Of Pie Charts And Other Things


There is always a very real danger when producing anything related to a specific subject, in particular when presenting facts, that unless you offer a true representation of the said subject you are offering an opinion on, as in the blog post linked below, which states that only a few genres are doing well with one reader group – children, that you will be seen at best to have offered an incomplete view.

Recently I followed the link provided by Chris The Storyreading Ape’s blog to this post published on the blog Taipei Writer’s Group – https://taipeiwritersgroup.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/books-sold-by-genre-or-why-you-should-write-childrens-books/

While it is clearly headed ‘Books sold by genre, or why you should write children’s books’, it can never be considered to be a true representation of all book genres’ sales to children when so few genres are included. In this particular case I suspect that the author of the post has either created, or imported, Pie Charts to suit their purpose. At the time of reading it, I left a comment on both Chris’ site and TWG’s – “Why isn’t Science Fiction featured?” So far TWG have failed to respond to my pertinent question. In Chris’ case all he could say was that he had merely reblogged their post. Like me, he had no clue why sci-fi did not appear in the breakdown of books for children.

To TWG, I merely say this – be fair. Don’t think I am making a mountain out of a Mole hill, far from it. Nor am I suggesting for one minute that you are wrong. But like most sci-fi writers, all I want is an honest reason why you decided to leave out our genre, let alone infer that today’s kids don’t like reading sci-fi based stories, when you and I both know that isn’t the case. Thanks to popular science fiction television series like Dr Who, sales of sci-fi specifically written for children is doing fine thank you very much. You would have known that TWG, if you had bothered to do your homework.

One other thing for anyone contemplating producing a post like the aforementioned, purporting to show the ‘facts’, make sure that you are doing just that, not merely using certain facts to support your argument.

To use a quote, attributed to the sixteenth American President, Abraham Lincoln – “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time”. Those of us who make our living within the literary world are not fools TWG. We are all fully aware of what sells to varying age groups and in what quantities. Being selective about the facts to suit your personal or collective point of view is never a good idea. If, on the other hand, your blog post was published to cause debate, you have succeeded. Although probably not in the way you envisioned…


How do I get more followers on my blog?

How do I get more followers on my blog?

New to blogging? Here are a few tips you need to take note of. 🙂

My thoughts on a page.

Why are some blogs more successful than others? Where do they get all their followers, page views and visitors? Why do some wonderful writers have so few followers, while others with less well written blogs have  so many?

Most new bloggers will google this endlessly, (probably second only to “how can I make money from my blog?). The number one answer they will read is “write good content”.

Well listen up new bloggers. That’s not strictly true. photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemole/85515856/">Annie Mole</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
Content is not what makes a successful blog, although it will make you more successful than others. No, in my opinion what makes a successful blog is the many different things a blogger does before pressing publish, and the efforts they make afterwards “off blog” to promote their post.

What do I mean?

Well firstly imagine you have written a post. Does it have a catchy title, feature photos, and begin with a…

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I ask you, how can we be alone in the universe?

When you look at this video, forget the simplistic answers foisted upon humanity by religion since time immemorial, and more recently by certain individuals within the scientific community to explain why the universe exists and our place in it. Common sense and cold hard reality dictates that no mysterious all seeing entity made the universe. Nor did it happen with a big bang. Both woolly beliefs stretch credulity to breaking point. The universe just is.

As for whether or not we are the only sentient species, how can we be, it makes no sense either. Somewhere out there life, not necessarily as we would recognize it, is going about its business. All I would say to them/it, whatever, is I hope that they fail to discover us, or we them. Our species is totally undesirable, warlike, greedy, arrogant and controlling. We are to be avoided like the plague for the sake of peace throughout the universe…

This Week Won’t be Easy

This Week Won’t be Easy

More from Michael 🙂


Screenshot 2015-01-19 16.50.30 Mike “The Melodeon” Palmer

This week was always going to be a pain.

