Blog – latest thoughts and short stories

I like to keep followers up to date with thoughts, the challenges of a writer, short stories and other rare lightbulb moments via these blog posts and links. Resisting the urge to use an exclamation mark here…

Hopefully you’ll find a short story below that whets your appetite and gives a flavour of my novels. Some of the shorts are Sci Fi horror. Some are light-touch humorous. But they all explore the dark side of life…

I can’t tell you all about how to be a writer or a best-selling author. Or how to write compelling blogs that will get your ratings soaring. I’m not a teacher. I’m writing this for readers, publishers and other writers simply to say – this is what I love doing. And I’d like to know what you think, within reason!

So I’ve set up this blog page with the intention of writing something once a week (as opposed to once a year). Following the useful tips online which make clear that this is not as easy as I had thought…

And hopefully to get other contributions in due course.

The growing list of links includes the digital artists who have published their works on Pixabay. I am am endlessly grateful to you all. I am still figuring out how to put acknowledgements under images without causing havoc so bear with me (since writing have done this :). We are all on a ‘journey’ here, wanting to push the boundaries and discover what else we are capable of. So I hope that using these wonderful images helps achieve that. Right, back to that blog…

Short stories are also available via the dedicated page.

  • The Ancient Relative – or the pursuit of perfection
    I wrote the short story Ancient Relative quite some time ago now, thinking about how different from us our far future descendants might become, to cope with the world we are currently creating. The Ancient Relative “Rinse away, please.”  The final patient of the day gobbed a mixture of filling, rotten tooth and spit into […]
  • The girl with tattoos – or be careful what you wish for
    A short story about a girl with tattoos who is not what she seems. Jason was strictly nocturnal, his life an endless round of night clubs, dark streets and immorality. Until one year ago, he had been studying philosophy at a London university and if you asked Jason why he dropped out, he would find […]
  • Stripper Killer – a short story about partying to excess
    Intro to Stripper Killer This short story about a rather dangerous stripper is a modified version of the opening chapter to Creation. The first of the five book vampire series Drakul, Creation tells the story of estranged vampire king Tepesch Drakul and the struggle to restore his race. Tepesch and his family seek to combine […]
  • Meteorite – short story about a life-changing experience
    The short story Meteorite was written for a competition rather a long time ago, and did quite well although I lost the certificate. Meteorite Max looked at the clouds anxiously. “Typical.”  Only an hour ago he had painstakingly pegged quantities of voluminous underwear and bedding onto the washing line in his manicured back garden. Now […]
  • Iceman – a winter’s tale of crossing time
    A tale inspired by a skiing injury and the discovery of Otzi the iceman. Kris Jarrett stared at his leg, still anchored to the ski that failed to detach. The leg had a new joint, half way down his shin. He wasn’t surprised, because he’d heard the dry crack as he fell.  On the far […]
  • Perfume – a tale of seduction and murder
    Short story centred on a strange perfume, inspired by the books of Daphne du Maurier. The attractive young woman pushed back her wet hair as she came in from the darkness. Then smiled apologetically. “I’m sorry it’s so late, Mr Macon.” Something about her expression made him feel protective, but she was also sensuous. Chris […]
  • Kelpie – a tale of paying the price for love
    Short story inspired by tales of mermaids and the legend of the kelpie. “Holy Mother, bring me some fish. Okay, bring me one, that’s all I ask. One lousy fish.” Peter Cruickshank cast his net one last time, breaking the moonlit waters of the loch in a gentle arc before drawing it in hand over […]
  • Wasp. A short story of a queen’s quest for revenge
    Short story inspired by the most hated and extraordinary creatures that live alongside us – wasps. I might die tonight. I am a fugitive, exhausted and hungry. The vicious winter is draining away my last, precious drop of energy. My ancestors go back 500 million years, when humanity was no more than a crazy idea, […]
  • Volcano – when the Earth has had enough
