Regular readers of these Ramblings will know this post is a little ‘off-beat‘ to those I generally write. However, read on, I am certain you’ll find this entertaining if not a little… well, read on to find out…
I have the sunglasses.
Racing at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi
Although I am a multi-genre author, I do not tend to write science fiction and have never attempted a dystopian novel.
However, this does not stop my thoughts from wandering into such realms, such as it did a short while ago.
I was contemplating the forthcoming lifting of travel restrictions and therefore, by default, thinking about the pandemic, when this idea entered my mind.
Now, I have heard several conspiracy theories which claim Covid 19 is fake. Many of these theories then speculate about mass public control, or Illuminati culling the human species and so forth.
I am sure you have read many such posts on social, especially at the start of the Pandemic.
As part of my thought process, which was an uncontrollable stirring of the muses, I recalled the 2007 film ‘Invasion’ and the ‘Pod People’.
For those who are not familiar with the film, this is the explanation on Wiki:
“In ‘The Invasion’, the aliens are a virus. After the person falls asleep, the virus re-writes human DNA.
Then, these Genetically Modified (post-humans?) vomit a gelatinous substance to continue the invasion.
As their invasion snowballs, the pod people transform humans by injecting them with the substance under the guise of ‘influenza vaccines’”.
So, you may be asking… if you are still reading this… what my mind was doing with all this information.
Well, simple, it was drafting a rough outline for a novel that goes something like this. (Conspiracy theorists get your pens ready!)
What if this Covid 19 pandemic is fake?
What if it is planned unilateral action taken by world leaders?
What if they are doing it to appease an extra-terrestrial lifeform who have returned to ‘Harvest’ their human crop?
What if our governments are attempting to assuage the aliens by offering a limited number of humans, hence the major number of ‘deaths’ in the first wave?
Then, a lesser number in the second and third waves of the pandemic and the lockdowns, as our leaders negotiate with the extraterrestrials?
What if they are hiding the truth to protect us, to protect society?
It is said the human race may have come from stardust… maybe our ancestors were simply seeds?
Many peoples ask what is the point of life, of being… maybe we are just being bred as food, on a farm we call the universe?
Maybe we developed beyond that which was expected, maybe we have a chance of survival if we give up some of our numbers every 1000 years or so… maybe, one day we could fight back, even escape?
Maybe… You write the story… I’ll read it.
In the meantime, could I temp you to read one of my books? Check them out if you will by visiting mywebsite.
It is rare for me to post about my works in progress (WiP) on this blog, but today I make an exception.
Following is an excerpt from a novel I am working on titled ‘FLOYD’, which is a fast paced ‘slasher’ style story, about the deranged psychopath, Floyd, who is on a mission of revenge against all those involved with his committal to an institute for the insane, after he murdered his wife.
WARNING:The following contains scenes of extreme graphic violence and more than a sprinkle of bad language & swearing, so readers discretion is advisedbeyond this point.
… Floyd did not expect the Bitch to run at him. Neither did he think she would seize the carving knife from the counter. He was wrong on both counts.
She crossed the floor fast. He managed to dodge the blade as it whistled past his face. Instinctively he grabbed her arm, twisting it so she would drop the knife. But the Bitch continued to struggle, the long steel blade sliced the top of his thigh. It was damned painful.
Floyd kicked her knife-wielding arm away with his foot, keeping hold of her other arm. Then she was spinning towards him again. He took hold of both her forearms as they wrestled. Bending her wrist, forcing the knife away from his face caused the tip to sink into the top of the Bitch’s left breast. Floyd heard her flesh pop like a sausage.
The Bitch seemed oblivious. She pulled the blade free and stabbed it towards Floyd. This time he was ready, he knocked the knife from her grasp and took hold of her hair, jerking her off her feet.
The other Molly, Floyd’s new Molly appeared in the kitchen doorway. “Go on Floyd,” she shouted, “give the Bitch what she deserves. Go on Floyd, give her hell.” His Molly was bouncing up and down with excitement. Her presence bolstered his reserve, Floyd’s blood came back to the boil. Without thinking he dragged Bitch across the floor by her tangled blond hair.
“Stop, stop, you bastard,” she screamed. He ignored her, pulling her roughly up the staircase. She half bounced, half backwards scrambled, her legs flailing as she tried to keep her body moving to stop her entire scalp from ripping off her head.
Floyd lost his grip as they reached the landing, he stumbled to his knees, a great clump of tangled peroxide hair entwined between his fingers. In an instant the Bitch was on him, her small fists ineffectually battering against his back. He pushed her off easily. Standing, he grabbed her by her left arm, pulling her to her feet.
For a second they stood, panting and staring into each other’s eyes before the Bitch spat into his face. Flecks of spit, snot and blood-splattered Floyd. He hit the Bitch with a sweeping backhand. Her head bounced off the wall and she collapsed, an unconscious heap on the floor. Blood began pouring from her nose and the puncture wound on her breast.
The new Molly cheered. “That’s the way Floyd, you teach that fucking Bitch a lesson.”
Floyd hoisted the Bitch from the floor, carrying her limp body into the bedroom and tossing her onto the bed, noticing for the first time the red weal’s adorning her buttocks. So that is what the Bitch was into now, was it? So, she found she likes a bit of pain with her pleasure. Well, she could certainly look forward to some pain now.
Floyd took his leather belts from the dresser and strapped the Bitch’s hands together, tying them above her head to the bedstead. He used her stockings to fasten her legs to the bedposts at the base. The Bitch was now restrained. Spread-eagled and at his mercy, something he would have her begging for soon enough. She could not fight him now. She would have to answer his questions… or suffer the consequences.
“Let me look at your leg, you poor thing,” said his Molly, crouching on the floor in front of Floyd. “It’s quite deep. I think it will need stitches. A clean-up and some tape will help for now. Come on.” Molly led him into the bathroom.
“Oh, oh, look at this,” Floyd said pointing to the floor. “That fucking bitch has bled all over my fucking cream carpet. I’ll never get the blood out. For fuck’s sake, it will cost a fortune to replace.”
Molly bathed his wound, temporarily taping it together with some plasters from the medicine cabinet. He changed his dishevelled, blood-soaked clothing. “Grab me a cold beer, Molly,” he said, as he made his way back to the bedroom. “I am certain the Bitch will make this thirsty work.”
Floyd splashed the Bitch’s face with some of the cold beer. She blinked and coughed as she regained consciousness. “Now, now Molly, my dear,” he said looking down at her, feigning a smile.
He spoke softly, much like talking to a child. “Now I have your complete attention, your undivided attention, you will answer my questions, no lies, no evasion. Do you understand me?”
The Bitch struggled against her restraints. “Untie me, let me go,” she demanded.
“Oh, but I thought you liked that type of thing, a bit of bondage, a good thrashing?” He kept his smile in place as he spoke.
“What?” she asked.
“The red marks, the welts on your fat arse. There is only one way they got there,” he said.
“You’re not man enough for me to let you do that. You don’t excite me or stimulate me enough, not one little iota. You never did. Now untie me, you bastard.” The Bitch’s voice was screechingly loud.
“After you answer my questions.” Floyd perched himself on the edge of the bed and gently stroked the Bitch’s head, brushing the hair away from her eyes. “That must feel better. I know how you hate it when your hair covers your face.”
“Let me go, Floyd. This is not funny anymore.” The Bitch spoke a little quieter but through gritted teeth.
“Oh Molly, you must listen to me,” he said, bending close and grinning.
His voice changed to a spiteful hiss, “For once in your fucking life listen to me, hear me, answer me, you bitch.”
“Fuck you.” Molly was shouting again.
Floyd punched her full in the face. He found the crunching sound her nose made is it snapped deeply satisfying.
The new Molly stood behind Floyd, her arms wrapped around his waist, she rested her head on his shoulder as she spoke. “You know the truth. You know she’s been cheating. Why not finisher her off now, so we can be together.”
Floyd looked at the Bitch laying on the bed. Her face was turned away. She was crying. Her body shaking with each sob. The fuck, she looked so pig ugly with her mouth screwed up like that. Besides, there was blood and snot everywhere.
Glancing over his shoulder, the pretty face of his new Molly was smiling at him. There was no contest, no contest whatsoever.
“Your right. Let’s get rid of this bitch,” he said.
Molly stepped backwards and held up the kitchen knife, the one Bitch Molly picked up in the kitchen, the one she used to cut Floyd’s leg.
“This should do it,” she said.
He took the knife and held it in front of the Bitch’s face. “So, you like something long and hard inside you, eh? You like some pain, do you?”
This was it.
This was it. This was his dream.
This was the moment he recalled from all his nightmares.
The Bitch lying on the bed, looking up in fear, in terror. During his dreams it seemed wrong, it frightened him. But now it all made sense. It was a premonition. A warning about this evil Bitch’s intentions.
“Go on Floyd, do her.” Molly was bouncing with excitement again.
“Oh, I shall. I am going to slit her throat from ear to ear.”
The Bitch was staring at him. “Who the fuck are you talking to? You sick bastard.”
He smiled, “Say hello to Molly, Molly.” Floyd reached out and pulled the new Molly to his side. “Look, isn’t she beautiful? She looks like you used to before you changed, before you cheated, before you became an old haggard Bitch. My new Molly is taking your place now.”
“You’ve lost the plot, Floyd. You’re sick. Sick in the head.” The Bitch spat out a mouthful of blood. “You’re hallucinating, seeing things.”
“She looks like you did once, do you know why? Eh, do you?”
“There’s no one there Floyd, you’ve turned fucking psycho.”
“She looks like you because she is you. My new Molly’s from a parallel dimension, a multiverse.”
“Fuck you, fuck you. You sick cunt. Now let me go.” Molly began to scream. Loud, high pitched screams and shouts for help.
“Shut her the fuck up, Floyd,” new Molly said. She had stopped bouncing up and down and was covering her ears with her hands. “It hurts my head.”
Floyd straddled the Bitch, one knee each side of her chest. His left hand forced her chin up, exposing her throat. He held the knife inches from her eyes, “Say goodbye, Molly. Say goodbye.”
