Research Trips

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

September has been an interesting month, so far.

I‘be published a Jake Tanner short story, THE RED VIPER, which is now free and available at all markets (see bottom of this post for more details).

But, more importantly, I’ve made some exciting progress with the next Jake Tanner novel.

I use a system of The Snowflake Method and The Story Grid to be able to map out the scenes to make sure they’re all fully up to scratch and are equally important — the last thing I want is a few dud scenes which don’t work and are completely boring.

Up until this point, I’d been putting it off somewhat. I was afraid to begin the process of editing (which is the one thing I hate, because it displays all the plot holes and the continuity issues within the manuscript).

But, on the flip side of that, it also means the manuscript — and story — is going to be better.

Nevertheless, that’s what I’ve been working on over the past few weeks.

But then I did something exciting.

It was my birthday in July, and as a special present, my girlfriend said that we could go to The Shard, in London.

(If you aren’t aware of what The Shard is, it’s a massive building in London that looks like a piece of glass.)

The purpose of the trip, aside from being a nice day out, was a research trip.

You see, the next Jake Tanner novel is going to be set in The Shard.

Seven hundred feet in the air, a bioterrorist takes a restaurant hostage. And then it all kicks off.

The main purpose of the visit to The Shard was to fact check everything — to make sure all of the action sequences I have planned in the story are accurate and feasible. (Obviously, there is going to be some sort of creative license in what happens, but so long as it seems like it could happen, I’m happy.)

I also learned a few things as well. Like, for example, that there are 3,600 steps in the building, and that there is a stairwell going all the way up to the top.

The only issue was... I didn’t like it up there. I generally like to think I’m good with heights, but I suffered from vertigo, and it wasn’t fun.

My legs shook. My heart was racing. And my palms got sweaty.

I sound like Eminem.

My girlfriend thought it was hilarious, though.

My biggest fear was that I thought it was going to shake every time I made a drastic and sudden movement.

Hence why I stayed well away from the window and the outermost edge of the glass.

I sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not — I enjoyed myself. It was nice to be able to see London in such a different way.

After we visited The Shard, we did some strolling, and some wandering.

And then I had the brilliant idea of going to The London Eye — another research project.

One of the shorter stories I’ve been working on features The Eye. Jake is stuck inside with a terrorist bomber, in short.

And boy is it riveting.

I once went when I was younger, but couldn’t properly remember the atmosphere.

And it surprised me how large the pods actually are. They’re big enough to fill a lot of people.

Both excursions helped solidify the stories in my head, and as we went up and down, I envisaged Jake experiencing the terror attacks in real life — and, in my modest opinion, it made for gripping reading.

I’m really excited about all of the new stories coming out in the next few years — there’s going to be plenty to keep you entertained.

Here are some nice images of London, as taken from The Shard and Eye.


Caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Jake Tanner's an everyday man - you wouldn't pick him out of a crowd. And when a routine bank visit turns sour, Jake finds himself in the midst of an armed bank robbery.

The criminals - The Crimsons. Notorious. Infamous. And yet to pull the trigger on anyone. But that doesn't mean they won't.

In this fight or flight situation, Jake must protect his girlfriend, Elizabeth, from harm at all costs. 

Will The Crimsons succeed, or will Jake stand in their way? Are they about to spend their first ever bullet in Jake’s skull?



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