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

Mon, 19:45
Somersault Festival 2015.

Around 17,000 people flocked to Castle Hill Estate this weekend to party through the rain and sunshine at Somersault Festival.

Read more
Mon, 13:55
Sidmouth Steppers enjoy their performance at the 60th annual FolkWeek.

FolkWeek returns to Sidmouth this week with another jam packed programme.

Read more
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Craft materials at A La Ronde

Looking for things for the kids to do this summer holiday? At A la Ronde – the 18th-century, 16-sided house and grounds near Exmouth, owned by the National Trust – there is a family activity on offer every day.

Read more
Saturday, July 25, 2015
SuperSonic 70s Show

Get your loon jeans, hot pants, scoop T-shirts and platform shoes at the ready… the SuperSonic ’70s Show is coming to Exmouth on Friday, August 21.

Read more
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Honiton Music Company and Sidbury Choir.

Wind band, the Honiton Music Company, joined forces with Our Sidbury Choir for a fundraising evening of summertime music at Sidbury Church earlier this month.

Read more
Friday, July 24, 2015
Clown due The Popolinos in Circus Wonderland.

Circus Wonderland is coming to Exmouth soon. Described as Britain’s ‘most magical circus’, it’s at the Imperial Recreation Ground from Wednesday, July 29 until Sunday, August 2.

Read more
Friday, July 24, 2015
Kelly Oliver

Award-winning restaurant River Cottage has invited its first solo female music act to entertain diners at its Axminster HQ.

Read more
Friday, July 24, 2015
Mike Grant witht the film reel

A chance visit to the tip has seen a movie-lover unearth what could be one of just two surviving copies of an 87-year-old silent film.

Read more
Friday, July 24, 2015
Things to do in North Devon this weekend.

From bungee jumps and festivals to celebrating diversity and a visiting cruise liner - it’s going to be a busy weekend in North Devon!

Read more
Friday, July 24, 2015
Flats and Sharps

Sidmouth Fringe Sessions return from August 1 – 5, with organisers ‘setting the bar very high’.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read Entertainment

Great British Life


Great British Life

Family Notices 24



Devon's trusted business finder