Monday, 12 October 2015

Exciting News!


The book that people have been saying is:

"A gem of a book - reminiscent of the Tao of Pooh."

"Very inspiring & uplifting."

is FREE when you sign up to my readers' group. 

Just follow this link.

It's now available as a bubbly audio-book.
It's narrated by Carrie Goodwiler.
She did a great job of bringing the characters to life,
and more importantly,
listening to her voice makes you smile.
What greater thing can there be for a book called Happiness & Honey.


People have also been raving about this book, saying:

"I really loved every word of this book."

"What a super book!"

"One of the most moving, uplifting and enlightening books I've read."




(it's also free with various other ebook distributor like NOOK, KOBO and SCRIBD)

It's now available as a dreamy audio-book.
Imagine being in your PJs, sitting next to an open fire 
with a warm drink in your hands, while
your grandma tells you a magical tale.
It's like that.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

We're on the Move

After some thought I've decided that I'm no longer going to keep this blog up and running.
Instead, every post that I would've normally posted on here is going to be posted on my homepage and/or my Facebook author page. I'm only going to be posting things of a spiritual nature that contribute to helping you see who you really are and therefore diminishing fear and anxiety (especially when it comes to death and dying). 
I look forward to seeing you on any of the links below.



Facebook Author Page


My Twitter Page

Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions.
Thanks to the thousands of you for stopping by - your company has been much appreciated.
Happy traveling.
G. Whyte

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Robert Lanza - Life After Death

I've had a fascination with death and dying ever since I was a child. 

I know we don't die, that our fear is unnecessary, that we grieve our way to sickness through our ignorance. 

That is why articles like this make me smile.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Grab some Happiness & Honey for FREE!

The book that has been called "Charming and inspirational" is now FREE on Amazon.

Make sure you stop by and grab yourself a download of Happiness & Honey before the weekend.


Friday, 31 July 2015

The Book that came via Meditation

I'm pleased to announce the ebook release of my children's picture book, My Grandad's Hiding Place.

It's a short story to help parents explain to their child what has happened to a loved who has passed away.

I wrote it in 2012, when I was living in a Buddhist Centre (Vajrapani Buddhist Centre in Huddersfield). It was an old derelict church before they completely transformed it and helped it "reincarnate" into its current state.

Being a tenant there, I had access to the World Peace Café and the main gompa (meditation room). I would often sit there on a night, reading, writing or meditating; it was a very peaceful place to be.

One day, whilst meditating in the gompa, an idea for a book flashed into my mind. My eyes shot open and I for about ten seconds, I sat there reflecting on the idea.

I ran to my room, turned on my laptop and started writing My Grandad's Hiding Place. In less than half an hour, I sat back and looked at it. There it was, my first children's picture book - but without the pictures.

Not long after that, an old friend asked me how my writing was going. I told her about My Gandad's Hiding Place and that I was currently looking for an illustrator for it.

'What about Laura Skilbeck?' she said.

Laura was an old friend from school. When I say 'friend', I mean we hardly spoke two words to each other in nine years of being in the same year at school.

'Didn't you know she's an illustrator?' said my friend, in response to my frown.

I did not know Laura was an illustrator.

Later that day, I contacted her through FB and, after a brief introduction (where I reminded her who I was), I told her about my children's book that was currently crying out to be illustrated.

Thankfully, she was keen from the offset, and when I sent her the book she absolutely loved it and wanted nothing more than to illustrate it.

When she showed me her ideas I couldn't believe how well they complimented the writing. Her style is so childish - it's perfect! She really managed to capture the emotion in the words through her drawings. It's like she can easily tap into her inner-child and express it - a unique ability.

Once the illustrations had been completed, we tried getting it published the traditional way but to no avail. "We like it, but it's just not what we're looking for right now", was the typical reply we received.

So we tried literary agents - but the same thing happened.

I had already published three of my own books on Amazon, so I thought why not try the self-publishing route for My Grandad's Hiding Place?

That's when I discovered Amazon's Kindle Kid's Book Creator, which made the process super easy.

At the moment it's only being released as an ebook - but in time I will release it as a paperback.

I hope you manage to read it and are moved by its message.


Friday, 17 July 2015

The Upsides and Downsides of Being a Self-Published Author

Being a self-published author has its upsides and its downsides.

A major upside is that it gives you a hell of a lot of control.

A major downside is that it gives you a hell of a lot of control.

Having a quick glance of the proof copies of my paperbacks, it was evident that the print was way too small - again.

I thought I had dealt with this issue last time. It's a complete nuisance because I then have to figure out why this is happening, then I have to spend time rectifying it; then I have to wait for more proofs to come through to see if the issue has been dealt with.

Hopefully now - fingers crossed, I've sorted it out once and for all. When the proofs come through the post, we will see.

(It had something to the do with the margins in Word being too big for the size of the book I had selected in Createspace. Because of this, when it went to print, they shrunk the print to fit the size I had selected. Oh, and by the way, Createspace have been super supportive with all the issues I've had whilst trying to get my books to print.)

Whilst sorting that out I noticed a few alterations I wanted to make - and this is one of the upsides to self-publishing: the ability to make changes whenever you want, without getting into trouble with the publisher.

Of course, these changes would've probably been dealt with if I paid for an editor in the first place, but like everybody else I've been cutting costs where I can. I've sent my books to various people (members of my "dream-team") whom I trust, but even they don't see where changes need to occur when it comes to individual style; choice of word; preferred grammatical changes etc. I'm so damn keen to get my work out there that a lot of changes don't come about until months after I've pressed the 'publish' button.

And when I make changes it means that for hours at a time my books go offline.

So apologies if you've not being able to purchase them.

It's my fault...

If you're a self-published author or would like to know a bit more about the pros and cons before you take the leap into the world of self-publishing, check out this video I found the other day:

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Full-time Artist

Having just got back after a month long trip around Europe, I find myself feeling like another chapter in my life is starting.

Like all change, it's daunting, but I have nothing else to do apart from embrace the fear that arises and use it to motivate me.

I think a major reason for feeling the way I do is because I no longer have a stable job. My safety net has been pulled from under my feet. The last time that happened was when I finished college in 2001, but even then I had a part-time job, so I wasn't entirely "netless".

When I think about what I've given up it's not a great deal, to be honest. It was a job I had been wanting to replace for a long time. I had been in it for a decade when I finally left, so change was afoot.

So now I've left the job, what has it been replaced with?

That which I was doing all along: writing.

All I have to do is acquire a new perception of myself as a full-time writer. But that's harder to do than it sounds. It involves rewiring the brain to think and perceive differently.

In the space of five years I've written five books, published three of them, and had several articles printed in magazines. I say this, not to brag, but to highlight the fact that throughout all of this I still didn't see myself as a writer.

My good friend Peter O'Toole quit his job several years ago to become a full-time illustrator. Since then he has worked with The Telegraph, Clarks and Adidas, to name but a few.

On our trip to Europe we stopped by the UK for ten days to see family and friends. Pete was one of those friends, as our six week breakfast meeting was some nine months overdue.

As always we got talking about being artists and he said something that really hit my dilemma on the head, "Once you make a commitment to yourself to become a full-time artist, writer, or whatever, doors start to open up for you. I don't know why, they just do. When I quit my job to become an illustrator I didn't have any work lined up. I had no money coming in at all, but I made up my mind there and then that enough was enough; it was time to dedicate myself to doing what I was passionate about. Do you know what happened? I got two jobs that were way out of my league. I really shouldn't have been offered them, but I took them and reaped the financial rewards on completion. It wasn't just getting the money that felt great, it was the fact that my confidence had been given a boost and I knew that there was a real chance of making it work."

So now it's time.

Enough is enough.

How many more books do I have to write in order to see myself as a writer!?

My Homepage

My mate, Pete

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Author Interview

I was recently interviewed by Library of Erana. 
Have a read on the following link:
And listen to some music whilst you do it : )

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Sorry, I'm a Self-Published Author

One of the main aspects of self-publishing is that you have a large degree of control.

You obviously want what's best for your work. You've spent hours, days, weeks, months or even years slugging away on a single project, trying to get it as close to perfection as possible.

You finally manage to complete your project. You've got a cover sorted (if you couldn't afford a professional one then you've probably used a template, provided by the company you used... no big deal), you've also got yourself a marketing plan, with a list of magazines, newspapers and journals to send press releases to etc etc.

You take a deep breath and click "Submit and Publish".

It's a bold move. The non-creative folk don't realise what it feels like to put so much of yourself "out there". If you explained to them they would probably say, "Then don't do it," which proves to you that they have no idea what it's like to be a creative person, to have ideas that long to be expressed and shared.

So a part of you is "out there" and now has a life of its own. It can be a very anxious time.

You get the FRF... the first review fear.

Are they going to like it? Are they going to get it? 

What you don't expect is: "I've just bought your book and I can't read it because the words are too small. Really, really tiny."

There's that knot in the stomach.

Why has that happened!?

You did everything correct. You reviewed it over and over again. You checked everything. 

So it's back to the drawing board.

What a feeling of disappointment. You want your product to be in great shape. After all, you're providing a service. You want your customers to be satisfied. You're an honest person - you never intended to sell a kettle that didn't boil!

It happens.

It has happened to me more times than I care to remember.

It's important for me to realise that this is a learning curve. It's just a shame that some people buy my books and then are disappointed, and not because of the content, but because of how the content is presented. 

For you people, I'm sorry. I hold my hands up and claim full responsibility.

Just last night I resubmitted all three of my paperbacks for publication - again. All three of them had incredibly small print. Why? First of all I assumed it was the size of the font, so I increased them all to pt14 (even though, whilst I'm doing it, I'm thinking, this isn't right... it's going to be huge). I resubmitted them with the new font size. Then I was told it had nothing to do with the size of the font at all, that pt12 Times New Roman was standard (I knew it!). It was because the PDFs that I uploaded were bigger than the size selected on the site I used (Createspace). 

The people at Createspace have been a huge help. They explained why the issue had arisen in the first place and gave me a link to a website to compress my PDFs. So hopefully, fingers crossed, you'll be able to read my books without a magnifying glass.

Please accept my apology if you've bought any one of my books and found that the content to be minuscule.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Dying in a Dream

I'm not really one for sharing dreams but I feel compelled to share this one with you.

It happened a couple of nights ago.

I was laying on the backseat of my parents' car. I wasn't well at all. I think the car was going really fast, so I'm guessing we were whizzing our way to the hospital.
All of a sudden I floated out of my body and sat up straight. There was no panic whatsoever. In fact, I was really calm, collected and at peace.
I said, 'Dad, I think I've died.'
But even though I had said those words they were silent. Come to think of it, it was exactly like a thought. I was aware that my words were silent to the ear, but I also knew that my dad could hear me.
He turned around instantly and gently nudged my body. When he saw that it was lifeless pandemonium broke out in the car.
My parents were crying and panicking and all the while I was saying to them (silently, as before), 'I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm here.' But I knew it was futile. They couldn't hear me anymore.
And I knew why.
It was their fear.
Their fear was overriding that part of their psyche that only a moment before was alert and sensitive enough to hear my silent words.
** Reflecting on the dream, I can't help but think that this is exactly what happens when we die. And those who are left behind block the channel of contact with fear of their own death and the suffering they cause themselves through grieving severely.


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Free Your Products

There's this restaurant around the corner from me, and on the first day of every month there's always a long queue of people waiting for it to open.
People get there early and even mark their position in the line by placing a rock on the ground, then they go and do whatever and come back when the doors are open. (What's stopping someone from kicking away their rock and replacing it with their own? I honestly don't know... this is Taiwan we're talking about here. People do things differently.)
The first time I saw this line of people (and stones) I asked my girlfriend what was going on.
"Everything is free on the first of every month."
How great is that?
They give away their food for free and their business absolutely thrives. People get a taster of what their food is like and if they like it they won't think twice about coming back for more and actually paying for it.
Consider giving away your product for free. People like free things!
That being said, from tomorrow (22nd) till Thursday (26th) my mini book, The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair is going to be free to download.
Put rocks on the ground, by all means, but you really don't have to.

