David's 'Clan' Blog

Anything that interests me as an author and a reader - and anything else I feel strongly about! I am also interested in the German market for translated work.

Great Book - looking forward to the film

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II - Adam Makos, Larry Alexander

This is a great book - a true story that restores faith in human nature as an ace German fighter pilot,risking being shot for treason, refuses to shoot down an already badly damaged Allied bomber - and actually protects the injured crew, leading them through the German Flak defences - it also shows how patriotic Germans were torn between defending their country and civilians and their own moral code which had no time for the Nazis Party. Highly recommended.

Brave, satirical & Funny

Look Who's Back - Timur Vermes

Adolf Hitler wakes up on a piece of waste ground in Berlin in 2011 - he hasn't aged, he is dressed in his soldiers uniform (which smells of petrol) and he has no idea how he got there. He understands that the war was not going terribly well from his perspective but apart from that he has no idea what has happened. Berlin, understandably, is almost unrecognisable and his views are completely unchanged. He becomes a media sensation as a celebrity comedian who has obviously (from everyone else's viewpoint) decided to immerse himself totally in his adopted 'character' which is part of his 'act' whilst he sees this as the start of a long path back to power. I think it is unlikely that anyone but a German could get away with this book but I found it fascinating and it had many interesting things to say about the modern world and the cult of celebrity.

Recommended, if challenging from my perspective.

A remarkable first book

This is a remarkable first book from new author Angie Spendlove. Finding yourself unmarried and pregnant in pre-welfare state Britain during the War is tough enough but what happens to this hapless young woman as she struggles to retain both her child and her dignity is both fascinating and in some ways terrifying, particularly as she falls under the control of some unbelievably cruel, and in my view, psychotic nuns. The structure of the book is fascinating as it is divided into two parts - part one tells the story of the mother Mary and part two Angela's story - as it impacts on the illegitimate child (the author Angie Spendlove). I recommend this book highly.

Great Premise - No delivery

Prayer - Philip Kerr
Somebody is slaughtering prominent atheists, a serial killer is stalking non-believers who are dying in terror in unimaginable ways - this is going to be great! We are led to believe that something terrible is stalking these infidels and our hero, a lapsed Catholic, is entering a life & death struggle to find the killer or killers and in the process save his own soul! Can't wait to see how this turns out - so I waited, and waited and waited - anytime now, this is going to be great.... unfortunately it doesn't. It turns out that God is a bit of a s*** and gets a bit pissed off if you don't believe in him and worship him in a way that he deems appropriate and far from our hero entering into a life and death struggle to challenge vile, satanic forces we spend the rest of the book watching him have a complete mental breakdown. To say this book fails to deliver is an understatement. Philip Kerr had reached a level with me where I buy his books on trust - knowing I can rely on him to deliver a great story. no longer I'm afraid - if this had been my first Philip Kerr novel it would have been my last - in fact I doubt if I would have finished it if I hadn't trusted that in the end something would happen - it didn't - maybe he should have another go at writing it as a thriller rather than as some angst filled exploration of human misery and mental illness.

New audio version of 'Under the Tree' from Michael T. Ashgillian

Under the Tree
If you don't have time to read as much as you would like click here  and download the brilliant audio book version of Michael T. Ashgillian's book 'Under the Tree' once you've heard it you'll want to buy the darker second of his 'Northland Tales' 'The Fairey Flag.' 8 more to follow...!


