For the last few days, I’ve stepped back from my writing as other jobs around my home are calling for my attention. Have a break from writing allows me to clear my mind as I begin a new project. Now that Stone Angels, my first crime novel is ready for publication on the 11th August it’s time for me to start creating new characters, settings and plot line for my next writing project.

My crime novella, The Funeral Birds now has 15 amazing reviews on Amazon which has come quite a shock to me. The story started life as a failed entry for the BBC short story competition. This goes to show you shouldn’t throw anything away, because you never know what submission will come along in the future. My BBC entry was too short for what the publisher Demain Publishing wanted, but it didn’t take me long to lengthen the short story into the novella. I had planned to turn it into a novel as I loved the characters and plot line anyway.

As The Funeral Birds is doing so well and most of the reviews and comments I’ve received have all asked about a follow up book, it is only natural for me to think seriously about it. The only problem I can see is the tone of the novella was light and slightly humorous. I’m sure my main characters, Joan and Dave will be able to maintain their good humour as they tackle new cases. If my novel doesn’t match the tone of the novella will this disappoint some readers of The Funeral Birds?

I know I would like to develop Granny Wenlock’s character more in the next Dave and Joan book. The novella’s size didn’t allow me to give the reader as sense of place where Dave’s detective agency or Grey’s church was in the surrounding landscape of the novella. Again, this is another area I have to be careful with so not to lose sight of the balance of give your readers what they need to know, and what is just padding.

I have already work out the plot, setting and the timeline for the novel. I even have the title, too. Though keeping to a bird theme may be a bit risky. I remember Sue Grafton in her Alphabet Series saying what started out as a great idea began to wane. It’s the same as choosing to write a certain type of genre because it pays well, rather than writing what you enjoy reading. If you’re lucky and your writing is popular with the readers you have to enjoy what you’re doing. I think bird titles may work as it adds a twist to the supernatural element within my style of writing.

Right, now it’s time to get started. Hope you all have a great weekend. Remember to keep the words flowing.

Happy writing and plotting, everyone.


  1. Good luck with your journey Paula. It’s a long and lonely road, but I know you’ll get there. Dave and Joan were great characters, so it will be interesting to see how you flesh them out in a follow-up to The Funeral Birds.

    Lots of famous writers have written multiple books about the same people. One who immediately springs to mind is Wilbur Smith and his novels chronicling the lives of the Ballantyne family. Another is Peter James, the creator of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I’m really looking forward to writing the following on novel. The success of The Funeral Birds has amazed me. The real Dave and Joan are enjoying it too. Yes, they are my neighbours 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Joan and Dave are a mature married couple who had been very supportive with my writing. What I’ve always admired about them is their deep loving relationship and their great sense of humour about life. I wanted to write about such a couple who had that same wit and deep understanding of each other that it was almost telepathy. Joan and Dave are their real first, but I changed their surname. The real Dave and Joan love The Funeral Birds. When I wrote the original story Joan loved that too, we were both disappointed when it failed to find a home with the BBC in 2015. Joan often asked if I could find somewhere else to send it.


  2. Well done Paula, it’s a great new look to your blog. Good luck with then next instalment to Funeral Birds. I have pre-ordered Stone Angels and looking forward to reading it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Maxine. I was hoping to have some to read out at the group, but playing around with this took too longer. 😂


  3. They Funeral bBirds has laid a solid foundation for the next chapters. Can’t wait to see what Dave and Joan get into next! Congratulations and continued luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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