Have You Read The Christmas Goblin Yet?

Last month, I released my new ebook – a short(ish) Christmas children’s story. During a regular bout of spring insomnia earlier this year, a flea I had in my ear for many years about two children in their room on Christmas Eve, on a planet far away. Back then, it was going to be a […]

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 […]

The World’s Worst Elizabethan Poet Writes a Love Sonnet

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you’re planning some romantic time with your partner or engaging in some self-care if you’re single. I rarely write about lurrve, but in my novel Salmonweird (still waiting for an agent to snap it up), I introduce the world’s worst Elizabethan poet. Here is just how awful she is… […]

A Sci Fi Romance Story for Valentine’s Day

Yes it is that time of year again, the time that lovers buy each other chocolates and flowers, go out for a meal and sip wine into the small hours and generally revel in how loved up they feel. Well, not for everyone. Want a bit of romance in your reading? Believe it or not, […]

Another New Laptop. This one with SSD

It barely seems yesterday I was excited about the Hewlett Packard laptop I bought right about the time my work level picked up. The previous Samsung I had was four years old and on the verge of death (quite literally, a subsequent attempt at a disk scrub revealed a critical hard disk failure). In fact, […]

Comparing my Zombie Novellas Dead Heat and Dead Lock

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 […]

Essential Android Apps for Galaxy Note Owning Freelancers

I’ve had my Galaxy Note 4 for some two years now and I’m due an upgrade next month. I trawled through my choices earlier this week and I’m distinctly unimpressed. Aside from an eye-wateringly expensive Galaxy Note 8, no other phone appeals to me. The 8 is way above what I’m willing to pay, even […]