While I was away, I decided to put down my kindle and to comb the bookshelves of the house we stayed in for reading material. That was interesting for a couple of reasons. First of all, I think it made me realise for the first time just how many books and styles I don’t like. I consider myself to be a lover of stories, but there should clearly be a big amendment to that. I rejected a good twenty novels after browsing through their opening pages and there were so many others I didn’t even bother to open.
Another thing that struck me related to books in a series. I finally got round to the second in the Millennium Trilogy (soon to be made up to four books as I understand and don’t know what the word for that is). I really enjoyed it, though I had similar reservations about it as I did to the opener. What I was struck by was the ending. It was clearly only partial. It brought some things to a close, but was signposting the next instalment. This made it slightly unsatisfactory. That made me think of my own (and first) series. There’s a review of Southsiders that asks where the ending is. I think I understand that comment better now. In my own work, I’ve tried to close the loose ends of book one while (hopefully) suggesting that there is more to come in the next novel. I suspect that this is a difficult thing to achieve and also that I may not have found a suitable balance. There’s food for thought, certainly.
And a final treat over the last couple of months was attending the premiere of the film The Legend Of Barney Thomson, based upon a novel by my publisher Blasted Heath. It’s now on general release and I think it’s something you’ll enjoy if you like your humour dark and if anarchic Scottish crime capers are on your radar. Well worth checking out on both page and screen.