Writing, especially fiction is a skill set that
draws on many diverse and even eclectic personal
resources such as experiences. Delivery of a ripping
yarn sometimes flows like a gusher and it can be
difficult to type as fast as thoughts flow. At other
times an author may know a story is close but could
be bettered, and that's where I have been for these
last few weeks. To better my understanding of what
makes a good story, what is the magic formula that
makes a reader become lost in the written word and
stay up all night because they must finish the chapter
they are on, and then the next, I have spend the
last few years reading thousands of stories. I do
not exaggerate that number, tens of thousands may
well be a closer figure.
As an avid reader of stories, I know when something
is perfect or falls short. Am I engaged by the story
or skimming to get through a boring bit and back
to the story proper, or an exciting bit. There are
few if any hard and fast rules and all are subjective
to a specific reader.
In book four I decided to lead with a short introductory
chapter, before returning to answer questions left
in the previous trilogy. Basically this was to discover
how Taris' rings were found in the great cobweb
of transporters we know Obsidian created. And, where
exactly is Obsidian's spacecraft?
I set up and wrote a most plausible scenario where
events moved on and it became clear Jack and the
team needed to fully explore the Badlands, where
in due course they would discover the first clue.
I covered all bases, but it felt weak. It was somewhat
contrived, and a reader soon picks up on this and
it undermines the value and impact of the plot or
sub-plot. I tend to be a linear, chronologically
ordered writer, and so I stopped writing. It was
Then one day, straight out of nowhere, the recesses
of my mind came up with the perfect ploy - have
a treasure hunt for the kids to enjoy while adults
participated in the Olympiad. Horovitz wanted to
include orienteering, and others were keen to try
geocaching. Now for the leader, what if one team
does not arrive but disappears. Kids are lost =
OMG! Immediately a full search gets under way and
emotions are drawn from the reader: Are the children
Well of course they are. But they discovered a
cave (whatever) that leads Jack and his team to
discovery. Now that is storytelling and works so
much better on many levels. So today, that is where
I am. The background is set in the initial chapter
and the call is about to go out, missing children...
June 2021 Update
I have no idea how time moves on so quickly and
hours turn into months, but as a writer of a very
original story, it has become an unwelcome fact
of my life. SG-4 (Star Gazer Book Four - The Centaureans)
is still on track for publication before Christmas
2021, but I need a good month at it; remember, most
of the book is already written.
I have wrestled with a thistle these last weeks,
and finally found a resolution to how to begin Book
Four. As in most things, it was really simple, once
I had considered it. Book Three left some uneasy
things hanging, such as: 'How did Taris' Rings end
up in the great cobweb'?
Then the big one that seemed to drift passed everyone,
including me: 'Where is Obsidian's spacecraft'?
So off we go on another adventure, initially trying
to answer those two questions. But as in life, so
often the answer to one question poses several new
ones. Read on and all will be revealed, eventually.
Spring Update 2021
With the first trilogy published, I celebrated and
then set about Book Four, the first book of the
second trilogy. This is where we change slightly
to more science fiction. It was going along nicely,
in fact I was sure I had updated this page, but
it appears otherwise. Ho-Hum.
The first chapter of SG-4 was penned and flowed
nicely. I was particularly pleased to echo the opening
lines of Book One, and the chapters flowed. On edit
review I sat back and looked as a reader might at
what I had written. It was good, continued the story,
BUT, there was little impact, the sort of hook needed
to draw the reader in. Time to rethink my plot and
presentation. For those that think writing is easy,
it is, and it is not. I stopped writing until I
had solved the conundrum, and this took several
months. I now have the new plot and will work on
it when I finish this update. In the meantime...
SG-3, Chapter 17
The book was published, and as happenstance, I was
reading through critically, as authors do, when
I realised the chapter was missing a vital component:
One of the main points of this double trilogy is
to ask the question: Does God exist, and if so,
how do we conceive of him, or her, or them, or it?
Chapter 17 was the real introduction to this, and
without the pantheon of angels it doesn't make sense
- more about those later, although readers have
already met at least two of them.
