Thursday, 27 December 2012

Are the days of blogs numbered?

Are the days of the blog numbered? Or is it that those people I once followed with keen interest have moved on to other more important projects in their lives? I would like to think that is the case because there was a lot of talented and interesting people out there, and I enjoyed following their literary adventures on a day to day basis.

This thought was prompted when I took a scan through the blogs that I followed and found a lot of them hadn't been updated for months, or had disappeared all together. Now, in some ways I'm guilty of apathy towards my blog, and there is a specific reason for it. I started this blog to chronicle my adventures in publishing. Now that was all well and good in the early days when everything about the process was new and fresh and not a little daunting. Yet it feels now that I'm beginning to rehash old thoughts and ideas, and I'm not sure that is what my readers want to read. Either that, or those who once followed my tales and advice have also moved on and are now past the kind of advice that I was able to offer.

Looking back over the last year, I've noticed that many of the blogs I followed, my own included, have become nothing more than marketing devices. Everyone has a book to sell it seems. I don't want my blog to fall into the trap of simply pimping my latest book - although it's obviously somewhere where anyone interested in my writing might come to find information on my latest works - and am in the process of trying to figure out where i want to take my blog next.

OK, I won't be absconding to wordpress (tried it, didn't work out), but over the next few weeks i hope to relaunch my blog so that it's a bit more interesting than "Hey! Here's my latest book". Watch this space....

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Twas Two Nights Before Christmas - Redux

Twas Two Nights Before Christmas

A poem featuring Joe Hunter

Twas two nights before Christmas, when all through the house the killer was stirring, the heartless louse. The stocking was pulled over his head with care, in hopes no one would know him if they seen him there.

The children were tied up in their beds, while chloroform fumes danced in their heads. And Mamma with her ‘kerchief employed as a gag, had just lost her mind after her husband was whacked! When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, the killer sprang from her body to see what was the matter.

Away to the window he flew like a flash, tugging up his zipper as he threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow gave the luster of mid-day to objects below. When, what to his worried eyes should appear, but a jet black Porsche, that should not have been there.

With a big ol’ driver, so lively and quick, he knew in a moment it must be that Rink. More rapid than an eagle his partner came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called the killer by name! "Now killer! Now, murderer! Now, rapist, I’m fixing, on coming on, stupid, to give you a Blitzing!” To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall the killer should dash away or else he would fall!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-door Joe Hunter he flew, with his hand full of gun, and a KABAR too. And then, in a twinkling, the killer heard the clicks, the racking and chambering of the SIG-Sauer P226.

As he drew in his head, and was turning around, through the front window Hunter came with a bound. He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all spotted with glass and with blood.

A bundle of hurt Hunter brought to this place, and he looked like the Grim Reaper, with his KABAR raised. His eyes-how they twinkled, his grim smile so scary! He brought up his gun, but he was in no hurry! His tight-lipped mouth was drawn up like a bow, as he unloaded the SIG like a flurry of snow.

There was a stump of an arm and a scatter of teeth, and the blood it encircled the killer’s head like a wreath. He had a wound in his face and more in his belly, where his intestines were pulped like a bowlful of jelly! He was shuddering and pumping, the guts right out his self, Hunter laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself!

A round through the eye and a chunk from his head, soon told Hunter that the killer was dead. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and pulled down the stocking, to identify the jerk. And spotting the prison tattoo aside the killer’s nose, he gave a nod, and he pulled out his phone!

He sprang to the Porsche, and Rink gave it throttle, and away they flew like the cork from a bottle. No one heard Hunter exclaim, ‘ere they drove out of sight, "Hi, Walter, a clean up crew’s required tonight!"

Based on ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ a poem by Clement Moore

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Some Rules May Never Be Broken...

I was recently tagged in a blog "meme" called The Next Big Thing by Dean Crawford, best selling author of the Ethan Warner thrillers

So, here's my question and answer session!

What is the title of your next book?
It is the eighth in my Joe Hunter thriller series and is called 'Rules of Honour'.
Where did the idea come from for the book?

