Tag Archives: Books

Revamped and rejuvenated! Or sulking in the corner…

My dad’s is bigger than your dad’s…

book jacketI wonder if there is a collective noun for people who obsessively collect email addresses. Emailophiles? Electroepistleophiles? In the writing community it’s all the rage these days to collect readers’ email addresses, the better to bombard them with junk mail… um, sorry, I meant the better to keep in touch when Mr or Mz Author releases something new. A humungous email list has become a writers boast, like children swaggering in the school yard trying to puff themselves up: “My dad’s mailing list is bigger than your dad’s mailing list…” 

Doubtless an email list the length of War & Peace is a brilliant marketing technique for writers who can squeeze out a book every three months. And good luck to them too, I say. No malice on my part. I’m just outright jealous of their talent, that’s all. I got caught up in the craze for collecting email addresses too a while ago, but it turns out I’m not that sort of writer. I have other interests too, and I mentioned somewhere, I think, that I only write in winter, which one wag described as very Zhivago-ish. (Thinks…Hmmmm!)

book jacketIt’s marvellous what a break can do…

So after a spell of heavy duty boat building sent writing into the corner to sulk awhile, this past winter has seen me picking up the threads again. My Next Novel is still there in the pipeline and new ideas are forming, but meanwhile what used to be Sunset over Salhouse Broad has transmogrified (without a hint of irony on my part!) into the JUST ONE MISTAKE mystery and romantic suspense trilogy.

book jacketWhat’s in a title?

It’s not just the title that has changed. The new titles and jackets reflect new editions with substantial interior revisions. In each book the main character is now in first person POV and the endings are much more uplifting. Mixing first and third person POV’s in this way is a writers’ technique that I mentioned in a previous post. I think the result really suits the story too, as does the all-new Happy Ever After treatment of the ending.

My hero!book jacket

Or rather, my heroines (Sally in Sally Does Hair/Lucky, lucky Me! and Annie & Kate in Sophie Sews for You) now have a much stronger and more satisfying voice. They have become confident, sassy, independent young women each with a distinctive and I hope entertaining outlook on the world. In fact, I’d really like to meet them all, now. (What, they’re only fictitious characters in a book? Okay, okay, don’t send for the men in white coats. I’m not round the bend yet. But… Sigh!)

Look Inside and you’ll see…

To check out the new versions use Amazon’s free LOOK INSIDE feature to start reading a sample. Or download the Amazon sample direct to your Kindle for free. You’ll notice the difference right from the start. If anyone has a mind to critique the new versions they are available at Amazon now. If you’re quick you could be first to get your review up on Amazon too…

To read the free samples tap one of these buttons. Choose a book and click LOOK INSIDE.

button amazon UK

button amazon US

The more the merrier!

Just FYI, anyone who bought the original Sunset version will not be able to buy the new JOM3 omnibus (all three titles in one omnibus) because it retains the original Amazon identity number for copyright protection reasons. The three individual titles, though, are new books in their own right and can be bought and reviewed by anybody with a mind to do so. The more the merrier, and I hope you enjoy them.

OK, shameless plug over. Normal service will be resumed.

Boldly Going Nowhere by Steven McKinnon

I read a good book the other day #13

Image: book jacketNow, this is really something different. I found it via the blog of a fellow indie author (http://www.stellawilkinson.com/im-reading/boldly-going-nowhere).

Quote from the book: “I’m sure there is a mathematical formula for how the collective mental age of men diminishes in equal proportion to the amount of men present x units of alcohol consumed.” (McKinnon, Steven (2015-09-24). Boldly Going Nowhere (p. 351). Vividarium Books. Kindle Edition.)

Boldly Going Nowhere might be fiction or might be a strange sort of autobiography. In his foreword McKinnon claims it is both: a sort of fictionalised truth. Steven (ie the character in the book rather than the author, though they might be one and the same) is the archetypal young adult of today who spends every spare moment absorbed in his PlayStation, eating junk food and hanging out with friends, the perennial kidult still a teenager at twenty-five — an age when his grandparents might have been flying Spitfires or struggling up the beaches of Normandy with Nazi bullets zipping past their ears. I suppose that’s progress of a sort. No offence, Steven, just saying…

But as if that’s not enough to make the old codgers amongst us huff and tut and mutter about the state of today’s youth Steven presents himself as a twenty-something male virgin struggling to find a relationship, who imagines all his friends are perfectly at ease with life and suffer none of his awkwardness around girls. He also has what corporate-speak-fluent young folk these days call Issues with some friends, that must be dealt with somehow.

I don’t know how near all this comes to a typical life experience for a young person these days, but to me Boldly Going Nowhere certainly carries the ring of truth between its lines, especially if we allow that more truth may be conveyed in fiction than in a self-righteous style of autobiography, which this is not. In this thoroughly engaging and witty romp through the troubled life of a socially awkward kidult much of the action is set in Glasgow or thereabouts, and the style is modern, humorous and refreshing, including one chapter that consists of just three very important words. I’ll leave you to discover what they are.

Does Steven get the girl in the end? Does he successfully negotiate the mine-strewn waters of friendships on the rocks? I won’t spoil it by telling you here but I thoroughly enjoyed this read which will, if you’re inclined to harbour a jaundiced view of today’s youth, lift the spirits and restore some faith in a section of society that might sometimes appear appallingly shallow.

My verdict: 99p well spent. Give it a go, especially if you happen to be a grumpy old codger or a desperate twenty-something male virgin. Speaking personally, having read Boldly Going Nowhere, I still wouldn’t give anybody under the age of thirty the vote though…