I’ve got Projects Coming out of my Ears

Printed Words cover

It’s been a while since I put a writing update on here, but I’ve been busy. As the title of this blog post suggests, I’m working on a lot of projects.

In January this year, I started Printed Words; originally intending it to be an e-zime, but it seemed to force its way into print and became a magazine too. It’s been an experience; reading submissions, replying with acceptances or rejections and feedback whenever possible. I was worried that people might not react well to some constructive criticism, choosing to take it personally or become defensive. Instead, I’ve received a positive response. Most of the writers whose work I haven’t accepted have appreciated the feedback at least. As many seasoned writers will know, rejections often contain nothing to tell the writer why their work wasn’t accepted.

For anyone wanting to find out more about the e-zine/magazine here are the links to the guidelines and the Facebook page.

Printed Words Facebook Page


Submissions will re-open in mid-June.


I’ve also re-edited and re-released After the Zombies, which was originally written as a present for my sister. If you’re reading this before 24th May you can enter to win a paperback copy HERE

Otherwise, you can buy a copy HERE or from your local Amazon website if not in the UK.

If you’d like to read the book for free, you can. It’s available as an e-book on several platforms.

Click here to find your preferred choice (not Amazon, unfortunately).

The full-length sequel “Not Human” and the novella “Life After Zombies” which followed on the story will be re-edited and combined into one book, for release later this year. I’ll be sticking with the title “Not Human” and the amazing cover which was turned down from Amazon ads because the zombie was covered in blood.


I’m also working on numerous poetry projects. One I can’t talk about here, another is a collection of the poems I’ve written over the last three years. I’ve narrowed it down to 51 so far, but might cut a few more before it goes to print.

I’ve designed the cover already.

poetry book cover

Another collection I’m putting together will involve Father Christmas dying repeatedly in a series of unfortunate incidents. It’s funnier than it sounds (I hope.)

Here a teaser image from an of the image which will accompany one of the poems.

white llama

I’m also working a series of seven-word poems with my partner. This is in addition to a collection about an imaginary couple inspired by his collection. There will be a crossover poem where the two couples meet.

Before I forget to mention it, my long-awaited YA novel “First Charge” has been given a June release date. This was previously self-published briefly, before I un-published it and was given a contract by Gnome on Pig Productions. They also want to publish the other two books in the series. I’ve written book two and am halfway through the first draft of book three.

If that’s not enough, I’ve just started writing a sci-fi novel which I’m really excited about, but can’t discuss yet. The ideas are flying around and I’m in the process of world-building, which is something I’ve never done to this extent before.

I joined Medium this month and have written some articles on there too.

I believe you have to be a paid member to read them all in full, but it allowed you to read a few articles before asking you to pay.

So, check out some of my articles HERE

Finally, the monthly book review podcast I co-host with Andy N is still ongoing too. I find having to come up with two or three books a month encourages me read some of my books, even if I do keep buying them faster than I’m reading them. As Stephen King says, if you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time or the tool to write. Hopefully, the books I’m reading are providing me with the right tools.

Listen to the latest episode here


Reading in Bed episode 5


Episode 5 of Reading in Bed is now here.

This month we reviewed poetry and fiction.

We discussed mixing fairy-tales with zombies, and I talked about a book I hated and why. As (possibly) the last two people on the planet who hadn’t read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Andy and I both read and reviewed the book. You’ll have to listen to hear our thoughts on the book though, or to find out about the reply I had on Twitter from the author.

See the list of books and the podcast below.

Remember, if you are a writer we may be interested in reviewing your book. We just ask for a free copy, either in print or as a PDF. We can’t promise to feature all books received on the podcast. If for whatever reason we can’t fit yours in, we will write a review on Amazon (or another platform if you prefer).

Contact me through my website.



This month’s books

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon


Guilt Game – L.J Sellers

Plague: The Tale of Sleeping Beauty – Mark Mackey

Sending a Drunk Text Whilst Sober – Simon Widdop



Reading in Bed (podcast 4)


This month’s books on the Reading in Bed podcast are:

Anything you do Say by Gillian Mcallister

The Weeping Price by Alice VL

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Crash by Keith Houghton

I have Learnt by Jaqueline Woods


We talked about strong female characters, whether bad characters need to have something to attract the reader and small details that can potentially make the reader question the plot. For all this and more, listen to the podcast below.

 We also have a Twitter page and Facebook group so that you can follow us and find out what we’re currently reading.




Reading In Bed 3

The third podcast is now online.

I really enjoyed recording this one, and between me and Andy we had five books to review, so this is a much longer podcast than the first two.

We discussed whether sequels of successful books were just milking their success, if being solely in the protagonist’s head for an entire book can work and Andy talked about the read a book he read, which was published pre Benjamin Button, but contained a lot of similarities.

To hear all of the above and more, please have a listen and let us know what you think. Also, if you think either one of us might enjoy your book, please get in touch and we might be able to review it on a future podcast.