Perhaps I should state categorically, as spoken
by the character Kay, that these books do not set
out to denigrate or deny God. The reverse in fact.
But they do have a real go at religions, their leaders
and zealots, claiming this and that in God's name.
Who says so? They do! Feminists take note: Only
men control these religions and I appear to be alone
in challenging this fact.
That is not good enough for me. The next main revelation
in this sense should arrive midway in Book Five,
and wrap up in Book Six. That said, Book Four sees
Ræm venture into The Valley of the Shadow
Star Gazer First Trilogy Published
It took just over ten years, but the first trilogy
is now finished and available for purchase from
for print and Kindle, and Smashwords
for all eBook flavours. I am very pleased with the
final novels, The Wrath of Gaia topping the Bestsellers
and New Release categories for adventure fiction
on the first day of publication on Smashwords. That
is an awesome achievement, even if I say so myself.
The books will percolate through the book distribution
and retail sectors in due course, and are already
available from Apple and Sony books online. Smashwords
offer Kobo and Nook versions already, but if ordering
a physical copy from a local bookshop, please give
the 13 digit ISBN and request a full search of the
Nielsen database. Gardners and Bowker, UK and USA
respectively, plus Ingram, will eventually catch
up, but they are not really interested in unknown
Looking ahead, I have my copy of Book Four open
and am taking a look at the overall balance of the
second trilogy. Book four is written, but it needs
splitting in two, the first to cover our solar system,
and in Book Five we will head for Proxima Alpha.
I have decided to begin with exploring and exploiting
the Badlands area of the Island, and bring in current
(to the book date) world development. The next step
is a Moon colony, and then off to Mars, which is
already written. I am currently debating which scenario
works best to begin this second trilogy, and put
the reader right there in the moment of an action
sequence. Watch this space for updates.
Temsey (or The Man in the River) is not forgotten
and I have a strong urge to pick that up again quite
soon. My problem being the book lost its way a little
and became something else. So I need to decide exactly
where it is going, and that may not involve any
great changes. I'll read it again once SG-4 is under
way and see where it takes me.
The other book I have under pen is called The Dreamed
and the Dreamed, a nod to Carlos Castaneda there.
The premise is sound, but I have little time to
devote to it, and getting on with my other work
takes priority for the time being.
SG3 - The Wrath of Gaia
The new edition will be published within days, but
first I need to tinker with specifics. Nonetheless,
the major review is complete, completed just now
I have added reference to Alberic, mythological
King of the Elves who has magical powers. I'm taking
tomorrow to review the overall presentation of the
book, but content is now fully addressed. I also
have an eye to immediate continuation into Book
Four, already written, but that will change focus
to our solar system, meaning new content there and
Book Five already half written. I have elements
to annotate for continuation, and of course, setting
up Word as I want it to work - ever an ongoing struggle.
The eBook should be published and available from
Monday, 8th March 2021, and allow a few days more
for the print version to percolate through the system.
I will of course announce it here.
Update February 2021
Things are going very well with the review of SG3.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was, but
I have improved things further. I had already paid
due diligence in referencing the scientific foundations
of blowing up the Middle East by natural means;
if started by humankind. Not much needed doing with
the wrath of Gaia, but the text has been lightened,
with some of the heavier stuff précised in order
to aid flow and retain reader interest.
The point of this first trilogy revolves around
chapter 17 and examines religious dogma from many
varied points of view. I had expected this to be
difficult to review, but it was not. Not easy either,
but great attention was paid to hermeneutics and
expressing point and counter-points succinctly.
Despite subtle additions, I shortened the chapter
by over two pages - Yeah, that was some hard work.
I believe the result is both thought provoking and
enjoyable to read.
I've just done similar with chapter 22, the one
where Peni explains the Ancestral science. This
was a bit heavy, even with Peni's inherent comedy,
so I went to work on that. The result is again much
shorter, more focused, with the heavy science much
reduced in words but not in depth or meaning. All
I am not expecting any major problems with the
remainder of this book, although I do need to insert
several things. One that springs to mind is a reference
to Alberic, king of the elves. I know where it will
go and who he will be, so just a case of getting
to that point.
I have also included and revised Ræm's backstory,
lifted from the website. I thought it needed to
be in the book, so now it is appended. Time to get
back to work, which I hope to complete in a week
or two - then on to book four. Tally-Ho!
The Twelve Tribes review is complete and the new
version is on sale via Amazon UK
It will take a few weeks to filter through to other
retailers and distributors, but it is done.
I've already started the review of book three. Watch
this space for more news soon.
Late January 2021 Update - SG2
Having regained my author mojo I've ploughed straight
into an in depth review of The Twelve Tribes, or
SG2 as I call it. I sped through the first ten chapters
before sitting back to ask myself questions. Why
do they have enough food after the island was sacked
and overrun? Storytelling is about making things
interesting for the reader, and this felt like a
cop out. So I went back and rewrote the first chapters
with them being short of food. It worked well, fitted
nicely, and did not take up very much space. It
also allowed me to develop other characters like
Horovitz, which is an added bonus.
Much work was done in [Stephen] King editing mode,
ensuring all chapters finished on the left hand
page. I reduced one long chapter by over two pages
without losing anything of note, even adding something
I felt was missing. That's how it goes.
Nearing the end of the review, I wondered if there
was too much fighting, so sat back and had a think.
Calculations showed the Ogre wars took up less than
15% of the written book length, and I felt that
was fine. So now to finish it off and prepare for
the horrors of publishing - as everyone wants something
slightly different from the norm. Ho-hum.
I am pleased to announce that primary retail of
print and eBooks is now complete, although the physical
cover of Star Gazer Book One is in slight revision
as I write. It is merely a modest rewording of the
back cover, so those on sale right now may soon
become collectors items. Main outlets:
for all eBooks - these can be delivered electronically
in any EPUB flavour, or PDF.
+ worldwide) for both print and eBooks.
Given weeks (or months), all my books will become
available from any source - Most already are.
You can get them from the above, or from you local
bookshop, such as Waterstones, Blackwells, and any
independent retailers.They are also percolating
through to many libraries.
Update January 2021
I have started a complete review of SG-2, The Twelve
Tribes. This is going very well and I am making
inroads into the book. I'll hazard a guess at one
month until it is finished, unless I hit any unforeseen
New Year News 2021
The Gatekeeper and The Guardian is now available
from all outlets and the ISBN's registered with
Nielsen. The cover of the print book threw up unexpected
errors, which have been resolved by resizing - shame
they couldn't have simply told me that! So allow
a little time for the latest changes to filter through
the system, and this second edition should be available
If you want to buy this, or any of my print books
from your local bookshop, they will be able to supply
you, but you may need them to do a full search for
the book using the Nielsen database rather than
the quick and easy UK most popular titles index
- Just use the ISBN and all should be well.
Next up is to send a physical book to the six UK
libraries, which is a legal requirement for all
The unabridged second edition Star Gazer Book One
will be on the shelves within days.
Ensure you buy the unabridged version, as stated
on the cover. Those who bought the original should
be able to get this new edition as an eBook for
I had all bar the penultimate chapter done by late
November, but the last was a tricky little thing
to get right. I won't bore you with the complexities,
just state that this is a much superior book to
the original. Finally, ten full years since its
inception, I am happy with it. Whilst setting up
and promulgating this edition far and wide, I will
have one final read through, just to make sure;
think a couple of days, or before Christmas 2020.
I intend to carry straight on into Book Two, which
will likely remain a first edition, perhaps not.
I have a few things to set right, and others to
tinker with, and similar in Book Three. Hopefully
these will be resolved in short time.
Review is rattling along nicely now and I'm keeping
up a good pace. I have donned my (Stephen) King
editing head recently and used it to ensure each
chapter ends on the even page. New chapters always
begin on the odd page, so it has been a lot of work.
Two chapters lost half a page and a third over three-quarters,
and this takes a lot of effort to get right, or
should that be 'write'. That the resultant copy
is shorter yet delivers more impact is my yardstick,
and this I have done very well.
Today I will read through yesterday's edit of the
rescue of Jien Noi and escape to the Outlands, where
the secret of fire has been revealed. This edit
is over one third complete, and I plan to finish
the book over the coming days, read through for
a final time, and publish for the Ist of December.
to download the free,
new first seven chapters of Star Gazer - they are
.PDF and are clean.
Writing is progressing nicely and the new beginning
has ended - been done. The link above covers all
new content and from here on in, the process of
revision should be much quicker. I thank you for
your patience. So, just the semi colon nightmare
to get rid of, some tweaks and twinges, and we will
end up with a very good book. Onwards!
All is good and I have finished adding the new material.
I am very pleased with the backstory and am now
about to re-engineer chapter Five, Imprisoned. There
was a lot of legacy flashback in that chapter, now
ready for removal. It should not be a big deal and
From here on (actually 1st October), I will remove
the semi colon nightmare and add or remove according
to my notes in red ink, on the physical copy of
this book I have to hand. I reckon one month and
it should be done and done with. Straight on to
books two and three from there, so a whole lot of
work ahead of me.
The email form still does not work any more - strange
that ... and it is related to issues of West vs
East, so out of my hands and experience. Please
use your initiative regards feedback and write to
contact. You can guess the rest.
Junior Update - Leaping Longshanks
The Giant's son's name is still not set, but almost.
I want rid of the cop-out. Lightening was good,
but not right. Better is Longfoot Longshanks, but
there's a repeat in there, so not good. I'm going
with Leaping Longshanks, as that is a very Giant
type name. Oh, again not because of his physical
abilities, but regarding his leaps of logic and
association. I better bring that out in the text
Today I finally made a very great breakthrough with
this updated manuscript. Onwards! Jack has just
stumbled ashore on the Island. To get him there
was a piece of work. Below I mentioned that the
words used have to correctly identify all the things
that need to be in the book. There are many. The
converse also holds true, what I term [Stephen]
King Editing. Meaning, I need to delete all the
words that do not need to be in the book. It is
a work of art - testy, trying, and oh so rewarding
when done right. I got there at last.
I feel like a millstone has been lifted from my
neck and I should now progress rapidly and with
renewed enthusiasm for the project. Still so much
to do, to write or edit, but it is happening.
The next step is to reinvent the Outland scenes,
for which I see little problem, clear out the 'Imprisoned'
chapter of all flashbacks, and finally, get on with
a deep edit of the story proper. I have a plethora
of semi colons to get rid of, many done when last
without electricity, with book and red pen in hand.
Some more detail there to include also, assuming
I can decipher my small scribbles in the margins,
and all over the pages in some instances. All good
and about to happen. Check back soon and expect
some real progress, a long time in coming.
Slow. Things are progressing slowly with the unabridged
version of Star Gazer Book One (SG-1).
My only defence for keeping you waiting is that
of applying 'due diligence'. Bear in mind, I have
the character's original concept in mind, as well
as several backstories on the website. However,
this second edition does away with all previous
versions, combines, adds to, or replaces some details,
and is designed to set up the rest of this first
trilogy. It has to be right. It has to correctly
identify all things that need to be included, not
just what happened to whom and when, or why, but
to bring substance to the characters themselves,
as well as developing the plot or future sub plots.
That is going very well.
I am currently resolving the last major issue,
that of Jack's departure to the Caribbean, entwined
with his leaving for a new life in the Orient some
months later. It is written, just not quite in the
right order. After this new chapter is completed,
the rest is mostly written already and will fill
quickly. There is actually little more work required
in the foreshadowing, leaving review of the extant
before me, a simple job.
One other detail is my need to find a proper name
for the Giant's son, who will remain as Junior so
as to pick up any missed references across all four
written books to date. But 'Junior' is a cop out
and a real name is needed. I am leaning towards
'Lightening Longshanks', but remain open to another
word that has two or more meanings, and may be an
oblique character reference.
More in a few weeks.
