So there we go, the qualifiers have ended and now we know who the final 32 teams will be at the next world cup, held in Russia next summer. The successful teams will be…
- Costa Rica
- Korea Republic
- Saudi Arabia
There are some big guns missing, mainly Italy, USA and the Netherlands, but brilliantly, for me at least, England have made it. As we wait for the World Cup it seems now is a good time to do a promotion, I have not done one for some time. To keep you going while you wait for the World Cup you could read World Cup Dreams: Extra Time Edition and for this weekend it will be absolutely FREE on Kindle. I would like to do a promotion on the print copy but, unfortunately, that is out of my control (paper costs money you see!). So, you can download World Cup Dreams: Extra Time Edition from Amazon in the UK here or from Amazon in the US here. It should also be free in all the other countries Amazon operates. The only thing I would really like back is a review, be it good or bad. So here’s to a summer of excellent football and, hopefully, some excellent reading before that!
I final submitted a short story to an online and print based magazine. It is a strange story that is a little sci-fi but not really and a little fantasy but not really. It moves away from character and focuses on implied mysticism. Safe to say that finding an appropriate magazine to submit it to was a challenge. The one I found focused on left field sci-fi. I suppose I really did not expect it to get in so when it was rejected I was not surprised, even when it got rejected for the reasons I thought it would. However, I thought I would be hurt when that happened but I am really not. Maybe it is because I know other people get rejected all the time or the fact that there are more magazines out there I can submit to. It could even be that I know I can independently release it through Smashwords or Kindle and it won’t cost me a penny (although it may also not get read). The thing that did frustrate me, though, is that many places that want short stories like ones that are about people and are a bit quirky. They call it contemporary but I call it things I don’t want to write about! That is why it is so hard to find a place for some of my writing. It is almost a little too mainstream whilst being not mainstream enough. So the search for my place in the market goes on.
I think another area that helps me is that I see myself as a hobbyist author. I have a full-time job and only write because I enjoy it, therefore if writing gets me nowhere it is no skin off my nose. As long as one person reads and likes my stories then I have an audience. Plus I will subject my children to my writing when they are older! So, being a pessimist has not always helped me but I do feel with writing it does. Robin McKinley said ‘Write what you want to read. The person you know best in this world is you.’ I write stories that I want to read so as long as I keep doing that I will be happy.
So what next for my short story? I will submit it to a few more magazines and if it goes nowhere expect it on Smashwords for free in the near future.
It is about half way through the year so I thought I would do an update on where I am with writing, not that it is really interesting. It may seem like I am not releasing much other than the odd poem or piece of flash fiction, probably because that is true. However, despite my apparent lack of writing I am actually working harder than ever to get things ready. Yes work is hectic and yes I do have two small children but I have my phone at my side and a lot of the time it is in my hand so I can edit. This is really starting to annoy my wife who just wants to have a conversation with me! That and the fact I have recently got a Nintendo Switch and Call of the Wild means I am no more than an enigma at the moment!
Right, on to specifics. Firstly, if you did not know already, I have finished editing ‘A Close Shave with Destiny.’ It is now with my beta readers, I have three but they are not professional editors or beta readers for a living so are doing me a favour. They also have busy lives so feedback is coming in slowly. When they have read it and final changes made it will be published through CreateSpace and on Kindle.
The novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo, ‘The Fifth Coin,’ is at the editing stage. I am about two-thirds through my first pass and am pretty happy at the moment. My new plan is to finish the editing then send it to a few publishers. When I get the obligatory rejection letters I will go ahead and publish it myself.
I have an idea for a children’s novel too but at the moment I am using all my willpower not to start it. Too many of my projects are half done before I flit onto the next thing. I am determined to get some writing finished so am focusing on editing before moving on. That said I do have ideas for more flash fiction to be included in ‘The First Flash of Hope.’ I am holding off on those as well until my first pass of ‘The Fifth Coin’ is complete then I can do a flash fiction or two before going on to stage 2 of editing my novel.
So there you go, I am still writing and I am being productive. With summer holidays coming soon I may even become more productive (although I will be spending most of it with the kids!). Just hang in there, I will be releasing stuff soon enough, I promise.
