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Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. Read us and the amazing archives too. 15.9 years on-line and 7610 articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on. Congratulations to Dr Bonnie Devet for her contribution *Prince Christian Sound being awarded “notable essay." in The Best American Essays 2014 series (ed. by John Sullivan) published by Houghton Mifflin -

Sam Editorial
: 24.09.14 -
Welcome back Scotland - glad you stayed with us

* Many thanks for emails from contributors and readers as to my health. Recovering well now. The saga that led to the hospital below:

In the last month I managed to do three things that had a profound effect on my life:

1: Whilst watching a local airshow I stood on a wall, which gave way, and I landed on my head, splitting it open.  I have memories of blood pouring down my face as a Spitfire flew overhead. – As an addendum to that, I also broke my finger trying to lift my bedridden mother the same day.  (8 years in bed and planning another 8 if she can get away with it).

2: A week later I had a heart attack – possibly a reaction to the fall.  My good luck was having my sister Jane around who called an ambulance at midnight and an experienced crew who took one look at me and took me to a cardiac hospital (Castle Hill) in Hull where they operated on me directly from the ambulance.  Had I been taken to my local hospital that has the highest death rate in the country I would most certainly be dead.  So all thanks to Castle Hill for putting me back together.

3: Having got back home and being cared for by my sister – she fell heavily ten days later and in picking her up I dislocated my shoulder!  I am writing this with a broken finger one side and painful arm the other.  Crazy.
On the whole I’d like to have much lighter relatives.  That’s all I’ll say on that matter.

So people ask me. Any epiphanies? Any thoughts on life following the near death experience?  I have to say disappointly ‘no’.  Nothing.  There was a distinct sense of relief when I thought I was actually dying that I wouldn’t have to care for my mother anymore, but that was about as good as it gets. (According to The Times last week 6.5 million people in the UK are trapped like me caring for their relatives). I do want to thank my visitors in hospital however. Kate, Karen, Dom, Jane. Means a lot to know people care. And it was great to get the biggest fruit basket ever from Kit, especially with the hidden bottle of Shiraz in it. Lucky thing the doctors recommend one glass a day huh.

Death is always waiting patiently nearby of course.  In January I was up a ladder cutting branches and the ladder snapped throwing me down a good twenty feet to the ground.  How I survived that I am not sure and I was in agony for two months.  14 years ago my pal Kit was a witness to me standing in the hallway of my Penryn house when the trapdoor suddenly fell on my head and knocked me out.  My head is a mass of scars anyway.  When I was a kid I decided to jump up from a window to scare my sister Sara as she walked by. My head became embedded in the metal rim with jagged glass.  36 stitches later…  Serves me right too.

I have had other life threatening experiences.  Driving back from a DJ gig in my younger days at 2am there was a sudden flash flood on the motorway.  Putting on the brakes, I and fifty other car drivers, were aquaplaning into each other, smashing every which way.  I managed to miss all the cars by some miracle but hit a lamppost at around 70 mph and a ‘Watch your Speed’ sign in my little Honda S800.  Total write-off of course.  I staggered out of my wreck and helped a guy out of his VW Kombi.  I was talking to him on the grass verge between the carriageways when suddenly a rubbernecker driver on the other side of the road lost control and ploughed into everyone.  I pulled the guy to safety again but we were pretty shook up by then.  Still no police or ambulances after an hour, we both decided to walk home and deal with the cops the next day.  We got about a mile and suddenly the other guy collapsed.  Turned out he had broken his back.  Luckily he collapsed outside a doctor’s house.  Next day I discovered I had a broken ankle and a fractured neck.  Had neck trouble ever since then.  So I definitely have form when it comes to injury. 

Death was probably waiting when I was caught between two forest fires in BC up by Nelson and facing being roasted alive. I decided to drive through the flames totally blind and hope I didn't hit anything. I seem to recall following a deer.  No damage except to four tyres and the paintwork.  Rental Company weren’t too happy though I recall.

Death missed me too when I was driving a 16-seater Dodge in Nevada for Trek-America across a narrow bridge with a truck coming the other way on our side.  15 of us screaming and I swear I closed my eyes, but somehow we squeezed by.  To this day I have no idea how. It was a sheer drop of three hundred feet either side at the very least.

I realise that you might be disappointed I have had no amazing revelations during my heart attack.  No fancy stairs leading up to you know where or slippery ones leading down ... No awakening where I suddenly take off and follow my dream.  I don’t think I ever had a ‘dream’.  All I really like to do is write stories and hope that another one takes my fancy at some point in the future.  With luck someone buys the odd copy and enjoys it.  I even hear from a reader from time to time.  Right now I am working on a rewrite of ‘Another Place To Die’ and intend to bring it out this autumn with a new title.  I am not usually one for reworking old stuff, but I had a lot of responses to that book and general annoyance when I allowed it to go out of print.  It was always the kid’s story that people wanted to know more about.  So I went back to the beginning and adapted it, bringing back all the discarded material – the best friend who went in a different direction and dropping the city story, making it much more about survival.  It is interesting reworking a story, rather like adapting a book for a screenplay - only I was producing a larger book.  I hope it finds a new readership.  More on this soon, but this finally is my epiphany - I am not done yet as a writer - nor of course is Mr Hawksmoor.

My pal Kit came up for a few days to get me on the plant based survival plan. It involves eating a lot of starch but actually it is quite a pleasant pain free way to go.   She is determined to get me well so I can come off statins quickly.  I have the 'Forks Over Knives' Menu Plan as well. I think that is the way to go.  Who wants to be dependent on the drug companies? Not me.  I already dropped all meat and dairy.  Not quite ready to stop coffee though.  I am losing some weight.  I’d like to get back to 11 stone.  A month or two should do it.  Need to borrow Mr T again for the walks. That's Mr T there in the corner. Hackwriters continues for now.  Thanks for reading and thank you to all the writers who regularly submit and new ones for finding us.  I shall endeavour to stay alive.

Right now you are probably wondering if we are drifting towards world war again with Russia invading Ukraine, China posturing against Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan as well as the genocide in the Islamic State.  The answer is yes.  We are.  What are you doing to stop this madness?  And where the hell do we run to if we can’t?  Death, you will find prefers to collect in large numbers.
Mr T

© Sam North  - Travel Editor September 2014
author of Diamonds The Rush of '72 and now the new ebook:
download the new novel from Sam North
'Life begins somewhere between the fish and the stars’
A mysterious, tragic tale from the wilds of the Lincolnshire coast – a haunting story about a girl who fled the fire into a whole world of trouble. A story about father and daughter and the girl who can read objects...


Do buy Sam Hawksmoor's new book The Heaviness – suitable for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.  All proceeds from our books go into keep Hacks going. All on Kindle.

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

The Hunting - the thrilling sequel - order yours from Amazon, Waterstones or Chapters or your indie bookshop plus Indigo Books Canada 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'

The Repossession & The Hunting by Sam Hawksmoor released across Canada Flag Available in Chapters/Indigo/ Albany Books, Hager and Kids Books Broadway - Vancouver + Bolens Books (Victoria), Mables Fables, Type Books in Toronto,
Smart, dark and graceful, this story is sure to send chills down your spine…’ Evie Seo
Part Three - The Heaviness now available


If you're looking for an exciting YA book set in WW2 - Kindle download 'The Repercussions of Tomas D' or buy the paperback - 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 novel that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.'
Marcel d'Agneau

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