Sunday 31 March 2013

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 25 Mar - 31 Mar 2013 


Unique Visits2472252012061942051611,439206
First Time Visits2242061781941771861541,319188
Returning Visits231923121719712017

Saturday 30 March 2013

A nice Easter Mug

Take a byte of digital Granny Smith

It’s Miss Marple on steroids!’

Another murder rocks the small Welsh town of Gilfach – the police are baffled, the corpse is getting colder and only Granny Smith, the intrepid pensioner sleuth stands between justice and all out anarchy.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts to unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that seventy-one is actually the new twenty-one.

Murder’s never been so much fun.

What others are saying about Granny Smith
" I liked the story, entertaining, easy to read."

“Imagine a seventy year old James Bond but with tits and you pretty much have Granny Smith.”

"Laugh out loud funny and Granny Smith is a wonderful invention"

"Granny Smith complete with pipe , what a vision... proves where there is a way she will take try it...enjoyed this book easy reading ."

“Does for South Wales what Hitler did for Poland.”

"Granny Smith -- a pipe-smoking senior citizen who listens to heavy metal and can't keep her nose out of other peoples' affairs. I fell in love with this character within the first couple of pages. The story never drags and the secondary characters, such as Granny's quirky son and submissive husband, are just as lovable as Granny herself." Amazon five star review for Granny Smith Investigates

And now Free for two more day: The first in the Granny Smith series

"Consider that Agatha Christie's Miss Marple was probably born in the 1860s. Granny Smith was born in the 1950s and was a teenager in the 1960s. Granny Smith answers the question how might Miss Marple have turned out had she matured with the societal changes that occurred during that period." Amazon five star review

Not to be missed this week

Shane - an all new radio dramatization on BBC Radio 4, from the same team who brought you Hombre last week. The show is on today at 14:30 UK time and will be available for seven days on the BBC iPlayer website.

The Walking Dead - Third season finale is on Sunday (US) and next Friday (UK). The third season's been superb and can't wait for this.

Game of Thrones Season 3 - starts Sunday (US) and Monday (UK) - now this I can't bloody wait for.

Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs by G. M. Dobbs - my second in the Granny Smith series is available 31st March across all ePlatforms, but the Kindle version is already on sale.

Doctor Who - the new season stars in the UK tonight and later in the US. I've not been following the show for the last couple of seasons but Matt Smith seems to be a popular Doctor. I'll have to try and catch up with the series which was, after all, a big part of my childhood.And of course I've appeared in the show myself and even stood on the bridge of the TARDIS - that seems so long ago now.

Revolution - it started over here in the UK this week, and is already huge stateside - I've only seen the first episode but this looks like being a huge hit.

Star Wars: Han goes solo

It's no real surprise that Disney would want to make the most of the Star Wars franchise and it is now confirmed that as well as the new Star Wars movie, there will also be Han Solo and Boba Fett standalone movies. Details are scarce but Disney have confirmed that the Han Solo movie will look at the younger character - let's hope Disney remember the western movies the original Star Wars was based upon, and that we get smoky cantinas, dustcoats flapping and blasters blasting.

I quite like Star Wars but wouldn't consider myself a major fan and so I have no issues with Disney now taking over the franchise -after all I've never considered George Lucus that hot -after all let's be honest the Star Wars franchise consists of one classic SF movie, The Empire Strikes Back, one enjoyable space pantomime  Star Wars itself and several action figure adverts - all of the other bloody movies.

Though there is no way to deny the vast impact Star Wars holds over popular culture, so the new movies will be hotly anticipated. I was twelve years old when the original Star Wars movie came out and I must have seen it in my local cinema at least twice a week for a fortnight - I can remember watching it on a Sunday afternoon and then hiding in the toilets until the next showing, but when I watch it now, as an adult, I can see how creaky and often downright childish it is. Still the movies (even Episode 1 which beats Plan 9 from Outer Space in the corny dialogue stakes) mean a lot to a great many people especially those with shares in action figure companies.

Bring it on Disney and may the profits be with you.....

Friday 29 March 2013

Amazon Goodreads

Amazon are to buy the social networking site, Goodreads.

