Friday, October 28, 2011

'Within Spitting Distance': was written next, but the publisher ceased trading, so it was finished, but left on file. At that time, it was titled 'Poised To See Paradise,' after a quip made on one of the CSI Miami TV series, by Horatio Kaine. Used in the story as Detective Inspector Ray Cake was but 3 weeks away from retiring when the murders began, he was 'poised to see the paradise' of retirement, so it seemed apt. But when it came to publishing it as an Amazon download, I wasn't keen. When the more earthy and English sounding phrase of 'Within Spitting Distance' sprang to mind, it came across as being far more suitable, as Cake was 'within spitting distance,' as we say, of retiring.
The photo on the cover was taken of the exact beach as described in the opening chapter, but under different weather circumstances. Nevertheless, as one of the bodies was removed from the scene in a small rowing boat, it was sheer coincidence that one such appeared in the photo. After watching the man walk onto the beach and ready his rowing boat, a woman with two dogs was strolling along, right in the way, and I didn't think that she would have been out-of-shot in time to catch the deserted beach and the oarsman, but I was lucky.
Again, the story began as a picture in my mind of that beach, (which we have taken the kids and grandkids to, many times), with bad weather, and someone walking their dog, and finding a body part. Most body parts, like hands, feet, ears, eyes, etc; have been found on beaches, but never a man's penis; so I thought, why not let the dog find a penis on the beach?
It's a great story, well worth reading, and you don't need to own a Kindle to download it - as the tips on this page have all the answers -

Thursday, October 27, 2011

'Guttersnipes': came next. Working a night shift at a local factory from 6pm until 04.15 am, we stopped on for an hour's overtime. 05.15 was a better time to get home, as the family were stirring for their day shifts. It is the nightworker's evening in their topsy-turvey world, so I'd watch TV, or read, and then drink a can of strong lager in about 20 minutes, and go to bed. That would knock me out until around 3pm, time to start the ritual once again.
There was a bloke there on the day shift, named Jason, and he was all right, but his build and demenour gave him a thug-like persona, and this led to the 'Jason' character on the story. The Jason in the story inflicts torture if necessary, and enjoys doing so with glee, and does so on occasion to those unfortunate enough to upset him. It's a full-on story, with the boss of the local drugs cartel as Jason's boss, along with corruption, lies, deceit, heroin overdoses, you name it.
It was a joy to write, and I still enjoy reading it now.
When the cover artwork was originated, the bloke doing it had never heard of a Guttersnipe, and he went outside and took a photo of the gutter at the roadside to add to the 'gun 'n' roses' theme of the overall look.
And then there's Kim and Brett getting mixed up in it, and the police, and the story would make a knockout TV film / drama.
Jo Nesbo would be proud of this one, but it's mine.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'Bewitching Times': Working at a local electronics factory at the time, and about to go to the Canaries on holiday, a colleague said: "I have always imagined there to be vampires at Upton House. How about writing a story based on that while you're away?"
Upton House is about half a mile away, and is just situated in Poole, and it has the look. Sunning myself, and drinking copious amounts of draught San Miguel beer, I imagined vampires flying in to Upton House over the ferry at Sandbanks, on their way home from feasting on drunken late-teens / early twenties prey in Bournemouth.
But no, I wanted them more human, and vampires flying is a myth, anyway, so I decided to humanise them, and mix them in with our village witch, in a battle. The being of our village here, was awry, and the vampires at Upton House were burning up, as their time-clock had gone wrong, and they were not getting back before sunrise; and believed it to be the work of the witch. Likewise, an area covering the village supported no wild life, no birds, no ants, no worms, no nothing, and the witch believed it to be the work of the vampires; so battle began.
With bodies dissappearing, the local police are involved, and it's another fine story...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

'Audrey's Story': Was written from my mother's perspective, as if note books had been found with her story of Upton during World War II detailing her story of those times. It leads up to D-Day, when a couple of thousand American troops which had been billetted in Upton for several weeks before, suddenly went, by boat and glider, in a matter of a few hours.
Times were hard then, and Upton, with 3 munitions factories, bridges, Poole Harbour, and a main arterial crossroads, despite being in the country, was a busy target.
The bridge on the cover is one of two, half a mile down the road from here, and still taking trains from Weymouth to London Waterloo and back several times a day.
This was great to write, and also to remember the stories which I was told about wartime Upton, as a child and young adult.

Monday, October 24, 2011

'AfterShock': Was written next. Best friend Eric, told me about his then partner having an old school friend making contact after 'finding' her on a school reunion website. But he was over enthusuastic, and became a pest.
It was as if a light had been switched on, and the whole story just unfolded, or dropped in my lap, as Stephen King would say.
The cover shows Holly Flint as an adult, with the schoolgirl Holly Flint in the background, as her past comes back to truly haunt her.

