Wednesday, 4 November 2009


The job has been a right royal pain in the backside for the last couple of weeks where it has been a case of if it can go wrong it bloody well will.

Anyway this hasn't deterred from the writing and with another chapter pretty much complete I think it is time for a further research trip to the Royal Armouries Collection in Leeds to really nail down how the various pistols and rifles were operated. So if anyone else is going you'll know doubt see me hanging around the 18th C weapons for a few hours.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Staffs PC Rest in Pieces

My PC gave up the ghost and is no more. Typing, typing and more typing finally killed it.

For a long time games haven't been an option. Think it could have just about run something like Jedi Knight which came out donkeys years ago.

And tho' I mourn my old PC time will pass and as I lay your dusty, crumpled aluminium form out to rest one final time I will shed a little tear, for my memories will flood back of me, you and MS Word. Of all the sites we saw together on the web and do you remember that time we got drunk and sent the wrong emails to the wrong person?

Anyway, rest easy my friend.

Staffs PC is Dead! His new one is born!

Its a cracker. It boots up quick it has Windows 7 it works, its nice it has Word and there are a multitude of new memories to make, new websites to view, new games to play and new novels to write.

Right let me just clear these cobwebs from my blog, I'm gonna write a few lines...

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Road Trip

Been looking at trips to London. Hopefully it'll be a chance to seek out the sights and smells of older part of the city, parts that will allow the creative juices to flow once again.

Before I go next month I'll need to make a list of the areas which are still 17th 18th C in appearance. Bet the wife can't wait!

Other than that I think Hampton Court Palace and the Cabinet War Rooms will be on top of the agenda.

Can't Sleep

Been writing most of the evening - head full of ideas - pen can't keep up. Gonna take a break listen to some music to relax. It'll all make sense tomorrow....

Friday, 18 September 2009

A True Story - Part Two

Many months passed and the day began to loom upon which the man would leave his desk to begin his work as a fireman. His co-workers had never really believed it would happen and their reaction was one of total admiration.

"Yes he's leaving to become a fireman."

"Really! Why?"

The first co-worker smiled at the seconds surprise it was the same shock that he himself had felt many months before. "Because its what he wants to do," he said smiling as just for a moment he experienced that minute glimmer of surety within him.

"That must be nice," said the second co-worker, "you know, to do something that you really like. I mean I don't mind this job but you know to do something because you really want to do it."

"Well, what would you like to do?" asked the first co-worker to the second who shook their head unsure of how to answer.

For a moment a silence befell the group until a third person who had been listening to the conversation spoke up, seizing the moment to share their dreams by simply adding, "I'd like to be an author."

The stunned silence was shattered by a snigger and the dream died...

It seems in this cruel world some dreams are more real than others.

So is it a dream? Of course it is.
Is it dead? Of course it isn't.

What did all this mean? I'm not sure I know. I spend 8 hours a day staring at a PC and get paid for it. Do I enjoy it in the best possible sense? No. Yet at home I will choose to do the same and yet this time I am satisfied. I do not plough on through writer's block and research problems, frustrated and annoyed in the vain hope that one day I will finish my story to a fanfare of happiness and satisfaction. If I did I would not wish to write anymore. I enjoy the journey of writing itself and surely it is the enjoyment of this journey rather than the end which should bring me such pleasures. And that is how I know I want to write. And write I shall!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A True Story - Part One

"I've decided to leave my job and become a fireman," the man said suddenly.

"Really?" asked his bemused co-worker, for he knew that being a fireman would be completely different to the current desk job.


The co-worker thought for a moment, pensively considering whether the next question was appropriate. Eventually, curiosity overcame him and he spoke again, "Is it more money?"

"No," replied the first man, "Actually it is a bit less."

Now this is curious, thought the co-worker, why would someone leave a job that is secure and pays reasonably well to take on a lesser paid role that has unsociable hours.

"It will be a long time until I leave," continued the first man, "I need to undertake training and pass medicals and even then I might not get in."

The co-worker shook his head, "I just don't get it," he moaned with an air of despair, "why would you leave this job and take a pay cut to do that?"

