Book 3 in the continuing saga of Paterson and Clocks is finished and has been submitted to Joffe for their consideration. Although I have a contract, I’m not taking anything for granted. They could always say no. Or do it again…

Hopefully, I’ll hear soon and I’ll post here with their answer.

VIDEO CONTENT BELOW.

The events in my book ‘The Lost Children’ are a work of fiction. However, the subject matter is not. It is a sad fact of life that physical and mental abuse as a result of faith and belief is an everyday occurrence across the globe and affects tens of thousands of children. I realise that in writing this story it will, unfortunately, offend some people. That was never my intention. I simply wanted to tell a story that highlights what is going on and I chose to do it through a crime novel because, whatever your particular thoughts and beliefs, to me, the abuse of any child is a crime however it is wrapped up. If people choose to be offended by the truth well, that will not be the first time in history. It will not be the last.

I’ve had one or two people contact me to complain that I have no right to disparage other people’s faith and beliefs. I wasn’t disparaging. I was merely pointing out that this shit needs to stop and, quite frankly, fuck any belief system that endorses this kind of depravity. I’m not a religious man and proud of it. I have my own beliefs and they basically start from the premise of ‘be good to each other’. I have no truck with any religion that harms children. End of. I have no truck with any government or individual that condone or profits from it.

In 2001, the torso of a young boy, given the name Adam by the police, was found floating in the River Thames in London, England. It took the investigating team into some extremely dark places and opened up a world to which, at the time, they were completely unaware of and unprepared for. It is also a sad fact of life that worldwide, the Diplomatic process is abused regularly and in different ways and that all governments collude. That will never stop. It cannot.

During my research for the story I am not ashamed to confess that more than once I found myself on the edge of tears and it distressed me greatly to think that since Adam’s discovery, it has become necessary for the police, the government and local authorities to set up branches to deal with the increase in such cases.

An article published by the Telegraph on the 24th of November 2017 ran the headline, ‘Belief in witchcraft and demonic possession linked to 1,500 child abuse cases’. You can read it here if you wish, but if you want the highlights, it went on to state, ‘Figures released by the Department for Education show that 1,460 cases in England included concerns about abuse which was “linked to faith and belief” during the year to March 2017.’

Further – ‘Charities said the figure was likely to be an underestimate because local authorities did not have enough awareness to spot the likely signs of abuse.’ 

Again, same article in the Telegraph – ‘A Government spokesman said: “Children must be kept safe, and no belief system can justify the abuse of a child.”

“The Department for Education is investing up to £1.5 million to tackle child abuse and support charities such as Barnardo’s in their work to tackle abuse linked to faith or belief.”

“Those responsible for child abuse linked to faith or belief would be subject to prosecution. Our statutory guidance is crystal clear that anyone who has concerns about a child’s welfare should report this to children’s social care or the police.”

Thankfully, there have been no other cases of the same magnitude as Adam’s reported in the UK but that is not to say it hasn’t happened again. It may have. It could still.

When I sat down to write this story, I knew it would likely ruffle feathers, but if my story raises awareness of this abuse in just, one parent, one educator, one decision maker, then it has done a better job than I could have ever asked it to.

And, for those of you who have told me that I’ve made it all up, it doesn’t happen and I’m picking on Africans, spend a little while educating yourself.

 

 

I’m looking for a little input from you guys with regards to a video that I created to advertise the new book. To me, it looks fine and does the job nicely, but that may be because I’m so emotionally invested in the book and the vids creation that I don’t have enough distance to see if it’s working or if it’s crap! I’m clearly not a professional at this video malarky as you’ll see. This is just a rough and I will be playing around with it for a while yet so your suggestions are welcome.

Answers on a (metaphorical) postcard please – or just use the contact form!

Many thanks.

P.S. I suggest using headphones if you have a pair knocking around.

Well, the day is coming and it’s coming soon! Quicker than I thought too.

I have recently been given confirmation that my second book in the Paterson & Clocks crime thriller series is to be released on the 30th of this month. That’s just two days away!! I found out two days before I was due to travel away to my son’s wedding and have been unable to update anything – blog, Twitter, Facebook. I promised myself (and my wife) that I wouldn’t use any form of social media whilst I was away and that was something I wholeheartedly agreed to. But now I’m back.

So, the new book is called ‘The Lost Children’ and is a dark tale in many ways. I will be honest and say that I have no idea how this will be accepted overall but I do know that it will cause a knee-jerk response in many readers and that knee-jerk will undoubtedly be based on gut reaction and personal prejudices but not the story itself.

Although it is a crime thriller, the story at the heart of it is very real and based on true events, past and present. One advance reader has already written to me to let me know that it had them in tears and for that to happen in a crime thriller, well…I knew I’d told the story properly.

Anyhoo, don’t forget – it’s out on Thursday the 30th of August 2018

Escape

 

It’s been just over six weeks since my debut novel ‘Their Last Words‘ was released into the world and I’m astonished at how well it is doing. I thought I’d indulge myself a little bit here and write about its fortunes to date. The facts and figures I give here are accurate at the time I recorded them but may not be true now. By the same token, they may well have done even better than I think but I haven’t been looking at the charts on a daily basis. Although every fibre of my being wants to, that way lay madness, my friend.

Please note that none of this is meant as a brag. It’s just so damn weird!

Six weeks ago I was unpublished and since then I have been on bestseller charts with some of the biggest names in the world. For a while, I was in front of Lee Child and James Patterson, Clive Cussler and even J.K Rowling.

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top 100 No 100 near JK Rowling 27-07-18

(Never thought I’d see myself next to JoRow. Bet she never thought she’d be next to me either!)

For an unknown author with no back catalogue and no readership, it’s unreal and is down to the efforts of my publisher Joffe Books and the marvellous team who have worked hard to get the book seen and noticed.

Everything here refers only to Amazon and their respective bestselling charts.

So, to my knowledge, I peaked at No 31 in the Amazon bestsellers chart and as of today’s date, I am at No 100. I have been at No 5 in the serial Killer category and No2 in Heist Crime category (I have no idea why I’m in there).

In Australia, on the 8th of August, I am No 5 in Crime Thrillers, No 3 in Crime and No 12 in Noir and to my immense satisfaction, find myself next to the great Michael Connelly at No 11. 8th August 2018 No 12 in Noir Next to Michael Connelly

(Me and Mike, tearing it up…)

I have had some fantastic reviews and I’m grateful to everybody who took the time to write their thoughts and feelings about the book (even the ropey reviews too, but they weren’t particularly constructive). I have been humbled by some of the things that people have written and it gives me hope for the future. I have also had some fantastic emails from people who tell me how much they enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next in the series. I am truly grateful.

Amusingly, from what I can make of it, it would seem the Aussies don’t like the book at all. Seems they don’t like the swearing! That I do find amusing particularly as I remember the song by the Australian warbler, Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson, which was entitled, ‘You Can’t Say C**t in Canada.’ After singing the title line he followed it up with, and I paraphrase, ‘Well, you fucking well can in Australia!’ Still, you can’t please everybody.

The Americans are better. For the most part, they have been positive in their reviews but again, there are a few complaints about the language. I will at some point write a post about the language I use but for now, I’m struggling to understand why people read the blurb, presumably use the ‘Look Inside’ feature, read other negative reviews (misery loves company) and then go off on one about it being violent and full of bad language. Well, there’s a shocker. Who saw that coming? One bloke said it was a waste of his $1.49. But he read it all the way through though!!

The other thing that has been interesting is to read the reviews of those who state that some bits were implausible and that ‘that wouldn’t happen in real life.’ Wouldn’t it? My friends, you have no idea. I have seen and done things that you couldn’t make up. Genuinely couldn’t make up. So, maybe a few bits have been exaggerated (it is, after all, a story) but please be under no illusion about what would and wouldn’t happen in real life.

So, a bit long this post, but it’s been a surreal period of my life and I wanted to document it for my own benefit as much as yours. One day I’m going to look back on this and go, ‘WTF!’