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


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Brent Street Free for a Limited Time


The Brent Street Haunting is still available on Smashwords for a short time now as a free download. Then it will return to its retail price of $2.99. So take advantage. I expect early this week will be the time that the free offer ends.

Things move on. I am a writer and enjoy writing and looking forward to new stories rather than looking back and basking in past glories.

Amanda, my female psychopath story, is now up to 18k words. I am aiming it to be around 75k, so I hope to complete the draft around Christmas time.

I guess this is a story very much in tune with the spirit of the age. More than that, I like writing this sort of stuff. I am very much an adult readership writer.

So, on we go. Duisburg another adult thriller will be out first in the summer of 2014. Amanda will be out about this time next year. In between the publication of these two I will write another.

The most important thing, as ever, is the work.

Best wishes


Friday, 18 October 2013

The Brent Street Haunting out on Smashwords tomorrow


The Brent Street Haunting is out on Smashwords tomorrow UK time 3pm.

This is an original story, a paranormal thriller of 75k words. As a promotional offer for this I intend to make it free for a few days. After that it will revert to its cover price of $2.99

So be sure to grab your free copy. You won't be disappointed.

Best wishes


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Brent Street Haunting out now on Amazon


I have published The Brent Street Haunting today on Amazon. It is a little ahead of my intended publication on Smashwords which will be Saturday 19 October, but I see no harm in that.

I'll be blogging on Friday about the release to Smashwords.

So here is the link to the US Amazon site

And to the UK Amazon site

There's a reasonable preview available (to Chapter 9) so it's well worth a visit.

Today the word count to my new and fourth novel Amanda reached 4.6k. Pretty pleased with that since I only got the idea in my head last Thursday. I can see this taking over now till December/January time - about right for the 75k novel I think it will be.

Best wishes


Monday, 14 October 2013

Brent Street out this Saturday


Just a little update. I've finished the blurbs on Brent Street so everything is in place to publish on Saturday 19 October. I usually choose 3pm UK time and will do so again.

I will post in mid week about how I intend to market this book. So look out for that.

On the creativity front my attention has turned to my fourth novel Amanda. This features my female psychopathic killer whose other side can talk with the dead. This looks like its going to be an easy novel to write. I've made a good start. I have 6 chapters (3k words) already typed up and about another 1 - 1.5 k words in my note book.

I have a target of around 75k for Amanda so, by this rate I expect the story to be drafted early in the new year, at the latest end January. Whenever this journey is over, I will review and revise it immediately. Allow mid March to do this before putting it away for a good few months.

At that point I will then edit my third novel Duisburg (The Duisburg Star) twice. I have Summer 2014 in mind to release this. Hopefully July or early August.

So plenty to look forward to.

It's an amazing life creating these stories.

Best wishes


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Brent Street Progress

Dear Readers

Yesterday I finished the final copy edit of my second novel The Brent Street Haunting. Today, I made up the Amazon Kindle file and the Smashwords file. With only a little bit more work to do on the blurbs publication of this story will be on the above platforms next Saturday 19 October.

With this story coming to an end and with my third novel drafted and in the can, my attention is now turning to my fourth novel, a paranormal thriller that takes its title from the female psychopath protagonist - Amanda.

I have the first four chapters of Amanda roughed out in a note book and will spend tomorrow committing these to Word. I have the fifth chapter in my head, so this will be scribbled out soon before typing up.

The focus of my writing is therefore moving towards writing Amanda over the winter.

My third novel Duisburg will lie untouched in the hard drive until Amanda is written, and then will be readied for publication in Spring/Summer 2014.

So plenty happening, but the next marquis day will be 19 October for the release of The Brent Street Haunting.

I'll be blogging about Brent Street in the coming week, including about the promotion I will launch on Smashwords to herald its arrival.

Best Wishes


Thursday, 10 October 2013



I thought I'd share a little bit about ideas today

To write a story, be it short or novel length, you need an idea. The idea is the acorn from which the oak grows.

