Book Extract. Almost Dead In Suburbia.

For Lyz. Who has lotsanlots…anlots of patience.   🙂

I’ve hardly posted anything from this book. Odd I suppose, but then there is a teaser posted on the publisher’s website.

I don’t know about other writers, but for me once a book is done and dusted  – read published – there isn’t anything one can do with it. It is pretty much a done deal unless the publisher suggests a rewrite or something for a new imprint. 

Anyway, the point is the ‘book is closed’ and we move on to the next story.

But I was sorting out some books on one of my shelves in the office and my hand fell upon a copy Almost Dead so, not having read it in a while I thought I’d  grab a coffee and a comfy chair and see if it still made sense and maybe even forced a smile from the writer, yours truly.

It did. This scene was always one of my favorites. I love the character, Albert. He was such fun to write. The perfect foil to  Straight-as-an-Arrow Detective Sergeant Bill Williams.

I hope it makes you smile as well.


Bill parked the Jeep in its allotted space behind the police station and walked back up the short tarred driveway to the station entrance.

An elderly gentleman, dressed in an old RAF greatcoat, was sitting on the front steps holding a placard and looking sorry for himself.

‘Morning, Albert, what’s all this then?’ Bill asked.

Albert Gilling was Wiggleswood’s only homeless person.  The old man was not really homeless; he just claimed he was.  A victim of circumstance was the term he used.  In fact, Albert was the wealthiest person in Wiggleswood.  But somewhere along the line it seemed as if a few carriages had become derailed, and this was when he had begun a life of sort-of living on the streets.

Albert’s family owned large tracts of farmland, and had numerous other business interests at home and abroad.  They also bred racehorses, ran a world-renowned stud-farm and were the ones responsible for resurrecting the Corlington-to-London train line, including rebuilding the station and the steam locomotive that ran on its narrow gauge track, all of which was now part of the National Trust.

Albert’s problems began several years ago after his family claimed he had had a nervous breakdown.

Albert insisted there was nothing wrong with his mind.  He said that the ability to see ghosts was perfectly normal.  It was every one else that was crazy.

Albert went for treatment in London but managed to avoid being committed by behaving ‘normally’ for six months.  Bill suspected he had behaved himself just enough to avoid staying out of a mental institution.  He felt sure there was more to Albert Gilling than met the eye.  So did Albert.

Eventually, he evicted himself from the large family home, claiming the ghost of Lord Alfred Tennyson was harassing him for some inexplicable reason.

His family relooked at the possibility of having him committed.  Seeing as Albert’s family were fairly well known, the villagers feared such an act would immediately attract the attention of the media.  The last thing they wanted was headlines in the newspapers about the ‘Loony Landowner from Wiggleswood’.

So a small flat was organised for him at the back of the police station, and after a month Albert claimed he had stopped seeing ghosts.

As a gesture of gratitude for ‘Putting me up,’ Albert did voluntary police work.

‘I’ll keep an eye open f ‘villains.  Don’t want paying.’

Bill Williams acknowledged the elderly gentleman with a salute and a cup of tea most mornings upon his arrival at the station.

When Albert wasn’t doing his police work, his part-time job was road-sweeping.

‘Cleanliness is next to wotsisname,’ Albert announced the day he decided to take on this supplementary role.

Bill had bumped into him on his first morning as he was leaving the newsagent.

Albert had just turned into the high street, pushing a yellow handcart laden with an assortment of brooms and shovels and a long-handled leaf rake.

One of the first things Bill had noticed were the letters C.T.C painted on the side of the cart.  Oh, dear, he thought. Now what?

‘Hello, Albert. CTC? That’s Corlington Town Council if I’m not mistaken?’

‘It ain’t nicked, if that’s what you’re thinking,’ Albert grumpily volunteered.


‘Yeah. Nicked: as in filched, stolen or purloined. I’ve got friends, you know?’

‘I’m sure you have, Albert. It’s nice to have friends.’ It was clearly best not to wind Albert up. ‘You mind how you go, all right?’

