Making a steampunk book…

This is one of my favourite books from the point of view of the physical design of the book. Originally, it was two separate paperback volumes, The Untime and The Untime Revisited (both of which are still available as ebooks – check them out here), but I decided to combine them into one print volume, since one is a very clear sequel to the other.

I had some designs which I’d used for the cover of the original, but I preferred to take a completely different tack on this, and to try to recreate the feeling of a 19th-century book using 21st century technology. Steampunk publishing, if you will. Continue reading “Making a steampunk book…”

One year on

It was just over a year ago (in fact, it was about 1:30am on Christmas morning 2017) that I read an email from a friend informing me that my publisher, editor, and friend, Jo Lowe of Inknbeans Press, had died.

The news was not totally unexpected, but it hit me hard, and Christmas last year was very much a matter of smiling on the outside and grieving on the inside. Since then, I have had to pick up the pieces, not only of my emotional life (for I, like all who knew her, I think, was more than a little in love with this lady whom most of us had never met in person), but of my life as a writer.

Continue reading “One year on”

A talking ferret for Christmas!

LestradeThrowsHatIf you know children aged between 7 and 11 (or thereabouts) who would enjoy having a detective story read to them, why not give Sherlock Ferret and the Phantom Photographer a try? The world’s cutest detective takes on a case at the request of his client, Mr. Montague Mole, helped by his friend Watson Mouse M.D., and their friend Lestrade, who is a rhinoceros (though not a very big one).

Here’s a little extract:

Sherlock Ferret’s well-whiskered friend Watson Mouse M.D. tells the story of how Mr. Montague Mole shows photographs of his family, but he has no idea who has taken them! Could it be a phantom photographer?

As so often, the nefarious Moriarty Magpie appears to be involved, along with the mysterious Sir Basil Badger, who vanished several years before, after eating twenty-seven jam tarts (and lots of other delicious things!). But thanks to Sherlock Ferret’s knowledge, his Big Books, and the Bakery Irregulars, all is put right in the end, and the Mole family can sleep safely all day (for the night is their busy time).

To buy the whole book (a little over an hour long, 92MB – uses PayPal for the £8 payment):

If you want to read the book, you can buy it (and the other Sherlock Ferret titles) from Amazon, etc.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffere & Annie Barrows – REVIEW

We recently visited Guernsey, and most of the touristy shops made a big thing out of selling the book (often marketed as “the book of the film”) or the DVD. Of course the book came out first, and on our return when a friend offered to lend me either the book or the DVD or both, I chose the book.

Continue reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffere & Annie Barrows – REVIEW”

Here we go again (and what the last time did for my writing?)…

In 2008, I was living in Japan, and making my living as a freelance writer. One of the assignments that came my way was the editing of an investment bank’s English-language marketing materials, prior to their translation into Japanese. However, something got in the way… Continue reading “Here we go again (and what the last time did for my writing?)…”

Audiobooks – a question

MrMoleCallsI’ve held off the idea of audiobooks for some time, mainly because I have not found them as easy to distribute as ebooks. However, I have recorded some of them for my own amusement – the Sherlock Ferret series allows me to do quite a lot of silly voices, and also add a little mystery to things.

Here’s a chapter out of Sherlock Ferret and the Phantom Photographer. The whole book lasts for about an hour read in this way.

My question is: how much would you consider paying for a recording of this kind, given that the price for the print edition is US$7.99 or £5.99? Please let me know in the comments below.

 

Alt.history

Alternative (or in the USA, alternate) history is a genre of fiction where the world has taken a different turn some time in the past, and has produced a timeline which differs from ours. In that the events described in the book rely on a distortion of history prior to those events, it may be seen as different from historical science fiction.

In this latter category, I think we have to place Susanna Clarke’s magnificent magical (in every sense of the word) tour de force, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, although it deals with people and places and events (the Duke of Wellington, Waterloo) in our world, together with others (John Uskglass, Faerie, etc.), that though meticulously described, have no counterpart in real life.

Continue reading “Alt.history”

My blog (such as it is)

This site allows me to share my thoughts as a writer, and to tell you something about my books, and the processes behind their creation.

I also hope that in the future, I will be able to publish my conversations with other authors on here and provide considerably more general information on books, writing, and life, the universe and everything.

In the meantime, enjoy looking round the site.