Sometimes ideas come suddenly. These are worth writing down. Always carry a scrap of paper in the back pocket of your jeans to capture these. On the other hand, you might have been thinking of something for months, years even. Quite a few ideas don't want to show their face, and need forcing out with blood sweat and tears. And I guess we all have that big idea in us that will kick start that expansive first work. Failing these, the internet is full of ideas. Choose one and give it a whirl.

So here are the ideas behind my novels to date:

The Prism (aka The Scorpian Visitant)

I wanted a teenage hoodlum to get the posh girl. So teenage arsonist Robbie Higgins was sent by evil sorcerer Morgan Digbone on a quest to recover the Death Stone of Izar with his snooty second cousin Louise Carlton. In their medieval destiny Robbie gets the girl, and then more than he can bargain for in the enigmatic Jade Finn. Love triangle, swords, sorcery and all.

The Brent Street Haunting (about to be published)

A true poltergeist haunting (or as true as a haunting can be) inspired this tale. It's 1953 and a family comprising granddad, teenaged grandson and granddaughter are beset by a throwing ghost. An African JuJu angle is reported in local press. But the biggest thing that attracted me to this yarn was the fate of the family's lodger...The latter inspired Evangeline Weekes - a truly wonderful creation.

Duisburg (or more likely The Duisburg Star) written and to be published Summer 2014

Simple idea here and one that I was thinking about for a few months in an effort to find something to better my short story Switch. Girl takes a photo on her mobile phone, but rather than capturing an image snares a ghost. Ghost goes on to wreak havoc. The photo was taken on the veranda of a haunted plantation house by beautiful young reporter Amy Simms - the rest is on my hard drive.


The latest, which I have just started. A psychopath who kills her lovers. Nothing new in that. Some creepy crawlies do it for God's sake. Yet the other part of our girl's personality is Mandy. Mandy is a wonderful girl who can communicate with the dead through radio, TV etc., and thus makes a lucrative living as medium - the rest is about to be written over the winter.

Happy writing

Best wishes


Wednesday, 9 October 2013



A word about covers

What's wrong with this? Well just about everything. There is an inexpensive e-book which shows you how to create covers like this and also full photo covers in Paint.Net. It is a very good book and I can recommend it highly. However, the theme of the burning barn was a deviation from my original design of the Prism (largely because I changed the title at the last minute). But oh, that gothic writing!

The Prism (Scorpian Visitant) would lend itself to a professional cover. The triangular end of the Prism with Scorpio in the centre. The young love triangle, depicted by the lovers at the points of the triangle, Robbie, Louise and Jade. All superimposed over billowing flames - we've got a fire and we're gonna let it burn! I'll re-release this fantasy one day - and a new cover will be a priority.

So to the Brent Street Haunting

God have I thought about this. Maybe the sexy Evangeline Weekes with the African Witchdoctor, the evil Mr Coates in the background? Well yes, maybe. But for some reason it doesn't seem to work. Then again how about Evangeline levelling her Mauser pistol at the handsome company director Charles Smyth-Dyne (she's about to blow him away). Perhaps. But for me using a particular scene or allusion to it doesn't work. I could be wrong, but this book cover seems to need an image that will be redolent of the work.

Think of JK Rowling's best book - the Philosopher's Stone. My copy has a picture of a steam train on the front. Not the Hogwart's Express with young wizards clutching owls in cages. Just a steam train. Somehow it seems to suggest the start of a journey? Either way, for me it is an icon and readily calls to mind JK's first book in the same way as the phoenix graphic does of Lady Chatterley.

So for The Brent Street Haunting I have given you a door to walk through. A scary looking door. An old door. Very similar to old doors of my childhood, often pressed into service in lonely places such as allotments. What lies behind that door? Well wait and see.

Okay, now to the other novel I have in the can. Duisburg or The Duisburg Star (a newspaper), whichever I decide to call it. This novel would almost certainly go better with a professional cover depicting a major part of the storyline.

How about our heroine, young beautiful reporter Amy Simms, in the foreground (looking wary, scared even). In the mid shot, sadistic killer Orion, stripped to the waist and hooded like a medieval executioner (his working clothes). Let's have the fictitious city in the background. One of those US cities with a clutch of sky scrapers rising like a rocket range from centre of the urban sprawl? Sounds good?

