stop the presses

stop the presses

A belated Happy Birthday my friend….

The Lonely Author

stop the presses

This happened my first Sunday on the island (Feb 23rd).

Axel’s baptism party was packed with guests. His parents were busy with the photographer, it was up to me to play host. Seeing so many beautiful women in the crowd, I welcomed the opportunity.

After my months of illness, this was my chance to prove I still got it. (Sorry ladies, I was born with a disbaility. I am a man and this is important).

(Cue in 007 theme music).

Started mingling, complimenting, and flirting.

As the night wore on, more and more ladies told me I looked different. Now, how different could I appear after three months?

Finally, one young lady told me “you look distinguished.”

Later that night, tossing and turning in bed, I replayed that one word, “distinguished”.

A frantic dash to the mirror.

No lines on my forehead. I smiled into the mirror…

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How much artistic license do I employ?

More on how I put Autumn 1066 together…

Have We Had Help?


That is my current conundrum

I’m at the stage where I’ve begun writing about the second of the three battles in my latest historical adventure Autumn 1066.

While I have the facts, or should I say what is assumed to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I’ve mention previously, the only account was written by a scribe fifty years after the battle – someone who in no way could ever be classed as a reliable, let alone impartial eyewitness.

At best the facts are sparse. At worst, woefully inadequate. While the fate of the historical figures involved is largely accepted by historians, what isn’t known is the fate of the ordinary participants in the battle. Because of the lack of written documentation, I now have to use artistic licence to give a flavour of what I believe they went through. This is the time…

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Review: The Stranger.

Review: The Stranger.

Michael reviews a book…


(Hint: buy it now!)

THE STRANGER, by Simon Conway, published by Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN: 9781529 332100

This is a good time for reviewers, obviously. Not only do we get time to sit back and read, but publishers are keen to send books out with a view to having some form – any form – of marketing, now that book launches have stopped, festivals have been cancelled, and the chance of getting authors out in front of the public is non-existent.

Still, when I was contacted by Simon Conway and asked whether I’d like to have a review copy of his latest, I was very happy to agree. Not only because it would be a good book to read, but because it was Simon’s. No, there’s no need for a disclaimer. I have never (to my knowledge) met Simon. However, I have spoken to him on Twitter, and I have…

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Are Amazon’s published authors being shafted?

Not getting any? Read on …

Have We Had Help?


From their published author’s point of view the answer has to be yes!!!

While the realists among our ranks (myself included) know we will never gain fame and fortune despite our best efforts, when you become a published author you would be forgiven for thinking that once your book(s) has been accepted and published that you are entitled to receive royalties for each copy of your book sold.

That used to be the case with Amazon until they decided to change the rules to save themselves having to honour their side of the agreement in favour of the far cheaper alternative from their point of view – Kindle Edition Normalized Pages!

While the idea of being able to read as many books as you can each month for very little outlay (Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited) may appeal to the avid reader, do any of them for one moment…

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So what is the new normal?

We all need to take note of this post!!!

Jim Webster


Everybody talks about getting back to normal but what is normal going to be? Already people are commenting that food prices are rising. I’ve been the one doing the shopping and I’ve noticed that there are no longer the ‘two for one’ offers and special discounts. A friend of mine who shopped at Booths because it was quieter decided that it was also a bit pricy. So she put the same order into Morrisons, click and collect, and discovered that she didn’t save a tenner on the family shop.

The supermarkets have issues. So whilst Tesco, for example, has seen a 30% increase in food sales, apparently they’ve seen a fall in clothing and fuel sales of 70%. Given that food is high turnover, low margins, that’s not a comforting statistic for them.

Add to that they have promised a 10% staff bonus for those working through the pandemic, have…

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Then What?

Then What?

Join me in congratulating my friend – Her First Book!!!

Before Sundown

After three-years, I finished the first draft of a historical fiction book, Sunset Inn, wish you were here. Then what? As a first book newbie, I was smart enough to know the story needed work. I deleted filler words, passive words, and other do not—ever—use words. But, DIY editing wasn’t enough, even though I had completed a Copyediting Certificate Program in 2010, to become a better writer. I wasn’t… not yet.

I had more to do. During an Amazon search for self-editing books, the first one that caught my eye was Renni Brown and Dave King’s, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Second edition. Online, I read up to the available page 9. One click, and I bought it. The authors, “Teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work.” After reading the book to guide me, I still didn’t know how to apply…

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Tragically, yet another book now lies utterly forgotten, thanks to unrelenting troll attacks!

Remember my Goblin family?

Have We Had Help?


If you want a copy of it from, click on the only known depiction of Globular Van der Graff actually sitting down to read his Goblin Tales.


I compiled the anthology of tales quiet a while ago, under the original title Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults. I had to change the title because some people these days rightly or wrongly associate the word ‘adult’ with pornography, which the anthology very definitely is not!

In its previous incarnation, like every other book of mine the minute it received any kind of positive review, it was immediately attacked. In this instance, being termed childish in the extreme by one of Amazon’s more vociferous inhouse trolls.

There is a lesson to be learnt here people! Goblin Tales demise was due entirely to me naively following bad advice to offer it for free in the first place when originally…

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The Online Teacher

More from our bella Stephie x


I know that it is common belief that in these desperate times of pandemic outbreak, teachers are those lucky ones who stay at home – it has been almost 5 weeks – paid to do nothing, but redecorating the house, baking soft bread, delicious cakes and biscuits all day, with the only concern about what to make for dinner, soon after lunch is over. Long days passed watching all the series Netflix, Prime, Sky can offer and, of course, reading, surfing the net here and there and, it cannot be forgotten, a few necessary gym sessions, as I suspect all those calories will deposit somewhere I don’t wish to very soon. In short: a paradise. Well, if you are one of them, I feel like reassuring you, as nothing of the kind has happened since March 5th: there is no paradise, but rather, a hell.

At first it was like…

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All is not as it seems!!!

It’s hard to say who owns which company these days…

Have We Had Help?


Or to put it another way, something stinks!

If you live here in the UK, ask yourself this simple question, Is your local bookshop truly independent? If your answer is yes, or at least you think it is, maybe you should check it out again. It may be one of a growing number of thinly disguised Waterstone’s clones, being inserted into our high streets across this still United Kingdom of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland to dominate the four nation’s terrestrial book sales at the expense of truly independant bookshops, even though Waterstone’s heartless CEO vehemently denied it when the accusation was made by the Mail Online newspaper.

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‘The beck is blocked.’

More from our Jim

Jim Webster


Now things are starting to unravel at speed. Looking at livestock, which is what I know best, sheep prices have tanked. In simple terms because like us the French and the rest of our customers are locked down, they’re not dining out and the amount of lamb they’re eating has dropped.

Beef is the same. Butchers are struggling to shift the better hindquarter cuts, the steaks and roasts. This is because a lot of people eat them, but they eat them in carveries and other catering outlets.

Milk is in deep trouble. The big hit comes from Costa and the other cafes closing. In this town, one not especially large coffee shop used 50 litres of (cows’) milk a day. I know some of their customers and contacted some of them. They’re drinking the same amount of coffee but they’re not having the number of lattes they used to.


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