Friday 24 November 2017


Friday, November 24, 2017

Monday 6 November 2017

Some Serious Editing Ahead...

Monday, November 06, 2017

Sunday 29 October 2017

Sida cordiolia

October 29, 2017

I have decided to use this photograph I took of a Sida cordifolia leaf for the final design of the book cover for Edn™:

A Sida cordifolia leaf

As the alien plants in the novel have a purple phosphorescent hue to them, I have again inverted the image in Photoshop. I particularly like straggly plant fluff clinging to the stem in the photograph, as it illustrates the extra-terrestrial spore and regenerative power of the plants very nicely indeed. I hope.

My latest Edn™ cover design

Saturday 28 October 2017

Cats Seem To Be My Constant Writing Companions

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Half-way through draft 2...

Thursday 12 October 2017


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Saturday 7 October 2017

Sunday 1 October 2017

Work on Draft 2 Begins...

October 01, 2017

Work on the second draft begins...

Friday 15 September 2017

18k words in...

September 15, 2017

Sunday 10 September 2017

Thursday 7 September 2017

Merman Inspiration

All, and I mean all, of the original ideas behind my fiction writing occur to me whilst I am out walking in the wilds. My muse is obviously the outdoors type. This past weekend, whilst taking a walk along a lonely stretch of coastline, I happened upon this particular scene:

The scene that set up an entire short story
The picture shows a large log/tree stump that had been washed ashore on a particularly high tide. Now, my eyesight is not at all good these days, but the lack of clarity in my sight does, I believe, make food for creative thought. For example, it can take a little while for me to work out exactly what it is that sometimes catches my eye on my countryside walks. My mind then engages in a little creative whimsy as it tries to focus on the object it tries to delineate. In this particular instance, I wondered if this object washed up on the high tide line might have been a seal. Then I realised it was too big to be a seal- it being of almost of sea-lion dimensions. But, of course, exotic animals like sea lions never get washed up on the U.K. coastline, do they?. Hmm. I then wondered what other wonderful creature it would be fascinating to discover washed up here. The thing looked large, with a tail and a torso, maybe? As I neared the object, it turned out, as it so often does, to be something far more mundane than my imagination had fired me up for - a great whacking log. But my creative juices had been stirred and I had myself a rather late night when I got back home as I jotted out the rough outline of  a story of an old fisherman who stumbles upon the washed up body of an aged merman!

I am rather proud of the fishy little tale I conceived after this foreshore walk. I have always wanted to write a tale of Selkies and Mermen/Mermaids and often enjoy a bit of reading on their folklore. The story is now fully fleshed out and will be next writing project when I complete work on Edn™...

Friday 1 September 2017

14,000 Words In, Despite This Furry Girl

Friday, September 01, 2017

I am now 14,000 words into my new novel, despite this furry girl:

Faery Door

Our new faery door

Tuesday 29 August 2017

Bala Lake

On moonlit nights, in the depths of Bala Lake, it is said that you can glimpse the shimmering spires of the old town, long since flooded beneath its deep, dark waters [1]. A monster too, is said to reside in the lake - Teggie, a humped crocodile-like creature with a penchant for wrecking the boats that sail upon ins waters [1] On my visit to the lake, however, I saw no drowned township nor terrifying water-monster. No, all I saw was its entrancing, mesmerising, ripples play with the storm-leadened sky reflected upon its surface. An equally magickal sight, if you were to ask me:

Sunday 20 August 2017

Nag Champa

There is no more calming and serenity-inducing fragrance for me than Nag Champa incense. The scent has an immediate effect upon my nerves and thoughts. The meditative chilled atmosphere it induces is immense. Burning this incense also induces creativity and is the perfect way to set the scene for a good old writing session. It works for me anyway and I loves it. Here are some links if you fancy reading some more on the topic [1][2].

Saturday 19 August 2017

Zombie Gnome

Monster Fish & Chips

The Loch Ness Fish & Chips shop, located near the famous Loch in Fort Augustus. I can personally recommend their lovely chips too :)

rainy window at sunrise

It is seldom a nice walk along the corridor that leads to my office in work. However, sometimes, just sometimes, I catch a nice glimpse of the sunrise through one of its windows there. And on even rarer occasions, the glass in that window appears as fine and beautiful a display as any expensive stained glass window I have ever seen:

There are wonders to behold even in the most mundane of places and situations...

Friday 18 August 2017

Monday 31 July 2017

The "Stop typing and give me attention" glare!

July 31, 2017

The "Stop typing and give me attention" glare!

Sunday 30 July 2017

Crawley - New 2nd Printing Design

July 30, 2017

Before I get more entrenched in the writing of my next novel, I really wanted to put my first novel, Crawley, behind me so I could finally get the story and its characters out of my head. And so, over the past few evenings, I have put a bit of work into the one bug bear I had about my first book - its cover design.

I tried three new designs, all based on a more woodland theme and using a trio of images I had taken from a nearby pine woodland.

