I love the USA!

Thanks for taking us so much to heart. This feels like a real milestone:

detective-strongoak-cover-and-bestseller-100-reviews

It really is a great feeling to read all those lovely comments. Here’s to lots more Detective Strongoak – thanks again!

Continue reading I love the USA!

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Telling a Book by its Cover

A rather nice posting recently reminded me of how much I love the illustrations in children’s books (putting aside the debate about whether such a thing really exists). The post reminded me of how much I loved the Tolkien-drawn cover of my own childhood copy of ‘The Hobbit’. I had always had something similar in mind for my own book: ‘A DEAD ELF’ (not a children’s book!) but updated, to reflect the differences in the two book’s content.

hobbit v strongoak cover

I was a little shy of mentioning this to my new publishers though, as it seemed a little ‘precious’ of me (ha). So, it was with excitement, and some trepidation, that I open the image file from my publisher – and was completely bowled over! It was like the talented artist and illustrator Alexandra Allden had been reading my mind! Just the right sort of ‘nod’, while being distinctive in itself. I could not have imagined a cover that more closely matched my expectations, or for that matter the book! Still in love with it – especially the soft touch paperback cover. Continue reading Telling a Book by its Cover

Nicely’s Appeal Explained

You can’t beat a good Venn diagram can you? Still love a good Venn diagram – and it’s the perfect method for explaining the appeal of ‘Detective Strongoak’ to readers of fantasy, comedy and detective fiction. So here we go:

The Appeal Of Detective Nicely Strongoak to Different Fiction Readers.
The Appeal Of Detective Nicely Strongoak to Different Fiction Readers.

So there we are! Very informative, I’m sure you’ll agree and clearly illustrating the target audience! Just about everybody who likes a good book! Continue reading Nicely’s Appeal Explained

Why surfing Elves?

I’ve always had a thing about surfing – as long as I can remember anyway. The trouble is I’m not very good at it. I’ve never lived very close to the sea (well not the sort of sea that actually has proper waves) and to be honest I’m not a great swimmer. This was really irritating when I was younger and good at other sports. Just how the bones get put together I guess.

Surfing in the Med with a short board
Surfing in the Med with a short board

However, it didn’t matter because I knew what surfing was really about – and I had a Silver Surfer T-shirt too. Surfing was about freedom. It was about magic. It was about being transported to a different world.

Which is why elves would go surfing of course. They’d be good at it too – curse them. They’d leave the rest of us standing, probably on the beach. They’d have the best boards too and they’d be cool without ever trying to be. If you have to try to be you’re not.

I also knew they’d be surfing elves in ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf’, and I don’t even remember how they got there. Years before Legolas tried any fancy footwork on a shield certainly.

It doesn’t mean I’ve got surfing out of my system. There’s a whole one-man show ready to go – or maybe it’s an epic poem. It’s called ‘Mickey Dora Lived for Me’ and apart from surfing it gets to deal with ‘The Beach Boys’ too.

Continue reading Why surfing Elves?

Physical, Got To Get Physical!

The ebook is here to stay. Of that there is no doubt. It’s a wonderful boon for the reading public, compact and accessible. One ‘click’ and you can be perusing the latest work from whoever takes your fancy – and because it’s cheap you can take a chance on a new writer without breaking the bank.

My own Kindle is amassing a nice library, with books tucked away for holidays and for future reference. I’ve taken some chances and been very impressed. Also, I need never worry again about W.H. Smith’s being closed and the scarey prospect of a bookless train journey lying ahead. And yet…

Isn't She Lovely?
Isn’t She Lovely?

The paperback version of my own book, the comedy fantasy ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf’ came in the post this week. The parcel was opened with the glee of a six-year-old on Christmas morning. I took the book out with me. We went to London together, we slept side-by-side and last night we went out for a curry with some other writers.

Continue reading Physical, Got To Get Physical!