Transcript: Live Chat with Bob & Carol Bridgestock (R C Bridgestock) on 15th May 2012
RC Bridgestock : We're here!
RC Bridgestock : Bob has a confession to make. With the weather we have had in the past ten days he hasn't done much writing!
RC Bridgestock : Us too Lou!
Lou : Can't say I blame him. You have to make the most of it while you can
Lou : Hi joo
RC Bridgestock : Hi Joo!
RC Bridgestock : Thanks for stopping by!
joo : Hiyah
RC Bridgestock : Bob says the grey matter was still ticking away! LOL
Lou : The sun's not much good for writing anyway as I can't see my laptop
RC Bridgestock : Another magazine is going to do another feature on us - we've just heard earlier this evening! If my scanner will work to send the contract back to them! Grrrr!
RC Bridgestock : All publicity helps, especially when you're relatively new authors.
Lou : that's good news. Which magazine?
RC Bridgestock : You do a fantastic job with this forum Lou and Joo!
RC Bridgestock : Do you really want to know and shall we tell?
Lou : Thank you. It can be hard work at times, but it's a lot of fun too. I would really like to give up my day job and write and run the forum full time. There are so many places I would love to take the forum, but never enough time
Lou : Yeah, tell us
RC Bridgestock : We had an article in Best Magazine - two whole pages and it was in colour!!! This one is with ......... REAL PEOPLE!
Lou : Ooh, I've know Best, but I've not seen Real People
RC Bridgestock : And we also have Calendar TV in Yorkshire putting out a brief interview/film about us and our writing this next month - we will post this on Youtube again. The last one got 1,600 views to date!
Lou : That's great.
Lou : I have to confess that I've not read your books yet, but I would really like to find the time to particularly having looked and read the amazon reviews.
RC Bridgestock : Yes, we are thrilled! They tell us that they will have a narrator reading out part of 'Consequences' our second novel, they interviewed Bob and I at length, separately .. a bit like being back at work and they came out to film two book signing.
RC Bridgestock : Ahhh, thanks Lou!
Lou : You certainly seem to be doing a good job on the PR front, something I know a lot of authors really struggle with
RC Bridgestock : We are fortunate enough to get great reviews and great support coz you never know what the critics will say from around the world.
Lou : Anyway, to get the ball rolling, let me ask you the first proper question.
RC Bridgestock : I enjoy the PR bit Lou. I love talking to people and I guess there being two of us helps at book signings and the like... Bob says to tell you he does all the housework while I do the PR! LOL Yes, it is true! :-)
RC Bridgestock : Okee Dokee!
Lou : When you write together, how do you split the writing and do you ever disagree on the direction the book is taking.
RC Bridgestock : Actually, believe or not rarely do we disagree with the direction of the book - That's because we each have our own role in writing a novel that we just seemed to 'fall into' and it seems work for us. Bob writes the full plot/storyline in principle and is one book ahead of me. Which allows me to concentrate on developing the story, the characters and the emotion etc. before we both sit down together and go through every sentence, paragraph and chapter to make sure we are happy with it.
joo : Did you start writing books about crimes as life was a bit too quiet when you retired?
Lou : That sounds like a very sensible approach and a good way to avoid conflicting ways of writing. I've read a few co-written books where you can literally see the joins.
AJ Hayes : Good evening, all. It's noon here in California. Do the "reasonable discussions" ever get out of hand?
Lou : Hi all
areadersheaven : Good morning from dark Australia
RC Bridgestock : No, actually writing was not something we intended to do at all. It wasn't something we thought we could even do. However, I always used to say Bob should write down his experiences - being a career detective for 28 yrs he told so many stories people loved his antidotes.
RC Bridgestock : Do they Lou ever get out of hand?
