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Book Signing Event Tips With Easy Mnemonics Reminder!


Book Signing Tips! Hopefully they will be helpful to you! :-)

Most authors write in isolation, therefore to represent their selves at a book signing is not something they relish.

 This document highlights some good practice identified by debut authors using the simple tried and tested method ‘TRIAL & ERROR’ resulting in excellent consecutive book signings.

 The say to ‘fail to plan is to plan to fail’ .

 The following is not prescriptive but mere suggestions;

 Your publisher will make the initial arrangements well in advance, send a press release to local media and arrange with the store to have sufficient copies of your novel in stock as well as discussing with them advertising your attendance. So you may think that all the preparation is complete? Far from it!

 Prior to the event it is wise to speak with the manager at the said store by telephone or in person if the store is local to you, confirming your attendance.

 ASCERTAIN who will be the manager in the store on the day?

 Ask WHERE will you be located in store? Ensure you are near to the doors, clearly visible so people have to walk past you. If you are not happy with the position they intend to place you tell the manager as he/she will take it for granted that everything is okay unless you speak up.

 Confirm that there will be visible advertisement before and on the day of the signing in the shop windows. The publisher will often have sent posters pre book signing and these could have been received by another manager and stored away ‘somewhere safe’ and forgotten. Display boards outside emphasising ‘BOOK SIGNING TODAY’ are most helpful and bring in footfall from passing trade. There may be space here to write the name of your novel or genre type. ‘Every little helps,’ so they say!

 THINK – photo opportunity on your arrival of you and the staff. Good for your website and social media sites.

 CONSIDER speaking to local press yourself. Look on the internet for local media. If you are local or have a connection to the town it makes a good story that they will often run with and it is also a chance for a photo opportunity – but you must ask, they can only say no.

 WEBSITES—Does the store have a website where they can advertise your book signing? You can befriend the store on facebook and when you are you can advertise the event yourself here. I suppose this goes without saying that you would advertise too on ALL your own media contacts such as Twitter, Linkedin, Goodreads etc.

 LOCAL – Think local radio. Some have a simple system where you can ring and record your message about a local event. If not then ring their reception or admin office and ask if they would consider letting you be a guest on a show or if they would give you ‘a plug,’ again they can only say no. Most local radio stations are only too happy to have a guest in the studio. Don’t just look for the national radio stations such as the BBC; look for the internet stations too.

 CREATE your own display boards. An A5 sized board that can be bought quite cheaply from stationary stores or on the internet. A carrier for these can also be bought again quite cheaply from Argos or again on the internet. Cover the board with press cuttings, photos and advertisements of your book – even the price. These advertisement boards about you and your novel will build up in time and are well worth investing the effort as they ‘draw in’ the customer and is a good talking point.

 BADGE. We have taken to wearing our own made badge that simply says thereon…Our name, Author and the name of our book. It may be a minor detail but it quickly identifies to a customer who you are and saves you being asked questions to locate other literature. Bob is often mistaken for the manager!

 BOOKMARKS. We have a few bookmarks with ‘Deadly focus’ thereon and relevant websites which we hand out freely- this is a great way of interaction with shoppers and if they are ‘too shy’ to buy at the time or ‘too busy’ the bookmark may tempt them to purchase at some later date.

 BOOKS. The store may have a dozen copies of your book in store – it varies from store to store but before you even turn up it is often the case that they have sold one or two to people who have seen the adverts. However be sure to take extra books with you. You may sell out their stock and wish to sell more. Speak to the manager beforehand as Waterstone’s will let you sell your own stock once theirs have gone and order the amount of books you have sold from their centre ‘the hub’ to return these to you at a later date. Please keep a check of these as you very often have to chase these up. WH Smith will purchase the books from you in our experience but it can take up to six months for you to get that money again make sure you set up an account with them to ensure you get the money they owe you.

 The manager may wish you to leave any of your books that you have left of your or their stock for them to put on their shelves and they will ask you to sign them – the usually put a sticker on these books to say ‘signed by the author’.

