Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Mixed bag

I haven''t blogged for a couple of weeks as I've had lots of small things I could write about, but none that could really justify a full entry on their own. I could have expanded some of the topics out in long rambling anecdotes interspersed with a few pictures nicked off other people's websites, but instead I've decided to combine them all into one omnibus edition.

Here we go then: in random order.

I-Spy books:

One of our trips out over the Easter holidays was to Blenheim Palace, a most enjoyable outing. Whilst the kids were enjoying the various rides and entertainment on offer, I was delighted to discover that the outdoor barbecue did a most agreeable "Gloucester Old Spot" hot dog. Now that is what I call a proper sausage. I really can't be doing with those cheap and nasty hot dog sausages that come in a tin, eight for a quid and are made of goodness knows what. Oh dear, I've rambled off topic already. I probably could have got a whole blog entry out of this. Let's get back to the subject matter. In the gift shop, I was delighted to discover (the second time I have used that phrase in this paragraph, but never mind) a little book carousel full of I-Spy books, something I used to love doing as a kid. The kids are really into anything to do with cars at the moment, so we picked up a copy of the "Car Badges" book.

£2.50 - bargain for the fun we had with it.

For the uninitiated, I-Spy books are small handheld books containing lots of things you can spot with varying amounts of points according to difficulty. So in the case of the car badges, bog standard Fords and Peugeots that you can see on every street are worth 10 points, but harder to find badges such as Ferraris are much more - up to 50 points.

So yesterday, I took the boys out badge spotting. We walked up Chapel Street and into Priory Lane and found lots of badges very quickly. Of course the more you get, the harder it becomes and once we'd found all of the well-known manufacturers it got more tricky. We then walked up to Bicester Village, where the beautiful people shop, and had a look round the car park there. This yielded Jaguars, Porches, Alfa Romeos and others, but nothing really special - certainly no Ferraris. I guess it wasn't a good day for celebrity visitors. Anyway we spent about two hours doing this and it was good fun - I think we may have to invest in some more I-Spy books.

Election:

I don't do politics on my blog so this will be a very short entry. Suffice to say that living in a safe as houses Conservative seat (held by that party since 1922) means that as usual my vote will be irrelevant. Effectively I would compare voting in this (or any other general election) to being asked to place a bet on this year's Premier League winners at this moment in time. Blue is the colour, and if I wanted to place a bet on Chelsea, it would be have to be at the current odds of 1/100 (that's the opposite of 100/1). i.e. a pretty pointless bet. Put £100 on for a £101 return. Or I could bet on Arsenal, or Man Utd (representing the reds) or alternatively flush my money down the toilet as there would be about the same chance of ever seeing it again.

Surely some form of proportional representation has to be introduced at some point in the future to at least make a vote have some relevance at a national level, even within a safe seat.

The new book:

Thank-you to everyone who has bought, reviewed or otherwise showed an interest in the new book. For a few moments this weekend it was close to breaking into the Top 1000 of books on Amazon, an amazing performance for an independently published book.

I don't have to tell you how much work goes into writing my stories, but it doesn't stop there. Getting the message out to people (and I don't mean endless self-defeating spamming on Facebook and Twitter), cover design, and endless other marketing tasks are essential. But one of the things I enjoy the most as an Indie author is engaging with the people who read my books. I receive many messages, comments and emails from people all over the world who have discovered my writing and it is a pleasure to get that feedback and engage with them - it's certainly given me self-belief in what I am doing. I wasn't really sure when I started writing the novels how well they would be received. I ignored a lot of conventional writing advice and just wrote from the heart in my own natural style which was nurtured and developed through this very blog. I think this, and the originality of my ideas has stood me in good stead.

To see my new book sitting at #2 on Amazon in the time travel romance category (out of 2,785 books) and at #2 in the Science Fiction time travel (out of 4,940 books) feels pretty amazing. I took a big gamble giving up the DJ'ing to focus on this - not the first time I've made a radical change of career, but when I'm truly dedicated to something, my desire and energy to succeed knows no bounds. This might come as a surprise to any ex-Nielsen colleagues reading, but I can honestly say, not in 15 years there did anything inspire me in the way that this does.

There were other topics I was going to cover tonight, but ramble I did, so you will have to wait a little longer for those. In the meantime, thank-you for - well, just for reading, if you've come this far down the page, I must be doing something right.

Until next time :-)

Jason

Jason Ayres is the author of six books, including his brand new novel, My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday, available here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UDHAD0M

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