Colin Garrow


Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland. He has worked in a plethora of professions including: taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. All Colin's books are available as eBooks and most are also out in paperback, too. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, Word Bohemia, Every Day Fiction, The Grind, A3 Review, 1,000 Words, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. He currently lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories, poems and the occasional song.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
Like most kids, I wrote stories at school, but I don’t think it was until I left school that I actually thought about writing for myself. At one point, I tried to write a sci-fi novel but didn't get very far with it, so I turned to poetry: I’d read a biography of the poet Shelley and had a bit of a mad idea that I could be like him - write tons of romantic poems and die young leaving a legacy of fantastic work. Of course, I soon gave up on the idea of dying young, but I did write a lot of poetry and began submitting it to literary magazines.

In those pre-Internet days, everything had to be done the old fashioned way - typed out on a battered old Silvereed typewriter, then posted off to await publication, fame and fortune. Of course, no-one wanted my (mostly) self-indulgent rubbish, but I kept my rejection slips for years as if they were some kind of trophy collection. Eventually I threw them away, since they were just reminders that I wasn't very good at poetry. (Admittedly, some of them were really bad - one rejection slip said “this poem doesn’t rise above its own squalor.” Nice). I'm happy to say that I did get a few poems published many years later (in 'Envoi' and 'Staple' magazines), so it's not all bad.

At university (as a mature student) I studied Drama and wrote plays. The early ones weren't great, but eventually my writing improved, though it was years later before my first full-length play made it onto an actual stage. By 1998 I’d started to write novels, or rather, one novel, and I was experimenting with short stories too. My first story was published in 2000 by Scribble Magazine.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My most recent book is 'Deadly Black', book #3 in the Relic Black Thriller series.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Colin Garrow online


The Black Witch Saga
A young woman hanged as a witch brings terror into the life of one of her accusers. Following a horrifying ritual, the witch vanishes. But she'll be back...
Black Witch Moon
Price: $3.99 USD.
Shadow of the Witch
Price: $0.99 USD.
The Relic Black Thrillers
A petty criminal becomes in involved with an organised crime group.
Terminal Black
Price: $3.99 USD.
Crucial Black
Price: $4.75 USD.
Deadly Black
Price: $4.75 USD.
Skeleton Cove Horror
Scary horror/adventure series featuring demons, ghosts and weird goings-on. If you like Goosebumps, you'll love Skeleton Cove!
The Terry Bell Mysteries
Taxi-driver Terry isn't a detective and he doesn't like dead bodies. But they keep turning up...
The Jansson Tapes
Price: $4.99 USD.
Six Feet Under
Price: $4.99 USD.
No Cure for Death
Price: $4.75 USD.
Blood on the Tyne
Newcastle nightclub singer Rosie Robson gets involved in a series of murders.
The Christie McKinnon Adventures
Christie McKinnon loves stories - especially tales of deadly deeds and despicable villainy. With her pal Donal, she can't resist a mystery, and if there's a murderer on the loose too, so much the better. What more could an eleven-year-old want?
The Maps of Time
London, 1630. When young Tom Fennel meets architect Martin Deacon, he embarks on an adventure that takes him through the streets of the city in ways he has never dreamed....
Price: $4.99 USD.