Best wishes


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Marketing cock up


Ahead of the publication of my second novel The Brent Street Haunting, I thought I'd share with you the marketing disaster that was my first novel The Scorpian Visitant.

TSV took me about twelve years to write, 150k words - in itself the length is not a good idea for a new novelist.

I wrote and re wrote TSV and it changed and improved with every draft until I thought I had something of industry standard - naturally the idea was that the book would be offered around the traditional publishers.

But my reluctance to let the novel go saw the project overtaken by events - the e-book revolution. So after one rejection I decided to put the story up on Smashwords

Of course with hindsight I didn't know what I was doing, but here is a list of the mistakes I made.

1) I changed the name of the bloody thing at the last moment. Yes folks, this tome was to be called and always was THE PRISM. But then I got this crazy idea in my head that I could make a series of stories. I roughed out plausible plots to several other tales and then I was away - the first story was to be called The Scorpian Visitant. This refers to the male protagonist - teenaged arsonist turned time shifted medieval hero - Robbie Higgins. Regardless The Scorpian Visitant is an awkward name. Moreover Scorpian is not a word recognised even in word processors, being the adjective of all things Scorpio. In short a poor title.

2) The cover. I had the idea that a simple 'Dark Side of the Moon' prism disintegrating light would be a good idea. But with the change of name decided to focus on the burning barn - Jade Finn's mother's barn, which arsonist Robbie set ablaze almost the moment he arrived in Medieval Oakwood.
Again another howler.

3) Make it Free (at least for a while). Never. Never. Never. TSV had taken so long to write. It was (and still is) 150k words for God Sake. Surely you should be compensated. Well not really. Who in their right mind would buy a 150k tome from a new writer?

Funnily enough TSV has sold a number of copies on the usual platforms, but I wonder what might have been had I done what I originally intended for it.

One day, I may revisit this story, for in my heart I believe it worthy. I will change the name to the The Prism, and as this epic fantasy lends itself to a professional book cover I guess that will be in order too. Oh, and when I re-launch it - I'll probably give it away for a while.

Unfortunately, none of the above will  happen any time soon. When I move on I move on, and I am knocking out new stories now. The lesson that I have learned is don't fall too much in love with anything you do - after the one you're with there'll be others - and the more you do the better they get.

Best wishes


Monday, 7 October 2013

The Brent Street Haunting

Dear Reader

My sojourn went on until 30 Sept upon which I started the final copy edit of my second novel The Brent Street Haunting.

As written before on this blog, the above story was started toward the end of October last year, drafted mid January, and put through its big edit by end February. So the latter date was the last time I set eyes on it before the final copy edit (I subscribe to the Jane Austin practice of putting the story away for a long time before viewing again).

I have to say I am more than pleased with this paranormal thriller, and am looking forward to publishing it. The publication date should now be the weekend of 19/20 October.

It's good to get back to writing after 3 months of inactivity in which the mundane things of life have taken centre stage. The winter is coming and the short days are my favourite time to write. I am now looking for an idea on which to base a new novel, and am determined to write it over the next few months. This allows my third novel 'Duisburg Star' to lie fermenting for another few months before I revisit it.

So the busy days have arrived again. I've done several hours since finishing my day job at 4pm today. I spent some 7 hours with Brent Street yesterday - some weekend! So as you can imagine nothing else is getting done at home - Boredom is banished.

I'll give out more details of Brent Street ahead of publication. However in my humble opinion I can only recommend it. If nothing else it is a totally original story and there are few of them around these days.

Best wishes


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Duisburg, Brent Street and all


I must confess a huge amount of inertia  needed to be overcome before I could restart this blog. This is a consequence of my innate dislike of social media and blogs - the very things I should be using to publicise my work. So having bitten the bullet I resume on the back of a four week break from all writing activities.

This break which had long descended into stultifying boredom followed on the heels of my completing the draft of my third novel  - Duisburg. Duisburg is a provisional title, taken from a fictitious city in the American deep south. The action is centred upon the local paper - The Duisburg Star - and I may settle on this as the title or even simplify it to Duisburg Star, which could also allude to the heroine - young reporter Amy Simms. Either way, the mayhem visited upon Duisburg is orchestrated by my demon - deceased African witchdoctor Mr Coates.

