RC Bridgestock, author of “Deadly Focus “

RC Bridgestock is the pseudonym for Bob and Carol Bridgestock. Welcome, Bob and Carol. What is your book about?

Deadly Focus is the first novel in the RC Bridgestock crime fiction series that introduces Detective Inspector Jack Dylan and the clandestine love of his life Jennifer Jones. This fast moving story allows you to travel with Dylan to a series of incidents including murder; seeing through his eyes the stark reality of death and its fallout. It allows the reader to feel what it’s really like to be on an enquiry with the highs and lows of the intense investigations. The reader through the ‘eyes’ of Jen also gets to know how it feels to be the partner of the ‘man in charge. The characters of Dylan and Jen are loosely based on us.

Bob, did you and Carol do any research for the book?

Our real life experience is our research. Working as a detective, at every rank, for twenty-eight years out of my 30 year career, allows me to utilise personal experiences. Although none of the plots are based totally on real incidents, the books are written from the heart and are about what we both witnessed and felt therefore totally credible. Of course I recall the sight of a murder scene for instance or a mortuary – there are certain things you never forget, and I can recall every single one I attended. The thing that held me back from writing for so long was that I didn’t want to bring back the pain to the families of the victims by writing about a particular incident. So the solution was quite easy when someone asked us — ‘Why don’t you write fiction!’ The hardest part for me was ‘showing’ my emotions and I can do that through the character of Dylan. Often you will see the serious face of the detective on the TV. That I can assure you is purely a ‘mask,’ as he/she talks about a horrendous incident he/she is dealing with or a heinous crime they are appealing for witnesses to. I think sometimes members of the public forget that we are people that have feelings like anyone else. After all we are only human and of course there are always people who support that person. I was lucky to have Carol and the kids to keep me anchored. Dylan calls Jen his ‘normality’.

Carol, I understand that one of the things you bring to the novels is the perspective of a supportive partner. Could you tell us more about Jen? Did you draw solely on your own experiences or would you say she’s more of a composite?

Yes, as well as being Bob’s wife I also worked for the police. In fact between us we have 47 years of police experience, albeit I was a civilian employee.

We always encourage others to write about what they know, from the heart, probably because that’s what we/I do. I think it is so important to ‘tell it how it is.’

I chair a writing circle http://www.iowwritingcircle.co.uk and twice a year we hold short story competitions for people of all ages on the Isle of Wight. The proceeds go to locally based charities. It’s a real community affair.

I certainly don’t glorify the supporting role a partner plays, but I do draw upon incidents; how I felt and how I tried to help make Bob’s life easier when he was working. We have had so many e mails from detectives, senior investigators who do/did the job Bob did and civilians and their partners who very kindly say: ‘it’s like being back in an incident room all over again.’ Or ‘I felt like that when xxx had to attend a scene and we were supposed to be going out. I remember feeling guilty one day when he left me stranded at a wedding to attend a murder scene for I knew the family needed him at that moment more than I did. And the truth is you know that if you were ever in such a terrible situation that your ‘hero’ is the only person you’d want to be there for you. It’s a tough one but Bob’s job was undoubtedly a lifestyle and I tried to make that as easy as possible, the reason is simple — I love him! Once an enquiry starts Bob becomes ‘locked in’ 24/7.

Do you have a snack food or favourite beverage that you enjoy while you write?

Coffee! Bob can’t live without his caffeine, and funnily enough our publishers are called ‘Caffeine Nights Publishers.’ He’s had quite a few ‘caffeine fuelled nights’ of his own, in his thirty year police career, as you can well imagine.

What are you working on right now?

Today we are being asked to meet with TV drama producers/directors in Halifax, London and Italy and appeared at CIS Portsmouth Bookfest last month to packed audiences. We’ve just held another sell out book signing of our first novel ‘Deadly Focus,’ at Waterstones.
As you can imagine at the moment we’ve having a really exciting time and it’s all quite surreal. WH Smith has bought Deadly Focus into it’s stores of UK travel outlets – 30 of the largest airports, train stations and Eurostar in England. We’ve done quite a bit of radio including John Hannam Meets and The Great and Good of Yorkshire with Liz Green on BBC Radio.

The sequel to Deady Focus, although all our books stand alone in the RC Bridgestock series, is due out in March 2012 and is called ‘Consequences’; book 3 is with the publisher; book 4 is being re-written with book 5 well on its way. Book 6 is in its infancy. If you like a series and want to follow the lives on Dylan and Jen there will be at least five books in this one.

How do you write together as a team? Who does what?

There is no magic formula to our writing. Once Bob has a crime scene in his mind, he can write about the enquiry till he captures the murderers, as he did in real life, with all the highs and lows of any investigation he was duty-bound to take charge of.
I add the emotion and the scenes drawing out Bob’s feelings from his sometimes harrowing descriptions.

Did we say there’s no magic? Maybe we’re wrong, because suddenly we have a fictional story with the real-life feelings of the man in charge, Dylan, and his partner Jen, who are very loosely based on ourselves.

We are both committed to writing full time now. Writing is an addiction and now the characters are alive, it is exciting to live with them.

What writer influenced you most?

Bob reads more factual books. He spent years reading and signing off each page of murder files or major incident files for court, which could amount up to two van loads of paperwork each time. Fact and correct procedure is paramount to him that is why he finds it hard to read fiction or watch crime fiction on TV, if procedurally incorrect.

The book that stands out as the one who has influenced Carol’s writing most is ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ that she read as a young girl. As we all know this was written from the heart and totally changed the way she read and wanted to read. She also likes autobiographies.

How do you write together as a team? Who does what?

There is no magic formula to our writing. Once Bob has a crime scene in his mind, he can write about the enquiry till he captures the murderers, as he did in real life, with all the highs and lows of any investigation he was duty-bound to take charge of.
I add the emotion and the scenes drawing out Bob’s feelings from his sometimes harrowing descriptions.

Did we say there’s no magic? Maybe we’re wrong, because suddenly we have a fictional story with the real-life feelings of the man in charge, Dylan, and his partner Jen, who are very loosely based on ourselves.

We are both committed to writing full time now. Writing is an addiction and now the characters are alive, it is exciting to live with them.

What was the best writing advice you ever received?

Never give up – finish your novel come what may. There are many times when any writer will tell you they have felt like throwing in the towel, but that is the time to keep writing – that makes you different from other writers who set out on the journey but never finish. To finish a novel is an achievement in its self.

Where can people learn more about your books?

Deadly Focus is available from all leading bookstores and on e book http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=deadly+focus&x=11&y=17 also available from #Kobo, #Amazon, #Apple, #Waterstones, #WHSmith, #Barnes&Noble and hundreds of others.

To learn more about us and our writing visit our website. http://www.rcbridgestock.com. A must is also http://www.caffeine-nights.com. On both these sites you can download the first two chapters of Deadly Focus FREE! Carol & Bob are also on Facebook – Carol Bridgestock and RC Bridgestock and we Twitter @ RC Bridgestock. We are also on Linkedin @ Carol & Bob Bridgestock

The support from our readers around the globe is extremely satisfying and s

One Response to “RC Bridgestock, author of “Deadly Focus “”

  1. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Amazing interview. Lovely to see how you write together. I’d always imagined it would be hard but you make it sound fun.


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