This week, I have been busy with translations. These include German versions of Escape and Victory, the Spanish versions of Victory and Sins of the Father, and the Portuguese version of Ripper. Currently, I have 30 translated titles published with ten in progress. I love working with my translators. I admire their skill and the whole process enhances my writing.
I have outlined Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen, and next week I will begin the storyboarding process. I’m also researching a book project set during the Spanish Civil War.
Sometimes, I wonder why I’m drawn to the years around the Second World War. That period of history saw terrible conflict, a tragedy on a human level. However, conflict offers gold dust for a writer. Also, my ancestors enriched my life with stories from that period so it is rewarding to record them in fictionalised form.
This week, my sons received excellent school reports and next term my youngest will join my eldest in senior school. The kaleidoscope of life is forever changing. Sometimes, you crave stillness so that you can admire the image, but the best you can manage is to store a photograph in your mind and move on.
And speaking of photographs, here are some views of my local landscape.
As ever, thank you for your interest and support.
PS: Thought for the week. Why is it when you’re driving and looking for an address you turn the volume down on the radio 🙂
A productive week with lots of ideas flowing. Sometimes, it goes like that. I have ideas and make notes on a regular basis, but occasionally the ideas come so thick and fast I have to place other writing tasks on hold and develop them. The main ideas this week centred on the storyboarding of The Fifth Man, my novel set in 1948, and my novel about the Spanish Civil War. I am researching the Spanish Civil War and yesterday I ordered this book as part of my research.
I’ve also had ideas for my next Sam Smith mystery, Snow in August. Book sixteen in the series, this novel will be set in west Wales. Writing will begin next week. It’s always exciting to start a new Sam Smith mystery. I like to have my covers in place as soon as possible because sometimes they offer suggestions for the characters and storyline. The book will be available for pre-order in the near future. Here’s the cover.
I also have ideas for Stormy Weather, book seventeen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. The theme of this book will be climate change. Here’s the cover.
I’m the co-founder and co-editor of Mom’s Favorite Reads, and this week we published the June issue of our magazine. This is our retro issue with lots of great articles about the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, plus features about modern times. The magazine is free, so please take a look. We include some big names in our magazines and a future edition will include an exclusive interview with bestselling novelist Bernard Cornwell.
This week, my youngest son, aged eleven, came to me with a collection of songs he’d been listening to on YouTube. Many of them were country songs, including this classic by the Highwaymen. He has a great love of music, which I hope he will develop. Incidentally, he received his school report this week. His target was level four in Mathematics, Welsh, English and Science, but he achieved level five in all subjects, and solved mathematical problems in level six too. Of course, he inherited this ability from me 😉
This week I’ve been editing Victory, the final story in my Ann’s War Mystery Series. I used to find editing the hardest part of writing, but after publishing twenty books I think I’m getting the hang of it 😉
I’ve also been outlining ideas for two Sam Smith novels, Snow in August and Stormy Weather. Climate Change will be the theme of Stormy Weather. These will be books sixteen and seventeen in the series, with more planned.
Storyboarding is one of my favourite parts of writing and currently I’m storyboarding The Fifth Man, a spin-off from my Ann’s War series, a novel set in 1948. The National Health Service will be central to this novel because 1948 saw its birth. With talks of privatising the National Health Service gathering momentum it seems appropriate to write about this subject. Pictured, Aneurin Bevan, the ‘father’ of the National Health Service.
Reading the political columns of The Guardian and Independent newspapers brought to mind the concept of civil war, when friends, family and neighbours become enemies over political, ideological or religious beliefs. This is fertile ground for a novelist, so I played with some ideas.
I don’t know enough about the American Civil War to write about that subject and the English Civil War of 1642–1651 does not appeal to me because neither Cromwell and his Puritans nor Charles and his Royalists are heroic figures. So my thoughts turned to the Spanish Civil War. This period of history resonates with today and already characters are filling my notebooks. I might develop this idea into a novel, or a mini series, depending on where my characters take me.
Away from writing, I love listening to music. In particular, I’m a big fan of Apple Music. I have thousands of songs on my personal jukebox and I play them on random. This song popped up first this morning.