C Reg Jones


 

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Blogs: 9
 

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The power of a picture.


By C Reg Jones, 2014-11-24

The Boy from the Bay Blog


A blog post about my home town and how one picture is my cure for homesickness.


Posted in: Colwyn Bay | 0 comments

A new trailer for an old book.


By C Reg Jones, 2014-07-24

So, here's a new trailer for an old book.


The Division of the Damned actually came out in early 2012, so it has somewhat run its course.


However, Thorstruck Press, where I am now, are convinced it still has more to offer.


So they made a new cover and the audiobook is coming out next month, which I'm quite chuffed about actually.


Anyway, here's the new trailer for the book, I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share it.


Diolch.


Reggie


 

Posted in: Books | 0 comments

The only constant is change.


By C Reg Jones, 2014-06-18


D evelopments...  (posted 3rd June 2014)



In my life, events either develop over a period of years to then fizzle into nothing, or they hit me like a striking ninja and completely dominate my direction.

Taylor Steet’s closing left me, well stunned actually. Only days before it happened I’d been planning the release of The Chronicles of Supernatural Warfare with Tim and then BANG, it was all over. I didn’t even have the paperback versions of my books as I’d given them away, and had to quickly buy some off Amazon, which cost me Twenty Eight Dollars(!!!) because “Division” was now out of print.

Whatever, the thing is I naively thought Taylor would simply go on forever, because that’s how I am. I find a groove in life and follow it until something far better turns up or I’m forced to move. Change happens to others, not me.

I wondered what I was going to do? Paul, the co-author of the anthology, had already said he’d release Chronicles on his own if he had to, so at least that was sorted. However, Division and House were now without a publisher and I reckoned I’d have to self-publish, as I really had no time or energy for the whole submit/rejection circus.

In the immediate hours after the news broke I received a couple of offers of help from people who ran their own ebook publishers, which boosted my flagging spirits greatly as it’s always nice to know you’re not alone. I also received an email from a friend whom I happen to rate very highly as a writer and a person, and who also had some good contacts with reputable, money making publishers.

However, it was a Facebook message I was sent a couple of hours after I wrote my last Blog that turned my head. I was invited to have a look at the Thorstruck Press website, and see if I would be interested? I read their, “About” page and liked it automatically. Their philosophy, coupled with the fact that the person who wrote to me is as straight as they come and doesn’t accept any messing about, sold me.

True to their word, they’ve made two new covers, set up an interview and I’m on their website Authors page right now, even though we still don’t have the rights for the books from Taylor. This kind of movement is as inspiring as it’s welcome, and though I loved the peeps at Taylor and was sorry to see it close, I am already very happy at Thorstruck.

So dear reader, that’s how it stands at the moment. As soon as the rights come from Taylor, we’ll be releasing my first two books, and hopefully many more after it.

Take it easy.

Reggie.

My author page at Thorstruck  (posted 4th June 2014)



So, Taylor Street have confirmed to Thorstruck that I am no longer with them, the books in Word document form have been sent off to be worked on and my author page is up.

Have a look if you want:. 


Thorstruck Press.Reggie's page



AND... here are the new covers for Division and House.











 


Exciting times ahead...
Take care.
Reggie.

Interview, review, Division on Amazon...  (Posted 17th June 2014)


About 3am this morning, Thorstruck Press put The Division of the Damned up on Amazon.
Freshly edited with its new cover and blurb, it signalled I was back in business, and really managed to start my day with a bang.

The next piece of news was that my first interview as a Thorstruck author was up and running. Beauty in Ruins did a top job and you can find it here if you're interested:


Beauty in ruins.


And then, to top it all off, I found a five star review for it that read like I'd written War and Peace.


I wasn't truthfully sure what to expect when reading this book, all I knew for definite was that it included vampires, and that's what piqued my interest.

The Division of the damned gave me a surprising journey. It's jam-pack with paranoia, the mysterious and weird, and very well researched from a theological/war point of view. What I didn't expect was to become team SS while reading it. The characters are so real, their sense of humour in the most dire of conditions was refreshing and fabulous to read, and the plot was intricate and utterly convincing. Once you've read it you feel like you've read a secret document of something that happened during the war that was covered up.

The ending gave me a few emotional lumps, and altogether I found this well written and riveting. The action is insane, the constant running from enemy lines, the subterfuge and hidden agendas by the freaks in power, the human struggle portrayed so sincerely from both a civilian and military perspective, and the 'da vinci code' undertones in this made it one awesome smorgasbord. Whatever you like in a novel, this one's got it. Romance, struggle, fear, the paranormal, action, fight scenes, horror, the struggle of personal ethics and faith, war camps, the British, the Germans, the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Romanians, the civilians, the squad caught in the middle of it all, and overall a fight for humanity's spiritual survival (over the actual background of war) made this an all out ten star review, but Amazon only give me 5.

Compelling, riveting, and very stressful. You'll fall for Maria, you'll fall for a scarred german soldier, you'll love Smith, you'll be intrigued by Michael, you'll loathe Lilith and Rasch, and you will LOVE the grumpy old men. FABULOUS read, I loved EVERY PAGE!

( http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1COLVQYUTXYZ5/ )

Now if that isn't a good start to my working relationship with Thorstruck, nothing is.


As you were.

Reggie.

Posted in: Books | 0 comments

The story so far.


By C Reg Jones, 2014-07-08

The story so far...


So, with The Division of the Damned up on Amazon, and the contracts for my other two books signed, I just seem to be marking time until all three are on the market.

I'm really happy with the new covers, even though it was sort of sad to part company with the old ones. All three were made by friends who went that extra mile to do something unique for me, and that's what counts in my eyes. However, it isn't like their efforts were dropped for tardy designs and I'm sure that they, like myself, will come to terms with the change.

Sales have been very slow with Division, however they were waning before. The book has been out since April 2012 and I suppose has run its course, so I'm not really surprised. Perhaps it'll be resurrected to the old 100 downloads a month when my WIP reaches publication? Hope springs eternal, eh?

I made a recording of myself reading the prologue and chapter one of The Division of the Damned the other day. I've been assured by a lot of people that it sounds alright. However, the lingering doubt of, "They're only saying that" is hanging around like an eggy fart in a waiting room.

If you want to hear this lisping Welshman, speaking like he's eating a bag of marbles, follow this link here:  Me reading Division.

With my WIP, (Work In Progress, btw, in case you were wondering?) I've decided to start at the beginning again. The problem is that I stopped and started it so often that I lost the continuity. Characters suddenly changed names halfway through the story, people appeared out of nowhere, it was like reading a book written by someone with the memory span of a wheelbarrow.
So I went to the start and am cleaning it up as I go along, and venting out some cracking ideas while I do it too. It's been a good call as I find myself honing the mindset of the individual characters, something you tend to zone out of after long periods of inactivity. Whatever, this new wind of creativity has been a long time coming, and I'm very much up for it. 

Thorstruck has some big ideas, and the satisfying thing is that they're following up on leads and contacts to make things happen. I'm sworn to secrecy, and I'm absolutely bursting to tell you what's planned for The Division of the Damned, but I can say it's something I had hoped for when I actually wrote the initial draft.
Time will tell if it comes off.


Anyway, that's all I have for you up to now, more if and when anything happens.
As you were.
Reggie :)

Posted in: Books | 0 comments

Interview, review, Division on Amazon...


By C Reg Jones, 2014-07-06

I actually published this on June 17.


However, I had trouble working out how to add a blogpost... DOH!!


Please feel free to have a read about me in the interview, and pass a (nice) comment.


About 3am this morning, Thorstruck Press put The Division of the Damned up on Amazon.
Freshly edited with its new cover and blurb, it signalled I was back in business, and really managed to start my day with a bang.

