Beyond the story


Inspiration comes to authors in many ways and from countless sources. It may be that phrase overheard while out shopping, how another driver has misbehaved, or a special location on holiday. For most people, a walk, run, cycle, drive or any other outing is simply a means of     getting from Point A to Point B.

To a writer, each trip holds golden opportunities.

I’ve written poetry and short stories which feature the Scottish Highlands and the region makes an appearance in several of my novels.     Indeed, most of my erotica series, Highland Games is based there in a remote glen.

Light at The End had been a story idea for a few months but I needed more than what I’d conjured up in my imagination. I didn’t want an entirely fictional tale, I wanted to include something   substantial from the real world … a piece of reality which could not be denied.

Perhaps it’s not so surprising that when I eventually went on a tour of Cruachan Hydro-Electric Power Station my imagination went into hyperdrive. The installation is   colloquially known as The Hollow Mountain because the   entire enterprise is inside a mountain. The only visual   indication that the place is established is the dam between two lochs.

I’d considered a story in which the ‘Hollow Mountain’ was a feature but my visit became absorbing research. I went on the tour inside the mountain which for me meant photographs, notes, sketches and a host of questions for three of the members of staff.

My new story, at last, had a foundation and my characters evolved. Over the past few months, it has become my top-selling title. It may not have many reviews but I blame that on rules regarding reviewer eligibility.

From the feedback I’ve had in comments, emails and the handful of reviews the book has received, I’ve been emboldened to get working on a sequel.

Light to Dark will take over where Light at The End left off and we shall see just how my survivors have fared in their brave new world;      inside a mountain.


Unlike the first book, the research for the sequel has been conducted over many years. I’ve walked, climbed, canoed, abseiled, camped and enjoyed being reminded of man’s insignificance amidst mountains, rivers and forests which existed before us and will outlive us.


My aim is to show how the apocalypse survivors sense the need to move forward and the difficulties they encounter on their new adventures to save mankind from extinction.


More or Less…

My competition entry targeted for the ‘surreal’ genre must be posted by the end of the month.  Surreal is an area that I’m not totally comfortable with, because although I like to think I’ve got a vivid imagination I find it difficult to totally lose track of reality. 

Strangely, at one stage I found myself for once with a complete short story in less than 1500 words.  The competition word allowance is 2000.  I’ve been working on my entry for weeks now so I toyed with the idea of leaving it alone.  After a coffee and some consideration it sounded like the soft option. 

After serious editing I left my story alone for four days, finally believing I had the task done.  I went back to it yesterday morning and introduced a slightly different ending.  The story blossomed into 2000 words.  Today I’ll edit severely again then leave it until tomorrow. 

Tomorrow it gets posted as an entry.  I have to move on.  It’s exciting to send in something that’s taken a lot of work but for some reason it’s even more exciting when you’re not totally sure of your direction.  I’ve managed to avoid reading any other work in the surreal genre.  I don’t want to lose the little confidence I’ve gained and I want to avoid outside influence.

Whatever happens I’ll be honest enough to come back and report here.  I will say now that if I don’t get anywhere with this one I will be trying again.