The Writing Years
I started writing about 7 years ago and since then I've written 3 western novels and a horror novel. I have plans laid out for a 4 th western, a 2 nd horror and a science fiction novel that I've already started. More about the books later.
In July of 2004 I had severe trouble with 2 discs in my back that had swollen and were giving me excruciating pain. I couldn't walk or even stand up; in fact it was even excruciating to turn over in bed. After 9 days, during which my wife and I were worn to a frazzle, I ended up in hospital and after various scans I was told that it would be a long haul to get me back on my feet. Anything from 6 to 18 months.
At the age of 62 there seemed no option but to retire so that put paid to my 40 years career as a Country Music singer and entertainer.
I knew that my back trouble would take much longer to heal on account of my being born with Cerebral Palsy. And the last few years in the music business had been very hard indeed. There was some sadness at leaving entertainment but I had my writing to look forward to and it meant I would have much more time to devote to it. As one door closes another one opens – how true. More about my music career later.
Paul Mould Publishing of Boston in Lincolnshire has published 3 of my books so far and is interested in 2 more, at least.
I created Sheriff Jud Harris and his compadres in TO HELL WITH THE BADGE in 1998. Earlier that year I had been attending classes for Creative Writing at our local Secondary school and the tutor, a published author, told me to stick with it as I definitely could write. He gave us a piece to write, as homework, a couple of paragraphs for the beginning of a western. I wrote a complete chapter and the tutor, David Wiseman, said it would be criminal not to go ahead and write the whole novel; so I did and TO HELL WITH THE BADGE was born. My first complete novel – it felt extremely good. None of the publishers wanted it – westerns are not popular anymore they said. One publisher said I should expand a section of my book into a complete novel but make it shorter than the original.
I did as they suggested and DEATH ON A ROPE came into being. I sent it off to them but they still didn't like my style so I decided to print it up myself on my computer and Epson printer. I bought a binder and produced both books which I sold on my gigs. They went very well and a lot of people wanted a 3 rd western – they liked my style.
I finished TWISTED RIVER just into the new year of 2004 and a couple of months later Paul Mould contacted me and said he would like to read my books so I sent them off to him and he decided to publish TWISTED RIVER first. That was ok because TWISTED RIVER was actually the first book if you take the 3 in chronological order. All 3 books have the same lead characters and Paul Mould and my readers liked that which pleased me because I wanted to write a few more with these same guys.
A short while later he published TO HELL WITH THE BADGE and said he would prefer DEATH ON A ROPE to be longer so I set about re-writing it and adding in a second plot line. I finished it at the back end of April 2005 because I wanted to finish THE GREY MAN first, that's my horror novel. Paul liked that one as well so it was published in 2004. THE GREY MAN is about 2 Â½ times longer than the westerns so I'm really quite proud of that one. I have another horror novel planned called the THE PASSAGE but it will depend on how well THE GREY MAN sells.
Speaking of planned novels, I've already started writing my 4 th western called AS GOOD AS DEAD and I have an outline for a 5 th one called BIG BEND, so I'm going to be pretty busy. I've also started writing a science fiction novel called HARVESTand I'm really looking forward to finishing that one as I'm a bit of a science fiction fan.
My books are now available through Amazon
So that's where I am to date with the writing; I will now tell you a bit about my 40 years music career.