Tag Archives: Glenn Stuart

Adventures in Writing … things which were dragged across the floor at night!

Thought I’d put this down, seeing as it’s Halloween … And it’s true, every word.

Many years ago, when the days were so much longer and the grass greener, I used to go and visit my then girlfriend over in Kirkdale, Liverpool. She lived with her parents, brothers and sister in a new build. We’d been going out for quite some time when I finally got the invite to ‘stay over’. This didn’t mean my sleeping on the couch, oh no. I would have a bed – one of her brother’s, who was away for that particular weekend.

How excited was I!

I was young, full of wide-eyed innocence. We sat together on the sofa, watched a film on TV, said goodnight to her mum and dad, and continued to sit, talk, do a little bit of mooching … Innocent.

You get the picture?

I hope so.

Well, as the night continued and the silence grew, we sat in the dark, savouring the moment, happy to be alone.

And then it began.

At first, I thought it was her brothers playing tricks. Their bedroom was directly above us and it seemed they were dragging their beds across the floor, the sound coming through the ceiling. We laughed at first, but when it continued, we became a little peeved. Through the crack around the living room door, the light from the hallway filtered through. I said I would go up and ask them, politely, to stop. But when I stood up and pulled open the door, the light went off.

Now, at this point, I have to confess, no thoughts of the supernatural entered my mind. What did was a developing anger. Her brothers were taking this too far now, no doubt wanting to disrupt our time together, having great fun at our expense.

The light to the kitchen was on. This was their mistake, I knew it for sure. I would rush in, confront them, beat them at their own game. So I did, and what I saw caused me to revaluate all my former ideas.

The kettle was boiling.

Now, this in itself is not so very disturbing, but when you consider the plug was out of its socket, then you can begin to understand the rising sense of fear which brewed up from inside me.

Shaking, I returned to the living room. My girlfriend, herself annoyed at her brothers’ antics, said it was time to go to bed. She’d have ‘words’ with the pair of them in the morning, make their ears ring!

But after we said goodnight and went to our respective rooms, the mysteries of the night were not yet finished. I snuggled down under the duvet and closed my eyes. The brothers were asleep in their own beds, for they all shared the same room. Peace at last, I said to myself, pushing aside the curious happenings of the kitchen, the lights, the strange noises … until they started again.

Somewhere from across the room it came, a slow, relentless sound of something, not unlike a brush or coarse cloth being rubbed across the wall. I listened, hardly daring to breathe, wondering what this sound was, my imagination going into overdrive. Perhaps it was my imagination. But to conjure up something so real, so close? No, this wasn’t me, this was really happening.

I sat up, peering through the darkness, my eyes by now well accustomed to the gloom. And as I looked to where the sound emanated, it moved. Slowly at first, but gathering speed, it travelled across the far wall and made its way relentlessly around the room towards where I sat. As it drew closer, so the noise increased, until it seemed as if it filled the entire room.

In classic, horror-film style, I threw myself under the covers and lay there, quivering, the noise growing louder, ever louder.

And then it stopped.

Right next to me.

Silence.

I waited, with my heart pounding even louder than the recent noise, and as the minutes crawled by, I gradually relaxed. At some point I drifted off into sleep.

In the morning, I told my story to my girlfriend and she listened, her face pale. She told me she too had heard the noise and both of us were gripped by a confused dread. What could it be?

It didn’t take us so very long to find out.

I visited Liverpool City library. The simple fact was, the housing estate where my girlfriend lived was behind Kirkdale hospital, a huge, sprawling and vacant monstrosity of a building. Walking beside it was enough to give anybody the willies, so, acting on a hunch, I went to the reference section and discovered something, which seemed to explain everything.

The housing estate was built on the site of the hospital morgue.

Yes, that’s right. The place where they stored the bodies.

And porters moved trolleys.

The noise we heard, of beds being dragged across the floor, was this. A memory, forever imbedded in the fabric of time and space. What other explanation could there be?

And the rubbing?

