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.)
Yesterday evening Time Rats 1 The Trouble with Time went live for pre-order on Amazon, and nice readers who nominated the book on Kindle Scout got an email telling them how to get their free ebook.
It's quite strange, being used to doing everything myself, to have Kindle Press do it instead. I prefer to be the only person available to make mistakes, knowing I can correct them as soon as I spot them. I was fretting last night because their formatter hasn't put my chapter titles in th
Lee Child and his publisher, Bantam Press (a Random Penguin imprint) have done well for each other. There's no reason Child would want to jump ship. But what about the next Lee Child? Let's imagine Lee Child 2 has written a gritty, compelling thriller. What would he do with it?
He could self publish. But he's a newbie, and like all newbies, thinks traditional publishing is the real deal. He wants to be able to answer, when friends ask who his publisher is, with the name they'll hav
Yesterday a parcel arrived at the workshop, all the way from Seattle.
Inside was my exclusive Kindle Scout Author tee shirt, to celebrate the anniversary of the launch of Kindle Press Publications. In their first year they have published over 100 books, which have garnered more than 5,000 reviews. Amazon does not mess about.
I'm very pleased with my author tee shirt. I like the colour, and the V neck (so much nicer than a round neck) and the lovely soft feel of th
On Saturday I received the Kirkus-edited typescript of Time Rats 1. The editor says kind things in his summary about my plot, characterization and dialogue - and also praises my accuracy in keeping track of time, a major concern when writing about time travel. But I have to say I was not expecting the massive number of edits, up to two dozen per page.
I'm pleased that Amazon allows me the final decision as to whether or not to accept the editor's advice. I always want to m
For the print edition of Time Rats 1, I decided to try Createspace. I've always used Lightning Source before, since I thought their product was superior, but I've recently been helping a writer friend with her paperbacks using Createspace, and was impressed by their quality. They have a sophisticated online preview system, which I found extremely helpful. Plus the set-up costs are quite high at Lightning Source, and with Createspace you only have to pay for a proof copy. Createspace provid