Archive for the ‘writers’ workshop’ Tag

Crowd Funding

Hello Everyone,

Well, the title of this blog is a well-used term, but it is wrong surely? I’m not donating money to a crowd. I’m hoping a crowd, most complete strangers to me and each other, will fund some of the costs of getting my debut novel published.

I’ll let you know in the next few days when you can become a member of this elite crowd.

You’ll get something for your $$$s too: Perks. No, not Perks-Must-Be-About-It as in the Railway Children, played wonderfully by Bernard Cribbins – not forgetting the delightful Jennifer Agutter … oh my. Do you remember that scene towards the end of the 1970 film?  – you know, the one where the mist and steam gradually clear to reveal Bobby’s father.

There’s mist and steam right at the start of Chapter One in my novel. Except my train doesn’t slowly disappear; just the opposite. It comes dashing like a mad-thing from the mist to kill, scores. But I digress.

Consider your $$$s as advance orders. And just what Perks you can have, I’ll tell you about very soon.

Thanks for your time,



Jubilees and Coronations

1952: Britain was still recovering from the second world war. Some foods were still on ration – it would be another year before sugar came off – though interestingly, fish and chips never were.

So imagine the grief felt by most of the nation when King George VI died. If that wasn’t enough, Britain’s worst peacetime rail disaster occurred  before the year was out.

I’d be almost four, when the first of these events took place;

  • Accession of Elizabeth II: 6th February 1952,
  • England’s worst train crash: 8th October 1952,
  • Coronation of Elizabeth II: on 2nd June 1953, which I just about remember watching on a tiny black and white television in some rich-person’s front room. I also remember the curb-stones being crayoned red, white and blue; I suppose I was much closer to them then. But I digress.

Now I don’t really believe in coincidences – yet, I’m managing to write a few into my crime novel – but isn’t it curious that the crash falls, almost to the day, exactly between the two royal events?

No, it’s not curious at all. It’s just how things worked out. But what is curious is that no one, no august body of crash investigators could say exactly why the crash occurred. True, the Ministry of Transport Report, released just 10 days after the Coronation, found the Perth train-crew were at fault, but could only surmise as to why: both the driver and fireman died.

Want some more coincidences? Three trains were involved in the crash of 60 years ago. The Perth sleeper service was hauled by a Coronation class locomotive, which ran into a stationary local service, and the third train was headed by a Jubilee class locomotive.  Stranger and stranger, eh?  And the other express locomotive involved: that was a Princess Royal Class named Princess Anne. Of course, all of these were designed and built long before the occasion of Elizabeth’s Jubilee being celebrated this week.

So what’s all this got to do with me? I’ll tell you.

My crime novel – working title Searching for Closure – tells a tale of mystery and murder, the inciting incident of which is the Harrow and Wealdstone disaster. Lorna, who loses relatives in the disaster, needs to know why it happened and seven years later discovers that D I Crosier had investigated what might have gone wrong.  Crosier is at a loss, just as everyone else was at the time, to answer her enquiry. But events spiral out of control and  …

Well that would be telling wouldn’t it, so you’d better get on the mailing list for updates.

Thanks for reading,


Hunting for the literary agent

Tomorrow, I’ll be sending out my first three chapters of my murder mystery novel to a number of UK agents who I think might, no must, be interested. The day after I’ll sit back and begin to fret no doubt whether I composed a good introductory letter, compiled a brilliant succinct synopsis and, of course, did I cross all the i’s and dot the t’s in my sample manuscript? Then I’ll begin to wonder if I selected the appropriate agents to consider my work and if I did, will they like it. Next will come, when shall I hear I’ve been rejected?

The first chapters had been reviewed by the Writers’ Workshop last year. Since then, I have turned a lot of the novel on its head, written the MC in the first person and viewed the rail crash through the eyes of a survivor.

Rail crash, what rail crash?

Ah, should I have told you that?

Well OK, the novel involves the worst rail disaster to have happened in England, when 112 died and 340 were injured, and that’s all I’m giving away at this time. The chances of getting it published are about 1:1000. The chances of getting it published for the 60th anniversary of the crash by the traditional route, are even smaller. Time will tell, and you’ll be the second to know about it if it happens, if you sign up to my blog – see below. Of course it will happen – think positive, man.

Those first critical chapters have been tweaked countless times by me before going out to my beta-readers. Amazed at what they picked up on, I incorporated changes, added more detail, took some out, adjusted some characters – poor Lorna’s eye-colour went from black to brown and have ended up blue –  and I corrected punctuation and tense. Then I tweaked it another 50 times! WW call it ‘polishing’.

So, it should be word perfect and make absolutely addictive reading, for everyone and their dog. As I said earlier, time will tell.

Edwin Tipple

with thanks to Writer’s Workshop on letter & synopsis guidance. For more information about that, see

and you can sign up for my blog here at to see how it all works out. Go on, I promise not to blog rubbish.