Boris has done me proud and completed our current
covers. Temsey, retitled to The Man in the River
is now done, and the cover to SG-4 is finished.
The full cover of SG-1 has been updated and will
be posted soon, and before the unabridged version
of the book is released.
The rewrite of Star Gazer Book One (SG-1) is progressing,
if at a far slower pace than I intended. The problem
is I keep being distracted by other unrelated matters.
I'm hoping for a good week or two at it from time
of writing, as all is already planned and waiting
to be penned.
Regards SG-3, I have a new twist plotted to add
to the remarkable chapter 17 - this is where Kay
examines the God question. Her talk now lays the
foundation for something new in Book Four, where
we may learn if beings such as Angels really exist
- explored when Ræm enter the afterlife at
Sheol. So how do Angels, science fantasy, and science
fiction all come together in a riveting plot? You'll
just have to wait to read it, I'm sure it will be
Contact Form Problems
I'm indebted to Peter Thain for pointing out issues
with the contact form not fully displaying. The
Captcha graphics and field, plus the submit button
are no longer working. I have no idea why, as they
have worked without problem for many years. I have
the suspicion this is related to the internet provision
companies having a security panic around the turn
of the year, apparently with the intention of making
the internet an unusable nightmare for such things
as email and online forms. Unbelievable! I will
be remedying this, but it looks like I will have
to use a different form, and this will take some
time to rework. It may well be worth your while
to try the simple option and send communication
to contact, it really is that easy.
The minor tense issue was easily resolved and Star
Gazer Book One (SG-1) is taking shape nicely. The
key for me is to get the reader immediately 'there
in the moment' with the protagonists, in the most
concise and informative way. The backstory I was
seeking to write is developing in great style, setting
up situations and explanations for things that occur
later in the trilogy. Good stuff, even if I say
so myself. I hope to have this first part completed
by the end of this month.
In other news, I have resolved a long-standing
problem concerning Chapter Seventeen of SG-3; 'Original
Sin'. Yes I have finally unravelled the old Biblical
conundrum regarding 'the snake' in the Garden of
Eden. It was so simple when I finally made the association,
and I believe it is a first for this particular
observation. Some extensive research and confirmation
of supposition resulted, and all is well with my
hypothesis. To find out what it is - well, you'll
just have to wait until I do a minor rewrite of
that section, and then read it yourself.
Do not purchase any Star Gazer Books
The first Star Gazer trilogy is currently under
heavy review, but rather than withdraw from sale,
I ask you not to buy any of these books until further
notice - July as a guide. The first book is being
seriously overhauled and the structure changed.
I intend to replace The Third tribe in book three
with Denisovans, which incidentally will be an excellent
match for the extant. But still, the first two books
currently remain a semi colon nightmare - you have
been warned. Should only be a month or so in process,
so please bear with me as these things take time
to get right, or should that be 'get write'?
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JonnoMorris
ISE: England, Inner Sanctum, Conspiracy Theory,
and Domicile are all available for free in eBook
format on Smashwords, so fill your boots :-)
You can still pay for them and/or get the paperback
versions from all the usual suspects such as Amazon,
Nook, Kobo, and whatever Apple are calling their
book portal this year.
Got it at last! I've written about Dawn and Jack
pretending to live in the wilds, and shown this
as dialogue. It is too longwinded, and inspiration
has just stuck me - Dawn 'catches' a tin of red
salmon from the Welsh stream, while Jack's traps
have caught a packet of cheese and some slices of
ham. Now to shorten it so as only the facts and
laughs remain, for both characters and readers.
I know exactly where this is going now, so hope
to have this whole introduction done in a few weeks
I have been dithering and dallying over plot device
that allows me to show (not tell) some of the existing
backstory. 'Living off the land' in Snowdonia is
where I have begun. But what happens to show the
merits of these characters. I've looked at finding
a lost dog, rescuing a fallen rider, and nothing
is correct. Hmmm...?
For the third year in succession I came down with
a nasty fever just before Christmas. This is getting
monotonous. I was wiped out for ten days, and am
only just coming back to my old self, some two months
later - hence the delay and lack of feedback.
