Monday, 3 August 2015

Guest Post - Have You had a Wafer Thin Moment? by Jim Webster



Have you ever had a 'Wafer thin mint' moment? If you don't know what I'm talking about try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJZPzQESq_0

I began to feel I was approaching the writer's equivalent of this. It all started so sensibly.

First I went to Loncon with Safkhet Publishing. I was on the same stand as Will Macmillan-Jones and Barrie Hyde, we didn't just promote our books, we sold them! I sold over fifty copies of my Sci Fi paperback 'Justice 4.1'. When I got home I discussed things with AUK who publish my fantasy books and they decided they were worth putting into paperback. So obviously I now had four books to re-proofread and suchlike. Which is fine, not a problem, except..

I'd also had another cunning plan

Benor, the popular protagonist/hero from my fantasy books has a long gap in his life. So I'd use the gap. But I wouldn't do full length 70,000 word novels, instead I'd write some 20,000 word short stories. The idea was that they'd come out as regular as clockwork so readers could rely on them
appearing. So I've written, edited and prepared them. There are six plus a short freebie. The plan is that this will give me time to write more at some point if people like them. They'll all have the same cover, showing an old newspaper entitled 'The Port Naain Intelligencer'.

Each will then have its own heading above that. It's economical; one nice picture does six book
covers. Also there is an element of pun in the title because they will be 'detective' stories so the Intelligencer is the man as well as the paper. Well at least I thought it was clever, but I doubt anybody else will ever notice.

Anyway the first one will be out on the 1st August. It is Flotsam or Jetsam.

Click on image to buy from Amazon
So I was writing these six stories (about 120,000 words in total) at the same time as preparing the other four full novels for paperback. During this period I was involved in lambing 400 ewes AND knocked in about 500 fence posts by hand.

But was I deterred? Did I see sense?

Not a bit of it. Mike Rose-Steel, my editor, is also a poet. Now obviously I'm big enough not to hold that sort of thing against a chap. But a friend of Benor's in the short stories is also a poet by the name of Tallis. (Again you can see that mine is an entirely equal opportunities literature). So Mike borrowed him and wrote ten poems for him.

So I had Benor write the cultural background stuff. Mike created a local Port Naain poet who would do the literary criticism and we were ready to go. Given that Benor knows nothing of poetry and Lancet Foredeck is a professional rival of Tallis you can imagine how it reads.

So 'Lambent Dreams' was written.

It is already published by Spindlebox Press as a slim, 28 page hand-sewn pamphlet. This is traditional within the poetry genre. But as soon as I get time I'm sticking it on Amazon where it'll be free for a week or so, around and about 1st August.

My hope is that by leaving it free and encouraging you to download it, I might just get number one Amazon slot for the same book in Fantasy, poetry and literary criticism. It may not a particularly worthy ideal but you must admit it just has to be tried!

Also by this point 'Swords for a Dead Lady', 'Dead Man Riding East', 'The Flames of the City' and  'Learning a Hard Trade' are now available in paperback and are linked below:



Anyway, remember the First day of August. Suddenly you have new things to spend your money on, new holiday reading and a chance to appear cultured by quoting one of Port Naain's major minor poets. Me, I'll probably be lying in a darkened room with a damp cloth across my face!

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