Yukon Dad!

It can get way too serious writing thrillers and crime books, so it’s great when real life stories get in the way. It’s taken a while, but that Yukon book is finally making an appearance – although, not quite yet. In March, 2018, curious readers will be able to discover how I survived as a surrogate dad on the Yukon River for fifty days.

I’ll bust a myth right from the get go – mum and dad paddled with us – but we shared the kids, one in each canoe, for the entire journey.

Yukon Dad is a story about an ex-outfitter canoe, four adults, and two wild (read “great”) kids, travelling from Canada into Alaska on the Yukon. We survived Search and Rescue attempts, avoided wildfires, navigated the Flats, shooed bears away from camp, and met the locals, and thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality of the people of the Yukon.

Along the way, I learned a lot about myself, and what it means to be a parent, if only for a short time. Cue chapters on “lessons learned” and “survival strategies” for parents lost in the wild, or just lost.

This honest and humorous story is framed from the author’s perspective – that would be me – and his (mine) lack of experience of travelling with kids, or even being around kids for such a prolonged period of time. If you want a laugh about that, and I certainly hope you do, then you can pick up a cheap pre-order kindle copy of the book at Amazon.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Poems from a Polar Night

The Author Lab

The Last Glimpse of the Sun before the Long Polar Night, Qaanaaq, Greenland, 2011)

The clock is ticking before the publication of my second short story featuring Constable David Maratse from East Greenland. I have made a point of including poems from the collection called Isblink, by Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen (1872-1907), to set the scene. He died leading the Danmark Ekspedition in 1907, and his poems from a previous expedition help frame my stories. But, I don’t want to talk too much about Ludvig, as Sarah Acton – resident poet – and I have exciting news about him to be announced at a later date. Rather, I want to talk about containment.

View original post 200 more words

Seven Graves One Winter

This is it then, Constable David Maratse is going into retirement … and launching a whole new series of crime books!

Crazy, I know, but this is how it is going to work. He thinks he is being invalided off the force, but it just isn’t going to go his way – not at all.

Settling into the life of a subsistence fisherman in a remote Arctic community in Greenland? Never gonna happen! It’s time to get busy, dig some graves!

Seven Graves One Winter is the first in series of true crime books set in Greenland. More news as soon as I have it!

Until then, if you’d like to pre-order, here are the links on Amazon:

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada

Going International!

A while ago I suggested that I needed an Australian character in the third book of The Greenland Trilogy. He’s arrived, and his name is Rhys Thomas. The Americans are represented too, as are the Canadians – again. But The Shaman’s House starts in Greenland, of course. There are more Greenlanders than in the previous books, as we spend more time in the populated areas – places I have lived, and visited. The closer I get to releasing The Shaman’s House, the more personal I realise the book has become. The story is pure fiction – adrenaline fueled – but the locations, and some of the anecdotes – sometimes fact can be stranger than fiction and a real source of inspiration.

Everything is made up, or used fictitiously, but I did enjoy writing my old house into the story!

Curious to read about where I lived? The final installment in the Greenland Trilogy is now available for pre-order at a special price.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada

Puncture Wounds

Today I was bitten by a dog.

It’s been a while.

It was the neighbour’s dog, and, well, what’s a puncture wound or two between friends? But I have thought about it since. I thought I did everything right. I had gloves on, I removed one, and when the dog approached – barking, I stood still and let him sniff and lick my fingers.

So far so good.

I let him lead me to his master. I followed. Only when I was done talking, and started walking back off the property, did the little bugger sneak up and bite me behind the knee.

Puncture wound.

Singular.

The last time was a full on scrap, out on the sea ice, with dogs at the end of ganglines, fur, teeth, and claw. In my inferior wisdom and with a colossal lack of judgement, I waded in – empty-handed. But, I now have a wonderful tattoo on my right arm – Vitus’ teeth in a half crescent.

Puncture wounds.

Plural.

It’s Emotional

Okay, I admit, I made my wife cry. Normally I wouldn’t be proud of such a thing, but in this instance it is justified. Before you click away in disgust, allow me to explain myself.

Jane is an avid reader.

I wrote a book.

She cried when she read it.

We’ve been on lots of adventures together, but the time after the Yukon River, when we were touring around Alaska – with a quick visit to Seattle – was important to us. What’s more, when waiting on an Amtrak train from Seattle to Vancouver, I saw a poster for another train: The Coast Starlight, and was inspired to write a book.

I literally plotted the whole thing on the train journey, beat it out chapter by chapter, and sent a copy to my mail as a back-up. When we arrived in England in early September, 2016, I wrote the story that has become The Starlighter. Then I waited a year, sat on it – content with the fact that I had a whole story in the drawer, something I could dust off at a later date. Well, this September, I did just that, and now it is being edited for release.

So this book is personal. The others are too, but this book was meant to be something else. I was meant to write a book about our expedition on the Yukon River, but I wasn’t ready for that. I was, however, inspired by Naomi Klein’s book: This Changes Everything, and the idea that we are all very good at “looking away”. I decided that I was tired of looking away, and I wrote about Jayla Cooper, a twelve-year-old girl who does anything but look away.

Instead of writing an account of the Yukon, I wrote about the places we visited after the Yukon. The action takes place in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in Seattle, Washington, two places that have always been of interest to me, and are now important for Jane and I. So, The Starlighter is personal, just like Greenland is personal, and reading connects the dots. And sometimes connecting those dots makes us cry.

I got emotional when editing the first and second draft of The Starlighter. It makes me wonder, will other people find it emotional too?

The Shaman’s House

In the eyes of the Danish government, Konstabel Fenna Brongaard has switched sides and gone rogue. The collateral damage she left in her wake in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, has been brushed away by a shadowy figure known as The Magician. In return for his assistance, Fenna is tasked with entering the United States in the wake of a Presidential assassination, with one clear goal: to apprehend the assassin. As her list of allies grows thin, Fenna teams up with the man responsible for the death of her Sirius Patrol partner. Together, they must get the assassin out of North America and to a safe house in a remote country. Fenna knows the end game is in sight, and, if she is to survive it, she needs to choose the terrain and the location.

She chooses Greenland.

She chooses the Shaman’s House.

The stakes are higher, the action more intense, and the environment raw, wild, and lethal.

The final installment in the Greenland Trilogy is now available for pre-order at a special pre-order price.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada