A Winter Warmer

Front Cover: Tame The StormTAME THE STORM #17 in The Freeman Files Series will be ‘live’ on Amazon on FEBRUARY 15TH.

Gus and the team have another intriguing puzzle to solve. But unfortunately, his superiors want the loose ends from previous cases tied up first, making for a hectic schedule. 

I hope to get underway with ONE TRUE FRIEND #18 in the series in two weeks.

Keep your eyes peeled for it appearing on Amazon before the end of APRIL. 

 If you missed The Phoenix Series promotion in the third week in January, don’t despair.

The BOXSET for BOOKS 1-3 will be FREE on MONDAY MARCH 7TH on Amazon.

That coincides with a Bookbub Featured Deal for The Phoenix Series: Books 4-6 (The Phoenix Series Box Set) ALSO ON THE 7TH.

Featured Deals aren’t like London buses. (If you miss one, another will be along in a minute)

After a ten-month gap, I’ve been fortunate to secure two in eight weeks.

So, if you’re keen to get into the heart of the series in one fell swoop – here’s your chance.

Another glimpse into my writing world to finish with this month: –

Do you focus more on creating strong characters or a strong plot?

For me it’s fifty percent of both. I feel I have created dozens of strong characters, yet many only appear in one book. Several have been ever-present in each series, and their personalities determine how the plot I’ve selected is handled.

I never set out with a rigid script. I chose themes from the headlines to feature in The Phoenix Series, and unsolved murders from the past twenty-five years for Gus and his team. I establish a rough framework, and a time frame, and then I let the characters take me where they want to go.

That’s why some characters I loved creating and writing about have been killed off. On days when I visit a garden centre because the words aren’t flowing as I like, I study the bedding plants crammed into their trays, and remember that to enable others to grow, some plants needed thinning out.

I’ll be back with the latest news in the second week of March.

Take care. Stay safe. Keep reading

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

 

Storming Ahead

Front Cover: Tame The StormTAME THE STORM #17 in The Freeman Files Series is ONE-THIRD complete.

I hope to have it published on Amazon by FEBRUARY 15TH.

If the first four chapters are anything to go by, this one will keep you guessing until the end!

Even I’m excited to discover the killer’s identity.

 

 

If you discovered me via The Freeman Files and haven’t sampled the earlier Phoenix Series yet, there’s a Series Promo on FRIDAY 21ST JANUARY.

Book One – The Olympus Project – will be FREE on Amazon for 24 hours.

Books Two, Three, and Four – Gold, Silver & Bombs – Nothing Is Ever forever – In The Lap Of The Gods – will be discounted to $0.99 in the US for 96 hours.

2022 has got off to a terrific start with a third Featured Deal on BookBub for The Freeman Files: Books 1-3.

A gratifying 14000 downloads on January 7th was followed by a flood of orders for the next FOUR Box Sets in the Series.

Extract from a recent interview: –

– Does writing drain or energize you? When you aren’t writing, what are some things you like to do for fun?

Writing is a discipline. My target is an average of two thousand words a day when I’m writing. If I find a chapter is giving me issues, I stop writing, walk away and find something else to do. I may listen to music, read a thriller, watch sport, or go shopping with my wife. I’ve solved more than a few chapter problems in the local supermarket or garden centre. Family plays a huge part in both our lives, so if we spend time with our children, and grandchildren. I’m soon energized to get back writing again.

I’ll be back with the latest news in the second week of February.

Take care. Stay safe. Keep reading.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

I’ll be back with the latest news in the second week of February.

Take care Stay safe Keep reading

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

Into The Sunlight

Front Cover: Into The Sunlight

 

 

INTO THE SUNLIGHT #16 in The Freeman Files Series is LIVE on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

NEW PRICE – Front Cover: TOPBook #1 in The Phoenix Series ‘The Olympus Project’ now has a Regular price of $0.99 in the US. (Similar reductions apply across the other stores.) A reduction has also been applied to Box Set #1 in The Phoenix Series – now at $3.99 in the US.

 

 

 

 

Something different this month with the festive season almost upon us –

Q. Why does Santa come down the chimney?

A. Because it soot’s him!

When you’ve finished groaning… What image did that conjure up? I’ll bet it’s different for each of us, wherever we are in the world, and however we celebrate the occasion. Memories of our childhood will paint your own unique picture.

People often comment on the light brush I apply for descriptions of people and places in my books. I’ve commented in several blogs and book reviews that I hate over-elaborate descriptive passages which rob me of the opportunity to use my imagination. I prefer to paint my own pictures. 

If you are a Freeman Files reader, take a blank piece of paper over the holiday period and draw a schematic layout of Gus Freeman’s bungalow. I’ve made frequent references to the hallway and five rooms that lay beyond it without weighing you down with details. Hold onto your layout and I’ll provide my answer in the January Newsletter. 

What’s next? Despite Omicron, we hope to spend Christmas Day with our son and his family – an occasion postponed from last year. Early in the New Year, Box Set #1 of The Freeman Files gets another boost via a Book Bub Featured Deal. Writing on #17 ‘Tame The Storm’ the first of four titles scheduled in the Freeman Files Series for 2022 will begin.

