Fiction fun in Oxford

It’s free, it’s fun and it’s (mostly) fiction.

The Oxford Indie Book Fair (OxIB) is about to welcome one and all to another day of buying, selling and talking books. This year’s fair promises to be bigger and better than ever before and takes place in Oxford’s historic Examination Rooms on Sunday 26th November.

I’ll be bringing along my comic fiction, Note to Boy, and introducing my latest humorous book, A Novel Solution, which is available to pre-order. Keeping me company will be my very good writer chums, Jason Cobley and Eamon Somers. As well as our own books, we’ll be showcasing the short story anthologies, Taking Liberties and the newly released bestseller, Order & Chaos, which the three of us, along with other established writers, have contributed to.

So, there’ll be lots to see and talk about. And buy of course! Come along, meet the authors, publishers, booksellers and other professionals who make books happen, have some wonderful conversations and find your next great read. Entry is free. See you there!

Happy publication day to Order and Chaos

Pleased and proud to announce that Order and Chaos, the second in the Breakthrough Books’ series of short story collections by various writers, is out this very day. There’s something for everyone in this eclectic mix. Sixteen stories by sixteen authors, including me. Satirical to sinister, love to loss, and mystery to mayhem. Thrills for every type of reader.

Available from Amazon and Kobo.

Doing it for ourselves

For a writer, there’s little to beat the thrill of holding a book you’ve written. And today, I had that thrill as I unboxed paperback copies of Taking Liberties.

This has been a remarkable experience for several reasons. Firstly, it happened unbelievably quickly; the wheels of the publishing industry usually grind exceedingly slowly. Not in this case. In only a few months, a group of authors were able to put their heads together and, sharing their various skills and talents, produce a short story collection to be proud of. I was pleased to be a small part of it.

Secondly, the anthology has already achieved success as an ebook, staying at #2 in the short stories ‘hot new releases’ chart for quite some time and getting blush-inducing reviews: “wonderfully eclectic”, “funny, moving, thought provoking”, “offbeat”, and “wonderful, uplifting and sometimes surprising”. Fingers crossed, the success continues with the release of the paperback.

And thirdly, amazing though all that is, even more amazing, in my opinion, is the way in which all this came about.

It’s tough out there. I know how hard, how very hard, it is for an unknown writer to find a publisher and then, almost as important, to get their book in front of a sufficient number of readers. New authors, without an existing fanbase to call upon, can – and do – get lost in the white noise of today’s big-name celebrity marketing promotions.

But what can the poor indie writer do against such juggernaut forces? As my old granny used to say, if you want something doing properly, do it yourself.

And so the Breakthrough Book Collective was born. We are a group of friends and colleagues, all proven and published writers, doing it for ourselves. Many have other skills, such as editing, design, art, journalism, photography, podcasting, presenting and marketing, which we pool for the good of the collective. We write in different genres, have different backgrounds, but we share a commitment to putting the creative and financial power in the hands of the creators. And in producing engaging, exciting and professionally presented books, of course!

Taking Liberties is our first initiative and is now available as a paperback. You can order it here. And please do remember to leave a review. We’d be so grateful.

And if you want to read more about the Breakthrough Book Collective and other ‘commons’ projects, my fellow collective, the author, artist and presenter Stevyn Colgan has explained it better and in much more detail in his blog here.

Taking Liberties out today!

I’m chuffed to bits to let you know that Taking Liberties, the anthology of short stories by twelve writers, of which I am proud to be one, is released today and is available to order from Amazon and Kobo as an ebook. For those who prefer a real-life paperback, that will be coming along very soon, in the next week or so.

My heartfelt thanks to Stephanie Bretherton, Ivy Ngeow, Philip Whiteley and Zena Barrie for all the blood sweat and tears, and to them and my fellow Breakthrough Book Collective writers for being so flipping talented.

Taking Liberties is the first venture of the brand new Breakthrough Book Collective.

Taking Liberties Now Available to Pre-Order

Your patience is rewarded! Taking Liberties, the exciting new anthology of short stories, is available for preorder NOW, and will be released into the wild on 17th April. Each of the twelve stories in the book takes freedom as its theme. Among them, you’ll find my contribution, On The Brushes.

“A collection that is full of surprises. But it is no surprise that this talented group of authors have found so many unexpected and entertaining ways to write on the theme of freedom. A great read.” says Lulu Allison, author of Salt Lick (Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022 Long List)

Be one of the first to dip into this fascinating collection of stories from established and emerging writers by pre-ordering your copy today.

Taking Liberties is published by The Breakthrough Book Collective.