Saturday, February 4, 2017

Something a little different

After completing and editing my first novel, I decided to write something a little different. It was an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a few months and was inspired by TV programs I grew up with such as 'Tales of the Unexpected' and 'The Twilight Zone'.

The resulting short story, 'True Colours', is now included in the anthology 'Liminal Time, Liminal Space', published by Between the Lines Publishing.

The anthology is available in both paperback and eBook and can be found at the following;

Amazon UK
Amazon US

It's an eclectic collection of prose and poetry 'Exploring the Worlds Between.'

If you want something a little out of the ordinary, then why not give it a try. And please don't forget to leave a review.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Happily Never After

During the last Crime and Publishment event at The Mill Forge in Gretna, an interesting discussion started as everyone prepared to pitch their work to an agent.

Should we, a group of crime writers, put our heads together and produce a charity anthology of short stories?

A Lot of discussions ensued and we collectively decided to go for a theme of Crime and Marriage.

A great deal of work later, not least by Morgen Bailey and Janet Williamson who put the anthology together, the collection is now ready for you to buy for Kindle from Amazon. (iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble versions will follow).

The paperback is available here.

My story, "Fallout", is included amongst 21 other fantastic tales.

It's all for a great cause, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, so give it a try. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Plans for 2016.

I've been a little remiss in keeping the blog up to date in the last 12 months. This was mainly due to my need to complete my debut novel and get it into a condition that I could start to submit to agents. Well, job done. I've completed the novel 'The Apocalypse Protocol' and polished it as much as possible. I've sent it to a couple of trusted friends to give me an honest appraisal and, once they've done that, I'll be submitting to agents.

Obviously, I can't just stop there. I'm now working on the sequel so that I'm ahead of the game when the first novel gets published.

So, what else have I been up to over the last year? Well, I spent another very good weekend at Crime & Publishment at The Mill Forge in Gretna which, as always, was excellent. I pitched my novel to a publisher and was told that I should be aiming higher. I should be pitching it "to the big boys" to begin with, anyway. So that's the plan.

As far as 2016 goes, I'll be attending The Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate again this year. The atmosphere and chance to chew the fat with other writers is well worth the trip.

The rest of my time, if I have any, will be taken up on other writing projects including acting as an advisor to an established thriller writer on his next project.

I'll keep the blog more up to date, promise, and put up details of any news on my submissions.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Snatched From Home

On Thursday night, I went along to the launch of 'Snatched From Home' by my good friend Graham Smith. Waterstones Carlisle were great hosts and even the Costa coffee shop stayed open especially for attendees. It was standing room only as Matt Hilton introduced and interviewed the man of the hour about his debut novel.
The whole event went really well and I'm over the moon for Graham for his success.
It was also a chance to catch up with other good friends who had managed to get along to the evening. Sheila Quigley, Mike Craven, Lucy Cameron, Michael J Malone, Linda Wright, Col Bury, Ian McAdam, Jackie Baldwin and Christine Huntley.
A Great Success and a book well worth reading. Try it at the link below.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hello 2015

It's that time of year again when we all make New Year's resolutions and stick to them for at least a week. Just as I did last year, I won't be making any resolutions, just plans for the year. So, here they are.

I've spent the last few months working on a novel so the first thing I need to do is complete it. A few thousand words left to do and then some editing. Hopefully, I can see it published in the near future.

I am attending the Crime and Publishment weekend, in Gretna, again this year. I can highly recommend it for all who want to take their writing seriously. Click on this link for information and get yourself to Gretna, in March to join us.

Crime & Publishment

My home town, Carlisle, has its first Crime Writing weekend in June 2015. I've been looking forward to this since they first announced it and will be going along to as much as I can fit in.

Carlisle Crime Writing Weekend

In July, I'll be going to Harrogate to attend the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. It will be my first time there but I have planty of friends who can show me around.

Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

In 2014, two of my friends signed publishing contracts with Caffine Nights Publishing for their debut crime novels.

Graham Smith - Snatched from home
Mike Craven - Born in a Burial Gown

I wish them the best of luck and hope to see them in the best seller lists. Keep your eyes open for them.

I would also like to recommend other friends who have books to look out for or coming up in 2015.

Matt Hilton - The Shadows Call. A thrilling supernatural tale based on real events.
                      The Devil's Anvil. Book 10 in the excellent Joe Hunter series.
Michael J. Malone -  The Guillotine Choice. A fantastic true story of injustice and courage in the same vein as 'Papillon'.

You won't be disappointed with any of these books. They are all compelling stories from writers at the top of their game.

For the rest of 2015 I plan to write, write, write. Finish my current novel and get most of the next one down.

Good luck with your own writing and plans for 2015.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Crime and Publishment 2015

I have been along to the last two Crime and Publishment weekends. I found a great deal of value in every session. Being shown how to improve my writing by published novelists has had a great impact on my writing style and, I like to think, quality.

The chance to pitch a novel to a publisher or agent is worth the cost of the weekend on its own. Two fellow attendees of Crime and Publishment have received publishing contracts as a direct result.

Anyone who wants to further their writing career to any level should come along to Gretna. I've always had a great time, at a great location and made some wonderfil friends.

I've already booked my place for 2015, wouldn't miss it for the world.

Are you looking to improve your writing and secure a publishing contract?
If you are then check out Crime and Publishment crime writing courses held at The Mill near Gretna Green.
So far we have had two of our attendees awarded contracts.
At only £275 for 7 sessions and 2 nights accommodation it's great value for money. Sessions include Gripping Your Reader and Fact in Fiction.
Full details can be found at

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shadows and Light

A charity anthology put together by Andrew Scorah to benefit Women's Aid. Superb stories from great authors and all in a worthy cause. Now available on Kindle and in Paperback from Amazon.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Plans for 2014

Well, here we are in 2014 and, as yet, I haven't made any New Year Resolutions. I never manage to keep them anyway. What I've done instead is think of what I want to achieve and then made plans for 2014 to steer me in the right direction. So, in no particular order, these are my plans for the coming months.
  • Finish the first draft of my current work in progress
This will be an action thriller that introduces a new character but also features Frank McGill, the character I created in the short stories 'Blood on Their Hands' and 'An Eye for An Eye'.
I went along to this weekend at The Mill Forge in Gretna in 2013 and I'm all set up to be there again in 2014. Excellent workshops combined with the opportunity to network with established and aspiring writers make it invaluable for anyone who takes their writing seriously. It's also a weekend in beautiful surrounding with good food and great company.
  • Experiment with some different genres
I tend to write action thrillers because that's what I enjoy reading most. Writers like Frederick Forsyth, Gerald Seymour, Jack Higgins, Andy McNab, Chris Ryan, Stephen Leather and Matt Hilton fill up my bookshelves. In among the thrillers though, are a few other genres. I enjoy the horror stories of James Herbert, Stephen King and Clive Barker; the science fiction of H G Wells and novels by George Orwell, Alexandre Dumas and Harper Lee.
Last year, I wrote a quick horror story for Halloween and thoroughly enjoyed. This year I intend to experiment with different genres to see how I get on. 
  • Lastly, I must read more.
My books to read pile is getting bigger and I really must get through some of it. As Stephen King said;

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that" 

So, there you have it. I may add more goals to this list but, if I can concentrate on these, I'll be well on the way to where I want to be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Special

Here's a short story I put together especially for Halloween. Hope you enjoy it...
Road Kill
Jack Shaw’s bladder was close to bursting. He had finished a whole flask of coffee to keep him awake on the long drive north. He drove as fast as he dare in the poor visibility, hoping to see some lights, but wasn't having any luck. There were no service stations or all night garages in this part of the Highlands and houses were pretty scarce too...

Read the rest of the story here

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Crime and Publishment

Earlier this year, I went to the Crime and Publishment writing weekend in Gretna. For three days I learned from the likes of Matt Hilton, Sheila Quigley, Inga McVicar and Alan Guthrie. The advice they gave was priceless. It changed my writing and took it in a direction that I'm much happier with. All in all, it was a great weekend learning, socialising and making new friends.

The good news is, Crime and Publishment 2014 will be taking place in March. The programme for 2014 includes Zoe Sharp, Michael J. Malone, Chris Ewan, Inga McVicar, Darren Laws and Graham Smith.

Any budding writers, anyone who wants to improve their writing or writers who just want a pleasurable weekend in the company of like minded folk should take a look at this.

I'm going to this in 2014 and highly recommend it to everyone.