Category Archives: writing

Love and Light published in the US

ten minute plays 2012
Love and Light was published in the US in 2012 in The Best Ten Minute Plays, 2011 – edited by Lawrence Harbinson
Love and Light is one of my most successful plays. Here’s a short synopsis:

Tania’s deceased husband has left her with bills to pay, no job and no idea where he stashed the money. Will consulting a Psychic provide her with the answer she seeks?

The book can be bought on
First Published: 2012
Publisher: Smith and Kraus
ISBN: 978-1-57525-782-2

Published by Smith & Kraus, 2011 (THE BEST TEN-MINUTE PLAYS 2011)

Produced for Ten in 10, Shepparton, Australia, July 20112008

Produced for Short & Sweet Malaysia 2008, Judges’ choice, best runner-up actor (male and female)

Produced for Short & Sweet Melbourne 2008

Produced for “Eight-in-a-Box”, Drama Centre Black Box, Singapore 2009

Produced for Favourite Shorts 2009, Armidale, NSW (WINNER)

Produced for Short and Sweet Sydney 2009

Produced for SHOWOFF!, San Juan Capistrano, California, 2009

Produced for 10 Min Madness Festival, San Diego, 2009

Produced for Pint-Sized Plays 2009 (UK)

Produced for PLAYTIME @ World Bar 2010 (Sydney)

Produced at the Otterbein University in Columbus (Westerville), Ohio, May 2010

Broadcast on, May 2010


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Review of The Sinner, by Tess Gerritsen

I’m back after a year off blogging! Too many things happening at home: a house move, a new job requiring all my energy, constant travelling for work, it was all a bit much, so I decided to let my blog rest. I have been busy though, and have read many books and continued to watch movies and discover new places. I’ll tell  you more in posts to come.


My first post for 2013 is a review of The Sinner, by Tess Gerritsen. I discovered Gerritsen two years ago and have since read many of her novels, in particular those featuring Maura Isles and Jane Rizzoli. Isles is Boston’s Medical Examiner and Rizzoli is a detective. They form an interesting duo, one of them a cold-headed woman, the other as strong-headed as the other one is cold. The Sinner is one of the earlier novels in the series. Each book stands alone and you don’t have to know the personal lives of the main characters to enjoy the fast-paced, sometimes gruesome crime stories that have made Gerritsen famous. In the Sinner, two nuns are brutally murdered – when it turns up that one of them recently gave birth, things turn ugly. Good plot, arresting characters, good pace. What I found interesting in reading The Sinner after having read many of Gerritsen later instalments is the difference in the author’s writing and in how she treats her subject. The first thing I quickly noticed is that her writing wasn’t then quite as slick as it is now. Not the style or choice of words (Gerritsen is good at triggering images in your mind) but the way she described her characters’ personal lives was a little heavy-handed in this novel. Instead of underpinning the story, I found it was sometimes in your face – we were either in the story or in the character’s personal dilemmas, not in both at the same time. To me, her recent novels show better skills in mixing the plot with the characters’ lives. She’s also more subtle, and it works well. Don’t get me wrong, Gerritsen’s early Isles and Rizzoli’s books are excellent, always exhibiting an arresting plot and fast pace. I have another one of hers to read in my pile and I look forward to reading it.

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“Leo Spencer的翅膀” (The Wings of leo Spencer) – Jerome Parisse的第一部小说…

Leo Spencer的翅膀



十四岁的Leo找到了他妈妈的生日最令人惊讶的存在。不幸的是,有人已经决定,他不会活着看到它… …当他死了,Leo发现自己面临着一个可怕的选择,一个会影响他的生活 – 他的死亡 – 永远。

但是,谁想要他死了吗?为什么他是有针对性的邪恶力量?即使Geraldine -死,爱它 – 没有以发生了什么线索。




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“身体交换” (BODY SWAP)

我的最新年轻成人小说出版了。这就是”身体交换” (BODY SWAP)。它作为电子书和平装书格式。



William 是十三岁,最近转移到与他的父母叫Fulton一个小镇。他的姐姐Estelle一年前死于意外,他的母亲深深的悲痛中。在他的新故乡,William会见Pat,一个男孩谁爱大词和公司需要。忽然,William收到来自名为Stephanie寻求帮助一个未知的发送者的手机短信。两个男孩起初一惊,然后半信半疑,当在短信小雨Stephanie告诉他们她在附近医院昏迷。她说,她是在她的身体漂浮,需要他们的帮助进入回来。






