Friday, 2 February 2018

What have I been up to?

It's been more than a while. So what's been going on?

I had to investigate the mysteries of publishing, and have re-released / republished (?) my books.

I have moved a new-build with no cupboards or shelves, and have spent the last two years trying to get that sorted out - with zero funds. Much fun!

Various family problems have been raising their heads, including the death of my step mother last year, and ongoing health problems for several other members of my family - which I am not at liberty to discuss at the moment.

Also my MS has been playing up ... but I am fighting back! My diet had been slipping, however this can not go on. So, it has to be zero dairy, zero gluten, close to zero sugar, and avoid all the rest of the myriad things which my body reacts to, from now on.

I've managed to get most things in my life back under control, and am in the process of getting all the lumps and bumps ironed out. What fun! ... Yes, these last two years have been a challenge, but 2018 has started well and looks set to improve further. YAY!

Have I mentioned the cat that moved in with me many years ago? Pushca, short for Pushy Cat. Apparently her real name is Squeaky. ... I can see why her original owners called her that, she does squeak. LOL. She's a black and white tiger-stripe (one of them) bundle of purrs and love. And she's very, very cute.

Pleasant discoveries on the DVD front: Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Halt And Catch Fire, amongst many others. There have been some great films out as well. I'll try to remember and update my favourites later on when I have some spare time.

Well, it's February 2018 now. How did that happen? I only blinked.

Breakfast and my first cup of tea for the day are calling. Bye for now.

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
(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