Some people I visited a while back had an Amazon Echo, the device that connects to Amazon’s Alexa AI. I won’t have one in my house. A microphone that’s always on – waiting for the ‘hey Alexa’ call – and thus potentially sending everything back to a database run by persons unknown (and, at times, … More Fun with an Amazon Echo
There’s a new phenomenon out there for writers these days. It hasn’t got a name, but it’s there, and I suspect most of us have encountered it. You write a book. You decide to publish it yourself, spend a lot of money on cover artwork, proof-readers and so forth, and start revving up promotions on … More Why most books don’t sell much on Kindle
I discovered a little while back that Amazon have changed the criteria for reviews. Once upon a time readers had to spend but $US5 in order to be eligible to write a comment about a book. Now it’s $US50. That’s a significant dis-incentive for the click-farms who create hundreds of fake accounts, post hundreds of … More Amazon versus the weaponised book review
It seems to me that mythology and fairy stories go together pretty much hand in hand. One of the twentieth century masters of the art of writing them was J R R Tolkien, whose Middle Earth imaginarium spanned the whole lot. The Silmarillion, the foundation of his mythos, was deliberate mythology. He drew inspiration from … More What is a myth – and what is a fairy story?
The second Endless Worlds compilation – which includes my novella ‘The Last Citadel of the Innocent’ – is described by the publisher as eight stories of dark faerie. That’s ‘faerie’ – not ‘fairy’. The first spelling is way darker – and that’s appropriate. Fairy stories – the modern term for what were traditionally folk tales … More Faerie tales, magic and symbolism
It always intrigues me that ‘writing’, to most people, appears to be ‘writing fiction’. Time and again I’ll see stuff on social media pivoting on that idea – ‘writers – what’s your character arc?’, or ‘what’s your latest plot twist’ or whatever. Whereas non-fiction writing is always seen as a secondary product of expertise in … More Why even non-fiction has to tell a story
One of the hardest things about writing is selling it to readers – especially today, where the old gatekeepers have gone and the web is full of writing that, once upon a time, would have been relegated to a publisher’s slush pile. The challenge for readers is finding the good stuff. And that’s where a … More Getting the right promotion for your story