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WHSmith

My book signing event took place on the 20th April at WHSmith. It was a really good day with 13 books sold. I was impressed as I hadn’t expected to sell that many. I thought I would be lucky if I managed 2 -3. One lady only went in for a newspaper but ended up buying a copy of Murderous Feet as well. I quickly sold out of A Place of Safety and Murderous Feet did well but Missing which I thought would be the best was very slow.

I’ve another date for book signing in the same store on 1st June. Hopefully I’ll sell more as the first one was a bank holiday weekend and very quiet. Hopefully I’ll also be able to have a book signing at a different branch as the manager contacted another manager who was happy for me to do one there. I sent an email but typically haven’t heard anything. I think I’ll need someone to take me over there to arrange it.

The worrying thing now is that I haven’t heard from head office about payment yet so I’ll have to get that chased up with the manager. Of course, if I continue to have a problem with it I won’t be able to have another signing event as I need to be paid promptly. I’m sure it can easily be sorted though.

Other book news is that I’ve finished the first draft of another murder mystery, featuring the detective duo Ellie and Lucy who were in Murderous Feet. This book is called Partners in Crime. I’m leaving it a while before starting editing so have gone back to The Jigsaw Puzzle to edit that. Hopefully it will be ready soon for publication.

As usual I have other ideas for books floating around in my imagination and also in a notebook so I can’t forget. Someone in my walking group recently said something that clicked in my mind and gave me the title of another book. From there I couldn’t stop thinking about it trying to come up with an idea to match it which I did later that day.

My sales have been up this month (April) which is good. I think I’ve managed to sell one book every day which is a good sign. I hope it continues to be like this and hopefully rise further. March was an empty month though. It could have risen with people interested in A Place of Safety which is new out. It could also be because on Twitter people have been wanting to read books by independent authors which is what I am so of course I’ve been dropping my link in comments. I wasn’t going to miss any opportunity to get my books out there for people to look at.

 

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Book Signing

Well, I’ve got some really exciting news for you this time. Last week I went into WHSmith to enquire about doing a book signing event. The manager, much to my surprise, said yes. I couldn’t believe it! She took my details and is supposed to get back to me with a date. The event itself is likely to take place sometime in April. It’s exciting and daunting at the same time. It will be my first book event since becoming an author. I was very anxious prior to speaking to the manager and had to tell myself I had to do it for the benefit of my writing career. I went with a friend for moral support but I had to do the talking to at least try to appear professional.

On to other writing news, I’m about half way through writing another murder mystery. I’m still editing two historical fiction. In my mind I have ideas for another couple of books. You can see I have enough to do for some time to come.

In addition I was approached yesterday to write someone’s life story for them. I’ve had to say no as I’m just too busy to take on such a project at this time.

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Exciting News

I have some exciting news this time that I have to share. Last week I heard that I was the Writers Bureau Runner Up for the Student of the Year Award. I couldn’t believe it and ended up reading the email several times. I wasn’t allowed to publicize this until it became official.  The beginning of this week I was informed that it is now on their website so I can finally shout it from the roof tops. It was so hard keeping it quiet when all I wanted to do was tell the world. What a wonderful achievement for the beginning of a new year. 

I have studied the Copywriting course with them and am now doing the How to Market your Books with them. I enjoy their courses as they are very real and relevant. It’s always good learning new skills and even better when it’s something you’re passionate about as I am about writing.

I love what I do. My biggest hope is to start earning something from my writing.

My writing is in various genres, more so thrillers, so there is something for most readers. I just need to learn how to get my books out there and in front of the right audience. I’m determined and stubborn so I won’t give up and in the meantime I continue writing new books. Recently I have been editing books, getting them ready for publication. I’m now longing to get on with a new book which is in my mind and I have made notes for. It will be another murder mystery. I have a list of characters, I know how it will end and whodunnit. I also have plans for Ellie and Lucy the two sleuths who appeared in my book Murderous Feet.

I will be writing this in conjunction with editing two books. I had intended on publishing one more before starting a new one but don’t think I can wait that long. I’m itching to get back to it.

While you wait for more books why not look at the books I have available including my latest one Missing which was published this year. I had quite a few problems with formatting and uploading the cover so it was held up for some time while I resolved these issues. Got there in the end with some help and input of others. They are available on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/yarmlt4a  

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The Jigsaw Puzzle

This is the title of the book I am currently writing. It is set in a rather dark place in history. The Holocaust. Jacob has wakes up in hospital having survived the death camps. His wife identifies him and takes him home when he is well enough. Is she who she says she is? Who is she? Is Jacob any safer?

Anyone interested in this will have to wait until it is ready for publication. This is just a teaser as to what is to come.

Back to the subject of the Holocaust and the background which led to my book. Most people know about it but maybe haven’t really given it much thought. I am fascinated by this period that led to mans inhumanity to man. Hitler was certain the Jews were the reason for Germany’s problems after World War One and with his charismatic personality was able to convince the nation of his views.

 Numerous camps were built including the infamous Auschwitz Birkenau  where Jews and other so called undesirables were housed. Gas chambers were added and the mass murder began. They were made to work with very little food inside them to keep them going. It didn’t take much for  the SS guards to shoot or gas the prisoners. When the camps were liberated the armies involved were horrified at what they discovered. 

Those who survived the holocaust must have struggled with the memories of what they went through and been very wary over their safety. I can’t imagine what it must have been like and what some of them had to do to survive the conditions.

It was not a well kept secret in the camp that the “showers” as they were called were actually places of death, that no one ever came out alive.

I can easily imagine Jacob’s situation in my book could easily have taken place although it is pure fiction.

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Murder in Mind

I was out with a friend sitting by the river. Moored to the side was a boat. At this point my imagination took over and I told her there was a dead body on it. this didn’t come as any surprise to her as she is used to hearing strange things from me and just waited for more to be revealed.

A man stepped on the boat so of course I continued my story by saying he was about to discover the body when he went down below.

This led on to a bizarre conversation started by me about what people walking by would think about over our conversations. I suggested the police would get involved. my friend said I would be arrested because I know too much about all these murders I talk about.

My response was that i could prove it’s all in my imagination, that I’m an author and I could point them in the direction of Amazon and my books.

Apparently that wouldn’t be enough for the police who would insist on taking me to the police station.

Of course my friend – soon to be ex friend – said she would only tell the police what I have told her.

Who needs enemies with friends like her.

She said she was only preparing me for the reality I would find myself in.

We had a good laugh over it as once again she marveled at my imagination and the weird things I sometimes come out with, usually involving murder of some kind.

We we waiting for a bus on another occasion when a man crossed the road with a pile of towels. He was using the towels to tidy up after bumping someone off obviously!!!

Maybe my rather macabre imagination is worrying but it does give me ideas of which might occur in a future novel.

I hope this has got your brain fired up wanting to know more so why not visit Amazon and buy my books.

Have fun reading folks until next time when I will have killed off a few more characters no doubt.

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Here we go again

NaNoWriMo is almost here again. Yes, I’m going to be taking part in the challenge. For those of you reading this who don’t know it’s National Novel Writing Month in November and the task is to write 50,000 words in the month.

So now you’re asking what will my book be about? I currently have two ideas; one is another murder mystery which will be a second book to feature my two intrepid sleuths Ellie and Lucy who first appear in Murderous Feet. My second idea is historical, set just after WW2 about a Jew who survives the death camps. He’s in hospital very ill and has amnesia. His wife turns up, relieved to see him again and know that he survived after they were split up. Something isn’t quite right but Jacob isn’t sure what.

I must say I’m more excited about this book than I am the murder mystery. So I’ve probably made my decision. At the moment the title is The Jigsaw Puzzle.

To update you on my current projects I am editing The Missing and am over halfway through writing A Place of Safety. So plenty to be me out of mischief – if that’s possible. Some would say not!!

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Wonderful news

Well, I have some exciting news. My book Murderous Feet is a finalist in the mystery category of the Book Talk Radio Club. The winner will be announced on November 11th so watch this space. When I submitted my book I didn’t really think I’d get anywhere so it’s exciting and proves I do write well and write books people want to read.

Unfortunately I wasn’t writing much over the summer due to various health problems. I really missed it as I’m passionate about my writing. You’ll be pleased to know I’m back at it now.

I’ve been trying to get some freelance writing jobs now that I’ve finished my copywriting course but as yet to no avail. A couple of times I had someone getting back to me wanting examples of my work but they never took it any further unfortunately as they were projects I would like to have been involved in.

I currently have an idea for a childrens story which I may write at some point. It would be for younger children. It would be about at cat and aliens. I hope I can make it fun and exciting for children. I don’t know when it will get written as I am still editing a book and writing another one both of which have a long way to go before getting finished. At the same time a childrens book would be shorter so I may just get on with it. Watch this space and see what happens next. You never know I may end up writing it at the same time as my other projects. I really have so many ideas floating around in my head that I can’t keep up with myself.

I have a friend who asked me recently if another book was out soon as he has read all of mine so far and is wanting more. I said I would have to write 24/7 to keep up with him which caused a laugh. He’ll have to wait until they are ready. I’m not rushing myself just to keep up with him. They will get written and edited and polished ready for publication when I can. I don’t want to put books that are full of mistakes or badly written out there as that would put readers off straight away.

 

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Writing mode

Sorry it’s been a while since I last wrote. Unfortunately I damaged the nerve going to my hand and couldn’t do anything for a few weeks. It’s slowly improving now.