Mr Coates is also central to my second novel - The Brent Street Haunting - a mix of poltergeist mayhem whirling around a tale of revenge and murder. Set in the north of England I expect to publish Brent Street in September. The heroine is Evangeline Weekes and the mystery twists and turns about her until her identity and motives are revealed.

Duisburg is 93k and Brent Street 75k. Both have been written within the past nine months. The former was drafted between early April and early July 2013, the latter between end October 2012 and early Jan 2013.

As I work full time and also have a home to run you will see this is quite a workload. I think this must be the reason I shun social media etc. I simply do not have the interest in downtime to put any energy into it.

On the other hand writing for me is a chemical addiction. Probably as potent as any Class A drug. I now feel certain that the whole activity of creation and fashioning these stories has altered the chemical balance of my brain.

After I have finished a story I feel I have accomplished something that relatively few do. Therefore I feel I have earned a break. Time to put my feet up. Time to pursue those leisure activities I've been promising myself for months. However, I never do. And after a couple of weeks I sink into a terrible boredom. Then comes the depression hard on its heels. A dark state in which inertia clamps me into complete inaction. Any sort of activity is resented. It is from the shackles of this state that I now burst free.

Already I feel the warm glow of the endogenous drugs thus inspired soothing my brain. So this is the plan. Brent Street will be published this September. It needs one last review, a cover (which I now have in my mind), the blurb finalised and then the button hit. I will then review and revise the first draft of Duisburg and put it away for six months. That should bring me to mid November, by which time I will have thought of something else to write - my fourth novel.

I will put Brent Street up on the usual platforms. I will tweet about it and publicise it on Facebook. It will be available on Smashwords free for a short promotional period before reverting to the cover price - so look out for it.

I'll keep this blog up to date now, until I start writing the fourth - when I no doubt will immerse myself in that world - whatever it may be.

So bye for now

Best wishes


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Brent Street, new novel

Hi folks,

I have decided to stick with my original plan and publish The Brent Haunting in the Summer of 2013. No doubt buoyed by the success of my short stories Double and Northern Star, I had an idea to bring forward the publication of Brent Street. But one thing that I've learned in writing and publishing is that patience is the most important virtue. And this for someone who is naturally impatient!

I wrote Brent Street from end October last year until mid-January this. I edited it straightway, with the view of putting it away for several months before doing the final edit (recommended). As the action takes place towards the end of Summer in late August until early October, I thought a good time to publish would be in the Summer months. After reflection I think this view was correct and so expect to see the novel out on the usual platforms July/August time.

In writing the most important thing is to creat great stories and that is what I am attempting to do. A new novel has been suggesting itself to me over the past few weeks and I have been working on the plot. It is a sequel to Brent Street, but only in that it features the demonic Mr Coates who once more is pulling the strings. I am spending some careful time on working out the plot and sub-plots of this story right now. I will then flesh out the situation and places and characters before beginning to write. I anticipated this to be a about 75k long, but I will proceed at a more leisurely pace to Brent Street and aim to get it done by Christmas, for publication sometime in 2014.

The other thing I intend to do is to keep this blog up to date. I hope to publish some insights into the themes which illuminate my work over the coming months. I hope these will be entertaining as well as informative.

Best wishes


Thursday, 14 February 2013


Dear Readers,

I will publish Double on Friday 22 February, Free on Smashwords (for a limited time) and on Amazon.

Here's a description of the little tale:

Alpha male David Black has the lot - a successful business, beautiful wife Miriam and two wonderful kids. That’s not to mention young Rachel Owen his sexy PA and mistress. Whilst on a family holiday David spots his double walking towards him on a pier. When he returns home from holiday David has to have a troublesome wisdom tooth removed. In order to meet the appointment with the dentist he cancels a business engagement with John Collis in Birmingham that promises much new work for his factory. On arriving back at his desk the day following the operation, David phones Collis to confirm the rearranged appointment. However he is shocked and bemused by the strange and outraged behaviour of the prospective client towards him. David certainly will not be getting this new business. Gamely he writes off Collis as a crank, but it is the dawning of his worst nightmare as Double goes on to take each and every opportunity to impersonate David with disastrous consequences for his business, marriage and relationship with Rachel. The mystery finally unravels as David is confronted face to face by Double whilst beginning a prison sentence for a crime he did not commit. David taunts his nemesis that he has overplayed his hand - taken the lot. But evil Double has one more thing he’d like from David...


Double is a disturbing paranormal mystery, the tale of a successful forty-something businessman haunted to breaking point by his double.
Best Wishes

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Northern Star published


I published Northern Star free on Smashwords.

Here's the link:

The story is also available on Amazon



Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Northern Star

Hi folks,

as promised in my previous post here is a synopsis and cover image for the fourth story in the Lucy Harlow detective series of short stories. It will be out free of charge on Smashwords this Saturday (9 Feb) and also will be available of Amazon. It is 9600 words long.


Rich wild child Carrie Marchant has made a phone movie of herself in the throes of ecstasy with a former lover Craig Stapleton, a rough diamond who she calls her Northern Star. But the clip has got into the wrong hands and a blackmailer is trying to extort a price from Carrie’s mother Rebecca. Carrie isn’t too bothered about who sees her in action, but Rebecca believing the blackmailer to be Stapleton calls in Lucy to investigate. However the enigmatic Sara Bradbury, Carrie’s elder sister, would much sooner brush things under the carpet and pay off the blackmailer. Lucy begins to understand why as she opens the can of worms that is Carrie’s life.


Northern Star is a tale of blackmail and murder and is the fourth in the Lucy Harlow detective series.

Writing etc

Hi folks,

I finished my latest novel, The Brent Street Haunting 10 January, and by 21 January I had been through it and made the necessary adustments to the first draft. I then put it away and set about revisiting a story that I wanted to publish just before Christmas, Summer Soldier. SS is a Lucy Harlow detective story and I was unhappy with it just before it was due for publication. I was too busy to give it the attention it needed as I was embroiled in Brent Street. Therefore, with Brent Street out the way for the time being, I revisited SS and made the adjustments that I thought necessary for it to be published.

However, I remain unhappy with the story. This is not a new emotion for me. I will not publish anything I am not happy with for whatever reason. A couple of my short stories from 10 years ago - Climb To The Stars and Season's End - remain unpublished for the same reasons. Never say never, and sometime if the mood takes me, I may well publish these and SS, but for the time being they will remain on the shelf.

So, that brings me round to what to do next. I am acutely aware that I have not been publishing enought lately. Opera Flowers - the third in the Lucy Harlow detective series of short stories came out in October last year. Since publishing stuff is just about the best publicity an aspiring author can get, it is about time I put something else up. Therefore, I will publish what is now the fourth Lucy Harlow story - Northern Star - this weekend. It will be free of charge on Smashwords and will also be available on Amazon. I will post seperately a synopsis and a cover image today.

Next up for publication will be Double, a mystery born out of the characters in Oxygen Restriction (the first Lucy Harlow). This is a paranormal story that I like very much and is an important landmark in my writing career. It will be out in a few weeks on Smashwords and Amazon. The Brent Street Haunting will follow a few weeks later (probably April).

Best Wishes


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Brent Street under review

Hi folks,

The Brent Street Haunting is now going through its first edit. I've been through about 15k words of the 76.5 k since Monday evening. It's easy to read and there is not an awful lot of correcting to do. I am doing both a copy edit and a line edit, with also an alteration of some of the proper names. For instance I was unsure about the name of the chemical company that is central to the location, so in the first draft I referred to it as the Company. Funily enough this works for most of the narrative and so will remain, but I did want to have a proper name from the start and so have opted for Albiston Chemicals. Similarly, one or two of the proper place names I used in the first draft needed some manipulation and that has been done.

I think I've said before that I wrote this on a right first time basis. After writing every portion (could vary from 500 to 1500 words) I stopped and went through what I'd written at least 3 times (sometimes more). This was obviously a line edit, but also with reference to the geography of the tale that I'd mapped out was also a copy edit. Thankfully, from what I've seen so far the practice seems to have worked. Indeed the most copy editing will be required in the early chapters of the book, and though there has been some it has been minimal. Therefore, I expect less as I go on, and the whole process should become a simple line edit.

