Author of Time Rep and Note To Self

Note to Self

It’s funny isn’t it – two and a half weeks ago I posted a blog entry about the importance of making the time to write, and since then I haven’t posted a thing!

Don’t worry though – the reason for my absence isn’t because I immediately showed how I don’t follow my own advice – it’s because I’m currently working on a third book, and have spent the last few weeks hammering out an 11,000 word chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the whole story, just to get everything clear in my head. At this stage I don’t want to go into too much detail about what this new story is about, but I will say it’s my first foray into the world of detective fiction, set in a sci-fi environment. The plot has several twists and turns, however the main story doesn’t stray too far away from the formula everyone knows and loves: A murder is committed in seemingly impossible circumstances, and the main character is tasked with getting to the bottom of it.

Anyway, writing my new book got me thinking about my second novel, Note to Self, which is due to be released in mid September by the lovely people at Diversion Books. What with Time Rep being published last month, I haven’t really said much about it, so I thought now might be a good time. Are you ready? Then here goes:

The first thing to say about Note to Self is that I’m really scared about its release. You see, with Time Rep it was easy – the book had already been available on the internet for free for a couple of years before being published, so I had already seen a decent amount of feedback on it, and therefore knew roughly what to expect. Note to Self however has only been read by a handful of people at the time of writing, so there’s a lot more uncertainty in my mind as to how it will be received. The other thing to say is that as a novel, it is very different to Time Rep. Time Rep was a comedy; a light-hearted caper, and while Note to Self moves at a similar pace (in fact, it probably has more action in it), it’s certainly more serious in tone. The style of writing is also quite different, and I guess that’s down to my age. I started writing Time Rep when I was 21 and finished it when I was 27. Note to Self on the other hand was started when I was 27, and only finished this year. I’m now 32, so you can imagine how you change as a writer over eleven years – for a start, I’ve learnt to never use the word ‘moreover’.

But what is Note to Self about? Well, if you haven’t read the blurb, I suggest you go and do that now, then come back. Don’t worry – I’ll wait here for you.

Are you done? Ok, welcome back. What did you think? Did the blurb sound intriguing enough for you to want to know more? I hope so. For those of you who liked the sound of all that (both of you, that is,) here’s an extended synopsis, just to whet your appetite:

An ordinary day in the office starts to turn a little bit peculiar for middle-aged accountant Richard Henley when he is paid a visit by Cassandra – a mysterious girl in her early twenties who insists on taking him out for dinner that evening. Despite having never met each other before, Cassandra knows an awful lot about Richard’s life, from the details of his divorce three years ago, to his current living arrangements. Although he is initially hesitant, there is something about Cassandra he finds compellingly familiar, and he agrees to meet up with her. However, when Richard goes to meet Cassandra for dinner that evening, he soon begins to question his sanity when she fails to show up, and he starts receiving strange notes seemingly written in his own handwriting. As impossible as it seems, the notes are able to change before his very eyes, and even engage him in conversation. They warn him that he is in terrible danger, that a group of people are trying to kill him, and that he must follow the written instructions if he wants to stay alive. Richard doesn’t know what to believe, but soon finds out the notes are telling the truth. But how is any of this possible? And why is he being hunted? The answers to these questions will push Richard’s grip on reality to the limit, taking him to places he never knew existed, and force him to question everything he ever thought possible…

That’s it. I think the mystery in Note to Self is a bit more complicated that the one in Time Rep. And before you ask, no – the ultimate explanation has nothing to do with time travel, nor is he mad, nor is he dreaming. Yet the notes do indeed change before his very eyes, and are even able to read his thoughts. How is that possible, you ask? Well you’ll just have to read the book to find out!

At time of writing, Note to Self is scheduled to be released on the 13th September.

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