I loved the Sixties …

Of course, the twenties were incredible, the thirties and forties were fantastic, and the fifties were pretty good.

With effect from 7th November, I’ll embrace the Seventies.

It was 53 years ago that I joined the British Army, leaving home, and Scotland for the first time. The rest, as they say, is history.

I may have tackled my literary ambitions later in life than some authors, but I’m satisfied with what I’ve achieved thus far. 

I first tried my hand at creative writing in 1996, a few years after completing my military service in 1992. I wanted to record as much information as possible about my career, transcribing from notebooks, diaries, and official documents. I refreshed myself on how to touch-type, a skill I learned in the military. I produced countless pages of information, and tried over a short period to make it an autobiography, but the writing was awful for so many reasons.

As my next career (Retail Management) was taking off, I got back into reading, and some years later, in 2007, I bought books and magazines to study writing. I also joined websites that facilitated posting poetry, short stories, reading, and reviewing by all members. I next got underway with letters to magazines, and entering short story competitions. Success, apart from publication, included cash, book prizes, and inclusion in anthologies.

Since 2012, I’ve published novels, novellas, anthologies of short stories, and poetry collections. Between 2018, and the present day, with the exception of erotica, I’ve converted all of my work into paperback. My output was increased when my retail career ended after 25 years. I had reached official retirement age (65) in 2017.

As seen in the graphic above, I eventually completed what had started out as an autobiography. I amended the story to be fact-based-fiction, changing names and so on, which removes any worry of legal action. Instead of cutting out large segments of the story, I concentrated on making it an easy-to-follow, cohesive read by creating five logical phases to cover the time period. I then spent a year fine-tuning the end product one part at a time. The eBooks were published over 2016 and 2017. I returned to the manuscript, and, once again using logical phases, produced a paperback trilogy so that in either option, the story is the same, word-for-word. I’m delighted to report that they are among my top-selling titles.

What are my intention for the future?

My Work in Progress consists of four more crime thrillers, a sci-fi fantasy, and another anthology of short stories. When all of those have been published I may cease to produce new work.

I’m a firm believer that as authors, even after that final edit, and a book has been on sale for a while, we know there will be an urge to return to it. I’ve learned so much as time has passed, and my writing and style have improved. I’ve already revised most of my titles, but when the final one is published, I intend to reread each of my books, and improve them wherever possible.

Click here or on the banner to visit my author website.

There are so many things said about age, like it being, ‘but a number’, ‘sixty is the new forty’, and so forth, but for me as an author, each year creates another level of life experience, appreciation of all things, and a deep desire to improve, and entertain with my writing.

Updates here will keep readers in the loop regarding my progress. At some point while reading my catalogue, I may dream up another literary offering, but we’ll see.

Once again, I thank all of you who have helped make my lifelong writing dream a success.

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My Writing Year – 2021

Most of my time over the past couple of years has been spent in fictional worlds, which might sound peculiar but has for me, been a blessing. As an author I’ve found it easier than many people to accept national and international travel restrictions. Late in the year I fitted in trips up to Scotland and across to Amsterdam. In both cases I witnessed a different real world from before Covid 19.

I started my writing year as usual, with targets. Four new titles was always going to be ambitious, but without ambition, there’s little point in setting goals. Next Steps: and other stories, Sylvia: Beyond the Apocalypse, Codename: Foxglove, and Crusader were all in the line-up. Of those, only Crusader remains a Work in Progress.

What else filled my time?

A challenge I’d set myself was to produce my mainstream titles in paperback, which created a lot of work. The task was accomplished. A secondary job was to publish my short stories in paperback but not include tales from my anthologies which had been submitted by guest authors.

To cut a long story short, if you’ll pardon the pun, I had eighty tales which I mixed to produce four volumes of twenty short stories. My aim here was multi-faceted:

– produce books which were value for money for readers.

– an approximately equal word count.

– a mix of genre but without erotica.

– all my own work.

Did I maintain any other author interests?

As always, I filled in many hours reading, reviewing, beta-reading for fellow members of the IASD, and mentoring a couple of aspiring authors.

Apart from those things, I offered my services to my pseudonym. For her part, she produced five new titles. Her books are slightly shorter than mine but have plenty of action, albeit for a different taste. Five may sound like a lot, but they are written over a longer time period because most are based on notes and short story ideas from over the years.

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Do I believe I’ve had a productive writing year?

Yes, I do, and as we all look forward to 2022, I’m content with the titles I have planned. One of next year’s stories is Selena: Sea Nymph, my first attempt at sci-fi paranormal fantasy. The first five chapters are available for reading and comments in my Work in Progress menu.

I already know how most of my author’s year will be spent in 2022, and 2023, so I’ll drop a hint with my New Writing Year blog in January 2022.

Comments and suggestions are welcome as always, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

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