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