Thursday, 21 March 2013

Physician, heal thyself. Author, promote thyself.

I'm pretty slow. People who've read either of my blogs, the old, or this, the new, will have long realised this.

It took me a while to get a publishing deal, because I didn't know what I was doing, rather than because I'm crap. I figured out how to write a synopsis, how to write a book, where to submit to...the bones of a writer's job, I guess. Not much point in writing a book for no one to read, I think.

It's taken me a lot longer to get to the point of actually getting out there and helping people discover my books. When I wrote my first book, I submitted it to all the agents in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook.

I did that for about four years.

What a tosser.

Turns out that it's pretty much a waste of time, postage, paper...and saps the will to live a bit, too - as most writers/aspiring writers no doubt know already.

So I put myself out there. I spoke to people on the internet, made some contacts, DID MY RESEARCH...found a market or two. Got a couple of books published...

Happy days.

But, bugger it, turns out the vast majority of writers don't get a whopping great advance against royalties. What nobody told me was that being a writer is actually fucking hard work. It's not (GASP!) about sitting in your shed writing beautiful prose...well, not for a working writer. It's about knocking them out, getting them out there, and publicising yourself and your books...

I didn't get this, until the kindly crew at Crowded Quarantine Publications pointed it out to me, with simple diagrams because I'm a bit slow. You need to get out there. I did. Went to Cardiff. Had fun, but it wasn't earth shattering...because I'm not very famous. Got a few readers, yes, sold a couple of books, yes...but I'm not a superstar.

Writing is easy. Being a writer (one that makes money, at least) is actually WORK.

Bit of a ramble, I know, but here's the point I was trying to make:

I'm not famous because I haven't really told anyone about myself.

Simple, really, eh?

And the surprise is - people are interested! People really do want to know about you, your work, your books...they want to hear your stories! Weird. Came as a bit of a shock.

It really drummed it home. These last few days I've approached the library, the local paper, a chain of book shops, convention organisers...everyone's been amazingly helpful, interested, and have all said a big fat YES.

Well, that'll do for today. I'm buggering off now. Love you! x

Ah, nearly forgot the pictures:

Exhibit A: Me, in my natural habitat.

Exhibit B: Me, Rich Hawkins, and Adam Millard in the wild.

Monday, 18 March 2013


It's no secret that I love Aquaman.

Well, alright, yes, it is. It's just I watched the episode of JLA tonight in which he lost his hand. Pretty cool, eh?

But enough about Aquaman. This post isn't about Aquaman at all.

It's not really about anything. Just having a wee ramble, like the olden days. So, today, Mrs S had some pretty awesome news. Can't share, just yet. Not sure if I'll ever be able to share it...kind of an MI5/Bond deal sort of thing, I guess...haha. Well done Mrs S.

But this isn't a post about Mrs S.

It's not about getting on in years, either. I'm a bit long in the tooth, albeit only 40 years young, to be throwing in the towel. I am, however, slightly miffed that the people I know are going great guns, having some amazing successes, and I feel like I've stagnated a little.

To some degree, it's only natural. The kind of fallow period I've always had. No writing, barely any work to speak of...a lot of whining ;)

But I'm getting bored. Starting to get that little itch. Ambition, I think, rather than any particular urge to write (that bug is still annoyingly elusive). I want to be a little bit famous, I think.

Once, I'd submit a short story or a novel before sweating for months on a response. Today, I submitted something entirely different.

A letter to Waterstones, the local newspaper, and the library.

To do a personal appearance!


Yes, you may well laugh. But sometimes, you've got to want something enough to cut off your own hand.


Fuck it, told you I wasn't going anywhere with the Aquaman thing.

Love you! x

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Playing Blackjack with Mr.!

Playing Blackjack with Mr. Paws on The Wicked Library

Nelson W Pyles reads my story on The Wicked Library podcast.

The story is available in the anthology 'Help: Wanted' from Evil Jester Press (buy here from Amazon from Amazon UK)

Nelson's website!!!

Love you!

Also, check out the amazing art from Maddie Holliday Von Stark...(SITE SITE SITE!)

Here's a picture, because, you to have a picture!

Monday, 11 March 2013

That's a wrap...

Hopefully that'll work!

Really chuffed with this one - looking like an end of the month/April release.

This is all thanks to Anachron Press (with a wee nod to Mr. Joseph D'Lacey, who put me onto them...)

There's a link on the right to the sample, and here's a link or two (well, two) for them, too...too...

Anachron Press (website)
Anachron Press (twitter)

Love you!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Competition time - win a free (proper) book!


Pretty easy - clicky link, follow instructions, be in with a chance to win.

Love you!

Only Book Reviews: Review: Craig Saunders - The Outlaw King

Only Book Reviews: Review: Craig Saunders - The Outlaw King: Title: The Outlaw King (Book 1 of The Line of Kings) Author: Craig Saunders Website: My rating: 4.5...

Ha - just found a link called 'Blog This' on this new review blog. Sharing, because the lady in question (Kay Stewart) has only just started out and could no doubt use a follower or two...and because she's really rather kind about my book!

Love you x

Monday, 4 March 2013

Cardiff ComicCon 2013...the aftermath.

We return, triumphant (ish) from an absolutely brilliant weekend at Cardiff Comic and Animation Expo 2013.

Under Crowded Quarantine's umbriferous guts, myself, Adam Millard, and Rich (Stephen) Hawkin(g) signed a book or two, had a hell of a chat, saw some amazing Cosplay (*ahem* Batgirl *ahem*), a terrifying lunatic with a towel (I believe he took a photo of CQP's Zoe-Ray Millard home to show his mother's corpse), a ton of Sailor Moons, Sub-Zero, some seriously amazing people (and, yes, towel man)...

And yes - that's a stormtrooper.!

Darth was there, too.

Turns out, Darth had a bit of a fling with Rich.

It was my first signing event...I don't think it will be the last...I enjoyed it rather a lot.

CQP have in their possession a signed book or two - keep an eye on their website for details of upcoming competitions:

We launched my novel 'A Home by the Sea', too (there's a sample and link to buy on the right hand side of my blog...).

Me, dead in thought...I mean deep. Deep in thought. Yes...

I'm trying to keep it relatively short and sweet - nobody wants a blow-by-blow account of the whole weekend. I guess. 

So, one final picture of the MAN, and a last thank you to the CQP team, Adam and Zoe-Ray Millard, Rich and his wife, and of course my wife (who went, even though she spent the whole weekend terrified of pretty much everything :D )

Cheers to everyone who turned out. xxx

Oh yeah...

Love you!