Well, that is still a mystery, perhaps never to be solved.

big cover

This happened almost forty years ago and I have never experienced anything else quite like it. What the noises really were, I cannot honestly say. Subsequent sleep-overs at my girlfriend’s house saw no repeat of what happened that night, so the mystery remains.  But the memory lingers and has helped me craft more than one horror story. Writing as Glenn Stuart, I have penned nine paranormal mysteries, amongst them my personal favourite, ‘Interlopers from Hell’, set in my home town and not so very far away from that spooky, grim edifice of a hospital, which is no longer there, but continues to conjure up the terror of that night.

So enjoy your Halloween, my friends, and always keep an open mind concerning things which go bump, or are dragged, in the night!

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Adventures in writing … thoughts on those how-to guides

Coming to the end of what has been a great summer holiday, writing is proving somewhat difficult. It’s too hot, my head is still firmly stuck in Cumbria, and I have so much to do I don’t know where to begin.

I’m waiting on a book to be finalised, cover chosen, printed, etc. I sent it out to some beta-readers (whatever that means) and they picked up a few tiny problems. The editor said this would happen, that the more people who read it the better. Anyway, all being well, it should be out by the end of September 2014.

Two different publishers have accepted two other books of mine for publication. So, I’m happy. Of course I am. It doesn’t mean I’m Lee Child, but at least I’m getting out there. All being well, another three books published by the end of this year will see my tally growing to 18 published works.

Then I receive an email and all of this euphoria is dashed.

It was one of those junk-mail things; you know the ones I mean, the same sort that used to come through your door in the days before the Internet, or which were stuffed inside the Radio Times. Well, it’s the same thing. A host of stuff you simply have no interest in whatsoever. This one was a little more interesting, but extremely annoying.

It was from Kindle. You may have heard of them. They ambushed me with a long list of books and every single one of them offered me the chance to ‘Write a mystery book that sells’, or discover ‘The Easy Way to Write Fantasy’, and even, ‘Make money through writing fiction!’.

Okay, I know there is a whole army of people out there now who want to write a book. So they do. And Kindle gives them all the tools. And now, here we have every guide known to man, written by established authors, all of whom want you to achieve great success and earn heaps of money.

Whoo-hoo!

Mm…Okay, let’s just backtrack a little here.

First, there is nothing wrong with wanting to write a book. In fact, it’s great. I am forever encouraging people to write. The mechanics of writing means, simply put, hard work. To write 100,000 words takes a lot of graft. BUT, if you want to do it, you can. However, you need to know one or two painful truths. One, I do not believe story telling can be taught. WRITING can, but not story telling. Anyone can write. Anyone can learn grammar, syntax and all the rest. Cool. But is that creating stories which make your jaw drop to the floor, which have you crying like a baby into your pillow, or laughing aloud like a hyena on crystal-meth? No. I do not believe anybody can be taught how to tell a good story. It’s not just about structure, the snowflake, starting from the middle or the end, or from wherever you want to start from. It’s something, which lives inside you, something which will not let go, which dominates every waking moment of every single day. If you can’t tell a story, there is no point in picking up a how-to book. So, if you do have the knack, if you can hold people’s attention with tales of daring-do, why not pick up one of these guides?

Because they don’t work.

Because they all say the same things.

And it makes my blood boil, because there are probably thousands of people out there buying these things. And they are selling more than I am, and that hacks me off too.

No, I believe the only way to learn how to write is…to write. Write and read. Then read some more. Get a publisher who believes in you, and an editor who can fix the stupid grammar bits you missed. I’m forever getting mixed up with past and passed. And I’ve been told off more than once for using ‘started to’ or ‘beginning with’. So, I’m not going to use those again. But my editor doesn’t tell me how to plot. She doesn’t order me to change scenes and characters, etc. The reason they accepted my book in the first place was because the story was damned good. The grammar was okay, but that is easily fixed. A bad story can never be fixed.