Whilst being more than happy with the all of three new designs I came up with, I finally settled on using this third image, which I felt had more of a daunting atmosphere about it:

The original photo used for the final design of Crawley ~ an adult faery tale
And here is the finished thing:

The new cover gives more of an emphasis to the forest, rather than to Frank Crawley himself. I hope it illustrates the otherworldliness of the forest in the book and that the cover is more suggestive of menace than the former picture. Anyway, the new design has been uploaded and is now the official cover of Crawley ~ an adult faery tale. If you haven't read it, please give and try. And if you like it, please leave a nice friendly review over on Amazon for me. Thanks :)

There, now that is done, I can crack on with my new writing project and give it all the attention it needs and hopefully deserves...

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Crawley Promo - Loch Ness

July 26, 2017

For our last evening in Scotland, we camped up on the shore of Loch Ness. Whilst I have no belief in the Loch Ness monster, the place definitely carries a charged magickal aura about it. Here are my last Scottish advertising pics for Crawley ~ an adult faery tale, taken on the shore or Loch Ness:

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Crawley Promo - Skye

Monday, 25 July 2017

On our summer van-camp holiday around Scotland in 2017, I took along a copy of my newly published novel, Crawley ~ an adult faery tale, so that I could take some advertising shots of the book in some pretty amazing locations. For the first of my Scottish advertising shoots, I chose the country's most photographed and filmed castles - Eilean Donan:

From here, we headed over to the Isle of Skye, my favourite place in the whole world. And a great place for another advertising photoshoot for Crawley:

Monday 24 July 2017

Writing on the Kyle of Tongue

Sunday 24, 2017

Started writing my 2nd novel today on the Kyle of Tongue Bridge, Scotland:

Monday 17 July 2017

Crawley Promo - Local Woods

July 17, 2017

For my second advertising shoot for Crawley ~ an adult faery tale, I took a quick wander down to my local woods, which is just a five-minute walk from my home. To give the images a bit of a magickal boost, I added a few light squirls, which I think worked rather well:

Saturday 8 July 2017

Crawley Peak District Promo

July 08, 2017

Well, Crawley ~ an adult faery tale is finally published. It feels strange having a book for general sale and having a hard copy of the very thing in my hands and on my bookshelf. Anyway,  I used my recent family trip to Manchester (en route to a Radiohead gig) to stop off in the Peak District and take my first advertising picture for the book. The spectacular stones in the background of the image are the Ramshaw Rocks. I hope you like it:

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Sunday 18 June 2017

Crawley Cover Art

June 18, 2017

I took this photograph of my shadow on the garden wall to use for the cover of Crawley.

My shadow on the garden wall

I thought the shadow held a certain strangeness to it, which I accentuated by ruffling up my hair and angling the shadow of my hand and fingers to make to make them look as crooked as possible. Using a few basic functions on Photoshop, I then came up with the following finished cover for the book. I added the green hue to give the picture a more woodland feel and made the shadow longer and thinner to better characterise the protagonist of the story.

The book is ready now to upload to Amazon and wait for it to be finally published. It took me so long to write this short novel that I publish it with a sigh of relief, lightened by finally being able to leave this character's side and walk away to ventures new...

Saturday 17 June 2017

Crawley Art

June 17, 2017

Given that my first novel is, at heart, an adult faery tale, I felt that the book needed at least one drawing on its inside pages. After all, what kind of faery story does not have at least one illustration within its covers? I also wanted to give the story a sense of antiquity so felt that the image should at least give the impression of an olde worlde woodcut. Unfortunately, I am not a particularly adroit artist, to say the least, and so drawing the sketch I needed was out of the question.  Fortunately, however, I am in possession of a rather cool lamp that has a very particular quality about it - when direct sunlight hits it from across the room, the metallic tree shapes that surround its shade produces a pretty stunning reflection of an ancient tree upon the living-room wall.

Reflection from my living-room lamp

Unable to draw this reflection, I decided to take a photograph of it instead and see if I could make something useful out of it in Photoshop.

Wall reflection
Wanting the image to look menacing, I was forced to add a tiny drawing of a silhouetted figure among the branches of the tree. Hopefully my poor drawing skills will be hidden slightly by the tiny nature of the figure.

1st photoshopped version of reflection

2nd Photoshopped version of reflection, with drawn-in figure

I was quite pleased with the resulting picture as it appeared in the finished book:

I enjoyed the process of producing this image and am already looking forward to producing a suitable image for my second novel...

Tuesday 21 February 2017

The Haunting of Hill House


I started reading this today - the Penguin Horror printing of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hell House. This hardcover book really is a beast of an edition and has a distinct graphic design in orange, black and white, with glossy black highlights on the trees, crows, grass and eye. There is no dust jacket (which was a slight disappointment).

Another feature of the book is its black page edging:

The edition has an in depth introduction by Guillermo Del Toro. The book is tightly bound, the covers resisting the actual opening of the book. But open it must. It is time for me to crack for me crack its spine and read a good old-fashioned haunted house story...

Sunday 19 February 2017

Crawley is Published!

February 19, 2017

Crawley ~ an adult faery tale has now been published. You can buy a copy here.