RC Bridgestock : Good morning Paul from a nice summers evening on the Isle of Wight! Thank you for getting up at 5am and joining us!
areadersheaven : It's my pleasure
Lou : I notice from your reviews that a good deal of people mention that the police procedure is very authentic (as you would expect) - are there any aspects of procedure which you are not allowed to talk about ?
Lou : No, nobody gets out of hand a KUF. Boisterous Sometimes though.
RC Bridgestock : Our discussions never get out of hand AJ but ... Bob's pet hate is I change names of the characters from his first draft... You see I flesh the characters which are literally wrote from a 'detective' point of view. Bob says he always wins! Ha Ha! He might wear the trousers but he forgets I do the typing and send the final draft to the publisher.. shhhh don't tell him!
AJ Hayes : (laughing)
RC Bridgestock : We pride ourselves on procedure and a lot of intelligence is now out in the public forum. However, as a hostage negotiator for kidnap, extortion and suicide intervention Bob restricts himself to the storyline not so much to the text book approach. The last thing he would want to do is compromise some future situation but he tells the story with his feelings and how it actually does happen sometimes... We write fiction so... in reality anything can happen!
joo : What books do you like to read? More police procedurals or something lighter?
AJ Hayes : I know here in the States, forensics are huge in fiction and on TV. As a line police officer in the UK, Bob ,does CSI play as large a part or is it down to good old fashioned , pound the pavement police work.
RC Bridgestock : Bob actually doesn't read a lot of crime as his writing is from his own personal experiences and from his own knowledge. Blinked maybe, but that's the way he does it... I like to read autobiographies - the book that influenced me as a teenager was Anne Frank - after that I wanted to write from the heart.
areadersheaven : After reading Deadly Focus, I noticed a lot of frustration from Jack Dylan within the system he works in. Is red tape a real problem for detectives or have you written in a little more for drama?
RC Bridgestock : Forensics are a major part of any investigations. In the UK the SIO is the man in charge who utilises all available resources and professions at his/her disposal and makes the ultimate decision as to whether that information is relevant or not. A lot of the the TV programmes here are putting a spin on this showing pathologists investigating, crown prosecutors making enquiries and interviewing, which does not happen and totally turns Bob off watching them if it is totally incorrect procedural wise.
Lou : With your combined know-how have you ever been tempted to plan the 'perfect crime'
joo : Lou promises to cut your answer from the transcripts
RC Bridgestock : No, red tape is a real problem for the investigator. The restrictions and the demands for evidence within limited time restraints is frustrating and also the processes/paperwork become a huge mountain especially in this day of e mail and electronic devices.
AJ Hayes : Please don't groan at this old saw but, how many pages a day do you two write on an average day?
RC Bridgestock : LOL We've often been asked the question, 'Do you believe there can be the 'perfect' murder. The immediate response is, 'There really isn't such a thing.' Although, how we do if a person has ever been caught? A vast amount of people go missing don't they?
areadersheaven : AJ, was just about to ask something similar - glad you get the "groan, not me"
AJ Hayes :
RC Bridgestock : Bob goes mad when he starts writing... The first draft of Deadly Focus was written as 120,000 written in six weeks in long hand...
RC Bridgestock : And I had to type it so I know! He now uses the laptop!
areadersheaven : You mean he's not always mad?
joo : Would you have volunteered to go on olympic torch protection duty if you were younger / eligible
RC Bridgestock : I take a lot longer on the chapters that I write...
AJ Hayes : Wow!As a follow up then, how long a time does is your editing process require. Or do the pages come out already edited.
RC Bridgestock : Bob used to run the mile and half mile at the same events for the school and the police when he first joined. He was approached about work on the Olympic security, however, we were already committed to other things. He would have been proud! Bob says he is only a young 60!
joo : The protection runners look like they are having so much fun. Not sure how much fun they'll have in the inner cities, though
Lou : Who are your favourite authors? Is there anyone whom you aspire to?