 TIME. Most stores allocate or expect you to stay for a two hour period for the book signing. For some renowned authors it is sufficient to sell as many as they need to or to clear the queue. For new authors you are probably just finding your feet as the two hour time allocation runs out. We have found all stores welcoming us to stay as long we wish and in our experience it is worth staying for as long as you can. Let’s face it it’s probably taken more than two hours for you to get there. Go prepared, although some stores have in-house cafes and the staff keep you supplied with warm drinks others don’t offer you as much as a drink of water and it is easier for us to pop out and get supplies as there are two of us present…

 APPEARANCE is really important – go smart. You want to be noticed for the right reasons. A well known writer of children’s books always turns up dressed as a pink fairy…

 STOP!!!! No I am not suggesting that for one moment you should be in fancy dress. As the ex detective I always put on the suit , collar and tie. Something that helps you stand out from the other shoppers perhaps would be helpful. Treat the experience as a job interview, first impressions matter.

 ALL PREPARED? If the day goes well you should be exhausted and have a sore throat. Never before will you have spent so much time passionately talking about YOU, YOUR BOOK and your publisher – in our case CAFFEINE NIGHTS.

 Set your display how you think it would work best. Even take along an easel if you can to get the board at eye level. In any downtime – we find shoppers tend to come in ebb and flows for no apparent reason at all, sign the books that way you only have to personally dedicate them should you get a rush on!

 WARNING – always ask the customer how to spell the name of the recipient, NEVER ASSUME we’ve had so many spellings of Ian you wouldn’t believe!


 There may be a seat but it doesn’t mean you have to use it at all times. You need to become a market trader, interact with the customers. The initial smile and contact; ‘Good morning, are you interested in crime fiction’ is a great ice breaker. You will soon get the vibe if the person is interested or totally blanks you – yes there are some strange people out there. Don’t be put off, move on.

 Staff at the major retailers regularly tell us they are pleased we interact with their customers as some authors just come and sit down waiting for people to approach them which they say doesn’t work. Think, does your genre fit into a 3 for 2 offer at the store? If so ask if you can use it and this will allow your books to go on the 3 for 2 table.

 There is nothing stranger than people. As I briefly mentioned before you will get blank looks, curt responses and even rebuffs but think of that as a challenge! We have even got people to put down their chosen intention and swap it for ours. I have stood outside the shop wearing the badge and got people to come inside and make a purchase. It can be fun- take the lead from the staff, and customers for every store and town are different.

 Never under estimate your own ability. You know everything about your novel and no one else does. You want people to read it. It’s your chance to tell them. Let them read the blurb on the back, hand them a book and if they start to read you’re half way there. Remember you spent months crafting this work of art, for them to enjoy. It’s the best read in the store. So tell them it is.

 You’ll get the local oddball or the confrontational shopper. We had a six foot five biker, clad with leather jacket carrying his helmet who walked straight up to me almost nose to nose and said, ‘Are you the f…ing copper who wrote this? I hate coppers’ Lovely man, after a short while he bought a copy. Carol still is unsure how I managed it. No it wasn’t a grip to the groin area.

 Remember, most people that walk through the book shop doors intend purchasing at least one book. WHY NOT YOURS? Some people simply love books signed by the author, any author! It’s a sale! The reason doesn’t matter it’s the purchase that counts. Ice to Eskimos springs to mind.

 What about the staff? They read too and you know they will enjoy your novel so don’t miss an opportunity of a sale.

 So a sell out? Where’s the next one going to be and when. If it didn’t go to well don’t let one bad day at the office dishearten you. It maybe the time scale i.e. 2 hours was insufficient. The number of foot passengers in a shop vary throughout the day. You may have hit the quiet time. A lot of stores monitor their footfall, ask the manager if there is a regular peak time during the day? If there is you don’t want to miss it.

 Don’t forget to thank the staff. We always buy a box of chocolates for them to share – they’ll remember you and look forward to you coming back.

 So although exhausted after a successful day promoting ,yourself , your novel and your publisher it’s time to put your feet up and type a message to the store manager and their HQ thanking them for their hospitality and professionalism.

 We have been requested to return with our future novels, an endorsement in itself. The stores staff we find often also e-mail each other telling them about good and bad book signings so you want a good endorsement.

 Finally before you fall asleep updates are required for your publisher, friends on facebook ,twitter etc, sharing the success coupled with the photographs to advertise you successful day and the next event.

 Be assured the more book signings you do. The more accomplished you become at selling.






























