Mittwoch, 20. November 2013

Bluenote.

Here's a post from my other Blog, The Boy from the Bay.
Bluenote e.v.

I used to have a very good mate called Dave Kelly.
Dave was English, but being the clever lad he was he opened up an Irish bar and called it, “Kellys”, which went on to be a winner.
 ImageImage
Kellys was, for me at that time, just what I needed. A mate with his own pub is something guys like myself appreciate in a big way. Ladies, if you could imagine having a BFF with her own shoe shop, well it was like that with Dave and his pub; though not quite as gossipy and touchy-feely.
Dave was a real mate. He’d phone on a slow day, usually in the week, and innocently ask if I was up for a bit of a drink? I worked shifts then; I still do actually, and consequently my weekends would often fall in the working week. So Dave’s offer of a little drink, a quiet chat, maybe a jam, (my drums were set up there permanently, as I wasn’t in a band at the time), was just the jobby for a guy who regularly worked Saturday nights while the world was partying.
We’d sit at the bar and drink till the cleaning ladies kicked us out, playing along to songs, singing our heads off… like I say, a mate with a pub… well, it’s just PERFECT!

Anyway, it was in Kellys that I first met Horst and Norbert Krups. Horst helped Dave out behind the bar occasionally, (actually, we ALL helped Dave behind the bar occasionally, but that’s another thing entirely) and was as mad about good music, Guinness and whiskey as Dave was; so obviously they got on like a house on fire.

Dave wanted Kellys to be a music pub, as he loved the Blues and Irish music scene. So he set about finding Blues, Folk and Celtic bands to play live. It’s a given that Horst and Norbert helped, and slowly but surely the foundations of what would be Bluenote were set.

The problem was that Kellys, though successful, wasn’t taking in the money needed to finance the bands they wanted. Dave had some good names coming in, but good bands demand their tribute, so the Krups brothers had a brainwave. Why not start a club dedicated to promoting and presenting live music? Then the people who join could help finance the acts, work the door, maybe help set up instruments etc etc etc. In return, they’d have the chance to see the great Blues/Folk/Celtic bands they all enjoyed but were proving too costly for Dave to book.
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I think it’s clear to anyone reading this now that the Bluenote guys and gals were, and still are true music lovers. The club’s entire income, after outgoings, went into sorting more bands out to play at the pub, which grew in stature with every gig. It was a symbiosis tailor-made for Dave, with Horst and Norbert sorting the music out, and Kellys providing the venue and beer. Gradually the name Bluenote became synonymous with the pub as bands turned up to play from all over Europe. It was a great time, and I can’t count how many drunken nights I had there, singing my head off and quaffing pints of Guinness, (when I wasn’t working shift, of course).

Alas, the match made in heaven was cut short. Dave asked the landlord if, as they’d agreed, he’d cut the rent to a reasonable price. At the time he was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the pub, but he’d been assured that after two years it would be reduced. However, now the landlord decided it was too good a cow not to milk, and he mentioned to Dave he was thinking about upping the lease.

So, after a mild tantrum and a lot of thought, he dropped my drums off, (and gave me his old set), and left for Britain never to return.
Suddenly the good people of Bluenote were set adrift with nowhere to go.

Well, that’s not exactly true, as Wolfenbüttel is full of great venues, you just have to find them, and Bluenote weren’t going to let a minor problem like lack of location stop their march. They used the castle in Wolfenbüttel for a while, and an old Italian restaurant for a couple of gigs as well, (which had excellent acoustics as there’s a lot of wood in the building to soak up the echo). They carried on booking acts, and sold the “refreshments” themselves, making a lot of friends in the process.

Like a phoenix from the ashes of Kellys, Bluenote rose out of the shadow of the Irish bar it had spent its formative years in, and was suddenly a power in its own right.

After surviving Dave’s departure so well, the next black mark was just over the horizon to test them. A very influential Blues guitarist, by the name of Chris Jones, passed away in 2005. Chris had made a big impression on the Blues scene in Germany before then. With his easy going nature and excellent musical ability, the man was naturally charismatic, and his time with Bluenote made its mark on the club.
To mark his passing, they decided to honour his name with a music festival. Every year, since 2005, Bluenote have invited artists from all over the globe to perform on their stage and endorse the charity Chris Jones supported when he was alive. The celebration itself has moved from strength to strength, with no sign of stopping, and is now a regular “sold out” institution on the Wolfenbüttel calendar. I can say from personal experience, if ever a party managed to capture those old days in Kellys, it’s this one, despite the poignant history behind the occasion.

