Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Ruby Drops His Pants to Pen a Page Turner

I've been writing under the name Ruby Barnes / R.A. Barnes for some time now. It's a pen name, in memory of my late Scottish grandfather Robert "Ruby" Aloysius Barnes. Here in Ireland we have famous men named Ruby (okay, so there's one, Ruby Walsh the champion jockey), so it's not totally weird for me to work under what looks like a female name. I did change to R.A. a little while back to try and be a little less "cozy", as my writing isn't "cozy" at all (and readers of my books will concur with that). However, I knew that one day I would have to cast off my cloak of Ruby and strut my street name. That day has come.

I will remove my disguise once I've got rid of this wasps' nest

A couple of years ago I met another writer, one more widely published and successful than Ruby but working even more in the shadows than I. A ghostly apparition, one might say. After a few opening salvos, we concluded that it might be fun to write a novel together. Fun in the way that full contact karate is fun as long as you have adequate protection for your private parts and beauty bits. There was a plot outline, some early work and a strong sense of what had to be done. The missing component was someone who could write Nasty. I had Nasty in a bottle in the spirit of John Baptist and other baddies. It seemed right up my street. Except I don't do plotting and all that. I'm what writers call a pantser.
Wot? No plot?

So I had to drop my pants and run with the lady's plot. It wasn't easy. There was shouting and screaming and hand-to-hand combat. That was the co-authors. But the result was sublime. A struggle to the death by two determined individuals with unique voices. That was the characters. Experienced beta readers were engaged to advise along the way. Each chapter was put through the mangle and came out freshly pressed. The female HALO character is in control but dangerous and with a wonky moral compass. The male SHARD character is evil, vindictive, sadistic, sexually-perverted and lusting for revenge. (Guess which one I wrote.)

John Goldsmith's review of Kill Them Twice says it all much better than I can:

"Everything you don’t expect and everything you want. This is one of the higher aims of any work of fiction, regardless of genre, and it is fiendishly difficult to attain.
Eveleigh and Turner’s super-charged thriller Kill Them Twice gets you there at page one, chapter one, paragraph one – one could almost say, sentence one and keeps you constantly encountering the unexpected and relishing the manifold treats all along the way to the bittersweet, counter-intuitive conclusion."
(See the rest of John's review here)

So, I am an author and my name is Mark Turner. There, I've said it. My pants are round my ankles. I need a beer.

Kill Them Twice is available from 4th September 2015 at the following outlets (at a special release price of 99c / 99p):

We've provided some insights into the mindset of Halo and Shard in our blog post The A to Z of Kill Them Twice

Here are some other pieces of the pie:
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Cover for Kill Them Twice by eveleigh & turner