Thursday, 22 December 2011

Making up your own ebook covers, is it possible?

I'm an artistic kind of guy and fairly capable with the old computer but I certainly didn't have a clue where to start at making my own ebook cover. Somebody suggested I try Gimp Imaging Software, which is free. The only problem with such programmes is finding the time to learn how to use them.

But tonight I was too tired to write, so I thought I'd mess about with the programme a bit. This effort below took me about an hour to knock up. Be fair, it's a first attempt and I have never used Gimp before!

My first ebook?
Yes, I know it is too wide and doesn't conform to any ebook standards blah blah blah but hey, it looks OK for a complete novice's first attempt, doesn't it?

Then on the 2nd night I came up with this...

What do you think?

2nd attempt

Friday, 2 December 2011

Thnak you all!

I'm usually honoured with about 15 new followers a day on Twitter, as well as having numerous Tweets Re-Tweeted and so on and so forth. Being a nice guy who was bought up to say thanks, naturally I say 'thnaks' many times each and every day. And therein lies the problem...

Maybe it's because I have very little time and have to write quickly, maybe it's because I'm a crap writer, but whatever reason it is that causes me to say to so many people each day 'thnaks,' instead of 'thanks' is irrelevant.

Seriously, without you I'd have given up years ago.

I THNAK you all!!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Getting a novel finished in this life!

OK, my computer is full of half-finished novels all crying out for more time and attention which I just cannot give them right now. My life is not mine to give...

Getting at least one of them published is all that I can think of, morning, noon and night. A recent health-scare made me realise that maybe I will never get any of them published, and after I'm gone somebody will just hit the delete key, thereby destroying all of the wonderful ideas and  many hours spent slaving over the keyboard.

Nina my deaf Dalmatian and me

So here's the plan. A short story, maybe 3000 words, for children. The idea? The Humptybackcrocodillopig. I had assumed that this creature was well known as it is something I have grown up with. So I was surprised to discover no evidence whatsoever of the Humptybackcrocodillopig's existence on Google! How can this be? Surely I haven't just dreamt up the name? Maybe it had just been inside my head all of this time?


So, The Return of the Humptybackcrocodillopig is my new, new, new current #wip and the first draft is almost finished! I have also commenced a drawing of him, just so you can see what he looks like. 

This book will be go through all of the process it needs - beta-readers, rewrites, professional editing, maybe even professional sketches? A professional cover will be designed and marketing is already in full flow.

I will epub the book and do as much promoting of it as possible, hopefully enlisting my 4000 Twitter friends along the way. I hope to publish five books in total in the series, selling them as $1 Children's books. Once I have all five, I will then offer them as a collection, all five for just $2.99.

Wherever this series leads, one thing is sure. Seeing my work published and selling will give me more motivation to crack on with my novels, and The Dream Makers is pulling hard at my sleeve lately. 

Oh I so want to write that series....

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Humptybackcrocodillopig

OK, this is my current #wip, a short, kids story about a little girl that befriends a Humptybackcrocodillopig that she finds at the bottom of her garden.
The Humptybackcrocodillopig (first draft) (Copyright David Burden 2011)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ebook publishing - evolution or revolution?

I wrote this post having received a comment on Twitter from @InspiredQuill. I had posed this question:


'Am I in danger of missing the ebook revolution as it seems to be moving so quickly...?'

@InspiredQuill responded that 'it is an evolution, not a revolution'.

It made me think. I replied that it is an  'Evolution as it's a natural progression, yet a revolution as it's taking control out of the hands of the powers that be, & giving it to us! (the writers)...

What do you think?
Ebook publishing; evolution or revolution?

Monday, 17 October 2011

Do you Dream, or are you just a dreamer?

Do you Dream, or are you just a dreamer? 'Ah, but what's the difference?' I hear you say, 'apart from the capital D in the first question?'

Well, if you ask somebody what they dream about, they can interpret the question in two different ways...