Another annual highlight is the “Celtic Christmas”. Guinness and whiskey, a liberal splattering of Celtic music and dance, and a whole wad of Christmas cheer go to make this one of THE events of the year in Wolfenbüttel. I was able to find the time off work to go to one, and the atmosphere was electric.
I’m a Welshman, and have nothing really Irish or Scottish within me, but even I couldn’t fail to be moved by the stirring Scottish songs and mournful Irish ballads, especially as the Guinness and whiskey seemed to go down so well…

Anyway, that’s my condensed version of Bluenote’s history. I’m happy and proud to say I was there when my friends called the press to Kellys and told the local rag their plans all those years ago, (in November 2001 actually! I went to the pub to pick my jacket up after a hard night and there they were). I’m also glad to be able to say that the club is now a major mover in the music scene in and around the Wolfenbüttel area.
So here’s to you, my friends in Bluenote!
May your success march on, yet your heart stay where it is!

Iechyd da.
Reggie.

Mittwoch, 16. Oktober 2013

The End.



I have a plot down.

It has a fiery beginning, a workable, tense middle, (which is no small feat when you consider it's set almost entirely in a set of rooms in a hotel), and an ending. 

An ending, I'm afraid to say, that wilts off the back like a broken salami.

Which is not good.

An ending can make or break a story. Remember the film, "The Sixth Sense"? M. Night Shyamalan made his name on the back of a mediocre plot, some great acting, and a finale that had tongues wagging all over Tinsel-town.
Or "Fight Club", "The Talented Mr. Ripley", "Angel Heart", "Planet Of The Apes", etc. etc. etc. You get the idea. A great ending is something to strive for, and something that I haven't always achieved, but I'll come to that later.

Another example of the importance of a good finish is, "The Leader and the Damned" by Colin Forbes.
In the early 90's I worked as an armed guard for the army in Hanover station. It was the perfect halfway house for me, as I'd just left the forces at that time, and wasn't sure what I'd do with my life, (nothing, as it turned out). We were all ex-military so the banter and attitude was spot on; 75% of the lads were from my regiment, says it all really.
I shared my work and spare time with a clique of avid drinkers and book readers/ amateur critics, who were merciless when it came to what would be accepted into our collective library. This was the time when English books were few and far between, due to their price and availability, and we'd swap good books like kids trading football cards, jealously guarding the keepers and chucking out the expendable from the communal pot.
Incidentally, my beta readers are some of that same gang, and they're as pitiless with me now as they were with Ludlum, Archer, and Le Carre... which is a good thing, I keep telling myself, on a regular basis.

"The Leader and the Damned" was voted the worst book ending ever by the chaps, and was summarily excommunicated for crimes against the written word. The ghost of that condemnation still sits deep today, as I haven't read another Forbes book since, despite the few, dog-eared paperbacks, (Terminal and Cross of Fire) still taking up space on my book shelves. 

Endings, dear reader, can kill your book.

 I wrote a short story a while a go about Caesar being a vampire, and posted it on my Blog for everyone to read. The story itself was good, but the ending came out of nowhere, and I was very happy with it. I so wish I had the words to say how satisfying it was to read the gasping shock that was almost audible in the feedback. 
That twist in the tail is something I try for in every story I write.

So imagine my dismay when one of the first reviewers for "House" on Amazon.com wrote this,

"The book was good but then came to a very quick/ abrupt end. Reader was just left hanging after the second last chapter and the last chapter jumped forward a number of year with no indication of what had happened after all the drama."

I've thought a lot about how the lady arrived at this conclusion? Her spelling and grammar isn't spot on, does this mean she simply didn't understand what happened, (which is what I condescendingly, and possibly unfairly suspect). Or was there a glitch when she downloaded it and not everything came through?
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that she didn't understand/like it, and thus only gave it three out of five stars. All down to her perception of the ending of a book she enjoyed.

And that's why I'm banging my head about a good ending... which is something this post doesn't have.

It'll come, I know it will. In the mean time I'll simply slog on with the book and then change it all when that "Eureka moment" comes.

Take it easy.
Reg.

ps. It took me three days to write this. I broke my right index finger and typing with only the left hand is a right canicula...


Sonntag, 15. September 2013

The local rag :-)

Well, I'll cut to the chase, I was in the local newspaper the other day. A most flattering write up next to my usual Quasimodo-like picture.
It's strange, I never see myself as I really am, and so I'm consequently always shocked at how ragged I look for my age.
Ah well, it's not like I'm a health freak now, is it?

Anyway, as ever, I digress.
Here's the article, one day I might get around to translating it ;-)
What I will say is that it's very well written and cleverly complimentary.
Anyway, here's the picture, enjoy...


All the best.
Reggie :-)

Mittwoch, 21. August 2013

In paper Sir? Suits you Sir...

Whoop whoop !!
The House in Wales is now in paperback :-)
Well 'appy :-)

So if you feel like a bit of pervy, demon, ghost fun... or maybe not fun, more horror and gore, then pop along to your nearest book shop, (online bookshop that is), and order it.
Here's the link for both "Division" and "House" in Book Depository:

Book Depository.

