Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day

It's the last day of the year, unless you're in Samoa where it's already tomorrow. Tradition dictates we all make resolutions for the New Year. As usual, most of us will fervently propose to do some things which our innermost thoughts already whisper we will fail to put into effect. I suggest a different approach this year.

Instead of giving ourselves a list of objectives (giving up... smoking, drinking, eating, whatever) why not make one serious vow to ourselves, just one? The difference is we will move heaven and earth to make it happen.

When you have a list of resolutions, it's easy to let one slip... then another... and before January has concluded we change the script to "well, maybe next year" and all is forgiven and forgotten. I know; I do this year after year.

This year, 2012, will be my year of the vow (note I'm deliberately not calling it a resolution). I'm going to spend today (31st December) thinking about not only what, but how I'm going to make this happen. Then I'm going to spend the next 12 months making it, and maintaining it as, a reality.

If you succeed in changing one negative aspect of yourself, the effect on all those you come into contact with will be exponential, like the ripples after a pebble breaks the surface of a placid lake. It'll also make you feel great!

Anyone up for the challenge? You only have one opponent in this race - yourself.

Happy New Year to all.

Eric at 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Nothing more dangerous...

Yesterday's post was a little on the serious side. It raises a question, however - given that on my web and in various interviews on other people's blogs, I've stated my writing is primarily to entertain, to provide escapist release from the mundane, yesterday's blog was a little hypocritical - yes?

Well, sorry but I don't agree. Novelists throughout history have used their writing to critique social, and other, issues, and I'm no exception. The good ol' days of Punch and MAD magazines (the former since 1841 and the later far more recently) have always been sources of satirical comment hiding behind entertainment. In a previous post I mentioned Charles Dickens whose works contain a healthy dose of social comment, often in a whimsical vein. And I don't have to mention 1984, Animal Farm, Pride and Prejudice, A Midsummer Night's Dream... there are far too many others to name. I consider myself in more than good company.

If you read 2012 you'll encounter numerous sideways swipes at everything from Coke-addiction, to gun-proliferation. Be warned, there will be more, with an even stronger message, in Full Disclosure, due out May.

Will I end-up offending someone? ...I hope so. There's nothing more dangerous than an active mind!

Eric at

Thursday, December 29, 2011


2012 is fast approaching. Already I'm noticing a marked increase in the references to this date and the Mayan "prophesies" on Internet . Typing 2012 into Google today produces this response: About 1,440,000,000 results. It will be interesting to see how this grows over the next few months.

Part of this growth is the mass hysteria/conspiracy push the subject is receiving from those who have just not bothered to check out exactly what the ending of the fifth Sun Cycle meant for the Mayans. These misinformed people immediately start yelling "End of the World" and talking Apocalypse. My novel "2012", originally written six years ago, was meant as a "wake-up and take notice" call to these people. If you have read the novel you will see the catastrophic events that befall humanity are NOT brought about by some supra-human intervention, rather by man's hand. Even the finale can be explained by basic physics, without contradicting anything previously explained in the tale.

Myself, I think the 2012 issue will turn out to be a global "awakening" not occurring through some mystical process, but almost as a self-fulfilling prophesy - The hype the subject will enjoy during the coming months will cause many (hopefully a majority) to reflect on the way we treat each other and our home, this planet. Again hopefully, this could lead to a movement towards becoming more "human". Compassion seems to have deserted our emotional make-up in the last decade or so, and my thinking is that the social pressure of the moment, increasing as the 21st December date nears, will be the Event that could reshape our future.

Then again, as we have seen repeatedly with the protest movements throughout the world during 2011, unless these changes have a clearly-defined objective they will just peter out into nothingness. Look at the Indignados (Indignant) protests that occupied over 70 cities in Spain, and 951 worldwide, earlier this year calling for change - today, six months later, nothing has happened, nothing. Why? In Spain's case it was because certain political factions initially tried to make these public protests their own. When that failed, the protesters involved just couldn't agree on anything with the result that no concrete proposals for change could be defined.
Could this happen again - you bet! If it's one thing we humans have in abundance it's apathy.

What do you think? Can a global change happen? Could our evolution as a species take a step toward caring for each other instead of treating life as a race where anything goes as long as you win?

Then again, what do I know? For all the research I did prior to writing 2012, I do not have any greater insight than YOU at this moment.

All I have is HOPE.

Eric at

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Great website

I have been using a great website to try out drafts of novels for a while now. It's this one: 

Anyone can join, it's free, and not just for writers. It's backed by the UK Arts Council, although it has a very international content.

I've read some great extracts on here. You can also critique the extracts, constructively please, and this is a godsend to any aspiring author. I've received over 60 comments to the first few chapters of "Full Disclosure" which I entered into one of the competitions they run from time to time. Most of these were very useful in helping me tweak the start of the novel - one of the hardest things to do when you are writing thrillers.

