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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Stateless – free download

“Nine years after the horrific and violent events in Grendel, Babe Walker reunites with April Speed. Why has he returned? Who has he come to kill? And after all this time, what is it that still binds them so closely together? Stateless is a meditation on violence, loss and redemption.”

Stateless is available on free download 1-5 August.

Click image for Amazon link.

old sax

I seem to have got back into playing music with other people. The Count asked me to go to a busker’s night the other week and from that we got a gig and we’re also doing a festival (so I decided to put Thelonious Punk back together for a one-off).

It all seemed to happen when I switched to alto.

I don’t even like alto – it’s just a holding pattern ’til I get the soprano situation sorted out next week. I’m in London toward the end of the week so will be popping into saxdot and I want to ask them to line up a dozen MPs and a half-decent sax, one with a detachable crook, and try them all out until I get one I like. The tone I prefer is more to the smoky, smoochy sound than the crisp, icy sound created by a lot of soprano players but I’ve lost sight of how to get that recently. My experience with Junko, my top-end Yamaha soprano, was pretty negative, and I ended up playing worse than I did five years ago to the point that eventually I could barely get a sound out of her.

If I get my sound back it’ll be soprano all the way.


free download

Beginner’s Luck – a collection of short stories that may eventually become novels. Free download from 30th July – 3rd August. Click image for Amazon link.


on writing


Words from a master storyteller:


“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”

Michael Crichton




The ongoing programme of reducing the white-noise of technology in my life continues. So as said before, no FB, no Instagram, no Messenger, no twitter, no Snapchat, no BBC – no TV at all – no media at all except this blog, an email address and podcasts.

No car.

No motorbike.

And today I traded my iPhone for a brick. ¬†Eventually I’ll swap the brick for a watch.

cover me

Part of the process of revisiting my early writing is giving the covers a makeover. My creative/tech genius, Lucas, is working on that for me.

Which is good.

old, new, borrowed and blue

Early on, when I started writing, I threw out a lot of stuff onto Kindle, just to get it out there. Some of it was good. Some of it wasn’t so good. But even the stuff that wasn’t good had moments of quality, because even when I write rubbish, it’s usually fairly readable rubbish.

I’ve recently begun a process of taking a lot of this older stuff offline and giving it a makeover. I’m nearly finished editing DN1, so in the space between completing the editing and¬†whatever happens with it after that, I’ll have a few months to go back and rewrite some of my older stuff.

Either that or kill it off.

Cos I’ve got other stories to write.


summer holidays

Between the heatwave and last weekend’s walk up the coast I’ve not edited DN1 in about six days. That’s ok, I’m ahead of target, but I’ll need to get started again soon.

However, all I’m doing right now is sitting in the garden chilling, reading thrillers and listening to podcasts. Might walk into town later. Or go to the beach.


old iron


North of Boulmer, someone creates bird sculptures out of scrap metal and old tools.

I found this one on Saturday, and I spotted the owl the following day on the way back. The wall the owl sits on had collapsed so I didn’t notice it at first.

There are no captions, no artist’s name, nothing to identify who made them.







the real north coast

Spent the weekend walking in Northumberland with Lishman. Couldn’t get a room in Alnmouth so booked up at the Lord Crewe in Bamburgh, then we drove up to Alnmouth, parked the car and set off walking north.

21.4 miles and nine hours later we’d made it through the humid, slightly overcast day, trudged miles of beaches and coastal paths, past pillboxes, quarries, caravan parks, ruined castles and hundreds of anti-tank blocks that track the edge of the endless beaches. I showed Lishman the fictional site of Murton Beach, and the dunes where St. Clair had his caravan and where he first met Kaska.

The real coastline is different from the imagined: north of Craster there’s a golf course and a lot of tourists walk the coastal path; the ruined abbey is really a ruined castle and there is no Murton Tip, the fictional pit village that lies a couple of miles inland of St. Claire’s mobile home; there are lots of old mines in the area, and they’re opening a couple of open-casts in the region soon, but none of them near here. There is no planation forest or travelling fair.

I like both, the fictional and the real.