Now appearing at…

From the 17th – 26th of November the Folkestone Book Festival will be taking place. It’s quite a literary event on the south coast.

As well as the big names that make the festival calendar (see above) there will also be a number of smaller events taking place throughout the week as something of a fringe festival. I am excited to share that I will be appearing at The Steep Street Coffee House on Thursday 23rd November at 6.30pm to talk about self-publishing and my particular journey.

I’ve visited Folkestone a couple of times recently and I’m really impressed with the way the old high street and the harbour area in particular continue to benefit from an extensive regeneration programme. It’s very diverse and interesting and arty and bohemian round there these days.

The Steep Street Coffee House is located in Folkestone’s old high street. It’s a book-themed coffee house (just like Bookers from my Booker & Cash series). I fell in love with the ambience of the place when I paid a visit last week to speak to the very friendly and enthusiastic owner.

It would be brilliant if one or two of my local readers were able to come along and say hello. The one and only time I’ve attended anything like this as a speaker only one hand went up when I asked if anyone had ever heard of me. Awkwarrrrrrd. (Shelagh – thank you. You made my night 🙂 )

Spaces will be limited – it’s a cosy establishment – so be sure to get there early. Even if I turn out to be boring, the coffee and cake on offer are well worth the trip.

Just a thought: I’m thinking about having a box for attendees to pop an anonymous question into. You can ask me anything you like. I’ll attempt to answer as many as time allows for, and as honestly as I can.


Many thanks!


Today was the final day of the blog tour for The Fallen Agent. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those book bloggers on the list above for taking part and for their overwhelmingly positive and encouraging feedback for the read. Your time and involvement is much appreciated.

I would also like to say a huge and special thank you to Caroline Vincent at BitsAboutBooks for organising the blog tour and for working so energetically to ensure that The Fallen Agent received plenty of social media coverage. Caroline, you are brilliant.


The Fallen Agent

The Fallen Agent(1)

In my last days in Ankara, as the clock ticked down to my leaving date, I worked quite feverishly on a story that had gripped me in its unfolding. I have called it The Fallen Agent. I have plans to make it the first of a few featuring the main character. I do like a series.

For a change, for me, the lead is female. Her name is Jess Albion. It needed to be pointed out to me that all my leading ladies’ names start with the letter ‘J’: Joy, Jo and now Jess. I cannot explain this attraction to the ‘J’ sound. Do I need to?

Here’s the blurb:

Jess Albion has recently started a new life on the other side of the world with a new identity. She used to be MI5. Then a job went bad, someone died and she was made an example of in the British courts. But MI5 look after their own. Or they did until rumours of a planned Al Qaeda biological terror attack on London started circulating. Now someone in the British security services is giving agents up in return for information. No price, it seems, is too high to save London from the ultimate threat.

When Jess’s fresh start is compromised she has a choice to make: run and hide and spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder or go looking for the threat and snuff it out. On her own, she’d run, but she has Nick on her side.

The Fallen Agent is a story of love and hate, of loyalty and betrayal, of revenge and callous disregard for human life in the pursuit of satisfaction.

The strapline for the book is: Can a killer escape their past? And that’s where the story begins.

This book has a rather extended dedication. It tells anyone all they need to know about the motivation for the story. Here it is.

The Fallen Agent was inspired by the BBC TV drama Spooks, in particular Season 3 Episode 6. This book is dedicated to every single person who had anything to do with bringing that finest of British TV dramas to the small screen. Thank you one and all.

Initial feedback for The Fallen Agent from those long-suffering family and friends who usually read my stuff first has been positive and encouraging. My ever-critical daughter (love her) gave it a 7/10 – praise indeed by her miserly scoring standards. She did need to borrow some money, though.

Caroline at bitsaboutbooks has very generously organised a blog tour for the launch of The Fallen Agent. I’m also very grateful to her for other sound advice related to aspects of bringing a book into the world.


The Fallen Agent is out on 10th October and is available now for preorder here:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Many thanks for your ongoing suppport of my writing.


Windsor Festival Event.

Meet The Authors.jpg

Hello everyone,

If you’re reading this post because you ‘Follow’ my blog, may I say a big thank you for hanging on and bearing with me through what has been a rather lean period in terms of blog posts and story writing. Your ongoing support of, and interest in, my writing life is sincerely appreciated.

The good news, as far as my writing is concerned, is that my summer hiatus should now be at an end. I’ve been working pretty solidly on fixing up a property where my family can live, now that we’ve relocated from Turkey to Romney Marsh. That’s just about habitable now – who needs internal doors and curtains and carpets? And I’ve always thought indoor plumbing a bit of an indulgence. Plastic buckets work just as well as flushing toilets and they’re portable, which means you don’t even need to get off the sofa or out of bed when nature calls.

And so to the main purpose of this post. As part of this year’s Windsor Festival a ‘meet the authors’ evening is being put on. I’m taking part. It’s happening this coming Thursday, 21st September. It’s a ticketed event. (I hope they don’t expect to me to buy one to listen to myself. I can do that for free here.)

I’m going to be on a panel with the four other authors pictured in the banner above.