I looked up some of the authors of these guides, see how they were doing with their own books. Well, one or two were doing fine, but most were not. And the reviews they were receiving left a lot to be desired. So, have they written these guides to make money, to prey on the dreams of aspiring novelists, by offering them the ‘Teach yourself How To Be An Author’ way to fame and fortune?

Of course they have. And people buy these things! Why not join a writing club, get down to your library, read your stories to kids, or even adults, sign up to Authonomy or YouWriteOn? Get some feedback, do the leg-work, learn the craft.  And when you’ve written one book and you’ve submitted it, write another. And keep writing! That’s the key, not a secret to be found in the pages of a 75 cent guide that is shooting up the charts all because so many have swallowed the bait.

I keep saying it; writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. But it seems as if not many prospective wannabe Harlan Cobens out there have quite come to terms with this fact yet.

For news of my latest books and when they are available, keep checking out my website. www.stuartygyates.com

Thanks for dropping by, and don’t worry, I won’t be writing any guides to getting published…not now, not ever.

Keep reading!

 

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Adventures in Writing – two thoughts

Two items this month, which I hope interest you.
A few days ago, I received the final edits from my publisher of my latest novel ‘Whipped Up’ (the second in the Paul Chaise series, which began with ‘Burnt Offerings’) and it started me thinking about the whole editor/author partnership and how vital it is.
Nowadays, with the explosion of self-published books, an entire industry has surfaced, one which I assume has always been there, lurking in the deep shadows, but which now is everywhere to see. I am bombarded by emails, as well as adverts on Facebook, for book-publishing services, editors, gurus, marketing advice, videos and blogs telling me how wonderful it is to be self-published. I’m not going to get into all the pros and cons of that, I’ve said it all before, but what struck me are some very simple facts.
For a book to be even moderately successful, it not only has to have at its core a good story, it has to readable. This means fundamental aspects of grammar, syntax, spelling. No matter how good we might think we are, a second, or indeed third eye looking through our work, is essential. But nothing beats a good editor. Someone who has the knack to notice what you never did, even after the fourth draft. Stupid things like ‘an’ when it should have been ‘and’, or, what I am particularly guilty of, mixing up people’s names. My editor has such an eye; she asks such incisive questions, forcing me to think deep about my reasons for writing a particular line, or even using a particular word. Whatever your level, you need and editor, and a damned good one at that.
So, how do you find one? I have no idea. This is one of the many reasons why I steer clear of self-publishing. It’s a minefield. Do you put in a search, look out for recommendations, what? I read somewhere there are now almost as many writers as there are readers. You only have to go on Amazon to see the numbers. It’s mind-blowing, all the wannabees out there. And they’ll all be using these ‘services’, so the opportunity to make lots of money is so easy. The vast majority of self-pubbed writers will never write a second book, some will write more and they will be as dreadful as the first, and a tiny few will work hard, improve their craft, and make a modicum of success. This demands hard work, determination and, most fundamental of all, a love of writing. It’s not something you can be taught to do, not matter what the hype or the power-salespeople tell you. Read good fiction, not ‘How to be a Writer’. Be consumed with the desire, work at it, treat it as a job, and always carry a notebook. Write, write, and write some more. But please, don’t pay attention to the so-called experts. Ever wondered why they’re not writing fiction? How many great authors have written how-to books? I mean books, not articles. Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, a few others. But not many. Best thing, write your book as if your life depends on it and get yourself a publisher and with it, a good editor. It’s all free and that, in this mad, mad world in which we live, has got to be a good thing!

