Today I’m on the Blog tour for Ledston Luck by Andrew Barrett, the book was published yesterday so you don’t even have to wait to get a copy. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to read it as my TBR pile is huge, but it’s had a very positive response from fellow bloggers. I do have an interview with Andrew Barrett and I have also included a book description and buying links further down the page if your interested.
Tell me something about yourself ?
I’m 49 going on 35 with the mental age of a teenager. I have the world’s worst memory, Tom, and have to make notes of everything. I was delighted to hear of a colleague’s pregnancy at work only yesterday, but embarrassed to learn I’d been delighted for them two weeks ago when they’d first told me. The good thing about having such a poor memory is that you can marvel again at a good book that you’ve already read.
What is your inspiration to write?
Not too sure how to answer this one. But I’ll give it a go. I believe that if you spend your life as nothing but a consumer, it is a life wasted. I believe that creativity – irrespective of form (painting, writing, sculpting, making music, cooking, restoring, whatever…) – is central to human existence and fulfilment. Yes, I realise how deep that sounds, but I could not bear to go through life as a pure consumer (I feel guilty just watching a film!). I like to think that I’m creating something when I write, something that will outlast me, and something that I hope sincerely will bring a little bit of pleasure to someone else. Since I can’t sculpt, cook, or paint (quite like drawing though)), I choose to write. And now I’m afraid I cannot stop! Eek.
What drives you to continue writing?
This will sound like a cliché. But I write because I feel empty, almost useless, if I don’t.
But there are many other reasons why I write – even though I’m not exactly commercially successful; but that has never been a reason for me to write (proven by the fact that I’d written six books before Amazon was even born). I write because I enjoy that total immersion in a story, the utter belief that good will always win over bad, even if good is slightly soiled by the end of the tale. There’s no feeling like it when you’re so far into this other world that your fingers cannot keep up with the thoughts coming out of your mind. It’s always a bit of a shock to realise you’re making all this up, and you have to get ready for work.
I also write because I adore the way people interact with each other (study them), and so the way the characters do too. I write because I enjoy the feeling it gives me to know someone else is reading my humble stories, and hopefully, enjoying them a bit.
Funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a job?
Under 18s answer. I was to attend a burglary scene at 6 Poplar Street. I was startled to find the door ajar and no answer to my calls of ‘Hello’. I pushed the door open and peered inside, expecting to find the elderly occupant horizontal due to heart failure. But no, the hallway was empty, as were all the downstairs rooms. My concern grew to the extent where I decided it best to go upstairs and check; I listened for noises of distress as I ascended the stairs, but there were none. The first floor rooms too were empty. I looked at the attic stairs, knowing my chances of coming across a corpse were much greater now. I crept up the stairs, heart pummelling, palms sweaty on the bannister rail. I peered into the first room. Nothing. And then, in the second room, there it was. Nothing again.
So I went back downstairs, checking the rooms hastily as I went, until I went back outside, rubbing my chin, staring at the front door. The front door that said number 8. Oops
Over 18s answer. We began using digital cameras about 12 years ago. Prior to this, we used medium format film cameras – the Mamiya RB67. That’s the big clunky camera you see professionals use at weddings, the ones where you look down into the viewfinder, and twiddle a knob to get the bellows moving in and out. It’s true. So, I was photographing a hacking-and-slashing session at the local mortuary and needed height to get this particular shot. The little step ladders just weren’t high enough. So, idiot that I am, ignored the ‘don’t be stupids’ and climbed onto the stainless steel table above the body. You can guess what happened next. Yes, I slipped, and landed smack right into the cadaver. It took a long time for the title of SOCO Necrophilia to go away – not helped by the fact that I’ve stumbled into/onto another half dozen bodies since then. But at least I apologise to them.
At a murder scene, I was using the same camera to quarter the kitchen (taking a shot of each corner of the room from its opposite corner to capture all the room’s details). The knife that the murderer had used came from the cutlery drawer which was fully open, and the scene was deadly silent with CID pondering the murder in the lounge, standing over the body, and speaking in whispers to each other. Of course, I managed to catch the damned drawer and wrench it out, scattering knives, forks, spoons – anything man-made that makes a helluva racket in fact, right across the bloody trail on the kitchen floor. I may have cringed slightly. To say I went a shade of red might be an understatement.
When will we be seeing another book from you?
Well, first of all, are you sure you’ve seen them all already? Ahaha, sorry, that’s a bit unfair. Before crime, I wrote horror (very badly), so there are three books you’ve never seen – and never will see!
But anyway, I’m putting the finishing touches to an Eddie Collins novella and currently in the planning stages for a new novel. My days of writing books in six months are a long way behind me. That was just exhausting.
I am never sure how many people actually read reviews. What is your view?
I always read a selection of reviews. I think the more expensive an item is the more reviews I read (beds, sofas, cars…). But for books, yes I do read a selection, and I think many other people do too. You want to know that the story is something you’re likely to enjoy, and you want to know what others before you thought about the writer’s ability. After that, if I’m still not sure, I have a peek at the Look Inside feature.
As I say, I think a lot of people do this and that’s why reviews are so very important to writers. I urge readers to leave reviews, even if it’s just a sentence or two. They really don’t need to be an in-depth essay. I had a review for The Lift (a short story) that was almost as long as the book! I wasn’t complaining though, because it was a five star review, but I also wasn’t complaining because it was a detailed analysis of the story, the characters, and their interaction. That review delighted me.
If I’m attracted to an author’s work, I often like to find out a little more about them than the Author Page on Amazon gives away. And interviews area good way of getting to know them. A lot depends on the questions asked of course, and the general tone of the interview: stifled questions get stifled answers. Quirky questions allow an author to open up a little, to have some fun – and that’s what people want to see; they want to see the guy who made them cringe or laugh or cry, the guy who played with their emotions on such a personal level the way only a close family member could. I’m all for interviews.
They say you can always trust a copper. They’re lying. They lied thirty years ago and they’re still lying today. A booby-trapped body in a long-abandoned chapel. A scene examination that goes horribly wrong. CSI Eddie Collins and DI Benson are injured and one of the team killed. Eddie is heartbroken and guilt-ridden. And angry.
If you like fast-paced crime thrillers with a forensic slant, raw emotions, and with characters that reach out of the book and grab you by the throat, you’ll love Andrew Barrett’s Eddie Collins series. To experience Eddie’s battle to uncover the lies they told, buy Ledston Luck today.
Paperback: 452 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (14 Dec. 2016)
Andrew Barrett has been writing best-selling thrillers since the mid 1990s, all set in northern England. He’s also written several short stories, and co-written a number of television scripts.
Andrew’s novels focus on the world of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). He offers a unique insight into this dark landscape, making good use of his expertise as a Senior CSI to envelop the reader in exciting yet realistic stories.
Included in each story are elements of dark humour and severe emotional highs and lows. So be prepared.
Find out more about him at www.andrew-barrett.co.uk where you can sign up for his newsletter and get free books.