His family were over the embarrassment of having a semi-homeless person in their ranks and, fortunately, the problem had not attracted any attention from the newspapers.

Now, in response to Bill’s greeting, Albert retorted, ‘That’s Mister Gilling to you, Detective Sergeant, and don’t you forget it.’

Bill raised an eyebrow.  He was used to Albert being cantankerous every now and then, but not downright rude.

‘I’ll be back in a minute.  Don’t go away,’ Bill told him.

‘I ain’t going nowhere, Bill Williams.  You can count on that.  I told ‘em, I did,’ he shouted at Bill’s retreating back.

‘Morning, Sharon; kettle on?  Albert’s outside.  He’s having a turn again, by the looks of it.’

‘Morning, sarge,’ PC Griffith replied.  ‘He’s been outside for the past half an hour marching up and down waving that stupid placard.  I was seriously thinking of arresting him for his own good.  Been making a heck of a row he has.  His family will be down soon if he doesn’t behave himself.  It’s just boiled, sarge.’

‘Good, I’ll see if I can sort him out then.  Finch in?’

Bill stepped behind the front desk.  The kettle sat on a small wooden table along with a variety of mugs, a teapot and associated paraphernalia considered essential to the smooth running of police-forces everywhere.  Bill made a pot of tea.

‘Reckons he’s quitting, so he says,’ Griffith informed him.  ‘He’s in your office.’

He was a bit taken aback by this piece of news, considering that Finch believed himself a ‘born copper’.

‘What brought this on then?  Did he finally accept that Clint Eastwood wasn’t a real copper after all?’ Bill asked, jokingly.

‘Not Ben, sarge; Albert.  Says road-sweeping‘s too dangerous.  Didn’t you read his sign?’ PC Griffith asked.

Bill sighed.  Here we go again, he thought as he walked past the desk with two mugs of tea.  Time to solve the mystery of the disgruntled not-really-homeless-street-sweeper. ‘Don’t complain, Bill Williams,’ he mumbled to himself.  ‘You gave up chasing pushers, pimps and other assorted nasties for this, remember?’

‘Sorry, sarge?’ Griffith asked.

‘Oh, it’s nothing, Constable,’ said Bill with a small smile.

Bill made a point of reading Albert’s sign. It was lying face up on the steps.  ‘Grime don’t Pay, Whoa is the day,’ the slogan announced.  Bill read it again and noticed the spelling mistake.  Then he considered the family’s association with racehorses, and wondered.  He also noticed that Albert was wearing a black armband. Fred’s death had touched everyone in the village. Bill sighed as he sat down next to the elderly gentleman.

‘Right, Albert.  Let’s have it then, shall we?’ said Bill as he handed him his mug of tea.

‘I quit.  That’s what.  And don’t think you can get me t’ change my mind either.  They didn’t believe me up at the house, and I told ‘em.  Well it’s happening again.  Before y’know it they’ll be all over the bloody place.’

‘What will, Albert?’ Bill asked patiently.

‘Ghosts, what else d’yer think I’m talking about?’

Oh, dear.  Albert was going off the rails again, Bill decided.

‘You sure you don’t want to come inside?  It’s warmer.  We can chat there,’ Bill asked.

‘Inside?  Then I wouldn’t be homeless would I?  No thanks.  The police station is probably full of ‘em too.  I’ll take my chances out here if it’s all the same to you.  But I ain’t sweeping no more, so let’s get that straight.’

‘You’re not sweeping any more.  Okay, I understand.  But Albert, you’re not really homeless,’ Bill reminded him.

‘Ha!  You’re talking about the converted coal shed at the back of this place, right??’

The converted coal shed, as Albert put it, had been paid for and furnished by his family.  It was as comfortable as anyone could wish.

‘So what’s all this about ghosts?’

‘Seen ’em.  Two of ‘em.  Up in Cherry Blossom Close, I did.  They didn’t see me though, thank gawd.’

‘You saw two ghosts in Cherry Blossom Close?’ Bill asked cautiously.