The Bitch shrieked an ear-piercing, spine-tingling scream which vibrated every bone in his body. The knife sliced through the Bitch’s flesh like a butcher cutting pork. Her screams turned into a bloody bubbling gurgle. Floyd noticed the realisation and saw the disbelief in the Bitch’s eyes as the last moments of her life soaked into the crisp white linen bedsheets.
“Oh, my love, you did it, you did it,” said the new Molly, slinging her arms about Floyd’s neck, smothering him kisses. “You are such a darling.”
“Time for another beer I think,” said Floyd…
FLOYD continues to be a Work in Progress, I’ll post more here when I’m nearer to completing this story.
In the meantime, why not read another of my books, perhaps an Electric Eclectic novelette like ‘A New Summer Garden‘, a classic Crime Thriller.
Yesterday I completed another book, making it ready for publication.
Over the previous three days, I have titivated with the internal layout, put the final finickity touches to my tome, trying to ensure I have no orphaned sentences, that the images, I have a good number throughout the book, are set as I wish and then, once again a run-through for any grammatical, punctuation or other errors such messing about can create.
For the two days before, I worked on finalising the cover.
The book Is now filed away awaiting the right window for publication. (I’m thinking sometime around May.)
The reason, I believe this will be the BEST time for me to release this book.
But is there a best time for you to release a book?
Let’s look at how this publishing game pans out over the year and what else might influence when you make your book available.
Publishing your book as soon as it is ready is termed ‘soft publication.’
Your ‘media date’ or ‘hard publication date’ or ‘release date’ can be whenever you think the stars are going to align with your media coverage and the success of your pre-release marketing.
It should be when you think you can sell the most books.
Traditionally, in the UK, new books are published on a Thursday, especially a Thursday between the 7th and 14th of the month.
The weeks leading up to the autumn are often some of the busiest times for new releases, as publishers jockey to fill bookstore shelves ahead of the upcoming winter holidays.
If you read are a regular reader of my blog on writing, ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind’ or have any of my books on authorship, you will know I often say, “Copy what the big boys do.”
The reason I say that is, the major publishers rarely do anything by chance. They spend a fortune on strategic planning and market research to ensure they get the right books, in the right places, at the right time to maximise their sales and hence their revenue.
Regarding the release of your next book, you could follow my advice and do the same as the major publishers.
But wait a moment. Let’s think about a few things first.
Some would say, do not release your book anytime between a Tuesday and a Thursday, because doing so will put your book in direct competition with the major publishing houses releases.
Suggestions of when is best include weekends, a Saturday will (generally) give you five whole days before the big houses release another title.
Some industry data points to Sundays and Mondays for attracting the most journalistic attention.
Of course, It may be worth choosing a date early or late in the month, (before the 7th or after the 14th), just after or just before the ‘Monthly Payday’.
Of course, there are other considerations, particularly for books of certain genres.
Romance books do well in early February and a couple of weeks before the summer holiday period.
Horror works well from mid-November and through October.
Introspectiveworks sell best during the Summer, books like ‘Go Set a Watchman’ for instance, as do many Adventure stories.
Books described as ‘light & airy‘ do well in the Springtime.
Unsurprisingly, winter tales, snowy themes and settings, do well during the winter months.
But there’s more to consider than the seasons.
The premise of your book can be all-important at certain times too.
Check out which television series are scheduled over the next six months to a year, find which have similar stories, settings, locations, or characters as your book.
If your book is a period tale and a new costume drama is to be released on Television in August, then that programme could help boost your sales too.
If the new Sci-Fi blockbuster is due out in March… go for it. Major publishers have been known to change the name of a book to align with a mainstream film title.
For example, say a film, a Sci-Fi blockbuster sequel is named ‘Beyond the Far Crescent’, the publisher may alter a book’s title from, ‘From the Planets Shadow’ to ‘The Light of the Crescent’.
Never be afraid to re-title your book to align it with the marketplace, demographics or current trends.
Consider too Special Calendar Days.
Easter time always sees a boost in Christian related books. Martin Luther King Day for Black origin works. International Women’s Day for strong female characters, Feminism and such. Remembrance Day for War Stories, or Memoirs for instance.
In this case, my advice would be as I so often say, “do what the big boys do. Learn from them. Use their knowledge to compete with them.” It’s a bit like literary judo, use their size and bulk against them.
I admit there are no hard and fast rules, but I do suggest seriously planning when you release your next book.
Look ahead, research, find out what influences will affect your book and create your strategy accordingly.
To help you decide when here’s a rough guide cobbled together from industry data.
Self-help; diet; inspirational; business.
If your book fits into this category, this is what the media are generally interested in around this period, and it’s also what consumers are thinking about.
Self-help associated with relationships; debut authors; business; fiction.
If you are a debut/relatively new indie author, this month is not as full of new titles and there may be more promotion and media opportunities for you as a result.
Debut authors; mysteries; fiction
Beach reads; women’s fiction; biographies; books on mountain climbing (Good month for indies)
More beach reads; women’s fiction; biographies or nonfiction that will appeal to male readers on vacation or for Father’s Day
Quieter month better for debut authors; more of what you saw in June.
A good time for indies as there is generally less ‘new book’ competition out there.
