Mapp At Fifty, my pastiche of E.F.Benson’s wonderful world of Mapp and Lucia.
Print and e-book
It’s available on Amazon etc. as a paperback and an ebook, and can also be ordered through your local bookstore, of course. Actually, I’d really like that
Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: j-views Publishing (9 April 2020)
However, for those who like to listen rather than read (it’s a lot safer when you’re driving, after all), I have read the whole thing (twice – I wasn’t satisfied with the first reading), and it is now available exclusively from here in audiobook format.
It’s two hours and thirteen minutes long, and the price is eight guineas (the same amount as the price charged by Georgie for his services). Loaded onto an iPhone/iPad, it appears divided into chapters, and can be listened to using the Books app that comes with the iPhone. It is also possible to listen to it with iTunes on Mac and Windows computers, and possibly on other devices such as video players, if you load it on a USB stick.
If you have an Android phone, you may find this link to be useful (there is no copy-protection or DRM on this file, by the way).
Anyway, here is a brief sample (the second chapter). You may recognise the link music between chapters – and I artificially aged it to sound like a 78 from one of those horrid gramophone things.
The whole thing weighs in at just under two and a quarter hours, and the file is just over 100MB in size.
And the price? Following Georgie’s example in the book, I am pricing this at eight guineas – which is £8.40 in today’s money. Payment by PayPal or credit card, with the payment processed through Stripe and with the 100MB file delivered by SendOwl. When you pay, you will receive an email with a unique link allowing you to download the file.
As my regular readers (both of you!) will know, I am working with Steve Emecz of MX publishing, and Steve White to produce audiobook versions of some of my stories.
I’ve taken one of my favourites – The Hand of Glory – and turned it into a radio/audio script, which has now been narrated by Steve White. Before it can go onto Amazon, though, apparently the text must be made available on Amazon as a book or an ebook (I don’t pretend to understand the details, or the reasoning behind them).
Mary Devereux tells Sherlock Holmes that her stepfather has obtained the corpses of two executed criminals, and is storing them in an outbuilding of the family seat in Warwickshire. Unknown men visit the house on Friday nights, and depart mysteriously in the family carriage, driven by her stepfather, who also appears to be making significant inroads into the family fortune.
She implores Holmes to investigate, and as he and Watson explore the sleepy market town of Luckworth, they encounter dark and macabre secrets that shock them to their core. Along the way, Holmes loses his left canine tooth in the waiting-room at Charing-cross station, as mentioned in “The Adventure of the Empty House”.
For a very short taster of what is in store in the audiobook, try this:
By the way, you can look up the Hand of Glory on Wikipedia, but it might spoil the story somewhat if you don’t know it already. If you have read the story, and you want to know more, then by all means look it up – it is definitely a macabre and dark subject.
Lots of people around the world are now stuck in their houses, feeling trapped and bored. What can they do?
Learn a new language
Learn to play a musical instrument
Take up juggling
Make their way through the contents of their drinks cupboard
Read some new books
Of these, the last may well end up being the most attractiveand productive option to many. Reading a book takes you out of yourself, and helps you forget the world outside, bleak and depressing though it may be.
With that in mind, I have participated in Smashwords’ Authors Give Back sale. All my books (EPUB format) are now offered at 60% off their usual price. Some are now free. This sale lasts from 20 March to 20 April, and the reduced pricing should be echoed throughout Kobo, iBooks, etc. and the other places where Smashwords titles are sold.
Have a look at my page, and pick up some ebooks to while away the time. As well as my books, I recommend Jim McGrath’s police stories set in 1960s Birmingham and the Black Country (warning – contain adult themes, descriptions of violence and strong language).
Good question. Since Amazon have a proprietary lockdown attitude towards their hardware, something needs to be done here.
Long-term solution: Let Amazon know that the title you want is on sale cheaper elsewhere – send them the link. It will take some time for the results to show up – like any large river, Amazon tends to be rather sluggish.
Short-term solution: Try one of the services and programs that convert EPUB to MOBI, allowing you to sideload onto your Kindle.
Longer-term solution: Wait for me to recompile all my Smashwords books as Kindle-compatible (warning: this may not happen, depending on circumstances over which I have little or no control)
My story of the Holloway Ghosts – a Sherlock Holmes adventure, brought to life by Steevin White – who voices all the parts. I originally wrote this as a story, but adapted it as a radio play with no narration – simply voices and sound effects. Steve and I had great fun casting the characters – and I hope you will enjoy the results. I’m delighted!
There was a lot of fun creating this from the original story, stripping out descriptive passages, and replacing them with dialogue and/or sound effects. We had to make sure that the characters had sufficiently different ways of expressing themselves for them not to be confused in listeners’ minds, and I think on the whole, we ended up doing a good job.
I have to confess that I don’t know Bookmate, but there are far more five-star than one-star reviews of the app and the service on the App Store, despite the fact that the three featured reviews seem to be one-star. Sounds worth a go, anyway.
The reason is that some pesky person down in London went and called a General Election, and my writing skills, such as they are, together with a reasonable amount of my time, have been harnessed to a political cart.
It’s been quite an adventure – the first General Election in which I have known “my” candidate (and one of the other candidates) personally – and I’m seeing many of the aspects of an election from the inside.
It’s been educational standing on street corners, handing out leaflets, and engaging with people whose political views differ from mine. Very little in the way of actual arguments, and most of my conversations have ended with a handshake and a “take care” from both sides.
But… it has eaten into my writing time. I make no apologies. The future of the country in which I live and hold citizenship is more important to me than my scribblings. Normal service will be resumed soon after December 12.