Birth of a Book

Originally a guest post which featured on Murder Underground Broke the Camel's Back

First of all I have to state categorically that I did not plan on writing Palindrome. I was adamant there would be no sequel to my debut novel Six Dead Men as I was already working on several other ideas. Denial is futile. This prequel insisted on being written. Its conception is due to a vivid dream I had in which a woman was remembering the day her baby was born. I woke with the realisation that it was Robert’s mother I was hearing. I grabbed a notebook and hastily jotted down the gist of what she had to say.
At the time I was concentrating on other projects but several of the characters kept demanding I tell the world more about them. So Six Degrees a la Kevin Bacon style was conceived. It’s a series of 6 vignettes which focus on the back story of Six Dead Men. This little collection hints at links between characters and situations.I thought this would mollify my nagging characters. But Robert’s …

@instafreebie Read of the Month

Running Out of Space (Sunblinded #1) by SJ Higbee Genre
Dystopian SciFi Audience
Anyone who likes feisty characters & tons of action Reader Rating

Lizzy Wright is serving her time on a merchant spaceship. She’s fed up with the restricted life of a fertile female; always chaperoned and guarded. So together with 3 other strong willed young women, she heads off to territory they’ve been banned from exploring. Here things take a nasty turn and it’s due to chance that the help of a stranger means they only leave one dead body behind. Disobedience has consequences and Lizzy’s about to discover just how severe they can be.
The action is full on from the very first page of this read. The majority of the story takes place onboard a spaceship run by an uncompromising military minded captain. There’s tension between characters from the get go as the feisty babes’ forbidden territory shore-leave jaunt finds them in a very tight spot.
Themes revolve around the desire for independence, the value…

Insider Insights

A Palindrome Character Interview 
Originally featured as a guest post on Ian Richard's website

Ideally we’d like to be interviewing Robert right now, but if you've read Six Dead Men you'll be well aware, he’s solitary, preferring the worlds tucked between the covers of a good book. So we’ll leave him be and turn instead to someone who knew him well while he was living in Haddington: Gabriel Haskey, school librarian at Knox Academy, now retired and living in Crete.
Interview Mr Haskey – it wasn’t so long ago that you knew Robert fairly well. What was he like when he was at Knox Academy?
Robert hasn’t changed all that much. I haven’t seen him since his 15th birthday. But he writes me long thought provoking letters. Always been a deep thinker. Likes his own company. Reads voraciously.
What’s the first thing you notice about Robert?
His nose is always stuck in a book.
What was his relationship like with his classmates?
Never quite one of them you know. Always stood apart even when he w…

@instafreebie Read of the Month

The Sigma Surrogate byJ T Lawrence
Genre: Dystopian Cyberpunk Audience: Anyone into either genre Reader Rating: 4 STARS
This book is the prequel to the When Tomorrow Calls series. It is my very first Cyberpunk read and I was not disappointed. The Johannesburg setting immediately sucked me in as did the very vibrant central character of Keke, a biopunk journalist. Along with Keke are several supporting characters which are as colourful as our protagonist.
The story involves a mysterious bombing at a surrogate facility. Naturally, Keke, being who she is feels the need to investigate fully. During the course of her investigation Keke meets a badly injured young surrogate (victim of the bombing) who she is drawn to. It furthers her resolve to find those responsible. There are elements of The Handmaid’s Tale lurking in artificial lawned environs and very sexy peripheral characters on the outskirts too.
The dialogue is unmistakeably South African and had me chuckling as many of Keke and her frie…

Literary Baby Imminent

The prequel novella to Six Dead Men is due out at the end of this month. So what’s it all about?

Setting: Haddington, near Edinburgh, 1975 Main characters: Robert Deed & his burgeoning psychic abilities, Arthur & Rowena Deed and the murderer Subsidiary characters: An Italian Chef, Luisa Pearce & the police

In Haddington change is a process slowed by tradition and the luxury of a certain distance from the swift progress of the rest of the world. On the cusp of adulthood, Robert Deed looks beyond a thing and sees inside it. It’s a trait shared with his all-seeing mother. No-one knows Robert’s strangeness better than his mother Rowena.In her dreams she sees his future but knows she will not be there to see her son mature.Pushing aside her sorrow at this knowledge, she instead focuses on giving him the tools he'll need to be a man of worth.

Robert’s 13th birthday approaches. But this birthday brings more than a coming of age celebration for Robert. He’s about to see the glint o…

@instafreebie Read of the Month

Over several months now I’ve been using Instafreebie to ensure I’m not spending hundreds of pounds in my bid to complete my Goodreads annual reading challenge. Sometimes the reads are totally amazing. At other times not so much. I was getting irritated by the endless run of so so reads lately, these are the ones which fall into 3 star or below category for me. It made me forget the list of great authors I’ve found through the site so far such as: Helena Rookwood, Devyn Jayse, Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli and Lana Hart. Thankfully I started a book which reminded me that perseverance pays off. It was so good I resolved to share it with you which also got me thinking about a monthly feature. Why the hell not I thought. So I'll be re-featuring the above authors too as well as any others which catch my attention in the coming months. _________________________________________________________ This month’s offering: Seeker by Amy Reece
Genre: Paranormal Audience: YA or anyone into the supe…


A Fortnight in the life of a Writer/Tutor

Since Easter it’s been all go at my Writing HQ, aka the desk in my living room. I’ve been diligently working on the final edits of my upcoming release. Meanwhile I’ve still had to maintain tutoring commitments as well as my obligations to Inkhead. In the midst of all this I attempted to continue my Italian studies via Duolingo.
Around the beginning of May the charity I teach at asked for 6 weeks of detailed lesson planning so they can comply with their application for DFE status. While not difficult to do, as any teacher knows, this is incredibly labour intensive. So glad to say I’ve finally finished that lot. However, as I’m the one and only English tutor it also falls to me to plan next year’s curriculum. My work is not yet done. Onward.
To add to my May and June tutoring load, my less confident GCSE students requested extra tuition sessions as their exams were looming. Thankfully the final English exams are now over and done with so that means…