E-books and the new Cornish Snapper series

by martinhesp

We live in the new era of the e-book – now, suddenly, people like me – and you – can produce e-books that would never have been published by the conventional book trade.

For example, my two crime novellas I the Cornish Snapper series are around 25,000 words each in length – and no publisher is going contemplate a printed version of that size.

So far I’ve produced a couple of collections of my Western Morning News columns (as an experiment more than anything else to see if I could do it), a collection of my old harbour series articles – another containing my WMN Christmas ghost stories – and the two crime novellas.

These are based on a fictional figure who is supposed to be a Cornish photographer for the newspaper.

The Cornish Snapper – or Erskine Lammoran – is the Sherlock Holmes, while the fictional WMN crime reporter Tom Hamilton is his Dr Watson.

Okay, so the books aren’t going to win any literary awards, but I’d like to think they are fun.

The idea for the Snapper series first came to me 12 years ago when I started working for the Western Morning News. I was driving along listening to Radio 4 while on my extensive travels as senior feature writer for the paper when I heard a discussion about the future of crime fiction.

The panel agreed that in the modern world there was certainly no room for the amateur likes of the Miss Marples or even stately Mr Holmes. Moreover, it was argued, the crime-loving world had been treated to quite enough middle aged male detectives with social and personal problems. The problem was – who, but a policeman or woman, could possibly have an reasonable excuse to be attending crime scenes on a regular basis?

Being a newspaperman – and the son of a newspaper journalist – I instantly thought: well, a crime reporter for one…

And so a first I was going to make Hamilton the guy who did the sleuthing and the solving – but somehow that seemed too obvious. Also, in the back of mind I was thinking not only about the stories in book form but also about the possibility of them one day being on TV.

So the idea struck me that it should be the photographer who should solve the crimes, simply by being hyper-observant – which, really, all good photographers should be. With the big lenses and digital editing techniques available today, the photographer – or snapper as we call them in the trade – would have every opportunity to closely scrutinize tiny details captured in the images. All he would need then would be the brains to put the clues together.

And so eccentric, single-minded, versatile, sometimes masterful, sometimes downright odd, Erskine Lammoran was born.

You can find them at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Snapper-Pilgrims-ebook/dp/B0090KAYZC

and athttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Snapper-Feuding-Fishermen-ebook/dp/B00AGFNP38/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354815136&sr=1-1