Nothing matters more to me than educating my students at our school here in Guangzhou, but I couldn’t teach and direct English language studies well if I didn’t write my own stories. On my blog page here are a collection of different short stories and flash fiction.
Viscount Hastings and Sedona Li are the subjects of my three book series. He’s in his late forties. Decadent…determined…deadly… Sedona is his adopted Chinese daughter—she’s also his partner in crime. They do pop up in the short stories but the novels aren’t on this site–the characters are.
Book 1 is The Suicide Race. It’s set in contemporary England: “A terminally ill assassin accepts a massive payday for his wife and sets out on one final mission. His adopted daughter sets off on a mission of her own. To stop him launching a deranged suicide attack.”
In Book 2, Execution of the Beloved, Hastings throws in with Sedona to avenge her mother’s murder. Their pursuit of the killer spirals into a war with a gang of homicidal treasure hunters, deep in the heart of Cambodia. I spent a year in Cambodia researching the story and eventually writing it. Book 3, Night of the Infidel, takes us back to where it all began, in Melbourne three years earlier. Viscount Hastings fulfills a promise to his late cellmate and rescues 18 year old Sedona from the clutches of a pimp, but the confrontation turns fatal and the pimp is killed. The dead man’s radicalized brother Caspar Salazarski swears to avenge his loss and comes after them with all guns blazing. With Hastings’ old-world felonious sophistication and Sedona’s modern street smarts, a lethal new criminal partnership is formed as they strive to go on the offensive and bring Caspar down.
The Hastings chronicles began in 2008. Christ, that’s a decade ago. I saw an English aristocrat arguing with a religious extremist on a YouTube video. The total contrast in their characters, outlook, speech patterns –everything, it amazed me, and I got to work writing about them. My outline boiled down to a 3 paragraph blurb, which I shoved into a suitcase along with the hundreds of songs, poems, scripts, treatments, and a 220-page novel written about my Berlin days -all of which are strictly for my eyes only.
On a cold, wet Sunday early in 2015, I opened the suitcase, pulled out the blurb and got to work.
Legislation, firearms, government counter-terrorism policy, airport security, extremism, bare-knuckle-boxing, substance abuse—at the end of week one my head spun. The only area I was reasonably well informed on was firearms, which I got my head around back in my military days. But I do so enjoy research. My Masters Degree is Research (Educational Management), and that doesn’t hurt when it comes to methodology and analysis. Melbourne University. Aaah Melbourne Uni. I love Melbourne Uni. The Suicide Race won’t be out until it’s translated into Mandarin, but check it out when it is. Lots of characters with spikes, and actual events, but flashed up with a bit of saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal. That’s gunpowder.
Before I returned to ESL/EAL, my primary role in education was entertainment events and training students in the art and craft of organizing gigs. Below is a promotional video we made a few years back. Have a look!