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Another Place To Die

by Sam North

The Next Great Flu Pandemic is coming.
Are you prepared?

'It will keep readers in suspense, laced with gritty-gallows humor'
Charlie Dickinson

'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 -

Order Now direct from Publisher :

Another Place To Die

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All opinions expressed herein are wholly reflective of the writers and contributors to hackwriters. All work is copyright of the writers &

Hackwriters is a non-profit , non-paying journal based at an academic institution but welcomes contributions from writers. We reserve the right to publish and edit material in accordance with our editorial policy - see submissions


Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - JUNE 2008
writing from across the globe.

Alert - June 28th - I will be speaking at the Winchester Writer's Conference and doing one to one's with writers. If you are coming, see you there. If not, well you are missing one of the key lively writers' conferences in the UK. It happens every year, where aspiring writers can meet up with editors, agents and of course famous writers. Keynote speakers this year are Colin Dexter (Morse) and crime writer Graham Hurley. Book now for 2010.

June 2008 Editorial -
Welcome to St Edmunds. Co-Ed School for Children 2-13.
I was stuck in traffic the other morning in Hindhead. It’s a permanent traffic jam that will run till early 2012 as they dig a tunnel under a Surrey beauty spot. I must have passed this sign a thousand times, more probably, but I was staring at it and thinking who the hell sends their kid to boarding school at two? What kind of monsters are they? What kind of kids are they? Poor bastards. Kit (our publisher) informs me that I am making assumptions and it's probably pre-school and the kid will probably be playing with kittens all day...but I am not sure, I am inclined to believe that the child will be doing cold fusion theory in the morning and calculus in the afternoons before twenty laps around the rugby pitch. By age three it will be contemplating the universe and mapping influences of the moon on global warming patterns. A lot of growth can happen between two and three I'm told.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not totally against boarding school. I am a fairly typical product of one. But I recall arriving there at the great age of six, (fairly terrified at that) and that was it, family life over. It was something I had buried deep in my psyche and forgotten, but that sign just brought it all back with a horrible rush.

It was St Hughs in Woodhall Spa, now oh so long ago, and meeting there the infamous Miss Potter who got us up every morning and forced us to go the toilet number two EVERY DAY, whether we wanted to go or not. (She would check and keep you prisoner in the loo for hours if necessary). I put down a lifetime of constipation down to that woman. Don’t talk to me about syrup of figs ….being force fed that stuff whilst being held down on a formica table - yuk.

It was also where Bungle lived, Mr Watney, (brother or cousin to the famous beer family and ex-high commissioner in Uganda). Bungle had dead animal heads all over his quarters, ‘I shot this rhino with this gun, took down this lion with just a 12 bore…’ He was pretty terrifying, but actually quite nice under his severe exterior. For all you health and safety nuts, he personally taught me how to scythe grass with a full sized weapon and made me and another kid remove every blade of long grass over one inch from the orchard. He also taught me how to shoot. I was just six. I was pretty bad at it and did get banned from the shooting range for shooting a hole in someone watering can, but it’s a useful skill. He would have probably taught us all man to man knife combat if we’d asked. ‘Never know when you might need it,’ he’d say. He’d often mutter something about the Mau-Mau too and although you could tell he missed Africa, he wouldn’t go back. Drove a battered 1939 Austin 12, all the green paint faded and still with East African numberplates. ‘Bought it new, it will last forever.’ He didn’t see the point of ‘progress’.

These were indelible British characters. He took me for Bible class, Geography and briefly History, when Bronze Age our real history teacher went missing for term after a nervous breakdown. He was quite good at teaching geography, but the textbook expired in 1929. As did the history book and this is as far as we got. I think something bad happened after 1929, but who knows… ‘It doesn’t matter, all the important stuff happened before then,’ he told us.
Oddly enough he was probably right. World War Two was fought over all the stupid things decided after World War One and at least we covered the coming of electricity, the petrol engine and telephone which shaped a whole century. There were some Royals in it too but I wasn’t listening to that.

The Bible however never bloody ended and we all amused ourselves by doing dramatic readings and he’d whack us every time with his fly-whisk when we overdid the begets.

My school was full of the world’s most eccentric people. The French tutor who kept a cream bun under his beret and he’d take it out from time to time and nibble on it. The scary Latin master who had a huge goitre and was horribly vicious as he twisted our ears off as we struggled with Agricola’s daughter. Oh and the teacher who accidentally shot himself when out walking with the boys. We had to endless ‘walks’, crocodile fashion all over the place. (I have to confess I still enjoy walking because of it). Then there was Miss Spottiswood whose Alsation dog drove off in her car....

Then there were the torturers, seniors who used to make you do jacks and hold out your arms for hours and then beat you if you drooped. I still have scars. We were only only allowed to see half of TV shows. Never a whole one. On Saturdays though we always got to see a movie and I developed my love of cinema there, sitting on the overheated radiators in the gym. 16mm – I can still hear the chatter of the film going through the projector.

Often we’d hear nothing in class because we were very near to a Vulcan bomber base and they were deafening as they banked over out playing fields, and did I mention the missile base at the bottom of the Rugby pitch? In those days the UK was an airstrip ready for nuclear war. I couldn’t wait. Anything to get me out of Latin.
I spent eight years there, prisoner 209. Then more years somewhere else.
I came home at 18 a total stranger. Been a stranger ever since probably.

So I’m thinking of those poor kids, age two, locked up in the tower of this school and they won’t even get to appreciate that it is co-ed until they are about thirteen. Meanwhile the girls will torment them and the elder boy will bully them. What a life. Sixteen years of hell ahead. I guess school doesn’t have to be terrifying, but it really has to be when starting age two. It will form character. It creates layers of fears and doubts, year after year new ones cropping up with each test social and academic and there will never be anyone to hug you when you fall or fail. Never. Mother will be at the end of a mobile in Nice shopping most likely.

So that’s what I was thinking as I was stuck in traffic the other day.
Sam North: Editor June 2008
PS: Just another thought. Last month the Sunday Times listed Portsmouth as the 18th most desirable place to live in the UK. On the 20th of June the Daily Mail lists Portsmouth as the 6th most depressed city. Draw your own conclusions.

Welcome to the June Edition of Hackwriters. If you want to help us keep going, buy my new book Mean Tide. You don’t have to read it, give to a friend. I guarantee they’ll love it. Meanwhile ...look below

Borderlines Vol 2 A Literary Spark -
ISBN: 978-1-4092-0494-7
A University of Portsmouth publication from the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media- Available from Lulu Press now

Borderlines Vol 2 - A literary Anthology of new fiction, travel writing and poetry from the Creative Writing Programme and invited writers at the University of Portsmouth, UK under the editorship of Freya Scott, Ryan Sirmons, Aby Davis and Sam North

'An exciting insight into the amazing talent and diversity of new writers out there today'
Stuart Olesker - Playwright
May 22nd: Announcing the Winners of the Sherlock Holmes Short Story Competition
(Arthur Conan Doyle - Richard Lancelyn Green Prize)
Overall Winner: Susannah Rickards - The Partners of the Periphery ($2000 dollar prize).
Adventure Fiction Category: John Millard - The Darkness
Historical Fiction: Gary Corby - The Pasion Contract
Contemporary Fiction: R R Rama Varma - The Chettiar herloom

The prizegiving evening was a low key event but graced by the presence of Michelle Spring the Canadian Crime Writer and she gave an excellent talk on writing crime fiction. The winning story was read by guest actor/writer Stuart Olesker who really brought it to life. So thanks to all who submitted. Thanks to Michelle for picking the winners and Claire Looney for organising the event at Portsmouth City Council and Stuart for his reading.

Meanwhile, you worried about your health? Read my book 'Another Place to Die'' . If you have the slightest worry about how to survive the coming flu pandemic, you need this book and all the proceeds go to keep Hackwriters going. In the UK newspapers 31.08.07 they were quoting a Home Office paper called: Planning for a possible Influenza Edpidemic and predicting 650,000 'extra' deaths this winter in the UK if it breaks out. There will also be a shortage of coffins, not that you need them in a mass grave. It's all in my book, you don't need this report. Another Place to Die is a guide on how to survive the pandemic. So order now for your autumn reading. (Maybe Amazon will do you a deal on a coffin too!) You will not be disappointed.
See the review from Calvin Hussey

We at Hacks are self-supporting and if you want to support us, buy Sam's books - All the funds from the sale of the books go back into the site. If you live in New York they can be ordered at the Mysterious Bookshop at 58 Warren Street. These titles are able to be ordered at Amazon who keep stock see below and can be ordered from Waterstones all over the UK and Hatchards in London and for less cost direct from in the UK and USA

Published June 2008 - Mean Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic awakening'

Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read' - Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'
Be one of the first to read it - Order now

Sent to live with his spooky Grandma by the river in Greenwich, Oliver (12) discovers a whole world of disturbed people who are probably even crazier than the ones he left behind. When he finds a dog with its throat cut on the beach, everything changes.
Age range 12-16 and adult
Another Place To Die
by Sam North

ISBN: 978-1-84753-899-4
The Great Flu Pandemic is coming. Are you prepared?
'It will keep readers in suspense, laced with gritty-gallows humor'
Charlie Dickinson
'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 -
Fascinating, frightening and compelling, Another Place to Die is the ultimate page-turner which I guarantee will result in many late nights under the bedside light with you uttering, ‘just one more chapter!!’ Ian Middleton
Read the first chapter on line
Order Now direct from Publisher :
Another Place To Die

The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North

ISBN 1-4116-3748-8
$19.98 Retail - 300 pages - Lulu Press USA

'Chocolate will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line retailer

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble
& Waterstones

Diamonds - The Rush of '72
is also available from the publishers direct

Diamonds - The Rush of '72
By Sam North

ISBN: 1-4116-1088-1

Buy now from
'a terrific piece of storytelling' Historical Novel Society Review

Also printed in the UK and available from
& Waterstones

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