To ‘e’ or not to ‘e’ – The Writing Life

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Geraldine Evans has been writing since her twenties, though only began to get novels published halfway through her thirties. As well as her popular Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series, she has a second crime series, Casey & Catt and has also had published an historical, a romance and articles on a variety of subjects, including, Historical Biography, Writing, Astrology, Palmistry and other New Age subjects. She has also written a dramatization of Dead Before Morning, the first book in her Rafferty series.

She is a Londoner, but now lives in Norfolk England where she moved with her husband George in 2000.

Deadly Reunion is her eighteenth novel and fourteenth in the humorous Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series. She is currently working on the next in the series.

Geraldine Evans
Latest hardback novel: Deadly Reunion A Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel
Latest ebooks: Dead Before Morning and Down Among the Dead Men, the first and second novels in the fourteen-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn crime series, both available from kindle, iPad, iPhone, iBookstore, nook, kobo, android, etc.

I sometimes start talks in the following way. I peer furtively to the left, then I peer furtively to the right. Then I turn to the audience, lean forward and say ‘Psst. Want a few tips on how to commit the perfect murder?’

That gets their attention and a good laugh. I once had a woman in the front row say ‘Yes, please!’ That got an even louder laugh than my question. If I was her husband I’d watch out. That lady sounded serious. But if you can get them laughing, you’ve got them.

Most of the talks I’ve been booked for have been for me to describe my writing life; how I got started as a writer and how I coped with rejection. The usual things, but each author’s story’s different. Yes, most of these tales have rejection taking the starring role, but they all have happy endings in that the man or woman standing at the front eventually found a publisher or they wouldn’t have been invited to give that talk. Anyway, back to me.

I then go on to describe how I got started writing: with a second hand manual typewriter on which the letter ‘e’ didn’t work. Boy, did I have fun going through afterwards putting all those ‘e’s in by hand! But I couldn’t get rid of the wretched typewriter and get a decent machine as my non-typing husband had bought it for me as a surprise present (we were broke and couldn’t afford new), which was sweet of him. I couldn’t expect him to know about giving ‘The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog’ typing test to make sure all the letters worked.

Anyway, I staggered on with the ‘e’less wonder for a while, but then we splashed out and bought an Amstrad. A new one! I don’t know if you had these in America. They were made by Alan (now ‘Sir’ Alan) Sugar. They were word processors only and had no internet connection. This was back in the 1990s. But the Amstrad was ideal for me as I only wanted it for a word processor. I didn’t care that the printer was a bit slow. I had no idea at that time how useful the internet could be to authors. This served me well for quite a few years. It was a regular thing for the printer to go wrong, but my husband’s a mechanic and can fix most things, so this was a doddle to him. But eventually it went to the scrap metal home in the sky and I was bereft once more. But then I struck lucky.

Okay, it might have been a retrograde step in my life as an author because the next machine was also second hand. But I couldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth when the small firm I worked for gave me as a sort of leaving present an old computer they had in the cupboard that didn’t work (!). Luckily, my niece’s husband is a dab hand with computers and had my leaving gift connected up to his machine quicker than you could say Microsoft. He breathed new life into the old thing and I was up and running again.

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