Thursday Cite & Insight Invite – 25th May

“I went to a bus station crammed with buses, but only got on the one going my way.” – Roy Stolworthy

So saith a self-published writer on LinkedIn in a discussion I saw recently.  A member of one of the writers’ groups asked whether there were too many authors, and if so, was that the reason why they did not sell very many books?  A couple of replies were to the effect that authors write what they want to write about, and so possibly might fail to write about what is actually trending.  Another, Roy Stolworthy, wrote that he went to a bus station crammed with buses, but only got on the one which was going his way.

I liked the last reply.  It says a lot.  Readers will buy books based on their genre preferences.  I prefer to write novels about family dramas which some call ‘women’s fiction’, so therefore, in theory, should my books appeal to half of the entire world’s population?  It would be great if they did, but as I’m not yet up there in the best-seller lists, maybe some of the women are catching a different bus!

What do you think? Are there too many authors?  I’m starting to think along the lines that no, there are not too many authors, but maybe there are too many free books available.  Readers tend to favour the free books instead of paying even $0.99 for one.  Therefore authors will see decreased sales, although I do tend to see a spike in purchased books when my own KDP free promotions end.  However, I have reduced the number of days that my books are given away for free now. After ‘A House Without Windows’ was free for a weekend in April I had over 1100 downloads and 15 verified purchases the next day, but after ‘Revenge’ was free for a weekend recently I only had 12 downloads and no verified purchases afterwards. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but I still think it’s the number of free books available that might be causing a lack of sales for some authors.

I’d welcome comments on this topic.  ‘A House Without Windows’ is more of a thriller/suspense, whereas ‘Revenge’ is more women’s fiction, so again perhaps the thriller genre is more popular.  There’s my answer then – I need to catch the correct bus and write another thriller!

Tasty?

The new Stevie seems to be nearly a stone lighter.  I’m feeling a lot better since my radiotherapy treatment finished 2 weeks ago, but the weight is still staying off.  Anything sweet tastes like radiation (yes, you can taste it, believe me) and I find I’m repulsed by the sight of cakes, biscuits, or anything full of sugar.  Even fruit I haven’t been able to eat, as it also tastes strange, and burns my mouth and the inside of my throat.

I suppose it’s not a bad thing, but I did enjoy a nice piece of fruit cake before the treatment began.  I still buy it, but Sam ends up eating it.  He’s putting on weight, and has had to start visiting the gym again.  All my trousers are a little too baggy now, and I’ve had to invest in a belt.  I’m wolfing down snacks of hummus and crackers, sausage rolls or toast in-between meals, as my appetite has returned with a vengeance.  However, my taste buds have not.

I can’t get used to my flat stomach!  I’ve lost 3 inches off my waist and keep waiting for the old Stevie shape to re-appear, but the scales stay fixed at 9 stones.  My knees have never felt better though, and are thanking me for losing ten pounds of flab.  What a way to lose it though.

I’m a bit sad to have lost my taste for fruit cake and the lovely summer fruits that are in the supermarkets now.  I only hope that with time my taste buds come alive again and allow me to partake of just a little bit of lemon drizzle cake or sultana loaf.  Is life worth living without a slice of genoa cake?  I suppose it is, but I’ll just have to get used to ‘The new normal’ (usually abbreviated to ‘The new norm’), a favourite phrase of the clinical nurse specialists in the department where I used to work.  Now I understand what they were going on about.

Due to a sinus problem my late aunt had not been able to taste a thing for years.  She would always cook a roast dinner on Sundays, eat every scrap, and exclaim – ‘That was a lovely dinner!’.  Poor old June.  At least I’ve got some sort of sense of taste, albeit a severely mutilated one.

Tuesday Newsday – 23rd May

The blog below was written yesterday, but I feel I must also mention my horror at waking up this morning to read of yet another terrorist attack – this time at Manchester Arena, a place we have visited often.  My thoughts today are with the victims and their families.  Will this senseless carnage ever end?


 

On my BBC News app is a rather sad item of news.  After 146 years, America’s most celebrated circus Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus has staged its final performance in New York.

