The response that The Quiet Village has received has been overwhelming. I can only thank all those people who read the book and especially those who then took the time and trouble to review or rate the work. Your feedback is invaluable as well as stimulating; my most sincere thanks to you all. It is only right and proper that I respond to your comments.
Let me say how I came to write the story in the first place. After a long career in policing, I found myself in a seaside apartment overlooking Table Mountain in South Africa. Retirement suited me as I am inherently lazy. Nevertheless, I needed something to occupy my mind.
I started to write. By then I was in my sixties and had already led an interesting life. An autobiography was my first effort. Sadly, the literary world was not yet ready for such an exposure and I couldn’t find a publisher. But I had gotten the bug; the urge to write was firmly established in my mind. The problem then was; what should I write about?
Considering my previous career, the obvious subject was murder, mystery and suspense. But that path is heavily trodden and the competition fierce. This included my most favourite author, the American, Michael Connolly, all of who’s books I have read and enjoyed.
Then, in an idle moment, a thought occurred to me. I wondered where I might have been had I retired in my native England. This gave birth to the idea that I might combine the two and I began to write The Quiet Village.
One kind reader suggested that the book read rather like a memoir. In fact, it was an imaginary one. I was never in the CID and remained in the uniform branch until, in 1994 I was sent to South Africa as an advisor to the new government, on how to police a democracy. I stayed in that wonderful, if troubled, country for thirteen years. My home ties had loosened as my marriage had failed and both my children were away at university. What finally brought me home was my daughter presenting me with my first grandchild. I now live on the south coast of England, within sixty miles of my native city, London.
Nor had I ever lived in the countryside. So, once launched on the story I began to research country life. Here, I freely admit, I let my imagination run away with me. This brought me to the world of fairies and garden gnomes; what fun? Interestingly, just three of the good folk who reviewed my work suggested that I might have left these subplots out. The other forty-one however joined me in celebrating the thought of them. It only goes to prove that one can’t possibly please everyone.
On the subject of research, I have often seen my view on things as naïve, Hence, when I find out things I had not previously known I tend to share the wonder with others. Perhaps I should also have read more love stories as I have never managed to have a long-lasting relationship. The compensation, of course, is that I have had some wonderful brief encounters. But that is another story.
For those who enjoy detective and mysteries, I have delved into that world. One book currently on Kindle is The Punch & Judy Man. Next month I hope to relaunch The London Drug Wars after a serious rewrite.