Friday, 16 August 2013

Thank You Everyone!

I want to thank every one who has so far downloaded Luvya Getcha on  You have made my life, believe me. Yes, it's a free e-book, I know, but any success is good when some writers don't even have their free books downloaded.  Also, I've been plugging away at it for 30 years, so when self-publication came along, I decided to give it a go and I've been thrilled with the experience.  And Indies get a lot of criticism.  Much of it is warranted, too, I suppose, when you take bad formatting, cheap-looking covers, enough typos to make your eyes blurry, and unrealistic pricing.  But hand on heart, I really do try hard in every area, and although none of my e-books are perfect, I understand a reader's frustration and will continue to do all I can to make the experience as good as possible.
     However, I think most readers are genuinely sympathetic, and will forgive many things, as long as they know the author has made every effort.  I know that's how I am as a reader.  And many traditionally published novels are not perfect, are they? Many a time I've paid a heap of hard-earned cash for a book that has left me disappointed...enough to make me toss it in the bin, truth to tell!

But I won't dwell on that.  I just want to say thank you, it is much appreciated.  And I have a cold ( man-flu, apparently ).  Be nice.

Kind regards, Martin.

PS.  I am on Twitter now @MartinwPrice.  I will follow back.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Horror? Thriller?

Today I thought I'd have a quick, off-the cuff ramble, although mostly I'll pin the subject down to categorising a novel because, in regards to my own 4 novels, I'm finding it difficult.  I think many people's perception of a horror novel is that it is either heavy on the supernatural elements, or it is splattered with gore and buckets of blood.  Not that I want to assume anything - we all know that "assume" makes an ass out of u & me.
     My problem is that my novels are neither horror nor thriller; they have elements of both. It seems to me that in order for a novel to be classified as a thriller, it must not stray into the supernatural, because, in general, thriller readers like their books to be contained within a certain, realistic framework.  I have tried this out with friends, family, and work colleagues.  Many of them will say they don't read horror, but they do like a good thriller, and yet a "good thriller" can be just as gory, and in many cases, even more so.
      So it seems we are down to the supernatural element again.  Now, in my novel, Flowers From A Different Summer, the only vaguely supernatural element centres around a character named My Man, who helps criminals out of sticky situations, as long as they have the money to pay for that help.  He does not wear a black cape and flap in through an open window.  He cannot walk through walls.  He does not turn into a slobbering, snarling wolf.  No, none of that.
      Here is an example of My Man:

'No,' Phil said, and genuinely unruffled.  'It's not My Man's job to intervene in that way.  He simply gathers information so that he can use it for his own ends.  My Man rights the wrongs, but he also wrongs the rights.  He's no do-gooder.  But he's a doer, and he's a doer who never fails.  And like I said, it's all about the money.  That's it.  You don't need to look any deeper.  He's not a charity.'

I shook my head, deflated.  'Christ, Phil, what am I getting into with this?'

'What you're getting into,' Phil said, 'is a guaranteed way to kill Jeffery Doyle, and get away with it, too, scot-free.  If you try any other way, then you're almost certainly doomed to failure.  But let's just say that you forget all about killing Jeffery Doyle.  Based on the fact that you're a better man than he is, which you are, you decide that you're not going to stoop to those lengths, anyway.  That you're just going to live with the pain of what he did to your sister, to Maxine and Ryan, too, and just give up on the whole revenge idea.  Good, that's fine.  You've made that decision, all's well with bells on.

'But…what if you do get up in the night, leave that note on the kitchen table, and take off for Drake's Common? It could happen, you know it could.  What then, eh? After you've botched the whole thing up, and then I visit you in prison, what are you going to say to me, Michael? "Sorry, Phil, I should have listened to you in the first place? I should have gotten My Man to plan it all out for me? Then I wouldn't be here, locked up in this place?"

'I won't want to hear that, Michael, I'm telling you.  And I probably won't visit you, anyhow, because I know I'll have to listen to you telling me that.  Fuck it, no, I won't do it.  You could have used My Man's services but you didn't.  I won't sit there and listen to all that.  I just won't!'

'Fair enough, I understand,' I said.  'It's just that My Man seems to be a totally selfish character.  Like he doesn't care.'

'That's because he doesn't,' Phil said.  'But you're missing the point.  My Man is like one of those old-fashioned telephone operators who sits at a switchboard, sticking jacks into sockets in order to route the call to the right person.  Those old switchboards, they used to look like an indiscriminate mess of wires, some going this way, some going that, all crossing over one and another.  But they weren't an indiscriminate mess of wires.  Everyone was talking to the right person.  That's what My Man does.  He hooks people up, this person to that, that person to this, and in the end it all works.'
Phil Hayward, still holding that photo of Michael as a boy, composed his face so that no other expression could be read into it but total, unswerving solemnity.  He said, ‘Make no mistake about it, Michael, this is serious stuff.  Plotting to murder someone is serious stuff, anyhow.  What we’re doing, though, is plotting murder with the help of My Man.  And My Man is not a fellow equal.  He is faceless.  He is a mystery.  Furthermore, he has the kind of power that evil people can only dream of and good people are too scared to dream of.  He is smoke when there is no fire.  He is fire when there is no spark to light it.  He is the rain that falls out of a cloudless sky.  He is the sudden, cold breeze on a windless day.  Earlier I told you that My Man was not supernatural, despite the fact I’ve made him seem like it.  He isn't, either.  Of course he isn't! But then again, we’ve already talked about influence, haven’t we? The power it has? And My Man’s influence is higher, deeper, broader…and far more deadly.  Still, My Man will make a plan, and it will be a plan that will work from top to bottom, and perfectly.’
So you see, that's about as supernatural as it gets...apart from right at the end, when it becomes quite clear that My Man is not entirely shackled to the earth.  But fuck it, anyway.  What am I on about? I love horror, and I'm proud to be published in that category.  It's just that I don't get the smoky category divisions.  But maybe that's just me.  Horror? Thriller? Who gives a shit!
Oh, and by the way, Luvya Getcha is now free on Amazon.  Find out if Richard Beckett can save his wife and unborn child from the clutches of the evil CC. 
Thanks for reading. Have a lovely day. Newbie on Twitter @MartinwPrice.  I will follow back.  Kind regards, Martin.
Luvya Getcha.