Friday, 5 December 2014

Reasons to smile


(image: galleryhip.com)

Turn off the TV, cancel the newspapers, don’t open the mail, and unplug the PC. The world is on a self-destruct trajectory to catastrophe. Food will run out, natural disasters will destroy whole continents and their populations, and those that’ll survive will kill themselves in bloody wars. So say the peddlers of gloom and despair. When you watch the news or read a newspaper, you might think they have a point. So what do you do? Barricade yourself into your house, throw away the key, and wait for adversity to strike–at least you’ll survive a little longer.
You could do that, but it’d be a pretty miserable existence. Human civilisation has advanced in the last 2000 years beyond all possible imagination, and it’s still progressing, and will do so at an ever-increasing rate. Last month, a non-manned space rocket rendezvoused in space, 4.6 billion miles away, with a moving comet travelling at 83,000 mph and landed a crate-sized capsule on it. It was the Rosetta mission, and it’s mind-bogglingly amazing and almost incomprehensible. It’s a Wow! No doubt about it.
Medical advances continue to astound. New treatment and cures for many life-threatening diseases are announced almost daily. No longer is cancer whispered about, paralysis permanent, deafness and blindness a life sentence of silence and sightlessness, heart disease terminal, and many other once incurable conditions the blight they once were. Numerous people still suffer from chronic conditions, some will die, but medical science, the medical profession–and all those associated with it–dedicate their lives to finding remedies for all of our ills. There’s hope, there’s success, and much to be optimistic about.
We’re much more tolerant and understanding, despite the few amongst us who want to go back to the dark ages and pull up the drawbridges. Slavery was abolished in most countries by the end of nineteenth century, racial intolerance is rare throughout the world, capital punishment–which was carried out in most of the world up to 1950–is now only practised in twenty-five per cent of the world’s nations, and decreasing each year, and bigotry and prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans gender people is on the decline in the West, but sadly, still rejected in predominantly Muslim nations and in Africa, as well as in parts of Asia and in Russia.
Many still starve, 780 million of the world’s population still lack access to clean water, much needs to be done, war and strife continue, and progress on intolerance, social cohesion, and understanding is sometimes painstakingly slow, and even takes a step backwards at times, but just look at what the human civilisation has achieved. There’s plenty there to be optimistic about. Man’s instinct is to progress and make the world a better place for all. If you’re not convinced, look at prehistoric times when Man lived in a cave, had little to eat and no shelter and protection from the natural elements, the child mortality rate was likely to be higher then 30 per cent, and life expectancy between twenty and thirty-five. Compare those times to now and the Rosetta mission.          
I'll smile and drink a toast this Christmas for the progress Man has made. Long may it continue.
~~~
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, 28 November 2014

The alternative Black Friday

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is one of the deadliest the world has ever seen. Right now 2.5 million children under five are in danger and they need help. 
15 billion dollars will be spent in the US and UK today, mainly by consumers buying non-essential items. If the same amount was donated to the Ebola crisis it could buy:
  • 1.5 million tarpaulins to provide temporary shelter for a family who’s home is infected.
  • 3 million hygiene kits to keep children safe from infection.
  • 18 million packs of 2000 litres of clean water.
  • 1 million food parcels.

In the Middle East, more than 3 million people have become refugees as a result of the civil war.
Since the start of the conflict some three and a half years ago, more than 190,000 people have been killed, while another 6.5 million people have been displaced inside the country. See what a one off donation buys:
  • $33/£21 buys rice, vegetables, oil, beans, tomato paste, and salt for a family for one month.
  • $67/£43 could provide a hygiene kit with soap, toothbrush, wound disinfectant, and bandages for a family.
  • $95/£60 provides blankets, mattresses, pillows and cooking salt.

~~~
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, 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.