  • First of all, there are the type of dreams that are your hopes and aspirations for the future. These are the dreams that you create, you decide on. You might dream of becoming a famous writer, or of being the next ebook millionaire. You might dream of meeting Natalie Portman (there I go again. Hi Nat!) or even Henry Kissinger... These dreams are man-made, they are your dreams and they are fickle. 
    Do dogs Dream?
  • Then there are Dreams. Now, these are the Dreams that happen to you when you are asleep. These Dreams you have no control over. These Dreams are not man-made, these Dreams are sent to you. A lot of work and effort goes into each and every one of them and these Dreams deserve a capital D. So it is important that you pay attention to your Dreams. They are, after all, sent to you for good reason...
So I ask you again, do you Dream or are you just a dreamer? If you remember your Dreams (and we all Dream, several different Dreams a night) then ask yourself these questions...
  1. What did I Dream about last night?
  2. Why did I Dream that? I mean, what is the purpose of such a Dream for me?
  3. Have I ever Dreamt a Dream that was clearly meant for somebody else, such as a Dream in a language I can't actually speak?
  4. Is there any Dreams I remember particularly well?
  5. Did I ever act on a Dream? If so, what was the result?
  6. Finally, why do I think we Dream at all?
Any comments regarding these questions would be greatly appreciated.

And don't forget, the next time you write the word 'dream', be sure to differentiate which dream you are talking about. If you mean to say 'Dreams', then give it the respect it deserves and use a capital D!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Add another year to my life, please...

Because that's how long it should take me to write up my new idea for a book!

Yes, yet to finish one of my other ten books, I was busy minding my own business the other day and up pops this latest idea. It's so difficult to keep them at bay.

So I have to add it to the list, and I've decided to call it Bob and Me. So what's it about? I'm not saying, but you might be able to guess from my Bio!

So, that's now ten years of writing lined up, if I can cut down on the day job that is...

Friday, 16 September 2011

Targeting your book to the right audience

I am new to writing books. I have yet to publish a book. In fact, I have yet to finish any of my planned ten books! (Yes, I did say ten).

So what am I doing whilst working and not writing my book? I am preparing the ground for that distant day when my first book is released into the world as an ebook. That's right, I'm going to self-publish through Smashwords. And because I'm going it alone, I know that nobody is going to push this book for me except me myself, and the people I am close to. Therefore, I need to know how to sell my book and not just leave it sitting on the cyber-shelf gathering cyber-dust.

I have just read John Locke's excellent book How I Sold 1 Million Ebooks in Five Months. (Yeah, he did. We all know he did). And one thing that hit me when I read this book is John's idea of preparing the ground for sales before you write the book. He asks the question, Who is going to read this book...? which is something I had thought of once, perhaps late at night after a bottle of wine and two difficult chapters. (Yeah, I know, this means I am going to ask the question after I have started my book, and not before as he suggests.)

So he made me think, Who is going to read my book? and What should I be doing about it now?

Well, my first novel is a tale of a TEFL teacher living in Spain and, like many, trying to make a living from teaching English. It is dotted throughout with bizarre and hilarious classroom incidents (all of which are totally true and actually happened to me) and involves the protagonist leaving behind his teaching and boring life for a very well-paid job, something most TEFL teachers dream of. The new job is also extremely exciting and very dangerous, but totally legal (as legal as can be in Spain!).

So who is likely to be interested in reading my book? Well, TEFL teachers of course. And anybody in the world of TEFL knows there are tens of thousands of us all over the world, all teaching for various reasons and in far-off places. And teachers read books. They love the English language and they are, usually, educated people.

Also, anybody who has lived in a different culture/country for any length of time or even anybody who has taught in a state school. All of these people will be able to relate to the protagonist and his life, his fears and his frustrations. Not to mention anybody with an interest in Spain, teaching in Spain or crime in Spain.

So these people are my target audience, my future customers, my future fans maybe? It is these that I should be pitching my book to, promoting interest in and whetting their appetite for a read that they will thoroughly connect with.

The good news is, my potential customer base is enormous. The bad news? I have 2500 wonderful Twitter followers, yet none I know of who are TEFL teachers... Only on Facebook do I have any connection with teachers I have met and worked with over the last ten years, and they aren't enough to push my book up the rankings, even if they did all buy a copy (and they won't. Well, at least two I know won't!).

So, thanks to John and his book, I have now tweaked my Twitter account to start connecting with that enormous world of TEFL teachers out there, some of whom might just be interested in my humble debut novel, Filthy Gorgeous.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Real people make real characters

Genuine old Peregrino, Santiago de Compostella
I've saved a girl's life, had people try to kill me in a riot, found a murder victim with a gunshot wound to the back of his head, crashed a car at high-speed and survived, avoided being shot by a LMG by metres, learnt to fly airplanes, met a burglar coming out of a broken door with a gun in his hand, witnessed sights too horrendous to mention and fallen in love so deeply it's embarrassing. I've also left a business English class whilst unknowingly leaving my boxer shorts on the office floor for all to see. I could go on, but then you'd never need to read Kicking the Cans... *

Magical secrets on a routine street
I've spent 46 crazy years living a life worthy of a book, a very long book. I have met people that I didn't know existed - didn't realise could have existed. Yet there they were, larger than life and so real. More real than any book I have ever read.

