Cannibalising? Of course
Last autumn, this story about a new/old Dr Who story really pleased me. It wasn’t just the reappearance of one of my favourite Dr Whos, or the Cambridge connection that was so good, it was the fact that when this episode was left unfinished, Douglas Adams used parts of it for his Dirk Gently books. I went, “Woot! I do that, too. So pleased to know I’m not the only one.”
I throw nothing away that I’ve written. Not until I’ve got every last bit of use from it. (Or I read it through and it’s so awful that I daren’t let it see the light of day in any form, even after a good going over.) If I decide that a work in progress has got no future then it gets pulled apart and used for something else. The first Lindenshaw mystery, “The Best Corpse for the Job” started life as a possible script for a long running television series. I had a contact but alas, the contact left, so I took the basic plot, added a romantic pairing between the detective and one of the witnesses and bingo! A silk purse from a sow’s ear.
Creating the second Lindenshaw book, “Jury of One”, wasn’t quite as clear a case of taking one thing and making it another, but I did take several scenes wholesale from a story that got so deeply stuck that it couldn’t be rescued from the mire of the work in progress swamp. I was really pleased with the interactions in these scenes and they could be adapted beautifully. The fact that most of them involved a policeman taking witness statements didn’t hurt in terms of making the transformation.
I don’t think there’s anything in “Two Feet Under” that’s been cannibalised from elsewhere, although there nearly was. I had some scenes with a particularly strident woman that I thought might work in this novel, but they didn’t. And you can’t squeeze in what doesn’t fit simply because you think it’s a good piece of writing – it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. I’ve saved them to use elsewhere, of course.
Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.
Title: Two Feet Under by Charlie Cochrane
Lindenshaw Mysteries Book Three
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 328 pages/Word Count: 87,600
Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.
When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.
While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.
Purchase Link: Riptide Publishing
About the Lindenshaw Mysteries
Adam Matthews’s life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.
Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.
Detective work might be Robin’s job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam’s irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
To celebrate the release of Two Feet Under, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag, including magnet, napkins, bookmark, pencils, hanging decoration, postcards, and a coaster! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!