Category Archives: Books

Publisher – Alibrasphere and the Ubiquitous Author – Missing

Ubiquitous Author – Missing

During one of the Indie Authors’ Meetings I attend, I met an enthusiastic writer who told me he writes a book in 30 days and within two months gets it published. I never grasped in what genre he writes. He is on his third book of his trilogy, so perhaps it’s fantasy. Good luck to him.
I am afraid I took my time with my first novel, almost 12 months. I searched for inspiration in Stephen King’s ‘On Writing -A Memoir of the Craft.’ Like all crafts, the skill involved improves with experience, and there is nothing new in that piece of wisdom. However, putting the advice into practice and taking action really matters.

My idea was simple: Young girl taken into care, her father is dead, her mother is missing and is a murder suspect. Years later, girl sets out on a journey to find her mother.

Perhaps not the exciting thriller you might expect; my point was to take an idea and focus on the premise to produce a great story for a novel.
Writing, getting edited and proofread, setting up my publishing imprint and eventually putting the book out into the world was a great experience of self-learning.
Now that I have trod this beaten track, I have an enormous admiration for the hundreds of writers who tirelessly have followed their dream and can make a living writing their books.
My first novel, MISSING, is now available to order in any bookshop, online retailer or library both in paperback and ebook.

I expect that makes me a ubiquitous author.

Here is the Link to Kobo as an example.

 

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Gift me a Paperback – not an eBook.

Is the paper book old fashioned or does it feel warm and comfortable?

MISSING – A mystery of family bonds, love, lies, deception, and jealousy.

I enjoyed the process of writing my first novel and have developed a thicker skin after editing and working with my kind and strict copy/proof reader.

What I didn’t expect was the following e-mails and Facebook comments from two readers, both were delighted and entertained. They said:

Hi James,
I’ve finished your book. You have a gift for story telling; I only half guessed the ending. So, a surprising and sad ending, just like a lot of things in life; sins of the fathers, springs to mind.
Best Wishes
Theresa.
 
Hi Jim, I have read your book and I really enjoyed it. You were right it did bring a tear to my eye. Hope you are well, and I will look forward to the next book 😃
Chris.

So far, after one month, the paperback book is more popular than the eBook.

Is the paper book old fashioned or does it feel warm and comfortable?

The reason I was given from a nice lady, who bought a copy after my talk in a book shop, was:

She likes the feel of a book rather than straining her eyes with an iPad. Besides, you can cuddle up to the book, and it looks good on the shelf long afterwards. Some books you want to keep, others you give away.
 
These are the kind remarks from people that make writing so worthwhile.

Book Trailers – Do they work?

I gave a short presentation in the Waterstones Book shop in Glasgow last Sunday. It was part of an ‘open mic’ session hosted by Indie Authors World.

In the five minutes, (actually lasted more like an agonising ten minutes), allocated I had the opportunity to present my book, MISSING, to the captivated audience.

I started with my trrailer and heard a few gasps – I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing. However everyone enjoyed the talk and said they found the book interesting. The response was honest from the peer group of budding authors, they are all nice friends.

Have a look at the ‘Book Trailer’ and tell me what you think.

MISSING – The trailer

Are these short promotional clips worth the effort?

Missing – A Draft Novel

Microsoft Word - Kindle on Word e book 1

Please Note: the novel will be available as an e-book at the end of March.

Missing –Read the first chapter – here.

When Laura was three years old, she was dragged away from her garden swing and taken into care. This experience created feelings, as she grew up, of being abandoned and unwanted by her mother.

As an adult, she contacts a librarian in the village where she was born for assistance in tracing her relatives. She ignores an anonymous warning to stay away.

In Russet House, she finds photographs of her mother, and from newspaper cuttings hidden in the attic she reads about a horrific event.

Laura is shocked by the tragedy and with the help of a retired detective is determined to solve the mystery. However, their investigation unsettles those close to Laura who advise her to let the past rest.

Laura had come to Kirkindale to find her mother, instead she discovered her identity was a lie.

****

I have completed thirty seven chapters of the book and I am on the third editing cycle. (Will I ever finish?). The book cover is also a draft.