Friday, October 21, 2011

For The Weekend: When we used to go to The Ritz, a blues club on Bournemouth seafront, in 1966 / 67 / 68 we would see, amongst other bands, Chicken Shack. Stan Webb was the front-man / singer / guitarist, and they played great songs.
Christine Perfect, who later became Christine McVie in Fleetwood Mac, was the pianist in Chicken Shack, and the object of every red-blooded males' dreams - a nice looking female in a blues / rock band, was rare.
'I Would Rather Go Blind' was her showstopper -
'Songbird' was her Fleetwood Mac showstopper -
Enjoy the weekend.
'Snapper': It wasn't until long after I had written this, that I realised that it is, perhaps, a better and more straightforward version of the story behind the 'Blow Up' movie. When I first saw 'Blow Up' at the cinema in 1967, mainly to see The Yardbirds cameo, and Jeff Back smashing his guitar; I walked out thinking, "What the hell was that all about?"
But again, this story began with pictures in the minds' eye of Snapper picking up Ginny from a location not far from here. The French young woman named Giselle, came into it after a work colleague told me that he had been to a striptease club in Swanage (Dorset), and had met and watched a mutual female work colleague, strip. An attractive French woman, anyway, the whole factory would have given a months pay to see her disrobe, so I used my imagination, and had her doing so in the story.
Killing off imaginary local MP's was a pleasure, as was revealing their clandestine bedroom activities. Another tale which was a joy to write, and a joy for you to read, I am sure.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'Deal Gone Down': Is sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll personified - the front cover says it all in one great illustration. (As a sidebar, the covers for Deal Gone Down, Audrey's Story, Dark Eyes, Snapper, and AfterShock are by Sanne Glissov, Joe Petagno's wife).
Most of the Deal Gone Down story actually happened in this area, in a round about way, where a detective was involved in a cannabis farm, and used his job and police intelligence to keep the growing unit off of the radar.
Vicky Robertson's work was also taking place on an industrial estate in the locality, so it was only the rock band, Skellington Bones, who were fictitious, but based on a local band who were playing the area heavily at the time of writing.
I still love this story, based in the town of Poole and the surrounding area, it's possible to walk the streets and follow the chapters, much like a Stieg Larsson Millennium Tour of Stockholm, if anyone wished to do so.
The synopsis on Amazon lays the ground bait, I can only hope that you get hooked.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'Violent Society': was the next book published. Society has become more violent, some blame computer games, lack of discipline at home and at school, and the abolition of the death penalty, amongst many more.
With most if not all of my stories, I get cinema-like pictures in my head of what is happening, and I write them down. In Chapter One of this story, the 'pictures' arrived as a bus driver being shot, and the vehicle travelling onwards, and crashing through a fish and chip shop, with boiling oil going everywhere.
As always, it was set in my home town of Poole and the surrounding area, but as the cover states, it could have been set in your town, or any town, because that violent undercurrent is prevalent everywhere nowadays; unfortunately.
My old school friend, Eric Billett, took the front photo of Rockley Bridge, in Hamworthy, (which is part of the story), and also designed the lettering for the front cover. It's a great story, and like the others, I am still proud of it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Monthly Writing Magazine: 'Writers' Forum,' and The Society Of Authors 'The Author' quarterly magazine, have not only announced the large increase in books being downloaded, but also that a great many of them are of the adult-themed erotica genre. In fact, thousands of long out-of-print adult novels have been republished on Amazon, as download only books.
There is a very good reason for this; the Kindle. Such books, which in the past had rather obvious pink or black printed plain covers, or a tell-tale naughty photo, can now be read in comparative privacy on a Kindle, and as such, have become the most popular download titles of the moment. Let's face it, if we saw someone reading such an obvious book, we would snigger. But now, the Kindle has brought anonimity to reading such literature, thus saving blushes, and / or clandestine page-turning behind a newspaper on a bus or train.
But it was a surprise when the paperback version of such a book arrived in the post, written by a young woman named Poppy Hayes.
During the numerous creative writing classes and seminars which I have attended over the years, I met Poppy Hayes at one or two. We started speaking, as the friendliness of doing so lends itself to striking up a relationship, when enjoying a cigarette break at such places. That I haven't smoked since 2006, tells you how long it is since we last met, and back then, she was writing Fantasy genre books. But she tracked me down, as we share the same publisher, and asked if I would offer an opinion on her first novel?
The book is a page-turning tour-de-force unlike anything else that I have read, and other than the odd Fiona Richmond naughty story from my youthful foray into men's magazines, I must say that Poppy Hayes has found her genre more comfortably settled in Erotica, than Fantasy.
So, if the above facts are true, and erotica is the genre which sells, could I write one as good as Poppy, and jump on the bandwagon?
Well, no, as it seems to be the domain of the female writer, and I think, judging by Poppy's first triumph, it's best left that way.
It's an excellent read, and something which I coudn't begin to match.

