Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Planning for the Re-opening of Oystermouth Castle

As the Council's event announcement says, on 16th June:

Celebrate the castle’s official re-opening with our spectacular medieval tournament and re-enactments. Let the children explore the castle and its grounds, complete with medieval sports, live music, fire juggling, storytelling and arts and crafts. Guided tours of the castle available.

The castle has had a £3.1 million conservation project, which has seen the Visitor's Centre put inside the chapel, and a glass bridge constructed so that visitors can access the chapel top floor, but still have a clear view from below. Much restoration and conservation work has been done, including improvements to the grounds, and better access.

The chapel has been named 'Alina's chapel', but until now there was no detailed information about who Alina was. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth fills that need, and will be sold inside the castle. I have produced a poster linking the book to the re-opening, which will be distributed in the next week to all local outlets selling the book.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

News and Reviews

I am shocked to find that I haven't posted here for a month - my apologies if you're following. It doesn't mean nothing has been happening, but I have taken the opportunity to return to my sci-fi writing, before the next push.

The great news is that my initial print run of 200 has sold out! There are still books out in the shops, but I have only a couple of copies at home, so I have to work out how many to print on the second run. The major factor in this is the re-opening of Oystermouth Castle.

As reported on the council web site, Oystermouth Castle has had a major refurbishment, and will have a grand re-opening on 16th June, with a medieval tournament and re-enactment. I plan to be there and advertise the book to the public, and either sell copies, or point customers to the stall where they can buy it. Final details will be worked out in a meeting with the chairman of the Friends of Oystermouth Castle, Roger Parmiter, on 1st June.

I'm producing a poster to tie my book in with the re-opening, which I'll distribute to the shops in the next week or two. I've also ordered postcards to hand out.

As for reviews: there aren't any. I haven't sold many ebooks, where people are likely to be prompted to review it, and the people who buy print books, aren't necessarily ones who are web-savvy. So a plea to all my friends and followers - please review the book. I'm not asking for falsely good reviews - please be honest - but I hope you genuinely liked it, and it would be great to tell the world.

You can review the ebook on Smashwords.

You can review the ebook and the print book on Amazon.

Thanks.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Writers Day

You have to be careful with language. What you say is not always what others hear, and words may not mean the same for them as they do for you.

On Thursday I went to a Writers Day organised by Swansea and Trinity Carmarthen Universities' Creative Writing departments. I grabbed a free ticket when I saw it, and expected a programme to follow. I also expected something different to what I got. As I said to my friend, "The writers didn't get to do any writing."

With no advance programme, I had no idea what to expect. It was a day of interviews with writers, agents, editors and poets. Once I got over the initial disappointment that there would be no workshops, I actually enjoyed it very much. Here are a few snippets:

Jon Gower: Oblique Strategies is a set of cards developed to give writers a random idea to help when they get stuck. See Wikipedia for full explanation. They are now on a website here.

Gwen Davies, editor of the New Welsh Review, described editing as 'extreme reading' - that description appealed to me.

Philip Gross the poet: "The world is full of people trying to give us answers. We need writers to explore and expand on the questions."