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Flotsam

Hey! Hi, howareya?

Kept you waiting, huh? (for all you MGS fans out there.)

Well then. Busy, busy, busy. But finally back to working on my own stuff once again. The Negative Bind hasn’t been forgotten about, it’s still very much on my mind. It has, however, been shelved for the time being, as my short story collection keeps rearing its ugly little head and distracting me.

Once upon a time I had a title in mind for this collection but as time went on I came up with another name for it and ran with that for a while. This new title – A Dog Barked Once – made perfect sense. To me, anyway. You see, the vast majority of my stories contain, somewhere in them, the line “…somewhere in the distance a dog barked, once, twice…”, and so A Dog Barked Once seemed very fitting. Hell, I could even write a second collection and call it A Dog Barked Twice!

Genius.

But no. Again time has moved on, and I find myself favouring my original title – Flotsam.

Why Flotsam, you ask. Well, dictionaries define the word as:

  • pieces of broken wood and other waste materials found on the beach or floating on the sea.
  • anything or anyone that is not wanted or not considered to be important or useful.

If you were to ask me where I get my ideas from, most of the time I’d be unable to tell you. They just kind of appear in my head. The closest I can come to explaining it is to say I view the imagination in my head as a vast, and mostly empty, ocean. Floating around in this Imaginocean are idea boxes – some complete and whole, the majority only a part of the entire story, pieces of wreckage from a fractured tale.

Whenever one of these boxes floats close enough to the shore, I wade out and grab it with both hands before it can float out of reach again. I’ll open the box, see what’s inside, and write it down, before settling back to await the next idea box to drift into view.

So yes, I’m slightly weird. No matter.

A lot of writers like to do cover reveals. They like to keep the image hidden until they feel the time is right, and then release it with great fanfare, or in a more subdued manner, depending on their style. Well, not me. Once I have a cover I like then I don’t mind showing it around (mainly because there’s a very good chance I’ll change my mind and make another cover before long).

And so, without further ado, here is the cover for my upcoming short story collection, Flotsam.

CompleteCover

 

When will it be released? Who knows. Whenever I get around to finishing it, would be my best guess. Until then, at least you have a pretty picture to look at, right?

Right.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Books, Writing

 

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Resurrection

Well hello there, how’re you doing?

Since before last Christmas I’ve been working on a collection of short stories. The stories had been knocking around in my head for quite some time, and so I thought they deserved to be brought into the world. I had a title for the book of this collection. I had a cover all worked out. I had a list of the stories I was sure I wanted to include, and a list of others I’d put in if there was room.

I set about this task in good spirits. I mean, how hard could it be, right? I had everything I needed. Piece of cake.

Wrong.

Every time I worked on one story, my mind would wander to another. Work on that other story instead, and I’d be thinking about yet another. Progress was slow. Progress was painful.

Something was wrong here. The words weren’t flowing and I needed to find out why. This past weekend I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, peering into the recesses of my mind, looking for the cause.

And I found it.

Sunset behind the clouds over Quintrell Downs in Cornwall.After I’d published my short story ‘Watcher’, I started work on another, longer tale. The story of Paul Bowscar came to life rapidly, the boy would never shut up, his tale needed to be told, and he was damn sure he was going to make sure I wrote it all down. He was constantly in my head. Talking incessantly, eager to be heard. Morning, noon and night.

Then one day – silence. Nothing at all. Paul had left, gone to wherever his own negative bind had taken him. The words dried up, the story stalled.

But no longer. Paul is back. Maybe he took exception to me writing things other than his story, who knows. But back he is, and it’s time to complete his tale.

So, The Negative Bind has been resurrected. How long will it take? Who can tell, and Paul certainly isn’t telling. He’ll get to the end when he’s good and ready.

Small excerpts might be posted from time to time. They might not. But this story will be told, one way or the other.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Books, Writing

 

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Story! New. Buy it. Now.

