Idle Hands

...are the Devil's playthings. A collaborative writing partnership. Let's see where it takes us.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Fantasy and Science Fiction Super Sale - multi author promotion

We're taking part in a multi-author promotion.
THIS SALE BEGINS ON FEBRUARY 17, 2016

All books below are priced at $0.99 or FREE. Enjoy!
Note that the links are for the US store.

Disclaimer: I haven't read most of the books on this list. Authors assigned their own movie ratings.


ADULT PORTION


From $7.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
 Genre: Urban Fantasy

Nicole has been chosen to lead an anti-magic organization in a revolution which will destroy all Aretes, including herself. But if she doesn't do it, a curse placed long ago will lead to everyone's destruction.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Urban Fantasy

The Goddess blesses Her people with 25 Telepathic Gifts. In addition to Telepathy, the Gifts include command over Air and Fire, Telekinesis and Teleportation. She never bestows more than 15 Gifts on a single person.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Paranormal Romance

When an ancient mystery leads archaeologist Alexandra Larson to a millennia-old war between god-like beings, she must choose between the father she's never met and the man she's fated to love.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction Romance

Yanked from her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie discovers she’s the Bridge, meant to herald the evolution of humanity––or possibly its extinction. A psychic romance set in a gritty, alternate version of Earth.
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Homebuyers Kim and Julian get more than they bargained for in the secluded Beacon Estate. Its previous owners have been declared dead, missing. Something, however, still lingers in the house. Something unnatural.

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Meet the couple that started it all, Edward and Connie. Two bear shifters that found each other in 1955 and started the Rochon family legacy. Sweet, spicy, sexy, and shifty.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Urban Dark Fantasy

Helena is ready to die. She gets more than she bargained for in the form of a vampire. An angel finds Helena alive and the vampire dead. Not mortal, not vampire … what is she?
From $4.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: G
Genre: Space Opera

Everyone has a place where they always find serenity, a place that acts as their bond to peace. Aliea Academy was Space Cadet Q's bond to peace.
And now it was going to be destroyed.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: G
Genre: Science Fiction

The galaxy is in crisis, and Carrie Hatchett is the last person on Earth who should be fixing it.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Ghosts

A woman mourns her murdered husband. A serial killer stalks his latest prey. Something unannounced moves amid the shadows, with an agenda very much its own. All are participants in the Damnation Game.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Mystery, medical school, marriage - and murder! And if all that wasn't enough, Sara's also visiting other people's dreams. Can Sara catch a killer, survive medical school and keep her marriage in one piece?

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal/Gothic Romance

He's haunted by his troubled past; she's desperate for a fresh start. When their worlds collide, everything will change.
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Jaxius and his companion, Tolian, must save a northern barbarian, Bergar, from death when Bergar’s soul is forced into Tolian’s body. Jaxius must call on a power from his past life to save his friends.
From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle  * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Magical Realism

Henry and Chandra feel stuck in life until new relationships help them see the world differently, blurring the lines between the possible and impossible. This is a story about new love, hope, and possibilities.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes 
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy

Nonomine offers Maddy and her husband the one thing they’ve always wanted, but when things with the drug go horribly wrong, the price it exacts could be more than either has ever dreamed.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction Mashup

A lush and fantastical tale of a prince who was created to save a planet but was tossed aside like yesterday's news.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Never in a million years would I ever fall for the son of an alien drug lord. Or so I thought until I moved two doors down from Jett.

From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy

A young shapeshifter must prove himself by passing a test in the wastelands. But before he can return home, he'll uncover the secrets behind what really happened 300 years ago to bring about the apocalypse.
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Evil is stalking a beautiful woman in Hawaii.  He is powerful, charming, and deadly.  She fled him once after a brutal attack.  Can she escape his powerful spells once more?
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle Kobo
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction

Thrust into a world of elemental magic, Mieshka quickly realizes that the capital's mage-powered shield is at risk—and she's about to find out if she has what it takes to save everyone.

From $5.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes Movie Rating: NC17
Genre: Fantasy Romance

When Lillian finds herself facing off against vampires and other mythological impossibilities, help comes from an unlikely source—the stone gargoyle who has been sleeping in her garden for the last twelve years.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

A failed hero in exile is given a second chance when he encounters a wounded mourning cloak--a woman turned demon--who needs his help.

From $9.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

13 full-length paranormal and urban fantasy novels featuring witches, vampires, werewolves, mermaids, psychics, Loki, time travel and more!
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

There is a story for every wave that washes upon the shoreline. Here are seven of them - stories of mermaids and ghosts and sea monsters and the sweetest apocalyptic love story I ever wrote.
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy

A celebrity-stalking photographer is forcefully employed by a woman who would KILL to find her reclusive movie star crush. That's no surprise—she's a vampire.

