Indie and self-published aren’t the scurge!

I try not to get involved in the politics of all this stuff. It doesn’t really bother me normally but recently there have been a lot of Indie-bashing articles popping up on my feed (Twitter and Facebook). While everyone has an opinion, and I get that, I feel that there is a lot of people just hacking away at the trust and confidence Indie and Self-Published authors fight to get in order to be seen above the “published” authors.

Don’t get me wrong, I see that there are some shoddy covers, some poorly written books out there but you know what…that counts on both sides of the river. Indie and “proper” published.

We are all guilty of feeling superior to another but does that mean the quality is any better or worse? Not particularly, I have my own opinions about what makes it through the inboxes of Agents and Publishing Houses and this isn’t the time for me to spout about it.

In the grand scheme of things though there is absolutely no difference between any of the suddenly appearing “classes” of authors. Those supported by big publishing houses are no better because in the end, we all did the same thing…we all just sat down, had an idea and ran with it.

So why the hate?

I know it flows both ways, a lot of Indie and Self-Published bash those that have got published and the same the other way around. Why can’t we all just sit back, be proud of what we have created and just get along? Yes, I know that sounds all idealistic but I find it quite funny having bumped into some people out and about (physically and inter-weberly) and the sudden reactions or looks of disdain I sometimes get when one of my children says “my daddy has written a book” and then it’s followed by my explanation I am self-published. I have even had one person literally curl their lips and walk away!

More fool you I say, because like I said, we all did the same thing. We all embraced our imagination and just ran away with it. It just so happens that whatever that person wrote fit the box of their Agent/Publisher and they got picked.

Do I think self-publishing harms my chances of “going big” as I was once told. Well no. Had I not self-published then nobody would have heard of Magdons. As it stands across all my social circles both on and offline there are lots of people who have heard of it now. Had I just sat on it and hoped the “big people” wanted to play with me I doubt my projects would have been as fun to write. For me I write simply because it’s fun, because I want to inspire my children and because you know what, because I bloody well feel like it.

There are so many projects that I wrote (and I’m not saying they were any good but that is not the point), there are so many I got rejections on and have disappeared into the ether having been lost to computer crashes and hard drive failures. All because someone didn’t like it I based my decision to give up on that.

Once again, more fool me!

I have written things since my teenage years yet why did I wait until I was in my 30s to actually run with it properly? Well now I have learned that I can do it alone.

Sure, those in the “circle of business” get help promoting, marketing etc and there are those that think self-promoting takes you away from writing. Well, really? I don’t think so. After all it is a project I have created and if someone doesn’t believe in it as much as I do then I’m not interested in having them onboard. I would rather pump my entire effort into getting seen (or not as the case often is) than let it become one of fifty projects a company holds and really doesn’t give two cares about other than making their money.

No! Everything about this is personal to me, the stories, the effort, the marketing, the creation… if it fails I can be 100% confident that the only reason it failed was because of me!

So really, after all this rambling and complaining I just want it to be known that there are no upper, middle and lower classes in the world of writing. We are all just creators, nurturers of ideas and to suddenly start thinking any one is better than the other undermines what all this is about.

Authors are often the social outcasts, those that were looked at with furrowed brows when the random ideas came spewing from their mouths. Yet we are in this together, whatever path you choose or are lucky/unlucky enough to be set upon in the literary world.

Just play nice and accept that talent isn’t always noticed, isn’t always appreciated by everyone but even if it touches one imagination and entertains them just a little then we’ve got it right.

To the scorners of my path you’re no better than me, I’m no better than you. We are just the same, someone who taps away feverishly trying to create something people will enjoy.

So to both sides, get off your soap boxes (as I am about to do) and crack on with the thing that matters……….feeding the inastiable monster that is our imagination!


Rant over!

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Engaging young imaginations

It has been a rather amusing past few days in respect of my stories. My sons have had their friends around yesterday and today which means I can pollute even more imaginations with my creations and madness.

At the end of the day yesterday I gave a copy of Origins Of The Magdon: Vercovicium (Book 1) to the oldest one (10 years old) and thought nothing of it.

Well, when they arrived this morning I was bombarded with questions about the book and he had only read to Page 11!