Being a lifelong martial artist, I've always had a fascination with the mind set of the Samurai warrior, and some of the rules of conduct they followed, and one of those was the intriguing 'burden of obligation' or 'Giri'. For some time, some of my readers have been calling out for a tale centred upon Hunter's brother-in-arms, Jared 'Rink' Rington, and i felt the time was right to investigate Rink's past. But more than that, i wanted to involve Rink's family - being part Japanese I couldn't resist including 'Giri', but in a story that readers might find different to others they'd read. It was tempting to involve the yakuza and ninja and stuff, but I resisted.
What genre does your book fall under?

Crime/action thriller.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

There is some interest being shown by various TV and movie companies, but to date no one has slapped a deal on the table, but I remain hopeful. I always worry about naming actors, because I don't want to place an image in a readers mind. They might not agree with my choices and could indeed turn them off the idea, but, hey, ho. In for a penny, in for a pound, eh? For Joe Hunter I'd go with Max Martini, for Rink it'd have to be Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Some rules may never be broken....

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am represented by London based agent Luigi Bonomi of Luigi Bonomi Associates, and in New York by George Lucas of Inkwell Management. For translation rights I'm represented by ILA of London, and for movie/TV rights I'm with Knight hall Agency Ltd. The Joe Hunter thrillers are published internationally by Hodder and Stoughton and by Harper Collins in the USA.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Usually it takes around three months to write the first rough draft, and then a further three months or so to tidy it up and do corrections. i usually aim to complete two books per year.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'm not fully sure. My books are often compared with those of Lee Child, Robert Crais, or closer to home to Andy Mcnab or Chris Ryan. personally I think they have as many differences as they have similarities. But I'm not complaining, I'm a fan of all the aforementioned and very happy to be mentioned in any of their company. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

After the previous Joe hunter thriller - No Going back - I received some great reviews and feedback but some readers bemoaned the fact that Rink was a minor player in the book. I decided to pay back my readers' interest in Rink in giving him a huge part in Rules of Honour. It's very much a Rink book, as narrated by Hunter.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It is a story that looks at how events of the past can have repercussions on the here and now, and also looks into a little known facet of WW2 history that is deemed shameful now.

I'm now supposed to tag five more authors to continue this meme. I'm not the type to do so unsolicited, but if five of my friends should like to continue then please do so.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

His name means WAR (and it's FREE)

FREE for your Kindles. 'Darkest Hour' is a blend of monsters and warfare. Think 'Van Helsing meets 'Saving Private Ryan'.

For halloween I'm giving away 'Darkest Hour' absolutely FREE for Kindle readers. This is not Joe Hunter. It's Ludis Kristaps and his name means WAR.

For US readers, simply follow the link, then change to .com in the search bar to take it to your site.


Saturday, 13 October 2012

CSI Portsmouth 3rd November

CSI Portsmouth 2012 where crime fiction meets crime fact

Saturday 3 November 2012 Portsmouth, England

Meet and mingle with top selling crime authors and police and forensic crime experts; hear how the authors write their popular crime novels, find out how much they draw on real life experiences and experts, learn about what really happens at a crime scene, how a fire investigation is worked, hear about cyber crime and internet stalking, see how the fingerprint bureau works, have your fingerprints taken, and much, much more. 

CSI PortsmouthThis will be the third year of CSI Portsmouth and it promises to be an even more exciting and informative event than ever. Join best selling crime authors Stephen Booth, Ann Cleeves, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson along with police and forensic experts at CSI Portsmouth 3 November 2012 for a thrilling event where crime fiction meets crime fiction. 

Come for the morning or the afternoon or make a day of it.

Saturday 3 November 2012
John Pounds Centre, 
Queen Street, Portsmouth, England
10am – 4.30pm

Tickets cost £6.00 per panel or £10 for the day with £3.00 redeemable against the purchase of a book bought at the event and £1.00 discount for Portsmouth Library Members. (You can join when you purchase your ticket if not an existing member.) 

Call the Box Office on 023 9268 8037 Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm

CSI Portsmouth Morning Programme

10am to 12.30pm 

Join International best selling authors Stephen Booth, Matt Hilton and Pauline Rowson with Crime Scene Manager Co-ordinator Carolyn Lovell from Hampshire Police, DC Terry Fitzjohn, Hampshire Police, Crime Scene Fire Investigator, and Andy Earl Hampshire Fire and Rescue of the Arson Task Force.

