Back in February Kindle Scout stopped selecting books. The weeks passed, and speculation grew. No books chosen for four weeks, five, six... then the announcement appeared on the site.
With hindsight, the signs have been there since the end of summer 2017, after the Kindle Scout/Press team changed. Megan, who everyone liked, was promoted to Montlake, Amazon's romance imprint. The new team encouraged NaNoWriMo authors to submit th
I've just clicked Publish on KDP, and the third in my Time Rats trilogy is out in the world, blinking in the sudden light and hoping someone will buy it. For the first week the price is a bit lower than it will be, at £1.99/$2.99.
In Future Warrior (Time Rats Book 3) readers meet Quinn's son Cato, who is a student at Cambridge and not surprisingly has a difficult relationship with his father. (You would too, if your father was Ansel Quinn.) Liam Roth has a main role in th
Five years ago I wrote Wolf by the Ears, a novel involving a Russian oligarch. The spark for the story came from the death of Boris Berezovsky, which struck me as decidedly fishy and unlikely to be suicide, which was the official verdict. The Oscar Pistorius case happened about the same time, and it was striking how every last detail of that murder was reported, while we were given almost no information at all about Boris Berezovsky.
It's that all too rare occasion when I have completed a new book. Hurrah! This one is Future Warrior, (Time Rats Book 3).
Normally I post when I reach the magic 60,000 word count, my personal point of no return; but perhaps with this novel being the last in a trilogy, I found the final few chapters hard to write so went a bit quiet. I had a particular struggle with the villain's come-uppance, and I'd tell you about it except it would be a terrible spoiler. You'll probably understand
I've blogged about word echoes before. They used to be a particular problem for me, one I like to think I've now mostly got the better of. But when I've nearly finished writing a book, as well as reading it aloud, I put the text chapter by chapter through editing software to catch repeated words.
Initially I used Autocrit, then it got expensive. I switched to ProWritingAid, which was free, but you now have to pay if you want to analyse more than 500 words. I don't object to pa
Kindle Press authors have banded together to produce a book of short stories called Summer Solstice, and I'm part of it.
My story is a Time Rats one; it's about what happens when Floss and Jace go back in time to buy half a dozen paintings from Van Gogh for a rich art collector, and then their client gets slightly out of hand...
For the bargain price of 99p, you can read stories in different genres from twenty-five writers (all of whom Amazon thought worth publishing) a
I am an inveterate tweaker. I'm currently halfway through Time Rats Book 3. Before starting to write, I reread what I wrote the day before and improve it, adding bits, and altering words and their order. I believe in Holly Lisle's advice that you should never read your work without a pen in your hand. I also at some stage read the whole thing aloud, and put it through editing software (mainly to catch word echoes). By the time my books are published, I've had all my second thoughts, and third, f
Yesterday several Kindle Press authors had a surprise - they were told their covers were going to be updated, and were sent the new images. No notice was given, or permission asked for that matter. It has to be said that KP covers, provided by the authors and sometimes designed by them, run the full range from fabulous (like this one or this one) to dire - what my mother used to refer to disparagingly as 'loving hands at home'. It's encouraging that Kindle Press is showing itself willi
Since putting my first Time Rats novel on Kindle Scout, I've continued to nominate other authors' books on there. I'm a bit spasmodic about it, depending how busy I am, but I enjoy guessing from only the cover, blurb and first few chapters of a book whether Kindle Scout editors will select it. At the moment, I have a 20% success rate, which is exactly average (and not terribly impressive, now I consider it). Every now and then I receive a free copy of a book I've nominated which Kindle Press pub
And it's that rare occasion when I release a new book! Woop woop! (For once I feel entitled to scatter exclamation marks. There may be more to come. You have been warned.)
Dreams of the Machines is the second in my Time Rats series, with several new characters. I'm particularly fond of Angel, an on-the-run pleasure droid with a bit of an obsession with the Terminator T-800. Floss, Jace and Ryker are there too, along with scheming Quinn, still lusting after Floss, and a likeable
I came across this beguiling video from the World Wildlife Fund...
...and it occurred to me that tigers have been on my mind lately. In The Trouble with Time, Floss is stalked by a tiger in a deserted London in 2180; one of the last actions of the last keeper at Regent's Park Zoo was to release the big cats into the depopulated city. In soon-to-be-published Dreams of the Machines, the man who invented time travel has also made a robotic tiger. In one timeline in the novel, by 2
I took this photo early Sunday morning on my bike ride into the workshop. It's a particularly nice street in Hackney, bollarded off so the only through traffic is bicycles. In 2135, Liam Roth, a rogue with redeeming features in Dreams of the Machines (Time Rats Book 2) will have a house here. It's either number 32 or 34, depending on whether you read the ebook or the paperback.