And here's the Amazon one:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.de

And finally Barnes and Noble:

Barnes and Noble

So, what are we waiting for peeps, click the links, buy the books, write a review that makes me out to be the Welsh Stephen Crichton and we'll all be happy teddies...
If only it were that simple, eh?
Whatever, thanks for your time and now you know.

Reg.

Montag, 19. August 2013

Review.

I've had some very good reviews for my work these last couple of years.
I've had some very bad ones too, mind. 
Whatever, I'm contemplating printing this one out and hanging it on my wall. It portrays me in such a way that you, dear friend and reader, will go away thinking that I am the next  Michael King or Stephen Crichton, or whoever they are.
Seriously, read it, and imagine the widest, cheesiest grin in the world, because believe me, that's what was on my face when I read it.
Many thanks Lucy Pireel, YOU ROCK !!
If you feel like spreading the love, then feel free to share it ;-)
Lucy Pireel

Nice, innit?
Reg.

Sonntag, 18. August 2013

Americymru.

I was recently interviewed by the Welsh/American website Americymru, and seeing as I've nothing much to report by way of news, I thought I'd put it up here.

Hey, it's my Blog, why not, right?
So here it is, enjoy...
Americymru interview.

Cheers peeps!!
Reg.

Montag, 22. Juli 2013

News, writing tips and a missing, "Thank you"

News !!
I have none.
I'm still floundering at the impasse, itching to write but not quite finding that extra jot of motivation to put finger to keyboard.

I've had an unfortunate run of One Star reviews recently, all likening my work to pornography, filth etc. etc. etc. I'd like to take them seriously, I seriously want to, but I can't.
So, you One Star Review Writers, I apologise now for laughing when I read your critiques, AND for sharing them to my friends so they can snigger at your grammar and non-existent punctuation as well.
Punctuation and grammar mean nothing, until you start being nasty. It's just the way it is.
Life Tip #43:  If you're losing an argument and you don't want to back down, try picking the other person up on their grammar, as that will always score points, or provoke your antagonist to fisticuffs, which is a sort of win in itself.

Right, on another note, I've still heard nothing concrete about the anthology with Paul, or the paperback version of "The House in Wales". However, when I do hear something, I'll let you know, (obviously).

Recently someone made contact with me over Facebook to ask if I could help with a book they were writing. They were a friend of a friend, who had warned me in advance they were going to write, so I wrote back.
I told the nice lady there was no way I could proof read her work because a.) I haven't the time and b.) My knowledge of the English language is pitifully sad, considering I'm trying to be a writer!! Anyway, I gave her a few ideas and my mandatory reference to Allan Guthrie's, "Hunting down the Pleonasm", and I haven't heard anything since.
Is it me, or was I being naive in expecting an answer, a brief thank you for nodding her in the right direction? Even a smiley would have done.

Anyway, I digress. 
Allan Guthrie, an editor for Point Blank Press, wrote this down in 2004, and I think it's positively THE best set of guidelines for anyone who wants to write a novel. This is what people who go to creative writing lessons are taught, and they have to pay for it. So I thought I'd put them down for you to read. The next time you read a book, perhaps you'll be able to identify some of the points in the writer's craft?

Hunting Down the Pleonasms by Allan Guthrie.

I can’t stress strongly enough that writing is subjective. We all strive for different goals. Consequently, we all need our own set of rules—and some of us don’t need rules at all! Personally, I like rules. If nothing else, it’s fun breaking them.

1: Avoid pleonasms. A pleonasm is a word or phrase which can be removed from a sentence without changing its meaning. For example, in “Hunting Down The Pleonasm”, ‘down’ is pleonastic. Cut it and the meaning of the sentence does not alter. Many words are used pleonastically: ‘just’, ‘that’ and ‘actually’ are three frequently-seen culprits (I actually just know that he’s the killer can be trimmed to I know he’s the killer), and phrases like ‘more or less’ and ‘in any shape or form’ are redundant.

2: Use oblique dialogue. Try to generate conflict at all times in your writing. Attempt the following experiment at home or work: spend the day refusing to answer your family and colleagues’ questions directly. Did you generate conflict? I bet you did. Apply that principle to your writing and your characters will respond likewise.

3: Use strong verbs in preference to adverbs. I won’t say avoid adverbs, period, because about once every fifty pages they’re okay! What’s not okay is to use an adverb as an excuse for failing to find the correct verb. To ‘walk slowly’ is much less effective than to ‘plod’ or ‘trudge’. To ‘connect strongly’ is much less effective than to ‘forge a connection’.

4: Cut adjectives where possible. See rule 3 (for ‘verb’ read ‘noun’).

5: Pairs of adjectives are exponentially worse than single adjectives. The ‘big, old’ man walked slowly towards the ‘tall, beautiful’ girl. When I read a sentence like that, I’m hoping he dies before he arrives at his destination. Mind you, that’s probably a cue for a ‘noisy, white’ ambulance to arrive. Wailingly, perhaps!