‘Yes.  I’d just done sweeping Crab Apple Lane and was walking to the Close and there they was! Bold as y’like, strolling up the road.  What’s the matter with you, Bill Williams?  You going deaf or turning senile or what?’ Albert asked.  He was getting annoyed.

‘All right, Albert.  Steady on.  My hearing’s fine,’ said Bill, trying to keep things calm.  ‘So who were these ghosts then?  Did you know them?’

‘Right.  Like I’m personal friends with spooks.  I don’t think so, do you?’ Albert took a long, very noisy slurp of his tea.

Bill winced.

‘Then did you recognise them?’ Bill asked, wary of another tirade of sarcasm.

But instead of the abuse Bill expected, Albert took a quick swallow of tea, put down his mug then shuffled his bottom along the step until he was close enough to whisper in Bill’s ear.

Bill backed off a little but Albert grabbed the policeman’s lapel and pulled gently.

‘One of ‘em was dressed in a raincoat like in those old spy films.  Like Humpy Bogey or whatever his name was.  You know the one, right?’

Bill nodded.

‘Only it wasn’t him.  It was that French fella.  Coostow.  The Pink thingy,’ said Albert, almost in a whisper.

It took Bill a couple of seconds; then the metaphorical light went on.

‘You mean Jacques Clouseau.  The Pink Panther?’

‘Yeah, that’s the fella.  Lived on a boat and did diving and all that stuff when he wasn’t being a policeman.  Did you know he helped invent the aqualung?  During the war it was.  Well it was him.  And he weren’t alone neither I’ll have you know.’

‘Oh?’ Bill ventured.

‘No he weren’t.  And don’t give me that “poor-old-Albert’s-lost-his-marbles” look, Bill Williams.  I know what I saw.  Anyway, the other one was a cat.  And a talking one at that.’

‘How do you know it was a talking cat, Albert?’ Bill regretted the stupid question the instant it was out of his mouth.

Albert glared at the policeman.  ‘Just how the hell do you think I know it was a talking cat, for gawd’s sake?’

Bill didn’t flinch under the look but did have the sense to apologise.

‘Thank you, Sergeant.  Well, the point is this.  The fella in the mac looked like Coostow, but he sounded like that young fella who moved into number one a short while back.  That computer fella.’

‘Ralph Fenwick?’ Despite himself, Bill was slowly becoming enthralled.

‘Riiiight.’ Albert drew the word out.  ‘Him.  And they, him and the cat that is, went up Cherry Blossom Close chatting to each other happy as you like.  And you know where they went?’

Bill shook his head.

‘No, course you don’t.  But I do.  ‘Cos I followed ‘em, see?’ Albert paused for effect and took yet another noisy slurp of tea.  He looked at Bill over the rim of the mug and smiled.

‘Ah, so now you’re interested.  Bit diff’rent for some reason I see.  Maybe you’re thinking that I ain’t quite so doolally after all, eh?’

‘Maybe not, Albert,’ Bill conceded, reluctantly.  The hairs on the back of his neck and forearms had suddenly come to attention.  ‘So are you going to tell me where your ghosts went, then?’

‘They ain’t my ghosts, Sergeant Williams.  But for the record they went up to old Fred’s place, God rest his soul.  Give me this coat, he did.  D’yer know that?’ Albert indicated the large RAF greatcoat he was wearing.

‘Yes, Albert, I know that.’ Everyone knew that.  ‘So, what did they want there?’ Bill asked.

‘Monkey business, that’s what they was up to.  Monkey business and a spot of thieving,’ Albert told him.  He was relishing his role as storyteller.  For the first time he had a rapt audience.  Albeit, of only one.

As soon as Albert mentioned the word ‘thieving’ Bill was on full alert.  Up to that point he had gone from patience to curiosity to fascination.  His mind was beginning to put two and two together and, although they still added up to five, things were slowly beginning to make a strange sort of sense.  It was Wiglob.

Bill tried not to show too much emotion as he encouraged Albert to continue, even though his mind was beginning to race.