Goodreads is like Facebook for those who like to read and is so popular that it numbers more than 16 million users. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected to be completed in the next quarter.

"The deal would allow the company to move faster in bringing its user experience to more people around the world."  Otis Chandler, Co-founder Goodreads

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Hot Rocks

Granny says: when you've had Keef Richards, only Lemmy will do.

Isn't he a dreamboat!

He sets my falsies all a'chattering!

Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs available now

Elvis MK II

Author and Archive friend Chris Scott Wilson, knowing I have a soft spot for the King, sent me this link - Now I usually find Elvis impersonators bizarre, and believe me I've seen enough of them at the annual Porthcawl Elvis festival, but this guy Ben Portsmouth, a brit, is incredible and in some of the profile shots he really becomes Elvis.

Rock on Ben

Tuesday 26 March 2013

Classic Albums from my collection

Dog of Two Head - Status Quo

Status Quo have had a rough deal over the years - well, critically at least since selling millions of albums is a pretty rewarding. The thing with Quo is that somewhere around their Rocking All Over the World album, they seemed to lose their edge and although there were some triumphs in later years they generally stuck to the same chugga chugga twelve bar blues style which turned them into one of the biggest rock bands in the world but ultimately imprisoned them.

Dog of Two Head - This 1971 album is my particular favorite from the band and is perhaps their most effective as a heavy blues band, the follow up, Piledriver may have been the big break through, but it is on Dog of Two Head that they deliver their most inventive and compelling set.

Opening track, Umleitung is a driving blues beat in which the waspish vocals entwine with the back-beat  There's some great guitar work on this one from Rossi and Parfitt with Alan Lancaster (the composer of the song) holding it all together with a thumping bass line. The song goes on for seven and a half minutes and it doesn't seem a second too long. This is followed by a 51 second snippet of a song called Nanana, a ballad which crops up several times, though only once in its entirety. Then we have Something Going on in My Head, which is another number penned by Alan Lancaster, and employs a blues rock feel and is one of the most infectious tracks on the album. It's certainly got plenty of hooks. Ending the first side is Mean Girl which  is a portentous of the hard rocking, heads down, boogie style Status Quo would come to make their own.

Back in the day, when we flipped the record or cassette, we would have been greeted to another snippet from that acoustic ditty, Nanana, getting a minutes worth this time, before Gerdundula gives us another blues shuffle. The track is about two German groupies the band knew,  Gerd and Ulla. Then we have another blues rocker, this time using the chugga chugga rhythm the band were so skilled at producing - the track Railroad, uses a rock and roll cliche in its story of being stranded at a railroad after a lover has left - in rock and roll you're either waiting for a train to return your baby (Mystery Train) or pissed off because the train's taken her (One After  909). There's a wonderfully plaintive harmonica in the middle eight and the song rocks . This is followed by another Alan Lancaster penned tune, Someone'e Learning - the lyric examines the situation in Ireland during the period and the political troubles of the time. And then we have the full version of acoustic ballad, Nananna to complete the platter.

The current CD version contains  five bonus tracks and among these are a great BBC session of Good Thinking and Railroad, as well an alternative mix of Mean Girl.

Dog of Two Head may not have made Quo superstars, it was their following album, Piledriver that did that, but to my mind Dog of Two Head is a much better album and is certainly more musically adventurous. 

And the big news is....

Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs AVAILABLE NOW

And now some Glamour

Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs

Available Now

Writers' Market News

Glossy magazine Cosmopolitan have joined forced with US publisher Harlequin in  order to set up Cosmo Red Hot Reads-the new eBook imprint will launch early summer, and publish two short novels, between 25,000 - 30,000 words, each month. The editor is looking for submissions and tells the Archive that the heroine of each Hot Reads title will be a typical Cosmo girl - fun, fearless and independent. Submissions should be eMailed to

US based romance publisher, Entangled is to launch a digital imprint for teenagers. Details are few but check out the website at  as full submission details are due to be added over the next few days.

