Select Page

This is me

The Current Author Photo

I began writing novels around 1985. The first one was called Lord and Master and was utter rubbish.Of course I didn’t know that at the time; if you have an ugly baby, it’s still beautiful to you. And I only know it now simply because I’ve read so much more since then, have written much more too, and have come to appreciate the fine lines of a Stephen King novel or the coarse chiselling of a Bernard Cornwell story – leaving Lord and Master as a pathetic stick man drawn in wet sand. It’s so bad that I keep it in a dusty box because it’s offensive to the eye – even mine, and I’m its father. I wrote Lord and Master long hand and then stole my sister’s Olivetti to make it look like a real pro job – Fail.

Flushed with the success of actually finishing a novel, I wrote Charlotte’s Lodge, a story about an evil old woman with ferocious powers who takes a distinct dislike to her grandson and his poor mother.

Imperial 66

Imperial 66

I wrote Charlotte’s Lodge around 1987 on an old Imperial 66 typewriter that my father got for me. I seem to recall it had a missing letter – though if truth be told, that could have been something I made up one day and now believe to be true. This is about the time when I discovered two things: I enjoyed writing stories very much, and I still wasn’t very good at it.

Next, around 1991, I wrote Knavesmire, a story split between medieval and present day England. I wrote this long hand, getting about 700 words on one side of an A4 page (I’m one of those people who hates turning over!). By now I’d saved up and bought a word processor. It was a Brother and had something like a 2kB memory – wow! It had a small LCD screen that could hold one line of text… you had to scroll along to read the damned thing. You could squeeze about three pages of text into the tiny memory. I’d type in the story from the longhand notes, then print the three pages and delete them so I could type in some more. I remember being not at all happy to later find typos on the page.

Police Tape

In 1996 something life-changing happened. I was offered a job by West Yorkshire Police working as a Scenes of Crime Officer. And so crime thrillers was the only way to go and naturally I wrote about a SOCO.

His name was Roger Conniston.

A Long Time Dead was the first in a series of three novels featuring the tribulations of our hero. Stealing Elgar swiftly followed and then the final episode, No More Tears (named after an Ozzy song).

I enjoyed writing them, and recall how Tears practically wrote itself. But suddenly I found myself without a story. How dreadful it was not to be writing. I’d been speaking to a colleague in the office, marvelling how a burglar who had hundreds of convictions was still at large. He said that people like that were of no use to society and should be put down, that we could afford to be picky these days since we didn’t suffer from a shortage of people.

This conversation gave birth to The Third Rule. This was my most ambitious project to date, but it needed a new vehicle, a new hero, someone who was more aggressive than Roger Conniston ever was. His name was Eddie Collins. I should explain that for the most part, the characters I write are loosely based on myself, and by now I’d been working for the police about ten years and had developed a rather cutting cynicism which I flavoured with a hearty dose of sarcasm. Eddie Collins was me, except stronger, more a caricature who expressed his cynicism and his anger much more fiercely than I ever dare.

I began writing The Third Rule sometime around 2003. It’s set in 2015, where a newer, harsher breed of government came to power advocating a return to the death penalty for those people who could not stop breaking the law. They were given two chances, the third time they broke the law, they were put to death. ‘Justice’ was dealt out in a production-line fashion, with convictions ill-conceived and flawed. It was a radical novel, not least because I invented the Justice Ministry, something which actually later happened.

A year or so after I began this book, I started work on some television scripts with a colleague. This went on for six or seven years, before the hankering to finish The Third Rule became too strong to ignore anymore. In a hair-pulling flurry that spanned months, I finished all 260,000 words of it. And it’s had some stunningly wonderful reviews.

The previous work (published 2013) is a continuation of Eddie Collins’s incredible story. He’s moved from SOCO to the Major Crime Unit where his irascible nature takes him into battle with a notorious Leeds gang and a close call with a gun pointing at his head. This novel is entitled Black by Rose.

Andrew up against the wallBut Eddie’s story doesn’t end there. To show how Eddie reacts to certain situations, I published The Lift – it’s a very short story, but it packs a punch, so beware.

I published Sword of Damocles in August 2015. You’d expect him to be a little volatile, a little acidic… well, you’re right. And this time he’s dealing with a corpse in a burnt-out car. It looks like a suicide, but it doesn’t take Eddie long to realise it’s much more than that. This story is entangled with the main plot; it’s a crime that goes back thirty years and it stretches Eddie in more ways than one. You’d also expect there to be other things happening in Eddie’s life, and you’d be right there too.

One thing that stands out for me more than all the other comments, is how people are really shocked by the ending. I hope you will be too.

Two more stories came along in early 2017. The Note is a short story (not as short as The Lift), and has at it’s heart a death threat that Eddie receives. I know what getting one of those feels like. It’s really not pleasant. You can’t help feeling victimised just for doing your job. And on top of that, it’s damned scary. Of course you can’t admit that at the time – we’re men, and we laugh in face of death. Pfft. Like all my Eddie short stories, it’s written in first person so you can get right inside Eddie’s mind and see things the way he does for a while.

The second story was Ledston Luck. I can’t tell you how much I loved writing this book. Actually I can, and you can find more here. But it gave me a buzz the likes of which I’ve seldom encountered before. It launched very well indeed, and has earned Best Seller status with Amazon, and scored some wonderful reviews. 

Mid-2017 saw me hook up with Bloodhound Books for a rather exciting project. Initially entitled Dancing at the Devil’s Door, I was asked to write a stand alone thriller for them. I did, and now (October ’17) it’s with an editor. We’re hoping to get the book out in December – keep your fingers crossed – under the title The End of Lies. This book feels quite special to me for a number of reasons. It’s written in first person, and it’s the first full length novel I’ve written like this. It’s extremely hard to write like this because the whole book is concentrated on one character, in this case a lady called Becky Rose. And right there is the second special thing: I’ve written it with a female lead. How hard was that? It was pretty easy going. It was just like stepping inside any one of the hundreds of characters I’ve created over the years. But I do have a soft spot for her. She’s a good woman, but very troubled…

And now what? Well, it’s time to crack on with another novel.

16 Comments

  1. Sylvia

    Hi Andy,
    I finally made it to your website. I am downloading books in order as well as I can because I don’t want to spoil anything for myself. I have so much catching up to do 🙂 So – A Long Time Dead is up first. I found you just recently when I downloaded The Lift and then The Note…loved them both as you know. How I have never heard of you before now amazes me but I am making up for lost time now. I have sent your name to my sister as promised so I hope to hear from her soon. I have your website bookmarked so I will be in here often.
    Bye for now
    Sylvia (the expat)

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Sylvia, it’s great to see you here! I’m delighted that you enjoyed reading The Lift and The Note enough to go ahead and download all the other books – I really hope you enjoy those also, and it would be great to hear how you get along with them. Getting your name out to all readers is the biggest hurdle an author faces, so I’ve very grateful to you for letting your sister know about me, that’s very kind. I hope she goes on to enjoy the books too. Pop in frequently, Sylvia, I hope to keep the site fresh. Take care, Andy

      Reply
  2. Annie Doherty

    Hi Andrew I would love to be considered as part of your ARC team. I love reading, English and copy reading. If there is a typo I will spot it! must be my Arian or anal tendencies. I have to straighten picture frames etc, nightmare. Appreciate your consideration. Best wishes with your latest best seller.

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Annie, you’re already in the ART group, so no need to worry. I have the same level of OCD so you’re in good company. I really hope you enjoy The End of Lies, please do let me know your thoughts; I’d love it to be a best-seller. Take good care, Andy.

      Reply
  3. Steve

    long time dead was a compelling read unable to put it down 5+ star rating . the lift was a very good short story 5 star

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Steve, thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. It’s always wonderful to hear that someone has enjoyed A Long Time Dead and The Lift. I hope you go on to read the rest of series too. If you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Take care, Andy.

      Reply
  4. Davina Samways

    Hi Andy,
    I have just read your book “the lift” . I just wanted to say I really enjoyed it. Didn’t see the ending coming : ) I can’t wait to read another o your books : )

    Davina

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Davina! I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed The Lift, and in particular the ending. If you’re looking for another short story in a similar style, try the newly released The Note, I’m sure you’ll enjoy that one too – it has some wonderful reviews. If you do, I’d love to know what you think of it.

      Reply
  5. Diane Quirk

    Well the day has finally arrived, I really don’t know what I’m going to do! I have just finished reading Ledston Luck. It was amazing. I came across your books last year and have had one on the go ever since. I absolutely got lost in each story as I read it, thinking the next one won’t be as good as the last and was surprised when in fact it was. My quandary now is that I only have The notebook left to read. Should I devour it a.s.a.p or save it and savour it? Andrew please send me the good news of a new release soon. And thank you!

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Diane. How wonderful to hear that you’ve read and enjoyed all the books. Of course, you should go ahead and devour The Note! You know you want to 😉 I promise that I’m hard at work on the next Eddie novel, and also on something completely different. I look forward to sharing news of them both with you soon.

      Reply
  6. Lynne Delaney

    Hi Andrew
    I have just finished A Long Time Dead, I enjoyed it so much I bought and downloaded from Amazon, Stealing Edgar (Roger Conniston book 2) I also bought The Note which I have also finished and enjoyed a great deal! I very much enjoy a series of books as you get to know the characters. I have written a review on Amazon.

    Kind regards

    Lynne

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Lynne,
      Many thanks for getting in touch. It’s always a great pleasure to learn that someone has enjoyed a book or two of mine. I really hope you go on to enjoy Stealing Elgar – it’s my favourite of Roger’s trilogy. Your review for The Note was splendid, thank you!
      Andrew

      Reply
  7. Jacky

    Hi Andrew,
    Just downloaded Ledston Luck from Amazon and looking forward to reading it as I only live a short walk from Ledston Luck in KIPPAX. I saw you in the local magazine ” Kippax Matters” so thought I would give you a try as I am always looking for new crime writers and it’s good to find some one who writes in an area you are familiar with. I used to like Stuart Pawsons books he lives at Fairburn.

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Jacky,
      Someone I know from the village sent me a picture of that bio from Kippax Matters. I’m really flattered by it. It’s a constant surprise to me how many people who live near Ledston Luck have got in touch with me; and it’s a great feeling! It’s amazing to see how many books Stuart Pawson has out, isn’t it? And also amazing is how many authors live in this neck of the woods!
      I really hope you enjoy Ledston Luck, and if you have the time, I’d love to hear how you get along with it. If you’d like to see what the earlier books are like, why not sign up to my Reader’s Club and get yourself A Long Time Dead, The Third Rule, and a CSI Eddie Collins short story, The Lift, for free? Just fill out the short form on the front page of the site, and I’ll see you on the other side.
      Take care,
      Andy

      Reply
  8. Barb Rudstrom

    Hey Andrew,
    I just finished “A Long Time Dead”. I enjoyed it very much, was really surprised at the end, did not expect that ending. I also left a comment on Amazon.
    Thanks much!!!
    Barb

    Reply
    • Andy

      Hi Barb,
      It’s great to see you over here – thank you for popping in.
      I’m delighted by your review, and very pleased you didn’t see that ending coming. A Long Time Dead is 20 years old; it was the first crime book I ever wrote. I might have to devise a birthday present for the ‘old gal’ soon.
      Don’t be a stranger, pop on here agian soon.
      Take care,
      Andy

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: