Tag Archives: Vampires


As a safety valve to blow off pressure caused by designing a blog and website, using WordPress, I’ve been writing a couple of short stories.

Only visiting them once every few weeks has made the characters militant, and they’ve hijacked the plot, taking it in directions I hadn’t anticipated. One story is about a hedge witch intrigued by a newcomer to her village who appears to have arcane knowledge. I intended it to be an unusual love story with spells, curses, blessings and bindings mild enough to be printed by a women’s magazine, but it’s strayed into malevolent voodoo territory.

The other story is intended as a giveaway for subscribers to my Cornish Detective website. Featuring an early investigation by my protagonist, I planned for it to be an introduction to his characteristics and how crimes committed on the spur of the moment have consequences through the ages. Instead, a ghost of one of the victims hijacked the narrative adding spookiness.

At least these tales only wandered into a similar sub-genre, but it set me to thinking about how I could introduce bizarre elements into Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kettle’s investigations. He’s already tapped into lessons his farming ancestors taught him, so I could take things further. Crime writers James Oswald, James Lee Burke and John Connolly use supernatural forces to assist their main character.

I like the idea of writing a stand-alone novel based on a mashup of eras and genres:



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A mashup of cavemen meeting cyborgs could be fun.

What mashup do you fancy writing?

Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers

I had a minor stroke ten days before Christmas, 1995. It was a hell of a year, the worst of my life, and the stress contributed to my brain temporarily conking out. I hadn’t helped matters by having been a heavy drinker for 27 years. Watching men die around me in the intensive care ward was one hell of a wake-up call—most were alcoholics.

Stubborn as I am, and determined to heal myself, I went through a period of recuperation which included researching why strokes happened. I found that the flu pandemic of 1918-1920, which killed 50-100 million people, had a knock-on effect in that victims who’d seemingly recovered from the infection later succumbed to heart-attacks and strokes. I’d suffered a nasty bout of flu a few weeks before my stroke.

I recalled that Roman soldiers supposedly ate garlic, to help to ward off coughs and colds when stationed in damp Britain. I also remembered a lovely film that I’d seen in the 1970s about the wonders of garlic, which was called Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers.



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As the old saying goes ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, and as garlic is known to be an effective blood thinner, something that I was supposed to do to prevent another stroke, I started to eat it daily.

I have a lunch of pasta with a few cloves of raw garlic chopped up on it, along with a decent amount of olive oil. I haven’t had a cold for twenty-three years! I find that fresh garlic is less noticeable than garlic capsules and pills, which make me burp. No one has ever commented that I stink of garlic. 

I also haven’t been bitten by any vampires. Mind you, a gay, gourmet werewolf followed me home one night, saying that I smelled nice…Stupid werewolf!

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