Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Duck Egg Blues

Duck Egg Blues is funny, sad, mysterious and thrilling. "A robot butler detective, what’s not to love?"
Martin Ungless is a WCN Escalator Prize winning author who has twice been shortlisted by the Crime Writers’ Association for their Debut Dagger Award.
What the CWA Judges said about his work:
A clever and ambitious story’
‘I was laughing and crying and hugging the sheets to my chest’
This perfect slice of 'cozy crime' is narrated in the voice of a pre-war English butler and concerns a rich and powerful businesswoman whose daughter goes missing from their country house estate. That the story- teller is a robot belonging to an impoverished detective brings a fresh and original take on 'cozy', and as for 'crime'... well, it does begin to escalate, what with MI6, criminal gangs, corrupt police, and that’s not to mention international cybercrime!
As the plot strands weave together, we discover that behind one mystery lurks a greater threat. No one is safe, not even PArdew...
This is without doubt the robot-butler-detective thriller you have been waiting for!

For the duration of this blog tour, Duck Egg Blues will be on a Kindle Countdown Deal, so if you are tempted, purchase before the price rises

If  author Martin Ungless had a robot writing partner, what would he like help with?

What would I do if I had a robot writing partner? Wow, what a great question, I’ve never thought about that, but now you’ve got me going, well, I’m going to have to assume I am allowed my very own creation, namely PArdew, to help me as I work. What fun! I’m not sure I’d get any actual writing done. I think I might spend my whole time chatting, playing with him to explore his extraordinary abilities. Still, beats frittering my time away on Twitter!

It would be nice to have someone to bring me coffee whilst I work, but then having spent so long inside PArdew’s head it feels unkind to treat him like this, despite the fact he’s specifically designed to want to serve. I guess I might get over my resistance after a while, and I would certainly treat him more kindly than Don.

A decent spell-checker might be useful, I reread this post twice before I spotted that I’d described PArdew as a wiring not writing partner. Very apt for a robot, but these apps needs to be much more intelligent. I call it spoil-cheque, which of course it never corrects!

More useful again might be the ability to take dictation. PArdew would be great at that, and I think I am more creative when I am speaking than writing - not a great attribute for an author, but things are what they are! The only draw back of this situation is that my wife sits across the table from me working on her own novels, and she might be disturbed by the chatter!

If an automated writing partner were able to make up for my own authorial deficits, then perhaps they might contribute longer, more flowery, passages of description - I think PArdew might be rather good at that! I know some readers like this, and I tend to sketch rather than fill in every detail, but then again when a reader rounds out a scene from their own imagination the are engaging more intimately with the writing, having a more profound experience and getting more from the text. Perhaps I’ll leave this possibility alone.

The reality is that PArdew already helps me hugely, as a character he’s inspirational. In fact he came into being as part of a short story and I liked him so much I decided he needed a full novel to let him breathe, not that a robot needs air! Irascible Don came along when I was looking for a suitable partner for PArdew, and because PArdew was born out of conflict, it was important that Don didn’t want him at all. That earlier short story was for a crime-writing competition and my idea was that a single character could fulfil more than one role in a standard murder-mystery, and I began to wonder how many were possible. If you’re interested in the answer to this, you can read what I came up with at

PArdew always ends up as an unwitting detective, so perhaps he could help me track down my plots!

In the end, I enjoy writing too much myself to want to share it with anyone, even someone as sweet as PArdew, so the best way he could help would be by doing all my boring daily chores, leaving me free to lose myself in creating his next adventure, #tractortuesday, coming soon!

Author Bio Following this year’s success, Martin Ungless had now been shortlisted three times by the Crime Writers’ Association for their Debut Dagger. He has won a WCN Escalator Award, and been successful in a number short-story competitions. Martin started life as an architect though now lives in the Norfolk countryside and writes full time. Martin is currently studying for the prestigious MA in Fiction (Crime) at UEA.
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