Photo Diary

Archive for May, 2011

Another day, another new book and PHOTOS!

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Well, when I said I would like photos, I was hoping to get a couple of photos back. As it was, there were loads! Sadly, too many to stick into a blog like this – not at the rate my computer uploads, anyway. So often the ruddy thing gets stuck at a slow speed!


Thanks to all of you who sent in pictures. There were some really good ones, especially those of my books in close proximity to writers I admire in bookshelves – I like yours, Susan Marsh, with mine next-door to Sharon Kay Penman, a writer I hugely admire.


But for the main theme, I guess I have to fall back on my own staples. Books and beer. What more joy can the world possess? Well, gin, I suppose, and whisky, but for now, I’ll go with Loren Bell’s photo.

Loren's Photo. Relaxation of the best sort!

Thanks to all for sending me your pictures. If you keep on doing so, I’ll work out another little prize – but the next one will be a little more unique, because it’ll be a copy of Litmus, in which I’ve a short story inspired by Professor Jim al-Khalili, about Einstein. It’s different, and the anthology should be very good from the look of the other authors involved in the project.


A special thanks also to Mary Burke, who sent me a picture of the heart-warming sort: a row of my books on a Borders’ shelf in Seattle. You see, that is the sort of thing an author needs: proof that somewhere his books are there ready to be sold!

Mary Burke's photo - Seattle

And now I have to crack on with work.


Tonight I am dancing in support of Cogs and Wheels Morris, who are dancing for charity, raising money for cancer awareness. Their lovely Sallie Reason died very suddenly early this year at a ridiculously young age. She was a talented artist and illustrated lots of books. I had been hoping to work with her, but the cancer took her away too quickly. So I’ll be dancing, with Tinners’ Morris, at Sticklepath at half five, and then Okehampton at seven or so, just in case there’s a UK, Devon-based fan reading this today.


If you read this Saturday, of course, you’ll be too late! But then there are always new, upcoming events. If you are in the UK, or just want to see what’s happening, take a look at the Tinners’ Morris site at: and you will see the full diary. In future there will be links with music and video too, hopefully.


So, the new book, KING’S GOLD is out, bringing my series to a round thirty titles. Quite a shock, really, to think I’ve written all those words!


In the UK you can buy signed copies from Goldsborough Books in London, and if you’re US-based, you should be able to get them from Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, if you really want an individual copy with some free bookmarks thrown in, you need to contact me. UK books are £20, US £30. Shocking price for the US, I know, but it’s dictated by the cost of packing and postage. Sorry about that.


There is a repeat of the lovely offer from Conway Stewart in that, so if you buy the book or go to you can enter a competition to win one of my special Dartmoor pens. Alternatively, if you go to Simon & Schuster UK’s site, you can find a little blog post about the latest book, and soon on you will find a link to a video interview with me. In a week or so, that will be moved to the Simon & Schuster site as well.


And so back to work. Currently I’m researching the Templars, the German Order and the Leper Knights at the time of the siege of Acre. All good fun. Meanwhile, there is the work on shorts stories and modern books going on apace. Hopefully more news of them before too long.


All best to you, and do keep on commenting via the website and Facebook.


So, another charity event.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

No. Not a party.

It was four years ago I last did something for charity.

There was a time when I’d regularly help out with raising money or other things. I did five years as secretary to a local club, then five more as secretary to a local fireworks event, and in the meantime I tried to help good organisations. Now, though, time is so restricted, that it’s hard to find time to do anything.

So, this year I decided I’d do the London to Brighton cycle ride again.

We made it!

I can get really grumpy with some charitable events. There are so many of those “I am walking around Machu Picchu, please help” which to me seems more like paying for someone else’s holiday.

After all, if I’m sponsoring someone to do a swim, cycle, or walk, I want to know that almost all my money is going straight to the charities concerned, and not paying for the airfare and hotels for the participant.

And yes, when it comes to London to Brighton, all the admin costs and the petrol to get there etc is paid for by the participants. It’s going to be pretty expensive. Still, it’s good to see that there are so many who’re keen to be involved.

The books opened for registrations on one Saturday in March. Within twelve hours all 27,000 places were filled. Yes, 27,000. That is a lot of people wanting to . . . well, mainly to have a good day out, achieve something for themselves in terms of long-distance cycling, and get involved with like-minded cyclists.

There are some, inevitably, who are a pain to have, of course. There are the drunks, the dim, the incompetent, the vague and the astonishingly dangerous. I saw two ambulances stretchering off injured folks last time. Quite a lot more injuries in fact than I saw in thirty years of pistol shooting. Well, hardly surprising. Shooters were much more carefully regulated. Anyone can go to a shop and buy a bike without proof of age or competence.

Last time I fell off, it hurt!

Some people shouldn’t be allowed to. I saw some morons riding down a steep slope into Brighton at full speed. I went pretty quickly too, but not so fast I couldn’t see what the road was doing. Blind bends and speed to me equal potential pain. I don’t like the sight of blood. Not when it’s mine.

So I hope that this year I will be fortunate and avoid seeing any more idiots on the roads. Well, any other than those I’ll be riding with!


And now, to the ebay advert of the week. My favourite has to be this:


Just read the advert carefully where the arrows point. And then go back and look at the part that tells how much has already been bid for this astonishing advert.

There truly are more twits born every minute than you could shake a stick at!

Take care, folks.


Oh, and if you want to contribute, go and donate your ill-gotten gains at