What worries you most?
Restoration of Ami
A Road Trip nightmare by
Sam Hawkmoor -


Writing Repercussions
of Tomas D'
The making of heroines...
On Speculative Fiction -
A Sceptic's story more
Choosing a book?
Ask a Librarian ..
. more
Time Machine
The Man Next Door
A lockdown short story
A little History of
Sam's Writing more
Adventures in Paris 2023
a story about
the end of the world
The Latte Detective
A short story about
agents and authors ...
Crafting a YA Novel
Notes on Teaching
Girl with Cat Blue
More about Climate fiction
Books I like


Ami Banner

The Repossession of Genie Magee

The Hunting of Genie Magee

The Heaviness
of Genie Magee
Another Place To Die
Endtime Chronicles
J&K 4Ever
lovers on the run
A glimpse into the psyche of contemporary America.

My new novel 'The Restoration of Ami' was published 3.1 2024 - both in print and ebook. It tells the tale of an escaped teen and her dog from a religious cult who hitches a ride with an old NASA veteran on his way to get a special part for the vintage Studebaker he's been restoring. Two extremely unlikely people drawn together on a journey into MAGA America where violence and grievance stalk the land. For Ami everything is new, she has never actually met an old person before. Remy, worries she will struggle to survive out there. It's a road trip nightmare - an offbeat feelgood story as these two strangers and Stan the dog bond over all the crazy things that happen to them on the road.

Editorial: Is This Our Future?

Back from a month in Miami. Yep the weather was warm, even the rain (lots of rain) was warm. But it's a shock to the system. Not just the price of everything (reflecting on just how little the pound buys these days) but the rapid changes to the last time I was there in 2018. Yep, there's a whole host of new highrises and the huge Brickell Mall development is impressive. If you stay downtown there is the added benefit of free transportation on the Metromover and for the last two weeks of December all trains and trolleys and busses were free! And full.
Photo: Downtown Sunset Miami © Sam Hawksmoor 2024

Miami Sunset

Which possibly explains how I got so sick with what felt a lot like covid again. A cough that wouldn't stop and an endless cold. Gargling with salt helped a bit. My sister caught it too and it has developed so much she is now in hospital in intensive care back in the UK. Going to hospital in the USA is too scary - even with insurance.

So what has changed? Maybe last time I wasn't so aware of just how 'Latin' Miami has become. Ask a question in English and they'll shake their heads 'non comprende'. Spanish only. Once America was the land where everyone joined the melting pot and learned one unifying language 'American'. Not anymore. And you have to think, with hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants pouring into New York and Chicago right now, that Spanish will quickly become the dominant language there too. Trump is playing on this fear and generating so much anxiety for the 'white' population that sees him as a Christ figure, you can see why he is the front runner for nomination. The big secret Uber doesn't want you to know is there is a train from the airport to downtown! My hostess, my niece Em, didn't even believe me until I made her get on it. Only two blocks from her home. Also the Brightline train is new and this will take you at 130mph all the way to Orlando via West Palm Beach. Again from Downtown and the metromover will get you there. (You can easily bus from South Beach if staying there on the 100 Bus. Still $2.25c and yes they still take cash (for now)).

But the saddest thing for me is the absence of decent coffee shops or coffee. If in doubt choose one of the many Italian cafes. (I recommend IT on Lincoln Road in South Beach (Italian Trattoria). However and this is big, you can no longer buy newspapers in Miami. I mean none! You can read online of course, but it's just not the same with your coffee and croissant. I weep for all the jobs that have been swept away with it. Printers, distributors, journalists, editors ... Then I tried searching for a bookshop. The only one I could find open was in Coconut Grove but get this, titles aren't organised into categories or alphabetically by author. Serendipity is all very well but daunting to say the least. Staff seem affronted if you ask for any specific author that they don't care for. Luckily there is a rare Pain Quotiden next door for coffee. And my god the air con everywhere is so cold it's crazy. It was only 20c outside. You don't need aircon at all but hey ho seems being energy conscious is not a thing there.

If you haven't rented a car you can get there from Miami by Metrorail train and then either walk to Coconut Grove or catch the 27 Bus. We walked, going via the delightful Virginia Street and it was so nice to be in a lowrise neighborhood with lots of charm. A bit of history this is where the Pan Am Seaplanes launched their regular flights to South America (see Flying Down to Rio with Fred Astaire) from 1931 to 1945. The Terminal building is now Miami City Hall.

Miami is very 'safe'. You can walk anywhere and if you have a 'service' dog you can take it into any shop or restaurant (as long as you pick up the poop). There are a lot of cops in Miami. A lot. They don't get out of their cars much but they seem to be on every corner watching. It's reassuring but unnerving and must cost a fortune to the city. There is no litter either. But yes there are many homeless people in doorways outside redundant buildings awaiting demolition.
Images: Banyan Tree Vizcaya/Perez Gallery Miami © Sam Hawksmoor 2024

Banyan Tree Vizcaya Perez Gallery

I'm pretty sure most people eat out - all the time. But if you are health aware - you will be shocked at the amount of salt and sugar in all the food you eat. You look at all the packaging for healthy breakfast food and sugar and salt content is plain madness. In Whole Foods I found one packet of sugar and preservative free musli. One! Same in Publix (the biggest grocery chain). America leads the world in cardiac problems and this is entirely laid at the salt and sugar content of the 'nutrition-free' food they are eating (As the writer Paulo Bacigalupi coined). Special interests by food manufacturers actively prevents people from finding out what is good for them. (Fresh fruit and vegetables if you don't know).

I worry about a society that doesn't read papers or books (no one I spoke to and that's quite a number of prosperous people, read fiction or balanced news online (Fox news if their first call for 'news'). It's scary but entirely normal for them. Republicans might be banning and burning books elesewhere but this is one place where they don't have to. I heard a rumour there was a bookshop in the airport but didn't see it. This is relevant because when you see best-seller lists one needs to question who the hell is still buying books or going to the movies for that matter. We saw the award-winning and interesting 'The Holdovers' in an empty cinema. Perhaps everyone is downloading their fiction and non-fiction and I just happened to meet people who don't read but I worry as a whole way of life is quickly disappearing.

Wynwood Em and Gracie

Wynwood Graffitti and Em and Gracie on Sanibel Island © Sam Hawksmoor 2024

So that's my gut reaction. This is a glimpse of the future where there are no alternate views and somehow, in a space of five years, no one even cares to even think about what they have lost, it is as if they have collective amnesia. I guess this will happen here in the UK soon enough. The young certainly don't read papers or watch national news. They trust what they see on Tik-Tok or other sites and don't care to even debate veracity.
* My thanks to Em and Gracie for inviting us and taking care of us in Miami and I apologise for being ill for half the time.

*December 7th: Sara Troy interviews Sam Hawksmoor on Self Discovery Wisdom

***Meanwhile here's a little present for you to read (free). A long short story about a Sceptic. A Sceptic's story more

© Sam Hawksmoor February 16th 2024
Editor and author of We Feel your Pain & The Book of Ashes

About 'The Book of Ashes':
ISBN: 979-8-837434-952
Hammer & Tong - September 2022
- ebook & Print

"Great characters, a gripping mystery and the wonderful return of Rufus the dog."BH
'an immensely satisfying story' - Walli Leff on Goodreads.
'a fun read with unique elements ... exemplary in its voice and style'
'Judge, 10th Annual Writer's Digest E-Book Awards

My new mystery novel The Book of Ashes is published.  It’s the second Delaney and Asha investigation following ‘We Feel Your Pain’.  Originally they ran the Office of Berg City Oversight - to protect the City from scams and corruption - only for them to discover the real corruption was within the Mayor's office. Delaney nearly died in the process of uncovering the truth. Now they have set up on their own – worried about where the next client will turn up and how to keep the show on the road.
Book of Ashes

Fortunately for Delaney their next client is a young cyrptocurrency millionaire who commissioned a biography of his father, now suffering from dementia.  Only the writer disappeared with the $10,000 advance.  It seems like a simple track and trace job, but of course, it serves to open up a total horror show – like peeling back an onion.  Every father is hiding something it seems – some more than others. The Book of Ashes is set in New England. It’s cold, it’s nearly Christmas and New England in the snow looks great on a postcard but can be lethal in reality.  Delaney is deep into his new relationship with Asha, his adopted daughter Maria is now an awkward 15-year-old and of course, Rufus the dog will still need feeding and walks.  Rufus, quite naturally steals the show – as events unfold.Writing a sequel can be a challenge. No longer do you have the frission of the main characters meeting each other for first time. But, of course, you have to remember that a reader might start with book two and wonder how they hell they even got together. Then you also need a compelling mystery. In this case I have long harboured an idea about a biographer uncovering unsavoury secrets about their client. In this case I added the complication of the writer having little chance of any cooperation as the subject has dementia. Had a little fun with Wolfie the feckless writer. Shan't reveal who he might be based on, but there really are people out there exploiting people who want their memoirs written for them - no matter that few or any relatives will actually care.

It was good to explore more of the hinterland of New England in winter. Yes it really gets this cold. -30C or lower in places. I get a secret pleasure out of visiting summer resorts in winter when there are few people and even less places to eat or socialise - but you get a real insight into the hardy locals and their unique approach to life.

Asha as a character interests me. She has evolved nicely to fit in with Delaney, complimenting him with her ability to see connections that others might not make. As ever, Rufus the dog plays a big part in the story. If you have ever owned a dog you'll understand that you can't keep them out of your business for long. Rufus is loyal and devoted to Delaney and I'd like to think would be exactly the type of dog to alert any passerby to a problem if misfortune ever struck his owner.

Happy reading. Berg City awaits you. Order now

**About writing 'Mission Longshot' a sc-fi space adventure

Earth 2032 - The climate has changed - food is running short. War is imminent. Whole cities are in danger of going under water fifty years before they said they would. Mankind is in real danger. Naturally you're going to build a spaceship to take the best and brightest to a new world. 3000 kids essentially put into deep freeze for a 70-year journey into space.

Moonbase 2057 - The first light-speed spaceship is about to be tested. (Despite eight billion dollar explosive failures so far). News comes in that the Colony ship has been struck by asteroids on Year 23 of it's journey. There is one survivor, Celeste Kandar. She knows no one can rescue her - she's going to be alone for the rest of her life. If the light-speed ship works they could rescue Celeste - if it works... What could possibly go wrong?

Earth: Millennial's Eve 1999 - Gerry is waiting for aliens to land. If there was ever a time to attack Y2K night is the night.

It's a real voyage of discovery for Celeste exploring a nearby planet that just might be trying to kill her and the kids attempting to rescue her on a flight that might be a one way ticket...

More about Climate fiction

© Sam Hawksmoor  2023 - *The Sam Hawksmoor Books List and other links

The Repossession of Genie Magee

The Repossession of Genie Magee
returns in a new Kindle & print edition

Combining the elements of science fiction, mystery and supernatural, it is definitely one of the best, and most fascinating, debut novels I've ever read.

The Hunting of Genie Magee

The Hunting of Genie Magee
returns in a new Kindle edition

Genie and Rian must flee down the river with a $10,000 price on their heads. They must fight for their right to exist. more

We Feel Your Pain 'We Feel Your Pain' by Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693 Published by Hammer & Tong
Print or Kindle from
Reviews: '...a captivating adventure which could be compared to a Roald Dahl tale filmed by Wes Anderson ...where rythm, wit, humour and punchy dialogue mix with irrepressible, warm sentiment...'

'I really enjoyed living with Delaney, Asha and Maria. And I particularly revelled in that obedient and loving dog, Rufus.  They were lovely characters and it was a good story. The author evokes amazing, vivid pictures'.

Delaney and Asha run the Office of Berg City Oversight. Their role is to expose the scams, keep the city safe from unscrupulous people.  When something looks too good to be true – it’s a scam, right?  But what if the scam works?  What kind of scam is that? When Delaney finds himself left for dead at the bottom of a cliff he gets the message - someone doesn't want him near their honeypot.

We Feel Your Pain - So you don't have to ’. Read the first book in the series now so you're primed for the next Delaney and Asha investigation.

2023 - The Screenplay for Girl with Cat (Blue) made the Quarter Finals for ISA Connect International Adventure Screenplay Competition - you can read the fantasy novel now.
The Sara Troy interview with Sam Hawksmoor 1.12.21 About the Writing of Girl with Cat Blue here

More about Sam Hawksmoor and his writing background here
Hammer &Tong (UK) is a small indie publisher of Sam Hawksmoor's books
Based in Lincolnshire - all messages via Sam Hawksmoor contact page

* Background research on anti-gravity here -
**Thinkpiece: What if you read a book you loved and never told anyone, especially the writer? more

What did you want to be when you were a child?.... more
One question I used to dislike the most when a kid was ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?

Kindle for The Heaviness - Sam in Canada
More Background to Genie Magee's world. Search and you'll find some extra stories about the main characters.

* If you write me on old fashioned email, I do check and will write back as soon as I can. see Contact

'Terrifying alternative outcome to WW2 - the Blitz brought vividly to life.'

of Tomas D

Tomas accidentally goes back in time to London in the Blitz. Captured and tortured for what he knows about the war... WW11 abruptly ends in 1941.
The day after Tomas disappears, his girlfriend Gabriella wakes up to realise she's the only one who remembers that Germany was supposed to have lost the war...
Sample Chapter here

of Genie Magee
(Book Three)

Someone with a grudge wants Genie dead. Rian is kidnapped and forced to do experiments. Genie and Renée have just 36 hours to find Rian or he dies - but the one person who can help is aleady dead. Gravity isn't the only thing that can pull you down...

'The best Genie Magee story left till last. It might just break your heart.'
Genie Magee


© Sam Hawksmoor 2024- all rights reserved