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

Yesterday, 18:30
Colyton St Andrew's church .Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhv 9535-17-13AW.

Award-winning author and journalist Ambra Edwards will be giving an illustrated talk entitled, The Romance of the Walled Garden, in Colyton.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
The performance of Hickory Dickory Dock by Colaton Raleigh players. Ref exe 3112-08-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

It was my first visit to a Colaton Raleigh Players’ pantomime for some years and I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed when I attended a performance of Hickory Dickory Dock, writes Christopher Holland.

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Boundless Brothers

Up-and-coming folk-pop band The Boundless Brothers will be appearing at Exmouth’s Grapevine on Friday, March 6.

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Rabbit Theatre's

Be very careful out there... Dracula is coming to Lympstone!

Read more
Tue, 18:30
Rough Music

Rough Music, the 35-piece Wren folk orchestra, will be playing at The Beehive on Saturday, March 7.

Read more
Tue, 18:00
University of Exeter Chapel Choir

St Paul’s Church, Honiton will be hosting the University of Exeter Chapel Choir for an afternoon concert.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 8°C

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder