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.

0 comments

Other Entertainment Stories

17:00

The Offwell Playground Team is planning a series of fundraisers to bring a new children’s play area to the village.

Read more

Singer Olly Murs has shared his excitement for his summer performance in Exeter and has told fans to expect ‘high energy entertainment.’

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

SeatonMusic was entertained by a top pianist on Thursday, March 6.

Read more
Tue, 17:00

Organisers of this year’s Festival of Imagination have planned a busy programme for the event.

Read more
Mon, 17:00

The Valley Troupers will be staging their 27th annual production in Northleigh Village Hall.

Read more
Mon, 17:00

Beyond The Lens is a new exhibition of the work of internationally renowned photographer Roger Mayne.

Read more
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Colyton History Society will be running guided town history walks and talks for the tourist season, starting in April.

Read more
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

East Devon Dance Academy presents Triple Fantasy 2017.

Read more
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Exeter Festival Chorus is performing a concert in Budleigh Salterton in April.

Read more
Friday, March 17, 2017

Concerts in the West will be bringing the Maxwell Quartet to East Devon in May, at the end of a brief series of concerts.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read Entertainment

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