Would you like nukes with that?

When I was a teenager I was strangely obsessed with the possibility of nuclear war. Whether it was that we were all going to die in a nuclear conflagration, wither away from radiation poisoning, or starve to death in a nuclear winter, I was convinced it was going to happen. I would talk about it […]

It’s only taken four years…

…but I’m about to publish the sequel to Blood and Blitzkrieg. It’s called ‘Butcher and Bolt’, which was the instruction Winston Churchill gave to the Commandos, an elite unit set up specifically to harass the Germans along the coast of all the Occupied Territories. In the meantime, I’ve decided to make my books free, so […]

Remembering Pearl Harbour

Last Sunday was Pearl Harbour Day, a day my late father always remembered and pointed out to me each year, as it was a day of massive significance to him and to Australia. Before 7 December 1941, the Japanese had been rampaging through China for years, and immediately after that day, they charged through South-East […]

The horror of the RFP

Today I finished that most dreaded of writing projects: a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) or ‘tender’ as it’s more commonly known. I was invited to participate in this by an old colleague who is now working in Marketing in the Australian arm of a large multinational technology company. They got me in […]

100 words

A very good customer of mine recently asked me to write “exactly 100 words” to present their products in a conference workbook … by tomorrow. I duly dropped everything and did this, agonising over the sentence structure, cutting adjectives, checking the word count, then sent it off, a masterpiece! Only then to be told “Oh, […]

Decline and Fall

I’ve recently been listening on Audible to Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, one of the greatest works of history ever written. It’s great for a number for reasons, not least its size: I seem to have been listening for an eternity but I’m still only in part three of five and […]

How to grow a novel

I’ve been reading a superb book by Sol Stein called “How to grow a novel”. Mr Stein is a hugely-successful US publisher and author, and this book is a distillation of what he has said to his writers over his career. It’s a practical, useful guide to writing, that shows you all the most common […]

Flesh and Blood – a poem from 1998

I was asked to write some words about love To put to a tune that would woo the dove But I was mute, struck dumb and silent Without your soul inside my pen So I wandered in the fields of frost And felt the cold touch of loss So I could learn the feelings of […]

Six reasons why you should read historical fiction

1. It’s fun! Stories set in other times have different rules, and watching the characters struggle within them is great entertainment, but they’re still just stories designed to entertain. 2. It’s educational If it’s even slightly researched, a historical fiction novel will put you squarely into a period of history, with all its different ways […]

Chemical weapons again

The latest allegations that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria has been using chemical weapons against rebel targets got me thinking. What does it take? It takes a particular type of person or a particular state of desperation to use these sorts of weapons. As far as I can recall, Saddam Hussein was the last […]