Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Authorsday: RC Bridgestock

How did you pick the genre you write in?

People say you should write about what you know.

 Bob completed thirty years in the police service. He served twenty-eight years as a career detective and reached the dizzy heights at the rank of Detective Superintendent. In his last three years he took charge of 26 murder enquiries, 23 major incidents as well as over 50 suspicious deaths. He was also a Hostage Negotiator and taught future detectives at the West Yorkshire Police International Training School. 

I also worked for the same police force as a civilian employee in numerous roles in my seventeen year career.

 Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

Definitely by the pants!  Our ideas are based on real life experiences which allow us to sit down and write continually, sometimes for days at a time reviewing all the enquiries twists and turns. Once the first draft is done then the real work begins as we re-write.

 What is the best writing advice anyone has given you?

The best advice came from other published authors who took the time to share their experience with us. 

·         Complete what you start.

·         When you rewrite make sure every word in every sentence moves the story forward.

·         Always carry a pen and paper with you to write down that quote you hear or description of an event you witness.

·         Write from heart.

·         Never give up...

 Why did you pick the publishers that ultimately published your book?

Caffeine Nights Publishers have a simple goal and that is to publish books that entertain - Fiction aimed at the heart and the head...

They keep their list of authors at a sustainable level, so they can nurture, develop and work with them to provide quality books for the readers. You can read more about them at The Caffeine Nights name also instantly struck a cord with Bob. Due to the long hours he worked he consumed vast amounts of caffeine to keep him awake.

Caffeine Nights have an offer on at the moment which means that if you buy ‘Deadly Focus’ from Amazon - post a review at Amazon and then email with a link to the review and you will receive a free ebook from their range. Proof of purchase is required.

 What is it about your crime writing that is different?

I think the easiest way to answer this question is to show you a review by the well known script writer Peter J Hammond who is famous for his work on Sapphire & Steele, Torchwood and Midsomer Murders amongst but a few TV programmes. He said of ‘Deadly Focus’ :-  'I think it's marvellous. It's both witty and harrowing, and the dialogue and characters are great. It also reveals so much about working coppers' problems with the system. I know this sort of thing has been dealt with in previous police stories, but you bring a deeper insight to it without being preachy or pretentious. Most importantly, the police characters are believable and one cares about them. The mortuary viewing scene with the dead child is heartbreaking. In fact, it's a difficult book to put down'

We tell it as it is through the eyes and emotions of someone who has dealt with numerous real life murders.

 What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?

Writing from experience of the subject; there are also two of us and we both draw upon that which eliminates research time and therefore allows us time to be productive.  In the last four years we have written three novels in the RC Bridgestock series introducing DI Jack Dylan and his partner Jen.  ‘Deadly Focus’ was published in May this year; the sequel ‘Consequences’ will be out later this summer and the third is with the publishers for consideration.  I am presently re-writing book 4 and Bob has started both 5 & 6.

 What are your favourite quotes?

In every walk of life there are always those only too ready to criticise, which is why we think this quote by Roosevelt is special...

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasm, great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.


Carpe Diem! For we must seize what time we have and enjoy!

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Togetherness...  Whilst working for the police we rarely saw each other. When a ‘job’ was running the children and I sometimes didn’t see Bob for days. In fact he would come home to bed and go back to work and I wouldn’t even know he had been there but for the fact his side of the bed had been slept in!

There is also a great deal of personal satisfaction when you see your work come to life and something you can’t do in real crime is to be able to dictate the outcome.  Making the characters live and breathe is a privilege and believe it or not we actually discuss them as if they are real now - how sad is that?

But opening the box that is delivered to your door and seeing your published book for the first time is something else... 

That said the endorsements the book then receives  from the reader, the media along with working and retired police officers, who tell us that it takes them back to the incident rooms brings a thrill to our hearts and makes us very proud.

Where do you write?

We have just recently created an office to ensure discipline and avoid distraction. Bob can write anywhere but I need the ‘white noise’ of solitude. Other authors and people who work from home will tell you that family and friends think that because you’re at home working you do nothing in fact it is quite the reverse, because we are at home we work night and day sometimes.

How do you write together as a team? Who does what?

There is no magic formula to our writing. Once Bob has a crime scene in his mind, he can write about the enquiry till he captures the murderers, as he did in real life, with all the highs and lows of any investigation he was duty-bound to take charge of.

I add the emotion and the scenes drawing out Bob’s feelings from his sometimes harrowing descriptions.

Did we say there’s no magic? Maybe we’re wrong, because suddenly we have a fictional story with the real-life feelings of the man in charge, Dylan, and his partner Jen, who are very loosely based on ourselves.

We are both committed to writing full time now. Writing is an addiction and now the characters are alive, it is exciting to live with them.

Bob spent two years in a dye works before joining the police force in 1974. As a career detective he worked in the CID at every rank. For over half of his service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. As a Senior Investigative Officer (SIO) in charge of homicide cases he took command of some twenty-six murder investigations, twenty-three major incidents including shootings and attempted murders and over fifty suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults, some of which were extremely high profile in his last three years alone He was a Force Hostage Negotiator and was also commended for his work into the investigation of a protracted, high profile investigation of police corruption in another police force.


In 1988 Carol commenced working for the Police as a member of the support staff in the Administration Department. Carol enjoys reading and likes nothing better than to lose herself in a good novel. She always knew Bob could tell a good story because of the experiences he had had in his life but her nagging fell on deaf ears until in 2008 when out of the blue he enrolled them on a College course to 'Write Your First Novel’.

Carol is now the Chair of a local writing circle that developed from that course and involves the community in writing competitions for all ages

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