I’VE just reached that wonderful moment where you type the words THE END at the bottom of a sheet of paper and realised that’s another first draft out of the way.

To my mind, unless everything you have written totally stinks and just doesn’t hang together, you have a novel that one day will be fit for publication.

All you need to do now is edit, edit, edit, proofread, get a cover designer, get someone else to edit, get someone else to proof read, format and decide who you are going to publish with and whether you are going to strike an exclusive deal or sell through various outlets.

Plain sailing, as you can see. Oh, and sorry, there’s research to be done as well.


My new novel is the third (and probably final) episode in the Boxer Boys series. A sequel to the first book Crossing The Whitewash, it brings things up to the present day and plays out against a backdrop of Brexit, terrorist attacks, the horrific world of child grooming and football hooliganism at the Euro 2016 soccer championships. Wet your appetite?

Figures that we also see in Spark Out, the prequel, return again here and hopefully all the strands are pulled together.

For the moment the Work In Progress is titled Dying Seconds and some of the hard yards have taken place over two successful NaNoWriMo campaigns (the National Novel Writing Month for the uninitiated).  It takes place in November and you are challenged to write 50,000 words (the size of a small novel) during those 30 days. As a journalist, having a deadline really helps to focus the mind.

Though I have yet to actually FINISH a work in that time, I have plenty of 50,000 word starts waiting to be fashioned into stories.

dying seconds

In the case of Dying Seconds, I have actually typed 736 pages – that’s 156,000 words at the current count – and must make me the gangland thriller equivalent to George RR Martin, who penned all those magnificent looking tomes in the Game of Thrones series. If I could emulate a fraction of his success I would be ecstatic!

Anyway, one way to test whether you have a winning formula is to try to give a taste of what you have done in a blurb. This is a quick one off the top of my head… hopefully it will give you a taste to read more.


Killer, rapist, drug dealer and all-round bad guy Arnie Dolan is back – and this time he’s in a wheelchair. Arnie has a grudge against the world and particularly those who have left him to rot… the members of his old gang the Boxer Boys.

Arnie’s former best mate Gareth Prince is also back and his life is on the up. Girlfriend Anjelica and son Maxi have moved in with him and he has just earned a promotion on Cardiff’s Sunday Tribune Despatch newspaper where he works as a sports reporter.

Hundreds of miles away the body of a tramp-like figure is found stabbed to death in an alley.

It is a murder that will thrust Gareth and Arnie back together – only months after they nearly killed each other in a desperate battle on the terraces of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.


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