Browsing articles from "December, 2013"

Writing together is just icing on the cake for husband and wife crime authors…


Writing together is just icing on the cake for crime authors!

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. He was also a Hostage Negotiator and worked in Detective Training at the world renowned West Yorkshire Police Training School for four years as a DI.

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.

‘Bob writes the police procedural from start to finish showing how real crime is investigated. From the moment the body is discovered you travel with him as it really is, but in a fictional tale,’ said Carol. ‘I then pick up that plot and bring to life the characters. I draw out his real feelings stripping away the mask of the detective to unveil real raw reality expressed through DI Dylan. Once these characters live and breathe, I set the scene and add the home life of Dylan and Jen, with all the ups and downs being married to a dedicated professional member of the uniformed services entails.’

‘At first it was difficult to drop the ‘mask’ and reveal my real feelings but Carol said it would be cathartic after all the sights I had witnessed over the years. Of course I said that was rubbish and it was my job. But talking it through and unveiling my ‘crutches’ to myself I now have to agree. It’s awful when you have to admit the wife is right isn’t it?’ J  

Carol & Bob Bridgestock
RC Bridgestock
Authors DI Dylan series

Published by Caffeine Nights Publishers
Consultants to Red Productions, Media City, Manchester
ITV1 Scott & Bailey series 4
BBC1 Happy Valley (New kidnap 6 x 60 min series for 2014)

How do you start to write a novel? We get this question asked so many times…



Snow Kills

RC Bridgestock

Publishers Caffeine Nights Publishing


How do you start to write a novel? We get this question asked so many times… Well for those and others who would like insight, this blog is about how ‘Snow Kills’ the fourth DI Dylan novel came to be …

Samantha our youngest daughter got stuck in her car one night coming home from work. The snow that fell that day was recorded to be one of the heaviest the, Isle of Wight had seen for many years and due to the velocity and speed that it fell, coupled with the drop in temperature, the disruption to ‘Island life as we know it’ lasted over a week.

Tom & Sam Farren

Once gridlock occurred along the main road from Ryde to Newport the mobile gritter units could not get through.   

Anyone who knows the Island is aware of its road structure and therefore you can imagine that everyone stuck to the main routes. These roads were kept open as long as the mobile gritter units could get through, but eventually it was a foregone conclusion that gridlock occurred. Sam was stuck for hours in the dark, not knowing what to do and she became increasingly more frightened as panic set in. She feared accepting drinks off strangers as the night drew in and the roads became deserted.  


As with all our storylines this portrays an element of truth by the storyteller but also how the investigation would go should it turn out to involve a crime…

The next inspirational moment came as I had my hair cut by my lovely hairdresser Kayleigh Harwood at Envy Hair & Beauty.


Chatting as we women do Kayleigh became ‘the hairdresser’, her Mum Kim became the fictional Kayleigh’s Mum,

and customers Claire (Rose) & Stuart Viney joined in to become other fictional characters we already had in mind, or that would be part of a missing person/murder investigation.

Claire Rose (Press Officer), Bob, Kayleigh Harwood (Hairdresser) Carol, Stuart Viney (SOCO officer) & Kim Harwood, Kayleigh’s mum.

Unbeknown to us Marlene on the left is Kim Harwoods mum and her name is the characters name of the person who owns the hairdressing shop… spooky!!!


Envy Hair & Beauty a crime scene…

Laura, Bob, Carol, Chloe, Kim, Hayley, Kayleigh & Izzy

Envy Hair &  Beauty staff

Bob and I set off on a book launch and speaking to our DI Dylan readers at Waterstones events Andy Wormald became our inspiration for a DC in the office as did Simon Clegg the PS in charge of our uniformed police operations team.

Bob, Andy Wormald, Carol, Simon Clegg & son Nathaniel


A raffle in Waterstones Kingsgate, Huddersfield resulted in Fearne Robinson winning a prize to be a named character in the book and in Waterstones Isle of Wight Carey Megicks also won the privilege.


At Waterstones in Sheffield we got talking to Daniel Jones who was training to be a Pathologist so he became our named character Pathologist in Snow Kills much to his delight!


In Waterstones Bradford Woolshops at the Consequences book signing we had the pleasure of meeting an avid crime fiction fan, 86 year old Mavis Beanland. Mavis had always wanted to be a Miss Marple’s and although we couldn’t quite get her there but she has an elementary part in this book.

A couple more named characters are Louisa Edwards (SOCO officer) who has followed us since we did a talk at her school, Christ The King College in Carisbrooke four years ago & Maggie Jones who is in our writing group.  

With Louisa Edwards

Bob, Kim, Maggie Jones, Claire, Stuart, Carol

Maisy Murphy (aka Maisy Dylan)

Bob with Liz, Virginia Mason (Editor Harrowfield Times), Carol, Mel, Hannah

Carol, Bob, Yvonne Best, Lyn Perfect (our Perfect & Best Solicitors)

& last but not least Janet (Hugo-Watkins secretary and Dorothy Duties Clerk) with Carol & Bella at WHS in Halifax

All our characters now in place meant that we could start.