A new ePublisher well worth checking out is RIVERDALE AVENUE BOOKS - the company publish eBooks under several imprints covering romance, erotica, horror, sf, fantasy and even lesbian, gay and bisexual fiction. The publisher are soon to launch new imprints to cover sports themed novels. Find their submission guidelines at

Red Valley Books have a special promotion on at the moment regarding my new novel, Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs. The book is available on Amazon right now with the first book in the series, Granny Smith Investigates being free for the next five days.

Monday 25 March 2013


Q -When is a blog not a blog?

A-When it's a Vlog  - a video log

Big News

The official publication date is the 31st March and that's when Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs will be rolled out across all eFormats - however Amazon already have the book on sale and it can be bought here UK and here for the US. The first eBook in the Granny Smith series, Granny Smith Investigates will now be free for five days in order to help promote Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs.

‘It’s Miss Marple on steroids!’

Another murder rocks the small Welsh town of Gilfach – the police are baffled, the corpse is getting colder and only Granny Smith, the intrepid pensioner sleuth stands between justice and all out anarchy.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts to unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that seventy-one is actually the new twenty-one.

Murder’s never been so much fun.

What others are saying about Granny Smith

" I liked the story, entertaining, easy to read."

“Imagine a seventy year old James Bond but with tits and you pretty much have Granny Smith.”

"Laugh out loud funny and Granny Smith is a wonderful invention"

"Granny Smith complete with pipe , what a vision... proves where there is a way she will take try it...enjoyed this book easy reading ."

“Does for South Wales what Hitler did for Poland.”


I've been listening to the new Bowie album for a week now and have decided that new Bowie sounds exactly like old Bowie - and perhaps that's the point of the baffling cover which is actually the cover of his 1977 album, with a white square stuck over it and the title, Heroes blacked out. Even the rear of the sleeve contains a partially redacted Heroes track list.

The meaning of the cover teases - what is Bowie trying to say? Search me?

On first listen the album feels like a collection of mostly uptempo rockers which sound as if they could have come from Bowie's Berlin period, but delve a little deeper into the songs and you come across some dark corners - war, hunger, murder and ghosts linger behind each and every riff. Stand out tracks for me are Dirty Boys and the awkwardly titled Boss of Me, both of which recall past glories, but the rest of the album is pleasing enough. I don't think it's quite as good as Bowie's last album, Reality but it is superior quite a few platters in his back list.

That this could turn out to be Bowie's last album looks likely, especially since it's been ten years since his last and in that time heart problems almost killed him. Let's hope we get more Bowie in the future and if this album is any indication then the master still sounds good.


Here is the blurb for Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs which goes on sale at the end of this week.

‘It’s Miss Marple on steroids!’

Another murder rocks the small Welsh town of Gilfach – the police are baffled, the corpse is getting colder and only Granny Smith, the intrepid pensioner sleuth stands between justice and all out anarchy.

Granny has a talent for mayhem and soon those talents are put to good use as our intrepid pensioner starts to unravel the case, which finds her provoking Chief Inspector Miskin as she comes up against a full scale police investigation, proving that you’re never too old to make a nuisance of yourself and that seventy-one is actually the new twenty-one.

Murder’s never been so much fun.

What others are saying about Granny Smith
" I liked the story, entertaining, easy to read."

“Imagine a seventy year old James Bond but with tits and you pretty much have Granny Smith.”

"Laugh out loud funny and Granny Smith is a wonderful invention"

"Granny Smith complete with pipe , what a vision... proves where there is a way she will take try it...enjoyed this book easy reading ."

“Does for South Wales what Hitler did for Poland.”

Don't forget to put your teeth in.....

This coming Sunday is kinda special - yeah, I know it's Easter and that means chocolate eggs and fluffy bunnies but it also means deadly frogs.

Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs, the second book in the Granny Smith series will be available for sale on that day. And I'm getting excited now that I've seen the completed eBook - all formatted correctly and checked and re-checked several times by several eyes- let's hope no typos slip through the net.

The first Granny Smith novel, Granny Smith Investigates was a great success and for one day reached as high as number 3 on the Amazon Cozy Crime chart. And I hope the second book will consolidate and build on the success of the first.

