Making things Beta

A glance at my Work in Progress will give some idea of my intended output for the next few months. I enjoy variety in my writing as I do in my reading, so apart from working on novels this year – I aim to produce two anthologies.

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A Time for Courage - 1My next anthology of short stories is due for publication at end of March 2016.

I’ve already adjusted the font, and the angle of the plane on the cover for about the fifth time, but I believe the latest version does the job.

A Time for Courage is a collection of 12 stories. There are two which appear in other collections, but they deserve to be included here.

As always I strive to produce a varied selection, even when adhering to a theme, and I’ve worked to develop these stories in each successive draft.

I’m now looking for volunteers to sample the collection. Ideally, I’d like readers to try at least two stories each, but if you’d like to experience variety I can supply a surprise third story based on your two choices.

If I’m fortunate enough to have more than one reader for any of the stories, it will only be a good thing for the final product.

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What do readers need to know?

Photographic Memory* and Duty Bound* are the two tales which are appear elsewhere, so they don’t require beta reading, but I’ll be happy to send them on if somebody particularly wanted to see them.

I tend to set myself a maximum word target of 3,500 for short stories, but in this list I have one tale which is 4,000 words. There are two which are under 1,000 words.

If you would like to sample any of these and provide me with feedback, please get in touch via email, Facebook, or use a comment here. You don’t have to use the title of the story, (or stories) – the number, (or numbers) will be sufficient.

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1. A Time for Courage
2. Users Guide: Soldier
3. Thanks Dad
4. *Photographic Memory
5. Special Forces ?
6. The Odd Couple
7. Walking Wounded
8. Brothers in Arms
9. *Duty Bound
10. Roamin’ Soldier
11. Blood Brothers
12. The After Life

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I’m presently editing a novel for a fellow writer, so I will allocate time in mid-month to revisit this collection for final amendments.

Thank you as always for reading and leaving a comment.

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Amsterdam Calling – the novel

Amsterdam Calling - the cover 260714In the wake of having recently reviewed the writing of others, and formatting for another writer, I thought it was time for a little self-indulgence.

My latest novel, Amsterdam Calling, was born from a simple idea. Knowing that I had visited Amsterdam several times, I was asked by a friend to describe the city and some of its many attractions.

I developed the plot from there.

In a similar style to some of my other work, I used two main characters to create an interactive partnership from early on in the tale.

Dan is an investigative journalist from the UK, who, for reasons that rapidly become apparent, feels the need to, ‘lie low’ for a while.

Crystal is a fashion designer from the USA, but her heritage lies in the Netherlands. She flies from Chicago to New York to attend the reading of her father’s will, and is handed two letters by the family lawyer. Crystal decides to visit Europe for the first time, to find her roots; in Amsterdam.

The two travellers meet at Amsterdam Airport, Schiphol, and continue the journey to the city together.

As Crystal starts to uncover her family’s history, she realises that her distant relatives were heavily involved in the Dutch Resistance movement during the German occupation in WWII. A neo-Nazi extremist group takes a keen interest in the American, and they stalk her.

While touring the city with his new acquaintance, Dan discovers that as a result of his recent revelations in a Sunday newspaper, somebody has been tasked with bringing him to account, and not in a good way.

As the story develops, the reader is taken on a tour of many places of interest, in and around Amsterdam, including some of the finest museums in the world.

I delayed publication of the book for over a month, whilst I awaited permission from certain establishments to use their copyrighted names. I think it was worth the wait, and now as sales get underway, I await my first reviews.

Why not sample the beginning of the story on Amazon.co.uk, or Amazon.com