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I am a computer programmer by trade, and own a business that absorbs between 200 and 300 hours a month; I have a wife and young daughter, and for two days a week to I get to be Mister Mum. Those are the best two days of my week, and being Mister Mum is about the only thing I need to be good at any more. I am further blessed in that working for myself, I can be available for my daughter the other five days when required.
I also have five cats, all of them demanding attention whenever the mood strikes them, which is expressed with a vengeful disregard for me that only a cat could express while still retaining its sense of dignity – all other creatures would be deeply ashamed of themselves. Oh, how I wish I were a cat. (The three dogs are much kinder to me, but also rather demanding.
Though I write obsessively, life being what it is, I haven’t enough time to dedicate to making the stories letter-perfect. Editorial work falls by the wayside too often, and what I end up with are, at best, rough gems. The first book I posted here was priced as an experiment, and will be free if I can ever proof it again, since my gut feel is that eBooks will never be an economic force in my lifetime, at least for writers. All other books will be free, because it is the only way I can forgive the inability to proof them as they deserve. It reduces the sting of knowing there are some errors in them; and it recognizes that, realistically, few people will actually pay for any product if they can get a similar substitute for free. I have no illusions about my talents as a writer, and know that while I am better than some, I am never going to be the best -- that honour will befall someone new every few hours.
I appreciate hearing from readers who have the ability to be ruthless as required, and kind as inspired. Anyone who wants to, can contact me via twitter or my blog or email (email@example.com, and make the subject line include the word Smashwords so it doesn't get tossed to spam). If you wish a personal reply, combine an email address with some patience and I will do my best. I do ask for polite communications, though. If you're so angry you need to swear at someone, or belittle someone, feel free to direct that toward the actual cause of your grief – my time is too short to expend it fighting pointless battles with strangers and those types of communications end up in my junk mail where they belong. That I even have to write that reminds me how unpleasant contacts made via the Internet can be.
Some day, perhaps, I will win a lottery and have the resources to seek editorial perfection in my work; but until then I will still publish what I can, because it is a compulsion that cannot be denied.
on Aug. 30, 2013 :
This series is best read in order:
1) To Paint a White Room Red.
2) The Shadows These Lies Cast Upon Us.
3) For All These Wicked Things we Dream.
4) None Live Forever.
5) When Angels Fall.
6) When the Devil Comes Knocking.
7) The End of Times.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Aug. 30, 2013 :
The first time I read 'To Paint a White Room Red', I had just finished reading 'Forbidden' (also by F. Buchan) and I was predisposed to be forgiving of the crusty (Ass-----) but redeemable protagonist, Andrew Mackenzie. This author writes dynamic, complex characters that are so real that you finish his books bereft of the loss of them. Upon the second reading, I found Andrew's behavior towards a co-worker unforgivable but, that subplot is not explained until later in the series. Andrew is tragically flawed. The plot in 'White Room' is less epic than 'Forbidden' but what wins me is the realism. The world that Buchan created around the Alcester/East End detective squad is simultaneously squalid, hopeful, and believable. The character development is so deep and complete that it is absolutely compelling. Besides the cast of characters, it is one of the best portrayals of police investigation that I've ever read. The series focuses on developing leads and pursuing information that is decidedly un-glamorous. It presents an insight into real police work and managing investigations with multiple detectives, limited resources and imperfect people. White Room is a good start to a great series. I highly recommend it but, IF you're not in love - read the next one anyway. The series grows, expands and ultimately develops a fantastic ensemble of characters including one of the best female protagonists ever written.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Jan. 28, 2013 :
The characters of this story are rich, complex and very intertwined all the things that make a whodunit a good whodunit. The lead detective is flawed, broken and too good to be fired from the department. He is tolerated only because he is needed.
The book takes several twists and turns and you are never quite sure what the next day is going to bring. I was held captive from the start of the book all the way through to its ending. I wanted to know not only what happened but also what would happen to these interesting characters. Frank Buchan created a story with great believable characters, some of which are not likeble and a detective story that will keep you guessing.
Well worth the read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)