Showing posts from April, 2016

Five stars for Dark Interlude

It started out as one of those days. Good intentions, lousy internet connection, distractions galore.

Then suddenly, up it popped on a Google Alert.
A Goodreads five-star review for Dark Interlude, an adventure set in Scotland in the aftermath of WW1 when revolutions was in the air.
The icing on the cake for me is that it was by Lexie Conyngham, the author of the Murray of Letho series.
If you haven’t read any of these, you are in for a veritable feast of murder and mayhem by one of my favourite authors. You’ll find her books here – and her blog is a delight.

Meanwhile, here’s the full review on Goodreads:

'I'm delighted to have been able to read this at last after it had been withdrawn for a bit.
'As usual, the author's language and scene-setting are terrific, atmospheric, touching and expressive. The plot centres around an archivist cataloguing a dead academic's collection, then finding that her death is not as straightforward as she has been led to believe. We a…

A good day

Just love the Borders on a dazzling day. Hardly anyone around, just a mad RAF guy making a romantic statement, a pair of elegant swans and a distant buzzard cruising the thermals.

Follow this with a hot pie eaten on a bench in Kelso square, washed down by a cold beverage ... as the hilariously discordant bells of the town hall mark the quarter hours.

A good day.

Blog jam

When I was starting out in writing, I read Mark Coker’s excellent guide, Secrets to Ebook PublishingSuccess, and realised it was time to stumble out of the darkness and into social media. Put simply, I needed a blog.
Correction. I needed several blogs, as I decided to do one per book. I knew it would mean more work, but as the titles were for different ages, it made sense. I also needed an author blog to present an overview.
So, over the months, I busied myself creating the different blogs and filling them with what I hoped was ‘good content’. Eight titles later, I had a blog per book, an author blog, an author website, Facebook pages, an Amazon author profile, ditto Goodreads and Smashwords. I feel exhausted just thinking about them all.
Articles, blog swaps, photos, quizzes, interviews. I did the lot for three years – and then stopped. Partly because I’d just had enough and partly because we were moving house. Well, it seemed a good excuse.
As part of my New Year’s Resolution this year,…

Who says the war is over?

Dark Interlude is a post-WW1 adventure set in Glasgow against the backdrop of ‘Black Friday’. I've decided to publish this independently, so my first step was to devise a new cover. So, what is it all about?

It was a difficult time for many. Troops were returning to civilian life after the war and despite the so-called victory, life was harder than ever and spirits were low. In the dockyards, there weren’t enough jobs to go round, so the unions decided on a drastic solution – agree to a shorter week to give everyone a chance. Less money was better than no job at all. The employers disagreed and the unions mobilised themselves into a massive protest, with thousands of people filling George Square. The authorities panicked at the sight of the red flags – and Churchill called in the troops. Soon, tanks were rolling in the city streets.

After some running battles, the soldiers finally took control and a full-scale revolution was narrowly averted.

Photographs taken at the time are shoc…

Striking parallels ...

Browsing the headlines on my tablet, a headline made me jump.
‘Teachers and doctors should invoke the spirit of 1919 and strike together,’ claimed Ellie Mae O’Hagan in a recent opinion piece for The Guardian.
She argues that: ‘Teachers and doctors are now considering tapping into this collective power, not because they want to bring about a Bolshevik revolution but because they have been driven to an extreme act by a government that is utterly intransigent.’ 
Fighting talk.
But, then it struck me ...
I’ve been immersed in republishing Dark Interlude, a story set against the backdrop of ‘Bloody Friday’ in January of 1919. By the time the Armistice was signed, and thousands of demobbed soldiers poured into the city in search of work, the trades unions were ready to confront the bosses over working hours – and the resulting conflict landed the city on the brink of open rebellion for a few mad days, as the demobbed men fell in with the workers in a show of strength.
I’d come up with an alternat…