December 2014

Well, here we go then, the first 'newsletter' for my web site and of my literary career! I've written plenty of newsletters for clients in the past about swimming pools and perfumes and how to get to number one in Google. But this is something completely new, certainly exciting and very enjoyable; writing about my achievements doing something that I've dreamed about since I was eight years old! It's been an incredible two years for me. Almost to the day, I sat down in 2012 and started working on my novel which would eventually, after seven rewrites and countless edits, become THE DAMNED. One year after much polishing I'd managed to get representation from the best literary agency in the world, LAW, and, six months later, with their guidance and drive managed to attract interest from the best publisher in the world, Duckworth Overlook. I feel very lucky, happy - and in need of a rest! I am very proud of my debut novel THE DAMNED. I've put everything I have into it, every ounce of energy, emotion and empathy I possess, and I think this shows in the end result. I've learnt so much in the last couple of years, not just about writing but about myself as well. I now know that a novel reveals as much to the author as it does to the reader. I read some passages from it and wonder where on earth the words came from, did they really form inside of me? But that's one of the things I've learnt whilst being on this incredible journey, when you switch off as a writer and let the words come naturally, they often surprise you in their depth and their intensity. THE DAMNED is the first in a trilogy featured tortured inquisitor Poldek Tacit. I'm not exactly sure where he came from. He just walked into my life one day and I realised I'd met someone very special, but also someone I was probably wise not to cross. Whilst Tacit is an alcoholic, a religious fanatic and, quite possibly, a sadist, I think there's a lot in him we can all appreciate and emphasise with. We've all had that creeping dread as Sunday night draws to a close and Monday morning and the working grind is just one sleep away. We've all had meetings in the diary we've really not wanted to face, with potential outcomes we don't want to consider. We've all worked with people, clients and colleagues, we cannot abide and whom we would have loved to have been able to tell to find the nearest bridge and quietly leap off. Why I love Tacit, and why I hope you will too, is because he's not afraid to do exactly that, tell the world how it is, but he's as damaged and as fragile as the rest of us, if not more so. Here's the book cover for UK and Australian editions. Set in 1914 during the Outbreak of War, the actions starts in the French city of Arras when a Catholic priest is brutally murdered. The Catholic Inquisition - still powerful, but now working in the shadows - sends its most determined and unhinged of Inquisitors, Poldek Tacit, to investigate: his mission to protect the Church from those who would seek to undermine it, no matter what the cost. Yet as Tacit arrives, armed forces led by Britain and Germany confront each other across No Man's Land. As the Inquisitor strives in vain to establish the truth behind the murder and to uncover the motives of other Vatican servants seeking to undermine him, a beautiful spirited woman, Sandrine, warns British soldier Henry Frost of a mutual foe even more terrible lurking beneath the killing fields that answers to no human force and wreaks their havoc by the light of the moon. Faced with impossible odds and his own demons, Tacit must battle the forces of evil, and a church determined at all costs to achieve its aims, to reach the heart of a dark conspiracy that seeks to engulf the world, plunging it ever deeper into the conflict. Morally complex and fast paced, this is a gripping work of dark fiction set in an alternative twentieth century, where humanity's desire for love, compassion and peace face daunting challenges in a world overwhelmed by total war and mysterious dark forces. I must have written over a million words in my lifetime as an author, but I do feel that the 120,000 in THE DAMNED are my best to date. Since finishing THE DAMNED, I've been busy working on the sequel, THE FALLEN, which follows Tacit in his quest to discover the truth behind the growing darkness within the world and avert disaster which will see all the world embraced in the fires of war. So, whilst I would love a break away from the keyboard this Christmas, I think it might have to wait for a while. After all, I'm now an author on a deadline, and that's something I didn't dream of saying two years ago! All the very best. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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