I’ve been writing a novel recently, one which explores the fascinating world of reincarnation, parallel universes and how our present is shaped by the past. I included some scenes from the reign of Richard II of England, the king who, at the tender age of fourteen, stood up to Wat Tyler during the Peasants’’ Revolt, lied and succeeded in maintaining his power. Well, he was much more than that. It appears he was easily led, may have been in lust with one of his favourites (how many times does that happen in history! My God, what a list it is, of kings having it away with their bosom pals!) and struggled ceaselessly with the nobility. He fell out famously with one Henry Bolingbroke and that, ultimately, was his undoing. When Bolingbroke invaded England to claim the throne from the deeply unpopular Richard, he had the former-king incarcerated in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire. He was never seen again.
Shakespeare, in his play, had Richard murdered whilst imprisoned. Historians have cast some doubt on this, but the truth is nobody actually knows. In my book, I played around with this idea and came up with one of my own. And as I wrote, I gained quite an affection for Richard. A tragic figure who simply faded away. I teach history, and his story is never touched upon in school, but I see him just as worthy of investigation as William II’s death, or the mystery of the Princes in the Tower. One of the joys of writing historical fiction is we can play around with the facts. We don’t know everything and never will. It’s too long ago. And there lies the opportunity for our imagination to be let free! I love writing historical fiction and can’t wait to get my teeth into the third volume of my Hardrada series. My first volume is doing quite well, so why not check it out for yourselves over on Amazon. ‘Varangian’ is a fast-moving tale of double-crossing royals and generals, of fighting men and servant girls, all set in the magnificent city of Constantinople. The second volume, ‘To be King of the Norse’ is now with the publisher and should be out in the autumn. After that, I think I might just delve ever more deeply into the tragic world of Richard II. Sounds like a plan!
Thanks for stopping by and please, if you get the chance, take a look at my website for more information about my work. http://www.stuartgyates.com.
Keep reading everyone!

 

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Adventures in Writing … the month so far!

An exciting time for me so far this month, and we’re not even half-way through!
It began with the tussle I had with one of my publishers over the publication of ‘Whipped Up’, the second of my Paul Chaise thrillers. They said they were reluctant to accept anymore work from European writers, which I found bizarre to say the least, but my other publisher thought differently and they accepted it. Whipped Up will be published sometime soon. Here’s some background to the story:
‘Paul Chaise is a former operative in the SBS – the Special Boat Service – but has been ‘retired’ for over ten years, living a quiet life in Spain, following a career as an estate agent, selling villas to the ex-pats seeking a new life in a new country. Everything is going very well until he inadvertently gives a hitchhiker a ride and his life begins to spiral out of control. This is the premise for the first book ‘Burnt Offerings’. At the end of the book, with his girlfriend fleeing to the UK, and his former employers incensed that he has emerged from his ‘cover’, he too is summoned to return.
‘Whipped Up’ sees Chaise trying his level best to make something of a life in the UK, taking up employment in an East Anglian estate agents. His old ‘employers’ are not convinced and they have him followed. He becomes embroiled with the problems of a customer who is being harassed by some particularly nasty Eastern European types who want to take over the running of this man’s houses. It all spirals out of control when this man is murdered and his wife tortured, her mutilated body left in Chaise’s flat as a warning to back off. Naturally, this has the opposite effect and the body count soon begins to mount up as Chaise goes on a one-man crusade to bring these Europeans down.
When the S.I.S in London gets wind of this, they decide to rein Chaise in, and that’s when it becomes really nasty!
A contemporary thriller set in the sordid world of human trafficking; this second in the series pulls no punches and will appeal to anybody who likes their thrillers violent, fast moving and with lots of twists.’
The first book, ‘Burnt Offerings’ is available through Amazon, on the Kindle and in paperback:
http://www.amazon.com/Burnt-Offerings-Paul-Chaise-Adventure-ebook/dp/B009HX2IYC/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399706827&sr=1-3&keywords=stuart+g+yates
I really enjoyed writing ‘Whipped Up’, and as soon as it was done, I turned my attention to another thriller entitled ‘Overstretched’, and I’ll give more details about this next time. Of course I had other concerns too. The second in my Harald Hardrada series was completed, and I was working feverishly on the re-writes. Entitled ‘To Be King of the Norse’, it too has gone to the publisher. I am hopeful it will be released sometime in the autumn. ‘Varangian’, the first in the series, has been receiving some amazing reviews lately on Amazon. Here’s a sample:
‘This was one of my favourite historical-based books that I’ve read in ages, mainly because it blended reality and fiction so perfectly. Fictional characters mixed with actual figures from this time period, and I found myself flipping back and forth between search engines and my reader to try to decipher which parts were based on fact and which were just the creations of Yates’ imagination. It was a seamless and well-thought out story that had everything someone who loves 300, Rome, Game of Thrones, and dozens of other historical/fantasy/intrigue sources of entertainment. There was violence and sex and betrayal and power-hungry madmen who would stop at nothing to retain their control.’ Such wonderful words from somebody I do not know. This is what writing is all about, for me. Creating a world in which strangers can visit and enjoy.
See other great reviews, and the details of how to buy Varangian here:
http://www.amazon.com/Varangian-Byzantine-Histories-Stuart-Yates-ebook/dp/B00FEJDF3G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399706827&sr=1-1&keywords=stuart+g+yates
So, it has certainly been busy, as I said at the start. Soon I shall turn my mind to the third in the Paul Chaise series (I have some ideas, of course) but as for Hardrada, well, I am already 25,000 words into the third part. I envisage it going to at least four volumes, possibly five. His is such a fascinating story. Some have compared it to Game of Thrones, but apart from the intrigue and the killing – oh, and the sex – there really is little to compare. George R.R. Martin’s word is episodic and brilliant in its breadth, an awesome achievement from a superb writer. I am humbled to be compared to his majestic talent, but Hardrada is no fantasy figure. What he did was real. A giant in Viking history and a man who, for far too long, has been buried away under the piles of literature written about William, Duke of Normandy. Everybody feared Hardrada, including the Duke. I wonder what would have happened if Hardrada had prevailed at Stamford Bridge…? Now, there’s fuel for thought … and possibly a damn good book too!
Thanks for dropping by, and keep reading!

