'Conspiracy theorists will believe anything but the truth' - Sam Hawksmoor
November 9th: I was thinking about making a will sometime around 2am last Friday morning. I'd spent 3.5 hours on an operating table on the Thursday as surgeons tried to rescue what should have been a routine 'stent' implant. The wire had got stuck half way up my arm, they decided to go through my groin instead but that too proved difficult and I was losing a lot of blood. You have to be awake during all this in a freezing operating theatre. I heard the 'oops' word more than once and when they finally gave up they admitted the stent was now dangling, not properly inserted somewhere in one of my very narrow arteries. Nevermind, there are fours others in there doing their job they reassured me. Hours later, they were still trying to stop the bleeding and I was losing 'heart'. I began to think about my legacy and whether anything I'd done or written amounted to a hill of beans. Probably not I concluded bleakly. Sometime around 3am the bleeding stopped. 'We're sending you home tomorrow as there are aren't any beds,' someone said. Oddly enough I was quite relieved to hear this as it meant I was still alive - ish, but very sore by now and hungry as it was one of those nil by mouth days on the Thursday when I was admitted. Usually it takes around 7 hours to get discharged from a British hospital - no one ever seems to be able to find a printer to print the discharge document. Amazingly, I escaped by lunchtime and quite how I managed to catch a train and walk back up the hill home I have no idea. We all get second chances I guess (although this was my fourth op in six weeks) but maybe it's best not to think about your legacy when under duress or indeed ever, you are either remembered or forgotten. It really doesn't matter when you're sitting in a jar on someone's mantlepiece. However, I think for safety's sake it's best to stay out of hospitals if you can.
Meanwhile in the real world:
No one knows what will happen next. Putin has already destabilised the entire world economy with his invasion of Ukraine and now he threatens to murder millions in Ukraine with ‘limited use’ nuclear bombs to get his own way. He is grabbing his own people off the street to fight and even the most stupid person within his inner circle must know that an unmotivated army does not win wars. Is he really withrawning from Kershon or is it a trick?
We don’t know how the West will respond if he pulls the trigger. Do our leaders ignore it? Admit they won’t actually commit to defending Ukraine? (Germany in particular has promised much and delivered nothing). If radioactive clouds drift over Germany will they roll over or decide that Russia needs to be dealt with? Poland will be most at risk but you need a united NATO response to be effective. Any dithering and Putin could press his advantage and decide to take back ‘his’ Germany, Poland and the Baltic’s. Once you throw one nuke and no one fights back, why not go the whole way?
This is a fork in the road of history moment. Will China really come in on Russia’s side if he plays the nuke card? The USA would have to boycott all Chinese trade if they do. Or do they grab Taiwan whilst the USA is distracted? What will India do? Continue to trade with Russia most likely.
No one knows how this will end. It is already a cold winter in Russia and Ukraine. Putin is hoping Europe will experience a big freeze to break their resolve as they run out of gas and oil (the sabotage of the pipeline could be an in-house job). It’s kind of wierd that Putin backed the Fascists to win in Italy but bombs the ‘so called’ fascists in Ukraine – which clearly they are not. Nothing makes sense – maybe it’s not supposed to.
It’s ironic. I came into the world believing for the first fifteen years of my life that WW3 would start at anytime as atomic bomb laden Vulcan and Victor Bombers circled the playing fields around my school. Now I might be going out waiting for another end of the world moment. Then, as now, I know only one thing – it won’t be worth surviving.
|About 'The Book of Ashes': - Background to the new mystery.
Hammer & Tong - September 2022 - ebook & Print
"Great characters, a gripping mystery and the wonderful return of Rufus the dog."BH
'an immensely satisfying story' - Walli Leff on Goodreads.
My new mystery novel The Book of Ashes is published. It’s the second Delaney and Asha investigation following ‘We Feel Your Pain’. Originally they ran the Office of Berg City Oversight - to protect the City from scams and corruption - only for them to discover the real corruption was within the Mayor's office. Delaney nearly died in the process of uncovering the truth. Now they have set up on their own – worried about where the next client will turn up and how to keep the show on the road.
Fortunately for Delaney their next client is a young cyrptocurrency millionaire who commissioned a biography of his father, now suffering from dementia. Only the writer disappeared with the $10,000 advance. It seems like a simple track and trace job, but of course, it serves to open up a total horror show – like peeling back an onion. Every father is hiding something it seems – some more than others. The Book of Ashes is set in New England. It’s cold, it’s nearly Christmas and New England in the snow looks great on a postcard but can be lethal in reality.
Delaney is deep into his new relationship with Asha, his adopted daughter Maria is now an awkward 15-year-old and of course, Rufus the dog will still need feeding and walks. Rufus, quite naturally steals the show – as events unfold.
Writing a sequel can be a challenge. No longer do you have the frission of the main characters meeting each other for first time. But, of course, you have to remember that a reader might start with book two and wonder how they hell they even got together. Then you also need a compelling mystery. In this case I have long harboured an idea about a biographer uncovering unsavoury secrets about their client. In this case I added the complication of the writer having little chance of any cooperation as the subject has dementia. Had a little fun with Wolfie the feckless writer. Shan't reveal who he might be based on, but there really are people out there exploiting people who want their memoirs written for them - no matter that few or any relatives will actually care.
