Work In Progress


The Silk Road

Work has begun.. I have the plot, now it’s time to tell the story.  As usual, a selection of fountain pens, and a vintage Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602





31st December 2015

The London Cage is done!  First edits are back from the publisher, so I’m on the case.


22nd June 2016

More London Cage

Since I’ve managed to take a few months off between contracts, Book 2  – The London Cage – has been progressing rather well. I now have a thick pile of paper covered in words that require to be entered into the PC. And I have managed to get through quite a few pencils in the process.


At that point, I’ll be able to say the first draft is complete, but there’s still a very long way to go. I’m not sure which is harder, writing the story, or editing it to the end. Actually, I know – it’s the editing. Once a chapter is complete, then the hard work starts of constantly editing it until there is nothing more I can do. If there are no more changes to improve it, then I leave it alone, and go back to it after at least a month. I’m strict about only making changes that improve it. Different is not necessarily an improvement, it’s just different. But I know when I’ve got to the end of a chapter, and it’s time to move on.

Of course, I’ll go back to the chapter a month later and make many changes, but that’s a good thing. In the past, I was sceptical about the advice given by authors where they advise to finish your ms, then ignore it for a month, then go back and edit it. I mean, it’s finished or it’s not, right? Why go back to it? But the advice is gold dust. Even when you think you’re finished, you’re not. Leave it for at least a month. When you go back to it, you’ll make a ton of improvements you would never of thought of before, and when you repeat the process, and get to the point where you are not making improvements, then it’s done, but not before.

The London Cage has got a long way to go before I’ll be at that stage, but I’ll get there. In the meantime, I’ll try to think of a blurb for it. That’ll keep me busy.


Feb 23rd 2015

The second book in the series, the London Cage, is being currently being written. I’m 50K words through the first draft, and it’s great fun to write. However, I’m about to get to the end of my batch of Palomino Blackwing 602 and Pearl pencils, and I fancy a change. As I mentioned in previous blogs, everything I write is in longhand, by pencil.

Blog 7 picture 1

Rather than break open another box of Palomino Blackwings/Pearls, I’m going to choose from the below. Tricky choice… The Tombow Monos are fabulous, but quite soft compared to other HBs. I might keep them for A3 planning/plotting work. The Royal Sovereigns and Venus are both vintage British pencils, and although probably over fifty years old, they write perfectly. I think it’s gonna be the vintage Faber ‘Castell’ HB. I’ve no idea how long the box will last, we shall see.

Right, where’s that sharpener?

– Author of international thrillers 'Names of the Dead & The London Cage', available in all major UK bookshops & online internationally by Faber.