Saturday, 22 August 2015


A new audience

The mood changes
 For a long time the main thrust of my blog readers were in the USA, with Russia a distant second. This week that has changed with Germany taking the lead from the USA. 

What styles?
As a writer you need to be perceptive to your audience needs, to this end I've developed a knack for picking my target markets. American readers prefer Science Fiction such as my hit series Forgestriker . 

Russian readers prefer the Noire style of my Pat Canella stories. In my opinion this is because they find the world of the spy easier to comprehend than the world of a secret agent funded by a government. Communism may have changed - old enemies become allies - but old ways are hard to break in the world of Harry Palmer

From my time in the Royal Air Force, during which I spent nearly three years in Germany; I would make the assumption that German readers would like the Sci-Fi, but from a more action-packed militaristic point-of-view than the science-based American readers.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Bristol's award winning writer

Awards and Sales 

What difference did it make?
Award winner
 Nearly three years have past since my e-book won this award, and to this day I am still amazed as to why this happened . Despite being an award winner, the book is still to more than half a dozen copies in three years. 

 I can honestly say - and people I know will tell you the same - the award meant a lot to me, but I haven't changed. I am still the unfulfilled, insecure writer I was before the award. Winning the award has meant little change to my persona, or my life. 

 Even though the sales for the series Forgestriker keep amassing, I am still dismayed. The reason for my dismay is that despite nearly 600 sales for the series; the later books haven't sold well, with the titular book massing almost 50% of the series sales.

 One of the main problems being an Indie Writer is I have to weigh out goings against the possible income from sales. This means I can't afford nice covers - most of my covers are my own photos - or promotional expenses, which may increase sales. 

Inner Conflict
 I have been told many times that I'm a good story teller, with great imagination. This may be true, but my only proof is my sales. With one book out of over 35 selling well, to me this doesn't give a good state of affairs for my work. I keep wanting to believe, but I have no firm basis for this belief in the sales market.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

No more pages

Facebook pages 
In three days time my FB author page will close, after this attempt to gain readers I won't try again. It appears to me the only way to get sales is to pay for likes on Facebook, or followers on Twitter I'm against both policies - I see no point in paying for a load of names of people who have no idea who I am, or what I do. Besides on $10 - yes that's what I make on a very good month - I can't afford luxuries. 

 I have become so disillusioned with the internet over the last year or two, I have gone from a constant blogger to a writer who couldn't care about his work. 

You may think this would harm my reputation, I ask you, what reputation? My sales on Amazon don't amount to one a month; none of my ghost stories sell, and my award winning e-book Chronicles of Mark Johnson Please, give me a break, three years and no sales -it's deader than the dodo. To be honest - I wish I hadn't written it.

 The one saving grace is my partially successful Science Fiction series You're probably wondering why I say it's a partial success with close to 600 sales in the series? The title book has sold almost half those sales; the opening book Sons of Baal sold half of the remainders, and the other five books hardly sold, and yet this series has spurred me to write more sci-fi.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Happy anniversay

29 Today

The glorious 29th
Wedding Anniversary
 The 29th wedding anniversary isn't one you usually celebrate with a big occasion, but to us it means a lot. 

 Death's door 
 I'm not joking when I say I spent the first two weeks of our marriage at death's door. As a treat for my stepson we visited Bristol zoo, on the Monday after we got married. 
 The day started wet, and by 1200 I was so wet, and cold, I was visibly shivering. I tried to stay as long as possible for the sake of my stepson - to make him feel part of the family - but the longer I stayed, the more worried my wife got about my health. 
 We arrived home and my wife phoned our doctor; as a rule doctors don't like making mid-afternoon house calls, but our doctor came out. Doctors won't admit you to hospital unless they feel it's urgent, our doctor wanted me hospitalised immediately. He spent the next two weeks visiting me each afternoon - I had developed Pleurisy. 
 At the time, I didn't realise I already had various genetic flaws which made breathing difficult (Ehlers Danloss syndrome, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). 
 I would go from short breaths to struggling to get any air within one breath; we could hear the wheezing, and I felt like I had a veil of mucus over the top of my throat. 
 Even now, I suffer the after-effects of that trip.

You can't keep a great series down

Booster pack

A series not to miss 
 Eighteen months on, and my series is still selling well, this week all SEVEN books have sold. I don't know what I did what I did right, but hopefully my new scifi story will do half as well. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

Senator Warren

US Democratic Party
Working families 
 I wish the UK had a person like Senator Elizabeth Warren  @SenWarren She is not only educated, but willing and able to stand up for the rights of the working families struggling to make ends meet. 

 The Tories want us to stay in Europe, although we pay more than anybody to the upkeep of a selection of countries who despise the UK. 

 Lord help us if Labour get back in, we'll be handed over to either the EU criminals, or Islam. 

 I almost voted UKIP, but I disagree violently with their attitude to LGBT issues; people should be allowed to love who they want. Not be classed as evil if they don't love the opposite gender. After WW2, the then Labour minister of Health created the NHS to allow health care for the working classes. The UKIP want to abolish this system, and make health care exclusive to the wealthy.

 Nearly always a third party, the Libs are devoted to getting us further into debt with Europe. This as much as anything will keep them from power, there is a massive anti-Europe feeling in the UK.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Let it be

Too old to fight, too p'd off to care

Why fight? It never did me any good

 I try to write every day, but most of the time I find it hard as my stepson blasts his music, which causes a disruption to my thinking - not that he cares. 

Let it be
After 15 years of asking him to keep the volume down, I gave up fighting. Now I sit back and endure the endless migraines the noise gives me. You can only fight a battle so long, before you get to a point where you say F@@ you, you win. 
Now, I bite my tongue, each time I used to mention it to him I got verbally abused, and ended up being classed as the bad guy for complaining. 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The bubble has burst

The inevitable

Onward and upwards

As a writer I realised one day this moment would arrive. I am amazed it took so long to come. The bubble has burst on my sales. We're almost half way through the month, and I'm heading for my worst month for sales. My previous worst was 8 sales, at the present rate of sales I'll be lucky to surpass my first month on Barnes & Noble, when I sold 3 e-books in as many days.

With the great success of my Science Fiction series Forgestriker to keep my faint belief in my ability glowing, I am going  to attempt a novella based on my on line serial The Word. This ran as a series for 14 weeks, three years ago. 

Another ongoing project is my fantasy book Mordhiemicus. This is a Medieval story about a group of people fleeing a burning city, and fighting an evil warlord 

I'm also doing some minor stories for my own pleasure, these will be for sale at some time. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

An old friend

Biblical research

Possibly pre-1923
 For many years I have been trying to date a Bible I bought in a thrift shop. Today, I think I may have made a breakthrough.

Using terms printed in the maps at the rear, I think the Bible is pre-1923
My reasons are :- 
 Turkey isn't unified - that happened in 1923.
 Asia from India to the China is a blank, as is Russia. 
 I'm trying to track the date by attempting to create a time frame based on the names of countries, and areas mentioned; such as Jordan was noted as being populated by a tribe of nomads called Zuzims.
 Taking the other end of the time scale, the Bible can't have been printed later than 1927; the printers Eyre & Spottiswood Ltd merged with a London consortium in 1927, and ceased to use their name. 

Time frame
 If I was to be looking for an extreme age of the Bible, I would put it as late Victorian - 1873 - as the maps used show Africa as one country.
 A more reasonable estimate would be the early 1920s', a time full of mystery and adventure. If this is so, the time frame fits with my e-book based on the disappearance of Lord Percy Fawcett (Did we see him?). DWSH is my second best selling e-book, and tells of one theory about his disappearance up the Amazon river. 
 The time frame also suits my new African adventure Akuji, which is almost a sequel, as DWSH is mentioned at the start of the story.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Back in the Eighties

 I had a job at the Bristol City Museum and Art Galleries, and I was greatly respected for my ingenuity by the various curators I knew. It was during this time, a lot of changes occurred in my life, not the least was meeting my lovely wife, Linda, on a blind date. 

Health scares
During my time at the museum I was involved in an accident which almost cost me the sight in my right eye. Over the years, I have had a number of occasions when I came close to losing sight in the eye.

Guardian Angels
For some reason - as yet undetermined - perhaps no more than dumb luck, my sight has been spared. I do believe, and I have for some time, in guardian angels.