Sidmouth author self-publishes latest spy novel

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.

0 comments

Other Entertainment Stories

11:00
Peter Gill

The droll comedy of Bob Newhart and the biting satire of Tom Lehrer are being celebrated in a show at Topsham’s Matthews Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday, May 7.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
Exmouth Choral Society

Exmouth Choral Society’s next concert is coming up this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Star Wars themed day at World of Country Life

Want to meet Darth Vader? Shake hands with Chewbacca? Get light saber training from a Jedi? Or get arrested by Stormtroopers?

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Town criers arrive on The Strand as the West Country Traditions Day gets into gear. Photo: Paul Strange.

This year’s Exmouth Festival – which runs from Friday, May 27, to Sunday, June 5 – will be longer and spread much more around the town than in previous years.

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Playing cards at Sidmouth Museum

The members of Sidmouth Canasta group have decided not to take a summer break.

Read more
Wed, 18:30

The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon?

Read more
Wed, 15:30
Honiton Community Theatre Company's production of Twelfth Night.Lauren Craig and Val Lloyd.

Some are born great and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Chicken Slacks

There’s a three-day cider festival with live music coming up at the Feathers Hotel in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Emmanuel Bach

The Isca Ensemble South West, under its regular musical director Roger Hendy, welcomes the return to Sidmouth of the extremely talented young violinist, Emmanuel Bach as soloist for its spring concert in the parish church on Saturday, April 30, at 7.30pm.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Conjunto Gringo.

An octet of talented musicians will be playing Cuban and other Latin numbers in Honiton, this weekend.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read Entertainment

Great British Life

Great British Life

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


HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications