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!

A Glorious Month

This post is by way of a small update really, rather than anything earth-shattering. I thought you might like to know that A Long Time Dead has finally been made perma-free by Amazon UK, a year or so after it went free in the US. This has been great news for fans of ‘the old’ trilogy featuring SOCO Roger Conniston.

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As of writing this post, 9500 people in the UK have downloaded it on Amazon, and a further 3000 or so on Apple. This has planted it within the top 5 in the Crime and Police Procedural charts, and overall it has fluctuated from being just inside the top 20 to where it sits now, which is 45. Happy? Bet your arse I’m happy.nerd-155841_1280

It’s seen a sudden spurt of reviews (mostly very good), and more importantly has prompted downloads of the other two in the series; Stealing Elgar and No More Tears skyrocket to somewhere approaching the sales figures they constantly enjoyed four years ago.

The knock-on effect hasn’t stopped there. The new series, featuring Eddie Collins, has also seen a decent resurgence, but less so than Roger’s.

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Another snippet worthy of note is that I’ve finally finished the first draft of the new Eddie Collins book, Ledston Luck (that’s still a working title). I’m very excited by this because I’ve managed to wangle in a couple of very curly twists that I’m quite proud of. One of them is… Oh wait, that would be a major spoiler so I’ll shut up.

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The New Book – Ooooh!

I’m working on the second draft constantly (great, except my reading over the last year has suffered tremendously), and once it’s done, I shall be firing it out to a couple of trusted readers.

Also finished, apart from a firm title (I know!) and cover art is The Note, another Eddie Collins short story – quite a hard-hitting one. And I’m resurrecting an old short from a couple of years ago called Any Old Iron. It’s not a crime story, it’s more of a horror story really, and that’s for Betsy from Bloodhound who’s compiling an anthology for release later this year. It needs a polish, but other than that it’s ready to go.

My only concern as Ledston Luck (and The Note) draws to a conclusion is how to release them.nmt99ptext book-1468463_1280

The last Eddie Collins book I released fell into a black hole. I happen to think that’s more down to my marketing skills rather than it being a bad story (it ain’t!), and I’d hate for Ledston Luck to follow suit. place-name-sign-1647341_1920There’s talk on the wire of a mailing list and gathering together a team of people to help with book releases, but as I already said, marketing is NOT my strong point. So… well, I’m at a loss as to what to do. Hopefully I’ll think of something soon.

Guest Blog by Eddie Collins

This might be a bad idea, but I thought I’d move over and give Eddie Collins a go on my keyboard. Aside from leaving cigarette ash all over it, he produced this…

So I’ve been asked to write a guest post for some author guy, Bandy Arrett, or something.

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I have no idea what to write about, so I’ll just launch in to the question most people ask me: “Why are you such a prick?”

In my defence, I have to say that I’m more of a people person than most ‘people’ out there – you just ask my author, Randy Ferret. He’ll tell you that I have a rare insight into what drives most people, and that insight suggests it is greed. They want to befriend you so they can get something from you, they want to befriend you so they’ll have someone to blame when things go wrong, or someone to shout at when they mess up. Here’s a lesson for you – I’m not that someone, so stay the hell away, I don’t want to be your friend.

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And anyway, if I am really a prick, is that because all I see each and every day is the utter fuck-up people make of their lives? Of course, it’s not always their fault; sometimes they just befriended the wrong person – see above for instructions on why friendship isn’t a good idea.

zombie-1423927_1920My day is literally full of arseholes, right from the people who are shit at the job and so go on to be supervisors or management, to others who think they would be good at what I do and try to inflict their opinions on what I should do at crime scenes. Listen, Noddy, bugger off and annoy someone else. One of your friends, maybe?

I only feel sorry for a certain kind of arsehole though. They’re the ones who become victims through no fault of their own. Sometimes, no matter how big a body-swerve they give people, they end up being the crime scene I have to examine. They’re the ones I work for; they’re the ones I pull out all the stops for, cut through all the red tape bullshit for. Lesson two for you: don’t get in my way when I’m trying to help one of these people. Hitting the concrete on your arse is liable to play havoc with your piles.

The person I blame the most for all this turmoil that I have to wade through is none other than the biggest arsehole of them all: Cranberry Parrot, so-called crime writer.

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He takes great delight in not only making me deal with grief all day long – I never get invited to anything nice, always there is death and mutilation to cope with – but he also has full backstage access to the rest of my life. And what does he do with it, this writer, this Flangecake Faggot? He torments me by killing my family, he turns me to drink (and I had a hell of a battle getting him to relent and bring me back to sobriety), he punishes my colleagues (not that I’m keen on them anyway), and then he punishes me by hooking me up with Defective Inspector Benson, who has as much idea about doing things right as a defence barrister.

You think you have a lot to deal with? Try being at the beck and call of him for a few hours and see how straight and true you are at the end of it all. You’ll need a season ticket for the local nuthouse – but at least you get your own piss-stained chair and no one wants to be your friend, so it has its plusses.

And finally, to answer the question. I’m such a prick because I have a black life, courtesy of all the trouble I’m forced to live through. But at least I still manage to keep my sense of humour; it usually comes in the form of sarcasm, and I just love taking the piss out of people – it’s something of a hobby for me, and I’ve become quite good at it.carrot-1512079_1920

Anyway, my writer, whatisname, Spangly Carrot, is busy putting me through hell again. I get into big bother with them upstairs in his latest ‘story’ (I use the term loosely), and he kills lots of people in it; some deserve killing, others not so much, but he doesn’t seem to care. He waves his scythe and expects everyone else pick up the pieces – namely me! This time, towards the end, you have to wonder if I’ll even make it out the other side this time. I’ve been quite lucky in the past, but this time…

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Why couldn’t I have been taken on by another writer? Someone with a bit of empathy. I might apply to Stephen Edger or Ed James, or Steven Dunne, or Oliver Tidy, see if they’ve got a spot for me.

Well, erm, thanks for that, Eddie. Would it help if I gave you a love interest?

Nope.

Right.

Crime and thriller writing by a CSI