We decided to take a walk in the local countryside and needless to say he was glued to my side asking me every question he could possibly think of. It was, in itself, thoroughly enjoyable coming up with answers and telling the story of The Magdon from a different point of view as the descendant of Archy.

As the morning rolled on in the middle of an expanded explanation about the Nivags and how they protect The Magdon he proudly declared “You know what, I believe it’s all real now!”

What better encouragement is there than my target audience properly engaging with the story.

I suppose it helps that I could talk the hind legs off a donkey when it comes to off-the-cuff ad-libbing the finer details of the story but for me it is moments like this that really tell me that I have created something for the Mid-Grade audience which not only seems to connect with them but has also spurred on the adults who have read it to want more from the mythology.

Could it be that I am simply not giving the books enough service and my own inexperience, and a mistrust of all those “highly promising” PR companies and online ad campaigns is thwarting my own progress?

Am I being too picky actually wanting people who have a care for my “product” to get involved? If I could get the right people I would want a parent or someone who connects with the story to help me take it forward. I don’t want to just be another project on a massive list. This whole adventure of Magdons and Monsters has been a personal one and I want to use that motivation, personal investment and growth, to make a success of it.

It is difficult though, because when you look at it…..WHO AM I?

From the inside out I am the grand story master, the creator of adventure, the spinner of lies and intrigue, the all knowing Oracle but from the outside in I am some untrained hack bleating on about a project that makes no sense to even pay attention to.

It’s a frustrating world and awful position to be in.

Am I wrong to believe in the potential when so many Agents turn me down? Am I simply deluded as to the quality and connectivity of my story or am I just the undiscovered talent I hope I am?

If you hadn’t guessed it’s probably a self-doubt day Days like this when I sit back and consider what I create and ask myself…….”Should I be here? Do I belong here? Do I deserve to be here?”

Who knows! I suppose when it boils down to it I can be the only one to sell myself and my adventure. I don’t have (friends) people to fight for me, to sing from the rooftops and say LOOK AT THIS BOOK so any progress has to be made from, for the time being, me alone. Sadly I don’t have the funds to throw money at the big firms and say “make it work” and in lieu of that, I either need to put up or shut up.

But all that aside I had an audience today. A new mind to pollute with my imaginings and stories and that will be encouragement enough that I am not as bad as I fear I am.

Only the future will see!

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Author Interview: Tobey Alexander

Book Squirrel

Interview Lime

Hey folks, I’m here today interviewing author Tobey Alexander!

Welcome, Tobey! 

Thanks Squirrel, I’m glad to be here!

Me too! I mean, uh… I’m glad you could make it!

Haha, okay!

Tell us, Tobey, what inspired you to write?

I have always written as an escape from what I have been doing in my everyday life. I wrote through college and university to, probably more honestly, avoid the work I should have been doing. But, I never did anything with those stories. Perhaps because I didn’t have the skill to write properly back then but now, since I have had children, I have decided to lead from the front and get my stories out there.

It all came to a head when I saw my youngest son’s growing imagination and how it makes him look a little odd to other children. The way he plays, the stories he comes up…

View original post 2,301 more words

Serious progress – so far!

Well, while work has been all encompassing recently with rest days mismatched, shifts changing and having to deal with “internal politics” the work on my books had taken a back seat.

Thankfully, however, it would appear that has changed. So much so that I have now announced the cover, or best intention of my cover, for INTO THE DARK. Yes! I am aware it isn’t coming out until January 2018 but I want the cover to become familiar and desired.

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I’ve also created a sign-up list for Advanced Review Copies which I aim to start releasing in September/October so people can enjoy it and then upon release review it honestly. I am hoping after all this work that they will enjoy the story but that will be out of my hands by that point.

If anyone wants to sign up then follow the link:


There is also the promise of two more books…………..YES TWO MORE………..before Into The Dark hits the shelves.

Origins Of The Magdon: The Journey Ahead will mark the end of Archy’s story ahead of January. This is set to be the ending everyone has been waiting for, allowing Archy to finally face The Magdon and bring a finality to his journey.



Blue Light Christmas 2: A Cry For Elf, a Christmas sequel to last year’s charity book for Care Of Police Survivors charity.

