24 April 2017

WRITING TIP #1 – Focus

I’ve found that when writing a novel, it helps if I plan what I’m going to focus on the following day. It might be to work on a particular scene or chapter. Alternatively, it could be a piece of troubling dialogue or adding a red herring or twist to the story. Whatever I choose I know that when I sit down at my keyboard the next morning, I have a specific purpose in mind.

What happens if I don’t do this? I find my mind is bombarded by choice and I start to procrastinate. This leads to avoiding the issue and finding other things to occupy myself such as sending an email, spending time on social media, going for a walk etc., and before I know where I am, the day is over. So, plan ahead and shove procrastination out the door!

What do you do to focus?

2 April 2017

Kindle Countdown $0.99 Sale! April 2-4

Follow Chief Inspector Fitzjohn as he confronts the  many puzzles as he is led on a paper-trail into a tangled web of deception, jealousy and greed to unravel the mystery.

26 March 2017

Scrivener - A quick Guide

Scrivener Essential - for Windows users
by Karen Prince

I recently acquired Scrivener which is a word processing and content management tool developed especially for writers. And given it does so much to help a writer, it is complex to use. I admit, I struggled and put it in the too hard basket until I came across Karen Prince's book, Scrivener Essentials. All I can say is it's great and has given me new hope that I'll eventually be able to use the program. If you are at your wit's end, you might like to try it.
There are two versions. One for Windows users and one for Mac users.

Scrivener Essentials - for Mac users

15 March 2017


Writing a novel can be an enormous challenge so here are two books that may help you along that path.

Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel
by Hallie Ephron

The first is a book by Hallie Ephron called Writing and Selling your Mystery Novel. Don't let the mystery part of the title put you off either because I'm sure that whatever genre you're writing, you'll find this particular book helpful.

Well worth reading for the aspiring as well as the seasoned writer who has become blocked.

My second recommendation is Mid-Novel Writing Prompts and as far as books on prompts go, I must say, this is the best I've come across.

Mid-Novel Writing Prompts
by Rayne Hall

If you've run out of inspiration (as we all do at times) you may just find these prompts help stimulate your imagination and set you going again.
100 prompts each with ideas on how to use them, what-if scenarios, and suggestions for how you might interpret the topic.



If you live outside the U.S., are a writer and have sold books in the U.S. during the 2016-17 financial year, you will no doubt have received a Form 1042-S 2016 (Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) from Amazon or whomever you sell your books through.

If so, you will need to complete Form 1040NR (U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return), attach Form 1042-S, and lodge it with the Internal Revenue Service.

Instructions for filling out this form can be downloaded at:-
and mailed to:-

Department of Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

31 December 2016

Self Publishing PROs and CONs

If you’re at the stage of wishing to publish your manuscript you may be procrastinating because unlike in days gone by, authors now have a choice. That choice is whether to search for a traditional publisher who is willing to accept your manuscript or to self publish.

In making your decision, there’s a lot to consider and that's why I’ve put together a list of pros and cons to ponder. We’ll start with the PROS!

Self publishing PROS

  • You don’t have to wait months to hear whether agents/publishers will accept or reject your book. 
  • Unlike being traditionally published where you could wait many months before your book is published, you can submit your book to an online retailer whenever you wish. 
  • With eBooks, you will earn a higher percentage of royalties if you self publish. Up to 70% in the case of Amazon/Kindle Direct Publishing. 
  • You will receive your royalty payments on a regular basis. In the case of Amazon, at the end of each month. 
  • You’re at the helm and in control. You can choose your cover, which on-line retailers to sell through as well as the price. 
  • The word count of your book is up to you as is the subject matter. 
  • Once published, you have direct access to your book’s sales information and marketing.

 Self publishing CONS

  • Since you are in control, you are virtually taking on the running of a small business. This means you will be responsible for marketing, any problems that might come up along the way as well as making sure you fulfil your obligation concerning a legal deposit of your work to your country’s library system. 
  • If you wish to purchase your own ISBN and Barcode for your paperback, you will have to bare this cost. 
  • Unless you are a graphic designer, you will have to employ a professional to design your book’s cover. 
  • Your book has to be the best it can be before you self publish so it is wise not only to have your manuscript edited by a professional but also to have a manuscript assessment performed. 
  • Bookshops don’t tend to stock self-published books. 
  • Your self-published book may not be viewed with the prestige given to a traditionally published book. 
  • Once published, marketing your book is up to you alone along with the cost.

 Finally, if you do decide to go down the self-publishing road, there’s a lot of information out there to help you including Amazons/Kindle Direct Publishing/Createspace and Smashwords where each site guides you along the way.