‘Fred’s kids were there, but they was next door.  I heard a lot of crying.  Anyway, that Ralph fella and his cat went inside and I crept round the back to see what they was up to.  They went into Fred’s bedroom, cheeky buggers, and robbed him.  Can you believe it?  Robbing the dead.  It ain’t right I tell you.  Just ain’t right, even if you are a ghost,’ said Albert passionately.

‘What did they take, Albert?’ Bill asked carefully.

‘Couldn’t tell for sure, Sergeant.  It was in a plastic bag.  They lifted it out of the floor.  Looked like Fred had some sort of safe by his bed.  Whatever it was, they nicked it.  Hidden in a tin box it was.  They nicked what they was after then put the tin back in the hole in the floor.’

‘Anything else?’ Bill insisted.  He was fully on board at this point, ghosts or no ghosts.

‘Actually there is.’ Albert sounded as though he wanted to get as much mileage out of the story as possible.

‘Well?’ Bill asked.

‘The kid was there.  Fred’s grandson.’

‘Michael, you mean,’ Bill prompted.

‘Yes, little Michael.  Smart kid that.  Played chess with him once.  Beat me, too.’

‘Really?’ Bill expressed surprise.  Not at the fact that Michael had beaten Albert at chess; Michael had beaten most people he had played against, Bill included, but surprise at the fact that Albert and Michael had played; wondering where and when that was.  He had become momentarily distracted.  ‘What happened?’

‘Nicked my rook and it was all over.  Didn’t even see it coming,’ said Albert.

‘Not the game of chess, Albert, the burglary, for goodness’ sake.’

‘Oooh, keep y’hair on there, Sergeant.  The thieving, right.  Well, Michael must have been in the house somewhere; I didn’t see.  But he went into Fred’s bedroom to use the loo, and when he came out . . .’ Albert paused, ‘he looked at the cat and spoke to it.  Would you believe it?  I knew that kid was bright but I never reckoned he was clever enough to see ghosts.  How about that then, Sergeant Williams?  Now there are two of us.  Wonder if he’ll become homeless like me?  What do you think, eh?’

‘What did he say?’ Bill asked, refusing to be drawn along that path.

‘Nothing that I could tell.’

‘Not the cat, Albert. Michael, said Bill, annoyed.

‘Oh.  Well why didn’t you say?  He said “hello”, I think.’

‘So how do you know he was talking to the cat?’ Bill asked.

‘Because the moggy had its head poking out from under the bed and the lad looked down at it.  I was watching through the window.  Don’t you listen?  Or do you think I’m making all this up?  Maybe you think it was me that burgled Fred’s house.  Wanna come and ransack me coal shed for evidence?’

‘No, Albert I do not.  And for the record, I do believe you.  God knows why, but I do.’ Bill couldn’t believe he had actually said that.

Albert was grinning.  ‘Well you’re the copper.  I’ll leave you to it then.’ He stood up and handed the empty mug back to Bill.

‘You’ve gone a bit pale there Sergeant! Which is quite a thing, considering,’ Albert chuckled.  ‘Look like you might have seen a ghost.’

Bill just sat there for a few moments, not sure of what he should do next.

Albert looked up at the sky.  It had become overcast during the past ten minutes or so and a few spots of rain had begun to fall.

‘Oh well, I’m off to the Coach and Horses for an early lunch.’

He stood, stretched, handed Bill the placard and shuffled off to the pub.

‘I might reconsider the road-sweeping.  I’ll let y’know tomorrow,’ he called over his shoulder.


Copyright ©2011 Douglas Pearce

And because they said it…..

Enjoyed it very much:
This was a really witty and enjoyable read. Thanks, I enjoyed it very much! :0)

(Frances Kirkwood, Reader)

“A book well worth the time:”

I have recently finished reading “Almost Dead in Suburbia” by Douglas Pearce.

I really enjoyed it and can happily compare it to a book like “Good Omens” from Terry Pratchett. If you enjoy the light humour and a good, well written story that keeps you guessing, this in my opinion is a book well worth the time and money.

(Jason Bell, Reader)

“Original, funny, entertaining, and a very good read:”

Having read some of Pearce’s writings on his blog I was certainly expecting an entertaining story with a good deal of humour, and so it was. However, since, according to the blurb, the story revolves around the ubiquitous theme of one person’s spirit inhabiting another’s body, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of an original plot. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The book is original, funny, entertaining, and a very good read. The plot takes you through several unexpected turns and “red herrings” and leaves you guessing ’til the end – and even after the end. The style reminds me of Terry Pratchett and Tom Sharpe with a dash of Douglas Adams.

As the saying goes, everyone has one good novel in them, but I suspect we can look forward to a few more from Pearce.

(“Ennui”, Reader)

“A brilliant, comic read. Storytelling at its best.”

(John Zande, Reader)

– See more at:

“When are you going  to get a proper job?”

(His Mum)


Book Extract


This is from the third book, The Nine Amendments, in the Mining of Lif Trilogy.

(which we are going to be publishing sooner rather than later…I sincerely hope)

I was reminded of this particular scene while reading blogpal Argus’ latest offering about certain things eye-talion…here…

Incidentally, the title, and in fact the core of the book; the ‘flash’ that occurs inside a writer’s mind sending him or her scurrying to a word processor, or in days of Yore, pencil and paper, owes its very existence to a conversation between myself and a dear friend, who is always referred to in any sort of literary forum as Mrs. Aaargh – who has just become a mum,by the way, and will soon be introducing to the world at large, Miss Catherine.

Anyhow the conversation…

At one time, Mrs. Aaargh was attending a bible class, and me being fascinated by all such things, asked her how it was going one evening over dinner. 

She expressed enthusiasm. Mindful of the warning looks from the Missus on the other side of the table I asked what she was currently studying?

 “The Nine Amendments,” was her slightly flustered but nevertheless enthusiastic reply.

This, as you can imagine, was greeted with Stone Cold Silence from all.  But as is dear, sweet Mrs. Aaargh’s unpretentious nature she recovered gallantly, laughed and said, “The…Ten (pause) Commandments.”

Only then were we able to laugh about it, and to this day it remains one of her ‘classics’.

So, for that, bless her,  she got the dedication as acknowledgement that without her bible studies this book would unlikely have been written, 

Here’s the extract…

‘The palace, like every Royal Residence before it here at Memfis, is built on an area known as the Land of Grace. It originally started life as a simple two-up, two-down affair with brick-outhouse. But over the millennia, it has become what it is now.’

An almighty pain-in-the-bum, thought the man hurrying along the wide, rose-quartz and marble passageway.

The tour-guide came out of her practised routine just long enough to feign a gasp. The heavy door at the end of the thoroughfare closed with a loud thunk as the man disappeared inside the chambers beyond.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. We are truly blessed this afternoon.’

The small group looked at her with expressions varying from mild curiosity to indifference.

‘That was the King. He’s in the building!’

Their response to this announcement was equally as animated.

‘Mummy, I need a pee. Mummeee!’

‘Where are the ducks? You said there were ducks. You promised.’

‘Scluze me? You makey plicture of wife an’ me? Yes? We stand here, an’ when you leady we say, Camembert, alrighty? You sketch vely klickly.’

‘I thought this was supposed to be one of the Wonders of the World? Doesn’t seem that wonderful to me,’ complained a man wearing a knotted handkerchief on his head.

‘We were offered a trip to the Hanging Gardens of Turkeystan,’ his wife reminded.

‘Pah! What would I want to go and pay good money to see them for? Port o’ Bill has its own hanging gardens behind the cathedral. I can visit them any time I like. And they give you peanuts.’

‘I don’t think it’s quite the same thing, dear,’ said his wife.

‘Well I thought the Learning Tower was more wonderful than this place, even though I didn’t learn much. Other than how not to build a tower.’

‘I’m sure it is called the Leaning Tower’ his wife said, fanning herself vigorously with a tour program.

‘Learning, Leaning. Who cares? I only went to see it because I thought that stupid woman at the tour agency said pizza. But they didn’t give us nowt to eat. Not that I could have stomached anything by the time I got to the top. Thought I was gonna throw up. I’ll bet this lot don’t even have cold beer, either.’

‘I thought you preferred warm beer, Reg?’

‘Y’can’t get warm beer here, Doris.  This is forun. How many times must I tell you? Don’t you remember anything? I think this heat is making you doolally.’


   King Toot at the Moon, the fairest one who is sun, stars and moon, the most powerful god of all gods who shall rule for eternity, or until *bitten in the ass,  for ever and ever Amen Corner, sighed.

What a mouthful, he thought. What possessed his old man? Why didn’t he give me his name, like every royal male stretching back to gods know when?

Ramsy.  One name. Straightforward. Thank you very much.  Nothing you could make of a name like that. If you tried to shorten it, what did you get? Ram. Nothing wrong with that, either. Good strong name. Okay, so one of them went down in history as the ‘Old Goat,’ but so what? He was, wasn’t he?  Anyway, they practiced animal-husbandry differently in those days.

Then he recalled that his name had been shortened. Unofficially.

Snatches of whispered conversation, overheard while shuffling aimlessly around the palace, had revealed he was now Toots the Fair O, or just plain Toots. But he had an inkling this was in reference to his penchant for sundowners which he had begun to overly-indulge in of late. But who could blame him? The economy was going to the dogs, crippled by the war. Rampant unemployment was spreading like a plague. Ten plagues, even, with some new industrial-action brought to his ‘Royal Attention’ almost every day. What was it this morning, he mused, taking a long sip of his drink. Regarding the half-empty glass, he tried to recall the name of the cocktail, his mind drifting down a different path.  Oh, yes. Slow Comfortable Screw that was it. Considering how fast I’m getting through these things these days, perhaps it should be renamed, Wham Bam, Thank You Ma’am, he thought. Smiling ruefully, he downed the contents in one swallow.

‘Either one I haven’t had since I can’t remember when,’ he announced to no one in particular.

‘Beg pardon, Your Majesty?’ a patient voice enquired.

‘Ah, nothing, Horus. Just an old fool rambling.’

‘Another drink, sir?’ the butler suggested.

‘The N.S.C.’

‘Excuse me, sir?’

‘The Night Soil Collective. That was the latest bunch that paraded in front of the palace this morning, waving all those placards.’

‘Ah, yes, sir. Striking for more pay. Difficult situation, sir. Not the most pleasant of occupations, Your Majesty.’

‘Pleasant, Horus? It’s a shit job.’

‘Quite, sir.’ Horus didn’t even smile.

‘They deserve more pay. I wouldn’t work for the wages they receive for hauling off all that…’

‘Crap, sir?’ Horus offered.

‘Indeed,’ the king agreed, slumping back in his chair.

‘I am sure that it will all sort itself out, sir. It usually does.’

The king sighed. ‘I hope you’re right, Horus. I really do. I’m going to turn in. Perhaps an early night will do me good?’

‘A good idea, sir,’ Horus agreed. ‘Tomorrow is likely to be a busy day.’

Toot at the Moon shuffled off to his bedroom. Horus trailed in his wake, picking up various items of clothing.

When he reached the bed Horus held out the king’s nightshirt.

‘Thanks,’ he said pulling it roughly over his head as he climbed under the sheets.

Horus arranged the mosquito net then waited.  ‘Will there be anything else, tonight, Your Majesty?

The king appeared not to be listening. His eyes took on a glazed appearance. He remembered it all started with . . .

Some translations say, bitten by the asp.

Copyright ©Douglas Pearce

Letting off steam, and full steam ahead.

“You can’t expect to become a good lover if you only have sex vis yourself, dear.”

Mildred Gottlaid

And some might say a similar analogy could be drawn with writing and self-publishing.

