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My First Detective Thriller

One of the joys of living in a place for a long period of time is that you get to see it in its fullness, good and bad, different and passionate. Couple this with a desire to write a different genre of fiction than I previously had and you begin to understand the genesis of my new novel “Water’s Edge”. But little did I know where the writing process would take me.


I live on a conservative island where changes that cut against both traditional and religious views can dominate the debate. Yes, there are extremes in this, but there is also a vast number of people who simply want to get on with life and learn how to get by with everyday necessities. But often the extremes of the argument do not allow this to happen. And it was this effect that was to dominate my main character.


Seoras Macleod, born and raised on the Isle of Lewis returns after a long time away, forced by his job to make a return to the scene of the worst moment of his life. The death of his wife years before has dominated his personality, and left in him a conflict with his God and his view of life. Through the resultant clash, I was able to throw the newer way of seeing things against the older conservatism and hopefully find the good and bad in both.


In societies the unspoken, lying beneath the veneer of normal life, shows where things are really at and I use the murder of a young woman to drive my detectives through this layer, exposing the lies beneath. This caused my murder mystery to become more of a thriller, events becoming less of a conundrum and more an act of social discovery. But still some have said they didn’t see the perpetrator coming.


Ultimately the book explores how wholly different characters can find support in extreme circumstances to drive through their mission when the house of cards around them starts to kick when toppled.


“Water’s Edge” my first Highlands and Islands detective thriller is available in paperback right now in my own store, or at Amazon (UK / US / AUS / CAN). If the eBook is your preference then you can pre-order here until the 1st Dec 2019 when it goes on full release. Check the 3 chapter sample out here. And let me know what you think. Book 2 is underway because all things come to the surface eventually.

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Write Apocalyse Now!

I’m just starting out on writing an “end of the world “ thriller and have been thinking about how these will compare to my dark fantasy adventure novels. The term apocalypse for me has always brought up great heavenly battles, four horsemen (updated to persons these days of course) racing across the sky, the world gathering at Megiddo and such like. So are the apocalyptic tales in the pandemic / zombie / EMP / natural disaster genres really any different.


One thing that comes straight to mind is that the old magical / fantastical element is gone. The days of a learned genius waving his hands and opening portals or creating hellfire will have to go and more pragmatic solutions will have to be found. This causes a greater emphasis on tactical or mechanical solutions, or simple butchering in the case of zombies. Transformations of people may have to be kept to a low variety instead of the many magical forms that characters take.


Another point spotted while reading these genres is the technical detail, sometimes far and beyond the grasp of many characters: you need to be an expert to survive. How far this is the case and how far the human spirit and determination will get you is another question but certainly the science (or at times pseudo-science) needs to be to the fore and loaded with the best bullets.


But overall this one thing remains although it has been lost in a few tales from the genre I have read. The character remains the thing. The human conflicts, the dreams hopes and aspirations and then the devices that thwart these goals, must not be simply there but must drive the tale. As I read across many genres, the best stories always resonate around the person whether it’s a woman stuck at a train station in the middle of nowhere (Absent in the Spring, Agatha Christie written as Mary Westmacott), a captain of the guard holding together a magical and manic city (Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett) or a woman fighting to reunite her family after a nuclear holocaust (Point of Impact, Kyla Stone).


So whatever I come up with, it will certainly take my characters and break them as ever, only to have them claw their way back. But this time it will be in the midst of a pandemic, lawlessness and a country falling apart. It almost feels like home! My writing home that is, the Outer Hebrides hasn’t got to that stage yet!

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Write your novel in 6 weeks

Write your novel in 6 weeks

If you have a story inside that is yearning to get out and in to a book. Or if you’re not sure how to get it on to paper then this is the answer. ‘Write your novel in 6 weeks’ is a course designed to turn your ideas into reality.

I am very excited to be presenting a series of workshops. I’ve designed these workshops to help you develop and shape your story into what could ultimately be a published novel.

I will be drawing from my own experience of novel writing. However, you will have an extra couple of weeks than I take to write a 60,000 word novel!

How do you write your novel in 6 weeks???

Without going in to too much detail here (as that would make for an incredibly long post!) I set aside some time each day without any distractions, plenty of coffee and I write. I’ll take you through the writing discipline. In addition I’ll show you how you bring it all together at the end to produce a professional manuscript. If you’d like to then you could even go on to publish your novel.

This is a local workshop in the Outer Hebrides at the An Lanntair Arts Centre. I’d like to develop it in to an online series of workshops too, possibly by video conference. If you are interested in such an online course then please email me at gary@grjordan.com or leave a comment below.

