I wrote it …

I wrote it. I did! No, no, I don’t mean the White House ‘I am part of the resistance’ Op-Ed that was published in the ‘failing’ NYT, that painted the West Wing as an unhinged madhouse, led by an idiot … but then asked us to note that there were ‘adults in the room’.

I mean, I wrote the Sam Green series. You know, Sam Green …

Really though. It’s all coming to a head what with Woodward’s (Watergate reporter) book and Nike using Kaepernick to head their latest ad campaign, surely His Donaldness doesn’t have that long left? The thing is, and I’ve said this before, I’m a thriller writer.  And I couldn’t pen this stuff. It’s a daily show of well crafted, but wholly unbelievable plots – Russian mafia, the top guy demanding the assassination of other heads of state, back stabbing, front stabbing … it’s House of Cards on steroids. Wholly unbelievable. But sadly, so real. Let’s hope it doesn’t last much longer and normal service is resumed. BTW it was Pence. He wrote it. Apparently there’s an usual word (lodestar) in the Op-Ed which he uses a lot in his correspondence. Wouldn’t that be something?
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from our sunflower garden…

As for writing, well I’m half way through Chapter 6 and, as I have promised myself, I hope to be finished it by the end if the weekend. I said to C that I wouldn’t read parts of it to her like I have with the previous 4 books, but, bless her, I can’t stop myself. The night before last as I recalled a scene or two of Sam in Georgia (Russia) she said two things. First that she didn’t realise that she was married to someone with such imagination – ‘where does it all come from?’. Good question. I used to always make up stories with my action man when I was a kid … maybe it started there? Second, she said ‘you do use a lot of words’.
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Bradley Stoke … mmmmm

I do. I admit it. When every creative writing piece of advice says ‘cut, cut and cut again’, I just embellish. But I think the advice is to cut unnecessary stuff. In my head I argue that I do that – and that everything else that stays on the page deserves to be there … And who am I to murder a sentence that’s enjoying itself?
Actually, apart from a trip to Farnham to help out in a school, this week has all been about Jen’s business. Today I’m up at 6.30 writing this because I need to pop for a run before we both head off to Gloucester to do another full day at the office. That’ll be three this week. Yesterday was one of the worst days of my professional life. I made so many mistakes – it took me 2 hours to prepare (not finish) a cloth covered lead. And I had to remake a collar three times because I made so many mistakes. It’s tough … But I’m getting better. C almost launched the embroidery machine out of the window at one point, and bearing in mind we were both in the same small room all day, it’s testament to how much we love each other that we slept in the same bed last night.
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I made this! And this it what Cubbly’s can do – you choose the material etc…

Anyhow, enough from me. I’ll post this when I get home tonight. Have a good day. And keep an eye out for Mike Pence getting sacked as VP. That would be something.

A book number addendum

Just a quick addendum to yesterday. I told you that I would let you know when a 10-book sale day came along. Well, yesterday was the second 10-book sale day in under three weeks; 3 x UH, 2 x FtF, 1 x TIOT and 3 x FGMTDN.

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I chose ‘10’ as a random number that, I think, would best suit what I think a proper author should sell. OK, not best-selling, but a sensible number. Noting that I make, on average, £1.50 a book, it’s hardly a living wage, but it will be a nice pension – actually it would be a nice pension.

Ignoring when Amazon were advertising FtF in the autumn of 2014 (that November I sold almost 1100 books), my lowest monthly sales total were 29 – that was four months ago. Last month, with four books out there, I sold 87 books. Ten books a day would take that to 300. Nice.

Why the spurt? I’ve always said 4 books is better than 3 books … etc. I do think there is something organic going on here. And it certainly helps that FtF is on Prime Lending (for which I have been paid). It does mean that I can’t tell you how many copies of FtF are out there, because I don’t get stats for Prime Lending – but it does mean that if someone reads FtF and likes it, the other books are there. And I guess, but I don’t know, that Prime Lending has its own marketing scheme. Dunno.

Anyhow. That’s it from me, save a big, big reminder. Please. If you’ve read any of the books and haven’t yet penned a review, then please do so. Just go onto the book page on Amazon and press ‘write a review’. You don’t actually have to say anything, you can just grade the book.

And – if you are a Sam Green fan, please keep telling everyone. A post on Facebook or Instagram would be good. Tell you friends! I know a lot of you do both of these things and I am eternally grateful. Together we shall get Sam Green to meet a whole load of new people!

Thank you.

Busy, busy …

Well that’s a scream. I told you (didn’t I?) that I was taking over Jen’s business whilst she and James go looking for bears. In Canada – before you ask. Well, I spent two days with her last week and by three in the afternoon of day two I really thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I could do all of the tasks: cut ribbon; cut webbing; sew ribbon onto webbing; waterproof; let dry; sew collar, which includes a buckle and a d-ring. I could do them in both sizes: thin and thick. And I could make lanyards. I could do all of those things. But I couldn’t do them one-after-the-other and get the quality right at every step. And the blooming machine kept messing me about …

(And it’s the same process for leads.)

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Dog lanyards – £7 a pop plus P&P. We’ll make lanyards with any design provided we can get the ribbon.

… but at five past three I was onto a collar every half an hour, and the quality was there. Confidence was high. And it still is. Tick.

And today I have started to get a grip of her FB page and the many, many conversations she’s having with people about current and future orders. I reckon I’ve got about 10 outstanding orders to complete this week … and then wait for any new ones to come in.

Will it be fun? Jen is the easiest person to work for/with. We have the same standards and she’s v relaxed. We have the music on full blast and, when we both end up working together side-by-side I think it will work. I’m currently happy with the grunt work – and she can manage the orders and talk to the punters. And I get to travel too and from Bristol to Gloucester on the trike … which is fun now as the weather is ok. Mmmm. Not sure what it will be like in December.

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sshhhh. early doors. And we have Cassie!

Book stuff? Well I’m trash-editing Chapter 5 today, and have promised myself that I will complete a chapter a week whilst Jen’s away. I should have more time when she’s back. Sam’s having fun in Georgia (Russia), and yesterday penned something that will make your eyes water. But, don’t worry, she got through it.

And sales are OK. I’ve sold three books today already (only 11.40), but only one yesterday. I’m still doing no marketing … and now with Jen’s business and book 5 I’m not sure that I’ll get round to much. But as long as someone (mostly in the UK and US) buys one of my books a day, I’m guessing I should be very happy with that.

This week? Jen’s tomorrow – I’m going to work from hers. C will come with me to help out. There is plenty of admin to do up there. I’m off to my school in Hampshire on Tuesday for some leadership consultancy. And the rest of the week will be Jen’s and writing. Busy, busy…

Have a great week. Unless, of course, your His Donaldness. I hope you get indicted, you self-centred son-of-a-…. Why you couldn’t just bury your head in a pillow whilst they put the Vietnam vet, John McCain, in the ground rather than tweeting about the ‘witchhunt’ and other nonsense, is a mystery to me. Whatever next.