Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Escape From the Shadowlands, free 24-28 July 2013 (updated)

Update: This title is now back to its regular price of $2.99.

Free promotion updated and extended:

Escape From the Shadowlands by Etienne de L'Amour, a soft scifi / mystical adventure ebook, is FREE for your Kindle from Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 July 2013, inclusive, Pacific Standard Time.

☆☆☆☆☆ "Astounding, dizzying journey! Entertaining, enlightening."

If you like Doris Lessing's Shikasta, James Hilton's Lost Horizon, Idries Shah or the legendary Sarmoun Brotherhood, then give this book a try. Escape From the Shadowlands is preceded by two prequels, but it stands on its own and is self-contained, so this is probably the best book to begin reading the Shadowlands series.

Amazon US Amazon UKGoodreadsBlog post

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Job seeking: Online diagnostic profiling

Well, here's something to think about. I've to sit an online employment profiling diagnostic test in a couple of weeks, for the Department for Work and Pensions' Work Programme. It's to help them match me up with jobs in the most appropriate fields.

My new mentor told me that this test would involve agreeing or disagreeing with questions such as "Adverts contain hidden messages."

So what would you do posed with such a question? Because some adverts actually have used subliminal images and messages and other subtly pursuasive and sometimes questionable psychological techniques, then (since there is no means by which to qualify or clarify my responses) the honest answer would be "agree". That should at least get me a a +1 on the scale of honesty, one would vainly hope.

Now, if the assessor is also aware of this possibility, then my response would be fine and dandy. But if s/he is not, then I could potentially be profiled as a "conspiracy theorist" or "crackpot". Given that, is it wiser to disagree – feigning ignorance – at the risk of being diagosed instead as "ignorant"? And if I were to express my uncertainty, would the diagnosis be "indecisive"?

God, I love this boffinry. Or is that buffoonery?

Tips for writers #6: Read, read, read

 “Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.

Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.”

~ William Faulkner.

Monday, 15 July 2013

JK Rowling and the Secret of The Cuckoo's Calling

JK Rowling: What's in a name?

In April 2013, an ex-military policeman, Robert Galbraith, published his debut crime novel, The Cuckoo's Calling. Though critically-acclaimed, according to the New Statesman it only sold a little more than 1,500 copies. Then something spectacular happened.

Richard Brooks, the Sunday Times' arts editor was of the opinion that the quality of the writing was too good to be that of a new author. Later, a columnist at the Sunday Times received a tip-off that the book had actually been written by JK Rowling; and finally JK Rowling admitted that it was indeed her work. Rowling told the Sunday Times, "I hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback from publishers and readers under a different name."

Before this news broke, according to an article in the New Statesman, The Cuckoo's Calling was ranked #4,709 at Amazon. Within a couple of days, it had hit the top of the charts at #1, and journalists have been falling over themselves to write-up this extraordinary event. Again by the New Statesman's reckoning, at the time it hit the #3 slot at Amazon, the book had made a 150,000% "increase in sales over just one day."