When I originally created Granny Smith I placed her in her early Sixties, but after several emails from readers I realised I had made a mistake and that Granny should be older. And so because of the simplicity of recalling an eBook, editing and then putting the updated version on sale I (Kindle owners who have bought the eBook should get the updated version automatically) made her ten years older. And thus when I came to write the second book I realised I had a much better hold on the character, and that my readers had been right she did work better as a much older character.

That's the reality of publishing to eBook - it's a different world and in one sense a book is far more alive than it ever was in print, and can continue to develop with input from the readers.The main thrust of Granny will always be digital but there is a deal on the table for print versions of her adventures, and I'm hoping to get these POD books ready by this summer, but I'll likely make it a rule that the print version only becomes available six moths after the eBook sees publication.

The world Granny Smith operates in is very much a reflection of the real world, and whilst I may not have held a mirror up to the real world, I've most certainly held up one of those amusement park bendy, twisty mirrors. All of the characters who seemed to make an impression on readers in the first book are back - Dai Twice is on the case, Gerald is preparing to take a big step forward in his life and Chief Inspector Miskin is fuming away in the corner of the pages. And of course our intrepid amateur sleuth, the geriatric crime-fighter,  Miss Marple on Steroids herself,  is out there ensuring justice is delivered.

I'll be writing more about Granny for the Archive this week - hey, I've got to make a living and also have a Vlog planned - that's a video blog post in which I will tell Archive readers a little of what they can expect from the second Granny Smith novel. So be here or, as they used to say in Granny's day, be square.

Catch you later....

Tainted Stats

Weekly Stats Report: 18 Mar - 24 Mar 2013 


Unique Visits2072132922552192212401,647235
First Time Visits1901972752372112122221,544221
Returning Visits17161718891810315

Saturday 23 March 2013

Elmore Leonard's Hombre

BBC Radio Four Afternoon Play
Adapted by Robert Ferguson

This audio dramatization of Elmore Leonard's, Hombre is available to listen to via the BBC iPlayer for the next seven days with, I think, worldwide availability.

Hombre is a gritty western that tells of John Russel, a white man who has been raised by the Apaches. Because of this he finds himself an outcast among his own people.  When Russel takes a stagecoach none of the other passengers want anything to do with him - that is until a band of outlaws ride down on them and leave them stranded in the desert.

"Now, obviously, it would be ideal to go out somewhere hot and dry with actors and kit. Given the weather lately, I fancied Nevada or perhaps Morocco… Sadly, the reality is that we have to do it all in one big windowless room in BBC Broadcasting House in just two days. Luckily, our Drama studio is actually pretty wonderful." Martha Littlehailes, Senior Studio Manager 

The BBC produce some great audio drama for radio four and this play is no exception - it's also welcome because it is a western, a genre which is rare on the radio these days. How can a western, a seemingly visual medium work on the radio? Very well and the play is brilliantly adapted and well acted, with sound effects that help the listener paint those stunning western landscapes in their  imagination. As anyone who listens to radio drama will know - the pictures are wonderful.

Next week Radio Four continues the western season with an all new radio version of Shane.

Find Hombre on the iPlayer HERE

Thursday 21 March 2013

A few words on James Herbert -

I first corresponded with James Herbert after reading Moon. It wasn't the first novel I'd read by James and had been with him ever since reading Rats back in the mid 70's. But in 1985, when Moon came out,  I was twenty years old  and a huge fan of horror fiction. I dashed off a letter, a fan letter, to James and sent it C/O his publishers - a reply came a few weeks later and from Jim himself - James Herbert always had time for his readers. I wrote to him several times over the years and I finally got to meet him in 1992 at a book signing for his then new novel, Portent.It was only a brief meet but I told him that I had been writing to him after each new book since Moon. He smiled, thanked me, and then I had to move on for the next person waiting in line to get his book signed by the great man.

