Tag Archives: Scottish Highlands

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.

***

Light at The End

 

This is my first attempt at depicting a post-apocalyptic scenario. Almost every day in the media we learn of conflict in various regions around the globe … or ‘across the board’ for the Flat Earth Society. 😀

As ‘nations’ argue with each other publicly and their leaders make veiled threats via international media and occasionally on social media, many people cast it all aside as hot air. All around we hear cries of ‘We’ve heard it all before’, but what if on one fateful day it all goes wrong and some of the threats fall on the wrong ears?

The blurb follows below with the cover image. If you’d like to see how things get underway there is an Amazon link below. The first chapter is available under the book title in my Novels section of the main menu.

***

Bill Kane’s long military career had recently ended so he relaxed by joining a three-day sightseeing tour in the Scottish Highlands. At last, the ex-Serviceman would be able to leave stress and decision-making to somebody else, or would he?

While the squabbling of world leaders intensified on international media, Bill, like others, shrugged it off as sabre-rattling, but the sabres in question were nuclear missiles. An unthinkable situation developed rapidly. A missile was launched, and retaliation became a chain reaction.

On a mountain road in Scotland, Paul Harrington a young coach driver listened to the news in disbelief. When his passengers returned down the hill from the latest viewpoint it would be Paul’s responsibility to get them to safety, but to where?

No town was within easy reach, but he remembered a disused railway tunnel not far away. Could he get them there in time, and how would they survive?

***

Amazon-Preview/Buy

BookLinker-Universal

Highland Games

 

Highland Games – 1 is now available on Amazon.

Apart from the location, there is no connection between ‘the games’ in the story and the games usually associated with the Scottish Highlands.

It is my first novella, and if the idea appeals to enough readers there will be a series. My plan at the present time is to continue to at least five stories. Each book will introduce new characters, but cameo roles will be played by characters featured in other stories from the series.

Central to the idea is the Highland Haven Hotel which is in a remote location, not surprisingly – in the Scottish Highlands.

Is it wham, bam, thank you, ma’am?

No, it isn’t, because although the predominant activity is sexual, the characters will have a background, a voice, and as might be expected, particular preferences ….

Each book will have a cohesive story to carry the journey of the main character and at least one support character.

These books are not among the longest, or most complicated I’ve written, however, the most ambitious aspect will be for me to inter-relate the characters of the individual tales, and the dates.

I accept the erotica genre does not appeal to everybody, but in my reading experience so far, I’ve found a lot of badly written work in this category. It was after reading a famous, modern story I was inspired to write the genre myself. The ‘Shades’ book, in my opinion, is neither believable nor properly researched. I applaud the author for making a fortune – selling rubbish.

How does my version of erotica compare?

It’s not for me to say, however, I have more than one title out there now, and they carry positive reviews. Enough said.

As always, I appreciate any feedback.

***

Amazon – Preview / Buy

BookLinker – Universal

A long and winding road

I published my crime thriller ‘Beyond The Law’ in early October right on schedule, which was good because the next day I headed to the Scottish HIghlands to chill out for a week – and it’s easy to ‘chill out’ in the Highlands in October.

The road through the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands
The road through the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands

My novel tells the story of Phil McKenzie, an exSAS soldier who is framed for an assassination. He returns to his hometown, Glasgow – as Hawk, a vigilante. He then recruits a small team and tackles organised crime head on.

As usual I aim to link my graphic with my post and this one is no different. What is the relevance of the picture? Just like the road through the Cairngorms from Braemar to Blairgowrie, I faced many twists and turns with my novel.

It was a long road with my hero being brought to life in a poem in May 2008. My character ‘Hawk’ attracted interest and good reviews, so the poem became a series of 35 poems. In November 2011, Hawk became a novel written in 30 straight days during my first attempt at the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

During 2012 I started a serious rewrite with various working titles, the favourite being,  ‘Hawk – A Vigilante’. On completion I left it aside for about six months before revisiting the manuscript. When I started work on it again early this year I set myself a target date for completion of late September/early October.

I’m delighted to say I met my deadline. I set it up for a one-day Free promotion on Amazon on Saturday, 12th October and I’m pleased to say it was downloaded over 100 times and sold 5 copies. Interested readers came from UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy and India. Now I have to hope that the story works for all those people.

My aim for this week is to relax and paint some scenes from my recent Scottish holiday. Where did I stay? I rented ‘Treasure Island Cottage’ in Braemar – so called, because it’s where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote part of the famous book, ‘Treasure Island’.

Thank you for reading – I’ll be back soon with news of my new romance novel, set in Amsterdam.

Link to ‘Beyond The Law’ on Amazon.co.uk

Link to ‘Beyond The Law’ on Amazon.com

Happy New Year

Scottish Highlands

Welcome to my blog in this new year of 2012.  My accompanying graphic is a photo I took when holidaying in my favourite place in the world, the Scottish Highlands.  Throughout last year I supported my posts with my own artwork so I thought in a slight departure I’d use a series of photos from holiday destinations as this year gets underway.

I haven’t been on here for a couple of weeks but I have been busy.  I’ve got two short stories underway and I have one entered into an international competition.  I have already started work on the edit of my NaNoWriMo novel, ‘Hawk, A Human Hunter’.
I am presently assisting a fellow writer and good friend of mine to set up her first attempt at a blog.  I know how difficult I found it since I’ve only been blogging myself for a year.    Progress on that project will come as and when she wishes to broadcast her efforts.  For a while at least I believe it’s right that she keeps her writing under wraps.   I think the finished product will be worth a visit so I’ll be plugging it on here.
Reading material at the moment for me is a continuation into the ‘classics’.  I am presently reading ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy.  I will in time write a review so that can wait.  I now have a reasonable collection of classics lined up so I hope to learn what all the fuss has been about regarding certain books.