I am absorbed in the second novel about Angel Mountain at the moment and have just looked up Brian John on Wikipedia. He is in fact a serious scientist and is a leading light in GMFree Cymru. I believe the Angel Mountain saga was his first foray into fiction.
The stories begin at the end of the 18th century and we hear much about the French (and their failed invasion of Fishguard and the surrounding area) and Bonaparte so it's by no means insular and there are some violent and shocking scenes. The setting is Carn Ingli in Pembrokeshire and, having loved Newport (Parrog especially) and Nevern from childhood, it's very enjoyable to read these tales and have at least an idea of what the area looks like.
The first novel, On Angel Mountain, starts with the finding of diaries written in Dimetian Welsh, an archaic dialect. The diaries are the record of the life of Martha Morgan (nee Howell), mistress of Plas Ingli. We learn about the poverty of tenant farmers, the cruelty and machinations of landowners and how life was conducted generally in that time. There are arguments about education for the poor and this is a time when non-Conformists are rising in number.
There are two lawyers mentioned regularly, Lewis Legal and Will Final Testament; these are just two of the delightful names given to people whose surnames are ubiquitous, so you have Davy Death (who makes coffins) and Havard Medical, the Newport doctor.
I recommend the books as a very good read as well as shedding light on that part of Wales (Little England beyond Wales) in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I'm impressed too that Brian John is so successful in writing from a young woman's point of view.
Thanks Gaynor -- yes, I saw that your book was on there. But I suppose that Kindle sales will bring you a bit of income, at any rate? And that doesn't stop you from putting out as many other versions as you like...... it's not the uploading that is the problem, it's the generating of sales -- in a very crowded marketplace. How does Smashwords work with respect to selling and promotion? I'm keen to learn from others here...
If you look at smashwords.com, it's a very user-friendly site and answers all the questions. I'm not making any money from the Kindle version as far as I can see! Sales have been by word of mouth.
Great pun there, Gaynor - 'crystal clear'. Intended, or not?
I would also be interested to hear about your experiences with Smashwords. Gaabriel is formatting a novel for a client at the moment for kindle, but one cant help wondering if there are better formats/platforms and how much of a market leader kindle will prove to be long term. Also interested to discover what kind of royalties authors get from kindle publications.
As for the BBC's feeble excuse re: televising The Angel Mountain Saga....wouldn't it be refreshing if for once someone spoke the truth and just said..."look, we're broke!"
Dont forget to read our interview with Brian John:- http://americymru.blogspot.com/2011/10/interview-with-welsh-writer-...
And our review of 'Guardian Angel':- http://americymru.blogspot.com/2011/10/interview-with-welsh-writer-...
More reviews of other volumes in the series to come. We also actively encourage member contributed reviews.
Thanks Ceri -- on Kindle, you set your own price. Anybody can do it -- some people even give their books away on Kindle, in the hope of great returns on future titles that are charged for......
Yes, it would be nice if the BBC spoke the truth..... not sure they are broke, but certainly costume dramas are expensive -- and I suspect the truth is that they were worried about committing a large sum to something that is not GUARANTEED to be an instant success -- in the way that a new Dickens or Austen serial would be. I think we should probably refer to the organization as risk-averse.....
Eifion Jenkins, who edits The Carmarthen Underground for me, has published on Smashwords. Have a look at smashwords.com and compare. What annoys me is the business of signing up to Amazon Merchant and having to pay out money to them. Eifion's book is called Gwenna's Gift (for young people).
Ah -- I'm lucky in that I already sell a lot of books through Amazon Advantage (which does not mean I make a profit -- I look on it as PR) so I can add as many Kindle titles as I like without any cost.
I put up these two titles just for fun, as a sort of experiment. I'll let you know if I sell any! (Actually I think I might have sold one copy so far!!) Oh happy day!
Just saying that my chief objection to Downton is the anachronistic language. It got to the point where I wouldn't have been surprised to hear the valet say to Lord Thingy "Wassup?" (a bit like Armstrong & Miller's RAF sketches). If I'm honest, the whole thing started to get on my nerves. I don't mind the original Upstairs Downstairs but I'm not really interested in the new one. Besides, it's on at the same time as Homeland which has just started here on Channel 4.
lol.. "Sup? MiLud!" would be kewl
Make that two ! We're getting a copy of 'How Rugby Began' as soon as we can find our beat up old Kindle 1.0. . Meanwhile I should point out that we will shortly be in a position to sell ebooks through our new Directory site. We should be able to offer a better deal than Amazon ( not difficult ) and of course a dedicated promotion package/service. Please watch this space for further details.
I have just put a new post on my blog site about the Kindle experience -- a freebie promo for 5 days, followed by ten weeks back in selling mode. Was the freebie promo worthwhile? Yes, it was -- but I'm still waiting for that exponential sales growth that we all dream about! Info here: