Cadell Blackstock interviews Crash Cole, star of his new novel ‘Crash Cole in ‘The Rake Spared’ – new to Kindle this week

Cadell Blackstock (CB): Thanks for making the time to sit down with me and talk about the book, Crash.

Crash Cole (Crash): Where’s your publicity assistant?

CB: Who?

Crash: You know, the hot redhead with the legs that go on forever, the fiery demon that guards the gates of heaven—

CB: Does anyone actually fall for that crap?

Crash: Woah, guess who didn’t get laid last night!

CB: Too busy writing about you, unfortunately. You ought to know all about sacrifice (Crash gives him a strange look, but Cadell doesn’t notice) seeing as you’re an actor, slave to your craft…

Crash: (looking around him) Where are we? What is this place? Why’s everything so— so white?

CB: Can we focus, Crash—

Crash: You choose some really weird places to hang out. Seriously mate, this place gives me the creeps. There’s absolutely nothing here. Is this the inside of your brain?

CB: —just for five minutes?

Crash: Make it two and I’m all yours. Well, obviously not literally. Not my type mate, sorry, no offence.

CB: (rolls his eyes) You’re much more trouble in the flesh than on paper.

Crash: That’s your fault, not mine. Shouldn’t have made me such a favourite with the ladies.

CB: Yeah, what is that all about?

Crash: Totals, mate, totals. 1003 in Britain alone. Well, it may have been 1004. Or maybe 1005. Last few days are a bit hazy, mate, if I’m honest.

CB: That’s the population of a small town…

Crash: So? I’ve got a reputation to keep up. Get it?

CB: Tell me you’re not really this crass all the time.

Crash: Of course not. It’s just the way people perceive me to be. Deep down I’m a serious, thoughtful guy.

CB: (looks at him in disbelief)

Crash: I am! (pauses, studying his fingernails) Actually I am, you know that. Last few days things have been different, you know? (lowers his voice) I can feel things are about to change. What have you got in store for me, mate? You about to turn my world upside down?

CB: Maybe.

Crash: Am I gonna like it?

CB: You hate being bored.

Crash: I am bored. You’re right. I’m tired of making the TV show, I’m tired of reading my name in the effing tabloids. Time to do something different, time to move on. Maybe I’ll just jump on my bike and take off somewhere, far away from all this meaningless crap. You know what, you’re no better than the rest of the media. You just create what you want to see, what you think people want to read. You don’t pay enough attention to the details, you just take the photo and tell people what you think  they want to hear. It’s just a myth, I’m just an effing myth. I am the hollow man…

CB: TS Eliot?

Crash: I’m not as stupid as I look. Don’t be fooled by the leather jacket and the bike helmet, and the trail of lacy knickers I leave in my wake.

CB: Crash?

Crash doesn’t answer.

CB: Is everything OK?

Crash: (gets up and wanders around listlessly) Seriously, what is this place? Where have you brought me?

CB: (hesitates) This wasn’t entirely my doing, Crash.

Crash: I haven’t read Eliot for years. You’re a writer, what’s that poem about?

CB: When did you first start reading poetry?

Crash: Years ago, when I was still a motorbike courier, before all this— stuff— before Crash and the girls— well, not before some of the girls, I admit, but most of them. Come on, what is that poem about, the “hollow men” one?

CB: Some people say it’s about death and dying, about the way the souls cross over—

Crash: That’s what this place reminds me of, heaven—

CB: About the way the dead see the living—

Crash: (looking around nervously) Where’s that noise coming from? D’you hear it?

CB: You said you feel like a hollow man, like a myth, a construction of other people’s imaginations.

Crash: Are we about to go into a press conference, mate, or some sort of DVD signing? Is that what I can hear, a crowd, paparazzi, journos drunk on free coffee?

CB: Crash?

Crash: (dragging his attention back to Cadell, he moves to the edge of his seat, rubbing his chest with the palm of his hand) What? Oh, the myth thing. Well, yeah, obviously, I mean, it’s like everyone thinks they own a piece of me, you know, they think they know me, they think they have the right to judge me, just because I’m in the public eye all the time. How would they like it if I popped up in their bedroom and gave them a bit of feedback? (looks around) What is that noise?

