On Lord James Harrington: I devour cosy crime novels. I particularly love the American cosies that involve you in the town activities, food festivals, fashions and suchlike. Having successfully published a number of short stories and articles I decided to create my own cosy mystery series and came up with Lord James Harrington. Set in one of my fave eras, the 1950s, I have to say I have such a lot of fun writing these that I can't see I will ever stop. I take part in a number of folk festivals and sing at a few open mic sessions so folklore and community is a big part of my life. I hope this is reflected in these books. In some ways, the mystery becomes secondary to village life and that's what I wanted. I want people to be able to escape the real world for a few hours and spend time with the community in the village of Cavendish. I liken these to the mysteries you see on TV - Midsomer Murders, Murder She Wrote, Diagnosis Murder, Miss Fisher Mysteries, that sort of thing. These are simple cosy mysteries; nothing more, nothing less. They're written for that Sunday afternoon/holiday/bedtime read. I am not a writer of literary prose; so, if you're after the next Booker prize winner, these books are definitely not for you. However, if you're looking for a light, gentle rose-tinted mystery, they may do the trick. Similar to many wannabe creative people, the only way to know if you're doing something right is to get out there and do it. I heard a reel to reel recording of Paul Simon in the early sixties singing in a folk club in Surrey run by a friend of mine. He wasn't famous then and, to be honest, he wasn't anything special at that point. But, he was doing the best thing he could - getting himself out there and learning. That's what I'm doing. My first few books show that I'm a novice but, over the last couple of years, I've been on courses, workshops and retreats and I continue to learn. My writing continues to improve and organisers of writing conferences are now asking me to give talks. I must be doing something right!!!! :) But, I am nowhere near the dizzy heights of Agatha Christie or MC Beaton so I continue to learn. That's all anyone can do. I've seen a handful of comments regarding spelling and grammar errors. I can assure you that all of these books go through an accredited proof-reader here in the UK before I even think about publishing them. There will be some issues between UK and US spelling/phrasing but I'm afraid I can do nothing about that. I've also had a couple of negative comments about formatting. Again, I always check with Amazon to ensure that the formatting is correct and I'm assured it is so, again, I can't do anything about that. Fortunately, it is only a handful of people. From book five, I employ the services of a professional editor who is an award winning author herself. Again, this is a great learning tool for me and I've seen my writing improve with her guidance. To those who have posted such wonderful and constructive reviews, I thank you for your act of kindness. Some of you have become pen-pals which is lovely. The few one-star reviews are, of course, difficult to read but they do provide constructive comments and I do learn from them. I intend to publish a new Lord James Harrington mystery every year. I am now retired so can spend a little more time working on these stories and, fingers crossed, perhaps get up to two a year!!! To all wannabe writers - give it a go. There are plenty of you out there that are probably far better at this than me. It's a wonderful thing to be able to get your work into the public eye. See where it takes you. It's certainly taken me on a fantastic adventure and given me the opportunity to meet with new and like-minded people. Take a look around the Lord James website at: www.lordjamesharrington.com. Do sign up to the newsletter. I promise I don't bombard you with emails, I simply let you know when the next book is out. I don't do much in respect of social media but I do have a Twitter account and you can follow me @cosycrazy. Whatever your tastes - enjoy your reading and encourage others to do the same. My books may never enter the realms of literary fiction but if they get people reading, that has got to be a good thing.Read more Read less
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