Part Two of the Observer Series will launch on 30th January on Kindle – It is available for pre-order now:
The continuing story of Cathy Rodriguez – a Senior Observer in the Interplanetary Geographic Service. The story follows on from Part One The World of Fives
Cathy is recalled from her Observer duties as she is asked to establish first contact with a new life form. Meanwhile the Conspiracy to prevent humans changing their non-Intervention policy continues to try and kill her. Together with Marta De Jaste, a Senior Investigator, and Tony Briggs her former jailer and security officer, they travel to the chosen planet.
On the planet Tullymeade, Karloon Niesta, a disgraced scientific observer, detects a strange anomaly. A discovery that will change his planet forever.
In deep space two groups of survivors try and recover from their battle in orbit above the planet Freevur
There is a new book description for Landscape
She is a PA who dreams of running her own art gallery. He is an IT technician gambling away everything he wants. They meet and fall in love. Their relationship is threatened by endless bets even whilst they share their love of paintings.
Years later some dreams are fulfilled others are dashed. Will the former lovers meet again?
Yes I’m guilty. In this case guilty of hypocrisy. What leads to this confession you ask?
Reviews, yes reviews the bane of all self-published author’s lives (alongside marketing, editing, sales – oh and writing). The reason for this self-assessment is that I was about to bemoan the lack of reviews on Amazon for my work. Despite steady sales reviews seemed to have dried up. How can it be that no one wants to post how much they loved/hated/ignored my last work. Then as I started to compose this blog I stopped and thought. I don’t review on Amazon either and haven’t for ages. I do review and rate, briefly, almost diligently on Goodreads for all my reading. This has led, once, to a minor disagreement with the author about my review, but generally I have written a paragraph about the latest Read book. Some people have even liked my review or retweeted the rating across the World.
For me though, on Amazon, nothing despite email reminders from the Amazon team. Of course the ratings systems are different between the two sites, despite Amazon owning Goodreads. Reviews do not flow through. Book purchases can flow from Amazon to the My Books section on Goodreads, if the user selects to do so, but no review transitions.
Now I could go back and cut and paste my reviews for each book onto Amazon adjusting star ratings as I go. It’s a lot of work as I am at least 50 books behind. Still I may have some time soon as I switch main jobs.
It doesn’t help my lack of reviews on Amazon, Goodreads or anywhere else for that matter. What would help is if Amazon.com allowed other Amazon sites’ reviews to show up on Amazon.com. They do the other way round, then my latest reviews, more recent in the UK and for books not reviewed in the US, would be available to all. Not sure why Amazon has it set up that way – I’m sure it does not help sales, but then again if I don’t review on Amazon, I’m not helping either. As I said Mea Culpa!
Prevarication and procrastination are easy vices to fall into. I have been doing both on two keep works in Progress. Part Three of the Demise series, An Agent’s Prize and Part Two of The Observers Series, Intervention. In both cases the stories were progressing well and then I came unstuck. The first I had an idea for a big scene and was driving the story to get to the big scene, but it was not flowing. In the second I have over-complicated the story line trying to bring too many different elements into the story. In both cases I have been fiddling with the odd line and writing no more chapters. I know what I have to do I just don’t want to do it. Pages of words will have to go, and then I have to revise the remainder to get the stories to make sense. Only then can I progress the manuscripts and finish the tales.
Of course knowing what I have to do and actually doing it, are two very different things. There are some nice scenes that I have already created but will have to go. The whole links and connections in the stories will have to be re-done. Then the unneeded material will have to be deleted. That is the worst bit. It will be like throwing away a digit, not a whole leg or arm but a finger or toe. Cut off, the text will disappear into first the recycle bin (in case I change my mind) then into electronic death. I will then mourn its passing and wonder if I could have rescued it. Sure I have deleted paragraphs and sentences before. I have even changed track, but never something so radical and never on two books that won’t progress unless I do something drastic. It’s no use, the erase key awaits, I just have to swallow my reluctance and get on with it. I’ve been telling myself that for weeks.
Then I delay again, fiddle with something else, do another re-edit on another story, work on the audio version, comment on Goodreads or write this blog, anything to put off the awful moment.
Enough – the mouse is here, the keyboard poised….
