Moving Onwards Monday

Relaunch of Skylord Approaching

The relaunch of Skylord is getting closer!  Naturally, it is going to be necessary to withdraw the current free edition of the ebook.  It will be replaced with the new edition when it is available.  The new edition will be fully illustrated throughout with black and white images, to reflect the fact that the book is most suited to the junior market.  I will also be looking into a print edition, though that may be subject to the size of the revised book, especially in terms of the page count.

If any of you have experience in self-publishing print versions of children’s books, I’d be very grateful for any advice or guidance.

Shade of Evil Now Fully Available

The paperback edition of Shade of Evil is now available from both CreateSpace and Amazon stores (Amazon.com and Amazon Europe only).  The links are available on the book page.  It also remains available through skoobebooks.co.uk.  At the time of writing this, the existing Amazon reviews for the book aren’t currently included under the paperback edition, unfortunately.  If you wish to read them, they can be found under the Kindle version.

Have You Joined the Event?

If you haven’t already done so, please do consider joining the new book launch event on my Facebook!  It’s a great place to discuss what’s going to happen, and to let me know what you think about the new book.  If you need a Facebook invitation, please let me know!  While you’re over there, perhaps you’d be kind enough to answer the post about sharing the good news.  The more feedback I get, the better the planning in future – I hope!  Also, any suggestions you may have would be gratefully received.  A blog is wonderful, but, by its very nature, discussions can be difficult to keep going.  Facebook event pages are much better for that.

Obviously, if you’d like to ask me any questions or make any observations on the event page, please feel free to do so!

~ Steve

AWOL Sunday & Falling Behind

Lazy Sunday…

Well, kind of, I guess.  Started with dosing up as much as I dared to make a journey I really wasn’t fit for, but in a very good cause.  Why?  It was the baptism of our granddaughter Kimberly!  Sadly, the best I could manage in participation terms was arriving before everybody headed out, as the “facilities” at the church and the club afterwards were not suitable for me.  So I basically house-sat.  Still, I spent an extremely pleasant day in the back garden, enjoying the warmth and, eventually, the sun.  I dozed off for a while and then used my son’s tablet to start writing a new story (probably a short story).  It was wonderful, actually.  Being somewhere so very quiet, doing nothing of great importance.

If you’re interested in such things, I have a photo gallery of the baptism on my Facebook.  The majority of the photos were taken by my wife, Jenny, and using a Samsung Ace Smartphone (with only one exception), after the batteries died in my digital camera,  I have to say that the Samsung’s camera function provided phenomenal quality results, especially considering that no flash was used!

Not Keeping Up Well…

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been keeping up with things very well, lately.  That’s mainly because of the work involved in preparing for the book launch!  Part of it is the to-and-fro’ of getting the book into print, which will be both paperback and hardback.  I complicated matters by wanting the hardback to be the kind with a dustjacket with a plain book cover, rather than a full colour book cover.  This is probably a holdover from growing up with such things.  I used to love peeking under the dustjackets to see the smart, minimalistic titles on the covers and spine beneath.  Somehow, when I first encountered hardbacks without dustjackets but with glossy, full colour covers (often just on the front), well… to be absolutely honest, they looked cheap and tacky to me.  And yes, I know that’s silly and unfair, but it’s something I can’t get past.  Even those where the dustjacket illustration is still printed on the book cover beneath just doesn’t have the same feel to it.  A further complication because of this wish for a dustjacket is that the book sizes available are different!  Thus, I can’t have the 8 x 5 inch size.  I have to move up to 8.5 x 5.5 inches, which means that there will be a reduction in the number of pages!  The paper will also be crème instead of white.  Finally, the desire for a dustjacket means I need to come up with something for the inner flaps, without repeating anything from elsewhere, preferably.  Keith at skoobebooks.co.uk has been a huge help throughout!

On top of the print issues for the book, I have fallen foul of something I did for the release of The Sigil of Ahriman – producing a video book trailer!  There are many, many difficulties involved in the process, and I spent a considerable amount of time beating my head against very high, hard brick walls!  Without the enormous amount of help I had from Chris Graham (creator of the book’s cover illustration) with the images used in the video, and my son Damien in the narration, I would probably have conceded defeat long ago.  The task would have been, I  now know, far beyond me!  I will admit that this process was complicated when Damien pointed out that the video lost quality rather badly when watched full screen in HD!  I don’t have direct, personal access to HD.  Further, my computer seems to be suffering from serious memory problems (I know that feeling!) so many of the tricks used to persuade Windows Movie Maker to record in HD, or even pseudo-HD, simply won’t work for me.  I found a video conversion program which may have overcome the problem, but I won’t know until Damien confirms one way or another.  Finally, I haven’t yet decided on whether to superimpose the narrative on the video or to incorporate subtitles.  Both present significant technical challenges for a video creation newbie!

So I hope that you all understand why I have been struggling to keep up with other things!  If you’ve emailed me, for any reason, and I haven’t replied as yet, please accept my very sincere apologies.

~ Steve

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


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

Wandering On Wednesday

The Delight of Unexpected Reviews

I was thrilled to discover that two of my books were reviewed and given 5 stars! Shade of Evil and Evil Under The Circle, Parts 1 and 2 of G1: The Guardians, were reviewed by Chris The Story Reading Ape and the reviews can be found on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  You can find all of Chris’ reviews on Goodreads.  Of course, you can also find Chris’ reviews on his own blog.  I would like to express my sincere thanks to Chris for his kindness and honesty.  Having friends who understand fully that you only wish to receive absolutely genuine reviews of your works is beyond valuable.

I was further delighted to find a 5 star review of Intruder from the Thief series of free short stories!  The review, posted on Barnes & Noble is so heartening!  I quote it below:

This book kept me on the edge of my seat until the last word was read.

There is a serious threat that exudes evil and wants to claim the land in this sci-fi fantasy.  Mages, which this author describes as magicians of a sort, are sought to help go up against the evil.

Characters are richly described and likable and fascinating.  This is a novella which is a quick read but this reader did not want the story to end.  The author is a very talented and creative storyteller. I will be reading many more of his stories. This is an excellent choice of reading for YA.

Review by jesNH, 6th August, 2013.  5 stars awarded.

I would like to thank jesNH for such a glowing review!

Going for a New Look – Again!

Yes, I’m afraid I’m going to be tinkering again!  The main page of posts can be rather overwhelming, especially when the posts are long!  I’ve decided to try to improve things by making use of a WordPress post facility.  This will involve adding the codeword More to all long posts, which will mean that only part of the post will appear on the main page and you will need to click on the More… link in the post to read all of it.  One advantage of this is that it will give easier access to other facilities, such as commenting, sharing, rating and liking.  In respect of special days (Book Promo Day and Blog Browser Day), I will endeavour to place the codeword in such a place that the link has to be clicked or some of the detail information will be lost to the reader.  Obviously, this will be subject to any feedback – positive or negative – as to whether I continue to use the codeword.  Also, I will not be going back to posts already displayed.  I simply don’t have the time to edit all those posts (around 270 of them)!

If you wish to provide any feedback on this change, at any time, please  contact me using the contact form on the blog, or via email if you have my address.  I would suggest not using Facebook or Twitter, as messages are too easily lost unless the direct message system is used.

Uncovered: The Naked Manuscript

If by any remote chance you’re waiting for Part 4 of G1: The Guardians, which will also be the first novel I will have released, I’m afraid the waiting must continue.  It still lacks a cover.  My son is extraordinarily busy now, with negligible time for such extra projects.  My own attempts have been woeful, to say the least, and I simply can’t afford to pay anybody to provide a more professional cover.  I can assure you all that I am more frustrated than anybody else.  I even considered abandoning my original vision for the cover, even if only for the first edition, and going with an extremely simple cover.  So desperate have I become!  There has been a consequence to this situation, too, in that the work on Part 5 is crawling along.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

No – they dream of having more storage space  built into their main circuitry!  How do I know?  Well, I have a Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830i and it is forever complaining that its built-in memory is almost or actually full!  The kind folk of Samsung allow the use of micro SD cards to obtain more space.  Unfortunately, that really doesn’t help because they have been so miserly as far as the built-in space is concerned!  Don’t misunderstand me.  This isn’t a problem unique to Samsung,  I had, for a short while, an Android tablet, and that suffered from exactly the same problem!  Sure, most apps are installed to the SD card, along with things that they handle – such as the Kindle app and the ebooks that you download for it.   I was amazed, having watched TV adverts talking about the vast number of available apps, that this ‘phone has so very little actual capacity.  Every app installed contributes to the space consumed in the ‘phone itself, regardless of where the app itself is installed to!  And even more annoying is the fact that there are pre-installed apps which you can’t uninstall!  Some of these are massive (‘bloatware’) and I know that I’ll never use them, but Samsung have decided that they should be locked in, untouchable.  I find it increasingly difficult to understand how Samsung, and most other Android device manufacturers, expect to compete with Apple’s devices!  For example, the internal, built-in storage of the iPod Touch is impressive.  Sure, you can’t expand it, but at least most of the storage is available without all the nonsense problems of the Android competition.  Yes, there are locked apps with Apple too, and yes, it would be hugely beneficial if we could remove them, but even then I can get loads more apps on the standard, basic iPod Touch than I can on the Android smartphone!

(Apologies to Philip K Dick, author of the book whose title I have stolen for this section!)

Book Promo Day: 25th July, 2013

An exception to normal Book Promo Day entries:

Smashwords Sale from Sarah Baethge

Smashwords is having a sale!
If you want a cheap read, now is the time to check out Smashwords.

My short story, Right Now is free with the code SSW75 .

My novel, Panoptemitry is only $1.25 with that same code: SSW75 .

My other two short stories are always free, you can get to them from my Author Page.


Fraudulent Robert Spake Fraudulent by Robert D. Spake

It’s the late 19th Century. William Traven is returning home to England after four years of travelling. Along the way he feels as though he’s lost himself, so he comes home hoping to recapture his lost spirit. However, he’s worried that a sense of belonging will still elude him and if he can’t find it at home he fears that he’ll lose all hope. There’s also Eleanor, the girl who promised to wait for him while he went away. He feels an obligation to marry her but he doesn’t know whether he can carry out his duty if he doesn’t truly love her, or whether he can be the man his parents expect. He’s torn between honour, duty and love, and death hangs like a shadow over him as he struggles to find a place in the world.

Purchase details:

Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

More information:

Amazon author page
Goodreads
Author’s Blog
Facebook


Letters Home: Afghanistan by Teresa Jones

Letters Home: Afghanistan is the story of a soldier and his family that experience the ups and downs of a year of deployment to an active war zone. In this story we watch as the son John, deals with the reality of war in addition to missing out on all the wonderful things that come along with being part of a family and a community. We also get a peek into how the family on the home front deals with their son being so far away and in harm’s way each and every day.

Together they must find the strength to stay strong and positive while struggling daily to be a constant source of encouragement and support to each other.

~This book is a novella that is the first in a set of four from the “Letters from War” series. ~
~This book reads like a packet of old letters instead of in typical chapter formation~

Available exclusively on Amazon.com with Createspace version coming soon!

Purchase Location: Amazon.com
Current Price: 0.99 cents!

Contact the Author:
Facebook
Goodreads
WordPress
Twitter


The Tale of a Tale

It was a tale like any other – words following words.  Of course, it had its own self.  A character, a personality that made it unique, or sufficiently different to its peers that it had self-worth.  There was just one problem: it was very, very old.  So old, in fact, its creator had almost forgotten it entirely.  Right up until one day of ‘sorting out the mess’.  Oh, what a fateful day that was!  For the tale’s creator, browsing through a battered, dusty box that had been stuck at the back and rear of an ever growing pile of boxes, discovered it again.  At that moment, it wasn’t the focus of the creator’s attention.  That was given to the bulky, bulging ring binder in its entirety.  Yellowed paper, with damaged edges, was jutting unevenly from the binder.  Dozens of fragments, notes made hastily, whole passages standing proudly, lists that niggled at the creator’s memory but refused to be recognised.  There were even some fragments that spanned several sheets.  And it was all a mix of handwritten and typed.

The creator, with motes of dust floating in the streaky sunlight all around him, settled on the floor and gave brief attention to each sheet of aged paper, sometimes smiling in recollection, sometimes snorting at the nonsense pieces.  It was not a quick process.  The rays of light swung slowly across the scene as hours trickled past.  And then, there in the very heart of the binder-cramped papers, the tale came to the surface.  It was anxious, longing to be something more, something complete.  Perhaps it was so very weary because it was, like all the rest, merely a fragment.  Oh, but what a fragment!  It felt its worth, its superiority to the rest, its possession of a moment of real genius from the creator, who trapped the moment on seven sheets of once-white paper, bound in the ink from a dancing typewriter ribbon in a frenzy of activity.  To be left, a sentence hanging unfinished at the bottom of the seventh sheet.  The casualty of circumstance as the creator discovered that he had used the very last of his paper supply.

As dull sounds came from below, where others went about the day as usual, the creator almost moved onto the next fragment, but the tale fought back, jamming its last sheet against the sixteen line poem on the next sheet of paper.  The creator used various idle methods to pass on, but his eyes drifted across the neat, though faded, lines of typing, with the ‘e’ consistently too high and the overly sharp ‘o’ making dark ringed holes in the paper.  And as his eyes followed the trail of words, he began to see what was there.  Before long, he was reading properly, gradually leaning closer to the foxed, discoloured paper.  The tale could feel the creator’s heart moving to the rhythm of its words, faster, slower, stronger, fainter.   Seven sheets of typing, single line spacing for economy.  It didn’t really take the creator long to read it, though it seemed an eternity.  With the last word of the unfinished sentence, and after a frustrated hunt for the non-existent rest, the creator collided with great force against the wall of lost opportunity.  With a frown, the creator fights the age stiffened rings, without success.  His old fingers just can’t manage the metallic resistance.  The tale feels fear.  If he can’t release it from its prison…

There is a soft but rather horrible sound as paper gone almost brittle tears.  Fingers mottled with age, with a hint of arthritic swelling in a couple of knuckles, grip the liberated sheets.  The binder drops back into the box.  The whole war field of ‘sorting out’ is forgotten, abandoned.  The creator hurries, in a shambling way, out of the small room, long unused, and along a landing only dimly lit.  Down stairs that aren’t safe, the aged carpet threadbare in places, torn or loose in others.  The banister creaks and shifts very slightly under the stress of the creator needing it for support.  A lighter area, where staircase joins a wide hallway.  Voices in a room at the rear of the house, the kitchen, which is the accepted place for people to congregate and talk.  The creator turns from the voices and enters a large, comfortable room, drowned in sunlight competing with a bulb that’s never turned off.  He goes to a comfortable chair at a small but sturdy desk and sits down.

The tale can’t sense the presence of a typewriter and it becomes uncertain.  The creator pulls the chair closer to the desk and places the tale on the flat surface.  He takes a moment to smooth out the creases his grasp made in the paper.  The tale becomes aware of something new, something wondrous, something with a growing hoard of precious words.  It can’t know, of course, that this new thing is called ‘computer’.  But tale becomes aware of being read again, of some essence of its words rising, passing through the creator into computer, to appear on a shining screen, every letter perfectly in place.  The tale feels a strange fading sensation as its words, its phrases, its sentences are channelled into computer.

The tale is very, very tired.  It wants the creator to finish before it rests.  Deep down, it knows that it won’t be waking again.  It came back into the light for a while, and was read.  That will be enough.  The final sentence, its promise unrealised, is drawn up and granted entry into computer’s strange, bright world.  And as the last letter of the last word is taken, the tale plunges into the darkness, ready for oblivion.

=0=

Incredible.  Light everywhere.  A sense of something unfamiliar, something that the tale has always dreamt of, wished for, but the identity of which evades it.  There is a peculiar sensation, of being drawn quickly into a tiny space, darker than the binder, or the box, but just as full of others.  But now the others look at the tale with envy and wistfulness, and just a hint of admiration.  And the tale realises what the new feeling is.  It is almost complete.  Somehow it knows that its words would now fill many, many sheets of paper.  It feels the growth, discovers new knowledge, an expansion far beyond its wildest dreams.  It is more than a simple tale, now.  It is reincarnated as a veritable novel!

By, and Copyright (©) of, Steve K Smy, June 2013.

I hope you enjoyed this little tale of how a forgotten fragment of a story can be reincarnated!  Who knows?  Perhaps one day you’ll aid in the reincarnation of a forgotten tale…

Steve

Reviewing The Adventure So Far

DSCN7533 I thought I’d share a photo’ or two.  These are the first two paperbacks of my novelettes.  I was finally able to get some batteries for my camera.  Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get them into good light so there’s some flash flare on the photo’.  Still, I think it’s better than a simple scan!  I still can’t begin to describe just how it felt, after waiting 43 years, what it’s like to hold them in my hand.  Don’t get me wrong!  I doubt very much that I would have them now, if I hadn’t first discovered the miracle of ebooks.  Seeing my ebooks receiving interest gave me the courage to go for the ‘real thing’!

Perhaps that’s the true importance of ebooks and self-publishing.  Without ebooks, I would have continued to write, but what I wrote would have remained forever a curious pile of paper or collection of computer files, gathering dust, getting damaged or lost.  I’ve never had the resources to mail agent after agent, publisher after publisher – well, not since my youth, anyway.  As many manuscripts I produced were either written longhand or typed in non-manuscript format (MS format took far too much paper), I couldn’t even afford to have them typed professionally, ready in case somebody actually showed interest.  But ebooks!  Oh what a revolution!

DSCN7525 Early experiments with PDFs had not convinced me.  I don’t like them.  It’s as simple as that.  SO a handful of half-hearted attempts at writing on the computer simply sat there, doing nothing.  discovering Kindle ebooks and ePubs transformed everything!  A good number of short story ebooks yielded the fact that I could get readers – judging by the number of downloads.  It was this that led to the novelettes.  Naturally, like the vast majority of Indie writers, translating hundreds of downloads of free stories into sales of longer tales has not been quite so impressive.  In fact, I still get excited by a sale.  That gives you some idea of how quick sales are going!  Despite that, I know that there are millions of people who don’t like ebooks, so I decided to issue the novelettes as paperbacks, at the absolute minimum price.  I’m not sorry I did, even if I’m yet to get any sales!

And that’s the thing.  I have made a discovery.  I now know that the dream on its own is enough!  Yes, some sales would be very nice, and no, they’ll never make me rich – or even financially ‘comfortable’, but, I have realised the most cherished dream of my life!  Yes, I would feel immensely honoured to have readers, especially ones who come back for more, but that would be icing on the cake, and icing without a cake is rather pointless.  After all these years, I now know that it is simply the sense of having moved from a manuscript to a finished, honest-to-goodness, book is incomparable in terms of satisfaction.

