Tag Archives: Writing

Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus

I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction lately. For me, one author stands out: Ian Rankin. His Inspector Rebus novels, set in Edinburgh, are taut and atmospheric. His writing style has often been emulated but rarely matched. Why?

I’d like to explore Rankin’s style with examples from his second Rebus novel, Hide and Seek, published in 1991. I won’t talk about the plot here, but mainly writing technique and style. Continue reading

The wolfsbane experiment

By the waterside by Randi Hausken Creative Commons licence (CC By 2.0)

Wolfsbane, also known as Monkshood because of the shape of its flowers, is the common name for the perennial shrub Aconitum. A native of Europe and North America, it’s a herbaceous plant with a tall stem, often with blue flowers.

I planted a batch of Aconite seeds as part of my research into werewolves. Continue reading

My werewolf phase

  The Woods at Dusk by A Quiverful of Photos Creative Commons licence (CC By 2.0)

I’m doing a lot of research into werewolf legends and lore right now, as part of writing my Lycanthropic series of werewolf books. It’s a fascinating topic.

My kids think it’s some kind of problem.

They snigger at me openly, talking about “Dad’s werewolf phase.” Like it’s some sort of mid-life crisis and not a smart career move. Continue reading

Supermoon

Full moon by Garret Alfert Creative Commons licence (CC BY 2.0)

The first day of 2018 will be marked by a full moon, but not just any full moon. It’s a supermoon, meaning that the moon will be at its closest to the Earth, and will appear larger and brighter than normal. It’s also a wolf moon, the name given to the first moon in January.

Coincidentally, the day of the supermoon also marks the publication of my new werewolf novel, Wolf Blood (available from Amazon). Continue reading

Where does confidence come from?

I’ve never thought of myself as a confident person. Yet sometimes people ask me where I get my confidence from, so I must be projecting the illusion of confidence at some level.

I don’t feel confident right now. I feel vulnerable. Continue reading

Book cover design

I’m about to publish the first book in my werewolf apocalypse series.

I used 99designs to find a designer, and more than 50 designers submitted book cover designs!

Please help me choose a cover design by voting for your favourite from the 8 final designs.

Click here to vote in the poll: https://99designs.co.uk/contests/poll/zgi02y

Thank you!

Lycanthropic

I haven’t been blogging so much recently and that’s because I’ve been busy writing a novel. That novel is now almost ready for publishing, so I can tell you a little more about it. Continue reading

British English vs American English in fiction

English. What a wonderful language, but how irritating that it comes in two flavours (flavors.) How should an author handle this problem?

If you’re a British author writing for a British audience, you can simply use British spellings. Colour. Organisation. Defence. Similarly for American writers – use American spellings. Color. Organization. Defense.

But what if you want to make your book as accessible as possible? Tricky. Continue reading

George RR Martin, the master

I started reading George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire reluctantly. My expectations were low. The book didn’t start well, with a confusing jumble of voices, and an omniscient point of view that added to the sense of dislocation. But by the end of the first chapter, Martin’s hook had caught me. It wasn’t the action that drew me in, although the first chapter does contain a dramatic sword fight. It wasn’t the characters, who were not particularly well drawn, nor long lived. It was the prose. The words were magical, delicate, full of mystery and power. They conveyed much more than the literal flow of events.

Continue reading

The end of the world is nigh

Lightning by vegglefrog (Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0)

Lightning by veggiefrog (Creative Commons License CC BY 2.0)

Don’t worry. This isn’t about Trump. I’ve returned to my first love – science fiction – with two new novels in the pipeline. The first is a conspiracy thriller set in the near future, the second an apocalyptic blockbuster set in the present day. Continue reading