Saturday 19 September 2015

Thursday 4 July 2013

How does it go again? by Zoë Sharp

I should be used to it by now, I really should. It happens every time. Yet this morning I sat down to start work on a new project and was disappointed to find it had happened agai
I couldn’t remember how to write a book.

The fact that I’m planning to make this next one a novella rather than a full-length book does not, sadly make it any easier to get into.

I have the title for the novella, which will feature my series heroine Charlie Fox. After much indecision I finally went for ABSENCE OF LIGHT, which I hope is reasonably intriguing.

There are a few reasons behind this choice. For a start, the books have all had two-word titles right the way through from KILLER INSTINCT to DIE EASY. The short stories on the other hand tend to have longer ones—Across The Broken Line and Postcards From Another Country for instance. So for something in between I wanted a different shape of title.

The story itself will see Charlie acting as a replacement security advisor for a group called Rescue & Recovery—R&R for short—as they deal with the aftermath of a major earthquake. R&R’s job is to go into disaster areas to help rescue the trapped and injured, recover the dead, maintain order and start to rebuild damaged infrastructure. She’s joining a tight-knit team who trust each other with their lives. But their last security guy was killed on the job in what can only be described as suspicious circumstances. Is the rest of the team covering for someone?

I knew the story was going to start with Charlie and another person buried underground following an aftershock. Will she be rescued or will she have to fight her own way out of the darkness alone?
And from that image came the title. When I looked up the definition of absolute darkness there it was—a total absence of light.

Putting the team together was fun. An uptight French doctor and pathologist, a laid-back Aussie helicopter pilot, an ex-Marine Corps structural engineer and a young Brit girl with a labrador retriever trained to sniff out both the living and the dead. All have a past from which they’re trying to escape and none of them are keen for Charlie to find out what that is. But how far are they prepared to go to stop her?

Eventually I had to resort to pencil and paper to find my way into the story of this tangled group. After much scribbling and scribbling-out, the opening line eventually deigned to present itself to me:
‘The last time I died they didn’t get a chance to put me in the ground for it.’
Whether it remains after the final edit remains to be seen. Meantime, I’m shakily getting my writing legs under me and I think I might—just might—be able to remember how to do this after all …
Wish me luck! 

This week's Word of the Week is malversation, meaning dishonest or unethical conduct in office, such as bribery, extortion or embezzlement; corrupt administration of funds, from the Latin male badly, and versari to occupy oneself.
Zoë Sharp

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Out of the Gutter Online: Brit Grit Alley

Out of the Gutter Online: Brit Grit Alley: Brit Grit Alley features news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways. ...

Thursday 30 May 2013

Out of the Gutter Online: Brit Grit Alley

Out of the Gutter Online: Brit Grit Alley: Paul D. Brazill's Brit Grit Alley column
features news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways. ...

Saturday 13 April 2013

In praise of Versatility by Zoë Sharp

Last week I was honoured and somewhat surprised to be nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by be-kilted Scottish fellow scribe Seumas Gallacher, bless his little Sgian-dubh. And if you want to see pictures, you’ll have to visit his blog :))

Apparently the VBA is awarded by bloggers to other bloggers who happen to witter on about things that somebody, somewhere, might concievably find interesting or entertaining. What a lovely thought.

The requirements are that I then nominate up to fifteen other bloggers I find interesting or entertaining, and so it goes on until we all start attempting to nominate each other several times over, or we lie behind the sofa when we hear the knock on the door and pretend to be out.

So, here are my favourites in strictly alphabetical order:

Christine Kling — Sailing Writer

Graham Smith — CrimeSquad

J Sydney Jones — Scene of the Crime

Jochem Vandersteen — Sons of Spade

Jungle Red Writers

Lee Goldberg — A Writer’s Life

Lesa Holstine — Lesa’s Book Critiques

Murder Is Everywhere

Paul D Brazill — You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You? and Brit Grit Alley

Rhian Davies — It’s A Crime

Richard Godwin — Chin Wags At The Slaughterhouse

Russel D McLean — Do Some Damage and These Aye Mean Streets

Seeley James — Headquarters for thriller readers

Timothy Hallinan — Blog Cabin

Tony Black — Pulp Pusher

Profuse apologies to anyone I’ve missed out!

The second requirement of all this is to reveal seven things you don’t know about me. Hmm, that’s tricky but I’ll give it a whirl: 

I learned to scuba dive as a child before I could swim. Still not the world’s best swimmer — would rather have a wetsuit and pair of fins.

I hate filling in forms.

I can dry-stone wall.

I once took part in a rodeo

I have a thing about feet — particularly ones with cracked heels, hairy toes and curling yellowed nails. Yuck!

I can kill you where you stand — oh, hang on, everybody knows that about me. I’ll try again: I am a qualified British Horse Society riding instructor and used to love side-saddle.

I used to crew boats as an astro-navigator and still have my own sextant — a gift from my father.

That’s it from me. Thank you again to Seumas for the nod.

This week’s Word of the Week is fictioneer — one who writes fiction especially in quantity rather than quality, a word coined in 1923 and from the Latin fingere from which we also get feign and figment. 


Wednesday 13 March 2013

Pulp Pusher: GUEST BLOG: Jochem Vandersteen

Pulp Pusher: GUEST BLOG: Jochem Vandersteen: I’m honored Tony Black invited me over to talk about Noah Milano and his inspirations. Tony was one of the first people to tell me they ...