Saturday, 28 March 2015

So what’s in writing?

I write because I want to. Short of cooking and eating good food, pottering in my garden, and seeing my family and friends, there is nothing else I’d rather do. When I’m not writing for any length of time, I miss it, and yearn to get back.
Writing’s tough. Anyone who says it’s easy is kidding themselves. It’s a craft, and like all crafts, it has to be honed, and worked at. Whenever I’m having a bad writing day–believe me, a regular occurrence–I remind myself of a couple of true stories I was once told.
A woman accosted a famous concert pianist after a recital and said to him, ‘I wish I could play as well as you.’ He looked at her and replied, ‘No you don’t. You’ll never practice, persist, and be patient enough.’
A classical composer raced from his room after completing the 39th draft of a concerto he’d been working on for a year. His wife, worried sick about his health, asked him, ‘How was it? Is it finished?’ He glanced at her, scornfully, and said, ‘It’s okay, but it’s not good enough.’
Just over fifteen years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to give up full time work and write. I’ve written nine books, six rewritten; several short stories, and I’m in the process of writing my tenth book. I self-published in print my first six books with several small independent publishers. Some of the six sold quite well, some didn’t, but all those publishers have since either closed down or gone bust.  Now, thanks to Amazon and CreateSpace, those six books, my short stories, and my new books are published digitally, and with print editions.
I’m no concert pianist or classical composer, but I know my work is not good enough: just work in progress. A craftsman does an apprenticeship and takes an exam, a writer just writes, improving all the time. Writing is like learning on the job.
Before e-books, being published by a traditional publishing company was like reaching the Holy Grail. Then you could call yourself a writer. You’d done your apprenticeship, and passed the exam. Now anyone who’s published an e-book, including myself, calls himself or herself a writer.
I have nothing against e-books. I’ve made money from them, but if there’s no longer a gatekeeper–the traditional publisher who offers you a deal or no deal–then e-book writers, like myself, must be our own toughest critic.
I follow a few rules.
  • I read and rewrite my work as many times as necessary, until it’s as good as it I can make it.  
  • If I’m not happy with what I’ve written, or it just doesn’t come together, I delete it. No ifs, buts, or maybes, I just press delete and start again.
  • I read aloud. If it doesn’t sound good, I press the delete button again.
  • If a word doesn’t seem to work, I’ll take as long as necessary to find the right one, and if I can’t find one, I’ll rewrite the sentence.
  • I read as much as I can by other authors, both for enjoyment and to learn from their style of writing.


My wish is to write a good book, one that is critically acclaimed, not only by friends and family, but by many I don’t know. My motive is not financial, just a sense of achievement.
I will write forever, in the hope, one day, I’ll get it right.
And in the words of one of the greatest living American writers, Philip Roth, ‘A book has to bite, sting you, and give a blow to the head, otherwise why read it.’
~~~
Harry Fingle stories
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.
~~~
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.
~~~
Harry Fingle box set
Playing Harry, Assasination Continuum, Zero One in one three-book box set.
~~~
Night Running
Work in progress, and will be published later this year
~~~
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.





Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Solar Storm Stuns.

Did your see these?

‘A severe solar storm reached the Earth on Tuesday, contributing to a display of the aurora with the potential to stretch as far south as Oregon in the US, as well as being visible across unexpected reaches of the southern hemisphere.

Two blasts of magnetic plasma left the sun on Sunday, eventually combining and arriving on Earth on Tuesday about 15 hours earlier and much stronger than expected, said Thomas Berger, director of the Space Weather Prediction Centre in Boulder, Colorado.’ The Guardian.

Images curtesy of The Guardian.

Alaska








Estonia






~~~

Harry Fingle stories
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.
~~~
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.
~~~
Harry Fingle box set
Playing Harry, Assasination Continuum, Zero One in one three-book box set.
~~~
Night Running
Work in progress, and will be published later this year
~~~
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.





Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Halfway through

(image:musingsofanaspie.com)

Now I’m over halfway through writing my latest book, the pressure seems to have lifted, and I feel the book could be okay.  Here’s a piece I’ve just written. Night Running–working title–will be published around the second half of the year.  
By 6:00 p.m. the labour pains had started to come every few minutes, and the staff had told me my baby could be born quite soon. I’m not sure if they said that to all expectant mothers–the line to keep them calm–or if it was true. Either way, I wanted Mark to be with me. He was the father of the little person who was about to arrive in the world. He was the person I most wanted to be around; and I loved him.
After Claire died, I lived only for Georgie, and could quite easily have taken my own life, had she not been around. Claire’s illness had been like a seeping leak in the ceiling of a house. Each day it grew bigger and bigger, creeping to the corners and the edges of the wall until the whole ceiling became damp, saturated, and about to collapse. But it wasn’t a ceiling. It was a little girl’s body, a human being, my beautiful daughter, and Georgie’s twin.
But when her death came, unlike a ceiling, she could not be repaired. She was gone. Covered up by a sheet and taken off to the mortuary. Sebastian wasn’t even there. Some meeting he had to attend, he’d said. Just me by her bedside. When the terrible moment drew near she shook, opened an eye, and, I thought, smiled at me. Then she was gone. They let me stay by her for a while, watching all remaining colour drain from her tiny, beautiful face. I touched and stroked it, kissing her chilled cheeks, placing a finger on her cold lips, hoping that something I did would make her spring to life. And then my tears came. Torrents gushed from me. My top became so wet that the staff had to wrap a towel around my shoulders. I don’t know how long I stayed by her, just that they had to help me away and sit me down. I’d shook so much and felt so cold that they’d wrapped me in blankets.
After Claire’s funeral I had to start rebuilding my relationship with Georgie. I hadn’t been there for her grief, I’d been with Claire at the hospital, and Georgie had been with my parents. It was difficult at first. She seemed withdrawn and inward, and I’d thought, at the time, she’d blamed me for Claire’s death. Until Claire became ill, they’d been close, never out of each other’s sight. I’d explained Claire’s illness to her and that she’d have to go away for treatment, but once the treatment started, her behaviour changed. She became forlorn, as though she’d been abandoned, which she had–she’d lost her friend.
Georgie and my work became my passions. I ended each day physically and mentally spent, barely able to crawl into bed. I had little time for my grief or myself–I was too knackered. Then Mark came along and everything changed. Georgie adored him, and I fell in love with him. He taught me to cope with life again, and he so wanted this child.
I’d really hoped he’d turn up soon.
~~~
Harry Fingle stories
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.
~~~





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.
Free until midnight tonight, 03 March. amazon.co.uk, amazon.com
~~~





Harry Fingle box set
Playing Harry, Assasination Continuum, Zero One in one three-book box set.
~~~
Night Running
Work in progress, and will be published later this year
~~~






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.