Category Archives: Blog

Subscribers Spotlight – Writing Magazine – February 2020

My new year’s thanks goes to the staff at the Writing Magazine.

They have printed an article about my publishing process for my novel Missing.

On Page 47.

I have copied the short article below for your enjoyment.

A Process of Discovery

‘The idea for my novel Missing crept into my head and would not go away,’ writes subscriber James McEwan.
‘Lately, I was attending a lot of family gatherings and discovered a few of my relatives were not who I thought they were. Three children who started school with me were my father’s cousins and not mine as I believed.
‘My idea for the novel was simple; what if you knew nothing about your parents and relatives?
‘Before I wrote Missing, I had an ending in mind, and I worked backwards to create the plot and story. This helped me to adjust the outline and create a structure before I started to write. I prepared a fictional family tree going back three generations and researched the elaborate legalities of inheritance regarding land ownership.
‘I attend the monthly meetings of Indie Author’s World at a Waterstones bookshop in Glasgow and the group encouraged me to publish the book independently by creating my own imprint (Alibrasphere) complete with ISBNs. They also reviewed my cover versions and offered editorial services. Having this support gave me the confidence and added obligation to finish writing the book.
‘I used KDP to print various proof copies until satisfied with the paperback cover and the formatted content and when ready I released the e-book Kindle version. Although Amazon provides worldwide distribution and visibility, many bookshops, (I am advised), in the UK will not order directly from them. I wanted my book to be available from all the bookshops and therefore I set up an account with Ingram-Spark, this provided print on demand service for the paperback and also a wider distribution of the e-book for other digital reader devices.
‘Missing, is available from bookshops and to read on Kindle, Apple Books and Kobo.
‘Taking the independent choice for a first novel resulted in a lot of hard work, and I envy those authors who have a traditional publishing organisation to support them.’

Free Kindle Reads – The Listener and Falling Leaves

I have put the two books on free promotion on Amazon for  5 days.

Can I ask; please leave a review afterwards it inspires writers and readers everywhere.

The Listener – Short Story Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falling Leaves – Poetry and Short Stories.

Outlander – Geillis Duncan – Persecution by James VI

The appearance of Geillis Duncan as a character in the popular TV series “Outlander” reminded me of a story I wrote some time ago.
The persecution of women throughout history by powerful men without repercussions invokes a sense of injustice. The witch hunts of the 16th century in Scotland were driven by superstition and insecurity. The arrest and trials of of witches and warlocks was supported by King James VI who was convinced that witchcraft was responsible in an attempt to kill him by creating a storm at sea that almost capsized his ship. A teenage maid servant, Geillis Duncan, was one of the first to be accused and subsequently executed.

Read my short version here.

Geillis Duncan -North Berwick Witch Trials 16c

Forked Tongue – James McEwan

Forked Tongue

The good people at Literally Stories have picked my contribution – Forked Tongue – as their Sunday read. They have included some background information on what inspired me to write the story from my time living in Berlin.

Please read the story here: Literally Stories – Forked Tongue – James McEwan

Let the Literally Stories team know if you enjoyed the reading experience by leaving a brief comment on their page.

Many thanks to Leila Allison for selecting my work as a re-read on their site.

 

A Children’s Story for Halloween

I wrote this story sometime ago, it is aimed as fun for children but may serve as a warning to adults.

Let me know what you think.

Karen’s Halloween

 

Tinker Tailor Fashion–Spy

I really like this picture as my daughter has a similar pin cushion and there are other items which are recognisable and nostalgic; indeed.

Friday Fictioneers – Go and read their stories.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

Tinker Tailor Fashion Spy 

Caroline was just an ordinary seamstress, sewing to earn a few pennies.
She was under arrest; her background being scrutinised.
No comment was all she mumbled to the fashion police. They beat her.
She was a fool: the pin cushion from Hong Kong and the military buttons pointed to her Intelligence role in the Far East.
That was years ago. She was a civilian now and it was commercial espionage.
She had stolen Valantino’s top secret pattern for the Princess’s ballroom dress. Everyone would love a copy, like Cinderella.
Caroline was tight lipped, as an army veteran her pension meant poverty.

Conceited Celebrity

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Conceited Celebrity

I asked; they won’t open the doors until he arrives.
Until then, everyone must queue.

That’s the burden of being famous and popular;
People arrive extra early to be certain of a seat.

In this rain why don’t they let people in; they’ll catch a chill or worse.

Worse?

Yes, they’ll get frustrated, agitated and the atmosphere during the event will turn hostile. Such shame, making people wait in the rain when they could be warm and cosy inside.

Yet, nobody recognises me in this red cap.

I think you should.

Should?

Yes! tell them you are here.

Fantastic Book Review

One of our wonderful Friday Fictioneer supporters has read my book; thank you.

I am delighted Laurie Bell read my novel Missing and wrote a concise and honest review.

Read her thoughts on her site. Rambles, writing and amusing musings

My inspiration for the novel came after meeting relatives at recent funerals. We knew of each other but have never kept in touch, in one case I made the presumption that two people were my cousins. We had started school together and played games on their farm. We were the same age, and I assumed at the time they were my cousins. I called their father, uncle. It was only recently that I learned they were my father’s cousins.

With family secrets and misinformation, I developed the novel. It is a collection of snippets of real events each balanced on the premise of something missing. On the surface, the main character Laura is missing her mother, but underneath every other person in the book is missing an important aspect of their lives.

I believe the revelation in the novel asks the questions;
Who suppresses the family secrets in your lives?
Would you want to know?

A Wonderful World of Plants

Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Penny Gadd

A Wonderful World of Plants

A woman in green came to our school; she told us about a wonderful world where dreams came true. She believed how plants could care for us; they were special.
‘Take this moon rock,’ she said. ‘Put it in a jar and keep it in the dark overnight.’
Everyone in our street had one.
It seemed miraculous, the speed it grew, up and over the kitchen walls. No one knew what it was. The cats were first to vanish then, Bertie, our dog.
Then one day!
‘Good morning,’ the plant said, trailing a tentacle around my neck. ‘I’m so hungry.’

My Grandmother’s Bucket List

Friday Fictioneers – The Gang

PHOTO PROMPT © Linda Kreger

My Grandmother’s Bucket List

She sky-dived, and landing she broke her ankles. The family came to help.
She would race across the Sahara; a push but worth a try. Then she’d climb Kilimanjaro; her second option since her doctor suggested the cold on Everest would aggravate her arthritis.
What does he know?
Her colostomy bag will float as she swims the English Channel. A trek along the Great Wall of China, a canoe up the Amazon and visits to the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu.
Her bucket list was growing.
If only the gang could navigate the way out of the care home carpark.