Friday, November 27, 2009

And the title of the next Barclay Heath mystery is...

So that's it. The Vanished Race. For a very long time the working title was 'The Everlasting Universe of Things' but when this title came along it just fit so perfectly, not only for this particular story but for the series as a whole. Work is almost complete on the manuscript and I'm hoping to be able to give a little more info about the story in the near future. As always, any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Writing and Music

I used to write with headphones on and loud music playing. That was in my youth (what seems like a very long time ago) and was in part due to my living circumstances. I grew up in a happy, busy household and it was a necessary thing to cut off the hustle and fuss around me in order to find that special focus. Now, though, things are very different. The most productive writing sessions I have these days are just me in a quiet room (thankfully I have a place at a friend's house to go to sometimes) with no music or any other distractions. This is especially helpful during editing when acute concentration is required. During composition, however, I do still like to have some kind of background music. The best music is unobtrusive and, at best, inspirational in a filmic sense. I like to have a movie soundtrack playing - some of favourites are the soundtracks to movies like Batman Begins, Rocketeer, or Star Trek 2 or 3 (yes, there's a James Horner theme going on here). As J.K. Rowling said in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, "Ah music. A magic beyond all we do here."

What music do you listen to?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


The recent lack of blog posts on the Steam-Powered Typewriter are not due to chronic lazyboy-itis (honest!) but the same old demands of day-to-day life: I began my final Open University course, Children's Literature, last month and the sheer mountain of reading involved (thirteen novels from Swallows and Amazons to Treasure Island to Harry Potter) is taking up the majority of my spare time - as well as the various assignments, of course.

Right now I'm in the final editing stages of the second Barclay Heath mystery (the follow-up to The Hotel Galileo) but finding the amount of time needed to make any kind of progress with it is proving increasingly difficult. I am however very excited about the second book. I've had some amazingly positive feedback from Galileo and also some healthy, constructive criticism, too, especially in the area of maintaining a returning character within a series of books. I'm happy to say that all of these comments and suggestions have been addressed in the follow-up and I feel the story is even stronger and it's been great to flesh out the character of my detective, Barclay Heath, a little more and the ending is . . . well, very emotional. At least it was when I wrote it. Really hoping to get the manuscript finished by Christmas.

I will announce the title of the second Barclay Heath mystery here on this blog in the very near future. I really like it and I hope you'll like it, too. Watch this space...