I am delighted to welcome Andrew Barrett to my blog today so he can introduce the world to his lead character, Eddie Collins.
So, Andrew, can you tell us a bit about Eddie?
Eddie Collins is a CSI working for the Major Crime Unit. There he shares a strange hate/hate relationship with DI Tom Benson. A few years ago, Eddie’s dad, Charles, was burgled and so Eddie took him in. They live together and have a Steptoe & Son kind of relationship.
When did you create him?
I created Eddie Collins in 2004, and his first book was released in 2012 – The Third Rule.
So, did you create Eddie to accommodate the book or the book to accommodate Eddie?
This is a little bit chicken and egg. But essentially, I wrote the book around Eddie. He was such a massive character who deserved such a massive book – it was well over a thousand pages back then but I’ve slimmed it down considerably since. The story needed someone like Eddie to carry it, though. It needed someone who was gutsy and forthright, and that’s exactly what we have in Eddie Collins. And much more besides.
He really is a great character, I adore him. What do you like most about him?
His morals. I like that he sees a victim or he sees injustice, and he goes all out to support them and tries to rectify that injustice. He’s not too bothered how he gets there, but you can count on Eddie, he’s like a can of Sure deodorant – he won’t let you down. I also like how he bulldozers his way through red tape – for that alone, he’s my hero. He also has a wicked sense of humour and is an Uzi with come-back lines.
On the flip side, what do you like least about him?
He’s a dick. He’s often sarcastic and he can be quite hurtful towards people. He can also be rude – especially if he wants them out of his way; he’s not too bothered what he says to them, he just wants them gone.
Did your early readers/editorial team like Eddie to start with or did you have to change him in any way?
People hated him. And that’s exactly what I wanted. I knew they’d come around to appreciating him in later books, and grow to love him. And so far, that’s what’s happened. I believe you have no room to manoeuvre if your character is perfect to begin with. At least with Eddie you will see him grow, and you’ll see him mature as you go though the books. And not only that, you’ll come to understand why he is like he is. I’ve never considered changing him because I wanted this series to be a true journey where each story contributes towards building his character. I took a risk with the first book, and possibly lost a lot of readers because he was so difficult to like. Many people, I suspect, didn’t go on to read the next book in the series, Black by Rose. But that’s fine; it means those that stuck with him are rewarded in future novels with a greater understanding of what makes this beast tick. Eddie is a boy at heart with limited social skills and a genuine fear, and possibly a mistrust, of people in general. He feels safer away from them, but he really does try to learn, and tries to be a better person.
Does he have any similarities with anyone real?
I suppose Eddie Collins and I share a lot of character traits. I certainly haven’t consciously thought of anyone I know while I’ve written him. He’s entirely my own creation, and so it makes sense then, that he and I are like brothers. That doesn’t mean I’m rude to people, it just highlights that he has less patience than I, and is less inclined to follow social etiquette. And if you believe that…
Ha ha! I know you in real life, and I’ve ‘met’ Eddie in your books… I’m saying nothing 😉
Eddie is a wonderful character, what are your plans for him now?
I will continue to write Eddie Collins so long as there are new things about him to discover. When we’ve learned everything there is to learn about him, there will be no more Eddie Collins books. And it helps enormously that many reviewers state how much they love the man, and that just reinforces in me that character is king every time. But anyway, future plans include a new novel (currently in editing (March 2020)) with a working title of Juniper Hill. This is an out and out chase story where someone is out to kill him. This is one of the few stories I’ve written where there aren’t really any subplots to speak of; it’s all about these two people and what drives them. If you’ve ever read Eddie’s short, The Note, you’ll understand where it all stems from. After that? Well, who knows, maybe more novellas?
Thank goodness! I definitely want more Eddie!
Do you think you’d be friends in real life?
We’d either hit it off straightaway and never see each other again – the mark of a true friend. Or we’d be rolling around the floor throwing punches at each other. It’s hard to tell with Eddie – he’s not exactly stable. Neither of us are people people, so it would probably better if we stayed well away from each other.
I would love to meet Eddie in real life… think I’d have an absolute blast with him. One of the things I love most about him/your books, is that they are so true to life. Full of profanity and violence and problems… because that really is what life is like. I can’t wait for the next one.
Thank you so much for joining me today, Andrew. It’s been amazing getting to know Eddie some more.
Bookworms, if you want to know more about Eddie, get over to Andrew’s Amazon Page and get your fix!
You can follow him on social media to keep up with all his news too:
He’s a CSI, an ex-father, and a drunk. Eddie Collins is about to learn what it takes to kill someone.
Beating an armed street robber creates a reluctant hero in CSI Eddie Collins. Ultimately it costs him his family. With his life in ruins, the only thing of value he has left – his freedom – is in danger when he’s accused of murdering a police colleague.
The Third Rule means death for Eddie and for a string of other innocent ‘killers’ too.
But Eddie and his alcoholic friend, Mick – a journalist with one big story left to tell – refuse to die without a fight. And that fight involves finding the evidence and the shocking truth behind The Rules and the justice minister who created them.
Alongside a hunter brought in to track them and kill them is a detective who loves the idea of slaughtering criminals – even if they’re not guilty. The chase is on.
If the truth gets out, the government will fall. If it stays hidden, Eddie will die.
The Third Rule will pull at every emotion you possess, and leave them shredded.
If you like fast-paced crime thrillers with a forensic slant, raw emotions, and characters that grab you by the throat, you’ll love Andrew Barrett’s CSI Eddie Collins series.
To experience Eddie’s battle to uncover the lies they told, buy The Third Rule now.
Do you like your crime thrillers to have a forensic element that adds to the realism? Do you like your lead character to be someone intense and unafraid to take on authority?
Andrew writes precisely that kind of crime thriller, and has done since 1996, about the same time he became a CSI in Yorkshire.
He doesn’t write formulaic fiction; each story is hand-crafted to give you a unique flavour of what CSIs encounter in real life – and as a practising CSI, he should know what it’s like out there. His thrillers live inside the police domain, but predominantly feature CSIs (or SOCOs as they used to known).
Here’s your chance to walk alongside SOCO Roger Conniston and CSI Eddie Collins as they do battle with the criminals that you lock your doors to keep out, fighting those whose crimes make you shudder.
This is as real as it gets without getting your hands bloody.
Find out more about him at http://www.andrewbarrett.co.uk where you can sign up for his newsletter and claim your free starter library.