6: Keep speeches short. Any speech of more than three sentences should be broken up. Force your character to do something. Make him take note of his surroundings. Ground the reader. Create a sense of place.

7: If you find you’ve said the same thing more than once, choose the best and cut the rest. Frequently, I see the same idea presented several ways. It’s as if the writer is saying, “The first couple of images might not work, but the third one should do it. If not, maybe all three together will swing it.” The writer is repeating himself. Like this. This is a subtle form of pleonasm.

8: Show, don’t tell. Much vaunted advice, yet rarely heeded. An example: expressing emotion indirectly. Is your preferred reader intelligent? Yes? Then treat them accordingly. Tears were streaming down Lila’s face. She was very sad. Can the second sentence be inferred from the first? In context, let’s hope so. So cut it. If you want to engage your readers, don’t explain everything to them. Show them what’s happening and allow their intelligence to do the rest. And there’s a bonus to this approach. Because movies, of necessity, show rather than tell, this approach to your writing will help when it’s time to begin work on the screenplay adaptation of your novel!

9: Describe the environment in ways that are pertinent to the story. And try to make such descriptions active. Instead of describing a book lying on a table, have your psycho-killer protagonist pick it up, glance at it and move it to the arm of the sofa. He needs something to do to break up those long speeches, right?

10: Don’t be cute. In the above example, your protagonist should not be named Si Coe.

11: Avoid sounding ‘writerly’. Better to dirty up your prose. When you sound like a writer, your voice has crept in and authorial intrusion is always unwelcome. In the best writing, the author is invisible.

12: Fix your Point Of View (POV). Make it clear whose head you’re in as early as possible. And stay there for the duration of the scene. Unless you’re already a highly successful published novelist, in which case you can do what you like. The reality is that although most readers aren’t necessarily clued up on the finer points of POV, they know what’s confusing and what isn’t.

13: Don’t confuse the reader. If you write something you think might be unclear, it is. Big time. Change it or cut it.

14: Use ‘said’ to carry dialogue. Sid Fleischman calls ‘said’, “the invisible word.”

15: Whilst it’s good to assume your reader is intelligent, never assume they’re psychic.

16: Start scenes late and leave them early.

17: When writing a novel, start with your characters in action. Fill in any necessary backstory as you go along.

18: Give your characters clear goals. Always. Every scene. And provide obstacles to those goals. Always. Every scene. If the POV character in a scene does not have a goal, provide one or cut the scene. If there is no obstacle, add one or cut the scene.

19: Don’t allow characters who are sexually attracted to one another the opportunity to get into bed unless at least one of them has a jealous partner.

20: Torture your protagonist. It’s not enough for him to be stuck up a tree. You must throw rocks at him while he figures out how to get down.

21: Use all five senses in your descriptions. Smell and touch are too often neglected.

22: Vary your sentence lengths. I tend to write short, and it’s amazing what a difference combing a couple of sentences can make.

23: Don’t allow your fictional characters to speak in sentences. Unless you want them to sound fictional.

24: Cut out filtering devices, wherever possible. ‘He felt’, ‘he thought’, ‘he observed’ are all filters. They distance the reader from the character.

25: Avoid unnecessary repetition of tense. For example: I’d gone to the hospital. They’d kept me waiting for hours. Eventually, I’d seen a doctor. Usually, the first sentence is sufficient to establish tense. I’d gone to the hospital. They kept me waiting for hours. Eventually, I saw a doctor.

26: When you finish your book, pinpoint the weakest scene and cut it. If necessary, replace it with a sentence or paragraph.

27: Don’t plant information. How is Donald, your son? I’m quite sure Donald’s father doesn’t need reminding who Donald is. Their relationship is mentioned purely to provide the reader with information.

28: If an opinion expressed through dialogue makes your POV character look like a jerk, allow him to think it rather than say it. He’ll express the same opinion, but seem like a lot less of a jerk.

29: Characters who smile and grin a lot come across as deranged fools. Sighing and shrugging are also actions to avoid. Eliminating smiles, sighs and shrugs is almost always an improvement. Smiling sadly is a capital offence.

30: Pronouns are big trouble for such little words. The most useful piece of information I ever encountered on the little blighters was this: pronouns refer to the nearest matching noun backwards. For example: John took the knife out of its sheath and stabbed Paul with it. Well, that’s good news for Paul. If you travel backwards from ‘it’, you’ll see that John has stabbed Paul with the sheath! Observing this rule leads to much clearer writing.

31: Spot the moment of maximum tension and hold it for as long as possible. Or as John D. MacDonald put it: “Freeze the action and shoot him later.”

32: If something works, forget about the rule that says it shouldn’t.

So now you know, peeps.
All the best.
Reg.


