Over And Out
Friday, 18 September 2015
Well, that’s it. The Sussex Devils is finished. Now it’s gone to the printers and I guess you’ll receive your copy in a few weeks or so. So this is my final “Shed” message.
At the end of any definitive process (books, movies, careers, sex, dinner, relationships, maybe life itself) there’s an ambivalent feeling. On the one hand, some relief at reaching the period. Phew, I made it. That was exhausting…
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Book publishers take an enviably relaxed view of schedules. They groove along, swinging their hips in shades and flared pants. Not for them the urgency of the modern world, with its “electronic” mail, and so-called “instant” messaging.
Still, the Sussex Devils edit process is nearly complete now. There have been no major changes, apart from the afterword. But there have been a multitude of copy…
Friday, 13 March 2015
I submitted the draft manuscript of The Sussex Devils and I’m now waiting for a response from the Unbound editors. I added an “Epilogue” piece a few weeks ago, an endpiece which draws together a few strands from the main story. That aside, I’ve not looked at the main work as a whole in several months. Every time I dip into a chapter it feels OK – truthful at least. But perhaps I’m numb by now.…
Friday, 30 January 2015
The Sussex Devils is now fully funded. Thank you for your help at whatever level you contributed: I am monstrously grateful. It's not easy to ask for money for an unpublished book - and a bloody sight harder to hand it over, I would think.
I will keep you posted on progress towards publication, which I am told will likely be in the autumn, although as a supporter you will receive an advance copy…
On Writing Recent History (What Was It Like In 1981, Daddy?)
Monday, 19 January 2015
The Sussex Devils is the story of Derry Mainwaring Knight and the Reverend John Baker. It’s also an analysis of the (now scarcely believeable) atmosphere surrounding the moral panic around Satanism in the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s. And of course, it’s also my story – at least insofar as it intersects with these events. My literary agent, Robert Dinsdale at AM Heath, prodded me to amplify this…
A Love That Could Hurt No One (Last Part)
Sunday, 23 November 2014
A small and curious crowd of Ossett locals collected around the ambulance, as Michael Taylor was taken away, still screaming. It didn’t take long for PC Walker to find out his address. Under the circumstances, he thought it would be best to visit the Taylors’ home right away. He jumped back into his car and followed the directions. On an impulse he put on his siren, though strictly speaking it wasn…
A Love that Could Hurt No One (Part Three)
Monday, 17 November 2014
By now senior members of St Thomas’s clergy had heard about the confrontation at the fellowship group. The priest-in-charge of St Thomas was a pinch-faced 52 year-old Evangelical called Peter Vincent. Before becoming his tenure at St Thomas, between 1963 and 1971 he had been the vicar at the Church of Saint John the Divine in nearby Rastrick. Whilst there he had developed quite a reputation. Vincent…
A Love that Could Hurt No One (Part Two)
Thursday, 13 November 2014
It would be hard to think of a bleaker year in recent English history than 1974. It was an angry, frightened time: revolution was in the air. Strikes were rife. Prices were soaring daily. The top rate of income tax had been increased to 83% in an Emergency Budget. A low to mid-level civil war was spilling across from Northern Ireland to the mainland. Even America seemed to be falling apart, with defeat…
A Love That Could Hurt No One (Part One)
Monday, 10 November 2014
The Sunday morning shift was generally an easy one in Wakefield police station and for PC Ian Walker, the 6th October 1974 promised to be no different. One of the things he liked about police work was the variety. You got to see a fair bit of life, and the occasional death. But early on a Sunday there were no schools, no commuters, no over-the-limit boozers chancing their luck coming back from the…
How Not To Start A Book
Friday, 7 November 2014
“Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.” (James Joyce)
That’s bullshit. I like writing. But I think it is true that to attempt to write a book you must be either slightly mad, or monstrously self confident, or laughably un-self-aware. (Is there even a difference?)
Several times during the process of The Sussex Devils I did experience…
Saturday, 25 October 2014
As we entered the small town of Pulborough my wife muttered from behind the steering wheel, “There’s something weird about Sussex”.
I had to confess that the same thought had troubled me before. But on this occasion I was enjoying the journey down to the south coast and felt inclined to defend my home county. Anyway, she’s a Yorkshire lass. Compared to the majesty of the Dales, one could hardly…
Satan Goes To Hollywood
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Sometimes, in the dark of my shed, I wonder why i'm attempting this: certainly not financial reward. The book industry, like every other content creation industry, is on its knees. So let's look back on happier times, when a man could dust himself down from failing as a wine merchant and become a multi-millionaire just by hammering away at the typewriter.
Dennis Wheatley was the Dan Brown, the…
The Return Of The Supernatural (1960 - 1974)
Thursday, 16 October 2014
I would like to say this: The Sussex Devils is not a tract pushing any particular belief. If you’re an atheist I hope you'll you’ll dig it because it demonstrates the crazy things religious people do. If you have faith I hope you’ll love it even more because you will be able to see God’s purpose being worked out. But really the book is about people, not gods.
Having said that, I think it's time…
Welcome To The Sussex Devils
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Welcome to my Unbound “Shed”. (And if that sentence doesn’t alarm you, stay safe, OK?).
Thank you for your pledge. I am of course keen that The Sussex Devils should be published. It has taken up a huge amount of time and emotional output and I’m pleased with the result. I am going to have to spend the next few weeks abasing myself for pledges - not only to my friends, but from strangers, bare…