All posts by Mark Hayden

Thanks, Hilary

I’ve just received the final draft of the covers for my books and I’m very pleased with them. You can see them at the top of this site and I hope that they are as enticing to you as they were to me…

, and

The post title is a little odd, I grant you, but what else do you do when faced with 200,000 words of writing where you need to insert a comma?

I opened up Scrivener and used the Find & Replace dialog box to go through every instance of ‘ and ‘ in the book. Where this was a co-ordinating conjunction, I replaced it with ‘, and ‘.

There are a lot of ‘and’s in my books.

Then I had to the whole thing again with ‘ but ‘ and ‘ so ‘.

I am in danger of getting RSI now…

Time for a new Recipe

Going through the proofreader’s comments on my book, I learned a lot:

  1. That those vague ideas I had about too many Capital Letters were right. I removed hundreds of them.
  2. That I had written the whole book under the misapprehension that co-ordinating conjunctions do not require a comma. They do.
  3. That I began a huge number of dialogue elements with ‘well’, ‘right’, ‘OK’ and ‘Sorry’. These have been pruned.
  4. That it is very difficult to transfer changes from one source document to another, even with two monitors.

The net result is that I have a much neater book. It isn’t much better as a read, it’s just neater. None of my beta readers spotted those mistakes and they were all able to read the book without any trouble. Now the next set of readers can enjoy it even more.

The Proof of the Pudding*

* Pedantry note: the original meaning of ‘proof’ is ‘test’. Thus, the ‘test’ of the pudding is in the eating, which makes much more sense than a rigorous scientific demonstration that the pudding is, in fact, a pudding.

The same meaning of ‘Proof’ applies to having your work proofread by a professional. 2QT Publishing have just supplied (for a  reasonable fee) a proofread of my book.


In a manuscript of 94,000 words, the proofreader supplied 5,591 corrections. I wouldn’t want that job.

I compose my work in Scrivener (subject of another post) and the proofread was done in MS Word so that I can use the Track Changes feature to see what the editor has changed.

I now have to get out my second monitor and have the Word document in the left screen and Scrivener in the right and make all those changes.

That’s a Wrap!

I’ve just finished the first draft of In the Red Corner, the third and final volume of the Operation Jigsaw trilogy. Yeay!

Now the hard works begins…

About Mark Hayden

Mark Hayden is the nom de guerre of Adrian Attwood. He lives in Westmorland with his wife, Anne.

Adrian has had a varied career working for a brewery, teaching English and being the Town Clerk in Carnforth. He is now a part-time writer and part-time househusband.

The first of his books, the Operation Jigsaw trilogy have now been published on Amazon and he hopes to release two more in 2014.

To be the first to hear when the next book comes out, please sign up to the Mailing List by Clicking Here

The World of Cairndale

 In the Red Corner, you’ll come across the fictional town of Cairndale. With a little editing (and many apologies to Google), you can see where Cairndale lies in this image (click the pic to see it in more detail:


There are other apologies due – to the residents of Carnforth, Milnthorpe, Silverdale, and many other villages, all of whom saw their communities disappear to make way for Cairndale, Byford and the rest.

In this alternative universe, the river Cowan forms the boundary between Lancashire & Westmorland; in the words of Vera Stanhope, “Cumbria? Never heard of it!”

The Operation Jigsaw Trilogy

The Operation Jigsaw trilogy is Mark Hayden’s first published work.

When he decided to take his own route to market by publishing through Paw Press on Kindle, he did a lot of research and one of the most consistent pieces of advice was:

Have more than one book available.

So, he decided to write a trilogy.

The structure is a little like Steig Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy (The one about the girl with the dragon tattoo). This was entirely accidental because he didn’t read Larsson until after he’d written his books.

The first volume is more-or-less complete as a story but has some very large un-tied loose ends. The second and third volumes run almost continuously.

You can read about them in the Books section of this website.