THE NEVER ENDING SEARCH
Sorry I’ve been away so long! Okay, there have been a couple of writing related posts to keep you amused but it’s been ages since I let you know what’s actually been going on.
Towards the end of August Lynne & I joined up with our daughter Kim, husband Malcolm and dog Bailey, for a holiday in West Wales. Our accommodation was a converted barn on the outskirts of Newcastle Emlyn. This was perfect as a base camp to explore the area from Tenby in the south towards Aberystwyth in the north; we didn’t venture too far from the coast though as the walks and the views were spectacular.
I won’t bore you with all the details; if you’ve been you know the places we visited anyway & if you haven’t then I suggest you get down there as soon as you can. It’s well worth a visit! A brief summary of our thoroughly enjoyable week included:-
A boat trip to Caldey Island with dolphins swimming a hundred yards from the boat on the way out and long nature walks that sharpened the appetite for the chocolate factory shop’s delights!
There were visits to Aberaeron, New Quay and Aberporth which all left a lasting impression; plus a trip to St David’s on a very warm afternoon which kept us all amused. We enjoyed/endured long bracing walks during the daytime (on Poppit Sands to name but one); evenings were spent drinking & playing cards while keeping an eye out for the massive spiders that crept inside. Where did we eat? Two places warrant a mention, Yasmin’s the Indian restaurant in the village was superb value for money, while the Bunch of Grapes (also in the main street) served excellent food. We couldn’t tell you what their starters or desserts were like though as the main courses were more than sufficient to satisfy our taste buds!
Since we returned home we’ve caught up with our other children, their partners and the grandchildren. This week the little darlings were either returning to school or setting off on their educational adventure. As for Lynne & I, we’ve pottered around in the garden and started looking forward to our next trip abroad. We’re off to Majorca for some sunshine in a week or so, and then I’ve been told that I’m starting on my next novel! The Boss has given me her orders!
In the ‘Fiat Lux’ chapter I told you about getting in touch with some school colleagues from the early 60s. ‘Let There Be Light’ was our school motto and it was on the badge we had to have on our school blazers during our time at Trowbridge Boys High School. We plan to meet up again in October; progress has been slow in tracking down any more lost souls to swell our number.
I got side tracked after I got back from Wales! I was on LinkedIn checking out a few names when I idly requested information on one John Clarke; who hadn’t been at school with us at all! In fact he had worked for a computer whizkid who had introduced a ground breaking forecasting program into the company I worked for. John helped us increase our knowledge at a London computer bureau and subsequently showed us the delights of early personal computers. It was work, but with a large social twist & lunchtimes in London at the MM club and the Goat In Boots became legendary! He’s retired now & has just returned from a holiday in Canada; we’re planning to arrange a good catch up in the future.
I think the reason all this nostalgia business is taking over my spare time is because the book tours, the search for reviews and incessant promotional gimmicks I’ve had to resort to, have left me feeling frustrated. ‘Not for the first time!’ I hear you cry. That’s true enough; I’ve felt like packing it in on several occasions, but then every now & then a little boost comes along & gives you hope.
The ‘Unfinished Business’ review I requested via Reader’s Favorite eventually surfaced; a couple of months ago they had passed on a five star review of ‘A Sting In The Tale’ which was great news. This time it was a five star review for the sequel to ‘The Final Straw’. This is some of what Anne Marie Reynolds had to say:
“This was a thriller in every sense of the word. A real gripper and once I picked it up; I couldn’t put it down again until it was over. Starting slowly ‘Unfinished Business’ picked up pace and each chapter ended in such a way that stopping reading simply wasn’t an option; this was one of those rare books that pull a reader into the story & holds on tight, not letting go not even at the end. A round of applause to Ted Tayler; a brilliant writer & storyteller.”
That was certainly one of the ‘plus’ sides of the past month or so; another has been the feedback from the Review Seeker’s Facebook Page, There were only a couple of ‘takers’ from the adverts I posted for the three books; some of that was possibly my fault, perhaps I wasn’t persuasive enough? I didn’t post very often over the first three months either; I didn’t want to appear pushy! What I did do was ask whether the other writers suffered as I did in spending weeks seeking out potential reviewers. A lively discussion followed which provided some useful links and new contacts. How things progress from here only time will tell, but it’s good to know you’re not alone!
The book tours have been disappointing with the projected dates being all over the place; it was so much better last summer. There are potentially over sixty reviews to come, so maybe some good will be salvaged from the wreckage. I won’t be going down that route again. Pasture’s new next time I feel!
I have a few gripes about some of the bloggers and review sites too! I’ve wasted loads of time checking out possible leads from ‘umbrella’ sites that suggested I check out those offering ‘free promo & reviews’. So many of them have shut down; some aren’t taking any books due to the backlog they have to get through; some only read YA, MG, Fantasy, Dystopian, Steampunk, Romance or Kid’s books; but you only really discover this when you’ve drilled down through the minutiae. Then there are those that won’t touch an ebook or a self published item. How ‘sniffy’ is that in 2014 for heaven’s sake? The world has moved on and reviewers need to move with it.
All I want to do is ask politely for a review, having checked out that the reviewer is available & interested in the genre that my book is written in, then we agree a time frame for them to give my offering the time they need, then they tell me & the public at large whether it’s any good or not. Anything that facilitates that has to be a good thing. I just feel they could help us writers sort out which sites are right for us to approach with a few appropriate symbols on the links to their web pages. This would save us wasting their time and ours. Answers on a post card.
I’ll try to get back to you a little quicker next time; once the holiday is over I’ll be thinking about that next novel & school will be beckoning for some of my time. My last season of snooker as a Secretary will be well underway by then too. Another busy autumn & winter stretches out before us! Happy days!