Montag, 24. Juni 2013

Crossroads



I've never really been here before.
I've had days, weeks even, when I couldn't decide how to move forward with a story, but never with three separate books.
And yet, that's exactly where I am right now.

The Division of the Damned is crying out for a sequel and I have the plot down as well. However, I want to introduce some more Biblical/Sumerian elements into it and I'm not sure if they're too over the top?
Basically, if you've read, "Division", you might remember about the war that Lilith started with the Gods? My idea was/is to make the followers of Lilith into the Fallen Angels or the Anunnaki, and have one searching for the last splinter of the Tree of Life, which is stolen from an old Rabbi at Treblinka.
Mmmm, I don't know. The thing is, half the people loved the Sumerian/Bible thing, and the other half didn't.
Whatever, it'll have to gestate a while for its true form to appear, as I think rushing it would kill the yeast, as it were.

My second idea is here:The Eckton Empire

Have a read if you have twenty minutes or so, tell me what you think please.

The last plot I have in my head is set in the south Pacific.
I originally wanted to write a Cthulhu story, but that's a no go, due to rights and having to pay estates for the use of Cthulhu.
So, I decided to stick with the south Pacific theme, and set it around the crew of a whaler in the 18th/early 19th century.
The ship stops at an island for supplies, meets up with a tribe who worship whales and blah blah blah, other stuff happens involving kidnapped girls, murderously evil missionaries and schools of angry cetaceans.

So, as ever, now you know.
I've hit a wall and really need to get over it.

However, if there's one thing I do have, it's time. The "Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare" anthology isn't out yet, and I want to send a few short stories out to other collections. But, before you can send 'em, you have to write 'em... so I better get my skates on.



Take it easy.
Reg.

PS BTW, I reached the 400 Likes mark on my Facebook page the other day.

Happy days, happy days...

Donnerstag, 6. Juni 2013

America, what's wrong??


The House in Wales has been out now since March 29th, and it's going great guns, seriously. Priced at a lowly 79 pence, it isn't making me any money, but it is pushing my name out there, and that's the idea. Not six weeks into its release and it has twenty reviews already, some books can go six years without seeing twenty reviews so you can imagine how chuffed I am.
So thank you, every last one of you, who has written a review.

On the other hand, on the other side of the pond, it's not doing too well. I have no idea why, but it simply hasn't caught on over there. This saddens me a tad as I like the idea of some dude in, say, LA., reading about my home town. Wouldn't it be great to inspire someone on a different continent to think about where your home town is, where your family and past lie? I think it would, (but I've often been told I think too much so we'll leave it there).

However, that isn't me being deviously greedy because, well as for money making, it isn't; and if the truth be known it won't in the near future either. It'd be folly to expect massive profits without the clout of a large publishing house to back your work, paying for promotion, reviews from other big authors, distribution to the large book chains blah, blah, blah. We did try Facebook advertising, and I'd be interested to know if anyone saw my book on their page as there was no major impact that I saw, but that's about it in regards to promotion.

That said, there are, of course, subtle market differences with each genre that affect sales in general.

For example, romance ALWAYS sells. The fairer sex read a lot more than their brutish other halves and hunky, shining knights on white chargers or dark eyed vampires with six packs you could wash your grollies on, will always be a hit with the more imaginative 50% of the world. I take nothing away from the very talented ladies I know who write such literature, but I do envy their automatic fan base :-)

Crime is another that sells well. Gumshoe detectives, (whatever they are?), ghastly murders and the workings of the law enforcement agencies can inspire a spark of interest in even the dampest of minds, (Everton and Man United supporters etc etc.) and if you can come up with a good title, an interesting premise and credible dialogue you're on a winner. Of course, you have to be able to write as well ;-)

No, seriously, these two genres, although not guaranteed to generate sales, have a large fan base anyway and the couple of people I know who write in these veins are above average writers and are doing nicely.

Horror, on the other hand, is in the middle ground.

It isn't as desired as romance or crime, but it isn't as despised as that pariah dog of the library, poetry, either. Horror is the poor relation, along with fantasy and military history; the working class cousin who demands a beer at a cheese and wine party, or listens to football scores at a wedding, (Hey, that's me!!).

So Reg, I hear you asking, why don't you write something with an automatic fan base?

My Mam asked that very same question.
"Oh good grief Rich!" My Mam is the only person I know who calls me Richard. "Vampires and Nazis? Why not write something nice? Romance sells, you want to be a writer, write something that sells."
I had no answer for her, well not one that I could articulate without looking like a petulant 12 year old, ("You just don't understand, do you?" he said, throwing his teddy in the corner and stomping off to his room.).

It's a good question, I suppose. However, the fact is, that just isn't me. I don't think I could look at myself in the mirror if I, (here it comes, that old cliché), "sold out". I want to write what I want to write, and romance isn't it, Gumshoe crime stories either, though I would like to know what a Gumshoe is?
I dabbled with a few romantic scenes in both books, but an out and out, full on, weepy love fest is just not on.