And I realized while biking along the deserted street that there were moments when I could hear no traffic
Anyone writing time travel sooner or later trips over the trope of Going Back In Time To Kill Hitler - I did while procrastinating researching Time Rats 3. It's a fascinating topic that raises lots of questions. For instance, why is it always Hitler? If you were going to kill an evil dictator because of all the deaths he caused, Mao Zedong and Stalin should be first in the queue. They were responsible for a total of 100 million deaths to Hitler's 30 million. You can see a list of
I was spoiled on Kindle Scout the first time. The Trouble with Time (Time Rats 1) was selected within 48 hours, before I'd begun to look for a result. Its 30 days ended midnight Seattle time on a Friday, and I found it had been chosen over breakfast in London on Monday.
Dreams of the Machines (Time Rats 2) took ten days, testing to the max my resolution not to fret. The offspring said, "It doesn't matter if it's not chosen, you can just self-publish," and this wa
I was rather proud of my Time Rats 2 cover, until someone suggested it looked like a dystopian thriller cover, and didn't go with TR1's cover. (It was really nice of her to volunteer this; most people politely keep quiet over their doubts.) I'd been fretting gently over the gun, as Amazon is anti guns on covers right now, but didn't have a better shot to use.
I've come up with an alternative, the image in the middle, and would be grateful for any thoughts you have.
I've finished Time Rats 2 (I'm still doing ever more minor tweaks, and will be until it's published - and on that topic, see below).
I'm pleased with it; I like my new major character, Angel, a pleasure droid who escapes to the past hoping to start a new life passing as a human. She is pursued both by her owner and Ansel Quinn, now Chief of Intelligence at IEMA UK, who believes she is responsible for a swerve in the timeline resulting in an android apocalypse. Jace and Floss come to
A week or two ago I listened to a BBC radio serialisation of a really good book, Traitor's Purse by Margery Allingham. It was read by Roger Allam of Cabin Pressure fame, whose voice I could listen to forever. But it wasn't satisfying.
The problem was that it's a book I know very well, so I noticed every time they'd cut a bit, and they'd cut it massively in order to reduce it to two and a half hours. And the bits they cut were all the small nuances that add subtlety and characte
And it's that happy time once more when I celebrate reaching the 60,000 word mark with the WIP. 60,000 words is the point where nothing short of a truck flattening me and my bike will prevent my completing my novel.
I was tempted to show you the cover which is rather spiffing, though I say it myself, but I will wait and reveal it once the book is finished.
I really like what I've written of Time Rats 2 so far, and hope my readers will when it is finally published in a f
There's a very good piece about writing written by Steven Pressfield I'm going to quote from today as it's been on my mind. I'd recommend reading the full piece, You as the Muse Sees You on his website. This is what he says about inspiration:
"Here’s how the Muse works. Each day she makes her rounds (I like to imagine her traversing the globe in a small, open-top space vehicle, kind of a cross between the Jetsons and the old Flash Gordon serials), carrying her bag ful
Yesterday I got my first royalty report from Kindle Press (my first royalty report ever, come to that). And it was good news.
The Trouble with Time (Time Rats Book 1) went on sale on 5th April 2016. Kindle Press advances are $1,500. In its first twenty-five days, TR1 earned $1,412.70 - but for some reason, UK (and European) royalties are not deducted from the advance, and TR1 earned £226.81 in the UK. So TR1 actually covered its advance, plus about $240.00, by the end of April
We were discussing what to write in the flyleaf of a book when signing it for a reader. Donna Glaser said, "And you're supposed to think of something witty right off the bat. I'm a writer. I need three days, twelve revisions, and a proofread to be witty."
How true this is. Which is why we are writers, and not earning our livings on television. If I was as funny as Paul Merton, I'd be doing his job and not mine. (Mark you, I'd love to see him try to make jewellery
Do you remember when Amazon launched its Digital Text Platform (now KDP) back in 2010? Members of the Ancient Guild of Doom-mongers and Naysayers rushed to the internet to say no good would come of it. Result? Many cautious authors waited to see what happened before self-publishing with Amazon, thus missing the first golden years of opportunity, while we more adventurous souls, the early adopters, made small fortunes.
Now the same people are shaking their heads over Kindle
This is how I imagine Saffy McGuireToday is the day.Time Rats 1 is available to buy on Amazon, and so is the paperback in the UK and US. And the Look Inside is there, hurrah! I was anxious about this, as some Kindle Press authors have had to wait weeks for this feature to appear.
This will be my first book launch where I'm not the publisher, at least of the ebook. (My very own Hoxton Press publishes the print book, nicely formatted by me. Practice makes perfect.)