Monday, 29 September 2014

Interview with Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn

  • Welcome to the Triskele Bookclub, Lindsay. Tell us a little about you and your writing.

I’ve written stories ever since I can remember, perhaps because I read avidly as a child. I’ve still got a few of those stories, and they’re not too embarrassing! I stopped work while my children were little and during that time, I wrote four novels – what I now think of as my apprenticeship. Novel four received some ‘wonderful’ rejections, including a hand-written note from Virago which said I’m sorry to be saying no to this!

When I returned to full-time teaching in a further education college, I had no time to write. But then I got the chance to teach some creative writing and I was hooked again. I began to have some success with short stories and started another novel. In 2005 I left full-time teaching to do an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University. As part of my degree, I wrote the first draft of ‘Unravelling’, which I published independently in 2010, and it then went on to win several awards. I then wrote ‘The Piano Player’s Son’, which was published by Cinnamon Press.

In my writing, I am interested in exploring the dynamics of personal relationships. In particular, I enjoy writing about family relationships, whether between husbands/wives, partners, siblings, parents and children. They often involve power struggles and are a microcosm of the wider dynamic of society’s relationships. The family can be a source of wonderful, nurturing relationships, or a cause of destruction and pain, that mixture of love and hate that is common in many families.

  • I read and enjoyed The Piano Players Son. Tell us a little about the book.

‘The Piano Player’s Son’ tells the story of a family with four grown up children. At the beginning of the novel, the father, Henry, dies, and the mother tells one of her daughters, Isabel, a secret that has been kept for thirty-five years. She also makes her promise not to tell anyone. The novel largely revolves around the repercussions as the secret gradually emerges, including another – perhaps bigger - secret. Nothing is quite as it seems.

The story also concerns inheritance and the difficulties it can cause within a family. I’m not so interested in the inheritance of money but less obviously valuable things. People have told me about cases such as two sisters not speaking to each other again because one got the father’s watch and the other didn’t. It seems to be about something much deeper than the disputed item – more to do with an individual’s place in the family, their worth, how much they were valued. The item in the novel – as the title suggests – is a piano!

  •  Family secrets and complex relationships are a big focus. What were your influences or reasons for writing the novel? 

I am interested in secrets and their impact. It often appears that it is the secret itself rather than the truth behind it that does the damage, especially when the person has died and can’t be asked questions. As Isabel says ‘Finding out undermines all the certainties.’ In the novel ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ also explores the corrosive effects of keeping secrets on the individual. In 1984, George Orwell writes ‘If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.’ And perhaps that’s the main problem with secrets – in order to keep them, we also have to lie to ourselves. We must pile thought after thought on top of the secret, so that eventually we live in a false world. But it doesn’t take a psychiatrist to explain what psychological damage such behaviour is likely to inflict on an individual. Secrets or ‘lies’ are the strongest walls we can build within and around ourselves, trapping us in a prison of deception.

Certainly, the novel suggests that Henry was damaged by the secrets he kept. He poured all his love into his relationship with Eva – the one person who shared the secrets – whereas his relationship with at least two of his children was damaged. His eldest son, Rick, craved affection, but nothing he did ever seemed good enough to gain his father’s love. Grace, the other daughter, was never convinced her father loved her, leaving her doubly upset that she wasn’t there when he died. As she tells her friend Lilian ‘I always thought one day I’d get a chance to ask him if he loved me.’ The effect of keeping secrets appears to have made him an emotionally distant father.

  • You've had a foot in two publishing camps. You self published your first novel but have moved to Cinnamon press, a small Welsh publisher for The Piano Players Son. Why the change in direction?

Self-publishing has leapt forward in the four years since I published ‘Unravelling’, and I was happy to continue with the independent route, especially since joining the Alliance of Independent Authors and being part of such a vibrant group with the emphasis on professionalism. But I entered ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ for the Cinnamon Press novel writing award (some of my short stories have been published by them) and it won. The prize was publication - ‘an offer I couldn’t refuse’.

  • We met at LBF 14, shared a sofa a rowdy ALLI event I recall! What were your experiences of the event and what do you think it offers authors?

The best thing about LBF 14 for me was meeting other ALLI members, both those I already knew and those who previously had been only a name, a few comments and a thumbnail photo. There was a lovely sense of community in the gathering. As a whole, though, I was disappointed with LBF’s offerings for authors. The size of the author area was inadequate for the numbers using it, and the events put on for authors (apart from the ALLI ones) didn’t take into account the professionalism of many indie authors. The session on reviews was an example of this – all the reviewers said they wouldn’t consider reviewing self-published books because you couldn’t guarantee the quality.

  •  They say to be a great writer you must be a great reader. What do you read and who are your literary heroes?

I read mainly novels and poetry. When I was younger I read all the classics, but now tend to read modern novels, probably veering towards literary fiction, although I do enjoy thrillers sometimes. And I think all novels need that ‘must turn over the page to see what happens’ quality that the best thrillers and crime fiction have.

I’m not sure I have literary heroes as such, but writers whose work I’ve loved but haven’t read for a long time include Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Rosamund Lehman, Graham Greene.

More contemporary writers whose work I like include Maggie O’Farrell (especially ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’), Helen Dunmore, Rose Tremain, Anne Tyler (I’m thrilled that some people have compared my books with hers), Stella Duffy, Anne Enright. I’m conscious they’re all women, so redress the balance slightly I also like the Irish writers William Trevor and Sebastian Barry.

  •  What's next for you in terms of your literary career?

I’m about 60,000 words into the first draft of my next novel, provisionally called ‘Phoenix’. It involves a family again, this time a brother and sister are the main protagonists, and its theme is the clash between personal ambition/self-fulfilment and family expectations and demands. I’m hoping to finish this draft by the end of September/October and then start the redrafting and editing process. I hope it will be ready to publish April or May 2015. I will probably take the indie route again. I also hope to continue writing short stories and flash fiction and will send those off to competitions

You're a creative writing tutor, as well as a novelist, what are your three top tips to an up and coming author desperate to see their work in print?

  • 1) Learn the craft of creative writing and write the very best work you can. This includes reading widely and studying how other writers do it.
  • 2) Be prepared to rewrite and rewrite until the writing is polished. Discipline, determination and patience are necessary qualities for writers. Value the feedback you receive whether it’s positive or negative – there is usually something to be learned.
  • 3) When it’s as good as you make it, send it out or find out about self-publishing. It won’t get anywhere tucked away in a drawer.

  •  What advice do you wish you'd been given when you started out as a writer?

The best advice I was given in my early days of writing novels was ‘cut, cut and cut again’. I still think that’s true, but now I realise it’s also important to develop scenes, to flesh them out or dramatise them. Sometimes a first draft is sketchy and the layers need to be added. I also wish I’d understood more of the craft of writing. Most of my fiction was instinctive or what I had absorbed subconsciously from my reading. I’ve learnt a lot about writing from teaching it.
I wish someone could have looked into the future and told me about computers and how indie publishing would burgeon. I was conditioned to believe that if your work was good enough, it would be picked up by a publisher/agent one day. I don’t think that any more, but nowadays it doesn’t matter – the stranglehold of the traditional publishers is being prised apart.
  • What writing ambitions do you still want to achieve?

I want to write and publish more novels. The one I’m currently writing began life with another huge thread attached to it. I eventually had to accept the novel wasn’t working because it was actually two narratives that I was trying to jam into one, like trying to put two feet into one sock. I had to unpick them and decide which thread to go with first. But I’m itching to return to the other thread as soon as I’ve finished the current one. It’s about a young Ethiopian woman who was brought out of Ethiopia when she was about eight and brought up in England by the white middle-class English man who ‘rescued’ her and his wife. I think it will be my most challenging novel to date.
I would also love to be successful in a major competition such as Bridport or Fish publishing. I was one of ten winners for Fish in 2013 with one of my flash fictions, but have only reached the long or shortlist with my stories. But my main ambition is to be read. I would love more readers to find my books.
  •   EBook or Paperback. Your vote?

Definitely paperbook. I love everything about books – the feel, the smell, the covers, the whole experience of seeing the words on the page. I occasionally read on my kindle, but for me, it’s a poor substitute.
  •  Finally, where do you see the publishing industry in a decades time after all the recent changes we've seen?

I would like to think the stagnant heart of traditional publishing will have finally gone and traditional and independent publishing can co-exist as equals. I get worried when I read items such Amazon’s plan for book streaming – customers pay so much per month and have access to any book as part of their subscription. That would seem to put an end to valuing individual authors. A lot of negatives are raised such as too many books and too few readers – and there’s no doubt that visibility is becoming more of a problem – but I hope the positives outweigh the negatives. As writers and readers, we have to remain optimistic.
Thank you for inviting me to be part of Triskele's Book Club, Gillian, and for asking such interesting questions.

Review of The Piano Player's Son by Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn

By Gillian Hamer

Women’s fiction isn’t my first choice of reading genre, even though I like to think I am becoming more adventurous as I get older, but I’m glad I dipped my toe into the intriguing world created by a very talented author – Lindsay Stanberry- Flynn.
Lindsay and I met in person at the London Book Fair in April ’14 and I was immediately taken with her curious nature and wealth of experience, and was delighted to invite her to the Triskele Book Club and take the opportunity to read her latest novel.

This is a complex family saga with layers of intrigue and hidden depths. A family thrown into grief after the death of a much-loved father begins to unravel after Eva (the mother) imparts a three-decade-old secret to her eldest daughter, Isabel.

Isabel becomes the narrator; already facing a multitude of crises in her personal life, this added strain is the final straw. What follows is a story of sibling rivalry, trust and deception, and a shocking conclusion that takes the reader by surprise. Every family member is examined and the relationship within the family unit is dissected in a clever way – something that will make a lot of people uncomfortable in its realism. It’s a personal bugbear of mine that death and grief is often portrayed in books and films as something romantic and heartfelt, and yet, more often than not a death can lead to bitter in-fighting and rivalry at a time when those close to the deceased simply want peace and time to heal. The author does not hold back in showing the real face of bereavement and all its consequences.

Lindsay’s strength as a human being seems to be her ability to understand the frailty of human nature, the complexity of family life, and shows us great insight into building a collection of characters that – while not all likeable – are all believable and realistic. Her strength as a writer is in her ability to create a plot that is gritty with a strong narrative and yet, offer us prose has the lightest of touches and a style that is original and compelling.

A must-read for anyone with an interest in family sagas and women’s contemporary fiction.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Self-Publishing with Matador.

Today we are delighted to welcome Sarah Taylor from Matador to the Triskele blog. Sarah is Marketing Manager at Troubador Publishing, and editor of the Self-Publishing Magazine.

Hello, Sarah. Can you tell us when and why was Matador set up? What is the relationship with Troubador?

Troubador Publishing Ltd, established in the 1980s, is a traditional publishing house and the parent company of Matador, our self-publishing imprint. Matador was launched in 1999 as a response to the wealth of authors approaching us to publish the sort of books a mainstream publisher never would – like biographies, niche non-fiction titles and local interest titles. Matador established itself from the start as high-quality self-publishing, combining the freedom of self-publishing with the quality and distribution of traditional publishing.

In the 15 years that Matador has been running, we’ve grown to a 16-staff-member imprint, offering a full range of publishing, marketing and distribution services, printing over 300 books a year. Not only do we still help the authors we used to – those with the niche, smaller interest titles – but we also help authors who want to print larger amounts of their book and have their books stocked by bookshops across the country. Self-publishing is not a one-size-fits-all process, and the variety of methods we offer can be tailored to an author’s specific self-publishing goal.

What specifically does Matador offer authors?

Matador is all about ‘serious self-publishing’ – we have always placed a great deal of emphasis on quality, and on producing books that wouldn’t look out of place next to books published by Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette, etc. We’re also a bespoke self-publishing services provider – we can do as little or as much as an author wants us to: we don’t have packages or regimented offerings. Editorial work, typesetting, cover design, ebook conversion, marketing, distribution – it all depends on what the author wants for their book. Most of our books have longer print runs that are printed upfront (i.e. 300-500 copies), but we publish Print On Demand books as well. We also offer ebook publishing, either on its own or alongside a physical book – which is a really popular option.

Who is it suitable for and how is it different from going it alone?

Our services are suitable for anyone who wants to self-publish their book and wants a company who can undertake some, most, or all of the different processes involved! Going it alone requires an author to outsource all of the many components involved in self-publishing and bring them all together. Not only can this be very time-consuming, but some of the processes are very difficult to do on your own – for example, distribution is tricky to outsource well, but it’s a vital part of publishing a book if you want to sell your book to the trade.

Typically, what does it cost to publish a book through Matador?

There isn’t a typical cost, as we don’t offer packages, and because it’s all based on the specific book, size and pagination. We also price-check with the different printers that we use so that we can offer the best costs for an author. That’s why we always ask authors to send us a manuscript upfront, so that we can provide an obligation-free quotation. Some authors want to opt for all of the services we offer, and some select specific ones, so prices vary.

Do you have any editorial input in the books you publish?

We turn down about a quarter of the manuscripts that are submitted to us – generally where we feel that the book isn't ready for publication, for example if it needs more work than an copy edit would cover, or if we feel that there would be legal issues with it. If we don’t feel that a book is ready for publication, we’ll give the author feedback – and often these authors go off and work on their book and come back with a manuscript that we can accept for publication. We don't gate keep in terms of content, but we do have a quality control in place!

Who has the final say on design?

As it’s self-publishing, the final say lands with the author. We’ll always provide advice and guidance where we can, and let an author know if we think something isn’t right for their book or genre, but at the end of the day it is up to the author. Our production team take a great deal of pride in their book design and work hard to ensure that our titles are bookshop quality.

Do you link your authors up with editors and designers?

Yes, as well as offering our own editorial and design services in-house, we also provide link-ups to external editors and cover designers – for example, illustrators, map creators and graphic designers.

What if they want to use their own cover?

As long as the specifications fit, it’s high-resolution enough and there are no copyright issues, they are free to do so! Some authors supply their own cover; some use their own front cover and we do the spine and back; some just supply an image for the front cover; and most authors ask us to design their full cover from scratch! The production team can provide feedback and advice on all aspects of cover design, including whether an author-supplied cover is of suitable quality.

Do your authors own their own ISBNs or does Matador provide them? Who owns the rights? Who is the publisher of record?

We own all of the Matador ISBNs, but not in terms of copyright to the work – we’re simply recognised as the publisher/owner of that ISBN. If an author wants to use their own ISBN they can do, but they then need to handle setting up the data with Nielsen and ensuring that the data is disseminating correctly. If we use our ISBN, then we handle all of the bibliographic data management for a title – but again, it doesn’t mean that we own the rights to that book. We do however subscribe to Nielsen’s enhanced data service, which gives our records more prominence when viewed by book buyers.

How easy is it to make changes to ebooks and pbooks post-publication?

If an author wants to make changes to their paperback or ebook, they’re welcome to do so. They can make changes to their existing paperback book – like using revised text or a new cover – and then do a reprint. With ebooks, it’s easier to make changes because we can simply upload new files – it’s also easier to change the pricing of an ebook, whereas printed books usually have the price printed on the back.

How does the payment of authors work?

Royalties are paid quarterly and are sent via BACs, along with a full statement that includes how many books have been sold in that quarter, what channel the books have been sold through and how many copies the author has left.

What distribution channels are Matador books hooked into?

We have accounts with Orca Book Services (part of Marston), who distribute a large amount of our books – and we are on direct supply via Orca to Waterstones. We place a number of our titles each month with Star Book Sales, an established book repping company, who in turn promote titles to retailers nationwide. They work on a national level with big buyers, including Waterstones and WHSmiths, who they present forthcoming titles in that month to, and they also have reps working across the UK, who present titles to bookshops in each region.

We also have accounts with Gardners and Bertrams, the two biggest UK book wholesalers, and we can fulfil orders from our warehouse, ensuring that we can supply bookshops across the UK. We also offer a Print On Demand overseas distribution service to the US, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Australia. In addition, we offer a full ebook distribution service, distributing industry-standard, DRM-protected ePub and mobi files to hundreds of major retailers and libraries worldwide, including Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Google, Nook and Scrib’d.

What sort of marketing do you give your authors?

We have a full range of services for authors that they can take according to their needs – including paperback marketing, which involves us marketing our authors’ books to the trade, to increase book sales, and to the media, to generate media coverage and in turn boost sales. We also offer ebook marketing and use an ebook review site called NetGalley that allows NetGalley members (nearly 200,000, spanning a variety of reviewers, booksellers, librarians, media professionals and educators) to download a DRM-protected free copy of the ebook and then review it and share feedback. We also offer social media marketing, which involves us getting authors set up on Twitter and Facebook, and a full range of marketing materials – including postcards, bookmarks, posters – plus book trailers, inclusion in our IPR License scheme and much more! We’re always on the lookout for new marketing opportunities that we can offer our authors and are often launching new services and improving our existing ones.