Mirror, Mirror
Price: Free! Words: 4,120. Language: British English. Published: December 4, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Good Samaritan Dougie offers Jack a roof for the night, but his promise of shelter is no home from home, and when a creepy mirror begins to exert its influence, someone must pay a high price…
Shadow of the Witch
Series: The Black Witch Saga, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 42,860. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
London, 1677. A house with a dark secret. A lawyer in pursuit of magick. A witch, dead for fifty years. Israel Cutler, dealer in second-hand goods, discovers the journals of Doctor Winter. Detailing the doctor’s relationship with a hanged witch, he recognises an opportunity...
Deadly Black
Series: The Relic Black Thrillers. Price: $4.75 USD. Words: 55,860. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
An assassin out for revenge. A missing police officer. A trail of bodies. Still dealing with the fallout from the McClure brothers’ activities, Chrissy Ridley’s Organized Crime Gang faces a new threat – an assassin has been engaged to take revenge for the death of Norwegian Stig Halvorsen.
The Axeman of Manslaughter Mansion
Series: Skeleton Cove Horror. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 35,030. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Adventure » General
A rock band with a problem. A house haunted by the past. A mysterious black mist. Hearing one of their favourite musicians is living in Skeleton Cove, 12-year-old Jeff and his pal Suzi set out to meet him. But the house where Fast Eddie Findlay is staying has an ominous past...
Crucial Black
Series: The Relic Black Thrillers. Price: $4.75 USD. Words: 48,730. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Now employed by an Inverness organised crime gang, former petty thief Relic Black is teamed up with hitman Ali McKay, the man he almost killed a few weeks earlier. As the team tidy up the loose ends after the shooting, gang member and bent cop DI McKenzie must investigate the disappearance of two people…
No Cure for Death
Series: The Terry Bell Mysteries. Price: $4.75 USD. Words: 50,050. Language: English. Published: December 18, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » Mystery & detective, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
A missing person. A name from the past. A trail of brutal murders. When Terry Bell is asked to track down a missing person, he must face the possibility that his own actions twenty-seven years earlier may have led to the disappearance of a school friend. But the missing man is on a killing spree and the canny cabbie must solve a series of clues to find the scene of the next murder.
Blood on the Tyne: Red Snow
Series: Blood on the Tyne, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 45,190. Language: English. Published: July 9, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A dead body. A hoard of forged banknotes. A gangster out for blood. Newcastle, December 1955. Returning home after a weekend away, singer and amateur sleuth Rosie Robson discovers a man lying on a baggage trolley with his throat cut.
Angie Baby
Price: Free! Words: 1,360. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Shopworker Angie notices something different about her husband...
The Watson Letters Volume 6: The Haunting of Roderick Usher
Series: The Watson Letters. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 51,440. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy, Fiction » Adventure » General
An invitation. A ghostly spectre. A criminal mastermind. When Holmes and Watson are invited to visit an old friend of the pipe-smoking detective, they are plunged into the first of three adventures involving the Dark Arts and the supernatural.
The Painted Man
Price: Free! Words: 5,670. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
When recently bereaved Julia and her young daughter move into a new house, the little girl talks about seeing a man outside. Later, finding drawings depicting this same man, Julia assumes the drawings must have already been in the house. But then the images start to appear elsewhere…
Black Witch Moon
Series: The Black Witch Saga, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,810. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Occult
Tyburn, 1625. A young woman hanged as a witch. A doctor plagued by nightmares. Wracked by guilt, Robert Winter struggles with the notion that a witch may have been wrongly accused. But if that is so, what can he do about it?
The New Girl
Price: Free! Words: 1,280. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » General
A horror writer considers the implications of his stories.
Blood on the Tyne: Head Shots
Series: Blood on the Tyne, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 46,390. Language: English. Published: November 22, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Historical » General
When someone starts killing fashion models, Rosie Robson finds herself in the firing line. Newcastle, 1955. When a young model is murdered, the woman’s bereaved family ask singer and amateur sleuth Rosie Robson to investigate. But before she can check out the agency where the woman worked, the killer strikes again.
Six Feet Under
Series: The Terry Bell Mysteries. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 45,630. Language: English. Published: October 9, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
A murder victim, a deserted airfield, a sinister project. Can Terry untangle the mystery before someone else dies?
Terminal Black
Series: The Relic Black Thrillers. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 55,060. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Relic Black takes things that don’t belong to him—credit cards, golf clubs, toothbrushes. But when a hitman mistakes him for someone else, Relic lands himself in a difficult situation. With a dead man on his hands and a guilty conscience, he sets off to save the life of the man whose identity he has stolen. And that’s when the real trouble starts…
The Jansson Tapes
Series: The Terry Bell Mysteries. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 46,840. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
When a familiar leggy blonde slides onto the back seat of his cab with the offer of work, taxi-driver and amateur sleuth Terry Bell isn’t keen. However, compared to the tedium of driving a cab all day, the lure of another mystery is too strong to resist, and Terry agrees to help.
Blood on the Tyne: Body Parts
Series: Blood on the Tyne, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,840. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2020 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Newcastle, 1955. A death in the family brings nightclub singer Rosie Robson home to Newcastle, but agreeing to perform with her old band, she learns the group’s singer has disappeared. When a body turns up, Rosie decides to investigate, and finds her own name has been added to the killer's list...
