More from Michael 😉


This is a curious time – one of great potential with a couple of new projects, but also one in which I have to try to rationalise what I do.

Yes, it is a lovely Apple iMac. When it works.

That sounds rather pretentious put like that – but it really isn’t. You see one of the projects, which I have mentioned before, is that I have been asked to organise the Crime Writers’ Association Annual General Meeting next year. It’s so far been fun, rather than purely terrifying, but that will change over the next ten months, I am sure. And it is going to eat into my time.

Added to that, I have too many books to redraft: the new book I’m working on, the next book in the Templar Series, a follow up to Act of Vengeance, a police procedural based in Devon, a couple of ideas…

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Contributing Writers Beware!!!

Nothing much changes in our game. We write, publish and advertise the books while Amazon/Smashwords etc rake in the money. Not for us mind you!!!

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If you deal exclusively with Amazon as I have done up until now, you will be all too aware that since they introduced Kindle Unlimited and the subscription service, that royalties previously earned from the sale of books enrolled in Kindle Select began to dramatically reduce. Now thanks to the addition, on July 1st, of the Kindle Edition Normalized Pages (KENP) Read System within KU, the value of royalties paid by Amazon has got to the point where it’s now reduced to nothing more than chump change.

To give you an example, one of my titles The Seventh Age, which initially was a best seller back in 2012, (slightly over 250,000 copies) shows that so far a mere 588 pages have been read since the 1st. That is equal to approximately four actual copies of the eBook, give or take a few pages. Sounds good right? Wrong!

All the…

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Warning: This Could Get Messy

This brought back memories for me…


Some of the most delightful foods can be messy to consume. Maybe that’s why it’s best to eat them alone, or with friends.

What brought on this discussion? Last night, for Cinco de Mayo, my spouse, and myself visited a local Mexican restaurant. I selected pork carnitas, which were delicious, but somewhat messy.

A few more messy examples–corn on the cob, fresh, juicy peaches, ripe, luscious tomatoes, straight from the garden, barbecued spare ribs,  and crab legs.

Also, fresh caught blue crabs–the kind that are steamed, cracked open with wooden mallets to get at meaty morsels inside.  No wonder diners are given bibs.

Maybe that’s why the best things are worth working for. In the case of delectable dining delights, the messier, the more delicious.

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never meant to be

never meant to be

Lovely poetry…

The Lonely Author

never meant to be

we lay on a lonesome beach
tides shift between reality and fantasy
red lips kiss the yesterday we never had
as we dream of eternity
fireflies illuminate the night
forming horoscopes
foretelling no promises of tomorrow

our eyes express
things our mouths will never see
the moonless sky torments
our precious love is an unborn child
who was never meant to be

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What’s wrong with getting an eBook for nothing?

…and now a bone of contention gets another airing!!!

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Free Books.001

Only everything!!!

The fact that today’s readers of eBooks demand they must be free or on offer as part of an all you can read for x number of dollars per month package deal, is just so wrong!

Face it people, when you go to your supermarket to get your groceries, or to any other retail outlet you care to name, do you get what you want for nothing? No of course not. So why should you expect to get a book for free? I’ve heard some people claim it should be free because an eBook isn’t a real book, only an electronic file. Good grief morons, try engaging your brains for once in your lives! These same idiots argue that they should be able to download their favourite music for free as well. I have just two words on that particular subject – Taylor Swift!!! We need someone like…

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The celebrated Hootchy-Kootchy dancers of the north.

More from Tallis’ mischievous pen…

Tallis Steelyard


I confess to being a citizen of Port Naain. Not merely do I live here, I was born here, my parents were born here, and so were my ancestors for many years before that. Thus I imbibed the culture and mores of the city with my mother’s milk. I also imbibed the little foibles of our city, such as parochialism and the tendency to look down on our neighbours.

I do not think this is purely something that pertains to Port Naain. It is my experience that those who dwell in all large metropolitan areas tend to sneer at the inhabitants of their hinterland. After some thought I came to the conclusion that it was done as a form of self-justification. Thus teachers believe in the value of education, dancers believe in the power of dance, poets will tell you, quite rightly, that poetry is essential to life, and city…

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Short Story Writing

A bit more advice for you to either take notice of, or ignore…

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On its own is a short story important? Not necessarily. But as a proving ground to try out ideas with the view to expansion into larger works at a later date, short stories are an invaluable tool.

The trick is to always to keep it short – between five to fifteen hundred words. While you’re writing, if it’s any good your mind will automatically want to expand it to novelette, novella or even novel length.

Don’t give in to temptation. You’re writing a short story!

The main thing to remember once you’ve decided on its subject, is that it must always be brief and to the point. I know I’m repeating myself, but its a fact. How many short stories end up as novelettes when the author looses all sense of self-control?

If you believe your short story is truly worthy, hand it over to a few people to read…

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When it comes to eBooks, who owns what?

Did you know????

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Guess what folks? All of those eBooks sitting on your Kindle, PC or Smart Phone don’t actually belong to you! All you own is your eReader…

You should have got the hint when Amazon came up with the whole return an eBook thing. Yes I totally agree with you it is a complete nonsense. How can you return what in effect is nothing more than an electronic file full of 0’s and 1’s?

But here’s the real kicker, the books we all thought we had bought and paid for don’t actually belong to us. Amazon, or whichever other outlet you thought you had purchased your eBook copy from, retains ownership. Not even the authors of the eBooks can claim the right of ownership, even though without them the book would not exist! The only claim the author has on any eBook is its copyright, providing he or she is an…

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The Holy Grail of Authors

Here’s something from a lovely lady I know….

A Journey thru Words

1512303_805590249521973_5607612739990836441_nAs a child, I wrote on walls to learn the art of creating a word.  Later I wrote because words were fun. In the teenage years, I wrote in secret to express the mountain of emotions roiling inside of me. Then, as an adult, I wrote because a job demanded it. But there was always the reason I loved to write, and that was for the pure joy of it. When I retired, I finally could chase my dream of writing a book.

I discovered the new frontier of self-publishing and all those who blogged about making money selling their books. So, I learned to blog.  I followed all the lemmings into the sea of self-publishing, and then something changed.  It wasn’t about writing anymore. I perfected my writing style. Learned to kill off my darlings that were ineffectual to a story, doubled down on the grammar, began to figure…

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Here’s something to think about…

Controversy – whatever will I come up with next folks? 😉

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I thought I might say something about a few things that tend to happen when we write, and some which get overused, and not just by newbie writers I might add. A lot of what I’m about to say, I’ve said in previous posts. For my long time followers, please bear with me. This is mainly for any and all newcomers to my blog with dreams of one day becoming a published writer.


Some of the novels and novellas by first time writer’s I have read recently, seem to rely solely on descriptive prose, while others believe that narrative and nothing else is all you need to tell the story. Neither of these techniques should ever be used on their own. Then there are a few who commit the sin of being overly verbose. To them I simply say, why use fifty words when ten or twenty will suffice?

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