Writing the book(s) was the easy bit!

Please complete and return asap

So the confusion started after the publisher, Alpha Wolf, sent me five short(ish) forms to fill in for the first book, Eliezer’s journey. They wanted a ‘back page blurb’, i.e. what you’ll read on the back cover of a paperback, a longer ‘blurb’ for their website, an updated author’s bio and a press-release pro-forma. Yes I know that’s four, I forgot to mention the dedication page. So far so clear. I completed them and sent them off a couple of weeks ago, copied to Emma the Agent. There was a slight air of mystery about this as most if not all the information requested by the publisher I had already submitted to Emma on one of her forms. She sends out two forms, both significantly longer than Alpha Wolf’s but more of that in a moment.

Shortly after this I get the good news that Alpha Wolf want to publish all the manuscripts that I had submitted to Emma. She (Emma) asked me to revise Eliezer’s Return (book two in the trilogy) as soon as I could. No rush but…

Having done that and sent the revised manuscript to Emma, with one eye on the ‘cruising clock’ and departure from Brisbane I sat back and devoted myself to such things as route planning for the trip up the coast and round the corner to Darwin. It’s a bit more complicated than just keeping the land on your left, although that would work. Captain Cook worked on that principle but of course he did come an almighty cropper, coincidentally in the exact are that I find myself at the moment. I commemorated that event by gently running aground in my current anchorage, Airlie Beach. You can read about it on my sailing diary.

En route, courtesy of almost continuous 3G coverage, Emma sent me contracts for the Victorian novel and the first Trembling Tim book. Along with her forms. After trying to fire them off to her piecemeal she said ‘please don’t’. Keep everything together in a zipped file otherwise it’s a nightmare to back up, which I do every day or rather night. I don’t think she gets much sleep, some of her emails have been sent at around two am. Perhaps ‘Mister Emma’ likes an early morning cuppa, or something? Moving swiftly on…

We’ve now established, or at least Emma has finally got it into my thick head, that I should send all forms etc to the publisher via her, that way she can keep tabs on what is and isn’t happening, like publication date for example. She has been very proactive and has hooked-up with a publicist who has agreed to represent her authors. I should say here that this is at no cost to the authors but it has generated a lengthy form, one for each book of course. So far I have three books under contract with one, possibly two, more to come. One of course is Eliezer’s Return and the other is the second Tim book, Tim Turpin. She is certainly earning her percentage with all this and whether or not it works, it clearly demonstrates to me how little I’ve done to promote the self-published books, the Karno series. Speaking of which I’ve not yet completed the fourth book, ‘The Kaieteur Caper’ but I’ve managed to rewrite a couple of chapters which at least is something. Realistically I doubt if it’ll be published for another couple of months because from here on in progress up the coast is going to be fairly relentless. I’m here (Airlie Beach) for a couple of days to catch up with some cruising friends who now live in the area but after that I’ll have to get a bit of a wriggle on.

Syria

I have been following events as far as I am able. You couldn’t write this as a novel because nobody would find it plausible. Last week Hezbollah, which forms part of the Lebanese government, denied any involvement in the Syrian civil war despite having publicly buried several ‘martyrs’, this week the same man, Hassan Nasrallah, promises that Hezbollah will fight until Assad is victorious. This has prompted Lebanese President Michel Suleiman to warn Hezbollah about getting bogged down in Syria. Of course Syria a few years ago occupied part of Lebanon and right now sectarian violence between Alawites (Assad’s power base) and Sunnis has spread into Lebanon itself. Presumably Hezbollah support the Alawites in this, which means that in effect there is now a low-key civil war in Lebanon. You read that here first, I think.

In the meantime, Israel has constructed a physical barrier on the Golan Heights to prevent any incursions by Islamist rebel fighters but has allegedly set-up a field hospital to treat some wounded Syrian rebel fighters, some possibly being to Israeli hospitals if their wounds are sufficiently serious. With Israel determined to prevent a transfer of arms from Assad to Hezbollah and prepared to use airstrikes to do it, it’s only, perhaps, a matter of time before they carry out limited airstrikes in support of some of the Syrian rebels, particularly if Hezbollah happens to be attacking rebel-held territory, as they are at the moment at Qusair a town on the Northern Lebanon-Syria border. Coincidentally Northern Lebanon is where most Lebanese Alawites live.

In the meantime both Iran and Russia continue to support Assad and supply his regime with weapons. Most pundits, including it must be said Israeli pundits who should have known better, have now stopped saying that Assad’s fall is immanent and now say that the civil war could last another two years. I might be the only one saying this but I think Assad can’t lose. Either he will outlast the rebel forces or he will retreat to an Alawite stronghold on the Syrian coast. Whatever happens the Russians will keep their Mediterranean naval base which is their main interest in the whole business and Iran will have been shown to be a stalwart ally. Brace yourselves for a civil war in Lebanon and don’t even think about the problems that Syrian refugees are causing in both Turkey and Jordan. As I said, as the plot of a novel this is right up there with ‘Angels and Demons’ or various tomes on who killed JFK.

Not only will this end in tears but there are gallons still to be shed before it ends.

 

 

 

 

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