The Power & The Pain

I’ve been very ill these last few days. It’s mostly self-inflicted. I smoke too much, which aggravates my breathing problems, and although I’m diabetic, I don’t keep a close enough eye on my diet.

While lolling around the settee in a pale imitation of Camille, I had time to think. Truth be told, that’s all I could do. I’ve never felt so manky. And while I was contemplating the ills of the world and the Web, I thought how curious it is that a simple comment can change your whole attitude.

In last week’s post I mentioned a title, The Deep Secret, first published by Crooked Cat in 2013, and how I’d decided to drop it. I didn’t give a reason, and Steph Patterson, who with her husband Laurence, runs Crooked Cat, asked why I’d abandoned it.

The Deep Secret came about as a result of a challenge. Could I write a novel in a week? Well, yes, I could. I turned out 60,000 words in seven days (now you might see why I don’t do nanowrimo). From there, I developed the tale and the result was The Deep Secret.

Steph had considerable input on the project. Born and raised in Heidelberg (please forgive me if I got that wrong, Steph) she helped with the setting and she was responsible for the German phrases I used. A necessary expedient since my German is worse than my French and Spanish, and they’re limited to ordering tea and toast.

The truth is I never felt The Deep Secret was up to the mark, but in deference to Steph’s query, I dug out the original manuscript and read it again. It was a revelation, and a testament to Crooked Cat’s vision. It is actually, quite good (that’s a personal opinion, and since I’m my biggest critic, it probably says something about the work). It needed some attention, so I’ve spent the last week working my way through it, trimming words here and there, cutting out unnecessary speech tags, and I deleted an entire section which was completely irrelevant, and probably part of the original ‘novel in a week’ challenge.

The result is The Power, which is now live and available on Amazon (check out my books page).

My thanks go to Steph for this. Without her simple query, it would never have happened.

In republishing this tale, it presents me with another problem. I now have two titles with Felix Croft and Millie Matthews chasing the bad guys, and one with Wes Deakin and Sam Feyer.

That is not a problem per se, but the similarities between the four characters could be, especially the lack of contrast between Croft and Deakin. Both come from privileged backgrounds, both are counsellors and hypnotherapists, both are head of department in their relative colleges, both have lost someone close to them, both ally themselves with police inspectors (a chief inspector in Deakin’s case) and the only marked difference is the question of whether Deakin was personally responsible for his wife’s murder.

Should I change things?

For the time being, the answer is no. It’s a matter I’ll judge in the near future. There are sufficient differences to validate both scenarios.

In the meantime, there are now four books on sale, and you can catch up with them on the my books page.

And don’t forget, if you want to keep ahead of the game, you can register for my newsletter, HERE

That’s all for now. I’m going to take another dollop of jollop, then go back to the settee and carry on pretending I’m Camille.

Who is Robert Devine?

Well, he’s me, obviously.

Much of my work is published under my real name, David Robinson, and is quite light-hearted. Working with Crooked Cat Books I’ve published no less than 16 titles in the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries. In addition I’ve put out a number of self-published titles, all of them blatantly humorous. The STAC Mysteries are cosy crime and like my other work, they’re laced with chuckles. It has to be said that they were very successful.

But there’s another side to me, a side that likes to look at the dark side of human nature, the capacity of some people to commit acts of inhuman savagery. To satisfy that curiosity, I put out two thrillers with Crooked Cat: The Handshaker and The Deep Secret. There’s a third facet to my character, one that likes to look at the esoteric; themes which border on science fiction, other ideas which carry mankind into space, Taking with him his natural tendency towards violence and war. A part of that emerged in a novel entitled Voices, again published by Crooked Cat.

They did not sell. The few reviews they garnered were positive, but it didn’t matter what I tried, I could not sell these books, and it took me a while to realise why.

At my insistence, Crooked Cat published them under my real name, and people would visit the book page on Amazon, then promptly shift focus to the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries.

When the contracts were up, I asked Crooked Cat to return the publishing rights to me. I completely abandoned The Deep Secret, and I republished The Handshaker under the title Dominus, and Voices under the title Ghosts. But I did so under a pseudonym, Robert Devine. There’s no point asking me where I got the pen name from. I can’t remember, but both books were published in the spring of this year, 2018.

I did not publicise them. They were, after all, older titles, republished with different covers. I did a little editing, but aside from that, nothing had changed in them.

I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember and I’ve been writing full-length fiction for the last 25 years. It’s only since the advent of e-books that I’ve had the opportunity to get my work out.

I love churning out humour. I’m that kind of man; one who can see the funny side of everything. But, even so, the dark side needs an outlet, and Robert Devine provides me with the necessary channel.

With the publication of my third RD novel, The Frame, it’s now time to let the world know that Robert Devine is here.

The Frame has taken a comparatively long time to produce. Because I dictate my work directly under computer screen, I usually work very quickly, but I had any number of problems with this title. I tried using the character Felix Croft (from Dominus) as the protagonist, but for a number of reasons it didn’t work. He’s too easy-going for the kind of hard-line thrillers I had in mind. I also wanted a strong, female lead, and Millie Matthews (again from Dominus) didn’t quite fit the bill.

In the end I came up with ex-army officer, Wes Deakin, and Detective Chief Inspector Samantha Feyer, and placed them in a critical situation in the fictional town of Havensby, on the Yorkshire coast. Attentive readers will realise that Havensby bears a startling resemblance to Scarborough. Hardly surprising, since it’s based on Scarborough.

With the characters and location in place, I began to write in earnest, and Robert Devine published his first original novel a couple of days ago.

They’ll be more from Feyer and Deakin. I’m already working on the next title, Substitute, and I hope to have in place early in the New Year.

So there you have it. Now you know who Robert Devine is. Why not pop over to the My Books page and check out his works.

You can also sign up for my newsletter. I’m not going to bribe you with offers of free books. By the same token I’m not going to bombard you with emails every other day. But I’m in the process of planning a monthly newsletter to bring you up to speed on the characters, the locations, forthcoming titles new releases, and there will be the occasional special offer exclusive to newsletter subscribers. You can find the link at the top of the page.