So, here's the thing! My wife decided to do a bust of me. Fame at last, I thought. Well, you do, don't you? She goes to pottery on a Monday nights, and thought she'd try something a bit more adventerous than a pot.
I had visions of something akin to a regal Caesar, maybe an intelligent-looking Albert Einstein, or a thoughtful Socrates.
The first week, she came home and said she'd been sticking paper on a stick. Of course, I was suitably impressed. Well, you have to be, don't you?
"Why?" I asked.
"Busts aren't solid, you know."
"Oh!" I said, fully convinced by her convincing argument.
So, this week she came home with a couple of digital photographs of her progress thus far. Normally, when she arrives home, I make my weary way to bed, but she said, "No, no, let me show you what I've done."
When she couldn't stop laughing I should have refused to look, of course, but well, you have to show support for the efforts of her indoors, don't you?
The trouble is, I think I'm psychologically damaged now! I mean, I know people's perceptions differ, but is that really how she sees me?
Anyway, I'm hoping that she'll finish torturing me soon.
In the meantime, I have to go, because the nurse is here with my tablets!
Hey! Have a nice day.
So, here's the thing! I'm up at 5am writing, and I've started having these thoughts - don't ask!
I'm just starting Chapter 2 of my WIP, and I'm thinking:
I'm not writing very fast.
Where do I begin?
I'm never going to get this book finished.
Is there another book in me?
Can I write this book?
Am I going in the right direction?
Am I any good? And so on . . .
I carry on stringing words together, and gradually - as if it were a new life being created from my own DNA - the scene begins to take shape. Oh, at first it's an ugly formless blob that I'm ashamed to call mine, but then slowly . . . I move a word; flesh out a description; re-write a sentence; re-locate a paragraph; introduce a smell, a touch, a feeling. I interrogate myself: What is this scene trying to convey? What does that introspection tell us about who the character is? What he's lost? What his hopes for the future are? Add a touch of backstory - not too much - just enough to give an insight into who he is, his relationship with the woman, how they spend their Sundays. Do the metaphors and similies work? Is there a variation in the length of sentences and the size of the paragraphs? Is there lots of white space - dialogue, action? Have I used active instead of passive words? - I used to have a checklist, but now that checklist is part of who I am.
And then . . . As if as if the universe has stopped turning on its axis, I think I can make out it's little fingers and toes, a nose, some ears, and then it begins kicking and squirming trying to decide what it wants to be. I re-read it a thousand times. I begin to love it. It has my nose, my quirky humour, my voice. I'm not ashamed of it anymore. I know, if I show it to people, they won't say, "What an ugly baby!"
From tentative beginnings that were mired in doubt and lack of direction, a scene is fashioned, moulded and created out of the DNA of my imagination - some mornings a writer can begin to feel like a creator, like a god!
So, here's the thing! I've just published my latest The House of Mourning
(Parish & Richards 9). I know, call me a scribbler, creator, writer - your names can't hurt me!
You know, I tried but I couldn't do it. There's a million things that need doing, but I just want to write. I got up this morning and finished the first chapter of my WIP: The Gordian Knot
(Stone & Randall 2). Yeah, yeah, it's been a long time coming. Well, I'm into it now, so expect it around the end of May. My wife walks round with a list you know. It's a long list with DIY jobs, gardening, shopping and the like. On top of the page a psychopath has written: Tim's To-Do List. There's some crazy people about. Tim's To-Do List only has books on it - Ha, ha!
Now look, you're gonna love this one. My wife was on eBay - not for the first time I might add - and she was looking at ebooks. Yes, I know, you're asking yourself what are ebooks doing on eBay. Well, people are selling them. Oh yes, brothers and sisters - and the people who are selling them are not the authors of said ebooks.
Do you know, you can buy about a million ebooks on a CD for about £5.00 (US exchange rate = $7.60, and that's being generous)! So, here's the scam! You download all the books people keep making free on Amazon, you drag and drop them from your Kindle onto a CD/DVD/memory stick/ flashcard/etc and sell them on eBay/your own website/anywhere you fancy! No problemo. The author makes nothing from any sales because he/she gave them away for free in the first place, and the eBay entrepreneur is merely re-selling used items on - perfectly legal. My books are on there and I never give anything away for free. You know what, I think there's a lesson to be learned somewhere here abouts!