Comments welcome – the good, the bad and the ugly – my skin is thicker than an elephant’s.

Free eBook from Friday to Tuesday

My book is FREE on Amazon from tomorrow Friday 20th July.
Until Tuesday 24th July Midnight – Midnight? -it’s the way amazon does this.

“A brisk walk in the Botanic Gardens before breakfast stimulates the mind for a good murder.’

This is not Sherlock Holmes, but I challenge you to not think about him as you read the stories.
Read the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I am biased when I say these stories are great entertainment – please let me know how you get on.

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The Case of The Mahjong Dragon 

The Paperback is available for loan through the British Library.

 

Sherlock seeks Dr Who.

 

Sherlock seeks Dr Who. By request I have added this  new menu heading.

Here you find my Flash Fiction about Sherlock seeking the new Dr Who.

Russell Holmes

Sherlock Holmes Statue in Edinburgh

Included is a Russell Holmes adventure “Murder at the Falls”, for your reading pleasure. This short story is taken from my collection ‘The Case of the Mahjong Dragon” and is included as it is based on the Holmes theme.

Book Week Scotland -Simply Read Too

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I had a book and CD launch today with the completion of my project for Book Week Scotland.

The book contains the transcripts of a collection of poetry and short stories written by Lanark Writers, which I published. The recordings on the Audio CD, which are the authentic voices of the authors, were arranged by the gentleman on the left, Mr Boom. He also composed the music and did the sound engineering. The result is a professionally finished piece of entertainment. Mr Boom is a TV entertainer as well as a sound recorder for local music groups and bands.

Here is an example of one of the poems; Villanelle for an Ancient Lover by Edith Ryan.

 

How did this lover get to be so old?

Who once was young and in his prime

In whom the fire of the love has not gone cold.

This ardent mate with passion bold

Whose days were full of summertime,

How did this lover get to be so old?

A lover with a heart of beaten gold,

Now slower, all he needs is time

In whom the fire of love has not gone cold.

Life’s race is run, perhaps life’s story told

In fireside tale or ballad rhyme

How did this lover get to be so old?

I thought that he had split the mould

Eternal youth, an ardour so sublime

In whom the fire of love has not gone cold.

Time’s etched his face with line and fold

And on his hair there’s frosty rime.

How did this lover get to be so old?

In whom the fire of love has not gone cold.

*****

Simply Read Too in Other Writings

 

 

 

 

 

In The Circle Of His Love

I have completed the publishing of Christian Poetry for Muriel Burns. It was an interesting experience as I proceeded through the editing process only to be told off by Muriel. She made her demands clear, her poetry does not conform to the rules of punctuation. I will admit this makes understanding her work slightly ambiguous, but nevertheless it remains interesting. Of course this was the author’s intention.

She was delighted with her artwork being prominent on the cover and the layout of her poetry throughout the book met her precise demands.  I suspect her friends, for whom this book has been produced, will also be delighted.

Amazon -In the Circle of His love

 

Literally Stories – The Anthology

Amazon.co.uk -Literally Stories.

My praise and congratulations goes to the team at Literally Stories for the launch of their new and first book, which provides a show case for the site.

The perception of what is considered as quality literature compared to popular fiction is a theme that is frequently debated by academics in the field.  Particularly so when a judgement has to be made towards awarding any substantial prize to the author.

With short stories in my view it is easy to determine the difference. A story that takes a snap shot in time of the human condition, generally without any plot, could be considered as a literary portrayal of the event. Whereas, and this is my opinion, a short story that has a plot and a conclusion is complete and may be erroneously put into the popular fiction pile. However, the greatest quality of any short story is the value of enjoyment received by the readers and their resounding thoughts, which remain with them long afterwards.

Each story in the ‘Literally Stories -The Anthology’ reflects the individual author’s world view and the quality is left for the reader to decide. There is no prevailing theme and each has to be read as a stand alone presentation. Of course you have to read the book to form a judgement on the stories, I have read them, and my thoughts for each are recorded on their web site.

I would recommend you read and decide accordingly.

 

Listener Short Story Collection – Free on Kindle this week.

I have updated the Kindle cover to my short Story collection to generate comments.

Have a look and tell me what do you think?

The Listener – New Cover