Tributes have been pouring in since the news broke that James died yesterday at the age of 69 - author Neil Gaiman speaking on Radio 5 said, “Jim’s [sales] numbers were extraordinary and he was very grumpy that nobody noticed. He’d point out that he had outsold Stephen King in the UK. He was a bestselling author which I think also meant that he felt he wasn’t getting the attention that he deserved. He wanted the things he wasn’t getting. He wanted critical acclaim and I don’t think he felt he ever got it even when some of his novels did get serious critical attention."

I'm not so sure than Herbert's success wasn't noticed, though - he was awarded the OBE in 2010 for one thing, and in terms of popular fiction his was. and is, a giant name. Perhaps Herbert was always overshadowed by Stephen King - both men came onto the scene around the same time but where King was comfortable in the media, Herbert tended to shun the limelight. He would turn up on the UK chat show circuit when he had a new book out but would vanish soon afterwards, only emerging when he had another book to tout.

"I hate violence and I didn't plan to write horror; it just poured out of me. The great thing is that you can write humour, romance or political thrillers under that genre." James Herbert

There was some critical acclaim and anyone wanting to find out more about the author should check out By Horror Haunted which was written by Stephen Jones and is a serious study of the author's vast contribution to popular fiction.

Four of his novels – The Rats, The Survivor, Fluke and Haunted – were made into films while one of his later works, The Secret of Crickley Hall, became a three-part supernatural thriller for the BBC last year. None though were particularly memorable.

"Another good writer lost, and one who was a commercial success, too, although I understand he had
his ups and downs and insecurities." author Keith Chapman

Herbert was born in London in 1943, the youngest son of East End market traders, and got his first work in advertising, becoming art director and head of the agency he joined. At the age of 28 he began writing his first novel, a  story of London being overrun by mutant, flesh-eating rats. When The Rats was finally published in 1974, the first print run of 100,000 copies sold out in three weeks. Many critics took the book at face value and bemoaned the extreme violence, but failed to pick up on the clever  political allegory within the book.

“The Rats was one of the first novels read outside school. Enjoyed watching my son read it. RIP.”  author, Mark Billingham via Twitter.

Herbert improved as a writer as he went on, and I still feel that his 1986 novel, The Magic Cottage is one of the finest dark fantasies every published and can stand proud alongside the very best of the horror/supernatural genre.

“Deeply saddened to hear today that my dear friend, writer James Herbert, died last night. Will miss you lots, Jim, you were a diamond. RIP.” Crime writer Peter James via Twitter.

Over the years I've written several articles about James for the Archive and some time back mentioned concerns for his health when a writer friend, a man who shall remain nameless but shared a publisher with James, told me he had bumped into the author in London and that he was frail and needed help walking. There was also the fact that Herbert's last book, Ash was delayed and delayed until finally seeing print last year.

He will be deeply missed - James Herbert was a true people's writer  - the author himself didn't give a shit for literary pretensions and wrote to entertain, that he entertained so many of us shows how great he truly was. He wasn't writing for the pretentious knobs who think a book holds no worth unless it is angst filled and a slog to get through. He was writing for  ordinary people,  working people and offering an entertaining escape from the grim reality of everyday life. He was brought up himself in a working class environment and he never stopped caring about working class issues, even when great wealth and success came his way.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of James Herbert and although I didn't really know the man I have lost something very real to me. I grew up reading his books and although I didn't follow him so much over recent years, I did pick up his books from time to time. I've read The Rats at least six times and Magic Cottage even more than that. I can still remember the feelings of dread I experienced when first reading, The Shrine and I guess I owe James Herbert for many many hours of enjoyable reading.

Thank you, Mr Herbert  - rest in peace, sir. A true gentleman.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Interview: Granny Smith

There's now a little more than a week until the publication of Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs - the eBook edition will contain a splattering of bonus material and one of these bonus items is a Q&A with myself, which I have posted below for readers of the Archive.

I like the idea of bonus material and think there are great possibilities for such material to add an extra dimension to the novel itself. And of course to give the reader more value for money.

And so here, to get you all ready for Granny Smith, is a small selection of the Q&A from Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs.

Q&A With Author G. M. Dobbs

Q- So what next for Granny Smith?

A-    Well, of course we have Gerald’s wedding to look forward to which will be detailed in a short Granny Smith story that will be published later this year. The next full-length novel will be called Murder Plot and concerns murder and intrigue at the allotments society.

