A second Crime Cymru blog post, and other bits and bobs

Full disclosure: this is a rewrite of the original posting, as I - fool of a Took that I am - managed to close the browser without saving the first version. Ah, well.

First things first. There’s a new blog post by me over at Crime Cymru; the post discusses using Welsh locations in fiction a little, and includes a tiny bit of a tease about a forthcoming Dan Matlock book following on from East of England.

Second, the crowdfunding for an East of England sequel - Canine Jubilee - continues over at Unbound Publishing. Please consider supporting the project if you can! In all fairness it’s going a little slower than East of England’s crowdfunding did, though that’s only to be expected. We’ll get there, one way or another. This is the last time I’ll crowdfund a book, so make the most of that alluring opportunity.

Third, blogging over at Benches of Llangollen is on hiatus until the beginning of June. Day-jobbery is taking up all the time and brain space at present, but there’ll be public seating shenanigans galore on a weekly basis from the first Tuesday in June onwards. Oh, and Benches of Louth is eminently available if you want a copy; those local to Louth in Lincolnshire should find paperback stock in at Mark Merrifield’s Off The Beaten Tracks record store.

Benches of Louth Ebook Cover DIGITAL.jpg

Fourth, micro-blogging on my ongoing reading and movie-watching continues at 255BookReview and 255Review respectively. Note that all the book reviews are mine, but only the movie reviews tagged with my name (that’s most of ‘em, to be fair) are mine, as this site is a collaborative effort.

Fifth, East of England is on offer on Kindle/ebook for 99p or thereabouts pretty much everywhere that sells electronic books, so avail yourself of bargainage while you can. The cheapest paperback option that I’m aware of is over at BooksEtc, where it’s less than £6 including delivery. The book’s been generally well-received, which is gratifying; if you’re able to leave a review or a star rating on the likes of Goodreads or at your book-buying site of choice, then that’d be most appreciated too!

East of England cover.jpg

Sixth, and slightly teasingly, there’ll be another Dan Matlock book sooner rather than later. This’ll fit between East of England and the crowdfunding Canine Jubilee and will hopefully fill the time nicely while the latter’s funding. I’ll say more about this in a few weeks’ time, but the intention is to deliver a novella-length Dan Matlock story that’ll be available towards the end of the year. In all probability this’ll be a self-publishing effort via Amazon. It’s got the working title Piece of Work.

That’s all for now

Thanks for reading


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New year, new thing: 255bookreview.com

For the last couple of years I’ve been collating capsule film reviews of every movie I’ve watched (since Feb 2017). It’s a collaborative exercise with a couple of former work colleagues that you can find over at 255review.com (my reviews are tagged “Eamonn”, straightforwardly enough).

It only takes a few minutes to put some brief thoughts together, plus it acts as a personal diary/reminder of what I’ve seen and not seen.

So I’ve decided to branch out from this and do the same for books. In the past I’ve played with the likes of Goodreads and book blogging. I did this a lot when immersed in post-grad study and had to keep tabs on my reading, but the 255 character format I’ve shifted into has the benefit of brevity, being able to fit into a single tweet, plus there’s something of a challenge to get capsule thoughts and a one-line book description together.

I’m also reminded of the value of reviews to other writers, so part of my thinking is that I can cross-post these to Amazon or wherever and pay a little back to the author that way.

I’ve made the decision not to use star ratings or grades out of ten, or anything like that. I’ll work also not to be negative where at all possible; a straightforward “Not for me” will suffice in pretty much most cases I’d have thought. These are, after all, opinions, not reviews as such.

Anyway. Here we go. The new site’s at 255bookreview.com. It’ll take time to get much in the way of content up there, but I’ll try to remember to cross-post links back here too.

In the meantime, East of England is out on 24th January, and can be bought in ebook and paperback here and from all good bookshops, real and virtual.

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Free new book from Steven Pressfield

Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire (the definitive retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae), isn't only a fine historical and military novelist, but an excellent writer on motivation for creativity. His book The War of Art is about the best on the subjects, and the follow-ups he's written to that each have something useful to say as well.

I've blogged in the past about Pressfield's (and his partner Shawn Coyne's) creativity/motivational writing work here and here

So, a promotional email drops into the inbox saying that a) he's got another creativity-based book and b) that ebook copies of it are free (in multiple formats) for a limited period.  


Anyway, the new book's called Nobody Wants To Read Your Shit: Here's Why  And What You Can Do About It, and for the present (I can't see an indication on how long this will last, so act fast if you're so minded) it's free as an ebook. The link's here.  

Hope you fins the book useful!

Two short stories for Christmas

Om my old blog I'd put up a pair of short stories - each with a Christmas theme - that I'd written in 2011 and in 2013. That blog's since been put unto the great recycle bin in the sky, though I kept the stories. 

As it's the season, here they are again. I've read them back through, made only the most minor of tweaks, and have loaded 'em back up. They'll open as .pdf files. Hope you enjoy them!

A Glass of Sherry and the World Entire

Kris and Caz: a Story for Christmas

That's me pretty much done till 2016. I'll be back on the blog on Tuesday 5th January, and the January newsletter - if you've signed up to the mailing list - will be with you on Sunday 3rd Jan. Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you in the New Year!  

A video update for Benches of Louth

I was recently interviewed  by community television station Estuary TV about the Benches of Louth blogging project. The video's now up on YouTube in all its local TV glory. The piece kicks in at about the 3 mins 30 mark. 

I've attached the video to the Benches of Louth homepage, which you can find here

The Prospect of This City is out now in paperback and ebook

So here we go...

A new website, and a new blog. Hello, by the way. Welcome. Sit wherever you like. Thanks for popping by. 

Awkward mingling over, and hovering uncertainly in the kitchen dispensed with, let's crack on. In previous blogging iterations I've focused on book and movie reviews plus pointing the way to UK-based writing competitions. Occasionally I may resort to doing that, but the focus of this blog will be on the practice of creative writing. 

Don't worry; I'll not be posting up positive bland "you can do it" messages, quotations purportedly from famous authors or any of that kind of stuff. There's a place for all of that, of course, though I'm sure there's plenty of others in your timelines at some point or other who do that a hundred times better and more sincerely than I could ever do. 

Nope, much of this will be personal trials and tribulations kinda stuff. Banging my head against the wall material. Expressions of bewilderment and frustration. In there I'm sure there'll be eureka moments and suchlike, but I'll keep that to a minimum wherever I can. So, a blog about the journey as much as the destination. 

I like to think that blogs should have a routine. Regularity is the key. So, a post a week minimum, more than likely written at the weekend. That's the way forward. So keep me in check, please, and feel free to chide me when I slacken. 

Also, a blog, for me at least, is a moment in time. It shouldn't be overly-polished. Great if you can produce perfect material, of course, but these are first draft thoughts (and I daresay there'll be some first draft expression of those thoughts too).