Blog on the Bus pt 65 (I’ve discovered the secret to making it as a writer – *caution includes spoilers*)

I know what you’re thinking: why is this lunatic blogging before 8am on a chilly Monday morning in December? I know, right? Catching a bus to work on a Monday: it’s like I’ve gone back in time. You don’t need to know why I’m on a bus on a Monday, that’s irrelevant to this story.

The point is, as I was walking to catch the aforementioned bus, I had a genuine Eureka moment. True, I wasn’t in the bath and certainly wasn’t naked (not in this weather!) but I practically leapt up as the moment struck. It’s what every indie author (and some traditional ones too) strive for: global success. This morning, I realised what it is.

Do you want to know?

I mean, do you really want to know?

(think of this as one of those which pill should I take? crossroads moments)

Are you sure you’re ready for this?

Okay then. I’ll give you a clue…

One word…

Five letters…

Not got it yet?


Before you ask, I’m not planning to transform my books into dramatic musicals that only strangled cats can sing (I said Oprah, not opera)

Oprah Winfrey is the key.

How many times have we seen her proclaim a book as worth reading only for it to fly off the shelves in every bookstore around the world? I’m telling you: if you want to make it in this game, Oprah’s the key.

What were you expecting? A genie in a lamp?

The trick of course is getting the chat show icon to utter those words about any of my novels.

Don’t worry though, I have a plan. I don’t want to go into too much detail (in case something goes wrong and I need to find a patsy). Suffice to say, it involves 100 copies of my latest book Trespass, a microwave, a milk float and Oprah’s favourite cat.

If things do go wrong I could end up on the wrong side of a wet sponge at Guantanamo. If you don’t hear from me on the bus then look out for my Passage from Prison

Until the next time, happy reading,


(Stephen is the author of Integration, Remorse, Redemption, Snatched, Shadow Line and Trespass.
Find his work here, here or via


Blog on the Bus pt 49 (it’s not all about the money is it?)

Morning bus bloggers. Another week has passed and, of course, that means I am a week closer to taking over the world with my writing excellence (well, you’ve got to dream, right?)

So, a certain Ms Rowling has been making the headlines again, although probably for the wrong reasons. She has been accused of trying to pull the wool over the eyes of her readers (as if an author would make stuff up!) by writing under a pseudonym (someone fetch a noose and I’ll meet you at the gallows).

What’s the crime right? Plenty of authors write under a presumed name so that their authorial voice can sound different to their usual one. It’s been happening since the start of time (did you really think the Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? In fact, they were called John, Paul, George and Ringo but had to change their names for legal reasons).

What has caused such uproar is that sales of the new work, under the different name, were poor. No surprises there either: it’s not easy trying to make a name for yourself (have you heard of me?) A little bird (possibly a sparrow) has let the cat (a ginger tom) out of the bag and now the world knows (what do you mean you hadn’t heard this story?) that the new author is in fact J K (*audibly gasps). What amazes me is where the idea came from (it’s not like Voldermort was ever known by another name…oh wait).

Suddenly sales of the new work have increased and some cynics are questioning was this just a ploy all along? Well it probably was but who are we to judge her for needing more ¬£millions, it’s not like that Harry Potter book will ever take off is it?

As a writer (for that is what I pretend to be), writing is not something I want to do, it’s something I have to do!

I don’t choose to wake up in the morning and begin typing. I don’t choose to remain typing for 1-2 hours, pouring my heart and soul into a project. I don’t choose to edit that work until I’m satisfied with the finished article. A priest doesn’t choose to preach the Word of God, it’s a calling. In the same way, every writer is called to put pen to paper.

Ms Rowling will be judged, for everything she now produces, against the success of that young bespectacled wizard. So who wouldn’t want to hide behind the mask of a pseudonym to allow their calling to proceed. After all, when Jesus rose from the dead he didn’t phone the local press office, he revealed himself to a handful of close friends.

Let’s not judge J K for wanting to write something different and for trying to make some easy cash on the side. We’d all do it given half a chance!

The bus driver is nodding at me in the mirror so he is either in total agreement or it’s time for me to get off. Either way, I’ll let you get back to your Corn Flakes or Shreddies.

Until the next time, happy reading!


Stephen is the author of Integration, Remorse, Redemption, Snatched and Shadow Line. Find his work here or via

Blog on the Bus pt 26 (no sex please, we’re British)

Hi de hi campers. Welcome to another exciting edition of my Blog on the Bus. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

The topic for discussion, while you tuck into your Corn Flakes, is sex (whoa there driver, easy on the brakes, I’m talking about sex, not having it). It seems even in this enlightened era that S E X is still something of a taboo for most (in fact I may even be arrested just for saying it out loud on this bus). And yet stories like the 50 Shades saga prove that we Brits, whilst being prudish about such things, can’t get enough of it! There are even some who have claimed that E.L. James is responsible for dragging us out of recession!

So if we are all gagging for it, why don’t we openly talk about it? Sex has been around for thousands of years. Even the Old Testament references the bone(r) that Eve gave to Adam so why do we find it such an awkward topic? You think it’s hard (pun intended) to talk about it? You should try writing about it!

Why am I blabbering?

I’m at a point in my current project Dead Drop (40k words and still going by the way) where I have just written a short sex scene (I mean short in length, not that the characters are short; I’m not writing dwarf porn you understand). So the scene is there to provide background on one of the characters. He appeared in a minor role in Snatched but is someone I am looking to develop for later stories so I want him to have a flawed history. So a question for you fabulous indie authors: where do you find your inspiration?

They say (whoever they are) that you should write about what you know but I’m not sure my wife would approve if I shared the details of what happens when the lights go out. I am no method-writer so I can’t go out and have an affair just to understand what goes where and so forth. So where does that leave me? Should it be based on fantasy (who wants hobbits in a sex scene?) or should I just plagiarise something I saw on the telly? In the past when I’ve ventured into this tantalising territory I have given it my best effort but the writing is less erotic more entry-level. I want to get it right this time so any help or guidance you care to share will be welcomed.

Anyway, that’s all for now. The driver keeps glancing at me in the rear view mirror: I’m either in big trouble or about to be invited out for dinner. Must dash!

Until the next time you find yourself on my bus, happy reading!