Friday, 21 October 2016

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

In the 1950’s and 60’s there was a mysterious television series on our screens that was hosted by a curio director of latter-day blockbuster thrillers.

Alfred Hitchcock, the director of classic films such as Vertigo and Psycho, North by Northwest and Frenzy, had a collection of wonderful, bizarre and surreal stories that he wanted to share with the world; and in a bold move for the time, he decided to lend his name to a television series.

This was in the days when television was the poor man’s cinema. Before DVD, video, and way before television became cool with actors; it was seen as a step down for many actors, with the lights of Hollywood fading into the distance the more they became typecast by their performances on the small screen.  You would never have seen Humphrey Bogart or Fred Astaire acting on television in the same way that top stars are now attracted to good quality dramas on tv, and it would only be later that stars would appear on chat shows as television became a more accessible way of reaching a mass audience.

So Hitchcock led the way, and it was a huge success; running for seven series and giving a push to some leading lights and directors; it also led to copycat tv shows, such as Tales of the Unexpected in the UK and Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories. But none could compete with the originality of Hitchcock’s television drama.

This also spawned a series of pulp paperback books. In keeping with the traditions of the tales that were being told, this was a mass market product designed to be read for a scare or two and to be enjoyed rather than for its literal value. There are many books in the series and they have been republished on lots of occasions, most recently in the 1990’s. You can now find the books at your local charity shop and they are well worth collecting, as well as seeing old copies on Ebay or Amazon.

The books were originally published by Pan Books and I have a version that cost 3’6,dated 1965 and entitled Stories they would not let me do on TV. It contains twenty-five macabre tales to chill your blood. The last line of the book says it all really,

“And the black abyss swallowed him.”


Alfred Hitchcock Presents harks back to a time where scares were more psychological, and his tales
from the television were very suited to be turned into books. This was not necessarily a more innocent time, just that in order to be satisfied you had to use your imagination. Nothing like today where we see graphically and in detail everything that the producers wish us to see, however disgusting. This is apparent in literature too, where vivid descriptions of bodies and parts are commonplace in horror fiction. But is it necessary? There is a school of thought that what goes on in our own minds is actually far scarier, and all we need is a suggestion. This is what made Hitchcock such a master of suspense. He always knew that you would fill in the blanks and create your own scary story; that is what made Psycho so great a horror film, because actually, you saw hardly any gore on the screen at all.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Surrealist poetry has really taken my interest during the last week or so and I am busily writing away every day with my idea of it.
It came to a point this week when I wrote Autumn, and the words flowed beautifully. I have since recorded it onto Youtube and you are very welcome to take a look below.

I love to read aloud what I have written, it gives the piece more life and also enables you to iron out any mistakes. My goal this year, or early next, is to take my poems to the Poetry Cafe in London, which is run by the Poetry Society, but is currently undergoing refurbishment.
It would be a dream to get my poetry out there, whatever your thoughts on the form, it is a wonderful way to communicate and if you are a budding and busy writer, it helps to give you a richer language. 

I have also started on my poetry project, and this is the first picture of my poem/painting Love Is the Moon

This is a project very dear to my heart, and I have written a number of poems on a similar theme with the aim of turning them all into paintings and (hopefully) getting them seen somewhere. 
These pieces are not surreal, just talking about the power of love and how it can be all-consuming.

Poetry is very dear to me, I enjoy the work of Sylvia Plath, Breton and the Beat poetry. Whatever the outcome, it is fun to do, and that is what poetry should It is another way of exploring dialogue and language and a beautiful way to describe the world around you.

Give it a go.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Kindle Bestsellers

The Girl on the Train still sits pretty at the top of the Amazon Kindle charts and appears to be unstoppable at the moment. In second place, and at just 99p, is Girl on a Train, by A J Waines who either writes a brilliantly taut thriller or has poor prose, depending on which recommendation you read. It is interesting how many people have bought Waines book thinking it was the number one bestseller now a movie book, but hey, we’re all easily fooled.

Next in line on the chart is The Stranger in my Home, written by Adele Parks and again only 99p on the Kindle, followed by The Angel Tree and The Accident.