The next piece of news was that my first interview as a Thorstruck author was up and running. Beauty in Ruins did a top job and you can find it here if you're interested:

Beauty in ruins.

And then, to top it all off, I found a five star review for it that read like I'd written War and Peace.

I wasn't truthfully sure what to expect when reading this book, all I knew for definite was that it included vampires, and that's what piqued my interest.

The Division of the damned gave me a surprising journey. It's jam-pack with paranoia, the mysterious and weird, and very well researched from a theological/war point of view. What I didn't expect was to become team SS while reading it. The characters are so real, their sense of humour in the most dire of conditions was refreshing and fabulous to read, and the plot was intricate and utterly convincing. Once you've read it you feel like you've read a secret document of something that happened during the war that was covered up.

The ending gave me a few emotional lumps, and altogether I found this well written and riveting. The action is insane, the constant running from enemy lines, the subterfuge and hidden agendas by the freaks in power, the human struggle portrayed so sincerely from both a civilian and military perspective, and the 'da vinci code' undertones in this made it one awesome smorgasbord. Whatever you like in a novel, this one's got it. Romance, struggle, fear, the paranormal, action, fight scenes, horror, the struggle of personal ethics and faith, war camps, the British, the Germans, the Russians, the Ukrainians, the Romanians, the civilians, the squad caught in the middle of it all, and overall a fight for humanity's spiritual survival (over the actual background of war) made this an all out ten star review, but Amazon only give me 5.

Compelling, riveting, and very stressful. You'll fall for Maria, you'll fall for a scarred german soldier, you'll love Smith, you'll be intrigued by Michael, you'll loathe Lilith and Rasch, and you will LOVE the grumpy old men. FABULOUS read, I loved EVERY PAGE!
( http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1COLVQYUTXYZ5/ )

Now if that isn't a good start to my working relationship with Thorstruck, nothing is.

As you were.
Reggie.


Posted in: Books | 0 comments

Christmas 2013


By C Reg Jones, 2014-01-06

You won't know the places or names, and nothing of note occurred except that I found myself caught on Nostalgia Avenue. However, this actually happened how it's put down, and when I put it up on the Facebook page for my home town, Old Colwyn, it went down really well. So I thought I'd share it here too.

I spent the evening of Christmas day at my brothers house with the family. We had a great time and, as is more often than not the case, I was the last to leave. It was about 5 am, and with no taxis about I decided to walk to Tanylan.

On a cloud of alcohol-fuelled melancholy I sauntered up through Old Colwyn, passing The Plough, where I bought my first beer in OC, (after a sixth form Christmas panto I visited while on leave from Junior Leaders) to the crossing where my mam used to wait for me as a child after school. I paused at where Radio Rentals once stood, and remembered how we used to visit once a week to pay the rent on our TV. I always dodged inside to the pet shop next door to speak to the nice old man who used to run it, and ogle the fishes. Always friendly, wed buy budgie seed from him, and he regularly gave a playful wink as he tipped an extra scoop into the bag for us. Little things seem to be so much more with a personal touch.

The Red and The Sun came next, places I occasionally visited during my youth but have played a more prominent role in my trips home over the last couple of years. Up from the tight little road leading from Llawr Pentre, I stopped to look at where The Ship once ruled the waves, sad at its demise. Next to it, Oldhams, where we used to spend a couple of pence for chips after Cubs, before carrying on to Banksy's where I once had a paper round.

My round ran from Endsleigh road through to Tanylan, and Ill never forget the shocked elation at the amount of tips I received on my first Christmas.

They must be happy with you then. Allan Banks said when I told him, which made me feel ludicrously proud at the time.

I walked past the park towards the Lyndale, where my in-laws always stay when they visit from Germany, to what was once the Queens Hotel. The old front entrance is now bricked in but the semblance of a main door is clear to see, and with the lights on, I was suddenly whisked back to a Christmas party that either the British Legion or the Vic Club held there when I was eight or nine. The Queens was the first pub I went to with my Tad for a pint. Strained and alien as it was to sit with the man who ruled our house, its an event that still sits in my head as being one of the barriers crossed from boy to man. Now we talk about everything, but then we were two very different people, trying to find common ground and realising it was too hidden to see.

