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Andrew's horror novella, 'The Bathtub', is now available.

Friday, 29 March 2013

James Herbert R.I.P.

I was very sad to read that James Herbert passed away earlier this month. 

I always had a soft spot for Herbert, not least because his novel, ‘The Rats’, was the first horror book I ever read, and the sheer brilliance – particularly for a debut novel - opened my eyes to a whole new genre.

Herbert’s books were my required reading when I was in my teens, and he helped influence my love for the horror genre.  It was inevitable that his style would influence some of my work.

James Herbert will be sorely missed.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


I’ve always thought myself fortunate to study the Celts at university.  I was lucky to study a subject that fascinated me in a wonderful city (Bangor) with enthusiastic tutors and Snowdonia’s beauty on my doorstep.

As a writer who often uses the Celts as a background I have an additional reason to thank my degree.  Although I wouldn’t claim to have been an outstanding student, immersing myself in the Celtic way of life for three years has given me a ‘feel’ for their period.  I’ve been able to incorporate this into my writing without having to resort to research, except to look up very specific facts and events. 

This background knowledge has made writing historical fiction so much more straightforward.

The work I’m planning at the moment is different as it’s based around the First World War.  I’ve read a little about the ‘Great War’, but planning the novel has made me realise how much research is needed to make sense of a period I’m not particularly knowledgeable about. 

In my Celtic work I’m familiar with beliefs, medicine, weapons, transport and the like.  I’ve always taken this aspect for granted.  Now, I find myself having to refer to reference books and the internet at almost every phase of my planning. 

I often hear about writers who say they find researching a period takes almost as long as writing the book.  I’ve never really believed that – until now.  The next work is likely to be a slow, laborious process as I immerse myself in the trenches of Flanders!

Is that a complaint?  No.  I’ve always enjoyed historical research, irrespective of the period or reason.  I’ve never appreciated how much it can slow down the writing process, though.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Review: New Chance by Z.J. McBeattie

New ChanceThis is a short, thought provoking read set in the near future.  Eric is the product of a world where fortunate children spend their first five years in an environmentally protected world.  As an adult, he wants to get return to its simpler life.

The story is well structured and well written.  The author’s knowledge of the subject comes through and gives the prose an obvious confidence. 

I thought the story’s strength, though, was in the way Eric’s character unfolded as I read.  My thoughts went from sympathy to unease and worse as we were shown the lengths he was willing to go to, to return to his childhood’s world.

I didn’t see the ending coming; it raised a skilful and thought-provoking story to ‘memorable’ status and 5/5 from me.

‘New Chance’ is available from Amazon.

Here’s the author’s Amazon page.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Blog Revamp

Since I started this blog back in 2009, I’ve been maintaining it as a sort of web site rather than a blog.

That means it’s probably got a bit cluttered. 

I don’t want to switch over to having a ‘specialist’ web site because this blog’s address is in all my literature, and is known to my publishers, fellow authors and the like.  So, I’ve decided to still use this blog as my main web presence but I’ll be restructuring some of the supporting pages to minimise the links, make the information easier to find, etc, etc.  Probably most importantly, I think it will make it easier for people to find out about me, my work, and my publishers.

It’s not going to happen overnight, but will be an ongoing task.

Thank you for bearing with this, probably highly uninteresting, post!