I spent a fair few hours over the weekend updating this website. Hope you like the changes I’ve made and the minimal, elegant layout. Any feedback gratefully appreciated
I wanted to give you an example of the kind of stuff that goes in my Substack, which I publish every Monday. It’s my status report to myself and features a song of the week, but also a lot of stuff about my dog, Bessi. This week it’s about her minging coat and a walk.
You can see it on the website and sign up here to get it every week for free:
Here’s the full text, so you can see the kind of dribble I spout:
We can go there now, if you want to
Hope you’re okay. Starting to feel like we’re on the way out of winter, even though it’s only halfway through. There’s still daylight at twenty past five here, so that’s got to be a good thing. Right?
This week’s music is Rented Rooms by the Tindersticks:
(Doesn’t seem to be an official video of it and that’s the only one I could find, where someone put some paintings over the song)
This is one of my top three songs ever. It has this incredible effect on me, I feel it deep in my stomach. I don’t know what it’s doing and I don’t know if I want to. It’s got the feel of an LA noir novel too. They’ve got a career retrospective coming out soon, but that track’s from 1997 (I think). Hope you enjoy it.
So, I finished the first edit of SECRET SCI-FI PROJECT. Yay me. It clocked in at 61,000 words, but there’s a lot more character stuff needed. I’ve sent it to a couple of people for feedback, one of whom has helped me a lot on the physics side of things.
That’ll be on ice for a few weeks while they read and comment. Hope to get it to my agent by March, so he can see if it’s worth submitting to sci-fi editors. I’m quite open to either self-publishing it pr having a trad deal for that name. The joy of the indie stuff is you don’t have to go with a deal, you can do it yourself. Control can be a great thing. Downside is it can be very tricky to kickstart book sales, hence thinking the deal might be good to have.
What else did I do?
Well, I went through edits for LOST CAUSE, my Highlands standalone thingy, which I thought were going to be a nightmare but turned out to be mostly okay. Always the way. Still a fair amount of work left on it, so I’m doing a pretty frisky edit on it, starting today. Managed the first fourteen chapters and it’s holding up pretty well. Again, yay me.
Oh, and it’s on preorder on Amazon. Due out 1st May in Kindle and paperback. Possibility it’ll be in audio — I’ve emailed the narrator I want, hopefully his diary can accommodate.
(I’m an affiliate so I’ll get some commission if you click that link)
I got some inspiration on Saturday night from a blog I happened to visit and so spent Sunday gutting and altering my website. It’s minimal, simple and covers everything I want. Have a look and see what you think:
An author website is one of those weird things. Do I need it? I don’t know. I’ve got one, never used it, but I can see the impact it can have. It’s another way to get into people’s inboxes, for instance, and I (very belatedly) posted about the release of Fenchurch 8 (over two months late, but over 725 reviews so it’s got good social proof) and sold quite a lot of copies of it yesterday and today. Some people can go doolally with their websites, giving away tons of free stuff and so on. Not sure if I can be bothered with all that.
There’s a section on Frequently Asked Questions — if you’ve got any burning ones, please ask them by replying to this email or leaving a comment on the website and I’ll add them, and answer them in next week’s. Also, if you’ve got any feedback on what else you’d like to see on there, let me know!
This week will be editing LOST CAUSE, which is getting into good shape now. It’ll be messy and I’ll hate it, but it’ll get done. That’s editing for you.
(Did I say that I’ve got a spreadsheet that picks out word repeats for me? Because I do. It’s not very sophisticated, but it makes the books more readable. When I bother myself to use it)
Not sure if I’ll get much else done until the weekend, but I’m going to give JUST WALKING THE DEAD/COLD BLOOD a once over. This was the second vampire book I did and I unpublished it as nobody bought it. But that book features in a scene as a prop, called THE BLOODY GLEN, so I think I’ll edit it as a mailing list giveaway. It’s quite crime-y but the main character is a vampire. It’s very short, about 15-20k I think. Daft stuff, but pretty serious too. I’m such a bloody idiot for editing old stuff.
This evening, I recorded an episode of the Pencils and Lipstick podcast this evening. It was a great laugh, but also serious in some places, and it should go out in a couple of weeks — I’ll let you know. It’s going to go on my podcast list as Kat has a very good interviewing style, drawing out conversations.
I’ve just hand washed Bessi’s coat again. It was absolutely filthy. God knows how she gets it so mucky! I took her on one of my favourite walks on Saturday, Plora Woods near Innerleithen in the wind and snow. She’s just about forgiven me. Last time I was there was the week my heart went mad, so that’s just about eighteen months ago. Fifteen since my op and there’s not a day goes by where I’m not grateful that it’s still totally fine.
Take care out there.