Twitter: Gavinwhyte45

Friday, 6 March 2015

Free ebook Weekend

Last week I was giving away my ebook, Happiness & Honey. This weekend it's time for Waiting for Wings to be free.

It's a short novella (perfect for a weekend) about how one boy's life gets flipped upside down, when his best friend gets diagnosed with cancer. With the help of his little sister and their strange new neighbour, the boy finally understands that death isn't anything to be afraid of.

Described as being a "Truly inspiring read" and "Absolutely wonderful and endlessly comforting" you don't need to wait any longer for your wings.

Because it's free!

Please follow this link to download it: Free Wings

If you have any questions please get in touch at:,uk

Have a great weekend.



Twitter me
Find me on LinkedIn
Like my Facebook page
Find me on Goodreads

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Thanking J. Krishnamurti

I thought I would share on here my latest review on Goodreads.

It sounds quite a boring thing to share but after reading it I hope you'll see why I did so.

OK, so my original review of this book wasn't a very good one. In fact, I wrote it when I had given up on the book at about 3/4 of the way through it. I had lost patience with his constant putting down of humanity, calling it 'vulgar' time and time again. I felt like he was having a good old moan and I wasn't willing to invest any more time in it. On the night I wrote the review I had a dream of Krishnamurti... honestly, I'm not making this up. He was sat at a desk in what appeared to be a classroom. Every time I try and think of what was said between us, all I remember is this:

Me: So you want me to read books that I don't agree with!?

And a frustrated He: Yes! You HAVE to!!

Not surprisingly I woke up from the dream rather perplexed. After a few minutes of failing to remember more of what was said, I picked up the unfinished book and read it to the end.

I believe that we read what we read because there's something in the book for us; to help us; to guide us; to maybe move us onto the next step or help push forward an idea. This is illustrated beautifully when someone recommends a book to you and it contains the words you needed to hear at that exact moment in your life.

Well, good'old J. Krishnamurti obviously wanted me to finish his book because right at the very end, the very last entry he had made was, for me, exactly that.

Thank you, J. Krishnamurti, for guiding me out of my ignorance.

Praise for my books

"I really loved every word of this book. A hidden gem! Highly recommended!"
"A beautiful work of fiction."
"Charming and inspirational."

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Goodreads Author

I'm happy to announce that I'm now a Goodreads Author.

Check out my profile here when you get a chance:

It feels nice to be part of a community that's solely dedicated to books and authors.

If you're on there please stop by and review my books or/and get in touch.

It'd be nice to hear from you.

As always, thank you for your support.

Your friend and writer,




Monday, 23 February 2015

Facebook Page

I don't know why it has taken me so long to set up, but I've finally got my backside into gear and created a Facebook author page.

Here is the link: Gavin Whyte Author

If ever you're passing, please click on the Like button.

A little Like can go along way.

With gratitude.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Being Birdman

Like a lot of people, I thought the film Birdman was great. Michael Keaton gave a fantastic performance. I thought the script was quirky and the way it was shot was very cleverly done.

What I wasn't expecting from the film was for it to be intertwined with aspects of spirituality... and blatantly so, too. 

Michael Keaton's dressing room mirror had a little note on it saying, 'A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing', which was exactly what I was getting at in my book The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair. In one scene he goes and gives a critic an intense lecture about how much she and people like her suck. He holds up a rose and says something like, "You have no idea what this is, do you!" 

It felt great to see such clear messages in a Hollywood movie.

Towards the end he says along the lines of, 'I don't even exist. I'm not even here,' (sorry I can't remember it word for word) and then goes on to shoot himself.

(I don't think I've given away too much...)

The reason I'm writing about this is that his realisation that he didn't exist should've been an enlightening experiencing. Only an unsteady mind would go on to try and terminate itself after having such an insight.

The truth of the matter is, in order to know who you are, you - that is, the you who you think you are - has to step aside and cease to be. Your whole personality, with all of its past and achievements, becomes transparent the moment you're truly Being. It sounds daunting and to some it will seem terrifying, but it's nothing but liberating.