Monday, October 17, 2011

'The Wizard's Last Spell': and 'Dream Reapers' were the two next books to be published. The monthly writing magazine which I subscribed to at the time, had run a feature on 'Dime Novels.'
Dime Novels were slightly under A6 sized paperback books, published in America, with the idea of selling them at supermarket checkouts, as a "last-minute-purchase." Each novel was a 20,000 word story, and 12 per month, each of a different genre, would be published. So, I wrote 2 stories in the hope of publication, 'Last Spell' was in the fantasy genre, and 'Dream Reapers,' sci-fi.
After sending the manuscripts across to America, a month or so later, they were returned. But I was lucky that they were, as the Dime Novels company had ceased trading. Apparently, the idea of ladies carrying one of these books in their handbag (purse), and men carrying one in their breast shirt pocket, to read whenever they had a few minutes spare, didn't take off.
Again, though, I was fortunate, as I sent (about $25, I believe?), for a presentation pack of the first 6 books, and I still have them, and they are cute, and I think, were a great idea.
After expanding 'Dream Reapers' to 60,000 or 80,000 words, I published it as a novel, but it has not been re-published as a download for Amazon, as there is no 'Word' document file for it, and there's no way that I'm going to re-type it, as I don't have the time nor the inclination.
'The Wizard's Last Spell,' however, has been re-published as an Amazon download in its original 20,000 word format, and 11 other short stories have also been added, to make it more worthwhile, and novel-length. I have often described it as "Iron Fist meets Red Sonja,' and it's still a nice read.

Friday, October 14, 2011

'The Message': was the next book. It was based on my take on the unfortunate Jill Dando murder. Convinced from Day 1 that she was murdered by a Hit-Man, who had fled the scene long before her body was discovered on her door step; when they arrested Barry George, I kept screaming at the newscaster on TV - "No! That's not him! You've got the wrong bloke!"
The book wrote itself, as they say, and I spent every available minute of my spare time writing it, as it poured out, as if someone was telling me what to write.
When it was finished, and published, Barry George had been convicted, and was serving a sentence which ended up seeing him as the scapegoat that he really was. Other strange things happened, which led to adding a Part 2 to the story, and republishing it as 'A Conspiracy Of Silence,' which the whole thing was.
'The Message' has an excellent review on Amazon, and the reviewer got it right, because either or both are superb stories which, once started, you just can't put down.
Now, of course, the world knows that this miscarriage of justice, which I was trying to get across to everyone to tell them of Barry George's innocence, is true. It was a Hit-Man, and he / she will never be found, but thankfully, Barry George won his final appeal, and has been free since 2009.

The Message -

A Conspiracy Of Silence -

The Hit-Man in the story, is named Eddie Taylor, a mix of the Eddie Clarke and Phil Taylor names. He is actually based on a man whom Jane and I knew very well, and worked with, named Gerry Bugden, who has now passed on. This was my shot as an epitaph for him, as he had that mysterious, gangster-like look about him; and he was a 10-Pin bowling pro in real life; and his lady was named Trish.
The New 'Fastway' website:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

'Dark Eyes' - Crime Thriller by Alan Burridge: If we get married, the photos cost a bomb. Digging out ours for the eldest grandchildren to look at recently, we found a cheap exercise book in the box. It contained a diary of the daytime honeymoon activities, during our week staying in London. Writing for as long as I can remember, this is my earliest surviving written work, from December 1973.
'Dark Eyes' was my first attempt at a full-length novel. Written during 1997-98, I went to the trouble of visiting two Poole CID detectives, to ask for information regarding their proceedures. There were some dark things hapening in our lives at the time, and they reflected strongly in the story. The CID men told me that they did not divulge police preceedure of any kind, as every case was different, and would be handled on an individual basis. They also said that they didn't want writers' like me giving away their secrets to the criminals, so as long as it was believable, I could write whatever I felt fitted the story.
When the opportunity came in 2001 to publish it, I held it back in favour of my second novel, 'The Message,' as I feared that 'Dark Eyes' was too psychotic, and evil.
At the time that it was written, it probably was. But I feel more comfortable with it now, twisted and gory as it still is.
It's on Amazon UK as a budget priced download crime thriller -
You do not need to spend £100 or so buying a Kindle to read it. On the right of the Amazon page, there is a link for 'Kindle Reading Apps,' so that you can download an app to your PC, laptop, iPhone etc. to read any story that you fancy.
The book can also be found on and
Chequeing Out: Early last evening, Mandy Swadel arrived here to accept the cheque collected from donations which many of you made towards Wurzel's 'Help for Heroes' charity fund.
The total came to £2,000-00, and my son, Steve, took a couple of photos of the handover, which will be appearing in the December fanzine.
Thank you to everyone who donated, it is an excellent cause, and your generosity is appreciated.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, October 07, 2011

Motorheadbangers - Diary of the Fans Volume 1: Some fans believe that you need to buy a Kindle to download and read this book -
Not true.
If you click on the page for the relevant book, Amazon offer free apps to enable download to most of the iPhones, Android, and also your PC and laptop.

The book can be dowloaded from America's and Germany's and as Scandinavia don't have Amazon, I am trying to work out a way for the MHB's there.