Phew. A short story to write urgently. A book I’m really enjoying writing (modern -day, quite gritty but fun). Then last week I received a copy edit for the next Hundred Years War book, BLOOD ON THE SAND – and that’s going to be a good one – as well as having to prepare the ground for POITIERS (working title) which has to be submitted for middle June.

But at the same time there are blogs to write, an interview to finish for the Kara Piazza site (link will be added next week), marketing for speaking engagements, helping organise the AsparaWriting Festival, and all the other things that keep my desk clear (if you can hear maniacal laughter now, you can guess why!).

Yes, I have more than enough to be getting on with just now.


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Another Guardian Progress Report – Chapter Three Begins


Maybe This Is The Guardian

Here’s another taster from my current WIP – the opening few lines of chapter three of The Guardian as they stand at the moment. Bear in mind that like everything else I’ve shared with you so far it’s not an example of the finished product. If on reflection I’m not happy with it, or any other part of the WIP, I can, and will, rethink and rewrite it.

With this new novel, apart from taking my time and not trying to write thousands of words each day, believing it to be the only way, like so many others do, I’ve adopted the following approach – one hour each day for writing, the rest spent carefully thinking how each section of the story will work before I begin typing. It’s only taken me twenty years to finally realize that this slow and steady approach is by far the best. So there’s hope for you too – lol.

Now read on…


“What’s wrong?”
“The outer door to the shuttle airlock isn’t responding. It’s been locked! It should automatically open when it senses any shuttle heading its way.” Lynne replied, while attempting to reset the recognition system, used whenever any craft arrived outside the airlock, from on board the shuttle. She tried it once again. The door remained firmly sealed. “It’s no good Adler, I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault. At least we know that someone might be inside. The only way to lock the system is from the admin area. Whoever is there must have deliberately shut it down, either that or they’ve sabotaged it. Brett take a look at the mine plans. There has to be another entrance.”
“On it.”
“Cliff, make all weapons ready.”
“Already doing it.


The Guardian watched the intruder’s progress via its monitor inside the inner sanctum as they left the safety of the shuttle. It already realised where they were heading.


Suited up, and with Brett leading the way, they left the relative safety of the shuttle to walk the few yards to where the emergency escape hatch was located directly below the shuttle airlock outer door. The hatch was never designed as a way of gaining entry to the mine. While Lynne assisted Cliff in preparing the charges needed to open it, Adler reminded everybody of a few more facts. “When we get inside, don’t think for one minute that we can remove our suits. We can’t. The only places inside the mine where there is a breathable atmosphere is inside the shuttle airlock and the living quarters. So for the duration, as cumbersome as they are, think of your suit as your best friend.”
“Better get behind something, I’m going to blow the hatch,” Cliff suggested, ending any further pearls of wisdom from Adler. C4 might be a relic from the twentieth century, but in the right hands it was still an excellent tool. When the dust from the explosion cleared they could see a short corridor leading to a metal ladder.


Now it’s time to work out what if anything is waiting for them. Maybe there’s nothing. Maybe the guardian itself is close by. You’ll just have to wait until you read the finished product won’t you?

More later

😀 😀 😀

#Read about Guest #Author Noelle Granger

#Read about Guest #Author Noelle Granger

Read about Noelle 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

emiliecarolNoelleGranger-9 (2)I see dead people. Lots of them. No, I’m not Haley Joel Osmet in the Sixth Sense, just a human anatomist who spent 40 years teaching medical students, residents, graduate students and paramedics. And yes, I’ve seen the insides of more bodies than I can count. It’s a rare privilege to be able to do so, and I am forever grateful to the body donors who have allowed me to learn and teach.

I also had an active career in bench research, studying hormonal mechanisms involved in growth and development at the biochemical and molecular level in an invertebrate model system. Grant writing, paper writing, chapter writing, book writing. Lots of writing, and I was good at it, but all somewhat formulaic, nothing creative or imaginative. Well, I did raise the insects for Silence of the Lambs – a story for another time.

I had a list of things…

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