I’m fairly sure the last time I posted here I promised I would do so more regularly. *rubs glasses* My last post was in March… Damn… Note to self – write here more. I am still posting semi-regular updates via my newsletter (by all means, sign up and get yourself a free ebook.)

A lot has happened since March. My last post featured me posting about the completion of Last Night of Freedom and my hopes for the book. Things have not panned out too well for me since then. The book didn’t get me the dream agent that I hoped it would. To be honest, it didn’t get as much attention from agents in general as I thought/hoped it would.

The previous books I’ve submitted have all had a decent level of interest but Last Night of Freedom just hasn’t caught on fire in that way. It’s a shame but it is what it is. A combination of poorly timed submissions, my initial pitch perhaps not being as sharp as I honed it to later on, and the violent subject matter just combined to make it fizzle out a little. It’s a strong book, after some soul-searching I do still believe that but perhaps it isn’t THE book that gets me over the line with representation.

It’s disappointing but the good thing about writing is – there’s always another book. There will always be another book. If writing has taught me anything about myself, it’s that I’m about a thousand times more resilient than I ever thought I could be. I keep getting knocked back and going again.

Since I last posted here, I’ve completed the first draft of another novel, perhaps the most overtly horror thing I’ve written in years. The Trawl is a story about a northern fishing village, destitute because of Brexit, and now under threat because something insidious lurks beneath the waves. The book has shades of awe, faith, cosmic horror, and… industrial fishing… It’s far from perfect but in time, I’ll knock the rough edges off and see how I feel about it.

In July I went to Harrogate Crime Writing Festival with the excellent Wayne Kelly. I made some proof copies of Last Night of Freedom and managed to get them into the hands of some pretty cool people. I think seeing the book as a tangible “thing” will help not only them to picture it as a product in its finished form but also for me to think again about publishing and what happens next.

So where does that leave me?

Good question. The answer is – still writing. I’m working on a new novel because the only way I know is forward and through. I’ve got a concept of a novel I’ve written before but didn’t like the end result. It played it too safe and straight, so I’m throwing a lot more of myself at it, adding a few curveballs. After that, there’s work to be done on The Trawl and then this new book. Ideas and inspiration aren’t ever the issue for me, thankfully. I’m always here, crafting, working, trying to improve.

I’ll be back soon to give an update on what the rest of the year will hold on the publishing side of things. I’m yet to release a book this year and I’m unsure whether to push on and release one later or to hold my water and go for a double in 2024. I’m genuinely yet to decide and I’ll explain those reasons next time out. I’m sure it won’t take as long next time.

Take it easy,


2023 – How The Heck Are You?

Oof. This is my first post of 2023. Pretty much a quarter of the year is gone already and I’m beginning to wonder what I have to show for it. The answer is – a whole lot of words that are yet to see publication! That’s not to say they won’t – as we all know, publishing is a fickle, difficult business so there are no guarantees when or even if a book is going to make its way out there. There’s been lots to celebrate in 2023 regardless of it being a slow publication year so far.

Last Night of Freedom

Last Night of Freedom, my crazy, violent crime/thriller is complete, edited and doing the rounds with agents. I’m proud of this one. There are interesting characters, some horrendous violence and a couple of very nasty twists and turns.

Massive thanks to the Continental Editing Powerhouse AKA Austrian Spencer who gave this book a beasting in beta reads. Also thanks to Kev Harrison (as ever) for reading it and giving his superb feedback.

This is the leanest, tightest book to date. Let’s hope it finds itself a worthy home.

The Passenger

I finished work on The Passenger a little while ago now. It’s a twisted little novella about hauntings, grief, abuse, and the sea. It’s a bit of a departure style-wise from previous books, perhaps leaning more into uncanny territory than before. A difficult book to write due to the themes involved, hopefully I’ve struck a balance between the supernatural and real-life horrors at play. This one needs a hefty edit but the overall bones of the story are there. Something to pull to pieces and put back together over the coming months.

Down in Albion

Original photo credit – @thesaturdayboy (Instagram). Posted at The Terrace Edition.

I took a screenwriting course at the back end of 2022 and caught the bug for it. I’m now involved in running the Mersey Screenwriters, a group that meets once a month to crit scripts and offer feedback etc. This month I finished the script and pitch deck for Down in Albion, a comedy drama about a superfan of a non-league club and his battles to save it from extinction. I adapted it from my 2020 (unpublished) novel of the same name. I’m not 100% sure what to do with this just yet but I’m sure I’ll find a few avenues to try!


I think that’s about it for my 2023 progress so far. I’ve just wrapped a short story called “Let The Home Fires Burn” and have started a quick audio script for a scheme I’d love to get on.

There are several novel ideas swirling at the moment and it’s a matter of choosing the right one to take forward. I love them all equally at this point but it’s about choosing the right one that will sustain that momentum for the next 3/4 months. But that’s a problem for next week, then it’s time to dig in and get my teeth into the project.

I write these things for those who are interested but also for myself, it’s always useful to know what I’ve achieved in a quarter and to try to find out where I can improve.

Hopefully, next time I check in I’ll have concrete news on where these projects are going and maybe (please, Old Gods) some news on publication or representation. Who knows?

Until then…