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Is this the month self-publishing becomes respectable in the UK?


Good news for self published authors.

Originally posted on BRIDGET WHELAN writer:

Literary prize for self-published novelThe Guardian newspaper has joined with publisher Legend Times to offer a monthly literary prize to the best self-published novels written in the English language – translations are also eligible. Submissions are first read by a panel of Legend’s readers who will draw up a shortlist of up to 10 titles a month. The prize is respectability and exposure – the winning book will be reviewed in the Guardian. Claire Armitstead, the newspaper’s literary editor , explained why they had decided to launch the prize:

“the phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore”.

Submissions will be open for the first fortnight of each calendar month. The book must have been self-published after 31 December 2011 and should be sent to self-published@theguardian.com with “Self-Published Book of the Month Submission” in the subject line. Find out morehere.

Without quality…

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From Book Reviews to Interviews


I very much appreciated the time and care Kev took in presenting my author interview. As he says it isn’t easy to review a book if you are acquainted with the author even if your relationship is confined to the online realm.

Originally posted on Kev's Blog:

I never properly explained why I started doing Kev’s Author Interviews. I basically just said, ‘here’s the deal’ and explained what I was going to start doing. Not once did I say why. So, here it is:

I’ m bloody crap at doing book reviews.  It’s not that I can’t do them or even that I couldn’t be good at doing them. I’m just plain crap at it and don’t like doing them for the following reasons:

There are so many books that I just cannot get into. I’m not really interested in them, they are not the right genre and the authors haven’t even tried to edit them. Oh, and just because I’m a guy, it doesn’t mean I want to read smut lit in the guise of fiction and fantasy where the author thinks that (filth)sexual scenes cover up bad writing.

These kinds of books actually give self-publishing…

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Hitler’s Liverpudlian Half Brother

As a Liverpudlian bborn and bred I was interested to read the below article relating to Adolf Hitler’s half brother in respect of the 1911 census, http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/2014/adolf-hitlers-liverpudlian-half-brother-in-the-1911-census/. There are those who claim that the infamous Adolf actually spent time in Liverpool although so far as I have been able to ascertain there exists no historical evidence to substantiate this claim.

I remember, many years ago reading a fictionalised account of Adolf’s visit to Liverpool. There are, almost certainly a number of books written along similar lines but I can not, for the life of me remember the title of the one I read.

Shed A Tear For The OED

As a child (a precocious one at that) I owned a Braille edition of The Little Oxford Dictionary of Current English which ran to some 16 volumes in Braille. As a small boy I recall having the idea that one could assemble a library encompassing all the knowledge available. I possessed a vague idea that The Little Oxford only contained a tiny portion of that knowledge but, somehow I believed it was possible for me to know, at the very least, a little about everything.

I know longer cherish the erroneous view that one can ever comprehend all there is to no on a single subject let alone on the ever expanding knowledge base which exists out there. Despite the fact we can never know everything I felt a sense of regret when I read that the next edition of The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) may well only appear online due to the sheer vastness of the project and the prohibitive cost (for many) of £750) of purchasing the print edition. The ever evolving nature of language is, no doubt better suited to an online work of reference hcapable of being easily updated, rather than the many paper volumes which will be out of date as soon as they leave the printing press. None the less I feel a sense of regret at the passing of the OED in it’s traditional printed form. There is something reassuring about holding a real book in one’s hands and I regret the demise of that sense of permanence, however illusory that undoubtedly was. For the article please go to http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/10777079/RIP-for-OED-as-worlds-finest-dictionary-goes-out-of-print.html

As Insubstancial As A Dream

Last night I had one of those strange dreams which remain with you on waking. I dream most nights but rarely remember my dreams. On this occasion I fell into conversation with an author outside one of those trendy coffee places which have proliferated in London and other cities. He told me that every day he could be found sipping coffee at this establishment and went on to name several novels he had authored. I remember, while dreaming clearly recollecting the titles of the books he had authored, however, on waking their titles flew away to be remembered no more.

In my dream I felt envious that this man could enjoy a life of ease while I worked in a 9-5 occupation. I haven’t written anything substancial for a while so perhaps my dream is telling me that I need to start scribbling again. The ocean going yacht and the country cottage beckons …

They Shall Not Pass

This morning, as usual I took my guide dog, Trigger to the park in order that he might fertilise the vegetation, (there is a wooded area away from where children congregate so his business card causes no issues)!

On the way home Trigger stopped dead in his tracks as there was a large vehicle blocking a drive which I needed to cross in order to continue on my way. “The vehicle will move out into the road once there is a gap in the traffick” I thought. However several gaps came and went but it remained immovable. I began cursing silently wondering whether I might be able to judge a break in the traffick, step off the kerb and negociate the vehicle without running the risk of ending up decorating the paint work of some ppassing car with colourful red splodges! Fortunately a man came to my rescue and assisted me to bypass the vehicle,

“Some stu …”.

“We where unloading something, sorry” my saviour said.

Oops, I wonder if he caught the gist of what I was starting to say,

“Some stupid person has parked their vehicle so that its blocking the pavement”! A Victor Meldrew moment on my part!