This site will take you on a journey through Stephen’s writings and literary thoughts. You will find access to his books and later some short stories, which he is currently working on.
Stephen has been an avid reader for the majority of his life, and it’s not all been crime fiction either. Much of his early reading centered on Science; fact and fiction, history and later, his life in the police service saw a growing interest in crime fiction. He always thought that one day he would write a novel, but it was only after he retired from the police that he began to write seriously.
Over his lifetime, Stephen has been influenced by many books and many genres, from Gibbons,’ ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,’ to Carl Sagan’s, ‘Cosmos.’ And from a crime fiction point of view, his recent Masters Degree in crime fiction writing has opened up to him a wealth of authors he may have read in the past, but can’t remember. What he can say is that the masters of crime fiction for him revolves around such greats as Elmore Leonard, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan-Doyle, George Simenon and a whole list of others too many to mention here.
Crime fiction is the largest and constantly growing genre in commercial fiction, and trying to fit new authors in among the current crop of great CF writers, like Child, Rankin and MacBride is a tall order. So when Stephen wrote his debut novel ‘Blind Murder’ he had no idea about the ‘craft’ of writing. But what he did know is that it needed to be different. Being different though does not always get you a publishing deal or an agent.
Modern day detectives in fiction are generally larger than life characters. Sometimes dysfunctional. Most times alcoholic or close to being one, with a failed or failing marriage. And when you think about it to a certain degree the problems of one fictional detective can be a crystallising of the problems of many police officers, but not all the same time and not just one!
Blind Murder is different in that it uses a road policing officer, reluctantly getting himself involved in things he shouldn’t with a detective, with consequences that will affect the rest of his life, (I won’t say any more in case you haven’t read it). Jake Jordan’s problems continue in the second in the series, ‘Driving Dead,’ published in January 2019.
But what of the future?
Stephen realises that the days in front of him are shorter than the ones behind and sometimes seems to be in a hurry to write as much as he can. But his MA slowed him down (hence having to wait so long for ‘Driving Dead’), and it has taught him that plot, character, structure, setting and point of view, are as important as just getting the story on the page.
He has plans to turn his first book into a TV series with ideas for a stage play, based on a true incident he attended as a cop. Audio versions of both books is another idea for the future, but at this time the book he wrote for his MA, originally entitled, ‘Kill-Switch,’ which has now been re-titled ‘Crimson Dragon’ is now ready to push out to agents and publishers.
Lots of ideas! Lots to do! Better get on with it then!
If you think that you want to write seriously, then Stephen is also available for writing advice and guidance and help with police procedure, just use the contact form to ask for help.