Part of my plan for growing old disgracefully was to support myself writing best selling fantasy fiction. Given mine doesn’t involve adolescent vampires or whips and bondage, I suspect I may have missed the prime target audiences.
Still I am downhearted? No, penniless but never downhearted. I came up with a cunning plan. Every time I publish a book, I get a bit of a jump in sales of the other books as new readers like what they’ve bought and go and see
what else I’ve written. So the obvious thing to do is publish more often.
(Told you it was cunning!)
But there’s no way life will let me write three books a year. So instead I’d
take a fantasy character of mine whom people seem to really like and I’d
produce a number of novellas about his exploits. This I did; I got them
written, edited and set up to publish every four months. Great, we’re really
cooking with gas here. All I’ve got to do is get my promotion right so
people know about them and the job is, as they say, ‘a good ‘un’.
Then we run into the problems, mainly Life. The fourth story in the
collection is about to come out. What have I done to promote it? Nothing.
This is mainly because during April we were lambing while in May I had a
chest infection with added vertigo. This was an interesting experience,
every tried feeding sheep when you’ve got vertigo? I was told by friends who
suffer, concentrate on the horizon, get a big horizon and you’ll be fine.
This works. I might miss the quad bike when I tried to get on it, but once
out there feeding sheep my horizon stretches from Blackpool tower to Black
Combe and I was fine.
But anyway I got over this. But when my temperature was 39 I’d come up with
an idea for another novel. Once recovered, I poured myself into writing the
novel and everything was going so well until I looked at the calendar. I had
about a fortnight to do the promotion for the next novella!
So I’ve been frantically writing blog posts and sweet-talking people ever
since. So far so good, but just as I was about to hit Facebook and social
media, what happens? What happens is the referendum result and a flame war
that burned fiercely and without ceasing for days! Anything I dropped into
that would go unnoticed.
I was publishing the wrong book. If I’d written a dummy’s guide on
constitutional law, I’d have made a mint!
But now the flames are dying down. By their flickering light I’m writing
this, hoping against hope that it has a chance of being noticed.
Oh yes, and the novella. It’s one of a collection. (Not a series, in that
you can read them in any order.) Each is a ‘detective’ story where a mystery
has to be resolved or a wrong righted. It’s called ‘Woman in love.’ (Admit
it, nobody else would ever think of such a snappy title.)
To give you a flavour of the story, here’s a snippet
Benor found the Insane Asylum a fascinating building. A steep-sided pyramid,
all eight floors were colonnaded. There were corridors around the outside in
the colonnades, from which one got access to the heart of the building. The
colonnades themselves were festooned with flowers, which hung down in
curtains whilst streams of water flowed down and round the walkways, meeting
to form a ceremonial moat around the building.
Benor crossed the bridge to be met by an attendant in a scarlet uniform.
“Can I help you sir?”
Benor paused. “I don’t know. I am Mister Shanus Lissel’s clerk. He came in
three days ago with an oath of mental incapacity.”
“Ah, visiting hours is by appointment sir, you’ll have to arrange a time at
the desk and take it from there.”
“No, I don’t mean Mister Lissel is an inmate.”
The functionary sounded reproachful. “We prefer to use the term ‘guest’ sir,
if you don’t mind.”
“I’m sorry. What I meant was that Mister Lissel swore the oath; the sworn
oath was sent in here, but he’s just realised that he hasn’t got a copy and
wondered if I could come in and take a copy for his files.”
“Ah, glad you got that cleared up. You’ll have to ask at the custodian’s
office. Across the bridge, through the outer door, turn left before the
guests’ door and you’ll find yourself at the office. Just knock and
Benor did as he was instructed. The outer door was an elegant affair of wood
and glass. The guests’ door was somewhat more substantial. He would have
been tempted to call it a portcullis, except that he’d never seen a
portcullis decorated with brass filigree and stained glass. The steel bars
managed to look as if they were there solely to provide the structural
strength necessary to support such a work of art.
Woman in Love is available to buy HERE
If you want to know more about Jim Webster, I’ve got an Amazon page
I’ve even got a blog