So, here's the thing. I've been a bit remiss lately. I haven't published a blog since way back when. In fact, I think the Rolling Stones were in the charts with Angie, the last time I wrote a blog! Don'tcha just love that song? I used to have a girlfriend called Angie. I wonder what happened to her! Anyway, I've published three books since my last blog. "THREE BOOKS!" I hear you howl at the moon. Yeah, I know. Scary, isn't it? So, which three books are these? You had to go and ask didn't you?
The start of a new Private Investigator
series set in St, Augustine, Florida. Did you know that St Augustine
is the most haunted place in America. The next in the Quigg series (Quigg 5): The Terror at Grisly Park
- a police procedural
. As well as leaning towards the paranormal, Quigg is up to his old tricks again. And as if that weren't enough to get your laughing gear round, I've put together another poetry book called Summer of my Soul. I know, call me a mad impetuous fool.
What's next? You're asking all the right questions today, Toady. I'm cobbling together a non-fiction book called 'The Writer's A - Z of Body Language', which does what it says on the tin. I hope to get that out by the weekend, and then I'm straight on to Parish & Richards 9: 'The House of Mourning'. You're probably wondering what's going to happen to the characters. Well, here's a few clues.
Remember the money (£50,000) that Erin Donnelly transferred into the Kowalski's bank account? Yeah well, if you recall, it belonged to a Columbian drug cartel run by a most unsavoury character called Holgar de Moreno (or some such), and he wants his money back. The trouble is, Jerry's using it to finance her law degree. Also, remember the box of files relating to the Epsilon experiment? Well, do you think Xena and Stick are going to tell Parish about them? And let's not forget that Parish has still got to get that briefcase from the railway lost property storage warehouse. What do you think is in that briefcase? And do you think he's ever going to find out the truth? Then, of course, there's Richards and her search for a decent guy - are there any left? We've also got Charlie Baxter, Jerry, and the squatters on a case, Xena and Stick investigating something, and Parish & Richards up to their eyballs in serial killers. Yeah, I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into this one.
So, here's the thing! I was reading an article in Writer's Magazine
about Bernard Cornwell's day, one of my favourite authors. So, I thought if Bernard can do it, so can I. My day usually begins about 5am, but I don't beat myself up if I have a lie in now and again. The dogs (four of them) look at me as if I'm a sandwich short of a picnic. Three of them get up, go out and then go back to bed. They're more normal than me - ain't that the truth?
I make my coffee - always been a coffee drinker, but I don't mind the odd cup of tea if the whim takes me - and switch my laptop on (a Dell Ultrabook XPS13). I work off a miniature 8GB Verbatim memory stick. All of my writing is on there, but I do back-ups onto another memory stick, which I keep separately. And, of course, most of my writing is in numerous places online anyway! Then I get stuck in by checking my emails, my sales, my rankings, my facebook page and I'm off. Whatever the project is I get stuck in. The whole purpose of getting up at this ridiculous hour of the day is to work in peace and quiet with an uncluttered mind. If you're going to procrastinate (or feed the monkeys) then you may as well go back to bed.
So, how did I get into writing? Well, I look back over my life and see the milestones that lead me here. As a teenager I wrote poetry, and that has continued. I was editor of a magazine called "The Gopher" in my early Army days. I used to play in the regional Scrabble championships, construct crosswords for fun, and read everything that I could lay my hands on. And then, one day about six years ago, after I'd read a book on Caesar by Conn Iggulden, I decided I could do that, so I wrote Warrior: Path of Desitiny
. Since then, I've written twenty novels - mostly crime.
I sit in the living room in my leather recliner chair. I have got a shed, but I'm not keen on spiders, and there's no electricity in there. Now that I'm 60 years old, my wife says I can write where I want to - so I do. There's only the two of us now - the son having finally got a life of his own - about bloody time I often say! So, life doesn't get in the way of what I want to do much anymore. I started writing a while back when I was still teaching. The more I wrote, the less I wanted to teach. Then, four yeas ago I had a heart attack and survived. It was a good excuse to retire - so I did. I suppose I'm a writer now, and I don't think there's a retirement age for writers - they just get recycled through charity shops (Ha, ha! There wasn't a joke for 'old writers never die . . .', so I just made that up). Maybe I should start writing humour! Hecklers can kiss my ballpoint pen!
It's just 7am, and I've been doing a lot of administrative tasks since 5am relating to my latest police procedural
bestseller The Terror at Grisly Park
(Quigg 5), which I published on Monday. Yeah, being a writer means doing loads of rubbish that isn't actually writing, which is probably a good job because otherwise my brain would turn to mush if I tried to write all day. So, I like to intersperse my writing with frequent trips to the kitchen to make drinks/snacks/chocolate, the odd tweet/retweet, reading the news/sports on Yahoo, and so on.
