Review – The Last Roundhead by Jemahl Evans

There are various tests that every historical novel has to meet before it can be considered a success. The Last Roundhead by Jemahl Evans passes these with flying colours The historical world of the English Civil War is rendered so credibly it’s easy to imagine the author experienced the 1640s himself. The Last Roundhead is…

New book of short stories released

The second Random Writers anthology of short stories, which I have co-edited with J.A. Ironside, is to be released soon – ‘Something Rich And Strange: The Past Is Prologue’ will be available for download on 12 December, and as a paperback shortly afterwards. ‘It started with the Zhar-ptitsa, the Firebird, as these things must. No,…

Sopwith Pup book available soon!

The Sopwith Pup, as it is unofficially but universally known, was one of the first true British fighter aircraft, and one of the most significant of the First World War. It played a key part in maintaining control of the skies over the Western Front during and after the RFC’s toughest period, Bloody April, 1917….

Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize

I am delighted to announce that my short story ‘Energy’ has been shortlisted for the prestigious Bridport Prize – I can be found somewhere here! Godinheaven. The car’s assaulting your senses, taking them over, torrent of colour, noise, it grips you and shakes you. Brake and your brain tries to escape through your eyesockets. You’re…

Difficult second novel – the quest continues

I don’t usually go in for the ‘writing process’ stuff on this website – it’s done so well by so many other writers that there doesn’t seem to be much point. But I’ve heard the same thing from a number of novelists recently, ranging from the huge-selling HarperCollins published superstar to the dewy eyed newbie,…

Writing the landscape

I’ve always been fascinated by landscape, and that fascination has shaped my identity as a writer. Ironically – or perhaps inevitably – I grew up somewhere with a particular kind of landscape that some people think of as no landscape at all. The flat expanses of North Essex do not share the character of the…

Eighteen-eighty – Fiction

Last night I dreamt of 1880. I know why. They’d been taking pieces of me away. 1880 was when I lost the biggest piece. Not mast, or keel, or frame – they can be replaced. 1880 was when I lost my Captain. In truth I don’t know where I end or they begin. I feel…

The Bishop and the Crystal – fiction

Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity! These were the vaunted last words of my uncle, the bishop, though I’ truth he said more, it seemed meet to leave his worldly utterances here. As he himself was unclear at the end whether he was alive or dead, who was I to draw the line at the arbitrary…

The Once And Future Arthur

It wasn’t a conscious decision that both my stories in the anthology A Seeming Glass were based on reworkings of Arthurian legend. Neither could it said to be entirely coincidental. When it comes to new visions of old stories, King Arthur and the ‘Matter of Britain’ has been at it longer than most. Almost everything…

Stealing the editor’s chair

My co-editor JA Ironside has already given a fascinating account of the process of editing the anthology A Seeming Glass on her blog here, so I shan’t go over ground she has so ably covered. That said, I thought it might be interesting to add my perspective on how this collection of stories came into…