Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Book Finds: November 2016

Curl up with one of this month's books

I hope that you all sampled widely from last month's recommendations. What do I have for you this month? Well hopefully another mix of things you might have heard of (but not necessarily read) and perhaps some things you've never heard of. Since I gave you 11 to choose from last month, I'll give you just three this month. Let you catch up!

This month's reads are:

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Still editing!

All printed out and ready for editing!
I haven't got all that much to do and I'm sure that once I actually get stuck into it, it'll be fine, but to be honest, I'm not feeling the love.

Part of that is because I'm not always getting a run at it. I need to balance editing with all the other calls on my time. Sometimes I can manage my diary so that external demands are consolidated into as few days as possible. Other times I seem to have someone or another demanding my attention every day of the week, leaving me with small parcels of time that never quite seem enough to get stuck into the work I need to do.

However, I can't just blame external demands. There's a huge amount of fear and procrastination in there too. Once it's 'finished' I have to do something with it - send it to agents, send it to publishers, let other people (beyond my beta readers) look at it. And maybe they'll love it...

But maybe they'll hate it.

So maybe I'll just not finish it and then no-one can hate it...

My writing buddy (the excellent Stuart Lennon - check out his website here) says it's the equivalent of the 'difficult second album' and he may be on to something. Publishing "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" was in some ways me testing the waters. Could I get it out there? Would anyone buy it? Would anyone read it? Would anyone like it?? In many ways it's done better than I expected (though I accept that my expectations were zero) and if nothing else, I've proved I can do it and I met a whole bunch of fabulous people at "Bloody Scotland" and the Crime Writers Association.

With this book, there are expectations on me that weren't there before. I want this one to be better than "The Wrong Kind of Clouds", but how does anyone decide that? More sales? Better reviews? There are many books out there with low sales that are fantastic books, and some bestsellers that suck more than a Hoover. Likewise, there are books with both great reviews and awful reviews.

The scientist in me can barely cope with this. I can't measure anything to tell me empirically whether this book is as good as "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" or if it's better ... or (heaven forfend!) worse. It's all subjective opinion. People who loved "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" might hate this one. Okay, people who loved "The Wrong Kind of Clouds" might also love this one, but I don't feel self-confident enough to believe it all the time.

I know... I just need to bite the bullet and do the edits and get it out there. And hope that people like it.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


The e-book version of "Wrong Kind of Clouds" is on sale, this week only!

99p if you're in the UK
99c if you're in the US

That's less than a cup of coffee (and the book lasts longer too!). Go grab a bargain. I won't be doing another price drop of the e-book for a while.

Amazon links below; all e-book links in the sidebar too (if you're looking for Kobo or Nook etc).

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Amazon.com is ridiculous

I was intending to be flagging up a new give away in this email, but, due to the vagaries (bizarreness) of Amazon.com, I'm not.

A while back, I saw the following on my Amazon.com Author Central News page (click to enlarge):

Excellent! I could do a give away of The Wrong Kind of Clouds on Amazon.com for my US followers. Or so I thought.

I logged in, found my book, clicked on Set Up a Give Away and started to fill in the different sections on the online form. All looked great. I clicked on Proceed to Checkout.

And this is where it all started to become ridiculous.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Meet the Author: Frank Muir

Frank Muir
This month's author under the spotlight is Frank Muir (who is also published as T.F. Muir). I first met Frank when he was signing his new book, "Blood Torment" in Waterstones in St Andrews. From that meeting, we've kept in touch and met up a couple of times at Crime Writers Association (CWA) lunches. Frank is a fantastic, kind, funny man and I'm delighted he agreed to be grilled by me!

When did you first start writing? And what made you start?
I started writing seriously – meaning, with the intention of writing a book and aiming for publication – almost thirty years ago. Prior to that, I’d dabbled with writing, trying short stories, or beginning a novel only to abandon it when it didn’t seem to be working out. For as long as I can remember, I’d wanted to be an author, but for many years didn’t have the courage to try, believing that I was no good at English, and was more mathematically inclined, and that I didn’t have enough life experience anyway to write anything worthwhile. But one morning in my late thirties, I woke up with the clearest thought that I didn’t want to wake up one morning in my seventies and look back on my life and wish I had given it a shot and written that book I’d always promised I would. That same day, I set a goal to write a novel and have it published, then went out and bought myself a ‘Teach yourself Typing’ book, and a computer.