Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Best Thing I Have Ever Done.

I have been privileged enough to have shaped the lives of two young people who have now grown into adults: my step-daughter, Sarah, and my son, Zack. I am proud of both of them.

Zack is currently studying at the University of Connecticut as part of his degree course at the Nottingham University. He is the first member of my side of the family to go to university, and that makes me immensely proud.

Recently, he, along with some friends, went on a trip to Washington DC. And one of the friends, Justin Lacy, posted some photographs of the trip on Facebook. Justin very generously gave me permission to post some of them on here. Click on the photos to see a larger version.

So, dear blog viewers, here’s some pictures of the best thing I have ever done.

My thanks to Justin for the photographs, and I’m thinking of you, Zack. Have a great time, son.


Caught Red-Handed

One of the most common pieces of advice handed out to writers is to Write What You Know. As advice goes, this particular nugget of wisdom is pretty rubbish, unless you happen to have a lifestyle similar to Jack Reacher, or James Bond. And it’s entirely useless if you write Sci-Fi, or Fantasy, or Sparkly Vampire Fiction etc. Happily, I don’t write any of that stuff, so I was able to “write what I know” for a scene in my book.

The scene deals with a situation where my, not so heroic, hero, Ben, is caught red-handed doing something he shouldn’t. Here is a short excerpt from the scene, and yes, something very similar happened to me.


I waited until John had left the room, and I turned to Bonnie. She was looking at me in an odd way, almost as if she was making sure everything was where it was supposed to be. I smiled and she moved her gaze to her lap. I took the opportunity to give her the once-over. She was dressed in a matching grey jacket and skirt. The skirt was tight and clung to her thighs, accentuating their shape and length. My eyes travelled along them and down to her calves, which were perfectly formed and tanned. I looked back up to her face to see her watching me from behind her hair.

Shit! Caught in the act. Quick, say something.

“So, you’re a woman…”

What am I saying?

“I mean, of course you’re a woman. It’s just that I, er, we I mean, we weren’t expecting you to er, to be…”

“You were expecting a man?” she said, looking directly at me, her apparent shyness gone.

“Something like that.”

Something like that! Get a grip, for heaven’s sake.

“I mean, yes, a man.”



Okay, end of excerpt. I’ll be the one walking around with a brown paper bag over his head for the rest of the day.

How to Calm a Room Full of Naughty Boys

Back in 2009, I worked on the cover and illustrations for a book called The Fairytale Quest by Allie Anders.

It’s a children’s book about a girl called Toni who is tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into swapping her baby brother for a unicorn. To try to get the baby back, Toni has to go with the unicorn to Fairyland, where all sorts of obstacles and dangers await. And, as the unicorn warns her, if she and Brian are still in Fairyland after sunset, they will have to stay there forever.

Now, my wife, who is a teacher in an S.E.B.D. (Social and Emotional Behaviourally Disturbed) unit, which basically means she has a class full of tomorrow’s Dodgy Geezers. But at the moment they’re just very naughty boys. Anyway, she read The Fairytale Quest to her class (ages range from six to eleven) and they loved it. It held their attention and had them pestering my wife for the next instalment.

So, if it can do that to a class full of unruly, naughty boys, you can bet children everywhere, naughty or not, will enjoy the book too. And it is now available on the Kindle for only £1.97/$2.99.

The Cover Up

Here are some book covers I’ve designed. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.

Here are a couple of illustrations from The Fairytale Quest.

If anyone is interested in having a cover or illustrations designed by me, please let me know in the comments.

There’s An Imaginary Cowboy in The Kitchen

My novel, Trinity, is now live on amazon.

As I outlined in my first post, the journey to this point has been a long one. Over the years I’ve had many requests from agents and publishers for the full manuscript, and I was even offered a publishing contract by one of them — see Welcome World. All the others rejected it. Not many gave their reasons for rejecting it, but of the few that did, their reasons for rejection were pretty much the same: They didn’t know where to place it in the market. Which is kind of understandable. The novel is a dramatic, romantic, comedy, adventure with a good measure of crime fiction mixed in.

Will Trinity sink or swim? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, you can check out the Look Inside sample on Amazon, or download a sample to your Kindle. Or you could even buy a copy!

And remember, buying a copy will instantly make you more attractive to the opposite sex. And for every copy sold, a fairy gets her wings.

When Ben Rider finds his childhood imaginary friend, Trinity, in his kitchen, he knows something isn’t right. Trinity hasn’t changed a bit. He still has three personas: cowboy, pirate, and private eye. He still smells of chocolate, and he still has a habit of massaging his earlobe.

Ben is trying to keep his video game development business alive and finalise a deal with an American games publisher, while keeping his disintegrating marriage together. Now, with the reappearance of his imaginary friend, he has his sanity to worry about too.

Trinity claims he has come back to help Ben sort out his life and guide him to his destiny. But over the days that follow, Ben’s life goes haywire, and it looks like he might meet his destiny sooner than he thinks. Thanks to Trinity, Ben will have a restaurant collapse on top of him, be seduced and later shot at by a Welsh femme fatale, meet someone else’s imaginary friend, and lose both a wife and an ex-wife. But will he find his destiny, or is Trinity’s real reason for returning, something else entirely?