Tag Archives: My Writing

Scary and shocking times with Buzz Aldrin

Steve Dodds (THE Steve Dodds) and an astronaut called Buzz Aldrin. You might have heard of him.

Quick! Give me something to calm me down! I can’t cope with the excitement – the surprise – and the fear! (Not to mention the exclamation marks!)

First it was Buzz Aldrin – I encountered him through work today.

Buzz Aldrin. THE Buzz Aldrin. Buzz Aldrin!

Buzz Aldrin in his work clothes. Yup. He’s on the moon.

He was charming, chatty, understated and interesting – as you’d expect. He was supporting the Aerobility charity effort to raise funds for a flight simulator for people with disabilities.

So he talked about that a bit. But I have to admit I was thinking the whole time – but what about space, the rocket, THE MOON!!!    We did get on to that Continue reading

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What a writer’s room should look like…

This is what a writer’s room looks like… Post-it notes papering the walls, a map, files, open reference books, photos…

I imagine there are teettering towering piles of books just out of the picture too.

This is the room in which Will Self wrestles with and writes his stories.

He says he tries to break free from traditional constraints.

The man himself – Will Self – wondering has he written enough to justify pausing for a cup of tea.

My ideal writer’s room is full of light, with lots of desk space and a view over fields.

The real one was cramped with books written by other people, shaded and prone to interruption.

These days the kitchen is the place. I perch Continue reading

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Mornings at Blackwater

Mary Oliver

I’ve written a thriller called Blackwatertown. Some pivotal action, romance and revelation takes place at the local Blackwater Lake. So I was very pleased to receive from my mate Kirsty, some poems her Dad had spotted.

They’re by Mary Oliver and talk about her own Blackwater Pond and the wonder and joy and challenge of living.

My Blackwater is both real and fictional and can be found inside my book and on the Irish border. I’m not sure where Mary Oliver’s Blackwater is. Can anyone enlighten me?

Mary herself is an acclaimed poet from Ohio. Here are two of her poems.

Mornings at Blackwater

For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.

And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.

What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
darling citizen.

So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,

and put your lips to the world.
And live
your life.

The third stanza, darling citizen, is wonderful, is it not? I have a quotation from Napoleon at the beginning of my story at the moment: “What is history but a fable agreed upon?” Maybe I should change it – or add to it Continue reading

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The Obituarist goes international

Since that bust up in Australia, The Obituarist has now been reviewed in the USA by the writer Maxi Malone. Woohoo – it’s going international!

I can’t link directly to the review page, but here’s what she said:

When First We Deceive – The Obituarist by Paul A. Waters

Writing obituaries does not weave a trail to fame and fortune. Only this obit writer has found someone who will pave the road to front-page success.

His name is Bunty and he knows all the members of the TripleX mission; a small group noted for the infamous raid on occupied France. The brazen men trampled the Nazi long-range rocket schedule right in the face of Hitler.

Bunty knows all the back-stories—the secrets of Joker, Ginger, Radish and the others. And the obit writer knows how to get him to open up.

When Bunty and the writer decide to join forces, they head down the path to the pot at the end of the rainbow. Only which one will get the gold?

The Obituarist is a sizzling tale filled with humor, mystery and suspense. Bunty and the obit writer connect on every level until … human nature steps in and crashes the party.

The men become friendly enemies, intent to serve their own best interest. In the end “turn-about is fair play” wins the day.

Find out for yourself:https://blackwatertown.wordpress.com/the-obituarist/

“Sizzling” – thanks Maxi.

A childhood memory comes to mind. Anybody else remember the scent of the Cookstown sizzle?

So, there you have it from Maxi. The Obituarist is officially worth downloading. Or even reviewing yourself perhaps? Huh?

You can find The Obituarist on Smashwords at http://tinyurl.com/bud4ffu or Amazon.co.uk at http://tinyurl.com/8xwrfpb  or even Amazon.com at  http://tinyurl.com/87g2nzc

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This is what it’s like when author rivalry gets nasty

Do you remember that awkward episode where I published an ebook called The Obituarist at the same time as somebody did? (In fact a little… er… after the other guy.)

I published some of our correspondence – and put up a link to him.

Well, Patrick O’Duffy in Australia, the gracious author of The other Obituarist (or is mine the other one?) has kindly told his readers about me. It’s here.

The problem is…

The annoying thing is…

The downright insulting thing is…

Well, just read what he said about me Continue reading

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The brave boy band of the Royal Airforce on beating Hitler

Writers are supposed to think of innovative ways to promote their writing these days. Short films are the latest thing. Here’s a good example that is advertising a thriller by a writer I like, Stuart Neville. It’s for his second book Collusion.

I got into reading Stuart via his earlier book The Ghosts of Belfast (in the USA) or The Twelve (in Ireland and the UK). It was excellent and based on an inspired idea. The only problem with his promotional film from Collusion is that, exciting as it is, it doesn’t really reflect the book itself.

