May … I continue with projects


In the next few days I’ll be reading / reviewing which will take me to a new month.

May update - five

As this year got underway I made a list of ten targets, so I thought with one third of the year out of the way I’d revisit my list to check progress. As I hit 2016 the five titles above were at various stages of completion.

1. Publication of A Life of Choice: Part One – job done and, now has reviews.

2. Production of Codename: Koki by Malcolm (Mali) Beadle – a detailed critique / suggested edits which took a couple of weeks. Manuscript is now back with Mali being redrafted.

3. Revision of my present novels – Ten Days in Panama – job done and, now appearing on Amazon categorised under Romance.

4. Publication of A Time for Courage: and other military stories – job done.

5. Produce artwork to accompany Whisper Wood, my submission for the IASD Children’s anthology – job done.


What else is going on?

Since January, apart from my personal workload and, working on Mali’s book, for fellow authors I’ve beta read three short stories and, two novels.

A Life of Choice - Part TwoA Life of Choice: Part Two is in the final stages. I’ve heard from one beta reader and, in the next couple of days I’ll hear from the other, who is one of our IASD authors. I’ve printed the manuscript and, by the coming weekend I’ll be performing a red-pen edit, line by line.

  • No music and, no interruptions.
  • As usual it will be me, the manuscript, the red pen, my perpetual diary, character profiles, cast of characters, a plentiful supply of black coffee and, a notepad for worries, queries and, thoughts.


Did I mention I’ve set up two more pages on Facebook?

I set them up without any grandstanding to see if anybody would come across them and, I’m delighted to report I’ve got a couple of likes by IASD members and it’s much appreciated. I’d noticed several authors had set up pages for individual novels, but I decided to go with my writing categories. I now have:

Tom Benson – Writer

Tom Benson – Short Stories

Tom Benson – Poetry

Tom Benson – Erotica

I look at extra Facebook pages as a passive marketing tool. I may not produce many regular entries on them, but they’ll add to my online presence. I felt I needed to demonstrate diversity by not using a single page with disparate genre spread throughout. Temptation (2)

As ever, I’ve got projects listed in my Work in Progress section. Some of these ideas have been planned for a while, but now I’ve added a new and, for me, exciting project. If you want to know what it is, you’ll have to look for the clue.

One of my latest projects is Temptation: and other stories. It will be another collection of short stories, but with an open theme.


I’ve now decided the Beyond The Law series will end as a trilogy. The original idea was intended as a single story. I like to think of it as my signature style and, I don’t want the stories to become formulaic. The original tale is re-titled as Beyond The Law: Formation, the second is Beyond The Law: Retribution and, the final title will be Beyond The Law: Consequences. A lot of background material has been written and, the story will start taking shape in the summer.

Beyond The Law - pair


Following the successful conversion of Ten Days in Panama to the Romance genre, I am intending to perform a similar conversion with Amsterdam Calling. Once again, there will be little change to the storyline, but I know where it needs to be adjusted.


I’ve now made inroads into my two short stories for IASD anthologies. For the Indies for Charity anthology my story will be Taken for a Ride. My story for the Horror anthology will be Dark Places.


I’ve got a bit of reading, reviewing and, writing to do guys, so if you’ll excuse me … oh, and, thank you for dropping by. It is much appreciated.


U … is for Use, and Update

U[1] is for use, and update. As we head into the final few letters I decided that I’d use more than one word in this post.

What should a writer use?

A writer should use every resource available.

1. Life experiences and opportunities

2. Imagination and overheard conversation

3. Reference books and Internet sites

4. A notebook and / or a journal

5. Information from fellow bloggers

What should a writer update?

1. The bio on blog, website, author’s pages, social networks and inside eBooks (if published)

2. Reference books with time-sensitive material, for example: atlas, Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

3. Resources like: computer software, blogs being followed – active?

4. List of writing tasks still outstanding, including ‘dormant’ stories

5. Information inside published eBooks

As with all my short lists on these A to Z posts, there will be much more to be used or updated, but these are simple memory-joggers. We cannot afford to sit back and relax too often. It’s good to write every day, but it’s better to have your days organised so that you can fit in reading, blogging, social networking and having a life.

The key issue I’d like to highlight in this post is, that we owe it to ourselves as writers not to sit back idle for too long. Some folk have a ‘day job’, while others are ‘retired’ at some level. Personally I work three days a week, so most of my other time is used for writing.

I feel privileged to be in that position, so I embrace it by producing as much writing as I can. I started late in life, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

My two eBook thrillers are selling, and I’m close to completing my first collection of short stories. I have five poetry eBooks on Amazon too. I have the final draft to complete on my next thriller, which I aim to publish in June. I have another novel waiting in the wings for the next draft. My feeling is that I must use my time to write, instead of simply thinking about it.

When I publish the short story collection in a few days, I’ll then have to update all the information in my other eBooks. Why? Inside I have the list of ‘also by this author’, which must be brought up to date for the new readers. As any industrious writer knows; it is constant activity.

Is there anything else we should consider using or updating?

Once again, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow with ‘V’.