2015, a new year, so a new approach

January 13, 2015 News

With the start of a new year I am back to writing again. I am making a few changes: I currently have four books in different genres on submission with various publishers. This isn't a slight on Ragged Angel, but simply because the books are not in fields they publish in. There's also a degree of wanting to spread the risk and be able to get more books out at once than RA have slots for.Under a Sepia Moon, a children's series is currently sitting with a publisher, and I hope to hear back by the end of the month. There are more details on Wizzley, hereI've had a request for a 30,000 novella, which may end up using a different pen name to avoid splitting my fan base.  I don't mind sharing Children's and Adventure, but non-fiction might be more difficult.And regarding non-fiction, there might

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November 14, 2014 News

When I started I used an old blog at vhfolland.blogspot.co.uk I moved away when google changed their interface, because the new blogger was simply unusable. (The layout is not responsive and it  puts the edit menu off the side of my screen, for example.) I've been back several times and filed bug reports, but they've never fixed it. Worse, I found that Google had broken the redirect to the main author blog (vhfolland.com) about three months after I had moved so since the blogspot address was on most of my old printed promotions and online reviews of Fire Season, I had actually been losing quite a bit of traffic. I've fixed the bugs now, but I am understandably angry. There may be a way to syndicate content from the main author blog on wordpress to the blogspot blog, which would bring it

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Children’s books and rejection

November 13, 2014 News

I've just received a rejection on the children's stories, which makes it a bit difficult to know what to do with them next.  They took a little while to write, so I don't really want to give up on them, but apparently there is no market for folktale-style story telling any more.My cynical suspicion is that there won't be such a market until someone independent makes a fortune from them. That won't be me: I'm no artist, and these stories do need illustrating. I certainly don't have the funds to hire an illustrator at the moment. Ragged Angel doesn't do children's books and strictly speaking didn't do fiction book until I begged a few years ago. And the main market doesn't like my style.I may just release them as text-only freebies on Smashwords or Draft to Digital, or possible create a

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Lest We Forget

November 10, 2014 News

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,We will remember them." 

Laurence Binyon

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Escape, first week and other stories

October 27, 2014 Books

Escape went up last week, with a whisper not a shout, and so I thought I'd mention a first week retrospective. Is it selling a lot? No.Is it selling despite me not actually advertising it anywhere?Yes.Should I advertise it somewhere?Probably.The lack of advertising is not entirely by choice. The health issues that affected me earlier this year have resurfaced, making it fairly hard to use a computer at the moment. I have two incomplete novel manuscripts nearly ready to go (one's at 60,000 words, one's at 40,000) a 27,000 word draft for another and 18,000 word outline for a fourth, and I'm not really well enough to get them done right now. Short stories are about my limit. This is part of the reason why I am looking for an agent for the children's stories - working with a small publisher

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Escape now on Pre-order

October 21, 2014 News

Escape short story coverEscape is now available for pre-order on Amazon. A short story, set in a fictional world where a private consortium spent the early 2000's restoring a prototype aircraft to ground running.

The problem? The aircraft is the legendary TSR2, the people in power are the ones that originally killed it, and they want it gone. The engineers disagree. Finding her a new home should be easy, but getting her there? That could be murder.

Escape can now be viewed or pre-ordered on Amazon wordwide, priced 0.99. It will be available to buy on 24th October.

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Escape cover reveal

October 19, 2014 BooksNewsPublishing

Escape short story coverI'm happy to announce the cover for Escape. Given the aircraft in the book, it was understandably difficult to find images of it in flight, so my original request of a close-up flight shot was not granted. Instead I understand a flight-sim was used to get reference shots, the contrail comes from a 777, and the sunset shot was taken on open land. I actually rather like the results.
Escape short story cover

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Short Story Pt 2

October 17, 2014 News

I mentioned recovering a short story here, which ended with me getting my hands on a hard copy. Earlier this week I  retyped it from the hard-copy and discovered when I did that it was 4,500 words, not the 1,500 I remember.The story is in better shape than I remember.  Originally published in 2009, there are a few tweaks needed to update it to reflect the modern era. I had also expected to be polishing the writing style, since it was four years old and I only had an unedited proof.  Instead, I found out that it had held up better than expected. When I  started trying to make changes for accuracy and correct detail, I ran into a problem. Accuracy slows action.  At the moment, it is a roller-coaster ride, but breaking into a discussion of physics and aerodynamics in the middle of an air

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A Leap into the Unknown

October 16, 2014 NewsPublishing

A while ago I was chatting with my publisher about the type of children's shows we remembered - Bill and Ben, Bagpuss - and about how sad it was that shows like that weren't being made anymore. I jotted down a short children's story in that vein as a joke.My publisher loved it. So did his child. So, rather baffled, I sat on the idea for a week. Which was when I discovered what pester power meant, and that was just from my publisher. Around the time I finished the fourth, I did start to think I might be onto something here. However my publisher does not handle illustrated books or children's books, and those markets could be quite specialist.It took me a while to make a decision, because after what happened with Fire Season, going away from my nice, safe, micro-press and back into

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Finding an old shame

October 13, 2014 booksPublishing

Book coverIt is well known that authors may have problems reclaiming their rights when a publisher goes bankrupt. Less well known is when getting the rights back isn't a problem but getting the story back is.

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