My name is Robin Roughley, author of fourteen books in the DS Lasser crime series set in sunny Wigan. I also write the DS Marnie Hammond series, the first of which, Keep You Near, is now available through Bloodhound Publishing.
Writing has always been something I had wanted to pursue and yes, I have the dog-eared manuscripts in the bottom drawer, failed attempts at writing the next big blockbuster. Most writers of a certain age have been through the process of printing out the first three chapters of their masterpiece and sending it out to the few agents who would be willing to take a look. Then you have the three-month wait and the thud of the returned manuscript hitting the mat with the small slip inside that simply says, 'not for us.' Hundreds of manuscripts piling up in an agent's office, the famous slush pile from which the chosen few will be picked and brought forth into the light, blinking in the sun like cavemen after a heavy winter of raw meat and frozen toes.
However, while I was busy driving trucks for a living there were super brains out there working on computers and discovering ways in which we could communicate faster than ever before.
Fast forward and you had the rise of Amazon and suddenly I heard strange rumblings about how you could write that book and upload it so people could actually read it!
Suddenly, there was no need to print out those chapter and buy those stamps, a few clicks and there it was – your very own book ready to take the world by storm.
So, that is what I did, of course the taking the world by storm bit hasn't arrived yet, but small steps forward and more books followed and slowly I started to get reviews and on the whole people said they enjoyed reading what I had produced. No agent, no gatekeeper saying, 'not for us', no middle man telling you what to write or how long the work should be, no one to please but yourself and the small band of readers that were growing on a daily basis. And all this because those super brains pushed the boundaries and their skill and endeavor has opened a whole new world for the writer.
Now we are INDIE and not vanity writers, now we can do-it-ourselves.
So, what do I actually love about what I do for a living? Well, the thing I love above all else is the writing process. Building a novel with interesting character and gripping story lines that keep the reader turning the pages and keep them engaged and caring about what happens to those characters. As far as I am concerned the best plot in the world is nothing without the right characters to drive the story along.
I have no set pattern or rituals I simply plonk myself down at the kitchen table with a pack of jelly babies and coconut mushrooms and get to work.
The crime genre is a fantastic area to work in as there are no limits, no boundaries to restrain you and endless ways to bump people off and get away with it!
With regards to plotting, I have tried once in the past to plan things out but for me it simply didn't work and I found myself wandering away from the plot line until I became lost in the trees, like Hansel and Gretel minus the breadcrumbs.
Finishing a book is always a great feeling and then you have to forget it and move onto the next one, always striving to improve and find new ways to connect with the audience.
Introduction to Bloodhound
Now, for the first time, I have the support of the Bloodhound team and working with such vibrant and dedicated individuals has been a joy and one I hope to continue with. I am still an indie writer and part of me always will be but it is good to collaborate with people whose judgement you admire.
Betsy started Bloodhound to help writers take the next step, being a successful writer herself she knows what it takes to produce a book and she also knows the numerous pitfalls that we all suffer from, the days when the writing is hard fought and you can't find a way forward. She knows that writers are not machines and it is good to know that she empathises with all the minutiae of the writing process.
So, Marnie Hammond is ready to step out of that cave, she won't be wearing bear skins but she will be ready to survive in what will be a very hostile environment.
Hope you like her and many thanks to all the readers who have made all this possible.