The road to publication

By the end of 2006 I had finished the first draft, and so I turned my attention to finding an agent, which after many rejections I managed to do with Tina Betts at Andrew Mann Ltd. It took another year for the book to pass through several publishing houses, who all said nice things about it, but turned it down for one reason or another, often citing the difficult economic climate, until my agents contacts were exhausted. So I kept writing while In the Blood gathered dust, and then one day I thought that after getting so far, and with so many good comments from people in the business, the book deserved to be read - if only by my friends and family. On the 16th of June, 2011, I published In the Blood as an eBook, and the paperback was released two months later. In 2013 my books were noticed by Amazon Publishing, and in March 2014 my first three titles were re-released with Thomas & Mercer - Amazon’s crime, mystery & thriller imprint, with my fourth book due for release later in the year.

I designed the original cover image from this photograph, taken in Cornwall at a location featured in the book - Gillan Harbour. I love the vibrancy of the new cover for the Thomas & Mercer edition, and I think it captures the mood of the book very well.
 
In the Blood
A Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery #1

Beginnings

I began to write In the Blood soon after I was made redundant in September 2005. While on holiday with my wife in Cornwall  the previous year, I was given a National Trust pamphlet that contained a verse written by an unknown Cornish Farmer in 1803. The verse, which has been reproduced in the book, essentially condemns the tardy and often drunken behaviour of the ferrymen operating the Helford ferry service at the time. It gave me the idea for a crime story that began, what if the farmer was murdered the night he wrote it? The what if quickly turned into why and from there the journey began.

Telling the story

My first big question was how best to  uncover a murder that happened over two centuries ago and bring it to light in the present - and in such a way that hadn’t, to my knowledge, been done before. From that question, genealogist, Jefferson Tayte, came into being, and having now written several books around him, he feels so alive to me that I’m unable to think of him in any other way; and that feeling is compounded by the knowledge that he now lives in the minds of others who are reading about his exploits.

I was conscious not to write Jefferson Tayte into a police procedural, where I thought he might be overshadowed. Instead, I wanted to adopt more of a Sherlock Holmes approach, having my lead character working outside the law, but often crossing paths. So from the simple idea of having a genealogist at the heart of the story - uncovering past secrets and getting into all kinds of trouble as he did so - the rest of the story grew. And it seemed to me the only logical way to tell it, although I cannot fully explain why because until then I had no real understanding of family history and the ways of the genealogist. I’ve since learnt - and continue to learn - a great deal as I write Jefferson Tayte into one corner after another, and have to work out the research he needs to carry out in my books in order to solve each mystery.

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One of Amazon UK’s ‘Best Books of 2011’. A ‘Kindle Customer Favourite’

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