When I need to add characters to my book I need real people, real characters. I can't see my characters unless I can see the person. And if I can't see my character then they won't exist for you either, no matter how much I tell you about them.

So, where is this all going? Please, if you have any writing ambition, LIVE YOUR LIFE! No one else will do it for you, and a life worth living is a life worth dying for. And once you have lived it, and met those people you didn't know existed, only then can you add them to your book as real people, real characters.

They exist, do you?

My life, too much has happened for a single book, so KTCs is my first autobiography, starting from zero and finsihing at the end of my (official) education. How I survived at all I'll never know...

Monday, 15 August 2011

US super-cop just Cameron's cop-out, claim cops

Following the unprecedented rioting witnessed across England last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans for US police chief Bill Bratton to be a paid adviser to the UK government on 'gangs'.

British Police, quite rightly, are not impressed. Sir Hugh Orde, President of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said, 'I am not sure I want to learn about gangs from an area of America that has 400 of them. It seems to me, if you've got 400 gangs, then you're not being very effective.'
Perhaps Mr Bratton might learn something from us?
I'm sure there is more to add to the list, but I think you are beginning to get the point?

So, Mr Cameron, no doubt you will pay hundreds of thousands to Mr Big US cop who will no doubt finish his working holiday with the following expert advice:

'Guns man! Give the cops guns! Jeez, you can't deal with gangs without guns!!'

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Child minding...

Sometimes pure magic escapes from the mouths of children and lucky is the writer who gets to hear it. As a writer, you need people around you who surprise you with their unique and special outlook on the world, and none is more unique than a child. For fantasy writers, children are a great source of inspiration. If you aren't lucky enough to be surrounded by such magic, then a child in an adult's body is sometimes just as good.

And that's where I'm the lucky one. My wife...

Wifelette, in search of Faeries, Galicia, 2010
I was in the back garden of our new house the other day, filling in holes and flattening high-points on the lawn. Our garden is about as big as a telephone box and always reminds me of the surface of the moon, only covered in grass. My eye was drawn to a slight rise in the far corner. Atop of this rise was a large stone I recognized. This was no ordinary stone, this was the stone I had found on a Galician beach and lovingly carried home to my wife. This stone was as big as my out-stretched hand. This stone had spent centuries being caressed into a beautiful, flat round gem and it had, until this moment, been acting as a doorstop inside the house. I had even glued rubber to its bottom so as not to scratch the floor.

So what is it doing in the corner of this green moonscape? Enter wife.

'Wifelette? What's that stone doing on yonder hill?' I nodded in its direction.
The reply was instantaneous, with no time to think of a clever answer or even recall a well-rehearsed one.
'It's so the Faeries have somewhere to shelter,' she said, so matter-of-factly.
'Oh,' I said, and carried on filling the holes in, occasionally stealing glances at the stone in the corner.

If I'm lucky, I get a glimpse of the child inside of my wife's head every couple of weeks. The last one was when she opened the window to allow a butterfly to escape.
'Good bye little butterfly!' she called after it, 'Thank you for coming to visit us!'
Now why would a butterfly feel the need to visit people?

Ah, inspiration. Here it comes again...

Where does your inspiration come from? Are you as lucky as I am?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Back to the writing desk

After a long drawn-out move across Spain we are finally set up in our new home, although most of our possessions remain bubble-wrapped and boxed up. However, among all of this mess a new desk has arisen, in the corner of the spare room, the path to it cluttered with all manner of things.

My new writing desk! It sits there, all shiny and new, begging to be a part of my history.

It is to this over-crowded room that I hope to vanish this weekend, and return to my writings.

Oh my writing, how it hurts when I go without.

But I'm back. WiP here I come!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Coconut the cat, before the op...

Hours of fun with a piece of Fusilli pasta...

Bad Drivers and Webbed-feet. Are they connected?

Asturias
I live in a part of the world which has remained isolated from the rest of the country until very recently. Asturias, in northern Spain, is so isolated that it is proudly boasted as the only part of Spain not to come under Moor control.

It is only in the last few decades that Asturias has been connected to other communities through EU funded communications construction. Even to this day, that work ploughs on unabated, often to the detriment of the beauty of the region.

