Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Building a Castle

The most obvious legacy of the Medieval period in the UK and France is the castle. They are everywhere, mostly in varying states of ruin. I have written previously about why you should visit castles and how to go about it. I also did a series on my local castles (Gower has a lot of castles), including Why visit a castle? and How to visit a castle. But I recently bought the Haynes manual of the castle, which looks at the construction and use of the castle, and I thought it would be fun to do a series on that.

The Medieval Castle Haynes manual

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Research: Neural Implants

A Brief History of the Future

One of the books I’m reading for my science fiction research has the huge title of A Brief History of the Future, the Third Millennium and Human Colonization of the Solar System: The Terraforming of Mars and Venus (HHcSS Book 1). The first innovation he suggests is mobile phone technology implanted in the brain. People will be able to make calls and send messages directly from one brain to another. It sounds like a good idea, so I Googled it to find out how feasible it is today.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Apologies and News

NaNoWriMo

As you can see, I haven't been keeping up my usual blogging programme. In November I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to write the first draft of the next Kestrel novel. Lots of things fell by the wayside in order to get that done, so December was spent catching up.

2018-11-14 15.24.52

On top of that my husband and I, who are both disabled, both had health issues (which are still going on). There were some family issues to deal with too, not all bad: our daughter had her third son in November and now has three children under four. We try to help out where we can. She lives less than half an hour away and we have the two older boys on separate afternoons each week. They are a delight but very tiring, as you can imagine.

So rather than scrape up any old blog post I waited until I could write something worthwhile. It's taken longer than I expected, as I had end-of-year and New Year stuff to do, but here I am. For my history fans I am writing a series on the construction of a castle, and for my science fiction fans I will be continuing with the series about my science research.

There will also be news of my books:

Conquest cover 3

  • There is now a permafree history book The Conquest of Wales, which is free on all retailers including Amazon.

  • I am planning some research on possible topics for my next history book.

  • I am going to see if Kindle Print will produce my print history books, which will greatly simplify sales, but as the books don't have a spine it may not be possible.

  • My latest science fiction novel (produced in NaNoWriMo) is with two readers who are going to critique it and think about how to expand it to novel length, as the first draft is too short.

Stowaway cover

  • I'm still working on short stories about the back story of some of the Kestrel crew. There are three at the moment but only one is available: Stowaway is permafree on all retailers.

  • I've signed up for a marketing course which I also have to find time for. Time to study and time to implement what I learn.

  • And I haven't done anything with my poetry for ages.

So as you can see, I'm going to be busy. I hope you will stay with me, enjoy my blog posts, and watch out for news. You can even sign up for my mailing list and get free books and advance news.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Thursday, 6 December 2018

History Price Crash Promotion for Christmas and New Year


This post has been held back so I could share some great news with you. [Fanfare!] I have decided to crash the prices of all my history books for Christmas and New Year AND there is a new FREE book as an introduction to my other books! I’ve just finished changing all my prices and uploading my new book, and although it’s eleven o’clock at night, I couldn’t wait to tell you all. Here are the details. Price changes last from 8 December to 8 January.

4 covers

On Amazon, I have lowered the prices of my ebooks AND print books to the minimum Amazon will allow.

Ebooks

This means that the ebooks will be 0.99 Pounds, Euros, and every kind of Dollar, 1.99 Real for Brazil, 49 Rupees for India, 99 Yen for Japan, and 11.99 Pesos for Mexico. At Smashwords the prices are the same as Amazon, and Smashwords distribute to Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and lots of other sellers. So you can find whatever format you need there.

Print Books

The Magna Carta Story is also printed by Amazon, and the lowest prices they will allow are $5.49, £3.49, 3.49 Euros and 667 Yen. Amazon allows me to sell my own print copies of Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth and Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John (but not the other two for some strange reason) and I have reduced them to 1.99 plus the standard 2.80 postage.

The print books are all available from me (postage free in the UK) for £2.99. They make great presents as they fit in an A5 envelope and post for standard 2nd class postage.

