Posts

Showing posts from August, 2011

GUEST AUTHOR - Victoria Connelly

Image
Today we welcome romcom author Victoria Connelly, who is already a famous UK paper-book author as you can see from this picture of her signing in Waterstones. Here she tells us why she is publishing some of her books for Kindle. Over to you, Victoria!


In September 2000, I got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales. It was the perfect day. However, just six weeks after our wedding, my husband (who was a television news cameraman at the time) was sent to Israel, which was then a war zone. I panicked - convinced I was going to become a widow - and at exactly the same time, I couldn't help thinking that it would make a great opening for a book: a newly-wed suddenly becoming a widow!

I didn't dare write the book until my husband was safely home but I soon had a completed manuscript called Flights of Angels about a young widow who discovers she has a tiny group of guardian angels to take care of her.


In 2001, I tried to get an agent for it and received nothing but rejec…

Enid Richemont: Post London riots

Image
At present, the UK riots are still uppermost in my mind. So many of them happened in my city, and they started off in what's just down the road and around a few corners from us - Tottenham. And oh, the rubbish they stole... TVs? phones? jeans? trainers? And for junk like that they destroyed people's livelihoods and homes? This materialistic, vacuous and celebrity-focussed culture has a hell of a lot to answer for. It must change. It has to. The emotional deprivation was real - most notably the absence of any family or community involvement. Illiteracy seems to have played a major part too - the statistics are horrifying.

This morning I received the Arabic editions of two of the little books I did with Franklin Watts some time ago. It was unexpected, and I was thrilled. My much longer books have been translated into German, Japanese and Danish, but seeing these short illustrated books in Arabic was quite fascinating. They're quite rude and funny stories, too. Collectively,…

Hello - Deborah Durbin

Image
Hello and thank you to the team for inviting me to contribute to the Kindle Authors UK site.
My name’s Deborah Durbin and I’m a Kindle Author. In fact I’m also a traditional published author of 11 non-fiction books, ghost writer of three other books and my day job is that of a journalist and columnist for various glossy magazines and national newspapers. I discovered the Kindle almost two years ago when I decided to buy four Kindle readers for Christmas presents for some members of my family and decided to keep one for myself – that particular family member didn’t really deserve it anyway:) and it was shortly after using the Kindle that I received an email from Amazon telling me that I too could publish my words on to Kindle for the world to see. Having had a great deal of success with non-fiction books, I didn’t have quite the same amount of success with my fictional work – I’d manage to get to the part where you secure an agent, but after that, I couldn’t quite get that all elusive thre…

SUSAN PRICE: THE GHOST DRUM

Image
Susan Price has been a professional writer since she was 16, and has published 60 books, with Faber, Black, Hodder, Scholastic, OUP and CUP, among others.  She is now self-publishing, and her books are available as downloads from Amazon.
          'My story is set (says the cat) in a far-away Czardom, where the winter is a cold half-year of darkness.           In that country the snow falls deep and lies long, lies and freezes until bears can walk on its thick crust of ice. The ice glitters on the snow like white stars in a white sky!... the winter is one long night, and all that long night long the sky-stars glisten in their darkness, and the snow-stars glitter in their whiteness, and between the two there hangs a shivering curtain of cold twilight.’           The cat is the ‘learned cat’ which often begins Russian folk-tales, who is found in Pushkin, and in Bilibin’s beautiful illustrations (left); but the quote is the opening of my Carnegie winning book, ‘The Ghost Drum.’  (Click

Michael Boxwell: The whirlwind ride of a new author

Four years ago, if someone told me that I would be a successful published author, I would have looked at them in disbelief. Other than writing a few technical reports, a handful of buyer's guides, and a short novel that was released as a free eBook in the late 1980s, I had never considered writing a 'proper book'. That all changed in late 2008. One of my friends was writing his own book and his enthusiasm got me thinking about writing a book of my own, writing about subjects I know: namely, the environment and technology. My background is technology. Over the past twenty years, I have been involved with mobile computer systems, electric vehicles, solar energy and digital camera technology. Along the way, I’ve also been involved with a number of different industries, including the energy sector. Years of experience running my own businesses taught me that you cannot be successful unless you find a gap in the market. From my knowledge of solar energy, I knew this was a much mis…

Smug? Me? Nahhh! - Simon Cheshire

One of the things which seems to characterise this whole DIY publishing revolution is the attitude gap between writers and publishers.
Mainstream publishers need to be able to all but guarantee the market for a book before they publish it. Entirely sensible. They can't afford to do otherwise. But writers don't. We write something. We publish it. We let the market decide. We can't afford to do otherwise!
Which way is best? That's for time and market analysts to tell. In the meantime, I'm just grateful that the whole DIY publishing revolution is here to prove one point: I was right n' they were wrong, ha ha, in yer face etc etc.
Some years ago, I wrote a book for 8-12 year olds called "Pants On Fire". I was very pleased with it, but publishers weren't. They said the main character was too unlikeable, and it wouldn't sell. I kept nagging my poor agent to find it a home, because I couldn't understand that point of view. Plenty of books have flawe…

