Today I have the very great pleasure of welcoming Jeff Warren onto my blog. Hi Jeff and thank you for joining me today. Over to you…
My earliest childhood memories of Wales are of my father mentioning unfamiliar places: Carmarthen; Whitland; Newcastle Emlyn. He was a dairy chemist and regularly visited the milk factories and creameries of South West Wales. He took us on family holidays to Pendine, Betws-y-Coed and Anglesey, where we enjoyed beaches, castles and wild countryside.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that my first girlfriend was from Pembroke and that later I married a nurse who was born and raised in Pembrokeshire. Her aunt and uncle ran a country house hotel in St David’s. They had the misfortune to lose their chef due to illness at the start of one summer holiday season. Back then I was a chemistry lecturer and my college shut down for two months in July and August, so I stepped in and helped out in the kitchen. For the next few summers my wife and I and our two young children slept in an old caravan and we divided our time between the hotel kitchen and the beaches.
2020 was the first year in decades that we’ve not visited friends and relatives in West Wales. Seeing its scenery and people through the eyes of my protagonists in ‘A Final Regret’ goes a small way to compensate for the disappointment.
All of my life I’ve been an avid reader, mainly of action adventure, crime, and historical fiction. Perhaps the books I’ve enjoyed most have been those where the author has skilfully woven details of unfamiliar occupations, places or history into an engaging story.
I love researching as I write, a habit that I’m striving to keep in check, but for me that is part of the joy of writing. If I was prevented from Googling, my productivity would increase dramatically, but I suspect my writing would suffer.
My first novel, ‘Caribbean Countdown’, was an action adventure thriller. Compared to many books in the genre I thought it was quite tame, until friends told me that they never realised I was so blood-thirsty, and a reviewer wrote ‘not for the faint-hearted’. I re-read it with new eyes. Compared to many modern crime novels and special forces thrillers, the descriptions of violence and dead bodies may seemed restrained, but cosy they are not.
I’m concerned that the casual brutality depicted in books, films and on TV has desensitised me and is having the same effect on others. So, when writing ‘A Final Regret’, I took the conscious decision to make it ‘family-friendly’. It’s a murder mystery novel. Inevitably people die, but I’ve not dwelt on the details, and you’ll only find one swear word in the entire novel.
I don’t have a fixed writing routine as other aspects of my life keep disrupting it, but to be productive I do need uninterrupted periods of several hours. I’m not one of those people who can just sit down and continue writing my story. It takes time for me to settle into the right frame of mind.
Nor am I a meticulous planner, although I do need an outline chapter plan to successfully complete a book. Without it I tend to judder to a halt. My computer has a number of incomplete novels where that has happened. But I don’t regard the chapter plan as immutable. The story evolves as I write, I’ll introduce new characters and sub-plots, I may even change the identity of the villain. For me that is all part of the fun of writing.
A Final Regret: A Pembrokeshire Murder Mystery (Book 1)
Buy Link – https://myboo.to/AFinalRegret
A Young Mother Missing. Did Someone Want Her Dead?
Neighbourhood Sergeant Alys Carey and Detective Inspector Matt Vincent are thrown together when Matt returns to Pembrokeshire and takes on the case.
There’s no shortage of suspects: Rianna’s blackmail victims; the men she beguiled; the women who loved them; the father of little baby Meg.
Can Alys and Matt unravel the complex web of relationships within the local community and ensure that justice prevails, or will Matt’s embittered detective sergeant, Beth Francis, derail the investigation?
And what will become of little baby Meg?
‘A Final Regret’ is a modern murder mystery with a sprinkling of romance and humour. With little violence or swearing, it’s a suitable read for the whole family.
Forever Goodbye: A Pembrokeshire Murder Mystery (Book 2)
Pre-order now for delivery on 1st August 2021
Buy Link – https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B08SZ9YWLW
The unnatural death of a local celebrity, possibly suspicious, throws Sergeant Alys Carey and DI Matt Vincent under the glare of the media spotlight and DS Beth Francis’s malicious gaze. If it was murder, can Alys and Matt identify the killer before another victim dies? Alys’s future in the CID depends on it.
Thank you, Jeff, and good luck with your next book,
About Jeff Warren
Jeff was born in Devon, lives in Surrey, and is Welsh by marriage.
He followed in his father and brother’s footsteps, studying chemistry at university. His teaching career spanned technical college and university lecturing. In addition to teaching chemistry, he frequently researched, designed and taught new modules in unexpected areas, including radiation monitoring, computer use in conservation management, and statistics in clinical chemistry.
When he joined a local writers’ group, he was surprised to be recruited by a fellow writer to become a Knowledge Publisher for global computer software company, Oracle.
When he’s not reading and writing, Jeff rehearses and sings from the musicals with Show Choir, and enjoys walks in the countryside observing its plants and wildlife.