Does atmosphere matter?

I have been watching the Brother Cadfael mysteries on Drama.  It makes a change from sport.  I watched the series when it was first broadcast, several years ago.  I have also read most of the books.


As I have watched this time, I have been reminded of a criticism which was made when the series first reached the screen.  I seem to see the truth of it more now than I did then.  The atmosphere created on TV is different from that found in print.  It is more confrontational.

In the books there is inevitably conflict.  Not always violent.  I am thinking of the arguments Cadfael has with the other monks, with witnesses and suspects, and sometimes with the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff.  These come across on screen as more strident than in print.  When I read the books, I do not imagine the monks shouting at each other or displaying temper, except on the odd occasion.  On TV that is the norm.

The pace is also different.  The books imply a leisurely, peaceful way of life appropriate to a mediaeval monastery.  On TV it seems to have the pace of a modern police thriller.

You may have your own views on which you enjoy more or on which you think is more authentic.  My point is that they are different.

I hope to create a certain atmosphere in my books.  Not the same all the time.  Certainly different books will create different feelings.  I hope I will succeed in producing the atmosphere I intend each time.  I hope you will find it to your liking.  I would welcome feed back in due course.



What am I doing?

I have not blogged for a while.  I am still here.  I have been busy with various things including sorting out some IT problems.

JHM Data Protection

However, I have sent my draft novel to a professional editor and had it back duly edited.  I then went through it doing two things.

  1. I looked at his suggestions and implemented some.
  2. I looked at his changes and reversed some.

Am I arrogant?  Why go to an editor if I reject his work?

I hope I am just trying to be true to myself.  Some things are matters of personal style and preference.  I do not want to lose my ‘voice’.


I can assure you that I am truly grateful for the many corrections my editor made which were necessary.  It is amazing how many typos slipped past me, even after I had checked the draft several times, and how many grammatical errors I made.

I am about to go through it again to revise the division into chapters and sections, as each change tends to affect that.

Then I will be starting the self-publishing process.  That takes longer than you might expect, as you need to look at the printed draft and proof-read it.   There are usually a few things to be corrected then.

So I hope to be in print by the end of next month.

I will be offering a short story and my first chapter free to people who ask for them.  They will be available a little before I publish the book.

Watch this space.