Working with others…

Last year, our local writing group, the Lichfield Writers, decided to create a joint project for the second successive year and and The Lichfield Jigsaw Murders is now available. This book proved to be very interesting, not just in the writing stage, but also in the editing phases of production. I learned quite a lot about editing from this exercise. Continue reading “Working with others…”

Life in Japan can be strange at times

I’m reprinting my Tokyo thriller, At the Sharpe End (it’s available as an ebook already). Strangely, my first two books (Beneath Gray Skies is the other) are the last ones that I have republished in print, following the demise of Inknbeans Press.

The book is about technocrime, fintech, and spies and agents insinuating their way into the lives of a very ordinary British expat scratching a living in Tokyo. It’s a little far-fetched in places, but there are some rather interesting predictions and coincidences in there.

However, looking through the text to reprint it, I’m still quite pleased with the adventures of the eponymous hero, Kenneth Sharpe. Tokyo is a strange place to live, and strange things do happen to those who choose to live and work there. I’m not saying that the exact interactions and events that happened to Sharpe also happened to me, but strange and bizarre things have happened in the past.

Continue reading “Life in Japan can be strange at times”

One year on

It was just over a year ago (in fact, it was about 1:30am on Christmas morning 2017) that I read an email from a friend informing me that my publisher, editor, and friend, Jo Lowe of Inknbeans Press, had died.

The news was not totally unexpected, but it hit me hard, and Christmas last year was very much a matter of smiling on the outside and grieving on the inside. Since then, I have had to pick up the pieces, not only of my emotional life (for I, like all who knew her, I think, was more than a little in love with this lady whom most of us had never met in person), but of my life as a writer.

Continue reading “One year on”

Agatha Raisin – second thoughts

After my review of one of M.C.Beaton’s books, in which I basically trashed the story, the editing, and the characterisation, I read other reviews of the book on Amazon and discovered that Dead Ringer was atypical. So, being the generous soul that I am, I decided to try again.

Continue reading “Agatha Raisin – second thoughts”

Coming to a bookstore near you…

…that is, if you live in or near Sutton Coldfield. I went to Waterstone’s today with some books, and talked to the manager about the possibility of doing a signing or reading event there. He seemed quite interested, and I left him with the Adventures of Sherlock Ferret, a Lichfield Murder, and two of Jim McGrath’s Collins and Clark Mysteries: A Death in Winter: 1963 and A Death in Summer: 1965.

If anything happens before Christmas, it’s likely to be ferret-related, but Jim and I may get a shot at a joint presentation in the New Year.

Watch this space.

Do reviews matter?

As someone who has been asked to provide reviews of others’ books (and has sometimes failed to provide them – mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa), and also as someone who writes books and welcomes reviews, this is a subject about which I have opinions.

When I published my first book, Beneath Gray Skies, I was convinced, as are all new authors, that I had written a masterpiece, and that the hundreds of positive four- and five-star reviews it would garner would send it to the top of the best-seller lists.

By the way, this old promotional video uses an old URL – this site is now the place to be!
Continue reading “Do reviews matter?”

It’s new font time…

Anyone who knows anything about the booky side of me knows that I love fonts. I try not to be too gimmicky about them and I avoid a lot of the “script” and “brush” fonts, as I’m not really a graphic designer doing posters, but I do try to find a font for a book body that suits the content.

For example…

Continue reading “It’s new font time…”

Welcome

Featured

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This site allows me to share my thoughts as a writer, and to tell you something about my books, and the processes behind their creation.

(December 2018) I have recently added a sales feature to the site, meaning that you can buy (using PayPal) ebook copies of my books for Kindle and other e-reading devices.

I also hope that in the future, I will be able to publish my conversations with other authors on here and provide considerably more general information on books, writing, and life, the universe and everything.

In the meantime, enjoy looking round the site.

 

And that’s probably it for today

Banana choco
A weird, but seemingly popular, food sold at festivals etc. in Japan. I’ve never had the courage to try one!

I’ve come further with this site than I thought I would. Just put up another page of unclassifiable books. Since I don’t stick to one genre all the time, it’s inevitable that there will be some outliers which refuse to fall neatly into one category.

However, some of these have been the most fun to write, and have attracted a fair amount of critical acclaim. Tales of Old Japanese gets almost universal praise, and I suppose it is the most “literary” of all my published writing. You might want to give it a go – although the protagonists of the stories are older Japanese people, you might find yourself identifying with them and their predicaments.

There’s also an attempt at a Father Brown pastiche. Much more difficult than a Sherlock Holmes pastiche for a variety of reasons.

 

What’s in a genre?

P5270047I’ve entitled one of my pages “Historical SF“, but what is historical science fiction, and where, if at all, does it differ from alternative history?

I try to give some sort of answer to this on the page, but probably one of the best answers I can give is my YouTube talk on Angels Unawares, my science fiction story set in Renaissance Italy, and an Islamic country at the same time, which you can find on the same page. The video also includes me reading the first chapter, so you can get an idea of what the book is about.

It’s a genre I am rather fond of, and one where I hope to be writing more in the future.

In the meantime, enjoy this trailer for The Untime Revisited.

Just added my thrillers to the site

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I’ve just added three more of my books to this site. They’re not my best sellers, but in some ways they’re the ones I’m most pleased with.

I started off with At the Sharpe End, crossing, double-crossing and triple-crossing at the time of the 2008 bank crisis. Set in Tokyo.

I particularly liked writing Leo’s Luck – it’s an insane romp through sex, rock and roll, and the paranormal. It made me laugh at the antics of its characters at times, and I hope it will do the same for you.

Or, of you want a hard-boiled thriller, check out Balance of Powers (currently a free download), dealing with the problems of an Afghan vet coming back to his Ohio home in 2007 .

More details on the Thrillers page.