• Richard James

Publish And Be Damned!

It's that time again. After months of toil in the local coffee shop (writing books is an expensive habit!), the third book in the Bowman Of The Yard series is due for publication tomorrow (January 10th). It's a strange feeling. I've heard other writers liken it to children leaving the family home but (as someone who’s currently going through just that scenario) I think that’s wide of the mark. It's worse!

Why? Because I have spent the last four months alone with my book, hammering out the plot details, finessing the dialogue and developing my characters. I’ve relied on little more than my own gut instinct, my editors, proof readers and advance readers to keep me on track. Now, The Body In The Trees is ready to be bought, read and (frighteningly) judged! Of course, it was always going to happen. What’s the point of writing a book for no one to read?

To be fair, I’ve taken a bit of a risk with the third novel. Inspired by my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories where the famous sleuth leaves the dirt and smoke of the city to solve crime in the countryside, I have set my book in a typical Victorian English village. As Conan Doyle himself wrote, ‘It is my belief… that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside’. It means Bowman and Graves spend the majority of their time out of their depth from the start which, narratively, is an interesting place to be. If you have read any of my previous books, you will have in your head your own picture of Detective Inspector Bowman and perhaps even the direction his story might be heading in. I don’t think The Body In The Trees will disappoint. How can I be so sure?

Well, one advance reader emailed me to say ‘What a plot! Had me utterly gripped from the outset - a different setting but just as atmospheric and intriguing as the first two books’. And that was music to my ears. Of course, the story doesn't end there. There's one more novel to come in this series of four, and more short stories, too. We may well be over half way through Bowman’s year, but the story’s far from over...

If you have yet to join the investigation, Bowman's story begins with the first novel, The Head In the Ice and continues through the short stories The Smithfield Murder and The Workhouse Poisoning to the second novel, The Devil In The Dock. Two more short stories follow, The Hampstead Garrotting and The Holborn Strangler. All the short stories are free to subscribers to my newsletter. The third novel in the series, The Body In The Trees, will be published on 10th January, 2019.

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