Short Stories, Goshawks, and Belladonna

March 10th, 2014 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Over the past three or four months I’ve written and sold four short stories, and I have at least four more to write before the end of the summer.  It’s been a while, but I’m really enjoying writing so many shorts. I went a few years writing only one or two per year — usually simply because of novel deadlines — and it’s a real treat.  It also means that I’ll be looking to compile a new collection maybe early 2016!  That’s what I call planning ahead …

Talking of shorts, the second ebook is out now from Dreaming in Fire.  It’s called In the Valley, Where Belladonna Grows, and you can see details and Kindle links here.

In other news, I completed my first mountain bike events yesterday, a 25k race around Wentwood called the Goshawk Challenge.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, although some of the downhills I found pretty terrifying.  I was surprised to see quite a lot of those fit mountain bikers pushing their bikes uphill … and they were probably equally surprised to see me pushing downhill, instead of just plunging down.  Really good fun.  Aching now, but I’m keen to do more.

Lastly, I’m hoping for some novel news soon.  Watch this space.


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What Happened Was … Looking back over 2013 (Wookies, Ironman, and Iron Maiden).

December 30th, 2013 • Posted in Random Stuff |

2013.  It rained a lot, didn’t it?  But other stuff also happened, not always so wet and unpredictable, sometimes bookish, sometimes triathlon-ish.  Generally it was a good year, although with too many sad moments and friends lost.

Here’s what happened in my world.

I had four books published this year:

Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi––Into the Void hit the shelves in May, climbing onto the New York Times bestseller chart and being generally well-received.  Praise wasn’t universal, but then I wasn’t really expecting that.  And I used ‘cuss-words’ … which people in that long-time-ago galaxy, it seems, weren’t supposed to do.  I had so much fun writing this book and seeing it out there, and I’m really hoping I get to make the jump to light speed in the Star Wars universe again.

Toxic City: Reaper’s Legacy and Contagion were both published, rounding off the trilogy set in a devastated London.  These books have been received well and sold OK, and I’d love to write more YA novels.  The TV series with ABC didn’t quite happen — it was exciting for a time — but that doesn’t mean to say it won’t happen elsewhere.

Still Life, my novella with Spectral Publications, was launched at the excellent, manic, exhausting World Fantasy Convention in Brighton in November.  Yes, true, it’s based on the Iron Maiden song of the same name, and I think it’s one of the best novellas I’ve written.  I love writing novellas … and there’ll be at least one more surfacing in 2014.

I also wrote a brand new thriller on spec, Endure, and I’m hoping for some news on that in the New Year.  Watch this space!  Not only is it one of the first things I’ve ever written without any fantastical elements, I also think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever written.

Looking ahead book-wise … I’m writing The Silence for Titan, the Star Wars book will hit the shelves in paperback, and my Alien novel Out of the Shadows is released early 2014.  I’m also delighted that Coldbrook will get its US release through splendid publishers Titan. My own digital publishing enterprise Dreaming in Fire Press will launch in 2014 with six of my novellas, with more novellas, novels and collections to come.  I’ll be writing the final draft of my screenplay My Haunted House, a spooky animated kids’ movie.  The script Playtime (written with Stephen Volk) is under option, and I’m also hoping for forward movement on a couple more movie projects.  I’m writing a graphic novel with my Canadian bro Brett Savory.  And I’ll also be working on another new novel.  Exciting times!

Now then, non-writing stuff, and the highlight of the year had to be racing my first Ironman!  If 2011 was my Three Peaks year and 2012 was my marathon year (I ran two, actually), then 2013 was definitely the year of Ironman.  It dominated the first 8 months of the year, both mentally and physically, and the big day itself was definitely one of the most amazing days of my life.  I’ve written about it at length elsewhere … if you’re interested, check this out.

I also did several other great races, and 2014 is shaping up to be an even more challenging year.  My main race will be Ironman Wales, one step up from Ironman UK in difficulty (it’s in Wales, even the swim is uphill!).  I’ll also be racing the Windsor Triathlon, Outlaw Half, and Long Course Weekend, as well as several 100+ mile sportives and a 50k mountain bike race.  And they’re just the ones I’ve signed up for!

2013 also had too many sad moments, and the writing community lost some of its finest voices, some of them good friends.  I’ll miss them all.

A day away from 2014, I’m eager as ever to get there, and as determined as ever to make it bigger and better than ever.  My kids continue to make me proud, my wife continues to put up with me, and I’m lucky to have the friends I have.