CSI Portsmouth Afternoon Programme

2pm to 4.30pm 

Join International best selling authors Ann Cleeves and Pauline Rowson with Adrian Fretter, Hampshire Police Hi Tech Crime Unit, Professor Bran Nicol University of Surrey, an expert on stalking culture and Internet Stalking and Dr Mark Button from the University of Portsmouth, an expert on fraud.

(Please note the change to the advertised programme - Roger Ellory has unfortunately had to withdraw from the event.)

Throughout the day: 
  • Have your fingerprints taken and pressed into a key ring as a keepsake
  • Visit the bookshop provided at the event by The Hayling Island Bookshop
  • Talk to the authors and get signed copies
  • Visit the Scene of Crime provided by students on the Forensic Science Course at South Downs College

Meet the Authors

Stephen Booth is the creator of DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry who appear in twelve novels set in the atmospheric Peak District. Winner of a Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel, the Cooper & Fry series is published all around the world, and has been translated into many languages.

From the North East of England Ann Cleeves is the author of the Vera series of crime novels which have been adapted into the popular ITV series starring Brenda Blethyn and David Leon, broadcast in the UK, and sold worldwide. An adaptation of Red Bones, one of her Shetland mysteries, is currently in preparation for television. Her books have been translated into twenty languages. 

In 2008 Matt Hilton secured a record-breaking 5 book deal for his Joe Hunter series. Since then he has had a 5 book deal in the USA, a further 4 book deal in the UK and translations in Germany, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria. His debut novel, Dead Men's Dust, reached Number 11 in the Sunday Times bestseller list. A former cop Matt also worked for the private security industry and is a high ranking Martial Artist.

Pauline Rowson is the author of the popular marine mystery crime novels featuring DI Andy Horton set in the Solent area. Highly acclaimed in the USA and the UK they have been hailed as the 'Best of British Crime Fiction’ and have been translated into several languages. 

Meet the Experts

Carolyn Lovell has a BSc in Biology (Southbank University) and an MSc in Forensic Archaeology (Bournemouth University). As part of her dissertation, Carolyn studied how the decomposition of pigs affected the forensic recovery of finger marks in blood on items within the grave environment. Carolyn has worked for Hampshire Constabulary for over 17 years, starting out as a Crime Scene Investigator. For the past 12 years Carolyn has had the role of Crime Scene Manager/Coordinator, managing numerous serious and major crime scenes. Carolyn currently manages the training and performance of the Crime Scene Investigators along with the Arson Task Force, and provides forensic consultancy advice and training to external agencies. 

DC Fitzjohn works with the Hampshire Police Arson Task Force team. He is a trained Crime Scene and Fire Investigator. During investigations, DC Fitzjohn links in with the Police investigating officers, CID and Major Crime Teams to review and support the investigation of serious and life endangering fires. The link is invaluable as both agencies work very hard to identify arrest and convict arsonists. DC Fitzjohn’s role also involves monitoring arson offences within the county, identifying patterns and gathering intelligence. 

Watch Manager Andy Earl has worked for the Fire Service for 23 years as a Firefighter and then Crew Manager. He joined the Arson Task Force in 2009 as a Fire Investigation Officer where his primary roll is to carry out ‘Cause and Origin’ Fire Investigations in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary Crime Scene Investigators.

Adrian Fretter has worked for Hampshire Police for 23 years. He was appointed to CID in 1996 has worked in the incident room during the Glenda Hoskins and Ann Fidler murder and attempted murder investigation and been an informant handler. In 2006 he joined the High Tech Crime Unit where the ever changing technologies present a major challenge. 

Professor Bran Nicol is Professor of English Literature at the University of Surrey, having previously worked at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests include crime culture, and the way that crime in literature and cinema reflects and shapes cultural anxieties and desires. His book, Stalking saw him being shortlisted for the 2007 Times Higher Young Academic Author of the Year award, and has been translated into Italian, Korean, and Japanese. He is an expert on stalking culture and has appeared on many radio programmes and featured in the documentary Stalked - to Death, for the Irish channel, TV 3. Plus other experts to be announced.

