Guest Blog by Allan Danahay

Kelly BlueKelly Blue by Allan Danahay

I recently reviewed ‘Kelly Blue’ by Allan Danahay and he has kindly agreed to being a guest on my blog. I hope you will enjoy reading Allan’s background story and join me in wishing him every success for the future.

‘I was a professional musician for many years from aged 16 and played drums originally in the UK, where I was born, and I travelled the world as a freelance player and then settled in Sydney Australia where I was active in the jazz scene and recording studios.

Eventually, I opened a music store, which went well for 13 years, but a nasty disease got me and put me and the business out of action for a while (all ok now). I then tried a few new ways to earn a living….real estate, mortgage broker etc, but eventually decided that I needed a simple uncomplicated life, and started a service for florists delivering their orders, which I did until last year when my wife, Lesley, decided that we should retire to the lovely Central Coast region of NSW about 80ks north of Sydney.

I have two grown up kids from my first marriage and six grandchildren – the two oldest recently married (no not to each other) and I’m now looking forward to being a great granddad very soon, in fact in September. As it turned out, I was the only one retiring as Lesley decided to keep working for a while! But that’s ok as I love living here in Woy Woy ( a town so nice they named it twice)….I do an hour or so practice on the drums every day so my chops are the best they have ever been…. all I need now is for someone to offer me a gig! (Never gonna happen).

I have always been interested in writing, having devoured many of the great crime writers’ books over the years, including Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, Ian Rankin, Sue Grafton, Ruth Rendell etc, etc, and the great spy masters John Le Carre` Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth etc, but my starting point was Agatha Christie, when as a teenager I discovered ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,’ which although published in 1926, is still readable today. (Voted in 2013 the best crime novel ever by 600 fellow writers of The Crime Writers’ Association)

I decided to try my hand at writing….in fact I began ‘Kelly Blue’ about 14 years ago, but work obligations saw it grind to halt and lie half forgotten in the depths of my laptop until suddenly I had retirement time on my hands, and I hauled it out and gave it a complete update and turnaround (female characters became men and vice versa!).

My original half finished manuscript was about 25,000 words and when I finished hacking it about, it was about 10,000 and I set about finishing the story ending up with just over 40,000 words.

It’s an absorbing business getting my day dreams down in print and I’m basically lazy, but I found that once I start writing it’s hard to stop as I’m prone to forgetfulness unless I write it down. While writing ‘Kelly Blue’ for example, I had a really good idea just before going to bed one night and then the next morning could not for the life of me remember what it was! Four days later it came back to me, fortunately, and so now I write everything down as it occurs to me.

As I write, ‘Kelly Blue’ is coming to the end of a five day free period, which has propelled it into the top 20 free crime books and I’m amazed and delighted that the effort I put into it has not been for nothing and that someone has read it and hopefully enjoyed it.’

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