Saturday 26 August 2017

Paperback launch: DOGSBODY is out there!


It's been a long time coming, but here, at last, is volume 1 in the Georgie Crane comi-crime trilogy!
It's been around in Kindle format for a while, but some say there's nothing quite like a paperback.
And mine is available from:

Where do you stand on the print or digital reading debate? To my mind, there's room both. A  small Kindle is perfect for minimal packing, long journeys or overnight stays, and for lazing in hot sunshine, the anti-glare screen is just the job. It's usually all I take, because there, at my fingertips, are dozens of books of mixed genres ready to dip in and out of at will. But don't do as I once did and forget your charger, or you're stuffed, unless you're (a) close to a digital supplies outlet or (b) handy for a bookshop and (c) fluent in the local language.

This year, though, I also took along a paperback part-read, but so enthralling I couldn't bear to leave it at home. By the time I reached the epilogue, the masterpiece was soggy, yellowed and so smeared with sun-tan lotion as to be indecipherable. So the Husband didn't get to read that one!

I'd like to think that books will always be with us. It's that glimpse of an imagined world behind the cover, the smell of paper, the crispness of turned pages, that comforting bulk of other worlds in your hand.

If you like crime, humour, dogs, or all three, please enjoy. And for news and updates, feel free to visit my blog at: 

Friday 18 August 2017

War Over Dust: #SciFi out as eBook

The second book in Stuart Aken’s Generation Mars series, War Over Dust, is now available for Kindle. The paperback version is due to launch at Fantasticon 2017 in Hull on 2nd September, where the author will be on hand to sign copies.
What’s it about?
The community at Marion live in eternal peace, harmony and justice under an atheistic democratic system clandestinely controlled by Artificial Intelligence. Their opposite Martian community, Marzero, is a commercially driven patriarchal ghetto ruled by the Elite, whose only concerns are personal gratification and profit. When brilliant but innocent Daisa leaves Marion to study a new phenomenon in Marzero, she precipitates a series of events with dangerous potential. Her subject, Gabriel, the Prophet of the People, believes he is the voice of God. They meet under the shadow of the Machiavellian Stefan and embark on a love affair that will test them to their limits. When injustice lands Daisa in danger of execution, will her community be able to extract her without bringing vengeance and war down from the envious city? Which colony will succeed in the ensuing battle for a better future for humanity on Mars?
You can catch up on the way this book was written by visiting Stuart Aken’s website via this link.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Murder Most Foul

     Readers have an insatiable appetite for murder mysteries – safely confined within the pages of a book. Mass education in Victorian days provided a growing audience for penny dreadfuls and nowadays there are authors and publishers who cater for every taste. Modern readers have a choice between forensic skills, courtroom clashes, drug dealing or gossipy villages. The central character may be a jaded professional, or an amateur sleuth whose insider knowledge solves the case. In recent years, there has also been a vogue for mediaeval investigators in the guise of scribes, monks or crowners (coroners).
     My own taste runs to escapist cosy crime, since the newspapers contain a surfeit of real-life suffering. Over My Dead Body, an American website which offers a lively selection of murder in every genre, has just published another of my crime shorts: Verdict by Madeleine McDonald.
     To read Verdict, visit

Saturday 5 August 2017

A perception of fiction writers

Sounds like a collective noun, doesn’t it? Many people often voice their perceptions of us scribblers. 

Most prevalent is that we are all millionaires. The blunt truth is well over 90% of us, whose sole occupation is writing, don’t pay tax because we don’t earn enough. Most writers have a day-job and fit their writing around that because they need to pay for luxuries like food and rent. I once added up what I have had to spend in order to write. Currently, and taking into account all my earnings from writing, my ‘business’ owes me over £7000. That includes computers, research trips, membership of writing organisations, buying books and the rest.

Another perception is that we lie around - usually by swimming pools in the sun  - fabricating stories from the aether without any preparation at all. I will state categorically that ALL writers need to do research and some, historical writers for example, possibly a great deal more than most. We have to, otherwise we would not know how to create the world in which our books are set and make it accurate. I know a science fiction writer who spent months reading all manner of papers and books in order to write his book set on another planet and his main problem was that the science is being updated almost daily. Crime writers need to know the current state of police procedure. Historical novelists need to know what people ate, how they dressed etc. for the period in which their books are set. So, by no means is the business of writing merely sitting and spinning yarns with no prior research.

Later this month, I will start writing the first of a new series set in the time of the Wars of the Roses. On my blog this week, I have given a few insights into how this series started in my head and where I am in the preparation process. Click the link below and have a read. You never know, it might just change your perception of what we do, how hard we work and how little is our reward. But then, virtually every writer will tell you that their need to write is compelling and the rewards are much bigger than just money.

Part of the preparation of course, is choosing titles and characters. And playing about with concepts for book covers. At this moment, my new hero is called Gethyn Wilde and the recurring symbol will encapsulate the Wars of the Roses:

The initial recurring symbol for the Gethyn Wilde Chronicles

You can read the blog here: 

You can read more about April Taylor here: