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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - April Editorial 2011
The Repossession The Repossession - a fast paced edgy romantic thriller
Thanks for those who came to Waterstones in Chichester last weekend. Sorry if you came and found me gone. Had sold out by one pm. Great meeting the folks of Chichester though. Order a copy and I'll go back and sign them. Sam Hawksmoor
The Repossession out now.

View the Trailer here
'The Repossession... will blow your mind and keep you guessing until the very end'.
A Dream of Books (SJH)
'Smart, dark and graceful, this story is sure to send chills down your spine...one of the best, and most fascinating, debut novels I've ever read'. Evie-bookish.blogspot

April 24th:
Just spent HOURS putting together an IKEA sofa for a friend. Exhausted and seem to have a worrying lot of 'bits' left over including four extra stumpy legs that seem to be redundant.
I think IKEA should pay people for doing their work for them. Can't see why anyone buys these things, you can get a perfectly well made one from Kirkdale delivered whole for the same price. Crazy.

Just back from Lincoln - very busy place on Saturdays.

Foolish Notions of Home
Sam North
Many thanks for all the emails re my personal housing crisis. In answer to questions. It is not that I am being picky re finding a house, it is the fact that finding something suitable for a 92 year old bed bound relative is incredibly hard in the UK. With luck I will find something without steps and warm enough and wheelchair friendly but it is difficult.

Threatening Sky

The population is living ten to twenty years longer than just thirty years ago and few developers or builders have thought to build homes or convert apartments to cater for this explosion of 'old' infirm people.With the average young person born now going to be living to 100 - it's a problem that will become more acute year by year. Already statistics for population ageing in the UK have been proven hoplessly outdated and some people think we are catching up Japan which already has 44% of the population over 65.

Negotiating a house purchase is fraught with problems now. I am heartily sick of 'Right Move' and would like to see a niche provider for house sales appear that allows you to put in the search such simple things as 'Ground Floor Bathroom', 'No steps', 'Maintainance charges', and it is time everyone thought about ground floor bedrooms being en-suite. In the end in life everything is about toilets. *Just think there are 630 Million people in India who don't have acess to sanitation or fresh clean water. Kind of puts it in perspective. We in the West have fresh clean water and live much longer. But do we have a quality of life when old? I rather think not.

Previously this April 1st:
So it's like this. I sold my house after 15 months of trying. Was about to move into another but the solicitor wouldn't let me proceed as there was no formal agreement on road maintenance. The Vendor put the house back on the market when they could have easily just organised a formal maintenance agreement between the neighbours. Another two grand goes out the window. It's not cheap not buying.

I don't recall anytime in my life of buying and selling houses when it was so stupidly fraught. Being temporarily homeless isn't exactly cool either. Having good friends helps, but only for so long. Makes one realise just how easy it is to slip between the pages of life and end up sleeping in a doorway someplace.

So the search for a dwelling begins again. Last week Littlehampton and Eastbourne. Two brand new tiny, awful, horrid cramped houses with no parking and one 200 year old awful, cramped, most likely freezing in winter, but nicely situated place in a dead end road. Turns out the old house was intriguing actually with a curious 'look out' in the roof space but way overpriced. Eastbourne sadly is instantly depressing and feels damp even on a dry day. Worse caught a darn cold and spent the next nine days so far laid up with a temperature and hacking cough.

The thing about being a writer is no one wants to lend you money (well not hundreds of thousands anyway) so you can't live like the rest of people, postponing the reckoning until they are old. Someone was saying a person in their twenties now buying a house in the UK would need a sixty year mortgage. Even then it might not be paid off. And who can say anyone would have a job that lasts more than one year right now, let along 60?

I'll keep you alert to my home buying plans but getting stuff posted up on Hacks will be a tad erratic over the next month as I search for a home. Talking of which, a number of vendors now will only let you look at their homes in the dark. Usually ones signed up with internet only based real estate agents. I am learning to avoid even going to these houses. One: you can't see everything and two: these people have a rather over inflated value of the house's worth. Invariably all the rooms are painted an intense pink as well. I don't know why.

The previous weekend Kit and I went to Gosport to see a place (which I might say was very nice except for it facing east and there was a truck parking lot right behind it). Everyone said don't move there, you'll hate it. Well, imagine our surprise to find a high street ninety percent of it made up of charity shops and well, if anything it was more depressing than watching 'The Road' more than once. Anyway, if you are desperate and don't beleive you can find anywhere to live for around £50 grand in the South. I have news for you. We saw flats starting from £46 grand in Estate Agents windows. Trouble is, would that be an investment? I'm not convinced.

The more I look at houses and I am beginning to think they are a liability rather than an asset. You are tied down in a turbulent world. Renting might be the way to go. (But then again there are so many unscrupulous landlords). We quickly caught the ferry back across the water to the relative safety of Old Portsmouth. But this is a saga now. I'm in part three. The houses I never bought in the places I never wanted to live in, but still keep looking in, as oddly enough, you have to have a place to call home. Who knows. Today might be the day.

Sam - Editor of Hackwriters April 2012
Author of Diamonds – The Rush of 72 (Print)
Diamondsipad (iTunes version)
Mean Tide
& Mean Tide

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