Source: http://www.northlandtales.com

Excerpt from 'Clan' audio Book

Hear an extract from the audio book of 'Clan' this is the Author's Foreword with some great photos of the locations from the book. you can also get the full audio download of the novel at half price by using the coupon code '50OFF' at www.redcapbooks.com
Source: http://www.clanthemovie.com


The Candlemass Road - George MacDonald Fraser

Brilliant! This is the absolute best type of historical fiction (sometimes called 'faction') and really is an answer to critics who complain about the blurring, as they see it, between fact and fiction. In the first instance, history is often simply opinion (and is usually written by the winners so cannot necessarily be relied upon). The greatest advantage though is that by creating characters (sometimes a mix of fact & fiction) the reader can identify with the impact of history on these characters rather than the cold 'facts' or dates attested to by historians, thereby bringing the times to life. But GMF was a historian and knows as much about the times of the 'Border Reiver' as anyone (see 'The Steel Bonnets'), but mix this with his skills as a writer (The Great 'Flashman' diaries are an example as well as screenwriting credits for 'Octupussy the James Bond movie)the 'Borders' are brought to life. This is not a complex story, based on what it seems was a true but under-documented minor episode in the history of the time, it breathes life into the every day struggles of people trying to 'get by' in a lawless and harsh environment, with nothing but themselves and their 'clan' or 'surname' to rely upon. There was no law to turn to with any surety of outcome, and what there was was as likely to side with the offender as the aggrieved dependant upon pragmatism, their own allegiances or straighforward corruption. His use of the arcane language, whilst making it tougher to read, it does sit the reader plumb in the middle of the times and thereby brings the whole period to life and explains how, when law is absent or corrupt, then people will, understandably take the law into their own hands. The story of the 'Border Reiver' is as relevant today as it has ever been, as our current day politicians distance themselves further from a growing underclass - who will ultimately fight to protect their own. A great read for anyone who is interested in this turbulent period of history.

I suppose fame is all relative!

As an Independent author it is always nice to be acknowledged as one - even if you don't have the reach of some more famous writers. But one of my loveliest experiences happened in a coffee shop I went into in my home town.


I knew the owner and whilst sitting sipping my coffee he suddenly approached me with the opening statement "We had another famous writer in here the other day."


My first instinct was embarrassment, as whilst it was very nice of him, by no stretch of the imagination could I be considered "famous" (some also might even question the suggestion that I am a writer but that is another thing entirely!).


My immediate response was that the statement was wrong on so many levels! - but I then went on to ask who the "other famous writer" was.


The discussion then developed into a most frustrating conversation as it seemed that although the other writer was apparently extremely famous, he, and also none of his staff seemed to know who he was!


Discussions about age, description, accents etc all led down a dead end until I finally said, "Well, given that you don't seem to know anything about him, how do you know he was famous?"


One of the waiting staff said "One of the customers recognised him, I can't remember what she said his name was, but apparently he wrote something called 'The History Boys.'


Shocked - I said "Alan Bennett! - You had Alan Bennett in here?" Alan Bennett


"That's him", she said, " I didn't know who he was so I forgot the name as soon as she said it."


I turned back to the owner excitedly, "You had Alan Bennett in here? - You have no idea how it feels to be included in the same sentence with Alan Bennett. - Now he is properly famous!"


The owner looked somewhat underwhelmed despite my obvious mix of pride & hero worship and after a few seconds pause he replied,


"Not in here he isn't..."



The Fairey Flag by Michael T. Ashgillian - A great follow up

The Fairey Flag (The Northland Tales) - Michael T. Ashgillian

What a great follow up to 'Under the Tree': A Northland Tale, Michael T. Ashgillian's first novel in The Northlander Series. Under the Tree was a great, primarily children's book that could be enjoyed by adults as well,  but The Fairey Flag takes the reader to a darker place as the heroes from the first novel are recalled to the Northlands to face a growing evil that threatens to engulf the beautiful lands as the evil Tseth, Queen of Hel, marshalls her dark forces to enslave the inhabitants.  The story is also, at 302 pages, a full length read, whereas the first book was novella length. As a consequence this tale will appeal to older children and adults alike. If the first two are anything to go by, the next 8 which apparently are already drafted are going to be unmissable! I am already a fan of the Northland Tales. Recommended.

