Blog Tour: Guest Post Dead Embers by Matt Brolly @MatthewBrolly

Release date: March 6, 2017

Publisher: Canelo 

Genre: Crime Thriller


An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer.

Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.

But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…

Trust no one.

Gripping, chilling to its core and full of twists, the powerful new DCI Michael Lambert from Matt Brolly is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Helen H. Durrant and Michael Hambling. 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Dead Embers, I have a guest post from the author to share today. 

Guest Post: 

First Draft to Finished Copy


I’ve read that some writers hate the sight of a blank page – but I love it! Figuratively and literally (I have way too many unused notebooks in my office!) A blank page has infinite possibilities and you never know where it is going to take you.


I started writing Dead Embers, the third in the DCI Lambert series, in the middle of 2016. Being part of a series brings its advantages and drawbacks. Whilst it’s great already knowing the majority of the leading characters, the structure of a series means that you have to respect what has happened before – this even goes so far as having to remember how characters spell their names!


For me, the first draft is all about mapping the story out. I try to write it as quickly as possible. This usually means that I’m left with basic structure of a novel which is in one hell of a mess. Then the real work begins.


I often have to tell myself at this stage that everything will be ok. Having bulldozed my way through the first draft it is easy to get hung up on the numerous errors and plot holes. But as this always happens I remind myself that continuous editing will get the novel into shape.


For the next draft I start ironing out plot holes and obvious structural errors. For Dead Embers these were quite significant. There are a number of strands in Dead Embers and it was important to clarify how these all gelled together. I probably worked through the whole text another two or three times before I felt that the structure was working, then another two looking more in depth at each paragraph, sentence and word. After one more read through, I sent it over to my agent and publisher.


Then the waiting. Although I felt pretty confident the book worked, it’s impossible to know for sure what the reaction will be. Fortunately my agent and publishers are awesome and their feedback was hugely positive. However, there were a few minor structural concerns (including a couple of paragraphs which had mysteriously disappeared during email) and some recommendations on character development which I dutifully completed over a few more versions. And then the book was finished…


Oh yes, then the line edit. I am very fortunate working with Canelo who supply an amazing line editor who really gets to grips with the nuts and bolts of the language used in the book. I value this part of the process so much as it sharpens the finished work and hopefully results in a book which makes complete sense and has no wasted sentences!


Then my publishers do a copy edit checking for any glaring spelling, grammar errors, and I sign off on the book – simple!


I made the mistake once of comparing a first draft to a finished draft. The two documents were almost incomparable but I guess that’s what makes the process so satisfactory.


And now that Dead Embers is out there for everyone to read…back to that lovely blank page.


About the Author: 

Following his law degree where he developed an interest in criminal law, Matt completed his Masters in Creative Writing at Glasgow University. He reads widely across all genres, and is currently working on the third in his Michael Lambert thriller series. Matt lives in London with his wife and their two young children.


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