A Snowy Sunday in Mid-April?

I’ve just come through what is one of the worst weeks of my life. Nine days since I had the second Covid jab and I haven’t been right since. I’ve felt weak, shaky, generally lacking in both motivation and the energy to look for some. My sleep pattern, such as it is, is severely disrupted and my appetite shot… although, on that last point, I have managed to shed a few pounds.

A couple of times this week, I’ve insisted I’m back to 100%, but in no time at all, I go down again. So what is it?

I blame that second jab, but the truth is the problems simply coincided with that, and some of the areas I was suffering are posted as side-effects. Others aren’t, and there are several possibilities. Blood sugar slightly out of whack, increasing rheumatics and arthritis, and let’s not forget smoking. It gets blamed for everything else, so I might as well chuck it into the mix.

There’s one other candidate: the weather. Here, take a look at this.

That photograph was taken half an hour ago. It’s a glorious sunny morning, but colder than a penguin’s arse. And where the hell did the snow come from? It’s the middle of April. I live on the outskirts of Manchester, not Murmansk (look it up. It’s in the far North of Russia the wrong side of the Arctic Circle.)

Still and all, you can’t let trivia like illness get in the way of work. I once drove from Edinburgh to Leeds while suffering from flu. I had no choice, and it’s the same now. I have no choice.

But how do you write when your mind is full of cotton wool?  With difficulty is the short answer.

Course, writing’s not all about knocking the tale out. There are other aspects to it, such as research. So when a friend suggested sending Joe to Inverness and putting him in a kilt, I looked into the possibility. At the prices they want for a bespoke Murray clan kilt, I could buy a decent second-hand car, but it makes for a fun scene.

Another friend was saying she’s read The Squires Lodge Murders three times and that caused me to wonder what was so attractive about that title… so I spent a day re-reading it. I’m not much wiser. It’s good (he says with all the modesty of a modern novelist) and it’s slightly more varied than most of the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries.

A week or two back I came to the conclusion that I’m better sticking with the lighter whodunits than the hard-boiled stuff. That’s doesn’t mean there will not be more Feyer & Drake titles. There will, but they take time to fully develop. I had other darker works planned, and when I came to this decision, I looked at them with a view to conversion. After all, what’s the difference between The Anagramist and a Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery? Graphic sex, violence, language and elements of realism, I would say. Aside from that the principles are the same.

With that in mind, I now have a third Sanford on the boil, involving a burglary which leads Joe and Co into a twenty-year-old cold case.

As I write, therefore, I have three Sanford Mysteries on the go. A weekend in Cleethorpes will likely be first, followed by a visit to Inverness, and by the autumn, the cold case should be heading your way.

You can’t wait, can you?

Just time to remind you that there are free books available on this site. Check out the Free Stuff link above, and don’t forget The Cutter is scheduled for release on May 25th, and you can pre-order it now at: mybook.to/cutter

Finally, if you want sign up for my Valued Readers’ Club, that link, too, is above, and the first newsletter is scheduled to go out very soon.

That’s it from the madhouse. Have fun, stay safe and read, read, read. It’s so much better than real life.

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