Sunday, September 9, 2012

The River Finished

I'm resurrecting my 40 short story in 40 days challenge from the point where I left off.  For the past month and a half, I've been unfocused and bullshitting a lot.  No I'm motivated and ready to get stories post.  So far, I pulled an all nighter and wrote 3600 words for The River.  Today, my goal is to write at least 2000 words for Til Death Do We Part.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why I Won’t Read Another Free eBook

Taking off my writer hat and keeping on my reader outfit, I am not reading another free ebook AGAIN. Never fucking ever again. Okay, maybe I will if your book meets these following conditions:
1) I’m interested in reading your book only because of the hype surrounding it (50 Shades of Grey), but I’m not willing to pay for it because thousands of people have given bad reviews and good reasons as to why the book is so bad.

2) I’m looking to read outside my preferred genres, but not willing to shell out money for it.

3) One of my favorite authors offers a free book, which almost never happens.
Don’t mistake my position as another mindless rant about how free indie books are crap, nor is it one of those sappy proclamations of supporting other authors. Quite frankly, I could give a shit about supporting a starving author if I’m not interested in reading their books. I’ve taken on this position because I’m tired of downloading shit that I never get around to reading.

For the first 3 months of this year, I downloaded everything that looked interesting. “Ooh free, let me download it before it goes back to its regular price!” Five to eight months later, I still have well over 700 ebooks that I haven’t read, and I know that I’m not the only one with such a large TBR list. I probably won’t finish reading all this free shit until sometime next year.

I've become so disgusted by announcements of free books in my timeline that I’m unjoining readers groups and unfriending author motherfuckers. I’d rather pay for the book than to download yet another book that I won’t get around to reading within 12 months.

Print is Not Dead: Because of Ebooks

I don't understand the logic of ereader owners still buying and reading more expensive paper books, but I don't argue with readers' purchasing habits. I take them for what they are and conclude that print is far from dead.

E-book Nation
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

For Authors: Professionalism

A week ago today, I attended the Chicagoland Authors Expo where I met with other Chicagoland authors and gave a talk.  It was a very good event put on by Dominique Wilkins --the writer, not the basketball player.  Now that I've gotten a chance to sit down at my computer, I've taken the liberty to post the transcript of the talk that I gave on professionalism because the more I log onto the social networks, the more I see authors putting down other authors under the guise of protecting readers or for the sake of putting down other authors to appear as if they're shining gold above us unwashed, indie authors in the eyes of their peers and readers alike.


I came out today to meet everyone in this room and to give a talk on professionalism and how it relates in today’s business of writing and book-selling.  Unfortunately, the inspiration behind this topic comes from a lot of unprofessional behavior that I've seen online, particularly on facebook and kindleboards.

Being professional isn’t about how well you talk or how much you spam your social networks.

Professionalism extends beyond whether or not you hired a cover designer or a copyeditor.  Its not about having purchased ISBN number or registering as a business.

And professionalism is not about putting on airs in a desperate attempt to stand out amongst your peers. 
Let me expound upon that last point.

I’ve been seeing a growing minority of writers who engage in a daily ritual of putting down other authors for trivial matters such as publishing book with a homemade cover  or not getting said work copyedited.  I believe most of us agree that those aren’t the best practices for bookselling, but everyone has different reasons for writing and publishing books.  Regardless of how we may feel we need to respect one another as peers even if you don’t agree with another writer’s method of conducting business.  It is not our job as writers to put other writers on blast just because they don’t meet our subjective quality control standards.  We simply don’t vet work that we’ve never read under the guise of protecting readers from making bad purchases.  Fact of the matter is, readers are perfectly capable of separating good books from bad. 

That’s how it always has been and that’s how it always will be.  Readers are not stupid.  They can make their own choices as to who they want to read and the books they want to buy.  Let the marketplace determine whether or not a book is any good.

Speaking of which, its very unprofessional to hound a reviewer just because the rating that she gave you was lower you had hoped.  Listen, reviewers in many cases do a thankless job of reading and reviewing unknown authors in exchange for nothing more than a free book.  They are human beings giving their subjective opinion on a book.  If a reviewer gives you a less than favorable review.  Thank them for taking the time to review the book, don’t explain any perceived misinterpretation of your story, and certainly don’t send your fans to harass them.  This is not professional.  We need our reviewers to be able to feel comfortable giving their honest assessment of a book without fear of retribution.

One more thing about reviews, it is not professional to make accusations towards other authors of buying 5-star reviews just because you believe that they have too high of a number of 5-star reviews.

Don’t entertain or engage in any of this behavior because worrying about how other authors conduct their business is not going to positively impact yours.  Voicing faux concern about the quality of books or gaming the review system is neither going to build your backlist, nor put money in your pocket.  In all, unprofessional behavior is a big time vampire that accomplishes nothing.

So what is professionalism?

To put it simply, professionalism as a writer is about striving to improve your craft, making sure that you have the tools necessary to write a good books, and having the work ethic to write every day.  Its about not giving up when you feel like giving up.  Professionalism overall is about doing the right thing and not compromising your ethics to make a dollar.

So how can we as authors strive to be professionals?

Read a lot of fiction

 I know that many people say that they don’t have time to read.  Let’s face it, none of us have time for reading, so we gotta make time.  Fifteen minutes during a lunch break, a half-hour before going to bed, a quick read during our metra commute.  Fit reading in or as Stephen King says “you won’t have the tools to be writers.”

Write for at least an hour a day

Don’t wait for the eureka moment of the perfect idea falling out the sky before writing.  Park your ass in front of the computer and type.  Stephen King says that all writers should strive towards writing 2,000 words per day.  For now, just worry about fitting an hour a day in.  Don’t tell me you don’t have time, you can write 15 minutes during break, 45 minutes when you get home.  Or just break it up into four 15 minute spurts.  However you decide to do it, don’t tell me you don’t have time.  If you have time to watch Love and Hip Hop, you have an hour to write.

Submit your book to a publisher, or self-publish it

This goes back to writing an hour per day.  The more you write, the more work you’ll publish which translates to more income potential.  Why?  Because the more books you have, the more flexibility you have in running sales.  Let’s say you’re at a book fair and you have several titles.  You can offer sales like 2 for $15 or buy two, get one free, etc.  In ebook format, you can drop the price of one book to $2.99 or give it away for free to introduce people to you without giving away your entire backlist.  Writing more gives you more options.

Say please and thank you

Whenever someone reads and reviews your book, thank them.  Whenever someone recommends your book to someone else, thank them.  Whenever someone does something for you, thank them.

Network with other professionals

This is something that I need to improve upon, but look around.  Today is a great time to begin our professional relationships with one another.
As every one of you move forward in your writing endeavors, remember one thing.  BE PROFESSIONAL
Thank you

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Personal Short Story Challenge: Days 2 and 3

Yesterday and today I've been bogged down with a lot of non-writing related tasks that I absolutely had to get done.  I only wrote 221 words yesterday and 903 today, both for Til Death Do Us Part.  I hope to be able to get some more writing done on The River later tonight.  Gotta go!

Authors: Can we be too outspoken?

The title is a rhetorical question and I have no intention of delving into the matter with studies or any other data, nor will I tell you what you should do.

I'm seriously considering deactivating my facebook page.  All I end up doing is confronting ass clowns who speak as if they're the end-all, be all of publishing.  I don't like when authors disrespect other authors --directly or indirectly-- under the guise of reprimanding them for not taking a more professional approach towards writing and publishing their work.  We've seen it all before: "authors need to be more professional, author's need to hire an editor an a book cover designer, authors need to stop self-publishing..." Okay, that's enough.  Regurgitating vomit from self-appointed authorities on publishing such as other authors, book reviewers and other self-important ass clowns is pretty nauseating. 

My response to all this:


How is another author's arguably unprofessional approach towards writing and publishing books hurting me?  If a reader sees that shitty book with an even shittier homemade book cover they won't buy it.  That's hurting that particular author's brand and if another author wants to be known for putting out substandard work that's perfectly fine for me. This is the only industry where so-called professionals rag their peers.  I don't see Five Guys publicly insulting McDonald's for selling shitty burgers, because they're too busy selling the public $7.00 burgers that are far superior to McDonald's double cheeseburgers.

Different authors have different motivations for writing and publishing a book.  They write book as a hobby.  I write because I hope to never work a day job again unless its a rewarding opportunity that I can't refuse.  I don't knock other writers for their methods of publishing because the writers who chose to cut corners will not affect my business negatively or positively.  When it all boils down to it, its up to me to sit my ass at the computer and craft my stories.  Giving my unsolicited subjective opinion on authors' shitty publishing practices is not going to build my backlist or put any money in my pocket.  At best, putting down authors who choose not to be in my league --quality and talentwise-- only serves to distract me from building my backlist and making money.

My suggestion to other writers: focus on your own career.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Personal Short Story Challenge

I'm testing Dean Wesley Smith's theory for Making a Living Writing Short Fiction with a short story challege of my own, which I started today.  I can write 600-1500 words in an hour and since I have a lot of free time on my hands I will embark on a short story challenge in which I write 40 short stories in 40 days.  This means that I will attempt to write 40 short stories of various lengths in 40 days by writing 3-4 hours per day.  Some of these stories will become 10,000+ word novellas, I can live with that.  I know Dean Wesley Smith caused a shitstorm on a kindleboards post by suggesting that an author can write 50 quality short stories in one year.  Some dismissed it as being impossible.  Being a person who writes fast, I don't think this is impossible.  I released 5 short stories in 6 months last year and 3 so far this year after spending much of my time bullshitting procrastinating.  Now I'm going to test my discipline in participating in my challenge.

Here's my results so far:

1 hour: The River 1612 words

I pretty much bullshitted a lot of my day playing on facebook, texting and talking with friends on the phone.  I really need to close my browser out and focus on writing.  A few things I will do:

1) Spend most of my writing time at the library
2) Prohibit myself from using the internet during my writing hour

Now I must get back to work.  Hopefully, I can work on two more stories today.  If I do, I will update this blog.


1 hour: Til Death Do We Part 824 words

This story didn't flow as well as The River, but I'm satisfied with my progress.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Writers and Book Authors: Value Your Work

When Amazon opened their retail channels to independent authors, a huge door opened.  This meant an opportunity to publish without gatekeepers, digital distribution to potential Amazon customers for all, and new money for some.  Essentially, this gave us the opportunity to start our own publishing businesses overnight.  

Unfortunately, many authors got the opportunity to start their own businesses with nary a clue in basic business principles.  That’s when a stampede of authors raced each other to hell as they stomped, crawled and shoved anything standing in the way to lower the price of their novel to 99 cents hoping to replicate John Locke’s success.  Some achieved a lot of sales, and some saw no change in their results.  

Then Amazon introduced KDP Select which allowed authors to offer their ebooks for free for a limited number of days ONLY if they agreed to unpublish their ebook from other sales channels as part of their 90-day exclusivity agreement.  Many authors signed up –including myself—and saw huge sales increases after their free promotion expired.   This was 6-7 months ago.  Fast forward to today, Amazon has changed their algorithms and we’re no longer seeing the same sales bounce coming off free promos that we saw several months ago.  Many authors are blaming the sales decline on the increase in the sheer number of free books being offered.  People are being trained to pay nothing for books they complain.

So these authors naturally pulled their books out of KDP Select, right?  


Instead, those same authors are saying:

"Why leave select?

When B&N and Apple roll out anything that remotely compares with Select in its leveraging of their own visibility systems. Even with the topsy turvy changes in sales bumps neither of these two other distributors have anything close (Nook First but that seems more geared for new releases) then you'll have something more than just equilibrium across all platforms to compare with.
If you're already gaining sales or able to maintain them on B&N or Apple then that makes sense to get a run on Amazon and then expand out. But the argument that you can't do much worse I'd have to say, yes you could. Slow sales and low visibility spread across all platforms and not much you can do to leverage any visibility system.”
Because Amazon no longer seems to give a shit about authors in Select.  I hope I'm wrong, but if I hope in one hand and shit in the other, I think we all can figure out which will fill up faster.
“I am still getting more borrows on several of my novels than I ever got sales at B&aN and iApple so it makes me stay in, especially since I see no way of promoting on either venue. I'm open to giving them a try, but I have to have some reason to. No, Select isn't working for me as well as it once did, but it still works better than the nothing that they offer.”
I don't like massa mistreating me, but at least he lets my wife come home to me after he has his way with her.

“Now, I'm aware that Amazon has changed their algorithms since December, causing a dropoff in the post-free bounce, but I've had one title go free four times, and even with the dropoff, it's providing me with a lot more visibility and sales post-free than I would've otherwise had.”
Visibility to more hoarders and less to paying readers.

Those are only a handful of the kindleboards posts that have pretty much said “yeah, Select is losing its effectiveness, but why pull out when the other channels haven’t garnered many sales for you.
It is my opinion that KDP Select no longer produces enough sales to justify the opportunity cost of not having your book for sale on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBookstore, Sony Reader bookstore, and Diesel.  Granted I only had a handful of sales in six months with the other online stores –before pulling out to satisfy Amazon KDP Select’s exclusivity agreement—the opportunity cost was those sales, and the potential for a sales increase.  This is why I enrolled in Select with the intent to re-enroll into those other retailers after the 90-days were up because the opportunity cost was high.
Of course, 90 days came and went and I re-enrolled because I was satisfied with the sales bounce.  Then April arrived and the algorithms changed.  No more sales bounce, yet I’m stuck in this program for 90 days.  I HATE EXCLUSIVITY!  Once July 24, 2012 comes around, I will be publishing my ebooks with the other online retailers.  With that said, I encourage authors to do one thing.
There are too many authors who are unwilling to let go of KDP Select after they’ve decided not to encourage sales for their independent authors as of the date of this blog.  Instead, they continue to give more and more of their work away for free in exchange for minimal sales afterwards.  They won’t opt-out of Select because they’re still believing that they’re getting way more exposure than before.  THIS IS FEAR-BASED THINKING.  You're only getting more exposure from hoarders and freeloaders are downloading your shit without as many paying readers to back up those freeloads with paid downloads.
Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not against giving away downloads of my ebooks because freebies are part of the cost of running a business.  However, I am against giving away my shit AND being exclusive to an online retailer who won’t do their part and help me achieve a big sales increase in return for my participation.  That’s flat out fucking wrong on Amazon’s part.
Another thing…
I see too many authors pricing their work in the gutter for no other reason beyond “it worked for such and such and he says that more people buy books when they’re $2.99 or less.  Anything above $2.99 is too expensive.”  That’s fucking nonsense.  I love to write and share my stories with readers.  Nothing for me compares.  However, the royalty rates at all the retailers makes selling short stories and novels at the 99 cent price level downright criminal.  For fuck’s sake, I’d rather do a giveaway than to price my shit at 99 cents permanently.
Short stories and novellas need to be priced between 2.99 - 3.99 and novels should be priced no lower than $4.99.  
Radical?  I’ve already read the arguments on other blogs about how those price points are ripping off the readers.  That’s complete bullshit.  Traditional publishers are charging well over $10.00 for their ebooks and are seeing record profits.  Those same blogger have spelled doomsday for the big, traditional publishers for the past 5 years, yet every year they post profit gains higher than the previous year.  Plus, if a reader thinks that three bucks for a short story is a rip off, then that reader’s problems have nothing to do with my price and have everything to do with their personal circumstances.  Me charging two dollars less isn’t going to help their circumstances one bit.
But Glenn, you’ll get more sales for your short stories at 99 cents.
And more sales at 99 cents is not worth it because the royalty rate is 35% at that price point and 60% for books priced 2.99 and up on most sales channels.  Because of that, it takes 10 sales at .99 cents to equal the royalty amount for one sale at 4.99.  Pricing all my titles at 2.99 and up works for me –99 cents doesn’t.
I urge authors to increase their prices to 2.99 and up.  Selling anything at 99 cents is pointless.  The royalty is so low that you might as well give the book away.

To all my writers and book authors...


Your stories are worth more than a candy bar.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ad-Supported Ebooks

There’s a lot of talk amongst authors about the ebook revolution and where publishing is headed.  I’ve read many blogs and participated in online discussion groups where some authors believe that print will be dead much like the cassette tape and the vcr.  Many have said that all ebooks will be free and that they forsee an ad-supported model because more and more readers are deciding that this is what they want.

My take on this…

They are absolutely wrong.  People hate ads and go through great lengths to avoid them.  This is why people buy TiVos and other devices that allow people to skip commercials.  Have you heard the news lately?  Dish network is getting sued by cable companies over the Hopper –which allows their customers to skip commercials- citing copyright infringements.  It appears that the Hopper is making a big splash in the cable service provider market because they’re giving people what they want.

Ad-supported ebooks are not what the people want.  As recent history has indicated, consumers will go through great lengths to avoid ads and ignore them altogether.  Sure, some cheapskates will indulge in free, ad-supported books as early adopters, but in the end they’ll grow pissed off with ads and avoid ad-supported ebooks like the plague by either buying non ad-supported ebooks or downloading pirated non ad-supported ebooks from torrent sites.

On the other hand, ads absolutely make sense on ereading devices as people can either sit through the 20 second ads on kindle fire-like devices and get to their book, or buy a non ad-supported device altogether.  What an ad-supported model for ebooks might end up doing is strengthening traditional publishers.  They’ll continue to publish non ad-supported books and continue to make record profits while indie authors who have no business sense will continue to self-loathe as they try to figure out ways to make money on ad-supported free.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Writers Seeking Validation From Book Reviewers

There's a misconception that I hate book reviewers.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I LOVE BOOK REVIEWERS regardless whether they give me 5-star, 3-star, or 1-star reviews. This is one reason I seek out readers to review my books.

I only speak out against the self-important assholes who throw their faux superiority around like touchdown passes.  Its sickening when I see the self-important assholes put on airs giving unsolicited advice to writers as if they're experts on what's best for a writer's career when THEY'RE NOT.  This is like patients giving surgeons advice on how to conduct a surgical operation on the basis of having one or several operations performed on them.

I also speak out against authors who validate these assholes by assigning them a level of superiority that they haven't earned.  It hurts me to see writers explaining to reviewers why they wrote what they wrote and why the reviewer should reconsider their review.  This only serves to perpetuate the inferiority complex that many of my writing peers struggle with while stroking the ego of the self-important reviewer, so hell yes I speak out against it whenever I get an opportunity.

Reviewers, just because you don't like a book doesn't give you a platform to snicker and be downright disrespectful towards authors or anyone for that matter.

Authors, you need to stop kissing everyone's ass.  If you don't lose your need to feel validated you'll never be at peace with yourself because you'll never be able to satisfy everyone, no matter how good a book you write.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Story Lengths

I really hate guidelines.  I've hated guidelines as far as I could remember.  I always colored outside the lines, I wore my t-shirts inside-out, I never stayed on the sidewalk, and I turned my homework in 2 days past due.  I noticed that my fellow writing peers love guidelines because they were the ones who did their homework, maintained neatly shaded-in coloring books and took pride in being the teacher's pet and following unnecessary guidelines.  In other words, most of them never learned how to think for themselves.

Once in a while, someone like myself who enters through the backdoor.  Most times, I kick in the front door when I grow tired of that big musclehead asshole telling me no and crash the party and piss a few people off in the process because I choose not to play nice and go along with bullshit to get along,118263.0.html  Oh well, I stopped giving a fuck about people's unspoken guidelines long before my first one-star review, but once in a while guidelines are vital.  So I've taken the liberty to share some of my guidelines after having browsed websites with 10 different story formats. SHIT!

Speaking of which, I really fucking hate the word novelette.  It confuses people outside of the writing community, readers in most instances don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, and it doesn't roll off my tongue well.  Novellette --what the fuck is a novelette?  Is novella the tall blonde and novelette the short brunette?  Fuck if I know, nor do I give a shit.  Because I hate the word novelette I'm not going to use it.  Here's a list of three basic story formats that I adhere to when writing and publishing stories:

Short Stories - 5000 words or less (20 pages or less)  $2.99 ebook, no print

Novellas - 7000 - 25000 words ( 28 - 100  pages) $3.99 - $4.99 ebook,
$9.99 paperback *at least 20,000 words if I have it in print.

Novels - 40,000 words or more ( 160 pages or more) $7.99 - $9.99 ebook,
$15.99 - $19.99 paperback

Really fucking simple there, right? 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Self-Indulgent Blog Post: My Personal Writing Challenge

Good morning bitches readers.  I know, I haven't posted a blog in over a year because I don't give a damn about frequently updating my blog I've been busy working and writing 12 short stories under two pen names, with the majority being published under my Glenn Gamble pen name.   In short, blogging was a pain in the ass for me and I stopped.

Funny how much things change a year later.

 I'm no longer juggling writing with working, for I've been laid-off from my last employer.  I knew that day was coming for months in advance which gave me a lot of time to decide what I was going to do once the day finally came.


But I haven't been writing.  For the two weeks I've been unemployed I haven't written much at all.   Honestly, I've been bullshitting thinking about the next phase in my life and the things that I have to do to get there — outside of writing. I haven't been doing a good job of motivating myself to park my ass in front of my computer to hammer out these stories.

Nope, I've been bullshitting resting, and quite frankly I've never been so lazy slept better.  I'm working out twice a day, and I even shaved my head, but I feel like I'm isolated out here in the suburbs with no friends to talk to and a ton of idle time.  No one understands what I've set out to do, and I don't expect people to understand, but for me, those social nuances makes writing such a solitary and lonely endeavor.  Sometimes I feel inadequate because I haven't put in the work that I need to put in on a daily basis, yet I have no one that I can call that can relate to how I'm feeling.  Most people will just say "quit being so hard on yourself," but I don't need my lack of productivity to be validated, nor do I need pity.  I need a peer and a mentor to give me guidance when it comes to the writing career that I'm pursuing, but its best for me to assume that I'll never have those two people in my personal life, so I need to blog.

I don't intend to spend hours each day blogging, but I need to blog once in a while because I need to communicate with people even if I don't know who my visitors are; or if anyone will respond to my blogs at all.  I have to communicate with the world wide web the things that I can't express on my facebook wall.  This will keep me motivated and this is how I will hold myself accountable in working towards my writing goals which is to write and publish 52 short stories in one year.  That averages out to one short story per week.

I came up with this goal after reading a blog entitled Making a Living with Your Short Fiction where Dean Wesley Smith proposes the idea that a writer can write 50 short stories (5000 words each) in a year by writing for one hour per day which equates to writing 1,000 words per day. Considering that I tend to write a lot of stories, I thought this idea was brilliant, but another kindleboards writer discussing the same blog disagreed:

...DWS assumes that right out of the gate, using only one hour a day, you’re going to write 50 short stories a year! Then you’re going to pick the best 25—a year!—and send those off. But it gets better, because by the end of year three you’ll have self-published about 100 of the 150 stories—nearly double Heinlein’s lifetime output in three years, working one hour a day—and another 50 in year 4 to bring you up to 150 published stories to Heinlein's 59.
One final bit. Ray Bradbury, one of the most prolific writers of short stories of all time, wrote around 400 stories across his whole lifetime, most of that spent as a professional, full-time writer. But DWS thinks you’re able to pull that off in six years, one hour day, starting from zero. I say bull----.,117867.msg1759133.html#msg1759133
To make a long story short, the writer doesn't think its possible to write 50 shorts stories a year by writing just one hour per day —he reiterates this point in later post,117867.msg1759197.html#msg1759197  Furthermore, he challenged the other KB members to find someone who has made a living publishing 50 short stories per year.

I love when someone says that something within my ability (writing) is impossible.  Getting to the computer every day to type 1000 words in one hour is hard work, but its not extremely hard work given that its only one hour per day.  So I challenge myself to write and publish 50 stories in a year just writing 1000 words per day.  This is in addition to the novels that I'm working on —for those of you who keep asking me when I'm going to release another full-length novel, I'm still going to write those novels during this challenge since I'm unemployed with lots of free time.  For those of you who want to follow my fifty short story challenge, I will post daily updates of my progress on stories that I'm working on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Interview with Shaun Allan

Name of the book:
Kindle Price:
99c £1.14

Available from:
(i.e. Amazon Kindle US, Amazon Kindle UK, Smashwords, Nook, etc)

Amazon UK:
Amazon US (ebook):
Amazon US (print):
Barnes & Noble:
Lulu (in print):
Apple US:
Apple UK:
Authors Website:

A writer of many prize winning short stories and poems, Shaun Allan has written for more years than he would perhaps care to remember. Having once run an online poetry and prose magazine, he has appeared on Sky television to debate, against a major literary agent, the pros and cons of internet publishing as opposed to the more traditional method. Many of his personal experiences and memories are woven into Sin’s point of view and sense of humour although he can’t, at this point, teleport.
Shaun lives with his one partner, two daughters, three cats and four fish!

Tell me about your book?

Well, the ‘blurb’ goes like this…
What would you do? Could you kill a killer? Does the death of one appease the deaths of a hundred? What about that hundred against a thousand?

What if you had no choice?

Meet Sin. No, not that sort of sin, but Sin, crazy as a loon (you ask Sister Moon), and proud of it. Sin locks himself away in an asylum and, every so often, gets violent. That’s only so they’ll give him those nice drugs, though. The ones that help him forget.

It’s a pity they don’t work.

Sin, you see, has a serious problem. Well, it’s not so much his problem, as ours – yours, mine and everyone else’s. People die around Sin. He doesn't like it and there's nothing he can do about it. But someone else knows, and Sin has to stop them... and himself...

Flip and catch...

It’s a supernatural thriller that centers on one man, Sin. Sin just wants to be an ordinary guy. He wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not, and it’s not something he can help. As such, and after discovering his sister committed suicide after finding she was similarly afflicted, he incarcerates himself in an asylum in the hope that drugs and therapy will help. When it doesn’t, he escapes, only to find, thanks to a visit by his dead sibling, that his ‘talent’ had been discovered and was being used.

Sin has to stop the person responsible, but first has to learn to control the beast inside himself – before someone else gets hurt.

What will readers like about your book?

The writing style of Sin in somewhat unusual. It’s a narrative and, as such, is written in the first person, but it’s written in such a way, Sin’s points of view, strange thought processes and dark humour are a very big part of the story. You laugh at things that are gross, and, hopefully, Sin questions things that you, the reader will wonder about yourself.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

Sin started life as a short story. That was all I’d intended it to be, but he wouldn’t stay quiet, so the short story became the prologue to the novel. In fact, Sin still doesn’t keep still and has his own blog – his diary from within the asylum. And a sequel is in the offing too.

There’s a lot of me in Sin. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing!

When did you start writing?

I began writing when I was a young child. Apparently I used to write stories and draw pictures to go along with them. As I’ve grown older, my writing has (I hope) improved, but my artistic skills certainly haven’t, so I’ve left the drawings behind! Probably a good thing!

When did you realize that you were a serious writer?

I realized I wanted to be a serious writer when my English teacher (to whom Sin is partly dedicated) read To Kill A Mockingbird to the class. We were all spellbound and I wanted one of my stories to have that effect. Luckily Sin has been getting excellent reviews, so I hope I’ve achieved that!

When did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

I always have. I’ve started many, but it wasn’t until I began putting myself into it (sense of humour, thoughts etc.) that the short story became something more.

Why did you choose this particular genre to write your book in?

I didn’t choose the genre. It chose me. I wrote the story and that’s what it ended up being. Although I do love Stephen King and Dean Koontz – both of which Sin has been compared to. How humbling is that!?

What is your writing process?

I start to write. I don’t plan the story – I can’t seem to do that. For the blog, for example, I only have the first sentence and the story flows from that. Occasionally I’ll have an aim – the blog will sometimes feature a someone’s book so their main character will become an inmate to help promote, but even then I have no idea how it will turn out. I quite like it though – if I’m surprised by what happens then perhaps the reader will be!

How long does it take you to write your first draft?

I don’t actually have a lot of time to write. I squeeze it in between work and family. Sin actually took ten years to write, although I did manage 15,000 words whilst on holiday in Egypt!

Why did you publish on Kindle and other eReaders?

I once, about 15 years ago, appeared on Sky TV, on their technology channel, to debate traditional publishing (championed by an agent from Curtis Brown) as opposed to online publishing (with me raising the standard). At the time I ran an online magazine for poetry and prose, so it was natural for me to move into that area when I finally completed my novel. At the time, I had no idea I’d eventually be able to read a full length book on my mobile phone!

What kind of advice would you like to share with an aspiring writer who’s looking to publish a book for the first time?

Take a deep breath, and don’t let it seem too daunting. Promoting your book can be harder than writing it, but it pays off, and you meet some fabulous people along the way – all in the same boat!