It's been an amazing month in the UK filled with great experiences and leaving me with lots of memories. I have written some thoughts down in my blog with more to come. The Big Issue North has also asked me for an article as has The Fylde Tram Association.
Have just interviewed an interesting man in Benicia and will post the article on the Blog. It will appear in next month's Mt Diablo Gazette.
Wow, my publisher exceeded my expectations! My new book "The Ethiopian Affair" is now available on kindle. Last Thursday it went live in all major book sellers and I received my hard copies on Friday. It's a really good and well produced book. Outskirts Press is an excellent company to work with.
I will be at the Bay Area Book Festival on Saturday May 7th from 12:30 until 2:00 PM. Come and check out my books. I'd love to meet you.
My book The Ethiopian Affair is now finally with the printer. I’m expecting it to be published at the end of May and will be available in all of the usual places: Amazon, Barnes and Noble and most chain book stores.
The new group I started, Writers Connection, seems to be taking off. We had our first live meeting on the 16th and there was a great deal of interaction. Maybe my intuition is correct and it is filling a real need. Writing can be a lonely experience and we all need a forum at some time where we can just shoot the breeze with like-minded people, relax and have fun! We had 14 people show up and that's about the max I would want to see in order to have good discussions and sharing.
Just received an email from a publishing company asking if I had a screenplay written for my memoir, "The Bishop Wears No Drawers." No, I don't and hadn't even thought about it. However, I asked the Writers Connection about it and it appears there are several talented and capable writers in the club if I decide to go that route.
I love writing articles! But form rejection letters just..................!
I have offered to start and facilitate a new group for the California Writers Club of which I am a member. It will be an open-ended, grab bag of topics, anything associated with writing and publishing. Mainly a forum where like-minded writers can relax, chat and discuss stuff together. It should be fun. We will have our first Zoom meeting on Feb 9th at noon.
I often surprise myself with the ideas I have for several books! I'm fascinated by the importance of French Railways during WWII and all the activity surrounding them. I can't find any book in English or French that can give me the info I need. I will continue to research this topic and one day will write a novel about it.
I almost made all of my deadlines and finished the second draft of my novel "The Ethiopian Affair" to be published in March of this year. It's different from anything I have written, it is a spy thriller in the genre of John Le Carre! Editing will take up most of my time now while I wait for my wife Annie to complete her painting that will be used for the front cover.
I am already drafting out my next novel which will be a sequel to Becoming Anya.
Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Xmas and every good wish for the New Year.
Becoming Anya is getting good reviews. Just hope they will continue. It is selling well in the UK
Oh Happy Day!! The copies of my latest book arrived this PM, much faster than anticipated. I am delighted with the whole publishing process and Outskirts Press has done an amazing job with the actual finished product. I was a little unsure they would be able to produce the exact color design from the painting done by my wife Annika. It was a needless worry. It is a class product and I'm sure my readers will be equally happy with it. Please: if you do buy and read....put a short review on Amazon. A kindle version will be available in about four weeks.
Have just finished reading David and Ameena by Ami Ro, a fascinating book. What happens when a white young Jewish
jazz musician, from New York gets involved with a liberated Pakistani Muslim girl from Manchester, UK? The interracial sparks fly thick and fast. Its a good read.
For the past several years I have been a contributing writer to Alive East Bay Magazine. Some of my articles can be found in my blog.
However, after a philosophical and political disagreement, I was obliged to recently separate myself from the publication. The best way I can describe it is that it no longer reflects the values, aspirations and hopes of intelligent and educated people living in the Bay area. It has become a far-right political publication. As such I wish no longer to be associated with it.
10/10 How time flies. I thought my most recent novel would be published by the end of September but obviously, that did not happen! I can report that we are in the final stages of publication and this coming week it will be in the print line. Hopefully, it will be available in stores by mid-November.