'Clan' David P Elliot - Review by Philip Dodd from Amazon

Cover Artwork for 'Clan' by David P ElliotThank you to Philip Dodd for this thoughtful review - There is also a sequel called 'The Gathering' which takes the story 28 years into the future 


"I won Clan by David P. Elliot as a Booklikes giveaway, I am pleased to say. Firstly, I was drawn to the book by the picture of Hermitage Castle on its cover, a place I have visited a few times. It is a dark tale, rooted in the history of the Scottish clans and the supernatural folk of the border ballads. The author seemed to be more concerned with the describing of events rather than delving into the past and deeps of his characters. Once that was clear, I found his dark supernatural thriller, as it could be called, interesting, entertaining, and, at times, truly scary, alarming. Perhaps his most original creation in his book is the character he has named Robin Redcap, who, along with his fellow Red Caps, leap onto the page from the shadows of nightmare and the dark pit of Hell itself. He is summoned into the modern world by Lord William de Soulis, who is presented as a brutal warrior chieftain from the old days of the clan wars and feuds, and who is also a wizard, in league with those beings that are called in the book the Dark Spirits. His plan to sit on the ancient throne of Scotland and become master of the world by use of his dark supernatural power and his army of Red Caps forms the main plot of the book.

It was a pleasure to read a novel written in such clear, precise prose, in mostly fairly short chapters, and one set in a landscape I know quite well, that being Northumberland and the Scottish borders. The names of places I have visited are included in the book, such as Newcastleton, Jedburg, Hawick and, of course, Hermitage Castle. At the centre of the tale is David Elliot, who appears to have a lot of darkness inside him. He is fifty seven, we are told, jobless and alone, after three failed marriages, and he has never recovered from the death of his father. So he goes to stay in a cottage, not far from Hermitage Castle, with his daughter, Kate, her husband, Simon, and her young son, Thomas, to get back to his roots, to try to redeem and save himself. In a village pub, the family meet one of the most interesting characters in the book, a man named Thomas Truman. He is more of a spirit than a human man, who speaks of Heaven and Hell not as places but as spiritual states and it is he who reveals to David Elliot and his family the war that has always been going on between good and evil, the forces of light against the Dark Spirits. The only weapon against the Dark Spirits, the tale reveals, is love, particularly family love, the bond between members of the same Clan. I found the ideas in the novel relating to the life of the spirit in the after life interesting, stimulating, and the tale it told well worth the read."


Water & Ink Art

Reblogged from Kate says:


'Clan' Giveaways despatched!

Clan - David P. Elliot

The 'Clan' by David P Elliot Giveaway ended today and the 5 copies are already on route to the lucky winners.


I hope you enjoy it - if you do a review would be great!

5 Copies of 'Clan' in 'Booklikes Giveaway!'

Reblogged from David's 'Clan' Blog:
Clan - David P. Elliot

There are 5 copies of 'Clan' the historical supernatural thriller by David P Elliot being given away to UK readers - enter now for a chance to win - selection by Booklikes!

5 Copies of 'Clan' in 'Booklikes Giveaway!'

Clan - David P. Elliot

There are 5 copies of 'Clan' the historical supernatural thriller by David P Elliot being given away to UK readers - enter now for a chance to win - selection by Booklikes!

A man with a CLAN!

Reblogged from David's 'Clan' Blog:

An article that appeared recently in the 'inBusiness Magazine' of the Oxford Times (15th August 2013) explains how an author can become a publisher without really trying - all you need is a desire not to be pigeon-holed by Trade Publishers and a desire not to be ripped off by self-publishing companies - Oh yes - and most importantly a love of books and reading that is not entirely driven by cash! Go to Page 27 for the story of 'A Man with a Clan.'

Reblogged from David's 'Clan' Blog:
Wallace: For Freedom Alone - E. G. Spitzer

Video that accompanied the original German language 'Wallace Trilogy' by E. G. Spitzer.


The English translation of the first book is now available at a special pre-order price at Red Cap Books.


"And will you ever know dear Sir, what a hero you became?"