Saturday, May 14, 2022

Reading Morse

Before I talk briefly about what I'm currently reading (spoiler - it's Morse!) I thought it best to give you a small update on the writing. 

With the final dissertation completed and submitted, I can now relax and get on with writing the third Louise Miller book, CUT AND SHUT.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET - Pre-orders now live!


All the techno-gribblies have been accomplished and my publisher tells me that DIRTY LITTLE SECRET in both digital and paperback forms, is now available to pre-order.

For those wanting a SIGNED copy of the book, please order direct from Hobeck Books and follow the notes on their website on how to get a signed copy.

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET is available from the following:

You can also order it from your local bookstore by giving them the ISBN number: 978-1913793692

Thursday, March 31, 2022


 Very pleased to reveal the cover for the second book, From Sorrow's Hold

Cover by Jayne Mapp

Due for release summer 2022

More details coming soon...

Saturday, March 26, 2022

A Long-running Plan

This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers on March 20th. Join the mailing list to get the monthly newsletter sent every third Sunday, as well as a FREE short story: ONE NIGHT IN MANCHESTER, the thrilling prequel to DIRTY LITTLE SECRET released on May 31.

Following on from the exciting cover reveal, I am still buzzing with excitement from all the messages of support I was lucky to receive.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


 I am so excited and pleased to be able to reveal the full cover for DIRTY LITTLE SECRET. 

Cover design Jayne Mapp

Due for release 31 May, 2022. 
More details coming soon...

Friday, March 4, 2022

It Finally Happened!

So it finally happened; I became an official statistic of the pandemic. Wednesday, after feeling lousy for a few days and having taken Tuesday off from work, I took a COVID test and it came back positive. I've taken dozens of these tests over the two years and seeing that double red line appear was a weird, surreal, moment.

I'm very lucky to be fully vaccinated and boosted, so if I was ever going to get the virus, now is probably the best time to do so, as the effects should be a lot less severe than if I hadn't had the shots.

It's now Friday as I finish this short post - keeping focus is tricky at the moment, even for something less than a thousand words in length - and I've now got three positive tests. Obviously I took time off work and hopefully things get back to normal soon: I hate sleeping on the sofa and even worse; I can't taste anything. Even worse on top of that, I can't focus long enough to do any writing, so I really want this to end sooner rather than later.

So please, if you haven't already, get your vaccines; I'd hate to think what this would be like if I hadn't. And please, still wear a mask where you can - I didn't at work and that's obviously where I caught it from. I won't be making that mistake again when I return.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Hurry Up And Wait: the Traditional Model's Fate

I was going to write today about the realities of being a writer (managing expectations, juggling workloads and the sometimes unsavory necessity of getting a day job) but, ironically, reality got in the way once again and time was sucked from me. Rather than not post anything, I figured I'd upload the essay I recently wrote for my creative writing degree regarding a potential future for the traditional publishing model.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

What's Happening Next?


I really should post more on here. I know that. I know that in the same way that I know I should eat more fruit and veg, and in the same way I know that I should drink more water. I know, I agree it's important and yet I still find it easier to grab corn snacks, or a biscuit; even better, Tangfastics that have been in the fridge for a few hours; bloody gorgeous! And it's the same with the blog. 

So let me try and convince you - and by you, I mean me - that I'll change. That I'll start writing more, and posting regularly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - A Critical Analysis of a Short Story


Another essay I wrote during my 2nd year Creative Writing Degree. 

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things has been sat stewing slowly in my Compost Heap of ideas for nearly twenty years now, attacked from many different angles but never truly working until recently. In this critical analysis I will look at how I found and researched the story, why waiting till I had developed my skill set to write this has made the story stronger, and finally how I structured the story with book-ended lines of dialogue.

I used the story (WHICH YOU CAN READ HERE) as the basis for my syllabic poem, Sticks! and you can read all about that adventure HERE.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Hobeck Books Signs up three Louise Miller books

Without burying the lead, I signed a three book deal with the fantastic Rebecca Collins and Adrian Hobart who make up Hobeck Books. The first of the Louise Miller novels, Dirty Little Secret, will be published in May 2022 with the second in the series, From Sorrow's Hold, released later in 2022.

The third book, Cut and Shut, is currently being written and research for books four and five is underway.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Sticks! - For The Love of the Syllabic

This is another essay taken from my 2nd year degree.

I was initially nervous after making the decision to take Poetry. I have never read poetry and till this point, had little time to waste deciphering the author’s intent, and quite what she meant by “the heart beats at morning breeze.[1] I had already convinced myself that this would be a dry class, one that I would probably lose interest in very quickly. I was also scared that it was beyond my reach, that I wasn’t intellectually strong enough to tackle the subject.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong – on all counts. 

Sunday, December 19, 2021

2021 - A Review of Sorts

 Wow. Well we all thought 2020 was kick in the nuts, right? What about that 2021 then? That son of a bitch saw 2020 and said "Hold my beer!" Covid, Brexit, effects of climate change, supply chain issues, a dumb ass for a Prime Minister who makes Trump look almost competent, and now this grinch of a variation coming along to cancel Christmas like a second rate GoBot... 

Let's take a look back at the year, the books I've read, the shows I've devoured and the trials and tribulations I've endured as a freshling crime fiction author trying to find a home for my books.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

When The Book Fights back

It has now happened with each of the three novels I've written, an occurrence so regular that this has now become part of my writing process, however frustrating it may be. The outline done, I get into my 6 pages a day routine, chugging along quite nicely, the story going where its supposed to, I'm happy as Larry and then BLAM! Major roadblock.

The story doesn't feel right; the characters sound wooden and hollow and I don't feel like the book is saying anything important. What follows next are days of stress, turmoil and serious self-doubt. What the fuck am I doing?

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Cash and the Creative Long-Game


The golden dream of writing a bestselling novel that sells millions of copies, or a screenplay that lands with a multi-million payday, hangs in front of most writers when they first begin to put pen to paper. At least the honest ones. 

As they tap away at the keyboard, they dream big, and why shouldn’t they? It is human nature to dream of becoming financially-free, of buying that glorious house or vacation home in the Caribbean and taking care of family, friends and parents that have supported the fledgling writer through all the first draft nightmares and daily worries that being a writer brings.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Top 3 Tips For Maintaining Creative Focus

The biggest obstacle to a writer’s success is their own inability to maintain focus on a current project usually by being distracted by all the copious ideas that flood into the creative’s mind at the most inappropriate time.

And that is a dangerous time of potential derailment, one that needs to be managed and controlled. 

But how does the creative writer manage that, without losing all those wondrous new ideas in the process?

Here are my best top 3 tips that will help you maintain your creative focus, another piece of writing I did during my second year Creative Writing degree.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Adding To The Toolbox

In this week's article taken from the writing I did for my second year in BA Creative and Professional Writing at Derby University, I will look at how the differing forms of storytelling and the increased practice of reading widely have contributed to a seismic shift in my perception of what it means to be a writer, and how the addition of each to my own writing toolbox have affected my craft moving forward.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Development Of Story: Shadow People - From Supernatural Myth to Psychological Study

As part of my second year on the creative writing degree, I had to conduct a research project and tie it in with a piece of creative fiction. As I was starting to write the first Louise Miller book, Dirty Little Secret, I figured I'd hit two birds with one stone and do a research project on a particular aspect of that. 

I've kept the references in but any others such as Appendix entries, won't be displayed.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

A Writers Process

When asked how he writes his books, Stephen King once gave the flippant answer: "One word at a time." A little simplistic some may say, as far as the writing process goes, but actually, factually, correct. All writing, be it a short article such as this, a research paper on the migrating habits of lesser-blue sparrows, or one of Mr King's thousand-page doortstop novels, each piece is eventually written one word at a time. But how does the writer approach the actual writing? What is their process for getting an idea out of their head and on to the page?

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be posting some articles and posts I wrote as part of my 2nd years creative writing degree which explores this topic from a variety of angles, starting with today's post specifically about the writers process.

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