December 2014

The conclusion of The Last Duel is now live and free on my Wattpad page. Here – at the slight risk of giving away how the story ends, if you don’t know yet! – is a collage I made of the rest of Phil Harvey‘s stunning sketches.


Happy holidays to all readers, and power to your tentacles for the New Year.

My sinister masterplan continues. May yours do likewise. πŸ˜€


Part Two of The Last Duel is now live and free on my Wattpad page. To go with it, here’s a collage I made of some of the gorgeous sketches that were created for the story by ace artist and illustrator Phil Harvey.


More next week with Part Three. πŸ˜€

In the spirit of the season here’s a gift that I hope you’ll like – a short story of mine called The Last Duel.


I’m putting it out on Wattpad for free in three parts, one a week for the next three weeks. On my profile there you’ll find four more free stories of mine that have already appeared elsewhere on the internet. The Last Duel, however, has never seen daylight before.

If you like action, romance or both I hope you’ll find it worth your wallop. And see the sketch above, that I’m using for a cover? It’s by a fabulous artist called Phil Harvey. There’s more of his work to show you next week, with part two. πŸ˜€

Yesterday’s Book Doctor sessions for my first engagement as Patron of Reading for Alexandra Park School were a blast. I saw fifteen students, spending fifteen minutes with each talking about what kinds of stories they liked before making a reading recommendation that I hoped that person would enjoy.


These above are the books I chose. See that piece of paper on the right? That form was created by APS’ awesome librarian Ms Constantinou so that I, as Book Doctor, could prescribe my recommendations! Each student could then choose to get their prescription filled either by borrowing their recommended book from the school’s excellent library orΒ buying it from superb local indie booksellers The Big Green Bookshop, who offered my ‘patients‘ a generous 15% discount.

Here’s the full list of what I recommended:

Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding

I Am Jackie Chan – My Life in Action by Jackie Chan

Persuader by Lee Child

Blade by Tim Bowler (though it’s Bloodchild in the pic; that’s terrific too!)

Wolf by Tommy Donbavand

Sawbones by Catherine Johnson

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

Terror Kid by Benjamin Zephaniah

Replica by Jack Heath

Web of Darkness by Bali Rai

Going Solo by Roald Dahl

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby

Parasyte by Hitoshi Awaki

Claymore by Norihiro Yagi

Drifting Classroom by Kazuo Umezu


Ice Station by Matthew Reilly

Every student I spoke to had strong opinions about what would appeal to them and what wouldn’t, and expressed them with clarity and passion. It was inspiring.

Then, in the evening, I took myself off to The Big Green Bookshop to catch SF grandmaster Brian Aldiss launching a new collection of his short stories and looking back at his amazing writing life.

Now, that was a good day. πŸ˜€