OneStopFiction are running another book giveaway competition. Win 60 paperbacks and eBooks (including a paperback copy of Decimation). The competition is free to enter and is open until the end of June.
Click here to enter.
This post is just a quick tip about how to put an animated GIF onto a Facebook post. See how the tear in the above picture is flashing on and off? It doesn’t go into how to create an animated GIF – more on that in a later article.
Firstly, you need to upload your animated GIF to another site – your WordPress site for example! You can use any website you like. If you don’t have your own site, you can easily create a WordPress blog at https://wordpress.com/.
Next, copy the link to the GIF file (from whatever website you have uploaded it to) and paste into your Facebook post. The easiest way is to right click the picture and copy the image address. This is a screenshot from the Chrome browser.
In my case, the link is https://www.rjne.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Decimation-animated-tear-small.gif. When you post to Facebook, just make sure it’s the first link in the post. Facebook will follow the link and embed the picture, together with its animation.
That’s all there is to it.
A paperback of The Rage is included among the prizes in the Thriller Giveaway at OneStopFiction. It costs nothing to enter and you automatically receive six eBooks. The 14 paperbacks for the lucky winner include The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza.
The full list of paperbacks is as follows:
The free eBooks include:
I’m dreaming of a red Christmas.
Dave lives alone in the house he inherited from his parents. His solitude enables him to pursue a gruesome hobby. But how much does the rest of the family know about his sinister activities?
A Christmas Killing is a dark and twisting tale that will challenge your assumptions and keep you guessing until the last line. It may even put you off your Christmas dinner.
Buy it here.
I am honoured that one of my short stories has been included in Dark Minds, an anthology of short stories to be published by Bloodhound Books. A Christmas Killing is a dark tale set over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with several twists that will keep you changing your assumptions. All proceeds will go to the charities Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal.
The book will be on sale from 13th December as both eBook and paperback. I believe an audio-book version will also be available.
It seems I am in some esteemed company. For example, the list of authors includes Louise Jensen. Her debut novel, The Sister, reached #1 this year in the Amazon UK charts.
The full list of stories and authors is as follows:
Ten Green Bottles – B A Morton
London’s Crawling – Emma Pullar
The Shoes maketh the Man – Louise Jensen
Never tell a Lie – Tara Lyons
A Christmas Killing – Richard T Burke
By the Water – Betsy Reavley
A Cup of Cold Coffee and a Slice of Life – Tony R. Cox
Slow Roast Pork – S.E.Lynes
A Lawful Killing – Ross Greenwood
Sticky Fingers – JT Lawrence
You will meet a tall dark stranger – Ron Nicholson
The Wages of Sin – Lisa Hall
Hidden – KA Richardson
The Sydney Dahlia – A.J.Sendall
Pop Dead – The Pension Papers – Pete Adams
The Sins of Muriel McGarry – A.S.King
The Shepherd’s Bothy – L J Ross
Life after Life – Paul D Brazil
The Smallest Acorn – April Taylor
An Onion – Joel Hames-Clark
I’ve Gone – Anita Waller
The Bridge – Simon Maltman
The Moth Jar – Jim Ody
Jimmy Jimmy – Steven Dunne
Be Careful what you Wish for – Peter Best
My Own Eggsecutioner – Tess Makovesky
One Last Job – Alex Walters
A Stranger’s Eyes – Paul Gitsham
Dangerous Actions – M.A.Comley
Captive – Stephen Edger
Left Behind – Nick Jackson
Horror – Roz White
Mary and Joseph – David Evans
Love you to Death – Lucy V Hay
Fastball – Alex Shaw
The Retreat – Jane E James
Out of Retirement – Mark.L.Fowler
Don’t go to Marsh town, Johnny Ray! – Charlie Flowers & Hannah Haq
Everything Comes – B.A.Steadman
This book would make the ideal Christmas gift!
How far would you go to save the human race?
This is the first post relating to Decimation. Hopefully the book will be out later this year depending upon how long it takes to edit. The premise of the story is as follows:
In 2032, pregnancy is a death sentence. A virus has infected every living person, lying dormant until a woman gives birth – whereupon she dies.
