Totally Irrational Thinking

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The one thing that every writer, whether traditional or Indie, whose books are published in e-book form have in common, particularly in non American markets like here in the land of the literary curmudgeon where the printed book is still preferred, is the vehement prejudice against the relatively new publishing format we choose to use. Because they hate the idea of the e-book, they are missing out on so many great tales. Whether they like it or not, the e-book is the next evolution in the history of publishing.

As far as they are concerned, if they can’t hold a book in their hands and physically turn the pages, from their completely illogical point of view the electronic file is not a proper book.

What utter bilge!

I wonder if any of them realise how totally irrational they sound? Whether they like it or not the e-book is here to stay.

Before the first seed change in publishing occurred when the printing press was introduced to the UK in the fifteenth century by William Caxton, the only way itinerant storytellers could pass on their stories was by word by mouth. What the printing press did was to collect their stories in one place, the printed book, for everyone that could read and write, long after the stories would have disappeared when the storyteller eventually died.

Despite the gate keepers, today’s storytellers can be published in a format available to literally everyone who owns a smart phone, laptop, desktop, tablet or a purpose-built ereader such as the Kindle. What the traditionalist stick in the mud’s simply fail to understand is that they are a rapidly diminishing minority.

From the point of view of today’s publishers, it makes good financial sense to publish in e-book form rather than paper. This is a second seed change in publishing that is slowly being accepted by all five major publishing houses. From their point of view, if an e-book doesn’t sell they haven’t lost much financially, unlike remaindering, where to sell the printed copies in stock they have to offer them at a much cheaper price. Either that or pulp thousands of them after taking a financial gamble on what they thought would be the next best seller.

If the publishing houses fully adopt the e-book, it would not surprise me in the least if they cease incentive payments in the form of a financial advance to writers they are considering signing up in the future. Every publishing house is driven by the fact that to remain solvent, above all else they must make a profit. If they spend a lot of money on their stable of writers, they need to recoup it for every book they publish before they show a profit and can afford to pay out royalties. That simply does not occur with an e-book…

A thought just occurred. Maybe the reason why curmudgeons hate the e-book so much is because they cannot bend the ereader back on its spine like a paperback, nor fold the top corner of a page over to act as a book mark. What do you think, am I right??

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Criticism versus Reviews

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What any writer dreads the most are attacks by members of the public, often with an axe to grind…

In days gone by every writer knew that the only individuals who offered opinions about their work were journalists working for leading newspapers, in the guise of literary critics. Back then they encapsulated the essence of a new work of fiction in one line of carefully chosen words taken from the text in question. Never once did their newspaper’s editor allow them to speak harshly against a given work. Instead, they chose to beguile future readers with the use of a single sentence from the book in question as an enticement like the following:

“A dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that you inspired it.” – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

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Sadly those days are no more. Today, every reader has the freedom to criticise by writing whatever they believe is a review, knowing that they can get away with blue murder, then posting it on book sites such as Amazon. Most are not true reviews at all. Instead what you will see are endless examples of critiques, or far worse! The vast majority believe it is their god given right to tear apart any and every book, in particular ebooks by both traditional and indie authors.

It isn’t! All you are doing is showing your ignorance to the world at large. Some, not all, make it their business to harangue the author of the work they have just written about. A small number will insist that they could have made a far better job of writing the story!

To all of them I ask this – how many of them have ever written anything longer than their own signature I wonder? Have any of them ever had a book published? How would they feel if the boot was on the other foot? Would they feel outraged about the product of all their hard work being considered rubbish by hateful individuals? These people who go on the offensive are too cowardly to use their own name, preferring instead to remain anonymous by hiding behind a pseudonym.

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Are Amazon’s published authors being shafted?

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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 bother to ask themselves whether or not the authors of those books are being provided with royalties for each copy of their book(s) sold by Amazon? I seriously doubt it!

While its true that we do receive a pittance in the form of a few cents for every page read, we do not receive royalties for books sold under the Kindle Unlimited program! In essence what we are subjected to thanks to our books being advertised in Kindle Unlimited is nothing short of blatant exploitation by Amazon!