If you’ve read this far, thanks for taking the time, and thank you to everyone who continues to read and appreciate my work.  I’ve now been writing for a living for over 7 years, and without the continued support of readers that just wouldn’t be possible.  I’ll keep writing them if you keep buying them!  There’s plenty more to come.

I’d like to wish you all a happy, peaceful, and rewarding new year.



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Podcast and appearance news

September 30th, 2013 • Posted in Random Stuff |

There is a new podcast about the forthcoming Alien novel here.

On the 18th and 19th October Tim (and a cast of thousands) will be appearing at the Space, Time, Machine and Monster conference at the Riverfront in Newport.  Details of which can be found here.

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“I am Ironman!”

August 16th, 2013 • Posted in Random Stuff |

No, really.

I’ve just completed my first IRONMAN race.  Read all about it!

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Happy Birthday – Potential man of Iron

July 30th, 2013 • Posted in Random Stuff |

A belated Happy Birthday to Tim who was a collection of fours a couple of days ago.

This weekend Tim will be competing in his first Iron Man event which takes in a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a full marathon just a 26.2 mile run (for our metric readers that’s a lot further in km)

Tim’s running for St David’s Hospice Care. They provide hospice and home care for the terminally ill and are entirely funded by charitable donations. Tim chose them because of how well they treated his mother, who he lost six years ago. He’s running for St David’s Hospice Care and in his mother’s memory.

You can visit his Just Giving page here if you would like to donate, and feel free to leave Birthday messages and good luck Iron Man messages below.


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James Herbert

March 21st, 2013 • Posted in Random Stuff |

When I was ten years old I consumed books.  I read maybe 4 or 5 books per week, helped at the local library with my mate Ahmed Din, and I read Willard Price’s adventure books again and again.  It’s a long time ago, now, and I don’t recall being dissatisfied with what I was reading at all.

But then my mum gave me a book called THE RATS, and my life changed forever.  So violent … so sexy … so adult.  It was the first adult book I read, and really from then on I didn’t look back.  I entered my teens reading everything James Herbert wrote (several times), and then Stephen King, and then Clive Barker, and then … the whole wonderful world of books opened up to me.

But James Herbert was the first.  To that pre-teen boy his writing was so vital, brutal, colourful, imaginative, and it explored areas that Willard Price never did.  I always say that James Herbert’s rats got me into horror, and I’d like to thank them very much.  But what I really mean is, James Herbert got me into horror.  And lucky for me, I had the opportunity to thank him for that at the World Horror Convention in Brighton a couple of years ago.

I’ve met a lot of the great writers in our genre, the masters, those writers who built the genre.  But meeting Herbert was the first time I’d ever felt nervous and, frankly, a little tongue-tied.  Probably because of what he meant to me as a kid, and how his books shaped the way I read all through my early teens.

“Mr Herbert, I’m a big fan.”

“Oh, you’re the one!”

“I’d like to shake your hand and thank you, because you’re the reason I’m writing horror.  My mum gave me The Rats to read when I was ten years old.”

“You had a very open-minded mother!”

“I did, that’s so true.  So, anyway … thank you.”

“No, thank you.”

We shook hands, and that was the first and last time we spoke face to face.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read a Herbert book for a long time.  The last couple I tried didn’t really do it for me, and those earlier books that hold such a precious place in my memory — The Rats, Lair, Domain, The Fog, The Dark, Fluke, The Survivor, The Spear, Shrine — well, I probably shouldn’t go back to them.  I’m scared I won’t love them as much as I did back then.  That happens sometimes, and while it’s all a part of growing up and growing older, it can also be sad.  A bit like loss.

Because when you’re a kid, I think it’s so much easier to fall in love with a writer’s work, become almost obsessed with it, be heavily influenced by it.  That memory remains.

What I said when I met James Herbert is true — if it weren’t for him and his books, I wouldn’t be writing horror today.  I can say that with certainty.  He’s responsible for me doing something I love for a living.  And I’m so glad I got to thank him for that.

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2012 … looking back (and forward)

January 1st, 2013 • Posted in Book News, Movie News, Random Stuff |

Happy New Year!

So, 2012.  It was an exciting year for me in many ways, with ups and a couple of downs.  I had several books published, parted ways with two publishers, and I’m about to sign an exciting deal with a new publisher.  I had books published to great reaction, but I also came to learn that publishers are becoming even more cautious.

We live in interesting time, and that’s what makes it so exciting.