RC Bridgestock : 'Deadly Focus', our first book went through about 16 re-writes... It was never our intention to publish it to be honest at the outset. The re-write that I do takes about three months and then we start and look at the finished draft together until we are totally happy with the way it flows.
RC Bridgestock : Yes, Joo our publisher did the BUPA 10k run on Sunday for Breast Cancer Breakthrough - he said it was like running in an oven.
RC Bridgestock : My favourite fictional author is Diana Gabaldon and Warwick Deeping. Warwick Deeping I came across quite by accident at a antique fair. I opened a book and it mentioned the Isle of Wight. On a day trip out at a local boatyard I saw that Warwick Deeping was actually a ship that sunk off the coast of the Isle of Wight and not only that it was built in Hull where my dad was born.
Lou : Hi ladies
Rosen Trevithick : Sorry I'm late. Hi!
areadersheaven : I imagine that Diana Gabaldon isn't Bob's response
LindaGruchy : Hello. I'm supposed to be writing the Minutes I was supposed to write a WEEK AGO, BUT THIS IS MORE INTERESTING.
RC Bridgestock : No, correct Paul! Bob read Ian Ayris's book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it!
LindaGruchy : Damn, my rotten typing
Rosen Trevithick : 16 re-writes! How did you manage to keep the enthusiasm burning?
RC Bridgestock : Yeah, Linda!
AJ Hayes : A lot of my friends in High School became cops. (I always suspected they had an advantage because the force knew they had had experience with the law and how it works from both sides.) Bob, how did you come to choose law enforcement as a career?
Lou : So how far do you intend to take the Jack Dylan series - will you keep on until it reaches a natural conclusion or do you have a set limit in mind?
RC Bridgestock : Once we start something we are the kind of people who finish ... I guess it was a project, a great challenge and a great achievement for us when we got there. We moved the timeline... we changed the chapters around... but we got there in the end.
RC Bridgestock : Funny you should say that AJ! At the age of 6 I had a clip around the ear from a police officer. Same at the age of 15 and again at 17! Let me assure you, 'I had done nothing wrong,' but if you can't beat them 'join them'! Joking apart, if it hand't been the police it would have probably been the army but I have a strong belief in people's rights and in 30 yrs my main was alway to support the victims.
RC Bridgestock : We writing our fifth book... Dylan is still too young to retire so there is likely to be a few more. DF is coming out in Audio book soon narrated by a brilliant actor Paul Ansdell who narrated the acclaimed 'The Women in Black'. We will never run out of storylines as you can imagine but we both think that it will come to a natural conclusion eventually - just not yet!
areadersheaven : Is DI Jack Dylan going to remain a DI? A lot of authors turn their recurrent protagonist into heroes and they end up becoming "top of the tree" characters (from lowly detectives to Chief of Police kind of deal.) I hope Jack never ends up like that - I enjoy the situation he is in now.
Rosen Trevithick : I have to go - bleach on arms! Glad I could pop in, albeit briefly. Good evening.
RC Bridgestock : Jack Dylan is very loosely based on Bob as you might guess... he had to demote himself from D/Supt for this role to DI! So, he could be in interviews etc. The procedure had to be correct... to allow Jack Dylan to remain doing what he is he will have to remain at this rank. No doubt he'll fail promotion along the way... @:
RC Bridgestock : Thanks for joining us Rosen!
AJ Hayes : Every good officer I know shares that view, Bob. Do you, like most of my friends, have one that still haunts you, one "that got away." And if that's so, have you any intent to someday write about it -- either in fiction or as a "true police" account?
LindaGruchy : Do you think readers expect their hero cops to be DCIs etc? It's rather silly on TV to see supposedly senior officers scrabbling around for evidence
RC Bridgestock : There are a couple that are a proverbial thorn in the side.... And who knows in time whether justice will catch up with them but in fiction you can make things happen so watch this space!
Lou : I have to run off for a while now, so I'll leave it to you Carol and Bob to wrap things up whenever you want to finish the chat. I'll drop by again in a little while.
RC Bridgestock : I don't know Linda. For me hero's come in many guises... they probably do it because their 'consultant' says the the man in charge would be DCI or above but it is not always the case andI agree to see them scrambling around for evidence is totally wrong, they are seen to control and oversee and keep their hands off everything - except for the coffee cups of course!
RC Bridgestock : Paul has daylight arrived in Australia yet?
joo : Which TV detective / police person do you like best and worst
AJ Hayes : This one is for Carol. Are you having fun with the madness on "Just Write?" And I'd also like your vision of the e-book and how it will (or won't) fit hand in glove with traditional publishing in future markets.
areadersheaven : For me, as a reader, I like to see the "nitty-gritty", the "hard grind" - I like to read what is involved in the investigation and what pitfalls there are along the way. And no, still pretty dark here.
LindaGruchy : One thing |I liked about Noughts and Crosses was that Rebus was a Sgt..
LindaGruchy : Knots and Crosses, I mean
LindaGruchy : doh
RC Bridgestock : Ooo that's an interesting question Joo! Our favourite series and one that is most life like is 'Scott and Bailey'. John Thaw in his early days ... but sometimes they seem to go on for too long. We're actually into 'Dexter' at the moment and we loved 'Homeland'. The worst... Law and Order although we really like Bradley Walsh, dare we say Vera and any that have graphic images rather than a good storyline. Jack Dylan would be our favourite of course!
joo : I love Dexter. Would you have liked to work in his station in Miami?
RC Bridgestock : Yes, I love the ability to chat to people that you wouldn't get the chance to normally speak to and to get their views AJ!
RC Bridgestock : Social media along with Ebooks is the modern day market place. People still love books though, always will so I think that there is a place for it all in todays society. People these days want things instantly don't they? And the ability to have access to so many books is a great advantage for travellers. I was amazed recently when we were told that we were going into Audio how many people listen to books these days!
RC Bridgestock : Yes Joo Bob would have loved to be his boss but he wouldn't have lasted long... he makes lots of mistakes... where does he get all his plastic sheeting from?
areadersheaven : I love audio books. I spend 20 minutes walking to and from work each day and usually listen to books while I walk. I have about 25 on the iPod at the moment. I imagine that number will increase by one very soon
AJ Hayes : Nothing like audio books for a long drive across the California deserts.
LindaGruchy : Bob, does the huge raft of new legislation, etc worry you in a procedural sense.?
RC Bridgestock : Talking about dark Paul - the dark days in an investigation are those painful times when you have your nose to the grindstone waiting and hoping for the breakthrough so you can get your foot in someones doorway. We try to write our novels so you feel you are with Dylan and Jen all the way.
RC Bridgestock : Thanks Paul! Paul Ansdell's voice is terrific - he sounds like someone from Coronation Street! We learned recently that a lot of long distance lorry drivers and coach drivers prefer audio books rather than the radio these days.
AJ Hayes : Maybe Diana G. would loan you her stone circle. That way you could go back or forth in time to get the jump on the bad guys and ease those days in the dark. Would save on shoe leather too.
AJ Hayes : er . . . shoe leather.
areadersheaven : Coronation Street?? Hmmm...maybe have to rethink that decision
RC Bridgestock : There always has been a continuous raft of new legislation. I used to teach at the Detective Training School - 4 yrs and the interpretation is sometimes difficult and loopholes appear rapidly highlighted by the courts. New legislation means new forms as well as procedures. It can be a 'right pain' if it is a re draft rather than new legislation unless it's new legislation to combat such as 'clampers' etc. It's not just the legislation its the sentencing that is weak here!
RC Bridgestock : What a way to create havoc and then come back to reality!
RC Bridgestock : LOL He's terrific Paul! You'll love him! Talks just like us!
areadersheaven : In blue text? Awesome!!
AJ Hayes : I have to run, guys. Thank you for a lively and fun discussion.
