Come away, oh human child
To the waters and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand

WB Yeats

Done! My Irish mystery novel is finished, at least the second draft, and sent off for a beta read. Eventually I added two sections totalling 5,000 words to bring it up to 70,000. I’ve had a lot of fun with this book, especially in exploring how to work in ghosts, myth and legend into a modern-day story. It will be interesting seeing how the average reader reacts to this mix. Have I gone over the top, especially as the story climaxes?

I take heart that I, personally, have never taken against a story for drifting into fantasy, but this introduction does, I think, have to be done correctly and in proper context. I recall reading one entertaining story a couple of years back when, without any explanation or apparent motive, three of the author’s characters suddenly developed different super powers. It just felt wrong as if the author suddenly decided to sprinkle his story with some different action. I didn’t like it a bit.ghostly image

And the Winchester Writers’ Festival is coming up again, this year on 20-22 June. I’ll be there for sure having had a ball last year. My writer friends would do worse than consider popping along if practicable. You can book for the whole weekend (like I am) or for individual days. There are workshops, master classes, lectures and the all-important one-to-one interviews. These give you the chance of collaring influential people in the industry and getting free advice and having them have a look at your

This year I’ll have a completed manuscript to wave. It doesn’t mean that I’ll like what the experts have to say about it but I, for one, appreciated the advice I was given last year. Not so one poor delegate who, having had to borrow the course fee, was clearly hanging all her hopes on someone accepting her manuscript. Instead she was last seen heading away from the conference in tears. Hope can be destructive.

The Festival website is