Fiction with an edge

Friday, 21 September 2012



Three months ago Harry Miller decided to leave a lucrative directorship in business to write children’s stories. His wife, Veronica, isn't pleased - she misses the high life and nags him to go back. But Harry can't go back – and he can't tell her why. Veronica's efforts to get him to return to business open a Pandora's box of lies and recriminations which have Harry questioning his friends, his marriage, and his future.

“The truth will out ...”

55 page novelette

Saturday, 15 September 2012


For those of you who may have missed it last time THE MESSENGER is available on FREE DOWNLOAD on Kindle today (15th), Sunday and Monday.  A 500 page explosive mixture  of Enemy of the State and Sixth Sense.  You can read the first six chapters and the story behind the story on my blog pages (see right).  

The Messenger is a full on thriller with a mysterious twist. And while military novels are not my usual fare, I got on board with Jack Chandler when he entered the Land of Souls. John E. White skilfully weaves the two worlds together in the way Stephen King does, but without the fantasy tag. Amid tense Harrison Ford style action is the deeper `what does happen to war dead?' Tight, thought-provoking and a great read. You won't think the same about war again.

A thrilling read
A great read with a great message skilfully handled. The suggestion of a sixth sense but leaving the reader to interpret that in their own way made it intriguing for me.

John's novel has all the ingredients one would expect in an adventure story - a well researched and developed plot, believable characters in reader friendly and accessible prose. It's also pacey containing exciting action scenes within a contemporary and highly relevant political and historical setting.

This is not all however, in a layered narrative, The Messenger fuses the genres of thriller, adventure and the supernatural to excellent effect. This novel is a thoughtful critique of politics, economics and war.
By jaycole
John White's intriguing anti-war thriller 'The Messenger' works on more than one level. As an exciting story with believable characters it carries you along in the way you expect from writers like Lee Child and Matt Hilton. And the military scenes, while not full-on Andy McNab, are pumping with action and well-researched authenticity. But it's the third dimension that makes this book stand out. Lots of people (probably lots of soldiers) who have had near-death experiences will be intrigued by Jack Chandler's visions and doubts. PTSD, paranoia, brain-washing? Or something else? Read it and make up your own mind.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Plymouth International Book Festival 15 - 23 September 2012

Saturday 15th September

Writer-In-Residence/Word Marathon: Writing the Museum’s Stories

During the week of Plymouth International Book Festival there will be a number of opportunities to work with the Writer-In-Residence at Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. The public are invited to come into the museum and have a go at writing a Haiku poem in response to the Endless Summer surfing exhibition and they can also drop in and have a go at writing a Haiku in response to museum objects that will be on show in the Plymouth University Marquee on the Hoe on 16 September. 

Drop-in Haiku workshop 10am - 12pm

  • Saturday 15 September
  • Tuesday 18 September
  • Thursday 20 September
Plymouth Artists book fair logo


Plymouth Artist's Book Fair

Plymouth University brings together an international selection of people working with 'the book' as an art project. Exhibitors will include individual artists as well as small independent publishers, all of whom will have a selection of books to peruse and buy.

Helen Dunmore


Helen Dunmore: Writing Magical Words

The award-winning creator of the fantastic Ingo series talks about creating wonder and magic with words. A great event for the whole family where you'll have a chance to meet Helen and ask her about her wonderful work.

Babette Cole


Babette Cole

Having first started as an illustrator for children's television, Babette Cole has been publishing children's books since 1976. She joins us to give an insight about how she creates her work, and the highly competitive world of children's writing and illustration.

Making Great Illustration


Making Great Illustration

Derek Brazell and Jo Davies, authors of Making Great Illustration and curators of the same exhibition are in conversation. They discuss the Illustrator's world and the unique collection of works on display in the festival exhibition. A gem for fans of all kinds of illustration.

Audrey Niffenegger


Audrey Niffenegger

From Chicago, Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife, tells us about her work as a visual artist and writer. Her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, is a ghost story set in and around Highgate Cemetery.


Sunday 16th September

Patrick Gale


Patrick Gale: A Perfectly Good Man

Patrick Gale's 14 novels include The Whole Day Through and the Richard & Judy bestseller, Notes From an Exhibition. He joins us to talk about his latest novel, A Perfectly Good Man.

Moby Dick Big Read


Moby Dick Big Read

Launch event of the hugely anticipated 21st-Century audio and visual rendition of Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick featuring a live reading by our guest of honour, actor and director Simon Callow.

The daily online release of chapters recorded by a host of international and national celebrities including, Stephen Fry, Sir David Attenborough, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton will launch on Monday 17 September. The audio will be accompanied by images from some of the biggest names in the contemporary art world, including Gavin Turk, Anish Kapoor and Susan Hiller.

There will be an introduction from author, Philip Hoare, a musical performance entitled Call Me Ishmael, by Sam Richards and the premiere of a short film featuring international, best-selling, kraken-tattooed novelist China MiĆ©ville reading extracts from ‘The Squid’, directed by the award-winning BBC director, Adam Low.

Etherington Brothers


Celebrating Young People's Writing

Join us in the Marquee overlooking the stunning Plymouth Hoe for a rip-roaring celebration for, and by, young people. The Etherington Brothers will keep 7–12 year olds busily enthralled, Babette Cole will help us to crown the new Young City Laureate and we'll have a few surprise guests and book launches along the way. Free Event (booking essential).


Monday 17th September

Eduardo Miranda


Professor Eduardo Reck Miranda

Eduardo Miranda introduces Sound to Sea, his major new work that revisits the magnificent British choral tradition, through a myriad of different cultural references including the literary works of Horace, Shakespeare and Mark Twain and the music of Elgar, Mozart, Messiaen and Stravinsky.

Tania Hershman


Tania Hershman: How short can a short story get?

Tania Hershman joins us to read from her second collection of short stories My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions. She'll also talk to us about the short story and even shorter 'flash' fiction, and her work with The Short Review, an online journal.


Tuesday 18th September
Stephen Eastaugh


Stephen Eastaugh: Unstill Life

By his own admission, Stephen Eastaugh is geographically promiscuous. He is one of only a handful of artists to winter-over in Antarctica. His Knots series, created whilst resident at Mawson Station, bring a contemporary interpretation to that remote landscape.

Stephen joins the Plymouth International Book Festival at the start of the Marine City Festival to complete his Knot series with a new work for Plymouth, commissioned by Plymouth Arts Centre and Plymouth City Marine Festival.

This is a free event held at Plymouth Arts Centre.

Short Fiction 6


Short Fiction 6 Launch

SHORT FICTION, the visual literary journal, launches its 6th issue tonight with a reading by contributor, Jamie Edgecombe.

The journal, edited and published by Professor Anthony Caleshu, of the English and Creative Writing Department, Plymouth University, aims to showcase the best new fiction, alongside bespoke illustration. In addition to Jamie's reading, the launch will include a talk about the short story form, and its contemporary importance.

Anthony Caleshu is author of two books of poetry, a monograph on the American poet James Tate, and a novella, as well as numerous short stories. His recent poetry collection, Of Whales (in Print, in Paint, in Sea, in Stars, in Coin, in House, in Margins) was a 'book of the year' in the Daily Telegraph (2010). He is founding editor of Short Fiction.The journal boasts lauded contributing editors such as Ali Smith, Jayne Anne Phillips, Helen Oyeyemi, Toby Litt and Gerard Donovan.

This is a Free Event
Crosspoint, Roland Levinsky Building


Wednesday 19th September

Carol Rifka Brunt


Carol Rifka Brunt

Carol Rifka Brunt is a New Yorker, now based in Devon. She joins us to chat about her much-anticipated debut novel, Tell The Wolves I'm Home, a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion makes us whole again. Free event.

Johnny Mains



Join us for this shockingly enjoyable and informative talk. British horror stories have a long and proud tradition. Johnny Mains illustrated talk takes us through the changes in tastes and styles that have kept British readers enthralled from the 1920’s to modern times.


12:00 onwards

The Leviathan: 24 Hour Comic Book Project

The BA (hons) Illustration course at Plymouth University hosts a remarkable event, where 12 artists and illustrators will work intensively in the gallery over 24hrs, using the novel Moby-Dick as the inspiration for their own comic book creations. 
Come watch these inspirational artists at work - names include the wonderful Jonny Hannah, Jack Teagle and Viviane Schwarz.

This live art event will take place in the Peninsula Arts Gallery and then be displayed in Crosspoint, Roland Levinsky Building - This is a Free Event.

Gallery opening times 10am – 5pm with extended gallery opening on September 19th, 10am - 9pm

Friday 21st September
Open Mic



Interested in writing? Come and meet some of the groups and organisations that make up Plymouth’s vibrant writing scene. Meet writing groups, performance promoters, literature development organisations, readers’ groups and more.

