Monday, 21 December 2015

How did Good King Wenceslas like his pizza?

How do you fill the blank space inside Christmas and birthday cards? This was always a bit of a puzzle for me. No matter how large you write 'Love Frank', there's still oodles of space crying out to be written on. This became a bit more of an issue when I started calling myself a writer. I felt there was an obligation to write something witty, moving, profound, or at least something more than just my name.

The solution I stumbled over was jokes. Not necessarily good jokes, but ones that made me chuckle. My top for this Christmas are:

Q. What do you call Santa's dog?
A. Santa Paws!

Q. What do you call Santa's cat?
A. Santa Claws!

Q. What do you call Santa on a beach?"
A. Sandy Claus!

And

Q. How did Good King Wenceslas like his pizza?
A. Deep pan, crisp and even.

Wishing you a restful and relaxing holiday,
Frank.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Two books, one book?

Strike a Match (or at least this first story in this universe) tells the story of a conspiracy, and as such there is a natural ending for this set of novels (either the conspirators win, the cops foil them, or something somewhere in between). For the last three weeks I've been vacillating over whether I can wrap the conspiracy up in one novel, or whether it requires two.

For example, yesterday I was editing/rewriting a passage where our heroes journey north. There was a two-thousand word section that was fun but which didn't advance the story, so I deleted all two thousand words of it. I went for my walk, thinking that, yes, this is going to be one book rather than two.

This morning's task was to polish a two hundred word paragraph that leads into the next action scene. Just as that first burst of caffeine was singing through my veins, I realised I'd missed out a vital clue. Those two hundred words have now become three thousand, and we're back to this conspiracy being told as Strike a Match Books 2 & 3.

Whether it's two books or one, there will be more books in this universe. At the moment the plan is to release one or two a year, initially focusing on the years Mitchell spent wandering the wasteland, bringing law to the brigands. We'll then be crossing the Atlantic to tell the story of a post-apocalyptic presidential election. As for the next book. It's probably going to be called Counterfeit Conspiracy (Strike a Match 2), and should be out in Jan/Feb as planned. I'm at the halfway point in my edit/rewrite and should be done by Christmas, with the first round of editing to be finished before the New Year.

I will keep you updated...

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Woohoo! My Christmas shopping is done…

…and I have a recommendation for the younger members of your family (though I enjoyed reading the book myself).

I find it hard to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. When I wake, and as long as I can grab my coffee and get outside* without having seen the news, my email, or my sales figures, I'm usually set to work from dawn until lunchtime. Black Friday was different. The kettle was taking an inordinate time to boil. Rather than watching it, I made the mistake of opening my laptop and turning on the wi-fi. Five hours later I was still shopping. The annoying part is that I didn't buy anything that was being specifically discounted that day, but stuck to the gifts I'd decided on (and which my family have been making increasingly unsubtle hints that they want) over the past few months.

Anyhoo, amongst the gifts I've bought has to be the most fantastic book I've come across in ages.




Wilf the Mighty Worrier Saves the World by Georgia Pritchett, £3.85 for the paperback:

When Alan, a self-styled Evil Lunatic, moves in next door with his grumpy robot sidekick and his silent right-hand-dog, Kevin Phillips, Wilf soon he realises: only he can stop Alan's ridiculous yet still Quite Evil plan to destroy the world...

It's an apocalyptic novel for children who may be a tad young for the zombocalypse. Utterly brilliant.

Now, with my shopping done, I've just got a bundle of paperwork to get sorted before the holidays and... oh... wait, I've just remembered, I'll need to wrap the presents. Grrr. Right, well, as soon as that's done I'll have the decks clear to finish writing Strike A Match 2: Still Doesn't Have A Title.


* I do most of my writing outdoors. There's fewer distractions from things like the internet, phone, warmth, the fridge, the internet, the cookie jar, the internet and, of course, the internet.