Archive | July 2013

Climb ‘Up the Wrong Tree’ for FREE

To celebrate the release of the second Bella and Lola story on Amazon Kindle, the first story, Up the Wrong Tree, is free for three full days between Monday 29th July and Wednesday 31st July. If you have children aged 5 to 10 then this is a great opportunity. Even if you try the book and don’t like it, it’s free! That is a massive saving of 77p, cor you could buy a chocolate bar with that and enjoy it whilst you read the exciting adventures of Bella and Lola. You can get the book from both the UK Kindle Store and US Kindle Store.

Up-The-Wrong-Tree-Offer

Bella and Lola are back!

They're back in a new adventure

They’re back in a new adventure

It is strange how what you plan to do never really happens and where you did not see yourself going takes you into new places. After wanting to get some work quickly onto Kindle and creating Bella and Lola: Up the Wrong Tree when I was inspired by real life events, I have thought of other stories I could place Bella and Lola in. Through work being immensely hard and having to complete my Masters Degree I have had little time to write. Sometimes though you just need to get your head down and do something. This is the time I usually turn to Super Lizard, but despite having the buzz to write I wanted to get something else on Kindle and build my fan base a bit. So despite Up the Wrong Tree being a bit of a flop in terms of sales, I spend an afternoon writing A Sting in the Tail, a story inspired by laughing at my kittens trying to catch flies and the silly noises they make whilst doing it. I find writing for children pretty easy, what is hard, however, is taking images to place in the book, creating the covers, formatting for Kindle and editing the book. So yes I did have the book written months ago, but despite all my promises (if you follow me on twitter you will know what I mean!) it has taken me a long time to get the book ready for publishing. I am happy to say that it is online now, I am less happy to say that some of the fictional events in the book came true after it was written!

You can get the Bella and Lola sequel for Kindle in the UK for a measly 77p here or grab it for Kindle in the US for an astonishing low 99c here.

And for those of you who are looking for a little bit more adult fiction, I am happy to say that my Masters dissertation should be finished in a week or so and I am on summer holidays so may get some other writing done. Oh yeah, my first child was due yesterday but is now overdue so it might not all be plain sailing!

Reviews please!

You know that annoying Kia advert, the one that bangs on about reviews and recommendations being the most important thing, well there is a lot of truth in that. Glossy and over budget promotions may look beautiful but people tend to buy things if other people think they are good. Just like Kia, good reviews help shift books and in the literary world it is what us self-publishers, part-times and what some might call amateurs (I know I am!) rely on. I have not shifted many of my paid for books but my two free short stories are now hitting a combined total of nearly 200 downloads. Whilst this is a pitiful amount in the grand scheme of things it does show that I have reached a small audience. Despite this many downloads I only have one review, giving me a satisfactory 3 out of 5. To shift more and, more importantly, improve my writing, I need honest feedback. So this is a bit of a plea, an on my knees plead if you will. If you have read any of my work could you please review it? If you think it is brill give me 5 stars and tell my why you love it, if you think it is utter rubbish give me 1 star and tell me how it could be improved. Below are the links to my stories along with the prices (incase you want to download one you haven’t got already). I thank you in advance.

Super Lizard Begins – FREE

Lasia’s Fate – FREE

Bella and Lola: Up the Wrong Tree – 77p

Captain Caleb and the Tickle Monster – £1.98

Why do the BBC not show more women’s football?

In previous posts I have talked about the depression that overcomes many football fans when the season finishes. Sometimes we get the joy of a tournament over the summer. For the men’s game this was not the case this year but the women’s Euro 2013 tournament is on and I feel that will keep me going. The more exciting thing is that one match each day is shown on BBC Three. Some people laugh or give derogatory looks when I say I am excited about the women’s Euro 2013 and I really struggle to see why. My history of enjoying watching the women’s game started some about six years ago when the women’s World Cup was on. I was shocked by the lack of skill and indeed concerned at the flapping nature of the goalkeepers. Four years later it was on again and I decided to try once more. To my surprise the standard had raised immeasurably and, although not as good as the men’s game in my opinion, it was an exciting spectacle with some very skillful players. Turn the attention a year later and we have the Olympics and now Euro 2013. At each viewing it is clear that the quality of the game is improving. Even so that now goalkeepers are flying across the air and tipping shots over the bar, something I never saw six years ago.

To my dismay I was just reading a post about England’s loss to Spain and some of the comments were simply unfair. Yes I understand that Hope Powell said that the women were far more technical than the men which at the present stage of development in the two versions of the game is simply untrue. But it is true that the England Women’s team are much more of a force within world football than the England Men’s team. Comments seemed to centre around a lack of skill, goalkeepers being poor and the team being tactically unaware. Did any of these people watch the game or were they just men trying to be macho by laughing at our so-called weaker sex? What I saw, admittedly only from the highlights, was some mistakes being made but mostly great long balls which the men could really learn from, strong finishes for goals, sweet through balls and teams that wanted to win. Yes there are still some improvements to be made, particularly in goalkeeping, but to say these guys are a joke is not only untrue but downright offensive. Is it that we still have people living in the dark ages who are sexist beyond belief or is it that some people cannot understand that a woman could be better at football than they would ever be? I love the beautiful game and I don’t think I am terrible at it but every woman on that pitch could run rings around me. Let’s just accept that women can be as good at football as men are. I think some of these people would be lucky to even be HABs (husbands and boyfriends….see what I did there?!). I understand that the own goal at the end was a little laughable but in the men’s game would that not have been a foul? I recon that those people who were chuckling about it would have been up screaming and blaming the referee in a men’s game. Is it simply one rule for one and another rule for another? Were are getting into alarming territory there.

One comment that made me think was about the development of the women’s game. There is now a Super League which is great for the game but promotion and relegation have not yet been integrated which makes it pointless for teams who are not in the top few. Apparently this will come in some point in 2014. However, despite some more media coverage of the national team, there is little talk of women’s football. I have seen a few more articles about it on the BBC Sport website but other sites like Sky Sports seem to ignore it altogether. The comment I mentioned previously was about TV rights. The BBC have done well to show many Euro 2013 games so why not have live games, or at least highlights, from the Women’s Super League? The game needs a promotional boost and as it is play over the summer then I am sure many men would watch the highlights or live games in the depressed stage when there is no men’s football. This may build their interest in it and thus build the brand and the game. It surely can’t be that hard to organise as they have managed to show the Euro 2013 games as well as showing highlights on the BBC Sport website. I for one would be much happier watching women’s football then countless repeats of old comedy shows and reality trash like Don’t Tell the Bride and Barely Legal Drivers. Speaking as a teacher with female pupils who play football, a boost in the women’s game would give not only entertainment value but show young girls that they can do what they like and be who they want to be. More importantly, increasing the popularity of women’s may just give our young females some stronger role models than the glut of orange skinned, pink lipped women in short dresses who’s only claim to fame is that they can down a pint as fast as any drunken fella and show off their knickers far too often!