It was good to explore more of the hinterland of New England in winter. Yes it really gets this cold. -30C or lower in places. I get a secret pleasure out of visiting summer resorts in winter when there are few people and even less places to eat or socialise - but you get a real insight into the hardy locals and their unique approach to life.
Asha as a character interests me. She has evolved nicely to fit in with Delaney, complimenting him with her ability to see connections that others might not make.
As ever, Rufus the dog plays a big part in the story. If you have ever owned a dog you'll understand that you can't keep them out of your business for long. Rufus is loyal and devoted to Delaney and I'd like to think would be exactly the type of dog to alert any passerby to a problem if misfortune ever struck his owner.
Anyway, this is what I did in the second year of covid. I hope you enjoy and if you did, tell others. It's my own fault I'm not on social media or booktock so I will have to rely on you.
Happy reading. Berg City awaits you. Order now for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
© Sam Hawksmoor - November 2022
‘We Feel Your Pain ’. Download the first book now so you're primed for the next Delaney and Asha investigation.
**About writing 'Mission Longshot' a sc-fi space adventure
Earth 2032 - The climate has changed - food is running short. War is imminent. Whole cities are in danger of going under water fifty years before they said they would. Mankind is in real danger. Naturally you're going to build a spaceship to take the best and brightest to a new world. 3000 kids essentially put into deep freeze for a 70-year journey into space.
Moonbase 2057 - The first light-speed spaceship is about to be tested. (Despite eight billion dollar explosive failures so far). News comes in that the Colony ship has been struck by asteroids on Year 23 of it's journey. There is one survivor, Celeste Kandar. She knows no one can rescue her - she's going to be alone for the rest of her life. If the light-speed ship works they could rescue Celeste - if it works... What could possibly go wrong?
Earth Millennial's Eve 1999 - Gerry is waiting for aliens to land. If there was ever a time to attack Y2K night is the night.
It's a real voyage of discovery for Celeste exploring a nearby planet that just might be trying to kill her and the kids attempting to rescue her on a flight that might be a one way ticket...
The Repossession of Genie Magee
returns in a new Kindle & print edition
Combining the elements of science fiction, mystery and supernatural, it is definitely one of the best, and most fascinating, debut novels I've ever read. more
The Hunting of Genie Magee
returns in a new Kindle edition
Genie and Rian must flee down the river with a $10,000 price on their heads. They must fight for their right to exist. more
||'We Feel Your Pain' by Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693 Published by Hammer & Tong December 2020
Print or Kindle from Amazon
Reviews: '...a captivating adventure which could be compared to a Roald Dahl tale filmed by Wes Anderson ...where rythm, wit, humour and punchy dialogue mix with irrepressible, warm sentiment...'
'I really enjoyed living with Delaney, Asha and Maria. And I particularly revelled in that obedient and loving dog, Rufus. They were lovely characters and it was a good story. The author evokes amazing, vivid pictures'.
Delaney and Asha run the Office of Berg City Oversight. Their role is to expose the scams, keep the city safe from unscrupulous people. When something looks too good to be true – it’s a scam, right? But what if the scam works? What kind of scam is that? When Delaney finds himself left for dead at the bottom of a cliff he gets the message - someone doesn't want him near their honeypot.
2022 - The Screenplay for Girl with Cat (Blue) made the Quarter Finals for ISA Connect International Adventure Screenplay Competition - you can read the fantasy novel now.
The Sara Troy interview with Sam Hawksmoor 1.12.21
About the Writing of Girl with Cat Blue here
More about Sam Hawksmoor and his writing background here
Hammer &Tong (UK) is a small indie publisher of Sam Hawksmoor's books
Based in Lincolnshire - all messages via Sam Hawksmoor contact page
* Background research on anti-gravity here -
**Thinkpiece: What if you read a book you loved and never told anyone, especially the writer? more
What did you want to be when you were a child?.... more
One question I used to dislike the most when a kid was ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’
Kindle ebook for The Heaviness - Sam in Canada
More Background to Genie Magee's world. Search and you'll find some extra stories about the main characters.
* If you write me on old fashioned email, I do check and will write back as soon as I can. see Contact
'Terrifying alternative outcome to WW2 - the Blitz brought vividly to life.'
of Tomas D
Tomas accidentally goes back in time to London in the Blitz. Captured and tortured for what he knows about the war... WW11 abruptly ends in 1941.
The day after Tomas disappears, his girlfriend Gabriella wakes up to realise she's the only one who remembers that Germany was supposed to have lost the war... Sample Chapter here
of Genie Magee (Book Three)
Someone with a grudge wants Genie dead. Rian is kidnapped and forced to do experiments. Genie and Renée have just 36 hours to find Rian or he dies - but the one person who can help is aleady dead. Gravity isn't the only thing that can pull you down...
'The best Genie Magee story left till last. It might just break your heart.'