This video is the first of a series which highlight locations from my novel “Broken”. This one focuses on the Druids Temple at Ilton in North Yorkshire.

The Temple is close to Masham in North Yorkshire, but is quite isolated in a plantation near the settlement of Ilton. The plantation was originally owned by William Danby, a wealthy landowner of Swinton Park. Danby was an old Etonian who studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge. In 1820 when Danby was sixty-eight years old, he started a project in the woods near Swinton park. The creation of a mock-neolithic stone henge. Workers were paid a shilling a day to erect the standing stones. Within the henge sits a sacrificial alter stone, a portal cave and a stone table. An avenue of standing stones leads to the temple, and scattered in the woods surrounding, a jumble of cromlechs, menhirs and stone towers. Over the years, there have been numerous  rumours that the Temple at one time had been used for black-magic rituals.

In my novel “Broken” the Temple makes an appearance near the end of the book. If your curiosity has been peaked, you can purchased the novel in paperback or ebook on Amazon: UK United States And other Amazon outlets.


Beaten, Broken, but Not Out!


I had the concept for my novel “Broken” over thirty years ago. I was working as a researcher at Huddersfield Polytechnic in the Department of Behavioural Science. It was my first post-degree job. I was living with my partner and my daughter Esi who was about a year old. The job didn’t pay very well, but I had a lot of time to read academic works. One book I picked up was “The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Chapter three was called: “The Isolated Individual and the Dyad”. It interested my greatly and one particular part of the text gave me the idea for a work of fiction.

Well, I carried the idea around with me for years, but never got around to writing my novel. Five years ago I gave up a well paid job to put pen to paper. I started writing in January 2010 and by July I had finished the first draft. I then put the draft in a drawer and left it to age for a while. After a couple of months, I pulled it out and started editing in ernest. Half a year later I had what I thought was a reasonably good piece of work, barring the odd typo.

Yes, I believed I had a novel that I could submit to a publisher. So I researched the process I needed to go through to get my book considered. First, I found out that the majority of publishers expect you to go through an agent. So I started looking at the process for getting myself an agent. This involved sending a potential agent a four page synopsis. What! my novel is 500 pages, how the hell am I supposed to condense what is a complex plot into four pages? I tried I really did! But, after a couple of months in which I wrote the synopsis many many times, I was pulling my hair out.

Then I got to thinking. The agents going to take a fee, the publishers going to take a fee, the bookseller is going to take a fee. I might as well cut them out and self-publish. Lets’s face it it’s the new paradigm. Or so they say! So I uploaded my novel to Amazon and CreateSpace and the rest is history. I am now a published author. Check it out “Broken” is available on Amazon and I get a fee every time they sell a book. Paperback or Kindle.

Here lays the rub! How do you publicise your book? I had heard about all those Kindle millionaires whose books had gone viral, but how did they do it? So I set up a Twitter account (@ynoyddot if you are interested), I set up a Facebook page, I emailed all my family and friends. I plugged mercilessly. I handed out cards, I sent out press releases. But, so far my sales have been modest.

I found out you can’t rely on anyone to help you out with the publicity. Friends who had been enthusiastic, suddenly went silent. Even some family members who had been supportive had nothing to say, no words of encouragement. I always knew that writing was a solitary pursuit, but I didn’t expect the selling process would be the same. It’s a very isolating experience.

I am beginning to think that perhaps I should have submitted my synopsis to an agent. I know the novel is good. Who knows I might be the new Ian Rankin or something by now. And, I wouldn’t have to keep up this undignified welter of self-publicity. I could be practising my signature for my book signing session at some posh book shop. I could be hobnobbing with Rankin and Robinson and Ann Cleeves and Kate Atkinson, over a pint of Theakston’s XB.

To be brutally frank, I didn’t really go into this for the money. I wanted to share my vision, to entertain, to mystify and to make people laugh and cry. But at the end of the day if my book never sells, at least I know I’ve achieved something. I have made sense of thirty years of thought. As Disraili said: “When I want to read a novel, I write one.”



When university lecturer Morris Lane’s grandfather is found brutally murdered in his home. There appears no motive for the killing. But  before long Morris uncovers a secret that will ultimately threaten his life. As Morris digs deeper into the riddle, each revelation reveals another piece to the puzzle.
But before long, Morris’ life starts to unravel as he loses himself in sea of sex drugs and alcohol. Who will save Morris from himself. Will it be beautiful student Skye Laroche or police detective Dobrilla Koudelka.
As he lurches from crisis to crisis, Morris realises that his life is ultimately BROKEN.  His only chance of redemption seems to lay in solving the mystery of his grandfathers death. But, will collecting the pieces of the puzzle help reclaim his soul or will it leave him reeling at the hands of an obscure enemy…

It’s taken a while, but now my first novel BROKEN is finally published and available. The genesis of the story occurred many years ago when I worked in the Department of Behavioural Science at Huddersfield Polytechnic. I was reading: “The Sociology of Georg Simmel” in my little basement office, when I came across an idea for a story. However, the time to write the novel never materialised. But, a few years back I decided to give up work and concentrate on writing full time. BROKEN is the outcome.

BROKEN is not your usual police procedural crime thriller. Instead the main protagonist is a university lecturer. That’s not to say, there are no  murders, mysteries or puzzles, there certainly are. The novel is set in 1979 in Yorkshire. Those of you old enough to remember the seventies will know what an interesting time it was here in the UK. It was great to be able to go back to a world of divisive politics and social unrest. From SUS laws to the Southhall riots. And, it was amazing to re-visit some of the amazing music the seventies produced.  Heavy metal, prog, punk, reggae, funk and soul. Whatever you bag, there was something for you. I have tried to get a flavour of that into the novel.
So here comes the advert! If you would care the check out the book, it is available on Amazon in all regions. I really hope you do check it out. It’s been a labour of love.