Coming soon

Interview with Sergeant Narek Jenn of the IGMF

I am delighted to have had Sergeant Narek Jenn of the Inter-Galactic Military Force pop in for an interview, ahead of the up coming book of his story.  Narek went AWOL from the military for nearly two years, and the book explains why, and what happened during his time away.

Read his interview here.

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New blurbs, New categories and more updates

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I’ve decided to take a few steps toward trying to build my brand.  I’m always the first to admit that I suck cock at promoting myself, and my efforts so far have proved a waste of time.  With lots of encouragement, and a kick in the ass from time to time from my facebook friend Tammie Clarke Gibbs, I’ve taken a couple of steps towards getting a bit more visibility for my brand.

The first thing I did was update my blurbs.  Although they weren’t bad, they benefitted from a bit of sharpening here and there, and I like the results, which you can see on my book pages here this site (in the nav bar up top).

The second thing I did was to add another category at Amazon.  Up till now, I’ve just placed my work in Science Fiction/Space Opera, which is what the book are, but I added Science Fiction/Action and Adventure.  Hopefully this will give them more scope to be found by browsers and may result in a sale or two.

Next, I re-did the keywords on Amazon.  Keywords is getting towards territory I know practically zip about, but after taking advice, I changed them, and I hope they help increase the number of times my work pops up in searches.  Fingers crossed.

I’m also trying to make more use of Pinterest, as I’ve heard that this place is a great venue for getting your brand noticed.  I’ve renamed some of my boards, and added a couple of new ones that give my pinterest a more science fiction angle.  I hope this will attract more sci fi type folks who may then decide to take a chance on my books.  You never know, it costs nothing to try huh?

I’ve finished the first full read through and edit of my next book, which is a stand alone science fiction romance.  This is the book for which I’ve invented an alien language, and because of this, the first edit took longer than it usually does.  I also took this opportunity to add words to bring each chapter up to my preferred 5k size.  This allowed me to expand in some places that needed it, to go into the characters’ thoughts and emotions in a deeper way, which was a challenge at times but such a worthwhile learning curve.  I hope to publish this in March 2014.

The last update I have, is that I’ve decided to put together another anthology.  This one will be more paranormal based than straight  horror, and I have the first two stories already.  As for size, I think twenty is a good number, it will give my anthologies a consistency if they all contain twenty stories.

On a more personal note, I’m celebrating having successfully persuaded my mother to sell up and leave Cornwall and come and live near me.  She’s 82 this coming July, and very obese, diabetic, and has damaged hips and knees.  Her nearest shop is a mile away, and she can’t walk anywhere near that far, and while it’s not a problem as she still drives, it won’t be long before she can’t drive anymore.  When that happens, she’ll be stuffed like the proverbial Christmas turkey.  If she lives near me, I can lend her a helping hand and keep her independent whenever she needs me.  I’m so relieved my months of nagging has finally borne fruit, and quite excited to see her get a nice place around here.

Nano 2013 update, Promotion decision, and other stuff

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How’s everyone getting on with nano?  I’ve passed the 50k and feel justly proud of myself.  The third volume in The Sinclair V-Logs is taking shape nicely and I estimate that I’m three quarters the way through.  Doing nano is great for self discipline, and it’s wonderful to see how creative you can be, even when you’re forcing yourself.  This book will, I hope, be published in early Summer 2014.

Promotion, sorry for swearing, is a dirty word for indie authors.  It’s worse than fuck, whore, balls and cunt combined and I wince every time I read it, hear it or have to write it.  I’m not a natural saleswoman and don’t pretend to be.  I find selling myself, my brand and my books, very hard indeed.  I have tried though but being financially destitute has prevented me from taking advantage of most internet promotion options.

For a while  now, I’ve welcomed other authors to this blog for tours, spotlights and releases, but until recently, I’d never done one myself.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try my first blog tour to promote my last release, Bygora Vandos and advertised for hosts all over my social media.  I even did a blog here asking for hosts or help.

Here are the results.

I wanted to do the tour for fourteen days, with a different blog on each day, as has become the norm for such tours.  I had two weeks notice before the start date and up until the first day, just five (5) people offered to host me.  Of those five, only two offered me the link to the piece voluntarily; all of the others didn’t bother and I had to go searching for the post.  Another person of the five didn’t bother to do the post at all, and only one further person updated me with blog stats (number of visits etc) and promised to promote the post on other social media.  One of the people who did the post, didn’t bother to put up the post until late afternoon, leaving me with just a couple of hours to find it and then post the link on my own social media.  All but one, didn’t bother to promote the post on their other social media.  None of the people I have ever hosted were among the five mentioned above who offered to host me.

