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

17:00

Art lovers flocked to the latest opening at THG (Thelma Hulbert Gallery) in Honiton.

Read more
29 minutes ago

Puss and Dick – an adult pantomime – is coming up at the Exmouth Pavilion.

Read more
15:54

Organisers of the North Devon Gang Show appeal for help to find another venue after North Devon Theatres went into administration

Read more
13:07

The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark in Ilfracombe are closed until further notice as the theatres trust goes into voluntary administration

Read more
11:07

The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple is closed today (Monday) due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’

Read more
11:00

There will be plenty to keep you on track at the next Sid Vale Probus Club meeting on Tuesday, January 24.

Read more
11:00

Artist Angie Seaway is running art classes for six to 16-year-olds at Seaway, 13 Carlton Hill, Exmouth.

Read more
Saturday, January 21, 2017

A range of activities have been lined up at Seaton Wetlands in February, starting with a bird-ringing demonstration.

Read more
Friday, January 20, 2017

Grammy winner Amy Wadge – who has written songs for Ed Sheeran – is playing a joint show with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Luke Jackson at 7.30pm at St James Church Hall, Exeter on Sunday, January 29.

Read more
Friday, January 20, 2017

Tim Edey will be returning to East Devon to perform in a concert to raise funds for Colyford Memorial Hall.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: -0°C

Most Read Entertainment

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Find a job in Devon



Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications