Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Familiar Face - Out Now!

My new book release, A Familiar Face, a new cozy mystery short story is available now on Amazon UK for just £0.86p and Amazon US for just $0.99c.

Here's a little bit about it:

Two elderly Cockney women, old friends, meet up in a London café shortly after one them, Dora, has been widowed. As Dora's grief and anger grow increasingly fervent, her good friend Eydie begins to suspect there may be more to her angst than the loss of a loved one. When Dora calmly removes from her shopping bag a large glass jar containing a human head, discussions over its mysterious identity and how it came to be lodged in the cupboard under her stairs lead to some startling revelations.

If you do pick it up, I hope you have as much fun spending time with these characters as I had writing them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The End of the World!

I'm pleased to say that The End of the World is featured in today's edition of Daily Cheap Reads UK. Each day the site lists cheap reads available for your Kindle (or brand spanking new Kindle Fire!) e-reader through Amazon, with the guarantee no book will be priced over £6.

It's a great resource for people to find reasonably priced quality books, and they're also very selective about what they'll put up on their site, so you can rest assured you won't be wading through piles of crap pabulum.

As their motto says, it's all about: The book, the whole book, and nothing but the book.

You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with daily postings and announcements.

And of course, if you're in the US, The End of the World is also available here!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Familiar Face

This is the cover for my upcoming new short story release A Familiar Face. It’s the first in a collection of short stories based around ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. I’ll be releasing another stand alone story from the collection early next year, with the entire collection following a little later.

Here’s a little about A Familiar Face:

Two elderly women, old friends, meet up in a London café shortly after one them – Dora – has been widowed. As Dora's grief and anger grows increasingly vehement, her good friend Eydie begins to suspect there may be more to her angst than the loss of a loved one. When Dora calmly removes from her shopping bag a large glass jar containing a human head, discussions over its mysterious identity and how it came to be lodged in the cupboard under her stairs lead to some startling revelations.

Nothing odd in that, right?

Hopefully it’ll be out in the next couple of weeks or so. In the meantime…don’t touch that dial!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindle Finds / Kindle Fire

There’s a great new site to find books for your Kindle, named – rather aptly – Kindle Finds. The great thing about this site is that, just like listings and sponsorships at Pixel of Ink, a book needs to have a 4+ star average rating from at least 10 reviews, either on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads (that’s all from one of those sites, not a combination of the three), which helps readers know that the books they’re browsing have been screened for quality and popularity. So many more incredible books are now available due to the rapid growth of the eBook and self-publishing, but there’s also an awful lot of dross. I don’t mean that meanly, it’s just a fact – and an inevitable one (and that’s from all publishers, by the way, not just independents).

Now, allow me to say that I’m not simply recommending Kindle Finds because I have one of my own books on the site. That just wouldn’t be right. Then again…it wouldn’t be The End of the World, either.

Also, today is the day Amazon begins shipping its brand new Kindle Fire – in the U.S. at least. I think it’s going to be a while before they distribute to other countries, which is a shame. I really don’t know why they can’t do global rollouts with things like this, especially considering the size of the company.

Anyway, I don’t have one on order. I have a Kindle, of course, and it suits my needs very well. So I don’t need a Kindle Fire. Do I? Um…no, I suppose I don’t need one. But do I want one? Oh, you bet I do. You see, I’m something of a closet gadget freak. Were I a millionaire I would have rooms literally overflowing with gadgets of all kinds, most of which I would only use once, some never at all.

But as well as the gadget freak in me, there’s also the ever present pragmatist who never fails to remind me of the distinction between want and need. Who will eventually win out in the battle over Kindle Fire? Only time will tell. But the truth is I don’t need one. Then again, $200 really isn’t all that much…it’s just ten $20 bills, that’s all. But I don’t need it…but at that price…oh!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tap, Tap, Tap...Testing, Testing...

I've had two of my books (The End of the World and Schism) approved at ACX (and Amazon company) for production as audio books. I'm quite excited about this as I think audio books are a great way of hearing a story, whether it's simply because you just want to settle down somewhere comfortable and let the narrator pull you in (some childhood connection to bedtime stories there I shouldn't wonder), or for people on the go to listen in their cars or portable devices - not to mention the visually impaired.

Now I'm waiting to hear back from any potential producers/narrators who are interested in either project. I could narrate it myself, of course, but I'm afraid I'm far too self-conscious to do that any more. I've done plenty of voice work in the past (commercials mainly), but my performer side has long since departed. You couldn't get me on a stage now for all the tea in China. I suppose I could feel comfortable enough narrating someone else's work, but my own...nah.

So we'll see where this goes.

Another thing I'm going to try my hand at soon is book trailers. I'd always thought they seemed like a rather pointless exercise and not really something the average reader would bother with, but I've heard some people have had quite good results from them, so it's certainly worth a try. And with all of the free time that I have...cough, cough, cough.

Talking of time - you know I had to blog today if for no other reason than to have a post on 11-11-11. I was going to wait until the next time this occurred, but by then I'd be a hundred and...well, never mind.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Robert Pattinson Wants My Number!

Since The Craft is currently being turned into a short film by Emmy Award-winning editor and filmmaker Andy Lewis, I began to wonder who would play the title character, Horatio Higgins, if Schism was ever made into a movie.

Besides all of all the names of actors I thought would make a great Horatio, I also thought of those that seemed the least likely fit for the role, and on top of that list floated the name of Robert Pattinson. But then I thought about it a little more and realized that the idea wasn't as outlandish as I'd originally imagined. After all, take a look at this picture...

Now that's an image of someone who could conceivably be experiencing emotional problems, wouldn't you say? He certainly seems quite vexed in my opinion, even if the shot was intended to portray something more akin to glamorous angst or a James Dean-like pout. But then I came across this picture...


I think even the most generous and forgiving observer would have to admit that this is not the look of someone who is in full command of their mental faculties. The hairstyle alone suggests a clear and indisputable breakdown with reality. And to feel comfortable enough to actually pose for a picture while in this condition is - much like the hairdo - verging on madness.

So perhaps Robert Pattinson would make an ideal Horatio Higgins after all. And now that the Twilight Saga has come to an end, I'm sure he'll be looking for that next breakout role.

Robert, I think I have what you need. Call me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Release Day! Schism: A Psychological Thriller

The day has finally arrived for the release of my new book Schism at the Amazon Kindle Store. It’s a dark, disturbing psychological thriller laced with plenty of dark humour. I do hope you’ll check it out.

You can find it at the U.S. Amazon Kindle Store here and at the U.K. Amazon Kindle Store here.

Description:

As a boy, Horatio Higgins was ignored by the other children, but that didn't stop him having lots of friends...friends only he could see and whom he'd regale with tales of his fantastical exploits. Eventually, though, his parents became concerned at the inordinate amount of time their son appeared to spend talking to himself and took him for treatment, which, in time, proved successful...almost. One friend remained. Unfortunately it was the spiteful one.

Years later, living alone in his tiny London flat, Horatio's loneliness is mitigated only by his acid-tongued friend and the company of what he affectionately refers to as "my wife". After losing his job, however, his life begins a rapid downward spiral...that is, until he meets a sweet, impressionable young woman named Nore. As their relationship lurches unsteadily forward, Horatio finds himself struggling against a riptide of conflicting realities he's ill-equipped to cope with. Can Nore save him from himself or will she, too, be dragged into a world where the line between fantasy and reality becomes increasingly and perilously blurred?

Weaving together dark humour with shocking, unsettling twists, Schism is sure to stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

Warning: This book contains Adult Subject Matter.