Just in time…


Hi everyone,

I am really bad at this regular blogging thing. Apologies. This is just going to be a flying visit because it’s been a mad week and I am exhausted.

In the last week I have written 4899 words, for a total of 29331 this year. My Thursday project was A King’s Ransom, of which I think I have now written the whole prologue! Other than that, I’ve been working on Sprawl – I have now reached chapter 12 of an estimated 22, but might switch to a different primary project (either A King’s Ransom or Father Didn’t Dance, in all likelihood) for a little while soon. We’ll see how I feel when I come to write tomorrow!

Talk to you all soon!


Submerge: paperback available!

Submerge cover

Hi everyone,

Just a flying visit to let you know that Submerge is now available in paperback format! If you prefer a hard copy to an eBook, you can find it here on Createspace or via Amazon (US or Europe).

I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll talk to you on Saturday!

Sorry I’m late!


Hi everyone,

I’m sorry – I completely forgot to update yesterday. Top marks, self. But here I am today to try to make up for it. First of all, I’ve written 4532 words this week, which makes 18556 this year so far. I haven’t missed a day yet! Oh, and my Thursday project this week was Father Doesn’t Dance.

Secondly, Kat commented on my previous post that sometimes, people put more thought into their villains’ motivations than their heroes’. This can have the effect of making the villains seem more well-rounded and nuanced than the heroes! Kat also asked about the motivations for my protagonists in Submerge – which I will try to talk about with minimal spoilers today.

As Kat pointed out, it can be very tempting to leave a protagonist’s motivations at ‘it’s the right thing to do’. There are definitely times when that’s the only reason someone has for doing something, but quite often there’s more to it than that.

Think about all those movie cops. How many of them set out to become police officers purely because it was the right thing to do? There are lots of other reasons – because a crime was committed against them and they want revenge, because they want to make the world a safer place for a loved one, because they want to wear a smart uniform and order people about, because they think the police force is corrupt and want to change it from the inside… It might even be that they want to pull off a perfect crime and need insider knowledge to do it. Each of these motivations affects their actions and helps to develop them as a characters.

Now, I want to be careful about spoilers here because some of you won’t have read Submerge yet, but let’s have a look at some motivations for certain aspects of my various characters.

There’s Gina, for example, who collects discarded items from the ground and makes them into jewellery. She does that to make money, of course, and because she likes shiny things – who doesn’t? But she also hates to see things go to waste, possibly because she has been through times of having nothing. She started making broken and abandoned things beautiful at a time when she felt broken and abandoned, and wanted hope that she’d come out of it as something better. And it’s become something she really enjoys!

Addie does comedy. Is it because she was always the class clown, or even because she decided she didn’t want to be the butt of the jokes any more? Is it because when life gets difficult, sometimes you have to laugh or you’ll cry? It’s probably a combination of all of those things, but mostly a genuine desire to make people smile – not only to see people happy, but to be the one making them happy.

Miles and Jamie – well, their motives are perhaps best shrouded in mystery, for now. Hopefully, Submerge gives a good idea of many of their reasons for the things they do!

What do you think makes good motivation for a character? Let me know in the comments!

Talk to you soon!



Hi everyone,

Well, I’m backdating this by about an hour because I completely forgot to update today. So much for that resolution! Still, next week I’ll try to remember.

This week I have once again been working on a redraft of Sprawl (working title), which I hope will shape up into a passable sequel to Submerge. I had planned to take Thursday to work on my submission for the Call to Arms anthology being put together by Manifold Press, but I got well and truly stuck. So I started writing a new project I’d begun work on before my old laptop died, and never got back to. It’s called A King’s Ransom (working title), it’s built on the remains of The Perfect Garden (whether that will ever see the light of day, I don’t know) and I’m quite excited about it.

I’ve written at least 500 words each day, and I’ve written 10170 words this year so far. I hope I can keep this up!

I’ve also been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for a proof of the Submerge paperback to arrive. I love having a paperback copy of my work to keep on a shelf, and I’m hoping that a paperback edition will also be easier for some of its target audience to access. I will, of course, let you know when that arrives.

Talk to you next week!

Interview links


Hi everyone,

I promised to share a couple of links with you, since I neglected to share a couple of interviews in the craziness of NaNoWriMo. So, without further ado:

I’m working on restructuring and finishing my NaNo novel, while I’m still on a roll with it, and then I hope to get back to my rewrite of the second Bowler Hat book. Hurrah!

Talk to you soon!

Don’t forget – Twitter Q&A TODAY!


Hi everyone,

Don’t forget to stop by the #ManifoldPress hashtag on Twitter this evening to join in a very special Q&A with my new book’s publishers, Manifold Press. We’ll be talking about their New Adult imprint, which is launched with Michelle Peart’s To the Left of Your North Star and of course my own debut, Submerge.

I’m really excited to talk to people about all sorts of things to do with the book, and with New Adult fiction in general, and it should be a fun challenge to try to answer in under 140 characters. Come and give me some challenging ones!

The clocks have just gone back in the UK, and time zones are tricky at the best of times, so here’s a handy link to help you work out what time 6pm GMT is for you.

I hope to talk to you then!

It’s official!


Hi everyone,

My debut novel, Submerge, was officially announced by Manifold Press today and will be published on the first of November. I’m thrilled, for a number of reasons – the first of which is that it finally feels real!

I’m also really excited to be able to show you the excellent cover the resident designer put together for me – and here it is!

Submerge cover

Copyright Manifold Press

The third thing that makes today really cool is that the book is now available for preorder via this link, if you happen to fancy it. Long-time readers of this blog may recognise the vague outline of ‘The Thing About Bowler Hats‘ – remember those characters I made up for a tutorial and never intended to do anything with? Yeah, they took on lives of their own, which is my favourite way to write.

Here’s the blurb:

Jamie Hill walks into his local LGBT+ nightclub, Submerge, intending to make friends and have a good time. When he meets comedian Addie Crewe and her girlfriend Gina Wilson, his night is already looking up – but it’s the man Gina introduces him to who really catches his eye. Miles Bradford seems to be everything Jamie could want in a man: smart, funny, kind. Jamie can’t take his eyes off him.

But though Submerge might sparkle on the surface, Jamie knows that the club, just like himself, hides darker secrets in its depths … and even Miles might not be as clean-cut as he appears.

I’ve also had a hand in another title announced today by Manifold Press, but I’ll save the details of that for tomorrow. If you can’t wait, check out the blog post here for more information.

Talk to you tomorrow!