Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guest blog with Carol Bridgestock author of Deadly Focus

When Bob retired as a Detective Superintendent after 30 years of investigating some of the most serious and heinous crimes in the Northern England in the fourth largest police force in the Country, his thoughts were to turn his hand to something different or simply just relax... but fate had other ideas for him and his wife Carol who also gave 15 years of service as a support worker to the Force in a number of roles and was ultimately a supervisor in the administration department.

Bob was a member of an elite group of Senior Investigators in the West Yorkshire Police Force and was commended over twenty times by High Court judges, Crown Courts and Chief Constables for his investigative work.

‘You’ve probably heard the saying ‘there’s a book in everyone,’ says Carol. ‘Family and friends have for years been telling Bob he should write a book. He has had them doubled up with laughter one minute and in tears the next, with tales he told of his time in the Force and the couple’s new acquaintance on the Isle of Wight, where they retired eight years ago said the same. But whenever anyone said he should write a book, Bob always said no. So you can imagine Carol’s surprise when he enrolled them on to a writing course at the Isle Of Wight College. Now the two combine their 45 years experience of police service to become fully-fledged authors.

‘Undoubtedly the time in the force helped equip me for life’s ups and downs and I’m grateful for that but it has also taught me is that life’s too short so to go for my dream and don’t wait for tomorrow,’ says Bob.

Bob writes the structure of their fictional crime stories and Carol crafts his work, writes the emotional side and draws out the feelings of the man who took charge of 26 murder enquiries, 23 major incidents and over 50 suspicious deaths in his last three years of his service alone, to create the ‘real life’ scenes.  Bob prefers to write fiction as opposed to fact. This way he can bring the stories to a satisfying conclusion and the perpetrators to a fitting end.  He would never write about the factual jobs he dealt with as he believes the victim’s families have suffered enough. ‘The victim’s families are the ones who get the life sentence,’ he says. ‘I wouldn’t want to cause them anymore sadness by raking up the past.’

The investigation into their fictional crime novels are however ‘just as it is’ in real life.’ The reader takes the journey with the detectives through the enquiry from the discovery of ‘the body’ to the ‘Charge.’ Also within the narrative the couple also unleashes the detective’s partner’s frustrations with ‘the job’ which is often the third party to anyone’s marriage if a partner or both live for their work. ‘A friend once told me you should work to live not live to work but that is very difficult when dealing with people’s lives,’ said Bob. ‘It is so important to have your partners support.’

So their new joint career as co-authors took off.
Deadly Focus, the first novel, introduces Yorkshire Detective Inspector Jack Dylan and the clandestine love of his life Jennifer Jones. This is a fast moving story that allows you to travel with Dylan to a series of murders, seeing through his eyes the stark reality of death and its fallout. It allows the reader to feel as he does the highs and lows of an intense murder investigation. The reader through the ‘eyes’ of Jen also gets to know how it feels to be the partner of the ‘man in charge’.
Dylan’s strengths lies with his persistence and experience, but will the pressure have a dire affect on his health? Jen is his ’norm’ a safety net for his turmoil of emotions after the distressing sights he has to endure. Deadly Focus continues to receive 5 star reviews on Amazon, WH Smith etc. In May it was resurrected as the first crime novel in the RC Bridgestock series published by Caffeine Nights Publishers. It is also live on eBooks via Smashwords and Amazon as well as many other e Book outlets.
People often ask the question, ’How do you write together? Does one of you write the odd, the others the even?’
We enjoy working together at last! Our police ‘working life’ often meant spending hours apart. Bob writes the plot and the storyline from start to finish. Carol then takes this first draft and develops the scenes, the story line and importantly the characters. Carol teases out of Bob the true feelings of what it is really like to deal with these gruesome crimes. The novel is then passed back to Bob for the re-write to be checked. Then they both sit down together and go through every word, sentence and chapter to ensure it works. Then and only then is it ready for the publishers to scrutinize the draft.
As we said before, May this year sees the resurrection of the original Deadly Focus and it is also being published this time as an eBook. We have been fortunate to be taken into Caffeine Nights Publishers stable of authors who will also publish book two in the series this year. We have called this book ‘Consequences.’  The third book in the series is ready for scrutiny by the publishers and book four is ready for the re-write stage. Others in the series are also being penned.
As can be seen, the writing is industrious, as well as being addictive and enjoyable. Both Carol and Bob are members of a local writing group called Wight Fair Writers’ Circle that Carol chairs. This group evolved from the college course and we remain a group who also runs competitions to inspire others to write, especially children. All proceeds go to local charities. Bob and Carol also do talks about Bob’s career for schools and colleges as well as other adult groups to raise money for the local hospice which they support. Certainly exciting times and a new career which they never considered when they retired,
To learn more about Carol and Bob and their writing visit their website. A must is also On both these sites you can download the first two chapters of Deadly Focus FREE! Carol & Bob are also on Facebook – Carol Bridgestock and RC Bridgestock and we Twitter – RC Bridgestoc
The support from our readers around the globe is extremely satisfying and spurs us on.

Coming Spring 2012

Check it out in print or Kindle.

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