Al's Place

I welcome you to my new blog


April 2013

The last post

imagesCA3EEB2H This will be the last post from me on here. The reason is that despite having over 400 followers (apparently), there are only 1 or 2 people who read the posts, so it is my call that for me:- WordPress failed when you consider the connections to all the major links on line.

If you wish to keep up with my work (?) here are some links:-


Why I won’t use Smashwords.

I usually try to be non-controversial but today I am breaking my rule, Why?
I feel I need to explain something which bothers me and I realise this situation will make me unpopular with many people, but please read on and think to yourself. Is he right?

I am in favour of people making money and getting on, one of the best ways is to set up a company and find the areas your competition is not covering – economics 101. To this point I am with Smashwords, but from here things get to use an Abs term from NCIS – more than a little hinky.

About 18 months ago, everybody my friends going on that I should join Smashwords. “Okay, I will give it a try” I thought. The first thing I did was check the coverage area for sales potential and here my suspicions were more than aroused as Smashwords supplies to what the elder of the readers know as the “Soviet blok,” to the younger generation this term applies to countries formerly governed by the Russians, whose business was controlled by the KGB. The name may have changed and now they do business in the open but it is still the old ways running the business. Watch the Michael Caine film “Midnight in St. Petersburg.”

He is also supplying goods to the Far East which to me says triads and child pornography. Also he is supplying Scandinavia which would be Okay but who has sold anything to Finland or Sweden recently?

Putting aside the fact you need to read a 64 page manual to do the most basic task and the number of complaints of books being sold after being told to remove them by the author and the writer not getting a cent from sales.

Companies are regulated by laws and have overheads, while Amazon is far from perfect; we are paying a company, if you use Smashwords you line Mark Coker’s pocket not a company.
Ask yourselves how did one man get rich so quick in a worldwide recession? Where does his funding come from?

Outside dubious tactics and suspicious funding, I have no intention of joining Smashwords on a totally realistic basis – my blogs are not read by anybody in those areas, so why should I think I can sell goods?

I could be wrong about this, feel free to prove me wrong. These are just a few thoughts which came to mind 18 months ago, when I first heard about Smashwords and have remained strong. Each time I read on FB or LinkedIn about how people are getting taken by him, this re-enforces my original views.

Myth busted

There is a fallacy among writers than free reads encourage sales of your books. I can tell you it is a LIE, free reads do NOT boost your sales, here an example to view:-
Sexual Explosions On my blog over 1,750 reads and not one sale.

Many writers will argue the opposite view, I am giving you the view from my point of view – statistics tell their own story.

Hot news

Hopefully by the middle of next month, the new Mark Johnson book “The Descent of Mark Johnson” should be on sale, my editor is doing the final edits as I write this memo. We think this book is greater and scarier than its predecessor which won an ward in October 2012.

I have to warn you, this was written at a dark time for me and the darkness is the core of the story, as Mark fights for his soul against an evil sorceress, will he win? Read the book and find out. Here is a snippet from the beginning dreamstime_xs_10590938

Mark Johnson Returns (Book Cover) There are plans for a third book in the series, Mark will travel to the Deep South to challenge the sorceress in her realm and yes, as it will be based down there the story will have some zombies, I feel it wrong not to include them as the Louisiana area is steeped with tales of them, but this is NOT a zombie story.images (1)

The Word

imagesCA3EEB2H In the latter part of last year I ran a serialised weekly story called “The Word” on my blog. The basic premise was about a group who were fighting to regain the minds of the populace from the Game Lords and turn the minds back to the Word. The serial ran for 14 weeks and I wrote about 18,000 words before I stopped writing it, the story didn’t die but the interest from the readers did, despite the high octane battle scenes and the various twists of the plot.
With book 2 of the Chronicles of Mark Johnson with my editor, in Seattle and time to relax for a few days before I do the next round of alterations, I have decided to re-touch this story and continue it on from the point I left the plot in January. After that, I have no idea what I may do with the story as it did have its fans. Imagine Mad Max meeting Farenheit 451 and you get an idea of the plots. But, I added my own twists to the story too.

Hotel by Evelyn Steward

Hotel ebook cover

This short, yet delightful collection from Evelyn tell the stories of three disparate people’s views on hotel life. One a ballerina, one a lady with wealth and the final an old man. Well worth the money.

Yesterday at the writing post.

022 The picture shows me at Frenchay hospital in July of 2011 after my tendon ruptured.

The lack of writing yesterday was a culmination of events going back to my RAF days. Uniformed for passing out day 74 (1) I was playing hockey during the final week of basic training (10th – 17th Dec ’76’) and I turned quickly, I felt something tweak in my ankle but played on. That weekend at my parents house my ankle swelled up, but as it soon subsided I thought no more of it. Over the years, I had wondered when it was going to rupture again, especially as I suffer from EDS which means I have poor skin quality.

In July, 2011 the tendon ruptured again, when it went I knew with my condition an operation was not in the options. The cast helped support the tendon until late Sept. The cast was removed but less than two weeks after taking the cast off, the tendon ruptured again and this time there was nothing to be done, physiotherapy did not help me.

In the winter of 2012 I was walking up the road from our house, when the left ankle gave way and I was thrown to the ground, fortunately my shoulder took the fall. down Shelley way Over the last two weeks it has being getting sorer by the day, some days like yesterday it is so bad I can hardly lift my arm without severe discomfort. I was so bad yesterday I thought about trying to work using only my right hand.

Another factor for a lack of writing is that I feel I am losing my way, with the massive amount of edits I need to do for book 2 of Chronicles, I am turning into an editor more than a multi-genre writer. I have decided to go back and try to vary my writing topics after book 2 is completed, hopefully this may re-charge my urge to write.

This week’s episode

gortons_fisherman (1)

This week’s episode of my serialised story has gone live. I am a few weeks behind were the Facebook ended but this link and my blog will soon be the only place to read the romantic ghost story. The reason for stopping the FB page is I had no idea if anybody was reading the story or what they thought about it, if they did and the falling numbers make the chances of this coming out as a book remote.

A rare collection
This book features my two earliest ghost stories, however they were badly in need of an edit; these are the only known print copies of my stories.It is indeed a rare book.

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