The first man smiled, his eyes bright and alive, "I want to, thats why..."

Job satisfaction is an amazing thing. It cannot be measured in any conceivable way. It is not earned, it is as unique to every individual as every individual is unique to it. I cannot imagine going to an interview and asking "How much will this job satisfy me?" Rather than "How much will I get paid?"

And yet this thing, this unquantifiable thing means everything, for if I feel unsatisfied, then there is something missing from life and if that is the case can I be happy?

That is where my writing comes in. My ramblings and pretend authorings bring me little more than a personal fulfillment of happiness and satisfaction. But what more do I really need?

Now I'm thinking too hard. Time for a beer, a bet and some food in preparation for the footie. I will continue my musings another time.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Meet Nathaniel Cross

I wanted to write something that summed up the vision of Nathaniel Cross. Whilst he isn't necessarily a good man, he is the main character of the novel living life on the edge and surviving against the odds. He can have no mercy as he knows it is mercy that gets you killed.

It isn't what I thought I'd write as I started but it came out and though it isn't directly from the novel I thought I'd put it up here.

The shadowed form loomed menacingly above him as a bolt of lightning stitched the midnight sky, the sudden flash of light revealing little more than a silhouette. Its head was covered by a wide brimmed hat, angled low over the face. The nose and jaw were concealed behind the high collar of a fully buttoned long dark coat, the hem of which ended below the knees. The hands were buried inside a pair of dark black gloves and held a pistol threateningly towards him, its barrel glinting in the moonlight. Silently, the shape moved upon him as though it were an apparition of death itself and as it leveled the barrel of the pistol, a gloved finger began to tighten slowly on the trigger. Only the eyes were visible and these offered no compassion as a sudden flare from the pan and a crack from the weapon split the air with a brutal finality. And as life faded from him he could see only the savage eyes burning back, beholding their moment of revenge through the grey smoke which danced heavenward from the barrel of the spent pistol as high above them both the rolling boom of thunder echoed warlike across the heavens.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Communications Disruption Can Mean Only One Thing...

Fortunately in my case, unlike Sio Bibble in the Phantom Menace, it did not mean invasion.

However, it did mean no internet for 3 days which is almost as bad. "Aliens stole my broadband!" screamed the front page of the local rag. I have never needed to look at a google map, buy something online so much in my life than for those 3 days.

I even had the desire to compare car insurance prices just because I knew that I couldn't.

Turns out that Virgin Media had done something their end which had effectively killed a large number of cable modems. Do they know they delayed my research into 17th and 18th Century weapons? Do they care?

Actually looking at my bookmarks in Chrome is kind of scary. There's a few too many weaponry sites along with pages relating to vice, gentleman clubs and Victorian Crime. If the wife sees that lot she'll probably wish it had been porn.

I also applied for a promotion at work and am ecstatic to have been successful. Hopefully this means more money, a cushier role and more time to do the work I love which is pretending to write. Somehow though I doubt it.

Its just another piece of life that threatens to stop the release of our graphic novel. My good mate Chris Taylor who is preparing the artwork for the graphic novel has also just changed jobs so its a busy and successful time for both of us.

So with everything wonderful I will return to the novelisation of our project. It's such a shame that the Thief Taker's London conjours up a desperate vision of crime and corruption, with cobbled streets awash with rivers of blood. I'm in too much of a good mood for that I think a re-write is in order and I shall change the setting to a village fete. Chapter One - The Case of the Missing Marrow. Sounds like a new hit for Sunday evening tv.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Back to Work - Nooooooooooooooo!

Curses of real life. How can you concentrate writing when you being told to do mundane jobs by your boss. I know I have to pay the bills but its just not fair. My mind is a prisoner to capitalism and it needs to break free.

Against all odds I'm still buggering on. Must go shouted for dinner. I need to eat...unfortunately...

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Thief Takers - The World

Whilst watching footie this weekend I began messing about with a few of the resource pics I'd been gathering from the internet. 1 hour later I'd added a couple of transition effects and some music and well what do you know...

