I don’t know about anyone else, but I generally find that the only way I can ensure I get something done is to set a deadline and stick to it. Otherwise when I have a day job finding any reason not to write is far too easy; be it TV, Internet, reading, mowing the lawn, or whatever.

I can’t guarantee to meet them, but what I’m going to aim for is the following:

July: Uncle Howard’s House rewrites done and ready for some critiquing. Horror Movie first draft.
September: Horror Movie rewrites done. Wicker Woman first draft.
November: Wicker Woman rewrites done.

I’m also going to spend time coming up with some better titles :).

Uncle Howard’s House

Yeah, it’s a lousy title for a novel. I need a better one, but nothing has yet sprung to mind; I suspect finding a good title will be about the last thing I do before I send it out.

Although the list of books in progress on the right side may look a bit daunting, some of them have been on my hard drive for years. This is the first that is new this year, and the first that I want to get out, but it’s also one of the oldest. It’s based on the first complete feature-length horror movie script I wrote, back in the early 2000s; I don’t know exactly when because I lost the first draft when I emigrated. The script was critiqued and revised, but it never quite worked and has sat on the disk ever since.

Ultimately it’s a fairly standard monster horror story, like those that entertained me when I was a kid. What I like about it is primarily the structure; it’s set in a place where time doesn’t work properly, and the story reflects that in a non-linear style. The beginning is the middle, the end is in the middle and the end is nearly the end.

One interesting point is that the original script was about a hundred pages long, but had only become 42,000 words when it was converted to novel form. The second draft added about another 15,000 words as I expanded parts and fixed up a lot of the problems I’d noticed. It’s probably going to hit about 70,000 when it’s done, which I think is a sensible length for this kind of novel.

I think the hardest part of the remaining work is ensuring the right level of information about the monsters; unlike some of the other scripts I’ve written since, this one has nothing from the point of view of the monsters so their motives are implied rather than stated. I think there’s enough there to understand what they’re doing, but there’s a fine line between making it too obvious and not explaining enough.

I’ll be interested to see what people think of it; currently I’m on the third draft fixing some plot problems and I’ll send it out for some writer friends to look at after I’ve polished it a bit. But I do wonder whether perhaps the structure is a bit too complex for a first novel.

About me

So, who am I?Me at the Great Wall of China

Well, I’m British, an Oxford physics graduate, and now living in Canada. I’ve been writing on and off for many years, but I’ve always been put off by the idea that once I’ve written a novel and polished it I’m then looking at having to beg agents to read it followed by waiting for publishers to decide whether they want to publish it and then if that happens having to wait a year or more for it to hit the shelves, after which a few years later I might get all the money. I certainly wouldn’t turn down a million dollar advance if someone offered it, but the whole traditional publishing industry just seems insanely inefficient.

I’ve written some magazine articles in the past, and being able to go into a store and see my name on the cover of a magazine on the shelf was always exciting. I co-wrote an indie vampire movie a few years ago which unfortunately didn’t get very far, though for good reasons; the budget was just too low and the director had to rewrite my wonderful ending as one of the actors quit part-way through. What’s brought me back to novel-writing is the recent growth in ebook sales, which have finally made rapid, low-cost publishing viable. In addition, the ease of electronic submissions has made selling short stories more viable as I no longer need to print them out and mail them across the Atlantic to the big markets.

So, here I am with about a dozen unproduced movie scripts, a couple of old novels that I gave up on part-way through revising and some old short stories. I’ve been writing and revising all year and have put nearly 200,000 new words down on disk with the intention of publishing two or three ebooks this year and probably more next. I grew up on pulp horror, SF and horror movies like ‘Evil Dead’, so I’ve always had a soft spot for them and wanted to write something that would entertain people as much as those entertained me.

I’ve also travelled all over the world, worked on numerous indie movies as everything from coffee-maker to editor, been a VIP at several space shuttle launches, survived earthquakes and a tsunami, climbed Mt Fuji, and visited ground zero of several nuclear explosions. I’m scared of heights and Saskatchewan drivers.

For now, all I have is this blog, but once I have at least one ebook up for sale I’ll set up the rest of the web site at

Let’s see how that works out over the next few years.