A new CSI Eddie Collins story – The Note

There’s a rumour going round that a new CSI Eddie Collins story is about to break free.

I can confirm that rumour is true! It’s called The Note.

It’s not a full length novel, it only weighs in at a shade under 13k words, which is about 65 pages or so. But, like The Lift, it’s written in first person, so it’ll seem an even quicker read just because of that.

And it is fast – I’ve written it with no fat or padding, it races from one scene to the next, and I think you’ll enjoy the final scenes especially.

I really enjoy writing Eddie, as you know, and I really enjoy writing short stories from his point of view – it’s very refreshing. I’ve said in previous interviews that I don’t think I could sustain first person writing for an entire novel, and I still believe that to be true – it’s just too exhilarating, and too claustrophobic. But a short is perfect.

Again, as in The Lift, he has no extra baggage, there’s no Charles to worry about, no one from the office to bother us, it’s just us, him, and the story.

I’ve written the blurb, and I’ve prepared a cover image, and now all I have to do is re-read the story once more, maybe tweak it here and there, and then I’ll send it out to my advance readers for their opinions.

If all goes well, I hope to have it on the virtual and physical bookshelves around the 5th May.

I’ll edit this post when I can show you the cover (it’s still under wraps), but for now, please read the blurb, and I’d love to know your reaction to it.

The Note

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.

Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?

I did.

It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.

Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.

I had no idea who sent it, or why they wanted to kill me.

But I was about to find out.

BBC Interviews, February and March 2017

Being interviewed via email is so very easy, and I really enjoy them too! I have time to think about my answers, about how I’d like to come across depending upon the tone of the questions.

But in February, BBC Radio Leeds contacted me and asked if I’d like to do an interview on the radio! No way could I refuse – how often does a request like this land in my inbox? But, if truth be known, I wasn’t looking forward to it. As well as email interviews, I don’t mind one-to-one questioning; in fact I quite enjoy it. But speaking to an audience of thousands on the air! I was petrified.

But then I relaxed a little because it was a pre-recorded interview. I could make as many blunders as I liked and none of them would ever make it out alive. As it turned out, the lady interviewing me, Gayle Lofthouse, was a true professional, and she kept the nerves at bay.

It was a short interview, but I’m very grateful to her and BBC Radio Leeds for the chance to speak with her.

Here’s a link to the Gayle Lofthouse show. I hope you enjoy listening to me squirm!

But if I was petrified by a pre-recorded interview, imagine how I felt when I got an email asking if I’d like to appear on the radio live! Andrew Edwards’s producer contacted me with a view to doing a live interview on the 6th March, for his Book Hour show.

My nervousness steadily increased. And so did the bad case of man-flu I was suffering from too. It became so bad that on the 5th I had to ring and cancel – I could barely speak. All those sweaty palms were for nothing. The BBC though were very understanding, and we re-scheduled the torture for the following Monday – right before I was due to start work. I’d have to take my uniform to the studio with me, and drive like a madman in order to get to work on time.

Bear in mind that I talk gibberish (my lady, Sarah, calls it wobbly-gob!) when I’m under pressure, and you’ll understand why I get so giddy on air during my time there. I was terrified, and sometimes when I’m terrified I’m liable to break out in the odd bout of swearing. And this thought just added to the terror.

I needn’t have worried too much though, as Gayle before him, Andrew was a consummate pro, and he guided me along quite nicely. You might notice that he threw in a low-baller right at the end, and I was flummoxed; couldn’t think straight and so I said the first thing that came to mind, and wish I hadn’t. Tom Cruise? Really? Sorry, Tom.

In fact, the interview went so well that, while he was playing some music, Andrew asked if I’d like to extend it. He had a pre-recorded interview with another author lined up, but said he’d play that another day. I’d never get asked this kind of question again, and so I agreed, knowing I was in real danger being late for work.

So the ten minute session turned into twenty-five minutes. But that didn’t make me late for work. What did make me late was that I’d forgotten my boots, and so I had to drive home for them anyway. Tut.

Here’s the link to the Andrew Edwards interview.

Note, these files are very large. Google will give you the option of downloading them in order for you to listen them.

Ledston Luck Launch Day 20th January 2017

Launch Day.

I take my hat off to Amazon. I’ve had Ledston Luck uploaded onto the dashboard for the better part of 6 weeks. All I had to do to launch it was press GO. But I kept it there until the advertised launch date so that I might fix any errors that advance readers might find – and they did. They have amazing eyes for this kind of thing. But anyway, I take my hat off to Amazon because when I hit the big green GO button, a message saying ‘It can take up to 72 hours for your book to go live’.

I had chest pains at that, and I went a little light-headed. I was sure – absolutely sure – that it usually took 12 hours, not 72! That had just shattered my launch day into a million tiny fragments.

But, and at last this is why I take my hat off to them, they published it in less than six hours. It was available to buy from about 11pm on the 19th January – precisely one hour ahead of scheduled time, about 6pm New York time.

And so I awoke this morning (after having screamed my way through the night because of a cramp in my right calf that felt like it was being eaten right off my leg without anaesthetic) with some superb news. People had noticed it was available and had bought it, and had uploaded their reviews. It really doesn’t get much better than that for us authors.

But it has.

Already, only 18 hours into its new life, Ledston Luck has charted at number 15 in Legal Thrillers (UK), and is #2009 overall.

I already said this somewhere on Facebook; but I smiled so wide that my chin almost fell off.

It hasn’t been jelly and cake all day though. I’ve been busy. There were well over 100 Facebook notifications, and approximately 80 emails to attend to. And I’ve just finished those now, some nine hours after I climbed out of the shower.

If this is what it’s like being a full-time writer…

Bring it on!

I’ll try to do another blog post at the end of the week, and we’ll see how well Ledston Luck did in her first few days on earth.

But in the meantime, to everyone who’s help this thing into the public gaze, and to everyone who’s read it, loved it, and reviewed it…

THANK YOU!

Ledston Luck Giveaway

As of writing this, we still have three weeks to wait before we see Ledston Luck appear on Amazon. Honestly, I can feel the buzz in my fingertips caused by the anticipation. I hope its launch will be one to remember, and to mark it, I’m offering three signed copies.

The Giveaway is on Goodreads, so to have a chance of winning, please see the link at the end of this post.

Many people already think this book is my best so far, and have given it some fantastic reviews:

“Ledston Luck is a truly gripping crime book.”

“It’s a story that will have you feeling a whole array of emotions whilst leaving your heart racing and feeling breathless.”

“This book’s packed with action but there’s room for thoughtful contemplation, too.”

“Eddie is such a well-drawn character that it is easy to feel all the emotions he’s going through. At times I was in tears.”

“Totally engrossed in from page 1.”

“So much tension and edge-of-the-seat moments to keep your attention, this is a real sleep stealer of a book that I read in a day it was that gripping.”

“The main character, Eddie Collins who works in CSI, is a character that I fell in love with. “

“Attention to detail is excellent, as well as procedure. “

“Another brilliant book from one of my favourite authors.”

To read these reviews (and more of them) in full, see here.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ledston Luck by Andrew Barrett

Ledston Luck

by Andrew Barrett

Giveaway ends January 31, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

The End of Ledston Luck

I have a feeling of déjà vu.

I’m at the end of a book. I’ve finished the first draft, finished the second draft where I check the story, tighten it up, ditch the stuff that the story doesn’t need, and add bits where it needs reinforcing. I’ve finished the third draft where I check the spelling and the grammar. And it’s been out to several key readers who spot the deliberate mistakes I left in for them to find. Fourth draft is in the bag.beak-1294093_1280

Now it’s ready for the cover and for the blurb. As if by magic, they’re now ready too. Would you like to see it, the blurb? You would? Oh, how wonderful! Here it is:

They say you can always trust a copper. They’re lying.

They lied thirty years ago and they’re still lying today.

A booby-trapped body in a long-abandoned chapel. A scene examination that goes horribly wrong. CSI Eddie Collins and DI Benson are injured and one of the team killed. Eddie is heartbroken and guilt-ridden. And angry.

To find out who the killer is, they must first discover the motive. Their breakthrough comes when two young burglars disappear in the village of Ledston Luck. Eddie picks a fight with the wrong man, and is suspended from duty. But he can’t let go of the investigation. He finds the secrets behind a thirty-year-old murder and comes face to face with the killer – on the wrong end of a shotgun.

But this is where the déjà vu ends. In the past, whenever I’ve released a book, I’ve just hit ‘publish’, folded my arms and sat back in the chair, watching. People who’ve waited for them have read them and enjoyed them – I know this because they were kind enough to leave a review telling me so. And that’s been the end of it. I got back to writing a new story, hoping the next one would take off in more spectacular fashion.blog-1616979_1920

Ledston Luck is the fourth CSI Eddie Collins novel, and this time I’m more hopeful of achieving that ‘spectacular’ release. Over the last few years I’ve become friends with some wonderful book people: writers, bloggers, and book fans. I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel that they’ve all come together to help me release Ledston Luck with a bit of a bang rather than a damp whimper.

I still have no idea how those bloggers and readers will receive it, but I live in hope that they enjoy it – it’s why I do it. It’s why every author does it.pants-1255847_1280

Normally when I reach the end of a book, I have a hollow feeling inside; something like sadness, something like a loss, like I’m missing something. Is it homesickness? Kind of, I suppose. It’s something I can only assuage by starting another story, right back at square one. It’s a sickness, but not an unpleasant one. With the imminent release of Ledston Luck, that hollow sadness isn’t something I’ve had the time to feel. No doubt it’ll hit me soon, and then I’ll begin looking around for more situations to dump Eddie into – I know he’ll thank me once he reads this.killer-820017_1920

Progress

A little late to update you about October’s news, but better late…

Anyway, the ‘old gal’, A Long Time Dead, has sat comfortably inside the top 100 since it went free in September, and so far it’s never been outside the top 10 in Crime and Police Procedurals. DeadSpine (Custom)She’s also gone on to collect her 70th review, and is somewhere approaching the 25,000 downloads marker; doing well on Apple as well as on Amazon. All this makes my little heart skip. But following on from that is the news that Stealing Elgar (my favourite of Roger’s trilogy) is doing rather well too, as is the final instalment, No More Tears.

In all honesty, I thought this trilogy had run out of steam, (A Long Time Dead was written 20 years ago). Even one of the latest reviews said it ‘was dated but still a good yarn’. But I’m happy to report than even though crime scene examination has come a very long way since 1997, the stories are still good enough to entertain – and really, that’s the whole point.BBRspine (Medium)

Because of the success of that first trilogy, I’ve rather neglected thettrfrontcover29-9-16 current crop of Eddie Collins books. But it’s wonderful to see that they’re doing okay all by themselves, in particular The Third Rule, which regularly grazes inside the top 100. At some point in the very near future, I must run a promo on them and see if they’d benefit from a little exposure.

And that leads me nicely onto the current project, entitled Ledston Luck. It’s on the third edit. And once I’ve finished that, I’ll fire it out to readers for their opinions. And then I have to formulate a release strategy (be quiet at the back there!). As I’ve mentioned before, I also have a very exciting Eddie short story to back up the novel – like a support group at a gig – that I can release before, or even afterwards, to help bolster sales and get people talking about Eddie Collins.portcullis-transparent

That’s all for now. If I think of anything else you might be interested in, I’ll be right back. As always, if you have any questions for me, please get in touch; I love to chat!

Crime and thriller writing by a CSI