Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Preview of Pay Dirt Cover!

It's always an exciting moment when you see the artwork for your forthcoming book for the first time; and this did not disappoint!

Thanks to all at Robert Hale for consistently coming up with exciting and eye-catching front cover designs. They may not always relate directly to the plot but hopefully, they capture the excitement and pace of the story and give the reader a flavour of what they've come to expect from a Black Horse Western.

Pay Dirt should be available in January 2012 and I look forward to holding a pristine copy in my hands.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

BBC Radio 4 Interview with Elmore Leonard

Lovely interview with a writing hero of mine. Click the link here to listen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Great Advice on Time Management for Writers

I've subscribed for some time to an online e-zine from Randy Ingermanson. Here's his thoughts on how writers find time for their projects. If you want to subscribe to his e-zine, see the links below.

When I started writing fiction years ago, I read an estimate that a novelist needs to spend 2000 hours learning the craft of fiction writing in order to get published. I thought that was excessive. I figured a smart guy could learn to write a novel in a few hundred hours. Maybe I'm just not all that smart, but it wound up taking me quite a bit more than 2000 hours of writing to get my first novel accepted by a publisher and on the shelves of bookstores.

Even though I wildly underestimated the amount of time it would take, I always knew it wasn't something you do in a weekend, so I made a point early in my writing life to find ways to spend more time writing. I believe that if you're a serious writer, you need to
be writing at least 10 to 20 hours per week. Why? Because when you finally sell your manuscript to a publisher, they're going to expect you to polish your novel within a few months. And then they'll expect you to do a second novel soon after that. And then a third, and a fourth . . .

That level of effort is easily going to cost you 20 hours every week for the rest of your writing life. Easily. If you're not already writing at least 10 hours per week by that time, you just plain won't be able to gear up quickly enough to meet those demands from your publisher. You don't have to start out writing 10 hours per week when you first begin writing fiction, of course. Hardly anybody can do that. I recommend that you work up to the level of writing about 5 hours per week by the end of your first year of serious writing. And yes, it may take you a full year just to get up to that level. Once you're writing 5 hours per week, you can then ramp up over the next year or two to writing at that magic level of 10 hours per week. How do you do that? How do you find that kind of time when you're probably already overwhelmed by all the other things you're doing in life? It's not easy. It's going to call for you to make some hard decisions on what's most important to you.

We're all juggling a lot of different things in our lives. I am. You are. That's just how things are. Think about all the things on your plate. You probably have 10 or 15 that are important. Maybe more. You've got 168 hours in every week, and you're awake for at least 110 of those. That's a lot of hours. How do you fill up those hours? Is it possible that you could live your life with one less thing on your plate? If you've never tracked your time, this might be an enlightening exercise. Keep a daily log of where your time goes over the course of a full week. Keep a record of anything that takes longer than about 5 minutes. Lump together things that take less time than that. You may be amazed at what you spend your time on.

Now it's time to get serious. Every three months, ask yourself if there's one less thing you could do. One thing you could shove off your plate that would gain you at least an hour per week in writing time. Maybe it's an "essential" TV show that really isn't all that important. Maybe it's time spent browsing the web, fooling around on Facebook, texting, Skyping, tweeting, or whatever your favorite way is to chitchat electronically. Can you carve out an hour from that?
Every three months, can you find one less thing that "must" be done? Something that's really not essential? Something you can offload to somebody else? Can you take that time and use it for your writing? One less thing, every three months. If that one less thing buys you an extra hour per week of writing time, then in a year, you'll be writing at least four hours per week.

In two years, you'll have an extra eight hours per week to devote to your writing. In three years, you'll have twelve hours a week. This is not easy. At first, that "one less thing" won't
cost you much. But as the months go by, each "one less thing" is going to sting more and more.

Life is full of sacrifices. If you want to write a novel, you have to give up something else that you like doing. You have to give up lots of somethings. You can get there. One less thing at a time.

Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the
Snowflake Guy," publishes the Advanced Fiction Writing
E-zine, with more than 25,000 readers, every month. If
you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction,
AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND
have FUN doing it, visit

Download your free Special Report on Tiger Marketing
and get a free 5-Day Course in How To Publish a Novel.


Randy Ingermanson
Publisher, Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine


Randy Ingermanson
President and CEO of Ingermanson Communications, Inc.
2210 W. Main St., Suite 107, Box 103
Battle Ground, WA 98604

High Noon on the I-Phone!

Here's a bit of fun! Turn your i-phone into Colt 45 as you seek to be the most wanted desperado on the planet. And it's free to download, too!!!!

Warning - strangely addictive...

Your phone is your weapon as you duel with people online around the world to become the most wanted outlaw on the planet! Win duels and collect reward money to customize your character. As you build your reputation, the bounty on your head will attract competition from around the globe!

✓ Intense heart-throbbing real-time multiplayer duels
✓ Realistic "your-phone-is-your-gun" holstering, drawing, aiming, shooting, and reloading actions
✓ Regular faction wars and competitions
✓ Game Center integration for finding friends sending duel challenges
✓ Stealing from your opponents (if you don't get caught!)
✓ 4 gun types: revolver, shotgun, rifle, and scoped rifle
✓ Special equipment: dynamite, lassos, silver bullets, voodoo dolls... wooden teeth and more
✓ Western wear: greenhorn, gambler or disgruntled civil war soldier - you can customize your character from head to toe
✓ Indian trading post items that give you an edge up on the competition
High Noon is a multi-player game and requires at least a GPRS network connection, 3G or better is recommended.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

A great article on the future of digital books on the smart phone and providing some real food for thought.

Check it out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEWSFLASH - 'Pay Dirt' Accepted by Robert Hale Ltd

I have just been informed by publishers Robert Hale Ltd, that my second western novel, entitled Pay Dirt has been accepted for publication.
What this space for more information...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What I'm Reading Now...

True Grit by Charles Portis
With all the fuss around the movie, I decided to read the book; if the movie is only half as enjoyable, it will be a must-see!
The book is written in the first person in the voice of Mattie Ross, the 14 year old daughter of Frank Ross who is shot dead by Tom Chaney, one of his own workers. The assured, confident style is reminiscent of To Kill A Mocking Bird or Catcher In The Rye - another two of my favourite books.
The story is fast-paced and the story is so well-written, dialogue just leaps off the page. For example, at one point La Boeuf the cocky Texas Ranger says:
"Earlier tonight I gave some thought to stealing a kiss from you, though you are very young and sick and unattractive to boot, but now I am of a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt."
"One would be as unpleasant as the other," I replied.
The scene where Mattie negotiates a refund from the horse trader, Stonehill, is masterful. All in all, she is a remarkable, memorable character whose words stay with you long after you have put the book down. (I read it in one sitting.)
Rooster Cogburn, the character played by John Wayne in the original 1969 movie is a far more complex and flawed character than depicted in that film and is all the more interesting for it.
Too many books are described as 'epic', 'classic' etc but this really does fit the bill and I hope the movie lives up to it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The results of the Rope and Wire short story competition are now available here.
A great website. Check out some of the photography on the artists section!

What It's Like to Be Sacked by a Computer!

A cautionary tale for all of us.

A really interesting article by Dylan Winter (which co-incidentally I think would be a great name for a western hero.)

He writes a great blog call 'Keep Turning Left' about his adventures travelling around the coast of England in a 19ft boot. He writes a guest article on this website about being delisted by Google's AdSense in a very scary way.

All bloggers beware!

Vulture Gold Now Available as E-book

Chuck Tyrell's (aka Charles Whipple) first Black Horse Western, Vulture Gold is now available as an e-book from Smashwords or Western Trail Blazers.
Western Trail Blazers is well worth checking out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011