A man that I thought I'd killed has just come back from the grave and, in doing so, has forced me into a change of identity.
Back in 2008 I gave birth to a small time accountant from Glasgow called Charlie Wiggs. As unlikely a hero as you could imagine, he survived my first book, Falling, made one more brief appearance in my second book and was buried with quiet dignity. Craig McIntyre then took over my life, an ex US military bodyguard who roams the planet causing chaos. Craig and Charlie could hardly be more different. One tall and athletic. One small and overweight. One being chased by a U.S. black ops agency. The other being thrown off a roof by Glasgow thugs.
Then I met a U.S. publisher called Eric Campbell from Down and Out books based in sunny Florida. We shared a beer at the Left Coast Crime Festival in Colorado Springs and worked our way through a mountain of follow up emails that ran on for nearly two years. In the interim Craig made two outings in The Catalyst and Meltdown, while Eric and I kept up the dialogue.
Then, just before Christmas, Eric made me an offer that I couldn't refuse and, as a result, Charlie is going to appear in print in America next year when Down & Out will publish Falling. As part of the deal I made a rash promise and offered up a sequel. So, in January, I sat down to find out where Charlie has been for all these years. To start with I re-read Falling and Charlie's ghost rose from the pages and took new life.
I've just put a full stop on his return, at least the first draft, and as odd as having an accountant as the main protagonist might be, I like the fact the wee man is back.
To add to the madness of resuscitating Charlie I've also swallowed a pill that I should have swallowed a few years ago and rebranded myself as G.J. Brown. Why? Well the spectre of our ex Prime Minister casts a long shadow and I've been struggling to rise above it, especially when it comes to finding my books on the Internet. Type Gordon Brown into Google and you'll see what I mean.
As a part time writer I have a full time job to hold down and the return of Charlie, the name change and the next Craig McIntyre novel makes for packed days. And, to add to it all, as a founding committee member on Scotland's crime writing festival Bloody Scotland, we are just about to launch the programme for 2015. The line up looks great and the festival is going to be bigger and better than ever (an old cliche but appropriate).
So all in all, as my wife points out, as good as it is to be busy, I'm happier when I'm busier.
For more see www.gordonjbrown.com - now I'm just off to work out the set list for my show on local radio.