The Crime Readers' Association

What Next? by Peter Tickler

15th October 2015

What Next? by Peter Tickler

It’s a strange feeling. My latest crime novel, Dead in the Water, has just been published by Joffe Books. In addition, as I sit at my laptop typing this blog, I am feeling apprehensive and excited at the prospect of my short film Wrong Number being shown this very evening in the comedy slot of the Portobello Film Festival in London. These are two projects which have had the gestation period of an elephant, so it is also a huge relief to have given birth to them.

The process of getting my crime story written and published has not only been a lot of hard work, but it has been anxious and at times thoroughly demoralising experience. Getting it written and into a state with which I am happy has been only half the story (excuse the pun!). The other half has involved moving from one publisher to another without the aid of an agent – and that is no easy business. As for Wrong Number, that started out as a bit of free-wheeling writing while my youngest son was engaged in a paint-balling party. Then I had the idea (many years later) to turn it into a short film with the help of some friends. The finished product is only 15 minutes long, but let me tell you that it takes a heck of a lot of hours to achieve 15 minutes of film. There were times when I wondered if we would ever get it finished. There were times too when it all felt very surreal – as for example when I sat near a green-screen erected in our biggest room waiting for Jane Wymark to arrive with brother Tristram. There I was – a man with absolutely no experience – waiting to direct the woman best known as Joyce Barnaby of Midsomer Murders. But when she and Tristram arrived, they were all charm and professionalism and wasn’t I glad of that. I have now entered the period of post-partum blues as I wonder if I want to go through either of these experiences again. The answer – of course – is yes.

I live in Oxfordshire and every day red kites drift over our garden seeking something they might devour. Similarly, with increasing frequency, the question of “What next?” hovers menacingly above my head and refuses to go away. Another short film – comedy, horror or thriller? Or another crime novel? In which case it would almost certainly be set around my Doug Mullen, the would-be private eye of Dead in the Water. I really like him and I want to get to know him better. And yet tucked away in my large folder of half-written things is an incomplete crime thriller featuring a girl who I would really like to write about too.

Decisions! Decisions!

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