Debut authors; education-related titles; narrative nonfiction by lesser-known writers… read indie authors. (Get in, before next month)
Public affairs and politics; serial authors in fiction and nonfiction; cooking; highly publicised titles by debut authors with mainstream publishers.
This is the main month, traditionally the annual main release month for major publishers. It is an incredibly competitive month and not indie-friendly.
More politics; cooking; big nonfiction titles by well-known personalities and writers; higher-end photography books; art books.
Not generally indie-friendly.
Photography; art; gift books; big names; and anything else you can think of that will sell in the current budget year’
Good for a well-planned strategic, high publicity release by indie authors in early November (Last few days of October)
A good month for lesser-known authors. A variety of books are published, including latecomers for Christmas or those titles that people want to get a jump on for January.
Good for indies looking to establish base sales going into the following year.
As for the book I mentioned at the start of this post, I am planning a ‘soft release’ in May, with a pre-order by invitation only, followed by an ongoing, subtle marketing programme. If you would like a copy of ‘Jack’s Dits 2’ (in May) email/message me and I’ll send you an invite.
Feel free to browse this site, there is a plethora of posts for writers and authors of all experiences and abilities.
I am open to comments and would love to answer any questions you have regarding ‘Being Indie’.
You may also like to read these two books about authorship.
You can download both right away, simply click on the link
You see, back on July the 16th, I wrote a post entitled ‘Dear Diary… 2020’.
Unlike many people, who believed this Covid thing was about over and soon we would all be dancing naked in the streets and shagg hugging random strangers, (at least I can print the word hugging), I did not believe any such thing.
You can read ‘Dear Diary 2020’HEREand then come back when you are all caught up.
Okay, now your back I’ll carry on.
So, why do I say blame Dianna?
Because she added this comment to my original Dear Diary post, it reads,
Except for this short comment, I have no idea who Dianna is, but I do know she has great taste in blogs, a marvellous sense of humour, and sounds like my kinda girl.
Thank you, Dianna.
So, I shall start this post, which I am calling it ‘Dear Diary 2020… Round two’, as that pretty much sums it up, and as this post starts off where we left the first, in July.
Let me take you back to July the 6th, something I neglected to say and something which was overlooked by just about everybody on the planet
This was the day CNN reported an outbreak of the bubonic plague in Mongolia.
Seriously. I kid you not. The world was focused on a strain of the flu, the warning the world could be overtaken by the Bubonic Plague, the same ‘Black Death’ that killed over 50 million people on its last visit seemed to pass us by.
I mean, what are a few boils and erupting pustules in comparison to a coronavirus sneeze?
So, nothing to worry about there then.
The UK announced it will suspend the extradition treaty with Hong Kong due to the controversial security law that was passed (or will be next month, August). Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned Beijing that the UK is watching and keeping track of the rights of Hong Kong citizens.
Okay, while this is a good thing, as many current Honk Kong Chinese were British citizens until 1997, I cannot see Beijing quaking an the knees knowing they are ‘being watched’ by the UK government… anyway, I don’t think the Chinese ministers have ever watched Cape Fear.
However, the most disturbing news was for Ireland, who may now have to reconsider their entire national identity.
It is now said Leprechauns originated in Italy rather than Ireland.
After a five-year study, researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and Cambridge University have concluded the word “leprechaun” originated in Ancient Rome. According to their findings, the Irish “leipreachan” comes from the Latin “lupercus”, the name of a Roman god in charge of protecting flocks and also his cheeky male followers.
A giant explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, On August 4, killed 135 people and injured another 5000. It was soon revealed the blast was caused by badly stored ammonium nitrate.
Why any peaceful country would want to hoard such a vast quantity of that chemical is… well… let’s just say, open to speculation.
The bit I loved… okay, that may sound harsh, but hay ho… is the warehouse in question was called ‘The Firecracker’ warehouse. (Once, allegedly, being a fireworks factory).
At least the building lived up to its name. No trading standards investigation needed on that count.
On August 9, protests in Belarus erupted after the election results came in.
Current President Alexander Lukashenko beat opposition candidate Sventia Tikhanovskya after receiving 80% of the votes.
Tikhanovskya refused to accept the election results, stating it was clear more people voted for him.
Hmmm… Sounds familiar…
A possible Russian link…
nah, never… can’t be…can it?
Oh… and this… it was reported that Kim Jong Un was in a coma, and the photos of him alive and well back in May were fake. The rumour also states his sister, Kim Yo Jong is geared up to be his successor.
Then Kim Jong Un appeared at a party meeting, warning North Korea about the dangers from the coronavirus pandemic and Typhoon Bavi.
North Korea has still not reported any coronavirus cases in the country and Kim Yo Jong is still geared up to be something… or not.
Now an incident of note; Workers at a service station between Horsham and Crawley, (UK,) have been threatened with toilet brush during what they described as a “slight misunderstanding” over social distancing in the bathrooms.
Police Inspector Darren Taylor said: “How the toilet brush became embroiled into the disturbance we really don’t know.”
Readers will be pleased to know he added, “The toilet brush has now been returned to its cubicle”.
I guess the lesson we take from this is, keep you space… unless you want a prickly object inserted into a place the sun don’t shine.
Breaking world news on September 1 came from Canada, yes, you read that right, something actually happened in Canada.
It’s okay, I’ll wait until get a stiff drink and are sitting down…
It was reported a karaoke bar in Canada could face fines after at 30 coronavirus cases were linked to it. The bar announced they will close for a week and urge their patrons to get tested.
What… you want more, sorry, that’s it.
After all, we are talking about Canada here.
BHM… Black Hair matters, no really… On September 8, protests in South Africa erupted after a controversial TREsemme advertisement was shown on Television.
The controversial advertisement compared black hair to blond, calling the blond hair ‘normal’ while saying the black hair was ‘frizzy and dull.’
The company has apologized for the advertisement and suspended all employees involved in publishing it.
So, the little man, who was most probably following orders, gets it; while the corporate marches on regardless.
(Get me, sounding all political and socialist.)
Anyway, the SH-1-T hit the proverbial fan regarding Coronavirus, when it was reported the daily Covid cases in Europe reached a record high. Lebanon’s coronavirus cases skyrocketed. Spanish officials urged the city of Madrid to enforce stricter restrictions or face serious risks.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the country is already experiencing its second wave of the virus. Israel passed a law banning mass protests during lockdown. Australia was sued by a consumer rights groups for the COVID-19 outbreak that occurred at the Tyrol ski resort, Ischgl. It was reported Belgium is at risk of becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus cases.
The Czech Republic faced a whole country lockdown, as the area has the most number of cases on the entire continent. France and Germany are inflicting stricter coronavirus guidelines after a rise in cases. Portugal announced new restrictions, implementing a curfew.
Chinese officials began a controversial emergency vaccine program administering emergency vaccines to hundreds of thousands of people before the vaccine has gone through safe clinical trials.
I want to say something funny or controversial here, but, to be honest, I am lost for words.
Let’s finish the month with this…
A sex shop in the US is offering female customers free red, white, and blue vibrators if they pledge to vote in the (then) upcoming White House election.
The ‘Erotique adult store’ in Montana says it wants to, “Make America orgasm again”, and is giving away 2,200 vibrators in a promotion dubbed The Great American Orgasm.
The sex toys are accompanied by an American flag sticker that states: “I came and I voted.”
Sorry if I mention this too late for you to take advantage of their generosity. (Dianna?)
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, warned it could be a difficult winter for the nation (United Kingdom). Now, I am unsure if he is referring to the Covid situation, has advanced knowledge of the weather forecasts, or expects our estranged uncle, the one we never speak of, to come visiting?
I suppose much depends on if, when, and how restricted our lockdown measures are.
This is bad, an abortion ruling in Poland led to nationwide protests. The controversial ruling banned nearly all abortions except those in the case of rape, incest, or risk to the mother’s health.
While, in the US of America… (It could only happen in the States), a man in Illinois has kept a half-eaten sandwich the then-vice President, Richard Nixon, from September 1960. Steve Jenne, then a teenager, grabbed the sandwich when Nixon visited his hometown.
“I looked around and thought, if no one else was going to take it, I am going to take it’”, he said.
Jenne has since written abook about the sandwich and been interviewed about it on The Tonight Show.
What… a book and an appearance… now that takes the biscuit…
See what I did there… biscuit (cookie in American)… sandwich… food, eats, snacks… NO, oh forget it.
I’m not going to mention anything that’s happening right now, as I will leave scope for a third part of these Dear Diary posts. (If Dianna like this one too?)
Oh, except this one thing…
Scientists in Australia have discovered no signs of alien life after searching more than 10 million solar systems.
The research team used a gigantic telescope in the Western Australian outback to perform the vast search, which they dubbed ‘looking for ET‘.
“We found no technosignatures – no sign of intelligent life,” one of the scientists said.
So, while 2020 still has some surprises in store for us, Alien invasion does not seem to be one of them.
However, they have not ruled out a Zombie apocalypse 2020 https://amzn.to/3nogJMw, a Giant Asteroid collision , or Artificial Intelligence becoming self-aware… think Skynet/Terminator?
So, there is still time for 2020 to out with a bang… Literally… in a literal sense.
I’ll leave you with one more thing to mull over…
Australian scientists claim they have proven time travel is mathematically possible, by reconciling Albert Einstein’s famous theory of general relativity and the grandfather paradox.
Germain Tobar, who led the research at the University of Queensland, said a time traveller could theoretically go back in time to kill the first person infected by Covid-19 and thus prevent the pandemic.
It seems I no longer have enough time to regularly write this blog. This post explains the reason, or at least one of them.
Most of you will know, at least I hope you do, I love it when random things appear to me and stimulate my writers muse.
Often the best thoughts and ideas come from the unexpected, the surprises and unanticipated events.
I either scribble down notes or mull over whatever stimulated my mind and write my thoughts at a latter date.
I shall return to those notes. Many will become the basis of a short story, often one idea can give birth to a succession of tales, often of various genre, and with seemingly little or no relation to each other.
These stimuli may a form the premise of a novel, or a component of one. Some may suggest the possibility of a non-fictional work.
Now, these unanticipated events, the ones which ‘blow my frock up’, are as unpredictable as the English weather.
