Tuesday, 11 November 2014

That's a Christmas wrap

So the sequel's out and I'm getting very excited.

It's a strange feeling when your new book hits the shelves - the culmination of up to a year's hard graft. Hours spent pacing around the house searching desperately for inspiration then sudden splurges of creativity when your ideas spill out of your head and onto the page.

The writing of it is great fun and in some ways publication could be a bit of an anti-climax. You've given up your baby and now it's up to others make it thrive. But I love to see the response people have to it.

If there's one thing I want my stories to do it's make readers smile. The books should be full of laughs and twists you didn't see coming. I don't want to change the world, just make it a more fun place for a while.

Previous reaction has suggested that's exactly what I've done.

Will this one do the same? I'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hi everyone.
I've been away for a while working on The Christmas Files sequel. It's coming together nicely and should be ready to go to the publisher early in the new year. Then it will be out in time for next Christmas. Genk, Rakki, Santa and all the crew are back - plus a few new characters to spice things up. And this time the danger's right on their doorstep with the notorious IGLOO crime cartel getting in on the action.

Anyway, I don't want to give too much away but here's a little teaser to whet your appetite.

Burkett Prison, USA

Spending time in a prison full of dangerous criminals wasn’t exactly Jackson Jones’ idea of a perfect Saturday night. He’d much rather have been at home with a pizza and a good DVD – something with fast cars and plenty of gunfights.

On this occasion, though, he was glad to be doing it. His wife had two tickets to see her favourite singer, Ricardo Lamont, and had expected Jackson to go with her. Jackson knew a simple no would have left him sleeping on the couch for the next two weeks, so he’d taken the easier option of switching shifts at work.

The only problem was Jackson was a warden on C-block, which was for small-time criminals – people who’d refused to pay their parking fines, that sort of thing. But the only person who would switch with him worked on G-block, where the murderers and psychopaths were held. Still, given a choice between them and a night with Ricardo Lamont, he’d opted for the psychopaths.

Jackson marched down the G-block corridor towards the control room. He’d just finished his 11pm round. He nervously fingered his baton as he walked. It had been a while since he had done a shift on G-block. It always put him on edge.

The jail was one of the newest in the country, all state-of-the-art security systems and white walls that dazzled in the harsh light. It held around 2000 prisoners and there were nearly six miles of corridors. Jackson had been working there for three years, but he still only knew his way around half of it. Even the warden had got lost the other day and had been found wandering about in the staff kitchens.

Inside the control room Jackson found Randall McRandle tucking into a tub of fried chicken. The tubby guard was keeping one eye on the CCTV monitors and another on a TV showing America’s Funniest Home Videos. He spluttered chicken down his front as a puppy was shown tipping a saucepan on its head. Then he grabbed up another helping of chicken in his podgy hand and crammed it into his mouth.

Randall wasn’t very popular with the other guards. He was known for sucking up to the superior officers. He thought it would help him get ahead. But, in fact, they just saw him as a soft touch and tended to give him all the dirty jobs. This was his seventh night shift in a row on G-block. Jackson felt kind of sorry for him.

Anything happening?” said Randall through a mouthful of chicken.

Jackson shook his head.

Nope, all quiet. I guess even murderers need their rest.”

Randall looked slightly deflated. He was always living in hope that something really dramatic would happen on his shift. Something that would help prove he was a hero.

Jackson stared over the monitors. There were 10 of them. Nine focused on a set of three cells each. Then there was the 10th, which zoned in on a single cell. It had a special reinforced glass front instead of the normal bars and inside was a small man sitting up straight on the edge of his bed. Jackson knew him well. It was Luther Averus – the most famous prisoner in America. He was a billionaire who had been found guilty of stealing one of the world’s most precious diamonds and breaking into New York’s largest bank. The case was juicy enough on its own but Averus had raised the stakes even higher at his trial with the seemingly mad claim that he had been set up by a criminal elf called Genk Relbeck. The papers couldn’t get enough of it.

Still, Jackson didn’t see why he should be on G-block. And in the highest security cell at that. The man couldn’t be trusted and he still had power because of his money, but he was hardly dangerous.

What’s Averus doing in there?”

I think there’s a rumour someone’s going to try and break him out.”

And could they?”

Randall gave a snort.

Not a chance. See that glass in his cell? You couldn’t break that with a 50-tonne wrecking ball. And besides,” he proudly tapped the console in front of him with a stubby finger. “This system is the most advanced in the world. With one flick of a switch I can lock down every door in this prison and get 200 US Marshalls on site within five minutes. There’s CCTV footage of every square inch in the block. We’ve got laser alarms guarding every entrance and motion detectors scanning every cell block. There’s even thermal sensors in the walls and floors, and the whole thing’s connected to the FBI headquarters. I’m telling you, if an ant tried to break into here we'd know about it.”

That was when the lights went out.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What Are The Christmas Files?

The Christmas Files are highly classified documents from the vaults of the Arctic Authority's Surveillance and Law Enforcement Division (Sled). They contain information on major criminal events that have affected Santa and the elf population of the North Pole.

Journalist and writer Alan Wilkinson (Polar Press Society's Investigative Journalist of the Year 2006/7) has gained access to the files resulting in the first of the Christmas Files series of books - Operation Snowstorm (published by Andrews UK).

This blog will reveal previously unknown details of Santa's toymaking operation, as well as giving an insight to the elf way of life.

Assuming it is not closed down by Sled.