charlie_cochrane: (jury of one)
Am looking forward to a (relatively) quiet weekend, after the golf a fortnight ago, then the Bold Strokes Bookfest last weekend and another conference (Church schools) yesterday. I feel like putting on my pyjamas, locking the door and just watching sport on the telly.


Giveaways: Sherry was chosen by the random number generator to win the audio copy of Lessons in Love. The next giveaway is a copy of Aftermath (my very first published story and now out of print) to everyone on this list. I’ll send that out in the autumn. But that’s not all! It’ll have a bonus, brand new epilogue to tell you what happened to Edward and Hugo afterwards. Edward and Hugo, incidentally, were the first of many of my characters to take their surnames from rugby players, Sean Lamont and Simon Easterby. My lads, I believe, are more handsome.


Hot on the heels of Jury of One I’ve started playing around with a third Lindenshaw book, thanks to a chat over dinner with my eldest daughter that descended into a lot of humour at the expense of Time Team and other archaeological matters. This is the (totally unedited) start:

“And this is our safeguarding checklist. If you’ll just sign it to show you’ve read it and agree to abide by it…”
Adam nodded, read the sheet of paper and signed it at the bottom.
Adam Matthews, Deputy Headteacher.
He fancied writing the job title again as it had felt so good the first time. His first deputy headship, and a real chance to put a feather in his cap, given that Wendover Church of England Primary School officially “required improvement” and he’d been recruited to help the new headteacher light such a firework under the staff that by the next time the Ofsted inspectors popped their cheery heads round the door they’d rate the school as at least “good”.
Before any of that could happen he’d have to go through the standard induction procedure, almost all of it necessary, some of it boring and some elements—like safeguarding and the location of the men’s toilets—vital.
Soon it was all done and he had the chance to familiarise himself with the place, including sitting in with the year 6 class which he’d be taking two days a week and who were at present under the beady eye of Mrs. Daniel, the teacher who’d have them the other three days. The pupils seemed a cheery enough bunch, eager to show their new deputy just how good they were at maths. He sat down at one of the tables, where they were mulling over fractions, although it wasn’t long before they wanted to bombard him with questions, the subject of a new member of staff—and that rare thing in primary education, a man—being much more interesting than halves and quarters. In the end, Adam, Mrs. Daniel and the class came to the arrangement of making the last five minutes of the lesson a question and answer session, in return for which the children would work like billy-oh until then. The plan worked.
“Which team do you support, sir?” opened the official interrogation.
“Saracens, for rugby. Abbotston for football.”
“Are you married, sir?”
“No.” Until he had an idea of how mature his class were, he’d better keep quiet about the exact mature of his relationship. “I have got a Newfoundland dog, called Campbell.”
“Wow! Will you bring in a picture of him?”
“Of course. He can keep an eye on you all.” One day perhaps he’d be able to bring a picture of Robin in to show the class, but that was probably wishful thinking. Children had open minds but too often they filled with an imitation of their parents’ prejudices.

Bargain buys: Riptide are having flash sales throughout July for Pride month. Sorry if you missed Lessons for Sleeping Dogs on Amazon and Kobo cheap as chips, but keep an eye on my blog for another bargain coming up!

And finally...
Here’s me arsing about as usual at the BSB event. It was a quiz. I got the hang of it eventually.

charlie_cochrane: (kiss the vicar)
Back home now, at least briefly. UK Meet next weekend, which is always great fun. If you, or anyone you know, is contemplating coming next year, make sure you/they sign up for the newsletter (link on right side of any page of the UK Meet website) to get the latest updates.


Am armpit deep in first batch of edits for “Jury of One”, which is the working title for the follow up to “Best Corpse for the Job”. Due for release next March, if I can ever get these characters to behave themselves.

Have also signed a two-book contract – one historical, one contemporary – of which there will be more news anon, because it’s all a touch hush hush but extremely exciting at present.

In other news, am in the initial stages of getting “Lessons in Love” into an audio version. The chap I want to narrate it is involved in other projects at present, so hopefully we should be getting things up and running in October.

And finally, because everybody needs a floral crab in their lives...

charlie_cochrane: (Lessons for survivors)
And here we are in February – where has the year gone? Not long soon now to Purbeck Literary Festival. Liam has promised to wear one of his stunning jackets. We’ll blink and it will be April and then it’s Bookcrossing with the equally snazzy Deadly Dames.


Lessons for Survivors is now on sale everywhere. It always feels a bit odd to rerelease a book, but there are always new readers to be found. It’s a great reality check when people say “I’d never come across this series” when the first one has been out for best part of six years.

Am working on a sequel to “The Best Corpse for the Job” (or would be if the characters would like to tell me why one of them isn’t answering his phone.)

