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Sober for October

I know, this is something I never expected to say, but there it is: I’ve been sober for all of October. It’s in a good cause, of course, for Macmillan Cancer Support – they do good work for people with cancer and their families. I’ve lost a little weight and feel a bit better –…

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Dead Silent

The final book in the Jaared Sen Quartet Hell hounds, monsters and the end of the world Unexplained disasters are growing in number across the world: forest fires, floods, earthquakes, mud slides, dormant volcanoes suddenly becoming active. Something isn’t right. The Council of Seven Kings, a shadowy group older than the Priory of Sion and…

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Book of the Dead

De temporum signis On the Signs of the Times Bodies keep appearing on the streets of London – each one mutilated before death, inscribed with a quotation by the long-dead heretic Giordano Bruno. Meanwhile, a young man is found dead in a warehouse, his right hand missing. He’s the pretender to a vacant throne. Enter…

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I’ve joined the LitReactor Team!

Well, here’s a turn-up for the books! I’ve just joined the LitReactor Team, providing news stories throughout the week. If you don’t know LitReactor, here’s a bit from their “About…” section. It’s a destination for writers to improve their craft; a haven for readers to geek out about books; and a platform to kickstart your…

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Banned Books Week 2012

The pointlessness of banning books So, it’s Banned Books Week again. I figured it must be time to read at least one, probably for the second time. And as I haven’t read it for a while, I decided on To Kill a Mockingbird. But I couldn’t find my copy. So I went to download one.…

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My first writer’s retreat

You could do a lot worse than go to a writer’s retreat in a chateau in rural France – a lot worse! I’ve never been to one of these before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Having been to a literary festival at the beginning of September, I received an invitation to speak about self-publishing at this massive house at the end of the month. I thought ‘could be useful/interesting/beneficial to my business’ and booked flights. MBH (My Better Half) decided she wanted to go too, this time, so even better. Preparing for it focused my mind on a few things, not least of which, how do I…

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Gulp!

What have I agreed to?!? Oh sure, I’ve sent out manuscripts and contacted more publishers,and agents than I could shake that proverbial stick at. But I’ve never done a verbal pitch to either. That’s all changing tomorrow when I have 30 seconds to pitch to an agent from a big London agency. I repeat, ‘gulp!’ I blame my mate. He said “It’ll be fun – you’ll enjoy it.” And at the time, it seemed like a good idea. (He’s since been afflicted with nerves, too, so there is some justice.) Now, nerves are setting in. I’m pitching something I started a while back, but put to one side while I…

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“I‘m alive and I‘m here.”

Reflections and my new life So, it’s the day after 9/11. I can’t really believe it’s been eleven years since I sat watching that day unfold on television in my kitchen. But then, I can’t believe I’ve been married to my wife for those eleven years, too. The media is understandably fixated on the anniversary (well, everyone but NBC, it seems) and I can understand that. It was an event that changed our lives. Okay, I’m not going to navel gaze about the impact and the fallout from the destruction of the two towers – that’s not why I called you here. I was reading an article by one of…

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No good advice ever turned away

“The reader is god” My fellow writer, Joanna Penn, author of Pentecost and Prophecy, was privileged to attend Thrillerfest 2012 last month – yes, I know, I’m getting slower – and she picked up some great tips and pointers from some of the stars of the thriller genre. People like Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver and C J Lyons. You can read the whole post here – but I thought I’d pull out the points that resonated with me, particularly about writing. “When a character is hanging by two fingers, chop one off.” Sophie Littlefield, author “The reader is god.” C J Lyons, author, quoting Jeffrey Deaver “How to make your…

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Guest author Marissa Carmel on her new book

As I’m away enjoying the south of France, I’m hosting Marissa Carmel this week – enjoy! DF   You plan, God laughs.  This is the story of my life.   There are ideals and expectations I assume everyone has; whom you will marry, what your career will be like, where you will raise your kids. And yes, I had all those ideologies in my head, except mine were more like, have a career, don’t get married and absolutely no kids.  Boy was I wrong. Today I am married with two kids, and living in a state I only passed through on occasion. And my career? Well let’s just say, I have more than one, and I never saw that coming.…

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I’m turning into Victor Meldrew

Over the years, I’ve been called “grumpy”, “a curmudgeon” and “moody”, terms which I never think actually apply to me. I like to think I’m generally a happy person, I have friends, don’t I? But maybe they do apply. For those of you who don’t know, Victor Meldrew was a character in a situation comedy called One Foot in the Grave in the 90’s starring Richard Wilson. It’s based around the annoying events that happen to a retired older gentlemen (the aforesaid V Meldrew) who’s catchphrase became “I don’t belieeeeeve it!” and his long-suffering wife. Here’s a sample. It became so ubiquitous that I think he quit the series just…

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Book of the Dead is out!

I was sitting in the garden last night wondering what to write about for my blog post today (and thinking of something boring, most likely). I flipped the iPad open and did my daily search for me on Amazon. As you do. And there it was. Book of the Dead was finished and dusted ages ago and has only just appeared on the book sites. It’s a good feeling to see it there. So it’s out. You can now get it in dead tree (trade paperback) format or as Kindle download. Don’t worry, other ereader formats will be forthcoming and I’ll let you know. Go buy it now. Where to…

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