I'm now back in the saddle, have researched, and
written part of the introduction to SG-1. It starts
with action and dialogue, and I like it. It's not
quite right yet, and the tense may be slightly off,
but it is there or there about's. I have learned
to write when the muse is with me, and sort out
any errors later. That stated, there are still things
I need to work on, including writing precisely and
concisely what it is I wish to convey to the reader.
A good start then, but a lot more work to come.
I've decided to write what I term the unabridged
version of Star Gazer book one (SG-1). This will
begin before the beginning of the story - Hah! One
reason for this is that I have studied and decided
to adopt The Hollywood approach. To simplify, this
is the formula virtually all movies employ regards
plot development. It goes something like this: 10%
intro, something happens to begin the story. There
are other way points including, 50% part one resolved.
Something happens, the task gets more difficult.
Near the end is the 'cliffhanger', where all seems
lost. Finally, in much less than 10% of the movie,
This also works for books, and allows me to add
the backstories of Jack and Dawn that I want to
include. Having already written these as stand alone
pieces, I have a framework to work from. But I will
write the whole thing afresh and employ the skills
I have learned over these intervening years. Now,
where do I start from...?
I have put Temsey on hold for the time being, and
have Star Gazer book 4 to finish off. Another China
Power electricity supply cut has brought my attention
back to SG-1. I am not happy with it because the
beginning is missing. Every editor I have had has
always maintained, 'Never start a book at the beginning'.
I'm sorry, but I don't work like that.
Regards the first Star Gazer novel, this resulted
in the book starting on what had originally been
chapter twelve. I spent a lot of time making it
work, but was never completely happy with it. Then
I had to add 'the missing chapters' to the star-gazer
website, plus I uploaded several character backstories.
All in all, the whole thing is a mess, and that's
without including the semi colon nightmare the book
became. I'll be taking a serious look at the all
of it and update here in due course. In the meantime,
please don't buy the book.
Today we suffered a power cut, and being China there
is no notice in advance, they just pull the plug
and our whole area is without electricity. It is
hot and I feel like I am melting. With no computer,
I set out my stall on our balcony, complete with
chilled beer and a red pen, and began a review of
the printed book, Star Gazer One (SG-1) - it is
a nightmare! I had forgotten I had used so many
semi colons, which are being corrected. I am also
looking at flow and heavily editing some small parts.
This is the time the world of books begins to go
crazy regards the coming Christmas sales rush. I
would like to attend some book festivals and even
show off my wares, but I cannot due to living out
here. Instead, I have decided that my latest book,
Temsey, while being excellent, is fundamentally
not turning out to be the book I wanted to write.
This has left me in a quandary, although I did manage
to complete the first part of the story. I am reading
a lot, and also editing stories for others, so am
quite busy most days.
All plans on hold because I came down with a severe
fever that knocked me out for several months. I'm
just beginning to recover, but am still weak and
unable to concentrate for long. I keep notes for
later work and am taking stock and review of my
efforts to date.
18th December 2018
I am dismayed to find the Great Firewall of China
is spreading far and wide, with Goodreads, LinkedIn,
and even Amazon CreateSpace now apparently banned.
Today I looked at Apple Books, only to discover
the link given is translated to a Chinese DNS that
doesn't recognize the link. Conclusion: Apple Books
USA and UK are now banned in China.
What to do? Leave China so I can access the internet,
leaving behind my wife and young daughter~? No.
Find a VPN that actually works? Possible.
Post my books on Lulu, which will filter through
to the Apple Bookstore in time: Probable, I'll do
I am pleased to reveal the story of Temsey is now
complete in the main part, coming in at around 150
pages. I expect the rest of the book to flow easily
from this point onwards, as Billie Steadman investigates
his disappearance, the clues she uncovers are already
noted in the text as written. This is far more my
usual style of writing, so I expect to speed up
dramatically and finish the book by February next.
With the above completed, I am now free to pick
up on other aspects, such as listing all my books
everywhere online, and developing a marketing strategy
for Christmas 2019.
