The best month ever…

Ok, not literally. The sun may be shining but I still have all the old problems I had before. Why is my job so demoralising? Why do I leave my parents’ house after every visit feeling like I want to hit someone? Will I ever finish this goddamn thesis? Will one of my dogs ever stop howling when she doesn’t get walked eight times a day?

It’s been my best month so far for SALES – that’s all. As a result of the stupid promo thread I stuck up on Amazon and the exposure I got on Book Pleasures I shifted 18 copies of Oblivious in just over 2 days. For me, that’s pretty phenomenal. As of this moment in time, I have 36 combined sales for the month. Last month was my previous best with 35 for the whole of March. I’ve surpassed that by one and we’re only on 18th April. So it’s looking like this will be a pretty decent month.

Look, here’s a graphic to break up the monotony of my text only Blog posts:

I’m even starting to entertain the vague notion that I’m not that bad a writer after all. I’ve had some good feedback from reviewers and from the writing group I’ve been going to. Who would have thought it? Determined to ride the crest of the wave, I’m entering two competitions. TWO. I’ve done it before and got nowhere – even being told on one occasion that the bad language in the stories ruled me out right away. But what the hell, Spring is here and I think I’ll do it just for the hell of it. The first is the short story competition I posted about the other day. The second is ‘Pulp Idol’ which is a novel competition (part of the Liverpool ‘Writing on the Wall’ festival) – you send in chapter 1 and then, if selected, perform it in a heat to see if you get to the final. First prize is a contract with a small press publisher. Do I want to win that? Not particularly, but hey, I’m probably nowhere near what they’re looking for anyway so it might just give me a bit of exposure if nothing else.

At this point in time I have 36 hours in which to write something on hedonism for tomorrow night. I did intend to work the theme into the story I’m writing now, but I suspect it isn’t going to happen in time. So I’m going to cheat. I have a story that’s in Oblivious that’s kind of about the after-effects of hedonism. I’m going to take that along instead I think. The story as a whole is one of the ones I’m least happy with, it feels disjointed to me. But it was quoted in one of my reviews and the middle section seems to hang together ok, so I’ll give it a go.

What else is new? Not much really. Same old nonsense, different date on the calendar. I started reading a new book last night. I took 3 of them upstairs with me (my Kindle needed charging so I had to pick a tree book from the bookshelves in my office) and tried the first few pages of all of them. I settled on one I need to review for Amazon Vine, but it made me wonder about my selection process. Am I really astute enough to know whether I want to read a book in 3 or 4 pages? Well, no, of course I’m not. The other two I will come back to. But when choosing what I want to read NOW those couple of pages have to draw me in. If they don’t, the book is likely to keep getting bumped until I’m out of options. The one I selected is Greyhound by Steffan Piper.

Look, here’s another graphic:

It seems interesting enough at this point. Not outstanding, not something I’ll be counting off the hours through work to get back to, but promising enough in the first chapter. It occurs to me that the absolute minimum for a book for me has to be ‘promising enough’ in the first 10-15 pages. I wonder if everyone else is the same, or whether people soldier on through a lot of rubbish? I used to try and finish everything I ever started – with books as with life. Now I’m circling in on 40 I think I realised life is too short. Quite a few things now get left by the wayside as I get bored with them. Maybe I’m just losing my tenacity…


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