Thursday, 31 March 2016

Republish ... and be liberated

It’s a tricky thing.

I wrote this book some time ago called Dark Interlude, a post -WW1 romantic adventure, and got a publishing contract. It came out in 2013, then somehow it perished halfway between a Canadian e-publisher and the UK audience. Lost at sea.

After some wrangling, I wrested back the contract. Hurrah. I owned the rights again. New cover. New PR. I could write the blurb I wanted, rather than the one foisted upon me.

All hail the new release.

But then ... where do you start? There's the blog, the website ... All manner of PR, including video trailers. But you need the URL of the book on Amazon. So which do you do first?

One is torn about timings. Get it online or update the blog. You can reformat the book and then put it online. Receive the link. Cool. By then, the blog is out of date. So, update the blog first. Trouble is, you don't have the latest link. So, you have to choose.

However you do this, it’s a mad boomerang between what you had then and what you do now.

Still, I console myself with the fact that I don’t have to run anything past anyone. Lord, those agonising emails.

I applaud self-publishing, even if it’s a bother. Meanwhile, I did redesign the new cover (wot I did meself) – the blog is ongoing and the purchase URL will follow in due course when I can link it all up.

Next task? Subdue the epub protocols at Smashwords. I'm now on first-name terms with the editorial staff already. Thanks, guys.

I don't have the book link yet, but here's the blog:

Saturday, 19 March 2016

That should cover it

A good way to put off writing is to design your own cover.

I started when I was pitching books to independent e-publishers as a way of catching their eye. I used to work in newspaper design, so I thought I might as well. I’m also addicted to fonts, so I had rather a lot fun twiddling about.

Once I had some contracts, I had to hand over to other designers, which was rather hard, I admit. Versions boomeranged to and fro. They must have hated it!

Now that I’ve wrested back some titles for self-publication, I thought I’d start again. However, when I went back to my original designs, it seemed silly to ignore them, so I twiddled a little more, and hey presto. Yesterday, I got round to putting them all in one glorious self-congratulatory montage.

When I used to write features for the Bath Chronicle, I almost always wrote the headline first (naughty, I know). Obviously a title for a book is a must, but I used to find it much easier when I had a clear idea of what the cover looked like. I’m rather enjoying the freedom of doing my own again. Correction. Make that ‘relishing’.

And to make sure I don’t breach any image copyrights, I take thousands of pictures for myself, of anything and everything. From rows of leather-bound books in Laycock Abbey, which I thought would come in handy, to icy reflections in the lochlet near Smailholm Tower in the Border (which you'll see as the background on various blogs including Ice Trekker). Curiously, the first book title I saw was Potter's Antiquity and the abbey is famous as the location of many key Harry Potter scenes. Coincidence?

One day, when I’m putting off writing again, I thought I might actually try and file my gazillion photos by theme, as if it were a genuine stock photography outfit.

No, no, no. Must finish chapter one of Golden Bell, the second of the Legends of Liria. And then, I’ll republish Cloud Pearl. Incidentally, the cover is some lovely artwork done by my daughter Lauren in the sixth form. It was a waterfall, but I turned it upside-down. Sorry, poppet.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

New lease of life for Half Life - 'noir' 1930s thriller

It's fun designing new covers. Next title to get the treatment is Half Life, a pre-WW2 mystery I co-wrote with my husband, Rob.

We visited Tromso some years ago, and this inspired the story ...

It is autumn 1936. Clouds of war are gathering in Europe and the Fascists are covertly assessing possible nuclear resources in Scandinavia. High-flying Cambridge nuclear scientist Dr Dulcie Bennett travels to northern Norway to join an elite group of researchers eager to unlock the secrets of the atom. She makes a startling breakthrough on an experiment but a suspicious lab explosion derails her plans. As she investigates, she encounters troubled Canadian journalist John Kirkwall, in Sohlberg on a personal quest, and they are drawn to each other despite initial misunderstandings.

As winter grips, they become embroiled in a shady world of murky political skulduggery and sexual intrigue, populated by spies, saboteurs, neurotic academics and secret police in a tense race where the victor could tilt the balance of power in Hitler’s favour.

The 2016 version of Half Life is now out on Amazon.

PS When you read about the seaplanes, you'll realise the authentic detail, down to the number of fuel tanks!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Supernatural spring

A Supermoon. An eclipse. A vernal equinox. And all on the same night. What on earth could go wrong?

If you fancy a free story, check out Last Spring on Smashwords.

Richard Lucy was uneasy. Despite his hay fever, spring had always been his favourite season.
But people were starting to act strangely ... and he swore he saw unearthly goings-on in his garden.
What was happening to his rural idyll in leafy Warwickshire?
As the Supermoon loomed, it shed light on a sight he never wanted to see again.

It's part two of a quartet. Find all four on Amazon under the finale, Equinox.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Chilling thriller

In case you prefer a paperback ...

Authentic Cold War thriller - Not With A Whimper by my late father, Peter A. W. Kelt. Get the paperback from Amazon for just £1.76. Icy and prophetic. Even Tom Hiddleston isn't this cool. 

Spain in the early 1970s is a strange place. 
Franco isn’t quite dead, but decades of a Fascist dictatorship taken their toll. While the locals fret about the future, greedy developers circle like vultures. 
Then a British agent dies in a shooting ‘accident’ and Alan Christian is sent to investigate. He arrives in Rota, southern Spain, and site of the US Navy nuclear submarine base. He asks around.
What happened to the agent? What did he know? Why do witnesses keep dropping like flies?
Soon, the neighbourhood Guardia Civil is taking an interest. He trusts them as much as the driver of a carload of heroin.
He needs a drink.
Then the shooting starts – and he’s the target. Someone wants him dead. Correction. Lots of people want him dead. But who’s behind it? Not just one person. It’s more like a silent tide of evil.
What can one man do?
Well. One man and his gun.
Not With a Whimper.
The Cold War just turned hot.