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Stay up to date with the day to day happenings of Colin here
I never expected to become an author - no one in my family were ever writers as far as I know. It came my way and I am so thankful that it did. I'm travelling all over the UK working with schools and Authors Abroad. Maybe even overseas in the future, wink-wink AA.
I hold presentations and run workshops, which if you'd told me that twenty years ago, I would have laughed. The pupils and teachers I meet are amazing, and the writing feedback is inspiring.
I've written numerous short stories and eight novels (two coming out in 2015). I'm writing another wizards novel, and a new series. I've two collaborative projects on the go, and other ideas in the background. My books have gone from paperback to digital and audio. I'm even trying for foreign translation rights. I'm not stopping and want to try for film rights at some point.
We are in talks for a Rhondda Book Festival 2015 - David Norrington and I (David owns, Books & Pontyclun and Onion Custard Publishing). Me being in talks, seems wild for a small author from South Wales.
I'm looking to write that bestseller one day and sell hundreds of thousands of copies.
This may seem like bragging, but believe me it's not, it's been hard work - years and years of hard graft. I'm not loaded with money, really I'm not, only passion. I'm doing a job that would have seemed absurd when I left school. Writing was for academics not an ordinary welsh boy.
One thing I've learned from all this...you only get out what you put in.
Moving on to audio.
On Thursday October 30th 2014 my first audio book hit the world. Crank Tech One: Destruction was produced by InEar Entertainment with Mark Chatterly, and narrated by Dave Bulmer. This will be the first of many of my books changing into the talking book format. I've also signed a contract with Living Audio - Matt Brown will be producing Wizards' Kingdom and The Curious World novels into audio too.
Is Amazon the new slush pile?
I've just read a great blog on Cheryl Shireman's website: www.cherylshereman.com 'Indie Publishing the New Slush Pile?'
It brought it all back to me, when I first started sending manuscripts to publishers. The slush pile if you don't already know is the place where most manuscripts end up when sent to main stream publishers. In my early career you had to post the mss to a publisher. This entailed writing a covering letter, a synopsis and normally three chapters of your books - all sent in an A4 Jiffy bag with an SAE inside (so you could receive the rejection without the publisher forking out the money for postage).
Cheryl explained perfectly in her blog what it was like waiting for the postman to bring you the good or bad news. The publisher would take the unsolicited manuscript to one side (unsolicited; meaning not sent by an agent) and dump it on the slush pile, with all the other so called 'no hopers.' I have so many 'Rejection slips' it's unbelievable, and the normal letter was sent with it - This is not for us, or it's not what we're looking for, but some other publisher may want it. Don't give up dear...
With indie author/publishers now, anyone with a good writing skill, or not is some cases, can put their work straight on Amazon. The Amazon brand being the biggest platform in the world for authors. And, the biggest slush pile.
As Cheryl explained, agents and publishers can sift through the top selling or just keep an eye for a good novel, and pick them straight up.
Goodbye slush pile, hello to getting your work noticed.
Although we've only got four months left to the end of 2014, I've some very exciting things that are eventually coming out this year...hopefully!
I'm told by Matt Smith of Living Audio that Wizards' Kingdom the audio book will be out by December 2014. Also, the Crank Tech One: Destruction audio book with Mark Chartterley at InEar Entertainment will be out by mid-October too.
I'm waiting for; Killian Spooks and the Ghosted Children my first book by Whiteley Publishing before the end of the year.
I'm also holding out for my first book; House of Darke by Pegasus Elliot MacKensie Ltd by Christmas too.
I'm totally excited to have a short story 'Chills on a Knife Edge' in a horror anthology. The book: Welsh Celebrity Ghost Stories by Bradwell Books and instigated by SWPR - (South Wales Paranormal Research). It's in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and is launching 30th September 2014.
Also, Inside the Dark - a short story will be featured in ETO Magazine for Ameri-Cymru by the end of the year.
Will keep you posted.
More talking books
Been a while, so here's something new. I've been in talks recently with a nice guy called Matt Brown. He owns an audio publishing company called Living Audio. Matt is really interested in my books to format into talking books and we've decided to do it.
We've talked about the Wizards' Kingdom trilogy, and also The Curious World series too. I've already got a deal for Crank Tech One with InEar Entertainment. So I've also signed a deal with Matt for the rest of my books in audio format. It's strange as things are moving so fast now. Been waiting for years though.
Matt Brown of Living Audio August 9th 2014.
Crank Tech One : DESTRUCTION audio book
This is really exciting news for me. i've just signed a contract for Crank Tech One: Destruction...to be made into an AUDIO BOOK! All my books are in paperback and digital format, but this is a new dimention. Crank Tech One will be recorded as a 'Talking Book.'
In Ear Entertainment is an audio company who produce Sci-Fi novels, but my robot book is the biggest project they've tackled so far. I had a meeting in March 2014 with Mark Chatterly and his assistant Thierry Heles of In Ear, and they loved the idea of my mad robot. Now the contract is signed, then the work will begin. They've already got someone lined up to narrate the adventure, and of course there's the recording studio and editing - very exciting. The audio book when it's completed, will be available on ACX/Amazon - Audible/Amazon/iTunes.
I'll keep you informed on the progress.