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Monday 24 February 2014

Billy's Travels

The latest free promotion of my whole collection is going brilliantly. All the books have featured highly in the top 100 for their genres, which is great news as it means they'll reach even more readers. It's strange to think that Billy is now being downloaded across the world! I think he'd be pretty excited about that - he does love an adventure!

Lucky Dip downloads have been the strongest so far with Billy a close second, but the QT Anthologies have seen steady interest too. The third QT Anthology is my next project after Billy 3 is finished, so the collection is set to grow.

Welcome to all my new readers. I hope you like what you find and thank you for your support.

Sunday 23 February 2014

Free Promotion Reminder

The free promotion on my whole collection has begun on Amazon! All my books are free to download today, 23rd February and tomorrow, 24th February.

If you haven't already downloaded the books or you know someone who might enjoy them, head over to my page and get them now!

Have a great weekend.

Friday 21 February 2014

More Onions

For all those of an emotional disposition, I apologise in advance for highlighting this particular story on the Mail's website. But continuing the theme of people being much nicer than a normally cynical press would have us believe, this is about an experiment set up in Oslo.

The experiment was to see how many people would help a shivering boy waiting for a bus. The boy had no coat and his backstory was that someone had stolen it. The resulting video shows people divesting themselves of their own coats, scarves and gloves in order to help the boy, who said of the experiment that of the many people who came up to him but who didn't appear on the video, only three failed to offer help. What lovely people the Norwegians are.

The video is being used as a campaign by SOS Children's Village, a charity gathering donations so they can send coats and blankets to Syrian children caught up in the conflict.

I don't know about you, but I feel a possibly irrational urge to dash outside and offer a jacketless person my coat.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Promotion and Progress Report

As promised, I have now set up a new free promotion for all my books. Well, almost. For some reason I can't seem to schedule 'Billy and North Oakian Alliance' at the moment, but I have every confidence that will soon be rectified (i.e. when he who fixes the computer comes along and identifies whatever stupid thing I did this time!). So, the full collection will be available free on Sunday February 23rd and Monday 24th February.

I'll issue reminders nearer the time, so if you've missed any of the books, look out for the promotion!

Meanwhile, back at my computer, 'Billy and the Carinthean War' continues to develop well. I'm about halfway through the first rewrite, which I'm using to tighten the plot, trim down the narrative and resolve any technical issues. This will be followed by another rewrite to 'add colour', making sure there's enough humour to carry the story through the darker episodes, giving the many new characters sufficient identity to allow the reader to understand them, and generally making sure the atmosphere is captured. Following that, I need to work on the cover design, arrange read throughs and edits, and prepare the book for publishing. So, a bit of work to do yet!

It's a long process, and I appreciate I've taken an extraordinary amount of time just completing a first draft, but Billy's story is important to me, and I want to make sure I do him justice. Thank you for being patient, he's on his way now though!

Don't forget the promotion dates: Feb 23rd and 24th.

Update 20th Feb: 'Billy and North Oakian Alliance' has now been added to the Feb 23rd and 24th free promotion! The daft thing I'd done was not realise the book was at the end of a promotional period, so new promotions couldn't be set until today.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Random Act of Kindness

I know I said I was going to organise a promotion. I haven't forgotten, I've just been busy. I'll do it this week, I promise. But in the meantime, at a time when the news is filled with politicians being beastly towards older people, or poor people, or disabled people, or basically anyone who isn't their kind of people, here's something to restore your faith in humanity:

A refuse collector in California made one young boy's day by presenting him with a gift. Apparently the little boy absolutely loves garbage collection day and waits outside to see the truck arrive. One of the men operating the machine has come to know him and watches out for him, and decided to give him a toy version of the truck. The video is very touching. As one commenter said: 'Damn these onions'

I have fond memories of my own littlun' waiting at the window on 'bin day'. There was one particular bin man who always had a cheery wave and a big smile for her and it always made her day. Oh, damn and blast these onions!

Book promotion news will appear shortly.

Monday 10 February 2014

Nesting Time

It's been a while since I've checked in, my apologies. The rewrite of Billy 3 has been dominating my time, along with the good use I've been making of the excellent 'Coursera' to learn all those things I wish I'd learned in school!

Anyway, the new week began with great excitement. No, not a premium bond win, we're still waiting for that, this involves our feathered friends. One of the first chores of our day is feeding the birds that visit our tiny garden. Each morning a horde of sparrows line up along the hedge, tapping their feet and shouting their heads off, waiting while we put out seeds, fat cakes, grapes and, the latest addition, grated cheese. Our resident blackbird is less patient and tends to hop about in the shrubbery, darting out when he thinks we're not looking. But the two robins are the boldest. They actually come up to the food pot and help themselves if we're taking too long. They also sit on the kitchen windowsill and stare at us when the food runs out later in the day. It's pretty unnerving being stared at by a hungry robin, so they don't normally have to wait long before one of us opens the window and hands them some seed.

So this morning it was no surprise to see them out there hopping around our feet while we restocked the feeders. The excitement came when we realised they were collecting leaves and twigs and carrying them into our small log store. They've clearly decided that the service in these parts is pretty good and that our minuscule patch of England is the perfect spot to raise a family.  Along with the blue-tit who over-winters in the Alpine cow bell hanging outside the door, our tiny patch of England is rapidly turning into a sanctuary. The only trouble is, we can't burn any logs for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, back to the rewrite and coursera. I'm planning another promotion shortly for all my books, so watch this space for details, and robin updates!