    A short story about volcanoes inspired by a past career in Earth Science and Ecology, and this Scientific American article. Karen sipped her tea thoughtfully. “So, how long have you been living here now?” I thought back. “Well, it must be five years.”  My wife Gina disagreed. “No, John. It has to be six, because […]
  • Balloon Trip – A birthday treat has unexpected results
    A short story inspired by the thought of a surprise balloon trip. With apologies to Jules Verne. It is difficult to daub the thick paint onto the sandy rocks, but once dry, the colours will brighten and the paint is tough. Only Adrian knows how long it will last for. He finds painting difficult since […]
  • The boggart – a short story of old evil returning
    A short story about the vengeful imp boggart, inspired by Wikipedia and this article from 1869. Ivan Kratchev sat on the cottage roof, mending tiles in the heat of the August sun. His back ached. He could see his daughter enjoying the garden shade, leaning against the warm bark of the old apple tree and […]
  • The Shadow King – A Voodoo Magic Story
    This gripping Voodoo magic novel by John Frank Marshall mixes ancient beliefs of Vodun spirits with the growing menace of biological weapons and the race to develop vaccines.  The narrative moves at a fast pace, blurring the boundaries between dream, hallucination and reality. The opening Jason Kramer is a freelance journalist, investigating possible United Nations […]
  • Do urban fantasy writers really make a difference?
    A question for you Is it just me or is this world getting increasingly crazy? Does the work of urban fantasy writers actually matter in the end, or is it just plain old escapism? I feel like we are heading towards a moment where the human race can choose between the traditional and unsustainable Trumpish […]
  • Dystopian Fantasy about a New Age Messiah – Darke
    After much thinking, finally got a spade in the ground on this new dystopian urban fantasy about a new age messiah, and it feels good… ——– To Heidi Vorn, the boy was the most beautiful person she had ever seen. He stood in the centre of the impoverished, squalid village with its tatty, wind-blown huts […]
  • New Dystopian Sci Fi Novel – Jon Darke
    I began thinking about Jon Darke a couple of months back when I had laid Tree to rest. I needed to write something that was not on a global, epic scale, instead focusing down on a more personal narrative. And ended up with this ‘dystopian sci fi’ novel. Isoland Isoland is a vast, circular expanse […]
  • Demonic Tree – story of a major rewrite
    It was time to visit an earlier effort, the fifth novel in the Drakul series. It had always felt that Tepesch Drakul was in some ways unwelcome in that narrative, which concerned a future London dominated and terrorised by a monstrous demonic tree that emerges from the Natural History Museum. The Cazash Tree is part […]
  • Dragon Witcher Trilogy – 3rd book Ouroboros Finished!
    I was really pleased with the way that this third and final(?)episode of the Dragon Witcher Trilogy played out, with the distant past and the present coming together to build a new future (hence the name Ouroboros, which I have trouble spelling btw). It stretched me as a writer, which what I was seeking. A […]
  • Second Dragon Witch novel finished. Third underway
    Second Dawn  ended up writing itself, which was great. But now the second dragon witch novel is completed, how does the trilogy end? How can witch queen Caia Esvane outwit the Scitha fleet, intent on reclaiming her planet for themselves?  The power of magic will not be enough this time, and she is not prepared […]
  • Second Dawn – Dragon Witch second novel is on the way
    I began planning the dragon witch second novel after returning from holiday in the Spring. I’d spent some of the time raking over an entirely different synopsis, thinking whether I could work with more depth with a much smaller Canvas – the result of reading Calling Major Tom. The decision was no – I had […]
  • Sequel to Emergence – first thoughts
    I deliberately left a few story stubs I could build out on for the sequel to Emergence, and am now spoiled for choice as to what happens next. In Emergence, a monstrous submerged city learns that the surface of the planet is once more safe to inhabit, albeit already inhabited by a relatively peaceful people […]
  • Thomas Budach – talented sci-fi artist
    When I was looking for illustrations for my novels and starting to put this web site together, I came across the work of Thomas Budach (see  and was pretty excited by the touch points to my writing. Similar obsessions about dragons, UFO’s, haunted ships sailing the stars, vampires, dragons, witches – weird, I thought. […]