This is where occasional news about my current books and about my progress with the third will be posted. Come back often!

8th July 2022

Just wanted to let you know that I am still trying to get started on the third book in the series. Ideas for the plot are still in a whirl, but I keep gravitating back to thinking about a recent visit I made to Chard museum.

This wonderful place is chock full of ancient, and not so ancient, artefacts. Any one of them could be the starting point for the new story. Tortured!

The domestic hearth
The black item lurking on the right in the photo above is a lace loom.
Chard mills made netting, including mosquito netting for the Crimean War.
Mainly agricultural and industrial items in this barn – plus prams!

6th July 2022

I know that this is nothing to do with writing (or maybe it could be?), but just wanted to share this image of flowers taken yesterday at Forde Abbey, Somerset. I love the colours!

Forde Abbey is such a great garden to visit if you are ever in the vicinity – near to Chard. Always immaculate and packed with interesting plants. They do good coffee too!

11th June 2022

What a great gift to come home to! Nothing to do with writing, but a grateful gentlemen for whom I repaired a valuable coffee-making machine went to the trouble of leaving me this:

One of the occasional benefits of repairing things (free of charge) for nice people!

Have a look on the internet to find out how the Repair Café movement works. You couldn’t write about it!

29th May 2022

Isn’t it poetic that this book (see below) is a No. 1 Best Seller! Just consider all the hundreds of thousands of aspiring writers who buy it in the hope of launching a best-seller themselves, and the very, very, very few that ever succeed! It’s a best-seller built on the backs of the non-sellers! Those expensive internet courses given by successful novelists to success-hungry students have the same sort of feel.

Every writer has one – or two, or three, or …

24th May 2022

The garden writing den – for good weather only!

Drawing energy from the sun and the view to help me tackle the next round of submissions to publishers – note the red-bound copy of Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. Such a wearing activity, with just a slim chance of attracting even a sniff of interest! Never mind, appreciative comments continue to trickle in from friends. I find these very encouraging – and who knows?

22nd May 2022

Is it normal to have books in your house?

My wife went to a meeting in a friend’s house. On seeing the host’s three book shelves – yes, just three shelves – some of the visitors declared, “Oh! You’ve got books!”

Daren’t invite them to our house! Here is about a third of the books we have accumulated over the years. We are not collectors, but if you’ve ever been interested in doing things, you have books, right? Or perhaps I’m too old-fashioned.

10th May 2022

Amazon ratings creeping slowly upwards! 4.3 out of 5 now!

It’s an uneasy feeling when your books are out there and unknown people are picking them up and reading them. Every 4 or 5 star rating is a real boost, but there is the ever-present fear of a 1 or 2 star cold shower.

Ratings and reviews are all we have to go on but, in truth, don’t really tell us whether we personally will like or dislike a book. It seems to me that some of the 1 or 2 star ratings come from people who have just picked up the wrong book! They confuse “I don’t like it. It’s not my sort of thing” with “It’s a bad book”.

The 4 and 5 star accolades are perhaps more reliable. No one is going to give 5 stars to a bad book!

2nd May 2022

What with the cost-of-living crisis, and everything, I am really pleased to be pulling in some extra cash from the sale of my books! Here are my earnings over the last 3 months – £1.87. No worries!

My earnings

19th April 2022

While we’re talking about Jack Dozer and the Silver Bullet; what could these two characters possibly have to do with a story about an arrogant UK politician and the struggle for justice ?

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Tonto and the Lone Ranger

I guess you’ll need to read it to find out!

18th April 2022

Let’s start at the beginning.

Going right back to February 2020 when I was publishing Jack Dozer and the Silver Bullet, I was struggling with a do-it-myself cover design. Before my artistically-gifted son stepped in to help, this is what I had been toying with:

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Mystery model for Jack Dozer’s face

The reason I have had to obliterate the face is ….

I had wanted to show the face of Jack Dozer on the cover, but I didn’t actually know what he looked like!

Then one night I was watching TV and suddenly, there he was! Exactly the right face. It was him, kindly and wise, Jack Dozer, on the screen. Although I had never before visualised his face, there was no question in my mind that it was him!

I took some photos of the screen and, with Photoshop, extracted the image of his face. I was told I would need his permission to use it so, with the aid of the internet, I tracked him down to where he worked as a scientist in an American university. Unfortunately, he preferred not to feature, but we had such a civilised and warm-hearted email exchange that, despite my disappointment, I came away glowing with hope for the human race – such easy friendship and mutual respect with someone located almost at random on the other side of the world!

I still wish he’d agreed to be the face of Jack Dozer!