Bob writes the police story from start to finish, with the ‘mask of the detective’ firmly in place. He writes it as it is drawing upon his own thoughts and feelings as a SIO incharge of these complex investigations. In Snow Kills as in all the DI Dylan novels you go with him, looking over his shoulder, throughout the investigation. You will visit the scene, the family, to the mortuary for example and feel his tension, frustration and his passion to catch the perpetrator. Once caught you will even be in the interview to hear the lies and cheer DI Dylan on to bring the murderer to justice – sometimes knowing more than he does. How does an investigator, keep their hands off a killer such as in this case, he is often asked. His answer is with great difficulty, but knowing that if he loses control with the offender the offender wins.

It is the senior detectives place to pull together all the information/evidence so he/she can to put the offender behind bars for a very long time. There is nothing you can do, as an officer on a murder case, for the victim other than give their family support and bring the perpetrator to justice. Hopefully giving some ‘closure’ for the family.

Once Bob has written his part my work begins and I build the scenes from Bob’s memories that I draw from him. Each time this is becoming a little easier as he lets his ‘mask’ fall and opens up to me. Hopefully you can see this in my writing too. I give the victim and the characters an identity – often changing characters names that Bob has given them, much to his annoyance J I also write Jen’s/the home life thread and hopefully now everyone is comfortable with Dylan & Jen and not taking anything away from the crime story we are now learning more about their respective past that have made the characters evolve as they have…

So the book is written.

The next point of call is to ensure that all police procedure is correct and computer systems used at that time. Gemma our daughter still works for the police organised crime unit.

Then it goes to our publishers Caffeine Nights Publishing and onto the eagle eye of Sandra Mangan our proof reader on this and many more we hope Sandra!


The rest as they say is history and I refer you to the launch tour of Snow Kills in West Yorkshire where we were featured on BBC 1, ITV 1, Radio, shared a stage with X Factor winner Joe McElderry  and visited Media City in Manchester where we went to a read through for ‘Happy Valley’ a new police series that we are storyline consultants and police advisors on for Spring 2014 …

 A great time was had by all at the recent opening of Envy Hair & Beauty in Newport, Isle of Wight and a party to celebrate the launch of ‘Snow Kills’ too!




Till the next book!


Carol & Bob xx

Authors DI Dylan series

01983 402393


Consultants to Red ProductionsMedia CityManchester

ITV1 Scott & Bailey series 4

BBC1 Happy Valley (New kidnap 6 x 60 min series for 2014)



DI Dylan Fans! Yorkshire Parkin recipe from the Yorkshire Detective!

Yorkshire Parkin


8 oz brown sugar

8oz margarine

11b treacle (small tin)

2 cups of milk

11b self raising flour

4 oz oats

4 oz oatmeal

1 teaspoon of ginger

1 egg




Melt sugar, marg, treacle and milk in a pan.  Do not bring to the boil!

Add to flour, oats, oatmeal, ginger and egg and mix!


Place in a tin appox 24cm x 30cm x 5cm,  greased and lined, and place in a pre heated oven to 180c, gas 4, for approx 45 mins!


‘Life Happens’ Give yourself permission to simply be… by our Life Coach Maggie Currie

Give yourself permission to simply be

By Maggie Currie

 The elation that we feel when we have learned an important lesson, achieved a goal, or had a big breakthrough can sometimes be met with a period of downtime afterward. During this time of transition, we may feel unsure and not know where to turn next.

I know that during this period of downtime, we can begin to wonder what our life is about, what our purpose is. These feelings are very common and we all feel them from time to time. 

Often, we feel best when we are working on a project or vigorously pursuing a goal. But there is nothing inherently wrong with spending a day, a week or even a month, simply existing and not having a plan. Just being.

I know that I have found sometimes the quiet lull between ideas, projects, and goals can make life appear empty. I know there are some people who, after accomplishing one objective, want to move immediately on to the next.

 However, we are all different.  When you find that your next step is unclear, it is quite natural to feel frustrated, or disconnected or even a mild depression. 

To help calm what can be distressing thoughts, learn to accept that you will continue to grow as an individual whether you are striving for a specific objective or not. Just be and use all the time you need to think about what you have recently gone through and leisurely contemplate what you wish to do next.

You may also find that in simply being and going through the motions of everyday life, you reconnect with your priorities in a very organic, unforced way.

I have found that this transition time is different all the time. It can be a period of reflection or a period of adjustment where new values based on recent changes can be integrated.

Just because you have temporarily lost sight of a final destination, doesn’t mean you should assume that you have lost your drive. Where you are going next will become apparent at the right time for you.

I would love to hear from you about your experiences of simply being.