Does that al sound egocentric?  It probably does, but I’m honest enough to acknowledge the truth, now that I understand it.  This realisation of a simple fact caused me to consider something.  Is my ambition now fulfilled?  Do I now move to something new?  Well, you may be unhappy to learn that I intend to continue writing.  I have another ambition, and it may even be the one that has driven everything else this far.  I want to see one of my novels not in ebook format, nor even in paperback.  I really wish to see one in hardback!  More, it should be a stylish hardback, such as anybody would be proud to display on their most publicly visible bookshelf.  Sure, it can have a slip cover, but the bare book, without that paper wrapping, however ‘pretty’ is very much secondary.  And here, I will make a confession.  I came very close to having that a very long time ago.  I contacted a company I thought were legitimate publishers.  In fact, I discovered that they were ‘Vanity publishers’.  Still, if I had had more money and less sense, I would have leapt at the opportunity to see my book published.  I had a clear impression of how it would look, and I so wanted it!  Yet, with the good sense instilled in me by excellent parents, I recognised that it would be an expensive way to massage my ego.  As a result, and not without a few twinges of regret, I rejected the deal and returned meekly to the realms of the author dreaming but not succeeding.  Today, I am very glad that I didn’t take that route.

The other two of my novelettes are on the brink of appearing as paperbacks.  My recently completed novella will follow as swiftly as possible.  I’ve now begun writing another book, which will be the fourth of the G1: The Guardians series, and I don’t yet know what length it will be.  It is my hope that it will be the longest tale yet, but that could mean that it will still be of novella length.  My production rate has declined, but that’s natural given the increased length of each book.  I’m not really writing less, it’s just more concentrated.

So far, this adventure has been fascinating and fun.  With any luck, it will continue in the same vein!

~ Steve

Dancing With Joyness!

‘Joyness’?  What the heck is that?

Okay, so I know there’s no such word as ‘joyness’!  The word ‘joy’ was insufficient and ‘ecstasy’ has an unfortunate alternate meaning.  So I got inventive for this post.  What am I feeling joyness about?  It’s very easy to answer that: I have another novelette available in paperback with one more almost there!

The Ossilan Affair - Spec Fic

The Ossilan Affair, which is the second novelette in the Captain Henri Duschelle Stories series, is now available through skoobebooks.  It should be noted that, while skoobebooks are in the UK, they do fulfil international orders – please check the website!

I am very excited to see these paperback editions appearing.  While there have been no sales so far, unfortunately, I feel that I’m now offering my books in a more complete sense, and not confining them to only those with eReaders/computers with eReader apps.  I’m seriously considering bringing together the Thief series short stories in a compendium, which would be offered both as an ebook and a paperback.  If I did so, however, I would have to remove the free ebooks, which is a stumbling block to the idea’s progress.  I would love to hear from you if you have any views on the possibility, especially if you’ve done something similar!

The next ‘ebook goes paperback’ will be Evil Under The Circle, which is the second of the G1: The Guardians series.  I decided to go to skoobebooks for this, too, because my experiences with them, compared to FeedARead, were so good.  With the third in this series now completed, I’m still trying to decide whether to release the ebook or the paperback first.  If I choose to go for the paperback, there will be a delay before the release…

Where next…

I’m between stories now.  The novel is still in limbo.  I haven’t yet been hit by inspiration as to what comes next.  I’d love to pursue the Duschelle and Guardians series, but both obviously require the vision of where they are to go from the last books.  It’s obvious that I’m building up in length of these tales, so I really need some storylines appropriate to a longer format.  That said, there’s still room for more stories in the Thief series – or do I look to writing a longer tale there too?  Finally, I started writing a children’s story, but lost several pages of work when the battery died on my netbook!  Despite OpenOffice autosaving, all I had left was a little over one paragraph – which was soul destroying.  I do have notes for that story, but I’ve not had the heart to start again, so far.  It would also be complicated, because I’d like to include some black and white illustrations and my own drawing skills are not adequate for the images I’ll need.

It’s all very unclear at the moment.  In the meantime, not writing is an unhappy state for me!  Ah, the joys of being an author…