I'm speaking from experience here. The thing is with me, I keep coming back and playing the role of Gavin Whyte. 

Why, if it's so liberating, do I keep coming back to the little me who I think I am? 

Because it's a habit.

It's the biggest habit I have and I'm forever going back and forth, back and forth, in and out of the game.

But I'm telling you, the moment you see through this habit of thinking that you know who you are, and playing the role that everybody knows and loves; when you become one without an identity, when you see that you are the silent witness, you will know in an instant who the real you is and you will be transformed. 

A glimmer of light will have got in and you will not be able to turn your back on it from then on.

No drastic change in your external life has to happen, although, I bet you will be drawn to reading spiritual books and texts, and begin practicing meditation or other techniques that allow you to go within.

Not knowing who you are sounds scary to the habitual you because it feels like it needs it to survive in the world. But it doesn't. You will at once step back and see through the illusory you and see through all of that with which you once identified with. 

You may laugh. You may cry with joy. You will at once be finally in love.

You will not put a gun to your head because you'll know that suicide is the ultimate waste of time. You will know that you're not your body, so destroying it isn't going to do a thing apart from get you a new ride. You will know this. It will all become clear.

Don't go looking for that which you are... look at what you're not. 

Tick things off the list, one by one.

You will come to the conclusion that anything that you're aware of is not you.

Birdman has the subtitle The Unexpected Virtues of Ignorance. It points to the life we have lived for millenia. It's amazing to see what we have accomplished through not knowing. But our ignorance is still with us, causing us stress, depression, doubt, grief and fear. Only when our ignorance is diminished will we truly begin to see The Unexpected Virtues of Being, and our fear and the rest of our burdens will be lifted.

(Go and see Birdman... it's a treat).

Visit my Amazon's Author Central here

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ebook News

OK, so for the past week I've been working my socks off to try and get the formatting sorted out on my ebooks. Not just that, but I've re-edited (in one case, nearly completely rewritten) my books, knocked down their price and changed the front covers.
I've been uploading versions of the books to Amazon KDP over and over again to try and get the formatting sorted out.
I think (hope) I've got it sussed now.
So, that being said, my books are now available for the Amazon Kindle at 99p each ($1.49).
The books are:
1. Waiting for Wings
2. The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair
3. Happiness & Honey

The last two are fables with no more than 20,000 words combined - but they're aimed to pack a punch.
I'm in the process of getting my website updated, too, so bear with me.
If you download any of my books I hope you enjoy them and you get something meaningful out of them.
Also, could you do me a favour? If you spot any issues (even if it's just the odd typo or it looks poor on your screen) please let me know.
You can contact me at

My books can be bought here.
Thank you.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Writing, Rejection and Romance

Asking a girl out... could anything be more terrifying?

Growing up was a nightmare. While my mates were proudly losing their virginities, I was 'happy' (as I called it then) to remain single.

"I don't have time for a girlfriend," was my excuse for forever being single.

To be fair to myself, I was actually super busy trying to make it in the world of music. I was seriously motivated to make something of myself...

... at age 16.

On nights out as my buddies played tonsil tennis with anything without a penis, I was playing slam and it was making me gag.

Even when a girl approached me, my heart would suddenly start doing the River Dance.

And Flately, my dear, I did give a damn. (A.P).

My hands would sweat until I could no longer hold the beer, which then resulted in a severe case of dry mouth.

Not my best memories of adolescence, to say the least.

But I've gotten over all of that now... thankfully... finally... at age 32... and after all the turmoil I can look back and see what I feared the most.


R-Rated Rejection.

And here's what I figured out: It was the thought [the fear] of being rejected that filled me with dread.

There's nothing like the fear of something happening to prevent the thing you fear from happening, happening!

Rejection happens... especially when you're in the arts, such as writing.

There're people who will not even attempt to write a book, a short story, or a poem, simply because they already have rejection, that is, the fear of rejection, firmly placed at the forefront of their minds. Therefore their creative outlet remains trapped and unexplored, and sadly unexpressed. Voiceless.

(Note: Be aware of those who criticise you for putting yourself out there... are they the ones who don't or refuse to put themselves out there? Pay careful attention to this.)

