Guest Post

#BlogTour The Body In The Boat By A. J. MacKenzie @AJMacKnovels @BonnierZaffre #GuestPost

Today I would like to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for The Body In The Boat By A. J. MacKenzie and I would like to share a guest post “Our Writing Day” with all of you. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂 

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Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
ISBN13: 9781785761270
Genre: Mystery
Release date: 05 04 2018
Price*: Kindle £2.48 (GBP)/  Paperback £7.99 (GBP)
Kindle $3.56 (USD)/ Paperback $N/A (USD)
Pages: ~ 400
You can get this book here:
Amazon UK
Book Depository

Description of the book: Across the still, dark English Channel come the smugglers. But tonight they carry an unusual cargo: a coffin. Several miles inland, a respected banker holds a birthday party for his wife. Within days, one of the guests is found shot dead.

What links this apparently senseless killing to the smugglers lurking in the mists? Why has the local bank been buying and hoarding gold? And who was in the mysterious coffin?

Reverend Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor find themselves drawn into the worlds of high finance and organised crime in this dramatic and dark Georgian mystery.

 Guest Post – Our writing days

The idea of a ‘writing day’ is a comforting one, isn’t it? It bespeaks an image of rising in leisurely fashion, a hearty breakfast, then settling down at a desk or perhaps a table outside, trusty laptop open and ready, and then just …writing.

Alas, for us it almost never works like that. For us, a writing day is also littered with other things that must be done. Non-writing work is a constant niggle in the background, then there emails that must be answered, papers that must be read, other people’s questions that must be answered.

And writing has its own demands. We don’t just work on one book at a time. At any given moment, we might be writing one book, while at the same time editing a second as it goes through production, getting onto social media to promote a third that is already out there, and contemplating what the fourth book might look like when we get around to writing it. As a writer, you exist in a kind of multi-dimensional space where past, present and future get a bit blurred.

What a writing day is depends on the stage of the process we are at. Basically we have three kinds of writing days: development days, drafting days and editing days.

Development days are in some ways the most intense. Some writers like to sit down with a blank page and let the inspiration flow, but as we work together on projects, we can’t do that; we each have to know what the other is thinking. Development days are where we sit down and answer the questions, big and small, that have to be clear before we begin. What are the key plot elements? Who are the lead characters, how do they behave, what motivates them?

We have a favourite spot for development work, up on the northern edge of Dartmoor where we can sit on a rock and look at the magnificent views over North Devon and be entirely on our own. It is a perfect place to empty the mind and then think about nothing but the story. The long empty beaches of North Cornwall are good for this too. One of us likes to be walking about during this process and fortunately the other is happy to sit and makes notes. Inspiration always seems to come in these wild places. Visits to places where the books are set count as development work too and these are some of the most enjoyable days (even if they are often very long).

Drafting days are the ones where we actually do sit down in front of the computer and bash away. This work is more solitary, each of us working on whatever part of the book we have decided to work on.

On editing days we come back together in one space again. We sit opposite each other in two big chairs in the sitting room, laptops on our laps, pot of tea at our elbows, usually a cat or dog in the background, and read and compare notes and edit. This is the most painstaking, finicky part of the work, where we agree on what the finished article will look like. If the weather is very tempting and warm we have been known to take the laptop out onto Dartmoor as well. If one has the flexibility to work outside, why not take advantage of it?

Only one thing can be said with certainty of writing days: no two are ever the same. But that’s one of the reasons we like writing. Every writing day has a new challenge, a new set of problems to solve. Where would be the fun if it didn’t?

Thank you very much to Merilyn and Morgen for sharing their daily life with us, and I would like to wish them all the best with their writing in the future. 🙂

AJ MacKenzie Conlustro photo.jpgAbout the Authors: A J MacKenzie is the pseudonym of Marilyn Livingstone and Morgen Witzel, an Anglo-Canadian husband-and-wife team of writers and historians. They write non-fiction history and management books under their own names, but ‘become’ A J MacKenzie when writing fiction.

Website – / Twitter – @AJMacKnovels

*-the price was taken from and at the current date. The price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.


2 thoughts on “#BlogTour The Body In The Boat By A. J. MacKenzie @AJMacKnovels @BonnierZaffre #GuestPost

  1. I didn’t know this was a couple writing the novel and I kept thinking Us? but then it all became clear :-).. must be so nice if you can work together on a novel. Interesting guestpost. I thought authors were working on one book at a time before starting something new!


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