Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Guest Post - A Much Arranged Marriage by Jim Webster

Jim Webster joins me today to talk about his latest release 'A Much Arranged Marriage' and his new approaches to spreading the word about his work.

You might have noticed that the Internet is filling up with writers trying to promote their books. If the number continues to increase at the current rate it’s been calculated that by some time in August 2019 there will be no room left for cute cat pictures.

Some writers are getting particularly imaginative in their promotions and are putting in an awful lot of work. Michael’s Tau Ceti Mission is one of the better examples, and one that I’m enjoying following.

One question that really intrigues me as a writer is what happens to Seb. Is his character going to change, evolve or grow? As it is we’re getting to see this ‘real time.’

It’s only when you’ve run your own promotions that you perhaps appreciate fully the work that goes into them. I took a long hard look at promoting and decided that perhaps I ought to try something different. I’d already written four fantasy novels set in the ‘Land of the Three Seas.’ (Which inevitably has its own Facebook page with hopefully some interesting and fun stuff on it, https://www.facebook.com/Land-of-the-Three-Seas-426394067386022/ )

To promote them I decided that rather than writing a fifth novel I’d do some ‘short’ stories, between 15,000 and 20,000 words, set in the same background, involving some of the same people. These would be detective stories, and a bit like the Sherlock Holmes stories, you don’t really have to read them in any order. So I have these written and one is going to be published every four months, regular as clock work. So every four months there’s a bit of publicity and promotion. The first one has been out for four months, it’s ‘Flotsam or Jetsam’ - available from Amazon here.

It features my ‘hero’ Benor, and I’d like to say this came out to great critical acclaim, but people bought it and liked it and said nice things about it so that’s at least as good.

But then I realised that I had to promote these short pieces. How on earth was I going to do that? So I took one of the secondary characters, Tallis Steelyard, and let him write a blog. The blog is composed of reminiscences from his past, suggestions as how to make a living as a poet, all told by the great man himself and hopefully as much fun to read as they were to write. But what has really fascinated me is Tallis himself. In the books I’m promoting, Tallis is a secondary character and you see him through the eyes of Benor, the hero. So Tallis is intelligent, loyal, a source of advice and information and a good friend.

But when writing the blog, writing as Tallis, I became aware that Tallis is far more complicated a character. In the blogs we have the working poet writing for his audience and potential patrons. In effect he’s promoting his work and his services. So he’s very careful of his image, determined to maintain the front as the successful poet. But of course he’s still the nice guy that Benor

knows. So somehow this, plus a certain world weary cynicism has to slip out as well. If you want to read the blog of Tallis Steelyard, then it’s at


Taking things the full circle, looking at the quantity of stuff there is on the blog, I’m tempted to add some more stories and publish it as a separate book, perhaps called, “The jumbled musings of Tallis Steelyard.”

But at this point you can probably see why I’m so interested in Michael’s character Seb, and am wondering what’s in the pipeline for him?

But anyway, the second of the short stories has now emerged, blinking, into the light.

Click on image to buy from Amazon

‘A Much Arranged Marriage.’

“Benor is asked to help warn off a blackmailer who appears to be threatening a young girl's chances of marriage. But the deeper he digs, the more dangerous things become”

So there you are, I hope you’re intrigued enough to give it a whirl

Click here to buy A Much Arranged Marriage from Amazon

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