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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

R C Bridgestock is with us today, January 17 on Come In, Sit Down, Tell us about...

This blog is a meeting place for authors and others in the arts .... each week as others are directed to our door or just stumble on by, they come and leave us information about themselves so they can tell about their new books or drawing or photos or to tell us about their new blogs. ****PLEASE be sure your comments are appearing on the latest most timely blog insuring your inclusion in the sending off to google plus land at the end of the week.*****

This is a meeting place where new and old alike can hook up for their next read or just to rediscover an old love.

Here is the link to Gwen’s site: G.D. Steel's blog is free promoting of your arts. As I am wont to say {as does Facebook} our site is free to comment and share and always will be free.  

For the rest of the month of January and possibly into February of 2012,we will be interviewing new and seasoned authors, first at Gwen's and then over here.

Today we have
 with us an husband and wife team Bob and Carol Bridgestock who write under the name R C Bridgestock. They had posted several free chapters of their book Deadly Focus and I fortunately fell into their ‘net’ to read. I was hooked. I wanted, no, I needed to know what happened next. 

I talked them into obtaining a copy from their publisher, autographing it for me, and since I was on my way to a funeral out of town, they graciously sent the book in advance of payment. 

They knew I was honest, after all, they are detectives, and if their stories hold true to life, darn good one ~ please welcome Carol and Bob Bridgestock 

What inspired you to write? 


When we retired from the police after 47 years of service between us we moved 300 miles to start a new ‘quieter’ life. Our family and friends had always told Bob, he should write a book with all the stories he could tell of real life events in his 30 year career. When we meet new acquaintances and they found out what Bob used to do they tell him the same. 

Let me explain, Bob was a career detective and worked in the Criminal Investigation Department at every rank. For over half of his 30 year service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. As a Senior Investigative Officer (SIO) in charge of homicide cases he took command of some twenty-six murder investigations, twenty- three major incidents including shootings and attempted murders and over fifty suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults, some of which were extremely high profile in his last three years alone. 

He received numerous commendations from high court judges and chief constables who credit him with personal commitment and professionalism, expertise and diligence as well as competence with skillful leadership in sensitive, complex high profile cases with the subsequent presentation of compelling evidence. He was a Force Hostage Negotiator and was also commended for his work into the investigation of a protracted, high profile investigation of police corruption in another police force. 

I also had a long career with the same Police force as a member of the support staff in different roles in administration. 

For years I had nagged Bob to ‘jot’ down his memories, to go along with the scrap book of the newspaper and magazine cuttings, to one day pass on to our children and grandchildren. Then one cold, wet day (yes, we do have those on the Isle of Wight too), to my surprise Bob enrolled us both on a six week course at the local college he saw advertised in the ‘County Press,’ to help you, ‘Write Your First Novel.’ The rest is history as we got the bug and within six weeks he had written the first draft of ‘Deadly Focus.’ 

Do you have anyone you show manuscripts to and get advice from or are you a loner doing it all yourself? 


We obviously have so much material brought about by our ‘working’ lifestyle to write for a very long time, but conveying that to paper and for it to be interpreted in the way we want it to be is something else. 

We want people to feel through our writing what it’s really like to work in an incident room on a murder investigation. See the pressure the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) and the team are under with all the highs and lows that come about during a major investigation, and sense the sharp end of the British police service. 

So, we write it as it is and send it to our daughter to read. Gemma still works for the police force and so is up to date with the ever changing procedures. When she okays it then we drop it on our publisher’s desk to see if he likes it! 

What genre do you normally write in? Also, is there a genre you've always wanted to write in, but don't feel you could pull it off? 


We write what we know. We write about crime and police procedure. All the books in the RC Bridgestock DI Dylan series are based on real life experiences but the story lines are fiction. However, the scenes and feelings of the Senior Investigative Officer (DI Jack Dylan) and his partner Jen are drawn from reality. 

