Welcome to my blog!

He you will find all my random ramblings on all sorts of subjects ...

Friday, 11 December 2009

Book signing on track....due to lovely neighbours!

Well the first signing is tomorrow and I'm nervous as heck. This state of high anxiety was made worse by the printers taking over two weeks to deliver my latest batch of books. In fact they arrived with less than twenty four hours to go until zero hour! The parcel was taken in by our lovely neighbours who saved me having to chase the damn thing down to the depot! Hooray for them....now it is just up to me to sell sell sell tomorrow.

Friday, 27 November 2009

I have my very first book signing on Dec 12 at
Janette Moss Horsewear
114 Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, Essex,EN9 1JH Tel. 01992 712908
Please feel free to come and join me... you will find lots of gifts...including my book...for the horsey one in your life or just those who like reading about them.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Argggggggh it's frustrating. SKs selling quite well considering hardly anybody knows about it yet. However the high P&P costs that go with POD publishing means that unless I buy in truck loads at a hit, I only break even or actually make a loss when supplying local shops. They want to sell my book in direct competition with those from the big name publishers....but they can get seventy per cent or more discounted from their wholesalers...It leaves me for dead. They can sell a four hundred page paperback for £10.99.....I can't even buy an individual copy of Shadowknight for that with P&P, and I wrote it! This - and the massive promo machinery behind the mainstream novel - is why it's so hard for a self published author to 'break through'. We have to do everything, from mailing out books and designing stationery and cold calling potential retailers of our masterpieces.
Still, what we do have as self published authors is complete creative control...so warts and all, Shadowknight’s all my own....I designed the cover, designed and laid out the contents, wrote the blurb, designed and coded the website....oh yeah, and I wrote the damn book too, but that seems such a little part of the bigger picture now!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Give me time!

I have a real problem with finding time to write at the moment. Those of us authors who can’t afford to go professional and spend all day punishing a keyboard have to fit our writing around work and the rest of our lives! My gainful employment is a right royal pain in the harris at the moment, and the extra time with the horses that coping with winter mud and short days entails means often I’m not meeting my weekly word count targets with Foalsong. Okay so it’s getting written, and I’m already quite happy with the way it’s shaping up…..but please, lord….I need a thirty hour day!

My first batch of novels in bulk...how weird is that? My name written so many times! My little story, nursed from a helpless idea, through its sickly childhood and sulky adolescence is finally a grown up book!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

My new website...where you can buy a copy of Shadowknight is http://www.shadowtales.co.uk

Monday, 19 October 2009

With the proof for Shadowknight in my sweaty palm and its publication so close It’s perhaps time to tell you a little about some of the themes within it and why it was written.

Firstly, and above all else, it is an adventure story. It is aimed at teenagers true, but also those who can still taste how fresh the world was when twenty was the oldest you could imagine being!

It is about a search for a resolution to loss and grief. It explores the themes of friendship, duty and revenge. Most of all it is meant to take the reader to a place inside them where wonder still exists.

It’s about horses, a species I have always seen as the height of evolutionary beauty...compared to them we are ugly, slow, and weak. We are ungrateful, violent, bald apes, who would not have conquered the world in the first place without the horse. This lack of gratitude has helped to make them one of the most abused species on our planet. You are, sadly, never far from an equine being abused or dying in agony.

There are few species that, when you meet their gaze, you truly feel that there is a sentient emotional being staring back at you. Horses are one, at least for me.

I’m truly lucky in having some wonderful friends...and some of the best of them have four legs and allow on their back...tasting for a short while...what it is to fly.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Well, in about eleven days...postal disputes not withstanding...I should have a proof copy of SHADOWKNIGHT in my hot little hand.

This has been an incredibly hard road for me. Rejected by 17 agents, I had to keep up my belief in myself and my book through some hard revisions and soul searching. Admittedly this process is pretty well common to all writers out there...but it cuts hard when you yourself are in the chair! Getting in print is so difficult these days as to be almost impossible.

Enter stage left self publishing...every new writer vows they won’t do it...I did...now here I am four years after first coming up with the ideas for SHADOWKNIGHT and I will be self publishing. There I said it I’m out!
Not, of course, that self publishing is a bed of roses...I have burned fifty gallon drums of midnight oil formatting word files, designing covers and dealing with the vagaries of professional PDF creation (it’s voodoo by the way). The POD (print on demand) publishing houses don’t make it easy for you either, with their websites seeming to have been designed by lobotomised gibbons on stimulants. You want to find the answer to a simple FAQ and you end up ‘menu surfing’ in circles until you disappear up your own event horizon! Half the services they advertise are only available if you live in the USA, or have a degree in bull***t!

Still, that’s the easy bit behind me now...all I have to do is work out my marketing strategy...make sure my ISBN number is carved on some alter somewhere, slog on foot around every little bookshop I can find, try and arrange signings myself...press coverage...

Oh and I have to write my next book as well......AGGGGHHHHHHHHH

Friday, 9 October 2009

Well, after a difficult birth Shadowknight will be published in time for Christmas this year. I will post more details as soon as I know them!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Those who wish to contact me about SHADOWKNIGHT or anythin else can do so
by e mailing me here ash-scott-lockyer@live.co.uk

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Hi again all.....I've taken down the first chapter of SHADOWKNIGHT that I posted as you can find the whole book here now http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=9331
Be sure to leave a comment gentle reader....good or ill it will help young Andrew Bellows and me to world domination!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Elf allergy

Why do I write fantasy? Simple answer, I don’t think I do!
To me, fantasy is all about magic swords, elves, castles and ‘Dark Lords’… and it bores the underwear off me! I want to read about flesh and blood people in our world…or a close version of our world…dealing with the extraordinary. To me it’s far more ‘fantastic’ to confront a dragon in Sainsburys than in the kingdoms in Middle Earth. I love the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, but can’t help wishing that Hogwarts had been surrounded by Muggle villages so that there could have been tension and interplay between the world of magic and our own humdrum one.
I admire other authors who can imagine whole worlds for their characters but I always write mostly to please myself, I think our own little world has room enough for the weird and miraculous and will continue to set my stories here.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


I came up with the basic idea for SHADOWKNIGHT back in 2005: our beautiful Shire mare Mollie who we had rescued and who had become the centre of our lives was gravely ill. Our second rescue horse Murphy 'Duke of Diamonds' had just joined us as a youngster of four and was beset with all sorts of behaviour problems caused by the abuse he had suffered before we got him.
I came back from the yard one day, bruised and battered from trying to deal with Murphy's 'teenage tantrums' and scribbled half a page of A4...trying to straighten out my feelings of love and frustration with the equine species as a whole. I was also going through the pain and uncertainty of a hunt for my real mother at the time - I'm adopted and have never been able to find my birth mother - I suppose I put a great deal of this longing and uncertainty into the character of Andrew.
Anyway the outline languished in a file for three years while I did other stuff...but the story always nagged at the back of my mind...as if Andrew Bellows, Archolus, Silus Bennett, and of course that absolute rotten apple Richard Brightling needed me to give them life.

I've always been a bit of a daydreamer and I replayed Andrew's adventures over and again in my head but it was to be three years before I sat down with a blank word processing screen to set them down. I wrote with fervour (but not much available time) for the first six months until I 'did a silly' and quit smoking...not that that's a bad thing mind...I'm still off the weed and feel much better for it...but it gave me horrendous writers block by my associating ciggies with the writing process!
I got over it in the end but SHADOWKNIGHT had a four month holiday during it's writing! A year after setting out on the journey of writing my first Novel I was done, and felt somehow elated and saddened at the same time.
Almost immediately I started out on SHADOWREAPER (now re-titled FOALSONG), book two in the series because I felt Andrew and Archolus still had so many more adventures to have together. Work has slowed on this at the moment as the whole process of trying to get SHADOWKNIGHT published has somewhat 'taken it out of me'.
I am at the moment on the 'rejection road'...laying in the gutter but looking up at the stars!
For those of you interested in my own adventures with our horses Murphy and Chestnut see my blog here http://ash-horsetales.blogspot.com/

By the way, Maltberry Bower the little village where SHADOWKNIGHT is set is imaginary….but is an amalgamation of two little villages where I grew up on the Isle of Wight, Queens Bower and Alverstone. I overlaid these with Sewardstonebury and Highbeech in Epping Forest near where our horses are stabled. I hope I have created a fairly typical English village of the early 21st century, where the institutions that used to rule village life, the Church and the pub, are under attack and under the peaceful rural exterior unemployment and the collapse of small scale farming has caused bitterness to lurk in dark places. The country has always had its ugly secrets… it’s just that now some of those secrets are all too often extremism and xenophobia.