RC Bridgestock : Bye AJ! Been great chatting to you! Thanks for joining in. The lights fading here Paul - we'll send the light to you!
joo : Join in on the forum AJ
areadersheaven : Speaking of sentencing, Bob, I mentioned on your blog that we have a lot of "tree hugger" types that scream bloody murder when a criminal is convicted, especially if there is a big sentence involved. It seems that the victims are being heard less and the criminal gets more compassion. Is that the case there, too?
areadersheaven : Dawn is breaking slowly here...I can "see the light."
RC Bridgestock : Hallelujah! The light has arrived Paul! Yes, it's the same here. The 'tree huggers' are worldwide. The sentencing sometimes is diabolical. I think back to cases where I as the man in charge thought it was pathetic - God only knows how the family members felt...
RC Bridgestock : When the criminal laughs, gives a 'V' sign or threatens the family that they will be 'out before long so to watch their backs,' is this really justice?
RC Bridgestock : Are we not just cheapening life?
areadersheaven : I know I shake my head in frustration when I see some of the sentences - I can only imagine what it is like for those in the Force who spend countless hours doing all the legwork and "nailing the perp" (sounds painful!!) only to find some weak judge who shows clemency and basically gives a slap on the wrist.
RC Bridgestock : Never before has so many people been killed by vehicles driven by people under the influence of drink/drugs or using mobile phones. The vehicle is no different in my view than a gun in someone's hand. They kill, they destroy numerous lives and the sentencing for road traffic incidents is extremely weak. Why?
areadersheaven : I don't necessarily believe in the Bible, but truly, an eye for an eye is one of the soundest maxims I have heard - while capital punishment may not be the answer, having a criminal spend 5 years in jail (good behaviour, anyone??) for taking someone's life has got to be the biggest joke since "A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says "Why the long face?""
RC Bridgestock : LOL! So true! It is surprising how many people have the same views as we do but capital punishment is not on this countries agenda because they signed up to the European laws. But, they still could still replace it with life means life and hard labour!
areadersheaven : I don't get the justification of "He's had a hard life" or "He was under the influence of alcohol/drugs at the time..." We all make choices, and I think the criminal system should reflect those choices. You wanna have a few beers before driving and have a major fatality? Then you will pay for it.
areadersheaven : We have a "Never to be Released" sentence - but it seems pretty hard to get that sentence handed down. Capital punishment will never be on our countries agenda...too many people of influence worry about the possibility of innocence down the track.
LindaGruchy : Sentencing is weak because it costs HMG to keep criminals in jail, and the insurance companies pick up the tab for acquisitive crime. never mind about the poor victims or the fact that some people keep in committing crime because they can and the system lets them. We MOPs are fooled by concurrent sentencing, suspended sentencing, Magistrates' guidelines, and remand time counting as double... oh, and criminals let out on licence, And being fined at 50p a week because they're too broke to pay. That'll learn 'em.
areadersheaven : Linda, pretty much the same here in Australia. The thing is, as a taxpayer, I would rather continue to pay to see the criminals behind bars, than out on the streets just to save a few quid. I would even accept a tax hike to ensure that my son is safe.
RC Bridgestock : Some will never be released and rightly so. Unfortunately Magistrates hands are tied, prisoners don't have to answer questions or even come out of their cells to go to court - can you believe that? Who gets the sympathy? They do. Why doesn't the country overall the system? It would cost too much and take too long and can any government be bothered with the upheaval, no.
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : hi all avid readers
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey :
RC Bridgestock : Hi Ryan! Thanks for joining in!
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : is the authors gone?
RC Bridgestock : No we're here Ryan for a few minutes yet!
areadersheaven : They still have some coffee left in their cups
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : haha
RC Bridgestock : You should have your breakfast cooking now Paul!