Sixteen-year-old wheelchair athlete Antimone Lessing thought she would be competing at the Delhi 2032 Paralympics. Instead, she is nine months pregnant and going into labour. When she unexpectedly survives childbirth, she becomes a vital clue in the race to develop a cure before the world’s population declines beyond the point of no return.
But survival comes at a price. As her doctors try to understand why she is still alive, she must choose between saving herself and the future of the human race.
How far would you go to save the human race?
Decimation now has its own Facebook page
Thinking About the Future
One of the more fun aspects of writing this book was thinking about how life might have changed fifteen years from now. I work for an electric motor company so self-driving cars (or autonomous vehicles as they are known in the trade) were a must. One problem with this technology is the likelihood that it will be abused by other drivers and pedestrians. If you knew a vehicle was going to stop for you, wouldn’t you be tempted to pull out / walk out in front of it? I introduce a solution to this problem early in the book.
User interfaces are going to change over the coming years. In the book, phones and computers use haptic technology where devices project ultrasound to provide tactile feedback in mid-air. See www.ultrahaptics.com for details of a company that is working in this area right now.
Smart watches seem to be gaining new features by the month. For example, heart rate monitors are already commonplace. By 2033 I expect that such gadgets will be able to tell whether you are pregnant (I’m sure you can guess why from the blurb!).
Finally I had some ideas relating to new fashion trends but you’re going to have to read the book to find out more.
Spoiler Alert – The following article gives away some plot elements from The Rage.
The Rage was recently chosen as the book of the month at a book club in Hook, Hampshire. Sue Morrow kindly invited me to attend their meeting and on Thursday I finally met my public! It was with some trepidation that I turned up clutching a copy with the newly designed cover. My nervousness increased when one of the club members arrived with a long list of typed questions. Were they going to rip the book to shreds and lambast me for my poor prose? Were they going to throw my book on a literary bonfire and torture me with cries of derision?
I exaggerate slightly; I play badminton with Sue’s husband, Owen, and most of the members were either friends of friends or their partners. Owen and I discussed beforehand the code word to bring him running and rescue me should things turn nasty, but we didn’t actually get round to choosing one, except maybe “Help!”
I needn’t have worried. We sat outside looking onto Sue and Owen’s immaculately kept garden, kept warm by a patio heater (technically it’s not yet the start of summer). Our hosts plied us with alcohol and snacks and the conversation soon turned to whether a woman who suspected her husband had just been murdered would sleep in the same room as a paramedic who had just saved her life three times in the space of four hours; or whether the pub landlord would be happy for the same paramedic to spend the night locked in the cellar with his psychotic wife and daughter.
I have included a scanned copy of the questions below:
I have to admit to not knowing all the answers. For example, I hadn’t really thought through what all the characters were doing when they weren’t the focus of attention. After all, you have to leave some things up to the reader’s imagination.
It was interesting (at least for me) to chat about what people thought worked well and what worked less well. There was even some talk about what direction a sequel might take, not that I have one planned at the moment. The next book (Decimation) has nothing to do with The Rage.
In conclusion, it was a very enjoyable evening. Thanks to everyone who attended for making me feel welcome and especially to Sue and Owen for their hospitality. I also greatly appreciate the offer to act as beta readers for the next book.
After meeting my readers, I finally feel like a real author!
A few weeks ago I did a five day free give away of The Rage on Kindle. During that period there were about 2000 downloads and a steady trickle of sales thereafter. Amazon provide statistics on the Kindle Direct Publishing page including a button to download a report. I hadn’t looked at one of these reports before so I decided to check it out.
The report gives a daily breakdown of the sales by book and by region. I have only the one book at the moment so all rows were for The Rage. As I studied the report, my first reaction was I haven’t sold that many. Upon further inspection I noticed a column called “Units Refunded”. In the week after the free give-away this accounted for about 30% of total sales. So what’s going on?
I did a search on Google and discovered several articles from people who had discovered the same thing. There seemed to be three main schools of thought:
So basically I have no real plausible explanation. It’s not enough sales to get excited about but if anybody can shed light on this I would be interested to hear from you.