Dead Reckoning

‘Dead Reckoning’ #14 in the Freeman Files Series is 50% complete and I’m on target for publishing before the end of June.  

We’re still unsure whether total unlocking will occur on June 21st here in the UK. I fear we might have a short delay. However, things did improve after May 17th and on our first trip we visited a garden centre. For the previous two weeks it had been cold, wet, and windy. The day turned out to be the warmest day of the year so far.

Last Monday our son invited us out for a meal with his wife and two sons. It had always seemed so simple in those faraway pre-Covid days. On Monday, it was The Rule of 6; No booking; Register that you are waiting for a table through an app; Go for a socially distanced wander and when allowed in, keep your masks on until seated; Check the menu on the app, get one of your party to input your order and wait to be served.

It felt strange, I must admit, but we saw more people that evening than we had in fifteen months. We enjoyed the meal and sitting around the same table with loved ones for the first time in eighteen months was priceless.

A Phoenix Club member contacted me last month suggesting I had mistakenly used miles per hour instead of kilometres per hour for the rate at which someone’s car was travelling in one of my books. If you live in the UK, you’ll know how perverse we can be on the matter of imperial or metric measure. If you live in the US, Canada, or other corners of the world, you will just know that we’re perverse!

I can’t speak for every car on the road in the UK, or every road sign, but in general our speedometers show both mph and kph. (mph tends to be in larger print) As for speed signs, the upper limit is 70mph and below that there are a variety of limits for given situations.

Somehow, despite decimalization back in February 1971, we never got to grips with switching every weight and measure.

Why do you think that was? Well, can you imagine the impact it would have on phrases we use in conversation if we changed everything?

  • A miss is as good as 1.609k
  • They buried him 1.829m under
  • More bounce for the 28.35g
  • In the Merchant of Venice, would .454k of flesh carry the same weight? (Sorry)


I’ll be back with an update towards the middle of July.

Take care. Keep reading.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

A Frequent Peal Of Bells

I often wondered how approaching retirement felt. Those weeks and months as you neared the date when you could officially pack up work. Redundancy robbed me of that anticipation, and I was thrust into semi-retirement with no time to prepare.

I’ve kept busy in the past eighteen years with exam invigilation and quiz compiling for a decade each. In the past six years, I’ve written fiction. In two weeks’ time, the eleventh book in the Phoenix series will be published. That leaves me with just one more to write. Four weeks in May/June to write a fitting end to series that’s given me so much pleasure.

I plan to post the odd blog and promote the eighteen books I’ve published since I started, but retirement beckons. I’ve got time to prepare this time around, and to be honest – it feels right.

Yesterday (9th April) saw almost 1200 downloads. Figures are a third up on 2017 in general. I can’t complain. I received this from an ex-schoolteacher in Missouri last month: –

Just recently discovered Olympus and Phoenix. I am midway through Book 5 and totally committed to making my way through all of the books. I’ve visited so many of the places mentioned in your books that I’m comfortable with settings. Your characters are so believable that I’m easily drawn into their lives and activities. Although I am no fan of Phoenix’s music choices, I am totally in sympathy with his mission. Congratulations on weaving a tale worthy of our oral traditions.

And ONE week later: –

And now the waiting game begins. Finished Three Weeks in September, Book 10 and eagerly await number 11. Wow! I thought Demeter was an evil witch, but this new member is a true snake in the grass. Chilling. My total fascination with this series remains strong. I am surprised to see so few posts on this FB page. I am going to have to encourage my friends to read the Olympus series.

That’s why we write isn’t it?

There are others out there who will react the same way. I just have to find them. It’s not imperative I slog away with more books about The Phoenix or start a new series altogether. What’s done is done, and good enough to spark that reaction.

I’ll be back with news on the FINAL book sometime in May. 

If you want regular updates on all my books, why not join The Phoenix Club? Newsletter (#23) will be circulated very soon.