Monday, 24 December 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR! (plus, 2012 highlights).

It's been a tough old year, chasing the writing dream while working full time and feeding the family. Just wanted to send my hearty good wishes for the festive season to my online friends / readers, and say 'thanks' to you all for your ongoing support and friendship, which is invaluable and truly spurs me on more than you probably realize.  

Writing update: My little old ebook of gritty crime shorts, MANCHESTER 6, is still selling consistently (pushing 400 now), considering it was just an 'appetite-wetter' while I continued with the traditional publishing route. When I've finished the third draft (big sigh) of 'novel attempt two' for my agent, I'm pleased to announce that I'll be bringing out another ebook of shorts via Ganglion Press. I've just got to go through twenty shorts and maybe whittle them down to the best dozen or so. Look out for THE COPS OF MANCHESTER in early(ish) 2013.

Highlights of 2012: 

... Going to my first Harrogate Crime Writing Festival with Graham Smith and meeting...  Howard Linskey, Michael Malone, Nick Quantrill, Matt Hilton, Chris Simmons, Luca Veste, Neil White, Jo Evans, Scott Turner, Zoe Sharp, Ali Karim and Kevin Wignall, among many others. 

... Briefly chatting with three of my favourite crime authors, Simon Kernick, Stuart Neville and Mark Billingham.  And... being in that room when TOSSERGATE erupted! (Quickly digressing...)

... Going to London to meet class acts, Bill 'AJ' Hayes and Richard Godwin, and having a damn good 'chinwag' and walk along the Thames with their lovely wives (don't tell Richard 'n' Bill though!). Richard even took us to Richmond Park which inspired the 'Woodlands Murders' in Apostle Rising - my fave novel of 2012 (that's when I read it anyway).

... Then, off up to Gretna with the family to chew the fat at Graham's gaff, with 'me old mucker', David Barber (& his lovely fam'), Denise and Matt Hilton, Sheila Quigley, Michael Malone and the man who fatefully introduced me to Matt nearly four years ago, Richard 'Thommo' Thompson. 

... Without that intro', the annual Gretna gig wouldn't exist, and arguably, neither would Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers ezine.

... Personally, I was thrilled to bits that my short story, MOPPING UP (Tonto Books), made The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 9, alongside the likes of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Zoe Sharp... and FISTS OF DESTINY (from MANCHESTER 6), was selected for The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 10 beside Lee Child, Ruth Rendell and Paul D Brazill, among other top crime scribes.

Non-writing highlight... obviously...!

All the best everyone. Let's make 2013 a year to remember too! 

All the very best,

Friday, 2 November 2012

More Short Story Successes...(plus, news snippets).

***Note: bit of a 'me post' for a change! ;-)

After last year's inclusion in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 9, alongside the likes of Mark Billingham and Zoe Sharp, I didn't realise, until recently, that this time I'd be sharing the pages with stellar names, such as of Lee Child and Ann Cleeves, in  THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 10.  It is quite an honour, as you can imagine.  The book's out in February 2013, and my story's called, FISTS OF DESTINY, selected from the ebook, MANCHESTER 6.  A huge thanks goes to author/publisher, Maxim Jakubowski for twice showing faith in my crime writing.

So that's the name-dropping out of the way! ;-)

I'm still beavering away in the background regarding the crime novels, but, as they say, "patience is a virtue", right?  I also like the phrase, "The harder you work, the luckier you get."

In the meantime, as short stories pour out of me, I've had a few more accepted recently: four flash pieces in the forthcoming "OWC Writers' Talkback anthology"; one short in a Zombie Apocalypse anthology (more details to follow); one short in, OFF THE RECORD 2 - At the Movies, charity anthology; plus, there was my editors' contribution short  in the Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers Halloween Comp, which you can read here.

The winning stories from the TKnC comp are absolute crackers and the standard was off the scale.

They've already been posted on the site, so have a browse around for a horror feast. The results are here.  Big Congrats to the winners and runners up, and a hat tip to all who entered.

One last note: Paul D Brazill, the man with his finger on the crime fiction pulse, keeps us up to date weekly on all things juicy down Brit Grit Alley. So, if you don't wanna miss anything, get over there!


Thursday, 27 September 2012

CHEWING THE FAT... with Luca Veste, as OFF THE RECORD 2 is released...

In this new series, I spoke with Luca Veste about... putting together anthologies to help kids learn to read, speaking out against sock-puppeteers, the origin of 'Scousers', and his rapid transformation from unknown reviewer to writer and publisher.

Off The Record 2 - At The Movies, is now out. Tell us about the charities and inspiration behind both it, and Off the Record.

Off The Record 2 is supporting two charities...

In the UK, National Literacy Trust.

In the US, Children's Literacy Initiative.

Both deal with literacy in childhood, helping kids to read and write, which is a subject close to my heart. I know how much reading as a child helped me, and want to aide others who might not have a Dad who lets you read Stephen King at 12. It's even more important in this current climate, where libraries are deemed less important by those in power to society than bankers bonuses.

So, the main thrust of Off The Record is now to raise as much money as possible for those charities, in order to make as big a difference as we can possibly do.

The other reason for doing OTR is another subject close to my heart (I have many subjects close to my heart...I keep the notebook containing them in my inside pocket). It's bringing an audience to a wide range of writers. It's giving those 'unknown' (and I include myself in that) writers a chance to mix it up with the bigger names. It's difficult to find any other anthologies where writers on the first rung of the ladder, such as Keith B Walters or Tracey Edges, sharing space with Steve Mosby, Will Carver and Matt Hilton.

That hopefully gives us all a boost up, a helping hand in this difficult 'business'. And also means we get to read stories we may not have had chance to without it.

I love doing it for those reasons. This whole writing thing is much easier when we can all come together and do something like this.

Great stuff. Luca, if you don't mind me saying, you've only been around online for less than 18 months, but have certainly hit the ground running and made a huge impact. 'Talk' us through this and tell us how things have changed for you.

It's really strange. I was reminded recently by my wife of something. About two years ago, I sent messages through Facebook to Steve Mosby and Neil White...I'd really enjoyed their books and wanted to say something. They replied, and I rang my wife very excited to get a thank you from them.

Now, Neil was in OTR1 and Steve Mosby is making another appearance following OTR1 in this new anthology. I've gone from being a fanboy to editing these incredible writers. It's weird.

It's an example of how welcoming the fiction community is. Steve, for example, is my favourite writer working today. I have to consciously make an effort not to devolve into 'I really love your wordy stuff' mode sometimes with him. But, he makes it incredibly easy not to, by being one of the most down to earth, generous, and good hearted guys I've ever met.

Then, there's writers like Nick Quantrill, yourself and Helen FitzGerald, who I speak to all the time. Always happy to lend an ear and answer questions. That means so much to someone who doesn't really have a clue what he's doing.

Which leads me onto what's changed. The single biggest change was moving from being a reviewer to a writer. I had no intention of writing whatsoever. I wrote something once, with a friend in school, a piss-take of the nativity story (Three Wise Scousers, Mary's Dad going off his head at her for being pregnant...that sort of thing), but that was just jokes. Last year I just started thinking of stories I wanted to tell. And began writing.

The difference I suppose is in the way I do things. I have no problem with contacting people, getting them involved in things, emailing Stephen King asking for a short story for OTR2 (still waiting on a reply). The sort of 'fuck-it' attitude which gets things moving. And I do it because I love it. I love talking about stories, sharing books I've loved with others...all that kind of thing. It's a great time to be involved in this world, with the abundance of social media and the ability to converse with so many about all these things.

Plus, I go by the old motto 'don't be a dick'. If you're good to people, generous etc. you see that returned to you.

Yep, you're definitely a doer! Probing deeper now (don't worry, I'm married!)... I was sitting next to you at Harrogate when we heard gasps in unison and someone shout, "Tosser". We all know about the disturbing revelations that followed, but many authors, including me, admittedly, chose not to be so vocal (for various, understandable reasons). Why did you choose to speak out, and do you think the sock-puppets and dodgy reviews will reduce now?

I didn't so much 'choose' to speak out, it was just a natural reaction to a certain situation. Because it's wrong. And the only way to bring something into the light, and show that despite certain people's assertions, it's not something that many, many writers do, is by talking about it and showing your own position.

I've heard many ridiculous things since then, especially regarding the open letter, but it's really simple for me, and it goes back to the previous answers motto...don't be a dick. The three writers named in the open letter which appeared in the media and online, where all involved in varying levels of nefarious behaviour. Every story I read online following it, had comments underneath which invariably stated, 'they're all doing it' or 'what's the big deal, no one reads reviews', stuff like that. Well, if we all stay quiet, that's the message that is driven home. But all writers aren't doing that, and many people are influenced by reviews. Otherwise, why would they try and game the system in the first place?

If there was a unified stance against the behaviour shown, I think it'd go some way to ending the vast majority of dodgy reviews, yes. However, you have the naysayers who have their own agendas or others who are worried about upsetting certain writers and endangering their own careers, or simply don't think it's that big an issue, which means there will be a lull, before it builds up again.

The only way the places these reviews are found will crack down on it, is if it starts costing them actual profit. And that's not going to happen any time soon. So, it's at an impasse now, with some feeling disillusioned by the whole thing, others incredulous of the reactions by some.

I will end with this. If you need to use fake reviews, bought reviews, or sock-puppets in order to promote your books, you've forgotten why you wanted, no...needed, to write. You wanted to share stories with people, entertain, educate whatever. You're not doing that any more. You're just in it for the money. And at some point readers will recognise that, and that audience you once had will move on. And no amount of skulduggery will get them back.

Only good books, and good stories will.

This is by far the most words I've ever used in an interview...let me know if the answers are too long!

He-he. Things are hotting up, so now for the biggie... Scousers... do you know the origin of this term?

I think it comes from a Stew. And it's Scandinavian or something. I remember reading it somewhere. I should really Google this shouldn't I!

Scouse is one of my favourite meals. It's basically a stew with more potatoes in it. And when I was younger, the cheapest beef you could buy. Load of veg, then cooked for around three months. Really get the flavour out. Lovely stuff.

Yeah, that's pretty close. I had to research it regarding the Scouser in my own 'novels'. Comes from 'Lobscouse' - sailors used to eat it at seaports, including Liverpool. So, I see you chose 'Goodfellas' as your movie title for OTR2. Give us the gist and a general feel for what we can expect from the other stories.

I hope you're kind to the Scouser...

There's a real eclectic mix of stories in this one, as there was in OTR1. There's an abundance of crime stories, but also a fantasyish/sci-fi-ish story in the form of 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' by Vincent Holland-Keen, a Zombie short by Will Carver (who wins the honour of best title choice with 'Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating Sub-humanoid Zombified Living Dead. Part 2 – in Shocking 2-D'), David Jackson giving us a Stephen King-esque story with 'The Time Machine...there's really something for every readers taste in there.

There's also darkness and light in every story. Which I love, because that's where the emotion comes from...our darkest fears laid bare and tangled with. Every story has some kernel of that kind of emotion in there.

And it ends with the most emotional story I've ever encountered from Helen FitzGerald. Knowing it's based almost entirely on her own recent experience, just gives it something extra. An incredible piece of writing.

Sounds ace. BTW, my Scouser's a diamond geezer!  So, I know you've been rattling the old keyboard. Any plans or breakthroughs yet, novel-wise? Or an ebook of shorts perhaps? 

I've been working on my first novel for almost a year now. It's gone through a few rewrites in that time, but there's a novel there at the moment. It's a psychological thriller, with major elements of procedural within, set in Liverpool (of course). Trying to breakthrough is difficult though. I made the decision very early on that I wanted to 'make it' through the traditional channels, rather than self-publish. So, at the moment I'm attempting to secure an agent. Hard work, but will ultimately be worth it I hope.

I've got a number of short stories on my hard drive (and backed up!), but no plans to release them at the moment. I've used bits of ideas and lines from some of them in the book, so a bit of work would be needed to polish them up etc.

Also, they were written a long time ago. For this anthology, I think the growth I've made as a writer over the past year is clear with my own story. I dare not read the old stories again!

Luca, thank you for an enlightening and honest interview. And, I tip my hat to you for all the hard work you've put into editing and publishing both Off The Record anthologies.

Help kids read by purchasing...



(If you're skint, then just like it and agree with the tags - it all helps.)

The paperback is out on October 4th 2012.

Luca's website: Guilty Conscience.

Monday, 24 September 2012

CHEWING THE FAT... in London with Richard Godwin 'n' AJ Hayes...

The meet...
(If you wanna skip my drivel, then AJ's 'n' Richard's takes are below).

I'd known for a while that crack US writer and all round good guy, AJ Hayes (now, aka Bill) was visiting UK's finest dark fiction author, Richard Godwin in Richmond on September 10th. So, since Richard (now, aka Godders) and I had been threatening to meet for a while, I bit the proverbial bullet and headed 'darn sarth'. I mean, how could I miss an opportunity to meet and chew the fat with two brilliant minds of crime fiction?

"AJ, keep look out."
"I need duck tape"
So, two buses and three trains later, there I was... sitting on a bench outside the Richmond Gate Hotel, and like a proper northerner, munching on an extra large sausage roll. Because of my sleuth skills, I knew at some point Bill would be out for a fag (no, a cig' - naughty!) and just as I'd imagined him, he appeared.

I flicked the crumbs off me lap and shouted across the road: "Yo, ma-man! What's goin' down innit?" or words to that effect. We man-hugged, shook hands and the free-flowing fat-chewing began as if we'd known each other for years.  The Internet is good for some things, eh?  Then my phone rings and Dave Barber's name popped up, so I passed it to Bill for a bonus chat I know they were both chuffed with.

Pre-fat-chewing lubrication...
Inside the hotel (spookily reminiscent of Richard's 'Slaughterhouse' pic), I met up with Bill's lovely wife, Thury. Then in strolled Richard and Page Godwin and the fat-chewing got a whole lot chewier!

"Where's the body?"
Woodlands Killer!
True to my  northern values, I necked a pint of lager. ;-) Richard's a great host and took us on a walk to Richmond Park, the inspiration behind his cult classic, Apostle Rising, pointing out where the first 'Woodlands Murder' took place.  Rain had obviously cleared the blood, but I'm sure I saw a small piece of police scene tape flapping in the wind.

The recce... 
On the job...
Then to the 'best view in London', before a walk along the Thames and a delicious meal... and lashings of Chilean Chardonnay.  I can't even recall what I had to eat as the fat chewing became gristlier.

So, what did I learn?

Fat Chewing!
Thury and I hit it off and it was truly lovely to meet her.  Despite her jet-lag, she out-supped us all and partied the night away! ;-)

Page is classy lady who made me fell very welcome.  She also designs book covers, including Richard's MR GLAMOUR. (I'll do a post on this at a later date.)

Both AJ and Richard are extremely well-read, witty and fascinating to chat with. Bill won diving a holiday in the early 70's by coming first in a national poetry competition, so is clearly very well-versed (pun intended).  He is also now fluent in Mancunian.  Godders is the ultimate gent and his living room floor is really comfy.  He also now has cig' dimps in his plant pots.  

Another thing: Richard has tremendous self-discipline and has learned to manage his time effectively to sustain his impressive output.  Despite our late night session, he left me to sleep in, while he got up at 7.00 am to write.

Anyway, here are the guys' respective takes on events...

Richard says, "Arriving at Terminal Five, I heard the alarms go off while two actors tap danced their way down the marble corridors, enacting the Olympics. It felt like a bad trip, but was a coupled effect of the post Olympics greeting ceremony and Bill setting off the fire alarms as he inhaled eight fags in the toilets at Heathrow airport, and no that is not a homophobic euphemism. Bill, drenched, appeared none the worse for wear. Although I thought of Rod Stewart. 
Later that day we met Col. 
He told me he had brought sausage rolls, but I have never seen such Gargantuan monsters in my life, he knocked two waiters out with them in a Chaplinesque scene of menace and absurdity. The crumbs will leave you reeling. He shattered two windows with them, slung from his nimble wrists like shurikens. 
Thence to the views. Now the views from Bill's hotel are heart stopping, Turner bleeding pink and Halloween orange into Shepherd sunsets all over again. 
We passed a hearty meal of heart and liver, in which various matters were discussed. 
But that was all by and by. 
If you think we're going to tell you about the job you're mistaken." 

AJ says, "After the events described by Sir Richard, we relaxed a bit . . . um . . . well quite a bit . . . well . . . maybe more than quite a bit. (On the good side, no charges were pressed, somehow). Col stayed the course manfully and with a minimum of violence. (No, I don't know where he got that horse, let alone the cannon. And it also beats the hell out of me why Harry the Duke showed up pant-less, waving the flag of St. George wildly about.) So the evening went well and I learned quite a bit about Manchester blokes: 
1. They are great guys.
2. They have hollow legs when drinking hearty spirits and upset-proof stomachs whilst downing massive quantities of sausage. (I honestly think Col is solely responsible for the vast shortage of Bangers and Mash in Olde London Towne over our two day assault on all that's good and decent in the legendary realm of  King Arthur and his Knights.) 
3. In a pinch, Mancs resemble nothing more on earth than high energy, monster bulldozers when scraping a path to safety for their pals if a hasty escape is necessary. (Again, no survivors mean no witnesses)." 