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Adventures in Writing … the best is yet to come!

Just this week we said goodbye to a really great bunch of students at my school as they went off on their study leave. They are wonderful young adults, hard workers, determined but filled with fun and excitement as they look forward to the rest of their lives. Despite their relief and joy at taking the final step which would see them leaving school behind forever, their farewells were tinged with sadness.
I remember when I left school.
I was fifteen. As I walked out of the main gate, everyone was throwing their ties into a makeshift bonfire. Yes, we used to wear ties back then. My mother had warned me not to do anything to my tie, as she had already sold mine to our next-door neighbour’s son who would be starting at my school in a few short weeks. I hated school. Every single second. I used to lie awake on Sunday nights, unable to sleep, in a cold sweat at the thought of spending yet another week in that most ghastly of places. From first light on Monday morning I would pray for it to be Friday evening.
What a waste.
All those years, tramping along the street on my journey to and from school, wishing to God I was anywhere else.
And now I’m a teacher.
Ironic, yes?
About the only things that got me through were my friends and my writing. Even back then I’d write lots; scripts for plays, novels, a comedy magazine. I never had any real plans, no ambitions as such, but I always knew one day I’d be a best-selling author. I don’t know why. I have an in-built gift I believe for observation. I listen, learn, think. I store away a huge amount of information which I can return to whenever I’m dreaming up situations and characters. I’ve also experienced a fair bit, been through the mill, loved, lost far too much, and met the most amazing people.
Experience is what makes a writer, and the ability to put those experiences into words. All the books, boot-camps and seminars can’t teach you any of that. You look into your soul, deeper than deep, and you trawl up the hurt and the pain, the joy and the love. You cannot write about something you do not know. Yes. I’ve experienced. And my gift is to be able to relay it in the books I write.
I’ve learned by writing, and reading damned good books. I’ve listened to my editors, revisited author’s words to see if they did the same things. I’ve seen how the great writers break all the rules, and I’ve learned that intuition is the greatest weapon to bring to the keyboard. Believe in yourself, in what you want, in your words, your message.
Those students left my school with regrets probably, knowing they had left one of the most wonderful periods of their life.
I left school knowing the best periods were still to come.
I have received a number of mesmerising reviews for Varangian over the last few days, one which brought tears to my eyes. Here is the link, simply click on the image and then scroll down the new amazon page and you’ll see it:

http://www.amazon.com/Varangian-Byzantine-Histories-Stuart-Yates-ebook/dp/B00FEJDF3G/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1398971667&sr=1-1&keywords=stuart+g+yates

 

Something like this makes everything worthwhile. The countless hours I have spent tapping away, and all those years I wasted wishing it to be Friday.
Because now I know the best period is almost here.
Keep reading!

