Saturday, 8 December 2012

The PINK SOFA Welcomes Richard Hardie

Richard Hardie

The PINK SOFA is delighted to welcome a very special guest. Not only does Richard Hardie write YA adventure books with feisty female heroines, as I do, but today is the launch of his second book in the Temporal Detective Agency series. It's called Trouble with Swords and The PINK SOFA is honoured to be part of the celebrations. To mark this wonderful occasion, there are coloured fairy lights and paper chains, as well as sweets and bubble gum on the coffee table (YA food). Tuck in.

The PINK SOFA asked Richard some questions. Here's what he said:

" I love writing for Young Adults, or to put it another way, anyone from the age of 12 to 80. The plot is everything, but I have to admit sometimes I don't know what is going to happen next, though I find the characters always know. I always know the main plotline and how the story is going to end and why.

The Temporal Detective Agency is a series of books that follows the adventures of Tertia (15) and Unita (17), two of Merlin's apprentices. In the books, Merlin is actually a woman, and the Agency is formed when she and Arthur go off to the Isle of Avalon together. The Agency moved from Camelot to the 21st century to get more interesting cases and better bathroom facilities. It uses Merlin's old cave as an office and her Time Portal to move in time. Galahad is now a celebrity chef and runs the Ole Grill Spanish themed restaurant as a front.

The idea came out of a Gang Show script that I co-wrote with Terry Pratchett in 2002 for the Scouts and Guides Association. I always thought it had potential as a book. 10 years later, with multiple rewrites and edits, the first and second books have appeared as ebooks. A third book is scheduled for May 2013.

I write in a large study at home, equipped with chair, settee, TV, business phone, fax, stereo and coffee. It's also equipped with a cocker spaniel called Benjie, who is threatening to be in Book 3 of the series. I find that writing in any other room is difficult because of the many household distractions. Twice a year, when I take Benjie down to the Gower peninsular in Wales I usually manage to get in at least two hours' work, and frequently plot solutions will occur to me as we stride along the coastal path, soaking wet, totally alone and enjoying every minute!

Like many authors, I occasionally go off at a tangent, and need to do ruthless editing to bring the story back on track. One piece of advice I'll always hold dear, is the instruction from an agent friend. I have it on a piece of paper above my PC. It says GOWTS, which stands for Get On With The Story, and is the best advice I ever had.

If I had any advice for an aspiring writer, it would be listen to your friends and to other writers. If they say what you've written is great may just be. However if they hesitate and say it's okay's probably not very good at all. Time for a rethink and a rewrite. Terry Pratchett gave me an excelletn piece of advice when I told him I wanted to write a book. He told me to keep the day job! I have, but I still hope that one day I'll be able to support my family by writing about the Temporal Detective Agency. 

Above all, writing a book is a long and complex process. It's not a 100 metre sprint, it's a Marathon, and as Thomas Edison said: 'Inventing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.' So it is with writing. Having said that, keep trying. A good author thrives on rejection. I did, and so did someone called J K Rowling!"

Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords are both available as ebooks on,, Goodreads and Authorsden
Richard's website and blog is at: He is also on Facebook at The Temporal Detective Agency page.

Thanks Richard - what amazing sounding ebooks! Richard is going to drop in during the week to meet and greet, so leave him a comment - and try not to stick your gum under the coffee table, please!


  1. Thanks to you both. This is a Pink Sofa special, packed with good sense.

    1. Hi Christina,
      Many thanks for reading the blog and for your great comments. It's a great privilege to have been invited into Hedges Towers, let alone be seated on the Pink Sofa.
      Thanks again and if you read the books, which I hope you will, then I really hope you love them enough to want to read the third book scheduled for May next year.

  2. Great interview! Having read both books both before and after publication, I highly recommend both, whatever your age. They have great twists on historic events, and lots of adventures woven in.

    1. Hi Marit,
      What a lovely comment from a lovely person!
      Many thanks for everything.

  3. Great interview,very interesting. Books look good too :)

  4. Great post. Thanks to both Carole and Richard here! Richard, it's so nice to hear you have some canine support as well. When I write, I often do it with the help - or hindrance - of my labrador cross pooch. Couldn't sit still long enough without her :) I shall take the GOWTS advice on board too. Good, good advice! Now I think I'd better read some of these books. They sound like my kind of thing too! My wish list is mounting...

  5. Hi Richard, great interview and your books sound wonderful. When will Galahad get his own TV series? :)

  6. Sounds like a great read, Richard. I love the cover!

  7. Your books sounds like great reads Richard! I am going to buy the first one in a minute.


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