Thursday, 17 April 2014

Being nosy is absolutely necessary

The guy sat opposite you on the train sneers and looks down his nose at his partner as she tries to explain something to him. The train comes to a halt at a station. He leaps up, glances down at her as though she’s a piece of dirt, says ‘If that’s what you think, I’m done,’ tosses his head back, and storms off the train, leaving his partner looking stunned and sad.
Was that the end of a relationship? What was said that riled him? How did she feel about it: perhaps she was glad?
Whatever the answers it’s all great material for a writer–a public row on a busy commuter train. It could be portrayed as it was, embellished with graphic descriptions of the couple, and made more interesting and compelling with edgy dialogue and some violence. They’re endless possibilities.
Watching how people behave and interact, and listening to how they talk could be called nosy, but it’s essential. The make up of fictional characters–what makes them tick, how they act, talk, think, dress, and more, is imagined–but has to be believable and capable of sustaining the readers belief in the characters for the length of the book. So why not take note of what’s going on around you? How people talk, what they wear, how they react to situations. It’s real life, and can be made interesting, unusual, and compelling by adding detail and happenings.   
Some years ago, when I’d decided to write a book for the first time but wasn’t sure what to write about, I sat in a crowded restaurant next to a table with two solemn-faced guys pouring their woes out to the other. Suddenly one sat up, clasped the edge of the table, leant forward, and stared the other guy in the eye. ‘You know what?’ he said in a deep voice. ‘It’s so bad I think I’m going to fake my death and get hold of the life insurance money.’
How’re the hell are you going to do that?’ the guy’s friend asked.
The two of them talked on to discuss what seemed an implausible plan, but I had an idea for a book. A year later Electronic Crime in Muted Key was published–about a man who buys a dead body, fakes his death, scams millions, and pops up on a remote Greek island where he reinvents himself under a different name. The plot came from being nosy.
~~~
I’m in the middle of moving home and it sucks! I’ve lived in the same house for nearly twenty-three years and have accumulated too much stuff, some of which hasn’t seen the light of day for ages, if not the entire time I’ve been her. So the time has come to be ruthless and chuck most of it out. My wife and I have been taking all these unwanted, broken, and out-of-date possessions to the dump and charity shops every day for the past two weeks, and there’s more and more!
No more complaining. It has to be done, and the new house will be great when we finally move in. But it’s ruined my concentration. No more writing and fewer blog posts ‘till we’re there.
~~~
I’ll be running several promotional events on all my books during the year. If you want to have pre-event knowledge and hear in advance about new releases sign up to my mailing list below. The first three to sign up will receive a free printed copy of Playing Harry, the first book in The Harry Fingle Collection. Just enter your name. address, zip/postal code, and country, and I’ll mail one to you. If you’re not one of the first three, you’ll receive coupons to download any of my Originals series for free.
~~~
Join my mailing list.
I’ll send a free, signed, printed copy of Playing Harry to the first six people who sign up–anywhere in the world. Include your postal address and zip/post code. I’ll email to anybody else who signs up–after the first six people–Smashwords coupons to download for free all the six books in my Originals series.
MailChimp sign up form–http://eepurl.com/LQMif
~~~
Wattpad. Read for free:
Selected chapters from the three books in The Harry Fingle Collection–Playing Harry, Assassination Continuum, and Zero One–plus the The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer in full.

Two complete books in the Originals series. A further book will be added each week.

Two unedited chapters of work in progress.
Fire (working title)
~~~
The Harry Fingle Collection–a trilogy that makes Watergate look like a kids’ tea party.
Harry Fingle is an investigative journalist who takes no prisoners, does no favours, and digs until he exposes the truth. He’s honest, popular, but a danger to some people. When his brother and sister-in-law are murdered and he’s fired for no reason, it’s time to bring those who want him dead to account.
Working on and off with his ex-lover, he realises he’s unearthed a conspiracy so shocking it implicates governments. Harry does what he does best. He charges on, regardless of whom he might upset. But then a ruthless Russian assassin is hired…
Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer
How it all began, an interview with Harry, the guys in his life, and some excerpts from the three books.
Available at: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
~~~
Playing Harry.
The first story.
Giant international corporations hire hitmen. The CIA and MI6 sanction immoral and illegal skulduggery. People die. Harry Fingle–an investigative journalist, searching for his brother’s killer–is appalled, and tries to publish his findings. He’s gagged, an assassin is briefed, and his ex-lover is stabbed.
Harry’s a pawn in a real-life game of chess played out by the security services.
~~~
Assassination Continuum.
The second story.
The wrong man is murdered in a café in Istanbul. A feared Russian assassin is mortified and vows to right his mistake. Harry Fingle’s lover becomes over-inquisitive, and his spy-friend tells him to watch out. 
Tension mounts. The Russians hire a Serbian hitman as a back-up executioner and Harry begins to question his trusted spy-friend’s loyalties.
Available at: amazon.com, amazon.co.uk.
~~~
Zero One
The final story
Murderers walk free from court, juries are nobbled, spooks leak secrets, police fix investigations, prisoners escape, and the media stay silent. Zero One is dominant. One man controls it.
A lingering love affair, Harry Fingle’s discovery of the name of Zero One’s chief, and the breakout from jail of Harry’s nemesis–the feared Russian assassin Grigoriy Nabutov–make for a tense and emotional conclusion to the trilogy.
Available at: amazon.co.uk, amazon.com  




Friday, 4 April 2014

Trust nobody

Long before Edward Snowden’s leak of top-secret documents and the phone hacking scandal, Harry Fingle, an investigative journalist, had doubts about the integrity of the British police and the secret services. When he’s charged with a crime he didn’t commit, his brother and sister-in-law are murdered, and he’s fired for no reason, he becomes deeply suspicious, and starts to dig deep. He finds–rooted into the heart of the British establishment–a conspiracy so shocking and scandalous it beggars belief. Both the CIA and MI6 are complicit: each with blood on their hands.

