Thursday, 27 July 2017

Get the new updated edition of Circus Mania before anybody else!


Nothing like opening the mail and finding the new 2nd edition of Circus Mania! The book the Mail on Sunday called "brilliant" is back with a new yellow cover (seen here with one of the purple first editions) and a new chapter bringing the stories of Circus of Horrors, Danny and Clive, Circa, Gerry Cottle, Zippos and others up to date. 

Timed to celebrate the forthcoming 250th anniversary of the circus, my continuing journey behind the scenes of the circus world also finds me visiting the traditional sawdust under canvas show Peter Jolly's Circus and meeting Britain's last lion tamer, Thomas Chipperfield

You won't find the new edition on Amazon yet, but you can get it early by buying direct from Peter Owen Publishers on 020 8350 1775 (London). Be sure to ask for the new edition!


Celebrating 250 years of the circus
with Gerry Cottle and Dr Haze from
the Circus of Horrors
(Pic from the original Circus Mania book launch)

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


That warm feeling when the editor trails your new serial at the front of the magazine...


Thursday, 29 June 2017

What does it mean when you dream you're a clown?











I had a funny dream last night. I dreamt I was a clown doing a cookery routine with an Invisible Shelf. I kept putting things like the kettle on the Invisible Shelf and, because there wasn't a shelf there, they kept clattering to the floor and bashing me on the foot. At the end of the routine I had a tray with a plate of salmon sandwiches and a cup of tea. I put the tray on the Invisible Shelf and a pair of hands came through the wall and held it. The hands were wearing orange gloves, the same colour as the wall, so the audience couldn't see them. After the crowd applauded, I left the tray on the Invisible Shelf, drank the tea and passed around the sandwiches to show they were real.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Douglas McPherson's review remembered... 20 years on!


Not circus, but it was nice to open the new issue of Country Music People and see my name in the above paragraph by BBC broadcaster and broadsheet writer Spencer Leigh.

It's gratifying to know that something as ephemeral as a review can stick in someone's memory twenty years on.

And if my reviews are that memorable, think of the impression my books must make!

Saturday, 13 May 2017








Ever wanted to write about the circus? A memoir of your life in the big top, perhaps?

Many people have a notion to write a book... one day. Others nurture a dream of writing a best-seller... in the same way that they dream of winning the Lottery. That is, without any real hope of it ever happening. Which of course it won’t, if they don’t buy a ticket. But writing isn’t something that anyone needs to put off. Nor is success limited to best-selling novels.


The fact is that anyone with something to say can start writing today and realistically be published in the very near future. Your first success may not be a best-seller, or even a book, but it will be a step towards growing a writing career with no limit on where it will end.

Based on a series of articles in Writers Forum, Start Writing Today, will show you how to take that first step and many others. The twenty-five chapters show you how to write, and most importantly how to sell, magazine features, reviews, news items, short stories, memoirs and books.

Start Writing Today reveals the three-step trick to selling any article or book, and how to nurture professional relationships that will help you earn for years to come.

Everything in this book is based on my personal experience of being a full time writer for more than twenty years, and at every step of the way includes examples from my own work to show how the techniques, tips, cheats and hacks worked for me and how they can work for you.

Most of all, this book will show you how you can start writing today.

Click here to buy Start Writing Today.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

How To Write And Sell Fiction To Magazines












If you've ever fancied writing short stories for magazines, here's the book for you!

How To Write And Sell Fiction To Magazines takes a unique ‘show don’t tell’ approach to selling short stories to the magazine market. Instead of telling you how to write, Douglas McPherson shows you how he wrote a dozen stories published in some of the UK’s best known and biggest-selling magazines.

Each chapter follows the step-by-step process of how the stories were conceived, developed, written and often re-written. The genres include romance, sci-fi, ghost stories, historical and twist in the tail, and each story is reproduced alongside the chapter that describes its creation, so you can see the finished product as well as how it was written.

The stories were chosen to demonstrate different aspects of the writing process from creating characters to coming up with titles that are sure-fire sellers. So as the book unfolds you’ll get a candid insight into the tricks of the trade, including:

- The foolproof formula for a romantic story.
- How to write convincingly about countries you’ve never visited.
- How to reuse old plots.
- How to rewrite a story to meet an editor’s requests and cut the length to suit the market.
- How to overcome rejection and sell initially rejected stories.

All this for around the price of a coffee!

Unlike most books about writing, which are mostly theory, all the advice in How To Write and Sell Fiction to Magazines is proven to work, since the stories it relates to have all been published.

Get a sneak preview here on the Huffington Post! And click here to read a review by Rosie Amber.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Douglas McPherson PLC

Douglas McPherson PLC






My thanks to Tracy Baines for the following letter in this month's Writers' Forum:

"Is Douglas McPherson one man? Does he have ten brothers named Douglas? Or is it the name of a warehouse somewhere containing a team of people tapping away on laptops - Douglas McPherson PLC?

"What an output. Do you think it would be possible to isolate a sample of his DNA and identify his discipline and work ethic? We could market it as the McPherson Productivity Pill."

Also in this month's Writers' Forum is my interview with Daily Mail film critic Christopher Tookey; my interview with My Weekly Pocket Novels editor Maggie Swinburne; my piece on how to begin writing your memoirs; and my behind-the-scenes account of penning the My Weekly story Teddy Girls, which I wrote under the pen name Julia Douglas.

So, yes, pretty productive I guess!