The blog I posted here asking for help got no response at all.  Thanks for nothing..!

To put it mildly, I was extremely disappointed in the lack of interest and help by other authors, and this experience has led me to make two decisions.

I shall never host another author on my blog, ever again.

I shall no longer bother trying to promote my own work.

I shall concentrate on writing books.  I shall publish them as I usually do on all the usual platforms, and I shall do a blog here announcing it, facebook and twitter.  Beyond that, I shall do no promotion at all.  There is no point in trying to get my voice heard above all the bored housewives with money who churn out trash erotica and romance by the bucket load, when other authors actively try to block my voice by boycotting me.  I shall put my energies into writing, and since I write books worth reading, a rarity in this compost heap that is the self published world, my total focus will be put to good use.

In short, what I want to say to other authors is, Fuck You..!

The third bit of news is that my horror story anthology will hopefully be released on Dec 6th.  I’m waiting for cover art at this very moment, everything else is done and finished.  I’m looking forward to this, it’s been a long time in the making and it has been done with the help of my facebook friends, many of whom star in the stories.  I dedicate this book to them, my murderers, psychos, weirdos, crazies and victims.

Horror Anthology – December release.

I have finally finished my twenty horror short stories, and my planned horror anthology is now finished to first draft.  Once my next novel, Bygora Vandos is safely out, which will be during the second week of October, I can devote my time to editing the anthology and getting it formatted for a December release.

I had a scout around the stock photo sites for cover art ideas and found several suitable photos to give me ideas.  I’ve been planning this anthology for ages, so I’ve had plenty of time to think about cover art, font etc.  It will be fun to see it finished.

Watch this space for updates.

Character building and why flaws are important.

I’m getting excited for my new release, Bygora Vandos, which will be out during the second week of October.  This book is the second volume in The Sinclair V-Logs series and sees Sam Sinclair take on an undercover job that ends up costing him dearly.

In Bygora Vandos, we find out more about Sam as a man, a little of his history and a couple of the most powerful events in his life that have shaped him and the way he interacts with people.  Like all people, Sam has experienced bad times and understanding them helps us to get to know him as a person and aids us in connecting with him in a much closer way.  Sam is an interesting and sometimes, complex character.  A man with a strict code most of the time, he understands that from time to time, circumstances call for him to step outside of his code.  Although he doesn’t like having to do this, occasionally it’s necessary for him to get the job done.  Like all people, Sam sometimes makes mistakes, he’s a person not a robot and giving him flaws makes him real.  Nobody is perfect.

As you are no doubt aware, when meeting someone new, it takes time to get to know them fully.  As time goes on you find out more about the person, their likes and dislikes, their morals, what motivates them and the things that get them down.  This is how all of our relationships develop, it’s normal human interaction and I feel this to be a very important aspect of character building in fiction.  Sometimes, an author gives you everything there is to know about a character right from the start, and that disappoints me greatly.  Without anything more to discover, the character becomes boring and I quickly lose interest, and I’m sure it’s the same for most people.

When building your characters, remember to hold back, especially if you plan more books with the same character.  It gives us something to look forward to in later books so that we buy them to find out more about the character we’ve come to like from your previous volume.  As my dad used to say when he caught Mother and I talking about women’s dress sense, “it’s not what you show that titillates us, it’s what you don’t show.”

New webpage for my new release.

Just to announce that there is a new page here for my next release, Bygora Vandos.  Click here to read the blurb and excerpt from my brand new space opera.

This second volume in The Sinclair V-Logs series will be available to purchase during early October 2013.  The page will be updated as the release date approaches, so keep watching.

Camp Nanowrimo July 2013

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I am pleased to have completed July Nano.  It was not as quick to write this book as some of my others have been, due in part because it’s done in 3rd person but from just one character’s POV.  I usually do 3rd person omniscient and feel most comfortable with that, but I like to challenge myself and this was a very interesting experience.  It’s also a bit of a romance, which is not my favourite genre but again, I try not to limit myself.

Quest for the Ta’ali will hopefully be out in the new year 2014.