Knightfall - buy it now

Friday, 26 April 2013

The City of Maleton

Taking a break from slaying zombies to update my blog - if you like gaming and like killing zombies, the new Dead Island is a lot of fun (as was the first one, and you can pick it up for £10-15 if you haven't played it).  I managed to get a bit of writing done this morning but I will get back to it properly next week.

So where will you be at the weekend you cry?  I'm glad you asked!  I will be in Nottingham with my two good friends, watching Iron Man 3, going to a comedy club, drinking too much beer, maybe going to a casino if we can still stand, and generally having a fantastic time.  I am really looking forward to it (in case you hadn't already guessed!).

Anyway, to go with the title, here is my crudely drawn map of Maleton, the city that most of the first half of Darkest Before Dawn takes place, as well as a sizeable chunk of the second half.  As always, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

New book trailer

Just a short post tonight, I can smell my dinner cooking and I am ravenous!  Made a new book trailer today with animoto - free video with music and text up to 30 seconds.  Check it out on YouTube and below, I am really pleased with it. 

I have also ordered the proofs of the final final copies of Knightfall and they should come start of next week hopefully, then I can finally offer it for sale in paperback.  I think I have managed to get it down to £6.99, a fairly standard price for paperback on amazon in seems.  I don't really make any money, and the size is unusual for the UK market (6x9 inches) but Createspace suggested that it offered maximum distribution channels in that size.  I guess I will wait and see.  I intend to buy some copies anyway and send them to various outlets for review, as well as offering a promotion on Goodreads.

I got some more writing done today and I need to get a lot done tomorrow and Friday morning if I can, before Dead Island - Riptide takes over my life, assuming it comes from amazon in time.  If not, there's always next week!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Final final edition

Got the updated internal files today and I am really pleased with them, can't wait to see what they look like in print.  I have submitted by final final file to KDP and Createspace so hopefully it won't be too long - checkout a couple of images below!

Other than that, managed a little writing today but I have mainly been trying to sort this out for actual printing and distribution - I did get excited yesterday when my print review copy came.  It looks great, and with the improved internal graphics it should look even better.

Also, went to dinner with my mother-in-law today, it was her birthday, so happy birthday Sheila.  I remembered to post my mum's birthday card too, just in case she reads....

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Great weekend

Took a hint from my characters and pretty much avoided the computer this weekend.  Had a wonderful time with my daughter - went to the park and played on the swings and she rode her scooter, made a fairy with hamma beads (so much better than aqua beads if anyone is interested!) and today spent most of the day at an adventure playground and had a picnic!  We really had a wonderful time, and if you ever wonder if all the hard work and sacrifice in life is worth it, just spend a day having fun with your family.

Nothing beats it, honestly.

Well, I can smell the curry cooking downstairs and there's more Justified to watch, so that's me done.  Be back tomorrow, bright and early at the computer, most likely putting Ben and his friends through all 9 levels of Hell!

After I've been to the gym of course....

Friday, 19 April 2013

A Knight off

I realised something today.  I am approximately 40k words into book two (Darkest Before Dawn) and every chapter has been one difficult experience for my characters after another.  Really, not one of them have had anything good happen, it's all conflict and strife and heartache.  What I also know is that things are only going to get worse for them as the story goes on, which seems typical of my writing. 

I'm sure that says a lot about me, probably things that I don't want to know!

I promise, my next book will be about unicorns and rainbows and puppies all singing and dancing and having fun together.  Or maybe not.

Anyway, after this revelation, I decided to do something about, and that something was writing my characters a night off!  They get to have a few drinks, talk about anything but their problems and hopefully even get to have a good time.  I hope they enjoy tonight, because tomorrow is going to be hell....

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Third review

Another good day at the computer and another 5 star review on amazon so that gave me a buzz.  I also think that createspace has sorted the cover format problems so I've ordered another proof to arrive next week.  All in all, a really good day.

I'm starting to feel the pressure now with people wanting the next book.  I don't want to rush it, and in all honesty I don't know how long it will turn out to be, I just know roughly what happens to everyone at this point in the story.  I guess it'll be done when it's done so that's that.  If anyone is really desperate, I could always let them have the first couple of chapters to tide them over!

Really hope the good reviews turn into sales.....

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Proof copy

Had the proof copy of my paperback come today, bit of an anti-climax!  Opened the box and the cover has been distorted by the printing process so it all looks out of focus.  I spoke to the printer and they are going to sort it.  Hopefully in the next few days I will get to see what my brain tells me it should look like.  I only hope the content inside lives up to the awesome cover!

Cracking on with chapter 5 again today and it really seems like Ben and his friends can't catch a break.  Maybe they need a holiday, I'll see if I can work it into the narrative somehow.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Blue October

Another good day at the keyboard, 1800 words done on chapter five today and I'm happy with almost all of them!  Ben and his friends do keep making some foolish decisions, but I suppose that's where the drama lies.  It also helps that I know where the story is going, and as they say about hindsight, its always 20/20.  Anyway, if they were to hide at home under the bedclothes and wait for life to get better, I can't promise the narrative would be half as interesting.