Sorry it’s so complicated, but I’ve done my best to reduce my prices to the lowest ever!

New Book
Conquest cover 3
The new book is called The Conquest of Wales. In 1066 William of Normandy won the Battle of Hastings, but Wales wasn't conquered for over two hundred years. The Welsh princes were a thorn in the side of the English kings until Edward I, building castles and roads as he went, finally conquered Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last Prince of Wales.

Told in my usual storytelling style with lots of illustrations, to make history you'll enjoy reading. This little book is a sample of my style and an introduction to my other history books. Why not join my mailing list and I’ll be sending my fans a copy in the next week or two.

The best news is it will be FREE! Amazon don’t allow free books but if you can prove it’s free elsewhere they will price match. So at the moment it’s 0.99 but as soon as Smashwords send it out to their distributors I’ll send the link to Amazon and they’ll make it free too. Don’t hold your breath, but in the mean time get it from Smashwords.

Don’t go rushing off to get The Conquest of Wales, it has literally just been uploaded, so it might take a day or two to appear, but I couldn’t wait to tell you all.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Crisis of Conscience: Good News, Bad News

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo has finished, and there are some interesting results for me. The idea of NaNoWriMo is to try to write fifty thousand words in one month, but it means 1667 words a day, and that’s a lot if you’re busy. I don’t usually get anywhere near that word count, but the discipline is very good for me. There are some important things in my life at the moment, like the birth of our eighth grandchild and having two of the others on separate afternoons every week, that I was not prepared to give up, so I actually set myself a goal of five hundred words a day. I didn’t quite make it but very nearly, and I did get back to writing every day.

The good news is that Crisis of Conscience is finished. I reached the end of the story.

The bad news is that it’s only thirty-one thousand words.

Obviously, it’s only the first draft, but improving the descriptions and expanding the characters and their reactions is not going to add the forty thousand words it will take to make it a novel. I need a huge subplot or two and maybe some more crises. It seems to be a trait of mine that my stories are always too short.

Intruders cover (396x546) (72dpi) Web

Intruders was originally two stories, but when I realised that one led directly into the other I put them together. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I mean. (If not, why not?) Alien Secrets was almost long enough but it had a ‘muddy middle’ as they say, and I found a new crisis which sorted out the timeline and added ten thousand words. If you’ve read it, it’s the pirates. If not, maybe it will intrigue you enough to give it a try. You don’t need to read Intruders to enjoy Alien Secrets.Alien Secrets cover

What I need is someone to read the first draft of Crisis of Conscience and a) tell me if it works, and b) help me find some more material without distorting it too much. I have someone in mind to ask, but if anyone out there would like a crack, do please get it touch. But you do need to be able to critique in depth.

After a first draft is written you need to create some distance, so you can view it with some objectivity when you next work on it. So I won’t be touching it for at least a month or two. And there is the little matter of Christmas coming up. No so little with four children, four spouses and eight grandchildren. Plenty of distraction for the next few weeks.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Monday, 19 November 2018

A First!

Stories cover (396x612) (72dpi)Web

It was only a little thing, but it meant a lot to me. At the weekend a customer walked into a local independent bookshop and ordered one of my history books! The bookshop emailed me and I delivered it today, along with samples of my other books for them to consider.

It was great to actually be asked for a book by a bookshop rather than being the one doing the asking.

I think the customer may have been from a talk I gave recently. I give history talks from my books to local groups. I really enjoy it, and actually sell more books after a talk than all my online sales put together.

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Another New Grandson!

2018-11-09 18.09.54-1

I posted last week that I wouldn’t be posting regularly during November because I’m doing NaNoWriMo. Well, there has been another interruption, but the best kind of interruption. I have a new grandson! We have been looking after his brothers while his mum went into hospital for the birth. Meet Aksel Thomas Brooks, born Friday 9 November, weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces. Mother and baby are well and home.

mms_20181109_193540Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz