Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaWriNoMo 2012


I don't know if it was a good idea, but I've just signed myself up for this year's NaWriNoMo challenge. In a nutshell it is a challenge to write a novel in a month. My writing has stalled a little bit lately and I'm hoping that this might be a chance to give it a kick start.  

There are quite a lot of good reasons not to do this but I'm going to give it a go anyway. Depending on how I get on, I might come back and update this blogpost with my process. It's quite likely I'll be wanting to focus every single word I write on the novel but putting something on here might help motivate me a bit. Wish me luck!


Here is a widget that tells you how far I have got so far. The big fat zero is staring back at me now, but hopefully by the time you are reading this it will have gone up.





2/11/12
I've started, sort of. I've decided not to plan much, I'm just writing as I go along. This might make it a disjointed mess but it also give me the freedom to go wherever the story takes me. Writing chances are pretty limited at the moment though, so will need to plan my time carefully.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Book Giveaway - Get A Free Paperback

Find us on Google+


I am running a competition to give a free copy of my book, Someone Else's Dream. It is open to anyone, wherever you are in the world and all you need is a Goodreads account to enter (which is free). Good luck!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Someone Else's Dream by James R. Winterbottom

Someone Else's Dream

by James R. Winterbottom

Giveaway ends October 17, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, September 17, 2012

Book Review - I Am Secret Footballer by Anonymous

I Am the Secret Footballer is a book based on the columns printed in the sports section of the Guardian most Saturdays. The chapters are divided up along themes, such as money, agents, bad behaviour, etc. They are written from the perspective of an anonymous premier league footballer and are refreshingly honest in their assessment of modern football.

The identity of the secret footballer is unknown, but there is a blog devoted to trying to find this out. There is enough information about the career of the secret footballer to narrow it down to a fairly small pool of players but nothing has ever been publically confirmed. I have have heard a rumour somewhere that the secrect footballer might actually be a few different players who reveal their secrets to a journalist at the Guardian who shapes the stories into one narrative.

The book is made up mainly of the newspaper columns, with some additional material added in around the already published bits. Organising everything around themes works pretty well through most of the books but there are a few sections where the linking between one column and another is a little bit clumsy and makes you realise that you are reading something that was not originally meant to be in book form. This doesn't really spoil the enjoyment of the book too much, but means the book leaps from one topic to another in places.

Premier League footballers are subject to an awful lot of scrutiny from the press but it is rare to hear them speak honestly about their jobs and the lifestyle that comes with it. I really enjoyed the behind the scenes stories that rarely make it into the press. While the secret footballer often argues that footballers are cast in a bad light, he also reveals some pretty appalling behaviour that he has witness or been involved in. While I would not have liked to have been involved in some of the debauchery described, there are some very interesting stories in here which lead to the occasional snort of laughter.

There is a serious side to this book too. The author admits to currently taking medication for depression and describes how the pressure of professional sports can lead to, or at least trigger off, mental health issues. The description of these issues was honest and made me feel genuinely sorry for him. What's the point of earning tens of thousand pounds a week if you feel so bad you can't enjoy it?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the lives of professional sportmen. Some might find it hard to have sympathy for these overpaid millionaires but they will at least enjoy being able to peek into a world that is closed off to the majority of us.

4 stars

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: War of the Worlds by H G Wells

With Curiosity Rover recently landing on Mars it made me want to read this book about people from Mars coming to visit us. Like a lot of older books I started reading this expecting that I would probably find it too old fashioned to properly enjoy. I found that I soon forgot about the time and was absorbed by the story.

The story of aliens coming to land on earth has been covered many times since this book has been written but I can't think of any such story that has the depth of imagination on display in this book. Wells seems to have a knack for telling a huge story from a personal viewpoint that makes you feel like you are there, hiding the hedges while the Martians are stomping about with their heat-ray.

The central character is perhaps a little bit fusty compared to modern action heroes but I found him likeable and authentic. I particularly enjoyed the section of the book where he teams up with a Curate, which goes quickly sour and ends in ... well it ends interestingly anyway.

The descriptions of the Martians and their habits are fascinating but the reaction of the people of England in the wake of the invasion is perhaps a bigger part of the story. While communication methods might have moved on a lot since this book was written I can imagine that reaction from the general population might be very similar. 

This is a short book that doesn't dwell much on character but does provide a fascinating insight into how society might react if we were to be invaded by Martians. The writing is excellent and the pace zips along right until the end.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Someone Else's Dream - Out Now on Kindle

Hello

My first novel is out now. Here is the blurb: 

What do you do when you have just been dumped and have quit your job? Go home and cry to your mum? Or do you go out there and find out what you really want to do with your life?

At 28, Simon is reluctantly forced off the sofa and into the world outside. No longer content (or able) to fester on the sofa drinking beer and playing video games, he sets out in his rattling old car to work out how other people live.

His journey involves sex, booze, edgy art projects, tears and a bit of soul searching. Will this be enough to help him find out what he wants to do, or will he be stuck living out someone else’s dream?


It is 65,000 words long and available now from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk for the kindle. The paperback edition will be available in the next few days. Here are the links:


                                                                                    

Sunday, July 8, 2012

You Decide Games Facebook Page Now Live

Today I have set up a Facebook page for You Decide Games. So now there is another way to keep up to date with all the latest news about new apps, updates and offers. 

Here is the link: http://www.facebook.com/YouDecideGames. Please give it a like if you want to keep up to date with what is going on. 

Expect news about the next update to Zombie Survival very soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Zombie Survival You Decide - Update Coming Soon

Chapter 3 of Zombie Survival is currently being written. 

You are leading a group of survivors in a theme park. Naturally there are problems and zombies a plenty and you have to pick your way through it all. It will be in the same style as the two earlier chapters and will be roughly the same length as them too.

The third chapter will be included in the current app as an update. It will be completely free. 

Follow me on twitter or subscribe to this blog if you want to know when the new chapter comes out. It should be in the next week on Google Play and probably two weeks on Amazon.com (because they have to check apps before they publish them).