Zombie Fans! Dead Heat and Dead Lock Novellas

The main thing I was trying to achieve when writing Dead Lock was to present several similar scenarios from Dead Heat with very different outcomes. Some of these are major plot points but this dynamic was also present in the smaller interactions between the characters. One of my favourite scenes was the moment Jim tried […]

Impasse with Salmonweird. Considering Self-Publishing early Next Year

One of the most pleasurable pieces of fiction I’ve ever written, Salmonweird is a 70k-ish supernatural crime comedy about a retired detective living in a small Cornish village as the only human. The remaining residents are all ghosts, representing 2,000 years of the village’s history. It was clear from after finishing the first couple of […]

Blog Posts to Delete for Improved SEO

Regular readers will know that this blog regularly undergoes an overhaul. It’s vital for my business that I move with the times. The type of content has also changed. During the summer I made arguably the biggest change to the website since changing its name in 2012 and giving it a more professional sheen. During […]

Some 21st Century Character Archetypes

This first appeared in 2012. New version edited and updated. I read a lot of books and I watch a lot of films and TV series, typically in the evening to wind down from spending all day on the laptop working. I’ve identified several tropes of the modern age. I don’t know if any appear […]

10 Books with the Best Closing Lines

(UPDATED AND RESCHEDULED POST) The opening line of a book is vitally important for grabbing the reader by the throat and making them not want to let go. But what about the final line? Regardless of whether there is a sequel in the works, the final sentence – although not as important, still requires some […]

Feed a Writer AND an Artist: Buy Books New!

“Do you know how much it costs to pay an artist to design a custom cover for your book?” Was a question I recently asked of somebody in a book group. This was in response to how “cheap” self-published and indy book covers look, and that they “put readers off”. While readers are drawn to […]

Some Dos and Don’ts for Writing a Prequel

It seems prequels, prequel-sequels and sequels to prequels that remain prequels are all the rage at the moment. This year, I’ve read Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage (the first volume in His Dark Materials follow-up, but a prequel) and last weekend watched Alien Covenant. These two works have got me thinking a lot about what […]

How to Create a Book Title That Doesn’t Confuse the Reader

Last week in a Facebook book group I am in, a cover caught my eye and I enquired what the book was about. Both the title itself and the nature of the cover made it look like a fantasy or dystopia novel. Apparently, it was actually about a mother searching for her abducted son. This […]

Using Metafiction in your Writing

Metafiction is a form of metatheatre – it’s probably not a term you’ve come across all that often. However, it’s one of the oldest plot devices (usually used for comic effect) with roots in ancient Greek theatre. We still used it today and there was a great example of metafiction in last week’s episode of […]

Content Marketing Tactics to Write a Killer Best Man Speech (Yes, Really!)

I’m finding these quite fun as well as interesting to research. A couple of years ago I wrote a similar article on dating profiles. More recently I wrote a similar article on job descriptions. Now I’m delving back into the realm of the personal with how to write a best man’s speech.I gave one at […]