The next Time Bubble book

The single most important aspect of starting a new Time Bubble book is coming up with a fresh, innovative concept that has not been explored before, either by myself or anyone else. While it may be easy and tempting to churn out endless variations on the same theme, like Enid Blyton's Famous Five series, I'm not interested in taking that route. My goal is to make each Time Bubble book as exhilarating and novel as the first, even if it means waiting for the perfect idea to strike me. This waiting game means that I typically take around a year between books, as I'm committed to delivering one exceptional idea per year. While I've explored numerous ideas in the past, only a few have made it to completion, while others have been incorporated as parts of other works or have been put on hold for future consideration. Some of the alternate universes that Josh and Lauren visit in my books have been born from these unused ideas, and while others remain dormant for now, they may

Return of the long lost Kindle ratings!

 On Monday evening I noticed something odd happening with the rating count of my Time Bubble book on Amazon. This book has been out for nine years, selling steadily, and accruing reviews along the way. Up until about two or three years ago, people had to leave a written review in order for their ratings to be included in the total, but that has now changed. Now, if someone rates a book they have bought without leaving a review, that's included too. They could leave a rating formerly, but the only place it showed up was on Goodreads, a sister site. So accumulating reviews was a long and slow process. It is estimated that only about 1% of people who purchase leave a review, so it took a long old time for The Time Bubble to reach the milestone of 100 reviews. In recent years, since they started including the ratings, it climbed more quickly but it was only new ratings. The historical ratings seemed lost forever in the mists of time, like those long sought-after missing black-and-white

The Difficult Second Album

 Happy New Year to you all. I’m writing today to talk about my new book which came out this week. You’ll note the title of the blog post is “The Difficult Second Album.” This term refers to bands who’ve had some initial early success and then attempt to try something else, which isn’t always well received by fans of their original work. This is a difficulty I believe that we as writers also face. Let me begin by saying that I absolutely love writing The Time Bubble books. I can scarcely believe I have clocked up thirteen of them in less than nine years. They have enabled me to achieve my ambition of becoming a full-time writer for a living, thanks to the strong and supportive fan base that they have built up. If you are part of that fan base – thank you! Every sale, every review, and every little thing you do to help is appreciated by me every single day and enables me to continue to write more books. In terms of writing The Time Bubble books, they are very complex. First I have

Lauren's Odyssey

 Today I launched the latest book in The Time Bubble series, and it can be found here: And here it is: So, it seemed as good a time as ever to give you a little preview of what to expect, without giving too much away in the way of spoilers. The first stage in the planning of all of my books is, what is the basic premise? In most cases, it starts with an idea. For example, all I initially had for My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday was a scenario, which was what would life be like if you lived it backwards, one day at a time. Then I built the plot and the characters around it. This book is no different, however, it benefits from having the ensemble cast from the earlier Time Bubble books already in place. Obviously, you still need a story, though!  I looked back at what I had done before and in most cases, the lead characters are reacting to events around them, being lost in time, trapped, that sort of thing. What I decided to do this time was to

Cost of Living Crisis

Various news reports last week put the current rate of inflation at between 2.7% and 7%, depending on the criteria and timescales used. At the same time, interest rates rose to 1%, their highest level for some time. We are accustomed now to the idea that we are in a cost-of-living crisis, but just how bad is it? I would suggest, a lot worse than many people realise. The energy costs and fuel price rises have been well documented, and are way above the quoted rate of inflation. Surprisingly, when you think back to the fuel crisis of 2000, most people seem to have absorbed these without too much complaint. The Government has managed to divert attention from their misguided policies by apportioning blame to external factors.  A favourite scapegoat is Covid-19, but the virus itself was not to blame. It was the untold billions wasted on pointless measures in response that did the damage. If that won’t wash as an excuse anymore, then the convenient crisis in Ukraine makes a good substitute.

The Meat Elite

 Hi all, As you'll know if you've read my novels, I do like to explore alternative, dystopian futures on occasion. I have all sorts of ideas, often inspired by current affairs, that don't make it into print as they aren't substantial enough to make it into a full novel. So they sit on the backburner. What I'd like to do is explore some of these through short stories, so here is the first of what may become a series. Here, I imagine what might happen if future people in power looked back at what happened over 2020-2021 and used it as a template to pursue other objectives. Addendum (May 2022) - A year after I wrote this story, I am now halfway through writing my next novel which is going to explore this world in more detail. What you see here will be adapted into the new book, so this is now a preview of what's to come. It's interesting looking back at what I wrote a year ago and seeing what has transpired during that time. What I wrote as fiction now feels mo

The importance of branding

 Every store you shop in, every product you buy is a brand. The biggest brands are recognisable the world over, from the red and white of Coca Cola to the golden arches of McDonald's. Any professional business needs clear and consistent branding, and books are no different. When I started writing my Time Bubble books in 2014, I had no inkling that seven years later I would have eleven of them on the market. When I started, I had no great marketing plan - I was learning on the job. I realised early on that I needed my covers to match, so I had the hourglass on the first few, but over time, I deviated away from that. There was nothing wrong with my old covers - they served their purpose, but I realised over the past year that I needed to upgrade them. Some of them were looking a little tired, and dare I say, even a little gloomy, so I got together with my cover artist and we came up with a plan to relaunch the range with a bright, shiny new selection of colours. My idea was straightf