Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Reading when Writing

Dear Reader or Writer

Reading when writing. A good idea?

All writers start out as readers. That's what fires our imagination. Stirs our interest. I can do that. Isn't it the way?

We all have an amazing literary experience to tell. The stories that ring our bell and kick us off on our literary travels.

The only problem is that we become addicted to our reading fix. And we read while we are writing.

Trouble with that is, if we don't consciously attempt to write our own version of  Harry Potter, we might well be persuaded to steal a battle scene from Lord of the Rings or sneak out a sex scene from twenty-five shades of what not. The temptation, of course, being subliminal.

And what makes the temptation worse is that there are no truly original stories left. Are there?

So if everything is derivative then why not adapt a particular piece of action to your needs, be it in a back alley, the bedroom or the killing fields of the planet Zog?

After all, it's not about copyright.

If I were so convinced that there was room for another school of witchcraft and wizardry, I could quite happily write my own version without sanction. I could set it in a comprehensive in south London, the professors could be sex mad teachers, the death-eaters gang members and the boy who lived a drug addict who survived being stabbed by - you guessed it the death-eaters - sorry gang. In fact, the more I think of might not be that bad an idea....

But it is. Reading while writing sucks the life out of our work. We all strive to be original, yet after a hard day's graft we go to bed clutching the paperback and allow ourselves to be influenced.

The things we like to read become imprinted on our minds. Rather than stealing from the author, they steal away our originality.

So put down that book. Chuck it away and dream. Let the scenes be yours. Sleep tight. Let the action unfold in your subconscious. Then blast it down in pencil first thing in a morning.

That way you might write something worthwhile. And something worthwhile is what others want to read.

Sweet dreams

Yours affectionately, Saul.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014



The FIFA World Cup is going on apace at the moment. It is the 'highest level of football', isn't it? Last night's debacle suggests not. But we all believe the blurb, don't we, 'highest level...'

I've got a confession to make I'm absolutely terrible at blurb. Here I am spending months writing a great book and I can't tell you what its about in a few pithy words.

And here's why

I'm not the kind of omniscient being who can look down on a work in progress, can see the whole plot down on the table and move the characters around it like some controlling Svengali from a Bond movie.

No, I write the novel right down there in the plot. I crawl my way through the twists and turns of dark tunnels as I find the plot. When I see a little light at the end of the tunnel, I stop and write down a few numbered bullets to guide my way out. But I have no overall picture.

Result - at the end of the journey, how do I say what this story its about in a few words? Plot, sub-plots, characters, sexy bits are all screaming for your attention. Not good.

I saw one poor chap who believed in his novel and put it up on Amazon with a blurb that competed with the text in terms of detail. Why read the story when it's all there in summary?

I've never been that bad (have I?). I've always tried to at least cut down the words. But I was struck by the James Paterson back of the book blurbs that run to around 78 words. He'd sell any way no matter what was written, wouldn't he? But still there's a lesson there.

I put up what I considered a short blurb for one of my recent novels Duisburg (improving all the time). The creator of the cover commented that the cover looked great but the blurb was too long, but more importantly had too many names (of characters).

He advised me to concentrate on two characters and stick to the main plot. I had a think about this and put it into practice and it is amazing how much it helps. As a result, a much better blurb for Duisburg is going up today on Amazon. 

Moreover, I applied the rationale to my latest release Amanda as well. Now, Amanda features three strong women characters. Okay, I'm not dogmatic, so three it is. But I got rid of the names of lovers, husbands and a mysterious slave girl who's the cause of a lot of the trouble.

Sticking with these three woman opened up the whole thing for me. I was able to see I was putting in too much detail. Why a thing happened, rather than it just did. This helps the immersed writer to concentrate on the main plot line. Therefore, the new blurb asks questions rather that providing answers.

Hopefully, readers will buy the book to find the answers.

I'll post the link to both books once they have gone through the final Amazon vet, text, covers, blurbs.

Hope you've found this useful.

Good reading and writing

Best wishes


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

My Novels


Lord,  it has been busy. A few weeks ago when I published Duisburg after three months of editing I vowed to move things on with my career. I also determined  not to let sleeping dogs lie.

On the former I started and completed the edit of Amanda in about a week. This is a 105k word thriller, but I have to admit, that unlike Duisburg, it was right first time. This is something I will always try to do from now on with my writing.

I published Amanda today, so expect to see it tomorrow on Amazon - will post the link.

On the latter, Duisburg is nevertheless a marvellous crime thriller and deserves a better presentation. So here is a cover that says much more about the content -

The cover is courtesy of If there are any self-pub writers out there I can recommend this service. It's dead easy, with plenty of choice in their catalogue. What's more the service is fantastic. Check it out.

Ok, so Amanda is going to be published tomorrow, so I'll be blogging about that. But in the meanwhile take a look at Duisburg on or It's readily found by searching on Duisburg Thriller. You'll not be disappointed.

In any case, here's the link

Best Regards


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Duisburg & Amanda

Dear reader,

I can't believe it was December 20 last year when I last posted on here. And here we are with over half the new year gone!
As advertised in that last post I did write a sequel to Amanda. This new story is called Qandisa and is the second in a trilogy. It was completed mid-March.
I then set about editing Duisburg, a sexy high octane thriller, which was completed this time last year. Duisburg took three edits, and as a result was published last week on Amazon.

Here's the link.

I immediately set about editing Amanda (105k words) and I am half way through the edit. In contrast to Duisburg, Amanda was more or less right first time and will only require one run through. Consequently, I expect to publish this story about a female serial killer toward the end of next week on Amazon. Look out for it then.

I am mad busy with the writing and my ability to produce is my greatest strength. You won't be disappointed with either of these new tales!

Best wishes


Friday, 20 December 2013

Publication plans


After finishing the stupendous Amanda what do I do? Start writing a sequel. That's typical of me. The only things that matter to me are the stories. Ultimately, my biggest asset is to be able to create these tales and write them down in quick time.

Amanda is so bloody good, believe me I read a lot of thrillers and there isn't anything as good as this around in the adult genre, that I've decided to write a sequel with a view to doing a trilogy. So today I started the second Amanda story.

However, other things also need attending to. So, I've republished The Brent Street Haunting today with a new cover on both Smashwords and Amazon. This story has had some very positive feed back so I reckon the Christmas Holidays are a good time for you to make short work of its 75K words.

Likewise, I will republish The Scorpian Visitant over Christmas with a new cover.

I have already been working on the covers of Duisburg and Amanda. It is now my intention not to be the overbearing parent with these two adult thrillers. I will publish Duisburg in January. Amanda will follow in the early spring.

Why not? I can knock these things out like Fords on a production line. So why not play to my strengths?

Best wishes


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Amanda completed

Dear readers,

Yesterday December 17th I completed the draft of my latest thriller Amanda. I started this story on October 11th and it amounts to 105k words. I calculated that this equates to around 1550 words a day. This is strictly an adult story, but the plot hangs together brilliantly and I have been able to go straight through without a pause.

I will be blogging more about this story as it nears publication, which I am aiming to be in the summer, say July would be about right. But without doubt it is the best thing I've done and to be honest is much better than many of the thrillers from the great and the good that I have read.
I am confident that it will make its mark.

So with Christmas coming, my first job will be to do the first edit on Amanda and produce version 2. This will be put away until May, when I will get it ready for publication.
The next work that I will publish is another adult thriller set in the fictitious American city of Duisburg. And the story will take that title of the city. I will be blogging about this in the run up to publication, but again it's another rollicking good read. I expect to publish it February/March.

Over Christmas the other task I have is to make some better covers for my first two novels, the epic fantasy The Scorpian Visitant, and the paranormal thriller The Brent Street Haunting. I have had some favourable feedback from the latter. But the covers for both of these are crap and people do judge a book by its cover. So I will be endeavouring to do better in this area. So they will be republished in January with new covers.

Regarding The Scorpian Visitant, I took a terrible wrong turn with this. It always had been 'The Prism', but just before publication I saddled it with The Scorpian Visitant. It was my first foray into self publication and I guess this was a typical error of inexperience and one I would not commit again. Indeed, If possible I will change the name back to its original.
No matter both books will be republished in the new year.

The other thing I am going to do is play about with price points for these. Brent Street has been read quite a lot and the feedback I have is favourable. In my view it is a better book than the The Prism, which being a fantasy is in a totally different genre to that I write now.

I guess I have settled into the crime thriller/mystery genre. I keep a paranormal element in all the books I have written to date, but I feel that in Duisburg and Amanda, the paranormal side of things is supportive rather than determining the action. The players in both these stories are highly motivated in terms of their human experience to go and do the things they do.

I work hard at the books and that is why I don't keep this blog updated. I really will try to do something once a week on it, as well as improving my presence of FB and Twitter.

I have already been working on a plot for a sequel to Amanda and I will develop it with a view to staring the writing at the end of February (I am trying not to juggle too many balls in the air at any one time, but some slight of hand is inevitable and the final readying of Duisburg will probably run into this). Still I am not afraid of hard work. Indeed I feel a bit manic without it. So will keep on  going with these stories.

Best wishes


Tuesday, 5 November 2013


Dear Readers,

The Brent Street Haunting remains free on the Smashwords platform for a few days yet, so be sure to get your free copy.

My new novel Amanda is 31,101 words to date. I started this on the 11th of October and so I am pleased. The daily rate works out at 1240 words a day, written, typed up, and revised. In this way I can knock out a 75,000 word novel in about 10 - 11 weeks. In this way, taking into account the 2nd and 3rd revisions, I can publish 2 novels a year. This I will try my best to do.

For me writing is a passion. It is something I love doing. I work with people in my day job who are incredibly enthusiastic about what they do. The best advice anyone can give to a prospective university student is to pick a subject that you are enthusiastic about, that you really love. That way you will work hard and get a good degree. I envy people who work in a job that they are really in love with. As I say I watch such people with fascination. It must be amazing to be able to do something you love full time.

Still onwards and upwards. I enjoy my writing. I hate being idle. And I am blessed to be able to work and to write as well.

So we have two novels published. One in the can that will be published early next year (Duisburg). Amanda approaching half way to be published in the summer of 2014. And an idea for the 5th novel already suggesting itself. There's plenty of work. And that's the main thing.

Best wishes