Thursday, 21 February 2013

First review of The Trust!!

Hi gang,

My new book The Trust has received it's first review. It's a 5 * job as well which is nice. For them that can't be bothered to click the link and read it, I've pasted it in below:

I have read all of this author's books and, although most of them have been outside my usual genre of choice, I have enjoyed them all. Now this book IS my usual read so I started it knowing that it had a bit to live up to to satisfy me.
And boy did it... Once again the characters came across so real that I reckon this author does more than his fair share of people watching! The background and description are kept to the right amount, enough to support the story but not too much that they take the reader's attention away from it.
There are a few story-lines running through the book - multiple bodies unearthed, abuse in asylums, euthanasia and, if that wasn't enough, the author throws in a serial killer too. All these stories are quite major and there could have been a danger that there was too much going on in the book but the author manages very successfully to keep it balanced and juggles the stories throughout to give completely satisfactory conclusions.
I am not sure if this is stand alone or if we will be seeing Rhiannon and Tom in future books, I for one would like that very much.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

What inspired The Trust?

Evening gang,

Really quick one tonight because there's Champions League on right now and The Brits on the other channel.

A few folk have speculated as to the inspiration behind some scenes in my new book, and also the inspiration for some of the characters. As I've said before, The Trust is based on real events and real people so here's some info.

First of all the places. Moorcastle asylum in the book is actually the Moor Hospital in Lancaster. If you Google it there's lot's of info but here's a link to get you going.

Whittingham Hospital also plays a part, more for it's background than a specific role in the plot. Here's more links:

This link covers more of the alleged abuse:

And some more info:

Finally here's some stuff about our serial killer:

There's lots, lots more about all of this on the internet if you look for it. But having just had another look at the Jerry Brudos info I'm not sure my book is gruesome enough. Dark times.

Anyway, that's all for now. Have a look at the info, then read the book, it'll give you more perspective on the plot.


Monday, 18 February 2013

It's a Good Life

Evening gang,

Short one tonight because it's Monday and I'm tired because I was up until 3AM watching House of Cards on Netflix.

Richard Briers has died! Bloody shame because he was just really, really good at what he did. Serious stuff, the odd villain and of course The Good Life. Hopefully there will be plenty of his work screened in tribute.

In other news Liverpool were awesome yesterday which helped start the week right. And I've submitted an extract of The Trust to the Ampersand Agency. I'll keep you informed but we all know how it will end up.

Finally, I've tweaked the blurb for the new book. Shorter, tighter, better I think. Check it out:

"When a number of bodies are unearthed on the grounds of Moorcastle asylum in the historic city of Lancaster, ambitious young detective Tom Ashton quickly realises there is a link to the hastily arranged disposal of anthrax infected bodies from experiments conducted in 1942 by the Ministry of Defence on the west coast of Scotland.

Horrendous and unprecedented as this discovery is, this is not the heart of the book’s mystery. It quickly becomes apparent that far darker secrets lie buried on the site of the old asylum. Evidence is gathered pointing to abuse of patients within the asylum while Rhiannon Saxby, an employee of the Trust, has reason to believe a number of her colleagues are involved in a secret society which is playing God with the lives of patients. Her situation is made all the more difficult as her own mother was a patient at Moorcastle. Meanwhile Tom must also contend with the discovery of a body in the river and the very real possibility that a serial killer may be at work in the town. As the investigation progresses and the pressure increases Tom is certain of just one thing. The Trust is at the centre of it all."
That's all for tonight gang. Have a good night.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Press Release and Blog Update

Afternoon folks,

Just a quick one today because the sun is shining so we're going out for a walk on the beach shortly.

If you look at the top of the page you'll see other pages offering info about me along with pages about some of my books. Are you looking? Excellent. I've just added a new one called The Trust. What's in there then? I'm glad you ask. It's a free extract of my new book the sole purpose of which is to tempt you into buying a copy. Go and have a look, it's free!

If you're still reading it means you've no interest in the free extract in which case I might as well mention the nifty press release I've done for the new book as well. That too only has one purpose. Not grapsed what that is? Well then there's no hope for you. Either way, here's another link for those that missed the first one at the start of the paragraph.

Time and effort allowing I'm going to add extracts of the rest of my books to this blog later on today but regular readers will know I'm full of big talk which so often has no substance. Such is life.

Right, that's it for now. Livepool vs Swansea at 3PM for those that enjoy comedy.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

How much is too much?

Afternoon loyal and faithful reader,

With a view to trying to stay on topic for once I'm going to open with some stats. This blog has now had over 5400 views which I think is superb given the drivel I come out with. So thank you to everyone who has made the effort, and especially those who come back for a repeat visit.

I don't promote the blog, or anything else, much which brings me to the question. How much is too much? The wife often complains she drinks too much, she's convinced I do too. But we both get up for work every day, work pretty long hours and I've never felt impaired to any degree. We saw a couple of regulars in the local pub during the week and they could hardly stand up. I sank a few pints, had some tea (which was lovely as ever), went home to bed, got up the next day and did it all again. Just as an aside, because we're both earning a fair bit at the moment we've been eating out more. I did some rough maths and it turns out we've spent over 200 quid in the local in the last fortnight. Too much?

I'm also still obsessed with House of Cards on Netflix. Despite a busy week at work I stayed up until 3AM and watched another 3 episodes. Too much? Maybe, but I like it so where's the harm?

