I love November. I love the shift from the unsettled weather of October, which can often have Scotland shivering under a bitter sky one minute then basking in warm sunshine the next. Technically, it’s classed as autumn, but it’s not. Not to me. The real autumn hits when November arrives, because in November everything settles; the leaves on the ground, the chilled, stilled temperature and empty breeze; it’s the month the earth and all of life takes a big deep breath just before winter comes.
Clear skies abound and the moon’s arc is glorious across the Scottish sky this month. It’s not uncommon to see shooting stars or if you’re *really* lucky, a glimpse of the Northern Lights when conditions are right. From the brow of the hill where I live, on a clear moonlit night, I can see right across the Firth of Forth to the flickering lights of Anstruther in Fife.
And with all this talk of stillness, pending renewal in the air and bright, shimmering moons, my heart returns to STELLA. The book was conceived and written at this time of year under these very conditions—but over different years. The album to which the story gave me the idea was one I always listened to in November, because it talks about the moon and provokes shady images of smoke-filled train stations at night with high collared spies. The album not only fits my mood in November, but it also defines the mood of STELLA.
Check out the album here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stella-Yello/dp/B000AC5LDE. If you’re really savvy, you’ll read the book while listening to the album (or listen to it just before or after), because the music works with the story. It was always meant to. Go on….it’s only a fiver.
Yesterday, a very exciting new digital publisher was launched. Blasted Heath, the brainchild of top literary agent and crime writer, Allan Guthrie, and “serial entrepreneur and social media expert”, Kyle MacRae, will publish around 30 crime and thriller titles each year.
Theirs is a truly forward thinking, cutting edge venture, because it embraces all that is positive about the emerging dominance of ebooks and digital technology in the world of publishing. It waves good bye to the old way of thinking and ushers in the future.
Best of luck to them, although with those two guys in charge and some of the writers I know they have already signed up, it’s bound to be a smashing success.
Check them out here: www.blastedheath.com
Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions
I posted my GDR Plan for November late last night. The major focus is more than ever, as you will probably come to expect after all this relaunching business, on fiction.
The plan is to finish BACCARA—which by the way the final revision is going, won’t take too much longer—then I’m going to get battered into preparing my new crime fiction books that have been sitting screaming at the world to be heard.
First up simply has to be the story of Jackie McCann. One of the really exciting things about making my recent decisions is that I knew I would get to open his story out to the world. I simply cannot wait to get him out there and to breathe fresh life into it. HUNTING JACK will be the first of my crime books on the market.
A good night’s work when I eventually got back from the day job. I had to stop off via a Lothian Buses travel shop to get a replacement bus pass, having lost my previous one as I drunkenly made my way home after the John Cooper Clarke gig on Friday night.
I updated my website and blog with information on The SKY Project. I’ve been in discussion with them over email about things I might be able to do for them and this is one such thing.
I was disappointed with the recent event was cancelled due to a Halloween party clash, but last night I was delighted to receive an email from a group of the kids inviting me to come along some time and see what they get up to and help them write some poems. I’ll be writing back to Isla, Findlay, Grahame, Tamara, Caitlin and Nicole very shortly.
I redesigned my newsletter template to match the new website design. It’s now much more compact and exciting; I hated that linear format but this way it will be much easier on the eye and look a ton more professional.
I made some good progress on BACCARA BURNING. Can’t stop thinking about Stella and Randolph at the moment, which is probably a good thing.
Finally, I brainstormed some ideas for a new marketing strategy I’m going to go through with: QR Codes. I can create these sexy little images on my Mac ad my plan is to create several of them with different purposes in mind to promote me and my work. Watch this space!
The New Websites
Just a wee reminder that I have indeed relaunched my website at www.colingalbraith.co.uk. It’s worth your while to pop over and have a look, and while you’re there to sign up to the mailing list or ‘Like’ my Facebook page [www.tinyurl.com/colinonfacebook], as it will mean you’ll be entitled to a free copy of each of my next three novels.
That’s 3 novels – for free – for you – simply by pressing a button. Can’t be bad!
All of my poetry has been shifted over to the other me, Chas Stramash. You can find him at www.chasstramash.com, where for a short time only, he’s giving away all his ebooks for free, Kindle for 86p, and print copies for £3 (25% off!).
Recent Articles You May Have Missed
The wrap-up article to this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival and associated podcast, is available over at the (Unofficial) Edinburgh book Festival Blog: [click here to read].
The Fruit Tree Foundation gig I went to at Nobles Bar in Leith, with Withered Hand, James Yorkston, and Rob Jones: [click here to read].
John Cooper Clarke at the HMV Picture House in Edinburgh: [click here to read].
That’s all for today.
Peace and out!