Back to Work

_GMH1824It’s been a hectic year, again. I suppose I ought to apologise for the radio silence in the last few months, but … well, there’s not enough hours in the day.

My YouTube channel has been taking off in recent months. It suffered last year (as did this blog) because my family has had the inevitable break – no, nothing unpleasant, just my daughter completing A-Levels, and then leaving home to go and study Architecture at university. In the run up to her exams, I was forced to stop making YouTube videos and writing so much on the blog. YouTube depended on her help: filming, editing, coming up with new ideas – everything. Meanwhile, the Blog suffered because I was so heavily involved in a new book. And that has continued until now.

As a result I have taught myself how to film, how to edit video, and how to plan new ideas. There was a major glitch, when I put my camera down in order to prepare to film, and heard a deeply unpleasant noise as soon as I turned my back … the sound of a very expensive camera falling from a desk and breaking as it hit the floor. That took six weeks of intensive care at Nikon, but now it’s back and working again.

mioRmd+iS9iakdqGaEw_thumb_4b0eI’m trying to make up for lost time by taking more photos while I’m out and about, although it isn’t easy – the camera’s quite old, and very heavy – so I think I’ll have to look for a replacement. All donations welcome!

Work is going well just now. I am deeply embedded in a new story that is a bit of a departure – more on that later – and I plan to bring back to life seven manuscripts that didn’t find a home before. They will each receive an in-depth Jecks treatment, and then get submitted to various publishers. If they fail in that endeavour, I may well put them on the internet to see how they are viewed there. It doesn’t appeal – because I hate spending hours of good writing time trying to work out marketing strategies, finding decent cover pictures, writing blurb and so on – but most publishers do no marketing or PR for their authors nowadays. It makes much more sense for me to put in that effort and get the income from sales, rather than doing the marketing etc and receiving a tiny percentage of the income. Publishing has changed so much in recent years.

So, beware! I am back!

If you haven’t already checked out my YouTube account, please look for WriterlyWitterings on YouTube – here’s a chat about a favourite author of mine: This is my vlog all about writing, with reviews of pens, pencils, inks, paper, comments on writers I’ve found inspiring, and reviews of the books I have been reading recently. Hopefully you’ll find it fun! However, I’m hoping to maintain this blog at the same time. Every so often I expect to fail because of my workloads, but I’ll struggle on.

Which leads me to mention that another copyedit it coming to me this week. My latest book in the Jack Blackjack series of Tudor mysteries is to be published later this year, and The Dead Don’t Wait is almost ready to be sent to proof. I’ve got two weeks of intense editing coming up.

Oh, and before I forget – every so often I am given things to review or comment on. Last week I had a “giveaway” on Twitter and Facebook of a fountain pen and Rhodia leather-covered notebook. This week I’ll be offering a free, unused, Filco Majestouch Minila keyboard, which was given to me by The Keyboard Company. It is a small keyboard, with individually sprung keys – personally I would say that they are infinitely preferable to a keyboard with a rubber membrane, such as almost all laptops use. I have disposed of two flat Apple keyboards and replaced them with a Filco. And yes, I paid for it!

So, if you’re interested in a free keyboard, do please follow my social media – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for information on how to get your hands on it!

Wish me luck!


6 Responses to “Back to Work”
  1. It’s fascinating to hear how many authors who are currently or have previously been successful with traditional publishing but who are courting the idea of self-publishing. Meanwhile folks like me who were unsuccessful finding an agent / traditional publisher wonder how nice it must be to have the “people” who come along with the contracts to a publisher. But then the statements like “most publishers do no marketing or PR for their authors nowadays. It makes much more sense for me to put in that effort and get the income from sales, rather than doing the marketing etc and receiving a tiny percentage of the income. Publishing has changed so much in recent years” and I’m glad I’ve been forced to learn everything from the writing to the web design, marketing, and even cover design. Not that I am gifted or even good at all of it, but I’ve learned how to DIY despite my frustrations. And two mutual author friends of ours (and whose names would surprise many of their fans) with decades-long and successful careers are contemplating self-publishing their next books. In private conversation with each of them, they have encouraged me to hang on and not dismiss self-publishing so quickly. Anyway, I blather on. I will watch this potential journey of yours with keen interest! And good luck!


    • It’s a very tough industry now, and authors cannot afford to be tied into contracts that continue for 50 or 70 years after the author’s death. Electronic is the only sensible way to go for almost everyone, other than the tiny number of really top-flight authors who’re paid a fortune and tend to take all the marketing budget!


  2. Lindsey Russell says:

    I’ve been checking in for month now to see if you’ve put up a new blog post only to find you haven’t (naughty, naughty, Michael – but having read the new one I totally understand why). However not having posted for so long might be the reason you are now having problems (re your twitter comment) with WordPress because they have changed the format. I’m a complete numpty where computers are concerned and know nothing about posting blogs so could well be talking out my backs**e but found this article on another blog I follow which might make sense to you (or not if I’ve misunderstood your problem). Anyway, nice to see you back – I was getting withdrawal symptoms 🙂


    • Firstly, thanks for the comments, Lindsey – but the main issue I have right now is that the page for “sharing”, ie that gives links to Twitter, LinkedIn etc, is blank. I don’t know if that is a glitch caused by Safari (I’m checking into it today using Firefox instead), but it’s causing me no end of problems. The general “box” system is very pleasant and easy, although it’s a little too easy to delete an entire paragraph for my liking (I have discovered).


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