Launched Today! Advanced Twitter Strategies for Authors by Ian H Sutherland

At last, today is April 14th which means my first non-fiction book is finally published. It’s called Advanced Twitter Strategies for Authors: Twitter techniques to help you sell your book – in under 15 minutes a day!

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7 Things You Don’t Know About Me as a Writer

Lately on Facebook, writers have been tagging each other to prompt them to write ‘seven things you don’t know about me as a writer’. I was tagged by two authors, Catriona Troth and Philippa Rees and so I duly wrote my post on Facebook. I thought I reproduce it here on my blog as well! Read More


When Fiction Becomes Reality: Cutting Edge Thriller Predicts Webcam Spying Hack

The timeline:

  1. On August 7th, 2014 my debut novel Invasion of Privacy was published. A fiction thriller with a plot centred around webcams being hacked into remotely and, unknown to the webcam owners, their day-to-day lives are streamed live on the web to dramatic ends.
  2. On September 20th, 2014, six weeks later, The Mail on Sunday published an expose of “How ‘home hackers’ spy on you and your children…with YOUR webcam: The shocking evidence that shows how private lives are snooped on and streamed live on web.
  3. (UPDATED 6th NOVEMBER: An article appears on Network World with more facts and details about the webcam website exposed by The Mail on Sunday: Peeping into 73,000 unsecured security cameras thanks to default passwords)
  4. (UPDATED 19th NOVEMBER: Front page of Daily Mail: Russians spy on UK families via their webcams: Hackers use your computer to watch you at home then post photos online)
  5. (UPDATED 20th NOVEMBER: BBC News on tv and web: Breached webcam and baby monitor site flagged by watchdogs and ZD Net: Got a webcam? You might want to pick a stronger password right about now)
  6. (UPDATED 21st NOVEMBER: The Times: Russian hackers put UK webcam footage live on internet)

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The Undercover Soundtrack – Ian Sutherland

Read how music not only influenced the way I write, but also what got written on the page in my guest post on Roz Morris’s Undercover Soundtrack series.

My Memories of a Future Life

for logo‘Hacking to music’

Once a week I host a writer who uses music as part of their creative environment – perhaps to connect with a character, populate a mysterious place, or hold a moment still to explore its depths. This week my guest is cyberthriller author Ian Sutherland @iansuth

Soundtrack by John Barry, Vangelis, Ennio Morricone, Elgar, Moby, Leftfield, Underworld, The Smiths

I write to music; never to silence. For me, music is essential. It rapidly gets me in the zone and allows the creative juices to flow freely. Right now I’m listening to the movie soundtrack of 500 Days of Summer. I love it when the two tracks by The Smiths come on.

There’s a pragmatic purpose to my use of music. As most people appreciate, writing is one of the most solitary professions there is. And one of the reasons I procrastinated so long in my life before finally…

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“All in all this an accomplished thriller”

A balanced and in-depth review of Invasion of Privacy by Roweena Hoseason of the prestigious crime and sci fi blog site, Murder, Mayhem & More.

I’m dead chuffed that the book defied her expectations, which had been set from reading so many clichéd cyberthrillers. “All in all this an accomplished thriller”.

Read on for the full review…


Invasion of PrivacyInvasion Of Privacy utterly defied my expectations, I’m pleased to say. I’ve tried to read several ‘cyber thrillers’ before and they’ve all defeated me. You either drown in unintelligible geek speak or, at the other end of the spectrum, get the impression that the author know nothing about what he spik and is merely one page ahead in the user manual. So I was cautious; even more so when I read the blurb which suggested several crime-thriller clichés like the spunky woman detective making her way in the man’s world despite the frailty of her inner femininity, blah blah woof woof. By this point I’ve normally left the building and gone for coffee.

Happily, there’s none of that tosh in Invasion Of Privacy. It’s snappily written by someone who certainly sounds as if he knows his cyber stuff but has a sharp enough turn of phrase to deliver the technobabble…

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Can Indie Authors Dispense with The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook?

I’d like to share the guest blog post I recently wrote for The Alliance of Independent Authors [ALLi]. It went up on July 18th…

W&AYearbook1999-1When I first decided to become a published author, I bought a copy of Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and The Writer’s Handbook. The year was 1999. I still have them. I resolved to purchase updated versions a few years later when I finally finished my novel. After all, I’d need all those addresses for agents, editors and publishers to send my manuscript to.

And here I am – ahem! – 15 years later and I’ve finally finished my novel. (That’s a whole different story, so let’s not get into that!) So, as per my prior resolution, I now need to buy a copy of Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2014. Don’t I?

Actually, no. I don’t!

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My Jeffery Deaver Moment

You know you’re an author when….there are so many cliches out there that humorously finish this sentence. They range from ‘… no one will ever play you in scrabble’ to ‘…you go on dates with people and falsely deny that you are going to write about them’ to ‘…you have certain punctuation marks you can’t stop obsessively using’ or even ‘…you take a pen and paper with you everywhere, sometimes even into bed, just in case you have an idea at three in the morning that absolutely must be remembered.”

And like all clichés, they have their basis in reality. Well, I’ve just experienced one. And as a result I’m feeling very writerly!

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3 reasons why Stornoway is currently a focal point for UK crime fiction

Has Stornoway – most famous as the town displayed at the top of the BBC weather map (usually covered in clouds) and the capital of the islands of the Outer Hebrides just off the west coast of Scotland — suddenly become a focal point for the crime fiction genre? And either way, why the hell am I writing a blog post about it? Read More


5 Different Applications of Narrative Motif Using the Simple Example of ‘Coffee’

Just how much has coffee culture invaded our day-to-day life? If my crime thriller novel, Invasion of Privacy, is anything to go by it’s incredibly pervasive. As I near the end of writing its first draft, it’s clear to me that coffee culture has utterly permeated my own lifestyle. And not just because of the copious amount of coffee I’ve drunk during the writing of the book – a lot, by the way – but because sheer number of references to coffee throughout the novel.
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Have I invented a whole new fiction genre?

Have I invented a whole new fiction genre? Or have I written a book that no one will read?

One of the golden rules of marketing is to go niche. Or even ‘ultra niche’. The idea is to dissect a larger market, identifying smaller sub-niche ones to focus on and dominate. This niche market typically has a need that is not serviced well. And then if you come along with a specific solution laser-targeted at this new niche then you can build a strong business. That’s the theory anyway.

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