People in high places order Harry’s death, his ex-partner of seven years won’t let him go, and the loyalty of his long-standing friend is brought into doubt.

Harry becomes a pawn in a real-life game of chess played out by the security services.


The Harry Fingle Collection, a trilogy.

The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer–how the nightmare started.

Playing Harry–the start of the CIA and MI6’s immoral game.

Assassination Continuum–an assassin’s relentless pursuit.


Zero One–the frightening conclusion. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Man has to kill to survive

A provocative comment but true. We kill animals to eat, convincing ourselves that the protein gained from animal flesh is essential if we’re to stay fit, healthy and alive. We also like the taste.
I’m not a vegetarian, but I do remember a friend, who is a vegetarian, when asked in a restaurant why she didn’t eat meat, saying, ‘Look at it this way.’ She put her knife and fork down on her plate and stared in the eyes of the guy with the smug look who’d asked the question. ‘That,’ she said pointing to the large slab of juicy rare steak on the guy’s plate, ‘is a piece of dead animal. Its blood is swirling round your plate, mixing with that blob of mustard you’ve just added. The cow’s been dead for about a weak, hung up to rot a bit, sliced up, packaged, and then delivered to a supplier, who’s transported it to this restaurant.’ She shrugged. ‘It’s gross. The whole process is a turn-off.’ She put her hand out, touched the guy’s arm, and smiled. ‘Nothing against you, but the thought of eating a fourteen-day-old piece of dead animal flesh sucks.’ She took a swig from her glass of wine. ‘Enjoy your meal,’ she added, and set about eating her pizza.
The smug guy looked taken aback. He’d probably expected a lecture on the morals of breeding animals for human consumption–for which he, no doubt, had ready a smart answer. Instead, he’d received an unemotional, logical response that seemed to dull his enthusiasm for what he was about to eat.
There are many arguments put forward as to why we shouldn’t eat meat, the most powerful and the one I take some notice of, is that meat eating is carcinogenic. Man has hunted and eaten meat for as long as we know. Life expectancy has almost quadrupled from the days when cavemen hunted horned cattle. People died of many causes in those days. It would be reasonable to assume that one of them was cancer, linked to a large consumption of meat–both raw and cooked. These days, with medical science revealing new discoveries almost every month, and cancer affecting one in three of the world’s population, it seems quite logical to accept that meat eating is carcinogenic.
I haven’t stopped eating meat; just much less, and only from sources that believe in quality, food safety and animal welfare. I don’t take issue with anybody that consumes more than I do.
I do take a stance, however, on killing animals for personal adornment.
Headlined in today’s Guardian,Japanese company named as biggest online retailer of ivory and whale meat.’ This is plainly wrong. There is no justification. It’s morally flawed to kill animals just to obtain parts of their body for decoration or to wear. Whales and ivory-bearing animals are already threatened with extinction. Man’s killing of them for so-called embellishment and beautification will hasten their disappearance.
~~~
Join my mailing list.
I’ll send a free, signed printed copy of Playing Harry to the first six people who sign up–anywhere in the world. Include your postal address and zip/post code. I’ll email to anybody else who signs up–after the first six people–Smashwords coupons to download for free all the six books in my Originals series.
~~~
Wattpad. Read for free:
Selected chapters from the three books in The Harry Fingle Collection–Playing Harry, Assassination Continuum, and Zero One–plus the The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer in full.

Two complete books in the Originals series. A further book will be added each week.

Two unedited chapters of work in progress.
Fire (working title)
~~~
The Harry Fingle Collection–a trilogy that makes Watergate look like a kids’ tea party.
Harry Fingle is an investigative journalist who takes no prisoners, does no favours, and digs until he exposes the truth. He’s honest, popular, but a danger to some people. When his brother and sister-in-law are murdered and he’s fired for no reason, it’s time to bring those who want him dead to account.
Working on and off with his ex-lover, he realises he’s unearthed a conspiracy so shocking it implicates governments. Harry does what he does best. He charges on, regardless of whom he might upset. But then a ruthless Russian assassin is hired…
Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
The Harry Fingle Collection-trailer
How it all began, an interview with Harry, the guys in his life, and some excerpts from the three books.
Available at: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
~~~
Playing Harry.
The first story.
Giant international corporations hire hitmen. The CIA and MI6 sanction immoral and illegal skulduggery. People die. Harry Fingle–an investigative journalist, searching for his brother’s killer–is appalled, and tries to publish his findings. He’s gagged, an assassin is briefed, and his ex-lover is stabbed.
Harry’s a pawn in a real-life game of chess played out by the security services.
~~~
Assassination Continuum.
The second story.
The wrong man is murdered in a café in Istanbul. A feared Russian assassin is mortified and vows to right his mistake. Harry Fingle’s lover becomes over-inquisitive, and his spy-friend tells him to watch out. 
Tension mounts. The Russians hire a Serbian hitman as a back-up executioner and Harry begins to question his trusted spy-friend’s loyalties.
Available at: amazon.com, amazon.co.uk.
~~~
Zero One
The final story
Murderers walk free from court, juries are nobbled, spooks leak secrets, police fix investigations, prisoners escape, and the media stay silent. Zero One is dominant. One man controls it.
A lingering love affair, Harry Fingle’s discovery of the name of Zero One’s chief, and the breakout from jail of Harry’s nemesis–the feared Russian assassin Grigoriy Nabutov–make for a tense and emotional conclusion to the trilogy.
Available at: amazon.co.uk, amazon.com