Friday, December 30, 2011

FREE Graven Image...

Kindle people, I have a seasonal gift for you. for the next five days, my novella GRAVEN IMAGE is going for $0.00 at Amazon UK. I believe it is also $0.00 at Amazon US.

Please download it at no cost to you and help push it up the charts. This is the one that starts with the line "I was in the abbey when I realised I'd have to burn for my sins."

Remember, this is an offer ends on Jan 3rd.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some Kindle Picks

Hey, I have a new Kindle too... but I have had mine a couple of months now and I've had a chance to check some stuff out. Two novels you should get immediately are THE BASTARD HAND by Heath Lowrance and BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD by Josh Stallings. These two get talked about a lot and for good reason. One is noir as hell, the other hard-boiled as a bastard.

I can't (be arsed to) fit everything in this one post but you should also finally check out offerings from Allan Guthrie, Ray Banks and Anthony Neil Smith - all rollercoaster-ish, rooted in place and pretty near the money in terms of where the genre is at.

One I have picked up but not yet read is David Belbin's BONE AND CANE - this has sold shitloads on Kindle and keeps coming back - what is it all about? I am about to find out.

Feeling cheap? There are some top freebies out there. TURTLE BOY is a horror novella by Kealan Patrick Burke that is as weird as it sounds... and also great.

You can get the classics for diddly squat too - HEART OF DARKNESS, FRANKENSTEIN, DORIAN GRAY... My own favourite is one called DRACULA by some dude called Bram Stoker. It's about this dead guy who is sort of alive, and he drinks people's blood and travels around a lot. Sounds ridiculous, but I reckon it'll break through one day. And hey, Mr. Stoker is kind enough to offer it for free!

Happy Kindle-ing. Or Nook-ing, or whatever.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Dead Hen goes cheap

The nice people at have made my most recent book ONE DEAD HEN available for just five bucks between now and Dec 31. This is for the actual hold-it-in-your-hands, spill-your-beer-on-it, throw-it-across-the-room paper version (that has just made Paul D. Brazill's top 5 of the year list*). Also for $5 is KING OF THE ROAD, the previous one in the Royston Blake series. I say series, but these books are standalone, so you can go straight in at either of these two.


  1. take everything at face value
  2. have no sense of humour
  3. are a smug, narrow-minded prude
But you can't be any of those things, because you're reading this blog.

In the latest customer review of One Dead Hen, "anomalie" says:
This is not for the PC crowd, and perhaps that's what makes it so funny. Anyway, if you liked the first ones, you should like this one too. Blake is a true anti-hero, and while the novel asks if someone can truly 'turn over a new leaf,' Williams seems to have a lot of fun proving that Blake may have some new duds but it's the same old Blake underneath.

And hey, I'd never leave out those in the UK. King of the Road is currently going for only £3.15. This is the one that the Dublin Evening Herald called "a heady literary mix between Straw Dogs and Pulp Fiction", the Times called "a great mystery" and the Big Issue called "a sharp and bitingly funny novel". I call it bargain.

* Big thanks to PDB

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spammers from India...

Get lost.

Spammers from anywhere for that matter. Stop posting meaningless comments on this blog that I then have to go to the effort of removing. But you're not going to, are you? I predict that you will come on here in a day or so, like you always do, and write "Nice post". Come on, surprise me. Say something human. What is it like where you live? What did you have for dinner? How many hours a day do you spend spamming? How much money do you make from it? Who are you? What do you want out of life? What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?

Friday, December 09, 2011


Last night I wrote THE END on a novel. This is the second time in a year, which seems like pretty good going by today's non pulp era standards. Then again, I am doing this full time at the moment (alongside a couple of other writing bits and bobs), so it's as it should be. FYI, this new one is a stand alone called THE DAMAGE. It is noir. It seems like psycho noir to me, although I have yet to hear a definition of that term.

Looking back at timestamps, I can see that I first started this novel way back in August of 2009. Not that it has taken two years to write. Fact is, I abandoned the thing at least twice over that period, starting it over each time I picked it up again. And this is nothing unusual - my hard drive is a veritable graveyard of novels abandoned at various stages, going right back to when I started writing. But this one kept bugging me, whispering to me that I really should come back to it because there is some kind of gold in there. And each time I went back to it, I would get bogged down with the same set of problems. Then, the last time I picked it up, I did something new.

I changed the title.

Sounds like not much, but it altered the whole thing. I just had the wrong title before, and every time I thought of the work, that title came into my head and it was wrong, just wrong. As soon as I called it The Damage, things started coming clear. I could see what to chuck out and what to focus on, and had faith that I could find the path to the conclusion. Which is funny, because a lot of writers don't even have a title until after a work is done. Maybe that's it - I should just think of every work in progress as "Untitled". But that doesn't seem right either. To me, the title is hardwired into a novel. You are reminded of it every time you open the manuscript, and although you don't make any effort to justify the title in the text, the two become fused. The title is branded on the novel's butt cheek.

It feels good to finish a book that I've been tussling with for so long. I feel slightly saner today. Less psycho noir.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Swearing 4

Interesting comment on Amazon re ONE DEAD HEN, from the renowned critic known as Quiverbow:

"Most crime/thrillers/mystery books have swear words. However, those are done in an appropriate way. This book is using them here for the sake of it. That suggests he can't think of anything to write, so has to resort to utilising those words to fill the pages."
So there you have it - I put the swear words in my books because I can't think of anything else to write. I wrote the book, found myself 5,000 words short so I just padded it out with a load of fucks etc. As we all know, any mention of animals in books is also just padding. Short on the word count? Just chuck a few animals in. Also dialogue - that is a surefire sign of an author with nothing to say. And characterisation - what the hell is that? Why can't they just tell the story instead of messing around with these characters? Plus the big daddy of text padding - "that". Any book that contains more than 100 "that"s is a waste of anyone's time.