Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Pretty Hot Books

I was interviewed by Pretty Hot Books and am pleased to see it is now live as well as a feature on my latest thriller Crushing Curiosity.
Denise Greenwood


Thursday, 28 March 2019

Inspiration for Devil May Care

Hall of Mirrors, Southport
The idea for Devil May Care, my first novel, came about unexpectedly. I was in Southport, a seaside town in Northern England, when I decided to walk into a small Hall of Mirrors. I hadn't been in one since I was a child and for the couple of minutes it took to walk around the tiny hall I was transported back to my childhood memories then, something odd happened. Although my physical image was altered grotesquely I had a distinct feeling that the person inside I was looking at was an alternative self, the self I may have been if my life had turned in a different direction. It was an unsettling yet exhilarating feeling and I wanted to explore it so I made some initial notes about it.

Littleborough, Lancashire
When I returned to my home at Littleborough I passed this sign and remembered the first few months after moving here and how it used to be, an old mill town situated at the western slopes of the UK South Pennines. It had a population of 3,400, most of whom had been born and raised within the sound of church bells. Now? add another 10k to the population and it will grow considerably over the coming few years. New housing estates are sprawled across land that was once lush and green. Roads are jammed with cars. The hills and moors still surround the town centre but for how much longer?

St. Barnabas church, Littleborough, as seen through the cyclists gate

The Littleborough I know became a rich source of inspiration and a walk to my local church, St. Barnabas provided the final push for the ideas that were consuming me. While listening to the vicar struggle with a concept he was trying out on his elderly congregation I was reminded of the priests I grew up with and their often contradictory behaviours. My first character was born, the Reverend Jacob Alecks. I began to assemble my experiences and knowledge of the people I grew up with and project how they would cope today. What if one of them was overwhelmed, too young to cope and about to explode?
The gravel path to St. Barnabas, a scene for Chapter 1 of Devil May Care.
Before the birth of a new character I had to create the death of another and I used experience to help me. This is the gravel path where another of my characters, Cory Farris, a young boy, witnessed his father's death. He would become the thorn in the Reverend Aleck's side. I now had two strong characters I could form a story around and all the time I would have that Hall of Mirrors in mind.
Devil May Care, saint or sinner?

The devil may care. It is an interesting notion and one I explored as I wrote. Far from being a horned beast, my devil is the ordinary man or woman. Will he/she be a saint or a sinner? I took the following photos myself. A few tricks of the eye can bring about a surprising result much like that Hall of Mirrors.

A public breakdown - Devil May Care
I had to push my Reverend Alecks and all the characters around him to their limits in order for them to experience their own Hall of Mirrors. I won't go into all their individual trials and tribulations here, you will have to read Devil May Care but my Reverend Alecks had the raw end of the deal. He had to experience a public breakdown in order to face his devil and do battle. My experience of comedy clubs in the eighties came into its own. I knew what it was like when the person on the stage loses it and how the audience reacts. There were greater themes on Reverend Alecks' mind than a knock-knock joke or topical witticism about sex or politics.
A choice to make or be made? Devil May Care

He then had a choice to make or, was it made for him? That would become apparent in my next novel, Devils Pursuits which delved deeper and then entered a word of death, manipulation and sordid scandal.

Paperback and eBook

Devil May Care is a book from the heart and soul. It is the first step to a much darker world and my characters walk a thin line. My experience in Littleborough provided me with enough material to create a further novel and then....another but by then I had decided to fully enter a world of evil, explore and see what came out. Crushing Curiosity, my third novel did. It isn't light reading although there is dark humour throughout.

What's next - wait and see!


Friday, 25 January 2019

The Beaten Track - January 2019

January has flown by with a mixed bag of weather, as expected for Northern England at this time of year. It is a month for reflection, planning ahead then several false starts at getting back into the swing of things. I'm currently balanced on that see-saw of bursts of high activity versus daily routines. It may be time to step off and find another way of finding equilibrium.
The daily news is disturbing. Social media is disturbing. People are becoming more disturbed. As a writer of disturbing stories there is plenty out there to inspire a dark tale but sometimes it is wiser to ignore the playground of screaming kids and find that one area where silence leads me to an even darker truth.
Misty view from my garden Jan 2019

Living in such a picturesque place helps. Living high up helps. The petty cares of petty individuals, the daily news, melts away.

Fog gathers around my garden Jan2019

January appealed to my dark side but I'm now looking ahead with a vengeance. We had snow this week. It lasted for one day and was quite beautiful to look at as it nestled on the tops of the surrounding moors but I soon tired of it. Looking at it through a window then walking in it are two different experiences, particularly when it is just a spattering and ices over. My garden however, is an oasis. Sheltered enough for a micro-climate. I had this to look at while the snow was still clinging to the hills around me.
First crocus of the year
My pink helebores flower Jan til Sept

My white helebores flower from Dec

They remind me that Spring is next, my favourite time of the year. No matter what the daily news tells us, no matter how mad people get about the slightest thing, no matter how society de-evolves, I only have to look out my window or take a walk down the road and look around me to see the things that endure. Will you remember today's news in a months time? Will you care what latest celebrity puts their foot in it because they dare to have an opinion? No. Will you remember that walk you took in icy snow and descending fog? Yes. You will remember the sound your shoes made when they made contact with the ice. You will remember the uncertainty of placing your feet firmly. You will recall the dampness of the fog and how it muffles reality around you. Strange shapes disguise the familiar.

On a lighter note....I have a new family companion. Meet Woody who is just seven months old. He has only been with us for a few weeks but it seems that he has been here forever.
Woody the Wonder Dog

Woody likes his walks and so do I. We pass houses where dogs sit on window ledges or on blankets covering the tops of settees and look out but never get a walk. Woody experienced snow for the first time this week. He couldn't understand why his paws were making holes in the snow so he stared into one for a long time before attacking it. Speed-boating around the garden forced snow up onto the tip of his nose and when he became cross-eyed he fell over. I'm sure there's a lesson in there somewhere.

Todmorden Park last Sunday

Todmorden Park

Last Sunday, before the snow, we visited Todmorden. Not only does it have a good flea-market and book stall, it also has a wonderful park and Woody loved it. Even in Winter it looks good.

All the recent walking, the extremes of weather then coming home to a warm house and frothy coffee have made my January a memorable month. My plans for the year ahead are now set. I've dusted off my laptop, opened a new notebook, made lists of all the ideas to come to me during the month and my new novel awaits completion. New ideas will take it into a new direction. I hope your January has been as eye-opening as mine.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Another Happy Reader

Review from Amazon US

It's always great to end the year on a good note so thank you to the US reader who took the time to post a great review of my thriller Crushing Curiosity on Amazon and Goodreads.

I wish all my readers (old and new) a very Happy New Year! 😊🙌

Friday, 28 December 2018

Paperback / Kindle only £1.22. US Kindle $1.54

Are you fed-up with TV over the festive/New Year period? Then dare you live the day of a killer and his next victim?

Paperback / Kindle ONLY £1.22. US Kindle $1.54

In this extraordinary thriller a man with an unnatural obsession yearns for a perfect victim but a chance encounter then challenges his patience, perspective and strict lifestyle. Misunderstandings transform a deadly relationship between two unique characters while they both face danger neither suspect.
This disconcerting story will provoke your emotions as the killer's personality is revealed and his victim's true plight is uncovered.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

FREE KINDLES from 22nd to 26th December 2018 - MERRY CHRISTMAS!

The first 2 books of my saga are now FREE on Kindle from 22nd until 26th December 2018. If you have bought a Kindle or other reading device for your loved ones this Christmas then why not download my free books on their device as an extra gift.

These are the GIFS that keep on giving.



The Devil Books Saga of Triumph over Adversity can be read in any order and as a stand-alone cautionary tales

When ten-year-old Cory Farris causes a stir at a funeral, his behavior is misinterpreted and sparks a cascade of events that change the lives of everyone he meets. In spite of his naivety and awkward manner, he finds that as he matures, people are drawn to his quiet ways and he shares their ordeals, all except one, an old enemy who has shown only hostility. A menacing young man of the cloth loses his faith in humanity - until that is, he is drawn to the place where Cory and his new allies will witness his ultimate and satirical battle with the devil. Cory will soon discover that an old enemy's cry for help can also be misinterpreted. People are not what they seem but redemption and change can be found in the strangest of places.

As a small bistro is plagued by a string of mysterious deaths and a redeemed man of the cloth continues his quest to find his place in the world, Cory once again finds himself surrounded by peculiar people with hidden agendas. In the midst of it all, a beautiful but troubled young woman ignites the passions of everyone she meets then disappears. A mystery unravels as Cory navigates his way through intrigue, scandal and death.

In this extraordinary thriller a man with an unnatural obsession is in pursuit of his perfect victim. A chance encounter with a young woman then challenges his patience, perspective and strict lifestyle. Misunderstandings transform the relationship between two unique characters while they both face danger neither suspect. This disconcerting story will provoke your emotions as the killer’s personality is revealed and his victim’s plight is uncovered.