Which brings me to book promotion for the Indie author. I don't do much. I never have. I find time to write and publish. I don't have much time to post link after link on any number of websites in the hope I sell one more book. But I'm aware of plenty of folk who spend literally hours each day doing just that. Good luck to them but I'd rather be doing the things I've mentioned above.

Besides, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that readers get fed up of incessant promo. Twitter and Facebook feeds are clogged with blurbs and links and events and offers, few of which I read. So why would anyone read mine let alone buy the book?

I haven't stumbled across a perfect strategy, I maintain that dumb luck and quality are pretty much the biggest factors in gaining success. So in terms of how much is too much I don't know. Everyone is different. I like a few ales every night, it works for me. Some folk might not, others might want to drink until they fall over. Go for it.

If you want to promote your book all day every day, have at it. But don't get upset if I delete your tweets or block you etc. Free world and all that.

Equally, and here I'm talkng to the wife, if I want to stay up until 3AM again getting my fix of House of Cards with a pizza and a bottle of ale, go with it. Look at it this way, if someone breaks in at least I'm up and ready to roll/hide in the downstairs toilet.

Anyway, enough rambling. Feedback on new book The Trust has been largely positive so far and it continues to sell well. I've even done a press release for it which won't do any harm. I'm off work next week so I'm going to start editing the follow up to The 24 Hour Jazz cafe and possibly decorate the wife's music practice room too.

Valentine's day was a success. Cards were exchanged, sparkly alcohol and a particularly pleasant Indian take-away were consumed to a back drop of Liverpool losing for the second time in a week. Tedious.

Speaking of football, there's some FA Cup on right now so I'm going to make a brew and check some scores before doing just a little bit of promo for the new book. Not too much though.

Monday, 11 February 2013

The pope, Liverpool and writing. It's all religion.

Evening gang.

A generally positive start to the week has been kicked off course by Liverpool's dismal home defeat to West Brom which has just finished.

Indeed it's been a day of surprises. Earlier in the day the Pope resigned. Sky News has had folk stationed at the Vatican all day and that's been quite nice since I've been there. Still, it's a hell of a job and not one I can imagine many would relish.

Which brings me to that other form of religion. Football. Specifically Liverpool, in the opinion of many the most famous club on the planet. Every bloody time we dare to believe the corner has been turned we go and get turned over by a lesser team at Anfield. I'll be off to bed in a bad mood now. Very frustrating and yet you can't help but be drawn back to watch the next game.

So, to end on a positive. Sales of the new book are going well. In fact sales in the last week have been good, though I have been motivated to do some promotion for a change since I'm not writing at the moment. As ever, thanks to everyone who has parted with their cash and I hope you enjoy the stories.

By the way, just as an aside, if you haven't seen House of Cards on Netflix I recommend you dive in. It stars Kevin Spacey and it's utterly brilliant. I was up until 3AM last night/this morning watching it. Top drawer.

Right, time for another ale and then bed.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Troggs and horse meat

Evening everyone,

Another week's flown by. I had the chance to spend some time with a couple of the chaps from my old job last week which was nice. As ever the task at hand degenerated into the three of us pretty much talking crap, drinking coffee and not doing much work. Which probably explains why we were still there at quarter part six in the evening.

In other news Reg Presley, writer of Wild Thing for those who can't place the name, died this week aged 71. I can't imagine anyone not liking that song, though he doubtless made lots more cash from the success of Love is All Around. The internet is littered with tributes but I like this link the best. It's Reg and the other Troggs arguing, with much swearing, about a song in the studio. Parts of it are hilarious.

Sadly his passing has been shunted from the news by continued scandal about us all eating horse meat without realising it. Grim stuff and I suspect someone is going face hefty fines. The wife has taken great delight in reminding that my guilty pleasure freezer food - Findus Cripsy Pancakes - are no doubt made with 100% prime pony. I care not. They taste nice and I only eat them when she's out. Plus I can run for miles and love jumping over fences.

Sales have been good this week, the new book The Trust, is selling well and the paperback is due out by the middle of next week. A proof is on its way to my house as I type this. I was out for lunch with my new colleagues this week and one of them mentioned she'd bought a copy. My heart nearly stopped and it was all I could do to keep chewing my beer battered haddock. As regular readers will know the content of the new book is a bit close to the bone, depending on where you work and your thoughts on euthanasia. Hopefully I won't upset anyone but I do feel compelled to keep stressing it's a work of fiction.

Anyway, that's it for now. Time for a few ales and a pizza I think. Carry on.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Is my new book for you?

Evening all,

The answer to this question is actually probably not. It has some fairly controversial themes. Euthanasia. Murder. Government cover-ups. Patient abuse. All the sorts of things that might upset some folk.

Of course you're not obliged to buy the book and if you don't like it you certainly don't have to finish it. Plus, all the events in the book are based on real events i.e. things that actually happened. I just put a few of them together and created a story around them. And there is justice all round at the end so it's all good.

The book is called The Trust, as in Primary Care Trust, like the NHS. It'll make more sense when you read it. It's set in Lancaster. I've changed the name of the asylum to Moorcastle. It was actually called the Moor (and is pictured on the front cover) and it really is being redeveloped. In fact, lots of it already has been. The loan store where one of the central characters works is real too. I know because I used to work there.

Anyway, it's a twisty turny crime thriller although I've introduced a rather nice romance angle for those that like that sort of thing. It's out now on Kindle with all other formats, including paperback, to follow. It's also less than a quid!

Last thing, here are the links!

Amazon UK version

Amazon US version