Have I got a bargain for you!

I’ve been investigating, another word, perhaps, for research!

On how to become an overnight success.

It’s a mistake, I know, because everyone is different, everyone has their own way of doing things, and success comes for different people in different ways, quite often not able to be replicated by others.

What’s the expression, you had to be there.

I read success stories, I read what these people did to get 1,000 extra Twitter followers in a day, a week, or five minutes, sold thousands of copies of their books in a month, from absolutely nothing, and/or have the formula for success.

All you have to do is part with, hang on, yesterday it was $495.00, but today only, just for you, it’s $69.95.

Read the fine print, this might not work for you.  And, generally, who reads the fine print.

I read about other authors using book promotion services, yes we had 250,000 twitter followers just aching to buy you book.

Read the fine print, it depends on a whole lot of factors whether it sells or not.  You could be ‘lucky’.  Most authors are not.

What’s the answer?

I think it’s at the bottom of the abyss, where I’m in free-fall heading rapidly towards.

If I happen to find the answer and become ultra successful, I’ll be happy to share it for nothing.  It’s not going to affect my sales, not once I’m established.

It’s just taking that first step.

Perhaps I need to believe that hard word and perseverance will work.

I’m also sure there are 101 ways to taking that first step, and someone out there knows one, or two, and someone else, knows another.  It’s just finding those people who do know, and who are willing to share, not for $495, not for $69.95, but because they want to do it to help others.

And maybe, just maybe, all those who gain the benefit their wisdom will buy their books.

Hang on, perhaps that’s number one on the list of 101 ….

Save, you idiot, save …

It’s late at night and there are twenty other story ideas that are currently running around in my head, instead of the story I should be working on.

These ideas are impinging on the current story, and somehow are finding their way onto the page.

Writing, cursing, deleting, re-writing, deleting, cursing.

I’m working on the latest book and it is not going well.  I don’t have writers block, I think it is more a case of self doubt.  It’s why I can’t concentrate.

It’s why I’m thinking about the nest story and not staying on track.

This leads me to be over critical of what I have written and much pressing of the delete key.  Only to realize that an action taken in haste can be regrettable, and makes me feel even more depressed when I realize the deletions are irrecoverable.


I think I’d be happier in a garret somewhere channeling van Gogh’s rage.

Lesson learned – don’t delete, save it to a text file so it can be retrieved when sanity returns.

I was not happy with the previous start.  Funny about that, because until a few weeks ago I thought the start was perfect.

What a difference a week makes or is that politics?

Perhaps I should consider adding some political satire.

But I digress…

It seems it’s been like that for a few weeks now, not being able to stick to the job in hand, doing anything but what I’m supposed to be doing.  I recognize the restlessness, I’m not happy with the story as it is, so rather than getting on with it, I find myself writing words just for the sake of writing words.

Any words are better than none, right?

So I rewrote the start, added about a hundred pages and now I have to do a mass of rewriting of what was basically the whole book.

But here’s the thing.

This morning I woke up and looked at the new start, and it has inspired me.

Perhaps all I needed was several weeks of teeth gnashing, and self doubt to get myself back on track.

Who would want to be a writer?

Me!  First in line, every time!

One Last Look

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favourite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London, to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.




What Sets Us Apart

David is a man troubled by a past he is trying to forget.

Susan is rebelling against a life of privilege and an exasperated mother who holds a secret that will determine her daughter’s destiny.

They are two people brought together by chance.  Or was it?

When Susan discovers her mother’s secret, she goes in search of the truth that has been hidden from her since the day she was born.

When David realises her absence is more than the usual cooling off after another heated argument, he finds himself being slowly drawn back into his former world of deceit and lies.

Then, back with his former employers, David quickly discovers nothing is what it seems as he embarks on a dangerous mission to find Susan before he loses her forever.




The Devil You Don’t

John Pennington’s life is in the doldrums.  Looking for new opportunities, prevaricating about getting married, the only joy on the horizon was an upcoming visit to his grandmother in Sorrento, Italy.

Suddenly he is left at the check in counter with a message on his phone telling him the marriage is off, and the relationship is over.

If only he hadn’t promised a friend he would do a favour for him in Rome.

At the first stop, Geneva, he has a chance encounter with Zoe, an intriguing woman who captures his imagination from the moment she boards the Savoire, and his life ventures into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

That ‘favour’ for his friend suddenly becomes a life changing event, and when Zoe, the woman who he knows is too good to be true, reappears, danger and death follows.

Shot at, lied to, seduced, and drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems, John is dragged into an adrenaline charged undertaking, where he may have been wiser to stay with the ‘devil you know’ rather than opt for the ‘devil you don’t’.




Echoes from the Past

What happens when your past finally catches up with you?

Christmas is just around the corner, a time to be with family.  For Will Mason, an orphan since he was fourteen, it is a time for reflection on what his life could have been, and what it could be.

Until a chance encounter brings back to life the reasons for his twenty years of self imposed exile from a life only normal people could have.  From that moment Will’s life slowly starts to unravel and it’s obvious to him it’s time to move on.

This time, however, there is more at stake.

Will has broken his number one rule, don’t get involved.

With his nemesis, Eddie Jamieson, suddenly within reach, and a blossoming relationship with an office colleague, Maria, about to change everything, Will has to make a choice.  Quietly leave, or finally make a stand.

But as Will soon discovers, when other people are involved there is going to be terrible consequences no matter what choice he makes.




Sunday in New York

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

As they say in the classics, read on!



Sunday In New York

Avoiding the abyss

When I was last in Europe we decided to get the Eurostar, from London, through the Chunnel, to Paris Disneyland.  Not exactly as fast as the Japanese bullet trains, but faster than anything we have in this country.

You are hurtling along at up to 160 kph, thought it feels a lot faster, and then you begin to brake, and it seems like nothing is happening, except for some outside friction noise, and the speed dropping.

I feel like that now, on my way to the bottom of the abyss.

At the end of that fall it is something referred to as hitting rock bottom.

I’m told once you hit tock bottom the only way is up.

The question is, who do you know that has fallen into the abyss and come back to tell you about it?

Put into layman’s terms, hurling down the abyss is like having a severe episode of depression.  There are different types, some worse than others.  Hitting the ground is roughly the equivalent of looking for a way out that eases the pain, and that, for some people, is a quite drastic answer.

But the sign that the free fall is braking, like the express train slowing down, is a sign that you’ve seen the light, that there are external forces that can render assistance.

I see them now, the hands of friends, the hands of people I don’t know, but who are concerned.

Writers like any other professional people, are the same as everyone else, but with one rather interesting difference.  It is a profession where a lot of the time you are on your own, alone with your thoughts, your characters, your fantasy world, which sometimes so frighteningly drifts into your reality.

Some of us will make a fortune, most of us will make an adequate living, and live the ‘dream’ of doing the one job they always wanted to, and some will not.

I’m not rich, I’m not one who gets an adequate income, yet.

But I will get out of this abyss.

I can feel the brakes.

My eldest granddaughter, who is 12, tells me the fantasy story where she is a princess I’m writing for her is brilliant.

The free fall has stopped.  I step out into the sunshine.

All I needed was a little praise.

Writing and re-writing and …

The process of writing is rewriting editing and more rewriting.

A few days ago l wrote some words.  I didn’t like them.  But it had laid the groundwork for a second draft.

Here it is:


Growing up I did not believe l had one of those lovable faces.

My brother, known in school as the best looking boy of his graduating class, said it was a face only a mother could love.

He was mean.

Simone, a girl who was a friend, not a girlfriend, said my face had character.

She was charming and polite.

Looking now, in the mirror, l decided I’d aged gracefully.

I could truthfully say my brother had not, but that was as far as the comparison went.

My over achieving brother was the epitome of success in business, a veritable god zillionaire.  Everything he touched turned to gold.

My ultra successful sister, Penelope, had married into the right family perhaps by chance, but she was also a very learned scholar whose life was divided between her chair at the university and her social life with the rich and famous.

Then there was me.

I gave up on my chance at university because l was not the scholarly sort and didn’t last long.  Sadly l was the first of my family to be sent down from Oxford.

Instead l took on a series of professions such as seasonal laborer, farm hand, factory worker, and lastly, night watchman.  At least now I had a uniform and looked like I’d made something of myself.

It would not be enough for my parents who every year didn’t say it out loud but the disappointment was always there in their expressions.

My brother in his usual blunt manner said l was a loser and would never change.

My sister was not quite so blunt.  She simply said it was disappointing so much potential was going to waste.  I only asked her once what she meant and lost me after the first four syllable word.

Finally I’d taken their comments to heart and decided l would not be going home to the family Christmas holiday reunion.

I told my boss l was available to work the night shift over the holidays, the shift no one else wanted.

It was he said a time for reflection.  He hated his family as much as I did so we would be able to lament our bad luck though the long cold hours from dusk till dawn.

