It’s Finished!

Well, it’s taken some time, but I’m finally here. Over a 100,000 words later and my latest book, Best Served Cold, is out with the beta-readers.

I confess to being a dithering wreck, at this point. I’ve been transported back to the time I was awaiting the verdict on my first book, Run. The pressure eased with the others, as each one became a best-seller in its category, so that in turn bolstered my confidence a little, but there is always some degree of anxiety. Until you’ve been judged by a larger portion of the world than you’re used to, it’s hard to explain. Plus this one is a mainstream book, rather than an LGBTQ, so the portion will be considerably larger.

Out there is a part of you. Your brain conceived an idea which you’ve turned into words. You hope people are going to enjoy it; you hope it makes sense to someone who doesn’t know you personally; you hope you’ve succeeded in telling a tale worth reading. Most of all, you hope you’ve become someone’s favourite author. Once that happens, you’ve left something behind. You’ve made the grade. You have a legacy.

The legacy might not be a million pounds, or even a million books, but out there people are carrying around your time and the ideas you’ve shared. It’s a weird feeling, knowing that someone on the other side of the world is sharing your fantasy world, that they are taking time out of their day to give you the opportunity to entertain them. It’s a privilege and a pleasure, each and every time I put a book out there. I hope beyond hope, that people derive enjoyment from reading them. The thought makes me happy…extremely happy.

I don’t know when the book will be available. At the moment I am short-listing the publishers and their criteria. I’m staying away from digital only format, because I, for one, enjoy the feel of a book in my hand, and do buy paper versions if I think it’s a book is worth it. (I also like to obtain signed copies where and when possible). I have a list of four publishers at the moment, so I’ll send out what they want and hope I get an offer from somewhere. At the end of the day…I can only try.

I’ll let everyone know the outcome, succeed or fail. If it is a failure, then it will be a case of must try harder next time…and I will.

Thanks for taking the time to read my musings.

The Journey Begins

I’m New To This!


Having previously lucked out with my website, I’m trying something new because now seems the time for changes.

A short while ago my life changed forever. It began with the removal of my right lower leg, quickly followed by the removal of my left lower leg. However the post-op went badly wrong which meant the left leg being made shorter, to above the knee. Operation wise, everything has settled down, apart from a permanent list to port when I’m sitting. The mind-altering drugs have been swapped to something more palatable which means I can now write with some clarity. However, the prosthetic leg I’d had made for me was rendered useless, with the loss of the other. Given my age and other health problems there was no way I was going to be able to use two prosthetics. As much as I am a positive person, I know my limitations.

Progress was slowed as I became faced with a new set of circumstances. Gone was the hope of some independent mobility but instead I was faced with the prospect of being wheelchair-bound for the rest of my natural. Not the end of the world as we know it Jim, but the thought of being dependent on people to carry out even my most basic requirements did not sit easily with me. However I’m lucky beyond words. My wife Denise and sister Julie have taken up the baton, and they haven’t dropped it yet.

These changes coincided with my fifth book of lesbian fiction, The Harbinger, being published. Now I know the consensus of opinion is that my books can be read by anyone, which I don’t doubt, but unfortunately Amazon don’t have an “anyone’ category. You have to choose. I hold my hand up when I say I chose this category because the lesbian audience was the one I was aiming for. But things are never straightforward, are they? No, of course not. Young, middle aged, old? Erotic, mildly sexual or no sex? (I would like to add here, that I had a comment in a two star reviews that I hadn’t taught the reader anything new about sex! There I was thinking my teaching days were behind me.) Modern, historical, ancient? Trashy, not trashy? You get my drift. It appears I fall into all but erotic and trashy (thank goodness), depending on the book. Yes, I am an enigma. I write about real-life dilemmas that face all of us, in some way, all dealt with by lesbian characters. Now, I know I could have written them for purely heterosexual content but I wanted people to be aware of the extra problems that can occur for homosexual people. Being isolated from family in some way nearly always rears its ugly head. I won’t go into the rest but trust me, the differences do exist.

Until further notice, I’ve decided to call a halt on my lesbian fiction and have gone back to my original idea of crime, better known as murder and mayhem. I don’t know why I decided to choose lesbian fiction. I think at the time, it just chose me. So, I’m 20,000 words into the new book (Best Served Cold), which for me is the point of no return, so good or bad – it’s happening! I feel invigorated and challenged, which I haven’t felt in a long time. I just hope the books I have produced so far have been worth reading. It’s now onward and upward.

Along with the new book comes another change. I’m hoping to get myself a publisher. I know up to now I’ve self-published, with the fantastic help of friend and editor, Rogena Mitchell-Jones. However, I have to look to the future, bearing in mind I’m no spring chicken. Getting books out there is hard and time consuming work and at this time in my life I need to be spending some quality time with the people I love. My recent experiences have taught me this and it’s a hard lesson to learn. I’m going to try and organise my life in a more productive way and hope someone else will take the strain. I’ll have to see what’s offered, if anything. I’ll just have to hope there’s a publisher out there that enjoys my writing enough to take me on. If not a publisher, then an agent.

I hope my readers follow me on this journey. If not, can I say a heartfelt thank you for all the support I’ve received from everyone, so far..

It’s been an absolute blast.