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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Dealer No. 1


Emerging from the short story The Card, the novel Dealer No. 1 is ready to go. I’m going to give it a couple of days to cool down, then launch it.

I reread it this morning, and it’s not too bad, the narrative is a bit chaotic, but that reflects the central character, Mickey.

(Thanks to Lishman for the contextual suggestions)

jazz union

Jackson went to meet Emily in Japan,  ‘cos she can’t get into England and it’s tough for him to fly to western China. Anyhow, they sent me this photo of a cafe in Tokyo called Jazz Union. Seats 9 customers.

I’ll imagine that as I sit in MaccyDs.


Comfort & Joy

Lucas designed a few covers for my Christmas anthology and I like the one below best – it’s uncluttered but festive.

It’ll be on free download soon, date tbc.

comfort-joy-coverCoincidentally, I was at the hospital tonight, visiting, and at the door of the ICU ward there was a little poster on the wall with a poem about washing your hands before going in. And at the bottom of the poster was the name of the girl who’d written the poem – the same name as a person who features in one of the stories in Comfort & Joy.

I don’t know if it is the same person, common sense says no, but maybe. Anyhow, I thought, should I ask? It’d be lovely to see her after all this time.

Then I thought, no.

The memories are perfect enough.


urban pastoral

Saw this today and thought it was quite beautiful.

If the N-bomb falls tomorrow, we’ll leave behind these monuments to industrialised consumption:


publish and becalmed!

My drive to throw stuff onto the printed page has been sideswiped by events. As soon as they’re resolved, I’ll push on.


Life has a way of filling in the gaps.

Free of work for the moment* I find myself instead busy with family issues. However, the writing continues to flow: I have Dealer Number 1 waiting for a final redraft, then it’s out there.  QE just needs a 50 page completion before the redrafts begin. In the meantime I’ve begun something much lighter and sweeter called 7 Dates. And my Christmas collection, Comfort & Joy will be on free download for a week, sometime next month.

In the midst of all this I’m allowing myself a timely crisis of faith



*I will have to get some work soon, just to pay the rent.


I was walking through town today and saw three pipers dressed in full highland regalia – kilts, sashes, bearskins, the lot, and as usual I was taken by the sound of skirling lament.

But then I thought of Ian, my cousin, a red-haired Glaswegian ex-Marine with three tours of Ulster under his belt. He’s a lovely bloke but he’s frightening. Not particularly tall or well-built or anything, as emotional and ready to cry as they come, and he’s not a kid anymore either, but in a fight he’s just insane.

I had trouble making a link between the pipers in their formalised ‘highland’ wear and my cuz, Ian, who’s a sort of urban berserker.

History and tradition lead us along a certain path. But life follows other routes entirely.


I find myself looking for signs, directions, a routemap would be nice. But really it’s just a matter of keeping the faith – having chosen my path, I need to follow it.


free kindle download


Girl meets boy. Boy is psycho-killer.

Free kindle download 24-28 October. Click image for link: