How to Calm a Room Full of Naughty Boys

Back in 2009, I worked on the cover and illustrations for a book called The Fairytale Quest by Allie Anders.

It’s a children’s book about a girl called Toni who is tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into swapping her baby brother for a unicorn. To try to get the baby back, Toni has to go with the unicorn to Fairyland, where all sorts of obstacles and dangers await. And, as the unicorn warns her, if she and Brian are still in Fairyland after sunset, they will have to stay there forever.

Now, my wife, who is a teacher in an S.E.B.D. (Social and Emotional Behaviourally Disturbed) unit, which basically means she has a class full of tomorrow’s Dodgy Geezers. But at the moment they’re just very naughty boys. Anyway, she read The Fairytale Quest to her class (ages range from six to eleven) and they loved it. It held their attention and had them pestering my wife for the next instalment.

So, if it can do that to a class full of unruly, naughty boys, you can bet children everywhere, naughty or not, will enjoy the book too. And it is now available on the Kindle for only £1.97/$2.99.


The Cover Up

Here are some book covers I’ve designed. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions.

Here are a couple of illustrations from The Fairytale Quest.

If anyone is interested in having a cover or illustrations designed by me, please let me know in the comments.

There’s An Imaginary Cowboy in The Kitchen

My novel, Trinity, is now live on amazon.

As I outlined in my first post, the journey to this point has been a long one. Over the years I’ve had many requests from agents and publishers for the full manuscript, and I was even offered a publishing contract by one of them — see Welcome World. All the others rejected it. Not many gave their reasons for rejecting it, but of the few that did, their reasons for rejection were pretty much the same: They didn’t know where to place it in the market. Which is kind of understandable. The novel is a dramatic, romantic, comedy, adventure with a good measure of crime fiction mixed in.

Will Trinity sink or swim? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, you can check out the Look Inside sample on Amazon, or download a sample to your Kindle. Or you could even buy a copy!

And remember, buying a copy will instantly make you more attractive to the opposite sex. And for every copy sold, a fairy gets her wings.

When Ben Rider finds his childhood imaginary friend, Trinity, in his kitchen, he knows something isn’t right. Trinity hasn’t changed a bit. He still has three personas: cowboy, pirate, and private eye. He still smells of chocolate, and he still has a habit of massaging his earlobe.

Ben is trying to keep his video game development business alive and finalise a deal with an American games publisher, while keeping his disintegrating marriage together. Now, with the reappearance of his imaginary friend, he has his sanity to worry about too.

Trinity claims he has come back to help Ben sort out his life and guide him to his destiny. But over the days that follow, Ben’s life goes haywire, and it looks like he might meet his destiny sooner than he thinks. Thanks to Trinity, Ben will have a restaurant collapse on top of him, be seduced and later shot at by a Welsh femme fatale, meet someone else’s imaginary friend, and lose both a wife and an ex-wife. But will he find his destiny, or is Trinity’s real reason for returning, something else entirely?

Leap Day

Four Leap Days ago, I got engaged to the lady who is now my wife, and has been for the last sixteen years.

We decided on February the 29th because it’s kind of special, and we thought we were special. So, we did a special thing on a special day, and lived to tell the tale.

Now it’s leap day again, and I’ve gone and done something special again . . . I know, call me reckless, call me impetuous, headstrong and foolhardy, but I can’t help myself. It’s like every sixteen years, I have do something rash.

So, what have I done, I can hear you all asking . . . Well, I’ll tell you: Last night, I uploaded my novel to Amazon KDP, so it will go live on the site sometime today.

The process was pretty painless and easy, until it got to the point where I had to choose two categories for the book. I looked at what was available, and found there was no Romantic Comedy Thriller category, there was no Small World, Big Adventure category, there was no Lad Lit But Women Will Like It category, there was no  . . . well, you get the picture. So, I ended up listing it under General Fiction and Humour, which doesn’t really cut it but they’ll have to do.

So, now I’m waiting for it to go live and make its Leap Day debut.

I wonder what I’ll do four Leap Days from now . . .

The Devil and Edward Teach

Ken Preston’s new book is out today on the Kindle. Ken is a terrific writer, so The Devil and Edward Teach is a must buy. Download a copy today and make a happy guy very old . . . or the other way around. US UK

Welcome World

You can tell from the title of this post, I’ve got pretty lofty ambitions for this blog . . . Yeah right, like the world’s gonna be interested. But there’s nothing wrong with thinking big.

Anyway, among other stuff, I’m going to chart my progress here as I enter the world of indie publishing with my novel, Trinity. It’s been a long journey. First draft of the novel took eight months to complete. Many more subsequent drafts and revisions have been done over the years I’ve been submitting the novel to agents and publishers. It even got accepted for publication by a small publishing house that promptly went out of business before printing one copy. So, it was back onto the submissions treadmill, where I would wait for months at a time to hear back from an agent or publisher.

The last publisher who requested the full manuscript, kept me waiting for ten months before rejecting it. That was when I decided I would publish it myself. And that, dear world, is what I am going to do.