CB: (glances at his watch) The five minutes are nearly up. Look, Crash, this is important. Would you rather write it yourself, write your own story in your own words?

Crash: What did you say? I can’t hear you too well— What did you say, mate?

To find out what happened next, buy Crash Cole in ‘The Rake Spared’ by Cadell Blackstock for Kindle from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Equilibrium by Evie Woolmore: Review by the Historical Novel Society

allonymbooks is delighted to announce that Evie Woolmore‘s historical magical realist novel Equilibrium has just been reviewed in the Indie section of the Historical Novel Society:

“Equilibrium” is an evocative tale of two sisters – Epiphany and Martha – who are mediums performing on stage in London in the early 1900s. Lady Adelia Lyward sees the performance and wants Epiphany to give her a private reading in order to learn the truth about her brother’s death – not knowing that the sisters have a previous connection to her household: Martha was a housemaid to the Lyward’s two years previous. She had a child by Adelia’s husband, Lord Rafe Lyward, left the household in disgrace, gave her child away and attempted suicide. She knows there’s more to the Lyward household than meets the eye.

“Equilibrium” starts slowly, but the mystery surrounding Adelia’s brother’s death is skillfully revealed. I would like to have seen the historical elements of the story more strongly developed and expanded – not just the social changes in England during this period but also a clearer picture of the experiences Adelia’s brother had during the Boer War. But the story is rich in complex characters just the same, and the character of Epiphany gives the story a calm and delicate reality as the plot unfolds. I recommend “Equilibrium” to readers who enjoy historical fiction with spiritualist influences.

Equilibrium is available for Kindle from Amazon UK or US

Pricing: less of a luxury, more of a chocolate bar

The most difficult step for allonymbooks in the process of independently publishing our novels has not been the writing, the editing, nor even going up to Kindle-reading strangers on the Tube and telling them about allonymbooks. It has been choosing the price at which to sell the novels.

Pricing of e-books is frequently in the news, from the lawsuit against Apple and leading publishers for colluding over prices, to the consequences of the RandomHouse/Penguin merger. There has been much speculation about what effect these factors might have on the market, and much continued grumbling among the readership about pricing of e-books in relation to their printed counterparts. As Waterstones are going to discover now they have engaged in the Kindle market, the business model is not only different, it has also been blown open by the wealth of independently published material now in circulation.

So here are some questions to consider. And probably precious few answers.

How much is too much?

An e-book is generally expected to cost less than its printed counterpart because it doesn’t require the physical resources of printing, distribution and retail handling, but the index of prices for print-published e-books has been broad and highly erratic. Some of that is caused by the pricing algorithms used by Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as articulately explained by Alex Marshall in a piece for Bloomberg. Some of that is also caused by print publishers themselves, who are clearly extremely uncertain about how much to discount the print price by. They can choose to fix the Amazon e-book price in a way that they cannot control the retailer print price, but it is frequently observed that Kindle versions of print-published books are often surprisingly expensive.

So what figure seems reasonable to pay? Let’s consider Hilary Mantel’s latest Booker Prize winning novel, Bringing Up the Bodies. On Amazon (UK) it is currently priced as follows: Print List Price £20.00; Kindle e-book price £9.99. The print list price is presumably based on the standard retail price of the hardback. £9.99 seems reasonable in relation to that, until you read on and discover that Amazon are selling the hardback for £8.86, and the paperback at a pre-order price of £6.89.  £9.99 for the e-book now looks very expensive, a price Continue reading

Launch of allonymbooks – The right words at the right time….

And so, at long last, the first two novels from allonymbooks have become available on Amazon (UK, US and European sites)! Roll up, roll up for a wonderful read!

We are launching with two magical realist novels by Evie Woolmore  – Equilibrium and Rising Up  – and will follow up soon with the first of a young adult saga by Flora Chase, The Strattons. You can read more about Evie’s novels on the blog page for Evie Woolmore, and you can also hear audio samples from each book by the voiceover artist Kate Daubney, who has kindly recorded them so you can dip immediately into each novel. Continue reading