I’m pleased to say I have published two more books since I last wrote. Murderous Feet is a murder mystery. See if you can work out whodunnit. All the characters have a motive so it could be anyone. If I’ve done the job right it will keep you guessing to the end. It has a few twists and turns in it.

I have also just published A Bruised Reed which is non fiction. I have written my story of living with severe ME and all the problems that brought. Not just fighting the illness itself but professionals and others who didn’t accept I was really ill. It is not just an account of my illness as I write about my healing as well. My hope is that it will give hope to other sufferers and their carers and encourage them. My book talks about my faith in a loving God in spite of suffering. He never let me go and He won’t you either.

My latest project I recently started is historical fiction set in France during WW2. Eve, a Jew, arrives at a convent with her young daughter looking for safety from the Nazis. Her husband was taken and she has no idea of his fate. The book’s title is currently A Place of Safety. I’ve a long way to go yet as I have just started writing it.

I also need to start editing Missing which is a novel about a young child who goes missing in the middle of the night.

I have just finished a copywriting course and hope to get some freelance writing jobs. It would be my ideal job if it works out.

As you can see despite my silence I have still been busy behind the scenes writing and editing books. It was awful not being able to write while my hand was bad. I love writing and was just itching to get at it again. Here I am, and on the whole my hand is much better and able to function almost normally now.

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Technology gremlins

Well, by now I was expecting to tell you about my latest release. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone to plan which is causing great frustration my end. I published on Amazon as usual. It showed my book was live but when I went into Amazon discovered it wasn’t there. I left it 24 hours but still nothing! Time for emailing their helpdesk. The response came giving the link to it saying it was there. I tried again and sure enough it wasn’t there. Another email to them. The response from them this time was to say they were having a technological problem which they knew about and were working on. Still I waited, but nothing every time I checked. A few days later I sent another email to find out what was happening. There response still the same. They are working on it and don’t know how much longer it will take to fix. I continue to wait and check to see if it’s there yet.

I also had a few problems with the paperback version I’ve been getting ready to publish. It was all ok in my Word document but on their previewer it was showing a blank page. Having no idea why this could be I sent them another email. They asked me to send my manuscript to them so they could see what was happening. They found the problem and told me how to fix it. I tried but didn’t know what I was doing. I had to use the help icon in Word to find out how to remove the page break. It took a while for me to find out how to do it but when it was done and I uploaded again and this time all looked ok!

Technology is fine when it’s working but when there is an issue I’m stuck not knowing what to do. It’s at those times I wish we could go back to the days of pen and paper. Of course, I wouldn’t want to write an entire book by hand it would take too long and make my wrists ache trying plus I would have to keep counting the words to know how many I have done.  No, I think I’ll stick with technology which works all right most of the time.

 

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Confusion?

Last week I did a free promotion for my book Lily of the Valley.  I got loads of downloads and hoped that some would leave a review. No such luck I only got one review out of it. Please if you read a book leave a review as it helps get more sales. If I could reach about 50 reviews Amazon would start recommending the books to other customers which would help enormously with sales. I hoped that all those people reading it would mean sales for my other books, but no such luck.

Well, an update on my writing since last time. Currently I am trying to publish my next book Gallows Lane but unfortunately I’m having problems with the cover. KDP won’t accept the cover and I’m not sure why. I’ve been back to my designer and he sent me another one but it didn’t work either.

At the same time I am trying to edit two more books which are almost ready and believe it or not I have started writing not one, but two novels. One is a thriller about a child that goes missing. The other is historical fiction set in France during World War Two. The first is called Missing and the second is called A Place of Safety.

That’s where the confusion lies, trying to write two books at the same time is not easy. I could get the characters all mixed up and write a piece in the wrong book. The problem is all the ideas come into my head and I want to get them down while I’m thinking of them.

On a lighter note, I was out with a friend the other day by a river. There was a boat there with a man getting on it. I turned to my friend and said there was a dead body inside which he was about to discover.  Of course there would be in my writers imagination. I then said to my friend that I wondered what people thought if they over heard what I was saying. I suggested they might get worried and report it to the police. I also said I would be able to prove I’m an author and it’s just my imagination. My friend responded saying that I still wouldn’t get away with it as they might still be concerned that I had to have got my ideas from somewhere. I said she’s supposed to be my friend and she’s talking me into trouble. She said she is my friend and she’s just preparing me for what will happen. We had a good laugh about it. Yes, although it was a nonsense conversation it gave me another idea for a story about an author it happens to. I don’t know if I’ll write it yet but I jotted it down in a notebook so it’s there to use if I want it at some point.

With all this going on you can probably see how easy it would be to get confused with what I am trying to do.

Hopefully by next time the cover issue will be sorted and the book available to buy.

 

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