The Curse of Calico Jack
Series: Skeleton Cove Horror, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 37,560. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Monsters
A mysterious book. A creepy kidnapping. A ghostly pirate on the loose. Researching ideas for a pirate story, 12-year-old Jeff and his pal Suzi uncover a mysterious book that reveals weirdly moving images of a scary pirate captain. After an old movie appears to replicate the images, one of Jeff’s teachers is kidnapped, prompting the investigative twosome to seek help...
The Watson Letters - Volume 5: Murder on Mystery Island
Series: The Watson Letters. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 45,550. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
When consumptive Doctor Edward Armstrong turns up at Baker Street with an invitation to visit a mysterious island, Sherlock Holmes smells a rat. Sounding deviously similar to the plot of a recent novel by celebrated lady author Mrs Christie, Holmes decides to send his inveterate side-kick Watson to the island, along with the Doctor’s lovely, but wonky-eyed wife, Mary.
A Long Cool Glass of Murder
Series: The Terry Bell Mysteries. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 53,110. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
When taxi driver and amateur sleuth Terry takes on a new client, he doesn’t expect her to turn up dead. With echoes of his recent past coming back to haunt him, can he work out what’s going on before someone else gets killed? ‘A Long Cool Glass of Murder’ is book #2 in the Terry Bell Mystery series.
Girlfriend, Interrupted
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,400. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
A collection of short stories that hint at the darker side of life.
Bed, Death and Breakfast
Price: Free! Words: 3,130. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Crime
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
A young couple find their landlord has a curious interest in blood.
The Watson Letters Volume 4: Revenge of the Hooded Claw
Series: The Watson Letters. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 44,680. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
Intrepid investigators Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime in a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe. In three more adventures, the tenacious twosome encounter an ocean-going iceberg, an American werewolf and a gigantic metal fish , as well as facing old enemy Moriarty, who plans to finish off Sherlock Holmes for good. Adult humour throughout.
The Not Mouse
Price: Free! Words: 2,680. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
When Peterson notices a corner of the bread has been nibbled, he thinks he knows what to do about it, but then he sees the boots...
When Darkness Falls
Price: Free! Words: 1,820. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2018 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
Walking home on Hallowe'en, three lads must pass a supposedly haunted barn. But who is the ghost, and what does she want?
The Watson Letters Volume 3: Curse of the Baskervilles
Series: The Watson Letters. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 39,250. Language: English. Published: November 18, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
Intrepid investigators Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime in a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe. In three more adventures, the intrepid duo tackle a ghostly locomotive, journey to Dartmoor in search of a gigantic hound, and team up with bloodthirsty psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter in the hunt for a murderer. Adult humour throughout.
The Demon of Devilgate Drive
Series: Skeleton Cove Horror, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 41,070. Language: English. Published: August 8, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Horror » Ghost
A murder in Nightmare Alley. A missing boy. A demon on the loose. On the hunt for the elusive Jimmy Brick, 12-year-old Jeff and his pal Suzi find more than they bargained for at Harry McSpawn's pool hall. But it's a mysterious business card that gets Jeff wondering what it is that Jimmy has got himself into. Haunted by a series of nightmares, Jeff sets out to discover exactly what 's going on...
How Green Was My Lovely Big Sleep
Price: Free! Words: 1,570. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
It was a classic pea-souper, thick with the stink of the Tyne and as sticky as an athlete's armpit. I wanted to go home, relax, tune into Channel 69 and open a beer, but something caught my eye through the gloom. Ordinarily, I'd have told Pussy Hideaway to go and lose herself, but I was behind with the rent...
Death on a Dirty Afternoon
Series: The Terry Bell Mysteries. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 57,970. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Two dead bodies. A suspicious cop. A taxi driver in the firing line. When taxi driver Frank is found dead on his dining room table, ex-cabbie Terry Bell assumes his old friend died of a heart attack. But when Terry's former boss also turns up with his face bashed in, it starts to look like there's a connection.
Magic Man
Price: Free! Words: 3,400. Language: English. Published: January 3, 2017 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
Striving to escape the shadow of his magician father, George decides to give his own failing magic act one last go - with unexpected results.
The Watson Letters - Volume 2: Not the 39 Steps
Series: The Watson Letters. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 38,380. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime in a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe... In three new adventures, the intrepid duo team up with Richard Hannay to do battle with Moriarty in Edinburgh's subterranean passageways, investigate a series of murders at Cold Comfort Farm and tackle the bloodthirsty Count Dracula in Transylvania. Adult humour throughout.
A Tale for Halloween
Price: Free! Words: 2,090. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
Two children at a Halloween party go looking for their friend in the woods, but find something they weren't expecting.
The Very Grave Digger
Price: Free! Words: 1,940. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
When an old friend asks to meet up, lone worker Bobby wonders what she wants this time...
Shoals O' Herring
Price: Free! Words: 1,500. Language: English. Published: May 6, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
Tired of his day job, young Stevie joins the crew of a fishing trawler - but life at sea isn't as romantic as he expects: It was November and it was cold, and I wasn’t getting along very well with the skipper. We’d only been away from port a few days, but I knew I never, ever, wanted to go to sea again.