Check it out, at the very least you will have an endless supply of good writing at your disposal, and you will probably discover unknown authors today who tomorrow will be the Bestsellers on your bookshelf or e-book reader.

Eric at

A new profession?

As I'm very new to this blogging business, I'm approaching it from a somewhat skewed standpoint.

Discoveries are constantly happening.

Is it normal for new bloggers to check their blogs for responses with obsessive regularity?

Is this a new profession - The Blog Watcher - you know, like the Dog Whisperer?

Just a thought.

The crazy life of a writer...

On my web ( I have a section entitled Tips & Tricks which, although primarily of interest to fellow writers, contains some interesting reading for everyone.

Recently I wrote a section on Creative Inspiration - which I subtitled with the question most writers have been asked at one time or another: So where DO you get your ideas? As an ex-management consultant, I tend to take an analytical view of the subject matter for these sections, while retaining a chatty presentation to keep matters interesting.

In the article I talked about steps I take to create ideas for my novels. But, something strange and wonderful happened the other day, which just goes to show the "scientific" approach isn't the only solution.

I was born with an eidetic memory which manifests itself in my being able to recall everything I have ever read. Before you remark how lucky I am, believe me it does have a down side. I originally read that marvellous novella "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens when I was eight. When Christmas time comes around I usually find myself "replaying" the book in my mind. This year was no exception. On Boxing Day I sat down in the early evening for a quiet moment, after having spent the day running around doing all sorts of errands, and found my "inner eyes" reading this tale. A fleeting thought passed through my mind. Dickens wrote this in 1843, and it reflects the social and cultural environment of that era with exquisite accuracy. Almost one hundred and sixty years later, thanks in great part to the worldwide financial crack of 2008, some things do not appear to have changed that much.

Well, after putting in time on the keyboard, working on the current novel, I finally called it a day about two-thirty in the morning. I was tired and yawning as i switched off the computer and headed for my bed. Sleep, however, was not to be my reward. Four-thirty found me sitting in the lounge with a notebook open before me, scribbling a five hundred word outline for an updated "A Christmas Carol", complete with characters names, motivational notes, detailed plot, and even one major change in the order of the Ghosts' appearance. Also, being me, I had developed a number of Winks (such as the names of certain characters and the organization one in particular represented). This took me a little over half an hour. When I had filled several pages of the notebook and ended the tale with Tiny Tim's famous blessing, I slumped back and asked myself "what had just happenned?" Was the Ghost of Christmas (Past, Present or Future, or maybe Mr. Dickens') playing games with me. Was I now a Ghost Writer? Was my own Muse overflowing with Christmas Spirit? Was it all a dream?

Upon waking the following morning, my first trip was to the lounge to see if I had in fact written the outline. There it was, just as I had left it a few hours prior. Now what? This novella is now in the public domain, so should I decide to write a complete tale from the outline, there were no worries there. Dickens' original ran to approximately 29,000 words - a good length for this kind of moralistic story, and an interesting target should I decide to proceed. Market for this? It's a little too short (less than a third of my normal working length) for publishing alone, yet I couldn't see myself "padding-out" the wordcount by writing other short stories to reach a suitable size for publication. Briefly I did toy with the idea of also updating the two Christmas novellas Dickens publish in later years as well, these being "The Chimes" and  "The Cricket on the Hearth", but inspiration did not lay in that direction. The next step was thinking about other treatments such as a screenplay or traditional theatre play. Although I have given advice to other writers in said fields, I have never written either myself. So for now, the outline fills a few more folios of the "ideas" notebook as a potential future project. What will become of this I honestly don't know as of this moment. I'll update this piece, if and when, any developments occur.

It's a good job it wasn't Halloween!

First Post

Hi people,

My name's Eric and I write thrillers. I've just finished a re-edit of a novel I originally wrote in 2006, called "2012".  Given that in a few days it will be that year, the powers-that-be had suggested the edit to both the paperback and Kindle versions. So that's been my main task for the last month or so. I particularly like the new cover; the previous one was very sombre, but this design reflects the storyline and is much more attractive.

What do you think?

I have a web at which I update continually with inside info and hidden secrets about my novels as well as writing tips and extracts from the novels. There is also a competiton if you want to have a character named after you in a future novel (casting for "The CULL" now) and receive a personally-autographed copy of the book.

For the extremely diligent, there's a hidden section on the web where I post "treasure" that is constantly changing. You need to discover a hidden link and a User-Id and Password to locate the hidden treasure. Best of Luck!

Have a look and let me know what you think.

Is their anything you would like me to include on the web?

Bye for now, must write...