Comic Relief 2013

It’s Tuesday, it’s near the end of January and the campaign is now well and truly underway.  My employer, Ryman is selling Red Nose pens at an unbelievable rate and once again it’s great to be at the heart of such a great fund-raising event.

My alter-ego, Tam O'Shanter

My alter-ego, Tam O’Shanter

Last year my alter-ego was Doctor Sorders (as seen on the front of my ‘Rhyme Scenes – Volume 1, Humour’).  This year my alias is Tam O’Shanter and as the graphic shows, there is a hint of Scottishness about my outfit.

Further to my pledge to donate the proceeds of all sales of my eBooks to the fund, I have now reduced the prices to $0.99 which means if you’re a Brit, it will cost you less than £1 for any of the books.  To put it simply, if you downloaded my novel and all four of my books of poetry, it will cost you less than £5.  You can sample before you buy!

Link to my eBooks: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/TomBenson

With effect from this week I’ll be at work, dressed as seen here until the end of the fund-raising period – 15th March.  I’ve made some Comic Relief 2013 ‘business cards’ to give to any of our customers who would like to help sponsor me by downloading my books.  My personal efforts started yesterday and I’m pleased to say I’ve had two downloads already – so at least things are going in the right direction. This evening I handed out some of my Comic Relief cards to members of the Inkerman Writers, our local writing group and I’m hoping there will be a response or two from there.

A reminder of the cause we're working for

A reminder of the cause we’re working for

It’s within our power to help alleviate this sort of suffering for so many.  We might talk about being starving but we say it between meals … some of these children don’t understand the concept of ‘meals’, they only know suffering and survival.  The lucky ones …

Many celebrities are raising awareness of the plight of children like this, please help me to raise funds.  I don’t mind if you download a book, or more and don’t even read them – I’m only interested in the fund-raising.

New Opportunities

2013 New - photo edgeHello one and all and welcome to 2013 – our New Year.  As my freshly produced graphic would suggest, I’m setting off into this new year with a positive attitude to what it might bring.  We all have the choice of starting out positive and letting that attitude slip away over time, or we can maintain that same effort throughout the year.

Early last year I decided to cut back on my retail work and increase my writing output.  I managed to write a novel from scratch and publish it as an e-book, which in itself delighted me.  ‘Ten Days’ is that novel, which has now sold into double figures, so although it hasn’t enabled me to retire from my support job completely, it’s nice to know it’s out there.  At present my novel is published with www.smashwords.com – but if there is insufficient sign of movement in sales, I’ll move the book.

Before the old year reached it’s end I managed to do three things that had been ambitions since the Summer months.  First, I discovered that I could work with my portfolio of poetry to produce a set of at least 6 volumes in different genre.  Second, I established a personal website: www.tom-benson.co.uk  in which I display both my writing and artwork.  Third, and importantly for the financial side of things, I invested in a Desktop Publishing (DTP) programme so I could produce my own artwork for book covers.

I can now report that I have published my first three volumes of poetry as e-books on Smashwords.  The main title of the series is ‘Rhyme Scenes’ and I am producing the cover designs myself.  I’m now well on the way with the next in the set.  ‘Rhyme Scenes, Volume Four …’ which is subtitled, ‘Military Matters’ and will contain a collection of fact, fiction, supernatural and observation.  I will of course be writing a blog post to support the e-book when I publish, which I’m scheduled to do in mid-January.

My aim is to follow up immediately by working on the next category, which is: ‘Thrills, Spills and Chills’ – a collection of thriller, adventure, fantasy, fact and anything that doesn’t fit neatly into the other genre.  My final category is ‘series’ poetry which may be issued as a single volume or spread into two – which I haven’t decided about yet.  Among the series are a host of topics but again, I’ll post about them when the book is published.

By the Spring I’m aiming to have all my poetry volumes published and then I can start to work seriously on my next novel.  I had been considering a sequel to ‘Ten Days’, but I have two other options.  The first is to go back to work on ‘Hawk’ which started life as a series of poetry and then was written as a novel in a month for the NaNoWriMo in November 2011.  My other option for a novel is to go back to my first attempt at novel writing.  The working title is ‘A Life Of Choice’ and was in it’s original draft my autobiography.  In light of what I’ve read, written and learned over the last couple of years the story will become a fictional tale of a young man who leaves home and enters a voyage of self-discovery in a military career.  The tale will bring into play his successes, failures and constantly changing mindset.

On the traditional side of life I’ll be completing a final edit of my short story, ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ for inclusion in the next anthology to be released by the Inkerman Writers, our local writing group.

My new three-day working week should afford me the luxury of working on all of these projects and more besides.  I want to improve my website among other things and to increase my potential readership with a more aggresive marketing campaign and a greater web presence.  Any comments here or on my website are greatly appreciated, as are any reviews of my e-books.