One of the reasons I had reservations about writing a book was that I didn’t want to bring about further trauma and upset to the victims of the crimes I took charge of by talking about the investigations. The last thing I would want would be to open up ‘old wounds’ for the people involved. 

Writing crime fiction seemed to be the solution – fictional stories with correct police procedure and the thoughts and feelings of people who have lived ‘the life’ in reality. 

Do you ever base your characters on people you know? 


DI Jack Dylan is loosely based on Bob and Jennifer Jones (Miss Jones) on me. It is easier that way as we have ‘lived’ the parts. The other characters are based on ‘characters’ we have met. We write together so it makes it easier for us if we can describe a person who we have both seen and then use the character and mannerisms of someone we know. Many people ask if we are describing them ... Most just want to be in one of the books ... we’re not telling! 

With regard to the thoughts and feelings of Jen I certainly don’t glorify the supporting role a partner plays, but I do draw upon incidents; how I felt and how I tried to help make Bob’s life as an SIO easier. Yes, I sometimes felt angry when he was ‘called out’ to deal with an incident and we had planned to do other things... in our latter ‘police’ life we didn’t plan, we just worked. Bob was too tired to do anything else. They say the life of an SIO should be three years – Bob did five. 

The character of Jen seems to have struck a cord with not only those who support partners in the police but other uniform services. I have had e mails from some who say, ‘I felt like that. I’m so glad that it isn’t just me’. 

I remember feeling guilty one day when I’d had to bite my tongue as Bob left me stranded at a wedding, to attend a murder scene. Then I felt terribly guilty for I knew the victim’s family needed him at that moment more than I did. And the truth is you know that if you were ever in such a terrible situation that your ‘hero’ is the only person you’d want to be there. It’s a tough one but Bob’s job was undoubtedly a lifestyle and I tried to make that as easy as possible, the reason is simple — I love him! 

Once an enquiry started Bob became ‘locked in’ 24/7 and that is how it should be. Bob gets e mails from police personnel who congratulate him for speaking from the heart about his job and how he felt. Even now, nine years since he worked for the police the officers who worked under him still call him ‘Boss’. It makes him smile. It makes us sad that since we have left the police we have spoken to colleagues who talk about the pressure. Some thought they were having a heart attack at times or suffered panic attacks. Intense is not the word... 

What advice would you give to someone who was just starting off in writing? 

For us writing about what we know and writing from the heart works. I suppose it’s no point in writing about flying if you’ve never flown; for how would you know how it feels? This is what we tell those we try to encourage to read and write through organising short story writing competitions with our writing circle. You can see more about this at The nice thing about doing these are that they are community events, involve people of all ages and abilities and the proceeds go to local charities! 

Do your stories tend to have morals, or special messages, included within them? 


‘No, but sometimes DI Jack Dylan does get on his soapbox and tells it how it is.’ Bob says laughing. He is thoughtful. ‘And in ‘Consequences the reader is given a clear picture of how none of us can ever be certain as to the consequences of our choices/actions – as many of the significant characters in the story face serious and often unexpected results due to their daily choices.’ 

Our way of writing has been really well received by working/retired police officers and civilian staff in the UK and USA who have given us fantastic reviews. 

One said, ‘It was like being back in an incident room and reliving the trauma of a murder all over again. Never read anything so true to life.’ 

Another, ‘I taught at a police academy, and worked in a cold case squad, so I know something about law enforcement procedures. I loved this book!’ 

Well known Script Writer, Peter Hammond of Midsomer Murder and Sapphire and Steele fame amongst other masterpieces says... ‘It reveals so much about working coppers' problems with the system. I know this sort of thing has been dealt with in previous police stories, but you bring a deeper insight to it without being preachy or pretentious. Most importantly, the police characters are believable and one cares about them. The mortuary viewing scene with the dead child is heartbreaking. In fact, it's a difficult book to put down.’ 

All these great comments spur us on to write more. 

