Infested has been out for a couple of months now and is getting some good reviews, mainly five star ones. I’m more than pleased with the reaction it’s been getting. Thanks to anyone who’s read the story and especially to those who’ve reviewed it.
Right, it appears I haven’t updated my site since February. I’ve had a stern word with myself about being a lazy fuck-wit and I’m back now.
What have I been up to, I hear you ask? Well, apart from the day job keeping me busy, I’ve had my head down finishing and polishing my new novel, which is tentatively titled, The Black Stone. It’s what I’d term a horror fantasy and is about growing up, revenge and demonic possession. When I’ve written a blurb and created, or paid someone to create, a cover (depending on how well mine turns out), I’ll post them here first.
I’ve also, to give my brain a rest from the novel, written a few short stories which I’ll drip feed into the world as and when. Eventually I’ll create a collection but this might be a couple of years away as I want to make sure I offer value and quality and short stories tend to be something I do when not in the midst of novel writing, or when I need to ‘rest’ a story for a while.
I’ve also been spending quite a lot of time thinking about (daydreaming as many people call it), plotting and researching my next big project, which I’m excited about starting but need to get a few things out of the way first.
I’ve also done a bit of camping, but not as much as I’d hoped for this time of year and have got to see seals and diving gannets and lots of other wildlife but alas, no whales or dolphins as yet but I’m back near the coast near the end of this month so there’s time yet.
Anyway, if you are reading this then I hope all is good in your world and I hope to post some news and updates soon.
Murmerations. – 2nd and 3rd of February 2013
Last weekend we went away for a friend’s birthday and hired a cottage in Somerset. On Saturday afternoon, we went to visit Shapwick Heath and parked the car at Avalon marshes before going for a bit of a stroll. There wasn’t a massive amount of wildlife spotted but this wasn’t surprising as we stuck to the main bridleway and made very little effort at stealth.
As sunset approached, people started to gather along the backs of the canal. The anticipation of something about to happen was thick in the air. The sun sank lower and it seemed the only wildlife was a solitary swan on the lake, which didn’t seem overly happy about being looked at and photographed.
Then, from behind crimson edged clouds, a shadow appeared in the sky. A long, black ribbon stretching to the horizon; constantly moving like a dark river. The starlings had arrived.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but as they came in a steady stream from all directions, I found the numbers difficult to comprehend. Although there wasn’t much in the way of the swirling, synchronised ballet often associated with these murmurations, the sight at what I can only guess to be a million starlings coming in to land was truly one of the greatest spectacles nature has to offer. And that is no exaggeration.
It appeared like they’d descended to place not too distant from us so we set off along the bank to take a closer look. We hadn’t gone too far before a sound like rushing water came to our ears. Although there was plenty of water about, none was moving with any intent and it certainly wasn’t gushing. As we neared, the noise was akin to a raging waterfall.
It took a little while for our brains to compute that what we were actually listening to was the beating of a million pairs of wings, just behind a hedge of trees, punctuated occasionally by the screeching of one very excited buzzard, or some other hawk.
It was dark when we walked back to the car. Dark and cold, but the spectacle we’d just witnessed, and a woolly hat, kept me as warm as the snuggest blanket.
The next evening we could not resist returning and with perfect timing we arrived with five minutes to spare before the first birds appeared over the horizon. The extra trip was rewarded with an even more spectacular display. The sky was more overcast but the lack of dramatic sunset was more than compensated by the spectacle put on by the starlings.
Three opportunistic buzzards marauded overhead, causing the starlings to swoop and dive, whipping them into one ever changing, fluid entity. As they swooped directly over our heads, the sound was not dissimilar to an aeroplane. The noise coming from the reserve sounded like waves crashing on a rocky beach.
If I had to sum up the starlings coming home to roost in one word it would be, awesome. Photographs do not do the murmurations justice, it’s something which needs to be experienced.
Sadly, and I only discovered after returning home, starling numbers are declining in the UK and they are now on the ‘red list’ of endangered birds. It truly would be a tragedy if one of nature’s greatest spectacles were to become no more than a memory.
Recently, having two promotion days left on Amazon, I decided to make Flux free for a weekend. I wasn’t expecting much from it as results in the past have been varied. On the Saturday, the number of downloads were comparable to past promotions, good but not staggering. However, on Sunday this happened.
To say I was excited would be an understatement and I’d like to thank anyone who has read, commented, blogged or mentioned my book in any way, shape or form.
In the end, Flux reached number one on Amazon in both Horror and Fantasy, which put it at number 40 in Amazon’s overall top 100 books.
The exposure this has given has been invaluable and now, almost exactly a year after its publication, Flux is selling better than it ever has. Long may the trend continue and fingers crossed, when my new novel is published in a few months, there will be many people willing to buy it.
I’ve never won anything in my life, especially for my writing. This is why I was so pleased when I found out Flux was voted joint winner in the Horror category on indie book bargains, a website set up to promote the great wealth of independent books and authors which are available.
Check out indie book bargains by clicking the button below.