Friday, October 29, 2010

Revamping My Website

I haven't done a major revamp of my website for more than ten years and it's starting to look a bit stale. I'm looking at ways of beefing it up with the guys at The problem is, I'm not sure what to do! I've looked at loads of websites belonging to well known authors and frankly they're all a bit uninspiring and most of them have very cluttered homepages.

We'll see.

Anyway, here's an early thought...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rough Justice Promotional Video

This is a promotional video produced by Hodder and Stoughton to be shown at mainline train stations when the Rough Justice paperback is published next month!

Bangkok Bob - The Cover

We're working on the cover for Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon. Here's an early draft and I think it looks brilliant! You might recognise the moody guy in shades from the cover of Confessions Of A Bangkok Private Eye!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Complaining Online to DHL

Please wait for a DHL Chat Specialist to respond.
You are now chatting with 'Monty'

Monty: Hi. Thank you for contacting DHL Live Chat. How may I help you?
you: Can you look at Waybill number 2107488386 for me please
Monty: I will be glad to assist you. Please be on hold for 3 minutes while I pull up the records.
you: Five days is not acceptable is it?
Monty: Thank you for being on hold.
you: Why has the package not been delivered after five days?
you: Are you there, Monty?
Monty: Thank you for being on hold.
you: What?
you: Why do you keep thanking me?
Monty: According to the records, the package was sent to an incorrect facility on 26th-Oct-2010 at 9:29 AM because of sorting error; however, later it was sent to the proper destination.
you: According to your tracking record it has not been delivered yet.
you: Are you saying it was delivered today?
you: Monty?
you: Are you there?
you: Hello??????????
Monty: Currently, the shipment is in transit and expected to be delivered on 27th-Oct-2010 by the end of business, barring any unforeseeable delays.
you: That is not acceptable, is it?
you: Six days from Bangkok to Dublin?
you: Or is that normal for DHL?
you: Dublin is a small city.
you: How can it spend all day in transit?
you: Are you there Monty?
you: Monty????????????????????????????????????
you: Hello?
Monty: I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
you: I want more than an apology, Monty.
you: Six days is not acceptable, is it?
Monty: I do understand your concern regarding the package.
you: Do you want me to be a happy customer, Monty?
you: Because at the moment I am not a happy customer.
you: I am starting to wish that I had used FedEx and not DHL.
you: Why is it taking six days to deliver my package?
you: Regular post rarely takes six days.
you: Hello?????????????????????????
Monty: I regret the inconvenience caused.
you: Monty, are you a computer?
you: Or a human being?
you: Am I talking to a machine?
you: Hello???????????????????
you: I need more than regret, Monty. I paid for a speedy service but you haven't provided that.
Monty: I suggest you to contact our Thailand Customer Support at 66-2-345 5000 for further assistance in this regard.
you: It has taken DHL longer to deliver my package than it would have taken by regular mail.
you: You won't deal with this yourself? I have to phone?
you: What use are you then, Monty?
you: You are a machine, right? I am talking to a computer?
you: You are not a human being?
Monty: As this is non-US shipment.
you: You are a machine pretending to be a human being, right?
you: You are not really Monty, you are an IBM mainframe, right?
you: Are you saying that people should only use DHL for US shipments? I did not know that.
you: You should tell people that you do not deliver to non US countries.
you: FedEX deliver everywhere and they are usually very quick.
you: Six days from Thailand to Ireland is not acceptable,
you: That is slower than regular mail.
you: Why has it taken five days and you still have not delivered my package?
Monty: We do not have an option to forward a message to the respective department.
you: The contents are important - that is why I used a courier service.
you: Monty, you are a computer, right?
you: Please, you can tell me.
you: You are not a human being, are you?
Monty: I request you to contact our Thailand Customer Support at 66-2-345 5000 to expedite the shipment.
you: Answer my question, Monty.
you: Are you a machine?
you: Am I wasting my time talking to a computer?
you: Because you talk like a machine?
you: It is now 11.30pm Monty. They do not answer the phone.
you: Do you understand?
you: Helllo????????????????????????????????????????
you: Monty??????????????????????????????
you: I sent a very important package to Dublin using DHL and it has not arrived./ Why will you not help me?
you: It has taken five days already and it is still not there.
you: Your Thailand staff do not answer the phone because it is 11.30pm
you: But it is 5.30pm in Ireland.
you: Why will they not deliver the package now?
you: You are not helping me, Monty.
you: This is not Customer Service.
you: This is Customer Dis-service.
you: It is not acceptable for you to take five days and to fail to deliver my package, which contains important papers.
Monty: The shipment is at the destination service center and DHL will make every possible effort's to deliver the package on 27th-Oct-2010 by the end of business, barring any unforeseeable delays.
you: That is not good enough.
you: That means you will have taken six days to deliver my package.
you: Regular mail between Thailand and Ireland soes not take six days.
you: What compensation are you going to offer me, Monty?
you: Because the 'service' that DHL has offered me is not acceptable.
Monty: I suggest you to contact our Thailand Customer Support at 66-2-345 5000 to file a service failure on this shipment.
you: So there has been a service failure? You admit that?
you: And I did already tell you that the Thai office is not answering the phone. It is now 11.55pm here.
you: Monrty?
you: Are you there?
you: Hello?????????????????????????????????
Monty: Yes, I request you to contact our Thailand Customer support to refund the service charges.
you: And they will refund my money in full?
you: Will they?
you: Will they, Monty?
Monty: Yes, they will refund the charges.
you: Thank you so much.
you: Good night.
Monty: You're welcome. Thank you for using DHL services. Have a nice day. Good bye.
Chat session has been terminated by the site operator.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dreamer's Cat Is On KIndle

I've just put Dreamer's Cat on Kindle. It's one of my favourite books, and while I wrote it almost twenty years ago it hasn't dated because it's science fiction! It's a virtual reality murder mystery and I still think it's one of the best books that I've written.

You can see it on KIndle by clicking here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Basement On KIndle

I've just published my story The Basement on KIndle. Let's see if it sells. I do think that the Kindle is going to have a major effect on the way that people read and buy books in the future. More on that later!

The Basement is about the hunt for a serial killer in New York, and it has a great twist at the end!


Once Bitten Is Now On Kindle

I've just put my eBook Once Bitten on Kindle. It's a great story, about an English psychologist on the trail of vampires in Los Angeles.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Money From Teddy Williams!

This guy Teddy Williams offers me money several times a year, always entertaining! I think he's Nigerian. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are Nigerians....


On behalf of the Trustees and Executor of the estate of Late Eng. Jьоrgen Krьоgger. I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was
returned undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address on the WILL. I wish to notify you that late Eng. Jьrgen
Krьgger made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Thirty Million, One Hundred Thousand Dollars (USD$30, 100.000.00) to you in the
Codicil and last testament to his WILL.

This may sound strange and unbelievable to you, but it is real and true. Being a widely traveled man, he must have been in contact with
you in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good. Eng. Jьrgen Krьgger until his
death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. He was a very dedicated Christian who loved to
give out. His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time. Late Engr. Jurgen Krugger died on the 13th day of December,
2004 at the age of 80 years, and his WILL is now ready for execution According to him this money is to support your humanitarian activities
and to help the poor and the needy in our society. Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to
enable me conclude my job. I hope to hear from you in no distant time.Note:You are advise to contact me with my personal email
I await your prompt response.
Yours in Service,

BARRISTER TEDDY WILLIAMS ESQ.PRINCIPAL PARTNERS: Barrister Aidan Walsh.Esq Markus Wolfgang,Smith Esq


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

FIve Star Reviews For Rough Justice

The last three reviews of Rough Justice have all been five stars, which cheered me up no end!

My editor loves the new Spider Shepherd book, Fair Game, which I've just delivered, so all is good. Now I'm just about to start on the third Jack Nightingale book - it's called Nightmare and even though I haven't written it yet I know it's going to be brilliant! The ending is a shocker!

Anyway, here's the Amazon reviews -

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!, 20 Oct 2010
By Russ Mayhew - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
What a brilliant book! Stephen Leather has done it again! Despite having read all the Dan Shephard novels I just couldn't it down, it is so believable! It has been said that Spider's character has a limited shelf life but this great novel dispells all that. BRILLIANT, BUY IT!

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 22 Sep 2010
By Mr. R. Carty - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
The book is superb from start to finish, typical Leather book, you can't put it down and sticks in your head until you pick it up again

5.0 out of 5 stars Rough Justice, 19 Sep 2010
By Merlin - See all my reviews

This review is from: Rough Justice (Dan Shepherd Mystery) (Paperback)
This is the first Stephen Leather novel, which I have read. I must say, I am finding it tremendous. Fast flowing action, with plenty [but not too much] description. A definite "can't put down" book, for me. I will most certainly be reading more from this author.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nightfall Review On Amazon

A very strange review has just gone up on for Nightfall, from a guy who claims to have enjoyed 'dozens' of my books but hated Nightfall. Here's what he wrote -

Scooby Doo where are you?, 15 Oct 2010

By Geoff H

This review is from: Nightfall (Paperback)
I must have read a dozen of his books and have always found them absorbing and exciting. However this latest book has none of his usual style and has a "Scooby Doo" type plot which is ludicrous and almost laughable. Like other reviewers I bought the book on the strength of his other novels, but will be more careful in future

Now here's what I don't get.

This is the only review that Geoff H has ever posted on Amazon.

He's never reviewed a single book. Except Nightfall.

The only review he's ever bothered to write is Nightfall and he gives it one star. Why hasn't he reviewed books that he's enjoyed?

There is an on-going problem with fake reviews on Amazon. A lot of the time friends and relatives post five star reviews of books written by people they know. And there are lots of cases of people posting one star malicious reviews.

I don't know if Geoff H is real or not, but posting just one review always seems suspect to me.

I wonder if I could ask my readers out there for a favour?

If you did enjoy Nightfall could you please drop by and say so.

Pretty please?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Money From Mercy!

This just in! It really is my lucky week!!

My Dearest,

I am writing this mail to you With due respect trust and humanity, i appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business , honestly i am writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, i will really like to have a good relationship with you and i have a special reason why i decided to contact you, i decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation,

My name is Miss Mercy Batista Tagme Na Waie a 25 years old female from the Republic of Guinea Bissau, the daughter of Late General Batista Tagme Na Waie. My late father was the chief of staff of the army of Guinea-Bissau. On March 1, 2009, My late father was killed in a bomb attack when the military's headquarters were attacked. What led to the cold blood killing is still unclear but I know that my father life was the target. You can read more about my father in the bbc link below.

I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father. Luckily she did not discover where I kept my father's File which contained important documents. Now I am presently staying in the refugee camp Mission here in Burkina Faso. I am seeking for long term relationship and investment assistance. My Father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$ 8.5 USD Million in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin.

I had contacted the Bank to clear the deposit but the Branch Manager told me that being a refugee, my status and according to the law does not authorize me to carry out the operation and again according to the instruction my late Father pass to them that i most present a foreign partner who will stand on my behalf as a trustee. However, he advised me to provide a trustee who will stand on my behalf.

Therefore, I decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank account while I will relocate to your country and settle down with you and complete my studies while you will help me and invest the fund. As you indicated your interest to help me I will give you the account number and the contact of the bank where my late beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It is my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total money for your assistance and the balance shall be my investment in any profitable venture which you will recommend to me as have no any idea about foreign investment. Please all communications should be through this email address only for confidential purposes.

Thanking you a lot in anticipation of your quick response. I will give you details in my next mail after receiving your acceptance mail to help me.

Yours sincerely,
Mercy Batista Tagme.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Done But Still To Be Dusted!

Whew, just this minute finished the new Spider Shepherd book. 142,396 words, a new record! I think the only book that I've done that was longer was The Vets, which was 200,000. I just wish I was paid by the word and not by the book :-)

Most of the Spider books come in at about 135,000 words but the new one just kept on going. Obviously I am well pleased with it but I am exhausted.

By the time I got off the container ship last month I had written 95,000 words so I have done 47,000 words in the last month.

This has been a very productive year for me - I wrote 108,000 words of the Jack Nightingale book, 63,000 words on Bangkok Bob and the Missing Mormon (still to be published), and 30,000 words in three Inspector Zhang stories (of which more later!) plus an 8,000 word story for the Best of South East Asian Erotica published by Monsoon Books in Singapore. It's called Banging Bill's Wife and is a bit racy :-0

That makes my total word count for 2010 so far to be 351,000 words!

Like I said, I'm exhausted......

Friday, October 8, 2010

More Money From Africa! I Am So Blessed!!!!


Greeting to you!!!
I know that this email will come to you as a surprise and I hope that you will
not expose or betray this trust and confident that I’m about to repose on you
for mutual benefits of our families. I am the manager of bill and exchange at
the foreign remittance department of Bank of Africa Burkina Faso.

I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($8.2USD) eight million
two hundred thousand United States dollars to your account within fourteen
banking days. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of ($8.2USD) eight
million two hundred thousand United States dollars. In an account that belongs
to one of our foreign customer who died without any nomination of the next of
kin to the bank, Since we got information about his death, we have been
expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we cannot
release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the
deceased as indicated in our banking policies but unfortunately for years now
non of his relations has applied for the claim..

It is therefore upon this discovery that I decided to make this business
proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or relation to
the deceased for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for
it and I don't want this money to go into the Bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

The request of foreigner as next of kin in this business is occasioned by the
fact that the customer was a foreigner and a Burkinabe cannot stand as next of
kin to a foreigner. I have agreed that 40 % of this money will be for you as
foreign partner, in respect to the provision of a foreign account, 10 % will be
set aside for expenses incurred during the business and 60 % would be for me.
There after I will visit your country for disbursement according to the
percentages indicated.

Therefore to enable the immediate transfer of this fund to you as arranged, you
must apply first to the bank as relations or next of kin of the deceased
indicating your bank name, your bank account number, your private telephone and
fax number for easy and effective communication.

Upon the receipt of your reply, at
I will give you full details on how the business will be executed. Please kindly
contact me as soon as you receive this proposal.

Come up with the information's stated below:

1. Your full name: ............
2. Your contact cell phone number: .....................
3. Your age: ....................
4. Your sex: .................
5. Your occupations ..............
6. Your country and city:...............

Yours Faithfully,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Money From Africa!!!

With Due Respect,

I am Mr. Suleman Bello. am working with African development bank as The Manager of Auditing Department in ouagadougou burkina Faso. I need your urgent assistance in transferring the sum of ($25.200) Twenty-five Million Two hundred thousand United States Dollars to your bank account within Fourteen (14) banking days.Please this is a life time opportunity for both of us and I know that both of us are going to benefit from this business.

the account belongs to one of our foreign customer who died along with his entire family in a plan crash. Since we got information about his death, we have been expecting his next of kin to come over and claim his money because we can not release it unless somebody applies for it as next of kin or relation to the deceased as indicated in our banking guidelines but unfortunately we learnt that all his supposed next of kin or relation died along with him at the plan crash leaving nobody behind to come for the claim.

It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this business proposal to you so that the money could be released to you as the next of kin for safety and subsequent disbursement since nobody is coming for it and i don’t want this money to go into the bank treasury as unclaimed Bill.

Upon the receipt of your reply,I will give you the full details on how the business will be executed and also note that you will have 40% of the above mentioned sum as your own share while 50% will be for me, and the other 10% will be for the expenses that may arise in this transaction.I am expecting your urgent response to enable me inform you on how the business will be executed. Please keep this proposal as a top secret and delete if you are not interested,

My Regards to your family,
Mr.Suleman Bello.
Bill and exchange manager,
African Development bank ADB.

New Nightingale Cover - Midnight

This is the cover for the hardback and trade paperback of Midnight, the new Jack Nightingale book. It should be in the shops in January next year.

I've just hit 130,000 words on the new Spider Shepherd book. Should be done very soon!

Money From Kenya!!!!!

Hello Dear,

Honestly I am glad that you honour my mail, how are you today? My name is Rachel Kipkalya Kone, from Kenya 24 years old the daughter of the former Kenyan road minister late Mr Kipkalya Kones who died on Tuesday 10th June 2008 along the Cessna 210 plane crash which was heading to Kericho in a remote area called Kajong'a, in western Kenya as You can read more on the crash below:

Although this mail might appear to you surprising because we haven't meet before but please consider it as a divine wish and accept it with a better understanding,I believe you will listen to what i have to say and consider me to be like your own sister or a close friend in need. sincerely i am writing this mail with tears and sorrow from my heart due to the condition i find myself after the passing away of my parents, Nothwithstanding the whole tragic made me feel mallested and rejected without any cause simply because my mum had died earlier and i am from a polygamous family. Thereafter the funeral of my dad, my stepmother and my uncle with their african mentality that a woamn does not share out of his father's own properties conspired and sold off my father's properties worth milions of dollar to an italian expertrate and shared the money among themselves living me with nothing.

On an attempt one morning opening my father's briefcase, I found an important documents with which he had deposited some money in my name as the beneficiary at the African development bank, Burkina Faso. I travelled down to Burkina Faso to withdraw some of the money but the Bank branch manager whom I met in person highlited me on my father's instruction to the bank concerning the money and how it should be withdrawn that only on the account that i am married or i should present to the bank an honest,responsible and worthy trustee whom will assist me in reclaiming the fund and transfer it into his account for an investment as i finish up my education. In my search for a reliable person i have found you a worthy person i can count on you. I believe that you will not betray my trust on you but rather take me as your own sister or close friend because right now i am suffering terribuly here in Burkina faso in the refugee camp as i have no body to rescue me
from this strange situation in a foreign land. I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and i was convinced that you will be the true one to rescue me from this trouble,I have the money confirmed in the bank $7.2 million in their records as unclaimed bill in my father account and i have the death and the deposit certificates of the fund, Standing as proof of my geneuity. I shall compensate you with 20% of the whole money in as much as you could help me make the transfer of this money into your account successfully. I wait upon your positive response showing your interest and ability to carry out this transaction and in the light of the above i shall appreciate your urgent message indicating your willingness to help me with all your mind to achieve this successfully. Thanks and God bless you as iwait for your positive reply soon.

Miss Rachel Kipkalya

Monday, October 4, 2010

Home Stretch......

I'm just passed 123,000 words on the new Dan Shepherd book. Whew. I'm in Bangkok which isn't the best place to write because mosquitoes bite me at night and my daughter is too good a distraction in the evening. Writing or hanging out with Sam? No contest, I much prefer spending time with her.... On the plus side my cat Peanut Butter sits by my side while I'm writing throughout the night. She's a soi cat who we rescued when someone started putting poison out for her and is very affectionate...

I'd hoped to finish the book at 120,000 words but as always there are too many loose ends to tie up and it's going to be closer to 130,000 words. It feels good and even I'm excited by the ending!

I think the title will be Fair Game, though Fine Line is also a possibility.

Okay, gotta get back to the grindstone, I have nine Somali pirates and an Irish terrorist to kill and then save London from a major terrorist incident!