New Thrillers

the_yellow_cottage_small-opt200x300o02c0s200x300Jacquie New, that is.

My friend, Jacquie, writes some pretty twisted thrillers (I mean that in a good way). She’s offering her short story, The Yellow Cottage, for free right now.

And do check out her new collection, Predator or Prey.  Definite shades of Tales from the Crypt with a touch of O.Henry surprise endings.

Jacquie offers tons of great content on her website, like writing tips and much more. She’s a big supporter of indie writers, and she regularly showcases the ones who catch her eye. You can also sign up for her free newsletter.

Screenwriting heroes 1: Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad)

Breaking Bad characters
Breaking Bad Season 3

I’ve been catching up on my favourite TV series, “Breaking Bad”, and have just watched first two episodes of season 3.

Once again, truly wonderful. But, more than anything else, I have to say how staggered I am by the brilliance of Vince Gilligan’s script writing. His characters are very real, his storyline worryingly plausible, and each episode puts my heart in my mouth with stress. “Breaking Bad” also funny, in a blackly comic way. And what’s more, fantastically surreal – I mean what’s with the Mexicans crawling on the ground in episode 1? And what the hell is going on with that toy eye in the swimming pool. Creepy, very, very creepy.

There are so many great things to say about Gilligan’s scripts. First, they sometimes go out of their way to frustrate expectations, or give you a startling image at the start, and fail to explain it until the end of a series (namely, those Mexicans I mentioned, and the toy bear in the pool in season 1). Second, just when you think things can’t get worse for your favourite characters, they get worse. Much, much worse. Third, the juxtaposition of comedy with dark deeds and edge-of-the-seat thrills, works brilliantly well.

If you haven’t get checked out this series, I highly recommend you do. But don’t drop into the middle. You really need to start at the beginning, otherwise you will have even less of a clue than Gilligan plans for you to have in his puzzlebox scripts.

Dr North’s Wound and Other Stories – free until July

cover image for Dr North's Wound and Other Stories I’m offering my collection, Dr. North’s Wound and Other Stories, for free until 30 July 2012 (normally $2.99). Use the following  code on smashwords.

Coupon code: RZ47G

I’d be grateful, if you are so minded, if you could give it a star rating, or rating and comments, on smashwords, too.

Bone Machines – new in paperback

Bone Machines book jacketThe edited, revised second edition of Bone Machines, out now in paperback from lulu. £6.50
“MURDER, drugs, conflicted relationships and art. In his first novel  John Dodds uses the murky world of Glasgow’s underbelly to explore the true nature of life and what makes humanity tick. The epic film scale style of writing and intriguing ability to jump between character and style mean that John is bound to become one of the next great crime writers” Stornoway Gazette

Bone Machines – the podcast

They suffer for his art…

Bone Machines is now released as a free audio book from

“Sure to be one of the next great crime writers.” – Stornoway Gazette.

Use the Podcast feed to get updates, and subscribe through itunes and other podcatchers. 

Please tell your friends, family…and enemies. Feedback, comments, questions would be appreciated. And give the book a rating on itunes or podiobooks. Help spread the word!

Bone Machines book jacket