Mike in Finland

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sue Guiney in Asia

Sue Guiney, my colleague from Ward Wood Publishing and author of A Clash Of Innocents, is at the start of a tour of S.E. Asia. She sent me an email about her trip with some web links and information on how to follow her progress on her blog. With Sue´s permission I am posting her message on my blog. I thought that my Tuesday reading group, who are reading Sue´s novel, and other visitors to my blog might like the opportunity to see what she´s up to.

Sue´s message:


My excellent adventure is just a few days away – an entire month travelling around SE Asia with my new novel, A Clash of Innocents. I’ll be travelling to four countries giving workshops, presentations, readings and book signings with the aim of raising as much money as possible for charity through my book sales.

I have events planned at places like Nielsen Hays Library in Bangkok, the Butterflies Garden in Siem Reap, the International School in Phnom Penh and the Tanglin Club in Singapore. The main event, though, is the founding of a new on-going, internet-based Writing Workshop for the children of the Siem Reap shelter, Anjali House.

I hope you’ll follow along with me! I’ll be blogging as I go along, complete with pictures and perhaps a video or two, on

I have already started to talk about the trip there, and Sunday’s post will show a brief video which we’ve made about the origin of it all. Please check in every now and again to see what I’m up to and maybe to post a comment of encouragement every once in a while. I’d love to hear from you. Of course this is exciting, but it is bound to be tiring and a bit overwhelming as well and the occasional kind word from a friend would be much appreciated.

If you are moved to contribute to one of the charities I am supporting, do go to their websites, read more about them and follow their directions there:

Anjali House http://www.anjali-house.com
Tabitha http://www.tabithauk.com

That’s all for now. See you soon in cyberspace.




Cover of A Clash of Innocents and link to shop

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Finn´s Tale opening paragraph

Cover of The Finns Tale

This is the opening paragraph of my new novel, The Finn´s Tale, due from Ward Wood Publishing at the end of March. The tale is told by Len, an American with Finnish roots who visits Finland to meet his Finnish relatives and find about about the country and way of life and learns some unexpected and surprisings things.

Right from the start, Finland surprised me. When I arrived in Helsinki the temperature was 80 degrees Fahrenheit and it was one of the warmest places in Europe. For that day, at least. It didn´t stay that way the whole summer. Coming out of Helsinki airport the heat was noticeable and I felt overdressed in a sweater and jacket. I´ll admit to having been thrown a little off balance right at the beginning of my Finnish experience. I had always thought of myself as partly Finnish, which I am; my grandparents on my father´s side emigrated from Finland to America in 1920. And although, at the age of forty-four, this was my first-ever visit, I´d always thought of Finnishness as something I could take for granted in my idea of myself. And now here I was, being caught out by the weather, just like all the other tourists. It´s true, though, that Finnishness had played a negligible part in my upbringing. In a way, it had been conspicuous by its absence, but that absence was always present, if you take my meaning. I felt it was there as a kind of backdrop against which all the immediate experiences of everyday life took place.

Available to pre-order:

Monday, 7 February 2011

The Finn´s Tale cover

Cover of The Finns Tale

Here´s the cover of my new novel, The Finn´s Tale, due from Ward Wood Publishing at the end of March. I´m delighted with the effect Mike Fortune-Wood has got with the photo of the woman´s hand which portrays a key scene in the plot.

The final edit of the novel is well underway and I´m really pleased with the way it´s going: no major revisions, just some tweaks here and there to make sure the text flows smoothly. I had to get permission from Minnesota Public Radio to use two short passages from an article on their website, as well, and I can say that they were jolly quick in their response and extremely helpful. Much gratitude.

So, not long now. I´ll post some more details as the big day draws closer.