2012 saw publication of my novelisation of The Cabin in the Woods, as well as my novels Coldbrook, The Heretic Land, and Toxic City Book One: London Eye.  My collection Nothing as it seems was also released from PS Publishing.  And The Secret Journeys of Jack London: The Sea Wolves (written with Christopher Golden) was published in the USA by HarperCollins.  I’m really proud of all of these books, and it was a thrill to see so many books hitting the shelves in one year.  Coldbrook seemed to make a bit of a splash.  And the Toxic City trilogy is even now in development at ABC Network as a TV series (and more on that soon).

All in all, a great year.  And though it also had its downs, 2012 ended with an exciting new deal being agreed for a novel I’m extremely excited about writing.  That novel is The Silence, and I’ll be able to tell you more about that very, very soon.

So what does 2013 have in store?  As well as The Silence, Toxic City Book Two: Reaper’s Legacy will be published.  And then there’s my very exciting Star Wars novel Into the Void: Dawn of the Jedi, due to be published in May.  Can’t wait for that!  And I’m also thrilled that I’ll be attending my first Star Wars convention at the National Space Centre.  I’ll be writing a novella for Spectral Publications (tentative title Still Life), as well as a long-awaited third novella in the Naming of Parts/Changing of Faces trilogy for PS Publishing.  And there are other exciting projects in the pipeline which I’ll talk about more here as and when I can.

Oh, and I’ll also be training for and racing the single most challenging one-day endurance event in the world … Ironman UK.  I talk about that and more on my website RunWalkCrawl.  Madness.  But in a good way.

A big thanks to all of you who continue to read and enjoy my work.  Without you I wouldn’t be doing this, and I’m grateful.  If you read my books and enjoy them, do drop me a line.  It’s always good to hear from you.

I’ll do my best to update this blog more frequently during 2013.  Meanwhile, I’d like to wish you all a happy, fruitful, and safe 2013.



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Six Years

November 30th, 2012 • Posted in Random Stuff |

I’ve been a full-time writer for exactly six years, making a living out of what I love doing.  It feels like a lot more.

I was at my previous job for about 20 years before finally taking the plunge, quitting, and saying goodbye to that depressing bloody office block (but also saying goodbye to lots of friends I’d had for years).  I’ve been back to that office a couple of times since, and of course I keep up with as many friends from those times as I can.

The office is due for demolition soon.  I’ll be selling tickets to watch it.

That last day in work — six years ago today, though it seems much longer — was a good one.  I walked the offices to say goodbye, and the good wishes I had from everyone were so lovely, as were the bottles of wine and whisky that seemed to be the normal leaving present.  Good times.  Fond memories.

But these last six years have felt like my real life.  I love writing (correction – usually, I love having written), telling stories, and yes, I love seeing my work published and the reaction it gets.  So a huge thank you to everyone who continues to read my work, and buy my books in paper or e-formats.  Please keep buying, and I’ll keep writing.

This past year has had its ups and downs (though in truth, more ups).  I’ve had several books published, and the reaction to all of them has been fantastic.  I’ve parted ways with publishers.  I’ve seen a book series go into development with ABC Network for a TV series.  And there’s more exciting publishing news I’ll be able to announce soon.

I’ve continued to work with some of the best friends I’ve ever had.  And outside of writing, I’m watching my kids growing up into fine young people, and I’ve committed to doing an Ironman race next year.

So to mark the sixth anniversary of my last day in council employment …. I’m going to spend the day writing.



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REVIEWS – a favour

October 29th, 2012 • Posted in Random Stuff |

Here’s me asking for a little favour…

If you read any of my latest books — Coldbrook, London Eye, The Heretic Land, Nothing as it Seems — and feel so inclined, it’d be so helpful if you could take a minute to post a review somewhere (Amazon, other book retailers, your blog…)  Or if not a review, at least a mention on Facebook or Twitter.  Exposure helps sales, and sales helps me to write more books.  And if you’re visiting this site and reading this, I hope that’s something you might like.

Coldbrook is being very well received so far, with great feedback from readers and some stellar reviews.  And as for London Eye … that exciting news I promised will be coming soon.

Thanks!  Happy Hallowe’en!

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Interviews, kingfishers, and other stuff…

October 19th, 2012 • Posted in Random Stuff, Reviews & Interviews |

Here’s a nice new interview with me on My Bookish Ways.

And a very nice new review of LONDON EYE.

Been running along the canal a lot recently, and this last week I’ve seen a kingfisher a couple of times.  Not often I seen one of those.  It’s a beautiful bird, coloured like a splash of oil on water, and it made me realise — once again — just what a lovely place I live in.  I’m going to start taking pictures and posting them here.

Anyone interested in following my efforts to get fit in my forties and train for Ironman UK next year can read it all here.

More news coming soon … watch this space for something very exciting!

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