Here we go! I am proud to present a weekly blog feature, called Historical Howlers! There is an almost endless supply of perfect situations throughout history that just beg for a comical caption and after testing the waters with the pupils where I teach, I have decided to do my own each week. Here is the first, with a couple performing the Charleston dance in the 1920’s. Please click on the blue link, enjoy and feel free to comment!1 – Charleston 1 – Charleston
What a few weeks. Finally, How Lion Became King of Tinga Tinga Land, a children’s picture book co-written with Brian Hill and illustrated by a Disney artist, has gone to print. Should be ready soon and it goes without saying that it will make the perfect Christmas present for children!
I have also just written what I think is a wonderful short story, done in the style of The Gruffalo. It is called The Dusty Old Book and if any of you would like a sneak preview, just let me know and I’ll whizz it over to you for your thoughts. And if any of you are illustrators out there, fancy joining me on this project?
I had my World War One novella, The Officer’s Whistle, edited by Shauna Bartlett; what a worthwhile process! Even after I had been through it a number of times, the changes Shauna suggested were both plentiful and necessary! I have taken out an advert in Private Eye over Christmas and hope to sell a few more copies, especially in this centenary year. Check it out on the link at the bottom of my email.
Have a read and let me know what you think!
It is a wonderful thing to have a creative outlet, be whatever that may be. But to have too many can be a problem. Should you focus on one thing at a time, enabling one project to get completed, however long it takes? This comes at the expense of everything else, any other good idea or project has to sit impatiently for its turn and hope the spark hasn’t gone out by the time it comes to them. On the other hand, trying to juggle too many things at once means that nothing gets done particularly quickly, but at least things are kept ticking over on all projects. My trouble is I’m not only impatient in that situation but find my mind switching to different things depending on the mood I’m in.
I don’t know the answer, only the problem.
So there goes 2013.
It’s gone. Nothing can be changed, only learnt from. So instead of dwelling on what was, I’m already looking ahead what is and will be. So goodbye 2013 and bring on 2014. I’m waiting for you.
Here’s my aim, my creative hitlist for the year. My personal aims are for me and my family, not this blog.
1. Release 4 albums. Sounds ambitious. Good. So am I.
2. Write 2 musicals.
3. Publish ‘The Officer’s Whistle’ and ‘The Adventures of Godwin Hood.’
4. Collaborate with as many talented and driven people as I can.
5. Write the pilot screenplay of ‘Resistance’ set during WW2.
6. Finish the screenplay of a comedy I’m writing that has Will Ferrell’s name all over it.
7. Complete the scheme of History worksheets that I’ll sell to schools.
That’s it…for now.
At my back, I always hear Time’s Winged chariot hurrying near.
This it it. Whatever your goal, your aim, your dream…what are you waiting for? Just do it.
I agree with john Lennon on that and to back it up, I am giving away my novel ‘The Land Beyond the Sea’ for a limited time. Free.
All I ask is that if you enjoy it, you spread the word and perhaps review it on Amazon and iBooks (paste the review into each!) to help spread it as far and wide as possible.
My thanks to you all.
Yesterday marked the proud day when I finally published my first novel, The Land Beyond the Sea.
It is a swashbuckling tale of adventure on the high seas, galloping along at a pace akin to a summer Hollywood blockbuster.
Here’s the synopsis:
The year is 1743. Thomas Albert, a 14 year old boy, witnesses a brutal murder and stows away aboard the merchant ship ‘Ichnusa’ to escape his pursuers. His new life at sea ends when they are attacked by the pirate ship ‘Hades’, captained by the fearsome Jack Douglas, aka ‘Cyclops’. Forced into life as a pirate, Thomas fights to survive each day as he struggles to come to terms with his new life. Lost at sea and chased by the Navy, the pirates pick up a drifting and delirious sailor who speaks of a mysterious island but warns of danger. Undeterred, they set course for the island. The land beyond the sea.
Please have a look, download a sample and if you like it, buy it and tell others!
It has been great fun to write and it is the first book of a trilogy which will be completed in due course. But the more people that read this, the quicker the others will be completed!
So have a look, relax in a comfortable place and be transported away to a life on the high seas…
‘The ability to choose doesn’t make us who we are, but the ability to lose.’ Unknown
Well, there’s no chance of that happening, as there are two exciting pieces of news to announce.
In the next few days, I shall be self-publishing my first novel AND a play.
The novel is called ‘The Land Beyond the Sea’ and the first of the Albert Adventures. Here is a brief synopsis:
The story begins with 14 year old Thomas Albert witnessing a brutal murder. Pursued by the two killers, he hides on board the merchant ship Ichnusa. His exciting new life as a sailor is cut short when they are attacked by the Hades, captained by the fearsome pirate Jack Douglas, infamously known as ‘Cyclops’. Forced into a life of piracy, Thomas faces a constant psychological battle as he struggles to come to terms with who he is. Chased by the Royal Navy, the Hades gets caught in a terrific storm and drifts wildly off course until they pick up a dying sailor who speaks of a mysterious island. The Hades sets off for land, thinking their troubles are over…
It is a fast-paced adventure, a swashbuckling thriller that reads like a Hollywood blockbuster. Full of action, it also addresses the ethical dilemma as Thomas is forced into being a pirate. It is also a tale of friendship and loyalty, betrayal and trust.
The play is called ‘For King and Country’ and could be described as a cross between ‘Journey’s End’ and ‘Blackadder 4’. I am releasing it as a theatre play but will also adapt it for radio and take it from there. But it reads alone as an amusing yet moving tale of life in the trenches and air of the Great War and the sacrifices made.
I’ll update with details when they’re out.