While we all reluctantly give away a few free copies while promoting a work, regarding it as a necessary evil, what Amazon is doing is outrageous! In essence they deliberately abandoned paying royalties to each author in favour of KU and their cheap skate pay per page read scheme. Did it increase the number of copies bought? No! Nor does the giving away of hundreds of copies in a free promotion, despite what some pro Amazon pundits may say!

As a published author I will never ever obtain a copy of anyone’s book using KU. To do so would be to deprive my fellow published authors of the monetary acknowledgement for their literary endeavours – in other words, their royalty payment. As readers I strongly urge you to consider doing the right thing as well. Buy your copy!

I know there are many tight-fisted individuals who would argue that by getting books using KU they save money, and that in effect they are buying their copy.They could not be more in error if they tried! So the next time you chose a book to read consider paying for it.

DO NOT HIT THE BIG YELLOW ‘READ FOR £0.00’ BUTTON!!!

Before you ask – yes I do have some free copies of ebooks. In total they number less than eight, each one sent to me by their author as a complimentary copy…

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It’s inevitable whenever you publish…

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Hi kiddies, I’m back on the offensive once again.

The following is a classic example of what happens when a Troll goes on the attack by looking for the next title on their hate list:

The text does not flow. I was frequently jolted by missing punctuation and poor sentence structure.
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In this particular instance, the targeted book is my scifi love story:

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Céleste: Love, Hate, Revenge and Danger among the Stars.

And yet, despite the above pathetic attempt to rubbish the book by a specific troll living in Vermont, one Sligo McKluge, when he delivered his blatantly obvious attack, the book continues to receive nothing but praise by those who have actually bought and read it from the beginning to the end. Which begs the simple question – why the hell does Amazon still allow bitter and twisted morons like McKluge to comment in the first place?

Before the peace and brotherly love set jump in to defend him by preaching about the fundamental rights of the individual, insisting McKluge was merely exercising his/its/her/their right to express their personal opinion according to the section on the democratic right to freedom of speech in the first amendment of United States’ Constitution, I would remind you that like every other successfully published author of my acquaintance who are constantly targeted by total fwits like McKluge, I can tell you that that particular argument does not wash! It is nothing more or less than a load of old horse manure, especially when authors do not have the right to veto all one and two star reviews. Or better still, like Facebook, be allowed to block certain people from commenting, or in this instance reviewing!!!

PS – according to KDP, its being read in the US at the moment McKluge, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!!

Bah Bloody humbug

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Two more reviews…

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Despite everything here are a two more reviews – this time from Amazon Australia

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I loved reading Celeste, where for me Star Trek meets a more current way of thinking, keeping it smaller and simpler in some ways yet much more complex and deep in others. Fascinating turns everywhere from steamy relationships, danger, a ship that comes to life, to meeting different yet familiar entities that have mastered the power of thoughts. A nice not seen before (by me) creative touch at the end, and yes, l would like to find out what happens after, hint, hint 😉
PollyEsther

 

By Chris Graham TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 March 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

A well thought out Space Trek, brief but plausible encounters with Aliens, touching on why they don’t seem to be keen on contacting us, the evolution of an Artificial Intelligence, a look at the origins of some ancient myths and a touch of Romance.
All the boxes are ticked in this latest Sci-Fi tale from author Jack Eason.
Will there be a sequel?
I’d like to think so.
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The top revue is from PollyEster in Australia. The second is from our hairy friend Chris Graham aka The Story Reading Ape here in the UK. Both of them are followers of my blog. For which I am eternally grateful.
A few more positive reviews like these and I might just be tempted to write a sequal. So get buying and reading people…
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Here is the first UK review

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

If you like your action fast paced this is for you. A beautiful ancient mystical being, an English Archaeologist and an ever changing band of misfits and rogues working together to save the world from a count down to an apocalyptic end.
A secret society and an evil god, trying to stop them from achieving their aim. Working against the clock to reactivate an ancient machine, it takes them across the globe. Will they make it? Love, treachery, heroism and around the world action – what’s not to like? This would make a great movie.
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Now come on the rest of you, follow Kate’s example. Read and review it!
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Thank goodness the promotion is over!

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What many of today’s readers conveniently forget, or are wholly ignorant of, is the fact that getting your hands on a free copy of any book is a privilege, not a right!

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To that end, the one time only five day promotion for this book ended at midnight California Time – that’s 8am this morning, here in the UK. From now on, if you want a copy you will have to open your wallet, set the moths free, and spend money buying it like everybody else.

Here are the two main links – Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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The following is the breakdown of the free copies taken:

Amazon US – 46

Amazon UK – 5

Amazon Germany – 2

Amazon Japan – 1

Amazon India – 3

The burning question now is how many of the fifty-seven free copies will actually be read, let alone reviewed? I’ll know the answer when I see movement on KDP’s Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read, along with any review posted on the book’s relevant Amazon page.

For your information, 170 pages equals one copy of the book read. So I’ll know exactly how many of you actually bothered to read it. Back in the real world, past experience dictates that the numbers of pages read, and the reviews, will be pitifully low. So how about proving me wrong for a change. After all I gave you a free copy out of the goodness of my heart. So now its time for you to do the decent thing by me in return, don’t you think? Read and review it!!!

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Second Chapter

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Here is the second chapter of the re-written novella…

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Chapter Two

The search begins

When Nick returned home to his sixteenth century thatched cottage in the ancient Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire from the Stonehenge event, he immediately began re-reading all of his extensive notes on the various legends he had gathered about time. His black cat who grudgingly allowed Nick to cohabit with him, came in through the cat flap with another gift for the cottage’s larder in the form of a half dead mouse. “Cheers Dragon, just what I need,” Nick chuckled as he warily stroked the half wild cat’s head. With the mouse forgotten for the moment, Dragon leapt up to his favourite place on the window sill where he could watch the world outside in comfort and began to meticulously groom himself.

Nick fired up his laptop and looked at the blog the three hippies had mentioned – Time Reversed. The author had gathered together a vast raft of information, gleaned from the countless thousands of internet sites on the subject of time. Some were recognized scientific sites, but the vast majority fell into the crank category. These were the ones Nick and the blog’s author, who went by the internet handle ‘Clocked’, were most interested in. After bookmarking the blog for future reference, Nick checked his emails hoping for one from his long-time girlfriend Sophie. But she was still working deep in the highlands of Uganda as a volunteer animal behaviour research assistant for the World Wildlife project, created to protect the endangered mountain gorilla groups living there. Typing in the pass-worded URL for the British Museum’s archaeology department, he began his search.

At least for the moment he could still get access. Randle had not been able to close him down just yet. “Where do I begin to look eh Dragon?” Nick asked the wily old cat. Dragon flicked his thick tail in reply and looked at his human companion with those piercing eyes that mesmerize his prey, purring loudly as he settled down to doze with one eye open, carefully watching out for another possible addition to the larder. After an hour or so perusing the titles of the many papers on file, one in particular caught Nick’s eye, concerning an unusual find made in the mid nineteen twenties on an island at the Bolivian end of Lake Titicaca. Copying the paper onto his hard drive and backing it up on his memory stick for good measure; he looked at Dragon and said, “looks like you’ll be on your own for a while old mate.” Dragon just yawned and stretched out on his back for his human companion to stroke his belly.

Nick checked the available flights to South America via an internet booking agency. Finding what he wanted, he made his reservation on Virgin flight 92 bound for Miami, where he would catch his connection to Lima in Peru. Throwing some old clothes, his laptop and a few other things he knew he would need into his old backpack, he finally found his passport, grabbed his wallet and checked that his credit card was there and still up to date, before stuffing them along with his computer memory stick into the front pocket of his bum bag. With luck and no major traffic jams or accidents, Nick hoped to arrive at Heathrow Airport in approximately five hours’ time.

