New moon, new post

Today’s a new moon, and what better way to celebrate the start of another cycle than a new blog post. Right, that’s the tenuous link out of the way, time for a quick update…

Reasons to be cheerful

ABNA2A few weeks ago, I found out whether my novel, 26 Miles to the Moon, made it into the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It went something like this on the day of the announcement…




Check Amazon website. Nothing.
Check Amazon discussions boards. Results aren’t up yet.
Check Amazon website. Nothing.
Check Amazon discussions boards. Not up yet.
Check Amazon discussions boards. Someone says they’re up.
Check Amazon website. They’re up. Download the list.
Scan the names.
Arrggghhhhhh! It’s not there!
Scan again. Might be a mistake.
Noooo! It’s not there!
Download and scan every other category in the remote chance that there’s been a mistake.
Shit. It really isn’t there.
Refresh and scan the original list again for the book title just in case I’ve forgotten my name.
Bollocks. It really, REALLY isn’t there.
I’m out quicker than David Moyes on a Tuesday morning in Manchester.

I won’t pretend I wasn’t gutted, but I can’t say that it was the end of the world either. Two people judged the first 4,000 words and didn’t consider that out of 2000 other entries it was worthy of a top 100 place. Competitions like this are as much about luck as skill. To be a writer, you really have to have a thick skin and take rejections.

However, I later received the feedback the two reviewers left me. One of them hardly said anything – nothing bad, just bland comments. The other was much more positive:

“The plot really hooked me and seems highly original. Each year in ABNA there are just two or three excerpts that make me really, really wish I could identify the author so I can read the book, and this is one of those excerpts this year. Really strong, fun, intriguing, engaging excerpt.”

Now that’s a boost. Mr Reviewer if you somehow find this blog – it’s me…I wrote it! I’ll send you the whole damn novel if you like.


It’s nice to be a lunar-tic

Moon image by Andrew Males, runner image by Kriss SzkurlatowskiAside from being good subject matter for a novel, a second reason I like the moon is that it’s a great subject for another passion of mine: photography. So what’s so good about the moon for photos?

  • It’s different from one day to the next. You can capture its phases, and if you miss one, you can just wait a few weeks for the next. It even appears smaller and bigger depending on its distance from Earth.
  • You can always find out where it is.
  • It has special events such as eclipses which can be predicted and can produce some amazing photos.

I’m also not alone – check out a photographer friend on the other side of the pond to me: Barrie Homer at He’s one of those annoying photographers who you take a look at the photos on his website and instantly wish you had taken every one of them. He has a nice moon shot here , a global icon here and I have to mention his London entry here as he mentions a fantastic author in it.


By the next new moon I shall be a dad…read the next blog entry coming right up on an update on that plus an exciting new opportunity for my novel…


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