Thursday, 30 October 2014

Primeval Soup. A little sample.

A little taster of my new book. Have a read and see what you think. Any comments are always gratefully received.

1 – A Perfect Day

The plane sliced through the clear blue sky. Small wispy clouds floated passed the window of the small single engine Cessna 172.
Toby turned around and looked at his passenger. The man had introduced himself as Chris Murphy, a freelance photographer. Chris was about five feet nine, and skinny, but athletically built. He had dark brown short cropped hair, and piercing green eyes. Two days ago, he had walked in to Tobys office and offered to pay ten thousand euros to charter the plane for a few hours. He just wanted to fly over a small Island in the North Sea. A Bird Sanctuary. He wanted a few pictures for an article on Migrating patterns for birds.
The plane rocked from side to side as it was buffeted by some turbulence. Toby took a firmer hold on the flight controls until the buffeting stopped. He looked at Chris out of the corner of his eye, he had expected a nervous outburst, but there was nothing – this man was used to flight.

'That must be the island ahead.' Chris glanced at Toby. He felt the old familiar excitement. His stomach started to feel tight.

'Yes, that's it, we'll be over it in about ten minutes. You might want to start setting your camera up.' Toby had offered to help Chris with his duffle bag, but he had refused, wanting to load it himself. It looked pretty heavy, must be a video camera or something.
The island was starting to grow as they closed on it. Toby eased off the throttle and lowered the nose to retain his speed and lose some height. Photographers were all the same, oblivious to the dangers, they always wanted to get as low as possible. As the island came closer it could be seen in more detail. Toby could now make out trees, cliffs and pathways. There were buildings, large buildings.
'Those buildings are too big for just bird watching, what is this?' Toby turned around to Chris.

Chris had a gun. It was pointing straight at Toby's chest.
Toby felt his heart miss a beat. Sweat started to pop out all over his body and he started to feel clammy. His mind seemed to be racing and he could feel the blood pumping through his body.

'Hey Chris, what is this? I'm just a charter pilot, what do you want from me? I don't have any cash on me'.

'Just do as I tell you and don't ask any questions Toby, and we both go home tonight.' Chris pointed out of the windscreen. 'See those cream buildings over there, head towards them and get as low as you can.'

Chris dragged the duffle bag from under his seat and placed it on his knee. Inside the bag was packed out with foam rubber, he cut through the top of this and pulled out one of the four duct taped boxes. These were home made explosives. They exploded on sudden shock, which was why they needed all the padding. According to the recipe he had used they should have about as much explosive power as two hand grenades.

'What are those?' Toby asked, looking nervously at the boxes. 'What are you going to do Chris? Can't we talk about this? There's no one else here, just you and me – Let's just turn around, go home, no harm no foul'.

'They're bombs Toby, but don't worry, no ones going to die, just a few buildings are going to get wrecked. We do this, go home and I leave. You can tell the police what you like. Just do as your bloody told now and shut your mouth. I get distracted and bang we'll be bird food.'

Toby brought the plane around so that he could pass over both buildings in one pass. He wanted this done and over with. He lowered the flaps and eased off the throttle to go as slow as possible. He was scanning the ground looking for signs of life. He wasn't brave, but he didn't want to give Chris any easy targets.

'Nicely done Tobes, two passes and we'll be done.'
Chris opened the door and took aim with one of the packages. He released it and watched it fall. It barely touched the roof of the building before it exploded. He had no time to inspect the damage, the next building was already below him. He released the next package and scored another direct hit.
'Bring her round for another pass Toby.'

Chris noticed that people had started coming out of the main building. Some men in white coats, some people in suits and a few security personnel. They appeared to be bringing out a tube. It looked like a bazooka, or a javelin. Surely they wouldn't use that just to guard an animal testing facility?
The plane rocked violently and Toby wrestled with the controls.

'What the fuck was that?' Toby started at Chris in near panic.

'They just fired a ground to air missile at us. I don't think your plane is hot enough for it to lock onto, but we better get the hell out of here.'
As Chris finished there was another flash from the ground and another missile was launched towards them. Chris turned around and could see a small glowing ball streaking towards them.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The death of Authors.

Authors earnings are being squeezed ever more by the advent of digital publishing. With companies like Amazon squeezing earnings more and more to give ebooks away as cheaply as possible, writing for a living is becoming a dead dream. In a recent report, a professional writers average earnings was shown to be around twelve thousand pounds a year. Not enough to live on. There are a few writers who make a fortune, but that is the exception, not the rule. 

I don't write for a living. I work for a living and write for fun. But what is a hobby to me is a living for others. Is the rise of the hobby writer killing the industry and polluting it. It is something I worry about. In the hurry to get more and more cheap offerings for its customers companies like Amazon are killing the writer. Will we see any more Stephen Kings, Ruth Rendall, Michael Crichton or Jules Verne. - Or are we rushing into a world were our stories will be the equivalent of mass produced clothes created in Sweat shop somewhere. The same plots, characters and stories, tweaked out and pumped out in volume for pennies. Quantity over quality. Think hard before you buy that next ebook for a pound. 

 Comments please.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Double the trouble

In recent months I have been toying with the idea of a combined format. Let me explain. For most of my life I have been a computer programmer. For some of that time I was a games programmer. This may seem strange, but both disciplines - writing and programming - are surprisingly similar. Both require a creative mine and both require a good grasp of syntax and word order.  I would like to combine both of these in one project. My idea is to write a story that is a book in its own right, but to create a phone app in the form of a game that did played as you read the book opens up new aspects and information about the main character in the book, hopefully, adding depth and interest in the story.

