Thursday, 17 January 2013

Apsaras I and II now ebooks

Apsaras I         Shangri La
Apsaras II       The 6th Ring 

have now been published as ebooks on Amazon.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Antiquities Roadshow (Christmas Edition)

Today I uploaded my novelette, The Antiquities Roadshow (Christmas Edition) to the Kindle self publishing site. It should go on sale for the low price of  1$ in the next day or two.
I have priced the work so low because it is a novelette of just over fourteen thousand words and can be read in one sitting.

For those of you who have enjoyed the BBC programme, ‘Antiques Roadshow’, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this Christmas story of the Three Magi taking their gifts for a free valuation.

The Antiquities Roadshow team arrive for the filming of the Christmas Edition at Peniston Manor on the morning when a newborn child is kidnapped from the local Bustington General Hospital.
Taking clues from some of the items shown during the show, the team of experts-see if you can identify the real life characters- recover the child, coincidentally solve a four hundred year old riddle of lost treasure and thwart the plans of a ruthless collector.
The story, comical at times, tells the story of an eleven year old girl with Spanish ancestry who attempts to cure her mother’s woe but sets in train a sequence of events that leads back to the seventeenth century and ends with a reminder of the enduring power of love and the magic of Christmas.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


I am currently reading the Barbara Erskine, novel, 'Hiding From The Light' and can't help but notice some similarities with my story, 'The Green Man at Buddleigh'.
I would never dream of suggesting that my story is as well told as hers but some themes are common to both stories.
A woman giving up a job in the City for life in the country. A house with ghostly manifestations. A family connection in the distant past.
I'm half way through. I wonder what other coincidences I will find!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ebook published

At long last, the 'Green Man at Buddleigh' is published as an ebook and available on Amazon at:

Monday, 8 August 2011

Update III

It's so frustrating. I want to get cracking with my new works, the Squad and Apsaras III but I'm detained by the need to edit and rework old material such as the Green Man. I've worked on this book for two years now and I'm still finding ways to improve it. At what point do I say, 'that's it' and commit it to publication on Kindle?

How nice it must be to submit a work to a publisher and let somone else edit it for you.

The proof book, printed by the nice Createspace people as a reward for entering their competition, was a godsend because working on the computer is not the same as reading from a real book. It looks good as well, too good for me to right corrections in.

Friday, 17 June 2011

latest update

I have just completed another review of the novel and made over a hundred and forty corrections or amendments. The task is made so much easier by uploading the document to my kindle and making notes as I read

Monday, 16 May 2011

Author fraud

Tonights 'One Show' on the BBC, highlighted a practice by publishers to fraudulently use the name of an established name to sell books written by others.

The example used were new books whose front covers bore the name of long dead Enid Blyton. In fact the real authors were unknown and as such, unlikely to promote significant sales. As the reporter mentions, publishers are in the business of selling books and making a profit. They are not a charity. They are becoming less interested in publishing books by people other than the famous and those with celebrity status. Ghost writers often pen the works, purported to be by people in the public eye, so that opportunities for new, emerging writers are reduced. To attract the attention of the publishers, new authors have to almost shock the agencies or publishers in the same way that new films have to push back the boundaries, shock or provoke the public.
This can only result in the publishing industry becoming hostage to its own declining values. Authors will publish their own work as ebooks, as I am, so as to make Literary agencies and traditional publishers superfluous. Deciding what work is and what isn't commercial is necessarily a subjective decision-one that publishers and agencies have consistently got wrong.

There are no problems, however, with Jeffrey Archer. No sooner has his new book, the first of a series of five, been published than the famous author is paraded on all the day time television programmes. I don't begrudge Jeffrey his success; he writes jolly good stories, but I wish that other, less famous writers had the opportunity to promote their works.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Publishing disappointment

The recent submission to a publisher ended in disappointment when they asked for over £2200 contribution to publishing costs, despite saying that both the 'Lamb' and the 'Green Man' were of merit and likely to be enjoyed by the public. Although I've brushed aside the disappointment I can sense that my confidence is slightly dented and I need a little while before I begin again. I need to take a few weeks away from creative writing to regenerate what I know is inside, since despite the feeling that it's really too much effort to achieve recognition, I'm too old anyway and other negative thoughts, I do believe that my stories are worth telling, the characters are interesting and the plots satisfying.

In the meantime I have sent a submission to two new agencies. At 6€ a time for postage, not to mention paper and printer ink, just sending 3 chapters becomes a costly business.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Following the good news that a publisher has asked to see the full manuscript of both the 'Green man' and the 'Lamb', the ink on the printer ran out. I ordered new cartridges but decided to try and commission the laser printer that had been lying in the garage in need of new and expensive toner cartridges.

Living in Spain has many advantages but living in the south east corner away from the commercial rest of Spain can be frustrating. I am still waiting, two weeks later, for the Epson printer cartridges but have received the new toners for the HP laser printer from England. As I hoped, when it was finally set up, the laser turned out to be ideal for printing out whole novels. Not cheap mind; two toner cartridges cost £100+ and the machine needs 4.

I printed out the novels and sent them to England, immediately. The postage for the two was 37€. I have decided to keep all my printing and postage invoices in case I should ever receive remuneration and can claim some expenses against any future tax bill.

Call it what you will; sods law or whatever but the day after I sent off the manuscripts, a professional editor who'd reviewed the work gave me some jolly good advice that I decided I would like to implement. What to do? Inform the publishers? Leave it, knowing that if they asked for improvements I knew how to approach it? Email the publishers saying that I was to send along amended copies? In the end I've done nothing but started a new folder with all the updated work. I must say I like it but I may not be finished. Something the editor said made me think and I'm going to take a couple of days to see how I can act on their comment; an innocuous remark but perhaps more telling than she might have realised.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

A breakthrough? Who knows?

I have had a positive response to my latest promotion. Hoorah!!

I have two novels to promote as part of my Saigh Valley Series and I have submitted extracts of both to publishers and agents, along with my pitch. I'm delighted to say that my submission has persuaded one recipient to ask to see the two manuscripts in full. It's what I wanted, because I've always felt confident that there was an entertaining story in there; for an independent someone to read them in full and make a judgement. The real test of whether or not they are to commercial standard. Let's face it, if my stories can make them money, they'll be interested; if not, then I'll know the truth, if their judgement can be trusted.
Last week, I tried to read what would be called a 'Chick Lit' novel and had to give up after the first chapter. I can't comment on its quality only that I couldn't read it. Apparently, most novel readers these days are women and therefore most new works pander to this market which makes it yet more difficult for men to find something to entertain them. I hoped to step into the breach with stories that would appeal to both sexes. Stories with a good plots, interesting characters and a satisfying ending. No science fiction, no mysogynistic psychopaths and definitely no bloody elves or fairies. Just a jolly good story, tinged with humour, coloured with a tragedy and told with feeling untrammeled with excessive verbiage.

So I must make a hard copy of each of the stories, which with both together amounting to 800 printed A4 sheets will cost, both in paper and printer ink, a prety penny. The postage from Spain will be in the order of 30 to 50 Euros depending on the mood of the postmaster. It's not cheap to make a full submission but I have a feeling that it's going to be worth while. The feeling that the daily writing, the struggling to bring the plots into line, turning mere words into something that gives pleasure is the best feeling that an author can have.