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Thursday, July 24, 2014

A New Book and its history - a Cautionary Tale.

A few years ago, Jack & I (that's David) wrote a medieval murder mystery entitled "The Abbot and the Acolyte" it was a medieval murder mystery - along the lines of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series but a little less reverent, a little more humorous.

It was published and about six weeks later, the publisher pulled down the blinds, bolted the doors and went out of business - an early victim of those financial problems the banks arranged for us. We had sold about eight copies.

We changed the title, explained the situation to a new publisher and we were off. The new title was "The Back of Beyond" because the little French village in which it was set was called St. Gwilhem le Desert. In colloquial English, that's St William in the Back of Beyond. (Or in the boondocks, the backwoods, the wilds, etc.)

Not the most explanatory of titles, especially if you're not familiar with the phrase. Ah well, we live and learn. The book has been available for about two years, we've sold about the same number as in its first incarnation.

So we've asked for the publishing rights to be returned to us, not something one does without licking one's lips and holding a lucky rabbit's foot. However, we were very pleasantly surprised at the publisher's agreement. Another new cover, a new title: "Murderous Intentions". It's still a medieval murder mystery but we've taken the opportunity to re-edit the text.

Another three weeks or so and it will be on Amazon under our co-operative publishing name: Acclaimed Books and soon after that on a number of other on-line re-seller sites. Let's hope it works for us this time.

 

Jack Everett & David Coles

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Back to Work Again!


At last we’re under weigh again. I still have some problems with my sequel to “Postponing Armageddon” but I’m collaborating with the lads( lads? Some lads!) on an historical fantasy. Tentatively entitled “Excalibur Betrayed”, this is to do with the legacy of King Arthur and how the legends might be active down through history.

Arthur, his father, his half-sister, his wife and best friend were none of them of the highest moral fiber when it came to sex and we argue that this lack of principles may have cost Arthur his life at the battle of CamLann.

Here’s the idea…

Arthur had been born as a result of his father’s desire for the wife of his enemy. He conspired with Merlin to confuse the woman so that even as her husband was killed in battle, Uther Pendragon lay with her, deceiving her into believing he was the dead king.

That was the first betrayal.
***

Even as Arthur was conceived dishonorably, so Arthur’s son, Mordred, was the product of an incestuous passion between Arthur and his half-sister Morgana.

This was the second betrayal.

***

Nor was it fated to end here. Try as they might to make England into an orderly Kingdom, Monarch after Monarch would fail through the ages until one would come, pure of heart and untainted by deceit.

If you have any thoughts, we’d love to hear them.



Adele

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Our part in a Blog Tour: Our Writing Process


We’re a small group of authors taking part in  a world-wide blog tour to introduce ourselves and our author friends to new readers. At the foot of this post are links to the people who want to meet with you next week.

Here, we aim to answer four questions…

  • What are we working on?
    David and Jack are in the throes of editing a crime trilogy – the main character being Detective Inspector Stewart White. In the first book, White has recently been promoted to a position with the Serious Crime Squad in the city of Leeds, in the UK, and has much to prove. The two further books see him continuing with two quite different criminals.
     
    Adele Abbot, our fantasy writer, is hard at work on a sequel to her Postponing Armageddon. This book, the Pope’s Magician, starts and finishes in Medieval Rome. While Postponing… featured Gerard of Schonau, the Magician features Max, another of the group, who begins the account having lost his memory. Not an auspicious start and one which has led to a certain amount of head scratching.
     
    Each of these books is or will be published by Barking Rain Press.
     
  • How does our work differ from others of its genre?
    Anyone who writes, even though they try to follow in the footsteps of those they admire, will produce work which is different to other authors.
     
    However, Adele has created the Amaranthine series – a group of people who are immortal although they can still die of accident or injury. Some of these characters originated in the dawn of time, long before homo sapiens came on the scene; others are more recent, being born in recognizably historic times. We must be careful here not to give too much away – they may be reading this too! This, we think, is pretty well unique, something new.
     
    Jack and David have moved through several genres but they believe they have a distinctive voice. In the DI White series, they have deliberately broken the rules of writing – their point of view varies between the first and third person – not often enough to cause confusion, they hope, but sufficient to create a distinctive quality to the work.
     
  • Why do we write what we do?
    David and Jack began with science fiction and a soupçon of fantasy – both were fascinated by the work of Jack Vance (who died earlier this year) and enjoyed the style. Jack has also been a big fan of the action thriller and introduced David to this genre. More recently, they have concentrated on the police procedural using their local cities and countryside as a backdrop, a move which has been enjoyed by their reviewers.
     
    Adele was also an avid reader of Jack Vance, encouraged by the other two – father and honorary uncle – and found her own métier in fantasy albeit in her particular style. Her first published book was set in the far distant future, her second and current project in the historic past.
     
     
  • How do our writing processes work?
    Adele is a mother and follows a full time profession. In her case, her writing process is write it down before she forgets it: lots of paper notes under a mug in the kitchen. Fortunately, she walks to and from work which affords an opportunity to work out those knotty problems. Adele joined the team after she reached the short list for the 201 Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now contest sponsored by Sir terry Pratchett and Transworld Publishers; she subsequently reached 3rd place in the final vote.
     
    Jack Everett and David Coles tend to work together and their books are shown with both names or, particularly for science fiction, the combined name of Everett Coles. They have been friends since the 1970s. Their writing at that time was mainly short fiction targeted at the glossy men’s sport magazines but since then, with the expansion of on-line stores and independent publishing, they have moved to novel-length work – sf, thriller, historical. Often, Jack creates the initial manuscript and David reworks it, adding further material; at other times, the process is turn and turn about with each author producing alternate chapters.
     
     
  • About us.
    The three of us live within about 20 miles of each other so meetings and discussions are reasonably easy and frequent. We can discuss our current work and make suggestions and gentle critiscism.
     
    One of the things we like to do is to review and comment on the work of our friends – most of which are worldwide and contact is only by email. One such is Carole Phipps who, with her husband Tom    -    (Carol & Tom Phipps' Fantasy Blog) writes a fantasy series peopled by elves and trolls – the latter with appallingly bad habits like eating their friends and enemies alike and biting their fingernails! Carole and Tom seem to rise above this behavior so we’re probably safe if we ever meet face to face. We have reviewed some of their books and they have reviewed some of ours and it seemed a good idea when Carol invited us to join this blog tour.
  •  
    Fortunately, we had recently re-vamped our team blog into a sort of journal to keep our visitors up to date with what was happening. The invitation fitted in really well with this point of view and we jumped at the opportunity.
     
    That’s us in a nutshell.
    Adele, David & Jack.
     
    Look out for our friends’ blogs where this tour will be continued next week:
     
  • Okie at: 'my train of thoughts on...'  & writings: 'in a small compass '
  • Jennifer at her Website 


Check our most recent books...

     Postponing Armageddon (f&sf) 

     The Diamond Seekers (thriller)

     Of Machines and Magics (f&sf)

     The Back of Beyond (historic)

These and all of our books are illustrated with clickable thumbnails down the right hand margin of this blog.
We also have an associated web site: Archimedes Presse UK


Thursday, April 3, 2014

"Oh to be in England now that April's there" - Robert Browning

I’ve been in Florida for the past few weeks, combining work with pleasure. Events have included: talking to reader groups and to the Lions Society, giving radio interviews (i.e. a phone-in), visiting writing workshops and giving signings. I’ve always encouraged both readers and writers, explaining the writing process from the ground up and how the partnership with my long-standing friend, David Coles, works.
Of course, the main reason for all this is to expand the reader base for our novels, to encourage readers, where I can, to try the rich tapestry that our multi-genre fiction offers. In hard copies alone, the trip has been a great success with 127 new readers in the fold.
With another three crime novels out soon (the D.I. White Capers), the Everett Coles portfolio is growing. The first of these – Damaged Goods, which starts in Florida and ends in the Yorkshire Dales – is already creating a buzz after the success of the Diamond Seekers which won the Book of the Month award voted for by the public at the Book Awards website. Readers are lining up to review for us, if you would like a chance to join them, drop us a line.


Jack Everett

Saturday, March 29, 2014

INKBOK... a Shake-Up for the Book Industry


InkBok… A new kid on the block.

Inkbok is a new way of reading books – we have just one book on their list at the moment and we’ll be following up with books which are unlicensed to other publishers. Speaking of which, the independent publisher Barking Rain Press has also joined InkBok and books by our team and published by Barking Rain will also be here, shortly.

One of the things that we like about InkBok, is the transparency. The reader, the author, the publisher, all know what the terms are, how it works and what really appealed to our imagination is the 10% of revenues which will go to charities.

So, thumb your nose at the big and the powerful, and let InkBok get up the noses of the stuffed shirt traditional publishers and give a big welcome to what we hope will be a shot in the arm for the independents: the Indie Authors and the Indie Publishers which are the new life-blood of the book industry.
David Coles



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

At the National Railway Museum

Last week I met Karen in person. Until now, she had been an email friend, but this week, Karen and her husband, Wolfgang, were visiting England for her birthday treat and, in particular, visiting York close to where I live.
We met at the National Railway Museum; a fitting place since my wife, Jan who came with me, is the daughter of a York railway man, himself the son of a York railway man, and Wolfgang too had also worked on the German railways.
Here we talked books and jobs and books and websites and books and blogs and writing – and railways. Karen is a dark-haired, softly spoken woman who speaks English as if she had been born here. Her reading habits tend a little towards the outré perhaps, which suits me very well and in discussing our books, Karen was definitely on my wave length.
It’s not often that one meets up with an email friend but, as in this case, it can be a very agreeable and enjoyable event. Thank you, Karen, for making this happen.
Karen publishes two blogs: MyTrainofThoughtsOn featuring interviews and conversations with authors and InaSmallCompass showcasing Karen’s adept short-story writing.
It was MyTrainofThoughtOn which brought us together. Karen features a review for our books there: 1-1 Jihad: Britain and The Diamond Seekers and also the 10 statements which expose our characters!! - DavidJack
David Coles

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Will no one rid me of this Turbulent Priest?

Well, Jack and Mrs. Jack are soaking up the rays in Florida, David has his nose buried in websites and blogs, so I’m pretty well on my own at the moment. I say on my own, there is the son and the partner but neither is too interested in the second book in the Amaranthine series where I have cleverly painted myself into a corner.

This book is recounted by Uncle Max who has inconveniently lost his very long memory. Now how does one get on with the narrative when the chief character is plainly in no condition to do anything?

The title words were spoken in 1170 by King Henry II of England but it was not the first time the sentiment had been expressed and probably will not be the last.

We are at the tail end of the 13th century or the very beginning of the 14th – I’ve not decided quite when at the moment. We are in Rome. The Pope – who is a nasty piece of work – has recently issued a bull stating that every last person from peasant to king must submit to the authority of the Pope or forfeit ultimate salvation. For the vast majority of the world population, it was hardly staggering news, for the vast majority, life went on without change. But for Kings and Emperors, this was well over the top. In particular, King Philip of France was pretty teed off and was prepared to do something about it. There were others too who were less than overjoyed at Pope Boniface’s declaration. But Boniface had a magician who could wreak havoc at the holy whim.

And, at the moment, Uncle Max is indisposed. Problems, problems…

Adele Abbot