Had a cracking time at the International Thriller Writers (which includes cosy mystery writers!) meet up in London. That’s me, hiding up the back next to my old pal JL Merrow. It’s a great organisation, and it’s free, so I’d recommend anybody who qualifies to join to go and do so. We’ll be having another big book giveaway in March, about which I’ll post more details here.

charlie_cochrane: (promises made)
We’ve had all four seasons this week and now seem to be back to winter. (Short sleeves and sun cream on Monday, back in woolly jumpers today!)


Am delighted to be the first person on the “meet the delegates” feature over at the UK meet blog. Want to know what I keep in my wardrobe?

Am also over at Brenda Williamson’s blog, discussing the intriguing (and infuriating) differences in US and UK English.

Want me to send you an authorgraph for your e-books? Just mail me, letting me know which book you’d like “signed”.

And now, a sneak peak of the free story which I’ve written for the UK Meet 2013 USB stick giveaways. I’ll post it here, properly, in August.


Jonty Stewart put down his book and picked up his thoughts.
He’d never been a great fan of H.G. Wells, but Orlando had insisted that he give this book a try and—glory be!—he’d not regretted it. A strange book, or so it had proved, a mixture of scientific and sociological speculation, entertaining but rather disturbing. Jonty wondered whether he should ask Dr. Panesar if such a time machine would be possible, if some future generation would be able to take to travelling across the centuries, as his own generation were wrestling to make travel in the skies a practical reality.
Second thoughts suggested that might not be the most reliable way forward, as Dr. P—who considered everything possible—was bound to say “yes”.
Still, a bit of speculation on the topic would stave off the ennui; Jonty had to find something to do for the next week. He turned to the empty space in his bed, a space bereft of Orlando Coppersmith, who’d left that very morning for an important mathematical conference at St. Andrew’s. He had a paper to deliver and wanted to make a really good fist of it, unlike the previous occasion when he’d muttered into his waistcoat for forty five minutes and bored everyone rigid. Orlando had been in such a state on leaving the house that he’d come back twice, once because he’d got it into his bonce that he’d not packed any clean socks—despite the fact that both Jonty and Mrs. Ward had checked his case—and a second time because he’d not kissed Jonty goodbye.


My front garden. Blossom. *happy sighs*

charlie_cochrane: (promises made)
Am reposting this as the previous attempt ended up screwy.

Sorry for the hiatus, but normal service about to be resumed. Outside my window the sun is shining, while hailstones are falling - ah, April, I love thee. Ooh, and the end of April means the end of the early bird discount for UK Meet bookings. If you're intending to come, don't miss out on saving money!


Normally this week is a Beare week, but the silly old buffer’s having a month off. Still, if you need your dose of Lords of Aether, don’t forget about the free e-book of the collected episodes, available here.

And while we’re talking freebies, have you got British Flash? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Some wonderful stories, including the marvellously wistful They Who Come After the Stories End by Sophia Deri-Bowen and my contribution, Commission and Omission.

Arromanches, 1994

Only now is Stephen's white hair a true indication of his age; it turned prematurely grey fifty years ago, here. No-one in the family enquires about it any more. What happened to him, why his life changed, remains an unasked question among many unasked questions. Like the perennial, "Why did you marry me if you don't love me?"
Now he's old and canny enough to employ selective deafness. He doesn't hear when the girl at his arm says, "Why do we have to visit this field, grandfather?"
How can he explain? Would he start with that grey day in 1939, the rain streaming down the windows of a poorly lit room where he and two dozen other men were waiting to offer their services to their king and country? How there was another young man, budging up on the bench so he could sit down and saying, "Welcome to the madhouse."
How can Stephen say, "My life began then, in that room, when David smiled and I took my place at his side. It ended here, in this field."
He's never told anyone how much he enjoyed those weeks of officer training with David in the same billet; how could he keep his voice from betraying all his heart has hoarded away?
If his granddaughter said, "Did you make any friends, grandfather?" could he trust himself to say, "Yes, Lucy. There was one in particular."? Surely it would come out as, "Yes, Lucy. There was one and I loved him with all my heart. As I never loved your grandmother."

The thought that summer might one day come.

charlie_cochrane: (Default)
Very much a fly by newsletter as we’re on holiday – wore ourselves out at the Provincetown carnival yesterday


so we’re having a quiet day and I’m catching up! Lovely scenery here, eh?


Just one bit – don’t forget that you’ve only a week left to register for the UK Meet (weekend of 14th to 16th September). It’s going to be brilliant so if you’re umm-ing and ah-ing, make your mind up soon!


You all know how I love whales. This pair were logging – i.e. catching a sneaky forty winks) right by the whale watching boat!


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