I am a writer. Or at least, I hope I will soon be a published writer! Here you will find details of my writing projects; the latest status of each book and more. In time there will be more information, including snippets from the books and more details of the worlds created. For now click here to jump to the current books being readied for publication; or scroll down to read more about my writing.
About my writing
For as long as I can remember I have always loved to write. The challenge of being given a new notebook and thinking: Hmm. Now, what can I fill this with? And normally that answer has been a story of some type!
Even years back in school, I often asked for more time in creative writing so I could finish crafting the story I had in mind, rather than submitting a 4-page “…and then I woke up and it was all a dream”. (That’s what the teacher was probably expecting and hoping for!) Well, I blame the late Mr. Telford, my primary teacher years ago at Steps Cross School in Torquay. An excellent teacher, he fostered both a love of books and a passion for creating imaginary worlds and characters. That’s where it began, but who knows where it will end?
Perhaps writing is also a balance? My career involves crunching facts, maps and science; sometimes it seems that the imaginative output must be my brain rebounding, like some giant elastic band. Yet the desire to write has long been there, maturing and becoming more professional. All the time not just writing, but reading from many different authors and genres, learning how to better convey my own worlds onto paper.
Where to next?
Over the past years, prompted by friends, the realisation arose that maybe I should start to do something with all this imagination. (Rather than letting it moulder in piles of A4, on old memory sticks, or in the little grey cells.) Especially so given that I also edit and get the work into as good a shape as I am capable of. But more time passed before I plucked up the courage to begin sending out the first synopsis to agents, and… Well, let’s see where the adventure leads.
Do I see myself as the next J. K. Rowling or Iain M Banks? No; of course I don’t. I certainly love to craft and tell stories, though, and I believe there are readers who will find interest and inspiration in them. I also believe – with the right marketing and editorial support – that the stories are viable publications. Furthermore, I think (thinks furiously) that may well go down the self-publishing route to achieve that. At which point this entire website will become much more flash, with links to sales channels…!
The books underway are as follows. Check back to see what new developments are happening: even as I work my way through these, more storylines are flowing in. Also check back to see if the each book has moved closer to publication (although I will certainly mention that on the front page)!
Set in the present day, SUNSET tells the epic story across four books of a group of friends caught up in a war that is not theirs. A story not just of war, but of the changes it wreaks on them as they discover a wider universe. In the first book of the series they are kidnapped, the experience forging them with strong bonds which they will need in all they are to face: for even as they try to escape, the Earth itself is invaded by unknown forces. Successive books in the series trace their fortunes as they journey deeper into the worlds of both war and hope.
Status: All four books edited, looking for agent; blog here with more details.
- THE RESCUE YEAR
THE RESCUE YEAR takes place many years in the future. This is neither a future dominated by technological marvels, nor a post-apocalyptic world. Two illicit traders from The Isles, Ewan Rogart and Evie Yatoub, travel through a landscape where entropy has taken hold; a country where progress and hope are fading. But when Ewan rescues a young woman who turns out to be one of the feared and hated “Snatchers”, their lives are changed.
Status: Typed, at final copy edit stage. Read a blog here about the story.
(Note: Given COVID colliding with some of the ‘backstory’ in this one, I have decided to delay the intended self-publishing).
- ONCE UPON A VALLEY
A ‘fairy tail from a maybe future’. ONCE UPON A VALLEY is a story set in a time where Messengers provide a vital link between the Government of the Realm and its outlying territories. The novice Messenger Kris Donaldson is despatched to the remote township of Weissdale with what should be a simple message… But the answer he seeks will be anything but simple, as he tries to understand both the faraway little valley and the enigmatic Lady Eleena.
Status: Typed, with proofreaders. Read a blog here about the story.
- MARQUIS OF THE SOUTHERN VALE
It is a time of war and the rumblings of distant wars. Surely these troubles cannot come to the Southern Vale, thinks the young MARQUIS OF THE SOUTHERN VALE. Yet come it must and will, and his fleet of ‘flying fox’ hydrofoils will be in demand, however much he wants to resist the call to fight. The missions he must undertake will destroy him, his friends and family – and then redeem him.
Status: 60% written – COVID restrictions limited the possibility of a field trip to locations, hopefully in 2022…
When Peter Berwick moves to the Shetland Isles in HAMEFARIN, he keeps himself to himself. He especially tries to keep his origins a secret as he hides from a shadowy government organisation; an organisation he has unwittingly uncovered. Yet despite his best attempts to remain covert he is discovered; plunging himself and everyone around him into danger, including his new friendship with fellow incomer Anna Stone.
Status: 40% written (re-write underway; awaiting a site visit to complete).
- Other books underway include THREADS, THE WINTER YEAR (a follow-on to The Rescue Year), SONGS OF THE LOST, A LONELY MISSION, ROGNVALD, and NEW DAWN (this latter is a fifth addition to the Sunset saga). But for more details on all of those, you will have to wait!
The observant amongst you will have noticed above that in my writing I am very much ‘old school’: I work best with pen and paper to craft my worlds. This of course means everything has to be typed up before the heavy editing can begin! Still, it also means that I can scribble down the ideas that come to me anywhere… be it on a long train journey, in a coffee shop, or just while commuting to work on Merseyrail or the Mersey Ferry.
Thus, each new story doesn’t come exactly together overnight. I’m quite happy with that for now, though, given that I am also in full-time work! That being said, The Rescue Year, has taken me just 11 months from idea to being written, typed up, and second set of edits complete; whilst Once Upon a Valley took only a few months longer.
Finally, and importantly, if you think that you want to write a book, then go on and do it. Just sit down and write, even if it’s only a few paragraphs each day. That’s advice I have myself repeatedly been given by ‘real’ authors. Commit yourself, work at what you write, and make use of the multitude of advice that’s out there. The Writers and Artists Yearbook is a good source for some of that. Oh, and read lots of other authors!
Now granted I’m not a published author (yet!), but I reckon that if your primary urge to write is to become a wealthy best-seller, perhaps you need to make sure that your skills match your ambition. There’s plenty of courses out there which may help you in that. But (more importantly) if you want to write because you have some stories you want to share with the world; which you believe the world needs to hear; which you have long nurtured a dream on; then try. If you don’t, you will always wonder what might have been. And what might have been is something we never know.
“To know what would have happened, child?” said Aslan. “No. Nobody is ever told that.”
C. S. Lewis, Prince Caspian
Page updated 08/02/22