Dr Mark Button is Director of the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies, a Reader in Criminology and Associate Head Curriculum at the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. Mark has written extensively on counter fraud and private policing issues, publishing many articles, chapters and completing five books with one forthcoming. He has undertaken research on behalf of the National Fraud Authority, ACPO, Department for International Development, Acromas and PKF to name some. Mark is also Head of Secretariat of the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board. Before joining the University of Portsmouth he was a Research Assistant to the Rt Hon Bruce George MP specialising in policing, security and home affairs issues. Mark completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Exeter, his Masters at the University of Warwick and his Doctorate at the London School of Economics.  

CSI Portsmouth 2012 where crime fiction meets crime fact 
Date: Saturday 3 November 2012 
Time: 10am – 4.30pm 
Where: John Pounds Centre, Queens Street, Portsmouth, PO1 3HN 
Access to the centre is through the arch way on Queen St. 

How to get there

By Car 
Take the M275 into Portsmouth and follow the brown signs for 'Historic Waterfront'. Queen Street is the main road that leads down to the Historic Dockyard. 
By train 
Alight at Portsmouth Harbour and on leaving the station head towards the Historic Dockyard and turn north into Queen Street. The John Pounds Centre is located half way down. 
By Bus 
Many different routes from all over the city stop close by. Portsmouth City Council produces a public transport map. Telephone 023 9283 4092 or visit and click on Residents, Getting Around, Bus for a free copy. 

CSI Portsmouth is part of Portsmouth Bookfest a festival of popular literature organised by The Hayling Island Bookshop and Portsmouth City Council and runs from October 22 to 3 November. Its aim is to promote reading for pleasure and enthusiasm for literature in the city of Portsmouth.


Tickets cost £6 per panel or £10 for the day with £3.00 redeemable against the purchase of a book bought at the event and £1.00 discount for Portsmouth Library Members. (You can join when you purchase your ticket if not an existing member.) 

Call 023 9268 8037 Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.


Alternatively tickets can be purchased from The Hayling Island Bookshop, 34 Mengham Road, Hayling Ilsand PO11 9BL Telephone: 023 9246 6620 Monday to Saturday 

Portsmouth City Council Library ( Southsea Library is open Monday- Sunday) 


Portsmouth is one of Britain's favourite waterfront destination. Its irresistible mix of history and heritage, specialist shopping, lively arts, great restaurants and bars and a programme of year round events make it a popular destination, while the beautiful scenic coast of the Isle of Wight is just a short trip across the Solent. Hope you can join us for CSI Portsmouth 2012 on Saturday 3 November 2012. 

If you'd like to sign up for the newsletter to be kept informed of this event please 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


JUDGMENT AND WRATH is available now in mass market paperback format in the USA

'Bone Powder'

I'm chuffed to find that the Romanian translation of the first Joe Hunter thriller - Dead Men's Dust - has finally been released by RAO Publishing under the title 'Pulbere De Oase' (literally translated as "Bone Powder") with a terrifically moody cover. For more details see the RAO website here:

Monday, 17 September 2012

JUDGMENT and WRATH imminent in the USA

Some of my US readers might have noticed that the paperback edition of Joe Hunter 2 - Judgment and Wrath - was never made available for purchase in the USA. Well, if you've been waiting for it then the wait is almost over, because JAW will be published by William Morrow and Company in mass market paperback in a little over a week's time on 25th September.

For readers new to the series, the book fits into the time arch between 'Dead Men's Dust' and 'Slash and Burn', but can easily be read as a stand alone too. It features one of my favourite creations to date, the seriously creepy hit man called Dantalion and remains one of the most action-packed Hunter adventures.

