Sunday, 26 January 2014

Another corking review of 'The Watchman'

Well, what can I say? I am, as they say, made up (but not in the mascara and lipstick way, of course - it's a Sunday). I mean I'm chuffed, stoked, touched, buzzed and don't even care about the incessant rain (today).

The reason?

Marina Sofia, writing for the review site Crime Fiction Lover (as its name says on the tin, the review place for die-hard fans of crime fiction), has penned an absolute corking review of 'The Watchman' (published by Severn House in hardback on 30th January) right here.

I won't put any excerpts here except one, because I'd prefer you to read Marina's words for yourself - and brilliant words they are, too.

But this one really made me smile: "...contains some of the most explosive opening chapters I have read in a long time. Give this man a Bond film script to play with!"

Thank you, Marina - what lovely sentiments. I'm pretty sure I'm not equipped to handle a film script... but I wouldn't mind if there's a production company out there looking for an idea to run with!

Made my day, this.

'The Watchman' - out in hardback on Thursday 30th January (UK) and elsewhere in May (also then as an ebook). But you can order a signed copy wherever you are from Goldsboro Books in London (they mail everywhere).


Friday, 24 January 2014

First pub'd review of 'The Watchman'

Okay (or OK, as my publishers prefer), I'm a sucker for kind words about my books - especially the latest ones just out.

And John Forrester has been extremely kind reviewing 'The Watchman' in The Crime Scene  - with such memorable buzz words we authors really go for, such as 'thrilling read, 'hard to put down', 'really enjoy this one' and 'The author seems to really understand what he is talking about...' (I couldn't really comment, of course).

What a nice man! Thank you, John. I really appreciate the words. A great boost to the writing arm and brain, which, at certain times of the year, are not always as fully connected as one might like.

Other writers will know what I mean.

'The Watchman' - out on the 30th January and available from all good bookstores and a few bad ones.

Signed copies will shortly be available from Goldsboro Books in London's Cecil Court (near Leicester Square), otherwise known as Diagon Alley. They also ship ANYWHERE.

I think.

Possibly not to Puffin Island, but that's because they don't have credit cards. Puffins, I mean.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Update to 'Writing Stuff' tab - see above.

The new Writing Magazine is out, with a new 'Beginners' page and New Author profile (Alex Blackmore).


Getting settled.

There are many ways of getting used to a new house and location. Doing lots of the normal moving-in cosmetic jobs is one; making it look and feel like home is another.

For a writer, there's a somewhat more basic requirement, too - and that's finding a place to write.

With a new project on the go, which I was forced by the move to leave alone since before Christmas, I found myself beginning to chomp at the bit when I couldn't concentrate because I hadn't really fixed on where to set up my 'space'. Some of it depended on phone points and where to get a good signal (which cut out the kitchen because that's like being inside a cement block).

However, now I've got a compromise which works well. I've created a work space for the concentrated stuff and research, which has allowed me to stretch out and have some room. It does have its dangers, like paper overflow and filling a space just because it's there, but it does have a restricted outlook, so I shouldn't get too distracted.

For general work when I'm feeling more flexible (dare I say casual?), I can use some other space like the dining room table, kitchen or wherever. Of course, there may be a little competition for that from other members of the house, but if I get there early enough...

Right now I'm looking forward to the release of 'The Watchman' (30 January in hardback), which brings an entirely new character onto the spy thriller scene. It's a tense moment having a book published, never mind with a new main character to introduce, but time, as they say, will tell.

At least having my work space ready, I can't put off my writing any longer.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

We're back (for real)

Belay and abort that reference to and not having access to my normal email. Through the mysteries of electronics, I now have all my old emails back (and my old email name - - in case you're wondering).

No idea why it all had to happen and have been left with the feeling that it wasn't THEIR fault... if you know what I mean.

Still, on and up. Shall put away the clay effigies and extra long pins, and get on with work, which is now pressing.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

I'm still here!

Well, after a fashion.

Sincere apologies to anyone trying to contact me via email. It's a long story and too tiresome to go into; suffice to say I am waiting for my email to be re-instated so that I can (a) get my contacts list back and (be) reply to any outstanding emails from before the 16th December.

In the meantime, my temp email is

Oddly enough, I can still get Twitter and everything else, just not my old email.

Maybe it was the house move. They say moving is one of the most stressful things. Try adding two stressed cats, a ditto wife... and trying to get sense from a service provider. My stress levels were so high even Prof Brian Cox wouldn't have been able to find them.

However, January is a time for new things, so I'm chilling. New year (HNY to all). New House (well, old new if you know what I mean). New location (lots of trees). And a new book.

'The Watchman' is out on 30th January, and I'm hoping for good things to come from it.

It was a bit of a change of direction, and a thus a challenge. But something I wanted to try (as did my publishers). I think it works... well, hell, of course it works. It's a spy thriller and darker-edged than the Harry Tate novels, and ventures into a whole new character, Marc Portman.

His name is Portman. A professional shadow, a watcher who provides protection in hostile situations, he works in the background, stays off the record. Often the people he's guarding have no idea he's there.
When two British intelligence agents are despatched to negotiate the release of western hostages in Somalia, veteran MI6 operator Tom Vane realizes that something about this operation doesn't stack up. He covertly hires deep cover specialist Marc Portman to protect them.
Hiding in the wild, lawless land on the Kenyan/Somali border, Portman soon realizes that the British Intelligence Services have been double-crossed. Can he survive long enough to keep his charges alive and prevent a catastrophe?

Signed copies will be available for those that want one, from the admirable and ever-supportive Goldsboro Books in London.

Otherwise, your usual purveyor of reading materials will be able to supply an unsigned copy.

I hope this year is a belter for all of you, writers and readers.