Archive for April, 2014

My first Kindle post…

In the next few days or weeks I hope to post my first short story on Kindle. Will it do well? Who knows. To be honest I hope so but I’d settle for it reading well and entertaining a few people. The setting is high fantasy with lashings of magic, invention and intrigue. 


Here is a snap shot of the first of many short stories I intend to post.




Within minutes a crowd had gathered in the town square. Foss, woken by the chapel bell, followed them a good distance behind.

In the short time he’d been in Hallshad, he’d heard the bell rung four times. Each one was to signify the loss of a life.

Hidden beneath the blacksmiths awning, Foss watched the crowd. The men stood straight backed and silent, while the women and children whispered prayers.

A pained scream split the stillness and in unison everyone turned to see a haggard woman running barefoot down the frozen road. Without warning she slipped on the snow covered cobbles and fell heavily.

“Have you found him? Have you found my son,” she pleaded, struggling to her knees. The crowd shifted away from her as if buffeted by an unseen gust. No one moved to help. Instinctively mother’s scooped their children into their arms and enveloped them beneath thick winter cloaks.  

The townsfolk of Hallshad were as generous as they were superstitious. Foss had seen the look upon their faces countless times. They feared the wrath of the gods should they help the beleaguered woman. Parents taught their children to fear and revere the gods from an early age and with good reason.

At the end of the war, Foss witnessed friends turn on one- another over a loaf of bread. He’d been present when the order was given to burn the captured city of Sortune. Thousands of people both infected or otherwise, were burnt alive to stop the plague.


Foss spat. Where were the gods and their miracles then?


As Foss moved from his hiding place to help stricken woman, a man, a head shorter than the rest with blond not black hair, appeared from the front of the crowd. As he strode towards her he slipped his once plush cloak from his shoulders.


“Khelen, please, take my cloak. You must be—“


“My son, you’ve murdered him.” She screamed, lashing out at him. “Ever since you came the gods have abandoned us.”

A murmur rippled the crowd.




The news, I refuse to muse…



I no longer read the or watch the news. Why? Well, it’s obvious isn’t it? Doom, doom, doom and gloom. That’s all the tabloids and beyond care about. Bum on seats –  or readers/viewers in this case. Am I alone in thinking the only way something positive ever gets aired is to act as a mental break before the carnage continues?


Okay, granted this point of view could seem a little on the narrow side but I bet I’m not alone. Growing up as a child in the late 70’s and 80’s all I ever heard was IRA this, explosion that. It was grim. I attribute the siege mentality the press threw up – and rightly so when things were bad – as to part of the reason why I’m so ferociously patriotic. I’m not the type to wave a flag or don a t-shirt when England are doing well. Hell no. As much as I despair at times with the levels violence and other mindless acts my country folk carry out at home and abroad, I’m English and grateful to be an Anglo-Saxon.


I can clearly remember as a small boy thinking why are British soldiers getting shot and bombed by Irishmen? Are the Irish our enemy? I thought to myself while watching the news where some reporter was holed up behind a barricade or a couple of hundred policemen, ‘They have to have a reason for being so angry towards us.’


Right – I’m getting twitchy writing this as the last thing I want to do is mortally offend some poor soul, etc, with my fact-less ramblings. So in order to continue I’d like to state this is only how I choose to view the world and isn’t a fix or the definitive opinion.


Where was I… To put this simply I quickly understood that no right minded person willingly looks to hurt another without a bloody good reason. To my mind then and now I feel the press too often look to exploit situations without caring a jot how those effected might feel.

Are the Irish out to get us? Some might still have a grudge but those I know – half my family are from Dublin – are all warm, welcoming and extremely supportive. Without the Irish I’d not have my kids and my kids mean everything to me.


The Irish are really our friends – TICK!


Maybe I should watch the news on the odd occasion as I had no idea those poor souls on that plane went missing. Maybe more worryingly I also had no idea the Russians have moved into the Ukraine.



To finish up, to my mind almost everything the press touch they manipulate. I’m talking national nor regional press, of course. I mean what on earth would the point be in falsifying the winner of Kent’s flattest lawn of the year (does it such a competition exist? And if it does and has been ‘fixed’ by the press, it had nowt to do with me.)


