Wednesday, 30 April 2014

FutureLearn - Online Writing Course - Week 1

Hi Guys

Well if you've read the previous posts you'll know I'm embarking on an 8 week writing course.

I'm half way through week one's exercises and enjoying it already - mainly to get a feel of what other writers write about and how but also just meeting fellow writers - there seems to be alot on there - which is good and all diverse.

Anyway will give more updates as and when I can - happy reading/writing guys!


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Another Flipping Update!

Hi Guys

Here's another quick update  -

Have just signed up to a free online 8 week Open University course which starts on Monday which is handy as I'm off work with broken foot!  Thanks to fellow CWG member Dawn for the heads up - not sure where she found out about it but feel all sophisticated and posh with it being Open University - ha ha

I'm also starting a short Zombie story which I am sending off to SFX magazine with the closing date of this Tuesday 29th April!!  Bit of a tight deadline but was going to just send Dead Drunk - a funny short story on this blog but it's over 1000 words too long for the submission - they only want work up to 1500 words and rather than chopping and editing it to death and spoiling it starting a new one based on my current situation - what would you do if you was incapacitated with broken limb as there is a zombie uprising?

So wish me luck on those 2 activities - I be busier than being at work - lol

Speak soon guys


Friday, 25 April 2014


Hi guys

As you can see from pic above I'm plastered lol - broken a bone in foot - missed a kerb so recovering from that!

Once used to crutches are be able to do more writing as off sick 6 weeks! So hope to get few short stories finished and alot on novel written!

Speak soon folks x


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Flowers in Spring/ Writing doubts

Hi guys

As I briefly mentioned in my last blog - the Harlan Coben event I have been having doubts about writing in general - just haven't got into it and not done any for ages - but at last minute the following poem came into my mind - I like to think my Dad inspired me to get me to keep writing as he was a good poet and the last two lines of my poem sounds like lines which would come from one of his.

I not really a poetry fan and never really done any poems before - maybe that's evident but will share anyway - good or bad.  Enjoy.

Flowers in Spring

The smell of flowers in spring
Makes my heart sing

The colours of flowers
Gives my eyes extra powers

The touch of petals
As soft as baby skin

I would be grateful if

You could get me flowers in spring.

Harlan Coben Event at Leeds Waterstones - 10th April 2014

Hi Guys

How you all - sorry haven't blogged for a while but haven't done much writing as was thinking of giving writing up but seeing Harlan may have persuaded me to keep at it.

Harlan for those that don't know is an American crime novelist.
He was a very funny guy and tall at six foot four.  He was doing a tour for his new novel "Missing You".
The part he read was very good and funny.  I'm also ashamed to admit I haven't read any of Harlan's novels and think I will do in the near future as the sample chapters I read on my Kindle were excellent and I wanted to read more.

Harlan started by saying he was glad to be with fellow Leeds people as he was born in Leeds, New Jersey and I realised early on he was more talking about how he writes and what inspires him to write more than his actual books which was good for fellow writers like myself.

Harlan admitted anything can set off ideas for his books from the tabloids to reading a sentence somewhere. An example of a sentence he thought up to start one of his novels is-
"When the first bullet hit my chest I thought of my daughter."

He also advised writing a novel is like a sausage - you like the end taste but don't know how its made - meaning lots of editing blood, sweat and tears.

Harlan also advised he how he lost his parents at a young age.  He also admitted he does no or very little research for his novels as he thinks writers should just write and research is just an excuse not to write.  He doesen't put too many facts in his work as wants to get on with plot and action.

He also thinks up the ending and beggining of his novels then works out the middle part and joins them all up.

Harlan also did a question and answer section after his talk here are some of the other things he said in relation to the the Q & A session.

He always feels fear and excitement when writing a novel as always fearful the readers will enjoy his book and advised when a writer stops doubting themselves then they will be no good as will just coast through a book when writing it and the nervous energy would be gone.

It takes Harlan about nine months to write a book and described it to being like a pregnancy - a good idea at the beginning but near the end you just want it out and admitted he writes the last fifity to hundred pages in the last month to get it finished.  He also can do this as he knows the ending of a novel so well.

He trusts his publishers on the cover designs of his novels but if he doesn't like will put some input in and for nearly each country the novels are published in they have different covers - some polish fans showed their books for everyone to see which looked bit weird.

Harlan admitted he likes to read alot when he gets the chance but doesn't re-read books incase the experience changes on the next read.
He also said he dosen't do blurbs for other peoples works as a friend asked him to do a blurb for his manuscript and it was Dan Brown who took the number one spot in book charts for months whilst Harlan's was stuck at number two in the charts.

Overall a very good night although bit miffed it was just under an hour although nearly all stayed on to chat to him and get books signed including a couple of lovely ladies sat next to me who had travelled all the way from Scarborough - hope they reading this as I gave them my blog address.

Till next time guys x

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


Hi guys

Just quick update - written a little but at the moment been too knackered after work to do much but going to enter in the Cape Open Submissions to try get my wormhole novel published.

See below:

Cape Open Submissions

JC logo


From 1–30 June, 2014, Jonathan Cape will be open for fiction submissions from new writers of high calibre and imagination. 
Submissions should be an initial 50 pages of prose fiction. These can be part of a novel or novella, or short stories. The pages can be finished work or a work in progress. 
For graphic-novel submissions, please contact the editors through
Submissions should be emailed as attachments to Please include contact details, and a covering paragraph of any information you think might prove helpful in considering your submission. 
Regrettably, due to the number of submissions we receive, we cannot respond in every instance, but all entries will be read. Submissions received after 30 June will not be considered.