Monday, 17 October 2011

Playground Cool - Final Cover

Evening folks.

After several attempts this is the version I've settled on. I think it sums up the novel pretty well. Of course to find out if it does or not you'll have to buy the book when it comes out! Hopefully that day is weeks, rather than months, away.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Playground Cool Front Cover Update

Hello again. After some discussion with the wife and a poke around the internet I now have a slightly different version of the front cover for consideration. Better or worse than the last one?

Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards

Afternoon readers.

For those who missed it, the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards took place in London on Friday 7th October. It was shown on ITV3 and as I write this, the repeat is still available on the ITV Player.

In my opinion these award shows don't really lend themselves to being on tele. I think that's more because they tend to be a little low budget compared to the big film awards which is a pity given that without books, half the films we watch wouldn't exist. That said, if I'm ever in line to be nominated for any type of literary award, then I'd want it to be on tele if for no other reason than I could record it and make sure it was on everytime somebody popped round to visit.

Lots of names there on the night. It rather highlights my ignorance that I hadn't heard of some of the nominees but it was good to see Mark Billingham and Peter James taking home awards as the wife and I are fans of both. The wife is a particular fan of Mark's as he has taken the time to reply to a couple of her tweets which has been the cause of much excitement in our house.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Playground Cool - Front Cover


Further to the extract of my first novel which I posted recently (to be found on the Playground Cool page), I have just finished the front cover which will hopefully be used when I launch the book online soon. Feedback welcomed. It's a first attempt so it might well change over the coming days and weeks.

The Battle of the Bookshelves

Hello again. Welcome along.

If you've read any of my previous posts my passion for books, real ones as opposed to our new electronic chums, should be obvious. So you can imagine my lack of delight when I read this article on the BBC website about plans to close hundreds of libraries across the UK.

It's a tale of cut backs, something we're all famliar with at the moment. The government has cut budgets in all sorts, not least the public sector in which I am employed. Closing libraries is seen by councils as a way to cut back expenditure in the wake of these budget cuts.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of increasing efficiency and saving money. But pick something else to close! I realise everyone has an opinion. If it was announced that they were going to close schools, there would likely be folk marching in the streets. Close a hospital? Can't do that, bodies in the streets. So I see that libraries are an easy option. But they're an important part of local communities and offer so much more than just a place from which to borrow a book.

Anyway, have a read of the article, then go to your local library and borrow a book, use their computers, join their bookclub, borrow a cd or just sit in the corner reading the paper. But use the library, before they're all gone.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Decline in High Street Bookshops

Afternoon all,

Given that I've recently started a blog about my writing and given that I've written a number of novels which I hope one day to see in print it was a proper disappointment to read this article on the BBC website today. The article says that real bookshops are slowly vanishing from the high street and, given the well documented problems Waterstones are having, it's hard to argue with. I'm not a fan of electronic publishing but I am about to try it for myself simply because, like any other writer, I want people to read my work.

Me and the wife buy lots of books but often this is from the supermarket and even when we do go to a bookshop, when was the last time anybody paid full price for a book? When you think that you can buy a bestseller for a couple of quid on a Kindle it's easy to see why it accounts for such a high percentage of sales.

So, despite my preference for something tangible, for the feel of a real book, it would seem electronic might be the way to go. I've included a link to the article here for those that want to read it.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Update on the progress of the novel

Ah there you are.

I've been fiddling around with the various settings within the blogger pages and have changed the layout a bit because it looked rubbish on the computers at work. I've also opted to allow adverts because I think it livens the page up and it seems I'm just that shallow. I've also added some links at the bottom of the page which, like the rest of this blog, will change and grow over time. The link to You Write On is worth a click for anyone with a desire to read the work of others and to post their own work. Essentially it's a peer review site and I've found it useful in shaping my work. The only downside is that you can only really post the opening chunk of a novel because if someone stumbles across an extract from the middle of your book it won't mean a thing to them. Still, if you fancy a search there's five chapters of my latest novel on there from earlier this year. The reviews were pretty good though I do say so myself.

The editing of the first draft of The 24 Hour Jazz Cafe is coming along at pace but in the mean time I'm aiming to add a new page to this blog over the weekend and include an extract of my first novel Playground Cool. It will be the same version that was so nearly published ten years ago so it will doubtless seem a bit dated and, from memory, it was a bit chick lit, but of course it was all the rage at the time. Still, it was good enough for an MA and the good people at the Sheil Land Agency loved it. According to their website Vivien Green still works there. She was my first - and only - agent and I will always appreciate her efforts. Anyway, if I figure out how to upload the pages I will.

Just as an aside I'm currently reading Entombed by Linda Fairstein and it's pretty good. Reminds me of Harlan Coben which is no bad thing. I need to crack on with it though because Ian Rankin and Stephen King both have new books out in the next few weeks. Needless to say, you can read all about these by following the handy links at the bottom of the page.

Until next time dear reader...