Introducing the new novel – Cold Calling

Cold CallingMy latest novel, Cold Calling’ is published on 28th March 2016 in paperback and as an eBook.

A big change of genre for me, the story is one that I have worked on, in different mediums, for a number of years. Originally an un-filmed screenplay, sections of the story were subsequently reworked into the short play that debuted on the Salisbury Fringe in 2014. After the positive reaction to the play I felt it was possible that the story, with some restructuring, could work as a full novel.

A comedy, in essence, Cold Calling centres on a relationship between cold caller, Ray, and coffee shop owner, Anya, played out entirely over the phone. I wanted to take the traditional notion of a ‘boy-meets-girl’ story, and wonder what would happen if the boy never actually met the girl. Take out any physical attraction from the relationship, and the potential complications or misjudgements that brings, and focus on a different, deeper connection. But then, can there be anything real in a phone conversation?

Hope you enjoy it!

All the buying links are here


Announcing new book – Cold Calling


Delighted to announce that my new novel is set to be published early next year. It is called ‘Cold Calling’ and its plot may be familiar to a few of you. The story is one that I have been working on for some time. Originally a film script, I re-worked a few parts of it for a short play that premiered last year during Salisbury Fringe. Very much a character piece, it was a great experiment, drawing out my two leads, seeing how people took to them, and condensing part of their story to fit a brief 10 minute play. Thankfully, the response was good, and it was also invaluable in helping shape the story further. There was more I wanted to do with those characters, and stories I wanted to tell in that world.

It seems I’m a sucker for acid-tongued, sarky, gobby folk.

Because, there are lot of those in it. Surprisingly. It is, despite all that, a romantic comedy. Technically. Sort of. The powers that be like to be able to shoehorn your book into a genre, so I suppose it is closest to to that. Albeit the romance is fairly sugar-free. And the comedy, not always family-friendly. It is a love story, but one about the love between friends, and all the glorious imperfections that come with it.


Synopsis –

It was just a phone call. Just meaningless words between two strangers. It didn’t mean anything…

Still reeling from the break up with the love of his life, insurance firm cold caller, Ray English, has become a bit of a screw up. To put it mildly. Cynical, and withdrawn, Ray is aimlessly drifting through life in London alongside his long-suffering best mate, Danny. Asked to reform their college band for a friend’s wedding, Ray is soon forced to face up to his old life, and the hometown he had tried so hard to turn his back on.

Anya Belmont is a woman with a secret, and a history that continues to shape her life. A coffee shop owner in Salisbury, Anya is successful, yet bored; married, yet lonely, and is also trying to avert a looming mid-life crisis, whilst struggling in vain to control her best friend, Eva Cunningham, a slightly unstable, child-hating children’s author.

Fate, coincidence, or just bad timing, Ray and Anya’s lives begin to change when Ray cold calls Anya and the two strike up a seemingly innocuous phone conversation. Against their better judgement, that conversation is soon the start of a phone relationship that grows in frequency and intimacy as the weeks and months pass, and a curious, almost dependent friendship is born. But can there be anything ‘real’ in a simple phone call?

As circumstances bring these two lonely souls to the same town at the same time, both are forced to question the truth of what they have started, and the realisation that if they are to move on in their lives, they will have to start by looking back and facing the ghosts of their past…


A big thank you to the ever-brilliant David Baker for once again producing a cover for me. We went ultra-minimal this time.


‘Cold Calling’ is due to be published in March 2016

Bleeker Hill & Darkshines Seven ebook re-release

Bleeker HillDarkshines Seven Part 3: Storm Tail











Very pleased that both Bleeker Hill and Darkshines Seven are to be re-released as eBooks through Matador. This means that rather than being available just for the Kindle and solely on Amazon as they both are now, they will be available on all other devices and other distributors too. The one downside to this however is that it means, due to both originally being exclusive to Amazon, all reviews attached to the eBook versions will be removed. Which is essentially all of them (another sign that people are buying eBooks and not paperbacks – but let’s not have that argument) So it would be a great help if those who have already posted reviews would re-post them when the new listing is live. I shall no doubt make grovelling pleas on social media as well when they are live. Impossible to overstate how important reviews are to authors.

The other difference will be that Darkshines Seven will be released as one story rather than a trilogy. It will also be marketed as a direct sequel to Bleeker Hill. Because it really is. Editing the three stories into one volume it became clear that so much in Darkshines – small nuances, in-jokes, and events – stems from knowledge of Bleeker Hill, and whilst having previously read Bleeker Hill shouldn’t be necessary to enjoy Darkshines Seven, it just felt right to go down this route with it. I also didn’t want to look like I was duping any new readers. Also, doing it this way it leaves the door open to make Bleeker Hill a trilogy…

Both new eBooks should be live next month.