One may come from overhearing a private conversation, another from observation, yet another from an article or interview broadcast on the radio and, of course, there is a wealth of written material, both online and physical.
The joy is, one can never know what it is that will prompt the mind, set your thoughts into an overdrive mode, or, indeed, when such an event will occur.
Today, an hour or so before writing this post, I stumbled across something of the ilk.
I was browsing a section of the web, with a vague notion of the sort of thing I was looking for.
By that I mean, it was the start of a research period and I was casting my net wide before knowing where to hone in on the specifics, when I read the following short, but intriguing article regarding an important area of English politics.
Now, that may sound a bit dull to you, but trust me, read this article from ‘The Guardian‘ newspaper. I am sure you will then understand how many stories you could create… and that does not include the ideas you can develop from ‘clicking‘ on and reading the information found by following the contained hyperlinks.
This is one reason I need to live to be one hundred and forty million years old, then, possibly, I would have enough time to write all I wish, including regularly posting here.
I have heard many writers, over several years, comment about the costs involved in publishing and how they restrict new or independent authors.
What writer wants to start their authorship in a position of book debt; knowing they must sell hundreds, if not thousands, of copies before they recoup their writing and publishing costs?
For me, mitigating unnecessary expense is the only sensible way to proficiently indie publish, after all, being a full-time author is a professional commercial career.
Even if an author is not a full-time writer, I see no gain from spending out more money than is absolutely necessary to achieve the same result.
Surely, it is common sense and logical to follow the concept of getting the most value for every penny of your hard-earned cash – the highest return on investment- possible?
It was adopting this attitude which allowed me to develop a method of indie publishing letting me generate profit from my very first book sales.
How I do this is no secret.
I have published two eBook/Kindle books, which are ready for you to download, where I share my methodology, ideas and principles which you can adopt fully or partially, implement in part or whole, now or over time, and adjust to suit your working practices.
These books are NOT‘how-to’ books, ‘Instructional manuals‘, or ‘tuitional publications’. Neither are they ‘step-by-step’ guides.
They do NOT contain the common and over published/promoted drivel about how to ‘market your book’ and ‘what to do to become the world’s bestselling author’ (again) or ask you to buy irreverent and patronising bullshite for a thousand dollars a year, (non-refundable), subscription.
They are books of knowledge.
Insights into the indie publishing world, full of the distilled results, the acquired understanding and personal practice of being a successful, award-winning, Amazon bestselling indie author who dislikes paying out more than is necessary.
These books are presented as simply as possible, excluding as much technical or market segment jargon as practicable, while sharing a significant quantity of pertinent comprehensive information, in a light-hearted fashion; hopefully a reflection of my disposition, or at least my outward temperament after, at least, two cups of strong black coffee on any given morning.
Based on the reckoning you are already a proficient writer and amazing storyteller, you now want your books to look good, to feel professional and attractive so people cannot resist buying them… am I right, or am I right?
Then what are you waiting for? Download these two books today, you know you want to.
Rarely do I venture into posting about promotion and marketing as these are areas which deserve a blog of their own, allowing for comprehensive explanations and discussion.
However, there are many simple elements authors can utilize to assist the sales of their books.
Many of these aspects, like listing your ‘other titles’ as part of your books backmatter should be standard practice.
Some mainstream publishers are now using a paragraph or two from their author’s other works in the front matter, stating the obvious.. ‘From the author of…..other title’. I think it is a spin-off from Hollywood film promotions, i.e. ‘From the director of….blah blah’.
While it’s a practice which is becoming common, flick through the first few pages of mainstream novels in your local bookstore to see this trend. It is not one I particularly like. To me it is a little too aggressive, even hinting at desperation. I’ll leave you to decide where you want to go with it, should you want to try this option.
One often-overlooked opportunity, (I have neglected this myself too many times in the past), is the use of QR codes.
While links, (hyperlinks), work well with most electronic flow files, that is eBooks, Kindle and such, they cannot be used in a physical Paperback or Hardcover book.
One can list site addresses, such as this one, (my Amazon author page), https://www.amazon.co.uk/~/e/B00CJCT5DKbut, with a physical book, it means the reader must type out the whole address string on their keypad. Not a spontaneous act and therefore it is more likely to be ignored than actioned.
I find a significant alternative is using a QR code, like this one which can simply be scanned with a cellphone. (Try it.)
Some may consider QR codes as ‘old school’. However, QR codes offer a great way to connect your reader instantly and directly with your chosen location. This could be your Amazon author page, (as in the example above), your website, your books purchase location, blog, or social media page on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or any other social site.
The location you choose to send your reader to is entirely up to you.
In reverse, QR codes included in you books can direct readers to you social pages, blogs or personal website. You could include several QR codes in one book if you so wished, but you would need to be judicious in their use regarding the appearance of your book.
In ‘Within the Invisible Pentacle’I use QR codes to direct people to my targeted locations, once internally in the back matter on my ‘About the Author‘ page and once on the back cover, next to the barcode.
This is how I use them.
As an Electric Eclectic author, I also use a QR code to help direct people to the Electric Eclectic blog. This QR code you will notice incorporates the EE logo.
Using QR codes is a simple, extremely low-cost, yet effective addition to your marketing and promotional armoury and one I highly recommend you adopting.