To book your place on the An Lanntair workshop please visit their site.

If you haven’t seen what novels I’ve written then please visit my shop for brief tour.

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Writing Update and a Sneak Peak at a new cover!

So last time I was explaining that Book 2 of Austerley and Kirkgordon’s adventures, “The Darkness at Dillingham” was with the editor for a final pass and should be available pretty soon. But what else am I doing?

I have a mermaid fantasy based around a Scottish Island at second draft stage. The concept is that mermaids arrive on the shores of the island causing many different reactions ranging from hate to joy, wonder to disgust. A media circus ensues and the normal island life is upset as greed and then rumour cause many to fear the creatures. Meanwhile, a young islander finds and then protects one of the mermaids causing some comedy moments as he involves a woman of his dreams. All in all it’s a fun romp with some serious tones.

I have also embarked on another urban fantasy series but this time with a female protagonist. Scarlett is a bored call centre clerk who gets involved with a race to explain the signifigance of a prized glass which seems to be wanted by evil hands. It’s early days but it is fun to have to see everything from the other sex’s perspective.

Also in the mix is an allegorical piece set in a fantasy land, a world war one ghost story and the tale of a Singaporean bin inspector. Yes, I know, how rock and roll!

But back to Austerley and Kirkgordon. Book 3, with a working title of “The Nether Lands” is first draft complete. And when I say working title, I do mean working title as so far none have made it onto the final cover. But also at first draft stage and rapidly advancing is a novella piece to accompany Book 2 and which will be available in the hardback edition of “The Darkness at Dillingham”. It’s entitled “Cally”, and guess what, it’s about Calandra. Providing a more detailed back story to the characters is fun and certainly “Footsteps” helped bring Austerley and Kirkgordon’s relationship in “Crescendo!” to life for me.

And as promised, here is a cover reveal and it’s for “Cally”. Personally I think this is one of the best covers my artist has compiled for me. Jake has really grabbed Cally’s persona for me and the essence of the story in one picture. So I’ll leave you with the cover and look forward to talking more next time!

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If you haven’t got into the joy and wonder that is the Austerley and Kirkgordon series then you can find the first book “Crescendo!” here in all formats. The “Cally” cover was designed by Jake Clarke and you can see more of his work here.

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The printing Frenzy

Well it’s all go, and not least with the printers. With my Kickstarter funded and complete, I have been putting into action the plans for acquiring the rewards for my backers. T-shirts, bookmarks, prints and of course the all-important books themselves. And I have now reached a stage where just about everything is being printed. Whether it is proofs or the real thing, everything is on the go, except me in some ways.

I’ve been working on another island fantasy book about a recycling manager and some strange spirits and also have begun to create a small backstory for Calandra, one of the main characters in Crescendo! It is good to be back at the start of things again and I now have several books and novelettes in various stages of dress so to speak. And then of course there’s the marketing. Time for reviews and giveaways in the coming weeks. So keep a look out on my website. In the meantime here’s a preview of the bookmark the backers will be getting with their reward.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Crescendo update

Well everyone after the excitement of making my Kickstarter it has been back to work. Currently the ebooks are being prepared, as are the PDFs for the distributor. Making the book in all formats has been quite hard work but I can’t wait to see them all. Bookmarks are being designed but something has arrived. The T-SHIRTS!

It was quite a labour to find what I thought would be good quality at an affordable price but the proof t-shirt seems the business with the print feeling excellent. Photos below (unfortunately without the Lara Croft-like model who cancelled at the last minute.)

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So part one of the rewards is well on its way. Can’t wait to see the book proofs though.

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Climb

Climb

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With the peak in sight, my mind starts to drift
Back to memories of dreams and hopes that I sniffed.
When knowledge was small, ignorance abounded
Before all my efforts became firmly grounded,
In the workings and ways, tasks and plans
Learning to keep plates spinning through hands.
Until now at last, with the top nearing view
All the doubts resurface, claim to be true.
Then standing above, my eyes turn to fountains
Cos’ all I can see is just more damn mountains.

In some ways a Kickstarter is like the above. You can check my Kickstarter for my new novel Crescendo! right here.

G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!

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Crescendo Crowdfund Update!

Crescendo Crowdfund Update

Just a quick note to say I am one sixth of the way there with the crowdfund. Thanks to all the generous folk  who have contributed to help make this book happen. If you haven’t pledged and would like to, or simply require to know more check the link here. Thanks all you wonderful supporters.

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G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!