I didn’t forget about you. Honest.
The thing is, I haven’t really had anything good to share for a few months, so rather than treat this as a therapist’s couch, I thought I’d just trundle on until I could turn the corner.
So, the main thing I’ve been wrestling with has been the start of the great Robot War of 2023. Now this hasn’t been like those sci-fi comic strips promised me. No laser guns, no red-eyed cyborgs, no demand to “let’s do this” with accompanying fist pump. Nope.
For some opaque reason, and prompted by a nudge from a reader, Amazon finally informed me that they had suspended all reviews for SLATER’S PIT. A bit of a surprise to say the least. As you may have gathered, reviews are the lifeblood of a book, mainly because the Sainted Algorithm will provide better performance to a book with a good handful of reviews, making sure it shows up in searches and so on, so finding out that no-one could leave reviews was a concern, to say the least. What made the matter worse was being told that only one department would be able to comment, and that department was entirely staffed by robots, who sent me subtly different versions of the same email for the month I was trying to get this sorted out.
No progress. I was a bit despondent.
Then, out of nowhere, I received an intervention that really did me the power of good. A writer I hugely respect, who I had sent a copy of the book to some months ago, got in touch out of nowhere with some kind words, and then, gave me a bit of a reality check – get back on the horse, essentially. So, that’s what I’ve done. SLATER’S PIT has been wiped clean, had a plaster stuck on its bloody knee, and relaunched – all reviews have been wiped, and I start again. So, if you’ve bought it already and haven’t left a review, then, how dare you! and more to the point, don’t worry about it. If you haven’t bought it yet, then now would be a very good time to do it, if you are so minded, and I’d be hugely grateful if you’d consider leaving a review.
And with all that said, it also encouraged me to push on and get the first draft of the third Grace book finished, and yesterday, I typed the last line. I’m going to let it sit for a little while now, and then go back to the start and get polishing. There’s quite a lot of moving parts in this one, and I need to just make sure it all fits together nicely. Hopefully that won’t take too long, and I can get it released in a few months.
I’ve got a story in the tribute comic to Dave (Bolt-01) Evans. Dave was a huge presence in small press comics, and I was very humbled to be included in a couple of the anthologies that he put together. Sadly, Dave passed away in 2021, which has prompted the creation of a one-off anthology featuring a range of contributors – from industry legends to upstarts like me – who were all affected by Dave’s passing. All profits are going to Survivors Of Bereavement By Suicide, as requested by Dave’s family. I’d really appreciate it if you considered supporting the Kickstarter campaign, which can be found here.
That’ll do for now. As always, you know where to find me if you have any thoughts or questions, and thanks, as ever, for reading.
*picture from the local knackers yard. Bit on the nose, if you ask me.