You should incorporate these QR codes in your books and use them with your blogs, newsletters and in your social media posts, directing people to your chosen location(s).
The only limit is your imagination.
I am happy to produce bespoke QR codes for your author marketing needs.
I can also create QR codes incorporating personal or business/brand logos.
My QR codes can be produced in a variety of colours and in several bespoke shapes while maintaining their full functionality.
While many authors are proficient in creating individual personalities for their fictional persons, it is imperative when developing such characters’ lives, for one to write in a convincing and accurate mode to cultivate believability from the readers perspective.
Failure to originate plausible credibility of personality and interactions of fictional characters, over prolonged periods, proves detrimental to the reader’s gratification as it detracts from the overall principle and foundations of the author’s storyline, the very premise of which the reader chose for their entertainment.
Reality is fiction is all-important.
Therefore, understanding the social structure your characters inhabit is paramount to building such authentic originality. National, regional, fiscal, domestic and public constructs all constitute facets of each fictional character’s composition and structure.
Below is a list, created to assist with placing your complex and sophisticated character natures in a sound literary context. Therefore, accurately reflecting personality traits found in factual, genuine, true-life people of your chosen genre of state.
Such traits are often referred to as the ‘Hidden rules among Class.’
Following the subject heading, in bold text, are three subtexts. In order, they refer to; Lower Class (poor) – Middle Class (rich) & Upper Class (Wealthy).
Money: To be spent (Lower class) – To be managed (Middle Class) – To be invested (Upper Class)
Money: To be spent -To be managed – To be invested.
Personality: Sense of humour – Achievement – Connections.
Social emphasis: Inclusion – Self-sufficiency – Exclusion.
As always, my intention of posting regularly is not happening; as they say, (whoever ‘they’ are), the highway to hell is paved with good intentions!
Even now, in lockdown or self-isolation or whatever you may be calling it, my life is far too hectic to guarantee I post in any other way than at random intervals.
Generally, my posts tend to be informative, either about publishing or to give insights into writing or ‘being indie’ while trying not to get too technical and academic… hence boring.
This post is not focused on any of the above, it is simply me ‘Rambling away’ about what has taken my time over the past… however long it has been.
So, without further ado this is it.
If you are a follower or regular reader of my ramblings, you will know I run Electric Eclectic,in its most simple form it is an alliance of indie writers from around the world who, besides promoting their books, are ready to help and aid other writers with their personal and technical dilemmas regarding all things indie publishing.
Several things are happening with Electric Eclectic, the first we are encouraging more authors to join our ranks.
We are also at the formatting stage of Electric Eclectics latest anthology, one especially written to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE-Day. It is simply called VE75.
The Government brought forward the May bank holiday to May the 8th is to coincide with the VE-day anniversary. Sadly, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the planned public events are most likely to be cancelled.
However, Bruno Peek, VE Day 75 pageant-master, told me,
“Even if I must ring around every organisation and individual involved and tell them we’re cancelling, there is something everyone can still take part in regardless. At 3 pm on Bank Holiday Friday, the nation will be asked to raise a glass to toast the heroes of World War II – men, women, children wherever they are. We’re not asking people to raise a glass of alcohol so everyone, all people, faiths and creeds, can join in. It can be done anywhere: in the supermarket, at home. The Prime Minister can even raise a glass from Number 10 if he’s not able to leave Downing Street by then.”
Electric Eclectic is producing VE75 as an eBook, so people can simply download it to whichever device they wish. The book is part of the VE-Day celebrations, so I hope you will buy a copy and help support our military veterans and military families in need.
Apart from my Electric Eclectic commitments, I am working on several ‘Works in Progress’, two books in particular are;
FLOYD, a bloody psychological revenge thriller, while On the Highway of Irreverent Rumination & Delusion contains my personal views on life, living, the state of society and the world in general. I shall let you know when they are due for publication.
Meanwhile, you can read about my Works in Progress and find my published books, including some special editions which are not available from Amazon,here.
Apart from writing, I am a digital artist and photographer, feel free to browse my art website.
Of course, I still have all the ‘normal’ regular home and household chores to attend to. Add to the above, my position as editor of Electric Press Literary Insights magazine and you will see, even shut in my home, I am far too busy to be able to commit to a set programme of posting to this blog.
I started this post with the intention of thanking all my followers and subscribers and regular readers… you know who you are, and to say keep safe, keep well and keep happy.
Please, if you are an author, consider joining us at Electric Eclectic. Email us for more information, EEbookbranding@mail.com
If you are a booklover, a bookworm, a bibliophile then subscribe to the Electric Press magazine, it’s FREE and it is simple, just go to the Electric Press blog, where you can also read thecurrent edition.
I recall reading Roald Dahl’s ‘Georges Marvellous Medicine’ to my son when he was a child. One phrase I found particularly hilarious was when George’s grandmother said, ‘Growing was a nasty childish habit’.
I’ll give you a short extract for context.
‘You know what’s the matter with you?’ the old woman said, staring at George over the rim of the teacup with those bright wicked little eyes. ‘You’re growing too fast. Boys who grow too fast become stupid and lazy.’