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The departure lounge was packed solid with hundreds of people off to other parts of the world. Nick pushed his way through crowds of people, bewildered by the hundreds of signs pointing here and there to the various departure gates, check in counters, waiting lounges and duty free shopping areas, and the Virgin booking office, where he made good his purchase of the precious ticket on Virgin flight 92. After parting with his backpack for the flight at the departure counter, he made his way to the bar nearest to his departure gate where he paid an outrageous price for a beer and relaxed for a while, armed with his ticket and boarding pass also securely stashed in his bum bag’s front pocket. The call he had been waiting for was finally made over the busy airport’s announcement system. “All passengers for Virgin flight 92 to Miami please go to departure gate 7 immediately.”

Nick made himself comfortable in the coach class seat allocated to him next to a window. From where he sat, he looked out at the leading edge of the starboard wing of the red and white liveried Virgin 747 Jumbo Jet with the two massive gaping mouths of the powerful Rolls-Royce engines slung beneath it, and settled back for the long flight to Miami on his first step towards the truth to the puzzle. Unbeknown to him, two passengers seated three rows behind him were also headed for Lake Titicaca, posing as tourists. On the forearm of one of the passengers was a distinctive tattoo of a shield with a pierced heart at its centre. Several hours later after an uneventful flight across the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, Miami’s heat hit Nick like a blast furnace, giving him a taste of what was to come as he sat down on a seat in the roof observation area, with an ice-cold bottle of weak Budweiser. How he longed for a proper pint of room temperature English bitter. The two tourists sat a few yards away observing his every move. He had a couple of hours to kill before the connecting flight to Lima and he was not looking forward to enduring it in an ancient DC3 for two very good reasons. The first being the radial-engined plane’s great age combined with its lack of modern comfort and heat. The other was the bumpy flight that lay ahead down the mountainous South American continent’s spine – the Andes. But needs must. The old Dakota was the only available flight, unless he wanted to wait on standby for a more comfortable flight at a later date.

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After what seemed like an eternity, the tired Dakota’s wheels screeched under braking as the plane at long last landed and taxied off the runway and over to the airport complex that housed the building containing the airport’s departure and arrival areas.  After completing the border control checks, Nick relaxed while surveying the streets of rain-soaked Lima by night, through the windows of the taxi as he was driven to his hotel. He laid on top of the bed, exhausted by the seemingly endless hours of his flight halfway across the world. He sweated profusely in the high humidity of the night. His eyes began to close as he watched the nineteen twenties style ceiling fan’s massive blades, mesmerized by their slow spinning attempt to move the thick air in the hotel room above his bed. Tomorrow he would begin the long journey to the shores of Lake Titicaca and the first of his clues, he hoped. His eyes finally began to close as a combination of exhaustion and the strength sapping heat gradually made him succumb. For a brief moment as he drifted between being awake and asleep, he had one of those corner of the eye moments, where you think you see something, only to find out a split second later that you were mistaken, as his tired eyes finally closed and he thankfully drifted off to sleep.

Ithis opened her eyes and smiled to herself once more from her hiding place in the hotel’s wall and looked at the now sleeping man, satisfied with his progress. She was now certain she had chosen the right one for the task ahead. She would follow him wherever he went, do whatever she could to help and protect him. Finding the ‘key’ was entirely up to him. She could not simply take him by the hand and lead him to its location. It had to be found by someone like Nick, after following all the vague clues she had put in place. For her to actively interfere would lead to disaster. Her DNA was enough to trigger the device’s instant self-destruct system, which would be catastrophic not only for the Earth, but the whole solar system. That instruction had been clearly set in place within its programmed system countless millennia ago, when her people were driven underground by the original surface-occupiers. They had activated its slow countdown which was set to occur by the end of 2012, purely out of revenge. She had been left behind at her own request when her people left Earth forever. Unlike them, she loved the primitive surface-dwellers and had watched their development for thousands of years.

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Next time, if you’re lucky, the third chapter.

