Saturday, 30 December 2017

Christmas 2017

Well, we had a great time over Christmas, and I hope you all did too!

The rain turning to snow before midnight on Christmas Day and a white Boxing Day was the icing on the cake (pun not intended) with snowman-building and sledging thrown in. I should have put a bet on it being a WC as it could perhaps have helped pay for some of the expense.

A White Christmas! Woohoo!

Much food was eaten, much alcohol consumed (but not exorbitantly so) and much Christmas TV was watched, specifically Ernie & Wise tributes and the movies Gladiator, Harry Potter and Predator. Pressies were given and received and all in all the day was a success.

Extremely glad we didn't become stranded on a snow-bound motorway on the trip home as several other unfortunates did this year in England and Wales. Our thoughts are with all those whose Christmas didn't go as planned, with stranded flights, power cuts and what not.

I did no writing whatsoever, but I gave a copy of The Old Mice Killer to my mother as a present, after tippexing out the one F word in the whole book near the end at her request. Maybe next time if I self publish another book on Lulu I might upload two versions - a 'Director's Cut' and a 'Mother-friendly' version. It turns out she's now read it already and, 'after taking a while to get into it,' sounds like she quite enjoyed it.

This time between Christmas and New Year is ideal to start wondering about New Year's Resolutions. My resolution for last year  - Try Not To Be An Asshole - had moderate achievement ratings. I found that even when I tried to be nice to people, I was still inadvertently nevertheless being an asshole, or being perceived as an asshole owing to misinterpretation - probably due to the extrapolation of the all my Ass-holery of previous years - so I might go for this one again. Or maybe I'll tweak it to be more accomplishable: Try Not To Be A Total Asshole. But since I'm on the topic, other potential resolutions could be:

Write more
Exercise more
Eat less meat
Go to bed earlier
Get up earlier
Play more guitar
Study more Japanese
Spend more family time
Play more harmonica
Go out with friends more
Spend less time on social media
Drink less alcohol
Spend less
Buy less
Repair more
Spend more time in the garden
Take my own coffee cup to Costa

Yeah, those might be some good starting points. But how to keep them going after the first couple of weeks have passed ...?

Thursday, 28 December 2017

First Old Mice Killer Review

"Chris , I’ve just read The Old Mice Killer! Thank you so much for the most amazing, escapist, joyride of suspense and belly laughs rolled up with cinematic imagery running throughout!
You really are a man of many talents and The Old Mice Killer harnesses them perfectly! In short ! I think it’s brilliant mate! Please send me a signed copy, payment to follow!" - Andrew Osborne

Sunday, 17 December 2017

First Two Copies Sold!

Very pleasantly surprised when two of my English students were keen to purchase a copy each of The Old Mice Killer when I was just showing the little books off to them for the chat :)

First two signed copies sold!

Quite difficult to explain in 30 seconds what the story's about - I need to work on that for future sales and marketing.

"Er, it's about a detective who acts like a dog, whose client is a woman, who, er, acts a bit like a cat, you know, but it's not a kid's story, it's a story for adults, but, there's no sex in it, I mean it's not like that ... anyway, the detective is snooping around like a dog, you know, like a hound on the trail of a scent, and the client is all, like this, you know, with her nose in the air all posh like, kind of arrogant, and wandering off for no reason, and the detective has to find his client's missing boyfriend, and they have these problems communicating, and there's a serial killer involved, you don't have to buy one ..."

Raptor Filmz Ltd, a videography company which I started up in 2012, may actually be on the verge of becoming a publisher, and is looking into buying copies of this in bulk for distribution to book stores, so watch this space :)

Now I have to go and tippex out the F word near the end for my Mum's copy.

You can order a paperback copy of The Old Mice Killer direct from Lulu here for about £7 including postage, or if you can get a hold of Chris Young or Raptor Filmz ( or text 07899 718775) he's selling signed copies for just £3.50 in the Livingston area, West Lothian, Scotland. Alternatively you can purchase the ebook here for instant download on Kindle or Ibooks for just 99p.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

First Edition Arrives

At 11:15 am this morning the doorbell went.

I skipped down the stairs like a teenage schoolgirl and opened the front door to find a bearded DPD Driver standing in the snowy cold exterior with a slim package in his hands. A warmth spreading in my stomach I signed my name upside down on his electronic doo-hickey, thanked him very much, and brought the package inside.

Without much ceremony I tore down the dotted line, dug around inside thinking, "Is it ...? Could it be ...? How will it look? Will it be too thin? Would the font be too big? Will there be any major errors?"

And I brought out this.

Not only that but there were two more inside just like it.

There have been quite a few revisions since first ordering these late in the evening of Wed 6th Dec 2017, so I wasn't sure how many improvements (ebook or paperback) behind this version was, so my heart was rattling along at quite a rate as I flicked through the 100 pages. Yes, a spelling mistake here, an old version of the story there, and the 'About the author' page wasn't there yet, but ... yes ... rather nice first edition.

The only piece of fiction I ever had published in book form was a short story in Paperclips - a little heard of collection of stories from writers in Strathclyde, 1993 when I was 18. (Showing my age there). 

The only trouble was, my story, "A Talk With Death" was a story in a story. So the full title should really have been "A Talk With Death by Mark R Cain" By Chris Young. Unfortunately, my lack of experience in publishing at the time did not make me realise that I should probably double check with the publishers that this would be made clear in the book. I thought it was. But when it arrived, I realised it wasn't. So my name appears nowhere in the publication.

Contents page

Main page

So to have this little gem in my hands (even though it's self published) some 24 years later, is sweet indeed.

Very happy with it. 

For all intents and purposes it looks like a real book. It doesn't seem small, it's professionally bound with a glossy paperback cover, it's got page numbers, bar codes, a copyright page, the title and my name on the spine, a picture of a dead mouse on the front cover. It even smells like a new book. Took eight days to arrive - ordering, printing, delivery.

Oh yeah, and it's got a great wee story inside that a lot of nice people contributed towards.

What more could you ask?

You can order a paperback copy of The Old Mice Killer here or an ebook copy here.
Amazingly one used paperback copy of Paperclips Writers from Strathclyde is for sale here!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Oh No Not Another Blog

I've read in many places recently that if you want to be a writer it's a good idea to keep a blog, so here's mine.

The last time I kept a blog was when I lived in Japan, and I have good and bad memories of doing that. Good: Yes, it was nice to connect with people all over the world. Bad: What on earth was I talking about?

Stay tuned to find out.

I've called this blog Chris Young (Author) but I think author is too grandiose a word for what I do. An author is someone who sits around the house in a dressing gown with bits of screwed up paper scattered around a threadbare rug. In front of the bay window on a desk sits an old Underwood typewriter and occasionally the author (who is need of a shave and a haircut) will sit down on the desk chair, crack his knuckles and type literature in short controlled bursts. In between bursts he will stand up, pace around, run his fingers through his unkempt hair, put the kettle on and make a cup of black coffee. He will listen to vinyl. He will flick distractedly through a newspaper. He will stand on the doorstep and talk to the neighbour's cat. He will unplug the telephone. Inspiration will take him and talk through him. He will eat a dictionary for breakfast and a thesaurus for lunch. For dinner he will spit words like bullets upon the virgin page.

Lastly, he'll have published something.

My most recent creation is a 100 page novella called 'The Old Mice Killer.' Technically Old Mice should be in italics, because nowhere in the story do mice actually appear, let alone old ones who get murdered. So in that respect, if those two words are not in italics, the title is misleading. Apart from that, it's dead on. There's a killer.

Old Mice refers to the aftershave he wears.

Which seemed like a really good idea at the time.

Yes, it's only a hundred pages, but rather than pad it out and dilute the awesomeness, I thought to heck with it I'll just give it a whirl as it stands. Make it more of a double espresso than a cafe latte. It's a real page turner, that's for sure. Mostly because each page only has about 165 words on it. Difficult to put down? Yup, because it's so light - just 130g. About the weight of an old mouse, dripping wet.

Here's the blurb:

"Jake Jones, a somewhat dogged detective, after taking on the missing person case of a rather catty client, suddenly finds himself on the trail of an ex serial killer. The question is, can he kill two birds with one stone - avenge his mother and solve the case - in one genius move?"

It's not been made into an ebook yet, but you can order the paperback version of The Old Mice Killer here

Paper. The way books were meant to be written.

Or as an ebook here.

Cheaper, faster, and better for the environment.

Either way - enjoy the story :)