The Accident is a psychological thriller C L Taylor that has attracted 794 five-star reviews on Amazon, which is no mean feat. It tells the story of a mother whose daughter is run over by a bus and she ends up in a coma. As Sue Jackson, our heroine, retraces her daughter’s steps to find out what happened, she uncovers a murky world where no one is to be trusted.

Moving into the more expensive market, though hardly expensive but this is what Amazon is doing, we have Amanda Prowse novel My Husband’s Wife; a number one bestseller and still in the top ten. Following on from that there is The Hope That Kills, which is a rather angry name for a book; and All Fall Down, another gripping psychological thriller.


It seems to me that gripping psychological thrillers show no signs of diminishing in their returns, and any budding writer would probably do well to write a gripping psychological thriller rather than a children’s book for instance, which appears to have far less chance of getting out there.

I am currently writing a psychological thriller (whether it is gripping or not we shall have to wait and see) in the name of Sea of Ribbons. This book tells the story of a depressive who wakes in hospital and cannot remember who she is or why she is there. It contains a lot of imagery, which is taken from her dreams, and as the reader you do not know if she is in reality or just in her own imagination. Her search sees her leaving the hospital and trying to find the person who she thought she was in love with, only to discover that he was murdered and she has been framed for it. The culprit is masquerading as a nurse, and is intent to find and kill our amnesiac heroine.

Thrillers, it seems, will never fade as we all enjoy a good scare from time to time. Their popularity continues to be strong, and the willingness to try to replicate that success on the big screen doesn’t seem to be subsiding either.

So, if you are a writer, and you are stuck for a new idea, have a go at writing a thriller. Create a believable and flawed character, who the reader will root for when the chips are down, and then plunge him or her into some life-threatening scenarios. The limit is your own imagination.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Surrealist Poetry

I have recently been researching surrealist poetry; this is an avant-garde movement covered by poets such as Andre Breton and Frederico Garcia Lorca. It is a wonderful form to write it, and really pushes the imagination. It offers a richness to detail that can light a piece of writing up. Take the opening line of WINK for instance, by Benjamin Peret: ‘parakeets fly through my head when I see you profile.’ Beautiful imagery and yet the concept is utterly surreal.


Gladstone never called back;

His collar was off the chart,

And with an echo of distant thunder

He went and broke my heart.


Poems are hard to write, but they offer an enjoyment that is different to writing novels, which is why I try my hand at any form of poetry that takes my interest. It is the type of writing that can take days to complete, and you have only written three lines, but each line has been thought about clearly. Surrealism takes that a step further, enabling you to really go a little out there when writing the poem. As with free form it does not have to rhyme, and unlike other forms it does not have to make an awful lot of sense. But if you choose to write surrealist poetry, do remember that the reader has to have some idea what is driving your story. It can’t be just a set of words.

I read once that David Bowie used to throw papers with words on up in the air and as they fell he would put them together for song. Why not try that with surrealism poetry. Write down a number of words on individual pieces of paper and then toss them up into the sky, when they fall create a poem out of them however they have landed.

My surrealist piece is called The City of Angels.

Infamous creations in the city of angels

Landed gentry cannot ever deny the space

Between this and the other realms from our land.

If only I could see your face

If only I could see your eyes

If only your face and eyes could be seen.

The city of angels lights up at dusk

And pours a milky glow across the skyline.

Reports of an injustice by celebrities have been

Unconfirmed, but they will still make a film of it.

If only he could hear your voice

If only he could hear your heart

If only his heart and voice could be heard.

Sitting on the banks of the green the

Birds twitter soulfully.

Never before have I questioned

The wren, or the pigeon, but still

They shit all over me…typical.

I only want for an overcoat to ease

The life that is uneasy.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Poetry and Performance

Spoken word poetry, slam poetry, rapping. It all comes under the same thing and is just as beautiful and powerful as reading what is written on the page.

The differences, apart from the obvious, are that a poem can be laid out in a wonderful picture that helps to enhance the reading experience and gives the piece a certain edge; this cannot be done when you hear a poem being read. But, it is done by the voice and energy of the person reading the piece., which is usually the author itself.