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There’s No Getting Away From It…

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…it was the right story at the right time. Read the first chapter! You never know, you may actually learn something about why it became an Indie success story back in 2012-13, exceeding 250,000 sales.

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If you have actually been reading my posts, and not merely clicking ‘Like’, or ignoring them altogether as so many do these days, you will know I’ve been busy re-jigging my 2012 best selling short novel (61,954 words) Race against Time (formerly – The Seventh Age), a tale involving a race against time itself, with a science fiction slant. While I’m reading it through once again looking for any errors I missed during the re-write, prior to republishing it on Amazon, here is the first chapter.

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Chapter One

In the beginning was darkness

It was the time of the summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge on the plains of Wiltshire. Each year the mixture of revellers hardly changed. First timers were standing alongside the old hands, all waiting to experience the magic of watching the sunrise in that special place. This year, Nick Palmer, aged twenty nine, an unemployed lecturer with a doctorate in theoretical archaeology, now had some free time on his hands and decided to join in. He had lost his latest post due to his former tutor Professor Joseph Randle seeing to it that he got fired for his highly unorthodox views on ancient sites and ancient peoples.

Nick’s piercing blue eyes looked out on the world from his weather beaten craggy face. At just under six foot tall, his wiry build belied an inner physical strength that had developed from his sometime hobby of free climbing on the craggy cliff faces in the more remote parts of inland Wales. Topping off his frame, his head was crowned with thick untidy auburn hair that hung over his forehead. He had arrived in the early evening yesterday, and had pitched his tent among the myriad of others already set up. Once done, he headed off to Salisbury for a pint of best bitter at the first pub he found in the beautiful old cathedral city. Now nursing an alcohol induced pounding headache and a tongue seemingly covered in fur, he stood with the throng in the predawn gloom to witness the first rays of sunlight illuminate the alter stone at Stonehenge’s centre.

A group of three new age hippies stood off to one side of the main crowd. To Nick’s alert eyes they were obviously not mainstream participants. Something about their furtive discussion encouraged his natural curiosity and made him edge over to where they stood; close, but not close enough to make them aware of his eavesdropping. As the minutes ticked by and the excitement grew among the hundreds of participants, Nick listened to the hushed conversation between the three hippies.

Milo rolled himself a massive joint, lit it, inhaled the heady herb smoke, and passed it along to Rebo, who took a long drag before passing it to the third member of the group Sunflower. “Are you sure about your facts man?” Sunflower asked as he exhaled the spent cannabis smoke, creating a series of inwardly spiralling smoky halo’s in the still air of the early morning.

Rebo took back the toke and inhaled before replying to Sunflower’s question. “Sure I’m sure man, wait and see,” he said, wheezing his reply through clenched teeth, trying to keep the intoxicating smoke in his mouth and lungs for as long as possible.

Milo looked toward the east for the first sign of predawn light before the sun appeared above the horizon. “If it does happen like you say Rebo, man it will blow people’s minds,” Milo muttered quietly as he kept his eyes glued to the horizon. Nick shook his head, bemused by the seemingly nonsensical conversation as he moved closer to the main body of the crowd, as eager as everyone else to celebrate the solstice.

The appointed time of sunrise came and went. The seconds slowly ticked by. A murmur of anticipation in the crowd grew in intensity. Somewhere in the gloom, a reveller was slowly banging a drum accompanying a group who were chanting their welcome to the sun. What the hell was going on? Where was the sun? Nick looked back to where Milo, Sunflower and Rebo stood. Rebo’s face broke out in a look of cannabis fogged triumph. Milo was blearily staring eastward. “Wow man, it’s just like you said!” Sunflower just stood in stunned silence, mouth open. Fully fifty seconds after sunrise should have begun; the sun finally appeared on the distant horizon. To the vast majority of the solstice witnesses, the delay went unnoticed, unappreciated. But not by Nick, who like Sunflower, briefly stood dumbstruck, nor Ithis who watched unobserved, from where she was morphed into the side of one of the largest standing stones that made up the outer ring of the ancient henge. Somehow time had slowed, but why? She knew and was greatly concerned.