After passing the Vic, one of the places that symbolised my infrequent visits home as a young soldier, I turned in to the hole in the wall and ambled down St. Davids road. The morning was windy, with a light drizzle, yet clear, and I could see the curve of the bay pegged out in lights. As I always do when I return home, I pondered on what Id lost when I left for the army on that consequential day in September 1983.

Someone a lot wiser than I once said that home is where we were happy as children, and thats what Id left behind. My home.

Posted in: default | 4 comments

The slow death of Colwyn Bay pier.


By C Reg Jones, 2013-12-16

As a child growing up in Old Colwyn, the village next to Colwyn Bay, the imaginary borders of my home town were an imposing white hotel perched on the cliff overlooking it, and a pier that stabbed out into the sea. Everything after the pier was Rhos on sea to me then, the next village along the coast, and that reasoning has stuck in my head ever since. To me, these two objects were boundary markers set in stone, never to be moved or demolished, and I couldnt imagine Colwyn Bay without either of them.

The, Hotel 70 Degrees, (or, The 70s as we called it, even when it changed its name to the Colwyn Bay Hotel), was built in 1972 and became a noted piece of the local scenery fairly quickly. Eye catching and smart, it was visible for miles due to its position on top of Penmaen head, the rock overlooking the bay, and its dazzling white walls.

Alas, the only constant in life is change, and buildings are never as safe as we believe them to be. After facing the harsh northern winds of the Irish Sea for over thirty years, the 70s finally fell to an even harsher economic climate, and was killed off by a pen and a planning permission form.

The hotel was replaced by some very pricey blocks of flats that peer down their noses at the sprawl of the council estate I grew up on. To me, now a tourist to my home town, but once as native a Welshman as Owain Glyndr, Penmaen head will never be the same without that iconic palace of a building holding court over those below it.

However, a building built in the early seventies can hardly be called a piece of local heritage. Fetching and swish as it was in its heyday, its fair to say the 70s was only so well known because of its exceptional positioning.

Okay then, what about my other imaginary town limit, a Grade 2 listed building, built in 1900 and as much a part of Colwyn Bays identity as the sea?

The pier has been a part of the Colwyn Bay scenery since the turn of the last century. Having survived fire and the worse Poseiden can throw at it; it too has now fallen to a callous fiscal environment and the apathy, and some may say malice of the county council.

I spent my youth on its salted boards, be it fishing with my tad and brother, playing the machines with my friends, or at the disco on my infrequent visits home as a young soldier. The pier wasnt just one of my imagined boundaries; it was a statement of intent for the whole of the Bay area. The land Colwyn Bay sits on was bought by a group of Manchester businessmen in 1865 with the sole idea of making it into a seaside resort, and every seaside resort of note has a pier.

On the 12th December, 2013, the Conwy County Borough Council voted to tear it down. Citing a lack of funds for the project, a project that has been under their wing since March 2012, theyve opted to demolish it and have done with the problem. No money they said, despite the fact theyve recently spent millions on a white elephant on the seafront, (Porth Eirias stands on Colwyn Bay promenade, and has been nominated for The Carbuncle Cup, an award for the worst modern architecture built in the last 12 months) and paid for sand for a new beach to be pumped in from the sea.

As sad as that may be, for me, the real disgrace is that the piers death has been so horribly protracted and ugly. Riddled with egos and broken promises, the handling of the whole situation reads like a corruption scandal you normally expect to see in an Eastern European country. If the website run by the businessman who bought the pier in 2003 is to be believed, then I despair for my home town and its running.

