Archive | March 2014

Review of The Private Patient, by P.D. James

I’ve always been a fan of Adam Dalgliesh. I haven’t read one in a while and after this one I’m going to have to go back and read some of the older ones to see who’s changed, me or P.D. James. I seem to remember really enjoying the prose when reading earlier ones, but this book seems to get lost in pretentious vocabulary. Maybe it’s the people I spend time with but no one I know uses words the way these people do. Between that and the psychology I’m actually not sure exactly what happened, whether Candace forged the will or not.

As I said, I was always a big fan, so I’m going to go back and read some of her old ones and see how I feel about them.


Giving up on John Dos Passos

John Dos Passos is considered an important American writer and I can’t figure out why. Just stopped reading U.S.A. about halfway through. Didn’t do a thing for me. I managed to get through Three Soldiers, but it wasn’t worth the effort. I have one more of his on my shelf, but I think I’ll give it a pass. giveaway complete

The giveaway just ended with 337 entries for five paperback copies. In theory that means that at least 337 people are willing to pay nothing for it, which I guess is at least not bad news. The Goodreads giveaway goes to the end of March. That one is for five copies as well. So far that one has a few over 100 entries. I’ve had mixed reviews with giveaways on Goodreads in the past. The goal is for people to read the book and post reviews. We’ll see how this one goes. If you aren’t on Goodreads and like to read, join and enter. Even better, go to or and buy one. If you like it write a review. If you don’t you can still write a review, but I might not read it.

Work pipeline

I’m hoping to have my next book out by the end of May. It’s different from the others. It’s a dystopian story set about a hundred years in the future. It isn’t humorous, so I’ll see if that does anything. So far I’m mostly pretty happy with it. I have about 30,000 words in first draft and am aiming for about 50,000.

After that I have an outline of a book that’s kind of a sequel to Poor Richard, at least it uses some of the same characters. That one is more like the others, although it’s fleshed out more than Poor Richard, which was a complaint about that one. Some people thought it was too short and the characters weren’t really developed.

I also have ideas for a sequel to Now Boarding..., as well as a historical series and a more traditional detective series. I’ve decided to dump most of Due Diligence and to start again at some point. I think the idea and some of the characters are pretty good, but the whole thing got out of control and I was spending a huge amount of time re-outlining trying to get it to converge somewhere. I’ll come back to it at some point when I can stand to look at it again.

My New Year’s resolution is to aim to write 5,000 words a week. That doesn’t seem like much but when you take twelve hours out of the middle of five days every week it’s harder than you might think, at least for me. I was doing OK but am running behind this week. That means that I’ll need to hit 2,000 words a day over the weekend, and it’s supposed to be nice out. So we’ll see.

Reading a lot of WWI based novels

I just finished Three Comrades by Erich Remarque, who wrote All Quiet on the Western Front, and Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos. Both worth reading, but Three Comrades is by far the better book. Much more powerfully written. I was standing on the metro when I finished it and felt tears coming to my eyes. Three Soldiers was interesting, but while the ending was also not good for the main character, I didn’t care much. I found that character, whose name I can’t remember, more irritating than anything else. The main character in Three Comrades, Bob, was flawed but very likeable.

Bob must have struck the makers of the movie from the book as funny as it did me because they changed it to Erich for the movie, which seems much more common for a German with two friends, Otto and Gottfried. I plan to watch the movie, but only when I’m either already depressed or in such a good mood that nothing could depress me. I’ve also bought The Road Back by Remarque. Looking forward to reading that.