You may have heard Lymington mentioned before on this blog, for this is where we arrived on Monday by ferry from the IOW.
Three Wightlink ferries have run from Lymington to Yarmouth since the 1970s, named after Anglo Saxon Kings: Cenred, Cenwulf and Caedmon. In February 2009 they were replaced by larger vessels built in Croatia, Wight Light, White Sky and White Sun. These ferries are owned by the company that also owns the M6 Toll. They run on average every hour, from a port south east of the old town on the far side of the Lymington River.

Today we are signing our books at Waterstones on the High Street. For avid fans of ‘DI Dylan’ you may remember we came here last year and since some of our readers couldn’t be here in person, there were already books ordered and waiting to be signed. Thank you! 

 The Team at Lymington Waterstones with Bob!

As soon as we arrived the mobile rang. BBC Radio Leeds want Bob on air tomorrow morning to be part of the a week of programmes they are doing on cold case reviews and Crime and Justice in West Yorkshire and beyond.  We have to be at Solent Radio for 6.45am tomorrow morning… now I’ve just to tell Bob what I’ve agreed he’ll do! ;-)

 Carol book signing!

Lymington has a long history in fiction. Do any of you remember Howards Way or Worzel Gummage? The 1980 Christmas special of the ITV children’s show Worzel Gummidge was filmed in the town during the summer of that year. During filming a sudden wind blew the titanium dioxide that was being used as a replica of snow into homes, shops and businesses, causing damage and a large compensation bill for the producers, Southern Television.  It is also mentioned in The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat and features in the historical novels of local writer Warwick Collins (namely The Rationalist and The Marriage of Souls) and The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd.

In Tom Clancy‘s Patriot Games, a Wightlink ferry heading from the Lymington ferry terminal is intercepted and a prisoner is extracted in heavy seas. Several men on board the ferry are murdered.

It started off not such a bad day… as we embarked from our hotel – The Stanwell House Hotel which was conveniently more or less directly opposite the store. There was no parking as such… so carrying the luggage and promotion boards was quite a task but the food, staff and hotel far made up for the inconveniece. We were offered a lift with our luggage by Lucy from the hotel who was not even on duty and Alexis you are a star! WE will be back!

This was outside our room – an omen perhaps?

 Even I don’t remember using one of these, although I do remember using the blue carbon copy paper to make duplicate copies of custody sheets and such for court files … them were the good old days! (Or not!)

Our hotel last night…

Today I got to meet my best friend from childhood – Hello Daniella! Bob very kindly suggested we went for a cup of coffee and a cake… big mistake. We could talk for hours! Luckily, for him Pipi (Daniella’s childhood nick name only had an hour for lunch). See you soon BF!

Around 3pm the heavens opened. What a shame for the lovely people we had been speaking to all day who were there on holiday. At least they had ‘DI Dylan’ to keep them company when they went back to their hotel rooms and caravans

A bit more information for you about Lymington.

And now we set off for Southampton, through Beaulieu and past the famous motor museum. We were going to call there for dinner but it is far too wet. The New Forest looks more like a swamp.

For now,

 Night All!

C x

The earliest settlement in the Lymington area was around the Iron Age hill fort known today as Buckland Rings. The hill and ditches of this fort still remain, and an archaeological excavation of part of the Walls was carried out there in 1935. It has been dated to around the sixth century BC. There is also another supposed Iron Age site at nearby Ampress Hole. Evidence for later settlement (as opposed to occupation) however is sparse before Domesday. Lymington itself began as an Anglo-Saxon village.[1] The Jutes arrived in what is now South West Hampshire from the Isle of Wight in the 6th century and founded a settlement called limentun. The Old English word tun means a farm or hamlet whilst limen is derived from the Ancient British word *lemanos meaning elm-tree.[2]

The town is recorded in the Domesday book of 1086 as “Lentune”. About 1200 the lord of the manor, William de Redvers created the borough of New Lymington around the present quay and High Street whilst Old Lymington comprised the rest of the parish. He gave the town its first charter and the right to hold a market.[3] The town became a Parliamentary Borough in 1585 returning two MPs until 1832 when its electoral base was expanded. Lymington continued to return two MPs until the Second Reform Act of 1867 when its representation was reduced to one. On the passage of the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 Lymington’s parliamentary representation was merged with the New Forest Division.

From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century Lymington was famous for making salt. Saltworks comprised almost a continuous belt along the coast toward Hurst Spit.

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century Lymington possessed a military depot that included a number of foreign troops – mostly artillery but including several militia regiments. At the time of the Napoleonic Wars the King’s German Legion was based here. As well as Germans and Dutch, there were French émigrés and French regiments[4] were raised to take part in the ill fated Quiberon bay expedition (1795), from which few returned.

From the early nineteenth century it had a thriving shipbuilding industry, particularly associated with Thomas Inman the builder of the schooner Alarm, which famously raced the American yacht America in 1851.[5] Much of the town centre is Victorian and Georgian, with narrow cobbled streets, giving an air of quaintness. The wealth of the town at the time is represented in its architecture.

Lymington particularly promotes stories about its smuggling history; there are unproven stories that under the High Street are smugglers’ tunnels that run from the old inns to the town quay.

Lymington was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. In addition to the original town, 1932 saw a major expansion of the borough, to add Milton (previously an urban district) and the parishes of Milford on Sea and Pennington, and parts of other parishes, from Lymington Rural District – this extended the borough west along the coast to the border with Christchurch.[6]

Under the Local Government Act 1972 the borough of Lymington was abolished on April 1, 1974, becoming an unparished area in the district of New Forest, with Charter Trustees. The area was subsequently parished as the four parishes of New Milton, Lymington and Pennington, Milford-on-Sea and Hordle.

 Lymington today

Due to changes in planning legislation, many traditional areas of the town have been redeveloped; older houses have been demolished and replaced with new blocks of flats and retirement homes. In a Channel 5 programme, Lymington received the accolade of ‘best town on the coast’ (in front of Sandbanks) in the UK for living, due to its beautiful scenery, strong transport links and low crime levels.

Lymington New Forest Hospital opened in 2007, replacing the earlier Lymington Hospital. This is a community hospital and has a Minor Injuries Unit but no Accident and Emergency. The nearest emergency departments are at Southampton General Hospital which is 16 miles (25.7km) away or Royal Bournemouth Hospital which is 14.5 miles (23.3km) away.


Lymington is famous for its sailing history, and in recent years has been home to world famous regattas such as the Royal Lymington Cup, Etchells Worlds, Macnamara’s Bowl, and Source Regatta. The strong tides make it a challenging race track, and together with the shallow depth of the river has resulted in Lymington losing a lot of regattas to the Central Solent, principally run from Cowes. Nevertheless, Thursday Evening Racing takes place with up to 100 boats registered to race every Thursday night during the summer, hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. Started in the 1990s, it has become increasingly popular.

There are two Sailing Clubs in the town, both active. The Royal Lymington Yacht Club, founded in the 1920s as the Lymington River Sailing Club, now has over 3000 members, and now plays host to major keelboat and dinghy events. The Lymington Town Sailing Club, founded in 1946, plays host to the popular Lymington Winter Series known as the Solent Circuit.



Carol’s Close Up with Author Ian Ayris



                                      Ian Ayris

Ian Ayris was born in Dagenham, Essex, in August 1969. Having spent most of his childhood more interested in kicking a tennis ball about the school playground with his mates than actually learning anything, he managed to leave the public education system in 1985 with but two O’ Levels and a handful of C.S.E.’s,

And a love of writing.

His academic achievements set him up nicely for the succession of low paid jobs he has maintained to this day. These jobs have included a three year stint as a delivery boy for an electrical company, five years putting nuts and bolts in boxes in a door factory, one day in a gin factory, and three months in a record shop, He has spent the last sixteen years, however, working with adults with learning difficulties, and in the meantime, has become a qualified counsellor.

Ian’s love of writing resurfaced late in his thirties, in the guise of short stories. He has since had almost thirty short stories published both in print and online, and is currently studying for a degree in English Literature.

Ian lives with his wife and three children in Romford, Essex, and is a lifelong Dagenham and Redbridge supporter.
Abide with Me is published March 19th 2012.

Ian’s novel Abide With Me has been described by many, as one of the most memorable books that they have read in a long time. When you meet Ian you are immediately struck that he is someone who is far too modest about his achievements and his ability. What you see is what you get with Ian. A lovely family orientated chap with a heart of gold and we were lucky enough to be at the Tonbridge Literary Festival with Ian this weekend and he also brought along his one of his sons who let me say now is a proper credit to him and his wife! Hi Charlie!


So come on Ian would you advise others  to take a writing course at college or University?