Do Matador authors support one another – with practical issues, say, or with marketing?

A lot of our authors are in contact with each other, yes – both on Twitter and in real life! We find that they help each other a lot by providing advice on various aspects of self-publishing, giving valuable feedback and assisting each other with marketing and promotion. They even buy each others’ books!

Lots of our authors meet and network at the industry events that we hold, like The Self-Publishing Conference and our Self-Publishing Experience Days. We’re passionate about providing unbiased advice to self-publishing authors, which is why we hold these events, and also why we publish the quarterly Self Publishing Magazine.

Tell me about the Matador author conferences.

We hold the annual Self-Publishing Conference in Leicester, which is a full-day event packed full of informative sessions on a variety of topics. Self-publishing authors can pick and choose which seminars to attend, allowing them to tailor the day to their own project, and in the breaks they can mingle with other delegates and the self-publishing speakers. Many experts in the industry come and hold session – last year our Keynote Speaker was Alysoun Owen, the editor of the Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook, and we also had representatives from Nielsen and Kobo. Our third annual Conference is in May 2015 and booking opens later this year:
We’ve moved the Conference to a Saturday this year to allow attendees to network at a post-Conference drinks party!

We also hold Self-Publishing Experience Days across the year at printers across the country. Around 10-15 delegates come along and members from the printer and Matador talk about various aspects of printing and publishing, and advise authors how best to go about the various processes themselves – the authors then get to look around the printing firm so they can see how their book will be produced and ask any questions about their specific self-publishing project.

What happens if an author wants to leave?

An author who publishes with Matador owns the copyright to their work, so if they choose to they can withdraw the edition they have with us or let it go out of print. Authors aren’t tied into lengthy contracts.

Tell us some of your success stories? What are you particularly proud of?

Success comes in many guises for our authors, because our authors have varying self-publishing goals and therefore different definitions of success. We’ve had a lot of authors being signed up to mainstream publishers – including Gollancz, Headline, HarperCollins, Palgrave Macmillan and Transworld – plus authors who have won book prizes (we’ve had two category winners at the British Sports Book Awards, and at The People’s Book Prize), as well as authors who have sold out their print runs. We also have authors who appear in national papers and magazines and on TV and radio, plus authors who have signed film/TV rights with external companies. We’re proud of all of our authors – and we’re proud that we help them to achieve their self-publishing dreams.

You can learn more about our authors in our Media Centre – plus via our Twitter feed @matadorbooks, which is a great place to catch up with new developments and author news!

Thank you, Sarah!

Sarah Taylor is the Marketing Manager at Troubador Publishing, where she has worked for over four years. She is also the Editor of The Self Publishing Magazine. She studied at English and Journalism at De Montfort University, Leicester, and has over seven years of publishing experience. Sarah works with self-publishing authors daily to help them market their books and has given numerous speeches at industry events on a variety of self-publishing topics.

Friday, 5 September 2014


I’m JW Hicks, author of Rats, and this is my first outing on the Triskele blog; here’s hoping it’ll be a comfy ride.

I’ve been considering a by-line, and this is what I’ve come up with:- The Maunderings of an Addict of Quirk.

The dictionary definition of quirk is as follows:- idiosyncratic, odd, capricious. Flukey even.

I look for quirk when searching for reading material. Today quirk is easy to find, what with dramatically graphic covers, juicy blurbs, and reviews – there are shed loads of informative reviews to be found, in newspapers and online.

When I was young my local library didn’t have categories. If you wanted science fiction, the paranormal or indeed anything out-of-the-ordinary, then you damn well had to search the shelves, book by dusty book. (You didn’t dare ask old stone-face, she’d just glare, or worse say something patronising.) So, I’ll be sharing my favourite reads with you, hoping to tease you into enjoying my quirk as well as hopefully finding your own.

Quirk comes in many guises, in YA fiction, General fiction, sci-fi, crime, and so on. Quirk, you’ll find, is everywhere. Just look.

My first quirky review is of Carol O’Connell’s Mallory’s Oracle. A detective novel with more than a generous dollop of Quirk.

When you’ve finished reading Mallory’s Oracle you will feel bereft. Straightaway you’ll start searching for another Mallory fix. Be comforted, Oracle was only the start of the series; you’ve ten more to satisfy your craving.