I have been working exclusively on Temsey, and find
I am writing to a far higher standard than previous.
Time flies as I attend to the smallest detail, and
at the expense of spontaneity, writing has slowed.
However, I am very pleased with the work accomplished,
and aim to finish his story before the end of the
I have spent several months working on the first
part of Temsey, and honing the presentation of the
story, only to review and ask myself, "How
can this or that be improved?" The words would
have been as asked by my editor, Susan, but this
time I am going it alone. At times the book felt
like a 3D jigsaw puzzle, as I added a bit here,
or there, and managed to follow some aspects of
the changes ricochet through the book.
After spending the best part of two months like
a zombie, I finally started to feel well again and
get my old self back. I most definitely contracted
something, but what I have no idea. I looked at
SG-4, but then tinkered with my ideas regards the
dreams book, before needing to urgently write (That's
a split infinitive, Yay!") about Temsey. And
so I am currently writing about a man who was fished
out of the Thames, and he has zero memory.
This is really fun and I am back on my game at
last. The first part of the book is about his life
on the streets, knowing nothing of his previous
existence. But then, Billie Steadman, daughter of
Bilty from Domicile, takes up the cause for to find
him, and find him she eventually will. Before she
does, there will be a lot of current social commentary
supplied by the characters. Even more fun.
I worked through until the second of January, 2018,
and then my world fell apart. I could not concentrate
at all, and then I was unwell. By the end of January
I was displaying all the signs of pneumonia, a fever
I once endured, and one that is very not nice. February
passed in similar fashion, although the causes varied.
I did not drink alcohol for over two months and
spent most of my time asleep. It was well-weird.
Late Autumn 2017
While the below was happening in spurts, I was also
working on Star Gazer Four (SG-4). It was going
extremely well, if slowly by my standards, and all
appeared well. But I was not convinced, because
it was all too easy. Robotic even.
By late December I was over three-quarters of the
way through, and I knew in my heart that it wasn't
right. That's not to say it was wrong, but just
that it could be significantly improved. I felt
as if I was churning the words out according to
a formula, and stopped writing. My intension was
to begin a serious review and edit from the beginning
of the book, and I began. The problem was apparent
one hour later, Chapter Three needed a serious rewrite,
it was just too predictable, and any fool could
have written it. I knew what I had to do to correct
it, and then came New Year.
I became distracted editing an excellent period
mystery entitled A Traitor's Child by a new authoress,
Sarah Ibbetson. I thought we worked well together
and we spoke about her joining Charlotte Greene,
but it seems that was not to be. I wish her well
regardless. If you see this title on offer, I suggest
you get a copy, it is very good.
Regardless, it was excellent applied book working
skills for me, and the first time I had edited a
novel written by somebody else. It was a lot of
work, and next time I will need paying for it. I
learnt a lot, so I do not begrudge Sarah my input
at all. It's a bit like the old adage, 'If you can
teach it, then you know it'. And that is how I felt
about it all.
Over the weeks and months that followed, I offered
my editorial skills for other short stories, mainly
at an online story portal. That was fun, and oh
how atrocious some people's English usage was. One
stood out by a talented author, but somehow we seemed
to fall out over nothing, and although my suggestions
were incorporated in the finished online article,
I was not mentioned, credit being given to others.
Overall, that period was a great and most enjoyable
learning curve .I now know I am an editor.
End of August 2017
Boris and I produced the Autumn Catalogue for Charlotte Greene, but my heart was no longer in it––The marketeering that is. We kept the .psd file for use next time.
15th July 2017
Goodreads Giveaway is but days away. Enter to win
a free and delivered copy of Conspiracy Theory printed
book. The winner will receive a signed copy. Why
not enter, you have nothing to lose.
7th June 2017
This proved to be an expensive few days, as I sent
copies of my books to Gardners books with catalogue
and cover letter. They are the largest UK wholesalers
of books, both in print and EPUB formats. I am quietly
confident, but not expectant of being listed as
a publisher with them. These things take time. Gardners
are the doorway to Waterstones you understand, but
only for publishers.
