Back Catalogue Secrets I

When I wrote my debut novel Six Dead Men it was meant to be a stand-alone piece. I was already working on a Sci Fi Novel and had several other ideas floating about for new novels. It also had a very different ending to the current one. My ART at the time (a writing group run by Caroline Natzler) were insistent I change my planned ending. Here was this bunch of hard core writers who demanded the perfect word in exactly the right spot and my realistic ending was proving too traumatising for them. Who could have predicted it? Certainly not me.
It took me a while to rethink my ending (an entire summer if I recall correctly) to find a closing which didn’t involve a rewrite of the entire novel. This made the writing process a touch challenging but I believe it produced a better book. However, it also woke the voices of the subsidiary characters who then demanded I write something just for them. It's the reason I now also have Six Degrees, a book of short stories in the series. But that i…

Writing Rage

Through the course of my reading and writing life (over 50 years) I’ve read authors I’ve been insanely jealous of because I admire their execution of the craft. It is not until now that I find myself reading a writer I connect with on a deeper level. Before Christmas I read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and felt, gosh I really get where this writer is coming from. So I did what I always do when a writer’s work speaks to me – I looked for more of her work. Here in the UK it’s difficult to get copies of her books from libraries. The librarian told me people borrow them never to return them. I fully understand why. I want to OWN every single book she’s ever written.
I like this writer so much that I’ve voluntarily dipped into her short stories and essays; something I haven’t done since ‘forced’ into it by a required reading list during my days at university. I regularly ignore forewords and notes from authors but found myself wanting to know every detail of this writer’s experien…

ARTs – An Author’s Frontline

I’m hoping to do my best Henry V imitation and exhort many of you to join my Advance Reading Team (ART) immediately.
A quick Thank You here to my current dream team. You know who you are so I won't embarrass you by naming names.
What exactly is an ART?
An Advance Reading Team is an indie author’s first line of both attack and defense. The war terminology is out in full force now. What I mean by this is that they spot glaring errors and help us authors gain support and enthusiasm which is so crucial when launching a book.
What do you get out of it?
As a member of my ART you would get: A FREE advance e-copy of any upcoming booksThe opportunity to name a character in my next bookYour name listed in the front matter if you have provided feedback in the review period
What do I get out of it?
In return, at the time of the book’s official release, I’ll ask you for an honest review either on Amazon, Goodreads or both. This is because reviews can be the difference between an author succeeding or …

Year of the Rat

I hope you’ve all had a very good start to your New Year. Many are asking what the year of the Rat holds for us. For myself I’m hoping the rat’s aptitude for survival and its prodigious breeding capacity bodes well. I’ve thankfully survived the bad bout of migraines brought on by my Lupus last year. It made me reassess my needs and how I want to live my life going forward. I made the tough decision to give up my teaching which has provided me with the bulk of my income to date. For years I’ve wanted to concentrate solely on my writing and I think now is the time to do it, nerve-wracking though it may be. I’ve got a clutch of stories, poems and novels incubating and ready to hatch.
Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to be ‘industrious and thrifty, diligent and positive’. While I’m not a product of one of the Rat years I certainly hope the traits of this particular rodent will rub off on me. I’m going to need all these to complete and publish the projects I have in mind.
Here are …
Happy New Year!

Wishing you PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS & every good thing the world has to offer for 2020

Best Wishes for the Festive Season

Wishing you all the very best for this festive season. Thank you for all your support over the course of this year. I look forward to bringing new and improved writing to you in the New Year and hope all your most fervent wishes come true.

From Folio to Film

You are of course aware of my obsession with books being turned into films. Not too long ago I insisted the book is ALWAYS better. See my September post if you’ve forgotten. Whenever I hear an adaptation of a favourite or classic novel is being produced for the small or large screen I inevitably cringe. Can you blame me? Let’s review a summary of the evidence yet again:
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – a total disaster Dracula – Wynona Ryder War of The Worlds Tom Cruise posturing Emma Gwynnyth Paltrow’s attempt at an English accent Chocolat – great eye candy and nothing more Northern Lights – even the title was too complicated for Hollywood and had to be changed to The Golden Compass
The list could go on and on but I’ll stop there because thankfully in 2016 a seed change occurred, particularly in #gogglebox adaptations. It all started with the Beeb’s excellent production of Le Carrè’s The Night Manager. The cast choice was superb and the pace exactly what I would expect of a spy thriller. The…