Apathy Rules…

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It’s a sad fact but reader apathy is on the rise.

When I posted this, deep down I knew there would be little interest due to the modern day curse – reader apathy.

Only one person wanted to read and review the third and final edition of my fantasy anthology – Goblin Tales. I gave twelve of you the choice to read it prior to publishing for nothing. All I wanted in exchange was a positive review from each of the twelve. While a few of you (13) clicked ‘like’, that was as far as any of you was prepared to go.

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. But it’s what most authors expect these days, despite all of our hard work. By not taking up my offer, which would cost you nothing but a bit of your time, you killed a wonderful fantasy anthology, depriving the rest of the english speaking world of the chance to immerse themselves in it…

The ultimate irony is that had eleven more of the thirteen people who ‘liked’ the post taken up the offer to email me for their free .pdf copy to read and review, this post would never have been written. But it’s still not to late for you to change your minds. Just follow the instructions on the previous via the above link in red.

Remember – books need to be read, not ignored…

😉

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Here’s something…

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…for you all to ponder.

What does a killer look like? Certainly not like the woman above. She’s too obvious, too Hollywood!!! For all you know the person involved may be a member of your family, or a neighbour. Maybe even a work colleague. Perhaps even someone you meet socially! Maybe it’s you?

For weeks now, usually in the early hours of the mornings, I’ve had an idea that simply won’t go away. I often wake with another piece of the puzzle thought through…

Imagine if you will that there is someone you know living somewhere on the planet who is not exactly in your good books. Would you want that person dead?

If your answer is in the affirmative, read on.

~~~

My idea is that the assassin is an enigma. There is no discernible pattern to the apparent deaths. Nor is there any evidence to show that a crime may have been committed. No DNA. No forensics whatsoever. Nothing! My anti-hero, or heroine has devised and developed several ways of getting rid of people without having to be near them.

Only once does someone actually witness a killing – the first. When questioned, they told the local police that they saw the victim’s twin apparently kill him, then vanish before the witness’s eyes less than a nanosecond after the victim died.

Even my favourite television cop the Sicilian Inspector Salvo Montalbano, who always thinks outside the box, would be hard pressed to work this one out! After all, how would you make any connection between what seem to be totally random suicides spread across the entire world?

At long last Salvo and his often comical male colleagues (they’re Italian for goodness sake, making them natural clowns) is back on the BBC in a brand new series, based on the novels of the Italian author Andrea Camillari…

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Now here’s the thing – how do they know who to kill? No money ever changes hands between client and executioner. No traceable requests are made, because the identity and gender of the assassin, not to mention their location, are unknown.

That’s for me to know and you to ponder about. For your sake, it’s better that way. Otherwise you might be one of the victims in the book I may write, if you get too inquisitive. Remember – curiosity killed the cat. Now all I have to do is write a short story from the point of view of the assassin about the first murder they commit to see if my idea is feasible as a novel.

And you thought all I was doing is a major re-write of a couple of my books…

More later

😉

Answer me this if you can?

The other day I posted the following on my Facebook page:

They say you are what you eat. Following that totally ilogical way of thinking, I am Gouda, Bacon, Eggs and Chips.

Why is it that total miseries who claim their know best, disapprovingly shake their heads at the rest of us who prefer to eat real food, not dietary supplements and other complete nonsenses?

According to people like them, I’m doomed because I love the following mix of basic foodstuffs. Do I feel unhealthy? Not a damned bit of it!

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All answers on a thick piece of buttered toast please…

Is screen writing an art form?

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Without a shadow of a doubt, the answer has to be categorically no!

My fellow writer and friend here in the UK, Andrew French decided that he wanted to turn one of his books into a screen play. So, with ‘how to’ suggestions from someone involved in the scriptwriting industry here, away he went.

Andrew said to me yesterday, “I don’t want anyone else adapting my work. It wouldn’t be the same.” From that point of view I can completely understand why he did it. After all would you allow a total stranger anywhere near your baby? No neither will the author of a given work, if they’ve got any sense… Far too many good stories have been ruined in the past by total Philistines ie editors. Or in this instance scriptwriters!!!

When you read a book, through the use of your imagination you become part of it to the point where if you close your eyes, your right there with the characters. Not so with a script. With the latter what your reading is nothing more or less than simplistic writing in the form of an instruction manual for totally unimaginative ninnies, devoid of everything that you experience when reading any work of fiction.

Give me the book over the darned film any day…

😉

I’ve always suspected this to be the case…

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… but until now there was precious little evidence to back up my theory.

If you live in a country like England, when it comes to making it as a serious writer, believe it or not the two things that will always determine whether or not you succeed are your social class and which school you went to. If you are working class and attended a state school, forget it the publishing houses simply aren’t interested!!

Yesterday the BBC showed a program about why most of today’s top British actors are no longer working class.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31110063

The same criteria applies to many of today’s writers here in England, unlike Scotland who treasure their working class authors, actors and artists.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/07/loneliness-working-class-writer-english-novelists

Fact – unless you are the product of a privileged upbringing (upper middle class or above), meaning you went to a public school like Eton or Harrow and then on to Oxbridge, you will never be taken seriously as a writer in England! After you have read the articles for which I’ve provided you two links, I defy anyone to prove otherwise. Believe it or not acceptance by the publishers has got damn all to do with talent and everything to do with who your people are!

Bah humbug

😦

Morweth’s Speech

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In every fantasy story there is always good and evil. In my anthology Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales, one of the good guys is the ancient white wizard Morweth. To give you a flavour of him, here is a speech he delivers right at the beginning of part two of ‘Beware on Crellen’s Mine’.

