The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.
For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.
And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.
John was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.
John is currently working on a seies of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city
Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH
Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead
Why do I write?
I can honestly say it isn’t for the money, nor the accolades, not even the celebrity lifestyle. If it were I’d be greatly unhappy because I have achieved none of the above. So, is it about the creative process? Weeelll… perhaps, if you consider the creative process to be about the technicalities of writing. In the same way you would expect a painter to be interested in brushes, paint and canvases, so I have an interest in things like grammar and punctuation. No, I couldn’t care less where you stick a comma but I do care about where I place it, usually after considerable thought.
The simple fact is I write because I enjoy it, I always have. As I learned to read as a child, so I learned to write, the two things seemed linked and I naturally fell into the habit of writing out the stories that formed in my head. Things were easy, at first, but as I became older I began to realise that I had a problem. Whatever I wrote, whether it was an essay or a short story, those who read it seemed to have problems understanding it. Perhaps it was a lack of understanding about the process, the technical side of writing – grammar, punctuation and spelling – or could it be dyslexia? I don’t honestly know because dyslexia did not exist when I was young, you were just “thick”.
I could memorise long lists of spellings and, therefore, do well in tests. I would quickly pick up on how each teacher used grammar and punctuation, and given that no two teachers seemed to follow the same rules, I could happily get an “A” without any real understanding about how those rules worked. In fact I spent the first half of my life being thought of as a “good writer” by keeping things simple and applying a few cheats that I had learned to cover up any deficiency. Which was fine for professional reports, and as I had a busy career I didn’t have time to write stories, so that aspect went by the wayside.
Of course there was the odd mishap, such as the embarrassing occasion when I had put something out using the word “roll” instead of “role”. People, jokingly pointed out the typo, I laughed and went along with it, and eventually got “roll” changed to “role”. The problem was I couldn’t, at the time, actually see the difference. I knew the different meanings and how to use them, I just couldn’t see the actual difference between R O L L and R O L E. Try telling someone who is colour blind that the light is red, not green. And, just don’t start me on words like affect and effect. Have you seen the definitions in some dictionaries?
Deciding that avoidance was not an answer to the problem is what got me back to writing stories again. I wanted to be able to write what I saw in my mind, to paint a written picture that others could also see and, hopefully, enjoy. As spellcheckers developed that helped, though auto-correct is a pain, but learning to proofread has made the most difference. Reading and re-reading is a must. Reading a book in reverse, from the end to the start, or reading chapters in a random order, tends to take the focus off of characters and plot lines and puts it onto meanings and the language used. And, of course, an absolute must for all authors is to have a good copy editor — they are your second pair of eyes and best friend rolled into one.
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