"Former Special Forces military operative-turned-problem solver Joe Hunter is enjoying a quiet, new life in Florida when he's approached by a man who wants Hunter to bring his daughter home. Marianne, her father says, is being held by an abusive boyfriend, millionaire Bradley Jorgenson, and her rescue is imperative. But the girl Hunter discovers at Jorgenson's luxurious island residence seems happy, and her beau harmless and loving. the real problem is Dantalion.
A brilliant, sadistic psychopath—a merciless contract killer with a terrifying personal agenda—Dantalion has his sights set on the couple when he shows up at Jorgenson's mansion. Suddenly the only choice is to run, as a simple snatch-and-grab becomes a deadly game of cat-and-mouse in the Florida swamplands, a desperate battle for survival against a maniac who'll let nobody live who stands in his way . . . not even Joe Hunter."

or buy it from most good bookshops.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Dead Fall - a Joe Hunter exclusive short story

I've recently written my first e-book exclusive short story for the US market, featuring ex-military operative Joe Hunter, and it will be released on 25th October this year.

When the bodies of two friends are found near the penthouse apartment of a known crime boss, Joe Hunter has revenge on his mind. He's never tolerated bullies, but this time it's personal. And no matter how many heads he has to bash to do it, Joe will find his man.

Includes a sneak preview of Blood and Ashes, the exhilarating fifth novel in the Joe Hunter series.

The ebook will also be released for the UK (and rest of the world market via Hodder and Stoughton relatively soon afterwards - although possibly with a different cover). Also watch out for another ebook exclusive Joe hunter short story coming soon called RED STRIPES (more news on that before long).

Monday, 20 August 2012

NO GOING BACK - the seventh Joe Hunter thriller - OUT NOW

NO GOING BACK - the seventh Joe Hunter thriller - is out now in paperback

Jameson Walker approaches Joe Hunter when his daughter Jay and her friend Nicole go missing at a gas station in the Arizona desert while on a cross-country trek across the North American interior. He mentions that a robbery/homicide at the gas station as worrying as the girls were due to be in the vicinity at that time. Joe accepts the job of locating the girls, though not at first convinced there's much to worry about. As Joe picks up the girls' trail he discovers that other young women have also disappeared in the area, and comes across the brutish Logan family.

'The pace rattles along with the intensity of a disgruntled rattlesnake . . . A fantastic tale of "derring do" . . . The prose is Lycra tight and there is more atmosphere than previous novels. The Arizona desert is so well drawn it almost becomes a character itself.' ( )

'Sharp and hard hitting . . . Matt doesn't allow himself to get complacent, but continually delves deeper into the psyche of Joe . . . Fast-paced, action-filled and completely addictive, Matt shows his continuing maturity as a writer with an exhilarating ride that still maintains humour and wit.' ( )

'A thrill-a-thon book that packs in more action than all three hit Bourne films rolled into one. This is Hilton's fifth Hunter adventure and he's motoring so fast he's coming up on the tail of Lee Child and stellar creation Jack Reacher. . . It's a wham, bam, bone-crunching treat!' (Alex Gordon, Peterborough Evening Telegraph )

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Karl Malden's Bobble Nose, Lee Child and Daffodils

Have you ever stopped to wonder if you're using the correct titles on your blog entries to ensure that you get the most visits/hits. Funnily enough I try to be witty with my titles but it never fails to amaze me (when checking my statistics) that the most visited entries are some with quite obscure meanings to them.

It's probably no surprise that anything with 'Lee Child' in it will get numerous hits. Lee's a terrific author with zillions of followers. Not that I'm saying I name drop lee, i don't. This is only the second time (that I recall) using his name. Saying that though, it's not the post that does name Lee in the title that gets the most hits.

My most popular blog post is one I titled 'Karl Malden's Bobble Nose' - about my lack of prior knowledge about San Francisco prior to a visit - and one that mentions 'Daffodils'.

Who knew that either Bobble Noses or Daffodils could be such helpful marketing tools?

(I've put the three terms in the title of this blog purposefully, to see if suddenly it becomes my most visited blog entry: I'll let you know)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

More Pace Anyone?

This originally appeared as a guest post at author Graham Smith's blog, but I thought it apt that I share it again...


Anyone who has read any of my books or short stories – not half my Joe Hunter crime thriller series – they’ll probably guess that there’s a certain element that I attempt to inject in each and every tale.

I’m not talking action, violence, blood or guts – even if there are ample portions of each to keep the hungriest reader sated – I’m talking about ‘pace’.

Pace is what keeps the pages turning frantically into the night.

Now, injecting pace isn’t simply a paring down of the words so that you race through the text much faster while reading, and it’s not simply about jumping from one set piece to another. Admittedly they’re both techniques that I do use, but there’s more to pace than simply abridging a longer book.

Here are a few techniques that I do use to speed the story along:

First off, my hero narrates the story in first person past tense. In this way we are inside Joe Hunter’s head, and see things the way he sees the action. If anyone has ever told you a story, when events excite them they speed up, and so does Hunter in the narration. He get’s excitable and this translates to the reader’s ear and – hopefully they get excitable too. They experience the story through his senses, and hopefully feel some of the visceral kick and adrenalin buzz Hunter is experiencing.

Secondly, I show all third party events through third person past tense. Because Hunter is narrating his story, he can only narrate what he knows, what he’s seen, heard or experienced. Sometimes because he does not know the full story, we can anticipate some of the danger he’s about to walk into, and therefore feel for him. My intention is that readers rush to find out what will happen next, to see how Hunter will contend with the problem about to be sprung upon him. Pace is set up, even if we’re only subliminally aware – as readers – that we’re being egged on to turn the pages to find out ‘what happens next?’

Sometimes I like to overlap chapters, seeing the events through different characters’ eyes, seeing their take on the same events. Sometimes Hunter’s voice isn’t the best to narrate the fear or terror of a victim, or the rage or smug satisfaction of a bad guy going in for the kill. But because we get the unfolding story from the other party, we are sometimes ahead of Hunter and forced to think ‘Oh, no, how are you going to handle this, Joe?’ It causes anticipation, ergo the desire to read on.

Description is kept to a minimum. I like only to drip feed some facts and local colour into a scene and prefer that the reader conjure their own vision of the scene. Some people say I write very visually, or cinematically, but if you were to actually take a deeper look at my writing, you’ll probably realise that much of the picture has been formed in the reader’s own mind’s eye. Not mine. It’s a clever ploy, and not something I claim to fully understand, I just do it.

I tend to keep chapters short (but not Patterson-short). I know from my own reading experience that I often flick forward a few pages in a book to check where the next chapter ends, perhaps looking for a natural break where I can stop, grab a coffee, go to the loo, eat something, or even go to sleep. Often if the natural break is only a short page or two away, I’ll subconsciously decide to wait for the next break, or the next, and so on. The book therefore unfolds quickly, and it might seem with no thought in the reader’s mind of ‘Hell, I’m never going to get through this’.

I like to leave a cliffhanger at the end of many chapters. Because the story is often told chapter about, Hunter taking the lead, followed by a third party character – often the villain – the reader is urged not only to read one chapter to find out what happens next, but two, and so on.

I write in three major acts:

Usually there’s a problem that becomes apparent. It is usually followed by an attempt to rectify said problem that fails or the problem changes or grows larger. The third act is usually a fast-moving race to the finale as Hunter tries to save the day (whatever the problem may be). By having these three acts, the story is like three separate but interlinked narratives, all three leading to that final battle royal at the end.

Because the stories are violent by nature, I like to show the action in a series of set pieces, each a stand-alone scene in itself, but each promising a bigger, faster and more exciting finale. When you have big action scenes early on in a book, it seeds the idea in the reader’s mind that the end must be even bigger, and hopefully the hook that they want to find out how Hunter can surpass what he’s already dealt with keeps them turning pages.

Hunter doesn’t say much. When he does it is short and to the point. The dialogue is often leavened with sporadic bursts of dark humour. A laugh can help the pace, because it helps put the reader’s mind in an alert state, and again keeps them moving on, AKA turning pages.

Some people point at my writing output over the last three or four years, and think I’m incredibly gifted when it comes to speedwriting. That seems like a lofty claim, but I mention it only because I wish to get the point about pace across. I write fast because I’m feeling the pace myself. Because the writing style is fast, I seem to be able to put the words down on paper almost equally as quickly. I feel the buzz and the adrenalin rush.

If pressed to answer where my need for pace comes from, it’s probably due to the kind of books I loved to read as I was emerging as a writer. I loved the old so-called ‘Men’s Action books’ of the 1970s and early 1980s, typified by Mack Bolan, Remo Williams, Nick Carter and the like. I also loved the 1930s action adventure tales that are best remembered for Robert E Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan etc. All those tales were fast moving, slightly larger than life and were – above all – great fun to kick back and read. It was due to those books that I began writing in earnest, as I tried to emulate my literary heroes. When I came up with the idea of the Hunter series it was with a mind to pay homage to those old action writers, and I hope that I’ve achieved my plan.

Also, as an add on to that master plan, my mind has recently been wondering if there were other writers out there equally inspired by the same books as me, and I played around with the idea for some time of putting together a collection of action inspired tales. Well, that plan is now underway. I’m shortly going to release a collection of action-packed short stories, aptly under the banner of Action: Pulse Pounding Tales as an eBook, where the emphasis is on - you guessed it – action and pace. It seems that there are other writers who similarly enjoy a good old rippin’ yarn, with plenty of escapism and derring-do. It’s turning out to be quite a weighty tome, but one thing I can guarantee: it will be a helluva fast read.

Matt Hilton

Sunday, 1 July 2012


OK, so I've been out of touch lately, but believe me, I haven't only been gadding around the world (Gadding, now there's a word you don't hear every day - thanks Diane McCarogher) and enjoying the high-life. I've also been extremely busy with a number of projects, some of which you already know about, some you don't.

I'm a writer. I write. Sometimes I even have to concentrate on the writing in order to get the writing done.

So here's the skinny on what I've been writing.

First up, I've been hard at completing a novel that doesn't sit in the Joe Hunter mould. It is a thriller, and it is action-packed, but it also has shades of speculative fiction thrown in for good measure (notice I didn't mention sci-fi: some people instantly turn off at the mention of sci-fi), and it features a new hero by the name of James Rembrandt. Things are pretty hush-hush about this project (translated as: I haven't sold the book yet), but it is tentatively entitled THE PHOENIX MAN. After months of working over the twisty-turny plot, I'm both relieved and also a little saddened to be leaving Rembrandt behind for a few months. More news on this project as and when.

I've also written a Joe Hunter short story called 'DEAD FALL' and hopefully this will soon be released as an ebook through all the usual channels. I'm currently working on a second Joe Hunter short story, but more on this as and when I sort out what it's going to be about.
For those of you who've missed them, I've a none-Joe Hunter appearing in True Brit Grit, a terrific collection of short stories put together by Paul D Brazill and Luca Veste, called Payback: With interest, (and am planning a story for inclusion in their next collection Off the Record 2).

Coming soon, I've a story in Smart Rhino Publications' aptly titled book Uncommon Assassins called MISCONCEPTIONS. Watch out for more news on this superb collection collected and edited by Weldon Burge.

My US readers might be pleased to hear that William Morrow and Company (Harper Collins) have now got the rights to publish 'Blood and Ashes' and 'Dead Men's Harvest' and they'll be out some time next year in the States. But first up, they're publishing the mass market paperback edition of 'Judgment and Wrath' with this terrific new look cover. The book is due to hit the stands this October.
In the UK, the next Joe Hunter book to hit the stands this coming August will be the paperback edition of No Going Back.
I've also been working hard recently on page proofing 'Rules of Honour' the eighth Joe Hunter thriller, due for release in January 2013, and 'The Lawless Kind' the ninth Joe Hunter thriller for release in January 2014.

Did you catch the collection of action-inspired tales I collected and edited yet?
Or the short Romantic thriller story called Confetti For Gabrielle?
Or seen or grabbed 'Dominion' or 'Darkest Hour' with these excellent new covers designed by Nicola Birrell?

So you can see I've been working on lots of different projects, not to mention travelling to Florida, Glasgow and Bulgaria in the last few weeks.

Coming up, I'll be in London for a few days, at the annual gathering of crime writers at Goldsboro Books' 'Crime in the Court' event (Tuesday 3rd July from 6pm onwards), then I'll be hopping over the pond to New York City for Thrillerfest where I'm appearing on a panel moderated by none other than Linwood Barclay. back over the pond to Blighty, and I'll be at Harrogate for the annual Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at the end of July. oh, and something completely different, I'll be at Megacon, at the Richard Rose Academy, Carlisle on 18th August, wearing my horror writing head at a brand new event that should be excellent. See for more details.

In between it all, I'll be writing, I guess.