"Arsenic and Mercy Quint" came back from publishers this week to be amended and has since been returned all done as they suggested. Am hopeful that it may get a go-ahead. Still plugging away to end "Of Paradise and Miss Jane Pollitt" and think after that I will be calling it a day and take up breeding slugs. Am too old for all this now and will he happier watching other well-intentioned would-be best-sellers making fools of themselves and living in a bubble of eternal hope.
 
 
I see that the nauseous Jeffrey Archer has produced yet another pot-boiler complete with full-page colour adverts in Sunday papers. I suppose if most writers could afford that kind of marketing there would be a lot more “best sellers” about. Just shows what a year or two in the nick and a few quid can do. For an ex-copper from Weston-super-Mare with a limited education, a penchant for prostitutes and perjury and a lot of bloody cheek, he's done pretty well.

Comments

Carolyn Mann Marketing does make a huge difference. Just started reading your "The Strange Michael Folmer Affair." Now, this is a good book. The BBC need to pick you up.

John RigbeyThanks so much for your post. I am in my eightieth year and Auntie Beeb is notoriously slow and has little time for old men! Still, it keepe me out of the pub. Thanks again. Rigbey.




 
 

I am slowly, oh so slowly, approaching the end of my second (and last) ex-pats saga in SW France. “Paradise and Miss Jane Pollitt” is a very loose follow-on to “Pigs”: I think it is quite good (but I would, I suppose) but whether the publishers will share my enthusiasm is a matter for conjecture. Hopefully they will get it in a week or so, so we will see. Those of you who have read “Pigs” will recall the ghastly Norman Titley and the village gossip Chantale Danne: well, factor in the local Brits' annual pantomime (directed by “Binkie” Van Steen (real name Vanstone) and his French friend Po-Po, a disputed will, a poaching postman and – but I am telling you too much! Let's see if it's published, shall we?

Meanwhile, there is always my five crime fictions and the Isle of Wight story for your consideration….


A French reader reviews (4*) :4.0 étoiles sur 5
Excellentes descriptions des ambiances, des personnages hauts en couleur !
C'est une histoire délirante et "gargantuesque". Et si le ton est à la satire , on ressent toute la tendresse de l'auteur pour cette région, ses habitants et ses "ex-pats"
On passe un excellent moment
Pas tres difficile à lire en anglais pour un niveau moyen .

Sorry it's in French, but see below if you need:

4.0 stars out of 5

Excellent descriptions of moods, colorful characters!
It's a crazy story and "gargantuan." And if the tone is to satire, we feel all the author's affection for this region, its people and its "ex-pats"
We spend a great time
Not very difficult to read in English to a medium level.





 
 
I thank all those who bought my books this past week and I sincerely hope you enjoy what you read. If so, and if you have a moment, a review on Amazon perhaps? Encouragement and support makes a great deal of difference to unknown writers and has been known to lift us from the depths of depression to the highest levels of euphoria! Which at my age may be very dangerous, but I'll take the risk!
 
 
AN EXTRACT FROM "OF PARADISE AND PIGS"

"There was never any doubt and it was never disputed that Solange Guilbeault's truffle pig had gained entry to the Barclay-Jones' garden. Nor that it had found its way into the house and caused what the Barclay-Jones described as “extensive and costly damage”. That the beast had eaten their kitten (“Minou”), though, was by no means certain and something upon which the St. Laurent jury was still out.

Solange was well known in the district. In her late thirties, she was grossly overweight, of manly appearance and had the strength of a black Camargue bull. Her lank, dark hair always seemed to be damp (opinion favoured sweat over showering) and her muscular arms and meaty fists had split no end of lips and flattened as many noses in any number of local bars. Always seen in blue bib-and-brace overalls over a blue or green vest (she had only one of each), green rubber boots and in winter a heavy ex-army great-coat, she lived alone in a tiny, isolated cottage on the road between St. Laurent and Frayssinet. Her pig, “Mauricette”, had a crude and rickety form of sty in a shed in the small back garden, but rumour had it that when the nights were bitter and the damp and mists crept up from the River Lot, she joined Solange inside: after all, she was her owner's mainstay, her sole source of income, and such assets should be cosseted.

That Solange was popular in the area was evidenced by her several children (the precise number had been the subject of argument for years) who were variously lodged with her mother in Villeneuve-sur-Lot and an aunt in Prayssac. Full of the rough, black Cahors wine and a few measures of eau-de-vie, depending on her mood Solange would either fight or fornicate. It was widely accepted that she enjoyed and excelled at both pursuits and that her involvement in either had never been known to be accompanied by any form of sentiment: Solange did not fall in love – nor did she ever bear any grudge towards anyone she had felt cause to assault, be it under the influence of drink or otherwise.

