This is where it all began – my story!

As I have sat pouring over a million and one ways to spread the message of what my stories have to offer I forgot one very important thing.

Where it all came from!

The Magdon Series, which forms the foundation for my latest novel INTO THE DARK came from the imagination of me trying to entertain and grow my own children. The fable and myth of Archy came from me creating an ancestor in the form of a fictional Great Great Grandfather for my sons. Someone, they could look up to and admire, someone that showed them that the dark corners and caves of the world may be terrifying but in the same sense can offer a whole world of adventure.

I remember running away with the story with my youngest son (now I have a daughter too who is just growing to know what Magdons are). I had done a shift at work with the dog section and in a desperate attempt to try and show my timid little boy that he could be brave with monsters I made up The Magdon (Dog Man – how original). He asked what it looked like and if I had ever seen one.

It wasn’t really a lie when I said I had seen one. At that time I was the only person who had seen one as I was creating it in the wildest depths of my imagination.

I have always been an absolute bugger for blurring the lines with my children. Encouraging, rightly or wrongly, to believe in things that may or may not be real. My youngest son grips everything I say and foolishly believes it all. So, when I created The Magdon and his little eyes twinkled I knew I had caught a very big fish.

From that throwaway idea I had to put meat on the bones and so Great Great Grandad Archibald was born, the man who last fought a Magdon and survived. So much so he wrote down his adventures in a diary and I then wrote books from that diary.

I even made the bloody diary. Hours spent pouring over images and false maps to make it look real and authentic enough that they would believe it. I even used FaceApp or some other program to age my own face so they could see a grainy photo of Archy. My oldest latched on (now he is nine he knows it isn’t real but still plays along for his brother’s sake). One day, I remember it being a typical British rainy day yet I gathered up a bunch of handwritten clues and a map I had scribbled the night before and took the boys on a treasure hunt.

Soaked to the skin we walked a mile or so around our little town until we arrived in the local graveyard. Once there I had found a grave that caught my imagination. Years of exposure to the elements had wiped away the name once carved into the headstone. Now it was a pitted and scarred nameless tombstone wrapped in ivy that looked like something from a Hollywood film….the perfect burial place for two hand-painted wooden “training” swords that our mysterious ancestor had left for my boys to find.

Wrapping them in tea-stained bandages when they found them the boys were ecstatic. It had gone from me telling them stories to actually having something physical to hold. That is where I blurred the lines, in that moment both of them committed their belief to me and I went to town with it.

From that moment other people noticed the boys talking of Magdons and Nivags (these being other monsters I invented to protect The Magdon – Gavin = Nivag again how original my non-pseudonym name). People started to ask questions about “what on earth are they talking about?” even teachers at school so I very quickly had to explain it was my madness and not theirs!

The stories I had started jotting down now seemed like a great idea to share.

So THE MAGDON SERIES was born and I began releasing novelettes of Archy’s adventures. I set them to be short on the advice of someone in the industry who advised stories of this type to be 10-12,000 words so I could reach a broader audience, even considering making the books, in time, dyslexia friendly. I wanted the stories to be read by a younger “middle-grade” audience so other children could seek to draw the sense of adventure I wanted to nurture.

It was a big leap. From something so personal to releasing it I found a great deal of pride in committing the stories to the page. I even used a photograph I took of my oldest son with his treasured training sword while out Magdon Hunting as the front cover of the first book.

The feedback was great and I continue to see copies disappearing from the virtual shelves which is always good. What I did find, however, was a disappointment from the older readers who wanted more.

And so I obliged and created INTO THE DARK. Bringing my whole legacy to a new generation and a new modern setting.

So, knowing this why should you trust me with your time and imagination? I can’t answer that other than to say my world is one that will offer you some engagement and entertainment in the pages. For now, I offer you the chance to see where it all began for FREE.

The link below allows you to download your own copy of the true Origins of this story. The one story I poured over the longest to introduce my madness to my sons. I pray you take the offer, download and enjoy the taste of the world of Monsters I have created.

And then…

When you want more you can journey with us INTO THE DARK.

DOWNLOAD THE TRUE ORIGINS HERE FOR FREE

Through a BookFunnel link you will be asked to provide your email address which will only be used to keep you up-to-date on my developing imagination and the stories I am releasing upon the world.

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Spinning head! AMS/FB Ads

Well, I have finally decided to try my hand at marketing through Amazon, Facebook and BookBub Partners. To say I’m overwhelmed is a bleedin’ understatement. I’ve sat and watched videos about KDP Rocket (yes I have just purchased this and so far it is giving me ideas about how to try and figure out keywords and other bits which I can slowly filter into my blurbs and such like). I’ve listened to people tell me how to structure adverts and keywords and audiences and pictures and more and more and more.

I’m still pretty pants at it though! I start with the best intentions but very quickly I find myself getting lost and utterly confused. After about an hour of filtering thorugh keywords from KDP Rocket and listed I’ve about had enough. There’s only so much time in the day and there are so many other things that I could/should be doing.

I’ve put together a handful of ads so far and have to say I’m not impressed at all with the way they are going. Clicks are there but sales aren’t and aside from standing on a building stark naked with the name of my book written all over me I feel I’m hitting a brick wall.

Who wants to read a book from a crazy Englishman?

Ok so now I’m ranting. I’m well into the realms of “shall I even bother with any of this anymore?” Then I open Word and start writing my next story again and all is well.

 

All is well…………………UNTIL……………………it’s time to market again. Then we are back here again.

So, I am saving my excel spreadsheets that are in all manner of beautiful colours. The one thing I sit and think when I do my keywords is where I sit in the world of books. What genre am I, what world do I want to occupy? I’ve always listed myself as Action & Adventure with Mystery to boot. Is that right? Am I hitting the right audiences?

Oh we’re off again aren’t we!?!

Right! Behave Mr!

I’m going to persevere with all of this, I have to. I’m into double figures (woohoo break out the sparkling wine and get that Ford Mustang on order from my profits…..oh wait maybe not). I just need to find a way to be seen, to stand out and get that little world of mine to be taken in by people.

If I’m totally honest the writing part is fun and enjoyable. The advertising is anything but for me. It doesn’t help that my profession is anything but about being seen and known. I spend my life very much in the company of a select handful of people or else in the face of people that really don’t want to have a conversation with me never mind listen to what I have to say.

I know these are barriers I need to overcome but it’s so draining.

Let’s see if any of these things work.

I can but hope!