 

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Adventures in Writing…paid reviews? NO THANKS!

One of the biggest struggles about being a writer isn’t so much the writing. That’s the cool part. Imagination, the spinning together of all the various threads: character, scenarios, plots, etc, etc…wow, wouldn’t it be so great to simply sit and write…whimsical thoughts, probably. Because, as we all know, we now have to sell ourselves. And that is such a pain.

Well, okay, so you’ve told the world. The world being Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, websites, newspapers, magazines, friends, family, the neighbour’s dog. You may even have placed an ad in Goodreads, like me. Wow, Goodreads. 40,000 people viewed my ad. 30 have clicked on it. Mm…30 clicks. And sales…hold your breath…nil.

So, friends. We persuade our publisher to reduce the price, get some interest moving. They moan and groan. ‘I’ll make no money’. Oh, so you’ll make more by NOT selling it for $13 dollars? Sure, if someone bought it, but they don’t! When we try and give away our books, what happens? Nobody picks them up. They’re free. Nobody is interested.

And then, one fine day, somebody does take hold of your book and they love it. They write a review. It is fantastic. You rub your hands with glee, because now you have not one, but FIVE stunning reviews.

This truly is the turning point.

It isn’t.

So, by this time you’re really up against it. What to do. Your book is reduced in price, it is on promotion, you are telling the whole world, reviews are great and we all know that reviews help sell so… you need more reviews.

I went on Amazon and I looked up some reviews for books similar to mine. I got in touch with those people who had given these reviewed books only one star. They seemed honest. Honest enough to reply to my question, ‘Why haven’t you read my book, as it is much better than this one?’ Well, okay, I didn’t say it quite like that, but you know what I mean. One of them told me something very interesting. He told me to be wary of 5-star reviews, that many of them are paid reviewers. He gave me some names and I began to look them up. Sure enough, they churn out these things by the lorry load. 5-stars reviews like they are falling around us like snow in the Alps. And there are HUNDREDS of these guys. Furthermore, authors are PAYING them!

Is that honest? Is that cheating?

I think so. They must have money to burn too, as these reviews don’t come cheap. Imagine, paying out 10 dollars for each review, receiving 50 5-star reviews. Five hundred dollars. Not much I hear you say, and the sales – whoa, the sales! They are fantastic. Pretty soon you are climbing up the ladder. You are 10,000, 5,000, TWO HUNDRED in the pop chart of sales!!!

But then you come to write your second book. If you can write a second book that is. If you’re interested, if you have the will, the desire, let alone the talent. You write it, and despite all the reviews in all the world, you don’t sell any.

Why not? Because it’s crud, that’s why. Just like the first one. The only difference is, now everyone knows it. The bluff can’t work twice.

You might even be tempted to go and buy some advertising on one of those book promotion sites which are all the rage. Sure, brilliant. The free ones…well, your book will get lost amongst all the others, so BUY an ad. It’ll only cost you around 1200 dollars. WHAT? Am I mad? Somebody must be, to actually buy this stuff.

I’m so tired of it all. I am. The whole bandwagon. Buy this, do that. Bootcamps and snowflakes. Three part novels and five part novels. Pulses and beats.

Why in the name of sanity can’t people write because they can? Because they NEED to?

I’m a lonely voice, lost in the corporate, self gratifying bilge of world that is called publishing.

But do I care? Well, I’m just completing an 80,000 word thriller, and about to edit my sequel to Varangian. So, I don’t care. Two-fingers, is what I say. I’ll write and if I sell, cool.

Stick with it.

My books Varangian, Roadkill and Burnt Offerings are all on promotion until the end of the month. Be quick and buy your Kindle version soon. You won’t regret it, I promise. Just read the reviews…and none of them paid for!

 

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Adventures in writing…what happens when social media doesn’t work?

It’s almost March already. I can’t believe it, can you?

Where did February go?

Do you often find yourself asking these questions? I do, all the time. And it happens with books too. I had an arrangement with a local market-holder to stock some of my books, so I ordered a few. When they arrived I half-heartedly picked one up and leafed through. I began to read, and was hooked! Had I actually written this? I couldn’t remember. Eighty thousand words, where did I find the time?

Weird.

Well, as for February, it was pretty crud. Things got the better of me. I’m in a job I no longer love and I’m stuck in a country I want to get out of. To do that I need a job, and I can’t get one. I’m too old. I posted some of my feelings on FaceBook (which is not to be recommended, and in the cold light of day I was an idiot to do so) and fairly soon people were telling me I am depressed and should go to the doctor’s for some medication.

Dear God.

Me, on medication…FOR DEPRESSION.

No thanks.

The whole point is, I am fairly hacked off with all this publishing business. Note publishing NOT writing. I’m not self-published, by the way. I don’t ever want to be. I have nothing against self-published authors, but the sudden explosion of such authors has had a negative impact. Some are good, I concede that. BUT, there are hundreds of thousands of folk out there who believe all they have to do is sit in front of a keyboard and bash out any old gloop in order to earn a million. This has done irreparable damage to all of us. Readers, a discerning bunch, are now wary of ‘new’ writers. Too many badly written, and dreadfully edited, self-published books are out there. So, trying to break through is virtually impossible. All you can really do is write GOOD books, a lot of books. Keep going and try…

I write and submit to agents and independents. Some of them have seen something in what I do to offer me a contract. And here comes the reason for my current low, which I touched on last time but want to go into further detail here – one of my publishers has refused to publish the sequel to another work because the sales have not been so good.

I was crushed by this. He even said I was ‘a terrific writer’. My books receive 4 and 5-star reviews, so it’s not like I’m crap. BUT…it’s all about money, isn’t it. Sales.

Sales. Jeez, I hate selling. I hate all this marketing and promotional stuff. I can’t do it; it simply doesn’t fit well with the sort of person I am. I have little self-belief, lack self-confidence, am the sort of guy who sits in the corner at parties and nobody notices. There is no way I can suddenly leap up and start sounding off about how great I am. Because I’m not. I’m just a grunt, down in the trenches, working every day to put together stories that people might enjoy.

The problem is, not enough of them are buying to discover this for themselves.

So, I’ve tried. I offered free books. Imagine, a free book and in return all the reader had to do was post a review. Because reviews help. Well, I posted and posted, and I’ve submitted my books to review sites, promotional sites, endless, endless posts on FB and Twitter…over 9,000 people saw one of my posts. NINE THOUSAND! How many people actually responded? Two.

So, I’m close to giving up. Not writing, I’ll always do that, but I’m just about rock bottom…and then, oh glorious, wondrous day…something GOOD came out of all of this. One of the few people who responded asked me a simple question, ‘Have you got an agent, because if you haven’t I can introduce you to mine’.

A good friend told me something good always comes out of something bad. And it looks as though it might. I wrote to the agent, sent them one of my books and…she says she is interested! Now, I’m not jumping up and down because she is still reading it, but… So, I’m now gnawing my fingers to the bone, waiting, waiting, waiting.

So, I could turn it around. I could break through. I could.

February? It disappeared in a blur of mixed emotions.

Perhaps March might prove to be filled with sunshine!

Why not visit my websites and find out what I do. And don’t forget, by dropping me an email (at sg.yates@yahoo.co.uk) you can receive a free copy of any one of my books!

www.glennstuart.co.uk

http://www.stuartgyates.com

 

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