This is the “Behind The Scenes” post for Last Drawer On The Right. Please read the original story first if you want to avoid spoilers…

This one I wrote in a different manner to the others. Normally I have no idea what I’m going to write, and then lock myself away in the office Saturday afternoon and sweat until something magically appears in the word processor. This time I started on the Friday night and wrote it in a very vivid state – I could see the characters in front of me, see the piano and the piano stool, envisage the house.

In truth, I stole my actual grandparents’ house for the layout. I don’t expect my grandmother would mind – she enjoyed Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and other crime writers, and we even found the plottings of a crime novel she’d been working on after she died. (I wish she’d written it, I’d love to have read it.)

The actual grandfather is based on someone I used to know. Someone, actually, a few years younger than me, but there you are. Curmudgeon can strike at any age.

Finally, you might want to know what the poison is that she was using? Frankly, so would I. I did some research on the web but never found anything completely suitable. (That said, my browser history must be quite scary if anyone ever looks through it, I suppose).

I quite enjoyed writing this one, and the benefit of writing it on the Friday and coming back Saturday means I seemed to see more mistakes in it. That’s pleasing, because either I was more immersed in the writing, or a bit more distance helped me find issues, or both. That said, I did get halfway through and decide to change things quite a bit, and kept doing so in the first draft until the very end.

Well, I’m quite pleased with this one. Let’s see if that lasts until I compile them into a book.

See you Saturday for my second “J” story of the year…


The post “Behind The Scenes: Last Drawer On The Right” first appeared on and is Copyright © Simon Collis 2018. All rights reserved.

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