Hot on the heels of increased sales – yes, only 4 books but I am counting it – comes the first review for Once Upon A Week.
“What a little gem of a book.”
I will take that. Maybe I have written two good books. Oh, for a wider audience.
Talking about audiences, I am thinking of some audience participation on here in connection with the novel I am currently writing. I cannot give too much away before it is finished, but crossword style clues are involved. These clues are sort of cryptic but not as in a cryptic crossword, more like a very amateur cryptic clue. What did you expect? I wrote them. I want to see if people can work them out, because if they can’t then how can my characters? Therefore, I may put one in a blog every now and then to see who can come up with the correct answer.
Now you might think it a bit silly of me to be very loathe to give out more of the plot but I am wary of people nicking my ideas. Who would nick ideas from a fourth rate author, I hear you ask. Well, it may or may not have happened before.
I don’t know if I heard this in L A LAW or Suits but apparently, there is nothing new under the sun. That is, more than one person can have the same idea. Let’s look at two examples, both from my first novel Trance. First I would remind you that I first put pen to paper in 1981 and Trance was always the title. The book did not come out in print until 1991.
When I started writing I wanted to put something in the book that people had not read or seen before – an eye opener, as the first chapter was titled. I had never seen it on TV or read about it in a book at that time. In the first chapter I had the main character, who was on a driving lesson, chase after another car in which a girl had just been abducted.
Roll on to 1988 and The Naked Gun, in which there is a scene where Frank Drebin commandeers a car to chase the bad guy and it is a girl having a driving lesson. I had this idea in 1981 but my book did not come out until 1991. I didn’t see the film at the cinema but on TV so it would have been after my book came out. I was not amused let me tell you.
In chapter 8 of Trance, the hero gets captured, is tied to a four poster bed, escapes and then has to take part in a hunt where he is the prey, getting the better of the predator by trapping him in a pit. In a series called Relic Hunter, the episode Run Sydney Run has similarities shall we say. This was aired in 2001 in the US and probably later over here. Obviously I was more annoyed by this because by then my book was in the public domain.
What really irked me and still does, is that two ideas I had when I laboured on my first novel were thought good enough to make it to screen but not when I tried to sell them. No wonder I am paranoid.
Despite this though, I did tell someone about the clues in my novel because I forgot this when I posted yesterday. I wrote to James Patterson, because one of the clue answers I use – and again this idea I had 20 years ago – was sort of referenced in one of the newer Alex Cross books. I think I sent the whole puzzle as proof. I never got a reply on that one.
Anyway, it is the end of the week and I managed to post every day of my holiday as intended, so that’s something.
once upon a week