It was 3 a.m. and it was like standing on the exact epicenter of the North Pole.  I’d just stepped from the warehouse into the car park.

The car was covered in snow.  The weather was clear now, but more snow was coming.

It was going to be a white Christmas, all I needed.  I hoped I remembered to put the anti freeze in my radiator this time.

As I approached my car, the light went on in a SUV parked next to my car.  The door opened and what looked to be a woman was climbing down from the driver’s seat.

She closed the door and leaned against the side of the car.  “Graham?”

It was a voice I was familiar with, though I hadn’t heard it for a long time, my ultra successful sister, Penelope.  From what I could see, she didn’t look too well.

“What do you want?”


My help, I was the last person to help her, or anyone for that matter.  But curiosity got the better of me.  “Why?”

“Because my husband is trying to kill me.”

The instant the last word left her lips I saw her jerk backwards into the car, and then start sliding down to the ground.  There was no mistaking the red streak following her as she fell.

She’d been shot from what could be a sniper rifle, which meant …


It still needs work but I’ve got the gist of where I want to go.

The idea is not to make a character so loathsome no one would want to read about him.

This will evolve and you can if you like come along for the ride!


© Charles Heath 2016

A pleasant Sunday morning in suburbia


All I wanted was a cup of coffee.

OK, I could have made one, I have a Nespresso machine, purchased after watching an inspiring George Clooney advertisement (well, my wife bought it) but I was after something with a little more oomph!

We have a small shopping centre just up the road about a kilometer and I thought, what’s five minutes and a short drive against a cup of hot, steaming, delicious to the last drop, coffee?

That’s where any semblance of sanity ends.

I walked out the back door, and forgot the car keys, so I had to go back in.  The door opens and the cat gets out.  Not so bad you think, but no, after three road kills, the cat getting out is a major catastrophe (pardon the pun).

Ten minutes later, cornered like a rat in a trap, he is back inside, I have the keys, and out in the car.  It’s a hot day, and the air conditioning isn’t working.  Damn.  It’s like 45 degrees Celsius in the car.

This is the time to give up and go back inside.  The omens are telling!

I don’t.

Our driveway is up a slight hill and usually we back the cars up so it’s easier to drive out onto the street.  We live in a corner house, and whilst it is not a busy intersection, it has been known for cars to treat it like the third chicane of a grand prix.  Late at night cars have rolled trying to make that tight corner.

I’m reversing off the driveway, too lazy the previous day to back it up, and you guessed it, Enzo Ferrari’s brother is making heavy weather in the third chicane and takes the corner wide, sliding across to the other side of the street, a) because he’s going too fast, and b) because he just saw me backing out of my driveway.

I’m having a heart attack and waiting for the bang, and he’s rapidly accelerating, smoke pouring from streaming tyres, and engine roaring in first or second as the revs pass 9000 and are redlining.

Disaster averted.  One speed junkie and daredevil happy, one old man shaken to the core.

So far I’ve travelled 10 metres.

On the radio the station is playing the James Bond theme from ‘You Only Live Twice’.

Apt, very apt.

I am now very sedately driving to the shopping centre, the road following a wide curve.  Nothing can go wrong here, until I reach the T intersection.  I stop like I do every time, and look.  No cars from the left, and one opposite me, turning into my street.

I start to turn.  The car opposite decides to do a U Turn, and I slam the foot on the brakes.  The driver of the other car is oblivious to me, happily chatting on her mobile phone.  Didn’t stop, didn’t look, didn’t care.

My heart rate is now 170 over 122, and perhaps I should be clinically dead.

Coffee is the last thing I need.

But I persevere.  How much worse can it get?

The shopping centre is not far, up to the roundabout and a right turn into the shopping centre car part.  Usually there are plenty of parking spots, today there a none.  I drive down one of the lanes, and nearly get hit but a reversing driver.  Again, not looking, or perhaps distracted by four children in the back seat.

Or the very, very loud music coming from the car.

I thought at first it was the pounding of my headache, brought on by high blood pressure.

I back up the car a) top give the driver more room to reverse out, and b) so I could turn into the spot when he vacates it.

More fool me.  The car backs out, another driver swoops in and takes the spot.

I get out to remonstrate, but he’s three feet wide and seven feet tall with a scarred face and tattoos on both arms.  Time to move on.

Yes, there’s nothing like a tall hot steaming cup of coffee on a pleasant Sunday morning.

In hell!