Today I am delighted to welcome author Matthew Redford to my blog as part of Spring Reading Week. Matthew has penned a guest post about the journey from inspiration to publication with his novel, Addicted To Death. First things first though – the all important bookish bits.
Official Book Blurb
Following the murder of Benedict and Darcy Blacktail, two eggs savagely beaten to death outside their home by an unknown, fedora wearing assailant brandishing a large metal spoon, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, carrot and the leading food detective in the police force, is called in to investigate.
When the only food sapiens minister in the Government, Professor Perry Partridge, is murdered at the Strawberry Strip Club, run by the young damson Victoria Plum, DI Wortel suspects that the two cases may somehow be linked.
As the Head of the Food Related Crime Division, DI Wortel is ably assisted by his human colleague Sergeant Dorothy Knox. But as their investigation begins, four celebrity chefs are sent death threats.
It’s a recipe for disaster as the incarcerated evil genius MadCow McBeef is seeking parole; someone appears to have crumbled Mr Bramley’s apples; and there is an anti-GM food protestor on the prowl. And why do Oranges and Lemons think they owe someone five farthings?
DI Wortel and his team must find out who is seemingly addicted to death. It will take all efforts – human, fruit and vegetable – to figure this one out.
So now I’ll hand you over to Matthew
From story inspiration to publication
Firstly I would like to say thank you for allowing me the opportunity to write a short article for your blog, specifically looking at my journey from inspiration to publication.
Well, after careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that the journey could not have been completed without coffee. Lots of coffee. At all stages of the process.
But before we get into a conversation about decaf versus full strength; latte versus espresso, full fat milk versus soya, I think it’s worth taking a few steps back so that I can set some context to my journey. And can I also say that the use of the word ‘journey’ makes me feel so very X-Factor…
I have always enjoyed reading and immersing myself in an alternative world; creating the scene in my mind, embracing the creativity of the author. And while as a child it was the ability of someone like Ronald Dahl to paint that picture and capture this child’s imagination, as I matured it was the crime fiction genre which I was attracted towards.
I guess that I have always had an understated ambition and at the back of my mind was a desire to want to write something in which a reader could immerse themselves in, the same way I did when I was younger. But the opportunity to write became limited as I began to focus on my studies and subsequent career as an accountant. And before you ask about my career choice, I apologise!
Once my studies came to an end and I was settled in the organisation in which I now work, this thought which I had packaged away at the back of my mind began to re-emerge, to resurrect itself. And I came to the decision that this was an itch I wanted to scratch, my only issue was how.
You see the thing was that I knew I wanted to write something which would fit within the crime fiction genre; however, I was also sufficiently self-aware to know that I was never going to be able to create a suspenseful cliffhanger in the style of a Patricia Cornwell, Ian Harvey or James Patterson. So I needed to find my voice, my style.
Quirky. I love that word. I don’t think it is used enough. And yet interestingly, people have used it to describe my sense of humour. And I think that’s right. I’m quite at home laughing at your traditional comedies and comedians but I find something a bit off the wall and bonkers just as amusing. So for example, if you happen to have seen Harry Hill on television, trust me, he is even more surreal and left-field on stage and that’s right up my street.
So having settled on writing crime fiction in a somewhat quirky manner, I needed to find the story. And this is where it might get a bit weird for some of you, because, for those of who are not familiar with my books I write about Food Sapiens. Yes, Food Sapiens. Walking, talking, food items who are integrated into our everyday society. So think of a carrot, and now imagine that carrot walks, talks, breathes and solves crimes. Do you have that image in mind? Good. Let me introduce you to Detective Inspector Willie Wortel.
And once I had made that decision to have Food Sapiens, which came about when I wondered who would investigate an egg beating case, the rest was quite easy. And I say easy because the story is a traditional crime fiction based novel. Just that it features Food Sapiens alongside Homo Sapiens.
The difficult part of my journey though was finding the time to write, while holding down a full time job. And it is at this point that coffee makes an appearance. Because, thanks to coffee, I found inspiration to write while sitting in a café near to where I live most Sunday mornings. And so I went through a lot of coffee while I wrote, rewrote, deleted, stared aimlessly at a blank page and then wrote again.
I also never had a consistent approach in that I actually wrote the ending, the beginning, before trying to work out the bit in the middle. Whatever floats your boat is my motto. And if you are feeling a bit lost, well, I find coffee helps that as well.
But gradually over time, Addicted to Death, took shape. And once I was happy with my draft, a little bit of research led me to Authoright, and the rest, as they say is history. The team at Authoright got me and my style and I will always be thankful to them for their input into making the publication of my debut book a really smooth process.
So I hope that this gives you an insight into my slightly offbeat mind. I hope I haven’t scared you away and that’ll you take the time to get to love Food Sapiens like I have. Addicted to Death and a Christmas story, Who Killed the Mince Spy? are both out now.
Thanks Matthew. Food Sapiens! Love it. You’re right, it is quirky and certainly has brought a smile to my face. Just one thing… I often give my cake batter a good beating, and as for food crime – you should see my cooking!. Hope I don’t get a visit from Willie Wortel anytime soon. 😉
You can purchase a copy of Addicted To Death from Amazon UK.
About the Author
Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.
Website – http://www.matthewredford.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/matthew_redford