Just do it!
Do I have to?
There has been a lot going on since my last commentary blog. The Paris attacks are a notable case in point. These have once again prompted the powers that be to insist that they need more powers to monitor communications as a way of preventing further attacks.
Once again no specificity is provided on how exactly the systems proposed would have prevented an attack, given that the purveyors of the UK’s 7/7/ and Lee Rigby attacks and the Paris attackers were already known to the security services and could therefore have had a warranted watch put on them.
In the House of Lords in the UK a small group of peers attempted to re-introduce the proposed “Snooper’s Charter” via a back door amendment into another bill. It failed but all the main political parties seem to be keen to re-introduce such legislation in the next Parliament. It may only be a temporary reprieve. I am torn between the need for the security and police services to have the tools they need against the wider civil liberties objections. It would really help if actual facts were provided rather than meaningless ascertains.
What was truly astonishing was the demonstrable lack of expertise exhibited by any of the speakers. By their questions they could not describe how the technology works, why current systems cannot do what they want, or how they can be circumvented? This against a back-drop of Post-Snowden cynicism. Itself created by the continuing release of so much information on how the 5 Eyes have already misused their powers. Then there is the misuse of existent legislation, like the use of RIPA to spy on everyone from journalists to dog fouling pedestrians. The bland statements of we acted within the law whilst pressing for changes to those same laws. Of course with CCTV on every corner even private face to face meetings can be monitored if only the pictures were not so rubbish – traffic enforcement does not seem to have the problem.
Frankly if the security services or police want to intercept get a warrant. This gives them all the power they need. Of course it may help their argument if tapped phone calls etc were admissible in UK courts; yet these same organizations do not want that. So what is the information for?
Even where full surveillance is in place in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack the security services and police managed to kill the wrong target (Mendes) or used their authority to investigate the family of innocent victims (Lawrence) Both of course actions under the stewardship of the then Met Police Commissioner Blair. The same Blair who tried to get the amendment through parliament.
Another Blair (ex PM this time) of course has stated how keen he is for the Chilcott inquiry to finally report on the actions leading up to the second Iraq war. The report has again been delayed until after the next election. Much like the Bloody Sunday Inquiry – good job if you can get it – unlimited budget, no delivery timescale and a no requirement to come up with interim or other conclusions. Even parliamentary scrutiny can be ignored or not answered. Independent judiciary or cover up for their mates? It is difficult to decide. Of course I would love to see the outcome in light of the background story to my own books (needed to get a plug in somewhere) An Agent’s Demise and An Agent’s Rise. One reviewer thought my story was far fetched – clearly they have not read about the machinations of the politicians and spy agencies to justify their actions.
Still another election is looming and the electorate are far more concerned with who will win Big Brother rather than who is behaving as Big Brother!
It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything. Not that I haven’t had lots to say, it’s just the time to say it. My biggest excuse is of course writing of the main kind. Oh, and of course I work for a living. Still never let anything like earning a living get in the way of writing. I’m sure the mortgage company would agree. can just see that discussion playing out.
“Dear Sir we are repossessing your home”
“But I’m and aspiring writer”
“Would I have read anything by you”
“An you receive an income for this work do you?”
I can’t see that going well.
Still I do have some news on what I have been writing and designing a cover for Landscape. This was going to be another novel but it’s turned into a short story. It now needs some Beta reading. See what you think of the cover below. Not finished yet but It’s a start:
In other writing I have been making progress on An Agent’s Prize the third part of the Demise conspiracy series. Speaking of that series I have an audio book version of An Agent’s Demise underway on the ACX platform. Not sure when it will be finished but sometime in the New Year.
Part 2 of the Observer Series has also had some additions. Still looking for a title.
Then the start of something some readers have been asking for since it came out. Yes a possible sequel to To The Survivors. Again untitled but I have a few chapters written, no idea where that one will go. When I wrote the first part I had no direction at all, it just went. Most of my other writing has at least a target plot and story in outline. That one just goes. Must admit it is hard to get back in the flow of those characters. It was very emotional to write the first time, a real difference from Demise.
Other projects remain stalled or with just a few words here and there. So enough chat and back to the
real job – I mean writing!