Pseudo-experts and other lunatics

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As a published writer, sooner or later you will encounter one or more of the following!

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Once you have published a book or books, it is inevitable that you will attract the attention of individuals with a doctorate in incomprehensibly stupid! When Amazon opened the can of worms by giving everyone and their dog the privilege of being able to offer their opinion on your work on their sites worldwide, was the day the age of the internet troll and other non-entities was born.

Today, not only Indie writers, but also traditionally published ones find themselves on the receiving end of what can only be described as pseudo-expertise. For the latter its bad enough that their editors are imposing their often misguided personal opinions on how a book should be written, often to the detriment of the story, instead of sticking to correcting grammar and punctuation. But now all writers are endlessly being bombarded by totally baffling comments by some other published writers, who quite frankly should know better than to openly criticise someone elses work in public. What you and they have to realise is that they are expert in only one thing – destroying their own reputation just for the sake of pouring scorn on a colleagues work. Not everyone can write a story worthy of being read, let alone be published. Which is why so many who entertained the idea of fame and fortune by writing the definitive novel of the age fail and soon resurface as literary experts and critics. Or worse, offer their services as editors, always for a fee of course!!!

What none are willing to accept is that first of all your story is yours not theirs. Secondly, who better than you knows its ins and outs, plot and counter plot?

If you are lucky, people find it among the millions of books on offer and read it. Some will like it. Others not, so they do their damnedest to convince the public to stay away, which begs the question why? In the case of failed writers, it has to be that they’re green with envy. Or more than likely, they’re angry that they didn’t come up with it first. What other reason(s) could there possibly be?

What about the literary snobs, pedants, anal retentives, pretentious poseurs, grammar nazis and other self-important armchair critics who inhabit the internet these days? If you will take some advice from an old campaigner – LIKE THE TROLLS, IGNORE THEM ALL LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

Having read this, you will now know that I have zero tolerance for any of the above. Guess what, neither have any of my published writing colleagues either…

Happy New Year.

😉

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.
~~~

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

😦

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

😉

Oh what might have been…

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…or how I was ripped off by a small press publisher!

Back in 2003 while I was briefly back in New Zealand, I stayed with my best friend Graeme Norgren and his family. Each day while they were both at work, I decided to write a sequel to the first book I ever wrote back in 1995 – Turning Point. And so the two-part space opera Onet’s Tale was born. Here are some of it’s reviews:

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Imagine slaving in a mine on a distant planet, where each swing of your pick throws poisonous dust into the air that will kill you in a few months time from breathing it. This is where “Onet’s Tale” opens, but it doesn’t stay there long. This epic sci-fi tale from Jack Eason includes a large cast of characters from various planets, including the human/nephile Akhen and Khan, who is a Drana. Once enemies, the two band together to escape the mine and start a rebellion that eventually leads to a war that spans years and galaxies.

The story itself is narrated by Onet, who happens to be a Khaz. Think little gray alien guy that might land in Area 51. Except Onet is albino and has red eyes. He’s watching all this unfold, waiting for his chance to stop the evil that his own kind started, which spread through a goddess-type being called Shu, and continued through her horrible creations of berserker warriors.

Murder, war, and mayhem reign throughout this book, while the main characters try very hard to live normal lives. Their efforts are always ripped out from under them, and I sympathized with the tortuous events they lived through. On the other hand, I kept wishing for more character depth. I’m really partial to character-driven novels, and this one seems mostly plot-driven. For me, I would have liked to have been inside the characters’ heads more, really feeling what they feel.

If you like sci-fi packed with battles, futuristic weapons and modes of transport, you’ll like “Onet’s Tale”.

 

Format: Paperback

To say that this epic saga / odyssey contained in just one book is breathtaking in its scope would be an understatement! It could easily have been done in two parts, which, combined with a previous book, would have made a fine Trilogy.

Beginning 800 years after the events of the authors earlier book, ‘Turning Point’, the story starts with an ancient Dranaa escape pod arriving in the Dranaa Empire territorial space.

The reader soon discovers that even after 800 years, descendants of the victorious human/nephile survivors of the battles with the Dranaa on Earth, are still engaged in war with the Dranaa – and things are not going too well for them.

Although labelled as Science Fiction, the story also contains some Conan the Barbarian / Xena the Warrior Princess type characters whose technology / evolution is so advanced it seems like they have magical powers.

For those who like Action, there are battles aplenty, in space and hand to hand. Did I enjoy it? Emphatically Yes!

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Wow! Hang on tight for a roller coaster ride. This novel moves at such a fast pace it’s like you’re on one of the spaceships. There is so much in it, it could easily have been expanded to three trilogies! The story line is great, and the characters good though lacking a bit in definition. As always in these types of stories I find it hard to remember who everyone is from the unusual names. Where there is detail, it is fantastic, but I would have liked a lot lot more.

A New Journey on June 29, 2010
Onet’s tale truly takes you into a new journey of adventure new characters and keeps you wanting to read more and more. I recommend this novel to any Sci-Fi reader who enjoys good story telling and wants to get lost in new worlds and exploration. The Author did an amazing job in creating a new adventure for all of us to enjoy.
”A triumph of modern science fiction. A wonderful story of Fantasy anchored by Science”.
This is the first work by Jack Eason to be published and yet this book has the feel of a seasoned Author. The consideration and detail in which Onet’s tale is written never allows the reader to wonder about anything for too long. Every plot twist, each character and every action they take is just one small brush stroke of a much larger painting. All actions have consequences and all consequences are vital to the story. The web of intrigue, spun so subtly by the Author, unravels with each turn of the page. The bigger picture only begins to come into focus when all the other pieces are in place.
I find it very difficult to say exactly what Onet’s Tale is about, because it isn’t solely about one thing. The story has many leading characters and many different reasons why each would be where they are and why they are a part of the story. I could condense the entire story to just a few words..”A tale about the struggle for survival against all odds”..but this doesn’t do it justice.
The battle for survival isn’t confined to just one person, nor even to an entire species. It encompasses all life in both this world and in many others that wish to live without fear and oppression. A species that come from further away than most can imagine are hell bent on the complete annihilation of all others, forsaking none. The ensuing struggle spans the face of our galaxy and the lives of each and every living being within it.
The fate of future history is in the hands of a reluctant few. Out numbered and out gunned, the battle begins.
This is grand tale. The tone is that of a storyteller recounting the past. There are a host of characters caught up in intrigue, action and a fascinating story that spans worlds. A struggle against all odds in an epic battle for survival. An excellent read.

~~~

Once I had returned here to the UK at the end of 2003, my personal circumstances took a turn for the worse when I had a complete mental breakdown, resulting in me sleeping rough on the streets for a few months. After getting the psychological help I needed, I was eventually placed in a homeless hostel in Lowestoft, nine miles to the east of where I now live in my home town of Beccles in the English county of Suffolk.

It was to be seven years of searching and constantly being turned down before I eventually found a publisher.

Thereby hangs a tale. The small publisher I dealt with is a one man band, who fancies he is an editor. Had he been any damned good, he should have paid me the royalties I was due for each copy sold, both ebook and paperback.Had he done that I’d still be with him. In reality he is, or was, a senior executive for a large American computer company. Like many in our game who set themselves up as a small press owner, after failing as a writer, he is on an ego trip. Note I say ‘is’ because his company is still going….

My good friend and fellow writer Derek Haines knew and warned me about him. But in my still fragile mental state, I was desperate for Onet to be published and signed the contract. It was the worst decision I ever made!

I won’t go into any further details, except to say that after putting up with being constantly dictated to by a martinet, we eventually parted company. To be rid of him once and for all, as part of the deal to leave I foolishly agreed that Onet’s Tale be immediately withdrawn from the market. Judging by the above reviews, chances are it might have been a best seller. But back then my fragile sanity came first!

The problem was that in his capacity as my then editor he always insisted he knew best. Going against my express wishes he added a ‘curriculum vitae’ of all the characters for both parts of the space opera. It was as if he considered the readers could not possibly work out who is who for goodness sake.

Then to add insult to injury, on the e-book version he added his and his former business partner’s names as co-authors. That was the last straw as far as I was concerned!

So a hard lesson was learned. Never allow any editor to dictate to you or control your story, especially a wannabe!

😉

Is it just me…

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Is it just me or have the rest of you noticed the disturbing increase in the number of thoroughly nasty individuals appearing on all social media sites lately?

If like myself you have the effrontary to raise your head above the parapet, by that I mean, advertise the fact that you are an active writer, by advertising your work or even supplying the link to blog posts like this one on any social media site, inevitably you will be attacked by someone who simply loves to hate. Sounds completely crazy I know, but we’re not talking about normal people here, instead I refer to the totally unhinged, common or garden, lesser spotted internet troll.

These days as a writer you fully expect it to happen sooner or later whenever a book you have written is published, especially by those who make it their personal business to pounce and attack from the shadows on major book sites such as Amazon or Goodreads.

Bizarrely, if you are not being publically derided by people like them, it usually means that your book isn’t being bought. Once the trolls find you, never ever enter into dialogue with any of them, no matter how sorely tempted you are. Just ignore the crettins! The thing to remember with trolls is that were you to physically confront them in the street, they would soon slink away, because without exception they are all cowards.

Occasionally one seemingly normal individual will appear, wanting to befriend you by employing the ruse that you share internet friends in common on a major social media site like Facebook. Normally those I keep in constant contact with on a daily basis, apart from my close personal friends and my distant cousins, are fellow writers. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been forced to ‘unfriend’ a non writer, the minute they show their true colours by making the mistake of either attacking me, or far worse in my eyes, attacking one of my writing colleagues. I had to unfriend someone recently, when the person concerned turned on me totally out of the blue while we were ‘chatting’. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have absolutely no time whatsoever for nasty individuals like that.

Recently a few cretins, (sadly one of their number is known to me) have begun attacking a lovely lady and fellow writer I’m proud to call my friend on Facebook. As a successful writer, I feel it is incumbent upon me to stand up for her and all of my fellow writers when they are being publically attacked on social media, even though many of my colleagues won’t, for fear of being targeted themselves.

So my message to all of you is to be extremely wary when someone wants to befriend you from now on. This is the latest tactic being employed by the Internet Troll – first befriend, then destroy!!! If you are the least bit unsure about it, either decline the request, or failing that, ask the friends you supposedly share in common about them first. If they are the least bit concerned, don’t befriend the individual. Better safe than sorry. It’s that simple. In the past I’ve always tended to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who wants to add me to their number of internet friends. No more!

Meantime, I invite you all to voice your views on the subject by leaving a comment below this post.

😉

Of Words And Other Things

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How much wood could a woodchuck chuck
If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
As much wood as a woodchuck could chuck,
If a woodchuck could chuck wood.

If you are of a certain age, chances are that you learnt that tongue twister in primary school, just as I did back in the nineteen-fifties. It is a perfect example of the overuse of specific words, even though in this case it’s just a fun thing for kids to learn and to attempt to recite.

Many emerging writers tend to rely on a limited vocabulary, even though most words have perfectly acceptable alternatives. How many times have you seen specific words endlessly repeated in the first book written by a new writer? Either that, or their incorrect versions.

Chances are you will come across examples of words when writing, which while sounding similar when used in actual conversation between two people, are completely wrong in a given instance within any piece of writing.

Note to self – hmm, a lot of words beginning with ‘w’ in that last sentence. Must watch that. Damn, there’s another one!

If you want an example of similar sounding words think about there, they’re and their. They all sound exactly alike. But in each instance they have a totally different meaning. Even simple words we all use such as and, can and do become seriously overused by most writers. I’m no different in that regard. I’ve even been known to start a sentence with it on occasion, for example the one word question – “And?” But only during a conversation between some of my characters.

What I’m about to say, I’ve said in previous posts here on my blog. But just for you, here it is again – once you have written that first draft, go back over it many times during its edit phase. Make sure that one of your editing sessions is solely dedicated to deliberately finding alternatives of those words you are so fond of using.

How? Use the synonym function incorporated into your writing software in conjunction with a dictionary and thesaurus. Even better, why not rewrite certain sentences using completely different words, that convey the same meaning as the original one?

Before some of you feel an attack of righteous indignation coming on, and are thinking of going on the offensive, I am fully aware that I have used several words in this post more than once. In this instance I am completely justified as I’m merely pointing out that every one of us needs to pay heed to the way we write.

In short folks, do your darndest to avoid using certain words too often. Damn, there are two more – your and you’re, to and too. Allowed is yet another example of a word that sounds the same when spoken even when spelt differently. Its cousin aloud has a completely different meaning. The list is endless. Is it any wonder that so many people find the English language hard to come to grips with?

***

Next, I would just like to point out something to all of the various types of literary cowards who insist upon hiding behind pseudonyms, such as a number of the armchair critics, pedants, grammar nazis, literary snobs etc, who inhabit the darker recesses of the Internet, each of them purporting to know far more about the written word than most writers. None of us likes a smart arse who deliberately sets him or herself up as a critic.

To all of the above – I can only surmise that what you appear to be suffering from is the literary equivalent of penis envy. Remember this, apart from being counterproductive, jealousy tends to feed on itself. Never forget that. It’s the only reason I can think of for why you deem it absolutely necessary to be so vicious towards not only the newcomers, but also seasoned writers, whether Indie or traditionally published?

First of all, may I suggest that you get over yourselves. Secondly, instead of endlessly criticising new and seasoned writers, by issuing those interminably boring, often repetitious one and two star reviews you are so fond of placing in the public arena, in your pathetic attempts to destroy a writer’s reputation, as some of you still tend to do on Goodreads and Amazon (you know who you are), why not actually try to write a book yourself. Maybe you already have, which probably accounts for the way you behave. But go on, give it another try. Far better to occupy your time by writing a book. Once you do, prepare yourselves for when it is torn to shreds by your fellow trolls. In other words, I’d think long and hard if I were you before you feel the overwhelming desire coming on, to rubbish someone else’s work.

Like most writers, I always refrain from reviewing some books, especially those written by new writers, if they did not succeed in gaining my full attention by drawing me into the story. Believe me when I say that it’s always better to do that, rather than to publically condemn, and by definition, earn yourself a reputation as yet another vicious troll. If I ever feel the need to offer criticism, its usually in the form of advice done privately, well away from the gaze of the general public, either by email or when chatting to writers on Facebook.

You should try doing the same…

Well that’s enough for today. It’s back to my current W.I.P.

😉

Pseudo experts, the cross we all have to bear

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Have you ever noticed that no matter what the subject, there will always be certain individuals who assume that they know more about it than anyone else? Take writing for instance. In this case the only ones who can be labelled true experts are writers with books selling in their tens of thousands, despite what any editor or gate keeper may say! If like myself you are fortunate to fall within this category as a successful published Indie writer, it’s bad enough that you instantly come to the attention of non writers in the form of trolls without armchair critics, grammar nazis, pedants, and worst of all, self appointed editors adding to the mix.

I’m sorry to disillusion you all, but just because you may have a degree in English in one form or another, it does not give you the right to poke your often ill informed oar in.

When any of the aforementioned offer their opinion in the form of a review for one of your books, or as a comment to a post on your blog, they automatically assume that even though you are successful, that somehow or other they know far more about the subject of writing than you do. There is very little any writer can do about the former. But when it comes to commenting on our blogs, please remember we hold the power of veto!

I have lost count of how many times I have felt tempted to simply ask them – Ok, tell me, how many books have you written and had published which have become best sellers?

These people really should take a moment to get over their envy or jealousy of our success before they start preaching to any writer. The day I take notice of anyone remotely on the periphery of the writing world, is the day when they can back up what they say with the numbers to prove their expertise. In this particular instance I’m talking numbers of books sold!

If you want to criticise, it’s simple, have one or more books written by you become best sellers. We writers tend to talk among ourselves, critique each other, and above all we make each other aware of total plonkers.

You have been warned!

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Who is LoopyLupine?

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It had to happen! Once I had made Cataclysm free for a brief period, it was inevitable that the trolls would soon attack. Cataclysm just received its first one star review on Amazon UK from someone calling themselves LoopyLupine.

1.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievale, 17 Nov 2014
This review is from: Cataclysm (Kindle Edition)
It’s not just that the “story” is unbelievable, it’s the fact that this ever got published. Ranks as the worst book I have ever read in sixty odd years. Hate to run somebody’s work down, but I am annoyed to have wasted a part of my life attempting to complete this poorly written, crazily assembled, fantasy.
***
The mere fact that this person can’t spell, nor can they distinguish the difference between adventure and fantasy proves yet again that individuals like this have no business being allowed to review any book on any online book site. If anyone knows who this person LoopyLupine is, they should do all writers, not just me, a favour and expose their real identity to the world.

Thoughts on Cataclysm’s three day giveaway

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Well, its finally over. After three days a mere one hundred and nineteen free copies were taken up. That may not sound like much. But believe me, from my point of view it’s good. Loosing US$246.26 in royalties is a worthwhile financial sacrifice to bring the novella to the attention of a wider audience. Plus, with such a low number of free copies out there, means that the book stands a better chance of it not being targeted.

Had I set the three day period from Friday until Sunday, there would have been far more copies seized upon, meaning that my financial loss would have been far greater. Plus with the increase in numbers it would also mean that inevitably it would be subjected to far more vicious one star reviews by trolls, armchair critics and pedants than it will now.

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If you are interested, here is the distribution breakdown by Amazon outlet:

Amazon United States – 89

Amazon United Kingdom – 15

Amazon Germany – 6

Amazon France – 0

Amazon Spain – 0

Amazon Italy – 0

Amazon Netherlands – 0

Amazon Japan – 1

Amazon India – 1

Amazon Canada – 6

Amazon Brazil – 0

Amazon Mexico – 0

Amazon Australia – 1

***

The above is a fairly normal distribution when it comes to free copies. As you can see in six of the countries where Amazon has outlets, there were no copies taken. That is also normal as English is generally not in use, not even as a second language.

So, if you are thinking of offering any eBook of yours for free, and you don’t want your book to be bombarded by one star troll reviews, choose Wednesday to Friday to minimize the chances.

PS – Knowing the number of free copies are out there, it will be interesting to see how many of them generate any kind of review…

😀

Cyber Bullying On GoodReads

It’s to be expected given that it is now wholly owned and controlled by Amazon, who allow cyber bullies to attack anyone and everyone who publishes books. A lot of rhetoric abounds from both sites about ridding themselves of the problem, and yet to date nothing positive has happened. While I’m all for freedom of speech, there are limits!

Cyber Bullying On GoodReads.