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Hackwriters The International
Writers Magazine

MARCH 2023

Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. 24 years on-line, 7,918+ articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on. March 28th 2023

Electric Dreams:
How happy are the rats in Paris right now. Why oh why did I book a week in Paris for this May? Worse it's non refundable. If you don't know about the protests and the garbage strikes and have booked to go to France, it's not too late to change your destination - is it? I remember living in New York during a six month garbage strike - the rats swarmed the streets and were pretty hostile.

Woke at 2am on Wednesday to a loud popping noise and the power out as well as internet. I heard my neighbour shout out. Turns out a power surge blew out transformers, blew up her TV and her boiler. Wake again later to discover over 750 homes have experienced the same thing. I'm lucky all I lost was wi-fi for a day thanks to having had a new regulation approved fuseboard fitted, but many not so lucky. One neighbour has lost her TV, fridge, and router - all fried.

Good to see the Northern Ireland agreement approved by parliament - now if we just stop paying NI politicians who refuse to do their jobs they might actually go back to work - just an idea.

costing Lives

Trust Issues:
The SVB failure is a symptom of what exactly? A crime? Trust issues? Either way you're wondering if your money is safe in any bank and the stock market is faltering. The Swiss Government steps in to protect Credit Suisse and the Eurozone raises interest rates. UBS takes over Credit Suisse for a bargain price but their bondholders will lose $17 Billion. Ouch. Banking shares still tanking two weeks on. Should be we worried?

In the UK the Government acted quickly to protect SVB customers and HSBC stepped in to claim SVB bank for just one pound. Let's hope they haven't overpaid! Quite why everyone is piling into Bitcoin right now makes no sense to me - it's not underpinned by anything and could all evaporate in a second. Do they not own matresses? At least gold at $2000 makes sense.

Are we losing faith in our institutions? Whether it’s banks, the NHS or the Police or Civil Servants who are clearly not working when they are WFH. When strife caused by endless strikes disrupts our lives or people resort to stockpiling cucumbers (even though they know they will go off in a week).

Trying to get a doctor's appointment is almost impossible and yet they want to go on strike for more money. Slowly, but relentlessly, we lose faith in the professional classes to do their jobs and when misfortune strikes we instinctively know the cops won't do anything or the ambulance arrive. Some people may put their faith in a change of government but rest assured, no matter whom you vote for - the government always gets back in and the same obstructive civil servants block all progress. Does it have to be like this? Is permanent decline inevitable? When no one trusts anyone trouble will manifest itself in civil society, crime will fester and the vulnerable will slip through the cracks. My advice is put your faith in neighbours – make sure you have a good relationship with them.  Trust begins right there and can build outwards.  Try it.

Ever wondered what Woke actually means? James Campion defines it for us.

Writer's Blockade

When is it ok to abandon a novel you’re writing? How long should you give it before you admit to yourself that what might have been a good idea when you began has bogged down or driven off a cliff ? I’m at the cliff edge right now and realising that although what I am writing is immensely topical ‘National Divorce’ – the vehicle I’m driving it in is wrong. Either that or I’m just quite simply out of my depth. Secession (James Campion provides his provocative take on it this month) is a burning issue for many in the Red States of the USA brought into focus by the rantings of the congresswoman and far-right conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Green, who not only espouses civil war but depriving any Democrat who wishes to move south of their vote for five years. Fox News, of course, loves this idea. These people want to take America back to the days of lynching’s, denying black American’s the vote, abolishing women’s rights. If they really want to go all the way, take away woman’s votes entirely, (especially MTG’s vote).

So, I’ll do what you’re supposed to do when uncertain and file the 30,000 words in the ‘work in progress box’ and find myself a good book to read that might clear my muddled head. The Earth Transformed by Peter Frankopan - at nearly 700 pages helped. Turns out there have many mass extinctions - and we are very lucky to be here - but not for long it seems ... This book is a best-seller and well deserved.

Many thanks to the young writers in Charleston for submitting work for this month. And thanks to James Campion for remaining 'interesting' as ever.           

© Sam North - Editor - March 2023
author of 'The Cure for Sceptics'- when something looks too good to be true ...

The Book of Ashes
New from Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN: 979-8-837434-952
Hammer & Tong August 2022 - print and kindle

'an immensely satisfying story' -
Walli Leff on Goodreads.

'a fun read with unique elements ... exemplary in its voice and style'
'Judge, 10th Annual Writer's Digest E-Book Awards

An extract from the Book of Ashes

Book of Ashes The Book of Ashes -
Some secrets are meant to be kept forever

The Case:
Delaney and Asha run their own investigation company now. Hired to find a writer who stiffed a client of $10,000 - things go bad pretty fast.

"This was supposed to be a simple track and trace job. Find the writer, bank the money. Now it's a horror show."

'We Feel Your Pain'
by Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693
Published by Hammer & Tong
Print or Kindle from Amazon

Pain Cover We Feel Your Pain – So you don’t have to.

The Case:
Delaney (42) and Asha (22) 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?
Mission Longshot MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?

Gerry is convinced aliens are going to attack on Millennium Eve - Y2K night. Everyone else is preparing for the end of civilisation. When it happens only Gerry notices aliens land. He and his spacenut pals Jolene and Kali race to be the first to greet them...

'Climate change, lost alien civilisations, adventures in deep space. Great fun with endearing characters'. Kitty Thomas

The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu

*Keeping Hackwriters archived is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
Magenta - A chilling story of kidnapping, burning and strangeness set in the wilds of Lincolnshire

** The Heaviness, & The Repercussions of Tomas D - 'best time travel WW2 story in a long while'

By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
There's no safe place to hide from a lethal pandemic

Print & Kindle - Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear. 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.
a taster here The Last Ferry

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

Another Place To Die

Girl with Cat (Blue) Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award

'a funny, bloody, colorful narrative that never fails to surprise the reader. Girl with Cat (Blue) provides great entertainment'.

* Screenplay a quarter-finalist in the Creative Screenwriting competition 2023

'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
Judge, 26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. - Honorable Mention

J&K 4Ever - A post-apocalypse love story
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect.  A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder.  No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted.  But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge. 
 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
Marikka MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2

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 about the writing of this book

Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk
Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download

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
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible '

*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
The Heaviness of Genie Magee 'The Heaviness' betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.
An original Genie Magee story

Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies

'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo - Bookish
Kindle & print

Thanks to readers who have been buying this title.
* Also published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge

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