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Image: Crossroads: John 'Jonno'  in Foshan - Click to Enlarge Home Page

"If you smile at me, you know I will understand, 'cos that is something everybody, everywhere, does in the same language"

Jefferson Airplane

Image text: John Morris

The official author website

Catalogue of all novels

Star Gazer Trilogy Book 1
Image: Star Gazer Book 1 Unabridged - The Gatekeeper and The Guardian
ISBN [Print] 9781910711248
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711255

Star Gazer Trilogy Book 2
Image: Star Gazer Book 2 - The Twelve Tribes
ISBN [Print] 9781910711057
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711088

Star Gazer Trilogy Book 3
Image: Star Gazer Book 3 - The Wrath of Gaia
ISBN [Print] 9781910711064
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711095

Coming Soon
Star Gazer Trilogy Book 4
Image: Star Gazer Book 4 - The Centaureans - Click for larger image
ISBN [Print] 9781910711200
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711217

Other Books
Islamic State: England
Image: Islamic State: England - click for dedicated page
ISBN [Print] 9781910711101
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711118
Inner Sanctum
Image: A dystopian story seen through the eyes of the young girls who lived through hell
ISBN [Print] 9781910711002
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711026

Conspiracy Theory
Image: April and Annaliese discover a plot to blow up the Presidency; can they prevent the destruction of America?
ISBN [Print] 9781910711019
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711033


Image: Domicile, One of the most deeply disturbing books ever written - Click for dedicated page
ISBN [Print] 9781910711125
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711132


In modern British Family Courts, ‘the needs of the child are irrelevant’.

Under Pen
The Man in the River
Image: Temsey, The Main in The River - click to enlarge
ISBN [Print] 9781910711224
ISBN [Epub] 9781910711231


The Bear Went Over the Mountain. Meaning irrelevant text. It relates to brilliant work, that does not add any value to the story.

The point of this whimsy is that nothing actually happens––although, I do plan to make it most entertaining. The bear's name is Benny, and he goes over the mountain. End of story.

Latest News

May 2023
I've decided I'm not to good at writing the space adventures, so pause for thought. I am good at terrestrial stuff and character interplay, so a change of my author perspective required methinks.

Meanwhile I've some very strong ideas regards what to do with Temsey, but more when I do something.

March 2023
Yes, it has been a while, but I have no apologies. The books will be ready when they are properly finished. That said, after a great run of enthusiasm I hit another roadblock. I got stuck and while toying with plot and reader perspectives, my writing mojo disappeared, again. Ho-hum.

So where am I?
The olympiad happened and children disappeared. A short while later they were discovered in a vault on the Moon. A secret is unlocked and part of the missing information from book three is revealed. Then the fizz left and the text written became sedentary and a tad predictable. So I stopped writing, again. Logically the moon needs to be explored, before we head to Mars and the asteroid belt, where much is already written, be it in the wrong tense. A Moon mining colony has been established, as have bases and early warning arrays. But what is needed to move the story along and add some zing is a little of the unexpected. This should be coming soon, but how soon I do not as yet know; months probably, but the aim is for this year.

July Update
Writing, especially fiction is a skill set that draws on many diverse and even eclectic personal resources such as experiences. Delivery of a ripping yarn sometimes flows like a gusher and it can be difficult to type as fast as thoughts flow. At other times an author may know a story is close but could be bettered, and that's where I have been for these last few weeks. To better my understanding of what makes a good story, what is the magic formula that makes a reader become lost in the written word and stay up all night because they must finish the chapter they are on, and then the next, I have spend the last few years reading thousands of stories. I do not exaggerate that number, tens of thousands may well be a closer figure.

As an avid reader of stories, I know when something is perfect or falls short. Am I engaged by the story or skimming to get through a boring bit and back to the story proper, or an exciting bit. There are few if any hard and fast rules and all are subjective to a specific reader.

In book four I decided to lead with a short introductory chapter, before returning to answer questions left in the previous trilogy. Basically this was to discover how Taris' rings were found in the great cobweb of transporters we know Obsidian created. And, where exactly is Obsidian's spacecraft?

I set up and wrote a most plausible scenario where events moved on and it became clear Jack and the team needed to fully explore the Badlands, where in due course they would discover the first clue. I covered all bases, but it felt weak. It was somewhat contrived, and a reader soon picks up on this and it undermines the value and impact of the plot or sub-plot. I tend to be a linear, chronologically ordered writer, and so I stopped writing. It was just wrong.

Then one day, straight out of nowhere, the recesses of my mind came up with the perfect ploy - have a treasure hunt for the kids to enjoy while adults participated in the Olympiad. Horovitz wanted to include orienteering, and others were keen to try geocaching. Now for the leader, what if one team does not arrive but disappears. Kids are lost = OMG! Immediately a full search gets under way and emotions are drawn from the reader: Are the children OK?

Well of course they are. But they discovered a cave (whatever) that leads Jack and his team to discovery. Now that is storytelling and works so much better on many levels. So today, that is where I am. The background is set in the initial chapter and the call is about to go out, missing children...

June 2021 Update
I have no idea how time moves on so quickly and hours turn into months, but as a writer of a very original story, it has become an unwelcome fact of my life. SG-4 (Star Gazer Book Four - The Centaureans) is still on track for publication before Christmas 2021, but I need a good month at it; remember, most of the book is already written.

I have wrestled with a thistle these last weeks, and finally found a resolution to how to begin Book Four. As in most things, it was really simple, once I had considered it. Book Three left some uneasy things hanging, such as: 'How did Taris' Rings end up in the great cobweb'?
Then the big one that seemed to drift passed everyone, including me: 'Where is Obsidian's spacecraft'?

So off we go on another adventure, initially trying to answer those two questions. But as in life, so often the answer to one question poses several new ones. Read on and all will be revealed, eventually.

Spring Update 2021
With the first trilogy published, I celebrated and then set about Book Four, the first book of the second trilogy. This is where we change slightly to more science fiction. It was going along nicely, in fact I was sure I had updated this page, but it appears otherwise. Ho-Hum.

The first chapter of SG-4 was penned and flowed nicely. I was particularly pleased to echo the opening lines of Book One, and the chapters flowed. On edit review I sat back and looked as a reader might at what I had written. It was good, continued the story, BUT, there was little impact, the sort of hook needed to draw the reader in. Time to rethink my plot and presentation. For those that think writing is easy, it is, and it is not. I stopped writing until I had solved the conundrum, and this took several months. I now have the new plot and will work on it when I finish this update. In the meantime...

SG-3, Chapter 17
The book was published, and as happenstance, I was reading through critically, as authors do, when I realised the chapter was missing a vital component: Angels.

One of the main points of this double trilogy is to ask the question: Does God exist, and if so, how do we conceive of him, or her, or them, or it? Chapter 17 was the real introduction to this, and without the pantheon of angels it doesn't make sense - more about those later, although readers have already met at least two of them.

Perhaps I should state categorically, as spoken by the character Kay, that these books do not set out to denigrate or deny God. The reverse in fact. But they do have a real go at religions, their leaders and zealots, claiming this and that in God's name. Who says so? They do! Feminists take note: Only men control these religions and I appear to be alone in challenging this fact.

That is not good enough for me. The next main revelation in this sense should arrive midway in Book Five, and wrap up in Book Six. That said, Book Four sees Ræm venture into The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Star Gazer First Trilogy Published
It took just over ten years, but the first trilogy is now finished and available for purchase from Amazon for print and Kindle, and Smashwords for all eBook flavours. I am very pleased with the final novels, The Wrath of Gaia topping the Bestsellers and New Release categories for adventure fiction on the first day of publication on Smashwords. That is an awesome achievement, even if I say so myself.

The books will percolate through the book distribution and retail sectors in due course, and are already available from Apple and Sony books online. Smashwords offer Kobo and Nook versions already, but if ordering a physical copy from a local bookshop, please give the 13 digit ISBN and request a full search of the Nielsen database. Gardners and Bowker, UK and USA respectively, plus Ingram, will eventually catch up, but they are not really interested in unknown independent authors.

Looking ahead, I have my copy of Book Four open and am taking a look at the overall balance of the second trilogy. Book four is written, but it needs splitting in two, the first to cover our solar system, and in Book Five we will head for Proxima Alpha.

I have decided to begin with exploring and exploiting the Badlands area of the Island, and bring in current (to the book date) world development. The next step is a Moon colony, and then off to Mars, which is already written. I am currently debating which scenario works best to begin this second trilogy, and put the reader right there in the moment of an action sequence. Watch this space for updates.

Temsey (or The Man in the River) is not forgotten and I have a strong urge to pick that up again quite soon. My problem being the book lost its way a little and became something else. So I need to decide exactly where it is going, and that may not involve any great changes. I'll read it again once SG-4 is under way and see where it takes me.

The other book I have under pen is called The Dreamed and the Dreamed, a nod to Carlos Castaneda there. The premise is sound, but I have little time to devote to it, and getting on with my other work takes priority for the time being.

SG3 - The Wrath of Gaia
Review complete!
The new edition will be published within days, but first I need to tinker with specifics. Nonetheless, the major review is complete, completed just now actually.

I have added reference to Alberic, mythological King of the Elves who has magical powers. I'm taking tomorrow to review the overall presentation of the book, but content is now fully addressed. I also have an eye to immediate continuation into Book Four, already written, but that will change focus to our solar system, meaning new content there and Book Five already half written. I have elements to annotate for continuation, and of course, setting up Word as I want it to work - ever an ongoing struggle.

The eBook should be published and available from Monday, 8th March 2021, and allow a few days more for the print version to percolate through the system. I will of course announce it here.

Update February 2021
Things are going very well with the review of SG3. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was, but I have improved things further. I had already paid due diligence in referencing the scientific foundations of blowing up the Middle East by natural means; if started by humankind. Not much needed doing with the wrath of Gaia, but the text has been lightened, with some of the heavier stuff précised in order to aid flow and retain reader interest.

The point of this first trilogy revolves around chapter 17 and examines religious dogma from many varied points of view. I had expected this to be difficult to review, but it was not. Not easy either, but great attention was paid to hermeneutics and expressing point and counter-points succinctly. Despite subtle additions, I shortened the chapter by over two pages - Yeah, that was some hard work. I believe the result is both thought provoking and enjoyable to read.

I've just done similar with chapter 22, the one where Peni explains the Ancestral science. This was a bit heavy, even with Peni's inherent comedy, so I went to work on that. The result is again much shorter, more focused, with the heavy science much reduced in words but not in depth or meaning. All now good.

I am not expecting any major problems with the remainder of this book, although I do need to insert several things. One that springs to mind is a reference to Alberic, king of the elves. I know where it will go and who he will be, so just a case of getting to that point.

I have also included and revised Ræm's backstory, lifted from the website. I thought it needed to be in the book, so now it is appended. Time to get back to work, which I hope to complete in a week or two - then on to book four. Tally-Ho!

The Twelve Tribes review is complete and the new version is on sale via Amazon UK or USA and Smashwords. It will take a few weeks to filter through to other retailers and distributors, but it is done.
I've already started the review of book three. Watch this space for more news soon.

Late January 2021 Update - SG2
Having regained my author mojo I've ploughed straight into an in depth review of The Twelve Tribes, or SG2 as I call it. I sped through the first ten chapters before sitting back to ask myself questions. Why do they have enough food after the island was sacked and overrun? Storytelling is about making things interesting for the reader, and this felt like a cop out. So I went back and rewrote the first chapters with them being short of food. It worked well, fitted nicely, and did not take up very much space. It also allowed me to develop other characters like Horovitz, which is an added bonus.

Much work was done in [Stephen] King editing mode, ensuring all chapters finished on the left hand page. I reduced one long chapter by over two pages without losing anything of note, even adding something I felt was missing. That's how it goes.

Nearing the end of the review, I wondered if there was too much fighting, so sat back and had a think. Calculations showed the Ogre wars took up less than 15% of the written book length, and I felt that was fine. So now to finish it off and prepare for the horrors of publishing - as everyone wants something slightly different from the norm. Ho-hum.

Book Deals
I am pleased to announce that primary retail of print and eBooks is now complete, although the physical cover of Star Gazer Book One is in slight revision as I write. It is merely a modest rewording of the back cover, so those on sale right now may soon become collectors items. Main outlets:

Smashwords for all eBooks - these can be delivered electronically in any EPUB flavour, or PDF.
Amazon (UK & USA + worldwide) for both print and eBooks.

Given weeks (or months), all my books will become available from any source - Most already are.
You can get them from the above, or from you local bookshop, such as Waterstones, Blackwells, and any independent retailers.They are also percolating through to many libraries.

Update January 2021
I have started a complete review of SG-2, The Twelve Tribes. This is going very well and I am making inroads into the book. I'll hazard a guess at one month until it is finished, unless I hit any unforeseen problems.

New Year News 2021
The Gatekeeper and The Guardian is now available from all outlets and the ISBN's registered with Nielsen. The cover of the print book threw up unexpected errors, which have been resolved by resizing - shame they couldn't have simply told me that! So allow a little time for the latest changes to filter through the system, and this second edition should be available from everywhere.

If you want to buy this, or any of my print books from your local bookshop, they will be able to supply you, but you may need them to do a full search for the book using the Nielsen database rather than the quick and easy UK most popular titles index - Just use the ISBN and all should be well.

Next up is to send a physical book to the six UK libraries, which is a legal requirement for all printed books.

The unabridged second edition Star Gazer Book One will be on the shelves within days.
Ensure you buy the unabridged version, as stated on the cover. Those who bought the original should be able to get this new edition as an eBook for free.

I had all bar the penultimate chapter done by late November, but the last was a tricky little thing to get right. I won't bore you with the complexities, just state that this is a much superior book to the original. Finally, ten full years since its inception, I am happy with it. Whilst setting up and promulgating this edition far and wide, I will have one final read through, just to make sure; think a couple of days, or before Christmas 2020.

I intend to carry straight on into Book Two, which will likely remain a first edition, perhaps not. I have a few things to set right, and others to tinker with, and similar in Book Three. Hopefully these will be resolved in short time.

November Update
Review is rattling along nicely now and I'm keeping up a good pace. I have donned my (Stephen) King editing head recently and used it to ensure each chapter ends on the even page. New chapters always begin on the odd page, so it has been a lot of work. Two chapters lost half a page and a third over three-quarters, and this takes a lot of effort to get right, or should that be 'write'. That the resultant copy is shorter yet delivers more impact is my yardstick, and this I have done very well.

Today I will read through yesterday's edit of the rescue of Jien Noi and escape to the Outlands, where the secret of fire has been revealed. This edit is over one third complete, and I plan to finish the book over the coming days, read through for a final time, and publish for the Ist of December.

click to download the free, new first seven chapters of Star Gazer - they are .PDF and are clean.

October Update
Writing is progressing nicely and the new beginning has ended - been done. The link above covers all new content and from here on in, the process of revision should be much quicker. I thank you for your patience. So, just the semi colon nightmare to get rid of, some tweaks and twinges, and we will end up with a very good book. Onwards!

September Update
All is good and I have finished adding the new material. I am very pleased with the backstory and am now about to re-engineer chapter Five, Imprisoned. There was a lot of legacy flashback in that chapter, now ready for removal. It should not be a big deal and swiftly accomplished.

From here on (actually 1st October), I will remove the semi colon nightmare and add or remove according to my notes in red ink, on the physical copy of this book I have to hand. I reckon one month and it should be done and done with. Straight on to books two and three from there, so a whole lot of work ahead of me.

Contact Form
The email form still does not work any more - strange that ... and it is related to issues of West vs East, so out of my hands and experience. Please use your initiative regards feedback and write to contact. You can guess the rest.

Junior Update - Leaping Longshanks
The Giant's son's name is still not set, but almost. I want rid of the cop-out. Lightening was good, but not right. Better is Longfoot Longshanks, but there's a repeat in there, so not good. I'm going with Leaping Longshanks, as that is a very Giant type name. Oh, again not because of his physical abilities, but regarding his leaps of logic and association. I better bring that out in the text review.

Mid-September Update
Today I finally made a very great breakthrough with this updated manuscript. Onwards! Jack has just stumbled ashore on the Island. To get him there was a piece of work. Below I mentioned that the words used have to correctly identify all the things that need to be in the book. There are many. The converse also holds true, what I term [Stephen] King Editing. Meaning, I need to delete all the words that do not need to be in the book. It is a work of art - testy, trying, and oh so rewarding when done right. I got there at last.

I feel like a millstone has been lifted from my neck and I should now progress rapidly and with renewed enthusiasm for the project. Still so much to do, to write or edit, but it is happening.

The next step is to reinvent the Outland scenes, for which I see little problem, clear out the 'Imprisoned' chapter of all flashbacks, and finally, get on with a deep edit of the story proper. I have a plethora of semi colons to get rid of, many done when last without electricity, with book and red pen in hand. Some more detail there to include also, assuming I can decipher my small scribbles in the margins, and all over the pages in some instances. All good and about to happen. Check back soon and expect some real progress, a long time in coming.

August Update
Slow. Things are progressing slowly with the unabridged version of Star Gazer Book One (SG-1).
My only defence for keeping you waiting is that of applying 'due diligence'. Bear in mind, I have the character's original concept in mind, as well as several backstories on the website. However, this second edition does away with all previous versions, combines, adds to, or replaces some details, and is designed to set up the rest of this first trilogy. It has to be right. It has to correctly identify all things that need to be included, not just what happened to whom and when, or why, but to bring substance to the characters themselves, as well as developing the plot or future sub plots. That is going very well.

I am currently resolving the last major issue, that of Jack's departure to the Caribbean, entwined with his leaving for a new life in the Orient some months later. It is written, just not quite in the right order. After this new chapter is completed, the rest is mostly written already and will fill quickly. There is actually little more work required in the foreshadowing, leaving review of the extant before me, a simple job.

One other detail is my need to find a proper name for the Giant's son, who will remain as Junior so as to pick up any missed references across all four written books to date. But 'Junior' is a cop out and a real name is needed. I am leaning towards 'Lightening Longshanks', but remain open to another word that has two or more meanings, and may be an oblique character reference.
More in a few weeks.

Book Covers
Boris has done me proud and completed our current covers. Temsey, retitled to The Man in the River is now done, and the cover to SG-4 is finished. The full cover of SG-1 has been updated and will be posted soon, and before the unabridged version of the book is released.

July Update
The rewrite of Star Gazer Book One (SG-1) is progressing, if at a far slower pace than I intended. The problem is I keep being distracted by other unrelated matters. I'm hoping for a good week or two at it from time of writing, as all is already planned and waiting to be penned.

Regards SG-3, I have a new twist plotted to add to the remarkable chapter 17 - this is where Kay examines the God question. Her talk now lays the foundation for something new in Book Four, where we may learn if beings such as Angels really exist - explored when Ræm enter the afterlife at Sheol. So how do Angels, science fantasy, and science fiction all come together in a riveting plot? You'll just have to wait to read it, I'm sure it will be most engrossing.

Contact Form Problems
I'm indebted to Peter Thain for pointing out issues with the contact form not fully displaying. The Captcha graphics and field, plus the submit button are no longer working. I have no idea why, as they have worked without problem for many years. I have the suspicion this is related to the internet provision companies having a security panic around the turn of the year, apparently with the intention of making the internet an unusable nightmare for such things as email and online forms. Unbelievable! I will be remedying this, but it looks like I will have to use a different form, and this will take some time to rework. It may well be worth your while to try the simple option and send communication to contact, it really is that easy.

June 2020
The minor tense issue was easily resolved and Star Gazer Book One (SG-1) is taking shape nicely. The key for me is to get the reader immediately 'there in the moment' with the protagonists, in the most concise and informative way. The backstory I was seeking to write is developing in great style, setting up situations and explanations for things that occur later in the trilogy. Good stuff, even if I say so myself. I hope to have this first part completed by the end of this month.

In other news, I have resolved a long-standing problem concerning Chapter Seventeen of SG-3; 'Original Sin'. Yes I have finally unravelled the old Biblical conundrum regarding 'the snake' in the Garden of Eden. It was so simple when I finally made the association, and I believe it is a first for this particular observation. Some extensive research and confirmation of supposition resulted, and all is well with my hypothesis. To find out what it is - well, you'll just have to wait until I do a minor rewrite of that section, and then read it yourself.

Do not purchase any Star Gazer Books
The first Star Gazer trilogy is currently under heavy review, but rather than withdraw from sale, I ask you not to buy any of these books until further notice - July as a guide. The first book is being seriously overhauled and the structure changed. I intend to replace The Third tribe in book three with Denisovans, which incidentally will be an excellent match for the extant. But still, the first two books currently remain a semi colon nightmare - you have been warned. Should only be a month or so in process, so please bear with me as these things take time to get right, or should that be 'get write'?

May 2020
Smashwords -
ISE: England, Inner Sanctum, Conspiracy Theory, and Domicile are all available for free in eBook format on Smashwords, so fill your boots :-)
You can still pay for them and/or get the paperback versions from all the usual suspects such as Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and whatever Apple are calling their book portal this year.

April 2020
Got it at last! I've written about Dawn and Jack pretending to live in the wilds, and shown this as dialogue. It is too longwinded, and inspiration has just stuck me - Dawn 'catches' a tin of red salmon from the Welsh stream, while Jack's traps have caught a packet of cheese and some slices of ham. Now to shorten it so as only the facts and laughs remain, for both characters and readers. I know exactly where this is going now, so hope to have this whole introduction done in a few weeks time.

March 2020
I have been dithering and dallying over plot device that allows me to show (not tell) some of the existing backstory. 'Living off the land' in Snowdonia is where I have begun. But what happens to show the merits of these characters. I've looked at finding a lost dog, rescuing a fallen rider, and nothing is correct. Hmmm...?

February 2020
For the third year in succession I came down with a nasty fever just before Christmas. This is getting monotonous. I was wiped out for ten days, and am only just coming back to my old self, some two months later - hence the delay and lack of feedback.

I'm now back in the saddle, have researched, and written part of the introduction to SG-1. It starts with action and dialogue, and I like it. It's not quite right yet, and the tense may be slightly off, but it is there or there about's. I have learned to write when the muse is with me, and sort out any errors later. That stated, there are still things I need to work on, including writing precisely and concisely what it is I wish to convey to the reader. A good start then, but a lot more work to come.

December 2019
I've decided to write what I term the unabridged version of Star Gazer book one (SG-1). This will begin before the beginning of the story - Hah! One reason for this is that I have studied and decided to adopt The Hollywood approach. To simplify, this is the formula virtually all movies employ regards plot development. It goes something like this: 10% intro, something happens to begin the story. There are other way points including, 50% part one resolved. Something happens, the task gets more difficult. Near the end is the 'cliffhanger', where all seems lost. Finally, in much less than 10% of the movie, the denouement.

This also works for books, and allows me to add the backstories of Jack and Dawn that I want to include. Having already written these as stand alone pieces, I have a framework to work from. But I will write the whole thing afresh and employ the skills I have learned over these intervening years. Now, where do I start from...?

October 2019
I have put Temsey on hold for the time being, and have Star Gazer book 4 to finish off. Another China Power electricity supply cut has brought my attention back to SG-1. I am not happy with it because the beginning is missing. Every editor I have had has always maintained, 'Never start a book at the beginning'. I'm sorry, but I don't work like that.

Regards the first Star Gazer novel, this resulted in the book starting on what had originally been chapter twelve. I spent a lot of time making it work, but was never completely happy with it. Then I had to add 'the missing chapters' to the star-gazer website, plus I uploaded several character backstories. All in all, the whole thing is a mess, and that's without including the semi colon nightmare the book became. I'll be taking a serious look at the all of it and update here in due course. In the meantime, please don't buy the book.

