• Didn’t Bleed Red

    I’m trying something different for the serialisation of my current work in progress. Didn’t Bleed Red is being serialised at Tapas, a comics and prose platform for mobile and web readers. As usual, supporters on Patreon get to see episodes around a month before they’re generally available.

    Here’s the prologue-

    The ships appeared from nowhere, or so it seemed. The world’s governments had known there was something coming for a month, but no-one could tell them what it was. They were as surprised as everyone else by the shapes that arrived in orbit. Simple platonic solids from a distance, up close the scoring of heat dissipation trenches and hangar doors, and the dimpling of sensor arrays and weaponry became clear.

    They hung over the planet for half a day, visible from the ground as they caught the sun. Then the smaller ships arrived, and the attack began.

    Space Force lasted seconds, its satellites swatted away before the order had been given to release their nuclear payloads. Conventional forces fared better. In the air, fighter pilots became aces as they met the first wave of the attack. But the alien ships kept on coming, and were joined by larger, tougher vessels. Despite mounting losses, the air forces of Earth kept on downing invaders, but could not hold the mass of them back.

    On the ground, as the landing craft disgorged all manner of armed creatures, infantry and armoured divisions fought as bravely as their comrades in the air. The aliens had more powerful weapons, and were heavily armoured. But they weren’t invulnerable. If they could be made to bleed, then there would be a way to kill them. Many did die, but they took at least as many human soldiers with them, and were soon replaced.

    Earth was losing the war of attrition. Prime Ministers, Presidents and dictators around the world considered launching nuclear weapons at the key landing spots. It seemed their only means of rebalancing the battle on the ground. Hopefully it would be a harsh enough blow that their remaining forces could repulse the attack.

    The decision was made. A timetable was hurriedly agreed, and fingers hovered over the launch buttons.

    Just then, the invasion fleet started to drop from the sky. The gigantic ships in orbit went dark. The spherical one had a bite taken out of it by a huge explosion. On the ground, the menagerie of troops fell into disarray. Many collapsed, or froze in place, trapped inside the armour that had protected them moments before. Some threw down their weapons and cowered in surrender. Others turned their guns and blades on creatures which had, moments before, been their comrades. A number fought on, but their depleted and confused ranks were soon bested. A large number fled, and a significant number of them have yet to be tracked down.

    A disc shaped ship, smallest of the first arrivals, dropped from orbit and tumbled into the Western Pacific. Belly flopping into the ocean, it drove a minor tsunami toward the Chinese coastline. It floats in international waters, a new island of exotic alloys and unknown technologies, circled by ships from all the world’s navies, awaiting investigation.

    No-one in power knows why the invasion came to such an abrupt end, though many want to take credit for it. Supercomputers and intelligence analysts are working hard to crack even the slightest bit of the spike in communications amongst the aliens that presaged the collapse. It must have some bearing upon what happened, but they can’t yet tell what. Everyone awaits the rebooting of the orbiting platonics, a second wave of fighters and troop carriers, or some other terror that they cannot imagine. Something must be set to happen.

    Until it does, the clean up must go on. Rubble is being cleared, plans are being made for cities to be rebuilt. Refugees are being found shelter, and provided with food and water. Elsewhere, dead aliens are being dissected, and live ones are being examined. Their languages are being learnt, where possible, and they are being questioned. Their craft and weapons are being gathered up and dismantled. Reverse engineered and reworked, some of their equipment will be used against them, should they try again.

    As yet, the question of where the fleet came from has not been answered. The reason for the invasion is unknown, the wide array of differing morphologies and biologies of their army unexplained. But humanity defeated them once, surely it can resolve all of these questions in time.

    Meanwhile, a tiny group knows some of the secrets of the invaders. They, with help, were the ones who halted the invasion and saved the planet. But they dare not reveal themselves, because they also know that the aliens arrived years before, and have implanted their agents, and cultivated traitors, at the highest levels of Earth’s governments.

    They must lay low until they can be sure they and the world are truly safe, avoiding the alien and human forces hunting them down. And they have to help a friend who is no longer completely human, and is fearful of losing her identity, but who could hold the key to the ultimate safety of the planet.

    This is their story.


  • A Death In Didsbury

    A Death In Didsbury is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other online stores.

    When a woman is shot dead on a quiet street of trendy shops, Detective Sergeant Kay Wood is reunited with an old acquaintance, and has to work with retired intelligence analyst Irwin Baker to help them out.

    Unexpected violence flares on the streets of the Manchester suburb of Didsbury, and the investigation is soon tangled up in links to Russia and crimes dating back to the Second World War. As the intelligence services are drawn into the mystery, two witnesses find their lives turned up side down, and threatened, by their connection to the victim.


  • Because Roadkill

    There’s a new series of Top Gear coming soon. It’s the programme that will never die, if only because of all the money that must be rolling in from its syndication abroad and all the international offshoots.

    And, if I’m honest, I’ll probably make the mistake of watching an episode or two. But there are a bunch of far better shows about cars out there.

    I’m an odd eco-worrier, in that I love cars. The designs, the mechanics, the cultures that have built up around them or use them as a form of expression. The sorts of things that Top Gear, mostly, ignores.

    The Speedhunters website- set up as a promotional companion to the Need For Speed franchise- covers a wide range of car cultures through blog posts and photo galleries. For the other stuff, I’ve found a few cool online video channels.

    Motortrend is a channel that grew out of YouTube videos. It is home to dozens of syndicated shows from other sources- all car related, of course- but it’s the originals that are the real draw.

    Roadkill is the original. Friends Mike Finnegan and David Freiburger travel the USA, trying to get old cars up and running again, quite often rescuing them from scrapyards or having to cut them out of shrubbery. Then they attempt to drive the bangers to an arranged meet up or event. Of course, they don’t always get there.

    I know this sounds like so many of Top Gear’s challenges, but there’s a big difference. Finnegan and Freiburger are competent mechanics (and bodgers, when necessary), and they genuinely want to succeed, rather than simply build up to a scripted failure. And they’re not farting around in supercars with their tame racing driver in tow. Their failures are fun and funny, and their successes all the more impressive.

    Roadkill gave rise to a bunch of other programmes. Dirt Every Day can be thought of as Roadkill off-road, with excitable puppy Fred Williamson rescuing or hacking up four wheel drives to take rock crawling, trail driving or mud plugging. Roadkill Garage sees Frieburger teaming up with scarecrow genius Steve Dulcich for budget engine swaps, performance upgrades and crazy conversions. Hotrod Garage is a tidier version of Roadkill Garage, with cuddly duo Tony Angelo and Lucky Costa delivering everyman performance. There’s now a two wheeled take on the Roadkill formula- Throttle Out- which is only three episodes in so far, but shows promise.

    Subscription to the channel is only £5.99 a month, and its worth it for the originals alone. But if you’re in the US, or use VPN, there’s all the syndicated stuff, and lots of motorsport, as well. Highly recommended.

    YouTube is a good place to go for interesting hobbyist motoring content. The Motortrend family started there, before striking out on its own, and it is home to some others. Mighty Car Mods is my current favourite. Presented by Aussie mates Marty and Moog, it follows their adventures and misadventures in souping up cars. They’re big fans of Japanese motors, regularly taking trips to the land of the rising sun to pick up ‘nuggets’ or sample the delights of drifting and other car subcultures. They’re passionate and enthusiastic, but don’t take themselves too seriously, and episodes have fine soundtracks courtesy of Moog.

    Much more British, right down to the obligatory cups of tea, packs of digestives, and oily overalls, is Project Binky. The project is a long term production, as Bad Obsession Motorsports (two guys in a garage) shoehorn a four wheel drive system into an original Mini. Episodes are sporadic, turning up when enough progress has been made to merit an update. This is an involved build, as you might guess, but it’s delightful to watch sheets of two mil aluminium bent, cut and welded into all sorts of components. The bit where we get to see the car up and running is still a way off, but it should be worth it.

    So, I’ll probably fold, and watch some of the new Top Gear, but I’ll go back to the internet if I want to get some interesting car TV.


  • A Death In Didsbury – 43

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 42

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 41

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 40

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 39

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 38

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 37

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 36

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • Slashed is now available in paperback

    Slashed is now available in paperback, printed and delivered by Amazon. This edition has a redesigned cover, and also features bonus content- the two short stories which made up book two of the Lost Picture Show series. Order your copy now.

    A house with a grisly history.

    The killer who calls it home.

    Eight teens planning a party.

    But who’s hunting who?

    Warden’s Lodge has a blood soaked history dating back to before the Civil War.

    After a violent massacre it has stood empty for over twenty years. The locals keep their doors locked and are never far from a gun, fearing what they think lives in the lodge.

    When eight teenagers turn up, determined to have a party in the lodge despite the warnings, blood can’t be far away.

    In one long, violent night the lodge is going to claim more lives.


  • A Death In Didsbury – 35

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 34

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 33

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 32

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • A Death In Didsbury – 31

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon

  • Get a paperback book every month at the Spinneyhead Patreon page

    The Spinneyhead Patreon account is a great place for you to get early access to my books and comics. Sign up to support me, and I’ll be able to create more of the stories you love.

    I recently added the ‘Bookshelf’ level of patron support, which gets you all the benefits of the lower tiers, with the added bonus of a signed book every month. As it’s October, the obvious offering for this month has to be Northern Gorehouse by my alter-ego Garth Owen.

    Anyone who has signed up to the Bookshelf level by Halloween will receive a signed copy of Northern Gorehouse in November.


  • A Death In Didsbury – 30

    This content is being serialised for Patreon supporters. You can get it for as little as $1 a month. This is book five in the Rain & Bullets series. You can get books one and two for free if you sign up to the mailing list. Book three, Solstice, is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores. Book four, Kettled, is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and other stores.
    To unlock this content, pledge $1 or more on Patreon