One challenge that I encountered in my latest Book, The Last Will Of Sven Andersen involved multiple story strands. This is the second part of a series based around Harry Spittle who we first encounter when he’s 19 and now, at 24 he’s just about qualified as a solicitor. The story premise is simple. An acquaintance from his past Sven Andersen appears and asks Harry to make his Will. Harry complies and shortly after Sven dies leaving Harry to deal with the estate. The continuing storylines from book one – his one off relationship with Penny, the unrequited attraction to Natalie, his sibling battles with his sister, Dina and his relationship with his embarrassing parents and family are still there, rolling alongside these new characters and their demands. It makes for a fast paced read but a positive matrix of threads when trying to ensure the plot remains coherent and consistent. The skill of course is to bring most things to a conclusion at the same point – or at least those that conclude; as with book one there are strands that run on to the next book.
Some writers like to plot before they start, some say they start writing and have no idea where they are going – the pantsers – and it’s true I’m more in the latter category than the former. At least until I start to edit and then… well, all bets are off, really. You have to plan at some point, unless you’re writing a diary with one person’s perspective and few other characters I suppose. That’s why the editing process is both time consuming, challenging but ultimately as rewarding as the creation of the first draft. It’s rather like polishing the final sculpture, making it really shine. I hope you’ll agree I’ve managed that.
And if you enjoy The Last Will Of Sven Andersen, you’ll be pleased to known the third in the series – Booms and Busts – is with the editing team and should be in the shops in the first half of next year. It is set in 1987 and sees Harry as a senior associate in a City firm of solicitors challenging for a partnership.
The Last Will Of Sven Andersen
When Harry Spittle, nearly qualified as a solicitor, is approached to write a Will for old acquaintance Sven Andersen, he is somewhat surprised but rather pleased. That pleasure sours after he finds that the Will Sven actually signs is very different to the one he has drawn up, with Harry as the executor. Disappointment turns to horror when he discovers that Sven has been winding up his late father’s criminal empire and a number of not very nice people are interested in the Will’s contents.
If he is to remain in one piece, able to continue his career in the law and save his on-off relationship with his girlfriend Penny, who is unfortunately under suspicion of murder, he needs to find out what’s happened to the money and distribute it according to Sven’s wishes. The trouble is Sven has not only hidden the assets but also the identities of those who benefit. Harry will have to solve a fiendish puzzle Sven has left behind with the help of his sister Dina before his world comes crashing down. With so many people depending on him, Harry knows it’s time for him to grow up – it’s just that he really, really doesn’t want to.
Set in 1981 to the backdrop of punk, Thatcherite politics and an upcoming Royal wedding, this is a book for those who like their nostalgia served with a side of humour and a dash of optimism all wrapped up in a compelling mystery.
Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle
(The first book in the series)
Free from 28th October 2019 to 3rd November 2019
It’s summer 1976 and hotter than Hades. Harry Spittle, nineteen, is home from university, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. He expects he will be bored rigid, but the appearance of an old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopathic son, Claude, and predatory wife Monica changes that. As his parents’ marriage implodes, Harry’s problems mount; before he knows it he’s in debt up to his ears and dealing in drugs. Things go from bad to worse when he is stabbed. He needs money fast, but now his job is at risk, his sister is in trouble and he has discovered a family secret that could destroy all he holds dear. Will Harry have to join forces with the local criminal mastermind to survive the summer and save his family? Can he regain some credibility and self-respect? Most importantly will he finally get laid?
About the Author
Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.
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More books by Geoff Le Pard
My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.
Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.
Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015
Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves.
Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?
Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages
Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.
Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.
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