Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!

I'm not sure I've ever written a blog post with an exclamation mark in the title so this should go a long way to redressing any imbalance. That it also alludes to a classic Monthy Python sketch may be considered a bonus.

I was prompted to adopt this heading on the strength of a growing number of faintly bizarre emails that I've received recently. In one afternoon's trawl, I found several earnest behests to buy insurance policies that I very much don't need, others to spark up productive new relationships with traders in China, one or two invitations to commission SEO companies to send my "wesbite" (sic) soaring to stratospheric heights in Google's rankings, and several attempts to coerce me into visiting trade shows whose themes were so dull that they made growing my hair sound like a dangerously thrilling alternative.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Guest Post - Andy Paine

Continuing this mini-series of guest posts by indie authors, I'm very pleased to introduce Andy Paine - another writer I first encountered through Authonomy. He's a fellow member of the Comedy Literature Only Group (CLOG) and were it not for the fact that he has a tendency to gloat about Australia's superior weather, I think I'd be nominating him for some kind of award about now.

Over to you, Mr Paine.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Guest Post: Rob Wingfield

I mentioned in a previous post that I was minded to throw open the doors of the Null Room and to issue an invitation to a select band of indie writers to submit posts of their own.

I'm kicking off with Robert Wingfield - an author to whom I'm indebted for a number of things. Firstly, for introducing me to Authonomy, which has helped me to hone my first book into something resembling - well, a book - and secondly for providing much mirth and merriment via a series of comic novels, beginning with 'The Legend of Dan'. Finally, he was also the instigator of the INCA project, which seeks to support, promote and encourage independent writers. A laudable aim, I trust you'll agree.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Man for Two Seasons

I know I'm supposed to enjoy this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness but, quite frankly, I don't. It's another season closer to winter and I don't even want to talk about that.

I live in a part of the world that is absolutely wonderful - unsurpassable even - if your most eager wish involves the early onset of rheumatoid arthritis, but for anything else it's pretty much useless. The weather is so relentlessly drab that autumn marks what is effectively the end of all colour for a period of roughly half a year.

A friend recently applauded my beautiful "black and white" photograph of a hillside scene. I thanked her, naturally, but then had to point out that, actually, it wasn't a black and white photo at all; that was just how things look round here. And that makes the point, I think. I'm a creature who loves leaves and sunshine, warmth, colour and long hours of daylight, so this time of year feels like the start of a very long decline.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Only the facts have been changed...

A reviewer recently made some encouraging remarks about a scene in Unreliable Histories that was based closely on a real-life encounter involving a member of my family. I won't say which scene it was (mainly in the interests of protecting the not-so-innocent) but it did remind me how much scene-worthy material has been gathered over the years by my family and friends.

Some of it I may be able to work into a future novel so, for now, I'll keep those tales close to my chest, but other examples only work when you know they really happened.