Julie Cohen

Essie Fox

Tessa Harris

Jonathan Posner

The brief is that we each have seven minutes to fill (surely, talk eruditely to the audience?) about our book and writing related stuff and then there will be a Q&A and then a book signing. Am I daunted at the prospect of sitting shoulder to shoulder with authors whose books can be found in actual bookshops? What do you think? I’ve ordered some Tena pants from Ebay this morning. I hope they arrive in time and don’t rustle too much when I move.

I’m very much looking forward to the evening and I would love to think that there is at least one person in the audience who has the faintest idea of who I am. If any of you should be free on Thursday and can attend, I’d love to meet you. I’m prepared to beg, but not pay for your ticket.

One weight off my mind for the day is transport. I spent all my money fixing up the new place. I’ve been cycling everywhere for three months. A friend has offered to give me a ride up there. We’re leaving Romney Marsh early Tuesday morning. Be prepared for long tailbacks on the M25.

Truck (1).jpg

And so to shed…

shed view.jpgAs followers of this blog will know I am currently embroiled in a building project. It is proving to be a real time and energy black hole for me to the extent that I have not managed to find either of those most precious commodities, time and energy, for my writing since I’ve been back in the UK. This is becoming a bit of a worry seeing as writing is how I earn a crust these days. As any experienced self-publisher will tell you momentum is vitally important to keeping things going. Not to mention keeping the pennies rolling in.

As well as time and energy sucks, getting involved in a property project can also prove quite costly financially. I’m thinking of jacking in the writing completely and retraining as a plumber, or a plasterer, or a window fitter, or an electrician, or a kitchen fitter, or a carpenter, or a tree surgeon (I’d be surprised if brain surgeons are on that kind of money an hour). Oh well, in for a penny in for a small fortune. It’s only money, as my dear old dad used to say when he was selling copies of The Big Issue outside Woolworths.

Trouble is money’s what makes the world go round. (Or is it love?) Whatever, everything seems in short supply at the moment. My world is in danger of coming to a grinding halt on its fragile axis. What happens then? The only thing I’m qualified to do is teach primary school children – a sub-section of society my psychiatrist has expressed grave concerns regarding me having future dealings with.

This week some idiot, I forget who, suggested I should ‘do my finances’. This was after my debit card had been declined for the fourth time in an hour. I took this advice and yesterday my frail and aged mother found me curled up, sobbing in the corner of my writer’s retreat (aka the garden shed). Being old and frail didn’t stop her kicking me in the ribs with accompanying shouts to ‘man up’. (I’m glad she was wearing those novelty Minion slippers I gave her for her ninety-fifth birthday and not the hobnail boots she still insists on wearing to Tescos.)

The Fallen Agent(1)So here I am. Back at my desk in the shed. I was here yesterday, too. I’m working on The Fallen Agent. It’s written. I’m editing. I’m not only enjoying the read, I’m loving being back to what I do best: long periods of sitting on my arse, staring out of the window interspersed with brief and feverish hammerings at the computer keyboard.

I’ll be back at the money pit tomorrow, but for today I’m back living the dream.

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone. And if any of you still go to church, please include my name and the words ‘winning lottery ticket’ if you get to talk with the man upstairs today.Image result for shed quotes


A big thank you.

61xAN4mXj4L.jpgPoor Hands (Booker & Cash #3) came out last weekend. Initial feedback is encouraging. I’m sure I’m no different to any other writer in that I care what readers think of what I produce. I particularly care what my regular readers think of what I write, especially when it’s in a series. Part of the reason for this blog post is to offer my sincere thanks to all readers, old and new, who have downloaded a copy of Poor Hands. And if you’ve gone on to read and enjoy it all the better. And if you’ve then left a review on Amazon thank you again. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s my opinion that writers are nothing without readers.

Amazon UK Amazon US

I’d also like to offer my thanks to a raft of book bloggers who took part in the book’s blog tour, organised by Bloodhound Books. Thank you for your time, trouble, kind words and mentions through your social media reaches.

These guys regularly and tirelessly help to promote new writing, often from lesser known authors like myself. Their social media sites are well worth checking out.

I’ve been back home on Romney Marsh for a little over a month. I haven’t written anything new because I’ve taken on a house renovation project. That is taking up all my days and leaving me too tired to do anything remotely thoughtful or creative in the evenings. I can’t see it being sorted anytime soon. I’ve also bought myself a big telly and subscribed to Netflix, which together are proving something of a distraction. It’s too easy to spend my downtime vegging out on the sofa.

The stable.jpg

I’m taking a day off from all that today. I’m trying out my new writer’s space – The Stable. (A garden shed was good enough for Roald Dahl, George Bernard Shaw and many other famous writers to work in.)

Some of you may remember seeing photos of this under construction last summer. I couldn’t have made it without my little helper.



I’m sitting in it now. It has a good ‘feel’. It’s quiet – peaceful. There is birdsong, and fresh air and light. Every now and again the little trains on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway can be heard chuffing along the tracks not far away and the breeze is carrying the smell of the engines’ burning coal in through the open window. I am comfortable here. Time to make time for writing again.

The Fallen Agent(1)


First up is a  book I managed to finish in its first draft before I left Turkey. It’s called The Fallen Agent. It’s not in one of my series. It’s another story that was suggested to me from an episode of Spooks. (This one is a full-length novel.) I’ll be easing myself back into my writer’s groove with a read-through and an edit. After that I intend to crack on with Booker & Cash #4. I always feel closer to those two and their unfolding journey when I’m back on The Marsh.