Exclusive: Chapter 3 of A Storm Hits Valparaíso

The best piece of writing advice I ever received was write the book you want to read. The kind of books I love have a huge cast of characters, often starting in completely separate, exotic locations, whose narrative strands gradually interweave. I think readers – of any genre – like some kind of puzzle in the story. They like figuring out where things are going to go next. One of the writer’s jobs is to give them enough information here and there, and then pull the rug out from under their feet. If you do it too often though, you will piss them off. But if it’s all predictable, it will get boring too. This tension is one of many Read More…

That Bear Ate My Pants: A Home Run On Day One

Today, I have a guest post from indie author Tony James Slater. I first met Tony at a writer’s conference in 2010. Neither of us remember much about the encounter, which is a testament to the hard working bar staff of York University. I was trying to snag an agent for my historical novel, and he was hitting the same brick wall with his account of his exotic adventures in Ecuador. When I heard Tony was self-publishing, I was delighted, as I knew how hard he had worked the traditional route, with no joy. I also knew that if his book was half as funny as he was, he had a hit on his hands. He posted a sample from Read More…

An International Challenge to Amazon? From Spain?

Those of us here in Europe have long been puzzled by Amazon’s go-slow international policy. I live in Stockholm, a wealthy city with a population that seems to be fond of their gadgets. Fancy laptops are everywhere, iPhones are ubiquitous, and iPads are becoming popular, despite high taxes and relative cost. I have friends in Amsterdam, Warsaw, Munich, Prague, and Dublin who say the same thing. Only in London have Kindles started to make an appearance. In Europe, the Kindle has only been officially launched in the UK and, just over a month ago, Germany. There, the Kindle is 50% more expensive than in the US. Plus, they haven’t bothered to translate the menus or instructions from English.