Big Vultures and Cold Callers

Well, despite my decision to lay off the novels for a while, I seem to have written a new one. Not quite sure how that happened. I didn’t mean to. I suppose it comes back to that old writer adage of ‘write the book you need to write’ at least that seems the only logical explanation. Despite it being an idea I have had roughed out for years, I didn’t intend to write it yet but the damn thing demanded it. I have already tested out some of the novel with the short play ‘Cold Calling’ that I had performed on the Salisbury Fringe. It was always a story I loved, had characters that I wanted to write for, and ideas I wanted to explore, but I never really had a home for it. The positive response to the play made me revisit the previous draft and work on it again.

Tyler Coombes & Kerry Stockwell in 'Cold Calling'

Tyler Coombes & Kerry Stockwell in ‘Cold Calling’









For anyone that has seen the play and also read my previous novels, you will know that it is a pretty big departure for my writing; a romantic comedy, albeit one laced with biting cynicism. I’m incredibly proud of the novel, and hope that the rocky road to publication doesn’t knock the joy from it. More updates on the novel when I have them.

Augustines performing at The Roundhouse December 2014. Incredible gig!

Augustines performing at The Roundhouse December 2014. Incredible gig!








In other news, the boys at Big Vulture are hard at work compiling together hours of concert footage and interviews for ‘Rise: The Story of Augustines’ the documentary film I am involved with. From talking to Todd, the director, I think the end result is going to be something quite incredible, certainly not your usual music documentary – Augustines aren’t your usual sort of band anyway – and having seen a little bit of footage, I have to say I was slightly in awe of it. Really can’t wait to see the end result and watch the film unleashed on the world. For more film updates you can follow Big Vulture here

Darkshines Seven trilogy now complete

Darkshines Seven Part 3: Storm Tail











The final part of my Darkshines Seven series ‘Storm Tail’ has now been published, and all three novellas are available exclusively on the Kindle. A big thanks to all those of you that have already read them and left reviews, it’s been great to hear that so many have taken to Mia and Blarney (especially Blarney, it seems, which I’m very pleased about!) Writing Urban Fantasy has been a fun departure from my usual genres, and I hope that sometime there will be more stories for Mia and her cohorts. In the meantime, if you haven’t yet taken the trip beyond Bleeker Hill, to City 17, Darkshines asylum and Storm Tail cove, I hope you do. So do The Party, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint them…

Filming begins – Rise: The Story of Augustines

Rise: The Story of Augustines, filming at the Berlin wall








Filming has now begun on ‘Rise: The Story of Augustines’ the wonderful documentary film being made by Big Vulture on which I’m an associate producer. Speaking to the director and listening to their plans, I think this is going to be an incredible film, and I’m delighted to be involved with these very talented people. Filming is underway across Europe during the last leg of the band’s tour, and then will continue in America from January.

The film will be released next year.


Rise – The Story of Augustines

Rise - The Story of Augustines











Having been looking to put the novel writing on the back burner and return to film after many years, I’m delighted and honoured to be involved in the forthcoming film documentary by Big Vulture, ‘Rise – The Story of Augustines’ directed by my good mate, Todd Howe, ex-guitarist with my beloved The Boxer Rebellion.

Those not familiar with Augustines, apart from immediately checking out their music, would do well to read the excellent Brother’s Keeper by Ryan Berg. I also wrote a bit about them back in 2011 and interviewed singer Billy McCarthy, you can read that here

I first found Augustines through Todd, a friend of the band for many years, and then saw them supporting the Boxers. It was one of those strange musical experiences where the connection was immediate. Connection is something Augustines do very well. No matter the size of the venue or the crowd, there is a remarkable intimacy to an Augustines show, and it is most definitely a two way love with their audience. Having followed their journey since that first gig, I look at the astonishing strides they have made, the huge audience they have picked up along the way, and most importantly the smiles on their faces, and it makes me feel proud.

The Augustines are an important band to me. I would expect that they are to pretty much anyone that has ever seen them live. How they came to be, how they survived the many obstacles and life-changing experiences flung at them along the way, is a quite incredible story, and that they are here now, doing what they were born to do, and not just surviving but thriving, is a testament to the fact that a strength of will, a bond of friendship, and a wave of love can overcome most things. The music industry, much like the publishing industry, is littered with talent felled by the bullshit, the tortuous process of creativity in a world ruled by fad and fortune, and those sucked dry by the bureaucratic bouncers standing in front of your audience. I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who can become a success in such an industry. That Augustines can do it, having had to overcome all they have, is remarkable. Whether a music fan or not, for any creative, anyone who has battled to bring their dreams to life, their story is something that will resonate and inspire.

For those who may want to get involved in what promises to be a very exciting film, there is currently a Kickstarter campaign with lots of great, exclusive perks over at RISEFILM.COM – watch the trailer, feel the love and come and join the community!