So between now and Into The Dark we’ve got new things coming and I am planning to do some giveaways with the complete Origins Of The Magdon series so watch this space.

I know it’s only a short entry and one to plug projects but I’m brewing a new idea in the background, under the working title BLACKOUT. This, if I continue with the story, is a whole new story, no Magdons, no Jack James, nothing I’ve done before…………a whole new story to tell which is very much in the idea formation stage but it may grow and grow until I decide to commit it onto the page.

“Mind Movies”

The one thing I love about writing is escaping. Escaping everything that seems to hammer at me and be seen as the frustrations or difficulties of “normal” life. The only problem is you can get so absorbed in it that not only does your story seem real (hell I’ve been living as a whole different guy while I’ve been writing – does that mean I’ve been cheating seeing as I have two children with another woman and live in an alternative life!!!???!!!) – rest assured that was a sarcastic perspective in case anyone actually thinks I am being serious….happily married, well as happy as married can be ha ha ha.

I have become acutely aware of just how absorbed I have become in writing INTO THE DARK and can totally sympathise with my wife’s preference I don’t take on a new project aside from the short Christmas COPs (Care Of Police Survivors) charity story I am trying to pull together (being 5,000ish words though the story is pretty much sorted in my head so transcribing to page should be pretty simple and I will advertise/push better this year hopefully writing it before September so I can beg my skilled artist to do some more of his fantastic illustrations.

Aside from that though I am banished to only edit INTO THE DARK and not start the mish-mash of ideas that are properly swimming around my head at the moment. I’m sure people I am paired with at work think I am totally insane the way my ideas go off at a tangent. This morning at 2am having been rather busy through the night my partner for the night asked me how the writing is going……I;m sure my answer sent her to sleep as I went wildly wandering into the vast plains of my imagination.

I do love my imagination though. As I have said before I am massively visual when it comes to writing. Having always been a fan of films growing up I like to play my story in my head, hence the desire to reach out (rather unsuccessfully I might add) to Ewan McGregor as my “Mind Movie” had him as Gabe for INTO THE DARK. Sometimes I wish I had studied something other than Psychology at University and instead done film and be able to make what’s in this addled brain appear for others to enjoy.

Sometimes I think how interesting it would be to be able to play my raw imagination onto a projector for people to see. Although I expect I would soon find myself confined to a room locked from the outside being watched by a white-coated doctor!

I suppose that is why I like writing. Growing up I always meditated and tried to create this relaxing place to retreat to, I did the same when I found myself becoming overwhelmed a few years ago with the expert guidance of a friend. Now I think it’s become my blank canvas where I can just literally detach myself from the norm and wander through the open world of my imagination.

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If I were to describe how my Mind it would be a vast open landscape. I know some people have a mind palace (forgive the riffing of Hannibal there) which signifies a building with rooms but I prefer the open. I pretty much always start either in a field of golden wheat or else on a bluff overlooking the rolling countryside. From there I can invite anything in and play out whatever my head needs to explore in order to fix the stories in place.

I know that sounds rather random and probably self-proclaiming but it is far from it. If someone asked me advice how to write I would just say “do what feels right”. That’s all I do. I like to think it creates some fairly decent stories along the way but in no way do I flatter myself and claim to know what I am doing. I’m just someone playing at trying to get it right – but isn’t that half the battle….looking like you know what you’re doing even when you don’t!?!

But back to the start of the post! I know I split myself between work, home, gym, family, alone time, writing, revising, stressing about one or more of the aforementioned things…and for the most part I think I almost manage it but perhaps not equally proportioned. I suppose all I ever try to do with it all is my best, sometimes that won;t be good enough for one or more of the aspects but I do my best without compromising or giving up on any single aspect.

Anyway I will shut up for fear of turning you all off my stories as they continue to come out for your…….enjoyment(?)

As ever, thanks for taking the time to read it and if you got this far to the end you’ve really done well and I thank you for your perseverance.

Give the blog a follow or a share if you like, I’m always happy to entertain you with my random life (


Otherwise grab a FREE copy of the first in my Novelette series ORIGINS OF THE MAGDON and see just what the hel I am writing and creating