September 26th 2008

Hello there, readers. Glad you're back.

On Tuesday last, my dear wife, Celia, fell and broke her wrist. Needed an ambulance to take her to hospital, where she had to have it set and then reset with the support of what they call gas and air. It was, of course, nitrous oxide, but absolutely nothing happened at all that made her laugh. Bless her. She is now wearing a plaster cast that weighs more than a Strangeways porridge cooker. Her face is down to her boots, and who do you think is doing the nursing, the shopping, the cooking, washing up, feeding the cats and the birds, and everything else?

I thought for a time that I wouldn’t be able to get to the northern chapter meeting of the Crime Writers Association (the CWA) on Sunday. However, she very kindly let me off the hook to go.

The meeting was held in a posh hotel in Lancashire. It was a smaller turnout than usual due to illness; also some members had delayed their holidays due to the bad summer and were taking them then.

My good friend Peter N. Walker (who also writes under the name of Nicholas Rhea) who wrote and created the ‘Heartbeat’ series and writes the ‘Constable’ books was not there. He hardly ever misses a meeting, but this last year, he hasn’t been too well; just as he was getting on his feet, his lovely wife, Rhoda broke her leg (skiing, no doubt), so Peter is having to mix the Martinis, take the money to Barclays and throw the fish and chip papers out for the both of them, for the time being.

At the lunch, I sat next to my good friend, Shirley Wells and her husband Nick. Shirley tells me she has just finished a book she has been working on for more than a year. She keeps reading it and polishing it, and one day, very soon, she’s going to print it off and send it to her publisher. She’s had about six good sellers published, so she shouldn’t have anything at all to worry about.

Met up with Meg Elizabeth Atkins who reminisced about the time we used to have CWA meetings in The Queen’s Hotel in Leeds. She remembers me as I do her, but that was over twenty years ago. She has written some very hairy books in the past. Meg writes much less often now, but enjoys organizing the Association’s conferences and meetings.

Also met for the first time a delightful lady and very busy writer who now lives in Leeds, Frances McNeil, winner of the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin award for the most regionally evocative debut saga of the Millenium, ‘Somewhere Behind the Morning’. She has written plays and short stories for the BBC, written novels, worked in the US. Been everywhere. Done everything. Seen everything. Makes you sick.

The national chairman, Lesley Horton, was there, and told us that the national committee are negotiating with a major TV company to be the new sponsor of the Silver Dagger Crime Writers’ Association awards. If that comes off, it should be exciting and open the door to a wider choice of crime fiction to viewers of that particular channel and more work for lesser known writers, instead of the same, usual half a dozen regulars.

The northern chapter chairman, Roger Forsdyke, who happens to be a superintendent of police, said that the 2009 national conference was to be held in Lincoln. That’s great news for me. I can probably get to that without staying away from home.

The meeting finished after the lunch and I got home at about four o’clock to my darling Celia, a sink full of pots, a meal to cook and the cats to feed. Anyway, it was great fun meeting old friends.

You know, I’d love to hear from you. If you send me an interesting email, I might publish it here and you could maybe see it maybe in a week or two.

I got an appreciative email from Edward Day in South Wales, who was very complimentary about Angel and said ‘could you please promote the ever eager Police Cadet Ahmed Ahaz, he does so deserve it.’
I was able to reply to Edward that Ahmed had been promoted, a few books back, to the rank of Police Constable following passing a course at Aykley Heads Police Training College, near Durham. But thanks very much for that, Edward.

Must go. Got another sink full of pots to wash. And a book to write. Thanks for looking in. Please come back in a little while and I’ll tell you what Angel’s up to and how I’m getting on.

If you want to get back to the main website, click on Roger Silverwood – Crime Writer, up on the right. God bless.
September 17th 2008

I say, members of the Crime Writers Association (the CWA) who live in the north will be getting ready for the six-monthly meeting and luncheon of the Northern Chapter which will be held in a hotel somewhere central on Sunday next, September 21st. I am not allowed to say exactly where, because it is for members only and the famous faces wouldn’t want the press and celebrity spotters watch them as they tuck their serviettes in their shirt collars and dip their bread in the gravy. It’s understandable really …

Crime writers will travel a hundred miles or more to meet old friends, have a meal, a ginger beer and talk about stuff like changes in the gun laws, publishers’ advances, book sales, TV rights and the apostrophe. It might sound like the stuff out of Strangeways slop buckets to you, but it’s the very lifeblood to writers like me, who spend hours and hours on their own, tapping away at a computer keyboard, thinking up characters, bringing them to life and putting them in original and believable plots.

