How to write a 'damnèd, smiling villain'

Octavian (Author photo) Shakespeare’s Young Octavius

O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain! My tables—meet it is I set it down That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain— At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark. (Hamlet, Wm.Shakespeare)

“And some that smile have in their hearts, I fear, […]

Game of Sevens

I’ve been tagged by historical fiction author Antoine Vanner in a game of Lucky Sevens.

It’s a bit of online fun for writers that pulls us out of our sheds where we sit scribbling away for hours on end and lets us reveal a little our our current work in progress.

Here is how it’s […]


‘C’mon, Bruna, wake up!’

We’d been practising for fifteen minutes now and I wanted a break. My breath was rasping through my lungs in shorter and shorter gasps. Blood thrummed around my system as my superfit opponent exerted every gram of his formidable strength against me. I was more skilled and agile than him which […]


Fifteen minutes later, Livius stopped, held his hand up. We dropped to the ground as one. Between the trees, I could see the edge of the clearing housing the exercise headquarters. After a long five minutes, Livius sent Gorlius and Pelo forward to check out the approach. It was such a classic trick to stake […]


It was far too quiet. Only an occasional owl call, the odd flutter of feathers and pitter-patter of a small night creature. Sure, the training area was literally kilometres from anywhere, somewhere called Norfolk, but a hundred people couldn’t stay that quiet, not even – arguably – the best special forces in the world. Beside […]