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : I'm 14 and i love reading ever since i bought my kindle
LindaGruchy : areadersheaven, it would be more cost-effective in the long run, I think. At least in Australia you have no compunction about chucking riff-raff out.
RC Bridgestock : That's great Ryan!
LindaGruchy : Hi Ryan,
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : so i hear you write about crime and hi linda pleased to meet you
RC Bridgestock : Yes Linda or letting them in to start with!
RC Bridgestock : Yes we do Ryan - do you like crime fiction?
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : yes very much actually
areadersheaven : Don't get me started on illegal immigration
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : where can i get your books?
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : are they expensive?
RC Bridgestock : Tell me about it Bob says Paul! They should call it the okey kokey! (is that how you spell it?) Doesn't matter how many times you throw them out here they're like boomerangs - straight back!
RC Bridgestock : On Amazon 'Deadly Focus' is Â£1.94 and 'Consequences' that's just been released is Â£1.93 on Kindle.
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : do you have any of your books on kindle?
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : sorry sent it just after haha lol
areadersheaven : Okey kokey? And you just had to throw in the "boomerang" reference, didn't you?
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : sounds good i will certainly have a look
RC Bridgestock : That was pretty sharp after two hours Paul and it is 10 o'clock at night here...
areadersheaven : Yeah, okay, I'll give you that one
RC Bridgestock : If you could be prime minister for a day and could change any one law what would it be?
areadersheaven : With our legislative process? Need more than a day
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : thank you for the short chat good night everyone and keep reading bye xxxxxx i would make the law so everyone could have loads of money but ultimately that would mean money was worthless and war would break out
areadersheaven : but, to answer your question...it would be the immigration/detention policy
Ryan kindle Lover Cawsey : byeeee xxxxx
RC Bridgestock : A question we always get is would you encourage your children to follow in your footsteps and go into the police force...
areadersheaven : yeah?
areadersheaven : and your answer is?
RC Bridgestock : A definate yes, but they might consider it too much like hard work! @:
joo : How different is it starting off nowadays as to when you started in the force?
RC Bridgestock : You've left us with a thought - do we support the lumber jacks to stop the tree huggers and create havoc for the environment but they'd only find something else to 'hug' I guess. When something is bad there isn't a lot you can do only get rid otherwise it infects the rest!
areadersheaven : And are there any personality traits that "suit" police work more than other careers?
RC Bridgestock : Just for a start the equipment is far more advanced and needs to be. We were lucky if our radio's worked! There is more violent crime but I was given as a negotiator a 'stab' proof vest for example. Only when I was retiring did I learn that it was bullet proof but now stab proof! Wish they'd told me that when they sent me to people with large knives! Criminal gangs and drugs are major players these days gone are the brace and bit burglars and international criminals use the UK as easy pickings
RC Bridgestock : Guess it's one of the Emergency services so what a person needs most of all is common sense and self preservation!
RC Bridgestock : Treat people as you would like to be treated was my motto. But be warned that some people, in fact quite a lot of people don't listen to you and see you as a legitimate target.
joo : I hate seeing yobs throwing missiles at ambulances and police and firemen. I want them to be hurt and their house burning and the emergency services refuse to turn up.
RC Bridgestock : Well, guys we've taken over two hours of the forum time. It's been great to talk. Keep safe, look after you and yours, thanks for joining in and hope we can do it again sometime. You can always contact us on our website or @ firstname.lastname@example.org
RC Bridgestock : You and a million other people Joo!
areadersheaven : Great to chat, guys and gals. Look forward to it again...
joo : It might have been quiet in here tonight, but it's been really interesting reading your answers to some fab questions.
areadersheaven : Agree, joo
joo : You'll have to do my author interrogation soon
RC Bridgestock : Thanks Paul, Thanks Joo, Thanks Linda! Please thank Lou for us he was terrific!
RC Bridgestock : Of course Joo - love to! Bob says will you promise to be gentle with him?
areadersheaven : Thanks to Lou for his hard work