Today I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Bloq. Not only do I have my thoughts on the book but also a post from the author himself, Alan Jones, so make sure you keep on scrolling all the way down.
A father waits in Glasgow’s Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn’t get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.
This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content.
Bloq is the authors third novel and in my opinion, without a doubt, his best so far.
It is very much a story of a fathers love for his daughter and how far a parent will go for the love of their child.
Bill is just your typical father figure, having recently lost his wife, his daughter is his world. When Carol doesn’t turn up at the train station as planned I could very much feel the panic that was starting to rise in him.
Not only does Bill have the worry of not knowing where his daughter is, he also has to admit defeat where the police are concerned. An adult female going missing just isn’t top of their priorities.
Bill, like any like minded parent goes in search of his daughter. Unfortunately Bill begins to discover things about Carol that give him even more cause for concern.
Through his search for Carol. Bill meets Anna. Both having something in common they strike up a companionship of sorts, which if under any other circumstances, probably would never happen. The bond that starts to form between these two characters is really endearing. In a world of darkness where many of us would give up, they give each other a reason to keep going on.
Bloq is a dark and very tense read. I was so wrapped up in the story that a couple of times I had to put it down and have a few minutes breather. Some parts are so raw and emotional that I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down my face.
Emotional, gripping and powerful. A truly brilliant novel and one I highly recommend.
Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.
Bloq is due out on the 1st of April, you can pre order a copy on Amazon.
Guest post by Alan Jones:
Why writers have grey hairs.
I’ve just about published my third book, ‘Bloq’. You would think that writing a book would be stressful, that each chapter would have to be wrestled on to the page in a constant state of angst, in case the the words wouldn’t come. Yes, occasionally, when I’m writing, I have days or even weeks when I can’t seem to get the imagination flowing, but I always seem to be able to write something, or I work on the plot or the timeline. On the whole though, it’s enjoyable, and mostly I can write as fast as I can type; my brain running faster than my fingers. I don’t know about other authors, but I get a real kick when my thoughts pour on to the page and, when I re-read them, they sound almost like I wanted them too.
It’s not until I write the last paragraph and click the save icon that the worry, the tension and the stress kick in.
By the time I’m ready to publish my book, I’ve probably read each word a few hundred times, and may have changed a few of them ten, twenty, thirty times; refining and tweaking until I feel I’ve got it nailed. Then I send it to my Julie, my editor. A week later I receive it back covered in digital red pen. I wonder how I could have made so many mistakes, even though she says there’s less than there was in the last two books. Commas are my biggest issue; to paraphrase Eric Morecambe, all the commas are there – they’re just not necessarily in the right places!
Then I read through it, and nearly all the suggestions she has made improve the narrative. Chapter one has a large block of backstory on two pages; I rewrite the chapter, splitting up Bill’s background and delivering it in smaller doses. In the meantime, the proof-readers are getting back to me. I’ve got a reference in the story to Stephen Gately, but I have him as a member of Take That instead of Boyzone. I should have checked it more thoroughly on Google, as boy bands were never my cup of tea. I’m told that Bill’s birthday party is on the wrong day of the week; how the hell did you notice that, Teresa? Sharp eyed, indeed.
Despite all the research and care I’ve taken, there’s a list of stupid errors that shouldn’t be there. That’s why proof-readers are so important. Any issues that are thrown up, I look into. I don’t necessarily make changes based on every comment, but I carefully consider them all before deciding if alterations are needed.
Despite my worries, the mistakes are easy to fix, and after they’re done, and I’ve dealt with the last of the editing comments from Julie and give it a final polish, I send it back to her. Three days later, an email pings in my in-tray and I download the finished manuscript. It’s ready to go!
I chase up the cover and spend a day or two formatting the text for Kindle.
The feedback from my proof-readers has been good, but they’re all people who know me well, whom I’m generally in close contact with. Are they really going to tell me the book didn’t do it for them? They probably are, knowing my friends and family, but I can never be sure.
The frightening stage has arrived when I need to send copies of my book to the first properly critical readers, the book bloggers. Some I know, as many of them have reviewed my previous books. I’ve even met a couple. But I know that they’ll be completely honest about my book. It’s what they do. Sometimes I’ll find out within a few days if a review is going to be good, bad or indifferent; mostly I might have to wait weeks, maybe months. At this stage I live on my nerves, not quite knowing what to expect, but if the reviews for Bloq are good, the lift I’ll get is amazing. A review that isn’t wholeheartedly praising my work is not a disaster, but it knocks a little bit off any smugness that I’ve allowed to creep in – no bad thing. I’ll look closely at a bad review and decide if there is a problem with the book, or if it might just be down to individual taste. I know my books aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.
By publication day, I’ve a fair idea of how the book has been received but it’s not until I see that readers, mostly strangers, are buying my books and reading them, that I can relax a little. Once the reviews start to build up on Amazon, and there aren’t too many bad ones, I can breathe a sigh of relief before sitting down in front of my laptop to start the process all over again. #ObsessedWithWriting