This question was posed by a fellow author and I loved it so much I decided to throw it into the mix ~ Oh no! One of your characters has escaped. Luckily, I have caught them! I will interrogate them with the help of a lie detector. Welcome! Take a seat, make yourself comfortable. You will be returning to your book once this is over. What's your name, where are you from and what is your role in the book? 

My name is Vicky Hardacre. I am young - well relatively, I’m 26. I’m a free and single and have a bubbly disposition. I have bleached blonde, messy hair and love my job. I’m loud and brazen with it but have a heart of gold and would do anything for my boss DI Jack Dylan. I’m very much ‘one of the lads’ and that’s how I fit into Harrowfield Criminal Investigation Department. I’m a very capable police woman, qualified to the rank of Sergeant but I want to remain in the investigative role of a Detective, so no matter how much Dylan nags me; I’m not going to sit my ‘boards’ and go back into uniform ... well not yet anyway I’m having too much fun. 

Dylan can be ruthless and I like men that way. I continually challenge him and he knows just how to deal with me. I have learned and continue to learn so much from working on Dylan’s team but the thing I look up to him for is his sense of humour in the face of adversity and his determination to catch the offenders, no matter how much pressure he comes under from the hierarchy. Dylan is my kind of man and I guess I’ll find it hard to meet someone of my age, just like him. No matter how many men I go out with no one quite matches up to him for his love of life and tenacity. Dylan’s partner Jennifer Jones is one of my friends – they make a great couple and I guess I’m quite jealous of the relationship they have. 

Maybe I’m destined to be married to the job. Dylan says in the near future I could be his Acting Detective Sergeant and therefore I may be the first person to take charge of a suspicious death or major murder incident. He tells me that I better get it right first time because if I don’t I won’t get a second chance at the scene – Dylan doesn’t suffer fools gladly and neither do I! 

The thought of being in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department is quite nerve racking but one day I’d like to take over Dylan’s job. Dylan will not be happy that I’m out of contact – I’m already on a ‘Scarborough warning’ (Yorkshire slang for bad behaviour that will result in punishment), but what’s new? If you keep me any longer you can be sure he’ll be shouting for me over the airwaves! 

Tell us why we would enjoy reading your books? 

Do you want to be in the middle of the action? Want to know how cases are run? Our series of novels are page turners; gritty novels that are like reading today’s headlines. Each has its own take on a different crime, where DI Dylan, a typical Yorkshire detective takes charge. We try our absolute best to ensure the police procedure is ‘spot on.’ The novels involve ‘real’ police work with all its bumps and bruises. The setting and pace, we are told with the novels not against them, and the characters are strongly written within the constraints of the books. Not only will you be gripped by the murder cases but also by the relationship between Dylan and his partner. We pay particular attention not only to police procedure but also to the personal emotions of the Senior Investigative Officer and his team dealing with horrific crimes that will keep you hanging on for more and give you a sense of realism that other novelists could never convey. 

Here is Bob and Carol’s latest info and links 

Following the success of ‘Deadly Focus’ (the first in the RC Bridgestock series of crime fiction novels), our publisher Caffeine Nights Publishers are publishing our second novel ‘Consequences,’ in March 2012. Our third book ‘White Lilies’ is with the publisher, our fourth ‘Snow Kills’ is being finalised and book 5 ‘Predators’ has been commenced. We have also just been signed up by a Literary Agent who covers South Korea and Japan. 

We have two book signing tours planned for Spring and Summer 2012 in the UK and continue to raise money through talks for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and other local charities close to our hearts. 

Carol & Bob, Crime Fiction Authors RC Bridgestock 
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You can also follow us on Twitter @ RCBridgestock & @ Linkedin Carol & Bob Bridgestock

Thank you Carol and Bob.  It has been great having you stop by on this side of the puddle, the pond, the Ocean.  Stop by anytime - our doors are always open!

More News from Carol and Bob ~ All excitement here! 'Consequences' is at the printers and has passed all the pre media! It will be out there now real soon for purchase in paperback and Kindle etc. Will update you on the book tour dates soon! :-)