So my Yoda like nugget of wisdom is NEVER, EVER wash your hair with washing up liquid (my brother and I had to when the miners strike was on in the 80’s. We both looked a right state and it’s a miracle we ever got hitched up with anyone.) and try to keep an open mind and look objectively at situations in life. After all, reading between the lines will almost always lead to mistakes being made.


Don’t trust everything you read! Including this – TICK!!







Minecraft, it’s been sent to steal our children…adults…um pets and stuff!!




It might be gone from the newsagents shelves but it’ll never be forgotten! Okay, so on a slightly sensible note – one which will not last long – I hope it becoming an online subscription doesn’t mean it’s about to die altogether? That’d be awful!!


2000AD will always have a massive place in my sci-fried heart and mind. Why? Well, for right of wrong my late Nan would every Saturday buy a copy for my brother and me. The picture bellow is the earliest cover I could recognize; but to be honest Nan had a box full of older ones she’d brought home with her from her day job at a local private school.



Hum, although I honestly recognize the cover, I’d imagine it was one plucked from the box full of oldies. After all judging by the date I’d yet have turned five and their is no way I’d have been able to make sense of it mighty messages!


My top three stories/characters.


Slaine Macroth – The Horned God.


This title had an immeasurable effect on my tiny mind. Never after reading anything else have I wanted more than to paint myself in blood, spike my hair, sharpen my axe and get my ‘warp spasm’ on! Although my favorite artist to work on Slaine was without doubt the peerless Simon Bisley – it was he that convinced me with his amazing art work to spend hour after hour drawing – it didn’t matter who was penning or inking my favorite Celtic barbarian as he is my number one 2000AD character.


Joesph Dread, a.k.a, Judge Dread. 


It was a really close run thing between Slaine and Dread as to which was my number one. The only reason Slaine won was down to me connecting more so with the character and, although you had to wait ages between stories, it seemed Slaine had the edge with regards to the more compelling story lines. Well, I say that but Dread was somewhat shackled with being the comics only constant story line. It’s because of this that Judge Dread sometimes got lumbered with the occasional ropy plot. However, I spent untold hours as Dread in my own head – more so than any other character, period. I’d love nothing more than to be able to spout quotes, etc but my memory is awful and I’d only get it wrong.

On to the Dread films…STOP! As far as I’m concerned their was only one film. (I was forced to take a swig of me clap cold coffee in an effort to regain composure!)

Right, lets start again. While the 2012 Dread film – ah damn it, I’ll have to make mention of the date and the fact it isn’t the only Dread film or some misguided souls might get confused – wasn’t a commercial success like the first, I absolutely frigging loved it!! The film was accurate to Dread’s legacy and felt like 2000AD deliberately gave the finger to the notion of making a few quid off their longest running title. It was dirty, gritty and unforgiving; just like how it was meant to be – and he kept his chuffing helmet on. The only gripe I had was that Dread’s reputation as being the toughest, most unforgiving son of a bitch ever created wasn’t that evident. For that reason I am eternally grateful. Never forget, Dread is a mega city one god legend.


Jesus, the last one is REALLY tough to call…Rogue Trooper, Zenith, ABC Warriors, Bad Company, Strontium Dog, Nemesis The Warlock…wow, I feel an aneurysm developing.


Marlon Shakespeare, a.k.a Chopper.


By Crom, who in the seven Hells is that, I hear you cry! Well, Chopper was surfer who lived in Dread’s Mega City One dystopia. While their are no waves to ride in MC1, their’s plenty of traffic to play chicken with while riding your hover board along its mega highways. Oh and their is always Supersurf… The Supersurf is an illegal competition that pits the best surfers from around the world against each other in a brutal and often deadly game to see who’s got the best skills. Chopper’s a product of mass unemployment and the mind numbing tedium MC1’s citizens face daily. But he want’s more, he want’s to be someone and escape the drugery of MC1 life, even if only for a moment. I read up until Song Of The Surfer and loved every turn and twist. This is a true 2000AD master piece and would stand up well against even the most high brow graphic novels.


Well, for me that was a pleasant stroll through my nicer childhood memories. Who knows with a bit of luck the couple of plot ideas myself and Dave Lee Stone are working on might get printed in 2000AD soon!