Confession time: I no longer know what to write

I’ve been lucky in this dreadful time. I live way out in the countryside and have no real need to mix with people unless I want. I’ve been fortunate too in that early on I felt this was going to be a long haul and took a strategic decision on how to deal with it. Namely: work. I’ve had my head down for four solid months.

Some has involved self-publishing two books that would, in present circumstances, have taken years to come to the public through conventional means, if ever. Namely the Venetian lagoon thriller Shooter in the Shadows and my love letter to Italy in the form of the travel/history book The Appian Way.

I’m not done either. There’s one more project yet to come this year and early next I’ll have a new novel out in the mainstream, a standalone story set in Venice. Oh, and there’s the audiobook of The Appian Way which is taking far longer to complete than I ever expected because audio is so very hard to do.

All the same the work phase of my pandemic is coming to an end and it’s time to face up to facts. Normally after I finish a project I have a variety of ideas to choose from for the next one, and the battle is deciding which one to pick.

This time round I’m stuck. I haven’t a clue what to write next and I’m wondering if I’m alone.

Let me try to explain…


Out today, The Appian Way

It’s my first travel book in more than thirty years (and I’ve largely forgotten about the few I wrote then in desperation as I tried to build a writing career).

And The Appian Way is about more than travel too. It covers history, society and the way our world of today has been shaped by the past. All told, I hope, in an easy, understandable entertaining way in the form of a journey along the 350 miles of the Via Appian from Rome to Brindisi.

It was an amazing journey, most of it taken last September in a different world. A trip I pine for every time I look at the photos and the map you can see here.

You can now find The Appian Way in e-book on Kindle, Apple Books, Kobo and Google Play. The print version is available direct from Amazon but should also be available through book stores and libraries (if they order it) using the ISBN 978-1-8380897-3-3.

And to give you a taste here’s my introduction to the book in full, which explains why I embarked on this journey in the first place.


The Appian Way video

We’re one week away from the launch of my non-fiction travel and history book about The Appian Way, the seminal road that led from Rome to Brindisi and fired the rise of the Roman Empire.

Time for some news..

First, the print edition is now available for pre-order on all Amazon stores worldwide, along with the e-book edition which is also available on Apple Books, Kobo and Google Play. Print distribution through other outlets, for those who want to support their local independent book store, will be arriving shortly. Apologies for the delay on that, and the print edition of Shooter in the Shadows. We had a bit of a glitch in the system.

The print edition has full preview capabilities on Amazon so you can take a turn around the contents if you like. Orders taken for print now will be dispatched as soon as possible and may well turn up before the August 12 launch date.

And if you want to find out more about the book here’s a video. It’s basically me reading the introduction, which explains why I wrote it, to relevant images and videos. The audiobook is in the works but will take a while because the pandemic has seriously affected project approvals at the publisher. Oh, and please note there’s a gotcha in this narration which has been corrected for publication. Those lovely exclamation marks by the side of the road are cypress trees not cedars.


Coming August 12… The Appian Way

My first non-fiction book in quite a while is just a few weeks away… and naturally it’s about Italy. I’ve been on the fringes of the Appian Way for years, reading about it and walking the stretch near Rome.

Last year I finally set out to write the book I’ve been promising myself about this extraordinary road, travelling its 350 miles there and back from Rome to Brindisi, exploring places well off the beaten track, walking in the footsteps of giants of history like Augustus and Cicero, Spartacus and Hannibal.

You can read more about the book and see some of my photographs and a virtual Google Earth app that accompanies the book on its own page on this site,

The e-book is now available for pre-order on Kindle, Apple Books, Kobo and Google Play now. Nearer to launch date a print edition will become available which can be ordered direct through Amazon and through book stores too. I’m also busy recording an audiobook to accompany it which should launch in September.

Do follow me on Twitter or subscribe to this website if you’d like more news about this project as the launch date approaches. Look out for some peeks behind the scenes in the weeks to come too.