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On 24th December, King Tees, the 10th Nick Guymer novel was published, initially on Kindle and next month, as a paperback. It's always a strange moment when the words you've spent so many hundreds of hours working on, become a public document, especially when you know people are waiting eagerly for it to be published and will have read it within hours.
Although it becomes the book you have to talk most about when doing publicity in a way, I've already moved on from it. I'm pretty good at just drawing a line nce a project is done, and getting on with the latest project. The next book is always more important than the last one, to me. In fact, I have to stop and think hard to even tell you what King Tees is all about, so completely do I dump all of the info once I'm done.
And yet I am pleased with King Tees. It's the most densely plotted novel I've written. There's no way I could have done it three years ago when I started writing fiction.
Set partly in Edinburgh at the Fringe and partly on Teesside, it's a story about identity: how we become what we are and how we look does or doesn't reflect that I chose to set the first part of the book at the Fringe because it was such a big part of my life this year, working on the Fosters Comedy Awards team. Life in Edinburgh is transformed in August as the festival begins and I wanted to capture a little of that in this novel.
The hardest thing about writing thrillers is that you do need to keep revealing truths to the reader, so that you've got a chance of guessing who is doing what to whom. But those clues need to be embedded amongst a few red herrings, just to muddy the waters. The speed at which the reveals are made, and how obvious they are, is the thing which takes most time to get right.
I hate to get to the end of a book and be presented with a solution that was impossible to guess at any point in the book because the author deprives you of crucial information to work it out - so I always try to sure that isn't the case in my novels.
If you've been following the series, those who have read this so far feel it is a strong, consistent addition to the collection. But there's no peace for the wicked. I'm now writing Sugar Mama, the second in the Artie Taylor series, and will begin the 11th Nick Guymer in February.
You can download the Kindle here for just £2.01