August 2019
Today we suffered a power cut, and being China there is no notice in advance, they just pull the plug and our whole area is without electricity. It is hot and I feel like I am melting. With no computer, I set out my stall on our balcony, complete with chilled beer and a red pen, and began a review of the printed book, Star Gazer One (SG-1) - it is a nightmare! I had forgotten I had used so many semi colons, which are being corrected. I am also looking at flow and heavily editing some small parts.

May 2019
This is the time the world of books begins to go crazy regards the coming Christmas sales rush. I would like to attend some book festivals and even show off my wares, but I cannot due to living out here. Instead, I have decided that my latest book, Temsey, while being excellent, is fundamentally not turning out to be the book I wanted to write. This has left me in a quandary, although I did manage to complete the first part of the story. I am reading a lot, and also editing stories for others, so am quite busy most days.

March 2019
All plans on hold because I came down with a severe fever that knocked me out for several months. I'm just beginning to recover, but am still weak and unable to concentrate for long. I keep notes for later work and am taking stock and review of my efforts to date.

18th December 2018
I am dismayed to find the Great Firewall of China is spreading far and wide, with Goodreads, LinkedIn, and even Amazon CreateSpace now apparently banned. Today I looked at Apple Books, only to discover the link given is translated to a Chinese DNS that doesn't recognize the link. Conclusion: Apple Books USA and UK are now banned in China.

What to do? Leave China so I can access the internet, leaving behind my wife and young daughter~? No.
Find a VPN that actually works? Possible.
Post my books on Lulu, which will filter through to the Apple Bookstore in time: Probable, I'll do it now.

December 2018
I am pleased to reveal the story of Temsey is now complete in the main part, coming in at around 150 pages. I expect the rest of the book to flow easily from this point onwards, as Billie Steadman investigates his disappearance, the clues she uncovers are already noted in the text as written. This is far more my usual style of writing, so I expect to speed up dramatically and finish the book by February next.

With the above completed, I am now free to pick up on other aspects, such as listing all my books everywhere online, and developing a marketing strategy for Christmas 2019.

Autumn 2018
I have been working exclusively on Temsey, and find I am writing to a far higher standard than previous. Time flies as I attend to the smallest detail, and at the expense of spontaneity, writing has slowed. However, I am very pleased with the work accomplished, and aim to finish his story before the end of the year.

Summer 2018
I have spent several months working on the first part of Temsey, and honing the presentation of the story, only to review and ask myself, "How can this or that be improved?" The words would have been as asked by my editor, Susan, but this time I am going it alone. At times the book felt like a 3D jigsaw puzzle, as I added a bit here, or there, and managed to follow some aspects of the changes ricochet through the book.

March 2018
After spending the best part of two months like a zombie, I finally started to feel well again and get my old self back. I most definitely contracted something, but what I have no idea. I looked at SG-4, but then tinkered with my ideas regards the dreams book, before needing to urgently write (That's a split infinitive, Yay!") about Temsey. And so I am currently writing about a man who was fished out of the Thames, and he has zero memory.

This is really fun and I am back on my game at last. The first part of the book is about his life on the streets, knowing nothing of his previous existence. But then, Billie Steadman, daughter of Bilty from Domicile, takes up the cause for to find him, and find him she eventually will. Before she does, there will be a lot of current social commentary supplied by the characters. Even more fun.

Winter 2017
I worked through until the second of January, 2018, and then my world fell apart. I could not concentrate at all, and then I was unwell. By the end of January I was displaying all the signs of pneumonia, a fever I once endured, and one that is very not nice. February passed in similar fashion, although the causes varied. I did not drink alcohol for over two months and spent most of my time asleep. It was well-weird.

Late Autumn 2017
While the below was happening in spurts, I was also working on Star Gazer Four (SG-4). It was going extremely well, if slowly by my standards, and all appeared well. But I was not convinced, because it was all too easy. Robotic even.

By late December I was over three-quarters of the way through, and I knew in my heart that it wasn't right. That's not to say it was wrong, but just that it could be significantly improved. I felt as if I was churning the words out according to a formula, and stopped writing. My intension was to begin a serious review and edit from the beginning of the book, and I began. The problem was apparent one hour later, Chapter Three needed a serious rewrite, it was just too predictable, and any fool could have written it. I knew what I had to do to correct it, and then came New Year.

Autumn 2017
I became distracted editing an excellent period mystery entitled A Traitor's Child by a new authoress, Sarah Ibbetson. I thought we worked well together and we spoke about her joining Charlotte Greene, but it seems that was not to be. I wish her well regardless. If you see this title on offer, I suggest you get a copy, it is very good.