Though thinking about it… Maybe that’s not a problem after all. As long as people reading the book.

Which means I could have found the perfect film for my own ebook The Obituarist. It features the heroes of a daring air mission to turn the tide of World War Two – now retired and facing a devious threat from an unexpected quarter. But how to convey the devil-may-care courage and insouciance of their younger days?

This film does it.

If you’re unlucky enough not have already encountered the Horrible Histories crew, I strongly commend them to you. Thanks to Barry Turley for giving me the idea. (The cheque is not in the post. Have you seen the price of stamps these days?)

And thanks also to this great blogger on the UK and US media – Bill at Trading as WDR – before whom the titans of telly tremble and the top ranks of radio reel Continue reading

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An awkward encounter with The “other” Obituarist.

This could be awkward. In the period between me deciding to publish The Obituarist online and actually giving it the final go-ahead, someone else published a book of exactly the same name. Aargh!

I don’t know which of us thought of the title first – mine’s been lurking around for ages – getting its first mention in 2009. (Oh yes, that’s how fast I work! Speed of light we’re talking here.)

But annoyingly, it is clear who actually published his first. Him.

So what to do about it?

Well, I had already altered my name so as not to – and not appear to – claim credit off the back of another writer‘s success. So I didn’t fancy changing the title too.

But then – the author of The (Other) Obituarist got in touch! Cue dramatic music.

According to German folklore we should both have immediately dropped dead – or at least have our stories disappear. Isn’t that what happens when you encounter your doppelganger?

According to American Western custom, one of us should be growling that “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us. The stage leaves first thing tomorrow. Be under it.”

What actually happened was that I read his email, titled The Other Obituarist. You can read it for yourself: Continue reading

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The Obituarist: Early days for the ebook

Here’s the latest news for The Obituarist – that stupendously thrilling ebook written by me.

But first – if you’re wavering – how’s this for a review?

Really enjoyable ride! A page turner from the outset!

Beautifully insightful characterisation, delivered with a good helping of dry wit and with just the right amount of information for the book to play like a sumptuous film in your head!

Paul does justice to our wonderful World War II heroes, capturing perfectly the upstanding nature of their morals, together with their playful, youthful comradery. The Obituarist is a delicious juxtaposition of the pinnacle of our war heroes’ lives, perfectly ‘twisted’ with today’s unscrupulous media-crazed society.

There are some fabulous observations of human behaviour and thought processes, which are simply sublime and rather thought-provoking in their description.

This is not just a well written story which kicks along at a hell of a pace but also a clever multilayered observation of human behaviour, with a backdrop from two eras and what happens with the passing of time. The Obituarist certainly leaves you with something to think about.

Thank you to the most lovely and discerning Su Verhoeven who downloaded The Obituarist from Smashwords.

Thank you also to Speccy for her encouraging review at Me, Mine and other Bits.

And to Emma for “devouring” The Obituarist and writing a “small but perfectly formed” review on her Adventures of an Unfit Mother blog.

So this is what’s happening…

  1. The Obituarist is now available on various platforms, including here on Smashwords.
  2. And here at Amazon.co.uk
  3. And here at Amazon.com
  4. And for kobo devices here.
  5. So far only one typo – a very small one – seems to have sneaked through. Thank you to the spotter for letting me know.
  6. The Obituarist has been awarded “premium status” on the Smashwords site.
  7. People like the cover.
  8. Some people – who I love – have actually downloaded Continue reading

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And then finally, the Obituarist happened…

In a shock development, The Obituarist has now been published as an ebook.

You can download it from Smashwords here or from Amazon here and the cover looks like this…

I fiddled around with various design packages until the incomparable Clem said: “Here, wait a minute. What if I just do this, and then this and then… Ta Dah!” See him? See computers? And guitars. And keyboards. Smashing.

At the moment The Obituarist can be downloaded (from here)  for various devices, including kindles, or just your normal computer. But it’s not on Amazon yet, though I’m working on it. It’s on Amazon here.

What I really want to do is just frolic around smiling away to myself and getting the next one ready.

But your feedback would be welcome Continue reading

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Your advice on e-publishing please

This is not the cover image for The Obituarist. It's a bit too fantasy.

Any day/week/soon now I will publish one of my stories for e-readers and to download.

It’s called The Obituarist. It has been described as mordant, funny, dark, teasing and ironic.*

It involves a newspaper obituary writer and the aging members of an elite military unit who became famous for a particular heroic wartime exploit.

Without giving too much away, you can expect to find occasional handlebar moustaches, hyphenated surnames, stiff drinks, greed, treachery and death. Well, the latter is hardly a surprise given the title. But I hope the twists will be.

Before I press publish I need some help Continue reading

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