I’m actually taking an English Lit. Open University degree at the moment, the last module being Creative Writing. Next up – Advance Creative Writing.  The answer to the question, however, is probably ‘yes’ and ‘no’.  There is a lot that can be learnt on these sorts of courses about the structural elements of writing, especially story construction, character formation, and stuff like screenplays and radio scripts, and the like.  All very interesting.  But beyond all that, you need the spark – the imagination, the fearless capacity to write what is inside you. Not sure a course can teach you that.  For that, you need a teacher, and in this life, they come in many guises . . .

Because of your hectic lifestyle can you possibly have a routine for your writing – same place, same time?

Since ABIDE WITH ME was published, and the incredible response it has received, I’m trying hard to establish a writing routine.  AWM, you see, was written amdist absolute chaos. Lines written in my head at bus stops, in the school playground waiting for the kids, queing up atTescos, on the train. Or up through the night surviving on coffee and biscuits.

 My life is a bit simpler now, since the littl’un started school last August. I do a bit of cleaning, some shopping – Tescos every bloody day – and then I sit down at the computer for an hour or so. If I can keep off Amazon, and the social networking stuff long enough, I’ll try and knock out a thousand or so words a day.  But my way of writing is purely intuitive, so I sort of have to wait for the words to come. Hard to have a workable routine or wordcount when it comes like that. I’m trying, though :)

What’s your favourite nibble whilst you’re working? What keeps Ian Ayris ‘on the ball’?

Purple Yorkies, Double-Deckers, any sort of biscuity thing, really. If it’s got chocolate on top, so much the better.


Which character in your book did you like most and why?

Kenny is my favourite. He is my hero. In the book, he is the only character that stays true to himself, even though that sense of self is severely distorted by the limitations of his body and his mind. If I could see the world through the eyes of Kenny, just for a day, I’d be a very lucky chap.


Has becoming  published changed your life and is it all you expected it to be?
Getting published hasn’t so much changed my life, as changed my perception of myself. A lot of demons were slain in the writing of ABIDE WITH ME. Having it published – accepted outside of myself – squished them right into the ground. In that sense, my life has changed forever. Which is nice.


Do you admire or look up to anyone in particular?

I admire anyone who lives this life true to themselves, however that might manifest.


Pet Hates?

Exclamation marks and semi-colons. The punctuation of the devil.


How do you relax?

Being a househusband during the week, and working twenty two and a half hours in a residential home every weekend doesn’t allow for too much relaxation. Although my wife would say being a househusband during the week and working twenty two and a half hours in a residential home every weekend is more than enough relaxation for anyone. We beg to differ on the point, mostly. When I do get time to myself, however, walking, reading, and yoga are my main pleasures.


What do you consider your finest achievements?

Aside from having three wonderful children and a darling wife, I reckon stumbling through the last ten years as a househusband without the kids being taken into care is quite an achievement. Oh, and ABIDE WITH ME getting published. That’s great too ;)


What do you keep in your pockets?

It’s a tracksuit bottom day today – hence the answer is ‘holes’. Though I’ve an unsettling feeling I’ve a pound coin stuck in the lining somewhere towards my left foot. My front door keys went down inside the lining a couple of months back.  I had to do a yoga shoulderstand and wriggle me legs to get them out. We live in a terraced house, so this little performance was carried out in full view of the rest of the street.


My kids really are very proud of the things I can achieve. And so is my wife.


What words or phrases do you most overuse in speech or writing?

My biggest midemeanours are ‘and’, ‘all’, and ‘just’. My first drafts are littered with them. But they help me keep the writing flowing, even if they are commonly stripped out in the final draft.


What single thing would improve the quality of your life right now?

A Purple Yorkie and Double Decker combo.


What is the most important lessons life has taught you?

Fear nothing.


Greatest fear?

See above :)


Ideal dinner party guests?

Dmitri Shostakovich, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Sojourner Truth, William Blake. What a laugh that would be, eh :)


What are you writing now?

At the moment I am finishing writing my first Kindle  novella – ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF JASON DEAN. Hopefully, it should be out same time later this year, or early next.

And let me tell the readers I have seen a chapter – absolutely fantastic! What are your plans for the future?

My next assignment is to begin the sequel to ABIDE WITH ME, with a first draft hopefully completed in the new year, or thereabouts.


And just to have fun. That’s the main thing, eh :)

Thanks Ian. It has been lovely, as always, to have a chat with you. Good luck with everything and see you soon hopefully!

