Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The London Olympic Stadium is 53 meters high. This blog had about 500 visitors in 2012. If every visitor were a meter, this blog would be 9 times taller than the Olympic Stadium – not too shabby.

Click here to see the complete report.



8,238.  That’s how  many books I’ve sold so far.  It still blows my mind.  Candy Wars is the most popular book I’ve written so far.  Many thanks to all my readers for your support!!!


Coming soon

Hi all

I’m in the process of redesigning some aspects of this site.  I’m planning on adding some exclusive extras for all of the books on their pages – character information, back stories, interesting facts.  I’m also thinking of adding some activities based on each of the books, as well as updates on my newest work in progress, Alien Hunters.  I might also start running some competitions as well.  Thoughts? Requests?



Twists in books

I am a strong believer of utilising twists in books – particularly middle grade.  Let’s be clear here what we are talking about – I see a twist as something unexpected, a sudden turn in the story – often in the end.  I feel it encourages, more than a happy ending does, a repeat reading – something crucial at this age.  Also it facilitates readers to look at what they are reading more critically to see if they can pick the twist given the clues in the book – again an important skill.

Upcoming books

Click the next tab above – I have put in a rough guide to my upcoming books (obviously subject to change) – comments welcome!


The Middle Grade

When I initially started to write, it was because, as a teacher, there seemed to be a lack of books that were exciting for this generation, whilst encouraging them to broaden their vocabulary.  Roald Dahl was one of the few authors who could do it.  Charlotte’s Web – great book, great vocabulary – but didn’t grip my class.  So this inspired me to write my own.  Since then I’ve written three books, and am writing my fourth.  Each one I write is about 35,000 words and I try to make them adult friendly as well.  I was later told that this is the middle grade ‘genre’ or range  – sort of the preteen to early teen readers (before they move to Young Adult).  It is a tough market as a lot of purchasing decisions are made by parents, and ebooks have yet to be snapped up in bulk by kids yet.  But the problem is – it is what I like to write.  I like action packed stories, with a twist.   My wife says that I should write romance or thrillers because that is what sells (and we could retire!).  Problem is – it’s not my thing.  I’m a middle grade author – and I’m proud of it.  Last term a mother came to me and told me that Bug Island was the first book that had excited her child and now, having read it, he loved it and is keen to read more books.  I don’t think I’d get the same reaction for adult books…

Fan page

I have recently created a new Facebook fan page – please click like  to get updates – HERE