Tag Archives: harper collins

New teen paperback at Amazon


Many thanks to Charlotte for reading and commenting on three recent rewrites and edits of Keewatin. The novel is finally in paperback (there is also a Kindle version).

Don’t click on the pic above to look inside! Click the Keewatin link here instead.

Keewatin is an adventure story set in Canada in the 1980’s. I wrote an original version for my son when he was eleven – though this published version bears little resemblance to the original.

To save you clicking on links, here is the book’s description:

Alex Mackenzie’s father disappears while on a visit to a mine in the Canadian north. Search parties fail to find him. When school breaks up for the summer, Alex’s friend Suzie invites him to fly with her to Toronto to stay with her aunt. It is a plan by her parents to get Alex’s mind off his missing father. In Toronto things go badly wrong. Will they be allowed to stay with their aunt, or will they be sent back? And what happened to Alex’s father? Keewatin takes the reader into the Canadian wilderness accompanied by an anxious Alex, a feisty Suzie and a truck called Mog. An adventure for older children and younger teens. Parents: A safe adventure story! Read and enjoyed by 8 to15 years.

No reviews yet… My first published novel, Playpits Park, had several 5-star reviews (see here). A few years ago I put a draft of Playpits on the Harper Collins Publishers website ‘Autonomy’. Here are the peer reviews.
Unlike Keewatin, Playpits is NOT a novel for children. Playpits Park has been downloaded for Kindle more than 5,600 times


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Stephen King is right

I have never been much of a ‘joiner’. I lasted about two months in the cubs, much to my parents’ chagrin after having bought all the kit. A couple of months ago I joined HarperCollins Authonomy website and put one of my novels ‘Playpits Park’ up on it. It got some excellent reviews, and advanced from 6,000th place to 230th. The aim is to end up on the ‘Editors Desk’ but with no guarantee of getting published (fair enough – especially when you learn that the fastest way to get there is to spam other contributing authors). Rather like the cubs, it was not for me. Two days ago I zapped the lot.

With the cubs it was too much ‘dib-dib-dib’ and woggles. With Authonomy it was too much ‘I am close to the top, so if you back me then I’ll back you’. I also found that my writing output (my new novel and also this blog) dropped close to zero. Stephen King is right. In his 2002 book On Writing, which I have only just read – shame on me – I was reminded that I should be writing for myself, not writing for others. Leaving Autonomy reminds me of George Melly’s remark that it was like being unchained from a lunatic*.

Spending so many hours on the site reading budding authors’ works (a few good, some bad and some extremely bad) has made me sympathetic towards agents and publishing staff whose daily task is to plough their way through the slush pile. In the last couple of months I have read the first pages and chapters of several hundred novels and commented on many. In the end I simply switched off.

*Though he was talking about something entirely different, and apparently Sophocles said it first (I’m no classics scholar – I Googled the Melly quote, just as you are about to do…)


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