual exercise of researching how homicides really are investigated and then trying to turn this into something that’s acceptable to a reader without being totally untrue to the process.

Most of all, I enjoyed creating a new cast of characters. Killers are real people, just like their victims and the people who track them down. To understand the crime you need to know the criminal. I enjoyed getting to know them all. And I hope that, one day in the not too distant future, you’ll enjoy getting to know them, too.


  1. You know? Well first... Wow. Quite an accomplishment in so short a time. Now: you make a good point. Writing the character of a criminal sort. You'd have to think like that one. Don't know that I could do that. I'd go too shallow. Possibly, if unconsciously, because I wouldn't want to think deeply of a disturbed mind. Hm.

    1. True, but it' like any kind of fiction, really. Most of the time you have to go somewhere outside your comfort zone. I think I would struggle to get into the minds of some types of criminals, but others...well, sometimes it's just and extension of what we all feel, sometimes.