Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Monday, 7 September 2015

Eastbourne Book Festival 2015

I'm looking forward to the 19th and 20th of September 2015 because it's the Eastbourne Book Festival. It will be held in the Underground Theatre beneath the Eastbourne library, just across from the Eastbourne train station.

I will be there selling copies of my books and giving readings from both of my novels.

Saturday I will be reading from The Penitent Heart, One man's journey from despair to hope. 

Sunday I will be reading from my new novel, Buchanan and the case of the bodies in the Marina,

Step by Step Guitar Making
This is my book on how to make an acoustic guitar. I'll have signed copies, complete with full sized plans available and will be happy to discuss what it takes to make a guitar.

Along with selling my books, I'll be happy to discuss what's involved in getting your own book into print and Ebook and onto the Amazon worldwide sales platform. It's a lot easier than you can imagine, and it doesn't cost you anything. No stock to buy, just print on demand and pocket the royalties.

The Penitent  Heart, one man's journey from despair to Hope.
It is the story of Bill, a hapless househusband, who while being under the influence of alcohol causes a road traffic accident, and the subsequent death of the other driver. Overloaded with stress and guilt, Bill suffers a debilitating emotional breakdown. Bill abandons his wife, Ruth, and her three young daughters by her first marriage, to become a cook on a charter yacht bound for the Amazon. Bill finds himself sucked into a tale of intrigue, he may have run away from his wife, his family, and his responsibilities, but no matter how hard he tries, he can’t run away from the shadowy spectre of his past. He realizes that one day, sooner than later, he will have to decide whether to keep on running or stop and face the music.

Ever wondered how to go about repairing or binding a book. I did till I decided to give it a try. Now I bind all my own books and you can to with simple tools and materials. Come along to the book fair and ask me how I go about it.

Buchanan and The Case of the Bodies in the Marina.

Glasgow cop, DCI Jack Buchanan is in Eastbourne, seconded to Sussex CID. His task is to investigate the death of an unidentified young woman found floating in the Marina and also the death of a Sussex Detective Sergeant, drowned in the harbour while still seat belted in his car.

When he walked the beat in the Gorbals as a young PC, Jack’s idea of street justice was to take the miscreant down a dark alley, thump some sense into them, and send them on their way.

Now, like a fish out of water, and in genteel surroundings, would Buchanan be in time to catch the killer before they kill again?

Both my novels are available in Kindle and print format from Amazon and in paperback. Also in paperback and hardback direct from me at the show, see you there.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Website under developement

Monday 3rd August 2015. The new website is under construction and it is hoped to have it up and running by the beginning of September.

Friday, 12 December 2014

One way to mend a broken neck on a guitar.

This Takamine guitar has not only suffered a broken neck, this is the second time it has suffered this fate. The attached photos show the stages of repair to get the guitar back in full playing condition and hopefully never to  suffer from this fate again.

The surfaces of where the neck was broken have been cleaned, but not sanded or altered in any way. Aliphatic glue was applied to both surfaces and the head put back to as close to the original position as possible and the whole assembly was cramped with cauls to keep the head in position as the glue dried. 

Unfortunately it was not possible to align the head to the neck as it was when first made as the first repair was slightly off center. The original repair was not the problem. The grain of the neck wood was not parallel to the neck 
making that area susceptible to future breaking. As can be see from the photos, the head veneer was badly damaged by the two breaks and the misalignment of the original repair is shown by a light line on the side of the neck.

This photo shows the damage done to the side of the head when the neck broke. A suitable piece of mahogany will be inserted after the damaged edges have been cleaned.

The head veneer has been cut back below the break and a new, matched (as far as possible) section of rosewood veneer will be put in place to cover over the break. Before the new veneer is attached  two small stainless steel pins, 2 mm in diameter will be inserted from the tuner holes up through the re-glued break in the neck.

By inserting the pins through from the tuner holes their presence will be invisible after the repair is complete.

 Photo on the left shows the new veneer butted up against the remaining veneer. It was done this way to preserve the original head logo which was a transfer sitting on the surface. Photo on the right shows the new veneer trimmed to shape and darkened with stain to match the original colour. Note the tuner holes have also been opened up.

Before the new veneer could be lacquered, the grain on the new veneer had to be filled. Next, the lacquer on the new veneer was built up over several days, care had to be taken when sanding so as not to rub through onto the 
Takamine logo.  
At the same time the repaired area on the back of the neck was faired and sanded smooth. A rubdown with rosewood stain returned the original patina of the aged mahogany. After a 
suitable number of coats of lacquer on the back and after the lacquer had set, the lacquer was gently rubbed with steel wool to match the mat finish of the rest of the neck.

The front of the head was then given a couple of coats and left to dry. Bottom photo shows the completed repair, not an invisible one, but as good as could be done under the circumstances. The guitar is now ready to rock n roll.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Thanksgiving UK 2015

Lets have November 26th 2015, the first official Thanksgiving UK day.

Photo courtesy of internet search.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Penitent Heart, now published.

What excitement this last two weeks have been. My book, The Penitent Heart has been available to purchase for the last two weeks, and though it is not a number one seller,yet, early sales figures give me hope that it is being well received by the reading public.

I am selling signed copies of my book for £9.50 plus P&P or £9.50 if you want to pick one up in person, please call first though.

I am also making arrangements for my book to be available from select book shops in the Eastbourne area and surrounding area.

It is, of course, available from Amazon world wide as a digital book and a print version and Barnes and noble in the UK and USA.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Never bite the hand that feeds you.

Below is a quote from the Bookseller email newsletter received this morning.

"Influential Krugman says Amazon 'hurts America'
Prominent New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has criticized Amazon for using its power in ways that “hurt America”.
The Nobel Prize-winning economist, who has been described as The Times’ “most heralded” columnist, used a piece in the newspaper yesterday (19th October) to argue that Amazon has too much power and is “abusing” that power by using it to push prices down."

Why should we, the members of the creative writing fraternity be so antagonistic towards Amazon, remember the story of the Pied Piper and what happened when he didn't get paid?

Publisher have abdicated their responsibility to the author, by delegating their search for new authors to Literary agencies, and the publishing, printing, and distributing responsibilities to Amazon, and their ilk.

In these modern days with the advent of the internet, websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, et al, and POD for single or multiple book printing, why can't publishers re-claim their heritage and distribute their product directly to the reader? Especially since there is a growing use of on-site POD machines in major bookshops using the Xerox Espresso Book Machine. Have a look at them in use on YouTube.

These machines allow the author complete control over the creation of their work, though distribution and marketing is now the author's responsibility.

This is where Amazon and their Createspace system shines the brightest for the budding author. It not only provides for the creation of the authors work in print and digital format, it also aids in the setting out of the work and very importantly distributes the work globally. As a cherry on the top of the cake, the author decides, after Amazon has recovered their cost, what price the work sells for, and subsequently how much the author gets paid.

In spite of all that is said about self-publishing, for a manuscript to turn into a best seller, it still needs to be edited, and not necessarily by the author.