So far, this is at the ideas stage and I am struggling with how this would work in reality. I would value any feedback any of  you have on this.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The most powerful computer

I often am amazed that in this day and age books are still so popular. When you think about it they were the first form of escapism. Then along came cinema, but books remained. Then along came radio and tv, but books still remained. Then along came the home computer, consoles and tablets, books adapted to ebooks and remained.

Why? Why with all these other forms of entertainment do books still enthral us? My theory is because books utilise our own imagination. We create the images in our heads when we read the books and these use the most powerful computer on the planet - the human brain. That's the secret of books.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

November and December giveaways

Over the next couple of months I will be having free days on amazon of my books. This is to see what people think of my books and also to get some interest going in my writing prior to my next novel coming out. If you have kindly downloaded one of my free books would you be kind enough to leave me a review on amazon, or leave me a comment on here and tell me what you think.

Friday, 6 September 2013

An offer to my followers

I am having a little offer for the next few weeks. If you buy a copy of my book, 'Six of Hearts' in either paperback or ebook format from Amazon. If you buy the book and leave me an honest review I will email you an ebook copy of my book 'Killer in Mind.'

This offer is for September 2013 only, so don't miss out on a bargain.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Character interactions

The inspiration for characters might come from many different sources, people in your life, people you have briefly met even the tv - but have you ever considered reality television. I know what many of you might be thinking, why would anyone watch that drivel? But cast your eye over an episode of a reality tv series and you will see that it is about character interactions. How does contestant A get on with contestant B. What does A say about B to their face and behind their back. How does their relationship develope and change over time and when conflict is introduced into their environment. It really is a great place to study humanity, and when you really think about it, isn't that what writers do?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Death of books

It may be a strange point at first, but why do we still have books? When radio started taking off people predicted that it would cause the death of the printed word. Why would you go to the effort of reading when you could listen instead. The same was said about cinema, tv and more recently computer games. But we still have books. The sales might not be as high as they once was but we still have them none the less. But why?

From my point of view I think the main reason is people like the tactile sensation of holding a book. They like putting a bit of time aside for reading. They also like the more immersive feeling that the book gives you. Tv, cinema and computers are fine but the most creative thing on planet earth is the human brain and with books the words make you create an image I. Your own mind which is far more detailed than a screen could ever create. Lastly I think they like the individuality of it. Everyone's experience of a story in a book is slightly different. I have had readers of my short stories write to me and tell me things about my stories that I hadn't realised. They had read my stories and seen something different in it, something from their own experience that had echoed in the story to them. These are some of the reasons that I think that the written word is still with us and, I think, will be for many years to come.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The power of an agent

How important is it in this cut throat business to have an agent? I have talked to many of my friends about this and have heard as many different views. The advantages are the experience they bring to the table. The contacts they have and the knowledge of marketing. The downside is the cut they take and they might push you in a direction that is more marketable, but ultimately not the way you wanted to go. Of course this is all rather moot when you consider it might be as difficult getting an agent as it is getting a publishing deal.

The longer I look at writing for profit rather than fun, the more hurdles I find. It is one if the reasons that only a few writers make a living out of their art.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

I'm not a waitress, I'm an out of work actor

Isn't it funny how we tag and view ourselves. Are you your job, or is it just something you do to pay the bills? Currently I work as a bus driver and a part time soldier, but I still consider myself a writer. The reality is that I haven't written a sentence in about six months. That's mainly because my other two jobs, my family and gym visits eat away at my time until there is nothing left for my passion. That is the pity of modern life. It demands more and more of us each year. Think back to your grandparents and how much time they had. Sundays at church or sat around doing little, night times in front of the telly. What happened to all that time? My writing is my passion and I am going to make a concerted effort to finally get my new book finished. In truth I could do with an agent, someone to kick me up the back side to get it completed. Any offers?

Thursday, 7 February 2013

New web site

As stated earlier, I have been working on my new Author page. It is now up and running. It will be added to, but the bones are in place. My books can also be purchased from this site and all the latest news about my new book will be put on there. Please feel free to log in and have a look. Any views or comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Updates to my Author Page

I will be updating my Author page in the next few days. I will be having a new section for each book. There will be information on there on the book concerned. I will have things like Character Bios, pictures of the character. Background and history of the character. Some information and sub plots that didn't make it into the final book. Also information like how I got the idea for the story etc. A little like extras on a DVD. There will also be links to news articles and you can buy my books on there.

My Author site can be found here :- Author Site.

On top of this I will be putting updates and release information on my latest book on twitter. Just #PrimevilSoup for information.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Primeval Soup Book Cover Part Two

After comments from people on my blog as well as some wonderful people on Amazon, I have had my cover designed from scratch again. I like this one. I like the simplicity and less is more approach. It really appeals to me. But, as always, I would love to hear peoples thoughts. The more opinions I get, the better my work gets. For that I thank you in advance.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Primeval Soup Book Cover

In preparation for the release of my next book I have had a Cover designed. This is the latest design for the cover. The idea is that it is supposed to be a bamboo matting with reminders attached. I think it is good, but I am slightly biased and I would dearly appreciate some feedback on this please. Thank you in advance for any comments or opinions.