It was an absolute pleasure, fellers, something we must do again soon. 

AJ Hayes penned the most commented on short story of 2012 over at Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers. DARK GENESIS is a cracker - read it here

Richard Godwin's critically acclaimed novels and popular 'Slaughterhouse' chin wags can be found here

Standby for a new series inspired by my meet with these crime thoroughbreds... 'Chewing the Fat with...'

Monday, 27 August 2012


Richard Godwin's critically acclaimed, APOSTLE RISING is now available as an ebook, at the ridiculous price of £2.05. It's a (very) dark, psycho-logical, police procedural-cum-horror novel, that resonates after each reading session.  In this ebook you also get an excerpt from MR GLAMOUR and four noir stories.

Prolific north-eastern author, Julie Morrigan has a new crime 'twin-pack' due out on September 7th called WIRED, featuring two shorts, Barbed Wire and Razor Wire. To get tasters from each story go here.

Hull's finest crime writer, Nick Quantrill has a novella, BANG, BANG YOU'RE DEAD, coming out on September 17th via Byker Books. For a nosey at the first chapter click here.

People may know Steven Miscandlon for his cool book cover designs, but the man can write too. Check out INTO THE SHADOWS for ten dark short stories.

As is my wont, I'm currently reading the novels of two gents I was honoured to meet and hang out with at Harrogate.  Both have gripped me by the throat and not let go (not the authors, the novels!).  For just over a quid apiece (WTF?), Michael Malone'sBLOOD TEARS and Howard Linskey's, THE DROP introduce exciting new lead characters with strong potential for longevity.

In other news, I was relieved that that Scouse bloke, Luca Veste accepted my short story, EYES WIDE SHUT for the forthcoming OFF THE RECORD 2, as I knew the standard was high after reading the first, OFF THE RECORD.  But this time the theme is film titles as opposed to song titles.  And, again, it's for charities helping kids to read both sides of the big pond. What could be better, eh?  If you've not already, you can buy the first edition here for .77p - talk about value! ;-)


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

HARROGATE... NOT A TOSSER IN SIGHT (Let's get positive 'n' have some fun!)

Seems I also have Graham's free bottle... or had... hic! 
...well, apart from me! ;-)

It was my first Harrogate Crime Writing Festival, and I watched and listened in disbelief, from close up in that fateful room, as those gobsmacking events unfolded...

... Waking up to see Crimesquad's Graham Smith's cheek-wobbling face, as he ground his teeth and spluttered like an asthmatic wild boar, was summat to behold I'll tell yer! Horrific? You couldn't make this shit up. (Soz, mate, you know I love you.)

As for the festival itself at the Old Swan, I saw and met lots of very approachable, like-minded, book-loving folk having a ball.  It was tremendous to catch up with friends old and new, and mingle with some of my literary heroes.  Gotta mention Simon Kernick here, who I was thrilled to have a good natter with, and he even remembered my name two days later.  Plus, Stuart Neville signing 'Collusion' for me, as we share the same agent (but, being on the rewrite of novel attempt 2, unlike Stuart, I much prefer the 'scenic route' to success!).

I've had my own feelings from the start on the controversial ebook panel, but have still read other reports with great interest, the one I agree with most being here.  However, I look at things somewhat more simplistically...

I believed early on that it was a publicity stunt, and still do.  I like and admire both Stephen Leather and Mark Billingham, and will continue to buy their books.  I had the pleasure of shaking hands with both of them and briefly chewed the fat (not on their hands, that would be grotesque and a tad bad-mannered).  Also, I will continue to buy both ebooks and, dare I say, 'real' books.  It will all settle down over the coming years, readers will read and writers will write, and physical books will survive.

So cheer the f**k up everyone! (Told you it was simplistic. Now, where's that fence cos I need a sit down.)

Matt Hilton, Moi, Nick Q, Graham, Luca V & Mr Malone.
I didn't see any cliques, apart from our mob (see photo, with thanks to photographer extraordinaire, Russel McLean), but anyone was welcome to join us, and they did.  To a man, they are top blokes and I'm proud to call them my friends.

There are too many people to mention, but everyone I spoke with was cool, supportive and good fun.  Our mob apart, (who know how I feel about them), special mentions must go to Howard Linskey, for having me in stitches and making Saturday night a cracker.  And, Kevin Wignall, who I just managed to catch right at the end (God only knows who threw him out of that top floor window, maybe the butler?), and who sent me a nice message of advice on Facebook to continue our dialogue. Says a lot about the man, that does.

Anyway, it was bloody brill. Enjoy the snapshots...

That aforementioned escaped wild boar! Think I might owe you a pint, mate!
It was nice to see that Jedward made it, eh, Luca? ;-)
Fungi..."Did I mention I saw Aguero's goal live, Howard?"
Good times with: some bloke, Scott Turner, Jo Evans & Zoe Sharp.
With Graham and his magic pass! 
Ps. Names keeping popping into me head of more people I chitchatted with, but I'll be here all night, so apologies if I missed you out. You're all splendid folk! ;-)

Pps. I see many a tosser in my job and I didn't see any at Harrogate.

UPDATE 29/07/12- The fallout from Harrogate has astounded me. As I'm sure you're all aware, it's all over the net, but there are too many links and discussions to put here.  If you've a spare few weeks, you can easily find and read them. Alas, I haven't, so I'll be writing...

Thursday, 19 July 2012

THE END... OR... THE BEGINNING...? (Regardless, am off to Harrogate!).

It's five in the morning and I've just finished my second attempt at a crime novel, and sent it off to my agent, Nat Sobel.

It's been a tough year, after getting tantalisingly close with the first attempt, and gleaning amazing compliments from respected editors (who still didn't buy it!), then having to repeat the arduous process, while wondering if I could put myself through it all again.   

It sounds like I didn't enjoy the process, but I did, only it's such a strain, mentally, having to try and balance family life, a demanding job and writing.  It's been a very bumpy journey, one only other writers can truly understand, so I hope it's all been worthwhile. 

The first 'novel' is sat on my hard drive and, with a few tweaks, I still have faith in it.  Regarding the manuscript I've just sent to Nat, I (we) had a total rethink and it was a BIG ask, throughout which I had to stretch myself more than that bendy bloke off the Fantastic Four!  I'd set myself a target to finish it before the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival.  So mission accomplished! ;-)

Just pray Nat likes it. EEK! ;-)

Thursday, 28 June 2012


GOAL 1: My good bud, David Barber's taken his long-awaited plunge into the eBook world with his hard-hitting collection of short stories, FROM A CROWDED MIND Vol. 1 (what a crackin' cover too!).  It includes some of Dave's best online shorts with several new ones.  I've read it and it's a beaut.  Back of the net!

Grab a copy on Amazon UK or

   GOAL 2: It's cool to see that Nick Quantrill's second novel, THE LATE GREATS, is being very well received. His first, BROKEN DREAMS, is a cracking noir look at Hull through the eyes of P.I. Joe Geraghty.  In this latest jaunt, when Geraghty goes searching for the lead singer of a reformed band, the shit hits the fan big time.  In off the bar!

GOAL 3: I got an email the other day from Maxim Jakubowski, the editor behind THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME series.  I was was honoured to be in Volume 9 last year alongside some stellar names.  For Volume 10, Maxim would like to use my short story, FISTS OF DESTINY, from my eBook MANCHESTER 6.  To say, I'm well chuffed is an understatement. Get in! ;-)


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

May be a bit quiet, but I'm still bang at it...

Lots of words being written and projects on the go, amid family, life and (bloody) shift work! Just letting you all know that if I'm not as accessible just lately, it's because I'm zoning in on finishing the first draft of novel attempt number two with my loyal agent, Nat Sobel. It's something I must see through.
I'll still be kicking around online, if anyone wants to chew the fat, just not as much for a while.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales Vol. 1 FREE...

On June 6th and 7th be sure to download ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales FREE.  

Not sure?  Well, when you see the list of established authors who've contributed, alongside some talented newbies, then you know you're getting some top notch thriller fiction to feast upon.

Call me a 'name-dropper'... Matt Hilton, Stephen Leather, Zoe Sharp, Adrian Magson, Richard Godwin, K.A. Laity, Paul D. Brazill, David Barber, Steven Saville, Graham Smith, Absolutely Kate, Paul Grzegorzek, Mark Dark, Joe McCoubrey, Robin Jarossi, and many more... (37 in total). Did I mention I was in it too? ;-)

Grab it 'n' enjoy...

Amazon US.

Amazon UK.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

New Crime Fiction Releases...

