Thirty-nine and feelin’ fine

Day 52. 72 pages, 36,017 words.                         

Well, it’s my birthday again but (aside from fielding the usual smattering of social media shout-outs) I’m not making a big deal of it.



It’s been an amusing and sometimes irritating week in the world of independent publishing. First of all, the Kindle Storyteller contest has gone well and with a couple of days to go I am right there on the first page if you sort by customer ratings (and set your filter to show a grid of entries rather than a list … also a lot of my reviews are just pointers to the .com side which may ultimately cost me some legitimacy, but I don’t care. I don’t think I’m really in with a shot at this but I like to think once this stupid popularity contest hoop is jumped through, some judges might actually look at quality of storytelling … anyway, not the point).

storyteller (2)

The point is, I’m competing against a book called CUNT: A True Story.

I owe it all to you guys, my friends and readers (who are also my friends) and win or lose, I’m humbled by your efforts and kind words. Besides, there’s no ‘lose’ here, since I have those reviews now and the Amazon mass-mind takes note of that shit.

In slightly more irritating news, the BRKN family’s reviews were removed from Amazon because there was some suggestion they were too close to this shit. Which I really don’t understand.


Your efforts are still greatly appreciated, Mrs. V.

I’m left wondering just how close a connection is permitted, or what exactly broke the guidelines here, or why in Satan’s glorious name reviews are not permitted from biased sources. Yes, I know friends and family are objectively less dependable as commenters, but I’m just as pleased to get a shining review from a total stranger. Is it somehow more legitimate? I don’t know. I’ve never understood and I probably never will.


Meanwhile, my actual mum’s review is still up there.

From the irritating to the surreal, I had another incident with my publishers last night.

I’d ordered a couple of paperback copies of Deadshepherd, one for Gabriel and one for Mrs. Hatboy, and they had shipped on the 2nd of May. Since they usually arrive within days of shipping, even with the cheaper postage, I was curious why it had been two weeks and no box had arrived for me. So I sent CreateSpace a query.

I was promptly informed (they are very nice at this stuff) that the items had shipped (I knew this) and were en route somewhere within the US. They gave me a tracking number which shows the same thing, and marks the destination as Vantaa, FI. Which, assuming “FI” means “Finland” and not “Florida” or something stupid, is fine.

The CreateSpace helper dude also informed me, confusingly, that my order had been shipped to the address of one Ryan Gawley of Kildare, Ireland.

I haven’t heard back yet about this and I have no idea how they would have such an address on my file … but I guess it’s the same sort of glitch that wound up with a copy of Bonshoon wearing a Seraphympire cover. Still, a bit of a fuck-up as even if they haven’t sent my books to Mr. Gawley, they’ve still given me his home address.

No hard feelings though, I’m sure they’ll send me replacements and I hope Ryan enjoys my books if he gets them. In the spirit of the Seraphympire incident which wound up adding a new friend and fellow author to my happy pool of experience, I thought maybe Mr. Gawley was a customer of CreateSpace or for some reason had authorial leanings. I managed to find this.

I’ve dropped him a note to see if he’s the same bloke. If we hit it off, Edpool may finally make a comeback and read a sample of this dystopian thriller!

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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