From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal Romance

She’s neurotic, insecure and doesn’t believe in spirits. At least not until moving into a Hollywood bungalow that’s ‘inhabited’ by one. Can she survive his dangerous charms long enough to give up the ghost?
From $9.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Paranormal

Twelve novels with modern humans facing off against heroes, Norse and Greek gods, djinn, and monsters of old … over one million words of divinely (and diabolically) inspired fantasy, adventure, and romance.

From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Comic Fantasy

Curious about the day Saint Christopher found out he'd been declared non-existent by the pope? What exactly is a cat in Hell's chance? Answers to these and other questions are in this short story collection.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Falen longs to be a scientist. There are only two problems: she's a woman and a princess. When a strange priest arrives promising everything she desires, Falen learns she should be careful with her wishes.
From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Dex wants to be a knight...
Dominic wants to prove himself...
Reynard wants to win the fair maiden's heart...
But nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

From $5.97 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction/Zombies

Conspiracy theory meets zombie fiction. Journalist Hunter Morgan uncovers a sinister web that connects biological experiments at an Ebola treatment center with a pharmaceutical company, U.S. government officials, the CDC and the World Health Organization.
From $5.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes Movie Rating: PG13
 Genre: Epic Fantasy

All Johanna wanted was to run her father's business. All she got was a mad prince.


From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Science Fiction Romance

She's fierce, intelligent, subtle as a brick and he's only human. Can they find love and save the universe?
Fun science fiction romance contains: aliens, blasters, culture clash, comedy, inter-species romance and a eunuch!
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Mythology

The world is thrown into turmoil as the ancient gods of myth and legend return to wreck havoc on humanity. Only a select few stand in the way of utter chaos and devastation.
From $3.69 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Mythology Folklore

Go back to the fells and forests of the distant north with these new translations of medieval Nordic ballads. There are tales of tragedy and glory, vikings and Norse gods ... and troll fighting.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Epic Fantasy

Sucked into a portal to another world, Allison awakens with powers she can’t control and learns she’s fated to fulfill an ancient prophecy where one decision will determine which of two warring kingdoms will fall.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

He's a powerful Genie, trapped in a magic lamp. She's an ugly old witch. They'll fight the dark forces... together.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction/Time Travel and Space Opera

What happens when Evaran, a space and time traveling being visting Earth, decides to interfere in the alien abduction of four humans?

From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Sword and Sorcery

In the first Mages of Martir book, Darek Takren must stop a dangerous plot that will spell the end not only for his home, but for the gods and the world as well.
From $4.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction

Time traveling was not on today’s agenda. Racing to intercept her thieving soon-to-be-ex, Evy Rivera is thrown back to ancient Spain with no rules, no guidance, and brand new, badass lightning bullwhips.
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: PG13
Genre: Fantasy

Sam Sharp is trapped in another world. He must learn to harness the world’s unique vibratory energy to defeat the villain called the Gray Man or he can never go home.

From $5.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction Romance

When New York City is destroyed by a nuclear bomb, step-brothers Franklin and Everon are determined to find and save their sister Cynthia, her husband and infant child. An exciting tale of love and sibling-hood.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Weird Western Fantasy

Ranger of Mayat is the first episode of PISTOLS AND PYRAMIDS, an ongoing weird western series best described as an ancient Egyptian spaghetti western with magic. And mummies. Lots of mummies.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunes
Movie Rating: R
Genre: Science Fiction

When scientist Chris Morgan finds his name on a hit list, he suspects it has something to do with Baltimore's latest crime epidemic: illegal genetic enhancements.


Enjoy the books! And come check out Andrea's giveaway here.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

D'youKnoWriMo - part 3


21st June
Started plotting a synopsis for Clovenhoof book 4 chapter 10 (was going to be chapter 9 but then we split chapter 8). The chapter involves a nasty demon being hoisted by his own petard. Turned to the Bible and the Book of Esther to see if there’s inspiration to be had from that story. Read Esther and then some DC Lucifer comics and a Neil Gaiman novel and did no more plotting for the rest of the day.

 
22nd June
Made editing and proof-reading changes to the steampunk chapbook, The Well of Shambala, and sent over to Heide for conversion into an Amazon .mobi file. Heide returned a functioning .mobi soon after.
Fiddled with the planning documents for steampunk chapbooks 5 and 6.