Mr. Steve Hunt moved into the area with the best intentions in the world, namely to revive the Victoria Pier to be a functioning part of the town. He bought the pier as a private owner and set about refurbishing it. After a hotly disputed wrangle in the courts over unpaid taxes, Mr. Hunt was declared bankrupt in 2008 and the management of the pier was vested in trustees, Royce Peeling Green (RPG). Mr. Hunt maintains that records and money have been hidden so he couldnt use them as evidence, of personal vendettas against him colouring the councils dealings and insanely careless book keeping.

His website routinely labels the Conwy County Borough Council as corrupt and has a list of crimes and misdeeds made by councillors that beggars belief. Obviously, its easy to draw the conclusion that Mr. Hunt is paranoid, maybe a liar and definitely suffering from a case of sour grapes. However, a visit to his website and the page titled, Named and shamed. Council officers exposed, sets his grievances down publicly in black and white, with this declaration at the foot of the page,

Again I challenge any of the above individually, or CCBC as a whole, to sue me for Libel if they wish to allege any of the above FACTS are not TRUE.

Come on CCBC
I dare you
Your continued acquiescence proves your guilt.

To the uninitiated, like myself, its a shocking state of affairs, and one I find hard to reconcile with my image of a benevolent county council seeking whats best for its constituents. I was, at first, ambivalent about Mr. Hunt and his venture. The pier was a part of my childhood and youth, as it has been for countless other people, and for sentimental reasons I wanted it saved. Conversely, at such great cost to the taxpayers when money is so tight, I wondered at the practicalities of such a venture, and the running costs after its refurbishment?

However, after reading through Mr. Hunts website and the list of mismanagement, shamefully bad decisions and law breaking, Ive found myself driven into the save the pier corner by my anger. The challenge at the bottom of the page says everything to me; Mr. Hunt cant be telling lies if he so publicly throws the gauntlet down like that, can he?

Before the pier can be demolished it must be de-listed. The first foray into the battle will be to fight this in the courts. If you are from the North Wales area, or you have an interest in this subject for whatever reason, I urge you to visit Mr. Hunts website and have a read. You will be shocked, I promise you.

http://www.victoriapier.co.uk/

Hopefully therell be a petition soon, because the public voice is only ever heard when we stand together, and Ill be asking you to please put your name to it if you have an interest in the subject.

Saving the pier is not impossible, I read in the Daily Post that a Heritage Lottery Fund application for 4.37m is currently in the second stage, and the council could still claim close to 4m from EU funding and 4m from community grant funds for renovation. However, when the piers gone, its gone, and therell be no going back. So surely its best to try and find the money rather than give up?

Thanks for reading.

Reg.

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Bluenote.


By C Reg Jones, 2013-11-20

Bluenote e.v.

I used to have a very good mate called Dave Kelly.

Dave was English, but being the clever lad he was he opened up an Irish bar and called it, Kellys, which went on to be a winner.

Image Image

Kellys was, for me at that time, just what I needed. A mate with his own pub is something guys like myself appreciate in a big way. Ladies, if you could imagine having a BFF with her own shoe shop, well it was like that with Dave and his pub; though not quite as gossipy and touchy-feely.

Dave was a real mate. Hed phone on a slow day, usually in the week, and innocently ask if I was up for a bit of a drink? I worked shifts then; I still do actually, and consequently my weekends would often fall in the working week. So Daves offer of a little drink, a quiet chat, maybe a jam, (my drums were set up there permanently, as I wasnt in a band at the time), was just the jobby for a guy who regularly worked Saturday nights while the world was partying.

Wed sit at the bar and drink till the cleaning ladies kicked us out, playing along to songs, singing our heads off like I say, a mate with a pub well, its just PERFECT!

Anyway, it was in Kellys that I first met Horst and Norbert Krups. Horst helped Dave out behind the bar occasionally, (actually, we ALL helped Dave behind the bar occasionally, but thats another thing entirely) and was as mad about good music, Guinness and whiskey as Dave was; so obviously they got on like a house on fire.