If I am rejected, I will apply again, adding Carla's
books to the Autumn Catalogue, after having also
joined The Publishers Association in the meantime.
It is all related in book circles.
I have also sent off print books to certain journalists
who I feel may take an interest in Domicile. It
will be interesting to see what comes of that.
3rd June 2017
Carla Acheson joined Charlotte Greene this week,
and is warmly welcomed to our pool of authors. She
is a successful author I deeply respect. Having
created a Publisher - Author contract, I have since
furnished her with six ISBN's, and uploaded her
information to Nielsen, who list all books in print
for the Trade.
We have been working together to maximize the potential
of Charlotte Greene, and make it attractive to other
self-publishing authors. She has created a Facebook
page for me, as I cannot connect from China = Banned.
We are listed under 'Charlotte Greene Publishing'
or '@CGPublishingServices', whichever works for
The last week has been dedicated to updating the
Charlotte Greene website, which is now up and running
in its new format.
21st May 2017
This website is now virtually updated, and all seven
books are listed via the catalogue page, and have
one dedicated page each. These pages have a Look
Inside widget, plus buying options and more.
19th May 2017
This website is currently being updated and will
take a couple of days to complete. The major change
is the addition of seven new pages, one for each
book - all now published in both Print and eBook
Each page offers a 'look inside' feature, so the
reader can check out the first few chapters, and
discover more about each book. The widget used also
supplies buying options, although this remains a
work in progress. Regardless, the main pages will
soon be finished, and are live online, regardless
of their state of completion.
None of these pages is as yet complete, it takes
time to code, to make the images. And then out of
nowhere, creativity strikes, so instead of resizing
images, I am drawn to write a question and answer
sequence, because it is good. So today, the bare
bones. In a day or two, it will be finished. Please
bear with me. Onwards!
I spent the entirety of January 2017 eradicating
semi colons from my novels. I've also been reviewing
content. It takes time.
11th March 2017
Today I released the first
six books in both printed and Ebook forms, but only
on Amazon so far. There is one book to go: Domicile,
which has been a 'piece of work'. It is away with
Susan for final polishing, and should be available
within ten days.
I apologise, if I appear to be slow in updating
this page, and others, but my XP computer's on-board
graphics card died. I lost tools that work, making
updating these pages easy. Instead I get a lot of
needless hassle. XP will be fired up again, when
I find a suitable card.
In the coming weeks, and before the end of March
2017, I should have seven novels available on all
major and minor, western sales channels. Each is
different, and has variations of parameters. So
I'll take them one per day. I also have to send
out physical books for review and hopefully acceptance
by the Trade.
Talking of the Book Industry, their main selling
period is Christmas. I am working for sales and
promotion for nine month's time. It's weird. Trade
first, both in UK and the U.S. My Book Catalogue
is now available for dissemination in physical,
I'll follow with other online retailers: B &
H Nook, Kobo, Lulu, Goodreads - the list appears
seemingly endless. However, this is the perfect
time of year to get my books into these markets,
and with Trade supplier support, I'm still ahead
of the clock.
The associated publisher website (Charlotte
Greene) is complete, bar updating with the latest
info, and confirming links. Something else for idle
moments this month. There is a lot to being an independent
publisher, but I'm on course to succeed. Oh, and
I got my U.S. tax status with the IRS sorted already,
so that's a bonus.
One of my greatest joys as a writer of fiction, is bringing imaginary characters to life. Sometimes what they say or do is very funny, or conversely, brings a tear to the eye. My characters have personalities and emotions, something
I gladly share with the reader.
While typing their stories, I am inside the characters heads, and influencing how they as people develop over the course of the story. Some are quite hilarious, such as Da Phai Nai in Star Gazer. Others, like Bill in Fractured are
likeable rogues, or Rosa, a motherly character from the same book, who is also a very clever businesswoman.
I also get a thrill when I manage to disguise a clue, which although in plain view, the reader is led to pass over without realising the significance. Fractured book two, Conspiracy Theory, is notable for this, although it features
in all my writing.