“Not Another Series!”

I’ve seen some writers, and critics and readers, complaining about the number of authors writing series of books.  Now, I’m certainly guilty of doing just that, as you probably know.  But why do I write in series?  The simple answer is that some stories encourage  me to do so.  In fact, there’s a very real possibility that some of my shorter books could have been held back and put together as single works.  That said, there’s no guarantee that the prospect of a series wouldn’t have raised its head.  In truth, like readers everywhere, we writers get attached to some of our characters, and/or the worlds/universes we create for them!  And that phenomenon isn’t predictable.

Of course, some authors set out quite deliberately to write a series.  They have it all planned far ahead.  They have every reason to do so, too.  The emotional, creative and temporal investment in their invention is such that they would, in fact, be underselling themselves and their efforts.  They know this, from the very inception of the project.  I know that these circumstances exist, both from the biographies of such writers and from the fact that, many years ago, I actually planned such a series.  It was, most definitely, far more than simply a series of books!  I had to create detailed maps, not just of small areas but of a whole world.  I had to invent new languages, and even new scripts.  And then there were the numerous species, races and histories.  To contemplate going to such extremes of creativity for a single tome would, to put it bluntly, just utterly foolish!

But there are accidental series, too.  These can happen in two ways.  First, the author recognises a potential behind the original creation – and runs with it.  Second, readers can plead for, even demand, more!  Of course, the author has to be able to see what it is that has so strongly hooked those readers.  If they can’t, then no more can be successfully written.  I would, if it was in my character, envy those authors who enjoy such demands and pleas from their readers!  For myself, I’m limited to the first accidental event.  I can only hope that readers share my interest in a series which is taking an ever larger life of its own.

Let me take a personal example!  My novelette, Shade of Evil, was originally intended to be a single work, part of my experiment in genres I wouldn’t normally write in.  Even after I had finished writing it, there was no obvious course forward.  But then, during the final stages of preparation for publication, the final scenes of the book suddenly threw out grappling hooks!  They took a very firm hold.  The characters, and the organisation they worked for, piqued my interest.  It wasn’t long, therefore, before they appeared in a new story.  It was begun, and there was no turning back.  Why?  Well, apart from those sneaky grappling hooks, there was a question of a ‘tidy’ conclusion.  Sure, Harry’s story was definitely done, but I could feel the suspended story of that intrepid bunch, the Guardians, and especially G1!  So it continued, and still does.

I like standalone stories as much as anybody.  As an author, they’re a lot less troublesome to write!  That doesn’t, however, stop the need for some stories to go far beyond a single volume.

I probably haven’t persuaded those who bemoan the plethora of series that there are often good reasons for them, but I thought it worth trying!

~ Steve

Background to “G1: The Guardians” #4

AFAS: Alliance of Free Arab States

A politico-military union of Arab states with little or no (known) oil reserves.  The first reasonably harmonious alliance of such nations, established originally by Egypt, Jordan and the North African Arab states.  While supporting CANE (q.v.), they are wary of them, due to frequent eruptions of fundamentalist extremists.  An Egyptian initiative, supported by Jordan, saw the embracing of Israel as an Hamito-Semitic state.  A liberal Israeli Government made certain minor concessions with regard to the ‘Palestinian Question’, and in return received a non-aggression guarantee.  It was a master stroke, effectively removing Israel from the influence of the USNA (q.v.).  Part of the agreement has seen Israeli specialists Continue reading

What a Shame!

Blog Browser Day

It strikes me as being a shame that nobody nominated any blogs for Blog Browser Day this week.  To me, this opportunities to bring the spotlight of free advertising to bear are priceless.  Okay, so this one is really intended to direct folk to blogs that we, ourselves, like, but I would have thought that there’s no shortage of those!  Please, my friends!  Don’t be shy about these chances!

What the…?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook too will know about this.  My feelings are, however, still strong on the whole thing!

Yesterday, while doing a quick check on my Smashwords Dashboard, I discovered a whole bunch of my books had been taken off “Premium”!  Now, that setting means that the books can and are sent to numerous other online bookstores.  A very desirable state of affairs, of course.  So removing books from it is devastating!  But why?  Well, all but one had, according to the Smashwords ‘autovetter’, a very, very tiny fault.  Now hang on!  I was under the impression that this system was part of the initial submission process for books.  All of these books have been available for several months!  So why did this happen?  I’d love to know but, to be honest, the folk handling such questions at Smashwords get very defensive and I’m really in no mood for such nonsense.  Suffice it to say that it took me bout 11 hours to make the amendments!

On a Very Much Happier Note…

I was delighted to discover that my short story, Skylord, had received another 5 star review!  It’s on Smashwords (yes, that same place) but I repeat it here:

Skylord is a short story depicting the plight of a young dragon nearing adulthood who is testing his mettle. When he flies too close to Ydren and makes an enemy of her, he tells his parents a lie about their encounter. There is an overabundance of dragons and not enough open territory. His lie leads his parents to go to war over territory. When Skylord learns that he cannot fly in the Phalanx and do battle because he is not yet an adult, he despairs that others will die and he cannot right his wrong. He flies off to the Lost Caverns and meets Belarth, a wise old dragon long presumed to be dead. Belarth gives him some valuable advice which gives Skylord the answer to the problem for which he as been searching. Great adventure fantasy for children ages ten and up.

Barbara Mojica on Aug. 16, 2013 : starstarstarstarstar

Thank you so much, Barbara!

And Finally…

Apart from being able to get the brand new ebook version of Shade of Evil from Smashwords or any Amazon store, with the great new cover by Chris Graham, the 2nd Edition paperback is being prepared right now.  In addition, my new novel is with skoobebooks and will, hopefully, be available in paperback by the launch date of 10th September.  In fact, and this is very exciting, it may also be available in hardback!  The ebook will be processed on the launch date, simultaneously at Amazon and Smashwords.

More exciting news:  I have an artist friend looking into producing illustrations and a new cover for Skylord!  The illustrated version, a fully fledged children’s book, will, I’m afraid, not be available as a free ebook, and the text only version will be withdrawn at the end of this month.  This will reflect the additional work involved in producing an illustrated book.  I will do all I can to keep the price down but ebooks generally can’t be priced below $0.99 USD.

~ Steve

Book Promo Day: 15th August, 2013

Jaded by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

Teen love story meets murder mystery within an eye color obsessed, “idyllic” commune.

After sixteen-year-old Jade discovers her late grandmother was poisoned, she’s devastated yet determined to find the killer commune member and their motive.

With help from her mysterious friend Tyrian, and Peaches, the commune leader’s sweet daughter; Jade unearths dark secrets that involve her mother’s affair, her maternal grandparent’s abandonment, and a plethora of murders. To make matters worse, someone is hell bent on ending Jade’s mission for the truth.

Jade can’t continue conforming to an evil society and yet she fears the Outside is just as corrupt. If she resolves to flee and is caught, the punishment is banishment to the slave cabins… and blinding.

Read the entire book at Swoon Reads

More information:

Author’s blog


Letters of a Convict Girl – Age 11 by Kate Walker

At age 11, Rosie O’Brien, daughter of an Irish Rebel, is sentenced to 14 years in prison and transported to the other side of the world – to the far Colony of New South Wales (Australia). The year is 1804 and in this wild place Rosie has only herself to rely on. Her letters home record the trials, hardships and miracles that befall her. Somewhere in this God forsaken land is her convict father. Even if he still lives, can she hope to find him? This young girl’s survival is based on real convict experiences. Suitable for readers aged 8 – 12 years.

Price: $1.99 – Illustrated PDF download from Scribd.

More information:

Author’s website


PURE TRASH: The Story by Bette A. Stevens

The year is 1955. If you grew up in the 1950s and the 1960s, you may be among those who recall those good old “Happy Days” of television fame. Even younger generations enjoy watching TV reruns to get a peek into what life was like back then. In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd.

“This short story is filled with images and flavor only better provided by an ice cream cone…  PURE TRASH gives the reader pause for thought, and I recommend it to the adult reader and the YA reader alike. ” Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, author of fiction & non-fiction

PURE TRASH: The Story is about bullies, both in the traditional and non-traditional sense.  It may redefine your definition of bullying. Torment, persecution, intimidation…  These are a few descriptors of what those who are considered “different” in some way may suffer. For Shawn and Willie, their “difference” is based upon the social status of the dysfunctional family, the alcoholism and the abject poverty in which they grew up.

More information:

Author’s blog/website
Amazon Author’s Page


Relaunch and Cover Reveal: “Shade of Evil”

Shade of Evil - 400x600 G1: The Guardians

This series began with the novelette, Shade of Evil, though I didn’t know then that it was going to lead where it has!  One thing I can assure you of is that I am delighted that it has grown into the series, and excited as to where it will go.

Shade of Evil Front Cover 02-smallBack in the beginning, Shade of Evil had a cover design meant to be very plain.  With later developments, however, that concept is no longer appropriate.  As a consequence, the book has a brand new cover.  This new cover features artwork by Chris Graham, and I hope that you’ll think it’s as great as I do!  I think Chris has captured the essence of the story superbly.  You can see the new cover better by clicking on the image.

In addition to the great new cover, the text has been revised, to eliminate some errors and to make the story fit later developments of G1: The Guardians better.  Unfortunately, that does mean that if you own a copy of the 1st Edition, it won’t tally with this version.  I believe that you get automatic updates from Amazon and some other sites, however, but if you don’t, please contact me before the end of this month (August 2013)!

The 2nd Edition of Shade of Evil is available as an ebook, or will be very shortly, through Amazon (stores worldwide) and Smashwords.  It will also be available from most other major online bookstores (including Barnes & Noble, kobo and Apple iTunes) and numerous other sites but I’m afraid I have no control over when!  Remember that Smashwords offers all major ebook formats.  The paperback will be available very soon, via skoobebooks.

If you read Shade of Evil, or have already read it it, I would be very pleased if you provided feedback as to your opinions about it!  Star ratings are okay, though limited when in isolation.  A brief comment on one of the bookstore sites that allow customer reviews to be placed, or a review of any length, would be even better!  Apple iBooks readers, specifically:  I would be thrilled if you could offer feedback on iTunes, which is one of the few major outlets where I don’t currently have any feedback on my books.  If you do leave feedback, I would appreciate you dropping me a line to let me know – sadly, only Smashwords actually notifies authors of reviews received!  If you belong to groups in networks like Google+ or Pinterest, especially where short reviews are posted, I’d be very happy to hear if you’ve posted about this or any of my books there.  Of course, you could leave a comment here, on the appropriate page, or even post a review on your own blog.

~ Steve

More information on G1: The Guardians 
Shade of Evil page with purchase links 

Background to “G1: The Guardians” #3

G1 The Guardians Reference GuideMutual Defence Pact of Oceania (MDPO)

Beginning as a political solution to increased South Seas piracy and American expansionism in the Pacific, the MDPO has since become a military organisation.  Originally led by Australia and New Zealand, the severing of political ties has led to

a broader spectrum of staff from across Oceania, including some island nations previously outside the protection of the MDPO.  Because the military structure is no longer subject to political interference,which was often damaging to operations, income is subject to a pro rata ‘tithe’ on member nations, plus the retention of any funds seized in operations.  Additionally, prosecutions and other lawsuits brought by the MDPO Attorney General’s Department (AGD) renders funds to the organisation by the seizure of assets belonging to those found guilty in court.  it has, therefore, become an economic power capable of wielding its military arm with great effect.

One of the most critical moments in the MDPO’s existence came soon after the severance of political ties.  Following the discovery of a large oil reserve  some three hundred miles from the eastern coast of New Zealand.  The United States of North America (USNA) attempted to seize the area, but as a group of three small islands of Oceania were situated on top of the area, the MDPO acted swiftly.

Continue reading

Blog Tours, Teasing and More

SKSmyButtonHome Page: What It’s All About

Yesterday, I completely revamped the blog’s home page, which is listed as What It’s All About.  This reflects some changes in circumstances.  There’s nothing staggeringly revolutionary about its content, as it mainly indicates what the blog is all about (if you hadn’t guessed).   The significant change is that, sadly, there is no longer any intimation that there will be, or is, an entity known as either Imagineer ebooks or Imagineer Books, in publishing terms.

Continue reading

Press Release: Clive the Magic Camel – A Guest Post

clip_image002.jpgclip_image004.pngClive the Magic Camel
– At the Zoo

Clive the Magic Camel – At the Zoo is a very old story about a camel that meets various animals and wishes for one of each of their attributes that he thinks will improve his personality. The name ‘camel’ changes as each attribute is added until he becomes so absurd that he realises that he was better as he was, and not something/somebody else.

The book is written to be read by 6 year olds and upwards, but it can be read to, or told as a story to, children from the age 3 upwards. This book, based on an old nonsense fun story, can even be enjoyed by those in secondary school. It can be read to groups of children to aid discussion on the subject raised.

The story was told certainly in Victorian times when there was no or very little entertainment in the homes. The writer has been telling this and other stories for many years to children and young people of all ages in schools, churches, and youth organisations.

A few years ago the author was told he ought to write down his stories and he has written Clive the Magic Camel – At the Zoo as his first book.

The book was published by Diverze Publications and was released on 14th February 2013.

The book is available in Stroud at ‘The Children’s Bookshop’, Union Street, ‘The Centre Bookshop’, London Road, and at ‘Come into the Light’ High Street, Stonehouse.

It is also available online at: www.diverze.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.waterstones.com, etc.

Comments on the book (most recent first):

· Sarah, Milford VA, USA (Goodreads)

I have an 8 and a 9 year old daughters. They read the book together and they really enjoyed reading it. They had so much fun sounding out the animals name.

This would be a great book for the author to present at a school and read to students and celebrate everyone’s differences. We had a local author come to our school that did that and the children loved it. This is the perfect book for such a presentation and for children to learn about writing. I look forward to checking out more books from the author.

· Mary Jane Calara, London (FaceBook):

“Great book, the moral lesson is not just for children but for grown- ups too. Proud to have one! Thanks Clive Dale!”

· Janet O’Shea, St Ives (Facebook):

Nina, Morgan, Finley and Aidan really enjoyed this book. It was funny when mummy couldn’t pronounce the words! We are looking forward to reading Clive the Camel at the Seaside.

· Colin Morgan, Bristol (Diverze):

Great story with brilliant illustrations. My grandchildren ages 7 and 9 just loves Clive the Camel they think he is so cute. Hope the next adventure is just as good.

· Current rating on Goodreads is 4.75 out of a maximum 5.

Cotswold Life Magazine, August 2013
selected for an article on children’s books

Cotswold Life Cover Article Cotswold Life

More of Clive Dale’s Books in the Pipeline

Written, proofread and awaiting illustration and publication:

Clive the Magic Camel – At the Seaside
Johnny and the Rice Pudding

Being Written:

Ollie the Onion
Grub the Dog

About the author Clive Dale

Clive currently lives in Stroud, and has worked in the computer departments for various companies including: Purnells, Paulton; Rank Xerox, Mitcheldean; Brann Direct Marketing, Cirencester; and British Energy (now EDF) Gloucester while living in the West Country.

Someone told him he should write his stories down and get them published. ‘Clive the Magic Camel – at the Zoo’ is the first to be published, with ‘Johnny and the Rice Pudding’ and ‘Clive the Magic Camel – at the Seaside’ currently awaiting illustrations.

Clive is now retired and is able to find time to write his stories. He is a member of Ebley Chapel, and a Trustee of the Countess of Huntingdon Connexion. On 2nd April 2013, he was inducted as President of the Countess of Huntingdon Connexion for a two year term.

For over forty years he has been a leader in various children’s and youth organisations (mainly Boys’ Brigade) and has told his stories in those organisations, schools, and Sunday Schools.

He was invited to Longney School, Gloucester on 7th March 2013 for World Book Day when he told the story to four classes and answered their questions on writing a book.

Ben Gander his illustrator for the first book is an avid artist, having produced various murals for children’s bedrooms, a pub and a toyshop, as well as selling various cartoons, caricatures and portraits

clip_image006Contact Information:

Clive Dale
Website: www.dales-tales.com

More Useful Links:

www.facebook.com/clivesDalesTales
www.facebook.com/clive.dale
www.facebook.com/pages/Clive-the-Magic-Camel
www.pinterest.com/clivemdale/
www.goodreads.com/author/show/7035116.Clive_Dale
www.twitter.com/C_DalesTales
www.twitter.com/clivemdale
www.twitter.com/CliveTheMagicc

Blog Browser Day: 10th August, 2013

Abroad in the Yard

A wonderful compilation of historical articles and photos from around the web.  Since I write ‘prehistorical fiction’ I find inspiration and information here.

Blog Class: General Blog

Recommended by: Aura Burrows

Rating: 5 stars

Confirmed Family Safe?  Yes.


Hari’s got tales

Hari gives descriptions, facts and sometimes histories about the Chinese and Indonesian recipes he posts as his main theme, however, he also wanders into other topics like local superstitions, the meaning of names in his country, etc.

He has a friendly, chatty style and loves to laugh and interact with anyone who comments.

I always enjoy my visits to his blog and his visits to mine 🙂

Blog Class: General Blog

Recommended by: Chris The Story Reading Ape

Rating: 5 stars

Confirmed Family Safe?  Yes.


The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company

Ian Hutson’s very inventively-named blog is a fascinating place to visit.  You will find all manner of things here. and most of them given Ian’s unique treatment!  Be wary, though: he invented irreverence!  But he’s good people and ready to give his support to many others.  The one thing he doesn’t do?  He doesn’t get in your face about his being an author!  Don your own pith helmet and go hunting through the pages of his blog.

Blog Class: Writing and General Blog

Recommended by: Steve K Smy

Rating: 5 stars

Confirmed Family Safe?  Yes.


Fumbling Through Friday

MysteryBookCover.pngMy Conscience Is Being Difficult

I have been considering what to do about the short stories in my Thief series.  These have been available for free download for a considerable length of time, now.  I have, however, been considering withdrawing them from the list of free ebooks I have out there.  If I did so, I would place all of them in a single, omnibus, volume, possibly with the title The Thief of Ur’gavan.  This would allow something that I don’t think is viable while they are just short stories: release in paperback!  Obviously, there’s absolutely no way that I could do that for free!  So, that leaves Continue reading