20200412 – Pandemic isolation update

It has only been a couple of weeks since the lockdown came into effect. I have been doing spring cleaning, re-watching several DVDs from my collection and I finished reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.


I am now reading Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradury.

Screen Shot-Zen andtheArtOfWriting

I went for my daily exercise in the ghost town on Saturday. George Street Edinburgh.


A sign of the times.


The Grassmarket pubs all boarded up, the streets empty.


The West Bow, the pavements deserted and no cars. You can breath and smell the air.


Let us hope by the end of this pandemic that East Princes Street Gardens are restored and the Council stop allowing it to be used for commercial purposes, i.e. the Christmas market. It has been 4 months and the gardens are still closed to the public.

East PrincesStreet Gardens

Stay safe everyone.


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20200328 – my writing goals for 2020 update


As I said in my last post, I’m not into doing new year resolutions as they tend to get broken shortly after they are made. However, I never expected a pandemic when I wrote that. All my plans for this year have had to be abandoned. Edinburgh is in lockdown, heck the whole country and the rest of the world is in lockdown. Wherever you are reading this, I hope you and your family are safe. If you have lost loved ones to this pandemic, my condolences and prayers are with you at this time.

We live in difficult times. Theatres, cinemas, restaurants, Festivals including Book Festivals have been cancelled including the Cymera Book Festival which I had hoped to have the paperback versions of my 2nd and 3rd books ready to sell there. I had sold book 1 in paperback at the festival last year. A lot of authors are having the book launches for their new books cancelled. Some have been doing online book launches. I will have to plan a virtual book launch for when I finish my current work.

Like a lot of people in lockdown, I have started spring cleaning. I am sure there are behavioural scientists out there who could give us a 70,000-word book on why people do this. I am, however, blaming it on procrastination now that I am stuck inside rather than being here willingly. When I stop procrastinating I will get back to doing rewrites of book 2 in preparation to get it into paperback. Once that is done I will move on to preparing book 3 to go into paperback. All the reasons for my deadlines have gone out of the window, now I have to make myself new deadlines so I can make progress on my work. I think my best option will be to split my time between preparing books 2 & 3 for paperback and doing the drafts on books 4 & 5.

One thing I did not expect the panic buyers to clear off the shelves was black pepper, I went to 4 supermarkets today before I got a small jar. đŸ˜¦ who the heck is stockpiling black pepper?

Whatever your goals are for this year, I wish you luck in achieving them.

Stay safe.



#fantasy, #darkfantasy, #epicfantasy, #storytelling, #swordandsorcery, #writerslife, #amwriting, #authors, #dragons, #books, #Kindle, #Amazon, #AppleBooks, #Kobo,

20191201 – Books I am Reading

Back in September of this year, I read “What You Pay For” in a week, a great read.



Claire Askew won the Scottish Crime Debut of the Year 2019 for “All The Hidden Truths”. Congratulations.


“In a House of Lies” is the second of my Edinburgh International Book Festival book reads.



Started reading Kursk The Last Mission. I’m not usually one for reading books based on actual events.



#books, #crime, #reading, #booklovers, #amreading,

20190902 – Books I am Reading

In my last post on ‘Books I am Reading’ I said I was bringing ‘The Priory of The Orange Tree’ to the top of my reading pile. Well I read it on my iPad mini, all 800 or so pages. I loved it so much I had to buy the hardback so that I could get it signed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last month.


By the end of the first week of the Edinburgh International Book Festival I had already overspent on my budget for the entire Festival. All the books in the photo below were signed by the authors, it is going to take me a while to read them all.



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20190831 – Edinburgh International Book Festival

A great night was had by one and all at the The Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers event at the Unbound event in the Spiegeltent on the 23rd of August 2019. It was standing room only for many at the event and a queue formed outside waiting for people to leave so they could get in. The band consists of the crime writers, Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnstone, Luca Veste, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid. The band plays crime themed cover songs and they also played Glastonbury this year.



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20190810 to 26 – Edinburgh International Book Festival

The first Saturday, the temperature hit 21c and the crowds were out in force. In the bookshop were holding their parents hands and queuing up to get them to pay for all the books they wanted. In the corners the children were reading their new books. What a pleasure seeing children and adults reading books instead of staring at their phones.










The wickerman being built in the photo below was a representation of an astronaut from the moon landing 50 years ago this year.


The last night of the Edinburgh International Book Festival is also the last night of the Edinburgh International International Festival and that festival comes to a close with the fireworks Concert with over 400,000 fireworks lighting up the Castle and surroundings.







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20180828-Book Festival

One of the great free and drop-in events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival is Unbound starting at 9pm. My favourite one from this year was on Thursday 23rd August, the band Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers played the night away. It was after midnight before I got to bed. The band is made up of the crime writers: Chris Brookmyre, Doug Johnstone, Luca Vesta, Mark Billingham, Stuart Neville and Val McDermid. The songs were naturally crime-themed. At the end of the night, they had all the crime writers in the audience join them on stage.

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