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
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
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,
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.
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
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
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
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
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