Spoken word poetry gives a wonderful insight into the power of the poem directly from the person who wrote it; it offers a glimpse into the writer’s head  and exactly what they were meaning when it was written, something which cannot be done when a printed poem is performed by someone else, it is their interpretation.

Therefore, as part of my entry into the poetry world, I am going to print a poem below, and then will read it aloud on my blog next week, and if anyone has any comments, please do leave them below, as I would be most interested to know what you think the differences are and where you think punctuation comes into its own.


The poem is called Bandits and Flies, and goes something like this:


Bluebottle flies and wild bandits on the run from the law;

As a heart dies, we tear into the waves on the shore.

Wet trunks do not contain any fear, only here,

With a kite flying high can we see forever.


If only there was more time, then those bandits would

Not need to run, but have fun, and shun

The clever briny sea.

Heart sinks like a stone in a pool; or a ship with a hole.

Those dreaded bluebottles see red and  batter the senses

Like spitfires in a dogfight with meschersmitts; and spits

Of rain, tenderly fall through the sky.

The bandits cannot see the flies,

Only time, and with that the never ending

Search for truth. For what is truth?

Nothing but the sea and sky can be true,

And so rich in blue when you deliver the

Final command. Be tender to each other,

Don’t run for your lives like bandits and flies.

Be still, and the world can be one with you.

Friday, 30 September 2016

New Books

With the release of my new book this week, I want to take time to look at other new releases in the digital world.
Kindle offers us many distractions, and most of them come from new writers who struggle to get attention in the world of publishing. Sometimes this is because the content is not good, but more often than not it is because a project does not have the necessary zing that publishers are looking for and therefore do not get taken up, only to prove popular on the digital market.

That being said, the digital top ten contains many books already published in the usual manner, but times are changing and this week I want to share with you the best books you can buy on the Kindle for very little money and much satisfaction.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is the bestseller that currently sits at number one in the Amazon chart. It is also soon to be released as a blockbuster movie. The title is intriguing, the content is fast and this deservedly holds the number one position.
Top new releases for 99p are WHERE THE MEMORY LIES and THE GLASSBLOWER, as they make an impact in the digital world watch out for them in paperback.

Of course, there is my own book that is a sequel to my popular first novel PIRATES vs FAIRIES; this is now available for 99p at

Shop now and delve into a different world from a host of authors all struggling to get recognition. Authors do it for the love, and not for the profit; although the profit would be nice from time to time.

If you don't have a Kindle then you can download the app on your laptop or smartphone, it is very easy, very quick and soon you could be reading something very new.

Top 99p Bestsellers

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

New Poetry Project

Poetry is very important to me; it balances my life and can be found everywhere you go. For instance, the poetry of the trees rustling in the wind is beautiful.

So I write poems, and read plenty of them. You can find me at Poetrysoup and access everything that I have written, I also have a book of collected poems available at Amazon, called Twen2y Ei8ht, which can be found at the following link:

Twenty Eight

I also have a new project on the go, and this is something that I would love to take to galleries and libraries in the future when I have completed them. It is called LOVE, and I write on canvas what love is, and then add artwork to compliment the words.

My first work is hanging in my house and has been on display at Tunbridge Wells Library. I have more now, and one that I would like to share with you:

What can I do to prove my love? Lasso the moon?
How can I say that my LOVE is anything other than pure for you?
When all we can do is shatter the mirror that holds our world together
and discover the truth of all that we hold dear to us; LOVE is madness,
yet LOVE is beautiful in its every form.
Picture the view on top of the tallest building in the whole world
and tell me that your love cannot go higher, yet, how can love have
any construct in the physical world as it is a magical conundrum?
A failing of the ailing human race; is it not a form of screaming at the top
of one's voice while all the time remaining silent? Our world is one, as
two trees joined together, our limbs entwined as branches. Love cannot
be seen, it cannot be proved and is nothing more than a glimmer of a
once in a lifetime opportunity to be with one person. Love is a chance
for freedom; it is a throw of the dice; and you can lasso the moon.