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My own worst enemy

I can guarantee you one thing when you read my free eBook The Titans – you’ll think something at the end. And there’s a strong likelihood that thoughts about how it’s written will surface. Although your review will be illuminating, criticism of the style or literary devices will come as no surprise. An international publisher asked me to make stylistic changes 22 years ago. Had I followed their advice, I might be enjoying the career I most desire – life as a professional writer.

But, if I’d followed their advice, I might not nearly be so proud of The Titans. Or any of my subsequent works.

I wrote The Titans when I was based in Northern Ireland with the British Army. I didn’t see Republican terrorist groups as my enemy. They were just people who’d like to kill me if they got the chance. My greatest enemy is the malevolent spectre that’s stalked me since my formative years: Stubbornness.

I didn’t want to sacrifice my work on the altar of financial success. And I’m not saying The Titans is a work of genius – or that a successful writing career was guaranteed. I just didn’t want to substantially change what I’d created to give it broader appeal. The whole point of writing The Titans was to create something that functioned in an edgy, original way. Take away that edge and creating it would have been meaningless.

So, The Titans is flawed. Like we all are. Like many original works are. Now it’s time to wait for reviews – and see if you, or anyone else out there, thinks I did the right thing with my writing.

The Titans published – after a 22 year wait!

In 1991 (based with the British Army at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland), I wrote a novel called The Titans.

An international publisher loved it – but wanted changes. Young[er] and headstrong, I refused. 6 months later they wanted to know if I’d changed my mind. Still young[er], still headstrong, I hadn’t. 22 years later I have mastered The Titans for all ebook platforms.

You can download it free from Smashwords now and decide if I was right to stick to my guns (now silent). It will appear on all other ebook retail platforms (iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, Sony, Diesel etc.) over the next few weeks.

Do post an online review after you’ve read it – the brutal truth, of course.

Alex

The Titans proofread is almost complete

Damn – reading your own intense novel over 20 years after writing it is a bewildering ordeal. I imagined I’d changed hugely and formed some incredibly wise opinions between the ages of 23 and 44. Now I realise I’ve learnt nothing new at all – just been through all sorts of experiences that have confirmed what I previously believed.

(Except that I have discarded my obsession with exclamation marks!)

Expect ‘The Titans’ to be available as a free ebook very soon!

I’m going to e-publish my 1991 novel ‘The Titans’

In 1991, whilst based with the British Army in Northern Ireland, I wrote a novel. ‘The Titans’. I sent it to four international publishers. Three declined it – one without so much as a word in response.

The Deputy Editor at the fourth wrote to me. ‘The Titans’ was the best thing she’d read in some time. All she needed to do, was get her editor to read it on his return from New York – and she’d be in touch to discuss things further.

I waited.

Eventually she wrote a second letter. Her editor felt changes were needed. Was I willing?

I wasn’t. I wrote back. (Pre-email era).

Six months later she wrote again. ‘The Titans’ remained one of the strongest works she’d read in some time. Would I reconsider? She included her number and asked me to call.

I called. We had a pleasant conversation. I can only recall one detail – I sounded normal, she told me she had expected someone mildly psychopathic.

‘The Titans’ has squatted on floppy discs, CD-ROMs, printouts and computer hard drives from that day to this. No longer. The protagonist, Axel Williams, will have his freedom. (I just need to proofread the novel first – the cover design is already complete.)

I’ll update when it’s ready.

Free poetry collection – Fedw

I’ve decided to make my poetry collection ‘Fedw’ available as a free ebook for those interested in my writing. As ever, if you’ve got something to say about the collection or any of the poems in it, do post a comment on this site.

Fedw is currently only available from Smashwords, but will appear on all leading ebook retail sites over the next few weeks.

Why are there 45 stories in ‘A damaged boy’?

I wrote ‘My Goat Ate Its Own Legs’ whilst in full-time work. I’d get home at 7 or 8pm, grab something to eat, skulk into the rear hallway of mine and my [now] wife’s rented Crouch End flat – then write until midnight or later. It took a lot of mental energy and I’d often go to bed unable to sleep because of all the thoughts whizzing around my mind.

So, with my wife’s full support, I took a year off work to write ‘A damaged boy’. After a year’s writing, I had over 50 stories. Of these I considered 45 of interest – 43 short and 2 novellas. Once I’d decided to self publish in ebook form, I then had to decide whether or include all 45.

If you purchase ‘A damaged boy’ you’ll see that I did include them all. Why? It’s a collection – you’ve got 45 opportunities to read something new from me whenever you’re in the mood.

And there’s a bonus. Because you can download the first 20% of the book free from sites like Smashwords – you get a fair few stories for no money.

Do let me know what you think of them – or post a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Alex