The company’s train was the primary residence for most of the close-knit community of performers, who hail from 13 different countries.  The decision to close has been due to falling ticket sales and high operating costs.  Also they have had to deal with animal rights campaigners, who are welcoming the decision to close the circus. From the article I could see a picture of a supporter of one of the animal rights groups outside a circus tent dressed as a lion, and holding a placard which stated ‘Bye-bye animal abusers.’

We’ve taken our granddaughters to the circus in past years, and there have always been lots of empty seats.  It occurred to me as I sat and watched the show, that many of the children appeared bored and could not sit still.  Used to modern computer games, iPhones and fast, flickering TV screens, perhaps they feel the circus is old hat and is unexciting?  It’s a sad sign of the times indeed.

I’ve always enjoyed watching the skill of the trapeze artists and acrobats, but can take or leave the clowns.  In fact, one of my granddaughters thought the clown’s face was quite frightening!  I have noticed the rising price of tickets over the years, and perhaps that’s also what is putting people off.

Are you sad to see the end of the circus?  Can it compete with modern day electronic entertainment?  I don’t think it can, and therein lies the problem.

 

Win A £50 Amazon Gift Card And A Signed Copy Of Glimpses

I’m having a go at this competition – what about you?

Hugh's Views & News

Here’s a chance to win a £50 *Amazon gift card and a signed copy of my book, Glimpses, in this brand new free to enter competition.

All you have to do is answer a question and complete a caption to be in with a chance of winning.

So, here’s the question.

What number do you get when adding together the number of sweets in the following two photos, to the number of short stories in Glimpses?

#competition #prizes #Amazon#competition #prizes #Amazon

Tiebreaker: – Here I am reading my own book! Using no more than 15 words, come up with a caption for the photo.

Hugh W. Roberts reading his new book Glimpses #competition #prizes #Amazon

Email your answers to glimpsescomp@yahoo.co.uk, no later than 23:59 GMT on Saturday 30th September 2017, ensuring you enter ‘Glimpses Competition’ in the subject line.

The winner will be contacted by email no later than Wednesday 18th October 2017. The name of the winner, along with the answer to the competition and the winning…

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Open Book Blog Hop – 22nd May

Today we’re writing about what’s on our bucket list.

This year I was fortunate enough to be able to tick one of the things off my bucket list that had been on there for some time; the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  We had previously been to Rio’s Sambadrome to see the carnival parades there, and this February had a wonderful cruise from Fort Lauderdale, taking in Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and New Orleans.

Cruise (271).JPG

Also this year due to an inheritance from my late mother I was able to tick another one off the list; buying a holiday home on the Isle of Wight.  Sam and I will be catching the ferry again at the end of the week and enjoying the warmer weather down on the beach at St. Helens.  We’ve been travelling to the Island for as long as I can remember, but now have our own little bolt-hole to escape to.  Our sons are looking forward to taking it over during August!

Holiday Home

Is there anything else on my bucket list?  There’s just one thing; to live long enough to see my grandchildren grow up.  I’ve no idea if I’ll be lucky enough to achieve this, but after the radical cancer treatment I’ve just had, I think (and hope) I might be in with a good chance!

What’s on your bucket list?  Add your blog to this one and find out what’s on other blog-hoppers’ lists by clicking on the blue button below:

Rules:
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.



Saturday Sale – 21st May

‘Revenge’, my family drama of adultery, jealousy and retribution will be FREE today and tomorrow only:

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http://bookShow.me/B00YVKRX14

Teacher Alistair Veale is just coasting along in his 20 year marriage to Ann. His two sons Tom and Jake are growing up fast and have their own interests, but he still enjoys a close relationship with 13-year-old daughter Jessie, his ‘Princess’.

When Alistair takes 14 children from his tutor group on a week-long school trip to the Isle of Wight, a new Science teacher, Carly Jessop, goes along to keep an eye on the 6 girls. Alistair notices a growing attraction between himself and Carly, which cannot be ignored.

However, when Alistair and Carly begin an affair the consequences are horrific and far-reaching, threatening not only Alistair’s livelihood, but also his peace of mind and the relationship he has with his own three children.

NOW WITH A BRAND NEW ENDING, WRITTEN IN NOVEMBER 2016!


5.0 out of 5 stars Daydreams Come True

on July 20, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition

Only great writers can make daily life rich. Ms. Turner accomplishes making the mundane shine. She provides momentary frissons that climb up your back as Alistair gets led by the proverbial ‘short and curlies’ down a surprisingly unpredictable trail in this heartfelt compact novel. The author foreshadows trouble using hints and suggestions that could be taken either way, brilliantly leading readers and characters down the garden path. “Jeez! Black walls?” Most remarkable about the story of ‘Revenge’ are the unexpected twists and turns that play out in a story of everyday lives shattered and seen through a microscope.

‘Revenge’ just wouldn’t be complete without the scintillating foreplay and warm sex between Alistair in his tryst with red-headed beauty, Carly and then the caring portrayal of rekindled warmth with his wife of 20 years, Ann. Through the protagonist, Alistair’s, eyes, the reader notices the things that most men care about in women. Indecision reigns supreme just as it would in real life.

The reader runs the gamut of an emotional rollercoaster, once siding with Alistair and curious about the reasons for his daughter’s betrayal and then questioning the main character’s motivations. Stevie Turner catches the magic of the commonplace and lets the reader decide. Is this a moral tale, shaming Alistair to get him to behave or are we reading about the devil in disguise? You’ll have to pick it up to see for yourself. A great read. A normal marriage goes bad. The causes seem transparent, but the way we ride through it makes it visceral. Highly recommended! 5 Stars.


New Book Needs Reviews Please!

Hi all, the second edition of ‘The Porn Detective’ is finished and needs some reviews please.  If anybody would like to receive a free copy for reading and reviewing, please leave a comment below.  It’s a family tale and would suit fans of women’s fiction dramas.  I’ve added a synopsis below:

After 30 years of marriage, Frances Andrews is no longer in denial of her husband Martin’s addiction to pornography.  Martin has always told her that watching porn is harmless, and that all men do it.  He also tells her that she is even more addicted to searching out stashes of porn.

Frances is sick of playing mind games and being a porn detective. She tells Martin that their marriage is over and that she has applied to the council for a flat.  She also tells him that she does not want to take part in his sexual fantasies anymore, does not trust him because of secret cameras, lies and past affairs, and does not want to be part of his life.  She tells him quite firmly that his addiction is out of control.

Martin is devastated that his wife wants to leave him, stops looking at porn immediately, and begs Frances to accompany him for marriage guidance counselling. They visit the same person, Rhona, whom they had seen a few years previously.  Frances is adamant that counselling will not change her mind, and that their issues will not be solved by talking about them. She reminds Martin how he has vowed to stop many times before, but has not been able to carry it through.  Martin tells her that her threat to leave him has finally made him come to his senses.

Will counselling bring Martin and Frances back together, or will Frances pluck up enough courage to leave?  Told from both perspectives, The Porn Detective delves into the murky world of porn addiction and the effect it has on a previously happy marriage.

Friday Roundup – 19th May

1.  Thanks to Sally Cronin for this list of author services and promotion sites:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/author-services-and-promotion-sites/

2.  Thanks to Nicholas C. Rossis for these 10 WordPress tips for beginner writers:

https://nicholasrossis.wordpress.com/2017/05/13/10-useful-wordpress-tips-for-beginning-writers/

3.  Thanks to Roz Morris for this blog on making a living as a writer using social media:

https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/making-a-living-as-a-writer-how-social-media-can-be-a-long-term-investment-for-your-career/

4.  Thanks to Am I Doing This Right? for these pitch contests:

https://johnrberkowitz.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/2017-pitch-contest-calendar/

5.  Have you voted yet?

http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/05/18/2017-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-voting-open-bloggersbash-bloggersbash/#more-6477

6.  Joanna Penn, guest author on Jerry Jenkins’ blog, gives authors 3 reasons not to worry about piracy:

https://www.jerryjenkins.com/3-reasons-authors-shouldnt-worry-piracy-protect-anyway/

7.  Thanks to Rachel Poli for this blog on how to radically revise your novel:

How To Radically Revise Your Novel

Thanks to Chris, the Story Reading Ape, Siefkin Publications, Don Massenzio, Just Olga, Sue Vincent, and But I Smile Anyway for the re-blogs.