Friday, 21 November 2014

I write the words

(image:Commons.wikemedia.org)

Occasionally stories write themselves. By this I mean the plot starts on a journey of its own, wandering off in directions never imagined. Sub plots seem to pop up over night. Characters act in uncharacteristic ways. Settings have more appeal and texture. Dialogue becomes grittier.
I’ve written nine books and I’m currently writing my tenth, but never have I woken each morning and found my mind flooded with new ideas. I have no idea what’s sparked this newfound burst of creativity, but I’m not complaining.  It’s great. I have to spend a little time each day restructuring and licking the plot into loose shape, but then, all I have to do is write the words around the new story.
Even the ending has changed. The main protagonists should still make it to the last chapters, but goodies may become baddies and baddies may become goodies or a bit of both.
This is a new way of writing. Being a crime writer, where the outcome of an intricate plot is hidden from the reader until the end, it’s important to know, in advance, where the story is heading. I’d planned all my previous books in detail, chapter by chapter, scene by scene, with a template for each character, and research done on locations.
Now, as and when new ideas, twist and turns, sub plots, and other details trickle through into my mind, I jot them down, and later rework the outline plot. I’m not sure if this new approach will work, it takes more time and effort, and the final book will not end up as I’d planned. It’s a bit like juggling balls in the air, only they’re in my mind, and I don’t know when or where any of them may drop.
But I think the book will be better, with fresh ideas and a more interesting and intriguing story. Well, that’s my hope–the proof will be in the published book.       
~~~
Night Running, my work in progress, will be published next year. An unedited version of what I’ve written so far can be read on Wattpad.

~~~
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
~~~
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.

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





Friday, 7 November 2014

Write to the end of time-part two

Much is written these days about the demise of writing and reading. I take the opposite view, and have posted several blog posts about the topic and writing generally. Here are my favourites. Search the blog archive at the end of the blog.









  • From tablet to tablet–how the e-book saved the book. (23 October 14)
  • Indie or traditional publishing. (10 October 14)
  • Just write. (10 October 14)
  • Write to the end of time (part one) (30 July 13)

I believe you should write–
  • because you enjoy it,
  • you like reading and you a read a lot,
  • and you have a unique story to tell.

Don’t write for money, unless you are prepared to spend nearly fifty per cent of your writing time marketing and promoting your work. If you’re­ fine about spending that amount of time and not writing, good luck, but it won’t guarantee riches. It might help you sell a few more copies.
I’ve written nine books, several short stories, and published three of the nine books as a trilogy in one edition, both print and digital. I’ve made money, but not lately. This, I put down to four things.
  • I moved house and stopped writing and thinking about writing.
  • I didn’t market and promote my books and keep up my social media presence.
  • All book sales worldwide–both print and digital–have declined.
  • I don’t have a new book out.

At this point I could pack up my PC and writing stuff, and move on, never to type another word. But I can't and don't want to–I’m not finished with writing.
I have an optimistic view on the future of books. See From Tablet to Tablet. (23 October 14)
I believe people will always read, it’s part of the process of gaining knowledge. See same blog post.  
The digital book market is crowded. So what? 
In 1925, DH Lawrence, writer of the multi-million best seller Lady Chatterley’s Lover, said, ‘You can put anything you like in a novel so why do people always go on putting the same thing?’ In other words, don’t be formulaic. Be original, come up with a unique story, and write it in the way that pleases you, the writer, not the reader. And don’t copy everybody else’s style. Come up with your own. Call it your voice. That way you'll stand out.
There are many more books in my head, and I need to get them out. I write for all the reasons I’ve listed at the beginning of this post: I enjoy it, I read a lot, and believe I can tell a story. Every book I write will be an improvement on the last. I want to keep writing until I’m unable to write anymore. Making money doesn’t motivate me. I just want to write as best as I can. Maybe, along the way, I’ll have a best seller?
Write to the end of time.
~~~
The Fire Man–work in progress–will be published next year.

~~~
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
~~~
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.

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





Friday, 31 October 2014

Fly High

(image: publicphoto.org)

Seagulls
Often, I look out of my window and watch the wind whistling across the rocky headland, wishing I were one of the many seagulls gliding high in the sky, diving suddenly to catch a fish glistening in the pounding, black sea below. Oh what a life. No stress, no pressure, no deadlines, no people. Only the blue sky, the scooting clouds, and the endless open spaces.
I have a rather jaundiced view of modern day life and its obsession with success, fame, fortune, the celebrity culture, and all that. I was once a big shot in a large company. I had all the toys: big office, gas-guzzling company car, personal assistant, and more. My weeks were full of all the usual stuff: back-to-back meetings, dinner with the chairman every week, people queuing up to see me, and pressure. Boy, did I have pressure. I thought I thrived on it. I lived in a big house. I had a lovely wife. My children went to a private school, and I had loads of friends, who’d come round every weekend and drink my booze. I thought life was perfect. I’d done my share of ducking, diving, twisting, and turning to reach the top. I’d played the political game, sucked up to my chairman, and worked hard. I felt I deserved my success.
But then you never know what lurks around the corner. I guess I should have been less naïve and seen the warning signs. The arrival of the new finance director was the first clue.
‘We want you to hire David Elmsley,’ the chairman had said to me. ‘He’s worked for us in South Africa for years. He won’t bother you, just help you put in some new systems.’
David was quickly followed by Julian, an IT specialist, then Richard Watt, a supposed business guru, who I was told would take a helpful look at all our practises and procedures. Helpful, my arse!
He was a spy, and watched my every move. Often I’d find him checking my diary in the morning, and then lurking in the corner at meetings, taking notes, rushing away to his laptop and dashing off a quick e-mail when the meeting finished, its contents speeding my demise.
It came one morning, the day after my fiftieth birthday. Jan de Boer, the chairman, was sitting in my chair as I pushed open the office door.
‘Morning, James,’ he opened. ‘Thanks for the party last night. Good one.’ He looked down at the papers on my desk, shuffled them around and looked up at me.
‘Sit down, James. There something I want to talk to you about.’
Sure there was something he wanted to talk about. But however hard he tried to disguise his message in his soft, silky tones, there was no misunderstanding.
‘We want you to take a well-earned rest,’ he said, which translated means you’re fired.
It was then that my life started to disintegrate. When I got home my wife, Filipa, had left a note saying she’d had enough of my late nights at work, my drinking bouts, and me putting the company before family life, and she’d gone with the children to live in Spain, where she came from. I was shattered. I tried to call her but her phone seemed permanently off. From then on she turned on me in a big way. Not only was she difficult about access to the children, she sued me for everything I had, claiming mental cruelty. To cap it all I discovered she was having an affair with one of my best friends.
And that was when I left it all. Goodbye to strife, contention, dog-eat-dog and all that. Hello to my new life: watching seagulls climb majestically in the sky, twist, turn, and descend to rise again with such effortless precision.
~~~
Seagulls is taken for Love, Life, and Loss, a book of shorts I wrote a few years back where all proceeds go to MEDICINS SANS FRONTIERES|DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS whose medical staff are at the front of the fight against Ebola in West Aftrica.
Love, Life, and Loss can be obtained from

~~~
The Harry Fingle Collection–a trilogy.  How Harry Fingle, single-handedly, takes on the CIA and MI6. 
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
~~~
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.

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