My days are mostly the same because I don't want to do anything much except write. At about 8:45am I go for my shower, and then take the dogs for their first walk. Gives me a chance to think through what I'm writing and what I'm going to write next. I have a target word-count of 1,000-words a day, but again I don't subject myself to self-flagellation if I don't make it. Most days I achieve a lot more, but I work on a larger target of 10,000-words a week, 40,000-words a month, and a finished 80,000-word book in two months, which is what I've been achieving for a while now. Being old, wrinkly, crotchety and forgetful has its advantages.
After I've walked the dog I generally get back to writing for a couple of hours. At midday I have my lunch and watch something I've recorded on Sky+ for an hour, and then I have a siesta for an hour or two. I get up again and start writing. At around 3pm I take the dogs for their second walk, and then write some more. At 5.15pm I put my laptop down and watch Pointless (big fan Alexander and Richard), watch the news and then do a bit more work until about 8pm and then I call it a day and watch some TV. Most of my writing gets done between 5 - 8am when there are no distractions.
There's lots of talk about planning, chapter outlines and a dozen other ways to write. Each to his own. When I'm writing police procedurals I like to have a title, the names of my lead character(s) and a location before I start - this means I own it. It's mine. That's it really. I then begin writing and go where the characters take me. I have a notebook by my chair, and I keep notes of what I've got to include in the future. I write in scenes, and I try to make each scene as interesting as I can. I suppose you can relate it to: Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. If you've got your scenes right the book should be good - build it a brick at a time . . . Well, as long as you've got a plot, a story, interesting characters, conflict, and all the other things you're meant to have in a book.
The wife got up. I grunted at her a few times - she's happy. Had a shower, walked and fed the dogs - they're happy. Made a coffee and had a couple of pieces of toast - I'm happy. Back to writing. You know, I had a quick look at rules for writers - there's a whole bunch of them that people have come up with from Diane Athill (who?), through George Orwell to Jeanette Winterson (who?). Anyway, I thought I'd let you know some of the ones I abide by:
1. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue (Elmore Leonard). Although sometimes I break this rule, but not much. I try to use actions, body language, or speech indiosyncracies to indicate who's speaking,
2. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" (Elmore Leonard). I very rarely use adverbs (or "ly" words). Adverbs are telling - I prefer to show through actions and body language.
3. I don't use "suddenly".
4. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters (Elmore Leonard). I'm a bit in the middle with this one. I do give some description, but not too much.
5. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip (Elmore Leonard). Yes, I'm one of the readers that skip, and I keep this in mind while I'm writing.
6. Finish the day's writing when you still want to continue (Helen Dunmore). Yes, I tend to do this. I go to bed, and between the light and the dark, my characters show me where they're going and what they're going to be doing next.
7. A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk Helen Dunmore). While I'm walking the dogs, problems often get solved. If your instinct is saying it doesn't work, your instinct is probably right - change it. Don't wait for someone else to tell you it doesn't work.
8. Don't wait for inspiration. Discipline is the key. I agree. Get up, get writing. Do it every day - rain or shine. No excuses - just do it.
9. Use layering. When I re-read that one time I think about: The five senses, the descriptions, the dialogue, the emotions and feelings, body language, conflict, actions, the pace, active/passive, and long/short sentences.
10. Also, I keep it simple, I make sure there's lots of "white space" i.e. I use a lot of dialogue. I like reading dialogue. I tend to skip over chunks of description when I'm reading.
Some of the rules I break with wild abandon:
1, Keep your exclamation marks under control (Elmore Leonard). No, I tend to use a few more than 3 per 100,000-words!
2. Read it out loud. I can already hear it in my head, so I tend not to read my work out loud. Although the wife has caught me muttering to myself on occasion.
3. Cut. What I write is usually the finished product. There's nothing to cut generally because my writing is minimilastic anyway. I re-read what I've written, make some minor changes, etc., send it off to the proofreader. Make some more minor changes.
4. Avoid using a thesaurus. I use the online version whenever I lose a word, or I need a definition. My memory isn't what it was, and Statins make it worse, so I break this rule when I need to.
5. Cut out the metaphors and similes (Esther Freud). No, I break this rule regularly. Metaphors and similies are like old friends.
