By andymonk, Jun 7 2017 12:14PM

I've haven't had the best of times recently. I've just spent almost a month in hospital after a gallstone got itself lodged somewhere inconvenient and then I suffered some quite serious complications after it was removed. At one point I had nine different tubes going into my body. Not at all fun.

Thankfully, I'm back home now and well on the mend, though I have some more surgery to look forward to later in the year.

Sadly, this has had a knock on effect on my writing and the publication of my next novel will probably be pushed back a bit, though I'm still hopeful of getting it out before Christmas.

On the plus side I don’t have to worry about losing some weight anymore – if you need to shed a few pounds I can recommend a perforated bowel and eating out of a intravenous bag for a fortnight!

Though a few more salads and a gym membership would be a bit less traumatic and involve far fewer needles!

By andymonk, Mar 17 2017 03:29AM

Time rolls on, doesn't it?

I have a little spreadsheet at work (the work that pays the mortgage) which I update first thing every morning. It ticks off the days till I can take my modest pension and tell the powers that be where they can stick their job. When I started it I had around 2200 days to go. Now I'm down to 1398. Sad, I suppose, to tick away your days, especially when you get to my over ripe age and almost certainly have more behind you than in front of you.

Still, I look it as 1398 days until I can do something I love full time, rather than just being a small and futile cog in a big wheel that will grind on with or without me. Untill then, the writing comes in fits and starts and stolen moments which means it's a much slower process than I'd like. Or a more rushed one.. If I had all that time I crave and could spend my days writing rather than watching the clock would I publish more books or just better ones? I dunno. Guess I'll find out in 1398 days...

In some what less than 1398 days my next novel will be out - the final Hawker's Drift novel, A God of Many Tears should be published in the autumn.

And here's the cover!

It’s proving a tough one to write as I try and tie up all the loose ends I’ve scattered gaily throughout the first three novels, but, like my spreadsheet at work, I’m slowly getting there.

By andymonk, Dec 23 2016 10:33PM

2016 has been a pretty productive year for me (by my own sluggish standards anyway) with two novels, The House of Shells and The Paths of the World, published. Given it took me 12 years to write In the Absence of Light this is something of a gear change for me.

Overall I'm pleased with both books, however, in retrospect, I probably should have put The House of Shells on to the slow cooker and let it simmer a bit longer. I like it, and parts of it I like a lot, but I can't help feeling I've missed a trick with it somewhere. The Paths of the World, on the other hand, I've got the cigars out for, as it's a baby i'm very proud of. Hopefully it sets up the next Hawker's Drift book nicely and, even more hopefully, I can bring the series to a satisfying conclusion in the nextl book.

For 2017 the priority is to get the final Hawker's Drift novel written and published. The plan is to get A God of Many Tears out in the third quarter of 2017 and then move on to some of the other projects Ithat have popped into my head when I've been pretending to do the day job over the last few years. I doubt I'll manage two novels again next year, but I have got some shorter bits and pieces I've been playing with in my spare time, but they're top secret for now, so, unles you're a Russian hacker you'll have to wait a bit for those.

Anyway - have a very merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and sane 2017.

By andymonk, Nov 6 2016 08:44PM

There was something a little bit dead about his eyes.

Guy Furnedge was staring at himself in the mirror, examining his face, his features, his eyes, the bruise that Amy had left him that was slowly fading back into his waxy skin.

He had been home for quite a while, though he wasn’t sure how long exactly. Time had become more of an abstract concept since he’d stopped winding the clocks.

He leaned a little closer to the mirror and studied the eyes peering back at him. Weren’t they supposed to be the windows to the soul? If they were, then his were dirty, smudged, mean little windows that no one had seen fit to clean in a long time. If his soul resided on the other side of them, then he had no hope of glimpsing it through the grime.

His eyes were bloodshot and red-rimmed. Unsurprising as he hadn’t been sleeping much. Well, not at all to be accurate. But beyond that they looked flat and lifeless, the pupils the colour of rotting wood. A corpse’s eyes.

He’d only ever seen two dead bodies and he hadn’t spent much time staring into the eyes of either. While living, his father’s eyes had always been full of disappointment; Lorna’s had never held much besides scorn. He doubted death would have changed either of them much.

Faces, he’d decided, were peculiar things. The more time you spent staring at one, the more peculiar it became, the more irregular and imperfect and downright strange. Those folds of flesh hanging from the bone, pock-marked and covered in little hairs, blackheads and grease, rounded bits and angular bits, the little creases that hadn’t used to be there but had become more and more prominent.

Yet it was just skin and sinew and muscle and fat and hair, you could move bits of it to convey emotion, whether you actually wanted to or not. People read so much about someone from the cast of their face. Oh, he’s a mean looking fellow! Oh, she’s a bonny girl! Oh, he’s a sly looking one! Oh, she looks like trouble!

Oh, he looks like a murderer…

Did people think that when they looked at his face? There’s Guy Furnedge.

The murderer....

By andymonk, Oct 22 2016 12:12PM

Every step we take in the world is along a path that we cannot see.

Amongst the monsters of the Dark Carnival Amos has stumbled across one of his wife’s killers and has followed him into the great, dark night to at last find his vengeance. Amelia has been snatched from her bed, and Molly, believing Giselle, the strange carney fortune-teller, has spirited her away, desperately looks for help from the few friends she has in town. Ash returns from the Dark Carnival convinced by Mr Wizzle that Preacher Stone didn’t attack his daughter Emily and desperate to find out who was really responsible, while his wife, Kate, is increasingly ensnared by the insane Deputy Blane and his sadistic games. Cece has fallen head over heels for the love-struck Sye, but is the little voice whispering in her mind really her own? Guy sits at home burning every candle he owns to keep the darkness at bay, terrified that even the grave has proved no barrier to his wife’s madness, while both John X Smith and Sam Shenan must confront pasts haunted by lost loves.

As their paths merge, they slowly begin to unravel the town’s secrets, inexorably bringing them into confrontation with the Mayor, while, out across the long slow miles to the east, a darkness is approaching that will endanger both the good and evil of Hawker’s Drift alike….

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