Daily Archives: December 1, 2012

Prize Winning News

Me with Mari Hannah who presented me with the award.

Me with Mari Hannah who presented me with the award.

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from North Tyneside Council advising me that my short story ‘The Piano’ was one of the winners in this year’s ‘Story Tyne’ competition, an annual competition run by the council. The letter explained that, in order to find out which position the story had been ranked, there was an awards evening at Wallsend Library on November 29th.

Myself, The Boy Wonder as well as my parents, my brother and my brother’s girlfriend attended the informal ceremony, where awards were presented to children and then over 16’s. Authors Mari Hannah and Russ Litten presented the awards, with Mari giving a brief synopsis of each story. From what I heard on Thursday evening, there are going to be some major literary stars coming out of North Tyneside in the next couple of decades.

I was convinced, sitting on the back row, that my story would be placed third. And I was happy with that because – out of the hundreds of entries read, mine was in the top three. But the synopsis given by Mari for third place wasn’t my book. And I was astounded to hear that my story’s synopsis was not mentioned for second place. My short story had won this year’s competition!

It was really interesting to hear Mari’s comments regarding the stories, which were anonymously judged by her, and specifically the comments she made about ‘The Piano’. It was so utterly joy-inducing to hear a professional writer praise my work so highly – it made me realise that I must be doing something right!

‘The Piano’ is available in ‘Off The Record 2: At The Movies’. You can download it here: http://amzn.to/UuxJvZ or order the book here: http://amzn.to/RXd1Wy.

Vic x



Matt Hilton’s Review of 2012

Today marks the first day of Advent. Instead of providing you with a chocolate per day, I have asked my writer chums to do a review of 2012 and there’ll be a new one posted every day this month. I’m not sticking to traditional advent and running this up to Christmas Eve – we’re going a whole week extra and taking you to the end of 2012!

Matt Hilton starts us off with a review of 2012 through his eyes.

Vic x

2012 has been a pretty great year for you. Do you have a favourite memory professionally?
In January I had the pleasure of being invited out to the USA on a mini tour of Chicago, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. It was great spending time with old friends who were more than generous in their hospitality, and for chauffeuring me through blizzarding snow between venues. It made the tour all the more memorable and exciting, and I’ll retain those memories for a very long time. Thanks especially to Ruth and John Jordon of Crimespree Magazine and Judy Bobalick for being super troopers.

And how about a favourite moment from 2012 generally?

A favourite moment of the year was watching Jess Ennis’s superb Heptathlon win at the London Olympics.

Favourite book in 2012?
I’ve enjoyed too many books this year to choose just one. Can I be greedy and mention a couple in different genres that I’ve enjoyed? First is ‘The Return Man’ by V M Zito, because it took me somewhat by surprise. The second is ‘The Wrath of Angels’ by John Connolly, as I’m a sucker for the Charlie Parker books.

Favourite film of 2012?
I haven’t been to a cinema this year, but have enjoyed a raft of good movies. I enjoy creepy horror most, and loved ‘Stakeland’, or a good action and ‘Killer Elite’ truly impressed me.

Favourite song of the year?
My musical tastes are really old-fashioned (usually 1940s swing and 1950s Rock’n’Roll/Rockabilly) and I rarely listen to modern music on the radio. I know, shocking, isn’t it. Can I mention ‘Mack the Knife’ or is that showing how much out of date I am?

Any downsides for you in 2012?
A major downside was returning home from a trip to Florida and promptly (though accidentally) setting the house on fire. The kitchen, dining room and living room were all damaged badly, and I’m still living with the consequences. Thankfully nobody was hurt, and my dog wasn’t home at the time, so I’m now looking at things philosophically.

Are you making resolutions for 2013?
I never make resolutions, because I don’t stick to them beyond the first week of January. However, I am determined to keep on with writing my Joe Hunter series, and to establishing myself with readers.

What are you hoping for from 2013?
I’m hoping that the Mayans have got it wrong with their predictions and that the world won’t end on December 12th 2012, other wise all of my work on the next three books in my series will have been for naught.