Recently I have been giving my book away for free as an eBook on Kindle and also a 30% discount on Lulu. Since the promotion started there has been c. 150 downloads on Kindle which is just fantastic! As I indicated on the first blog, I had no idea that getting my book ‘out there’ would be so challenging especially when I am working full-time. Once this promotion is over I will definitely do it again and I will probably offer the book using Transact Socially or other such means so it remains, in a way, free.

To advertise the promotion, I have been tweeting a lot. One of the questions I have been asked from someone who has read the book and has contacted me on Twitter is where did the characters come from?

Let me start with the main character, Sally. I was, and still am, an Oasis fan and at some point in the story, Sally’s boyfriend was meant to sing ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ to Sally. However, after completing my research I realised that obtaining the rights to use song lyrics is quite a complicated process, a process I could have completed but simply did not have the time for. Indeed, throughout the book there was meant to be many cases of song lyrics enhancing the story but all these have unfortunately been removed including the rather funny scene of Sally’s boyfriend drunkenly performing the classic Oasis song.

What was my inspiration for including song lyrics? Definitely Stephen King’s books. I’ll never forget the first time I read ‘The Stand’ and the opening pages contained lyrics from Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’. Fantastic start to a fantastic book.

The most frustrating thing about not being able to include the song lyrics was the dedication to my wife, Sun, at the start of the novel. The lyrics are taken again from another Oasis song, this time ‘Cast No Shadow, a beautiful song dedicated to Richard Ashcroft from The Verve. Although I slightly amended the lyrics I still didn’t want to take the risk of Noel Gallagher taking me to court so it was with a heavy heart that I hit the delete button on these beautiful words:-

Bound with all the weight of all the words I tried to say,
Chained to all the places that I never wished to stay,
And as I faced the Sun I cast no shadow…..

Pretty appropriate lyrics for an author who is not a full-time author but wishes to be, who has books stuck in his head that he never quite finds time to write, who hides his hopes and dreams from people but there is one person with whom I can’t cast that shadow…..So why is Sally the daughter of a billionaire, another character an evil drug dealer, another character’s mother an alcoholic? Such questions always give me trouble to answer. I had no idea until the words appeared on the tip of my pen or the keys were pressed on my computer’s keyboard that any of the characters were going to be or do all the things they are and do in the story. Literally no idea. I’m hoping this lack of planning does not show in the story but I believe, as do the people who have read it, that the story flows nicely with no glaring omissions or continuity issues. But if you disagree, please let me know!

Next time I will elaborate more on the characters, including the mysterious figure of Sally’s father, a character who is going to be further developed and whose past is going to be expanded in the sequel but for you, The Constant Reader (sorry Stephen, couldn’t resist!), a sneak peak in my next post…..

Take care,

Mark