Regardless, it was excellent applied book working skills for me, and the first time I had edited a novel written by somebody else. It was a lot of work, and next time I will need paying for it. I learnt a lot, so I do not begrudge Sarah my input at all. It's a bit like the old adage, 'If you can teach it, then you know it'. And that is how I felt about it all.

Over the weeks and months that followed, I offered my editorial skills for other short stories, mainly at an online story portal. That was fun, and oh how atrocious some people's English usage was. One stood out by a talented author, but somehow we seemed to fall out over nothing, and although my suggestions were incorporated in the finished online article, I was not mentioned, credit being given to others. Hey-ho.

Overall, that period was a great and most enjoyable learning curve .I now know I am an editor.

End of August 2017
Boris and I produced the Autumn Catalogue for Charlotte Greene, but my heart was no longer in it––The marketeering that is. We kept the .psd file for use next time.

15th July 2017
Goodreads Giveaway is but days away. Enter to win a free and delivered copy of Conspiracy Theory printed book. The winner will receive a signed copy. Why not enter, you have nothing to lose.

7th June 2017
This proved to be an expensive few days, as I sent copies of my books to Gardners books with catalogue and cover letter. They are the largest UK wholesalers of books, both in print and EPUB formats. I am quietly confident, but not expectant of being listed as a publisher with them. These things take time. Gardners are the doorway to Waterstones you understand, but only for publishers.

If I am rejected, I will apply again, adding Carla's books to the Autumn Catalogue, after having also joined The Publishers Association in the meantime. It is all related in book circles.

I have also sent off print books to certain journalists who I feel may take an interest in Domicile. It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

3rd June 2017
Carla Acheson joined Charlotte Greene this week, and is warmly welcomed to our pool of authors. She is a successful author I deeply respect. Having created a Publisher - Author contract, I have since furnished her with six ISBN's, and uploaded her information to Nielsen, who list all books in print for the Trade.

We have been working together to maximize the potential of Charlotte Greene, and make it attractive to other self-publishing authors. She has created a Facebook page for me, as I cannot connect from China = Banned. We are listed under 'Charlotte Greene Publishing' or '@CGPublishingServices', whichever works for you.

The last week has been dedicated to updating the Charlotte Greene website, which is now up and running in its new format.

21st May 2017
This website is now virtually updated, and all seven books are listed via the catalogue page, and have one dedicated page each. These pages have a Look Inside widget, plus buying options and more.

19th May 2017
This website is currently being updated and will take a couple of days to complete. The major change is the addition of seven new pages, one for each book - all now published in both Print and eBook formats.

Each page offers a 'look inside' feature, so the reader can check out the first few chapters, and discover more about each book. The widget used also supplies buying options, although this remains a work in progress. Regardless, the main pages will soon be finished, and are live online, regardless of their state of completion.

None of these pages is as yet complete, it takes time to code, to make the images. And then out of nowhere, creativity strikes, so instead of resizing images, I am drawn to write a question and answer sequence, because it is good. So today, the bare bones. In a day or two, it will be finished. Please bear with me. Onwards!

I spent the entirety of January 2017 eradicating semi colons from my novels. I've also been reviewing content. It takes time.

11th March 2017
Today I released the first six books in both printed and Ebook forms, but only on Amazon so far. There is one book to go: Domicile, which has been a 'piece of work'. It is away with Susan for final polishing, and should be available within ten days.

I apologise, if I appear to be slow in updating this page, and others, but my XP computer's on-board graphics card died. I lost tools that work, making updating these pages easy. Instead I get a lot of needless hassle. XP will be fired up again, when I find a suitable card.

In the coming weeks, and before the end of March 2017, I should have seven novels available on all major and minor, western sales channels. Each is different, and has variations of parameters. So I'll take them one per day. I also have to send out physical books for review and hopefully acceptance by the Trade.

Talking of the Book Industry, their main selling period is Christmas. I am working for sales and promotion for nine month's time. It's weird. Trade first, both in UK and the U.S. My Book Catalogue is now available for dissemination in physical, printed form.

I'll follow with other online retailers: B & H Nook, Kobo, Lulu, Goodreads - the list appears seemingly endless. However, this is the perfect time of year to get my books into these markets, and with Trade supplier support, I'm still ahead of the clock.

The associated publisher website (Charlotte Greene) is complete, bar updating with the latest info, and confirming links. Something else for idle moments this month. There is a lot to being an independent publisher, but I'm on course to succeed. Oh, and I got my U.S. tax status with the IRS sorted already, so that's a bonus.


One of my greatest joys as a writer of fiction, is bringing imaginary characters to life. Sometimes what they say or do is very funny, or conversely, brings a tear to the eye. My characters have personalities and emotions, something I gladly share with the reader.

While typing their stories, I am inside the characters heads, and influencing how they as people develop over the course of the story. Some are quite hilarious, such as Da Phai Nai in Star Gazer. Others, like Bill in Fractured are likeable rogues, or Rosa, a motherly character from the same book, who is also a very clever businesswoman.

