Friday, 25 September 2015

A book to vote for.

My friend Serena Cairns has written a wonderful book called Father of Lies.
If you like a little theological mystery with your paranoid conspiracy theories, you may be interested in reading it?
Lionel Fanthorpe said the story was "A thought-provoking narrative, superbly written, tense and challenging."

Please vote for it in The Book Awards.

thebookawards - Father of Lies

Sunday, 21 June 2015

This is what fracking looks like:

"It destroyed our lives. It destroyed our communities."

If you've ever wondered what happens when our politicians say yes to dirty energy, here's your answer:

Posted by 38 Degrees on Friday, June 19, 2015

Saturday, 8 November 2014

It's a sad day. Authors Online: R.I.P. - 7th November 2014.

Authors Online have succumbed to Create Space's market killing promises of free publishing for novelists.

If you are based in the United States, or if you wish to indulge in a vanity press publication for you, your friends and your family, what more could you want? Excellent service.
Indeed, the book of short stories I was lucky enough to be involved with, Between Stops, was published via Create Space, and an excellent book it is too! Very happy with the service, for the most part.
[Potential IRS tax issues, as with Kindle, but that's a whole nother ball game, which you can have fun with yourselves.]

What Create Space doesn't mention, is the fact that they appear to be utterly uninterested in linking up with UK wholesalers; and, in turn, UK wholesalers are wary of taking books from them without a guarantee of quality. The result of these two things being that UK bookshops are unable to stock your Create Space published novels.
Create Space have confirmed it is okay to set yourself up as the UK distributor - but that kind of defeats the whole 'I'm a writer living in a cave' scenario. Let's face it, I'm anti-social and lazy, and unwilling to lug my wares all over the country in the vain hope of maybe selling something. But maybe you're up for it?
The key thing to note, is that it is doable, if you have the time and the inclination. ... Good luck!

Instead of doing that, I have updated my book links, and am now trying to work out the ins and outs of Ingram Spark - Lightning Source's publishing arm.
Luckily, Authors Online, the wonderful people that they are / were(?) - even beyond the grave - have been chatting to Ingram Spark, and they should be able to facilitate authors who have registered with Ingram Spark in moving their books across. Apparently with no need to change the ISBN's, they say.
There's probably much more the author will need to do, but I'm still investigating.
If you are one of us several thousand authors affected, there is only a short time window - two weeks - while Authors Online are still going through their death throes and cleaning up the blood and guts, as they fall into their grave. Organised and tidy people that they are.

I will miss them. They made life easy.

The mysteries of cover design and art / artists and colour saturation, and margin width and necessary number of pages to fill the required book width, etc., etc., were all things I'd never even considered before attempting self-publishing. I may have developed vague inklings about the need for them in the last several years, but now I will actually need to know about and understand them.
Still, life is all about learning new things every day. It's interesting.
And complex.
And stressful.
And, ultimately, rewarding and fun.

So while I cry a tear for Authors Online, and thank them for their invaluable help, it is now time for me to take a further step into the dark at the back of the cave. ... I just hope there aren't too many balrogs and other things back there, waiting in the blackness of the unknown.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Loncon 3 - ticket for sale £95 ono

I was planning to attend the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention Loncon3 which runs from the 14th to 18th of August, but events have conspired, and I am unable to attend.
If anyone needs a ticket, please get in touch. Normal price for the week is £125, but I am happy to sell for the early-bird rate I paid of £95. A massive saving of £30.
email me, or message me on Facebook?

Between Stops - an anthology of short stories

At last! Something to post about that's newsworthy.

A group of us in East Devon have been scribbling away, and eventually came up with a collection of short stories. The five talented authors involved are Serena Cairns, Simon Cornish, Alastair Keen, Viv Laine and... Eleanor Piper - i.e. ME!

But we needed a cover. Luckily Simon is a dab hand with creating covers, so that solved one problem.

Simon also enjoys editing - and proofing was a joint female task. (Usually over coffee and yummy snacks; very enjoyable, despite the occasional "D'oh!" accompanied-by-facepalm and having to reach for a red pen.)

The end result is pretty darned good, even if I do say so myself! ;)

"Between Stops
A collection of short stories for life's travellers. Why not join us on your journey and enter the world Between Stops?"
Available on Amazon.co.uk
(A Kindle version should be available in due course)

You can also take a look at some pictures and quotes from a few of the stories on Pinterest. These will be added to over time. Between Stops

There is also a Facebook page for Between Stops

Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Year... Already? Where does the time go?

I seem to have accidentally slipped into a sidestream of the timeline, and have spent my whole time editing, writing ... and also either procrastinating or doing research - whichever term you feel happier with.

I've joined a writers' group a while back, which for once is compatible and actually works for me - which is nice. They want the same sort of things I do, and we all bring our own unique take and strengths to the table. :) Lovely stuff.

As a result we are bringing out a book of short stories, which I will tell you more about nearer the time. We are now ready to finalise the number of tales and the story order. It's very exciting.

In addition to working on this, I've been reading up on grammar and punctuation (which I was never 100% utterly amazing at, just fairly good and very patient at combing through things, plus the rules keep effing changing!), and I've been helping to edit both other people's work (the mad fools) and my own. I've even managed a bit of writing. Woo hoo!

A newly proofed version of The Grim will be out later this year - hopefully with fewer gaffs and punctuation errors.

The MS has tried to rear its ugly head a few times, but so far I've managed to bash it back down and get it mostly under control - although the exhaustion is something I'm having to learn to work around.

And I've been adoped by a stray cat. She's a black and white lovely, very demanding, but a purrfect companion in many respects. She replaces my Monster, who was killed in a hit & run nearly two years ago. He and the other ghost cats come and visit regularly, and Pushca (not Russian, its short for Pushy Cat) doesn't seem to mind. Although she does stare at Dereck when he visits.

So what else has been going on?

I loved The Hobbit, and The Desolation of Smaug. Also the new series of Sherlock looks like it's going to be fun. The 50 year anniversary of Doctor Who was great. A little disappointed by the change over episode - in the past they have always been hair-raising stuff. This time it seemed to be more of a by-the-numbers, not-really-trying to worry about the cliff-hanger factor, adrenaline-free afair ... or maybe I'm just getting really jaded in my old age. Having said that some of the episodes have been brilliant.
I enjoyed Vicious. And there have been quite a few comedy and police/crime things on that have been great... titles escape me for the moment. I shall blame my MS and the tiredness factor, which is currently kicking in, for the memory lapse. There have been a lot of good films. Again, the titles elude me at present.
And many other things I've enjoyed too, but I have to go and lie down in a darkened corner for a bit and recoup my energy and get my brain working again. Sorry. Please bear with me.

Have a great 2014, I know I will.