Saturday, 28 November 2015

A big thank you to my readers

Mass sales

With SIX sales in FOUR days, and FOUR sales in the last TWO days. I can confirm this month is not the worst of the year for my series

Is writing dead?

An alternate reality 

With the advancement of the sciences, I wonder if the art of writing a good story has died. 

My idea may appear a radical concept coming from somebody who is considered a  #BestSelling #SciFi writer among his friends. But I have my reasons to query the future of the art of writing. 

While there may be an endless multitude of books on shelves but in my opinion most of these are written by writers lacking any imagination, and just jumping on the new trends - whether it was 2012, the Mayan calendar, Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey

I admit, I missed out on the chance to milk the trends, but my writing is more cerebral than the pap which is produced today - probably this is the reason the market at Barnes & Noble took to my sci-fi so much.

In my view, I think books will die off sooner, rather than later. I may be considered a bestseller, but I only made $100 in 18 months, hardly worth my time writing, is it?

The strangeness of my sales periods

The best of times, the worst of times

I've been trying to earn a little money from my stories for coming up on five years now, and one thing is constant. 

Contrary to popular opinion, my best time is NOT #Christmas, despite the fact I made my rep writing #GhostAdventures - I hate that term - my stories are more spiritual than scary.

In the last four years, Christmas has constantly been my bad period. My best months are from late March to early June.

After San Francisco

The death of a close friend
October 18th, 1989
 What a way to recall my birthday, I can still remember the news of the earthquake, and reports that only Short Wave radio messages were coming from the scene of the disaster. 

On a personal note, I will always remember the day as the day I was informed a close friend had hung himself. We were never able to prove who pushed my friend to the act - we knew who did it - and even if we had proved the facts beyond doubt; nothing would have happened as the masons code of silence protected the guilty parties.

Motorcycle dreams

Ghost riders
Contrary to what you may think, not all my dreams are about wars, ghosts and spectral imagery. 

I often have dreams about the countryside in more peaceful times, and dreams of places I visited. Not all dreams are related to events in my life either, remember a dream is a gateway to your subconscious, but they don't need to have an apparent meaning. 

 Last night's dream was once such dream for me. It is no secret to my friends that I'm a motorcycle racing fan, and one of my dreams was to own a British motorcycle. 

I would posit that the majority of people have heard of the Isle of Man TT races, even if you don't know their glorious history or the exact location - you have heard about the races. The races take place during the 1st week of June, and to many racing fans, they are the highlight of the season. For a long time, I had wished to visit "The Island," I even had a friend whose parents ran a guesthouse in Ramsey. My friend did offer me the chance to visit her parents, and I did take the offer seriously until I checked the travel plans. I'm no stranger to making travel plans, I plotted a course across Europe for some of my friends while I was in the RAF and stationed in Germany. However, travelling to the Isle of Man would be too arduous for me to endure.

There are two ways to get to the Isle of Man, either a flight from Manchester or a seven-hour boat journey from Liverpool. My concern is that if the trip by boat was bad, I would have the worry about the return in the back of my mind all the week. The flight was a concern because at that time despite being in the Royal Air Force I had not taken a long flight, the longest was from RAF Kinloss, in Scotland to RAF Brize Norton, in Wiltshire. That journey, although a long trip was made up a series of short hops. The longest continuous journey was from RAF Hendon (London) to the base we landed at in Germany; that was a trip of about an hour.

Another factor was that at this time I hadn't made any travel arrangement for myself, most of my leave trips where to my parents, in Clevedon, North Somerset.

My dream last night featured another long-track race, one which I would posit even the most devout road racing fans have not heard about. The event is run in May around the roads of Northern Ireland and is the International Northwest 200 These races like the IoM are more an endurance contest than the majority of road races. 

There are two main types of road races in the UK. Short track, and long track. Short track racing is usually done on man-made tracks like Snetterton, or an air base like Croft, in Yorkshire. These races are run over many laps because the tracks are small. The other variety is long-track racing, these are done on the roads used by everyday traffic such as the IOM TT races, and the Northwest 200 and only last a few laps because the length of the course can be over 200 miles long. 

One meeting I would have loved to visit is the Cock of the North weekend races held each year, in July at Oliver's Mount race track, a few miles from Scarborough

My dream last night, although about motorcycles was not about racing, but touring. In the dream, I was riding the lanes of Ireland and enjoying the scenery, I could feel the pull of the motorcycle as she accelerated and had visions of the racers taking the risks I would never take. 

 Among the British fans, there is a bone of contention as to who was the greatest British rider in recent times. Some would say Joey Dunlop is the best, and I would detract from his record number of TT wins, but racing against the best in the UK, your brothers, and only racing in the UK doesn't compare to racing against and beating the best in the world as Mike Hailwood In my opinion, Mike is far better, not only for who he rode against but because he road all over the world on tracks of varying length. To Joey, the IOM and the Northwest were like going down the road, he knew the tracks like the back of his hand. 

Whether you are a JD supporter or a "Mike the bike" fan or to older fans a fan of the equally great Geoff Duke, I would suggest the vast majority of motorcycle fans would put one rider at the top of any list - that man is - Giacomo "Ago" Agostini In his prime, "Ago" could, and did, beat the best in the world all over the world.

Friday, 27 November 2015

After the recess

Returning to your e-reader

Next month the hit series Forgestriker along with a few ghost stories will be returning, as for the other 35+ e-books, they're for the trash pile - not to worry - they never sold, so my sales won't be affected.

48 e-books for FREE

E-book giveaway

All stock on Draft2Digital is now free

 I have finished the changes - everything on  #Draft2Digital is free. As the majority of my 48 e-books never sold - many won't return for sale - now is the opportunity to get an e-book that will not be back for sale.

Black Friday

Prices Slashed 

Everything is Free!!!!

That's right, folks, in about 20 mins all my stock on Draft2Digital will be FREE. I'm not worried about the loss of sales as hardly anything has sold, other than Forgestriker.

In keeping with the #BlackFriday tradition, you can read everything from my bestselling Forgestriker to my award-winning Chronicles of Mark Johnson and my final e-novella A Sailor's Love for no cost. 

I'm surrounded by words

A plague is upon me
Books and words
Although my books never sold - forcing me to quit writing - I am surrounded by the works of other writers. 

I have a varied selection of books from the shelves of, a site I had hopes of writing for at the start of the year but in my eagerness to impress I sent in shoddy work and ruined my only chance. 

My library

Although my sales are less than satisfactory, my library increases in size every month I sit surrounded by the works of writers from all ages and eras. It was a dream of mine, one day I would see one of my books in print - well, I can dream can't I?

Books or television
Whether in books or on the TV, I am surrounded by the works of writers who had ideas that people liked. An editor sees a story they like and contacts a producer and the series gets shown on TV if the bosses approve. 

The writers write their stories and fans look forward to the next books. 

I spend my meagre earnings buying books and DVDs I like, the money I spend is far more than what I earn. I spend large amounts of money while asking for only small change for my work -

I would have continued, but I see no point any longer - It's hard to think I used to get such joy from writing that I could lose days lost in my worlds of imagination - But, I suppose, all things have their time - in the beginning it was hard not writing but as time passed things changed, mainly I passed the point of caring

The end
The time has come for me to accept my small hopes of success are over. The series did well by selling almost 600 e-books in 18 months. To some extent Forgestriker - the book - beat the odds and is a hit. One good selling book in seven is great, however, one in thirty-seven in lousy, and that is the rate of my success.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The December 3rd mystery

I can find no reason  
Today, while logging a doctor's appointment in on my Ipad, I came across an appointment for December 3rd. 

I checked at the hospital this morning after my heart scan, it wasn't booked in there, and I don't think it's for the doctor's either. 

My only answer is it may have been added accidentally, I was scheduled for an ankle operation on August 3rd - but it got cancelled.