I also get a thrill when I manage to disguise a clue, which although in plain view, the reader is led to pass over without realising the significance. Fractured book two, Conspiracy Theory, is notable for this, although it features in all my writing.

Favourite Quotations:

"Your smile is your biggest resource, use it generously."


"Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God."
Lenny Bruce

George Orwell once said,
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Billy Connolly added:
"In an uncertain world, it's good to know some things never change."
People see you the way you present yourself to them.
Angela Harrison
The Rule of the 3's
"Time, Space, & Action"
"What makes you think I'm so rich, that you can steal my heart, and it won't mean a thing?"
Elizabeth Wurtzle
"The opportunity of a lifetime, must be taken within the lifetime of the opportunity"
John Ridgeway
"The first rule of good courtesy—deny a beautiful woman nothing."
Iain Banks
"I really wish he would not confuse his reality with my fantasy"
Claire Rabe
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"
Jack Morris
(my father)
"Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be ... unhappily, we make the task exceedingly difficult for ourselves."
Aldous Huxley
"You only live once,
but if you do it right,
once is enough"

Mae West
How do you hurt somebody who has lost everything? Give them something back, broken.
R. F. Delderfield
"It is not life itself that is of paramount virtue, it is what you do with it of your own free will that counts."
Star Gazer Book Two
"Shared accountability is evasion of personal responsibility."
Star Gazer Book Three
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Musicians always have music in their heads about their perceptions of the world."
Pattie Boyd
'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it'.
One of the signs of a good writer is presenting the mundane while educating and sparking the interest of the reader.
“The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.”
Eliza Doolittle, Pygmalion
George Bernard Shaw.
There's lots of women has to make their husbands drunk to make them fit to live with.
Eliza Doolittle, Pygmalion
George Bernard Shaw.
Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. David Foster Wallace
“Don't cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss
Inexplicable behavior always has a logical explanation.
D T Iverson
"That's what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth."
Tim O'Brien
"The purpose of good fiction should be to open minds and hearts, encourage self-reflection, and begin debate/conversation that can lead to change."
Tara Cox
"Justice is incidental to law and order."
J. Edgar Hoover
It’s not how good you are, but how good people think you are that counts.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
George Orwell
And the revolution? “That didn’t happen. I thought you could change people with media blitzing, books and knowledge, but you can’t. The only person I can change is me.”
Grace Slick
“Facts do not cease to exist
because they are ignored.”
Aldous Huxley
There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
Collage of: William Blake, Aldous Huxley, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison.
“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”. George Carlin
“If God didn’t intend for us to eat animals, why did he make them out of
John Cleese
‘It’s the curse of the motherless child. We seek comfort from the very people who do us harm.’
'Amanda', Will Trent 8 by Karin Slaughter.
“The ark was built by amateurs, but professionals built the Titanic .”
American Proverb
“Paranoia is healthy if there really is someone after you.”
Dr. Kay Scarpetta book 7
by Patricia Cornwell.
“About one out of three livers are normal in alcoholics,” he says. “You know what makes you an alcoholic. You drink more than your doctor.”
Kay Scarpetta book 16
“Funny how it helps. Putting it on paper gets it out of your head, you know?”
Lewis - The Price You Pay by Nick Petrie
Writers often use fiction as a vehicle to express and resolve their own issues or problems.
Writer's block can occur when this has been accoumplished.
Charlotte Greene

Image: Charlotte Greene logo - Click to Enlarge
Fiction book imprint designed for self-publishing authors who need a little help, say with editing or covers. This resource is also open to freelancers.

Charlotte Greene put the two in contact with each other.

Other Projects

Free resources and information for anyone unsure about China, especially Canton.
Carla Acheson Kindle Best Selling Author
Click to follow Carla on Goodreads
Carla has a Goodreads Giveaway featuring her latest book, The Whitechapel Virgin
See her blog for more details
Other Interests
A Letter From China
Image: Jonno and Siu Ying - Click to Enlarge
Infrequent, irreverent, and irrelevant snapshots of daily life in China. An expats view of life in modern Canton.

Computer Keyboards

  How well do you know your input device, or what all the keys are actually for?
What would you like it to do?
Read the letter here

Six Days in Siam

A short story about the stupidity of the Orient, as seen through the eyes of the Occident.
Read the story here

Hints, Tips, & Tricks

While writing a book, you will read it many, many times. You do this when writing, and when editing.

Sometimes you will read a word, a clause, or even an entire scene and stop to wonder, because it felt like a glitch. That is because it was a glitch, You got it wrong.

This also applies to punctuation and spelling. You need to make time, go back and check. If you do not, the reader will pick up on it.

The Rule of Threes
My rule is three times, and then I know I have to change the word, delete or rewrite the scene ... or do something about whatever it is.

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