~~~

Morweth ended a heated argument over what they would do with the black wizard Crellen when they finally caught up with him. He knew only too well that this was the time for wisdom, magic and cunning not simple blind angry revenge. “No, no, no, Crellen must not die! Goblindom exists because it is in total equilibrium, unlike the world beyond our magic border. Life and death, growth and decay, summer and winter, and in magic’s case, good and evil, all contribute to keeping us hidden from prying eyes. Should any of these elements necessary to our very existence cease to be, the magic barrier will simply dissolve, and our part of the world will be ended forever, overrun by the hated humans. If you will dear friends, Goblindom and everything in it will soon be forgotten. Our capability to live in peace together and converse with each other, be we witch or wizard, raven or eagle, humin or goblin, wyvern or griffin, ogre, troll, elf, mountain gremlin, even dragon, will also end. The human’s world beyond our barrier is in a state of chaos. The different kinds living in it cannot understand each other anymore. Consequently they live in fear and kill rather than live side by side like us. Any mutual trust between all living things that they may have had is gone for all time. It’s a case of balance, do you see.”

~~~

As Bejuss the one eyed lisping raven with the twisted beak would say, were he actually here and not merely flying around in my mind, “Well that’th yer lot – rarrk!”

😉

Is it worthwhile advertising your book(s) on Social Media?

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Given that nearly every Social Media site is based in, and controlled from the United States where 25% of the population freely admitted that they haven’t read a book in a year, the jury is still out!

My old mate Derek Haines and I had a brief discussion on this very topic using Facebook’s only saving grace – its Chat feature, a few days ago. We both came to the same conclusion that as most sites are predominantly the playground of people who don’t normally read anything longer than a Tweet or the headline of a Facebook post, the answer appears to lean towards the negative.

Even though there are many book related groups on Facebook, in many cases, only writers ever bother to peruse and intereact usually by just ‘liking’ a post’s picture, while a few actually bother to click on and read the original article. But the number of people concerned with the latter practice is low in the extreme.

Of all the Social Media sites, always providing you are prepared to endlessly repost a tweet, you will get a response of sorts on Twitter. Usually this consists of other writers retweeting your contribution to their followers. About once or maybe twice a year if I’m lucky, I get a response in the form of a like for anything I post on Google+. I walked away from contributing to LinkedIn Why? Because despite what is said about it, it is a business networking site and nothing else. While I post to Pinterest, I don’t expect to find anyone has read the post on that site, as it is primarily for pictures.

One other Social Media site I post to from time to time is Medium. But as it is exclusively set up for Americans by Americans, the chances of anyone reading any of my posts is extremely low. Why? Because Medium specialises in childish dross for the home market.

Does any of what I have just said mean that all Social Media sites are a complete waste of time regarding book promotion? Well let me put it this way – Derek and I agreed that Social Media sites are today’s equivalent of the old sensationalist gutter press daily newspapers, just like today’s Social Media – full of mindless drivel. But with one fundamental difference. Unlike newspapers, you cannot reuse Social Media sites to wrap fish and chips up in to take home for your evening meal.

Nor can they be used as emergency bog paper if you run out of the real thing. The only thing sites like Facebook are any good for is keeping up with your friends. Just take a close look at whats on offer on Facebook. Its News Feed mostly contains family photographs, politics, pet photographs or total trivia like the utterly childish ‘Only 1 American in 10 will be able to answer these questions’ competitions, which the average non-American can easily answer if they’ve got nothing better to do.

To get back to the headline of this post – Is it worthwhile advertising your book(s) on Social Media? In our opinion (Derek’s and mine) – not really. But we both continue to do it anyway…

😉

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