Posts Tagged ‘books’

Now This Is A Library

Posted: January 7, 2013 in General
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It would probably require a lot of work to maintain, but this is a library that I think I could be quite happy with at my place – I’d need a much bigger place though for it to fit.


I had my first ever interview posted, over on Indie Book Blog.

Its actually rather a lengthy one, and doing them is harder than it seems.

I’ll need to start hunting down more if I am to get my name out there and interest in the books.

Late last night, just before I was about to head to bed, I got my second review for Tears of the Mountain – and my first 5-star review. Needless to say I was pretty stoked as I hadn’t been expecting it at all, and the person who wrote it isn’t someone I know. They read it and liked it, a lot. Its got me pumped now to go crazy with the writing – knowing you aren’t a complete hack and someone liked your stories enough to post such a glowing report really does help out the confidence.

And now onto the progress of the Winter Wolves giveaway.

It initially started very slow – just six were taken up in the fist 2 days. And then yesterday it took off, with 58 people purchasing it through the coupons in total now. It seems it got picked up on a website that advertises free books and this pushed a fair bit of traffic my way. Too date I haven’t gotten any reviews, but a couple of people have said they will write one.

Hopefully, with a week and a half still to go, it will help generate a number of reviews and even a sale or two.

My sister is currently working overseas in a third world country that, for security reasons, can’t be named. It isn’t the worst around but still isn’t exactly safe – the school she works at requires armed guards 24/7. The work she does is entirely voluntary and all the support she gets has to come from home in the form of donations and pledges.

As a poor starving writer there is not much I can do to help, until now.

I have decided that all the profits from my new novel, Winter Wolves, will go towards supporting her and the school she works at.

Currently I am offering it on Smashwords for free, by using the coupon VC42F, for the next two weeks. This is in an effort to garner reviews and hopefully help spread the word.

If people are interested in buying a copy, it can be purchased for $0.99 on Amazon or Smashwords. Given the way royalties work on the two places, Smashwords is better value – one sale there produces twice the profit it does on Amazon.

The latest report put out from Amazon (which can be read here) has some very interesting figures – they are now selling more ebooks than paperbacks, at the rate of 115 to 100. That is good news for ebook sellers, especially the indies.

That doesn’t mean bad news for paperbacks though. Ebooks generally sell far cheaper than paperbacks, with a whole slew of them going for just $0.99. So while the volume may be higher, paperbacks still make the larger portion of profits.

Still, it points to a shiny future ahead for those like me – I hope.

When Reading Isn’t Just Reading

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Reading
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I’ve always been a voracious reader, even from the youngest age. I devoured the written word, and what I read wasn’t of much concern. I even read encyclopaedias before I was ten.

I always used to just read to read, to educate myself and for fun. I’ve noticed all that has changed since I started to take my writing more seriously.

Now I do something I said I’d never do; I analyse the stories I read. I’d gone all the way through school without analysing, believing that it would ruin the read. Maybe it happens to other writers too, or actors watching movies or other professionals; they look beyond just the story and look at how it is crafted.

Whenever I read a book now I am always looking at the language used, how the stories are structured, the devices and forms in which they are written. I don’t know if it will make a me a better write but it has changed the way I read books forever now.

What I’m Reading

Posted: October 15, 2009 in What Im Reading, writing update
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Been a few months since I had a look at what books were cluttering on the bedside table, so it is time for another look. Some are new, and some are still there from last time.

Oddly, most aren’t there to simply be read. Some are for inspiration and ideas, and others I’m trying to critically analyse – the first time I’ve ever looked at books in that way – to see how they are written. Specifically I’m looking at how conversations are handled and descriptions done. Sometimes the conversations I write seem to bog down into two people just starting blankly across at each other stating their lines, which needs fixing. They need to be alive, carrying out tasks, with facial expressions and tones of voice. Likewise for descriptions, what takes a couple of lines for me can be a couple of paragraphs for others. I need to learn to pad a bit better.