Q-Where did the idea for Granny Smith come from?

A- The back of my brain, likely. I’ve a fondness for classic crime fiction and also the old Ealing comedy movies. I think that the Ealing movies and Agatha Christie, particularly her Miss Marple series are the two biggest influences on the Granny Smith series, but there are other influences that all meld together to form the unique universe of the novels, the Granniverse of you like. I love Tom Sharpe for instance and although my writing maybe more PG Tips than PG Wodehouse I do hope there’s a lot of good humour in the books. I’m aiming for the sky with Granny Smith, but if I only reach the shithouse roof then at least I've tried.

Q – The books usually concern a murder and the subsequent investigation. Does humour have a place amongst such dark themes?

A- The novels would fall loosely into the cozy crime category, so yes there is a murder but this takes place off page and there is very little gore or graphic detail. And of course the characters are all so much larger than life that we know we’re not dealing with a real world murder and all the ramifications resulting from such. There’s fun than blood. It’s all fantasy as is our detective the very wonderful Granny Smith. Miss Marple on steroids, indeed.

Q- Which character from the Granny Smith books would you most compare yourself to?

A-    Gerald, obviously! But no I think there’s a bit of myself in all the characters. I love the way Granny sees political correctness for what it truly is and I hope I share this trait. Also Gerald’s flamboyance, Arthur’s lust for solitude and Twice’s self importance are swirling around in my DNA.

Q- Granny aged ten years from the original draft of the first novel. Why was this?

A-    It’s true when I first wrote Granny Smith she was in her early Sixties, but I always wanted her to be older. I always thought her early Seventies was the correct age for the character but I was worried that it would be too much of a stretch to imagine all the things she does and so I created her as an extremely fit woman in her Sixties – which is not old by modern standards. Of course I soon realised that this was a mistake and that she had to be an older woman – and so I republished the first novel and made her 72 years old. That’s the beauty of electronic publishing in that it is so easy to go back and revise a book that’s already been published. I guess I’ll age Granny into her Eighties over maybe ten books.

Q- So you see the series going on for at least ten books?

A-    And more. Granny’s a fun character to play with and I love the way the world looks through her eyes. I’ve become a fan of series characters in cozy crime and especially enjoy the works of Simon Brett, M. C. Beaton and Lesley Cookman and if these guys can continue to come up with ideas for their characters then I’m sure I can too.

Q- You have had some success writing westerns as Jack Martin so isn’t cozy crime a big switch?

A-    Not really. My westerns contain a lot of humour so I don’t think they are that far removed from the Granny Smith series. And I see no reason why a writer is expected to stick to one genre. That doesn’t happen in other fields where creators are free to switch genres whenever the fancy or need takes them. Stephen Spielberg doesn’t only make one kind of movie and The Beatles switched genres from track to track. I write the story that takes over my imagination at any given time and the genre is a secondary issue.

Q- So would you write Erotica?

A-    Good God, no. I find it difficult to type one-handed.

Q- Where can people find out more about your writing?

A-    That’s a convenient question – thank you. Well you can follow me on Twitter @jackmartinwest and I keep a Facebook page under the name Gary Martin Dobbs and then there’s my very active blog, The Tainted Archive which you can find at .

Q- Finally where you get your ideas?

A-    Well I do a lot of people watching – well one woman really but the police have told me I’ve got to stop. Where do ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere – from other books, movies, events in newspapers. Sometimes I will be walking down the street and an idea will pop into my head and sometimes I dream story-lines as I sleep.

Q- Tell the truth: you made these questions up yourself didn’t you?


 Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs will be published 31st March 2013

Granny Smith Investigates is available now.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Sam Mendes will not direct next Bond movie

Director Sam Mendes has officially ruled himself out of directing the next James Bond movie which is due to start shooting later this year - Mendes told press he will be directing plays in the near future instead of returning to direct the next Bond flick. There was talk of Christopher Nolan taking over for the next Bond but the Batman director is now tied up overlooking the DC superhero line of movies.

