Showing posts from November, 2012

Something New

Writers are natural worriers. We spend years working on our book (baby), writing and rewriting, editing and editing again, a tweak here, a sub-plot there, until we are quite certain that there is nothing else we can do to make our work perfect. And then we turn it in to an editor or agent, or upload it, and it is out of our hands and released to the general public.

And then we sit back and worry. Should I have left out that chapter? Will the readers hate it? Will anyone buy it? Is it littered with typos which my editor and I have completely failed to spot? Is it actually any good? We can spend hours checking Amazon for new reviews, agonizing over sales figures, or (like me at the moment) making complete troll-idiots of ourselves on social media trying to persuade people to buy it.

Other writers have said over the years that the best solution is to throw oneself into the next project. And I have to confirm that they are quite right. When I was sending Emon and the Emperor to agent aft…

A Little Christmas Gift

Just got back from some riotous and eventful Christmas shopping and remembered that it's my blog day. I'm fresh out of inspiration, so maybe this is a good time to announce that I've got a little Christmas gift for you, dear reader. You're welcome.

So here it is: The Saved Saint, my latest book, will be FREE from 3rd-7th December.

That's it. For five whole days you could log onto or, enter "The Saved Saint" into the search bar and find that it will cost you nothing at all to have it immediately downloaded to your Kindle, or iPad, or iPod, or PC, or any other device on which you have the (also free) Kindle reading app.

Have you ever read one of my books? Do you sometimes feel a little embarrassed because you've known me for a while, and you know I write books, but you haven't actually wanted to invest any of your money in my work? Well, here's your chance to rectify that awkwardness without blowing the budget. Mark 3rd-…

Amazon, Author Reviews, and why Argos Do It Better

Amazon recently made a controversial decision and took down thousands of reviews because they were written by authors. You can read more about the fallout here, but essentially this was done because of all the crony-ism  You know how that works - an indie author has maybe ten other indie author friends, often thanks to Facebook. Author 1 brings out a new book, and asks the other authors to post a five star Amazon review of his work. In return he will do the same for each book brought out by authors 2-10, and as a result each author will have nine glowing reviews on their Amazon page. And if that doesn't work there are, apparently, people out there who will pay you up to £7 to post a five-star review of their book or product on Amazon.

It's not difficult to review a book you've never read. At book club on Sunday one of our members talked about how her twelve-year-old son had been praised for his book reports, yet she knew he rarely read a book. When questioned he told her …

Why I Cycle on the Pavement

Bradley Wiggins, Britain's cycling champion (winner of the Tour de France, among many other accolades) is currently recovering in hospital after being knocked off his bike by a Vauxhall Astra van (see this link). I admire him enormously, and am horrified that this has happened. I hope he is soon completely better and winning cycling medals again.

I've been wanting to blog about cycling for a long time because it's something I'm passionate about. I discovered I loved it during a visit to Center Parcs about six years ago, and when my car died shortly after that holiday I chose not to buy a new one, but to invest (£25) in a second-hand bike with a child seat on the back, and cycle everywhere instead. (I'm now on my third bike, Dutchess, and actually bought this one brand new.)

For a while after I started cycling everything was fine, but then one day I was riding along Church Road after dropping little Ceri off at pre-school when a Dreams lorry (my family will understa…

Self Vs. Traditional Publishing

[It's four years since I started my blog! I know this because my first blog post was to congratulate the Americans on their lovely new President. And that's all I'm going to say about today's election because I've had a bellyful of it.]

I am up and down like a see-saw in my opinion of self publishing. A year ago I was decrying it as something which brought down the quality of literature, diluted the market and duped the public into buying poorly edited and substandard works. But just two weeks ago I wondered aloud to my co-author, Hellen Riebold, why anyone traditionally publishes any more. Dazzled by the prospect of 70% royalties and complete control of, and involvement in, my own book, I was certain that I would by bypassing my traditional publishers (Covenant, Cedar Fort, and Walnut Springs) completely in future. But today I'm swearing never to self-publish again.

There have been many blog posts, comments and articles in the past along the lines of "Wha…