Travels in Southern England – Reflections On The Bath Literature Festival

March 10, 2015

10 March 2015

The Literature Festival ended on Sunday 8 February. I was struck by the number of biographies that were on show. Almost all the talks I went to were about or concerned with real people. There were some sessions about writing and self publishing which was heartening and I visited the one about promoting your self published books. However, it seems that it is celebrities that draw the crowds. As a fiction writer myself, I would have preferred to hear more from novelists and short story writers. Still the festival was professionally run and the talks I attended were expertly presented. On the whole it was a very worthwhile experience.

Bath is a fascinating city to visit because of its Georgian architecture. Most of the city’s attractions, The Abby, The Roman Baths and the Pump Room, are in a few yards of each other and easily accessible on foot. Parking is a problem but there is an excellent “Park and Ride” service and train station. The Central Library is one of the best I have visited and is not far from the Guildhall and the Abby. I spent a of number hours working on my laptop there utilizing its excellent internet wifi connection. To show my appreciation I donated it a copy of the Peatmore Press novel, “Gifford’s Games” part of which is set in the city.

Keith Jahans
Editor, Peatmore Press

Bath Central LibraryBath Central Library not far from the Abby and next to Waitrose

Gifford's Games Front Cover with BorderGifford’s Games published by Peatmore Press and available in paperback or as an ebook


Results of Last Month’s Quiz

February 7, 2013

The answers to January’s Mind Boggling Quiz are available at  Congratulations to the winners.  Copies of the Peatmore Press paperback novel, “Gifford’s Games” are on the way to them.

Gifford's Games Front Cover with Border

Opening sentences

October 15, 2012

Opening sentences are important they must grab the reader’s attention.  They litter the great works of fiction.  To see a list of some excellent examples go to

Peatmore Press has done its best to make these stand out well in its published novels.  Whether they work or not will only be born out if the reader carries on reading and then comes back for more.  Only time will tell.

Corgrill’s Mill:
George Cogrill was uneasy.

Victim of Compromise:
The naked body of a young woman lay face down on the double bed like a discarded doll, a towelling cord wrapped tightly around her neck.

Gifford’s Games:
Guy sat back from the computer screen, folded his hands behind his head and sighed with satisfaction.

However, the first sentence may not be enough.  The real proof may be in the first paragraph.  It is the words at the beginning which must hold the reader’s attension.

Corgrill’s Mill:
George Cogrill was uneasy.  It was a bright sunny day in June and it was his birthday, but he had received a summons from his aunt.  No matter what the weather, or the occasion, his aunt always made him feel uneasy and a summons from her could not be ignored.

Victim of Compromise:
The naked body of a young woman lay face down on the double bed like a discarded doll, a towelling cord wrapped tightly around her neck.
“Dressing gown cord,” explained Donovan.  “The ‘otel supplies gowns for their guests.  The room’s been checked and photographed.  Mr Wallace said everything should be left as it was found till you arrived.  The doctor’s been and gone, and Forensic are waiting to move in when you’ve finished.”

Gifford’s Games

Guy sat back from the computer screen, folded his hands behind his head and sighed with satisfaction.  “Great, I’ve just withdrawn five billion from the Bank of England.”


July 12, 2012

The 2012 London Olympics are almost upon us.  I heard the comedian David Baddiel say on TV that sport is probably the only human endeavour at which you can say someone is truly the greatest.  That is true in respect of a person’s technical ability but the hype that surrounds it can be out of all proportion.

If British competitors fail to get more than five gold medals then many might say for the United Kingdom it has been a failure and there will be a clamour for our sporting authorities to get back to “grass roots” and search for future sporting champions.  The recent failure of Andy Murray to overcome tennis champion Roger Federer at Wimbledon is a classic example.  Prospects for a great victory ran high and the fact that he broke down after failing to best arguably the best tennis player of all time is sad.  The pressure to succeed was immense.

There has to be a sense of proportion.  The Australian cricketer and World War II fighter pilot Keith Miller summed it up for all sports when he said, “Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse, playing cricket is not”.  The sheer enjoyment of competing for your country, with and against other people must be the over riding purpose.  The result should not matter too much.  It is truly satisfying to identify that a team or competitor is the best but it is not paramount.