I have just arrived in the UK minus my luggage which is still in Munch they tell me! I will be here for the whole month of June, mainly with my taking trips down memory lane and researching material for future articles and books. It should be fun.
Attended the Open Mic of CWC last night and it was a lively group. A new member Ophelia read some beautiful poetry. I read a short section from Becoming Anya, the scene where her father on his death bed rejects her.
My talk was very well received and there were about 90 people present. Lots of good and interesting questions. However after talking briefly about all of my books, at the end of the meeting there was quite a number of people who wanted to make a purchase. I was sure they might want my very latest novel The Ethiopian Affair so brought extra copies. I was wrong. Folk wanted "Let the Peackock Sing" and I hadn't brought sufficient copies!!
Next week, Wed. May 11th, I will be giving a presentation to a large group of SIRs at Branch 146 . The theme will be "Why do I write?" I will also discuss the new novel I am wriiting
Have spent the last week writing a couple of articles, one about the Monastic Tradition in Ethiopia and a couple of monasteries I visited three years ago. Another is a fictional story about a three dogs, all friends who meet every week and discuss everything from local politics to ladies shoes! In addition, I am now a feature writer for the Mt. Diablo Gazette. Each month I am targeting and interviewing local people who have an interesting story to tell, fascinating back ground or have had an intriguing career.
Last evening I sat in on an Open Mic session with CWC and it was interesting, to say the least. I was not expecting it but was asked if I could share something since a couple of folk who said they would share, were unable to show. Am not sure about this group for me. Since they all have known each other for many years there was a level of intimacy that made me feel very much like the outsider. There were moments when the feedback almost made me feel I was in a therapy session!! But I'll try it again next month and take it from there.
Have spent the last few days trying to market three articles I have written to a different group of magazines than my usual ones. I'm not trying to make a living out of getting paid for them, although that would be welcome, just want to see if I can get them published and establish new resources. It's a whole new world out there!
It's not like like me to write so frequently but have just received some important news. In my life outside of writing, I am involved in a large humanitarian project in Honduras, putting water and toilets into 30 schools. Its been on hold due to Covid19. This week the schools are re-opening after being closed for 20 months. OMG! How have these poor kids been managing? I will be going out there to try and jump-start the project just as soon as it is safe.
Here we are already into a New Year! I wrote a couple of pieces for a magazine in the UK and have posted one in my blog.
My goal was to finish my latest book in draft form by the end of the year and finally did it. Now the real grunt work starts as I work on the edits.
As a writer, I am constantly feeling the urge to allow my mind to just freewheel and then transcribe the results! In addition to the novel I'm writing, I also produce short stories. "The Barn" which I wrote some time ago will be published on November 28th in the CafeLit Magazine in the UK. They obviously like it since they are asking me for more! If you haven't already read it...why not take a look.
In between all my other writing (editing, short stories, book reviews etc) I am still working on my latest novel. It is a spy story with Ethiopia as back ground and M16 having to work with the CIA. I hope to have the first full draft finished by the end of December.
It looks like my latest book "Becoming Anya' will be out in the stores by the end of the month.
Two publishers from the UK are interested in my romance novel 'Becoming Anya' but I will go with neither. Once is insistent it would sell well. I will hold out as I am waiting to hear from a major US publishing house.
This last month has kept me very busy. In addition to writing several articles for 'Alive' magazine, and completing book reviews, I have also presented 'The Peacock" at several virtual book clubs. In addition, I am still writing my latest novel which demands a great deal of research.
03/29 Did a reading from Let The Peacock Sing to Lafayette Arts Council. Difficult reading to oneself via Zoom & most attendees had signed off. I was the last presenter & after 90 minutes I think everybody was just tired!!
Interesting morning! Just learned that Alive Magazine has published one of my short stories.
I am currently being flooded with requests to make book presentations mainly to book clubs, about “Let the Peacock Sing” via Zoom. I have put together some slides in a Power Point presentation which I will post in the coming weeks.
Flooded with Requests!