Well, I think that's about it. A life in the day of Tim Ellis.
So, here's the thing! My new book is out. I know, call me an anorak! All I do is write. I churn out a book every two months, or so like a conveyor belt. There's no respite. People are out there - a bit like the truth - they read my current offering in a day and then say, "Yeah great! When's the next one out?" All I can say is, "It's a good job I like writing!" I'm on a writing rollercoaster, and I
'Well Toady, what do you think?'
'Yeah you. You invariably have an opinion.'
'I certainly do. I think your new book's fab. As a matter of interest, will your next book be out by Christmas?'
On a more serious note - I know, it's not like me to be serious - but I was walking the dogs this morning, and saw two ugly sights. One was a truck driver reading a piece of paper while he was driving, and the other was a woman texting as she went round a corner in the opposite direction - Will these people never learn? If it was up to me, I'd line them up against the wall and... It's against the law, but how do you enforce it? I'm always wary of me and the dogs getting mown down by a careless driver.
Right, serious bit over. In 1972 - I know, that was a long time ago - I became familiar with Bill Cosby when I was propping up the Junior Ranks Bar at Iserlohn British Military Hospital. When I got married, I introduced the wife to him. She's having one those senior retrospective moments and hunting for him on YouTube. So, I thought I'd introduce you lot to him - funny! You'll wet yourself. So, here's two to sample 'Go Karts' and 'Tonsils', but there's millions of others - Noah, Medic, 49, Cake for Breakfast, Playground - don't say I didn't warn you that you'll laugh until you fall over and die!
On a medium serious note, my wife has started pottery classes! I know, on Monday nights I'm a pottery widower! Me and the dogs call her 'Potter Pam'. Well, we sing 'Potter Pam' to the 'Postman Pat' tune as she's going out of the door - Hey, anything to help! And on Friday morning she goes to painting classes, so we call her 'Painter Pam' then - yeah, same song only with one word changed - little things amuse little minds!
She's the teacher's pet after her first attempt (see photograph on the left)! Oh, and I haven't told you about her little yellow apron - it's got 'Potter Pam' on the front! Well, I suppose I'd better let you lot get on with your lives. Have a good one!
So, here's the thing! Smashwords
! I don't recall saying anything about Smashords
, Toady! But, if you said I did, then I'll give you the benefit of the mushroom. So, you've writ your book, it's going to make you the next EL Rowling, or JK James, you have your blurb, your cover, and you've decided to charge a small fortune for the sweat of your brow. You've uploaded it to KDP overnight, and it's sitting there on Amazon like a little goldmine.
Okay, let's contemplate our navel for one moment. If you chose KDP Select when you uploaded your book, you can't put it anywhere else because you agreed to have it exclusively on Amazon. If you didn't, then it means you can put it anywhere. Now, that anywhere would be Smashwords because they distrubte your book to Apple, Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Page Foundry, etc. It's free to join, they take a share of your royalties, but then so does Amazon, and they pay you every quarter via Paypal - simples. You also have to make sure that the cost of your book is the same for all distributors - Amazon take this very seriously!
A couple of other things you might find useful: Join Bookbuzzr
to market your books. Now, there's free bit, and a premium bit. Being a mega skinflint, I'm with the free bit. It has these little widgets, and you can automate tweets. What more do you want? Well quite a lot really, because there are millions of books out there- How does a reader find yours? A couple of suggestions: 1) Use Twitter, but be careful not to spam your followers; create a Facebook FanPage - Now, remember the waffle at the end of your book? Put a couple of links in there - one to your fan page, the other to your website. What! You haven't got a website? Try weebly - like most things there's a free bit and a premium bit, I use the free bit. Yeah, I don't care if it shows!
You also need to go to Author Central
and create your author page by writing a biography, claiming your books, and linking to Twitter. You can also put a trailer up there and some photographs - be careful about the photos because the authorities in authority regularly check the author photos for drunken obscene ones. Another place you might like to display your books as an author is Goodreads
. There's also FeedARead
where you can get your book printed for a small outlay, and YouWriteOn
, which is a very helpful peer review site.
That's it, I'm exhausted. I've probably missed a million things, but my brain's turned to chop suey. If you've got questions, Toady, please ask and I'll try to answer them without incriminating myself.
So, here's the thing! I said I'd do a Part Deux of my Millenium Trilogy, Toady, and it's getting late! Strictly Dancing is on already on, and then there's the X-Factor until midnight, or some God-forsaken time, so I'd better get on with it.