Rebo turned to Milo. “See man, the guy was right. What he said on his blog has just happened. Time is slowing down man – crazy or what?”

Nick looked across to where Rebo, Milo and Sunflower were now dancing a cannabis assisted jig. “What blog?” Nick directed his question at Rebo. “What blog?” he repeated; this time grabbing Rebo’s arm to get his attention.

Rebo stopped dancing; turning to see who it was that had interrupted his triumphant dance before answering. “Time Reversed, the blog is called time reversed. The dude that runs it has been saying for months, that as the planets get closer to alignment in 2012, just like the Mayans predicted on their clock man, the full alignment will be pointed directly at the centre of our galaxy, time will gradually slow. It may even stop man!”

Nick wandered slowly back to his tent, deep in thought. Once inside he closed the flaps and offered a silent “Yes!” to the heavens. After all those years of being vilified by academia over what his former tutor, Professor Joseph Randle had termed “complete and utter unmitigated nonsense, not worthy of one of his worst undergraduate students,” his theory had finally been proven true.

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     Nick’s doctoral thesis – ‘Early Sumeria and its influence on Middle Eastern culture today,’ had earned him a distinguished first, gaining him unprecedented access to the major digs in Iraq and others equally as important, spread across the near east from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and on into Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In those early days he was Randle’s star graduate student who could do no wrong, and had a promising academic career ahead of him. After gaining his doctorate he had done his post-doctoral work largely in the dusty and almost airless labyrinth of rooms containing thousands of artefacts, consisting mainly of broken pieces of clay tablets adorned with the strange birdlike cuneiform written language of the time; echoes from the Sumerian culture’s distant past, now buried deep inside the British Museum. From time to time, he took the odd trip back to Iraq and the ancient Sumerian ruins to confirm his emerging theory. While he kept his findings to himself, everything was fine. But, when Randle had insisted it was time for his protégé to present a paper at the annual University of East Anglia archaeology departmental conference, the academic equivalent of shit hitting the fan occurred, big time. In the rigid world of academia, to survive you tow the party line; you conform. But Nick was never one to roll over to have his belly scratched by his elders and betters. Literally from the second he opened his mouth to announce the title of his paper, Randle’s neck turned purple. The senior lecturers rose en masse, and hurriedly left the conference room quickly followed by their undergraduates and post-doctoral researchers.

From that fateful day, Randle made it his personal mission in life to destroy Nick’s academic credibility and career. To be associated with this foolish rebel put paid to his own personal ambition of a knighthood for services rendered in the field of archaeology. If he had been able to demand that Nick return his doctorate, or that the university somehow declare his brilliant doctoral thesis now unfit for purpose, based on this abhorrent almost heretical paper, he would have. The offending paper had deliberately been entitled ‘The seventh age – when time stops.’ In a way Randle had done him a huge favour. Nick was now free to pursue his worldwide search for clues to support his theory of time slowing to a standstill, unfettered by academic constraints. Word had quickly spread about Nick’s obsession, thanks to a few rogue journalists who liked nothing better than printing sensationalist articles about the hallowed halls of stuffy mainstream British academia.

The University of East Anglia hardly needed yet another witch-hunt. It had only recently extracted itself with a large amount of egg on its public face. Controversially, a previous academic storm concerning leaked internal emails, from one of its lauded departments, which had been reported worldwide, had the university hierarchy in a panicked spin, desperate to regain control.

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     To make money to finance his painstaking research, Nick wrote articles about his theory on time for fringe publications worldwide. He delivered popular lectures to new age believers everywhere. He also appeared on endless late night chat shows both here in the UK as well as across the United States of America via satellite, where conspiracy theorists dwell in their thousands, hungry for a new subject that dares to speak of cataclysm, and which challenges conventional thinking in the largely cynical and dusty academic world. All of which convinced Ithis that he was the right man for what lay ahead.

The idea of time possibly slowing to a standstill had gradually dawned on him through his research into ancient Sumeria. Plus, from reading all of the available literature on other ancient cultures that sprang up across the world during the same time period, and on into the early centuries of the first millennia AD, through to the mid sixteen hundreds in Central and South America. It wasn’t so much what the various academic papers actually said about these cultures, but what they didn’t say, or blatantly dismissed as folklore, that sharpened his curiosity. Buried inside the endless forgotten reports from the countless digs done in the mid to late nineteenth century, through to the early part of the twentieth century, and the corresponding artefacts excavated and immediately discarded as not fitting into the given timeline for the dig in question, from time to time he came across derisory comments made by the various paper’s academic authors on the local people’s firmly held beliefs. Quite frankly he considered that the authors in question should have known better, especially concerning the sites which they had largely dismissed out of hand, classifying them as nothing more than myth or fairy tales.

Slowly over many months he built up a dossier of these local legends, beliefs and so called myths. The thing that really stood out for him was the recurring conviction and belief of the ancients that time was not a permanent fixture in the cosmos. Indeed, according to them, it was anything but permanent and something entirely different to the relatively modern concept of time being a means of dividing our existence into millennia, centuries, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds. Somehow, despite the widely held belief of learned physicists that everything started with a big bang, what he was reading also countered that theory. In fact what the ancients related in their writings was that time was a wholly unnatural construct, created eons ago by persons long forgotten, in order to impose control and discipline to what they deemed to be the chaos of daily life. Nick would gradually come to the realization, over the many months of his research, that his belief that time was actually counting down to something catastrophic, was true after all.

What finally convinced him that there was something in all of this was when he began seriously researching all the material currently available on the controversial Mayan Clock phenomena, and its firm conclusion that everything would somehow end on December 21st, 2012. Would that state of chaos return, or would the natural order of things prevail? Was there a ‘key’ to time? At the back of his mind, he remembered reading something very similar in the translations of several of the ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets housed in the British Museum, once again discarded as pure fantasy by his fellow researchers, written thousands of years before the Maya and Inca empires came to prominence, together with some of the more obscure Egyptian papyri on the subject also held there. On one specific Sumerian tablet there was reference to a planetary alignment in the future where our solar system would be acting like a pointer to the very centre of the Milky Way galaxy, marking the end of something – but what it was at the time remained unclear. As he dug further into all the information available from across the world, he began to find seemingly unrelated and tantalizingly vague clues, pointing to a device of some kind that had been placed on this planet thousands of years in the past. Who had been responsible for placing it, as well as its whereabouts and function escaped him for the moment.

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So, you’ve had a taste of my best seller from back in 2012. If you want to read more of it here on my blog don’t be shy, ask me…

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A rewrite is underway

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When I wrote and published The Seventh Age back in 2012, my thinking at the time was to get it out as quickly as possible before the winter solstice in that year, mistakes and all. Why? To appeal to those who firmly believed the Mayan calendar predictions that the world would end on December 21st of that year. Obviously it didn’t happen, but the book enjoyed a lot of success, selling in excess of a quarter of a million copies.

Now, having finally got round to re-reading it four years on, its time to produce a second edition, correcting the spelling errors as well as adding the few words missing throughout the story, principally to get the damned grammar nazis and assorted idiots of my back! Let’s face it, by not editing I gave them what they wanted. Unless they can tear a book apart, they’re not happy. And yet what really galls them to this day is that a book written by an Indie author became an overnight best seller despite the editing errors and their worst efforts.

So, this morning I’ve already begun while the rest of the world was still asleep. I’ll keep you updated with its progress. Meantime here is a direct quote from the original regarding the love affair between the two main characters Ithis, a crypto terrestrial and the archaeologist, Dr Nick Palmer at a critical juncture in the story:

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My heroine Ithis

From now on at night while he slept, Ithis entered his mind tenderly making gentle love to his soul, taking him beyond the normal wonderful sensations of lovemaking, ever mindful that she must not make actual physical contact – at least not just yet…’

PS – will it have a new cover? I have no plans to replace the original as it shows what the book is all about – time.

More later

😉