Two pieces of good news regarding my writing, this using my phone and Google Drive is really helping me to get more words down, you should try it! Anyway, here is the news…
- ‘A Close Shave with Destiny’ first draft complete – yes, I have done it. The story that was started in October last year as a 5,000 word short story for Movember is complete, well the first draft is. It is now a little under 40,000 words and has turned into a novella. My next job is to edit it and create a front cover. I have decided that I will put it up for sale for Movember. I intend to make a hard copy using CreateSpace, as well as a Kindle version, and will donate any money I make to Movember. It may not be up for a little while because of good news number two…
- I’m doing NaNoWriMo again – with the use of Google Drive on my phone I feel a lot more
confident about doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I have a really exciting idea about a story, it does involve a lot of research though. I have started the planning process and have more than enough information to write 50,000 words. I have even created a cover for the book already! The story centres around a fourteen year old called Daniel Phillips whose father is in an accident. He gets given an old coin from his father that gives him powers. It turns out that there are others with coins and powers and that they have intervened in historical events. However, there are dark forces out to gain access to the coins. The novel will be for young adults and flips between historical events and present day. It is entitled ‘The Fifth Coin.’ I will keep everyone aware of my progress via twitter.
I’m not sure about you but I am very excited.
To celebrate the birth of my second child, a beautiful little girl, Captain Caleb and the Tickle Monster will be free on Kindle for the next two days (15th and 16th May). I have talked about reformatting and publishing in print so this may be the last time you can get it for free. You can get it from the US Amazon store here or the UK Amazon store here. My biggest fan, my two year old son, loves it and every time he sees my tablet he says, “can I read the Caleb pirate book?” That is the only endorsement I really need. Please grab it and enjoy. If you want to review it as well that would be great.
This may seem like a sales pitch but it is really not, although I will provide a link to my book if you do want to take a look (got to get the marketing where you can!). I have said for a while that I was unhappy with the formatting of Captain Caleb and the Tickle Monster on Kindle, however I have recently looked at it on my Hudl and it looks much better than it did on my iPhone or on an iPad. Because of this, and the fact we were trying to entertain him whilst waiting for lunch in a pub, I decided to read Captain Caleb to my son who is now just a little over two and a half. It really was nothing more than a time killing solution. However, as I read I tried to get my son to do the actions and phrases in the book which he duly did. Yet something magical happen, he was actually giggling at the story and pointing at items on the pictures. He noticed that Purple Pete was chased by a bat and pointed to the X on the treasure map. He was also excited by being able to swipe across the screen to change pages but I take no credit for that!
After we had finished he said those immortal words a write wants to hear, “I want to read it again.” This time Mummy took up the mantle of reader. The second time through my son was even more animated, chuckling to himself and joining in. Towards the end of the book when it says, “are you scared?” he said, “No, it’s a tickle monster,” and proceeded to tickle my Wife and myself. You know, I may not have sold many copies and I have pretty much no reviews of the book but that does not matter when your son is clearly enjoying the work you have done. It put a big smile on my face and for the first time in a long while made me proud of myself. I think we will have to read it again in the coming days as the boy asks for more and more. I am so glad he enjoyed it so much.
So, the marketing bit of this lovely family moment is coming now. If you want to buy the book you can by going here for the UK version or here for the US version. I am still planning on creating a print copy but have lots I want to do first. Thank you and if you do not buy it then just revel in the wonder that children bring to your life.
It is with some sadness that I am releasing the news that I will not be writing any more Bella and Lola short stories. Actually it is not with sadness, they weren’t very good. The sad part is that my wonderful cat Bella went missing over six months ago and has not been found. Lola, I am happy to say, is safe and well and continues to bring us presents both dead and alive! We are not sure what happen to Bella but we like to think that someone else was feeding her and she went to live with a loving family elsewhere. That may be a pipe dream but it makes us feel better. As for the ebooks, Bella and Lola was supposed to be a set of four short stories for young children (I had planned the other two). I was happy with them and liked the fact I could take pictures of my beautiful kitties and place them in the books. Since having a son and seeing the sorts of books he reads I am starting to realise that they are a little confused. The two short stories are a little long for the target age range but too basic to appeal to older children, plus the content may be uninteresting to many. I know my son won’t sit still for me to read one! With a heavy workload and other projects I am more passionate about it seems silly to pretend I will write any more. I was considering a final swan song but really I don’t feel the need. I think my writing has matured and these short stories are a snapshot of what I was doing when I started my writing journey. That is not to say I am not proud of them or that I will take them off the Kindle store. In fact they will probably stay up for a while whilst I build up a bigger body of work. So if you do want to purchase either short story (they are only 99p each you know) then you can here: Bella and Lola: Up the Wrong Tree Bella and Lola: A Sting in the Tail To be honest I completely understand why you wouldn’t want to! I may even combine them and place them on Smashwords for free if I find the time. So there we are, another IP, as it were, ending. It appears like it is a lot of endings for me at the moment and little new beginnings where writing is concerned, but don’t worry, the new Super Lizard short is coming on well and may be with you as early as the end of June. So all that is left to say is, sleep well my sweet Bella, I miss you. And to Lola, I’ll see you for cuddles later tonight but please don’t bring any mice with you, or birds for that matter!