I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations, responses, apologies, and - more recentlyly - learning to sing. I hold posts to 300 words* finding less is better than more. I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Jana is loved - again!

I write novels because of a self-lacerating urge. But the urge dies when I try to flog the end-product. I ask myself who would want to read the scribblings of an unknown stranger?

Luckily my friend and publisher is made of stronger stuff. My work sells (imperceptibly) through Amazon who offer ingenious and cheapish publicity schemes for authors. My friend understands these schemes and we tried one for Opening Bars (a non-fiction account of my singing lessons) but it didn't seem to work. Never defeated, he suggested trying again with Out of Arizona and this is producing results.

Including a four-star review!

My books have been reviewed on Amazon before and I'm grateful for the friends who took time off to say what they did. What makes this review different is that it is not only by a stranger, but a foreign stranger (US since you ask). And it is apparent he finished the novel.

I won’t regurgitate the nice things he said. There are limits... Here’s something else:

At times I found the story a bit slow, and I was disappointed in the editing of it, punctuated minimally, but my heart went out to the heroine...


... and I predict yours will, too.

I can afford self-deprecation. For one thing journalism has taught me that over-punctuation is a worse sin than under-doing it. For another, OoA’s Jana is my best realised character ever and I was sorry to let her go. I’m delighted she found another admirer.

Perhaps this was inevitable. His review ends:

If I could have afforded it, I would have (continued to pursue) a pilot's license. It was familiar territory to get back in the cockpit, metaphorically, with this woman...

I’m almost jealous.


  1. You mean you aren't going to write a follow-up?! Doggone it.

  2. The Crow: If you could guarantee I would live to 95, with my mind still sentient, I might consider it. My publisher ("I like the flying bits," he says, of OoA) has also suggested a sequel. But in the meantime I must wrestle with Lindsay who has set out to conquer the world on the basis of her choice of glasses (Rictangular Lenses, 34,000 words done), who is teetering on the brink of her first big commercial success, who will step up to big bucks and will then have her spirit tested by something awful which I cannot yet reveal. Meanwhile I need to run a blog for confirmation that there's someone else out there, not just me and this glaring monitor screen.

  3. Great news. I loved Out of Arizona, and I also wish you would write a sequel, for Jana's sake.

  4. All: Good grief! That's four explicit or implicit requests for a sequel. And here I am, more or less at the end of my creative expectations.

    I mentioned the situation to VR and she asked me if a sequel would resolve the problems associated with Christopher Day, Jana's rickety beloved.

    I said (without thinking): "Oh no, he'd be shoved to one side. And Jana would have to..." I paused. Scenes of Jana doing this and that were flitting through my mind like bats, enough to form a basis for the first 30,000 words of OoA2 (ie, roughly a third). So, so much easier than what lies ahead in Rictangular Lenses.

    Tempting. But alas I am reminded of the first inescapable law of novel-writing: inspiration 5%, perspiration 95%. Could I interest you all instead in Lindsay, the woman with the glasses:

    Lindsay sat in the chair she’d occupied for her job interview and relived the ambiguities. Office manager was a step up from glorified secretary in West Bromwich, her job at the time; she yearned for the status. Her quick answers and plucky initiatives appeared to be going down well. Admittedly Stanley also dwelt on her stilettos and high-line bra but Lindsay gritted her teeth. There’d been other interviews and she’d become convinced that these cattle-auctions were the norm. The trouble was no one she knew had come up with a fool-proof response which didn’t put the interview at risk. Moving up the ladder meant skirting the line between good sport and tart.

    Lindsay had accepted the job without knowing how she had appeared. Perhaps the manliness had been purely routine and confined to that first meeting. Thereafter, Stanley went no further than placing a hand unnecessarily in the small of her back as she passed through doorways. But experience had taught her to measure all signs of familiarity. The Christmas party had loomed like an ambush but since Stanley brought his wife (more likely, she had insisted) the worst moment was no more than his wettish kiss on her cheek.

    But then Lindsay has one major failing. She can't fly a plane.