Oracle lays the groundwork for the other ten and introduces you to a most remarkable female detective. If you’re looking for ‘Quirk’ Kathleen Mallory, a 5`10``, blonde, green eyed beauty with a heart of stone, has it in spades. As the series progresses you will learn of how and why Mallory has become what she is; a woman with an ice-cold machine-like brain and a sociopathic personality which enables her to solve the most convoluted, mystifying crimes... and yet somehow manages not turn you, the reader, against her. There is something deep inside Mallory that occasionally surfaces to surprise you. But then you get to thinking, is she finally demonstrating empathy, or putting on a rather clever performance?

Mallory, a feral eleven year old thief, was adopted off the streets by Detective Louis Markowitz and his wife. She learns love, or at least feel the closest thing she can manage to it, for her adopted parents. Fifteen years later, Mallory has followed Markowitz into the NYPD, and is the leading light of the computer department. Her youthful criminal talents not lost, but hidden.

When Louis Markowitz, the man she idolises, is brutally murdered, she uses her compassionate leave to find his killer – by any means in her power. Her formidable hacking skills being only one arrow in her quiver of talents. Others being her relationship with Charles Butler an old friend of her father’s, and Sergeant Riker, a NYPD cop. Only those two men dare to touch Mallory in any way or refer to her by her Christian name.

Along the line, Mallory uncovers a complicated plot that deals with magic, séances, and insider trading.

As O’Connell’s novels progress, so does the gradual unearthing of the terrible secrets that lie in Mallory’s past. Each novel is as breath-holdingly powerful as the one before.

Fascinated by Mallory’s author, Carol O’Connell, I looked for but couldn’t find a website, email address or any other means of contact. As a last resort, and after reading the Publishers Weekly interview with the author, I emailed Louisa Ermelino, Reviews Director, asking permission to use the content on the Triskele blog. She gave permission, and here it is!

An interview with the author, Carol O’Connell. (May 31, 2013) With the permission of Publishers Weekly

Photograph by Sigrid Estrada
An Unlikable Lady Detective: PW Talks with Carol O’Connell.

In Carol O’Connell’s It Happens in the Dark, Kathy Mallory’s 11th outing, the New York Special Crimes Unit detective investigates the murder of a Manhattan playwright.

Tell us a little about the genesis of Kathy Mallory.

Whenever I go out on tour, someone will ask if Mallory is autobiographical. It always startles me. I like to think that I show no markers for a sociopath. Mallory is purely a work of imagination. This answer disappoints everyone.

What do readers make of Mallory’s lack of lovability or even likability?

After my first book was published [Mallory’s Oracle], I received an envelope full of religious material from a fan who wanted to save my soul. That’s when I knew I was on to something.

Mallory’s drive remains as intense as ever, and she’s still lacking in warmth.

Sometimes readers ask for a kinder, gentler Mallory. I explain that if I do that, I’ve got no book. These are character-driven novels, and I like the way the lady drives. In that respect, she has a vehicular-homicide way about her: always a challenge to go through a red light before it can turn green. I suppose I could try to warm up her image by giving her a dog, but the dog would be frightened all the time.

Why does art play a major role in several Mallory novels?

I was raised and educated to be a painter, so I wrote in the closet. When I left school, it was with the objective of becoming a starving artist and dying in the gutter. I messed up that idea when my first book was published. And now, through no fault of my own, I seem to have stumbled on job security as an author.

How would you characterize Mallory’s deductive style?

A lot of Mallory’s display of deductive reasoning is based on her unique sense of sport, tossing something out there just to make your head explode. But then a solid rationale unfolds as one’s brain matter is peeled off the ceiling. She has no superpowers, just a good intellect and the skill set to do the job. Also, as Woody Allen once said, “It’s amazing what you can do when you’re neurotic.”

What keeps Mallory from becoming a PI?

I never flirted with the idea of a PI. They are never involved in open homicide cases; they could lose their licenses for interfering in one. They have very little in the way of resources, no access to evidence, and zero authority. If I were to write a book about private detectives, a novel that would not cause readers to laugh in all the wrong places, it would be a deadly boring book.
—Bob Hahn

Right it’s me, JW, again. Next time I’ll dive into the world of Quirk and talk of CJ Cherryh, my favourite sci-fi writer.

I hope you’ll join me in that other dimension.