Anyway back to the writing now...

Friday, 28 August 2009

Don't You Just Love Bank Holidays?

Off work today so the mind is positively pulsating with things to do to the old novel. Really couldn't sleep last night and probably woke up about three or four times to write something down in the handy notebook that has pride of place at the side of my bed.

Can't think how many times I've found inspiration in my sleep and thought I must remember that in the morning only to wake up and think what the hell was that I came up with last night.

Other good places for thought I've found are (in no particular order):

1. The Shower
2. The Bog (sorry but its true)
3. Work (hope the boss isn't reading)
4. Waiting for a train
5. The garden (must be sunny)
6. Bed with the lights off

There must be more that I haven't found yet...

Anyway time to visit one of the above to crack on with just how good old Nathaniel Cross can survive the underworld of 18th Century London with a price on his head. From the research I've done I don't envy him.

On something entirely different just seen that Arjen Robben is swapping Madrid for Munich. Wonder if this means Chelsea could be on their way to capturing Ribery?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Thief Takers - His London, His City, His justice is His Revenge

We decided early on that we wanted to use the City of London almost as a character. There is so much history there already that most things don't need making up or changing. In an almost nerd like way we also wanted to use historical maps to chart the journey each character would take and the locations of each scene.

The opening scenes take place on the darkened streets near to Smithsfield Market in the fictional "Seven Bells Inn" (named after the signal for imminent rum rations).

The Seven Bells Inn is certainly not a nice place for a quiet pint. In fact it would probably be best described as a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Hmmm...

A dangerous rooftop chase follows a violent hanging and an encounter in the fictional "Belize" club (based on one of the many gentleman clubs in existence at the time)

And this is only the beginning for Nathaniel Cross. His journey continues...

Thief Takers - The Plan


While the artist sketches the author muses. I'm good at musing. Its the stuff that follows that lets me down.

Anyway, I muse on a little too long. The draft is pretty much done, I think to myself. I feel unemployed. I can't draw, I can't even colour something without going over the lines - I'm told it isn't done like that any more. This only proves my point that I shouldn't be anywhere near the arty process of the graphic novel.

My mind needs something to do before it goes blank. I can't abide a blank mind!

What if? I ponder, what if I novelise the plot? We'd have the graphic novel and I could practice my hand at writing the whole thing. Maybe I'd had a drink but next morning I still think its a good idea - despite the headache. It will help iron out any kinks in the script. It will give Chris more background to work with. It will be fun.

Two chapters in and you really begin to realise how 1 page of a script transforms into hundreds of words. Suddenly our world is alive and slowly but surely it is beginning to wake up...

Blogging Reborn

Its been a while...embarrisingly so...

Honestly it really didn't take me this long to read the six novels I posted about way back when.

Real life occasionally, just occassionally tries to suck the creative energy from you. Holding down a "real" job for the money needed to pretend to write began to cast great thunderous storm clouds over the world of my joint project with good friend (and clever bod who designed my blog), Chris Taylor.

Yet I realised I'd gotten it all wrong. After a hard day of real life issues, what better way is there than to escape into the turbulent and violent times of the Thief Takers?

The wife thinks its strange. Why do I lock myself in a quiet room, in front of the pc for hours each night, (no its not for that! Well mostly not...) cursing every interruption of my bladder, my dinner, my sleep? - maybe she's right to be worried. I mean I'm spending my evenings with a gang of violent cut throats with loose morals. Its a world where every man has a price. A place where you trust no-one and no-one trusts you. But its my world and at the end of the day I think I understand it more than the real one.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Reading Six Novels At Once?

Recently I couldn't decide what to read next. So for some bizarre reason I decided to read six novels at once. I mean why not? After all surely it's only the same as following six different series at once isn't it?

The six I've gone for are below and as one ends another shall take it's place.

Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
Resurrectionist - James McGee
Morte D'Arthur - Thomas Malory
Azincourt - Bernard Cornwell
Band of Eagles - Frank Barnard
Enemy of God - Bernard Cornwell

It's like being the controller of a TV Network just with words!