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Visited Barter Books this morning. It’s an old Victorian train station opposite the Alnwick Castle where you can buy and sell books.

Fantastic place.













Harm’s Way

I began working on the Jago trilogy in 2016. Took a while to get going but I produced the first book, Jago, in 2020.

Jester followed earlier this year, 2022.

The final book, Harm’s Way will appear in 2024.

I’m already sketching notes for it. Fragments. Characters. Scenes. I know how it ends, I know the main players. I know how it ties everything up into a neat, dark, but possibly uplifting ending, or at least an ending with promise. And I know that Johnny Harm – The Man with the Plan – is key.

I. Can’t. Wait.



Some questions don’t have a definitive answer. Questions like: What is the best multi-tool? Truth is, there isn’t a ‘best’ multi-tool, they’re all defined as much by what they don’t do as what they do.

The only possible answer to that question is: Whichever one you have in your pocket.


(and yes, this post is metaphorical)



ice and fire


It’s been over a decade since the most recent novel in the Game of Thrones series was released. I was an avid fan, and for a few years after the last one was released, I looked forward to the next.

But I won’t be getting the next one, or the one after that. I’m done. After eleven years, I’d need to re-read the entire series to remind myself of what was going on, and I can’t be bothered.

The author is 74 years old, and there are supposed to be two or three more to go before then entire saga is complete. At the current rate, he’ll be getting close to one hundred years old before he finishes, and he doesn’t look that healthy.





Just seen the movie Prey. Enjoyed it. It managed to have a female protagonist in an action movie without any of the misandrist hectoring you often get from such a set-up. Also, there was just a hint that there might be a follow up.

Even the end credits were fun.


it bears repeating


If you read a writer talking about their craft, they nearly always say it’s a solitary profession, as though that’s part of what makes writing difficult.

The truth is, writers like spending time alone. Spending time alone while making up stories – it’s actually a pleasant way to pass time.

The only truly difficult part of writing is sitting down.

And writing.



Border Bob


A couple of years I wrote a children’s book based on my own border terrier, Angus, called The Adventures of Border Bob. I was pleased with the end result, it sells well, and it’s had good reviews. Currently I’m working on a follow-up: Border Bob’s Christmas. There are five books planned in the Border Bob series. I think I’ll do one every couple of years.



I got hold of a copy of one of my early stories, downloaded via a kindle, as I didn’t have the original manuscript. Due to that, the layout was all wrong, so I thought, as an exercise, I’d manually transcribe it onto a new document. See how I feel about it.


It’s pretty bad.

I remember writing it. I was making the transition from short stories to full-length novels. This managed to be a bit of both, but not as good as either.




First time I’ve been to Whitburn Beach in about four years. Warm, cloudy, very light wind. Great day for walking. The erosion that’s taken place in my absence is striking: another five years and the coastal path will be dangerous to walk.







it was good…

…while it lasted.

Which was quite some time. Great to see Paul Keane return as Des (though I missed Daphne, who was not in the show, Elaine Smith having stopped acting to become a teacher).

Guy Pierce and Annie Jones made the show an event.

I don’t watch TV, but this happy show spanned my entire adult life, so I sat there an enjoyed it. Shed a tear.


Des, Daphne and Mike from Neighbours, circa 1988.

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