The books we reviewed this month are:

Still me by Jojo Moyes

If I Die Before I wake by Emily Koch

The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster

La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust 1) by Philip Pullman

I Haven’t Dreamed of Flying For a While by Taichi Yamada




A new podcast and free or discounted books


First of all I’ve started a new podcast with my partner. We review and discuss books which we’ve read. This month we read Nightmare Realities by Amanda J Evans, Queen and Country by Greg Rucka and Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander.

To find out what we thought of them, check out the podcast.


My other piece of news is that I’m planning to unpublish my novels and novellas (or at least start the process) at the end of this month (January 2018).

That means these books may never see the light of day again, or they may get taken on by a publisher.

I’m running various offers before then. The Kindle versions of some of my books will be free or reduced.

I’ll be posting these offers on my Facebook and Twitter, so like/follow me to find out more.



The Hunted and other twisted tales



“The Hunted and other twisted tales” is written by Paul J Kearns

The book consists of seven short stories featuring werewolves. vampires and other paranormal creatures.

Horror is one of my favourite genres, especially when it’s good horror. I enjoyed reading this. Anyone who knows me will know how much I love my gore. So this won me over from the blender moment which involves certain body parts being put in a blender, then the owner or more specifically, the previous owner of those body parts is forced to drink them.

Another story I really enjoyed in this collection was a vampire story called The Hunted. This has the potential to extend to a full novel or at least a novella, with a little more back story and a few more characters thrown in and storylines expanded on.

I was also impressed with the fact that this is the authors first published work. The last book I wrote about on my blog was The Loney. Considering that The Hunted is self-published and doesn’t have the money spent on it that The Loney would have, I preferred The Hunted. I think, with a bit more editing it has a lot of potential.

The Loney (my thoughts)

Last Christmas I asked for and received a copy of The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley. This book was the 2015 Costa first novel winner. The other thing that interested me about the book is it was originally published through an independent publisher.

As a writer trying to achieve success, I was curious to read and maybe see if there was some kind of winning formula to writing a book that could be taken on by a big publisher and then go on to win awards.

The first few pages are taken up with positive reviews and praise from the likes of Stephen King, SFX Magazine and The Guardian.

Maybe that’s why I was expecting great things and possibly even some kind of inspiration for what I could do in my own writing to achieve success. I have to admit I was a little disappointed. For me, the first 100 pages contained very little plot or action, rather than being suspenseful or building up tension as some reviewers on Goodreads stated. Obviously Stephen King knows what he’s doing with his own writing and his review inside the book states that this is an amazing piece of fiction.

I just didn’t think the same way. It was readable and I didn’t have to force myself too much to keep on reading like I had to with a few of the self-published books I had tried to get through before reading The Loney, but it didn’t excite me. I’ve read books that I know I’ve enjoyed because I’ve looked forward to reading more. This wasn’t like that for me. I thought there was a lot of religion and that bored me in places. I can see the author either knows a lot about the subject or did a lot of research. The only thing I can really take from it is research is important because it was convincing. It wasn’t of interest to me though.

I was also confused by the ending and wasn’t sure what had even happened. That could just be me. Maybe I prefer a simpler read. I think: whether you write something clever or more basic, there’s a market for both. As for gaining recognition and winning awards it’s probably more complex than that. There’s no guaranteed winning formula. There might be things that make a book more likely to win an award, but it depends if you want to write something you choose and enjoy writing or try to copy books that have been successful, but you might not enjoy writing as much.

I’d still recommend the book, especially to other writers just to have a read and see what they think.

The blurb for The Loney is

Two brothers. One mute, the other his lifelong protector.

Year after year, their family visits the same sacred shrine on a desolate strip of coastline known as the Loney, in desperate hope of a cure.

In the long hours of waiting, the boys are left alone. And they cannot resist the causeway revealed with every turn of the treacherous tide, the old house they glimpse at its end . . .

Many years on, Hanny is a grown man no longer in need of his brother’s care.

But then the child’s body is found.

And the Loney always gives up its secrets, in the end.

Reading Recommendations 2

This months podcast is HERE




To find out more about the featured authors or purchase their books, follow the links below.

Gippy Adams Henry (Author of Web of Destruction)

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link




David Hartley (Author of Spiderseed)

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link



Justin Bienvenue (Author of Bloody Bloody A Mess In The Wild Wild West)

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link




David Hartley has since got back to me with his answer to this months question (about the inspiration for his book.) If you’re curious about these things (like I am) here is his response.

The stories of Spiderseed were all written over the course of the past four years, so the inspiration is quite wide-spread and general. But I would say I’m inspired by the strangeness of life, both human and animal, and by how storytelling can take those strangenesses and twist them into something haunting. The absolute master of this is a writer called Alan Garner who I idolise, but it also comes through in the works of people like JG Ballard and Jeff Noon. And the inspiration for the ‘Most Haunted’ story came from witnessing a real-life spirit medium manipulating an audience when I used to work as an usher in a theatre. It made me angry and I’ve always had a deep distrust of spirit mediums like Derek Acorah – liars and charlatans the lot of them! So I wanted to write something strange, haunting and utterly demeaning (and quick-stab short) towards the industry… and Most Haunted was the result of that.