20/09/18 – longer update to follow soon, as there’s been quite a lot happening, but just wanted to say that the lovely people at Kenilworth Books have taken Basement Tales onto their shelves. If you’re in or around Kenilworth pop in: it’s a great independent bookshop and they have a lot of events, promotions and interesting stuff in there (present company included of course…)
12/08/18 – well it’s been a while since updating here. End of August saw a trip to New York for number one son’s 21st birthday: a good time was had by all. Just before leaving for the break I was in touch with a new publisher who is looking to put together an themed anthology. It looks an interesting project and I was keen to participate – the only snag being I had absolutely nothing around the particular theme in question. I could have taken a few existing stories and updated them to tag on the element of the anthology theme (‘Burning’ in case you’re wondering), but I didn’t want to do that: I hate those anthologies where you come across a story which has so obviously been tweaked to fit, or even worse, crow-barred in when you think, “Wow, this has only been included because it’s a name author.” Well, not being a name author, and not having anything fit for purpose I thought I’d just let it ruminate and see if anything came up. And it did – inspiration striking as a (what I thought was) fully formed idea in, of all places, a Church in NYC. Now I’m not saying it was divine intervention (I pray for that some days, bdumm, and indeed, tschh.) but it did seem an interesting idea: I just wondered if I’d be able to spin it out to the 7k minimum needed for the anthology (and whether I would be able to meet the 15th September deadline). So, here I sit on the 12th and the story first draft is written: it’s been one of those that once it started it just flowed. It’s been long writing days (and nights too…) averaging more than 4k words a day. According to Writers Write that’s more than Arthur Conan Doyle (well, definitely lately…), Iain Banks, Norman Mailer. It’s twice as many as Lee Childs and Stephen King (although I have my doubts Mr. King was being completely honest in his word count admission: the man seems to write 24/7.)…Now I’m not making any claims that the words were the best: I don’t know all the best words unlike some, but it did sum up my writing style: do nothing for a while, and then binge. So, I reached the 7k minimum: breezed right past it in fact, and realized the story had more to say – at least in my mind. By Sunday it had past the 10k mark, and was starting to head towards the 13k maximum…and there still seemed to be a lot left. Anyway, this is going on a bit: much like the story itself did, but suffice to say, I finished the first draft last night, and it’s currently tapped out at 24k words. It’s flabby and today is going to be a lot of trimming, if not outright hacking. Those darlings you need to kill? There’s going to be a mass-murder here. I don’t know if the story will make it into the anthology but if nothing else I’ve learned quite a bit about Albany NY, Church, Birthing, train-times in the US, and ordering at Thomas Keller’s restaurant. (Now THERE’s some fiction for me to think about right there…). And if it doesn’t boil down to short length, or doesn’t get accepted. I’ve got myself a novella.
26/08/18 – exciting stuff: proof copies of two forthcoming titles received. No pics up yet as will be working on those over the coming month. Nicola Young is sitting designing as I write this now.
Book #1 is ‘You Could Make a Killing‘ – a second collection of short stories – unlike Basement Tales this will be non-horror: with all the stories looking at elements of crime and mysteries, with the majority of them featuring (hopefully) a twist in the tale…the volume features my two favourite stories I’ve written to date. I’m really pleased with this collection; and while the proof still needs some tidying up, the size and format are of a more standard look and feel than the first collection.
Book #2 is ‘Air of December’ : my first novel – written a long long time ago in a property far, far away…a murder mystery set in Hokkaido, Japan, AoD was the writing effort that first gained me an agent who saw great things ahead for it…sometime later he appeared to revise his opinion. To be fair, when I re-read it at a few years later, I wondered what he’d seen that interested him enough in the first place – the story’s good, and there’s some nice dialogue in there, but the writing was…naive, to say the least. Over the years I’ve looked at it with fresh, and hopefully more experienced, eyes and thought there’s definitely something in that original story to make it worth revisiting. So…here we are: a chance to re-read it and consider how much work it’s going to take to make it what I originally wanted it to be…watch this space. (Or hopefully, filled space.)
25/08/18 – a few things in the pipeline coming up, including a speaking event to a local writer group, and agreement by Kennilworth Books to stock copies and hold an event – format and date to be agreed…watch this space.
24/08/18 – well, a while since the last entry but plenty been happening. As way of a brief recap…One month in and Basement Tales now published, in Kindle and in Paperback. 5 reviews so far – and all 5*…Sales have started: and at one point reached as high as #18 in its category globally. KDP reads reached over 4,000 in its’ first month.
Also produced a flyer, designed by Nicola Young, which has been distributed across coffee shops and bars throughout Leamington Spa…
24/07/18– 4,500 words written to complete first draft of a 6,500 short crime story. Still whittling down choices for Crime Anthology, hopefully due by end August/ early September, but this one will be in it.
Also published on blog, ten underrated Thriller Movies.
23/07/18: Final, final, final edit of Basement Tales in print version completed and submitted: as long as no nasty surprises when proof copy comes through, should be able to publish end week. Also updated Kindle version to the new format style.
22/07/18: further editing on Basement Tales: after long review, it is clear this looks nothing like a normal book at the moment. Lots of indenting and spacing work needed…
19/07/18: 3,500 words written on a new idea…a short crime story which has already gone beyond its’ original length estimate. And as the writing continues, it’s looking more and more as if it would actually be better suited to a novel. Will need a lot of research to expand with any pretense of the requirements of authenticity needed, but a nice little idea…
18/07/18: posted new free fiction on blog: Footsteps
17/07/18: new blog post live: 10 underrated Horror movies. Comments welcome.
2,000 words written on a new story today: plus research into the art world and fencing. (stolen goods, not the pare and foil stuff.)
16/07/18: no writing today, but did manage a decent tidy up of PC, and narrowed list for Crime anthology, as well as drawing up the short list for it- just got to write them now.
15/07/18:1000 words written of a new story, including physical and online research: hopefully one for the next collection
12/07/18: Well, England out of the World Cup, so no excuses at all not to crack on and get things sorted.
11/07/18: a frustrating day trying to sort this old blog out. Not sure why I can’t do the things I did with the old version of the site- I’m obviously blaming the software not any human error…anyway, all means blog is going to remain in a fairly rudimentary state as I re-train myself as I go along. Aiming for three things (re)learned every day for the next couple of weeks.
10/07/18: Proofs arrived back and generally looking good. A couple of minor issues:
- One of the stories hasn’t started on a fresh page- not sure how that happened.
- Some of the spacing format has gone askew- my fault not KDP.
- No page numbers…a glitch which obviously occurred when switching between stored settings of old pdf and word version.
- A few obvious proofing issues- how is it that you go over everything with what you think is a fine tooth comb, and then when the print version comes through you start spotting things immediately?
Anyway long story short (that’ll be a first), have hired an expensive editor to go through and flag up any additional errors spotted. (and when I say editor I mean Nicola, and when I say expensive, I mean I’m cooking dinner for foreseeable future). The good news is will be able to make the changes to both Kindle version and PB.
05/07/18: Busy day getting stuff done before launch of Basement Tales tomorrow. Everything done from the Kindle store point of view, but decided to start this here blog from scratch meaning it is all looking a bit thin at the moment, but hopefully more stuff to come soon. Work done today has included:
- the various tooling around with the blog: given it was more than 10 years since I set the original BewBob blog up, it has been a case of dusting off the cobwebs…but I am enjoying a developing relationship with WP Help team: think I may even have managed to sell them a book.
- Getting around to some of those old platforms I joined years ago and have done nothing with since- YouTube, Pinterest, and even Twitter have been very underused in recent times…again, hopefully that will change.
- Setting up an Amazon Author page…almost makes it seem legit. It even allows for videos to be posted up…but am refraining from those old Charity Related Arts Project Shorts from all those years ago.
- Notifications to those fine publications who published some of the stories in the collection originally. Bless them.
- Making sure there’s at least something on each of these pages…
- Oh and making this live.
- Final checking of Paperback version is happening, and then just got to click the button to get the proof copy…