The Countess Comes Home by Michael Reidy

“Who is ‘The Countess’?” is the novel’s smouldering conundrum and it is never fully answered until the surprising and delightful last pages, and perhaps not even then. The fact that she is an enigma until almost the end is what propels the action – though, when I say ‘action’, there are periods of seeming inertia…

Humphrey and Jack Update

After twenty-five consecutive days of work, weekends included, and four meticulous edits, Humphrey and Jack is ready to go off to my editor. I look forward to some beers and a meal with him in London on Friday. I have managed to reduce the draft by two and a half thousand words, some of which…

In which the writer feels he deserves a pint

At 11.42 hours this morning, I completed the first draft of Humphrey and Jack. It is a good feeling. I have been working on it now for a year and twenty-one days. Ahead lie many more days of gruelling editing. But for now, I am enjoying a pint. I don’t know how long it is.…

Recapitulation and Coda

This is going to be very short because I’m very busy. I’m coming to the end of the first draft of Humphrey and Jack and I’m very excited. I am holed up in an isolated cottage in the Peak District. The setting is beautiful but apart from three trips to the pretty village of  Tideswell…

Friday Night Movies

‘Legend’ (1985). Saw it was directed by Ridley Scott and was tempted in. Has unicorns in it. High risk of hyperglaecemia. Equivalent to eating four kilos of sticky toffee pudding at a sitting. Lasted less than ten minutes Rating * ‘Stand by Me’ (1986) Haven’t seen this for years. The boys’ acting stands the test…

Writers: Six Reasons to Embrace Voice Recognition Technology

It’s fast. The other day I tried dictating a passage in my WIP into my MacBook. I completed a thousand words in much less time than I would have managed with my laborious typing. It’s fun. Watching the words spill out miraculously onto your screen gives you a weird sense of power. It’s funny. Sometimes…

Smörgåsbord

I intend these Work In Progress blogs to be rather more than just ruminations about what I happen to be writing at a given time. They will constitute a ragbag, or patchwork quilt, or smörgåsbord, or running buffet of the thoughts and ideas that crowd into a writer’s life. They could be about a knotty…

Kindling

Do you Kindle? I do. There are several reasons why a Kindle, or some other eReader, is indispensable and the first of these is travel. Books significantly add to the weight of your luggage. You don’t want to be paying excess baggage on a plane, or struggling with an obese hold-all down the corridors of…

Of Coincidences

Modern readers tend to be very cagey about what they perceive to be too many coincidences in a work of fiction and yet life is full of flukes and happenstance. You know what I mean, out of the blue you find yourself thinking about a friend you haven’t seen for years and there is a…

Competition Result

The all-out winner is Lincoln Cupples. His was the only 100% correct entry so there is no runner-up this time. Copies of The Swan Diptych, Come Away, O Human Child and Mr Thomson’s Diary will be winging their way to him this week. Lincoln’s research was thorough. His was the only entry to recognise that…