Category Archives: Writing fiction

Five stars for Kerry Donovan’s ‘The Transition of Johnny Swift’

512plzra3dlI’m a fan of Kerry Donovan’s DCI Jones English police procedurals, and I particularly enjoyed his US debut On Lucky Shores.

The Transition of Johnny Swift is completely different. This time, the author throws us into a jangling world of motor racing, dire injury, psychological stress, simmering romance, and family loyalty. The spiralling plot has the reader on edge until a clever resolution in the last few pages. I was unclear about what genre I was in until the ending, but this added to the pleasure! The technical stuff – medicine, neuroscience and some weird physics – was convincing enought to keep me engaged. The style – an urgent, present tense meld of introspection, narrative and economic dialogue – pushes the pace.

Well done, Mr Donovan. More like this please!

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Read about Stuart Campbell’s books here.

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Stuart Campbell’s Books – Newsletter September 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 1.54.11 PMMy September 2016 Newsletter is now out. It’s brief and informative, and I’ll only be sending it out when I have news of a new release or a special promotion. You can get a copy here. If you want to subscribe, click here. I’m not keen on spam, so I’m using MailChip to manage my email list. That means that:

  • You  verify your choice to subscribe.
  • You can easily unsubscribe.
  • Your email address won’t be sold or passed on to anyone else.
  • My email distribution conforms with anti-spam legislation.

Publisher contract for Cairo Mon Amour

CMA redesign coverI’m pleased to announce that my novel ‘Cairo Mon Amour’ has been accepted for publication in 2017 by an international publisher, thanks to the great work of my agent Michael Cybulski and the team at New Authors Collective. Many thanks to those who have supported my efforts in bringing ‘Cairo Mon Amour’ to this point. I’ll be keeping my readers up to date with details of the release date as they come to hand.

My books discounted or free on Amazon this weekend 16-17 July

weekend discount 2Two of my books are on special this weekend on Amazon. Remember that you don’t need a Kindle to read them – just click on Read with our free App when you download the book.

Click here for The Making of Martin F. Mooney … and here for An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity.

Happy reading!

 

My challenge: Explain my novel ‘An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity’ in 80 seconds

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 9.25.07 PMMy challenge this week was to make an 80-second video promotion for my novel An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity. I’ve used a DSLR camera previously for this kind of thing, but I just got an iPhone 6s, and it did the job just as well. I used iMovie to compile and edit the film, and Graphic to make the opening title. The only problem was getting the video file from the iPhone to my laptop because it was too big to email. In the end, I managed to do it with iCloud.

I wrote a script, but on the first few takes I kept peeping it at and my eyes were darting all over the place. I solved the problem by taking off my glasses so that I couldn’t see the script, and had to memorise it instead.

You can find my video here.

Let me know what you think!

 

 

Garry McDougall’s poem ‘Indebted’: Almost unbearable intimacy

Garry (right) and Stuart at the NSW Writers Centre, Sydney
Garry (right) and Stuart at the NSW Writers Centre, Sydney

My poet friend Garry McDougall has allowed me to share his poem ‘Indebted’ on my blog. Garry is a novelist and painter as well as a poet, and we meet most Tuesdays at the ‘Write On’ writers group in Sydney. ‘Indebted’ is my favourite among his works. It relies on familiar McDougallesque poetic techniques: Semantic slippage as word meanings blend oddly with their neighbours,  homonyms that bump into each other in surprise,  grammar mystically subverted , and the resonation of patterned sounds.

What sets apart ‘Indebted to’ is the almost painful intimacy of the fleeting scene it describes.  If you wake up each morning with somebody special, you’ll get it.

 

Indebted To

The hours nest

between herself and mine,

until first trains grumble in the dark,

a car’s whisk,
 my mind

in the picture-of-often-not,

knot hours, and ‘Not now, not now,’

that telling blanket cover cosy-

warm bed, binding time,

faint breath

in the hour of in-between.

 

Body weight to a faceless clock

in this so silk sack of nether warmth

and ponder pillows,

covert and dissenting blanket,

underhand train,

bare feet at the fay end of time,

brain and body exhaling

my half-hymn for her,

in temple red and slumber

our fingers touch,

accepting hearse time defining,

the hour of in-between.

 

Long lost in a feather sac

and limber light,
 locked alive in flesh,

grumble tum, harmonic match,

patter knack of morning dew,

reigning home besides you,

moist, hot breath to sticky rest,

towards a whisper,
 lover of tides

blessed
 to be here, steep steps of breath

in the hour of in-between.

 

Fathoming yesterday’s remains,

while she recalls day’s first chore
,

rolls over, dawn driven, first feet on floor,

and I stay, viscous,
 encumbered,

chalk words to sing her sun still,

my self stumbling

in the hour of in-between.

© 2016 Garry McDougall

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You can read about Stuart Campbell’s books here.