Limited Liability

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/Limited-Liability-Jenny-Parker-Book-ebook/dp/B00N3LBTNA/ Some of you have been eagerly awaiting the third Jenny Parker novel. Well, your wait is over. The ebook is available now and the paperback will follow shortly. It’s actually the sixth novel I’ve completed, though the first three are unlikely to see light of day. It’s been about a year since I finished the first draft and entered the interesting phase of revising Limited Liability and having it edited. I’ve begun to enjoy the process, particularly being told what works and what doesn’t, what needs writing and what needs leaving out. I’ve somehow got over the precious attitude I used to have. The one that compels me to protect every word as if it were sacrosanct and defend every paragraph as if my life depended on it. As with Due Diligence and Proceeds of Crime  the final version of Limited Liability is very different from the first draft. It’s …

djharrison99Limited Liability

Water for Bees

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There’s been a lot said and written about the terrible collapse in bee colonies and the reduction in bee numbers that threatens to disrupt human food supplies. About forty per cent of what we consume relies on bees for pollination. Farmers are reduced to importing bees from foreign countries to make up the numbers. This practice has its own implications for native populations. Nothing to do with me, I hear you say. What can I do about it? You can help provide them with food and water. Food can be some flowers in a window box. There’s lots of information on which flowers are best but I would suggest something that blooms either early or late, in other words when the bees are scratting about looking for food. Water isn’t something that is talked about much but bees need to drink. They can’t even consume their own honey stores in …

djharrison99Water for Bees

What’s in a Name?

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Character names are a bugbear for me. When a character pops up in my mind I usually get to see (roughly) what they look like and can even hear their voice when they speak. Unfortunately, they never tell me their name. It’s me that has to decide on that. Rather than interrupt the flow of my writing, I tend to give this little thought. Jim is a favourite name of mine. Most male characters start up being Jim or John or Tim or Toby. This, however has to be sorted out otherwise the reader can become very confused. Then they get irritated, then they throw my book in the bin. Of course, in real life we meet lots of people with the same name. That doesn’t work in fiction. Even names beginning with the same letter should be avoided in order to reduce the possibility of confusing the reader. On …

djharrison99What’s in a Name?

Out of Action

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I’ve been a bit quiet lately. Not only on the blogging front but also in various other regards. I’ve not been well. I won’t go into details but it’s a condition that has been very uncomfortable and energy sapping. Now, I’m two weeks onto recovery from an operation to make me better. The surgeon promised me four weeks of agony. Those were his exact words. I paid an extra consultancy fee to have him repeat them and he did. Nevertheless, I proceeded with the surgery even though I felt a great deal of apprehension. So far, his words ring true. After two weeks I’m getting out of the agony stage and into the severe discomfort zone.   His four week promise makes me feel like I’m ahead of the game. Not much writing gets done when I’m in pain. The new Jenny Parker novel, Limited Liability, was put to bed beforehand and the fourth novel, Critical …

djharrison99Out of Action

Getting Involved

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  Is this your reaction to injustice?   If you’re anything like me you’re constantly hearing about situations that make you mad. The news is full of injustices and bad behaviour. The kind of things that make you want to do something about them. If you’re anything like me, you spend a few minutes being indignant then fail to follow through with anything concrete. Oh, now and again I might sign a petition but only if it’s emailed to me and all I have to do is click on the link. Actually doing something would involve time and money and might also include personal risk. Most of us don’t feel that we’re in a position to commit to that extent, we have other priorities that take precedence. We’ve got work to do, families to feed, a living to earn, children to play with, television to watch, books to read. Don’t …

djharrison99Getting Involved

Just Because It’s Fiction Doesn’t Mean It’s Not True

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They say that truth is stranger than fiction. Someone (probably Mark Twain) said that the difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction has to make sense. Some of you will have read a previous post http://djharrison99.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/money-laundering-regulations.html where Jenny Parker tried to pay cash into a bank account and got herself into difficulties. A good friend of mine, and someone who has certainly read Due Diligence, fell into the same trap very recently. My friend is about to embark on an exciting business venture and is setting up a new company. One of the investors gave him a few thousand pounds in cash because he didn’t have the bank account details. On attempting to pay this into his account, my friend was taken aside, put in an interrogation room, visited and questioned by various people then told that the bank wouldn’t accept the money. He asked them if they would take a …

djharrison99Just Because It’s Fiction Doesn’t Mean It’s Not True

National Crime Agency

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The NCA became operational in October 2013. This may not mean much to you but I’m a crime writer and I’m getting pretty excited about this new organisation. It appears to be the UK equivalent of the American FBI which has provided a rich source of stories and characters for us writers. Remember Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs? Since the mid 1930’s and J Edgar Hoover, the FBI has been at the forefront of novels, film and television.  The arrival of an UK equivalent is a momentous event in crime fiction history. As a novelist writing stories set in the present, I can’t ignore current events and still retain credibility. If the local police force turn up to investigate and the reader knows full well it ought to be the NCA it’s not helpful to the plot. As both Due Diligence and Proceeds of Crime involve organised crime, …

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Bankers

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Bankers should be spelled with a capital W. If you haven’t worked out how our financial system works, let me assist. You put your money into a bank or another financial institution such as a pension provider or investment company. These brilliant, exceptional, essential, amazingly well paid people we call bankers look after it for us. They ‘invest’ our money, or, to put it another way, gamble it on some financial horse race. If they win, they win. They get loads of money. If they lose, we lose, they still win, they get loads of money. If they do something really stupid and bring the whole financial world to a collapse, we lose our jobs, we’re subject to austerity measures and they get bailed out by the government using our tax money. If they do something illegal like this: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/04/banks-rate-rigging-libor-euribor-rbs-citigroup-jpmorgan They get fined and we pay the fine, either as …

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Money Laundering Regulations

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Here is another extract from Due Diligence. Have you ever had a similar experience to Jenny? ___________________________________________ As I queue in line at the bank, an officious lady with hair slightly too blonde and lipstick definitely too pink accosts me. She is carrying a clip board and wearing a navy blue uniform with the bank logo on its breast. ‘Can I help you?’ she demands busily. Her manner is brusque and unhelpful, in direct contrast to her words. ‘Oh.’ I am taken aback at first, deep in my own guilty thoughts. Having grabbed the bundle of cash this morning I decide to open a bank account with it during my lunch break, a sole account, one that Tim is unaware of, my account just for me and my future. It seems a safer place to keep the twenty grand and as I stand here excitedly I wish I’d brought it …

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An Offer You Can’t Refuse

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Here is an extract from the beginning of Due Diligence, the first Jenny Parker novel. When you’ve read it, let me know what you think Jenny should have done differently. As I sit on the edge of the giant bed alone at last in the functional tidiness of my Travel Lodge room, the feeling of vague unease I had after first examining Associated Composites’ accounts has grown into a realisation that there is something very wrong. Every attempt I make to get to the bottom of things is met with ill-disguised fudging and at this rate of progress I could be here for a long time. I really do need to get home tomorrow; I’m concerned about what’s happening there. Tim tells me all is well, Toby has been a good boy; he has eaten all his tea and he went to bed at the right time and is sleeping …

djharrison99An Offer You Can’t Refuse