23rd June

Started editing Clovenhoof book 3 chapter 9.
The Well of Shambala submitted for publication on Amazon. Confirmation returned within a few hours. It’s a steampunk adventure of late Victorian derring-do, featuring yeti, orbital space cannons, dead gods and steam-powered huskies. You can buy it here.

24th June
A third of the way through the edits of Clovenhoof book 3 chapter 9. Some absolutely delightful silliness involving an army of dogs invading Marseille plus Joan of Arc getting déjà vu as she goes “on trial” in a mental hospital.
Received notification of the edits made to my contribution to the Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 3. A little chit-chat with the editor over 1940’s hardboiled detective slang but I was very happy all round.

25th June
Went to Writers’ Network Wednesday at the Railway pub in Birmingham. Talked about bold new publishing models with PowWow’s Andy Killeen and the BBC’s drive for on-line content with Birmingham Writers’ Group friends.

26th June
Rejigged our plans for editing Circ, the Ten To One novel. I’ve got my grubby mitts on it for the first half of July. Heide will have it for the second half.
Started the synopsis for Clovenhoof book 4 chapter 9 for Heide to start writing next week.

27th June
Finished the Clovenhoof book 4 chapter 9 synopsis.
Read a William Gallagher blog that mentioned a word new to me, humblebrag. Looked up the definition. Might have to rethink all my public posts and statements in the light of such knowledge.

28th June
Continued editing Clovenhoof book 3 chapter 9. Fire engines, dog armies and the end of the world.
My Createspace proof copy of Clovenhoof arrived! Discovered that all the pictures visible in the Word doc, the PDF and on Createspace’s on-line preview are missing from the physical book. Furious at their failure and the fact that it’s cost me money. I feel maybe a fraction of the rage that traditional publishers feel towards Amazon.

29th June
Finished editing Clovenhoof book 3 chapter 9. That’s my chapter-level editing finished on that novel. I’ve got chapter 10 to write in July and then it’s in the hands of beta-readers, proof-readers, etc.

30th June
Did nothing. Yep, nothing. The author changes for Circ come in at midnight tonight and the editing process will begin tomorrow. But today… nothing.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

D’youKnoWriMo - part two


11th June

Read a couple of chapters of William Gallagher’s engaging The Blank Screen, a book about productivity for creative writers. Turns out he has kept a public log of his writing efforts on his website for some months.
Did no other writing work today. So much for my own productivity.

 

12th June

Up to 1200 words on chapter 8 of Clovenhoof book 4.  Got fully underway now and the beginnings of chapters are always the hardest.

 

13th June

Up to 3400 words on chapter 8 of Clovenhoof book 4 although, according to my writing plan, at that point in the story I should have only written 2706 words. Yes, my writing plans are that detailed. This 6000 word chapter is already going to be much longer than planned.

 

14th June

Tried to find some interest and support for the one day steampunk event in September. No replies as yet. Not worried.
Received a shocking National Insurance bill from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. But, after some conversations I discovered that I earn so little from writing that the accountant can just make it go away. Hurrah for being poor!

 

15th June

Added my tuppence-worth to some application forms to run events in Birmingham this autumn. As always, Heide has done nearly all the work.
Continued to rejig the blurb for Circ, the Ten To One novel. Happier but not happy.

 

16th June

Up to 4300 words of chapter 8 of Clovenhoof book 4.
Also, frantically writing my entry for the Birmingham Writers Group summer short story competition: word limit of 3,000 words on a theme of “The City After Dark.”

 

17th June

Finished my entry for the short story competition and sent it off. A retread of some favourite themes and chock-full of lazy storytelling and Iain’s writing shticks. It’s a pastiche of my own work but, hey, it’s the taking part that counts.
At least five writers I know have waved their social media hands at me to indicate an interest in the one day steampunker. Heide has submitted the relevant forms to Library of Birmingham.

 

18th June

Concluded that chapter 8 of Clovenhoof book 4 would need to become chapters 8 and 9, not purely because I am going over my self-set word limit, but because it will work best as two separate chapters. Heide and I have set ourselves certain rules about comedy and I can’t do this part of the story in one chapter without breaking one of the rules.
Chapter 8 finished at 5,320 words. On with chapter 9.

 

19th June

Finished tinkering with the blurb for the Circ launch event and forwarded on the Library of Birmingham. The event, taking place on 28th November and part of their Voices season, should be appearing in their literature soon.
Accountant has posted me some forms that will make the nasty National Insurance bill go away. That’s nice.
7,427 words into chapters 8 and 9 for Clovenhoof book 4.

 

20th June

Finished chapters 8 and 9 for Clovenhoof book 4, just twelve hours ahead of Heide’s completion of chapter 9 of Clovenhoof book 3. My two chapters weighed in at 8,766 words, Heide’s at 8,179.
Poked my proof-reader (AKA wife AKA Amanda) into finishing the proofs for my third steampunk chapbook, The Well of Shambala. With the artwork already sorted and Heide having e-book preparation down to a fine art, it could be available to buy by the end of the month.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

D’youKnoWriMo - part one

(D'youKnoWriMo - Do you know what I’ve been writing this month )

Why is this blog here?

Is it just a poor pun on the current JuNoWriMo?

Well, not just that.  I was thinking about how I spend my time as a writer. What do I do each day? How to I divide up my week? Am I writing all the time? If I am to consider myself a writer, what do I actually spend my time doing?

Here’s the first ten days of June:

1st June

Edited chapter 7 of Clovenhoof Book 4, in which seawater is pumped into Hell to cool it down.  Brief attempts to research how “natural” underground steam can change local climates became a time-wasting exercise.

2nd June

Createspace previously rejected the cover for our book, Clovenhoof, because the “active elements” were too close to the edge of the book. Fiddled with the artwork and resubmitted the images. Createspace rejected it an hour later because the “active elements” were now going to overlap the ISBN code bar. Grrr.

3rd June

Fiddled with cover artwork for Clovenhoof Createspace book and submitted it again.

In the evening, did an author event, Off the Page, at the Library of Birmingham with my co-writer Heide Goody. Audience of seven seemed very tolerant of our prattling and asked some good questions. Heide told me off for scowling at her again (it’s not deliberate, honest).

Heide gets expressive at Off The Page
 
Evening e-mail from Createspace told me that my files are now, finally, acceptable. Clovenhoof can now be bought as a Creatspace paperback.

4th June

Ran a workshop on character development for the Birmingham Writers’ Group, with particular focus on stock characters, archetypes and characters as functions of a plot. This was a test run for one of a series of professional workshops Pigeon Park Press should be running later in the year. Didn’t have much opportunity to stay for feedback from participants as Heide and I later had an emergency meeting to discuss the final two chapters of Clovenhoof Book 4. Much discussion had about a demonic character, Rutspud, having his arm replaced with a dead seabird. The issue over how and why Rutspud should have a dead bird for an arm did not revolve around what was sensible or realistic but around what was actually funny. A suitable scenario was devised.

Ordered a proof copy of Clovenhoof from Createspace. Estimated delivery date, 21st July!

5th June

Edited Chapter 8 of Clovenhoof Book 3, in which Joan of Arc, sent from Heaven to earth in the modern day, goes to a seedy Marseille bar to recruit mercenaries to help storm a French naval base. Once again, made invaluable use of Google Maps and Streetview to plot a fictional route between places I will never visit.

6th June

Began plotting chapter 9 of Clovenhoof Book 3  for Heide to write next week. In this chapter, the earthbound saint, Joan of Arc, is carted off to a Marseille mental hospital from which her inept friends must rescue her. Spent afternoon researching the inter-related subjects of Joan of Arc’s trial, the arsenal at Toulon and the script for Terminator 2.

Received confirmation from the Library of Birmingham that our ten-way collaborative novel, Circ, will have its launch event in the Studio Theatre on Friday 28th November. That’s five and half months away and the book’s still in the editing stages. Those five and half months are just going to fly by.

7th June

Ran a workshop on collaborative writing at the Library of Birmingham. There were only two attendees (which was two more than I was expecting) but we had a great couple of hours, discussing character and devising a potential novel between the four of us.

While there, Heide pitched an all-day steampunk event to the library to coincide with the Science Festival taking place in Birmingham in early September. They seemed keen on the idea. Now wondering how many steampunk authors and artistes we actually know.

8th June

Received some preliminary interior artwork from Giuseppa Barresi for my children’s book, Angel Bob. A little e-mail back-and-forth to discuss the finer points of character design but overall I’m very happy. Being my first foray into self-publishing a children’s book, will need to carefully consider how to market and promote such a book in a busy marketplace.

9th June

Struggled with the horrible task of writing the blurb for the Ten To One novel, Circ. How do you both convey the essence of a novel in a few short sentences and simultaneously intrigue the potential reader?

Also worked on a different blurb for the Circ launch event, to go in the Library of Birmingham’s Voices Season brochure. The cover artwork we’ve got to accompany our promotional piece is astonishing but I’ve got to find the words first.

10th June

Started writing chapter 8 of Clovenhoof book 4, based on a synopsis written by Heide. After having accidentally killed off the last two birds in an endangered species, the monks of Bardsey must fool a group of visiting birdwatchers that the birds are perfectly alive and well. Some silly dialogue led me to recall Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch. Four minutes of youtube fun once again cuts needlessly into my writing time.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

My Writing Process – Blog Tour


Index cards - an essential part of our writing process

Thanks to Jacqui Rowe, who nominated us, we're taking part in the "My Writing Process" blog tour.
You can see Jacqui's blog at http://brummagemscrewdriver.com/2014/04/

The idea is that we answer 4 questions about our writing process:

1) What are we working on?
We are currently writing books 3 and 4 in the comic fantasy world that started with Clovenhoof, where Satan is made redundant from Hell and has to come to terms with living in suburban Birmingham.
The new books are known by the working titles of "Monk Story" and "Joan of Arc". You can see that we need better titles for these.
The monk story is based on the monastery on Bardsey Island, which we visited in the story of "Pigeonwings", our second novel. We loved the characters of the monks so much that we thought they deserved their own novel.
The Joan of Arc story is a road trip across Europe, featuring some of the saints that we have met in our previous stories. Joan is a wonderful character, she's an optimistic bundle of energy who wants to make everything better. She's accompanied by St Francis who goes everywhere with a huge, man-eating wolf, and St Christopher, who was appalled to discover that the pope declared in 1969 that he never actually existed, which brings its own problems.

2) How does our work differ from others of its genre?
We categorise our novels as fantasy, but the humour is really important to us. We find that it's the part most suited to collaborative writing, as it's possible to take something funny and stretch it into lots of different directions between the two of us.

3) Why do we write what we do?
We wanted to write something that we are both comfortable with. When we started to think about what that might look like, we considered the types of story that we'd both written and where there was the greatest overlap.

4) How does our writing process work?
We work together at the highest level when we're about to start a new novel. The "brainstorming ideas" part might involve us throwing ideas into a document over a couple of weeks, it might involve us getting ideas off our friends in the pub, or it might involve us working together over a big sheet of paper. Mostly it involves all of these things.
Next we need to organise these ideas into a plot. This really needs to be done in an extended meet-up session where we use HUGE pieces of paper (wallpaper lining paper is ideal) with lines connecting ideas into plot strands to give us an idea of the order that we need.
Once we know at a high level what our chapters will contain, we work through them in a leapfrogging manner. One of us will write a chapter synopsis for the other. Then we swap, so that we can write the chapter. Then we swap back for editing, to smooth out the style. Working this way, we can turn around two chapters in three weeks.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Collaborative book selling



Our stall. Subtle and understated

Pigeon Park Press had a table at the Birmingham Independent Book Fair on 12th April. 
We wanted to explore some of the ways that we might draw people in to look at our books, so we tried to make our table visually attractive and interesting in as many ways as we could.

We made some colourful bunting with the Pigeon Park Press logo on it. If you're interested in how we made it, there's a Youtube video! We also painted up a couple of chalk boards with our logo, which we were pleased with. We realised during the day that while the logo was nice and visible, it wasn't too obvious what our actual name was, as several people asked. This is something we'll need to fix for next time. 

Another idea that we had was the Birmingham Reader's Map. The low-tech version of this was an ordnance survey map of Birmingham that we spread out on our table and speared with little flags. Each flag represented a story or poem that took place in the location where we placed it. The idea was to show people who live in Birmingham what fictional things take place near to where they live. Lots of people came and helped us to add things to the map during the day, and racked their brains to come up with authors who'd written things set locally. We're working on an online version of the Reader's Map, so that we can share it more easily.

So all of these things drew people to our stall, but what worked best of all? Free cookies. 

Pre-bought discs can help to disguise a complete lack of decorating ability
We made them the day before the fair, but cunningly ordered some little rice paper discs with our logo, so that we didn't have to work very hard to make them look nice. The words "free" and "cookie" seem to work well together to get people's attention. 

Having drawn people to our stall, it turned out that we had a secret weapon. 
James Brogden (right) showing that he and Mike Chinn (left) share a sense of shirt style

Author James Brogden had joined us for the day. His (excellent) books are published by Snow Books, but Snow weren't present at the book fair so he put some out on the Pigeon Park Press stall. James apparently worked in a shop in one of his previous incarnations, so knows a thing or two about selling stuff to people. We watched in awe as he made sure that nobody could glance sideways at our books without being subtly charmed by his patter. It's possible that for future book fairs, various booksellers will be fighting to have James's books on their stalls.