Dave wanted Kellys to be a music pub, as he loved the Blues and Irish music scene. So he set about finding Blues, Folk and Celtic bands to play live. Its a given that Horst and Norbert helped, and slowly but surely the foundations of what would be Bluenote were set.

The problem was that Kellys, though successful, wasnt taking in the money needed to finance the bands they wanted. Dave had some good names coming in, but good bands demand their tribute, so the Krups brothers had a brainwave. Why not start a club dedicated to promoting and presenting live music? Then the people who join could help finance the acts, work the door, maybe help set up instruments etc etc etc. In return, theyd have the chance to see the great Blues/Folk/Celtic bands they all enjoyed but were proving too costly for Dave to book.

Image

I think its clear to anyone reading this now that the Bluenote guys and gals were, and still are true music lovers. The clubs entire income, after outgoings, went into sorting more bands out to play at the pub, which grew in stature with every gig. It was a symbiosis tailor-made for Dave, with Horst and Norbert sorting the music out, and Kellys providing the venue and beer. Gradually the name Bluenote became synonymous with the pub as bands turned up to play from all over Europe. It was a great time, and I cant count how many drunken nights I had there, singing my head off and quaffing pints of Guinness, (when I wasnt working shift, of course).

Alas, the match made in heaven was cut short. Dave asked the landlord if, as theyd agreed, hed cut the rent to a reasonable price. At the time he was paying an exorbitant amount of money for the pub, but hed been assured that after two years it would be reduced. However, now the landlord decided it was too good a cow not to milk, and he mentioned to Dave he was thinking about upping the lease.

So, after a mild tantrum and a lot of thought, he dropped my drums off, (and gave me his old set), and left for Britain never to return.

Suddenly the good people of Bluenote were set adrift with nowhere to go.

Well, thats not exactly true, as Wolfenbttel is full of great venues, you just have to find them, and Bluenote werent going to let a minor problem like lack of location stop their march. They used the castle in Wolfenbttel for a while, and an old Italian restaurant for a couple of gigs as well, (which had excellent acoustics as theres a lot of wood in the building to soak up the echo). They carried on booking acts, and sold the refreshments themselves, making a lot of friends in the process.

Like a phoenix from the ashes of Kellys, Bluenote rose out of the shadow of the Irish bar it had spent its formative years in, and was suddenly a power in its own right.

After surviving Daves departure so well, the next black mark was just over the horizon to test them. A very influential Blues guitarist, by the name of Chris Jones, passed away in 2005. Chris had made a big impression on the Blues scene in Germany before then. With his easy going nature and excellent musical ability, the man was naturally charismatic, and his time with Bluenote made its mark on the club.

To mark his passing, they decided to honour his name with a music festival. Every year, since 2005, Bluenote have invited artists from all over the globe to perform on their stage and endorse the charity Chris Jones supported when he was alive. The celebration itself has moved from strength to strength, with no sign of stopping, and is now a regular sold out institution on the Wolfenbttel calendar. I can say from personal experience, if ever a party managed to capture those old days in Kellys, its this one, despite the poignant history behind the occasion.

Another annual highlight is the Celtic Christmas. Guinness and whiskey, a liberal splattering of Celtic music and dance, and a whole wad of Christmas cheer go to make this one of THE events of the year in Wolfenbttel. I was able to find the time off work to go to one, and the atmosphere was electric.

Im a Welshman, and have nothing really Irish or Scottish within me, but even I couldnt fail to be moved by the stirring Scottish songs and mournful Irish ballads, especially as the Guinness and whiskey seemed to go down so well

Anyway, thats my condensed version of Bluenotes history. Im happy and proud to say I was there when my friends called the press to Kellys and told the local rag their plans all those years ago, (in November 2001 actually! I went to the pub to pick my jacket up after a hard night and there they were). Im also glad to be able to say that the club is now a major mover in the music scene in and around the Wolfenbttel area.

So heres to you, my friends in Bluenote!

May your success march on, yet your heart stay where it is!

Iechyd da.

Reggie.

http://www.bluenote-wf.de/

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