Latest stories

Dog’s Dinner

Johns Kitchen in Berlin

“Friedrichstrasse tomorrow, Rex. Hope there aren’t any complications. What do you think?” John slowly cut a strip from the steak he was preparing, sensing each sinew sever through his skilled fingers. He glanced at the u-bahn map on the wall. “Two stops.” He looked down at his faithful pit-bull, tongue lolling out of his salivating mouth, and sniffed. “You need a bath.” He flicked a cut of steak...

Defalcator

Silver Pineapple in the Sea

“Do you think they will ever come back?” Her voice trilled, resonating like dancing metal shards jangling in the breeze. “I think so.” The other’s cadence was more measured and cleaner, yet neither female nor male. “How long has it been now?” She asked. “For who?” It was almost a statement with barely an inflection. The water lapped quietly over the silver sand on the shore while the whiteness of...

Mother

Mum

When I stepped out of the teleporter, the first thing I saw was my mother, her back towards me. Her hair permed and snow-white. Well, it always had been, and she was wearing the vermillion cashmere sweater I had bought her for Christmas over her knee-length crimson skirt. She was always one for the classic look. “Your late, son,” she said hearing me step down from the pad. “I made your...

WIP Edition 1: 16 May

Write without fear. Edit without mercy.

The first of my bi-weekly check-ins where I share my work-in-progress. I will try to keep this on-topic but I have a feeling I will digress with all the other stuff that’s going on in life. My Main WIP – The Gift Started off as a short story (3800 words) earlier this year but felt like it needed more explanation. I have written about 1000 new words on this and structured out the...

Review: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Fellowship of the Ring

This book was published in 1954 and set the tone for modern fantasy. However, in the 60+ years since then a lot of the tropes have been repeated over and over which makes anyone coming to this now feel that it is a little dated. It is still highly evocative, well-plotted, well structured and engaging to listen to and so, as any reader or specifically writer of the fantasy genre I would recommend...

Review: Save The Cat

Save The Cat

Blake Snyder takes you through the process of crafting a screenplay stage by stage based on his many year experience in the business. His beat sheet setting out the key milestones in the films narrative structure has been used successfully in many, many films and is referred to regularly. There are other templates for screenplays, of course, but this is a very accessible and essential guide to...

Review: The Elements of Style

Begin

One of those ‘essential reading’ books for writers. It lays out many of the rookie mistakes you should avoid if you want to be taken seriously. We all make them – I still do. Erudite and necessary reading and to have for reference right next to you. I came across this when reading On Writing, and have seen it referred to many times in many online forums. It is dry but makes...

Review: On Writing

An excellent book that is both a memoir and an excellent outline of the main tools you need in your writer’s toolbox if you want to be taken seriously as a writer. Stephen King’s approach to writing is story-driven, not plot-driven, so eschews away from other guides which suggest a need for endless pre-planning, outlines, character notes, etc. It’s refreshing to hear this, and it’s a great...

Pazuzu’s Covenant

Signs clattered. A dog barked. Something heavy fell. He frowned at the note written his little black book and slid it back into the inside pocket of his tailcoat with a hint of resignation. He knew it was going to be a bad day. The Undertaker waited in the doorway of the saloon and checked his pocket watch again. There was no sun to glint off the case today. Dark clouds hung low on the horizon...

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About me

Many (many) years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and developing my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer.

I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

The rest, as they say, is history.