Monday 18 March 2013

Riddle me this

Q -What have you got if you have-

a lesser crested frog
a plump lesbian
a drug frenzy
a bullock's pride
a car chase
a bumbling policeman or two or possibly three
and an intrepid senior citizen with handcuffs?

A - Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs

March 31st 2013

"Granny Smith is a wonderful
creation. Part Miss Marple, Part Stephanie Plum and all fun."

Buy the first Granny Smith adventure, Granny Smith Investigates at Amazon now.

Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs will be available March 31st.


Weekly Stats Report: 11 Mar - 17 Mar 2013


  Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat Sun Total Avg
Unique Visits2362222211882071832371,494213
First Time Visits2192051991731901712211,378197
Returning Visits1717221517121611617

Sunday 17 March 2013

November confirmed for the very dead Slim McCord

Have heard from my publisher that my next Jack Martin western, The Afterlife of Slim McCord will be published this November - below I've reposted an article which tell of my inspiration for the story.


Elmer McCurdy
It's early days yet, but I'd like to tell you a little bit about my fifth Black Horse title, which will be published this November. It's called The Afterlife of Slim McCord and uses an unusual premise - here's a very rough draft of the blurb:

“True friendship continues long after living is gone!”
Aging not so bad men Blackman and Tanner thought they had seen it all, but nothing could have prepared them for what they would find in the town of Possum Creek.
Once they had ridden with the notorious outlaw Slim McCord and when they come upon his mummified remains in a traveling carny show, they find themselves thrown into an unlikely and dangerous series of events as they, together with their dead leader, head towards a destiny that seems preordained.
Slim McCord, long after his death, is now involved in the most lucrative bank robbery of his outlaw career, as the three men, together again, face all manner of danger and find that, as the bullets fly, it’s just like old times.
It's kind of the story of the end of the frontier as seen through the eyes of two aged outlaws and one dead one. I was thinking along those lines, or at least the lines of aging outlaws when I stumbled across the real life story of Elmer McCurdy, a badman who was indeed mummified and then shown as part of a traveling carny show. 
Here's a snippet from the author's note that will accompany, The Afterlife of Slim McCord
In 1911 McCurdy was shot during a failed robbery and as no one claimed his body the undertaker embalmed the outlaw with arsenic based preservatives and put the corpse on show. From there the corpse ended up in various traveling shows before disappearing sometime in the 1930s. Incredibly in 1976 a prop man on the set of the TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man, rediscovered it. It had been thought to be a wax model, and used in a fun house set before a finger broke off, revealing it to be actual human remains.  Elmer McCurdy was eventually buried in 1977 in the Boot Hill section of Summit View Cemetery, Oklahoma with most of the cast and crew from The Six Million Dollar Man in attendance.
Truth is indeed stranger than fiction - and there was something fine and dandy about that old corpse causing such a commotion in 1976,all those years after death - the police were called in and production on The Six Million Dollar man frozen until they identified the body. And that's how Slim McCord developed in my mind. I liked the idea of the old outlaw kicking up a storm long after death  - My story is set in the Old West and our mummified outlaw finds himself playing an active part in a bank robbery long after he's cashed in his chips. I like the concept - nothing's truly new and there have been many western novels that have used a parallel between aging characters and the end of the frontier to tone their story, but as far as I know there's never been one with a mummified outlaw at the heart of the story. And I'm mighty pleased with Slim McCord - it's a larger than life story, with action, adventure, comedy and a stirring of sentiment. Above all I think Slim McCord's got a lot of heart.
Those days were gone though and Blackman knew it. It was written in his face and he had a wrinkle for every fence that had been thrown up around previously open range. He could dream though, and in his dreams there were no fences, and enough pretty ladies to warm the coldest of nights. 
Anyway that's it, The Afterlife of Slim McCord and I'm sure I'll be making a big old fuss when publication day nears, but for now the taster above is all your getting.
This book is also dedicated to the memory of Elmer McCurdy and all those who rode the Wild West, both in life and death.


 Last night I watched the new cleaned up version of the Beatles Let it Be documovie - it was great to finally see it cleaned up, thanks to P...