How Do You Use Yours? - Joan Lennon

Image
There are things I particularly like my Kindle for. Taking Dickens on a train, for example, where carrying the paper version causes my handbag to split at the seams. Reading while eating, though this is perhaps more me liking my Kindle case, which has this neat thing at the back to make it stand up, leaving the hands free for the stuffing of the face. Getting me reading short stories again - much as I love writing short stories I'd lapsed in my reading of them over the years. I'm really enjoying the re-discovery, which has taken place almost entirely on my Kindle. And lastly, I really like reading science fiction on my Kindle. Alien worlds on what is, basically, alien tech. How satisfying is that!

So, tell me, what do you particularly like your Kindle for? (The words "Answers on a postcard" rise up in my mind, but that's another story ...)

Reincarnation from the other end of the telescope - Roz Morris

Image
Hello! This is my first post here on Kindle Authors UK, so I thought I’d tell you a few things about myself. I once volunteered for an experiment in ESP. I sat in a room and was told to close my eyes and think of nothing while someone in another room beamed thoughts at me. A researcher put wires on my head to record my brain patterns and see if any communication was taking place between us. To help me zone out he put a swirly mandala on the wall and played me white noise through headphones (thank you, SantaRosa OldSkool for the one below). Honestly, I tried to think of nothing but it was just like an episode of The Avengers. Brainwashing, EEGs, far eastern symbols; and all in a leafy suburb of London. With some difficulty, I locked in on the husky hiss in my headphones. After a while I began to hear voices. Inside my head. Very faint, but definitely people talking.Eureka, was this ESP? I heard the crackly whisper of a jingle, and then … was that Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer? It w…

Nearly There! - Karen King

Image
When I wrote my first blog I mentioned that I was about to e-publish my romance novella, The Millionaire Plan, but since then someone has shown an interest in publishing it as a paperback novella so while I wait their decision I thought I'd e-publish another romance novella, Never Say Forever, which I had published a few years ago under the name of Kay Harborne. Trouble is, I didn't have the text saved on my computer or on CD so had to type it all out again. Almost 50,000 words - a very painstaking task! Anyway, I've finally completed it so now I just have to format it and do the cover. And therein lies the problem. It has already had two covers. The paperback version:


And the softback large print version:
I want something more modern for the e-version so I'm getting my illustrator daughter to do me a cover. The problem is, I'm not used to thinking about covers, my publishers always deal with that. So what picture do I have? The story is about a modern feisty, ind…

Jane Adams: Without a Safety Net!

It is a very funny feeling, having striven for so long to get into print with a 'legitimate' publisher and feeling that this is the only way I could validate my writing to suddenly be going it alone. True, I've still got a publisher (fingers crossed and all that!) and I continue to write both the Rina Martin and Naomi Blake series for Severn House, but this entry into Kindledom is really very different.

You can kind of blame Michael Wood, the historian and TV personality. Years ago I'd got an idea for the book that finally became PRIEST, part one of the Swordweaver sequence - I think there'll be four. I'd got stuck on the research and when I met the venerable Mr Wood at a reading I asked for some advice. It was just a simple question (and I was really well behaved, bought a book for him to sign and everything) but it led to a conversation, others joined in and it led to a bigger conversation. I got the direction I needed for the research and Michael Wood misse…

Dan Holloway: Where Are You Going To

Image
It’s funny how changes creep up on you until one day you sit down and have a think and go “whoa there, steady on, lad”. July was one of those months for me. It was fantastic, but also a little scary, and a timely reminder that it’s good to sit down regularly and take stock. To take a look where you were last year, and what you said you wanted last year. And how far you’ve moved in respect to both.



Writing is like music in many ways, and the writing business like the music business in many more. But one of the most pertinent similarities is the way you start out scratching and scraping to play first on at your local pub, and you keep scratching and keep scraping only one day you realise you’ve actually been approached by three bands in a row now who really wanted you to come and support them next time they have a pub gig. And (you hope) so on.



Progress in writing, as in music, can be so imperceptibly slow that it’s only when you look back year on year – or further – you realise how f…

IT'S BEEN A LONG, LONG TIME by DENNIS HAMLEY

Image
I've been in the writing game now for nearly forty years. When I first started doing school visits, I was so pleased when kids came up to me and said, "I've read all your books." As the years went by, I was even more pleased when they said, "My Mum says she read all your books." When they started saying, "My Gran loved your books when she was little," I wondered - just for a moment - whether my time might be up.


I suppose that in a sense it is. Being published by such as Scholastic, OUP, Walker, Franklin Watts, once something I took almost for granted, now seems a far-off dream. Thus is the hubris of the complacent writer extinguished. Now I'm on my own and everything has changed. Part of me feels like a farmer who has thrown off his ruinous Tesco contract , opened his farm shop to sell direct and now sniffs the heady air of freedom. The other part feels scared stiff.

But why should I be? I have a long list of books to kindle. Some are out of…

It's FAB by Ann Evans

Image
My day to day office is nestled within a photographic studio in sunny Nuneaton. It’s a little business that I share with my photographer friend, Rob. We’ve worked as a freelance team on magazines for donkey’s years and found this studio four years ago.It wasn’t a studio at first, it was a doggy grooming parlour but five solid weeks of scrubbing, painting, decorating and rebuilding and it was miraculously transformed.My own books have always been on display in the reception (perks of the job!) and many a customer has come in to have their photo taken and gone home with a signed copy of The Beast,The Reawakening or Rampage. Then a couple of months ago it dawned on me that I could display other Sassie’s books. (Apologies for the fact that it’s taken me four years to think up this idea!) We’d got a little bit of spare space in reception for a book stand (which my local library very kindly let me have for FREE!) Plus I hoped that a nice window display of children's books would attract …

A Blogging Virgin by Susan Jane Smith

Image
I became an author without ever having any desire to write!

Let me explain: I was a Psychotherapist in private practice and busy, but always short on time or money due to the labour intensive nature of the work. I meditated about how to get more money and the "answer" came back "write the book"! Well, what to write? I had read you should write about what you know so I started to try to convey all that I had learnt in 20 years of my professional life.

It took me six years! It was a long time before I "found my voice" - my style. Chatty rather than clinical as I believe in trying to connect with people. I literally had to screw up all my courage to start writing as it was a new world to share my thoughts with people I didn't know.

My book started on a bit of chip paper in a car park! I made lots of notes on scraps of paper and eventually organised them and pulled it all together and that was how "Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth" was born…

Preparing for a Miracle - by Linda Gillard

This post has been published in Sparks, A Year In E-Publishing - An Authors Electric Anthology 2011-2012. It has therefore been temporarily reverted to draft status to comply with amazon KDP Select's requirements.

The grass is always greener ... - Karen Bush

Image
Look upon my works and tremble ...




I'm not one of those people who can write purely for my own private satisfaction; for me personally, apart from shopping lists, it's pointless writing anything that's never going to see the light of day in a book or magazine, or which I'm not going to get paid for. The first thing I ever wrote that wasn't a compulsory school essay was a competition entry, and my first earner was a short story I wrote during a History A level exam: I'd run out of things to say but wasn't allowed to leave the exam room until the allotted time was up. So I asked for more paper and eventually handed in two sheets of foolscap and left with four, which I typed up at home, sent off and duly had accepted for publication.
After that I was off and running, and when I left school and started work, writing became a way of topping up a pitifully inadequate salary which didn't even come close to covering the expenses of dog, pony, horse and car. The…

Wearing Eight Hats By Lynne Garner

This post has been published in Sparks, A Year In E-Publishing - An Authors Electric Anthology 2011-2012. It has therefore been temporarily reverted to draft status to comply with amazon KDP Select's requirements.

Whistle While You Work - Debbie Bennett

Image
I work in an open-plan office. What’s that got do to with anything, I hear you ask? Well our HR people – or the people who plan office moves at any rate – sometimes seem to lack basic common-sense. Quite apart from the fact that we move around every year or so just so’s we feel like one big happy family, it seems that no cognisance is given to the nature of our work. Now, my day job is essentially as an IT programmer. I design pretty interfaces so that other people can get at their management information and suchlike. I make applications that have buttons to click and graphs to display and then I tweak it all so it runs off the web. What this means is that I’m often 3 layers down in complex bits of code and I really, really, really need peace and quiet. So my little team is sandwiched between two other teams that conduct most of their business on the telephone …
See where I am going with this? I usually have my ipod with me at work now, and while I don’t find it easy to work with music…

Confessions of a Kindle Virgin - by Kathleen Jones

Image
A few years ago my career as a writer was in crisis.  I was nearing the end of a long biography of Katherine Mansfield and my publisher became one of the first victims of the economic crash.  They were taken over by another publisher, my editor left, and there was a new editorial policy that didn’t include literary biography.  A significant number of other publishers made similar decisions.

Then my agent went on maternity leave and announced she was ‘slimming down’ her list.  As an author without a contract I was gracefully dropped.   Enquiry letters to other agents went unanswered.   Worse, Virago told me they wouldn’t be reprinting my most popular book A Passionate Sisterhood, even though it was still selling a respectable number of copies.

It felt as if my life as a writer was over.  No one wanted me.  The feeling of despair was terrible.  My partner N,  who’s a resourceful, practical kind of bloke, said ‘Well, why don’t we just publish the books ourselves?’  The answer of course w…