DAY 22A – #MonthOfBlogging #June2024 #MonthOfWriting

Sorry for hijacking this series of blog posts, but I just wanted to let you know that my new book, LAST ORDERS, is now up for pre-order on Amazon.

So go and pre-order it now, and start loading up your Kindle for the summer holidays.


The ‘blurb’:

In the quiet seaside village of Witford Market, Suffolk, a tight-knit community lives and works in peaceful harmony. Against this blissful backdrop, the owner of a local pub dies in a freak accident.

Newcomer Emma Stafford, here to stay with her sick mother, uses her training as a Metropolitan Police Crime Scene Technician to informally investigate the death. At the same time, she makes a momentous decision – one which will change her life dramatically.

At first, she is suspicious of the many offers of help, but as the days go by, she begins to understand how the community works, and she enlists the help of her best friend and new friends in the community.

How will she juggle the three pressures on her – a criminal investigation, preparations for her new life, and supporting her mother in her last days? Will she be successful, or will she fail all three challenges?

If you’re looking for other books to take on holiday with you, can I offer you my box set of the 1st 3 books of my “Body” series? They’re fantastic value! Three cozy crime novels for only £3.99!

Reviewers have said:
“What a great read!”
“All in all, this is a great and entertaining read.”
“A coastal cliffhanger; and I bet you won’t get there first.”

If your taste is more in the thriller genre, I have a box set of my thriller books, written under the Jack Warwick pseudonym. Please feel free to check it out! Again, great value. Four full novels for £4.99!

Reviewers have said:
“If you’re looking for a page turning story with a great plot then look no further. Brilliant characters and great plot.”
“After reading Jack Warwick’s novel Deceit I was really looking forward to Meltdown and it didn’t disappoint. Looking forward to more from Jack Warwick!”




This is the year the Witford Market Mysteries gets released! Oh yes! Book One is in first edit, Book Two (part-written for NaNoWriMo last year) is about quarter written, Book Three is planned, and Book Four might be the Christmas episode I’ve written and abandoned several times. The problem has been that I want the Christmas episode to come out just before… Christmas. I know. Crazy, huh? So the Christmas story has been the first, then the second, then the first again, and now it’s going to be 3rd or 4th. The problem is that in the first book, you are introducing your characters for the first time. So there’s more back story exposition, the relationships between the characters is different, and the conflict and tensions are different. So yeah.

I’ve emptied the well of short fiction I have, and I’m unlikely to write sufficient quantities to make another collection anytime soon.

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Looking back on 2023

For some reason, I didn’t do a review and a forward plan last year. I can only think I was reviewing the purpose of blogs and newsletters and so on. There was some discussion that blogs are fairly self-indulgent, and only serve the person writing it.

The same applies to vlogs and YouTube videos, too. I’m watching vids which point out “no one cares about you, no one’s interested in your life.” And I can get onboard with that, a little.


Probably a good question. And the answer? I want to record what I’m doing, how I’m thinking, what has been good – and bad – about 2023, and what I should be looking forward to in 2024.

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NANOWRIMO – the planning (1)

Over the years, I have listened to many authors speaking on their process. It’s always interesting to hear how “the professionals” do it. I remember one author (whose name I have genuinely forgotten) who told a group of aspiring writers that during the editing process, he rewrote his completed manuscripts at least 10 times.

I thought I had misheard.

But no – he wrote, and rewrote, his whole manuscript for each novel at least 10 times.

At the time, I hadn’t published any novels, and I was keen to hear other people’s methodologies. But ten complete rewrites sounded completely bonkers to me. Surely, there was a better, more time-efficient, way?

Indeed there was.

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It’s NANOWRIMO time, and I have no choice

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, comes around at the end of October each year. From a local challenge in San Francisco in 1999, with just 21 participants, it has grown to a global event, with hundreds of thousands of writers joining each year.

As you might expect, with a name like National Novel Writing Month, the idea is to write “a novel” in a single month – the 30 days of November. The actual size of the “novel” is determined as 50,000 words, which means participants need to write an average of 1,667 words per day to be successful in the challenge.

I first heard about this challenge in 2003, and it sounded like fun, so I signed up. And I “won” – the prize being a downloadable certificate and the self-satisfaction of having written a whole bunch of words in a single month.

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Does fast writing really work?

On May 1st 2022, I’m launching my course: The Efficient Novelist. It shows, in detail, and with many supporting resources, how I create, write and publish four novels a year.

Why do I do that?

There are two reasons:

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You may have questions about The Efficient Novelist

Do you want to become a full-time author?

Are you interested in progressing your writing career, attracting more readers and increasing your royalties?

If I told you that I had developed a process to create and publish a new commercial fiction novel every 3 months, which gains me readership and increases my sales, would you be interested? Do you have any questions which might stop you signing up?

Here are a few I’ve been asked already.

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Dreams of becoming a full-time author

Do you want to become a full-time author?

Do you dream of sitting in your study, looking out on a beautiful landscape, crafting wonderful novels which sell in their thousands to sustain your comfortable lifestyle?

I know I’ve had this pipedream for many years. I know a lot of us do, and although the second sentence is, for most of us, a flight of fancy, it IS possible to give up your full-time job and write for a living.

But the question is: how much are you prepared to do to make that dream a reality? Are you prepared to take a long, hard look at what you write, and how you write? If you could make a few small changes to your writing life, would it be worth doing it to have a shot at becoming that full-time author you’ve always wanted to be?

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My Novelling Journey – a story in 3 acts-part 3

ACT THREE – Resolution

Climax – Finale

The climax signifies the final moments of the story’s overarching conflict. 

2019: After that meeting with my friends, I now had a focus. A strong pointer to where I needed to be. And I was able to join up my story structure subplot. I started using Save The Cat to outline my rewrite of a political conspiracy story, which would become “Deceit” ( Before that, I went back to basics and used the first part of The Snowflake Method because it nicely mirrored a technique I’d learned from writing software, back in the day – the need to break down a huge project into smaller-sized, individual, mini-projects.

Reader – I tore through that story. I broke it down from first principles – Single Sentence Summary, Two Sentence Premise, and ending with a Five Paragraph Summary. Stepping stones to creating a great story. From there, it was another step to producing the 15 ‘beats’ of the Save The Cat method, and then another step to creating the 40+ scenes which go to make up my full novel, scene-by-scene plan. At each stage, the work had strong links to the previous stage. At no point did it feel like I was going out on a limb, not knowing where I was going to end up.

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My Novelling Journey – a story in 3 acts-part 2

ACT TWO – Confrontation

Typically the longest of all three sections: Act Two usually comprises the second and third quarters of the story.


The protagonist gets to know their new surroundings and starts to understand the challenges that lay before them. 

2012: Using both NaNoWriMo and 100k100days, I start to think about the stories that I want to write. I’m excited by this new decision, and over the next few years, I create more and better stories. But at the back of my mind, there’s a niggling thought – I’m just working hard to create more and more wasted words.

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