Something Old, Something New

‘A Genuine Mistake’ #12 in the Freeman Files Series went ‘live’ on 27th March.  

I plan to start writing #13 “Strange Beginnings’ by the middle of April.

I didn’t have to think too hard about what I might do after finishing the last book. The weather brightened for a few days, and I was invited to carry out remedial work to the patio. Invitations from my wife aren’t RSVP; they’re a call to action.

A cold wind arrived from the Arctic this week, and outside activities have been curtailed; so, I’ve taken the opportunity to publish more collections: –

 A Box Set for Books 7-9 in the Freeman Files Series

A Box Set for Books 10-12 in The Phoenix Series

A Collection of Something Old, Something New called The Long Hard Road.

The Long Hard Road

Are you searching for real characters and original story lines? Do you want books that you can’t put down? For anyone that hasn’t read me before then this collection gives a flavour of what to expect. Why not give it a try?

I can’t promise French hens or turtle-doves – but there are 2 short stories, 2 anecdotes, 3 blog posts, poems, a sketch, a dash of humour and a full-length novel to enjoy.

It was fun compiling this mixed bag, and at $1.99, it’s great value.

Friday the 9th of April looms large! That’s when my next BookBub Featured Deal is scheduled for the Freeman Files Box Set Books 1-3. Last September when they featured this title, it had a mere NINE reviews. Today that figure stands at 1028. Fingers crossed for another good day.

I’ll be back with an update towards the middle of May.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Golden Memories

‘A Genuine Mistake’ #12 in the Freeman Files Series is 50% complete.

I’m aiming to publish it before the end of March.

The past month has been a roller-coaster ride. The weather doesn’t seem to know what to do from one day to the next – nor does the Government. My wife and I are weary of lockdown now, our annual trip to Ibiza has been cancelled for the second year in a row. We still can’t visit our children and grandchildren in a sensible fashion. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve lost count of number of times I’ve heard that it’s a train not the exit. Writing two to three thousand words each day has been my escape.

Music is another of my passions, and at the end of February a DJ from a club we played in regularly reminded me it was 50 years to the day since we supported Genesis at the Granary Club, in Bristol. Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and the others were on the brink of stardom and they had already arrived at the venue when we pitched up in our Ford Transit and our roadies unloaded the gear.

I watched from the centre of the hall as Peter Gabriel set up a bass drum, plus a microphone to use during their performance. Phil Collins came to join me and said hello. I asked him how he felt about Peter adding extra embellishments to their sound.

Phil gave an enigmatic smile. ‘He’s not of this planet, you know,” he replied.

The conversation continued until we had to take to the stage for our one hour warm up slot. We were better than average that night; Genesis were great. It was only a matter of time for them.

(In a poll a few years back, that night was voted the favourite gig from the 1968-88 period that the Granary Club opened its doors)

Fifty years? Well, in October it will be Golden Wedding time for my wife and I. How does that relate to this story? On the day I met Phil, I’d just received confirmation for the hotel booking in London for our honeymoon. (Just a few days – we had gigs to fulfil). He asked where we were staying, and it was just around the corner from their agent’s offices in Lancaster Gate.

  “Mike (Rutherford) and I will be in the Swan on Bayswater Road on Monday lunchtime. Pop in for a drink.”

So, we did. Lynne and I visited Carnaby Street and the King’s Road to shop in the morning. Then got back to the Swan by one o’clock. Genesis were off to Germany the next day for a series of TV shows. Lynne and I enjoyed a couple of hours drinking and chatting about music with two great guys. Happy days.

I’ll be back with an update in the middle of April.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Better Late, Than Never

‘Buried Secrets’ #11 in the Freeman Files Series went ‘LIVE’ this morning.Let me explain – I started writing ‘A Genuine Mistake’ on the 18th of January as planned. When I was twenty thousand words in, I realised that I’d grabbed the notes for the murder mystery that I had scheduled for #12 in the series. I blame lockdown, plus the excitement of my first jab on the 30th.

I couldn’t face starting again, so I contacted The Cover Collection and asked for minor adjustments to the two covers involved. Once that was sorted, I started to write again. I published Book #10 on the 7th of January, so to get the next case done and dusted by the 16th of February was satisfying. Please don’t assume this sets a precedent!

It reminded me of a story from my early days as a Cost Accountant in the mid-Sixties. People from the Technical Department would drop Estimate Requests on my boss’s desk. I was keen to prove that I could provide an accurate costing with my newly acquired skills and got stuck in as soon as they left the office. When it was complete and my boss had nodded his approval, I suggested I drop in into the Technical Department. No, he said, stick it in the drawer for a couple of days. We don’t want people to think they can expect that sort of turnaround every time they want a job costed. There will be days when we’re rushed off our feet. I find it best to tell them it will be four or five days, then when you get it back to them in three now and again, they think you’ve done them a big favour!

I’ll double-check my notes before I start ‘A Genuine Mistake’ in a week or so; I need to re-charge my batteries first. 

So, I estimate that Book #12 should be ready by the end of March.

Of course, I’ve been wrong before…

I’ll be back with an update in March.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

Keep Right On

‘All Things Bright’ #10 in the Freeman Files Series went ‘LIVE’ this morning.

I’m pleased to report that my wife, Lynne, is almost fully recovered from her operation now. We spent Christmas and New Year alone due to the restrictions that existed at the time.

Another total lockdown followed, and we’re back in survival mode just as we were last March. A vaccine is on the horizon. I’m sure, wherever you are, it can’t come soon enough.

I started research for the next six titles in the Freeman Files Series on New Year’s Day. Work on #11 ‘A Genuine Mistake’ begins on Monday 18th January.

You might stumble across a post containing ‘My 2020 in Books’ online. You will see that I read & reviewed 215 books last year. I’ve decided to curb my enthusiasm in 2021 to concentrate on writing.

I follow a Facebook Page that each day features Births, Marriages, Deaths, & News Headlines for the town in which I’ve lived for 70 years. I spotted a reference recently to a soldier who returned home after being interned in a POW camp in Italy.

Phil Tayler was my uncle (1916-79), and he was taken prisoner late in 1942. The first battle of El Alamein was in July; the second battle, around October time. Uncle Phil talked about the many occasions he went drinking with my father, Vic, (1914-93) whenever he visited our house. There was only one afternoon when he spoke about how he got taken prisoner. I was seventeen at the time.

Uncle Phil was in a convoy of trucks that left camp at dusk. A sergeant drove, and lance/corporal Tayler sat beside him. They had made similar journeys together on many occasions, moving stores and ammunition to various positions along the front line. Tonight, they were ‘Tail-end Charlie’, the last truck in the line.

“Let’s just say those positions were fluid, Ted,” he said.

Around midnight, a sandstorm blew up and the sergeant had a devil of a job tailing the truck in front. They drove for fifteen minutes and as the storm abated, they sighed a huge sigh of relief to see a line of trucks twenty yards ahead.  Several minutes later the trucks ahead came to a halt. Uniformed men surrounded the truck.

“Hände hoch!”

They’d latched on to the end of a German convoy doing the same job, moving stores and ammo from a base camp to forward positions.

Uncle Phil was moved to Italy later that year and spent the rest of the war as a POW. He never spoke about his experiences, and I was never 100% sure that the reality of how he got there was how I’ve described it here. His story makes a good story though, and I retold it to mark the 75th anniversary of his coming home to my Auntie Eileen.  

I’ll be back with an update in February.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

Best Laid Plans

I was hoping to be well into ‘All Things Bright’ #10 in the Freeman Files Series by the time I wrote to you this month. Best laid plans, as they say. All the preparatory work was completed by mid-November and three thousand words written.

Then my wife, Lynne, had to be rushed into hospital in Bath for a major operation. I’m happy to report that the surgery was successful, she’s home and making slow but steady progress.

When I semi-retired in 2000, Lynne was still working full-time, so I took up the household duties. Getting into elements of it again wasn’t an issue. In fact, it was easier this time because our three kids have left home!

So, the writing had to stop for the past three weeks. Instead of five hours per day in my office, I’ve snatched an hour here and there. I’ve prepared a Box Set of Books #4-6 in the Freeman Files Series that’s poised for publication; and I sourced a new cover for ‘Conception – Birth of The Phoenix’, the prequel to the Phoenix Series.

That title, plus the 2 early novels that it contained have been edited and updated. (Let’s just say they’re less likely to offend)

The past month shows that there are no guarantees, but my aim is still to complete ‘All Things Bright’ by mid-January. After that, it’s full steam ahead with titles #11 – 16. Around this time next year, I’ll be planning for 2022. If Gus Freeman is still as popular as he’s proved this year, then who knows? Perhaps twenty-four books in the series isn’t out of the question.

I’ll be back with an update in the New Year.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes for the Festive Season for you and yours