Ian’s contact details

Abide with Me

3rd May, 1975. Eight year old John watches his beloved West Ham win the cup, whilst at the same time, Kenny tumbles out the front door of the house opposite, blood all over his face.
Fourteen years later, both boys’ childhoods ripped apart in the broken streets of London’s East End, John and Kenny find themselves frontin up local gangster, Ronnie Swordfish.
John’s got a lifetime of hurt to put right – for him and for Kenny.
But with John layin on the ground half unconscious and Ronnie with a sword to Kenny’s head, whatever way you look at it, it don’t look good . . .
ABIDE WITH ME is the story of two boys forced to walk blind into the darkness of their shattered lives . . . and their struggle to emerge as men.


Carol’s Close Up – Dr Dorothy McCoy – Author, Psychotherapist, Master Instructor, Security Training Consultant

Carol’s Close Up with Dr Dorothy McCoy!


My ‘Close Up’ today is with a very special lady, and I have good reason to think that. Dr. Dorothy McCoy is a Licensed Professional Counsellor in both North and South Carolina. She began her first private practice in 1991 after she graduated with a Masters in Clinical Counselling from the Citadel in Charleston. Later, she went back to school to get her Doctorate, graduating from the University of Sarasota in 2001, with a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology. Dr Dorothy has written several books listed below and I have one of her wonderful CD’s for relaxation … believe me this is how I know this woman is extremely gifted!

Dr Dorothy is the author of counselling/psychology books:

From Shyness to Social Butterfly (Wellness Institute, 2003) (Revising for 2012)

The Ultimate Book of Personality Tests (Source Books, 2005) also Translated into Dutch

The Manipulative Man (Adams Media, 2005) also translated into Romanian To Order

Brain Games: Personality Quizzes (2009, Brain) To Order

For the men reading this, I understand Dr Dorothy was asked to write the Manipulative Man and most of it could also be applied to women. In most cases, she believes that both men and women want to be happy in their relationships and if encouraged will work toward that happiness. 


 Dr Dorothy McCoy at her desk.


Hello Dr D!


As you know I am an avid fan of both your books, and your relaxation CD which can also be used as an aid to eating healthy - I swear I couldn’t live without this CD!  Thank you so much for agreeing to chat with me today. I’m really excited about this interview so let’s get straight into the world of Dr Dorothy McCoy!


What are you up to at the moment?


Hello Carol!


I am in general practice as a psychotherapist (Licensed Professional Counsellor) in North Carolina. I have 20 years of experience in treating many psychological and emotional issues. I specialize in anxiety disorders such as PTSD (crime victims, accident victims, law enforcement, and military) and generalized anxiety and depression, grief and couples issues. I am located in Hillsborough, North Carolina and my phone number is 919 245 1034


This project is relatively new isn’ t it so now it is all set up what’s next?


I am talking with a forensic psychiatrist and an international law enforcement official about collaborating on two books. We have not decided on titles yet. Both should be exceptionally exciting. Stay tuned…


You certainly don’t let the grass grow under your feet do you? ;-) I would like to know more about you and your life if I may?


Fire away! :-)


Where are you from originally?

I have lived most of my life in South Carolina

Tell me a little about yourself, your education, your family life.

I received my BA from the University of South Carolina, my Masters from The Citadel (The Military College of South Carolina in Charleston—Go Citadel!) and my Doctorate from the University of Sarasota. I am a law enforcement consultant (specialty in deviant personalities), psychotherapist, former law enforcement and writer. I live in a small town in North Carolina and I would absolutely adore living at the beach.

Yes, we are very lucky to live near the beach but I’m sure you’d use it a lot more than we do on the Isle of Wight due to the weather! I hear you’ve started doing radio interviews on Voice America?

Yes, I recently started doing radio interviews on psychopaths, interrogation of psychopaths and psychopathic behaviours. I am revising my Master Instructor Manual (law enforcement) and my social phobia/shyness book.

When and why did you begin writing and when did you first consider yourself a writer?

A graduate professor at The University of Sarasota, Dr. Reynolds, told me I had talent and I should write. He was my advisor, so I listened and started writing professionally. It took a while. I felt as if I was an imposter for the first 3 published books, so I would mumble “writer” when asked about my profession.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was treating a client for Social Phobia and he would not come into my office. I was determined to help him, though over the telephone counselling is not the optimal method of counselling—in my opinion. I have always believed that a workbook is better for changing behaviours than a traditional book. Each week I would write a few pages of a workbook for him. After he completed counselling I had a workbook—From Shyness to Social Butterfly. I approached the Wellness Institute and they published it. I was asked to write my –The Ultimate Book of Personality Tests—by a publishing house.

Do you have a specific writing style?


How do you come up with the titles for your books?

Normally, the publisher makes the final decision on the Title. The title, The Manipulative Man, was chosen before I wrote the book. I was asked to write that book also.

 What books have influenced your life most?

All of the Charles Dickens books, many research psychology books and, of course, the Bible…

What book are you reading now? 

I am actually reading, Consequences. I have read your first book Deadly Focus three times. As a former law enforcement officer, I love your books for their authenticity and for the skill you and Bob bring to writing genuine page turners.

Awh, thank you Dr D, that means a lot coming from someone with your background. Which authors grab your interest?

I tend to look back, with the exception of your books, to the established authors and the classics. I really need to experiment more don’t I?

Yes you do, and I can tell you we have plenty of very talented authors at Caffeine Nights ;-) What are your current writing projects?

I am revising my first book, the Social Phobia/Shyness book (From Shyness to Social Butterfly—the first chapter is free on my website I am also rewriting my Master Instructor Manual (law enforcement) and writing a chapter in an edited book on Police Leadership and Ethics.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

I have had so many fabulous people (and my dog, Sophie—she sleeps and snores while I write) support me I could not begin to name them all—they are dear people and I love them.

We have more in common than you think! Our dogs Belle and Vegas are at the centre of our daily lives! In fact they are even named in our books. Max the dog we write about mostly and who belongs to DI Dylan and Jen sadly died this year and Bob and I were both wrecks!  Move on before we get all sad shall we?  Do you see writing as your career?

Yes, but I also perceive it as a vehicle for getting the message out about my other careers, police consulting and psychotherapy. 

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I love to read and I have always been an insatiable reader. I read hundreds of books a year. Writing is the next logical step.

Can you share a little of your current work with u?

From Shyness to Social Butterfly gives readers the skills and tools they need to step from behind the isolating walls they have built and one step at a time become free.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Sitting at my computer (there is a picture of my ball and chain roll top desk on my Facebook page) and not interacting with people. Though, of course, Sophie is here—sleeping.

Yeah, I guess most of us find that a challenge, especially when the sun is shining. Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Charles Dickens has always, since I was a little girl, been my favourite writer. I admire his compassion for the underdog and his belief that right would triumph over darkness. Those were dark times when Dickens was writing. The poor were living in hovels with little to eat and no hope for a better future. Dickens fought against that disparity in Jolly Old England…which was not really so very jolly unless one was part of the upper class. He helped to change the world. Much of the world, including the United States, was much the same at the time. 

Do you have to travel much?

Not as much as I would like.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

In The Manipulative Man, I learned much about manipulators and the damage they can do emotionally, psychologically and even physically. I learned to never stand between a psychopath and his/her goal.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Write what you know and love. Find your passion and follow it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

Thank you so much for choosing my books. I am always honoured to hear from readers, please contact me Unless, of course, you are a psychopath :-)

If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done? 

I am a psychotherapist and police consultant; therefore, I would have simply been content to practice in those professions.

Who would your ideal dinner guests be?

I know this sounds odd, but I would like to have dinner with Jack the Ripper and Lee Harvey Oswald. I would love to have the answers to these two monumental mysteries. Since they ”the guys” are in spirit only, I should be safe. Then I will write the “real” stories and become very wealthily…:)

How do you relax?


I am not sure I ever really relax. I love to be busy with my mind set to “drive.” However, there are things that have a calming effect. I love to read just about anything, murder mysteries, biographies, history, criminology (especially cold cases), and psychology. The beach is a calming treat for me and it is my long term goal. I want to live at the beach. Wow! What fun that would be…


Who would your Ideal man be?


My ideal man would be courageous, intelligent, a country “taker-overer,” handsome, compassionate, creative, talented, sexy, honourable, passionate and with a great sense of humour. You did say, ideal…right?


Tell me about an amusing situation you found yourself in.