I've been busy with 'life' and writing, endeavouring to find that elusive perfect balance.  Thought I'd share some news about forthcoming and recently published crime fiction.  It's great to see Paul D Brazill and Luca Veste's, True Brit Grit is out, including no fewer than 44 talented British writers, plus me! ;-) It for charity too, so grab a copy here.

There's a real buzz around the forthcoming anthology being compiled by thriller author, Matt Hilton, entitled: ACTION: Pulse Pounding Tales.  Matt's not only paying the authors for their stories (retirement isn't imminent, but it's a start!), but he's also donating 50p per copy sold in the first month (May) to the worthy cause: Help For Heroes. To find out more go here.

I recently received my signed copy of Mr Glamour by Richard Godwin.  It's gleaning great reviews already, not surprising considering his first novel, Apostle Rising has become something of a cult classic.

Really chuffed to see that London cabbie, Danny Kemp's d├ębut novel, The Desolate Garden, is going to be made into a film.

More great news regarding 'watching' novels - Sheila Quigley's novel, Run For Home is being adapted for screen. Congrats Sheila!

The 'Queen of Dark Fiction', Lily Childs has recently unleashed her aptly titled eBook, The Cabaret of Dread - 43 cross-genre horror nuggets. Buy it here.

Ex-cop, Paul Grzegorzek has re-released The Follow. If in doubt, check out the reviews here!

And last, but certainly not least (!), some bloke called Col Bury currently has his eBook of gritty crime shorts, Manchester 6, at HALF PRICE for a limited time! ;-)

Saturday, 10 March 2012


I'm proud of this. Really proud. Put a lot of effort into ensuring the reader gets good value.  Re-reading and re-editing it felt like I was reading someone else's work, and the satisfying thing was, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Never been one to blow me own trumpet, but I'd buy it!!! :-)

I admit, I kinda rushed in last time, but if things hadn't panned out the way they did, I probably wouldn't have reached this point, and learned so much.

And here's a paradox... despite Manc 6 being much leaner, it's also fatter! I've added a few little bonuses for the reader - which I won't spoil here - as well as bringing on board a top photographer in Nigel Maitland to do the covers (yeah, there was an 'S' in covers!). You did a crackin' job, Nige - thanks.  Check out his work here.

NOTE: I kept the same title as it's the same (re-edited) six stories and, more importantly, so that people weren't inadvertently duped into buying the same book (even though I know it's much better than before).

You can preview it or buy it here (UK) or here (US).

The great thing is Amazon put back up my 23 reviews without asking, which was jolly decent of them. Do me a favour though, even if you don't buy it, agree with the tags and 'like' if you'd be so kind.

Friday, 9 March 2012


Here's what Byker Ed has to say...
"It's true kids - there's another 'Radge' launch happening on the streets of Britain... sorry! We'll be having our soiree (posh eh?) at The Back Page Bookshop, 53 St. Andrews St, Newcastle upon Tyne on 10th March between 12:00 and 15:00. There'll be a bit of booze, some nibbly stuff, a guest speaker (proper author like!) and, of course, loads of banter. Coming?"

Personally, I'm gutted that I can;t make it due to work commitments.  Especially as my story WANTED won a place alongside the likes of Nick Quantrill, Alan Griffiths, Paul Brazill, Darren Sant, Danny Hill, Ian Ayris, Pete Sortwell, Charlie Wade, Sally Spedding, Luca Veste, Craig Douglas and many more...

Here's Ed again to fill you in (he's a bit of a tough guy!)...
"The Radgepacket series goes from strength to strength with each volume, and in this our sixth book of short stories, you'll find twenty-two of Britain's best 'unsigned and unhinged' authors. They'll entertain you with tales of bus stops and loony cops, loan sharks and car parks, big fat blokes, dodgy smokes, lines of coke and some appalling jokes. So come and have a read if you think you're hard enough!"

On another note, there are rumours that I have a 'manly chest'... :-)


  Thanks for the tag-line, Luca! :-)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

New Kid on the Blog, plus eBook News...

Crimesquad reviewer-cum-crime writer, Graham Smith has a snazzy new blog here.

Graham's one of many writers who've taken the plunge into the eBook world.

I'm pleased to announce that my own eBook, MANCHESTER 6, will be back (in style!) and on the virtual shelves soon. It will be followed by a further crime collection in 'The Manchester Series'.

Here's a selection of some cool eBooks that have recently been released, or are out soon...