The Most Important Writing Lesson of All

I finally managed to get a galley proof of my book. But the expected euphoria at holding an actual work of art produced by my own self did not appear.

I didn’t like the look of it, the feel of it or the size of it. At 110,000 words I’d expected a doorstop sized whacking big thing, but no. It looked like a thicker version of a half-sized comic. The champagne stayed in the fridge and the party hats remained in their boxes.

And that was just the start of it.

Holding the Book

Holding the Book

But as I’ve learned in life it’s the setbacks that teach you the most. And a very big lesson was just round the corner as I sat down to read my own book in print.

The experience was completely different to the 800+ times I’d read it in A4 size electronic format. It was even different from the version I downloaded from Kindle. It was a revelation.

Every author has probably read their first chapter hundreds of times. Trying to get it right. The one chapter that sets the scene, hooks the reader and foreshadows the tale to come. As I read my first chapter for the first time in print the book took on a different feel. I could almost see the words threading through the page ahead of me, like a narrow pathway leading me into the story. The plot unfolded more slowly, the characters seemed sharper and the hints on what was to come were more subtle.

It was a different book. It was an actual honest to goodness novel, not just electronic words dancing on a screen that one day would become a book. It was real.

I reached for a party hat…..

Then I noticed that some of the typeset wasn’t quite right. The chapter titles weren’t centre-justified. There were grammatical errors even after the two professional edits and the hundreds of searches through the text for missed capitals, commas in the wrong place and quotation marks not closed. The hundreds of hours spent finishing the book for a Kindle upload looked hopelessly inadequate. The book just wasn’t publishable, I’d jumped the gun like so many of my fellow writers. I’d wanted to finish the book so badly I ignored the advice to ‘edit the book to death’ before it went public.

So, on a plane last night I sat with a pen and a highlighter going over the text once more. I edited it backwards so that I wouldn’t get wound into the story and end up being more interested in the hero’s arc that the punctuation.

It’s going to take some time to fix. No-one said it would be easy.

But, to date, it’s the most important writing lesson I’ve learned.

And it’s a lesson that we all probably have to learn at some point.

iNation Promotional Video

Before opening this short video (67 seconds of mayhem)…

Remove all inflammable clothing

Remove glass eyes, false teeth, etc

Hold on to something solid.

iNation Video

Best with earbuds in and the volume cranked up

Thanks for watching!



Let’s get them bad guys

Ever sat and talked over how the world could be changed? Ever thought of how it would be great to hit out at all those people who turned the world into a rubbish heap for unemployed people? The guys who roller-coast the world’s economy to sell high and buy low. The guys who own presidents and appoint dictators? The people who don’t give a shit about anybody else but themselves?

Have you really thought on what it would take to protect the people of the world, to improve their lives and to dry the tears of a billion children?

An old rock n’ roller, a geek and 19 year old girl take them all on, here’s how.

Available at Kindle for $7.

A cheap way to learn how to change the world.

iNation and the billion tears of an author

Thanks to everyone for their assistance – iNation the book is now out there, available on Kindle from Sunday 18th November.


iNation. Nothing is what it seems.

A puzzle wrapped in an enigma.

Can you go through the Looking Glass to piece the jigsaw together? Can you distance yourself to see the mosaic? Can you discover its secrets and understand why it has to dry the tears of a billion children?

The largest Social Network on the planet has combined with the most powerful Internet Search Engine, the largest Software Company, the most prolific Hardware Manufacturer and the world’s biggest Video Games Provider.

They call it iNation.

Into a world battered by global storms, political upheavals and financial meltdowns, iNation drops out of the blue.

Its President appears at the United Nations to declare that iNation is now established as ‘A Nation’ under the UN Montevideo Charter.

With a population of 2.2 billion it’s the largest Nation on Earth.

The President of iNation explains…

iNation is being established for a purpose.

That purpose is to make the lives of everyone on this planet more bearable.

More bearable means more food and more clean water, more shelter and less fear.

More bearable means more information and influence on matters that affect them.

For everyone on this planet.

We have done much but now we have reached the limits of our capability.

We relied on others to help us achieve our aims, and we thank those nations.

But now it is not enough.

Today, iNation declares itself to be a nation under the United Nations Montevideo Charter.

Tomorrow we will move forward to establish ourselves as a country.

As a country we will have the legitimacy to work alone and with others like us.

To make a difference.

To make the lives of everyone on this planet more bearable.

With or without you.’

People laugh and imagine that iNation is a publicity stunt.

When iNation moves on its first agenda item ‘feed everyone on the planet’, the people who own Presidents, appoint Kings and roller-coast the world’s economy to sell high and buy cheap, are unhappy. They provoke America to attack iNation to degrade its digital capability. Within seconds, iNation responds and the Eastern Seaboard of America crashes. The rest of the States of America follow suit.

Power goes off, communications fall silent, weapons systems are disabled and the USA is taken offline.

iNation. Nothing is what it seems.