The Sun Has Got His Hat On…

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post and much has been happening. Life has been pretty hectic lately and finally I’ve had a chance to take the lap top out and sit in a warm and sunny garden. Bliss.

Before I say anything else I’d just like to thank everyone who’s been so supportive over a difficult time. I haven’t been as communicative as I would have liked, and not always been able to respond to emails etc promptly. It’s a great relief that my partner Kate is now well and truly on the mend having finished with the likes of chemo and radiotherapy etc. I can certainly empathise with anyone who has to go through that. All I can say is that if you can manage to maintain a strong will and a cheery disposition then it helps you to battle through.

I don’t think I’ve been able to say a great deal since the London Book Fair. There I spoke with Mel Sherratt about how quickly things are changing in the publishing world. It was a great panel and I hope that Indie authors continue to be given their voice at next year’s event. I have no idea whether I’ll still be an Indie author as such. I’ve given up trying to second guess those who are brave enough to back new writers via traditional auspices. I know my agent has recently sent out Defending Elton to a few select folks but whether it gets picked up we shall see.

In any event it was a major boost to hear at the LBF that over twenty-five per cent of their best sellers are now penned by Indie authors, that is to say those that have come to them directly rather than through a traditional publisher. I was pretty taken aback by that statistic, which was lurking at around three percent just a couple of years ago.

I haven’t yet promoted or marketed my books with any gusto. I had just about finished them when we had our setback at home so am quite surprised at how well they’ve done with little more than modest networking. I was certainly chuffed by some of the reviews and thanks so much if you are amongst my reviewers. I’d like to say a special thanks to Tahlia Newland who is the founder of the Awesome Indies website. I know she is very respected, always fair, and tough when she needs to be, so when she described Defending Elton as ‘nothing short of brilliant’ it meant a lot. When I do finally get my act together and give the books a little more support it would be good to reach a wider audience. So far it’s quality and not quantity, but a good start nonetheless.

I attended Crimefest at Bristol in late May. It was the first time I had attended the event and it was pleasing to meet some of the folks I’d only previously had email or twitter contact with. It was fabulous to meet the likes of Joanna Penn, Chris Simmons, Tony Klassaan, Paul Finch, Alison Bruce, Rhian Davies, Mari Hannah, Vicky Newham and many more, though there were some folks I missed and hope to have the opportunity to meet in the future.

That reminds me, I must also say a big thanks to Eva Hudson who distributed the leaflet about ‘Defending Elton’ and ‘Kiss and Tell’. Really kind of you Eva. My book cover designer Jamie Keenan had said a few words about the books and it was good to see it in print. I still can’t believe that a guy who designs covers for the likes of Stephen King and Irvine Welsh actually volunteered to design mine. I’m really lucky to have him on board.

The panels at Crimefest were varied. From a personal perspective I enjoyed the debut authors panel the most, perhaps because I could relate more to their recent experiences. I would really love to be able to attend Harrogate but alas that’s not possible this year… maybe next year with a following wind…

Recently I’ve been getting my copywriting business back up and running after a bit of a lull. I have written a fair few radio commercials of late and would like to think that mine aren’t in the cheesy category! I do try to be as creative and inventive as the brief, and the client, allows… for anyone interested there are a few samples of my commercials and jingles via www.soundssorted.co.uk

I’m still on hiatus from novel writing but will be back at it soon I’m sure. I needed a little time out after a hectic spell getting both books ready for publication via Amazon. After holidays in August I hope to have a more concerted effort at promotion and then it’s down to writing my third novel, which is due to see the return of Jill Shadow from ‘Kiss and Tell’. Mind you I’ve had such positive feedback from ‘Defending Elton’ that some have asked for the return of Jim Harwood, and even Elton! Food for thought….   

I hope to be a bit more active on social media as the weeks go by and things settle down. Once again thanks to everyone who has been patient and supportive through spring and early summer. And may the sun keep shining!

NEW BOOK!

So glad to be able to tell you that my new novel ‘Defending Elton’ will be officially launched on Tuesday 2nd April.

However, I’d like my blog readers and Twitter followers to know that ‘Defending Elton’ is now available as a pre-release via Amazon – both as a Kindle ebook and a paperback.

I would welcome reviews running up to the official launch on the day after Easter Monday.

This has been a very exciting time, with considerable interest in both my journey as a writer and the book, some from quite unexpected sources. A fair bit will be happening when ‘Defending Elton’ is officially released, can’t say too much more on that at the moment… but will be able to soon.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Amazon links:

to Ebook: http://amzn.to/1026e0h

to Paperback: http://amzn.to/13hDIOA

Elton on his way…

‘Defending Elton’ will be released towards the end of this month [March]

Though my second release chronologically, it was the first book I began, and has finally taken shape this last few months. So may good-willed souls have helped along the way. Literary Agents Kate Jones of ICM and Broo Doherty of Wade&Doherty were incredibly supportive and helped me get this far. My author pal Tina Orr Munro has helped by sharing her own experiences, as have other authors including Mel Sheratt and Tim Kevan. And thanks especially to Gina Skinner, for her patience with me on matters technical, and Rebecca Keys for her ‘understanding’ editing.

In any event, it was with some relief that I approved the final draft this week. A ‘review’ copy will shortly be available as a .mobi file for Kindle, with the book launching on or about 30th March. Hopefully both for Kindle and in paperback.

As those who have read previous blogs will know, the very first person to read an early draft was literary agent Kate Jones. Alas, she is no longer with us, but her support gave me tremendous confidence… particularly when I found out how well respected she was as a literary figure.

‘Defending Elton’, I suspect, will remain my favourite book, because so much energy and passion has been invested in it. The few who’ve read it so far, mostly industry professionals, say it’s an original and inventive tale with plenty of thrills and spills. I hope readers find it just as gripping.

And before I forget, a huge thanks to book cover designer Jamie Keenan. He might be used to designing covers for the likes of Stephen King and Nick Hornby, and being commissioned by a whole range of major publishing houses, but he read a draft of the book a couple of months back and said that not only did he want to design the cover but that he would would help to promote it too. Not many Indie authors have such support and I was chuffed by that Jamie, thanks.

Well I’ll keep you posted on Elton’s release.

Meanwhile, my next book will see the return of Jill Shadow, the lead in ‘Kiss and Tell’… and a big thanks to those readers who have given such positive feedback, and encouraged me to write some more stories for her. I’m just about to get cracking on it!
Be back again soon…

‘Kiss and Tell’ – available now on Amazon http://amzn.to/WZbNPp
‘Defending Elton’ – available shortly.

http://www.tjcooke.com