Anyway, I’ll tell you about it when I get back next week. Thanks for looking in.

If you want to get back to the main website, click on Roger Silverwood – Crime Writer, above to the right.

Happy reading!

September 13th 2008

I am simply bursting to tell you that my book was accepted. Got a letter and contract in the post this morning. If you’ve been following this diary, you’ll know that last week I submitted my latest Angel book to the publishers for their consideration.

It will be called THE CUCKOO CLOCK SCAM. This was the book I had had such difficulty with because I had been diverted twice for different reasons and had to reread twice and concentrate really hard to get into the spirit of the book and get back into the plot. It was well worth the effort. I hope you will think it’s a good read. It won’t be published until about this time next year, but the publishers get on with the pre-production such as the ideas for the dust jacket, and working out exactly how many pages it will be and if I have the apostrophe in the right place and so on.
Do you know, if I could drink a bottle of champagne, I’d open one today; as I can’t, it’ll have to be a cup of Tetleys.

I’ll get back to you soon. Thanks for looking in. If you want to get back to the main website, scroll up to the top right and click on Roger Silverwood – Crime Writer.
September 6th 2008.

Hello there. This is my fourth entry. I think I’m getting the hang of this diary writing caper. It is certainly creating a lot of interest. But I may have to make future contributions to it shorter, though. After all, my prime writing commitment has got to be to the publisher. If I don’t get my Angel books written in the first place, then Hales can’t publish them, and nobody would ever hear the latest about what Michael Angel and his wife, Mary, Ahmed and the rest of them are doing. And this diary, about them and me would be totally irrelevant (if you see what I mean). Also, if I owe you an email, hang on in there. I’ll get round to it as soon as I can.

On Saturday 23rd August, my youngest nephew, Andrew and his lovely wife, Mandy and their two adopted boys, James and Kieron came over from Bridlington to see us. They are definitely emigrating to New Zealand. They’ve both got jobs waiting. The only thing that is stopping them is the selling of their house. They’ll be off as soon as they get a purchaser. What about that? But it’s a long way. We shall miss them terribly.

On Saturday, 30th August, I finally finished the book. Oh what a relief! I had been through it again, laboriously questioning every word, tightening the plot, rounding the characters, still finding little inconsistencies and typos. My wife, Celia, also finally went through it and found a few more. Anyway, I printed it off on Sunday, packed it up and posted it off first thing last Monday morning. All I can do about it now is wait and hope.

On Sunday, 31st August, I heard from my old friend Matthew Elliott. Matthew has written stacks of radio plays. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of crime fiction both American and British and writes articles on that subject for trade magazines. He is very busy too. He has a commission to write a new series of that cult hero, Mike Hammer.

My wife’s cousin, Jennifer and her husband Derek Mold in Sheringham, Norfolk, were in touch also last Sunday, and he played his digiridoo for us over the phone. It’s a sort of one note instrument and through simultaneously breathing in and out allows the one beautiful, atmospheric note to be played non stop for long periods. It’s very soothing. Derek is a skilled player and is going back to Australia soon for more lessons. It’s absolutely true.

On Monday, September 1st, - hey, this was exciting - I got an invitation to dinner with America’s Sherlock Holmes, John Patrick Lowrie. He is flying into London for a few days. It is for dinner at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel (where else?) later this month. I have written three plays for him. I would love to go, but I’m not sure I can fit it in. We’ll see.

I am still waiting to hear whether my latest Angel book has been accepted. I’ll slap it down here and tell you even if it hasn’t. Watch this space.

I’ve started another book … so I’m going to get right back to it. Thanks for looking in. I'll write again soon.

If you want to get back to the main website, scroll up to the top right and click on Roger Silverwood - Crime Writer.