If you don’t have a ‘proper’ publisher your writing isn’t worthy of being in print.

It was certainly something I used to think was probably true: of both examples. But while I would wholeheartedly agree with Frau Gottlaid I’m not so sure these days about self-publishing.

Does the flood of amateurs using  digital cameras diminish photography?

Personally I don’t think so. I believe it has unleashed a creative  flood. A quick romp around blogville will reveal an abundance of breathtaking photographs which means somebody is behind them. And most, from what I can gather, are amateurs. Not all are Lichfield or Bailly but there are some damn good photographers out there, make no mistake.

“Writing a novel without being asked seems a bit like having a baby when you have nowhere to live.”

Lucy Ellman.

Maybe not any more, Lucy.

Digital publishing has allowed the means for writers to publish and offer their work for sale in a market that has traditionally been,  well, a closed book.

Sure, not everything that goes digital is going to be a Hemingway, or Dickens. But there might just be one such talented writer out there who, having been kicked in the metaphorical teeth just one time too many by agents and publishers and is about to throw in the towel, is handed a lifeline in the form of digital self-publishing.

The only issue that remains constant, whether one publishes traditional or digital is marketing.

And what is good marketing?

This is the grey area. All fifty shades of it. And no matter how good the story is, (or bad) if it isn’t punted noone is going to read it.

”Publishers have been having hard time of late. They are desperate to find authors who can break through the barrier of inertia  that surrounds the book trade but they are more worried than ever about risking their money on unknowns. ”

Barry Turner

This sounds so familiar. But this quote makes me smile broadly  and I try to take the whole thing with a pinch of salt.

Why? Because Turner wrote this in 1987.

So, while I recently let out a huge sigh of relief after overhauling several of my books that I intend to self-publish I got a heads-up from a publisher that another of my books is now under serious consideration for publication. Guess who’s smiling?

Funny old world, isn’t it?

Publish or be damned?


Publish or be damned?

It’s okay, I know the original and thank you *Arthur Wellesley for the inspiration, but in this instance the above phrase is the right one.

As a writer I read a lot of books. I love my books. Well, other writer’s books, I mean. Mine are pretty good too, and I am still somewhat surprised that I have been able to write the number that I have; and I am still, writing and surprised.

My study has shelves and bookcases full of books.

I do not own a kindle.

And that should tell you more than enough about me as a reader.

Sadly, and perhaps a little stupidly, it also says more about me as a writer than I have been willing to admit. Until this morning. Hence the post.

Just because I struggle to read a book in electronic format doesn’t mean one or two other people might not enjoy it thoroughly.

I have one book in print so why not get the rest out there; even if only in electronic format?

Maybe it’s time to dust off the other six completed novels on my hard-drive, stick my stubbornness where the sun doesn’t shine and have a serious look at Amazon?

One can be stupid all one’s life but one is never too old to learn, right?

*The Duke of Wellington



Poetry. I don’t write it because…

Poetry has never been a literary form I truly understand. But this does not mean I cannot respect and admire those who can write poetry.

Didn’t Homer take a whole weekend to write the Iliad? 😉

Well, this lady can write poetry, and she has also written a novel.

P’kaboo Author, Maria Marshall.

Blank bookcover with clipping path

What is reality, what is illusion? – A lost circus girl in late 20th Century Rome; a female gladiator in ancient Rome. What connects these two very different women across two millenia? In her riveting novel, “Lupa”, Marie Marshall takes you through two contrasting versions of Rome and shows masterfully how people tend to see only what they want to see. 

And this man’s music was poetry as well. And his middle name was Marshall!

Not surprising then, that the author is a fan.


James Marshall Hendrix


Say Hello to Arkenaten’s Coffee Maker.

me by pool


My name is Douglas. Pleased to meet you. Some may say, at last!

I wish to thank Arkenaten, who has been blogging for ages, on and off, for his continued support and encouragement and allowing me the opportunity to host my own  site.

Among other things I am a writer. But then, aren’t we all?

So let’s write something, shall we?