She roamed the countryside on foot, inevitably with Mauricette plodding in her wake, led by a length of rope attached to a brass ring in her ever-dripping nose. From autumn onward, if asked by landowners she would spend hours in woodlands encouraging the pig, which was able to scent a truffle as far as three feet below the ground. Obliging farmers and the owners of woods and copses were rewarded with what Solange showed them as being half of her harvest. Those disinclined to allow her on their land (she would go anyway) – or those she did not bother to ask – were not that fortunate."

JOIN THE SOLANGE FAN-CLUB! "OF PARADISE AND PIGS" BY JOHN RIGBEY.

 
 
As I have mentioned, "Arsenic and Mercy Quint" is now with the publishers and I am waiting - rather like waiting for test results from the quacks! Arsenic was very painful and cruel manner of disposing of one's enemies which is now long out of fashion, thank God, but if anyone is interested in how it worked send a message and I will send an extract from the proposed book. 
Meanwhile, as far as I can see "Pigs" is doing okay: have heard no more from the French radio station, but the advert in France starts next week. 
Back at the keyboard, "Pigs Two"(likely title "Of Paradise and Miss Jane Pollitt") is moving along quite well, so try not to forget me".
Readers of ghost-written semi-fiction will no doubt be on the look-out for the crap I am sure will soon be published by the shapely cocaine smuggler recently released from prison in Peru. Publishers and agents should hang their heads in shame favouring convicted criminals and ignoring hardworking writers: their lists will never be "too full" for the winsome female drug pusher, nor will their material be "not quite right for us."  As Clarence Darrow said "There is no such thing as justice - in or outside of court".
 
 
Well, “Mrs. Hearn” aka “Salmon Sandwiches” and (I know!) aka “Arsenic and Mercy Quint” is finished and sent off to the publishers and I am now in their hands. They are not big in publishing fact, but it has been very largely fictionalised with names/locations changed and some larger than life characters and they seem to be quite interested and say it “may have legs”.
So now it's back in France to “Pigs Two” and the activities of ex pats and their Gallic hosts in St. Laurent-des-Anglais. No pigs this visit, but – well, you'll have to wait and see! 
Although I cannot tell, I sense that Pigs One may be doing quite well. Certainly the two radio slots I am negotiating plus the three month advert in an ex-pat newspaper (Connexion) will make a difference. Insha'Allah.
 
 
I have been offered two short slots on a French radio station (mainly for ex pats) to read parts of "Of Paradise and Pigs" which is very nice. Also worth mentioning is that Sidgewick and Jackson (one of the countries foremost publishers) have agreed to publish yet another book about the despicable gangster and murderer Frank Fraser, this one "written" by his sons. The publishers and any literary agents involved should hang their heads in shame, but then again, publishers are there to make money, not to help writers, so that answers it all really.....

 
 
Well, “Of Paradise and Pigs” seems to be off to a good start and hopefully there will be some nice reviews on Amazon soon. Publishers have got me to tart up the FB page “John Rigbey's Books” which I have done and it seems to give out a great deal of information regarding hits, visits, etc., most of which I do not understand but I am sure the publishers will and make good use of it.

Nowadays, every man and his several dogs is writing (or trying to write) crime fiction. Inevitably, these books are about two cops and a serial killer: probably because the writers do not have the ability to wrote 100,000 words about one murder and the solving of it. They should read “A Season in Purgatory” by Dominic Dunne. A fascinating book and an insight into how a crime novel should be written.

But then again, who am I to talk? Not exactly successful, am I?




 
 
Well, "Of Paradise and Pigs" is out through Amazon. Much is due to my publishers GWL in Chichester who have been a great help and who were always there when I needed them, which was quite often. Through Twitter I am trying to get to the thousands of Brit ex pats in France and hopefully my pages of satire and humour will take their minds of petrol strikes, the referendum and the price of beer and how much you get in France for an alleged pint!
"Pigs Two" is about halfway through and the working title is "Of Paradise and Miss Jane Pollitt". Back in St. Laurent-des-Anglais with some of the original characters and a host of fresh eccentricity from both English and French.
"Salmon Sandwiches (aka "Arsenic and Mercy Quint" is almost done and will be sent to publishers this week, I hope.  Based on R -v- Sarah Anne Hearn 1931 it is a super story and some fictionalisation and changes makes for a riveting page turner.
Thanks to those who made comments: they are much appreciated and are always welcome......