August Newsletter

Greetings Again Readers

Welcome to the August Newsletter. The eagle eyed amongst you might notice that there wasn’t a July Newsletter but that’s because July was full of heatwaves, camping trips and me looking out the kitchen window thinking, ‘I really must cut that grass.’ Well I bought a lawnmower so the grass has now been cut.

So here is the news

However, I’m sure you are much more interested in the world of publishing. The last news I had was that I was busy writing a proposal for the agent I was planning to submit to. That was a bit more of a job than I imagined. In SatNav We Trust has 39 chapters, granted short ones, but that’s still a lot of chapters. I spent the first couple of weeks writing a summary for each chapter, which is the sort of thing an agent needs, but by the time I had finished I realised that I’d written it in completely the wrong style. I won’t go into details but, suffice to say, I finished the chapter listing only to realise I had to start from scratch but that’s sometimes the way with writing. So, another two weeks went by which took us into mid-June and only then was I able to start to write the proposal proper.

Phew, I’m tired just talking about this. Is this going on a bit? I think it might be but don’t worry, there isn’t an exam at the end so it doesn’t matter if you’re not paying attention. There is a quiz with a prize draw though. Which, I suppose, is a bit like an exam but much more fun and I can tell you, the answer is ‘London’ so that’s not really a quiz. Of course, in an exam you don’t get to win a bag. Anyway…

Eventually I finished the proposal, and the chapter listing and the sample chapters I had to send and the other bits and I sent the whole package off at the beginning of July which meant the whole process took about six weeks. Therefore, you might understand why there was no July newsletter as I needed a bit of a rest hence all the camping trips and mowing the grass and stuff.

And now we wait. The proposal is currently working its way to the top of the pile as agents get a lot of submissions. Occasionally I get a spike in visitors to my Facebook page for one of my books or some other clue that might make me think I’ve come to the attention of the publishing world. Perhaps tens of dozens of publishers, agents, book publicists, general hangers on, girls called Felicity (who always seem to end up in publishing), and the like are suddenly looking at my online profile, buying copies of my earlier works and… well, you get the picture. Basically, you can’t tell so I have to wait for a reply.

So the upshot is that you need to keep paying attention (and possibly invite others to do so) and keep everything crossed (and possibly invite others to do so). Don’t forget there’s a competition with every newsletter.


Blog Posts

Again I’ve only written two blog posts this month. There’s plenty more on the site.

The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places, a review of the book by Neil Oliver:

The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places – book review

Memories in raindrops, Rutger Hauer, Guinness, perception and the nature of reality:

Memories in raindrops


The June competition was won by svmitche from Dorset who received a cool In SatNav We Trust mug.

This month’s competition is for the new tote bag design for In SatNav We Trust. This design utilised another of the memes I created as pre-promotion over the winter.

The link to the monthly competition is only visible to newsletter subscribers. To enter in future months go to the sign-up section on this page.

The August competition was won by Graeme from Dundee who receives a very cool bag.

June Newsletter

Greetings Again Booklovers

This is my second newsletter so welcome to our new subscribers. I’m trying to get more people to sign up so that they hear about new books and other projects as they develop. If you know anyone you believe would be interested do encourage them to sign up and let them know they needn’t worry about getting a lot of spam. There’s also the monthly giveaway to tempt folks in. This month’s is a great prize so read on for more details.

So here is the news

The latest news is that In SatNav We Trust is moving along nicely. I had a meeting with an agent a couple of weeks ago and pitched the book with a positive result. Of course the nature of these things is that there’s a procedure. You can’t ask someone to represent a book in a face to face meeting, rather you have to submit the right extracts along with a synopsis and all that jazz. Of course, I’ve done this all before but the fact that I don’t have an agent yet is testament to the fact that I’ve not been doing it right. The other issue is that each agent wants it done in a slightly different way or uses the terminology in a different way. What one agent calls a synopsis other calls a proposal and for some a proposal will contain certain elements while other agent will want something else. The upshot is that, basically, you address the individual and not the job title. Mass mailings are not where it’s at.

The current situation is that I’m in the process of preparing my proposal and hope to be getting it off shortly. From then there will be a delay while she considers whether In SatNav We Trust is likely to tickle the interest of a commissioning editor at a grown up publisher, so keep watching this space.

Blog Posts

I’ve published just two blog posts this month. There’s plenty more on the site.

What’s in a name, lunch times, late breakfasts and architecture:

What’s in a name?

Ask an Astronaut, a review of the book by Tim Peake:

Ask an Astronaut – book review


The May competition was won by Karl of Hertfordshire and he received a signed and dedicated copy of The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil.

This month’s competition is for the new mug design for In SatNav We Trust. A little while ago, when I was releasing memes as teasers for the coming book to show agents and publishers what a brilliant prospect I am, one particular meme really generated some great responses. The fact that it’s the shortest text and the only meme with a graphic might have something to do with it.

Here is the new design for the In SatNav We Trust mug that you can win.

The link to the monthly competition is only visible to newsletter subscribers. To enter in future months go to the sign-up section on this page.

The June competition was won by svmitche from Dorset who receives a slightly philosophical mug

May Newsletter

Greetings Booklovers

This is the first of my monthly-ish newsletters with news and developments in the world of fiction and non-fiction sourced from pop philosophy, science and general silliness. I’m sending this out today as May 1st is (was) the anniversary of the day I started out on the trip that became the manuscript of In SatNav We Trust harrumph years ago.

So here is the news

After my promotional efforts over the winter I’ve been tarting-up my website to include some photos and added a few extra features and generally getting to grips with the technology of things that only exist as initials. Think PHP, PDP, DCMS and things that have numbers after them. This is all in preparation for a meeting I’m having in May with an agent where I will be pitching In SatNav We Trust with a view to finding a grown-up publisher. The particular agent in question says she, “is looking for non-fiction that either answers a question or asks one,” and she describes herself as interested in science, psychology, business/economics, fashion, style, music, art and philosophy. Watch this space as this seems like a pretty good fit.

Beyond that Plan B is to take the manuscript around the other non-fiction agents and only then will I resort to self-publishing which, I suppose, makes that Plan C. I know some of you folks have messaged me suggesting publishing on Kindle and other ebook formats. I’ve done this before and, to be honest, ebooks are a limited market at best and not as nice as a paper book. Whoever got an ebook as a present and enjoyed smelling the pages? (Or is it just me who does that?) Besides, with print on demand, there’s no reason not to do both at the same time. If In SatNav We Trust is picked up by a major publisher (via an agent) then we can expect the book to be available about a year after the contract is signed. If I self-publish I should be able to get it out in time for Christmas 2019. Stay tuned.

Blog Posts

Here’s a round-up of the blog posts I’ve published this month. There’s plenty more on the site.

Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims, a review of the book by Toby Clements:

Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims – book review

Dungeness, an extract from In SatNav We Trust exploring the landscape around the Kent peninsula:


An unwatchable expanse of endless brilliant TV, on the dilemma of complicated TV series

An unwatchable expanse of endless brilliant TV


To celebrate the fact that this is the first newsletter I’ve decided to give away a free signed copy of my post millennial novel The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil set in the day when smart phones hadn’t caught on, and when someone thought it was a good idea to build casinos in Blackpool to turn the resort into a seedy tacky and depraved town. Our heroes, Nigel, Wayne and Clint, discover the plot and head north on Friday night but they have to save the world by Sunday evening because they have to be back at work on Monday morning.

I hope to run a competition every month which might require you following me on Twitter or Instagram, or you might be required to like my Facebook page or sacrifice your firstborn, etc. This month’s competition is exclusive to newsletter subscribers so you don’t need to do anything like that. Just click this link to answer the difficult question.

In future months I’ll have mugs, bags, bookmarks, post cards, and other wonderful merchandise to collect.

The link to the monthly competition is only visible to newsletter subscribers. To enter in future months go to the sign-up section on this page.

The May competition was won by Karl from Hertfordshire who receives a signed and dedicated copy of The Hidden Masters and The Unspeakable Evil.



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