I taught an Anger-Management class for cops in South Carolina a few years ago. I was teaching with the expectation they would learn how to handle angry citizens. They were taking the class because their chiefs had demanded that they attend the class to learn to manage their anger. I wondered why, on the first day, twelve very angry cops were staring me down. They were armed too!


What’s your favourite perfume?




Bob can never understand why my handbag is so heavy. I’m a woman aren’t I and I might need anything, and everything at the drop of a hat! What’s in your handbag Dr D?


My handbag is a very large, brown leather massive carry space–given to me by a friend. I don’t think anyone has the time to read everything I have in it. Short list: money, wallet with ID, etc., 5 pounds of keys, letters, five or six lipsticks (one cannot run out), sometimes my cell phone, small appointment book, sunglasses, two or three pens, …I will stop while you are still interested. You are interested, right?  


Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it – just so people can get in touch with you?

The website for her practice is

If you’d like one of Dr Dorothy’s CD’s I spoke about at the beginning of the interview, she tells me that they cost US $20.00 and to purchase one you can call her office on 919 245 1034 or email her at   

 Thank you so very much for joining me today Dr D. It has been lovely talking to you.  

Carol :-)












The ‘DI Dylan’ series…


The D.I. Dylan series of books by RC Bridgestock (Husband and wife writing team, Bob and Carol Bridgestock) comes from a unique perspective of a collective real life experience of high level policing of 47 years. As a career detective Bob Bridgestock worked in the CID at every rank. For over half of his service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent of the West Yorkshire Police force.

 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.

 Bob brings this unique insight and experience from how real life cases are conducted into page turning gripping fiction, aided by his wife Carol, who has 17 years working within the force. Carol brings her understanding and the experience of a partner of a frontline detective to the D.I. Dylan series. This combination adds authenticity rarely seen in British crime fiction, coupled with warmth, humour and humanity.


The books offer an insight into the real world of British policing mixed with cunning plots and human relationships. This adds a dimension to police procedural fiction which is truly genuine in voice and substance.

 ’Deadly Focus’ is available in paperback £8.99 and on Kindle £1.94 - soon to be released as an audio book.

‘Consequences’ is available in paperback £8.99 and on Kindle £1.93

‘Caffeine Nights Publishing is proud to be associated with this series of books which grip and touch the human heart as well as engage the mind,’ said Darren Law.




North v South

A week to go to our book signing tour and you wouldn’t believe the difference in weather today – 4th April 2012! 

Our  destination in the north which as you can see is deep in snow and we have sunshine below on the Isle of Wight!

Ventnor Blog – Book Signing Event 7th April 2012 Newport, Isle of Wight!

Meet the local ladies who are  named-checked in our novels as Solicitors Perfect & Best! Mrs Yvonne Best (front) and Mrs Linda (Lin) Perfect!

Countdown to launch of ‘Consequences’! Radio Interview with Heather McCallum IW Radio Monday 2nd April

We start our countdown to the launch of ‘Consequences’ with a chat for IW Radio at 11am today. Heather McCallum will air the interview on her afternoon show one day this week - we will let you know ASAP. We always have a good laugh with Heather and chatted for an hour – don’t tell her boss – mini eggs went down well, she needs fattening up! Ten minutes recording will be edited to around three minutes air time. Off to see the window display at Waterstones tomorrow! Can’t wait – will post pictures!

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About The Dylan Series from ‘Caffeine Nights Publishing’


The D.I. Dylan series of books by RC Bridgestock (Husband and wife writing team, Bob and Carol Bridgestock) comes from a unique perspective of a collective real life experience of high level policing of 47 years. As a career detective Bob Bridgestock worked in the CID at every rank. For over half of his service he was a senior detective, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent of the West Yorkshire Police force.


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.


Bob brings this unique insight and experience from how real life cases are conducted into page turning gripping fiction, aided by his wife Carol, who has 17 years working within the force. Carol brings her understanding and the experience of a partner of a frontline detective to the D.I. Dylan series. This combination adds authenticity rarely seen in British crime fiction, coupled with warmth, humour and humanity.


The books offer an insight into the real world of British policing mixed with cunning plots and human relationships. This adds a dimension to police procedural fiction which is truly genuine in voice and substance.


Caffeine Nights Publishing is proud to be associated with this series of books which grip and touch the human heart as well as engage the mind.

 Kind regards,

 Darren Laws

CEO & Owner

Caffeine Nights Publishing