Showing posts with label schism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label schism. Show all posts

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The End of the World: Audio Edition Coming Soon!

I'm pleased to say that an audiobook edition of The End ofthe World will become available for purchase sometime over the next couple of weeks at, (a subsidiary of Amazon), and iTunes. It's being narrated by the scandalously talented Wayne Farrell, who is turning in such a great performance of all the characters in the book. This is no small feat, either. As well as characters of different ages and genders, he's also had to contend with a number of different accents. Wayne, though, has more than risen to the challenge, giving each character its own distinctive voice without ever drifting into the realm of caricature. Hearing his readings of each chapter as they've been completed has almost been like hearing the book again for the first time.

From books on tape, to audio CDs, and now MP3 downloads, audio editions of books have for a long time now enjoyed a significant following. They're great for listening to when taking a long car, bus, train or plane trip, not to mention when walking, jogging, or whatever exercise regimen you follow (which in my case usually involves a sofa). And while may seem like the new kid on the block (which it is), it's interesting to note that the company introduced its first digital player back in 1997.

Anyway, I'll post again - and spam like crazy - when it's officially released and on sale, but if you or someone you know enjoys listening to audiobooks, here's one you might consider in the meantime.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Schism now in Audio Book Edition

Well, with all of the activity surrounding the release of A Mouth Full of Ashes, I forget to mention something else quite significant that happened just recently. At long last the Audio CD edition of Schism was finally made available for purchase. It's narrated by the frighteningly talented Peter Bishop and is available on Amazon (through, directly from Audible, as well as iTunes.

Reaction to the book since its launch back in November has been interesting, to say the least. People either seem to love it or hate it. Almost nothing in between. It seems to be rather polarizing and I'm not sure why. I think part of the problem lies in the big free promotion the book had back in March, which resulted in many thousands of downloads. Free promos can be great at helping to get your work out there, but inevitably your book will fall into the hands of those who are not your target audience, and who, when/if they get around to reading it, are most likely not going to like it. Some people will pick up anything if it's free, regardless of whether or not it's their cup of tea. When money's involved they tend to be a little more discerning in their decision making process.

Another problem is that many of those same people see the word 'thriller' and imagine...oh, I don't chases, undercover cops, bad guys planning on blowing up the world, international spy rings, Walther PPKs...not realizing that a psychological thriller is an entirely different beast that emphasizes the exploration of character over plot. I've actually now added a "From the Author" note on the book's Amazon page respectfully pointing out this difference and advising against buying the book if something more "action" oriented was preferred. Just trying to be fair about it. Unfortunately that doesn't actually show up on the page unless you click on "See all Editorial Reviews" for some strange reason, so I'm not sure how much good it'll do.

Anyway, the main thing is it's out there and available for anyone who finds it intriguing and appealing...and if the mood strikes, you can now hear it in glorious stereo!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gender Genre Bender

Conventional wisdom (which, from my experience, is usually anything but) has it that writers should write in one genre and stick with it, gradually building an audience who enjoy that particular genre and who will eagerly await each new release, all the while knowing exactly what to expect. And of course, this does work very well indeed for the Stephen Kings and John Grishams of this world. But that same "wisdom" would have it that to do otherwise is sheer folly, confusing your readers at best, angering them at worst, and making brand building nigh impossible.

This thought has troubled me in the past, not least because not only have I never written in strictly one genre before, I also don't think I ever could. But I have come to the conclusion that, for me at least, this will not be a problem, despite the dire warnings from above (the above paragraph, that is, not the Almighty).

Everything I have ever written or ever will write comes from a point of inspiration that has (or will have) pushed me into telling a story and creating a world born from that initial idea. I can't write to order, and in order to write strictly in one genre I would undoubtedly find myself having to manufacture ideas within the confines of that genre so as not to stray from what is expected. For me, that would be unbearable. It would turn writing from an art form into a sterile, by-the-numbers chore. I simply would cease to write.

I also believe that plenty of readers enjoy reading in more than one genre. I do, just as I enjoy different genres of music and movies. I can't conceive of listening solely to one type of music or watching only action films, for instance. Imagine how much I'd miss out on! Yes, I know there are fanatics out there that are like that, but I think most people enjoy mixing it up from time to time.

Anyway, if a reader likes a particular book I've written, I like the idea of giving them the opportunity to read something else of mine that's different than what they just read. Not everything I write is different from everything else, of course. Just about all of my work falls into either contemporary fiction/realism or a dark humor/absurdist category. Getting much more specific than that, though, is challenging.

So anyway, I feel quite comfortable writing across genres, in different genres, and any which way in between. As long as what I put out is good I don't see that I have much to worry about, and as long as I'm not constrained by the limits of a single genre, feeling like I have to write to order, the ideas will stay fresh and the writing will make its own case.

Finally, think about this: The Hunger Games has so far sold approximately 23.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. Are all of those millions exclusively readers of YA novels? Of course not. It's simply the most popular (and how!), so most people want to see (read) what all the fuss is about.

And that is exactly what will happen with Schism and The End of the World...just as soon as I've fine-tuned the marketing strategy! (But don't quote me on that.)

By the way, the photo above is of Marilyn, who some (very, very few) will remember as having had fleeting success as a pop singer in the early 80s with a song called "Calling Your Name." Ahh, those were the days...cheesy, tacky, but somehow still kind of sweet.

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.


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.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The New Book

I'm currently hard at work on my next book, entitled "Schism." It's in equal parts humorous, unsettling and tragic, and could be described as a psychological thriller of a different breed. The main protagonist, Horatio Higgins, is, in my humble opinion, one of the most interesting and complex characters I've ever written and I hope to share him with you in the next month or two.

Which reminds me...back to work!