Saturday, 30 May 2015

I love these people!!!


Just issued in the UK in hardback by the excellent Severn House (in August elsewhere) - my second Marc Portman spy thriller, 'Close Quarters' - has hit the ground running, if current reviews are any judge.

It gets a *Starred* review from Booklist:

Magson’s Marc Portman series gets better with each new installment—more taut, more adventurous, more twisted, more violent and with another gripping story line and the same brave, clever, likable hero.
Portman’s latest mission is to rescue Ed Travis, a U.S. State Department employee who’s gone to Ukraine to try to suss out what the various pro- and anti-separatist groups are up to. But before Travis can complete his task, he’s kidnapped—by whom, it’s not clear, although the CIA suspects Russian involvement. As Portman enters the chaotic eastern Ukraine, he knows he’s being watched, no matter how good his cover. He must depend on a series of not-especially-reliable contacts to help him spirit Travis out.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, a group of rich and powerful businessmen and politicians are focused on causing Portman to fail so they can get the government to sanction Russia, endanger America’s Russian gas supply, and then profit from the last-minute energy alternatives the government will be forced to put in place.
Ignorant of their plan, Portman overcomes hurdle after impossible hurdle, from snipers and roadblocks to a Russian mafia attack. Knuckle-whitening, adventure-packed, and shocking, this page turner is guaranteed to grip readers from the first page to the last.

It also gets a volley of lovely 4 and 5-star reviews from readers on GOODREADS, with comments like:

***** "...and honest-to-God hero..."

**** "...incredibly current... action packed thrill of a ride."

**** "... fast moving and very enjoyable... a nod back to the old cold war type thrillers."

***** " new favorite!! Magson does an incredible job blending fact with fiction."

***** "... this is a real thriller... the action continuous."

**** " This is a 4.5-star book. Engrossing and very well written... found myself reading when I should have been doing other things."

What can I say, but thank you, everybody, for such lovely words.

'Close Quarters' - the 2nd Marc Portman spy thriller:

Signed copies available from Goldsboro Books in London


OR through your usual bookshop.


Saturday, 2 May 2015

My latest articles in Writing Magazine

Early in the month though it is, my latest offerings in June's Writing Magazine are as follows:

The 'Beginners' page this month is called 'Stick to the Instructions', and deals with knowing what you want to write (and in what genre) and sticking to it.

All too often it's so easy to wander off-target from, say, a romantic drama, and end up drifting into thriller territory. Not a bad thing in some ways, but it can muddy the water somewhat in deciding what to call it as a genre, and where it might sit on the bookshelves.

If you don't know what to call it, then how does anybody else?

It's bad enough confusing the browser/reader, but even more so back up the line when describing your submission to an agent or editor. With literally hundreds of other would-be authors out there competing for places on their books (sorry - unintentional pun there) you don't want to give the agent or editor a reason to turn to the next manuscript in line.


And speaking of debut authors, this month's profile is of Brighton author Al Robertson, whose sci-fi first novel 'Crashing Heaven'  is out this month via Gollancz.

Damn - such a great title. And to be followed by an even greater one - 'Waking Hell'.

I don't know about crashing heaven, but can you imagine waking hell? Brilliant.

By the way, the photographer of this author's mugshot should have been credited alongside it, but it wasn't done. All credit and apologies therefore to Heather Lindsley, whose shutter-work it was.