So, just a quickie. Because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a quickie…

Christmas is almost upon us. Peace on Earth. Good will to all men. And all that other happy stuff.

Bah humbug.

Stuck for a present to buy the person you don’t really like? Well, I have a short story published on Amazon – the link is over on the right somewhere. It’s cheap too.

So that’s sorted then. Excellent.

twentysevenOn the other hand, if you want a really good story to read, then this bad boy by Jack Binding came out yesterday. I haven’t, as yet, had the time to read and review it myself (sorry Jack), but having read Jack’s other stories I have no doubt it’s well worth the buy and read.

So, do yourself a favour, click the image, or >>>HERE<<<, and buy yourself an early Christmas present.

I might write again before Christmas. Then again, I might not. Either way, have yourself a good one. Try not to kill anyone. Save it for the new year, it’s more apt.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Books

 

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A Life in the Blue

TNBbase1As well as the mundane, I’d worked on some disturbing, some exciting and some downright sickening cases throughout my years on the force. It wasn’t until my sunset years and the drawing to a close of my career, however, that I came across something which was positively harrowing. Is that too strong a word? No, I don’t think so. Admittedly, I had to search a dictionary for the definition – words have never been my strong point, reticent to the core, that’s me – and when I discovered what harrowing actually meant I knew it was the correct expression.

Acutely distressing, that’s what it means. Those two words described this case extremely well. Succinct, to the point. Harrowing.

Though the case was eventually concluded to the satisfaction of all involved, and though various experts and analysts had purportedly shed light on the root cause, the case continues to haunt me to this day. I can still hear the Bowscar brother’s musical laughter as they climb ever higher. I can still see Paul’s eyes, filled with love, longing, confusion, sorrow, as he desperately tried to explain the why of it all. But most of all I can still see the tree. That damned, ancient oak crowning its hilltop kingdom. Many is the night I’ve woken from a restless sleep, feelings of vertigo washing through me. I’ll swipe blindly in front of my face, my hands trying to pull aside oak leaves which block out the sun, turning the bright summer brilliance into a dull and sickly venomous green. And even when I’m sure I’m fully awake, fully escaped from the dream’s malignant clutches, I swear I can still hear tree branches chattering and clattering to each other far above me.

But let me go back to the very beginning. Back to when I first pressed the play button on a video player in a cluttered police office. Back to when Paul Bowscar’s tired but handsome face appeared on the big wall-mounted television. Back to when that young, troubled man first began to tell me his long and emotional tale.

Back to when I first heard those two words – Negative Bind.

Excerpt from ‘A Life in the Blue: Memoirs of a Detective Constable’ by DC Bernard Hopkins, Retired [used with permission]

The above is a small extract from The Negative Bind, by yours truly, coming soon.

As always, that shallot.

Laters…

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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Books

 

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Cold Blooded – Coming soon

Book promotion time again! This time it’s for ‘Cold Blooded’, an exciting crime drama set in New York, by author Erik Smalls. Erik has published two previous novels – Never Give Up and Eye for an Eye – both of which are available for purchase from Amazon by clicking the links. ‘Cold Blooded’, the third novel from the talented pen of Mr. Smalls, will be available for purchase soon. We will keep you posted.
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Posted by on August 15, 2015 in Books

 

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Desire & Prejudice

Book promotion time again, people! This time it’s for ‘Desire & Prejudice’, an adult contemporary romance by first time author Jean-Louis McMillan.
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Books

 

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New Book from Leanora Moore

Rhymes From The Heart

Rhymes From The Heart

A friend of mine, Leanora Moore, has released a new book in her Musical Curves Series. Her new work is titled Rhymes From The Heart, and I’d appreciate it if you could check it out and help to support another Indie author. Rhymes From The Heart is available to buy from Amazon, just click on Rhymes From The Heart, or the book cover image, to be taken straight to the Amazon page.


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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Books

 

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