Book Launch

On Friday 17th November, a new collection of stories and poems will be launched by my local writing group, BigSky Writers. The book is called Bright Stars in a Big Sky, and is focused on seasonal items for Winter and Christmas. I have two stories and a poem included in the collection, which is an updated and expanded version of a project from two years ago.

At the launch event in Stradbroke (at 1830 in the Community Hall) I will be reading a poem from the new collection and also an extract from my recent novel Taken In. I will have hard copies of the novel (real books!) available for purchase at the bargain price of £5!

Copies of Bright Stars will also be available, priced at £4 each.

All are welcome.


New Here?

If you are visiting willingwordwhirl for the first time, possibly because of my novel, Taken In, then welcome.

If you have read Taken In, here is a bit more information about its genesis:

In late 2015 my wife and I were visiting our son in Australia, and to reduce the truly awful flight time from England, we decided to do the last stretch by ship. Once a season a cruise ship sails from Singapore to Darwin, and then down to the Gold Coast and Sydney. While we were on that cruise I was continuing an online fiction writing course with Futurelearn, and one of the exercises involved creating characters, two of whom became Iketut and Philo. I also spotted the rail along which Iketut traverses the side of the ship, just below our stateroom, and the initial idea for the story was born. It took a year to write the tale and revise the first draft and another year to improve and finalise it. The working title was An Accidental Cruise, but I wasn’t entirely happy with that. I puzzled over a better title for weeks, then Taken In came to me out of the blue, and seemed just right, reflecting several aspects of the story.

You might like to scroll down to read the short story Somebody’s Birthday, which I wrote while developing Philo’s character, and is built round a real character (who became Kev) that I met in Sydney.


I plan to put up more new material soon.

Too Much Murder?

On my goodreads author page I just wrote this little piece to kick things off.

Why is it that so many books and TV shows centre on murder? In fact, one ordinary murder is not enough these days – for success in the crime/thriller genre you seem to need a serial killer, and often one who is twisted and brutal. Each new story has to raise the stakes and present us with more gore and evil than the last, doesn’t it?
Maybe this is overstating the case, but I just don’t feel that a good, thrilling book should have to escalate the violence to be successful. Surely it is the characters, the plot and the quality of the writing that satisfy the reader, not the volume of blood or the number of body parts flung about?
Now I enjoy a good murder mystery, and I read every new Peter Robinson and Jim Kelly that comes out, but I also enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s gentler stories, which can generate tension and pace too. Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books combine a great literary style with a little violence and mystery in a very satisfying way.
So I am not planning to write a serial murderer story anytime soon. There is death and violence in my book Taken In but not overkill, in my humble opinion. Does this make the book boring? Let me know…


Taken In, available now

Here is the link to the Kindle version of my book:

It is also available as a paperback. The preview (or Look Inside feature) allows you to read the first few chapters for free, so you can see if it engages your interest.

Please write me a review on Amazon, Goodreads or elsewhere.

Publication soon

My first published novel, now titled Taken In, will be available in November. I am currently checking proofs and making minor adjustments.

It is an adventure and crime story set on a large cruise ship traveling from Malaysia and Singapore towards Australia, and relates the trials of  an accidental stowaway and the friends he makes among the staff and crew. I will post links to the book once it is available.

A shorter story set on a cruise ship:

The Flash Fiction piece below (300 words) did well in a competition. I hope you enjoy it.


Some Enchanted Evening

My left hand stretched to the closing lift doors, Nancy’s evening bag glittering in my right. Fat, bile green fingers shot out, gripped my cuff-linked wrist and pulled me in through converging panels. I gazed up at the rotund, tunic-clad ogre, unsure whether to thank him. Shrek’s trumpet ears brushed the recessed lights.

            ‘You’re welcome,’ he boomed, Scottish accent just as expected, and the irony.

            ‘Yeah, thanks,’ I muttered, ‘Had to go back for this.’ Instead of descending towards the cocktail lounge, where Nancy waited in diminutive plan view through the glass walls, we rose towards deck ten. I pulled out my phone to text her.

            ‘Wifi. Could I borrow that?’ I didn’t see how those fat fingers could work the keys, but he was pulling off his broad spongy headpiece with an exposed pale hand, copper hair plastered to a sweaty pink head. He pressed a combination of lift buttons and we stopped between decks. ‘My girlfriend’s pregnant, back in Glasgow, started to bleed yesterday. Can’t get on the staff internet tonight. Need to check if she’s okay.’

            Scotland from the Caribbean. ‘Phone call?’

            ‘Nah. Facebook’d do.’ He was twitching inside the foam suit, eyes urgent, watery.

            ‘Of course.’ I passed him the phone, ‘Early hours, there.’

            ‘She’ll not be sleeping much. She’ll check.’

            He worked at the phone, leant against the chromed rail. I couldn’t see Nancy’s head now, just other tuxedos, evening dresses. I recalled another February miscarriage. The message on a slip of paper, running for a payphone, the trembling fear. Grandchildren anchor our lives.

            ‘Hang on to it for the reply. We’re on table four – the waiter can bring it back.’

            He nodded thanks, delivered me to deck five.

            With the gateau Vladimir brought my phone. It radiated a screenful of beaming smileys.

Will Ingrams, 9th October 2017

Summer Progress

Since December all my creative effort has gone into writing a novel, but it’s about time I updated this site and recorded some progress.

I recently heard why last year’s Poetic Republic competition for short stories and poems vanished without trace. The organiser, Peter Hartey, unfortunately died last Summer. This left the competition outcome on hold, but his friends and family are now planning to publish the story and poetry volumes resulting from the contest. As I enthused last year, this unique, participant-judged competition was enjoyable to take part in, and I now hope to see my shortlisted work published soon. I plan to post more work and comment here relating to this.

My novel is now in readable form. It took me from December to June to write the first draft, and I have just completed the revisions to produce the second draft. This is now out with a few readers for comment and review before I improve it further and decide what to do with it. The book’s current title is An Accidental Cruise, and it is a kind of literary thriller, set on a cruise ship in the South China sea. More about this to come.

Last year I wrote a poem called Rooftop Pool, and the Everglades Hotel section of this site provides background information. The poem was entered in the Poetic Republic competition, and is soon to be published in a new volume of work from BigSky Writers. More on this soon too.