Anyone who follows me on twitter will know that I have been writing a short story for World Book Day. Today is that very day and the story is unfinished. It is hard to hold down a job, be a husband and father and manage to write. I often find that I set myself deadlines and miss them. After the success of NaNoWriMo I thought a short story to help promote World Book Day in the school I work at would be an easy task. But after a couple of weeks that involved two parents evenings, a party for a friend and a job interview it appears the timing of World Book Day was not in my favour. The positives are, however, that I am over 4,000 words into a short story I had not even planned to write over a month ago. My plan now is to get the ebook ready and up on Smashwords over the weekend. I doubt I will actually do it in this time frame but do expect to get it all organised in a week or two. Another bonus is that the nice people at World Book Day have recognised what I was doing and given me some nice messages via twitter as well as letting me use the World Book Day logo on the front cover. So basically what I am saying is watch this space, it may be late but a new short story is coming and I am still planning on doing a reading at my school to, hopefully, show the students that reading is fun but writing your own stories is even funner (is that even a word?).
I apologise for this purely self-indulgent post but it is an exciting time for me (I have said that a lot recently!). Before I launch into the post can I thank everyone who has downloaded Bella and Lola, Super Lizard Begins and/or Lasia’s Fate. The reason I am posting this is that there have officially been a hundred downloads of my ebooks (well actually there were when I wanted to write this post this morning, now there are even more….well a few). This is a significant milestone for me as I feel I am now reaching an audience, ok a small one, but an audience none the less. Is this an important step to becoming a fully fledged author? Ok so the majority of the downloads have been free books (well practically all of them, only 4 for Bella and Lola so far!) but at least I have made a minor ripple in the literary world. And what’s more is that these numbers are not counting reads on Wattpad. I have been thinking of statistics recently. While watching my blog views I was going to post when I got to five hundred. I managed that a few weeks ago and thought it was not really that exciting, but this is. So thank you once again if you have download any of my ebooks, if you have not then please have a look. Only Bella and Lola costs any money, Super Lizard Begins and Lasia’s Fate are free so you don’t even need to spend a penny (unless you need the toilet. Sorry that is a bit of a British joke there!). I hope to have some more paid and free ebooks up in the near future, at least two of which should be full novels. Right I’m off to convince myself that writing 100 rather than one hundred in the title was for impact and that I can actually write!
Sometimes ideas for stories just come to you. I am still trying to continue with my novel and complete my sci-fi short story but since joining Smashwords, getting Super Lizard Begins on multiple formats and placing Bella and Lola on Kindle I have wanted to get more writing live online. I have folders on my computer for each book/story I write and have started two new ones as the thrill of what has happened in the last few weeks have stirred my creative juices. I have started neither book, well I have written a brief introduction for one so that is a bit of a lie, but they are there ready for when I want to go to them. However, on Tuesday this week I was doing some teaching and suddenly some 6th Form students popped in and recited some Shakespeare then left without explanation. They had actually asked if they could do it and I obviously let them. One pupil asked why they had done this. I then explained that it was Shakespeare’s birthday. They then asked why we were focusing on Shakespeare but ignoring Saint George’s day. In truth I did not actually know it was Saint George’s day and this got me thinking about English identity. It is often said that us English, ok I am actually from Guernsey so not really English but I live here and feel as good as being an Englishman without actually being one, have lost our sense of identity. We have traditions and rituals but they are often pushed to the side in favour of accepting a multicultural society. Whilst I am one for multiculturalism and understanding others beliefs and systems I hold true that England has lost some of its history. We should accept others but be clear who we are and where we come from. I thought then that we know of Saint George and we know he fought a dragon but we do not really know what it supposed to have happened, well most of us anyway. This gave me the opportunity to write a short story and get it on Wattpad and Smashwords thus releasing the tension I had to write. I set about finding some brief synopses of different versions of the story (well I mainly looked at Wikipedia!) and decided what to write. I then spend the next few evenings getting the tale together. This fevered spell spawned Lasia’s Fate.
When I was editing it I started to worry that people would think I was trying to convert them to Christianity when I had entered the writing from a purely story telling point of view, although this was largely looking at George and the Princess and it could seem rather fanatical at times. I had only employed this for literary effect and it was not my belief system at all. Well I am a Christian but I am also Agnostic. I believe that we do not possess enough knowledge at this point to prove the existence of God or Gods. In fact, though I believe in God, if someone proved he did not exist I would say ‘ok’ and simply stop believing in him. Sometimes I think my faith is important to me and other times I feel it is just to fill a hole. In all I really enjoyed writing Lasia’s Fate and in parts feel it is the best writing I have done. It got me to think, to put in imagery and try to get into the mind of someone who is not at all like me. I hope people take it for what it is, a fantasy story based around a myth.
Anyhow, if you wish to take a peek then you can access it free on Wattpad here and Smashwords here. It is currently pending review for the Smashwords Premium Collection so may be on other e-readers soon, but I wont bore you will constant posts of Lasia’s Fate is on WH Smith, Lasia’s Fate is on iBooks etc etc. I think I have done enough of that with Super Lizard Begins!
Now I understand that these posts might be becoming a little of a bore and are unashamedly self gratifying but it is a very exciting time for me in terms of being an author. Please also be aware I will not be doing posts when every book I place online appears on a different platform, I feel the first time I get on each platform is acceptable though. Right let’s get down to it. First of all I would like to say, Smashwords I love you! As the title says, Super Lizard Begins is now available free for Kobo via WH Smith. If you are not from Britain then you may not have come across WH Smith. It is basically one of our most famous book stores and appears on most high streets in cities in the UK. This for me is quite an achievement. My wife is even incredibly impressed. This is a big milestone for me as it should give me more exposure. Whether people will download it remains to be seen but at least I know that by using Smashwords I can most definitely reach a larger audience. I am now more excited than ever to get more work onto Smashwords, suppose I better get writing then!
Last thing to say is that you can download Super Lizard Begins for Kobo from WH Smith here.
I just got back from a bonnie holiday in Scotland to celebrate my first wedding anniversary (yes she has stuck with me that long!). Whilst out there I took my laptop so as to write a bit more of my forthcoming sci-fi story. It’s not that I am unromantic but more that my wife tends to like afternoon naps and I end up sitting around watching rubbish TV. However something interesting happened. My mother-in-law was cat sitting (not sitting on cats but looking after ours, like house sitting…get it!) and there was an issue, an issue which got me into thinking of a short story. I ended up therefore writing a story about my two cats aimed at around 5-7 year olds (more about this in future posts). I have been toying with the idea of putting something on Kindle and charging to see if anyone would buy it. It seemed to me that this story was an obvious choice, so earlier today (if you are reading this today that is, well you are reading it today but as I am writing it this is Thursday 11th April!) I decided to put my only finished piece of work, Super Lizard Begins, up there for free. The problem though, is that you can’t put anything on Kindle for free. Well not using their site anyway! I decided to look about and saw Smashwords. I know some people from Wattpad who use it so checked it out. Amazingly you can put stories on it and give them away for free. Also if you format them correctly you can get them on Kindle, Kobo, Sony Readers, iBooks and many many others. It took a little while to play about with the formatting features and change my front cover a bit (well blow it up and then edit it so it was not pixellated) but I managed to be eligible to get on these readers. To do this you also need an ISBN number. To my mind this was some exclusive club, but no, they are free. So I now have a book with an ISBN number, how amazing!
So there it is, I am on Smashwords meaning my work will now be able to be accessed by a wider audience. Whether they will do or not remains to be seen. I could even be downloaded on e-readers, lets just hope that some of them accept my book. It is free so I see no reason why not. You know people could be reading my work on Wattpad, Smashwords, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and so on and so on. Anyhows, Super Lizard Begins is now on Smashwords and it has been proofread again and some errors taken out. You can get to my account here. Whilst writing is still something I will be doing in the background at least I have another platform to share my work with the world!