Guest Post/Virtual Tour ~ A Wanted Man by Robert Parker

Writing from your gut

You need to have guts to be a writer, even right from the start. When you first sit down to write a story, it can be quite daunting. There are millions of books out there, telling you exactly how you should do it, ranging from how you should lay things out, to what pens you should be using, to what word processor is the best. You end up with a bucket-full of decisions to make before you even get to the actual important bit – the story.

But then comes more decisions, more and more books about what story decisions to make, what structures your story should adhere to, what direction your character needs to go. You can be so bogged down in the whole fear of the thing that you can forget the sheer joy of what you are doing. You are creating. You are making something. You are letting your mind build something that only you can decide how it will end.

But how can you make the right decisions and just enjoy the moment? Well, chances are, you’ve already got a fair idea.

Every single day we inhale fiction of some kind, whether it be in the books we love so dearly, the TV shows we binge on Netflix, or even that daft little story behind Candy Crush Saga. And the end result of this is, whether we like it or not, that we get a sort of schooling in drama, in terms of what works and what doesn’t. We develop an ear for it, just through immersing ourselves in it.

So, when you sit down to write your story, just go for it. Don’t be bound by formula or fear of doing something different. Write what feels right to you, and more often than not, if it feels right it usually is right.

I used to get so hung up on whether my characters and situations were too hokey, too contrived, too silly. I used to worry about making decisions for my characters, and whether their dialogue was corny. But then I learned to trust my gut and see what came out at the other end.

When I sit to write, I have the barest skeleton of where I’m going, but absolutely no roadmap. I set up a scenario, and usually have an idea for a scene I want to get to – but no initial thought of how to bridge the two. Then I start writing, let the words flow and the characters develop, and before long the story is making decisions for me, the characters are deciding what they should be doing organically, and you’re away. So much of the time, if you write from your heart and gut, I’m convinced that:

     1. you will have a great time.
     2. you will write something that in some sense works.

The important thing is to do it. Just let the shackles go, trust your instincts, write your story and go for it.

Forget fear.

Once you’ve got those words on the page, those chapters all done, nobody can take that from you. You did it! Chances are, it won’t be perfect – but you’ve still got your story. You can change things any time you like, but what you can’t change is a story that doesn’t exist. You can’t polish something that just plain isn’t there. But you do have something you can work with.

It’s OK to have a detailed plan, but’s also OK to not have one, and it’s OK to wing it. But whatever way you approach it, just go for it. Write, have fun, enjoy the sheer happiness of creating something and be proud of what you’ve achieved when you’ve written it. And when you look back at what you did, I bet you sit there and say ‘you know, some of this ain’t half bad’. And that’s a start. You can work with that.

Trust yourself. Deep down, even though you might not feel it, you’ve got a fair idea of what you’re doing. Those guts you showed to write in the first place? Listen to them.

File Size: 2136 KB
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Publication Date: May 14, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre: Crime Thriller
ASIN: B072333TYM
Buy: Kindle

a-wanted-man

It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady.

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place.

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.

But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to Manchester, UK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

 

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Excerpt ~

It’s not long before I am there again. Haugh Road, right in the middle. Everything looks the same, right down to the chewing gum on the pavements. There’s the old off- licence, the pub I used to drink in. There’s the phone box I’d call my mates from, out the front of the house I called home for thirty years.

My heart feels a hot stab at seeing it, worse than I expected. Home.

It’s a terraced house that could do with some work. The lawn is a bit longer than Dad used to have it, by quite a bit, actually, and the PVC window frames we had put in on a government grant to promote greener living a few years ago are a bit mucky. The door is still painted red, with a brass knocker.

What are you doing here, Ben? Are you going to invite yourself in for a cuppa? Or stand out here like a stalker?

I hadn’t really thought that far ahead. But somehow, I needed to see it. I needed to see something concrete, to remind me where I came from… Christ, this fucking neediness… I don’t like it.

I feel abandoned by them, for sure, but they had their reasons. They were so proud, and suddenly all that pride was gone.

And now, with my visit this evening? I suppose I just need to know that, even though everything else is chaos, things back here at home remain the same. We wouldn’t even need to talk, just…

In fact, despite the curtains being open, it doesn’t look like they are home.

Wait. I can see in through the front window, despite the dwindling light. Something’s different: On the left-hand side, Grandma’s mirror is missing, the one passed down to Mum when she died. It had a gold frame – well, gold edging on top of tin – and it was Mum’s pride and joy. And the curtains that are open… there are no curtains. Looking closer I can see the tie-back hooks stand visible and empty.

I walk up the path, leaving prints in the long grass, and peer inside, and more and more of my past looms up in front of me the closer I get. But this nostalgia, and the stir of anticipation that has arisen despite my efforts to subdue it, is quickly replaced by something cold, something bitter.

The room is empty.

I can see through to the kitchen along the old carpet that runs right through the downstairs, which in the emptiness now looks more threadbare. There’s nothing.

They’ve gone. My parents have left here.

I stand simply staring into the hollow space, and feel as if I’m gazing into the very emptiness that has been abruptly carved inside of me. My feeling of loneliness is complete.

I have no way to contact them. They are gone, and from the look of things, gone for good. And considering that they never sent me a forwarding address while I was in prison, they clearly don’t want me to know where they are.

All I wanted was to see that they were ok, but as far as I can tell, they didn’t even want me to have that. They have disowned me. I should have guessed from their passive stares in the public gallery at my trial, fixing on any point but their own son’s searching gaze. I can’t help but stand and dwell.

I quickly decide that I’ve had enough. I walk away because there’s nothing for me here anymore, not for the first time. Rawmarsh is no longer my home. I feel I could cry, but I won’t. No chance – those bastards, they won’t get that from me.

I walk down the path to the scuffed, mucky pavement. The gum on the concrete beneath my shoes, some of it is undoubtedly mine. My DNA lies at my feet, inseparable from my town, my past. That DNA is now the only evidence I was ever here. Thirty years of love, life, family – all reduced to a dirty bit of gum on an old pavement.

This will steel me. Toughen me. It has to. Because this would, could, should break a lesser man.

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Comments

  1. Carol Luciano says:

    Congratulations to Robert on the release of A Wanted Man. I'll be reading this and looking forward to it

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