Authors Prefer Profit or People?

On this day in 2016, as I am reliably informed by my one-time daily viewing of Facebook, I started reading An Image of the Times: An Irreverent Companion to Ben Jonson’s Four Humours and the Art of Diplomacy.  This took me down a rabbit hole of memories, and by a happy coincidence gave me a post to write today instead of trying to finish several book reviews that are on the go, not to mention the three hundred other drafts still patiently guilt tripping me.

One of the things that also comes up on my social media feeds constantly are adverts for how to sell a manuscript, which I don’t have, and how easy it is to make £££, which I believe it isn’t.  It’s all very tasteless and mercenary, although I’m never one to begrudge anyone a profit for their hard work.

Whilst casting my mind back to starting An Image of the Times (and smelling those pages!), I remembered the surprise of opening the parcel and finding four books instead of the two that Nils-Johan had originally, and kindly, offered to send.  That wasn’t the best thing however, inside An Image of the Times, was a letter typed on a thick piece of paper, this unexpected letter (currently still inside the book, which sits a continent away) encouraged me to keep reading, writing and making friends with people who love words.

Too often I see the term ‘networking’ used in the adverts, it’s such a cold term, and is off-putting which is why it is rare these days offers to review authors are accepted.  Lots of novels have been turned down, usually romance and thrillers because authors don’t take an interest in the blog or the type of person they are asking to review the book, they just want to get the book out there regardless, which is fine but find the right blogger for your book, and write a letter that’s not been copy and pasted a thousand times.

Continue reading “Authors Prefer Profit or People?”

The Wind Through the Keyhole – Stephen King

Although I reviewed this book back in the day (April 2012, to be exact, achieving a grand total of three likes), having read it again I have decided to update the review to bring it in line with the series written by older, present me.  It may come off as a bit of a weird mix now, but this reblog of a majority newly review just about sums up how I live life.

Book to the Future

” A person’s never to old for stories, Bill. Man and boy, girl and woman, never to old. We live for them.”

Although I reviewed this book back in the day, having read it again I have decided to update the review to bring it in line with the series written by older, present me.  It may come off as a bit of a weird mix now, but this reblog of a majority newly review just about sums up how I like life.

Never has a dust jacket made me feel so popular when reading in a public place.  People were taking an interest in my reading material for once, when I removed this out of the cheap plastic bag, within the better plastic bag, from out of my backpack, that kept the rain off its brand-new pages.  Interestingly the bags mirrored the structure of the book but that was mere coincidence.

The Wind Through the Keyhole is Dark Tower book…

View original post 509 more words

Get Yourself A Free Book

Everyone loves free stuff, and what can be better than a good book bargain to take your mind off whatever is on currently on it?

I have been informed by my good friend Estelle – who runs a blog for the books of Indrajit Garai – that The Bridge of Little Jeremy, is currently on a free giveway on Amazon, which you can find at the link here.

I have also read and reviewed Indrajit’s two short story volumes, The Sacrifice,  and The Eye Opener, which I enjoyed immensely. Both of which I can happily recommend to you.

Here’s the blurb for The Bridge of Little Jeremy, check it out and indulge yourself in a story about family, the changing face of Paris, and the meaning of beauty, for absolutely no pennies.

Jeremy’s mother is about to go to prison for their debt to the State. He is trying everything within his means to save her, but his options are running out fast.

Then Jeremy discovers a treasure under Paris.

This discovery may save his mother, but it doesn’t come for free. And he has to ride over several obstacles for his plan to work.

Meanwhile, something else is limiting his time…

Treasure Hunting

Throughout the last week I’ve been on a quest following rabbit trails like an intrepid adventurer.  Trawling through sources, hunting for names and locations, it was an unexpectedly exhilarating romp through a wealth of riches.

Recently, I unearthed my much-prized DVD boxset of The Mysterious Cities of Gold (based on Scott O’Dell‘s novel, The King’s Fifth), which happens to be my favourite ever cartoon.  The blend of history, adventure, and an atmospheric soundtrack have stayed with me since first watching in the mid 80’s, as does the beautifully realised scenery which never fails to make me happy and in a creative mood.

Originally, the BBC cut out the mini documentaries at the end – presumably for the bits of mild nudity – which is a shame as we children watching could have been further inspired by the real history of the Conquistadors and the native peoples of South and Mesoamerica, their myths, beliefs, and culture.

Watching this again brought back many memories.  The first, the excitement of picking up the DVDs in my mid-to-late 20’s and wondering if it would be as I remembered (it was and so much more).  The surprise discovery and fascination of seeing those documentaries for the first time, which although looking very outdated, struck a chord and further encouraged me to fill out my knowledge of the subjects mentioned. Continue reading “Treasure Hunting”

Lists (because that’s what gets the views #shameless)

Whilst we are all appreciating our living room walls as never before, it makes sense to share what has been diverting my attention and hopefully will give you something to do as well.

Found at

Grabbing some reading time is always handy for a book blog, as well as a mixture of sci-fi, philosophy, essays, I have also been hunting through obscure books thanks to Gutenberg.  Free books, albeit read on a screen, is a treat.

From that I can segue neatly onto the proofreading. Originally conceived to assist Project Gutenberg, Distributed Proofreaders is now the main source of PG e-books.  I do my bit everyday and am bookmarking some obscure works to read once they have been through the various rounds of proofing and formatting.

For those of you with any interest in how I look or sound, I present to you a vlog in which Crissy and I ramble a bit about LDRs and such.  If anyone wishes me to do a book vlog, please let me know, and also feel free to share any ideas for said project.

Keeping with YouTube, we have been watching lots of informative documentaries too.  BBC’s Horizon has some good stuff, as do the mainly literature based documentaries that can be found. Continue reading “Lists (because that’s what gets the views #shameless)”

The Past, Present, & Future: A Book of Poetry – Cody McCullough

Cody McCullough’s debut collection of poetry, THE PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE, delves into the fleeting nature of life viewed through the prism of time. Separated into three main collections, the work touches on topics ranging from the essence of life, to family relationships, to the natural world. Featuring poems such as THE TALL FIRS ARE DANCING TODAY and THE COOL MORNING AIR, the entire collection includes a total of 73 poems written in free verse. Through his unique style, McCullough takes the reader on a journey from the beginning of existence, to the end of time, and everywhere in between.

It’s a great pleasure today to introduce, remind, or reacquaint, the reader with Cody McCullough’s blog, and new book of poetry.  I’ve been a fan of Cody’s writings for a while now, and always enjoy my visits over at his site.  This collection written in free verse is his usual intriguing work.

As with the title, it seems only fitting to break down each part in turn, beginning, adventurously, with the Past:

Here, we have a considered look at childhood memories, of a fleeting time which the author does well to encapsulate the feeling of time passing.  This section is an exploration of the learning experience of the formative years, and of the memories that we hold all our lives.  There is something melancholy and a feeling of the lost, or perhaps lostness.

These poems – as with the other two parts – are mixed with writings of history, of past generations and a thoughtful look at a perspective of a universal past as well as the personal. The passing of time into history, the temporary, and how that, as well as the personal, is recalled, and remembered differently. Continue reading “The Past, Present, & Future: A Book of Poetry – Cody McCullough”

Working Out the Progress

After a month or so in the wilderness, I have returned to WP with a new focus which is mainly down to the support I got. I hope to get at least get one post a week out from now on, how that will go, who knows, but after all the  aforementioned support, and wonderful comments on the last post, I felt I owed it to my readers, as well as myself to continue writing, even if my capacity is reduced.

Although the time spent away from the blog has been less than productive in both the worlds of reading and writing, I did claw back some literature points by signing up for the Distributed Proofreader website, which I find is a good way to keep my mind active and also contributes to something worthwhile by proofreading e-books.

Not only does it keep me doing something I enjoy, and as I progress hopefully learn some new skills, but it also allows me to give back to books and as an added bonus maybe help fuel people’s enthusiasm for reading. Helping to preserve some obscure plays, journals, plays and assorted non-fiction – which I can then review and share as well -seems like a noble effort, and so far things are going well.

As to what to expect in the upcoming months, there should be more of a mix of posts, a few more thoughtful entries on the world of literature outside my usual meanderings, but that will all depend on time, life, and the unexpected things that make a mockery of plans.  Once again thank you for all your continued support, it does mean the world to me.