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Thursday, 31 December 2009


This will be the last post of 2009 - well, other than a few newsy items to come later today. New Year's Eve is always a day for reflecting on the past year but more importantly it's a day for looking forward with hope to the next twelve months.

2009 will always be a special one for me since it was during the past year that I became a professionally published author - The Tarnished Star, written under the pen-name of Jack Martin did remarkably well and it's still out there folks, still in print. Also I completed Arkansas Smith, my second novel, which it to be published this coming March. Pre-order HERE to ensure your copy.

2010 - has got to top that. And I'm sure it will (I'm an optimist if I'm anything). There have been big developments this week concerning my crime novel, provisionally titled A Policeman's Lot. The title will change, though as the publisher doesn't like it. I've got a full month or so worth of revisions to do on the manuscript and also come up with a different title but I'm really excited about this. The book looks set to come out with a major international publisher - I will of course keep all Archive readers informed.

I had a four page letter suggesting revisions from my editor yesterday but here's a short snippet of praise -

"You take the reader to a fascinating time and place. The addition of Buffalo Bill Cody’s touring show enhances the setting, and provides extra conflict and an exotic framework for the tale. Overall, the story is excellent. You weave the major and minor conflicts in with the various characters and their motivations quite skillfully. The Ripper tie-in is brilliant, as are the “red herring” murders. "

I'm really excited about this novel - it's set in my home turf of Pontypridd and I love the character of Police Inspector Frank Parade - he's got legs, you know. This book takes place in 1904 but I've got a story arc worked out for subsequent books that will take the character up to the outbreak of World War 1.

Anyway when that's all done and delivered and I've spent my advance, I intend to start work on my third western for the Black Horse range. So it's all go for the start of the year. Then during March or possibly April I plan to take my dream trip - I will, at last, visit America. I'm planning on touring the West, seeing the real landscape that has for so long dominated my dreams. So watch out America, here I come.

After the holiday I'll complete the third western and then plan to kick straight into my second Frank Parade novel. It's good to have a clear goal in mind, I think.

The Archive will also continue to develop - in January 2010 we run our Black Horse Western Weekend - with involvement from many of the Black Horse writers. I'm starting work on this weekend tomorrow and hope to have it ready to run by mid-month. So all those who have promised to become involved then expect some serious badgering from me over the next week or so. There are also other themed weekends in the pipeline and more news and interviews. All in all I want to keep the Archive entertaining but somehow reach the status of essential. Ahh well, aim high - as Granddad used to say, "In life aim for the sky. If your reach the shithouse roof at least you've tried."

This looking forward mood always puts me in mind of a John Lennon lyric - Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

So let's raise a glass and say goodbye to 2009 and hello 2010 - bring it on.


Paul D. Brazill said...

Good stuff Gary. Happy new year and have cracking 2010.

Laurie said...

Congrats on the book. Great way to start the new year.

jrlindermuth said...

Best wishes for a great new year. Congrats on the new book.

Chap O'Keefe said...

That's the best of news on your crime book, and a fine finishing touch to your wonderful 2009. Well done.