It might make an interesting side project though - make a compelling story about a 15 year old boy hiding under his bedclothes, trying to avoid any sort of interesting things that might be happening in the outside world.  If there are any readers of this blog out there, send me your first drafts by Friday....

And keep it clean, please!

Listened to some Blue October today whilst waiting to pick my daughter up from school.  Another awesome band, give them a listen if you haven't heard of them - check out Hate Me, it's one of my favourite tracks ever.

That's all for today, I'll be back at the keyboard though bright and early tomorrow morning!

Monday, 15 April 2013

The power of Hobnobs!

Managed to eat a whole pack of Hobnobs today whilst working on chapter five, and to make it worse I'm a dunker!  You can't beat soggy biscuit crumbs on a computer keyboard to make you feel like you've done a hard days work....

Unlike the other chapters, chapter five starts with the equivalent of a newspaper article instead of the usual snippet from Bens Journal.  Something terrible has happened that the city leader have deemed worthy enough to put into print for everyone to know about.  What strikes Ben most of all though is that the article is clearly written in English!

I know where Ben is and how he got there, but I'm not sure if I want Ben to work it out.  Well, not yet a least, there's still so many clues and snippets to leave him to try and suss it out for himself.  If anyone has read the book and wants to know where he is, just comment or send me a message via my website, you can tell me what you think of the answer!

P.S.  It's not a dream or the future or anything like that, it's a little obscure but I hope it will make sense in the end.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Finished chapter 4

I have finally finished chapter 4 of the second book in the Benjamin Knight series - Darkest Before Dawn.  I don't know why, but I seem to have been ages on this chapter.  At least now I know where the next four chapters go and how the characters get there.  There are some very exciting bits coming up, the scenes I really enjoy writing!  Anyway, book two now stands at 35,000 words so lets hope I don't decide to bin it all and start again.
Lamb cooking for dinner, the smell is making it really hard to concentrate.  I think I'll leave any more writing until tomorrow!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Nothing can stop me now 'cause I just don't care anymore!

A motto to live by?

Just picked my step-son up from his Saturday club and was sat outside in the car listening to Nine Inch Nails - what an amazing band!

Managed some more writing today, one section left to finish in chapter 4 and then I need to decide what happens next.

The way I write, I have a general overview of the story and I know the arcs for the principal characters, but a lot of the finer detail I work out when I get to a particular scene.  Chapter five will have 8 or 9 separate 'scenes' and I will plan them all out when I have finished chapter four, knowing where people are and where they need to get to for the next part of the story.  I've managed to write my way into a few holes that way, but then there's the fun on resolving it, which can add a whole new and unexpected layer to a story.

Was hoping to go play airsoft tomorrow but I checked the bank and 'computer said no' so I'll see if it looks any better next weekend.  At least I have Dr Who to watch later - I am so looking forward to rose coming back in November!

Friday, 12 April 2013

A reasonable Friday

Not done as much writing today as yesterday but I hope it's still quality.  Been playing around and changed the look of my blog and posted a link to my book at the top - please let me know if it offends anybody!  Also realised that the money I spent on a press release was probably a waste of time, several sites I came across today mention that they hardly get read anymore. 
Live and learn I guess.
So far not much I have done has made any difference to sales, the sales figures are totally static!  I am going to go for a three day freebie event next month, hopefully people will read and enjoy the book then and look forward to book two.
Look out for paperback copies from createspace too - I registered there today as well.  They just need to review the file I sent before I can order a paperback copy to evaluate.  Really can't wait to actually hold a copy of my book in my hands though, I'm sure I've dreamt about it more than once.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Wives are great aren't they!

Another day finished at the computer and managed to get another section of chapter four finished.  Today I need to say a big thank you to my wife to be.  We sat in Starbucks and had a coffee and she let me talk through a plot point that was bugging me.  In the end she helped me realise how two characters were connected and how their arcs will intersect in book three.  It should make for a much better resolution for both characters and a much more interesting plot point for the reader.  For those who have read book one, one of the characters is Victor, who returns for a much more prominent role in book three and I now know so much more about his back story.

Curry and Justified now for the rest of the evening and I'll be back at the computer tomorrow!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

End of the day

So its two days since the press release went out and apart from some out of office replies from the BBC there has been no other contact. I guess it's hard to compete with north Korea and Margaret Thatcher. I know a lot of people didn't like her but she had to make some tough decisions during her time and she had the conviction to stand by them. I can't think of any politicians today who I could say that about.
Taking the mother-in-law into Lincoln tomorrow to get a bus pass and then crack on with more writing! Yeah, that deserves an exclamation point!

Better writing day!

Better day today, been sat at the computer for about five hours and managed 1023 words.  That might not sound like that many (or maybe it does, how would I know!) but I think that they're 'good words' if that makes sense to anyone.  On a really good day, I manage between 2-3000 words but a lot of it depends on the scene or scenes that I'm writing.  Today was a clandestine discussion between Alexander and Larson that sets up events for the second half of the novel.  Where book one was a journey in more ways than one, book two is very much a city under siege with a resistance group trying to hold an enemy at bay. Will see how it all works out I suppose.
If anyone out there has read book one and wants to be part of the proof reading and critical evaluation of book two, please comment here at the blog or contact me through my website at

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bad day

Not having a good day with the writing today.  Some days it just flows and I struggle to get it all down, it seems like there's so much of it.  Other days, like today, I am having to drag it out of me and every word feels forced, false.  Chances are, I'll re-read everything I've written today and delete it, start again from scratch.

One thing I have done today is download tweetdeck, again after an authors website said I should!  I set it up to send some tweets overnight when I'm (hopefully) asleep.  I still don't really get the whole twitter thing but I need to keep going.

Lastly, I have been reading about KDP select.  The interweb seems to be very divided about whether it's good or bad?  I opted not to as I planned to put my book for sale on kobo and google play and ibooks.  So far, no sales on kobo, book is still processing after two weeks on google play and my American tax code doesn't seem to be working with ibooks!  If anyone has any thoughts or experiences, please post a comment or contact me through my website at

Tomorrow is another day, as they say....

Monday, 8 April 2013

First review

So saw my first review on amazon from a complete stranger - gave my book 4 stars!
Was it weird that I commented?  Probably, but it's done now.
Let's see what the next review says.
OK, so I've made a YouTube video to promote my book.  Watching it play back, the only words that come to mind are 'oh dear...'
I'm sorry
Please be gentle with me....

I really should stop doing what websites tell me to do.

Posters up!

Just back from Lincoln, thanks to the staff in W.H. Smiths and both branches of Waterstones for taking my posters off me and hopefully putting them up somewhere.  The staff were really helpful.
Thanks also to both branches of Starbucks in Lincoln who kindly let me put a poster up there too.
I am going to actually do some writing this afternoon, there may be some allies in Maleton and Carl is going to meet them.  Let's see what happens....

Sunday, 7 April 2013


OK, I have signed up this blog for syndication thing because some websites told me to - get more traffic and interest and so promote my blog and my book they said.  I think I did it right, there were widgets and HTML code and things!?
Truth is, I am nearly 40 and I don't really understand what I am doing.  All I really want to do is keep writing my books.  Tomorrow, when I get back from Lincoln, I intend to do just that.  Hopefully, this time tomorrow, I will have another two thousand words written and a warm glow where my heart should be.  Or twenty words written and a sore head from hitting it against the desk.
Wait and see!
So someone else in America bought my book - hope you enjoy it!  Please write an honest review if you get chance, whether you like it or not.
Updated my website with links to my goodreads page as well as the indie and independent authors networks.
Found my contacts tab doesn't work for some reason so looking at that now as well.
Remember to follow me on twitter and facebook and I will try to respond to any messages or tweets or anything that people send me.
Off into Lincoln tomorrow to ask the bookshop there to put up a poster of my book, will see how that goes.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Day two of my blog!
Last night I discovered that between the UK, Canada and America, 8 people had bought my book.  Was it refunded twice? Yes it was!  But still, that's 6people who looked at the cover and description and thought 'that looks like something I would like to read.'
Hope they enjoy it.  It was such an exciting feeling though, to think that people will read or are reading it.  I hardly slept!
You might be thinking - 6 people, out of the hundreds of millions that make up those countries?  Maybe I am wasting my time, but I think I'll keep this experiment going a little longer.  Hopefully I will have some time to get to book two, I haven't written anything in almost two weeks what with trying to get the word out there.

And Bioshock Infinite of course....


Friday, 5 April 2013

OK, first post on my first blog!
I set this up to (hopefully) generate some interest in my new book (Knightfall, a YA fantasy adventure tale and the first of a series - check it out at  It went live three days ago on amazon and kobo and I have been trawling the interweb trying to find places to promote it and hopefully get someone to read it!
It has been passed around friends and relatives who have all said 'yeah, it's great' and 'wow, awesome book' but how much of that is just because they are friends and relatives?
I want to do this for real, write the books that I want to write and hopefully that people will want to read, and earn enough to pay my bills along the way.  I have no desire to be rich and/or famous, what I want more than anything is for a complete stranger to say 'hey didn't you write blah blah blah?  I really enjoyed it, when's the next one out?'
Is that too much to ask?  Maybe, it depends on how good the book is I suppose!
Anyway, hopefully I will post here intermittently and spread some good news about the life of a self published author, and hopefully someone will take the time to read it.