And that's the best with these guys, (Taylor Street). Yes we're not massive, yes we're not raking it in. However, we are free and I like the atmosphere.
Casual but dedicated to the joint cause, which is how it should be in my eyes.

So where was I again?
Ah, yes, The House in Wales is doing well, I'm very happy and thanks all for the reviews. Oh, and America... yes, America. Not good. Ah well, nil desperandum, right kids?
Right Reg.

Take it easy peeps.
Reg.



Freitag, 17. Mai 2013

Well, it's out there.


Well, it's out there and to a mixed response.

In Britain it seems to be doing well, selling steadily and collecting reviews, (18 as of today). Two 4 star reviews and the rest 5 star, which is satisfying to say the least, (I hope I don't sound smug there?). I'm really happy that some people from my home town have read it and made comments about the references to the country side. I think I'll definitely do another story set in North Wales again, it just felt right.

HOWEVER, on the other side of the pond all is not well. Sales are subterranean and the reviews faltering, two 5 star write ups and one 3 star; in which the reader complained about the ending being too abrupt. Well, I shouldn't complain, at least he/she made an effort to put down some feedback, right?

I wonder how I can push it out more Stateside? "Division" picked up nicely there and though Britain outstrips it in sales, the difference isn't as big as with "House". Whatever, it's early days yet.

As for what I'm doing now, well it's complicated.
I started on the sequel to "Division". I have the plot down, some great biblical/Sumerian background mythology and, (I think) some interesting characters to add to the original crew. However... again, that word, I can't seem to find the inspiration to set about it. It'll come, but when exactly I don't know.

I toyed with the idea about writing a story about Cthulhu, the fictional cosmic entity who first appeared in H. P. Lovecraft's short story "The Call of Cthulhu". I had a great idea about the captain of a Whaler in the 19th Century being caught up in the cult of Cthulhu and bringing his crew into danger. My main protagonist was going to be a young lad, and I wanted him to be the only survivor. The thing is though, if I wanted to use the character of Cthulhu, I'd have to ask permission from Lovecraft's estate, who would naturally want money for it. So the idea gasped its first breath and promptly passed away, to be flushed into the sewer of inspirations past.

Never the less, I liked the idea of a 19th Century Whaler in the south Pacific seas, sailing the loneliest oceans of the world, making landfall on remote, exotic islands habituated by natives who follow strange, menacing dogmas. I won't go into what I have, but I'm thinking whale cults, far-flung islands, insane Whaler captains, an impressionable young crew member as a hero and lots of horror. Moby Dick meets Rapa Nui meets Pocahontas, (I bet that last one threw you).

I've also thought a lot more about my dinosaurs meets War and Peace story. Inspired as I am by The Game of Thrones, I've decided the story needs to be broadened; it has to have more background and characters. I have a few ideas floating around, nothing on paper though. I'll definitely get back to it sometime, the idea is far too good to let rot.

Right, so that's it. I have no idea when my anthology with Paul Rudd is coming out, there's been a cloak of silence about it. However, I've done a bit of research on the matter, and it seems anthologies don't sell all that well, so perhaps the publishers are hoping the idea will go to sleep somewhere and not wake up, lol.

OK, I'm off to Berlin all weekend, all the best people, have a nice weekend and thanks for any support you've given me these last couple of weeks.
I do appreciate it.
Reg :-)


Sonntag, 7. April 2013

The first reviews...


So, they're in, and we're off to a good start!


5.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced and creepy story 5 April 2013
The house in wales was a cracking story. There was a genuine creepiness to it (especially as Danny was so alone) and some nice gory parts. I read this in a couple of days as I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to Danny.
The story itself was great, involving Satanic rituals and sacrifice. The writing was fluid and made for a very quick read. There were a few small typos but nothing that detracted from the story. I will definitely read more by this author.

and

5.0 out of 5 stars Cover to cover, well screen to screen actually!! 5 April 2013
Well this is the second book from RR Jones that I've read and it could not have been a more differing plot. Although still as captivating, read on an iPhone in two days to show my commitment to it!!! Great read I look forward to the next book!!!!


I remember the first ones I had for "Division". At that time I didn't care, other people's opinions, (outside of my family and friends) haven't really meant anything to me for a while now. However, nowadays, for some obscure reason, I scan Amazon about four times a day for any new ones.
Why?
I don't know, I really don't. Yes praise is always nice, but reviews are opinions and EVERYONE has their own opinion. The One Star review I was awarded was from someone I never knew, nor will I ever know, and I honestly cannot fathom why it took so much of my attention?

Whatever, the first two are down for The House in Wales and they're good. I just thought I'd let you know in case you're interested.
Have a good week.
Reg.