Isolated peoples
Isolation in itself isn't a bad thing, so long as you avoid in-breeding, naturally. But it does throw up a few odd quirks which are unique to the people involved. Some people seem to think the French have webbed-feet, whilst it is true that on an island in Indonesia lived a Hobbit species as recently as 12000 years ago.

Roundabouts
Isolation under Franco led to Spain becoming one BIG carpark
In Asturias, the locals have developed a unique system for negotiating roundabouts. They will never use the inside two lanes, no matter what exit they are taking. In Oviedo, capital of Asturias, everybody drives round in the outside lane, thus reducing a three-laned roundabout to a one-laned roundabout. It also adds to the fun factor for visitors from the outside, as they try to exit the roundabout from an inner lane, only to discover a local driving into the side of them. Indeed, even the locals often get it wrong. One only has to stand at the side of any roundabout in the city (but the ones on the ring-road are the best) for a bit of local entertainment. Just keep your eye open for any foreign cars.

I have it on good authority - and have seen it myself - that drivers under instruction here are told by their instructor to always take the outside lane, no matter where you want to go, as it is 'complicated' to choose the correct lane. Once you leave Asturias, you'll find drivers able to deal with the complexities of roundabout lane choice without too much effort.

Isolation, it does throw up some oddities...

(PS. They are crap at designing road systems too...)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Dream Pills and the Real Cost

My fantasy series is about Dreams (with a capital 'D' -  see My Writings). For this reason I am particularly interested in Dream Pills and their consequences.

So, do you Dream? Of course you do - we all do, every time we sleep. In fact we Dream numerous Dreams each night, whether you remember them or not is dependent on numerous factors. Now, the experts can tell you how the universe was formed, what killed off the dinosaurs and why your hair turns white and/or falls out but they can't tell you why you have Dreams.

Coming back to to my post title. Maybe you remember your Dreams, maybe you don't give a monkeys? Maybe you have great Dreams, maybe you want better Dreams? Maybe you are one of those unfortunate people who fear sleep...?

Pills
We can get a pill for nearly everything these days.

Grey hair? Here, take this.
Overweight? Here, take this.
Want more muscles? Here, take this.
Don't want babies? Here, take this.
Made a baby but don't want it? Here, take this.
Hungover? Here, take this.
Don't want a stroke/heart attack? Here, take this.
Pride & joy letting you down? Here, take this.

The list, as you know, is endless. These days we can get a pill for just about anything and everything. And now you can even take control of your Dreams! And why not? We do, after all, spend a third of our life sleeping, and therefore Dreaming. So why not make the most of it? No more pointless, wasted Dreams. No more 'WTF was that all about?' or 'Why the fuck did you wake me?!'

Costs
How much would you be willing to pay me for a Dream Pill? You get to choose the category - fantastical, romantic, domineering, sexy, kinky, back-Dream, future-Dream, dead-relative Dream, superstar-encounter-in-a lift-Dream or just a plain crazy Dream. You can also get nightmare pills for a fee, but you'll have to sign a waiver for these.

Each Dream category has sub-categories. For example, foreign-language Dream, exotic location, photocopier and uniforms. (Natalie Portman & Clive Owen Dreams cost slightly more). Please be advised that we don't do animals or children without a police criminal records certificate beforehand.

Drawbacks
These pills are no more physically addictive than aspirin, but you must understand that the Dreams you will have will most definitely be addictive. You chose them, as you might wish to choose a different life. Let's face reality here, you can go back to where you left off - with who you left off with - night after night after night. This is the danger. This is the addiction. You may well begin to wish for Dreams more than life itself.

So I ask you again, how much are you willing to pay for a Dream Pill?

Monday, 20 June 2011

The President and the Light-bulb

In Spain, each building has a President representing the community of the building for all matters communial.

So when we bought our new academy and discovered the twin-light bulbs had blown on the landing outside our door, causing us a problem in getting the key into the hole, it was to el Presidente that we turned...

'Can't see a thing old chap, need the bulbs changing please.'

'Er, well, you need to write a formal letter to me, explaining the situation. Only then can I get somebody in to look at the problem,' he says.

'But,' I says, 'it's just a fucking light-bulb...'

'Yes, therefore we need to get an electrician in, so, if you could write me a letter?' he insists ( it is an important position, after all...)

'OK, of course,' I reply, as understanding as any Englishman can be in Spain.

Before el Presidente reached his 4th floor apartment both bulbs had been changed and the communidad wasn't charged a penny...

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The sofa and the fridge

'But where is it?' she asked, turning to look up at me.
'Er, it had woodworm,' I lied. 'So I had to throw it out.' She stood staring at the red replacement sofa I'd hauled up the stairs some years earlier, a hand-me-down off a neighbour.

My landlady was tiny and frail, and so like my own dearly-departed grandmother that I just wanted to hug her. I wasn't sure who was older - Gloria or the cast-out sofa. But I loved this lady, and I just couldn't hurt her by saying I'd thrown it out because it was ugly and about as comfortable as lying on a hoover. Even the charity collectors had looked shocked when they came to collect it.
'Er, sorry, we don't do sofas...' was all they could mutter as they quickly backed out of the door. And so it had been tossed out onto the pavement for the council to collect and burn - or donate to a museum.

'But it was new,' she said, befuddled. I stared up at the tapestry-thingy I'd hoovered and returned to its pride of place on the wall above the sofa. I registered that I still had to clean the spot under the bed where it had been hidden for the last five years.
'No Gloria, not new. Second hand, like the fridge.' Shit, I shouldn't have mentioned the fridge. They did take the fridge away, at least that worked. Constantly.
'Is the fridge here, or did that have woodworm too?' she asked, concern etched all over her face.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

What should I put on my on-line profile to help me become a published author and where should I put it?

Damned good question. And let's face it, if you are only just thinking of building up an on-line profile then you probably aren't yet published, and know very little about the business that you are trying to break into. Just like me.

I started to think about this question a few years back, when I was about halfway through my first book. I realised that the more people who knew me and took an interest in what I was writing, then the more chance I had of people actually going to the shops and ordering my new book once I announced its release. I also appreciated the wider audience that the web could give me.
  • Facebook. At that time I was addicted to Facebook, and so it was with Facebook that I started experimenting. First of all I built up a bigger following than usual - why delete people you hardly know/decide you don't like when they could well be a future customer of yours? I also created a group for friends from my childhood to add pictures and comments to help me out with a childhood autobiography I had started.
  • Twitter. Then I read about Twitter and opened up an account just to see if it was useful to me. It kind of fell off and I stopped using it for a while. I found it a little unusual at first and basically used it to bad-mouth people/companies that had pissed me off.
  • Blog/website. I had been running numerous blogs over the years, initially as an outlet for my increasing desire to write. Many of these were eventually left to gather dust, although I did enjoy writing Bloggerithms, but that too fell into disrepair, and now only looks a shadow of its former self. However, I learnt a lot about blogs, blogging and the all important keywords
  • LinkedIn. I had a LinkedIn account in relation to my career, but couldn't see the point in having it broadcasting all my details across the web so I gave that up, although I didn't actually delete it.
So now I find myself close to finishing two books and getting knocked back by rejections and worrying about my lack of on-line presence. It was by chance that I found BubbleCow on Facebook, and began to read with interest the articles they posted. Because of BubbleCow, I began researching more and more and eventually decided to do something about my on-line presence.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Time that doesn't exist & an OLP

I don't have time to do everything that life demands of me and write my book. I am a night-owl, and writing comes at the end of the day (or the beginning of the day on most nights). After the requirements of earning a salary are complete, the animals are sorted out, domestic life is organised and I get to sit down, the sand is quickly running out of the clock on my desk.

So, I need to write lots (and I can easily write 2000 words in a sitting) yet to get published I am told that I need to have an 'on-line presence'.

An on-line presence (OLP)? What's that all about then? Well, we live in an age of technology and at a time when everybody is writing a book. (You're reading this post so I guess you are too?). Therefore publishers can be choosy - very choosy - when it comes to parting with some cash for a new book. They need to be sure that the money invested in you and your work is going to be returned, with profit. So that's where an OLP comes in.

Are you marketable? Have you even considered how to promote your book and yourself? These type of questions are what publishers are asking when they consider your mss. The obvious way to show them you are - and that you've considered all of this whilst writing your masterpiece - is to have an OLP. After all, if loads of people already recognise your name, have had an interesting build up to the release of your book and have stayed with you over all these years, then you must be saying something right and you have a ready-made list of potential buyers of your book. This is what they are looking for on your CV which you took in behind the synopsis (why does that word always make me shiver?)

So, have you opened up a Twitter account to get out there? Do you have your own blog/site? These types of OLPs take years to build up, just as it took you years to write that book. So it stands to reason that you have to run these OLPs alongside your writing. Basically, unless you have written one of those rare masterpieces that sells itself, no OLP = no book deal.

Which brings me back to the title of this post. If I don't have time to write my book (and that's not a real 'if'), then how the hell am I supposed to find the time to create a substantial on-line presence?

