Sidmouth author self-publishes latest spy novel

PUBLISHED: 16:16 12 November 2012

Sidmouth-based author Norman Hartley

Sidmouth-based author Norman Hartley

Archant

A journalist who retired to Sidmouth found the mission of self-publishing was anything but covert with the release of his latest spy novel.

A correspondent for Reuters and the BBC in far-flung countries, Norman Hartley took inspiration from his life meeting spies and reporting on military coups to write ‘The Saxon Network’.

Norman’s fourth book revolves around a terrorist attack on London this year that forces the hero John Saxon out of hiding and back into his life as a spy.

The book is now written, but Norman, who lives in Woolbrook Close, said his work has only just begun as he learns how to self-publish it online.

“It used to be when you finish a book you’d breathe a sigh of relief and go and get drunk,” he said.

“That drink is a long way off!”

His previous novels were all published conventionally, so managing the cover design, writing the blurb, proof-reading and marketing the book is a new experience for him.

“It’s a steep learning curve,” he said.

“Self-publishing isn’t something you should undertake lightly.”

With the ability to write a book that could be printed on demand rather than in bulk came the new challenges of publicising it on social networks and improving its positioning in book-sellers’ online rankings.

“I sent my first tweet at the age of 76,” he said.

The publishing process may have changed but Norman admitted the writing process is the same, as he draws on his experiences to create characters and set scenes.

At one point a brawl between characters, who are composites of people he has known, tears through Norman’s old haunt at the BBC World Service offices.

“I write about things I know – it’s definitely not wish fulfilment,” he said.

Norman has plenty of life experience to choose from – he estimates he saw 11 coups d’états in his formative years – and is already penning a sequel, with a third Saxon story in the pipeline.

‘The Saxon Network’ is now available for Kindle on Amazon and in physical form in Sidmouth’s Paragon Books.

Other Entertainment Stories

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Diners dressed to the nines came together in Sidmouth’s Market Place for a candlelit meal on Sunday.

Read more
Monday, August 14, 2017

She Moved Through The Fair – Friday night’s FolkWeek presentation at the Manor Pavilion – initially sounded more likely to be educational than entertaining.

Read more
Friday, August 11, 2017

Seth Lakeman and The Drystones at the Bulverton Marquee

Read more
Friday, August 11, 2017

Oysterband at Bulverton Marquee, Sidmouth FolkWeek 2017

Read more
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A walk round a close cluster of venues can really get you into the spirit of Sidmouth FolkWeek, write Paul Strange and Delia Pemberton.

Read more
Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Looe Music Festival – the award-winning event that transforms the Cornish coast – is back at the end of September.

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland, FolkWeek is thrilled that some diverse sounds of modern Scotland contribute to the broad spectrum of over 700 events at over 40 venues during the eight-day festival.

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

Fancy having a go yourself? Over 200 workshop events offer novices or experts a wealth of one-off tasters, week-long series, masterclasses, perennial favourites and exciting innovations, as well as the opportunity to work alongside some master musicians and dancers booked for the week.

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

Making best use of the Manor Pavilion’s traditional theatre space, some special shows find an ideal home.

Read more
Friday, August 4, 2017

A wonderful tradition in the making with the second annual Sidmouth Horse Trials.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications