THANK YOU for visiting my website. You can freeze-frame any slide by holding your mouse arrow over it. To like my Facebook page or to follow me on social media, just click on the links under CONTACT INFO in the footer. Enjoy!

Beware of www.copyright.co.uk!

If you are an Indie author looking to copyright your work, be very careful when dealing with this website. Its homepage offers you a single copyright for £42. For this, it says you get 30 years’ secure storage of your uploaded file by a notary. Nowhere on that homepage is there any mention of terms and conditions. Clicking on one of their packages takes you to the next page where you’re told how much you have to pay to secure what level of security and whether or not what you’re paying for includes assistance in the event of litigation. The...

Read More

Formatting your own book interiors

The advantages of being able to format your own book interiors are obvious: it costs you nothing, you are in total control, and you can make changes whenever you need to with the minimum of time and effort. I was prompted to set out on this journey when I decided I wanted to revise the six books in my series so far (I thought my ‘style’ had developed and ‘settled’ in the six years it took me to get this far). That meant I would need new EPUB, MOBI and PDF versions of each book = 18 new versions. Even...

Read More

Formative Influences

I was brought up in the 1940s and 50s in a tough area called Bootle (it’s attached to Liverpool) by parents who wanted me to be a cut above the local kids with their heavy regional accent. They insisted I used the BBC vowel sounds we heard on the radio, and I was never allowed outside to play (I didn’t want to – I’d been assured the local ‘bucks’ were far too rough and ‘common’). My father was dictatorial and very strict: he hit hard, and terrified me. My mother was soft and kind, and no match for him. When...

Read More

From ‘Traditional’ Publishing to doing it yourself

I was published by Penguin in the 1970’s. I wrote six stories for children, to see if I could, sent them to Penguin and they published them! Things were a lot simpler in those days. The irony is that I didn’t know what I was doing, I had a very busy career in teaching (I was about to go on to be a deputy head and then a head of large High Schools in a very stressful social services area of London): so I promised myself I would try to write something seriously good when I eventually had time (which...

Read More

Ten Favourite Screen Characters

J.V. Carr tagged me for this fun assignment, and it certainly provoked some thought and discussion with family and friends. I was intrigued to find that certain exceptional performances by actors when they were children insisted on being included in my top ten. The other thing I realised was that so often an exceptional character portrayal owed a great deal to the stellar performances of actors playing alongside my chosen favourites. I’ve nodded to some of them along the way.   Child actors first then… Henry Thomas at the age of 11 as Elliot in E.T.. (Drew Barrymore was great...

Read More

What ARE you blogging on about?

That’s a good question. I think it’s because I regularly feel that I’ve got something to say that is worth saying, and that I’d really like to know to what you have to say in return. That is what the 'Comments' box is for! Let me be up-front and honest straight away. I wouldn’t be doing it if I hadn’t written the first six volumes of what I hope is a very good story for bright children from 10 – 110 years old (that isn’t everyone). You can’t fail to notice that I make casual reference to that fact fairly...

Read More

The thing about an attempt on your life: it concentrates the mind…

“We’ve come to kill you,” the one with the 2” X 2” square-edged, two-foot length of mahogany said. Then the other two grabbed me, and he did his best. They were young and strong, and in their twenties. I was not... After 3 or 4 blows to the head, the blood was running into my eyes. After 8 or 9, I remember shouting “DON’T KILL ME!” with a certain amount of urgency. By then they had beaten me to the ground and taken the keys to the house out of my trousers pocket. My wife was locked inside and the...

Read More

Was that true?

What comes out of your mouth can surprise you sometimes. I was in a classroom in Hackney Downs School in the spring of 1974 and I said to a class of tough London boys that I’d been teaching English to for some time: “Some of you can write better stories than I ever could.” I heard myself say it; and although I went on with whatever great idea I had dreamed up to inspire and challenge them that day, a voice in my head asked: “Was that true? After all…, (it went on) “…you haven’t tried, have you? - not...

Read More