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Pig Island, by Mo Hayder

Mo Hayder at her worst! I’ve read several of her novels now. Some are really good, others really bad. Pig Island belongs to the latter category. What a disappointment! I won’t even attempt to write a synopsis of the story, there is not enough to tell. But I will try to say why I didn’t like it. Here we go: 1) The start of the book is really promising, but then it turns into nothing. In fact, very little happens in the whole book. 2) Gratuitous gore is not good writing. In the novel, thirty people get blown up by a maniac. Hayder could have used this to show her writing skills; instead, she wastes precious space in repetitive descriptions of body parts. 3) There is a twist at the end, but I saw it coming from the beginning of the book, and trust me, I’m not good at predicting twists. 4) The main character is boring, unrealistic in his obsessions, and – that’s an understatement – impossible to like or care for. I could go on, but I’ll stop here. Enough said. I’ll give Hayder’s novels a rest for a while.

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My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

I normally don’t read Jodi Picoult’s novels, as all they seem to be doing is dissect a dysfunctional family or individual, ad nauseam. I should add that she does it quite well, though, and has millions of fans. I was keen on reading My Sister’s Keeper, because it tackles a difficult topic, one that I am interested in, having worked for a few years for a rare disease patient organisation. My Sister’s Keeper tells the story of Anna, a thirteen year old who was conceived artificially by her parents to be used as a genetically compatible donor for her sister Kate, who suffers from a rare form of leukemia. This is tricky. There are moral issues here, on top of the medical and psychological ones. But Anna has had enough. She has undergone multiple surgeries for her sister and she decides to take her parents to court to obtain medical emancipation – and to refuse to donate a kidney to her sister, the latest invasive surgery she is asked to undergo. This makes for a very interesting and controversial topic and I commend Picoult for choosing it. Unfortunately… there are too many flaws in the book. First, from a literary point of view, characterisation is too flimsy: I found that all the characters speak with the same voice. There are even similar speech patterns used by different characters. This does not work. It’s even made worse by the fact that the story is told from many points of view – six at least – and I found myself confused more than once as to who was speaking. I had to go back to the chapter’s title to know whose point of view it was. It also makes for too many unnecessary flashbacks. But the worst sin for me was Anna’s voice, which is anything but a thirteen year old’s. Okay, she is a mature child, but still, she speaks as if she has been studying philosophy for fifty years. She is able to analyse what people say, think and do, and she comes up with smart, complex, literary statements that do not ring true. There are also too many one-liners followed by space, such as at the end of a paragraph or chapter. This works for a while, but you quickly become annoyed with it. As for the plot, it lets the reader down towards the end. We spend 400 pages analysing difficult issues and asking hard questions, trying to find an answer, when nothing is black or white, right or wrong. Instead of having the guts to choose one, Picoult takes the easy way out – and the reader is left with no answer, no choice, absolutely nothing… It’s an easy device,and it didn’t need to be like that. I don’t want to spoil the story for you so I will not say what it is about, but it is a shame that Picoult wasn’t brave enough to just go with one choice or two – however imperfect – instead of fleeing the issue. Subplots are also miraculously solved and secondary characters are taken care of in the most improbable way… and as a consequence the novel loses its credibility at the very end. Such a shame…

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Derek Clendening: The Between Years

Hi Derek, could you please describe yourself in five words?

Dork who writes every day.

What can you tell us about The Between Years?

The book focuses on Randy Fuller who has separated from his wife because the grief of losing their 6 month old baby boy Kenny is too great. Basically, Randy wants to have another child right away and Carol isn’t ready. Therefore Randy moves into his ancestral home, a Victorian house along the Niagara River. While there, he sees the ghost of his son at age four one night, then age eight, twelve and eighteen on the succeeding nights. He realizes that Kenny is growing up rapidly in the walls, which forces Randy to face realities of parenthood that he had never considered.

It’s an emotionally charged book that has no good guys or bad guys. The characters are people who are presented in all their frailty and imperfections. I leave it to the reader’s best judgment as to who is right and wrong in this book.

Who’s your favourite author?

I have several: Stephen King, Rio Youers, John Langan and Richard B Wright.

Do you have tips for budding writers?

Sure. My advice is to write (and read) every day. Writers get asked that all the time and they will always give some variation of that answer, but it’s the truth. Here’s why: writers need discipline and they must hone their skills. You can’t take shortcuts. Also, novels—or projects of any length, really—cannot be finished if they’re not being paid proper attention. A writer must strap themselves into their chair and write constantly. We all lead busy lives but serious writers will always find a way to write every day.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m finishing a zombie novel, tentatively titled The Breeding. I’m also outlining a sequel to The Vampire Way, my young adult novel.

Where can we find you online?

Why right here, my good man:

Thanks, Derek!

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