‘But I can’t help it if I am growing fast, Grandma,’ George said.
‘Of course, you can,’ she snapped. ‘Growing’s a nasty childish habit.’
As it happens, in the ensuing years I found my son adopted other ‘nasty childish habits’ growing boys seem to enjoy. I mentioned most of them to him in much the same way as George’s grandmother, not that it had any effect!
However, it is not childhood or growth or adolescence peccadillos I speak of today, but one of habits.
You see, like many other authors, my mind is constantly working overtime. Even when I am ignoring it, doing regular stuff like cleaning, gardening or shopping, it is whirring away noticing things, listening to other people’s conversations, reading notes, lists and phone screens over people’s shoulders and so forth.
It really is a bit of a rouge in many ways.
The thing is, those subconscious bits of my mind remember it all, record it and mull it over, twisting totally unrelated events, jiggling individual occurrences, shaking them together until a kaleidoscope pattern of instances which hold the possibility of illusory whimsy form.
This is when it digs a sharp elbow of attention into the soft kidneys of my platitude, painfully jerking my ‘normal’ daily thoughts away from the mundane and into the imaginative world of fantastical conception.
Last night, as I was going to bed, I felt the aforesaid sharp elbow ram painfully into the soft parts of my consciousness.
A voice in my head spoke excitedly to me.
“You know,” it started, “you write a fair bit about remembering the past, about nostalgia and stuff?”
“Um, yes,” I said, not sure where this was leading.
“Well, what about if people get all nostalgic because they survived it?”
“Survived it?” I questioned.
“Yeah.” The voice was shouting in my brain. “Think about it.”
“I’m going to bed,” I said. Trying to placate my thoughts.
“Yeah, but you’ll not sleep, not until you understand this.” The voice said sounding a little annoyed and a more than a little bit smug.
Of course, it was right. I needed to do this now, as tired I was. So, I grabbed a notebook and pen. I have several dotted around the house exactly for moments like this.
“Okay,” I said, “fire away.”
“How about if… people love the past, the recent past, like the times in and around their childhood because they lived through it, or most of it. They survived relatively unharmed. Well, they must have done or they wouldn’t be here now, would they?”
“Um, no,” I replied, “I suppose not.”
“So, just like in a good book, or a movie, where the hero rides off into the sunset at the end, that’s what you have done, along with everybody else who reminisces. You rode off into your sunset and arrived in the here and now.”
“Well, maybe, sort of.”
“I’m right. The past is where your parents were. They helped keep you safe, mended your cuts and bruises, kissed your grazed knees. It was home, comforting, warm. Your bedroom your inner sanctuary, guarded by your parents.”
“I guess so.” I was chewing my inner lip. Something I rarely do. “But not all memories are good ones, bad things happened too.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” my mind said, “I’m not talking about those bits. No one gets all sentimental over the bad stuff. We remember it when we must, but not in a nostalgic way. Nostalgia is reserved for nice memories.”
“I’ll go with that,” I said, nodding to myself.
“Well, that’s the key,” my mind continued.
“The key to what?” I asked.
“The key to writing something captivating in your books, especially when you’re basing them in the past, or have characters talking about ‘back when’ & ‘do you remember’ and stuff. It’s great for flashbacks, prequels and shit like that. Think about it.”
I was thinking about it.
“Even a futuristic story must have its past.”
I scribbled a few rough notes, odd aide memoir single word notes I could refer to later. (That later being now).
The thing is, after a good night’s sleep, a day carrying out family chores and a visit to the dentist for a clean & polish, I have mulled over my conversation with the excitable voice from last night and my conclusion is… I agree.
It makes a ton of sense for us to hold fond memories of good times. They could well be recollections of childhood events, maybe a loving mother tucking you into bed, possibly escaping an annoyed farmer when scrumping for apples, or like some of the memories I have written about previously, such as days out for a family a picnic or a train journey to the seaside; all exciting experiences for a child.
My teenage years hold more life events which have helped forge who I am today. Don’t get me wrong, I have instances of near-death, but… I survived to tell the tale. I did ride off into my sunset… although some moments may be more akin to crawling along a drainage ditch in inch thick cloying mud… but those tales are for another time.
It’s called living life.
As an author, I feed on such memories, use them to build my fictional worlds, create my characters, lay plots and write scenes. It is a habit I’ve adopted.
Until now, until the conversation with myself, I did not consider why nostalgia, which is according to the dictionary, ‘A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past; even one never experienced,’ is such a powerful apparatus to use to elicit emotion.
Now I have spent time complementing the reasons, it makes perfect sense and one I shall be far more aware of when employing it in my writings in the future.
So, while scrumping for apples and reading George’s Marvellous Medicine may be unconnected events, both in time and geographical distance, the voice in my head found a way to join them together into a cohesive entity.
You could say they were unconnected connections of habit.
Keep Happy, Paul
I would love you to check out my books, you can see them all on my website,even those not available on Amazon, including exclusive hardcovers.
Don’t forget to look at my Electric Eclectic books, eBooks and Pocketbook paperbacks You can find them on my websiteor on @open24, the Amazon store for readers & writers
I am open to comments and communication, so feel free to contact me at email@example.com or via Facebook.