The SilmarillionJ.R.R.Tolkien. As my favourite book, its pretty much a permanent fixture beside the bed.

Hornblower and the HotspurC.S.Forester. I read this first in my first year of high school and it was my introduction to the world of Hornblower and the wider world of the Napoleonic War era. Currently there for clues to making a couple of scenes at sea for Tears of the Mountain more realistic.

Sharpe’s Honour and Sharpe’s TrafalgarBernard Cornwell. More Napoleonic War era fun, and being read for the same reason as Hornblower, for scenes of the sea and the land.

Just So StoriesRudyard Kipling.. A collection of short stories about things like how the elephant got its trunk and the leopard got its spots. Read it to spark ideas for the writing of more Cahuac myths.

Queen of SorceryDavid Eddings. The fantasy equivalent of a hamburger and coke – sometimes you just crave fast food and this series fulfils that.

The Summer TreeGuy Gavriel Kay. It has been a long, long time since I read this series. At the time of reading I was going through a bit of a bad time and this series was emotionally draining enough without that on top of it. Great read otherwise.

The Eye of the WorldRobert Jordan. Book one of the Whale of Time. Er Wheel of Time. Pulled this one out just the other day to flick through after I started churning out the new stories, to see how he did it padding out the book so much.

Gardens of the MoonStephen Erikson. Ditto for The Eye of the World. More critical research than reading.

Toll the HoundsStephen Erikson. Its been sitting there so long I’ve forgotten where I was up to and what half the series is about. That is the problem with these door-stopper series – you need to reread them all first before starting on the latest one just so you can remember what was going on 5000 pages earlier.

The Complete Chronicles of Conan the BarbarianRobert E. Howard. That one is still there because I simply haven’t gotten around to putting it away

An Unusual Tie-In

Posted: July 27, 2009 in General
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I really enjoyed the first season of ‘Castle’ (as much for the humour as for Nathan Fillion), and am looking forward to the second one – and as a hopeful author would love to have the success that Richard Castle has on the show.

Now I hear that there is to be a highly unusual, yet quite funny tie-in to the show. ‘Richard Castle’ (Nathan Fillion’s character) is to be releasing the novel, Heat Wave, that he was penning on the show, which will be starring Nikki Heat, the character based on Kate Beckett (as played by Stana Katic).

A fictional author writing a novel about a fictional character based on another fictional character? Its almost so surreal its genius.

Interest Driven By Word Of Blog

Posted: June 29, 2009 in General
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In the past week I’ve read two articles about how more often blogs and twitter are now driving interest in books and sales.

The first was a post from Alan Baxter, talking about comments he’d seen in a post by the agent Nathan Bransford.

The second came via a link via twitter. in a post from Follow the Reader, asking whether Twitter and Blogs really drive book sales.

It is hardly surprising really when you think about it.  In the old days you often relied on word of mouth from family and friends about new books, music, movies etc and whether they were worth seeing or getting.

Now days your circle of friends tends to be much larger and more connected via blogs, forums and of course twitter.  It is not surprising that more people are getting their recommendations from it.

It is certainly something worth thinking about – and something I am slowly trying to build on, to garner interest in my works via these media and hopefully, at some stage, build up some type of critical mass.

Fantasy Fans Arise!

Posted: June 27, 2009 in General
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I’ll admit it. I’m a fan of fantasy. The books, the movies, the games. I’ve always been a fan, even when I didn’t know it. I was proud to admit it through my schooling days, and still am.

Yet we aren’t always taken seriously.

So I was pleased to come across the following post – Let’s stop sneering at fantasy readers. Good advice.

As a reader first, and now hopeful writer, it has always been my genre. I’ve tried dabbling in other genres, but always returned to it. Most of my favourite books are fantasy books. Tolkien. Gemmell. Pratchett.

And while my writing is often fantasy with some twists and variations, it is still proudly planted in the fantasy genre.

And that is the way I like it.