Sunday, 24 April 2011


SampleSunday is a twitter hashtag. You post an extract of your novel on blog or website, and then tweet a link with the #Samplesunday tag.

I haven't tried Sample Sunday before, but I thought I'd give it a go. It turns out that the hardest thing about it is trying to format the extract for this blog! Anyway, here's one of the opening incidents from Fire Season, right before it all kicks off. There's more on the author interview at Indie ebooks.

The Sample

“What happened?” Jim asked, worried. He put a hand on his brother’s shoulder, and Jake straightened, shaking him off.

“Stupid blasted kids. Mind if I grab a chair?” Without waiting for an answer he walked across, a little more slowly than usual, and took the seat that Matt gestured to. Pouring himself a mug of strong black coffee he downed most of it and paused, obviously collecting his thoughts. The others did not press him, and once he had recovered slightly he began.

“Nick’s refugees. The kids got bored and decided to amuse themselves.” He took a breath, obviously struggling to keep his tone level. “Starting fires with a magnifying glass on that field out the back. Don’t worry, Nick caught them early and between his hose and my tender we’ve put everything out and soaked the field down.”

“No.” Rose shook her head in disbelief. In this climate the sheer stupidity of the action was hard to believe.

“Yep. They were lighting bits of paper to watch them burn. Of course when the wind took them they didn’t bother to chase them down. I’ve just spent the last two hours walking round Nick’s field making sure the fire they started is out, and nothing’s quietly smoldering. Even with Nick’s help that’s a big job.”

“I’ve some whisky in the house,” Matt volunteered, but Jake shook his head.

“I’d rather keep my head clear until they’re gone. Just in case they do it again.”

“Nick must be livid,” Jill remarked, looking across the valley to the field.

“Absolutely furious. They’ve been politely invited to get their stuff and leave, refugees or no.”

“I’m surprised he’s not pressing charges.” Rose shook her head again, still stunned that anyone would light a fire in the middle of a fire ban.

“If he doesn’t, and they don’t leave, I will. One way or another I want them out. You’ve got me to mind the whole valley on my own, and those kids just became a fire risk.” Jake had calmed down slightly. “Their parents were appalled, so they were relieved when I gave them the option to get out instead of pressing charges. They’ll be gone as soon as they’re packed.”

As Jake finished Jill pushed a plate of sandwiches at him and he grabbed one. It was gone in two bites.

“Help yourself to the rest. I‘m afraid you missed dinner.”

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