Cover Story – Stalkbook Setting

“I don’t see why it was necessary to disguise what is obviously Manchester as “Mancaster” – quote from an otherwise glowing review of my new novel(la), ‘Stalkbook.’

Fair point.

My reason for doing that was to allow me some creative licence with the geography and the architecture. After all, I don’t want some indignant native pointing out that you absolutely can’t see or even hear the bars on Canal St. (another recognisable Manchester landmark) from Castlefield – renamed Castlegate in the story. Or a review on TripAdvisor posted by a weary fan from other parts (lovely thought though), complaining that they had wandered around for over an hour and still not located the tunnel where the body was found in the novel.

Images of Castlefield ManchesterManchester canal towpath


It also meant that when choosing a location for the photography shoot for the cover images  we were not restricted to Castlefield Canal Basin. Portland Basin in Ashton-under-Lyne shares many similar characteristics, was closer to travel to, and less busy than Castlefield in the centre of Manchester. Both were constructed in the late 1700’s at the time of the Industrial Revolution. I’ll write more about the features and how they relate to two of the main characters in the novel in my next post.

Image of canal junction, Portland Basin

portland basin

My 87 year Uncle Ed told me an amusing anecdote about Portland Basin, when I explained that my novel, Stalkbook  revolves around a body found in a canal, and the cover images were taken there. He said that in the old days, because the three joining canals, Ashton, Huddersfield and Peak Forest, came under the jurisdiction of three different police forces, if a body was found the first officers on the scene would attempt to push it in the direction of another of the canals!


Stalkbook – The Story So Far

Thanks to the enthusiastic audience and the talented young people who helped me bring the themes of my latest novel(la) to life, the official launch on Halloween night last week was much fun and a great success.


The story revolves around six student friends and a suspicious death, when a body is found in a city centre canal the morning after Halloween. (I’ll tell you more about the Manchester-inspired setting, the story of the cover design, and ‘behind-the-scenes’ in another post soon.)

Mystery, romance and the influence of social media on relationships feature strongly in the story. I was very lucky to have three gifted musicians singing songs which either featured in the novel, or helped to convey the moods of romantic obsession, narcissism, envy and rejection.

Thanks to:

Kayess –

Her first song was ‘I Put A Spell On You’ (She did!)

Screenshot 2018-11-06 16.58.56


Amy Willis – Thank you for ‘Sorry’ (Halsey cover)

Screenshot 2018-11-06 17.00.43


Finn –

When you sing ‘Don’t Look back In Anger’ (Oasis) to a full-voiced Manc audience!

Screenshot 2018-11-06 16.55.43

Hoping to share more pictures, clips and the forthcoming launch video soon.

Find the novel here

Now For Something Completely Different

Da-da! Announcing the arrival of my new novel Stalkbook (novella actually.) Bit of a digression from my previous novels.

Stalkbook Kindle

After treading a tightrope between sinister and salacious with my previous novel Blue Is The Object I decided to write a Mystery/Romance for younger adults, although it will appeal to anyone who ‘gets’ the Facebook and Social Media themes too.

Read more about it and get your copy here