I reckon I'll be through with this now in early February. I will write a short and long synopsis and then put the story to sleep for about 3 months. In the meantime I will publish, Summer Soldier, Northern Star and Double. Double is a great short story in its own right, and all this work will pave the way for Brent Street.

Best Wishes and Regards


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Brent Street Finished

Dear Readers

Yesterday, I finished my new novel, The Brent Street Haunting. I set out on October 30 last year to write a paranormal thriller of 75 k words. I have worked on it none stop until I put THE END after the final sentence yesterday. The book actually finished at 76.5 k so I more or less hit my target bang on. It took a little over ten weeks, so the maths are 7650/ week, around about 1100 a day. I write first in pencil in a notebook and then usually type up what I have written a few hours later. Like I have said before I work full time and am a single parent of young adults so it's been a big ask.

The book is more or less right as it is. There are some very minor changes I have in mind to place names, the name of one particular company (which I couldn't settle on before I set out), but other than that all I anticipate is a line edit.

I will start this on Monday, and expect it to last a leisurely 4 - 5 weeks. I will then do a synopsis (long and short) and seek someone to do a cover for me. I will put the text away for a few months and get on with publishing my other completed stories Summer Soldier, Norther Star and Double. This will enforce a much needed break from Brent Street, which I will revisit one more time before publication. I expect to look at it again in June and have August this year in mind for publication.

I am happy and relieved to have completed Brent Street. Until you put the full stop behind the last sentence it is not completed, it does not exist. But when the last word is written it has been created and is yours.

I look forward to 2013 as a year of publishing!

Best wishes


Saturday, 5 January 2013

Brent St. et al

Hi folks,

Here's an update on The Brent Street Haunting. The story passed 70k words today. I now have around another 5k to do. So God willing the story will be done in another week. Because of work and family committments, I was reluctant for the actual writing (the hard bit) to go on much into the New Year. So I'm pleased with the progress.
This has been a very structured project and I took the advice of a lady called Kristin Lamb, who in a very good article on writing put forward the view that thrillers should be around 75k words in length. On this basis I set out on 30 Oct.
The story has been relatively easy to write. I have stopped only about 4 or 5 times to check navigation and to read/review the road map of the tale. Nevertheless, writing fiction is one hell of a task, especially doing it in spare time, and the narrative has consumed me. I feel physically and mentally drained, and to be honest, even doing what should be the trivial task of completing the ending is a far more daunting experience than doing the first few chapters when the peak of Everest lay many thousand feet in the sky.
As a result of my preoccupation with Brent Street I have not written this blog often enough. I have hardly bothered with Twitter except for the most trite updates, and my Facebook presence remains ridiculously tenous. And most importantly I still have three completed stories to publish: Summer Soldier, Northern Star and the haunting Double.
Therefore, after completing Brent Street, I will focus on the other side of writing, namely publishing and marketing. The priorities will be to publish my existing work and to market it properly. Here I will focus my energies during 2013.
Summer Soldier and Northern Star will be available free of charge. I was going to publish Summer soldier - a Lucy Harlow series detective short story - over the festive period. But I was not happy with it, and with the all-consuming Brent Street I did not have the time or the energy to make the necessary changes, review/revise and publish. Therefore, this litte tale will be attended to in the Quarter 1, along with Northern Star - a blackmail story in the Lucy Harlow series.
Next will come the stupendous Double. This is a paranormal mystery born out of the characterisation in the Lucy Harlow series. I have high hopes for this story. I haven't even looked at it since it was drafted, reviewed and revised, in the very early summer, (June 2012 I think), but I reckon it by far and away the best story of the six I did in the first half of 2012.
During writing Double I realised what I wanted to do. A lot of my material contained a paranormal theme, but Double settled me firmly into this genre, mysteries and thrillers being my forte.
As a result, Brent Street followed. This full length novel is the best of the lot, and I have a date in the Summer of 2013 in mind for publication (after the other three).

Therefore, my resolution this year, besides losing weight and cutting down the booze, is to deliver these stories to you.

Best wishes and a Happy New Year to you all.