If you hadn’t noticed, there’s a small sporty thing going on in the UK at the moment. The sun is shining and there seem to be more gold medals appearing for team GB every time I blink. It’s fantastic, riveting drama of the highest order and truly inspiring.
To think, the next generation of Olympians is watching these games, either on the television (or increasingly online) or there in person. These kids will be learning the names of their new sporting heroes and talking about sports they did not even know existed a few weeks ago. I love it.
Every time one of the medallists is interviewed, they inevitably mention all of the people who have helped them get to the top of their game. Family, friends, coaches and the wider public. It reminds me that the event itself is just part of the story.
Which leads me rather clumsily to my own ‘gold medal’ moment, in the not so sporty field of writing. If any of you have read my previous posts, you’ll have some idea of the journey I’ve taken over the last few months – the writing and publishing of THE NIGHTMARE STONE, and now the same process with the next novel, ANGELS OF WAR.
Sales have been steady but not spectacular. My charity promotion raised a few quid for Naomi House but that was all. Thank God they’ve got plenty of other fundraisers supporting them and I’m grateful I’ve got a day job.
Then, last weekend, the stars came into alignment. Let me tell you what happened.
The Olympic opening ceremony was wonderful, a uniquely British celebration of the quirky genius of this great nation. I watched it, along with millions of others, and loved what I saw. Then, suddenly, a pivotal moment. JK Rowling stood up and read from Peter Pan. A shiver ran down my spine. I looked at my wife and she smiled. It seemed almost unreal.
THE NIGHTMARE STONE is inspired by the life of JM Barrie, and takes as its central theme a ‘what if?’ moment in Barrie’s life. By a strangely compelling coincidence, the following morning saw the start of a four day promotion on amazon; THE NIGHTMARE STONE free to download.
I started to tweet about it JK Rowling’s reading, never really believing that I could influence the promotion by doing so. But something remarkable started to happen. Within a few minutes, copies of the book were being downloaded. Over the next few hours, A LOT of copies of the book were downloaded.
By the end of the four day promotion, an utterly mind-blowing NINE THOUSAND copies of my book had been downloaded.
I still have to read that twice to believe it.
Since then, sales of my book have exceeded all my expectations. It continues to feature high on various amazon bestseller charts. It is, by any measure, a success.
One word says it all – Wow.
So, there’s my ‘gold medal’ moment, during this most special of Olympics. A bit cheesy? I’m sorry, but I hope you’ll forgive me that.
I want to thank two wonderful people who have helped immensely. I don’t know them outside of the world of the internet but they are great individuals who go the extra mile to help independent authors like myself and therefore create an environment where independent publishing has a voice and can flourish.
Firstly, Joey Pinkney. His website can be found here:
Joey is generous with his time, is always willing to re-tweet and wants independent authors to succeed. I thank him for his efforts so far and look forward to working with him in the future.
Secondly, Miranda Stork. Her website can be found here:
Miranda Stork’s blog site
What to say about Miranda? She is a prodigious reader who loves books. She loves words and stories. That shines out of every sentence she crafts. Miranda is also a reviewer who is not afraid to take a chance on an unknown author. I contacted her, out of nowhere, and asked her to read THE NIGHTMARE STONE and review it. She didn’t have to say yes. There was nothing in it for her. But Miranda agreed, read my book and posted a review. It does help that she enjoyed it, but even so, reviewers like Miranda provide the oxygen that allow independent novels to breathe. A huge thank you, Miranda.
In addition, I would like to thank an old friend, Adele Parks. Adele is a stunningly successful author, with over two million sales over the last decade. I have known her since our university days and have watched her career reach new and greater heights with a sense of real pride. She’s a great writer, and a great person. Her success has driven me on to believe that I can too one day see myself as a writer. I wish her all the luck in the world and I know how passionately she feels about her work.
Plenty of others have supported me, re-tweeted about me, emailed me and generally just helped the steady path that THE NIGHTMARE STONE is taking. I cannot thank everybody enough. My dream has come true. I am an amazon bestselling author.
And that is a gold medal sentence I never imagined writing.
THE NIGHTMARE STONE IS AVAILABLE HERE: