Sunday, 24 November 2013

I'm engaged in a battle of wills...with my dog!

Morning gang,

It's Sunday. It's 11:24AM. I have already edited 5% of the new novel today because I've been up since half nine. These truly are new and interesting times.

Anyway, first things first. This blog is, near enough, two years old this month. It also marks the beginning of self publishing adventures. In that time I've shifted somewhere between 3500-4000 books. I stopped tracking the total some time ago. This blog has received over 9900 visits. It would be nice to pass the 10,000 mark before Christmas so spread the word.

Also, I have publishing news. The debut novel by the wickedly talented Frion Farrell is out now on Kindle and in paperback. It's called The Round Spear. Click the link to get your copy.

Liverpool are still second in the Premiership after a six goal thriller Merseyside Derby. Can't believe we're still up there and it's nearly December. Exciting times, especially since I've actually been to a couple of games this season. Good times.

I'm buying a rechargeable battery for the xbox today since Microsoft only include a pair of Duracells in the £430 package. Shameful!! Which brings me to the dog.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you'll have seen pictures of his recent chomping of my Blu Rays and Xbox games. This morning was a new level. He ripped the projector screen plug from it's socket and all the cable trunking that goes with it. Went through to the copper wire so he's lucky to be alive.

He also found the cover for the pool table. Destroyed it. Xbox games? Gone. Clambered onto table and pulled out some speaker cables, chomped a remote for the AV receiver, dragged 3 logs from the fireplace and got wood everywhere, had a crack at the kindling too, found one of the wife's coats, cushion from the couch etc. You know those insurance adverts on tele where the folk come home to find carnage following a break in? That was my living room this morning.

So I'd best crack on. The day plan is now to buy more cable trunking from Homebase, cut it, paint it, fit it. Nip to Argos for the Xbox charger, then to Sainsburys for food. Then home to put the living room back together. Then later, much later I expect, I'll edit some more of the novel.

75% now done. Less than 100 pages to go.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Will a new Xbox One get in the way of my writing?

Morning gang,

The answer is... not so far.

Those of you who know me won't be surprised to learn that I acquired a shiny new Xbox One Day One Edition earlier today. With a couple of games it cost me £530 which, even with my earnings and lack of dependants, made me think twice before buying.

As with any new device there was some faffing about with updates etc so I decided to leave it to sort itself out and did a few pages of editing. Then I got sidetracked by the dog, then the wife wanted a lift from the station (she's been to London for the day) and we decided to pick up an Indian for tea on the way home.

Long boring story short I finally got stuck into the new console about 11PM until just now. But I still managed to edit another 5% of the book today so I'm pretty happy.

Quick review of the Xbox? Looks smart to me, not keen on the Kinect but I'm old school. I like to slump on the couch, pad in hand, and play. If I wanted to be "in" the game and jump about I'd go outside and actually participate. The voice control is predictably crap, just like Siri on the iPhone and the voice control on my very expensive Tele. The motion control is poor too, not half as sharp as the one on the Tele. Miles quicker to use the pad - which is very nice by the way.

FIFA looks lovely, it'll take some adjustment because I've only ever played PES. Forza looks, sounds and plays as you'd expect. Stunning. The Kinect adds nothing for me. Why do I need it to track my leaning motion while driving? I don't. Bog off.

The new Assassins Creed is on it's way too which I suspect will be epic. But what I really like is the picture in picture ability which I will be using tomorrow. It means I can now be playing a game but have the Tele on in the corner so I don't miss the start of the football. That's clever and useful unlike the Kinect. I'm not keen on the HDMI pass through, it makes the Satellite picture a little worse which, on a Tele like mine, is noticeable.

All in all it's good and it's handy having another Blu Ray player in the house. I've yet to connect it to my 9 foot screen and 7.1 surround, I think then it might be truly stunning especially if I can get it to record Tele.

Right, that's all for now. The wife is planning to batter her essay for uni tomorrow which means I can sit there and edit my book in peace. Looking forward to it.

By the way - I've typed this on my new Surface tablet with keyboard. While the new Xbox is Microsoft very nearly being awesome, the surface tablet, in my view, is an example of Microsoft nailing it. Keyboard is utter genius and I have to admit, after some learning, I really like Windows 8. Including full Office 2013 as part of the package doesn't hurt either. Full marks.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

How do you cope with pressure?

Evening gang,

Pressure. Something of a hot topic in our house at the moment. Entirely self imposed of course. We're cancerians. It's how we're wired.

The wife handles it in a fairly traditional way. Shouts a bit, drinks wine etc. I tend to clean the house a lot. I see this as being quite positive because it alleviates my mental stress and the house looks good. The wife might not agree.

I also write fiction as a way to escape the drudgery of every day life. But because it's so important to me I put pressure on myself to do it as well as I can within the constraints of working full time etc. Which leads to more cleaning and the occasional ale. Again the end result is positive i.e. a new book to share with the world.

To that end, I have now edited 41% of the final draft of the sequel to the Jazz Café. Tomorrow I will aim to make that 50% and then during the week perhaps have a look at the other book I'm working on. Day job allowing.

Just as an aside - I've been offered a contract extension on my current role and got an interview for another job near Preston. So lot's of positives, the main one being that I should now be in a position to buy another house by Easter next year and none of the senior managers want me to return to my old job. In a rather old school, humbling, gesture, they all emailed the director and said that they wanted me to stay to support them. No arguing with that. But then I have delivered all sorts this year and my old job was total shit.

Right, that's all for tonight. I've been staring at this screen for too long.

Last thing - we've bought a new tablet. One of them Windows ones with the snap on snap off keyboard. Paid for it with Nectar points! Very tidy.

Oh, and sales are slow in America again so if you could see your way clear to buying a few copies of something that would be appreciated.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Do you want to pay for my book?

Morning gang,

You recall how last week I posted the first bit of my new book Fear on Wattpad for you to read for free?

No? Well check back on my recent posts because I did.

Now the second chunk is available on Wattpad, for free, right now. Woo!

It's raw, posted seconds after I finished writing it. Makes it more exciting. Anyway, enough talk. Click the links, go read it, tell me what you think. It's that simple. Failing that just go to Wattpad and search for me.


PS I'm almost at 10,000 views of this blog so if you tell someone to come and visit I'll get there sooner!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Wanted: Job for an award winner

Morning gang,

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post but there's lots going on. It's also late and I'm weary but we'll press on.

First off, I've had great feedback from the opening extract of my novel Fear which I posted to Wattpad. There will be another chunk this weekend. A colleague read the extract and said I should submit to publishers, she liked it that much. All positive. And she's a published author herself!

Second, I've had a couple of excellent reviews on Amazon which I've added links for. But, as ever, if you can't be bothered to click, I've pasted them in below.

"Wasn't quite sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. Characters well drawn, not stereotypes, with faults and a past that we all have to live with and tackles some really worrying issues with a degree of balance and sensitivity. Guessed fairly early on who the culprit might be, whose activities were revealed when least expected, but strangely it didn't detract from the narrative, Would definitely look out for more of Jamie Sinclair's work in future."

"Quick compelling read. Didn't put it down and read in a day. James Sinclair is amazing. Well done !!!!!! Thank you"

You see? I'm making lives better through awesome fiction. Get on board, spread the word, buy my books etc etc.

I have now edited 80 pages of the Jazz Café sequel and it's now very, very good. Finally. I've had to work at this one. To all those who have been asking me when it's going to be published, thanks for asking, thanks for caring. It won't be long. Probably.

I'll have plenty of time to write in the new year because chances are I'll be back in my old job. I can't convey in words how this makes me feel, but suffice to say it's not good. The only remote positive is that I could not have done any more to have made the new job work. I have delivered on every project and every senior manager is a fan. I also won an award last week. Fancy dinner at Blackpool Tower, met the Chief Exec, in the paper etc. Director of Community Services came to congratulate me in person and I got a nice letter from the Head of Locality. But no job. I tried my best. Sadly my employer is so skint you might well be hearing about it on the news.

The dog's huge. The new house is still empty but I'll be sorting that in the next week or so. And I'm off to Anfield tomorrow to watch my beloved Liverpool play Fulham. So lots of good things going on and I always have the option to just quit work which is nice. Finally, I'll be entering the Richard and Judy new author comp as well, why not?

Anyway, that's it. Two books underway, out soon. Keep an eye out, I might be huge one day!