The House That Wasn't There
Series: The Christie McKinnon Adventures, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 50,090. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Europe
There's a new trade in the city - one that deals in children. On a cold November morning in 1890's Edinburgh, Christie McKinnon and her pal Donal discover a young boy is missing from home. And he's not the only one - someone is stealing children and taking them to a mysterious house on Deadman's Lane. With an eye on a story, Christie investigates, but the house is not all it seems to be.
The Watson Letters Volume 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes
Series: The Watson Letters. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,990. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody
In a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe, Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime. Based on the infamous Blog of the same name, this indecorous take on the Holmes and Watson stories pitch the detecting duo into Whitechapel, the Western Isles and the Village of the Damned. Adult humour throughout.
Series: The Maps of Time, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 58,940. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Europe, Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
London, 1630. Felch is back, and this time he's determined to get what he wants - whatever happens. But Tom and his friends have other things on their minds - when one of Deacon's maps is stolen, the ancient and mysterious library of Dr Dee seems to be the one place that holds all the keys... MORTLAKE is book #2 in this epic time-slip adventure series.
Writing: Ideas and Inspirations (or How to Make Things Up)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 27,460. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2015 . Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
As most successful writers will tell you, one of the hardest things about writing is getting started. In this collection of articles, Writer, Musician, Hermit, Pie-Maker and Time-Traveller Colin Garrow explores ways of generating ideas, creating characters and developing stories. Using examples from his own stories, novels and stage plays, he'll show you what to do, what not to do...
In Line for Murder
Price: Free! Words: 3,980. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
In 1890s Edinburgh, Inspector Angus Robertson has a problem: Sir Charles Foggarty wants him to investigate a murder, but the wealthy landowner's story about a mysterious dead woman is missing one vital ingredient - a body.
The Silk Woman
Price: Free! Words: 4,950. Language: English. Published: September 20, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Walking home from the pub late one night, Davey discovers something on the beach that changes his life...
The Body In The Bag
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,240. Language: English. Published: August 7, 2015 . Categories: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Edinburgh, 1827. In their shabby lodging house, William Hare encourages his drinking partner William Burke to think about the future, about an easier way of making a living. When one of Hare’s lodgers dies, the scheming duo plan to take the body to the medical school where corrupt surgeon Dr Knox exchanges cash for cadavers...
Towards the Inevitability of Catastrophe
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 6,850. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2015 . Categories: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
It sounds like her, has her laughter and her pain. But it isn’t her. Or is it? This is a play about Suzy, though…not really. It’s a play about things that may, or may not have happened in her life. It’s her voice alright, the way she normally speaks. And it’s the way she moves. It’s definitely her laughter, her smile. And when she gets angry, maybe that’s real too. Or maybe not.
How the World Turns (and Other Stories)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,740. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
He thinks that when he walks, his own feet propel the earth: that his movements keep the world going round. Literally. Each stride supplies the momentum for another motion forward, the ground shifting backwards beneath him, away into the distance. Except, when he stops walking...(from 'How the World Turns')
Love Song in Sixteen Bars
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 12,240. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2015 . Categories: Plays » European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Ever been in one of those relationships? You know - the ones that don't work? Whenever Shona embarks on a new relationship, she always ends up getting dumped. So when her latest one starts to hit the rocks, she decides to find out why.
The Devil's Porridge Gang
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,570. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Europe
(5.00 from 1 review)
1969. In a town where nothing happens, a gang of kids uncover a kidnapping plot. In the days following the excitement of the moon landings, a group of criminals plan to kidnap the son of a Government rocket engineer - but they don’t expect a gang of kids to get in the way...
The Hounds of Hellerby Hall
Series: The Christie McKinnon Adventures, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,220. Language: English. Published: July 28, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Edinburgh, 1897. Blood on the table, murder in the hall. Eleven-year-old Christie McKinnon is not happy - the editor of ‘McMurdo’s Weekly’ has once again turned down her story. But Christie determines not to give up and confronts the wily editor and offers a means of solving his dilemma. Meanwhile, Inspector Robertson investigates when a bowl of blood appears on a dining room table...
The Architect's Apprentice
Series: The Maps of Time, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 63,610. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2015 . Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Europe, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
London, 1630. A boy searching for his father. A villain stealing books. Forced to work for the dubious Savidge, eleven-year-old Tom Fennel is desperate to find his father. Distrustful of what he's heard, he's sure Savidge is involved. Meanwhile, books are vanishing from architect Martin Deacon's library - books from the future.

Colin Garrow's tag cloud

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Smashwords book reviews by Colin Garrow

  • We Don’t Plummet Out of the Sky Anymore on Aug. 04, 2015

    I'm not usually a sci-fi fan, but the title of this story grabbed my attention. I love the language and the advertising speak - it sounds so real. Great story.