Friday, 23 February 2018

Editing


Working on my new book today, 18,511 words complete, another 100,000 to go!


Editing a few pages as I go.

HMV 101




Dating from 1927 this gramophone works perfectly.


It folds away into a neat carrying case so is very portable.  We play it in the Garden at BBQ time and sometimes take it with us on picnics.


I love collecting records from the 20s, 30s and 40s, they sound fantastic.
This little music machine draws people in and is a great conversational piece.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The full set


Five books, two genres.




The Torc Trilogy, The Belgae Torc begins this action adventure saga featuring archaeologist Orlagh Gairne. The plot begins in the Iron Age where a torc, a golden neck ring, a symbol of wealth and power is made. This magnificent artefact has powers that resound throughout history and affects all those who come into contact with it.
The Gordian Knot, continues the adventure and Cutting the Gordian Knot (The Final Solution), brings the saga to a full circle.

The Witness, a psychological thriller begins with artist Josie MacDonald being drawn into a world of rape and murder. Not only do these terrible events affect Josie, but one by one her friends are drawn in. How far would you go to help those you love?
The Cellist, a thriller festures characters and places from The Witness. Cellist Mia Ashton a rising star in the world of classical music finds herself the victim of a stalker, but then events escalate.
The Cellist is a stand alone novel, but for best results in identifying characters who feature in both books, reading The Witness first would be an advantage.

My books are available from Amazon as both paper back and kindle.
Happy Reading.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Creating controversy – a short story analysis



Warning- Contains spoilers.
Please do not read this until you have looked at the story
A Business Affair

When I wrote A Business Affair, I wanted to create a short story that was controversial.  It might have been a bit of a cliché, but the whole point of the exercise was to get my readers thinking. 

I welcomed feedback and comments and the main points were:-

·        incest
·        Megan must be a “loose woman” to carry on the way she did - (Is this a sexist comment)?
·        how could Andrew do this to his wife Fiona?
·        the relationship is immoral and should stop immediately

Megan and Andrew were complete strangers, the first time they met was at the job interview in Andrews office.  The attraction between them was evident from the start and being a short story, I did not have the luxury of developing their relationship over several chapters.

I chose to reveal Andrew’s thoughts, but did not dwell on hers.  It was made obvious that she liked what she saw and was aware of the chemistry that existed between them.  She hesitated when during the interview he suddenly asked her to join him for lunch, continue their discussion in a pub.  She did not expect that, but didn’t want to annoy him by declining.  She needed that job.

Andrew had never done anything like this before, there was nothing in the story to suggest that he was a habitual womaniser.  Up until that point, his relationship with his wife Fiona was good.  He had thoughts of taking her out for a romantic meal to celebrate their wedding anniversary, but all this changed when he met Megan.  That special bond that exists between brother and sister was evident here, but Megan and Andrew had no idea they were siblings.  They misinterpreted these feelings and the result could have been devastating.

The hammer blow came when they both discovered the truth.

What would happen next?

·        would their relationship end there?
·        would it develop into something else?
·        would Megan be able to face Andrew’s wife Fiona?  She was after all her sister-in-law
·        could they continue to work together?
·        would the shock of discovering the truth strengthen or destroy their relationship?

Thank you to all those who contributed thoughts and feedback.  Please continue to do so as your points of view are both valuable and welcome.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Short story number two

A Business Affair

“What time are you interviewing today?”  Fiona watched as her husband finished his breakfast.
“The first applicant is due in at eleven,” Andrew replied.  “There are only three, Simon shortlisted them from the pile of hopefuls.”
Andrew and his best friend Simon set up their I.T. Consultancy business five years ago and since then had worked hard moulding it into one of the most successful companies in their field.  Fiona was proud of Andrew, from the moment he and Simon decided to form their partnership she was in no doubt it would be a success.  Andrew was a very determined man, it was one of the things that attracted her to him in the first place.
“I’m conducting all the interviews myself as Simon is busy supervising one of our contracts.  It will probably mean staying late to catch up on lost time.”
 Fiona got up from where she was sitting and wrapped her arms lovingly around his neck.
“Don’t stay too late,” she whispered before kissing him passionately.
They had been married for almost seven years and despite the myth about seven year itches she loved him dearly.
Driving to work, Andrew thought about what they should do to celebrate their wedding anniversary, he’d heard somewhere that seven years was copper.  He knew of a restaurant called Copperfields perhaps that was where he could take her for a romantic meal. 
Leaving his car in his allotted parking space, Andrew pushed open the door to AnSi I.T. Consultants Ltd.
“Morning Angela,” he said.
“Andrew, hello.  Would you like some coffee?  I’ve just brewed a fresh pot.”
Angela, their heavily pregnant secretary come receptionist was the reason for him having to conduct interviews.  She would soon be taking maternity leave and he had to find a temporary replacement.
“Yes please,” he replied as he paused at his office door.  Turning to face her, he continued.  “It’s my wedding anniversary on the twenty third of this month.  Could you arrange something, a meal at Copperfields perhaps?  Better order some flowers too, have them delivered to the table, I’ll leave the details to you.”
She made a note on her pad.  It wasn’t unusual for Andrew to make such a request, It was often left to her to choose his wife’s birthday and Christmas gifts.  She wondered how her replacement would cope with such unorthodox demands.
Waiting on his desk was a pile of documents that had arrived in the morning post.  On top was an unopened letter marked Private and Confidential.  Reaching for it Andrew slipped his thumb under the flap and tore open the envelope, it was from his solicitor.  Andrew had been adopted as a child and had no knowledge of his biological parents so he’d engaged the services of a solicitor to carry out an investigation.   The letter told him very little, but he was to attend a meeting in ten days time.  Slipping the letter into his desk drawer, he began to prepare for his first interview.
Although sufficiently qualified, the first applicant lacked the enthusiasm that he expected.  The second interview did not go any better and with his mood in a downward spiral, he met Megan Griffiths.
“Good afternoon,” Andrew greeted her warmly.  Maybe all was not lost after all.
It wasn’t long before Andrew sensed that she was perfect for the job.  She was more than qualified, but it was everything else about her that excited him.  Megan was a very attractive young woman who had obviously made an effort with her appearance.  Her Welsh accent delighted him, he just loved the way she spoke.
“I moved up from Cardiff recently,” she told him more about herself.  “I’m only a few minutes away in a little bedsit, but once I’m sorted I would like to get a flat or little house.”  Her smile was devastating and Andrew was hopelessly smitten.  It was as if he had been waiting for her of his life and he was convinced that theirs would go far beyond a working relationship. 
“Have you had any lunch?” he asked suddenly.
“No, not yet,” she hesitated before going on.  “I was going to grab a sandwich or something after we have finished here.”
“We can do better than that.  What say we continue our interview in a pub, grab a drink and have a bite to eat?”
Megan stared at him before making up her mind.  It was not in her nature to flirt with strange men and certainly not a prospective employer, but Andrew was a very handsome man.  If it secured her a much needed job then what harm could it do? 
“Could you start on Monday?”  Andrew asked as they finished their lunch.  He had heard enough, she was the woman for the job.
Angela was due to leave in four weeks time and it was Simon’s intention to ask her replacement to start the week before she left.  That way the new secretary could be eased in gently with Angela on hand to help.  Andrew would have to come up with a very good reason for wanting Megan to start immediately.
Monday couldn’t come quickly enough.  Andrew was at his desk early, he told Fiona that he would probably have to work late.
Megan kept him supplied with coffee throughout the morning and Angela went through the basics, introducing her to the company before going into the specifics of the job.
“Right,” Andrew said as he appeared suddenly at their desk.  “I’m off to survey the new office block.”
Angela was familiar with this contract, Andrew or Simon would have to do a site visit, but what surprised her most was what he said next.
“Megan can accompany me.  It will be the perfect opportunity for her to see firsthand what we are about.”
The new clients office block was deserted, having been recently refurbished the next step was for the I.T. to be installed.
“Wow,” Megan said as they entered the first office.  “How will they ever get any work done, the view is simply stunning.” 
Andrew admired her profile as she stared out of the huge picture window.  She looked the part, immaculately turned out in a stylish trouser suit.  She smelt wonderful, her perfume was driving him wild and unable to resist any longer he pushed up against her.  She offered no resistance and turning to face him their lips met.
At first, their lovemaking was urgent and moving from office to office, they giggled like naughty children. 
“Let’s christen them all,” he whispered as he eased her gently against a desk.
By the end of the afternoon, they were exhausted.  Megan sighed contentedly as they watched the sky turn crimson, the sun moving slowly behind the tall buildings.  Andrew had never done anything like this before but he had no regrets.  It felt so right being here with Megan.
Over the next two weeks they saw each other every day and managed to sneak away to make love either during the afternoons or Andrew would make some excuse to work late.
Angela could see what was going on, but it was not her place to question her boss.  She reminded Andrew about the arrangements for his wedding anniversary celebration and he acted out his part faultlessly.  He accompanied his wife to Copperfields where they spent a delightful evening.  Andrew was passionate and attentive and his wife did not suspect a thing.  He decided that it was hardly the moment to announce his intention to leave her.
The day arrived for him to keep his appointment with his solicitor.  Luckily it was not busy in the office, Simon was going over some papers with Angela and Megan had the day off attending to some personal issues. 
Going up the steps to the entrance of the solicitor’s chambers, Andrew was directed towards an office by the receptionist.
William Hardcastle met him at the door before ushering him into his office.  Already seated was a woman, she had her back to him but when she stood up he was astonished to see that it was Megan.
“Hello,” he said.  “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, I see that you already know each other.” William raised his eyebrows.  “In that case I suppose you are already aware that you related, you are in fact brother and sister.”

© 2018 Kevin Marsh



Questions to debate:-

I was going to call this story A Family Affair.  Would this title have given away the plot?

If you found yourself in this situation, would knowing that your lover was a long lost sibling matter?
Would it be the end of your affair?




            

Friday, 26 January 2018

The work involved in writing a novel

It usually takes me a year to write a novel, this includes editing.
The actual writing bit is about seven months, writing most days of the week and the editing and proofreading makes up the rest of the twelve or so months that it takes to prepare a novel for print.


This is the pile of notebooks and manuscripts that made up the second book in The Torc Trilogy, The Gordian Knot.
The little book on top of the pile is what I carried with me to record ideas and notes and the pile of typed paper under that is research notes.


I hand write everything first.  I like to use a pen as I feel that my ideas flow easier that way.  I produce two versions this way, a rough draft that is then re written and slightly polished.  I regard this as the beginning of the editing processes.


I will then type the story from the second hand written version.  Here further changes are made, so another editing process takes place.  Once that is done I print a first draft for serious editing.  


This version gets red penned to death then its back to the computer to make the corrections before a further printing.  I then edit that, hoping that there will be less red pen usage.


Once I have a manuscript that I'm happy with its off to the proof readers who make amendments and recommendations.  
I will trawl through these comments making changes or sometimes disagreeing with their comments.
When I am happy that I cannot make further improvements, it is then presented to my publisher.


This was the result, the published version of my novel.

The Gordian Knot is available from Amazon as a paperback and also on kindle.  
More information can be found about all my books on my website.
www.kevinmarshnovels.co.uk


Happy reading.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Torc Trilogy.

The Torc Trilogy, an action adventure saga that sees the main character Orlagh Gairne drawn into events that began in the Iron Age.





The adventure starts with The Belgae Torc.  This book begins in Iron Age England and introduces a set of circumstances that prevails through all three novels. 

The Gordian Knot continues where the previous book left off, maintaining the excitement of the plot.  Various locations across Europe are used to keep the story going.

Cutting the Gordian Knot is the final helping in this gourmet of goodreads.  Set mainly in Ireland, home of Orlagh the main character, it edges towards a dramatic showdown between all the group's involved.

The Torc Trilogy includes factual history weaved into a tale of High Tec drama.  There are moving scenes and developing relationships with drama at every turn of the page.  

For readers reviews visit Amazon or Goodreads.