Mittwoch, 3. April 2013

Sex feedback..



It's hard for me to explain how important feedback is for someone who has just released a book. So I'll paint a picture for you using the vehicle of sex.

Imagine the situation.
You've fancied someone for a long time. Finally he asks you out/she says yes to a date. 
The courting, (love that word, so old fashioned) moves along smoothly with no horrible surprises, (He's a "violent, bigoted drunk", she has a "psycho crush on a boy band" sort of thing) and all seems set for the last hurdle, (or first with some girls... if you're lucky...) into an unknown future together.
So the hour of intimacy is upon you and the act is consummated. Contented and spent, you lie back and ponder on what just happened. For you it was great, every thing you thought it would be and more, but how does your partner feel?

"How was it for you darling?" (I never use the word Darling, unless quoting Blackadder, of course).

Wordlessly he/she stands up and leaves the room.

... and that's how it is when you release a book. Months of slow build up while you write, (courting), thinking what would please the reader, (buying gifts), fine tuning and editing, (making yourself presentable) and then finally release... literally!

But after the release, after you've burst messily all over the public platform, what then? Is it good, will it sell or is the magic simply not there?

That's where I am right now.
The book is out there but the bathroom is silent. 
OK, admittedly it's only been out since Good Friday and Amazon did have me down as Ricahrd Rhys Jones so my fans had no way of finding it... ahem, (coughs) but it's out there.
However, apart from the feedback from my great beta readers, Bob and Dixie, who gave me the standard, "Yeah, s'alright", and George who corrected my laughable grammar and bounced ideas at me, I have nothing to go on.
She's still in the bathroom either weeping her disappointment or whooping at the mirror in exhausted, sweaty glee!

Well, OK, that's not strictly true actually.
Yesterday I received two very encouraging messages on Facebook, (the only contact I have with the outside world while I'm working. I lead such a troglodyte existence). I'll not name names but the two gentlemen informed me that they have the book and not only that, but they're enjoying it too!

It's not quite a whoop from the bathroom yet, but it is the shuffle of feet doing a happy dance.
The real test is what she tells her girlfriends...

Take it easy. (Wish I could).
Reg :-)

Donnerstag, 28. März 2013

"THE" Email.



Found this in my inbox today:

"Reggie,

We have just submitted 'The House in Wales' to Kindle so that it will be up in time for your launch party on Friday.

It is fully edited to CH21 and has been quickly edited to the end (leaving some punctuation changes to do mostly). We will submit an update tomorrow, but it might be best to advise friends to wait until Monday for a fully-edited version."

So, that's it, it's up tomorrow peeps :-)
I will of course be sharing the link and I hope you in turn, as my friends and family, will do so as well :-)

It'd be a good idea to wait for the cleaned up version, and I think Tim only put it up because I blabbed and told everyone it'll be up this week, (I so wish I could be a tad more discreet), but there you go, that's how I roll.

This release went a lot faster than "Division" did and I can't lie, I'm really happy with it, Tim's edits as well.

Anyway, it's up tomorrow if you want it. 

As you were.
Reggie :-D

video

Freitag, 22. März 2013

The hour draweth nigh...



I had a great email last night.
The House in Wales is looking to be released next week!!

I knew it was coming, I'd already been told it was on its final edit and they'd approved of the cover, but to read those words incited the same range of emotions I'd experience if I were locked in an off license.

So, what's it about?
Well, the main protagonist, Daniel Kelly, is a young man from Liverpool who has recently lost his mother during the Blitz. He's evacuated to Colwyn Bay to escape the destruction and ends up in the home of a vicar and his very prim house keeper.

However, all is not what it seems...

I won't go too much into the story but the prudish facade soon falls away to reveal the true nature of their relationship, one of sexual obsession, devil worship and human sacrifice.

It is, without a doubt, something I would not have naturally moved on to. My plan was to write part two to The Division of the Damned and then finish off my Jurassic Park meets War and Peace epic. However, Kathleen stopped those plans in their tracks when she wrote to me and asked if I would have a go at writing a story about a haunted house, (a part of the story I haven't yet mentioned but is germane to the plot).

The thing was, American Horror Story had just finished its first season and had done really well, putting haunted houses firmly back on the horror map. Would I be interested in having a go at writing something in that vein?

I hadn't even seen American Horror Story, but I tentatively said yes and watched some episodes, (kindly lent to me by my good friend Andi Renson) to have a feel for how it should be.

I loved it and started the project off more or less straight away. The whole twisted nature of the series, with the personal issues and histories of the characters adding to its maniacal ambience, inspired me immediately. Nevertheless, how was I going to approach it? There was no way I could simply copy the programme so I looked for an idea that could carry the plot.

I didn't have to wait long, (if there's one thing I'm never short of, it's ideas for stories) and I set the plot down.
We'd just returned from a holiday in Wales and my home town was ever present in my thoughts, so I decided to set it in Colwyn Bay, (well, Old Colwyn to be specific). I knew that The Bay had received evacuees from Liverpool and that period felt about right. Hardly anyone had a telephone at that time so isolating Daniel in a foreign environment would be easy. I could also make the prim and proper bearing of the villains believable. People like Miss Trimble and Reverend Davies just don't exist any more, not in these unashamedly self-indulgent times anyway.

The book is off my beaten track but I'm immensely proud of it and I hope that you'll like it too.
That said, I'm also praying fervently that my Mam doesn't read it. There are a couple of rather racy/pervy/sick parts in there that might mar the immaculate mental image she has of her eldest son... ;-)

All the best.
Reg.

Samstag, 9. März 2013

The House in Wales. A wee taster, which has nothing to do with drinking waste fluids I can assure you.

OK peeps, it's on!
The manuscript is now being looked at, edited, scribbled on, scrumpled up and flushed down the loo, (all part of the publication process, I can assure you), and the cover has been given the nod from the Boss.
Green light, green light !!

Here's the finished cover:
          ... and I'm VERY happy with it.
No, seriously, VERY happy with it :-)
And here's a wee taster, (which, as promised, has nothing to do with urine or dicky bladders).


Chapter 1
     The door slammed shut and instantly Danny was awake, reason screeching in alarm. He saw his breath like steam in the moon's watery light and a slight tremor passed through his bladder. Pulling up the bed clothes, he covered his mouth as his eyes slowly grew accustomed to the dark corners of the room. It was back and at that moment in time he didn't feel as brave as he had earlier. He'd been ambushed by sleep and now, after being bluntly woken by the slamming door, he felt vulnerable and scared.
     It was freezing again and the small voice at the back of his mind needlessly reminded him the window was closed. Not daring to move, he waited for something to happen, his mind racing in unspoken prayer that nothing would.
     Slowly the temperature changed and he sensed the cold retreating towards the closet. He could feel it ebbing away like a retreating tide, almost pulsing as it withdrew. It was leaving he told himself, willing it to be true.
    Unexpectedly a small puff of cold air hit his face and he jerked back as something whispered hatefully into his ear, "Make no mistake, your mother's with me Danny and she's burning in hell for all the bad stuff she did for you."
     Instinct's swift hand took over clear thought as Danny dashed under the covers, knuckling his mouth in silent, absolute terror; wishing he was dead so this horror could end.
                               ................................................
OK, I lied, it did have a little to do with pee pee but not mine or yours.
Right, that's it for now.
Still haven't heard anything about the anthology, but all good things to those who wait; unless you're in an establishment that runs on a first come, first served basis that is.

Reggie :-)

Donnerstag, 21. Februar 2013

Has it really been that long...?


How many times have I used that as a header?
Well, lots probably.
Whatever, there's been so much going on recently, I don't know where to start.

I finished the translation for my mate Andi Renson. Actually it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I managed it in the end. I then sent it to Paul Rudd to have a look and make sure the English was OK, and not a sort of half English, half German mish-mash. So he decided to do a complete rewrite!
Anyway, I then went through his edit and hopefully it's all Kosher, as they say in Tottenham. Andi's happy with it, that's the main thing.

So, Mr. Renson then made a cover for, "The House in Wales" for me and I love it! It's only the front right now but here it is.




The blurb on the back goes like this:

Recently orphaned by the bombing of Liverpool at the start of World War Two, Daniel Kelly is evacuated to the relative safety of Colwyn Bay in North Wales, unaware of the evil that awaits him.

On his arrival he is cast into the terrifying realm of Satan and his acolytes, a world of escalating human sacrifice and voracious desires, in the form of a village priest and his seemingly prim housekeeper.

Will Danny, isolated, inexperienced and vulnerable, survive where so many others have recently succumbed?

Or will there be another victim claimed by The House in Wales?

So what do you think? Sound good? Would you want to buy it or are you saving your pennies for that Mills and Boon Bumper Christmas edition?

I was also awarded my first One Star review the other day.
Well, it's been a long time coming and the world is full of haters, so I wasn't surprised. The timing of its discovery left a lot to be desired, (five in the morning, drinking a coffee before early shift) and it did ruin my mood until at least 10 o'clock. However, the response of my friends was marvellous and it cheered me up no end at the support I received for "Division".
It's only a review from a hater who I'll never meet, so sod him. 
Don't get me wrong, I know my book isn't the best thing since sliced... err...Chapatti? It's a fallible and naive as any first book.  However, his points were laughable and the only thing that really grates is the "One Star Scar" on a very respectable run of Amazon reviews.
So, enough of that, move on Jones, move on.

Right, that's it for now. Any news, I'll let you know about it around six weeks after it's happened. That seems to be as prompt as I get nowadays.
Tara.
Reggie