The Darkwood Mysteries: The Catalogue of Errors… Reflecting on October (2017)…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optOctober saw the release of a collection of all ‘The Darkwood Mysteries‘ currently available. Darkwood and Hobbs, the heroes of these Victorian tales of horror and adventure, can think themselves lucky. They only have to deal with criminals and the supernatural, and they have me to bail them out. I, on the other hand, have to write and then self-publish their exploits. I only have the staff of me to do this. And, as I have recently found… I can be f****** useless. Okay, that’s a little harsh, but within the three days of formatting and uploading this collection to Kindle I nurtured a red, hot, and smothering self-rage at the stupid mistakes I kept making.

Let me start my tale of torment at the very beginning. First, some context. I write. Frustrated with the traditional publishing approach of differing submission requirements and waiting forever to get nowhere, I decided to self-publish. Through a mixture of many people wanting my money to promote my books, and me not being one to shout about my work, they don’t get promoted. I guess I rely on the chance of readers stumbling across me. I’m no self-publishing guru. Of course, I am not actually relying on chance. I am relying on whatever algorithm on Kindle gets you seen. It’s akin to having every book in the whole history of the world in one place, and hoping the senile librarian leads a reader looking for ’50 Shades of Grey’ to the aisle with my book in it. Whilst I’m not on the bestseller list, I’ve enjoyed periods of (very) modest sales. And although they flat lined in the last year, ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’, along with ‘Ivory’, have always had the least amount of sales. Bordering on being completely unseen.

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‘Ivory’ (an excerpt)…

IVORY4a‘Ivory’ was the first novel I wrote. It’s about Martin, an artist and family man who has lost his passion in life. That is until the fateful night he runs down a young woman with curious features–white skin and hair, and black eyes. She should be frightening, yet Martin becomes obsessed with her unnatural beauty, ignoring the warnings that lust, corruption and death walk with her…

The story has evolved over the years, but essentially the plot has stayed the same. It’s also been a little bit like marmite–people either really like it, or they hate it. Because of that I was keen to have the input of an editor, and she advised that too little of the questions surrounding Ivory and her keeper were answered. It was intended to be the first part of a series, and I had held back some of the answers, so I decided against a series and fleshed out the back story and mythology around Ivory in the rewrite so ‘Ivory’ can be a standalone tale to be read and understood on it’s own merits.

Now, ‘Ivory’ has been unleashed for over a year on Amazon… and… she’s not getting much love. Very few sales, and only one (precious and appreciated) review. So, let’s see if I can tempt you into reading about the mysterious Ivory and leave you wanting more…
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