28 June 2013

Lies of the Dead - Cover

I'm really excited that my latest book Lies of the Dead is just about there and thrilled to unveil the cover created by the talented Andrew Brown of Design for Writers.

Unlike Driftwood and Lives Interrupted I had absolutely no ideas for the cover of Lies of the Dead, but working with Andrew makes the process incredibly easy. He asks a lot of questions about the plot and characters, important (poster) scenes, my own likes and dislikes, and then he goes away and works his magic.

Lies of the Dead is set predominantly in Cornwall which is an area I love. Writing those scenes has allowed me to wander through villages, along beautiful cliff walks and feel the sand under my feet on the glorious beaches. The setting of Poldrayth is fictitious but it is based on a real Cornish village to allow me to play around with the geography a little.

What would you risk to find the truth?

How well do we know those closest to us? When Liam kills himself, his older brother Tom needs to know why suicide was the only answer.

Tom's search leads him, and his sister Andi, to a criminal world where their ideas of right and wrong don’t exist, and where people aren’t who they claim to be.

Liam’s legacy of deceit is dangerous and when Tom and Andi and her twin daughters are threatened, Tom realises that truth may have too high a price. 

Thanks a million Andrew for a wonderful cover - drumroll

06 June 2013


At this time of year in New Zealand it's the celebration of Matariki – the traditional Maori New Year.

Of course we also celebrate New Year on the 31st December/1st January, and as there is also a large Chinese population we have festivals to celebrate Chinese New Year, as well as Matariki events.

I’m fascinated with our obsession of changing habits and making goals on a specific date because it’s a New Year. I think having several different dates emphasises the point that we can make goals and change behaviours at any time.

I’ve blogged about making goals before, but it seemed a good time to post about a few of the things I've learned. The major thing has been to make one goal at a time, which is a good reason not to confine them to New Year.

If our goal is about big behavioural changes, then we’re more likely to succeed if we concentrate on one change at a time.

Ask yourself what you really want to change? What skill you really want to improve? Or what skill you’d like to learn? 

Take some time and really think about what you want out of life. Now is a good time as the papers and magazines aren’t full of celebrity goals that can sway our thinking.

When you’ve come up with your goal, write it down. I find the act of committing it to paper makes it more real.

Now break the goal down into smaller more manageable tasks you can measure and set a time period for achieving.

In the past I’ve tended to choose a number of things I want to change or do, and then I get bogged down trying to keep them all. Making one goal at a time and steadily progressing towards it allows me to focus on what I need to do. 

I’ve also found it useful to tell someone about my goal. Usually just one person, again it’s about making it real, but also about choosing someone who recognises why that goal is important to me, and will remind me about it in a supportive way.

Many companies have a program of continuous improvement. I’ll leave aside the fact that many pay lip service to it, but I think about it in respect of my goals. Things aren’t going to change overnight, we will probably find ourselves reverting to old habits, but concentrating on one goal, breaking it down into bite size pieces and giving ourselves the time and space to achieve makes success a lot more certain than a New Year’s Eve scattergun approach.

Start now - get out a piece of paper and think about something you really want to achieve.

If you're interested in finding out a little more about Matariki here are some links: