Tag Archives: writing

Back the book or the writer gets it!

I named this blog Blackwatertown after a book I was writing. Ta da! Finally, the book, Blackwatertown, is written, edited and on it’s way to publication with Unbound. But I need your help. (Yup, that’s me in the video, being held at gun point.)

Blackwatertown is a thriller set in a sleepy village on the Irish border in the 1950s – and tells what happens when a maverick cop goes looking for a killer. (More on the website.)

Unbound is a new kind of publisher. A hybrid taking the best of new approaches and traditional mainstream old-style publishing houses.

Old-style means books must pass a quality control test – are they good enough to publish? It means the finished product is professionally produced, whether in print or digital. It also means it goes into high street book shops as well as the likes of Amazon.

New-style means crowd funding. The book is good enough, but is there a market? Let’s prove it through advance sales. Once the funding target is hit, production begins (copy editing, proofing, cover design, printing, distribution.)

Iconic thriller writer Frederick Forsyth with his recent book The Fox

The book, Blackwatertown, is ready. It has some stellar reviews from readers and well known names – like Frederick Forsyth. Yes, the same fella who wrote The Day of the Jackal. That fella. It’s all on the book’s page on the publisher’s website – along with an excerpt, other reviews and details of how you can support it.

There are various ways to back it. Sharing it on social media, telling your mates, generally talking about it. All good. Pledging – an advance order in other words – for an ebook or paperback – even better. And every pledger gets their name in the book. This is where you do it
https://unbound.com/books/blackwatertown/

You can even sign up to extras like naming a character. But not the dog. Doggone it! A lovely person has already snapped up the right to name the daring dog that threatens to derail a political career at a pivotal plot point. (I do enjoy a little alliteration.)

So, for all of you who’ve urged me in the past to get on with it – I have. Or promised to support/pledge/buy it – now you can. Please do. And thanks for all the encouragement over the years gone by.

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Filed under art, blackwatertown, history, My Writing

Graham Norton – Can celebrities write good books?

Graham Norton is on the latest We’d Like A Word podcast and radio show that I present with Stevyn Colgan. We know that celebrity sells books, but do celebrities write good books? Books worth reading? I’m thinking fiction in particular.

I’m asking because although Graham Norton is well known as a comedian, a TV chat show host and forever immortalised as Fr Noel Furlong in Father Ted, he’s also an author. Two novels – Holding and A Keeper. I’ve read both. But are they any good? (Spoiler alert: They are. Especially A Keeper.)

Martine McCutcheon – yes, her off Love Actually

And even if Graham Norton can write, (he can), what about other celebs who’ve done it. Like Martine McCutcheon, who had a terrible public hammering for her efforts, and for whom I have a soft spot myself. And fair play to her for actually writing The Mistress herself. Unlike another celeb author who, when asked if she had written her novel herself, responded: “Write it? I didn’t even read it.”

There’s a celebrity authors subsection of Irish comedians who definitely can write fiction. As well as Graham Norton, you have Sean Hughes (The Detainees) and Ardal O’Hanlon (The Talk of the Town). But anyone else?

So you’ll be wanting to hear me and Stevyn Colgan and Graham Norton chatting about his books, how he writes them, the influence of Ireland and his Mum, and how linked they are to his public comedic personna. There’s a competition too, but you have to listen to hear about it. Click on the link here, or search for We’d Like A Word wherever you listen to podcasts.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your best and worst experiences of celebrity authored fiction.

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Filed under art, We'd Like A Word

The the impotence of proofreading

Bigger this for a grim of soul yours. My spill chick seems to heave gone wring. You shoed really wodge this shirt phlegm. Space lee if your a right hair. It’s vary fanny.

Reminds me a bit of ‘Allo ‘Allo! and all this sort of thing.

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Filed under language

What Woody reads

Looking for inspiration? Read what Woody Allen reads.

Or watch the pendulums. Your choice. Continue reading

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Filed under art

Plumb compote? Bring on the lead poisoning *

God help me, it may define me as an old git – as though any more evidence was needed – but I do like a nice piece of Continue reading

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Filed under media

Your route through the creative writing maze

If only there was a set of instructions on how to get through the labyrinth of creative process, getting a book agent, a publishing deal, published, critical acclaim and airport bestsellerdom… What’s that? You say there are loads of such guides out there?

Well… That’s not the point. I mean, I’m a man. I never read instructions – duh. I could maybe glance at a one page diagram. Preferably one using the image of a pickup truck to represent me.

Oh – lookee here. This could work.

Thanks to the Subnormality Sphinx up there, aka Winston Rowntree, aka Virus Comix, we can all benefit from this handy map. Hurrah – writing success is assured for all! All who can read teeny tiny writing. As for the rest of you… Is this any better?    (Still looks a bit squeezed – click on the picture for an even bigger version – and then come back and tell me if any parts of the route look familiar from your own experience.)

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Filed under art

Love & writing according to Ford Madox Ford

Bitterness, rejection, suffering, loss. Must one crush broken dreams underfoot with the smell of death in one’s nostrils to produce good writing?

That’s one road. The dramatic road.

But confidence and productivity can also spring from the support and security provided by those around one. That’s my road.

I’ve been reading Ford Madox Ford‘s The Good Soldier. This passage caught my eye. He talks about love and achievement or creativity: Continue reading

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Filed under art, life