This is something for all writers based in Plymouth, and those who are just curious. Local writers’ groups and writing and reading agencies will set up camp for the afternoon in the Central Library; come along and find out about local writers’ groups, what support there is for writers in Plymouth, and writing and reading initiatives in Plymouth. You can also browse, and buy books written and produced by writers living in the area.

5.00 – 6.00 PM - There will be an open mic slot for people to read their work

This is a Free Event

The Dark Crystal


Wendy & Brian Froud

In addition to the film screening The Dark Crystal you can, as part of your event ticket, attend a special talk by the puppet-makers of The Dark Crystal (and many other feature films) Wendy and Brian Froud.

Wendy Froud is an American doll-artist, sculptor, and puppet-maker, best known for her work creating Yoda for "The Empire Strikes Back" and creatures for the Jim Henson films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

Brian Froud is an English fantasy illustrator. He lives and works in Devon. His work has been used as the inspiration for creatures in films such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth (both in conjunction with Jim Henson's Creature Shop).


The Dark Crystal

A special screening of The Dark Crystal, a 1982 British-American fantasy film directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The animatronics were considered ground breaking. The primary concept artist was the fantasy illustrator Brian Froud, currently living on Dartmoor, famous for his distinctive faerie and dwarf designs. Froud also collaborated with Henson and Oz for their next project, the 1986 film Labyrinth, which was notably more light-hearted than The Dark Crystal.

Saturday 22nd September
Crime Writers Association


Crime Always Pays

The Crime Writers' Association give a master-class in writing the perfect crime novel. This session covers plotting, character, twists and turns for anyone wanting insider info on how to create the perfect narrative. In association with Cyprus Well. Tickets: £10 (booking essential).

Peter Hamilton


Peter Hamilton

Peter F. Hamilton is the Uk's bestselling Science Fiction author. He is the author of 10 novels and two short story collections, including the Night's Dawn Trilogy and The Void Trilogy. His new novel, Great North Road, will be published in September 2012 and copies will be available at the event.

Criminal Writing


Criminal Writing

A fantastic opportunity to meet bestselling Norwegian crime writers Jorn Lien Horst and K O Dahl as they read from their work and talk about the continued popularity of Scandinavian crime stories to Britain's leading crime fiction expert, Barry Forshaw.

Criminal Writing


Sound to Sea

Sound to Sea is a major new symphonic choral work from Plymouth University's Eduardo Reck Miranda, inspired by the words of the explorer Captain Scott. It has been commissioned to mark Plymouth University's 150th anniversary since its founding as a School of Navigation. Tickets: £12

Sunday 23rd September
Philip Gross


Philip Gross

A chance to hear the poet and winner of the TS Eliot Prize 2009, writer of novels for young people, science fiction, plays short stories and radio, talk about his work. With readings and an opportunity for discussion.

Ruthie Henshall



Plymouth International Book Festival 2012 closes in style with a grand finale in the spectacular setting of Plymouth Hoe. The Ten Tors Orchestra, conducted by Simon Ible will be joined on stage by special guest & star of Broadway & West End, Ruthie Henshall, who will perform songs from popular shows. With music from blockbuster film scores including Gladiator, James Bond & Pirates of the Caribbean to classic show tunes from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera & Carousel. 
Tickets: £20


By the way, biopsy results arrived. No further surgery required on that particular problem - ongoing monitoring will be programmed. Just wish it could be the same for everyone suffering from cancer.   

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Come on White - move yourself!

Well, here we are guys. The operation went well. Thankfully the bone scan was clear as was the dye test. Currently waiting on the results from the tumour biopsy. That will determine the need for any other surgery or ongoing monitoring - hopefully the latter.

This experience (I hope that doesn't sound to clinical a phrase - it's not meant to be) is teaching me many things, not least of all that I have brilliant friends who genuinely care about what happens to me. Obviously, family do too and I know this has been a very difficult and stressful time for them, especially my wife, Jill.

I don't feel up to writing / editing / doing anything creative currently - can't seem to get motivated or concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time. I'm sure that will change, but for now it's taking its toll.  
By the way, the free download promotion of The Messenger, which took place last weekend, received a good response and I am extremely grateful to the 400+ people here in the UK, in the USA and Germany who took advantage of the offer. I hope they enjoy the read, and I wait in anticipation (trepidation?) for their reviews. Hopefully, I will do the promotion again soon and give advance warning on here of when that is.