I’ll be back with the latest news in the second week of January.

Take care Stay safe Keep reading

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Boxing Clever

Box Set #5 The Freeman FilesThose of you who have been with me from the beginning will know I’ve never failed to meet a deadline. So, what’s gone wrong? No sign of ‘Into The Sunlight’, halfway through November.

I’m not suffering with writer’s block, but I have lacked motivation this past month. My estimation of a few days before I was back writing five hours a day after my eye operation proved optimistic. I finally booked an appointment at the opticians for next week and hope to have my new glasses by the end of November. Until then, everything’s on hold.

In the past, I would have battled on regardless, but the cumulative effect of lockdowns and the surge of interest in my books last year have taken their toll. I’ve worked, non-stop, since August 2019 when I started writing the Freeman Files, and October provided a wake-up call. I felt exhausted.

I was an accountant for most of my working life, and I track important numbers related to my writing exploits. Last year, just 7.5% of my sales came from Box Sets. That figure has risen steadily during 2021, and for the past six weeks moved up to 50%. A comparison of basic units is misleading, but if I had persevered with my customary two-month turnaround for the next title, overall sales in 2021 would show a modest increase on last year.

On the one hand, I take the positive view that you trust me enough to buy three titles and know you won’t be disappointed. It’s not simply because you get three for the price of two!

On the other hand, my series read-through is well below that achieved by better-known writers. A good figure is 8-10%, while mine is closer to 3%.

My marketing strategy relies on getting Free deals with a handful of leading promotion sites. Many of you will have stumbled across my books via that route. I try for as many downloads as possible to attract more new readers. In 2020, this proved exceptionally successful; however, in 2021 the numbers have dropped away significantly. Traditional publishers entered the Kindle domain with titles from authors who had already had illustrious careers with hardback and paperback. It’s tougher for an indie author to get a Featured Deal with BookBub when pitched against a re-release from Frederick Forsyth!

So, where does that leave things? I guess 2022 will be tougher than this year, and if I were a younger man, I’d work harder to at least keep the gains I’ve made over the past two and a half years and try to improve my read-through figures.

But I’m not, and I need to accept that. Better to work on getting ‘Into The Sunlight’ finished by the end of this year and stick to my schedule of four books per year in 2022 and 2023. Once the twenty-fourth and final Freeman Files case is solved it will be time to retire.

My sincere apologies once again for the delay, but I’m convinced an extended rest will prove beneficial.

I’ll be back with an update in the second week of December.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

The Climate Conundrum

The sixteenth book ‘Into The Sunlight’ is a little behind schedule. It didn’t take long to get the A+ content I mentioned last time agreed and posted, but we’ve had people working inside and outside the house which didn’t help the creative juices to flow.

This newsletter is a week earlier than planned because my long-awaited eye operation is imminent. My writing shouldn’t be curtailed for more than three or four days, so there’s still a chance of hitting my deadline of the end of October.

A chance remark a few days ago triggered a memory, and I thought I’d share the story with you:

A frequent topic of conversation these days is climate change. Someone I worked with forty years ago explained why reducing, let alone eliminating, the amount of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere was nigh on impossible.

An engineer who worked at the same tyre company I did, went to the Middle East in the late 70s. His task was to identify possible locations for a new factory. When he visited Dammam in Saudi Arabia, he was taken by a UK trade delegate, in a Land Rover, from the seaport to the Shell oil refinery. The company had improved transport links for the eight-mile journey by building a two-lane highway.

The road was far busier than the engineer had imagined. As well as the occasional tanker, he spotted all manner of luxury foreign cars – Ford Mustang, Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, and Rolls Royce. The delegate explained these belonged to local sheikhs and princes; things had changed since the oil crisis in 1973. That sixteen-mile round trip was the only decent road surface on the Arabian Peninsula at that time, and the Saudis were determined to use it.  The engineer wondered why they bothered with such a short trip, and the delegate told him something perhaps he should have shared with a wider audience.

“We live in the Old World and have been through our Industrial Revolution phase, plus its resultant social and economic changes. Most of the New World has negotiated the same process, although some areas haven’t progressed at the same rate and still must catch up. What do you think the so-called Third World nations will do? Sit back and accept they don’t get a chance to develop in the same way? What we can see on this stretch of black tarmac is just the beginning. China and India have hardly taken their first steps yet. The Africans too, will join those huge nations in wanting new roads and motorways for the cars they aspire to own. Every individual in Asia will dream of owning a television, washing machine and refrigerator like you, too.”

That was 1979. The trade delegate might have been on the money with the priorities of the decade. However, the full impact of the mighty micro was just around the corner, and things have moved faster in the past forty years than at any time in world history.

I’m no politician. I don’t envy them the task of agreeing effective reductions while seventy-five per cent of the world’s population is still waiting to enjoy their time in the sun.

I can’t stand still for long. Here’s another Box Set to keep someone happy until #16 arrives.

I’ll be back with an update in the second week of November.

Take care. Keep reading. Best wishes Ted Tayler