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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - March 2009
writing from across the globe.

March 31st: A big thank you to our guests at the University of Portsmouth MA in Creative Writing Programme this month: Literary Agent Lorella Belli, Editor and Writer Beverley Birch and Screenwriting Agent Julian Friedman. It's great having professionals give up their time and energy for my students. MUCH appreciated.
The injection of reality to student lives can be depressing but always instructive. Some are actually surprised that some hard work may be involved!

Editorial: Does the world actually need Hackwriters?
That’s the question I have been asking myself lately. It’s all so Web 1.0 apparently. No interaction,
Since we began ten years ago technology has changed 100% and there is so much more ‘information’ available. Everyone is a star in their own blog and who needs a gatekeeper anymore? Everything's for free, no one under 18 is reading newspapers or serious stuff - they say and no one, they tell me, has any time to read anything longer than 165 characters. It has to be true or otherwise Twitter wouldn't be so successful.

They say that there are 120 million blogs out there and nearly 80 million Chinese ones as well. (Technorati track all this if you want precise figures). Add the six million people on Facebook and all those on Bebo, and whatever, and I’d say we are increasingly becoming redundant. Because I don’t allow ‘feedback’ or what it amounts to abuse we firmly remain in Model T Ford mode. Still able to drive on the road but slow and easily mocked for being old-fashioned.

In life sometimes it is recognising when things have moved on and acting on it that counts. I liked the earlier model of the web being free and open and without ads. Now ads drive everything. No one seems to mind ads as much as me, apparently. That said, Hacks consumes a great deal of time and I am currently short of it. (One 90 year old mother to feed and wash being part of it).

It's been a labour of love or a curse or affliction. Posting around 45 articles a month for ten years is hard and trying to keep up the quality and of course give chances to beginners. Ok it's altruistic but I am not sure altruism is the mantra of this age. We all have concerns about our futures. Everyone, including myself, are asking is my job safe? Assuming you still have one. Then there's global warming to think about and the ever increasing of state intervention on our liberty on both movement and thought. I never thought I'd end up living in a Stalinist country but Gordon Brown is taking us there to the high ground of permanent terror. It's time to re-read 1984 and see that Orwell's vision has been layered perfectly upon our lives now. Nothing is certain, political re-education is the rule and we are cowed because the only advice people give each other is 'keep your head down'. Well, at the risk of being an unemployed contrarian - do not lower your head - voice reasoned opinions, know your rights but equally be aware of the wrongs. In any case, If Obama doesn't save the world - we are truly screwed and as the cheerleader has discovered in Heroes, nothing is black and white anymore. This is no time for moral ambiguity.

Where did I go wrong huh? No millions but here we are still going when so many others have gone to the wall. Sheer obstinance I think. The world may not notice but I will keep the site archived so work can still be seen.
Blogs are the way forward until the next big thing I guess.

The Situation is under review

The good news for me is that I have just signed a two-book deal with Hodders in the UK – the bad news is that the first won’t come out till Jan 2011. So I have some writing and researching to do before then. To that end I am off home to Vancouver to do research this April. The second book is set all along the Fraser River and I feel obliged to make sure my characters know every bend in the river.

A word on ambition. Persevere. I kept writing and hoping and submitting and when I couldn’t get a deal, published my own – which is a publishing no-no but at least kept my interest going. I don’t recommend anyone should publish their own fiction. It is a financially pointless exercise, really. There is no way to make a profit. But luckily I didn’t do it to make a profit but to keep myself amused and use them as a taster in case any editors were interested. I am fortunate in finding one who did. She has not bought the book I published before you ask, but liked Mean Tide enough to want to know what I would write next. She has bought that.

So thanks to Lulu, in a roundabout way, I have a deal. I don’t say that will work for everyone but I believe the secret it just to keep writing. That and always have a muse. My muse has moved on but without her I probably wouldn’t have been quite so passionate about my stories in order to please her. That’s me. Other people write for other reasons. I write to please someone other than myself. Always have. (Note to self: find a new muse)

So this summer I shall be writing, not running a zine and reading all the books my Masters students are currently writing. It is probably enough for one person.

March 25th 2009
If you want to help Hackwriters keep going, buy my new book Mean Tide. A young adult ghost story set in Greenwhich, London.
All profits go into the magazine.

Mean Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic awakening'

Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'

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

Meanwhile, are 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. See the review from Calvin Hussey

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
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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