Where was I? Well, in fact, I wasn't anywhere, but I do believe you were trying to make a pre-emptive strike on KDP without a blurb, a cover, and a clue as to how much you were going to charge those lovely readers for your magnus opium. So, slow down, Toady!
Okay, let's talk about a blurb. I've seen some long ones, some short ones, and some in the middle ones - what's right? Shrugs - who knows! All I can tell you, is that I have the attention span of gnat. My policy - generally - is to keep it short and simple. Ya gotta ask yourself what the reader needs to know, and take a look at the blurb on the back of some books - you'll get the idea.
Now, I shouldn't really do this, but it'll save me time in a couple of weeks. I'm three-quarters through my next Parish & Richards novel No.8: 'Be Not Afraid'
, so I'll write a draft blurb, and I'm sure there's some people out there who will say it's rubbish - whatever!
This next book in the series is packed with story: Parish and Richards travel to Quantica, Virginia to give a presentation at an FBI conference on serial killers in different cultures, but they stumble over an American serial Killer called "The Painter". Chief Kowalski and his wife Jerry are accused of Satanic Ritual Abuse of their children, who are taken away by Social Services - Kowalski has another heart attack and ends up in hospital, which leaves Jerry in a fight to get her children back. Much to Xena's disgust, her and Stick are given two cases to investigate due to Parish & Richards' absence. One, in which a group called Mothers Against Paedophiles (MAPs) are abducting paedophiles from their own homes, torturing confessions out of them, killing them, and then publishing the video-confessions on a website. The second case concerns a man called John Smith who is discovered in a house that resembles a necropolis because it has so many female bodies inside. The trouble is, he's not John Smith, he's not talking, and they don't know who he is. And I haven't told you about the hacker called Cookie, Charlie Baxter the solicitor, Alicia Mae's past, the undercover operative from the DGIFC following Parish... Oh yes, and there's an addition to Parish's family!
Now, that's slightly longer than I normally do, but there's a lot of book between the covers, so there you are, Toady. Oh yes, that's a good lead-in to the cover. Well, you'll be relieved to hear that you don't need a back cover! Here's what I do - like it or lump it. I take a photo (see above for the before and after. The original photograph was taken by my wife on a recent holiday to Crete), I re-size it to what Smashwords wants (I'll get to Smashwords - I promise), but actually it's not Smashwords that wants it a particular size - it's that tiny company called Apple, so it'll fit their iPad - it has to be 1,600 x 2,400 pixels, but here's the gumf
- read it yourself. I right-click a photo and upload it to Paint, which everyone's got as part of Windows, and I crop and re-size it. Now, if you haven't already done so, you want to download Google's free software 'Picassa
', because you can do loads of wicked stuff in there, like put text on the photo just like a real bok - and there we are.
Next is the price! A touchy subject with loads of argument for and against cheap or expensive. People want free books, but then - because they're free - they think they're probably rubbish. If you make them expensive, other people won't buy them because there's loads of cheap books out there. If you make them 99c, people won't touch them because they're bound to be rubbish... Need I go on? My older books are 99p ($1.51 or thereabouts), my shorts or novellas are 77p, and my new books were £1.99, but now I make them £2.99, which I don't think is excessive for two months of solid writing and a reasonable attempt at a story. Some people will say, "It's too expensive", others will say, "Charge us more - your books are just great", but I've told my wife she can't say that in public... And so it goes on. In the end, it's trial and error, and you can change your prices on KDP fairly easily. Now, it's nearly nine o'clock at night, and my eyes are getting gritty, so I'm gonna have a Part Three tomorrow, and I will talk about Smashwords... Goodnight cobbers.
So, here's the thing! I often get jokes, pictures, and videos sent to me as email attachments, and I just delete them, but sometimes one pops out and bites me in the ass, and the one below is just such a video. I've shared it on FB, but I thought I'd put it here as well. It's already been seen by 119M people, so you've probably already seen it, but it's so funny it's worth watching a dozen or more times.
Anyway, I got asked the other day about putting books up on Amazon for the Kindle. Okay, so I have a few books up there, but it doesn't make me an expert - a drip under pressure! I've made a ton of mistakes in terms of formatting, pricing, covers, images... Well, you name it, I've naffed it up. So, I'm probably an expert on how not to do it!
Just so there's nobody out there calling me a snob, or mean, or other such endearing names, I'm gonna tell ya what I know... but, here's the caveat - don't blame me if it all goes pear-shaped! 1) Write a book - yeah, people often forget that bit! Now, I write my books in Word - I prefer the old Word, but I'm using the 2010 version because you can save in PDF - but when you save your book, save as a Word 93 - 2003 Document (.doc) because that's what Smashwords want. Don't worry, I'll get to Smashwords later.
So, you've finished your magnus opium. Now, I have different folders on my memory stick for different formats, and in a sense, they also act as backups of your book - Well, they would do if they weren't all on the same memory stick, so make sure you have a back-up memory stick as I do. Anyway, as I was saying, I have a Kindle Folder, and in that folder I have two sub-folders entitled 'Word' and 'HTML'. Save your book in the 'Word' folder - you now have two copies, but you're going to modify the book you've just saved.
You need to read the Smashwords Style Guide
, and follow it religiously. As a basic guide, I highlight the whole document, and give it a 'Normal' style - usually Times New Roman, Point 10 - which is as much use as a chocolate fireguard (except that it gets rid of eroneous formatting like headings and body text and other such rubbish, which don't work on the Kindle! Keep it highlighted, and then make it all Point 12, and put a .5cm indent at the start of all paragraphs (I'm not going to tell you how to do that in Word because the different versions do it differently - find out!). I then go through the whole book and manually format using only the things that Kindle will recognise - Centre/Bold Chapter Headings, two hard spaces between everything that needs a space between two things such as chapters, headings, etc., I don't use italic because sometimes Kindle doesn't know when to stop, so you end up with a chapter of italic instead of one word! Hey, the trick is to keep it simples!
At the beginning of the book I use the copyright information from the Smashwords Style Guide, provide a caveat about names, say how much I love my wife - well, you have to, don't you?, say thanks to the proofreader, the dogwalker, the windowcleaner... you know the thing, but make sure it's not too long, people don't want to skip through a load of rubbish when they download your sample - Keep it short and sweet then you're into Chapter One
: The meat hook had been pushed through the woman's neck, and she swung in the breeze like a...
At the end of the book you can put stuff like: About the Author, here's all my other books, this is where you can find me on the Internet, and please don't be harsh when you write a review - I have a weak disposition! Whatever you like, but again - keep it short because the Kindle reader won't skip through the pages like a dead tree book - they go off the percentage of the book read and what's left displayed on the Kindle. If you've put you're autobiography at the end as padding, the reader will be most aggreived because the percentage left won't be what they've got left of the book!
So, save it. Now, save it again as a 'Web-Filtered' or 'HTML' document in your second folder 'HTML' - You can call the folders anything you want, you know! Now, you could go direct to KDP and upload your book - I am, of course, assuming you've already signed up, but if not, join here: KDP
. So, you've got an account, you're in the 'BookShelf', but... there are no books there! Wait... you need a blurb, you need a cover, you need to decide on pricing... Oh dear! Log out of KDP, you're not ready to upload your book just yet.
Here's the thing! 'Pointless' is on now, and then I have to have my tea (dinner to posh people), do a bit more writing, watch Corrie and... Well, I think you get the idea. So, we'll call this Part One, and I'll write Part Two tomorrow, if that's all right with you, Toady?
So, here's the thing! Is it possible to write more than one book at a time? Oh, I know James Patterson does it - he usually has about ten projects on the go at once. But 1) I'm not James Patterson - don't say, "I've noticed" like that, Toady; and 2) James Patterson has lots of helpers - a bit like Santa with his elves! Now if I could get me some of those there elves. They could write the books, and I'd just put my name on them. Hey, why didn't I think of that before? Are there any elves out there?
Now, I don't want to wade into the long grass regarding paid reviews, sock puppets, and castigating your rivals, but I feel a bit miffed that every author - and I don't differentiate between indies or trads - is being tarred with the same brush. I'd like my own brush, please.
I'd like to state here and now, in the open, and without any fear of contraception, that I am not now, and have never been a member of the paid review and sock puppet party of the United Kingdom or the United States of America. As such, if a review attached to one of my books says that said book is rubbish, you can wholly believe said review. It has not been written by any of my relatives, I have not paid for it, and I certainly didn't write the damn thing - the review, not the book!
So, that's that off my chest, and I feel much better for it. Let's talk about characters now. Oh dear! I killed off some, promoted others, and introduced two more. Some love 'em, some hate 'em. I don't know... what to do, what to do. Well, should we have a poll? Let's see what the readers want!