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July - Editorial

Welcome to this July edition of Hackwriters . Read us and the amazing archives too. 16 years on-line, 72320 articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the share link.

July 23rd: Driving home last night I hit a deer at around 55mph. I hate to kill anything, the deer is dead as it literally fell apart and took half the front of my car with it. Lincolnshire roads are dark, narrow and getting home with one headlight was no fun. This is the second time I have been hit by a deer, the first time it bounced off and disappeared. They shoot out at top speed to cross the road and normally they make it across, but last night it collided with me sideways on and it was a huge bang. Quite a shock. I think if it had been a bend it would have been a bad accident but on a straight I was lucky. Not so the deer.

My new book Marikka is finally out - it is set around one of Lincolnshire's finest beaches and would make a great summer read. I know it might be hot where you are but in Lincolnshire summer means building a wind breaker, wrapping a warm rug about your swimsuit and huddling into your deckchair as ants crawl all over your sandwiches.
Marikka will keep you occupied. Johanna D my first reader called it a 'real page turner. I liked the relationship between the two main characters and the atmosphere too' . I hope you will too.

Stormy Sky 13.07 A solution found for Greece but now the 'deal' must be ratified by various governments despite the IMF saying it won't work. This month is an interesting time financially and politically but with huge ramifications for all of Europe. Spain next to be led astray by socialist siren songs that will reduce them to penury? You can read our Spanish correspondent on Spanish politics every month here in Hacks. The European project is unravelling it seems. This has been a tragedy for Greece but all we can do is make sure that you book a holiday there soon to help them out. At least by going there you show a positive solidarity.
Photo: © S.Hawksmoor. Storm Clouds over the Humber Estuary July 2015

Writers need inspiration.  Seems like a dumb thing to say really.  After all anyone going to work every day in a factory or office doesn’t wait for ‘inspiration’ before starting work and can complete their day with no flash of genius for years and still get paid.  Hell I was in teaching for 25 years and I know I was surrounded by many staff who hadn’t had an original idea their whole lives but somehow got by, were promoted and now will get lavish pensions for making no genuine contribution to the font of human knowledge or ever cared to.

Of course I realise that if you are working in a call centre and trying to meet a target of answering 500 calls on Self-Assessment at the tax office you may be rather in the mood to slash your wrists rather than be inspired – but hey remember you chose this life – rejected the artists’ trajectory of eternal poverty for a regular salary.  I don’t blame you and oops – I’ll no doubt be calling you soon with questions so don’t hang up on me.  I’ve never quite got the hang of why I need to be fill in a tax form for around 100 quids worth of royalties per annum (in a good year) but there you go. I read in the Society of Author's magazine this month that the average writer makes £4000 a year so I seem to be £3900 short!
So for that 'average' writer sometimes you need something to get you started.  It doesn’t have to be anything major – just right place, right time, bit of sunshine perhaps - a perfect conversation - a new relationship, or a combination of all.

I was visiting my friends, the Darmendrails, in South-West France and I freely admit I have been putting off starting the second and final part of a two parter.  I finished the first part at least 16 months ago and liked the way it ended on a cliff-hanger so much I somehow couldn’t face starting book two.  There are a lot of risks in the second half, especially if the first has gone well.  So much has happened, the characters survived, scarred but still alive, you don’t want to risk an anticlimax.  So you put it off.  Indeed write something else entirely (or two).  The time slips away and what should have been a natural incline becomes a hill, then a mountain to climb and you have no idea how to begin. 

photo: Anglet Beach 2015 © S. Hawksmoor
Anglet Beach

Think of how many times you have been disappointed by a sequel at the movies – you understand this immediately.  You loved the first one so how could the second one be better or as satisfying?  Pitch Perfect One was so much funnier than Pitch Perfect Two for example.  Even though the second one made lots more money. The latest Terminator another case in point. Ridiculous in fact and seems to have stolen most of the plot from Big Hero 6. Please don't make another one.
Other things got in the way of writing the book – my mother dying, breaking a finger trying to lift her body, me falling off a ladder and nearly snapping my neck and then falling off a wall trying to get a better view of a Spitfire flying past and cracking my head open. This was quickly followed by a near fatal heart attack.  As my pal Kit says – ‘you’ll do anything to avoid starting that book’ and worse it is the only one she is really keen on me completing.

So finally able to fly again I went to France and somewhere between walking from the River Nive to Anglet against a perfect blue sky and thundering crashing waves my mind began to clear.  Pent up thoughts finally broke through the furred arteries of my imagination.  Sitting down at a beach café I finally sketched out a plot.  I even wrote opening scenes.

The next day I rewrote the first chapter and finally was back in tune with my characters.  I knew from now on they’d take over – they knew what they had to do.  They’d be a lot of polishing and some difficulties, but they were happy they could see what would happen and plan for it accordingly.  What I thought I had lost was there all the time.  It was like ‘Welcome back – now get the hell on with it.’
The following day my friend Lionel took me to San Sebastian – a grand old city around a perfect bay in Northern Spain.  As a vegetarian eating tapas is impossible now; but it was nice to see the city again where I had first visited when I was just 16.  I had gone with the Hartung family stay in to St Jean-de-Luz for two weeks.  Mostly what I remember about that summer is falling for a very beautiful tanned girl called Dominique and for ever more that location has been special to me.  I have no idea what happened to Dominique however.  Since then I have returned fifty times over to walk on the sands and endure the crushing waves at Biarritz.  Perhaps one day I will even live in the Basque country.  The skies change by the hour, the people are friendly, the girls stunning, even if they all still smoke. I wrote most of The Repossession and The Hunting there as well as Repercussions.  It just seems to be the perfect place to write, whether in the Miremont Café with a view of Miramar beach or my friends flower garden where the blind dog Pippas feels her way around…
So call it inspiration or just the right moment – I have my plot and no matter where I am this summer – the book will be written – the mountain has completely disappeared.  One day next year either one very fat book or two parts will finally appear.

Enjoy your summer wherever you are, stay alert and safe and bring back great memories.

© Sam Hawksmoor July 2015 - Joint Editor
*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle we aren't picky.
**And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness, Another Place to Die and Repercussions finally selling in some numbers on Kindle - Check out my new book Marikka just published by Hammer & Tong

Marikka- New 2015 exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle

Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More

Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
The Repossession

The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor a fast paced edgy romantic thriller
'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
* Published in Turkish July 2015 - look out for it in Istanbul

The Hunting - the thrilling sequel - order yours from Amazon or ibooks or Kindle
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
Now read the final thrilling conclusion to the series 'The Heaviness' suitable for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity

If you're looking for an exciting YA book set in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going

The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.'
Marcel d'Agneau
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback
Another Place To Die

The all new 2nd Edition of 'Another Place to Die' The Endtime Chronicles
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee? And if you flee - how do you know you aren't taking it with you?

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy Williams - Amazon.co.uk

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