20201107 – writing update


It’s been tough lately. Funnily enough, the last few days have got me so hopeful & happy, I have been rewriting during Covid-19. Yesterday I finished the rewrites and printed out my manuscript. Book 2 will be coming out in paperback soon.
Celebration time. 🎉🎉🎉




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20200929 – writing update

Firstly it has only been a month since my last blog post. However, I am still alive, and I wish to give my condolences to everyone who has lost a friend or family member to COVID-19. As time passes, I am starting to hear of friends and others who have survived COVID-19 and are now on the difficult road to recovery even months after surviving the disease.

A writing update, I could just as well call this a lifestyle update as I changed my routine and have over the last month settled into having my alarm clock going off at 7am. Hope goes out into the back garden, and I put her food in the bowl, then while she eats, I make my first coffee of the day. Afterwards, I make porridge, and I am sitting at the computer writing before 9am, sometimes well before 9.

What has changed, you may ask. Firstly I am sticking to this new routine, and secondly, I am not looking at any news or email until the evening. The result is a vast improvement in productivity. How sustainable this is will depend on how long I can manage with a low intake of coffee. I am trying to keep it to 2 mugs max before lunch, after a while the brain adapts, and you have to drink more coffee to get the same productivity. The other day I was at the desk until lunchtime, and by then I had 4 mugs of coffee, I was buzzing, I was on a roll, I had not had writing word counts like it since before the pandemic.

We are back into increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, and by the way things are going at the moment we will all be back into a tougher lockdown by November if not before. Flu season is approaching so get your jab. I have been reassessing what my writing plans for winter will be. I lost so much time during the first lockdown, trying to look after my mental health. Hopefully, I am better prepared for lockdown 2 when it comes. Either way, I am back to doing rewrites of book 2 before I get it put into paperback, my plan is to get the rewrites done by mid-October.

After that, I need to do further research before I restart work on the 1st draft of book 4. The hope is to start back on the writing on the 1st of November, at the moment I have just over 49,000 words of the first draft done. Book 5 is just a skeleton at scarcely over 7,000 words of the initial draft, I have no date yet when I will get back to number 5. However, it will be when I am no longer working on book 3.




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20200425 – 5th weekend in lockdown

This weekend is the 5th weekend in lockdown.

I am back to preparing my second book to be formatted into a Paperback. When the pandemic lockdown started, and all the Festivals were cancelled, like many folks, I just lost the will to write. I am now making progress on the work needed to be done and in planning my work for the rest of the year.

I finished “Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samovar” by Olga Wojtas earlier this week. I got halfway through by reading a chapter or two each evening and then had to binge read the second half in one sitting. Definitely a lockdown read. I will be purchasing the second book by Olga Wojtas, “Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace” when I can get to a bookseller. I want it in paperback rather than the digital version.

Miss BlainesPrefect

This is Princes Street, Edinburgh in the lockdown




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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. 😦 who the heck is stockpiling black pepper?

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

Stay safe.



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20200105 – New Year Resolutions

I’m not into new year resolutions, they tend to get broken shortly after they are made. So instead here are my writing goals for 2020.

1. Get the first draft of book 4 finished by the start of April.

2. Write the first draft of book 5 by the end of the year.

3. Get book 2 and 3 into paperback by May.

I will have to see if I achieve these goals before setting any more for this year.

If you have set yourself any new year resolutions or any other goals for this year, I wish you luck in achieving them.


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20191204 -It is now instore

I was notified this morning by email from amazon that my paperback is now on sale, it will take up to 7 days for all the keywords, details and links to my other books to be made. However, I have managed to get it on the store in time for dark fantasy readers to either give it or receive it as a Christmas gift. If you already have it or it’s not your thing or the person you are looking for is not into Dark fantasy, I suggest having a look through The Books I am Reading blog posts. I recommend any and all those books as Christmas presents.


Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 08.36.47


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20191203 – Amazon paperback

I ordered a proof copy of “And Hell Followed After” Sub-title: “The Witch Hunters of Otnasnom” in paperback from Amazon. I finished uploading the files a few days ago and it arrived yesterday. As I cannot see any problems in the proof copy, I will approve the book for sale later today, it will take about 3 days to show up on Amazon’s online stores. As those of you who follow my blog will know, I have already had book 1 printed here in the UK through Ingram Spark/Lightning Source, those paperback books have only been available at events I have attended in Edinburgh this year.




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20191202 – writing update

Since the Edinburgh International Book Festival, I had been procrastinating over my writing. I had been having trouble getting back into the swing and getting my word count up. I may not have solved my problem, however, for the moment I am back to writing. Just one problem, I am now working on my manuscript for book 4 and book 5. So I am happy to say that work on both first drafts is progressing. I have picked up my fountain pen again and I am back writing in my note books as well as on the computer.

All you need when writing notes, coffee, pen and notebooks.


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20190611 -Aftermath

I have had a day to recover after the Cymera Festival, Scotland’s first Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror book festival. I need more time to recover from the 3 day weekend. However I am still running on adrenaline and I have started looking at book 2 in my series “The Legend of Zanta Klaus” to prepare it to be transformed into paperback. I hope to have books 2 and 3 in paperback before Christmas. Next year I plan to have all 3 books on a table.


More information can be found on the Cymera Festival website –


Twitter: @CymeraF


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