Playwright, composer, novelist and writer of non-fiction. My plays and musicals are staged around the world. My novels for adults and for children likewise are sold around the globe. I have written three plays on the theme of Sherlock Holmes and a series of five books about the schoolboy Sherlock Holmes. My play Saucy Pat about the father of the Bronte sisters is now a novel called Cassocked Savage.
Patrick Brontë was a poor, Irish redhead—a brilliant Cambridge graduate and priest for 55 years. His daughters were lauded; he lambasted. Why? Why say he chopped chairs, cut clothes and made his kids vegetarians? Why say he banned newspapers and shot headstones? Did he get a raw deal? Was he not the reason his daughters were so darn creative?
Tips, tactics and traps for writers wanting to be paid to write online. Deals with finding work, making successful bids for work, dealing with employers, how to charge a fee and understanding the hidden meanings in certain job ads. Tips on getting started and avoiding scams and rip-offs. Has a glossary of terms and the author offers free advice for readers' questions.
on Aug. 18, 2017
Alien Affairs has a simple plot. The Roswell incident really happened. The 1947 creatures from outer space crashed in New Mexico, and some ordinary folk discovered the bodies and spacecraft debris. One alien was captured alive.
A guru studied a piece of the rescued equipment and discovered the language of the visitors. He taught this alien dialect to his young niece, Carrie Player. She grew up being the only human who could speak Alien. What a player!
Fast-forward to today, and three alien spacecraft are heading our way to wipe out humanity by making us sterile.
Carrie, who works for the Alien Affairs Department, is able to contact one of the travelling aliens via by phone.
Thus begins a conversation, a relationship between an Earthling and an Alien. They text even sext one another.
But the issue is super serious and the fate for Earthlings is grim. They scramble to get military might into space. The President goes public and the world knows what’s happening. Panic stations everywhere. People waving placards with The End is Nigh are taken seriously.
Will the three spaceships be destroyed or will they destroy mankind?
Scott Skipper uses characters who are clever yet ordinary people who race to save the planet. By allowing one of the aliens and a human to become almost an item, understanding the plans of the combatants and their actions is simple. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to follow the rocket science.
Skipper uses dialogue to propel the story and build a slow-burning tension. He has achieved a perfect ending in that it is a total surprise, and leaves you asking questions about what really happened.
St. Anthony's Fire
on Jan. 10, 2021
St Anthony’s Fire by Scott Skipper
Because Shakespeare’s letters are as rare as hens’ teeth, some say to know the man, read his plays. About a century before the Bard, across the English Channel in the Netherlands, a painter put oil on wood but left little information about his life. One could say the same thing; to know the man, study his paintings.
Faction is an historical novel rooted in fact, where a real person or event is used in fiction. Hieronymus Bosch, a real person, was a Dutch/Flemish painter in the 15th century famous for producing remarkable works of art. Religious themes dominated and nudity often featured in his paintings as did animals in surprising situations such as birds flying out of a human’s rectum.
St Anthony is the patron saint of lost causes and when people caught Erysipelas, a nasty skin complaint caused by eating bread made with contaminated flour, the disease was called St Anthony’s Fire.
Bosch caught the condition which brought on great physical pain – he lost some toes – but also suffered vivid nightmares or visions. These mental apparitions inspired his remarkable paintings.
In Scott Skipper’s novel, a couple of Spanish teenage boys visit an art gallery in Madrid today and laugh at the sight of Bosch’s art. A gallery guide takes it upon himself to educate the boys about the life and work of the artist.
We then travel back hundreds of years and meet Bosch and learn about the man. He’s in his twenties, religious, is recovering from St Anthony’s Fire, and painting. He and some fellow travellers (pilgrims) set out to walk, that’s right, walk from Holland to Spain via France and the Pyrenees.
From adventure to adventure he goes, his life experiences being dramatic, joyful, tragic and inspiring. Throughout the journey, we pop back to 21st century Madrid where the two teens make comments and ask questions, and the long-suffering but wise guide relates the next chapter in the painter’s life.
One test of an historical novel is that it captures the nitty-gritty of daily life of the period. Skipper’s novel does this and more. His vision of Bosch brings the painter to life revealing his inner thoughts, personality and dreams. The novel’s details breathe life into the journey as the reader joins the pilgrims en route. You are there with the characters, and your knowledge of art and disease will increase overnight.