Mm...

Monday, 6 June 2011

How not to write a book...

If you don't want to write that book that's been in your head for the last 7 years, why not buy a business in a city 5 hours drive away and decide to slowly move house there, taking over a month to do so? Oh yeah, and pack everything single-handedly and move everything yourself over 4 weekends!!!

'You look tired...'
I did, and it's working marvelously. I'm not writing my book! OK, like my wife, you are probably thinking 'but he's posting this post at 2am????' Yes I am, but I have an excuse - I am tired so I have been working on the company website for the last 3 hours...

And before you say 'commit yourself to your book more!', let me explain. I spent 2 hours loading the car on Friday, drove for 5 hours, unloaded at two different places, then spent the weekend cleaning, shifting and reorganising the academy, slept on a miniature, semi-inflatable mattress each night then drove for 5 long hours  back home this morning.

Oh, and then I went to class and taught for a few hours. Oh, and cleaned up after my cats....

Did I mention dropping off and collecting my dog at the kennel?

So no, I am not writing my book tonight!!!!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Moving house, part 1

Saturday.

Load the big car up with as many boxes as I can cram in. Two floors, no lift, no help. Just me and good old stamina. Bike on new bike rack on back.

5 hour drive to new city interrupted by cop on motorbike. Lets me off not having any ID, not to mention any car documents, but gives me 40 Euro fine for bike obstructing rear plate.

Whilst waiting for ticket I noticed liquid pouring out from beneath engine (breakdown assistance details still in wallet at home). Fortunately it was only air-conditioning fluid. Switch off air-conditioning.

Continue drive in 23 degrees C heat, increasing by two degrees every subsequent hour!

Arrive in new city, unload car single handedly. No time for shower, Champions League final is on, but at least able to drink real beer in Irish pub.

Go to hostal, unable to sleep due to 50 year old drunken Spanish woman thinking she was 16 again. Finally slept at 6am.

11am back to office, organising the unpacking.

Dinner Sunday evening with friends, too tired to drive back 5 hours to home.

Monday morning, 5 hour drive home, no cops. Arrive home, knackered.

No chance of writing book tonight.

Goodnight. x


Thursday, 26 May 2011

UK writers and advice

As a British man, I am hoping to get my break through a UK agent and/or publisher. Therefore, I need to be focussed on the British way of doing things. Unfortunately - and no disrespect here to my US friends - most of the on-line blogs and tweets seem to be in relation to the US market.

What I am looking for - and here is where you can help - is information pertaining to getting a book published in the UK. If you know of any good advice sites and/or Twitter accounts, please feel free to add them to the comments here.

All advice will be greatly welcomed.

Thanks.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Barack's Beast Bettered by Britain's Baby Beast

Barack Obama's recent unplanned introduction to the vagaries of the European road system caused a flurry of concern in Downing Street, where the British Prime Minister David Cameron had been busily planning for the impending visit of the US President and his wife. Hoping to avoid a similar embarrassment to the one which occurred as the presidential cavalcade left the US Embassy in Dublin, the PM instructed MI5 to come up with a solution - fast. “After all,” he said, “Britain's road system is exactly the same as Ireland's.”















A spokesperson for Downing Street denied that the PM was concerned that recent budget cuts had undermined his belief in the British police “to be able to look after the President properly”, stating that “the PM had full confidence in the British security services”. He also added that "such an amateur over site by the US Secret Service in their own back yard would never occur on British soil if British security personnel were involved, I can assure you."

“Despite such fears, in the spirit of the 'special relationship' that still exists between the UK and the US, the PM has decided to offer the President and the First Lady full use of a British, purpose built Baby Beast that won't get stuck on any bumpy bits, and costs just a fraction of the 'safest car in the world’.”


British writer Diem Burden, the proud owner of the black 1996 Rover Mini limo, stated, “The Baby Beast, or Burp as I like to call it, might not be the safest car in the world but it does go over bumps with ease, and it’s probably the most environmentally friendly limo in the world. Plus, it looks cool. British cool.’

A spokesperson for the Obama administration declined to comment, stating that they never discuss the President’s security arrangements.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Writing a book?

Only an idiot would consider writing a book. Why?

Like music, all the books have been written, all the songs have been sung. Surely only an idiot would enter this arena?

I am one such idiot.

In fact, I wrote the first book (about 90%) of a Fantasy Series before turning to a 'shorter book' to write. Let me tell you now, no such thing as a 'short book' exists.

Each book will take a lifetime to write...

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