Writing

This part of the website is dedicated to my writing projects; providing information on the latest status of each book and more. In time I will add downloads including snippets and short stories. For now, click here to zoom down to the list of current stories being readied for publication, or continue reading for more about my writing.

Picture of writing and coffee mug

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 when given a creative writing task at school, I remember asking for more time so that I could finish crafting the story I had in mind, rather than the 4 page “…and then I woke up and it was all a dream” that the teacher was probably expecting (and hoping for)! Well, for that I blame the late Mr. Telford, my primary teacher all those years ago at Steps Cross School Torquay. An excellent teacher, he fostered both a love of books and a love of creating imaginary worlds and characters. That’s where it began, but who knows where it will end?

Is writing a balance? With my career involving number-crunching, facts, maps and science, it sometimes seems the imaginative output is the brain rebounding, like some giant elastic band. But that’s not quite so; the desire to write has long been there, maturing and becoming something approaching professional as I read wider and wider from many different authors and genres, learning better how to convey my own worlds onto paper.

Over the past few years, prompted by many friends, the realisation arose that maybe 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 don’t just write, but edit, proofread and generally get the work into as good a shape as my biased eyes are capable of. But more time passed before I plucked up the courage to begin sending out the first synopsis to agents who might be interested, and… Well, let’s see where the adventure leads.

Do I see myself as the next J. K. Rowling or John Grisham? No, I have to be honest; of course I don’t. I certainly love to craft and tell stories, though, and believe there are readers who would 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 I will go down the self-publishing route if needs be to achieve that. At which point this entire website will dramatically change, becoming much more flash with links to sales channels…!

Current projects

The books underway are as follows, and more details of these will be added throughout the year. Check back to see what new developments are in store; even as I work my way through those listed below, more storylines are flowing in. Also check back to see if the status of each book has moved closer to publication!

  • SUNSET
    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, and the changes it wreaks on them as they discover a wider world. In the first book in the series the group are kidnapped, the experience forging them with strong bonds which they will need in all they are to face, even as the Earth itself is invaded by unknown forces. The 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, but this is not a future dominated by technological marvels; nor is it a post-apocalyptic world. Instead two illicit traders from The Isles, Ewan Rogart and Evie Yatoub, travel through a landscape where entropy has taken hold and 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, with proofreaders.
  • MARQUIS OF THE SOUTHERN VALE
    It is a time of war and the rumblings of distant wars. Surely these wars 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 foxes’ hydrofoils will be in urgent demand, however much the young incomer to Vale wants to resist the call to fight. The missions he must undertake will first destroy him, his friends and family, threaten the peaceful lands – and then redeem him.
    Status: 20% written.
  • HAMEFARIN
    When Peter Berwick moves to the Shetland Isles in HAMEFARIN, he keeps himself to himself, his origins a mystery as he tries to hide from a shadowy government organisation; an organisation he has unwittingly uncovered. Yet despite his best attempts to remain covert, including a new friendship with the enigmatic Anna Stone, he is discovered; plunging himself and everyone around him into danger.
    Status: 80% written (undergoing a full re-write).
  • Other books underway include Threads, The Winter Year, Songs of the Lost, A Lonely Mission, Rognvald and New Dawn (this latter a fifth addition to the Sunset saga) – but for more details on those, you will have to wait!

 

A confession

The observant amongst you will have noticed that in my writing I am very much ‘old school’; I work best with pen and paper to craft my worlds. This does of course mean that everything has to be typed up before the heavy editing can start, but 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 together overnight. I’m quite happy with that for now, though, given that I am also in full-time work! That being said, my most recent completion, The Rescue Year, has taken me just 11 months from idea to being written, typed up, and first set of edits complete.

Closed notebook and fountain pen

Some Advice

Finally, if you think that you want to write a book, then do it. And to do that, just sit down and write, even if it’s only a few paragraphs each day – that’s advice I have repeatedly been told by ‘real’ authors. Commit yourself to what you want to achieve, 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.

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. But if (more importantly) you want to write because you have some stories you want to share with the world; which you believe the world needs to hear; then try.

If you don’t, you will always wonder what might have been. And that is something we never know.

 

Page updated 18/02/19