Has it ever occurred to you that rejection could feel good?

It all boils down to your perception.

I was massively inspired by The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Pressfield says that getting rejection proves that you're in the ring. You're fighting for what you believe in. Therefore, all that matters is that you get back up again for another round. Those who don't get knocked down are those who are out of the ring, because they're scared of breaking a nail.

I made music for nearly a decade. During that time I learnt so much about how to handle rejection. I sent off countless demo CDs, all with the hope of getting signed. Did I hear back from any of the labels? Does the Pope go trick or treating?

(A friend heard one of our tracks being played on the radio. The DJ was a recording artist and it was his label that picked us up.)

Having said all of that, I thought you might like to look at a rejection letter I recently received from a literary agent:

Dear Gavin,

Thank you very much for submitting your material to us. Our agents have now had a chance to look at it and we are sorry to say we don’t feel that we can offer you representation. Because of the high volume of submissions we receive, unfortunately we are not able to give you more detailed feedback than this. However, these things are very subjective and someone else may well feel differently about your work.

Thank you again for letting us take a look at your material, and we wish you the best of luck in finding an agent and publisher.

Best wishes,

If you're a writer then expect something similar, that is, if you've got past the fear of receiving it. But it's not all that bad, really, is it? It's a part of your journey that you're going to have to learn to embrace.

So go on, send off that manuscript, upload that story, send off the script, enter the poem, pick up the paint brush... or even ask you know who out for a drink.

Ding! Ding! Round 2!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Spring Clean

Is it sad that I like doing simple chores, such as the dishes, vacuuming and dusting? I even enjoy putting the wet clothes out to dry.

I'm sure it's not only me that gets instant gratification from these menial tasks.

(Is it?)

Doing such things allows me to practice mindfulness. They are in their very nature simple tasks (if you're physically able and well, that is) so it gives you the chance to focus on the minute movements of your body. You can follow your breath more easily, too. You can see thoughts as they come and go and bring yourself back to the task when you've noticed you've been led astray.

I'm now going through a form of spring cleaning with all aspects of my books.

Expect to see some inconsistencies surrounding prices, front covers, descriptions and sometimes even content.

Unfortunately it's not as simple as washing a few pots and pans, but it needs to be done.

And I know I'll feel instant gratification when I've finished.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Monkey See, Monkey Do

A friend of mine was visiting Taipei this week and asked if I was free for a coffee.

We first met in Okinawa, last November. After a brief discussion, we learnt we were both writers. He was working on a non-fiction piece, and I, fiction.

It's always good to see how other writers work. I would often see him when he got back to the hostel, laptop under his arm, with a look of achievement on his face.

I would ask him how many words he had done and his reply would be anything from 3000 up.

Until very recently, I had always harboured the feeling that the term 'self-published' carried a sense of failure with it. I don't think I was aware of this, mind. It only occurred to me after the aforementioned coffee.

Publishing your own work was the road you went down if you couldn't get the attention of a publisher and/or agent. Therefore your work wasn't good enough to sell. I'm sure I'm not alone with this view. Chances are, the majority of people still hold this view when they see or hear self-published author.

But the difference being is, I am a self-published author and I still held this view.

(Get the start gun and shoot yourself in the foot, Gav, why don't you.)

I remember when I was making music and I refused to download albums, because, well, it was a sin.

It my mind it was disgusting - yes, that's right, disgusting.

Why on earth would you want to download a dirty FILE when you can have a CD and an album sleeve and all that?

I just couldn't/wouldn't adapt.

Now I don't think twice about downloading an album from iTunes.

Look how much I've grown!

(I still don't download music illegally... for one; I don't know how, and two; expressing yourself is hard, whatever your medium is. By paying for the artist's work, I feel like it's giving something back to them; a little bit of gratitude for their dedication to their craft.)

And here's the thing... people still buy CDs! There are some who are adamant that vinyl is still the best sound source available!


And I don't doubt them... get a great needle and all the rest and I bet the sound quality is amazing. My point is, even though it's legal to download music, and the majority of people nowadays are doing just that, CDs and vinyl are still living and breathing amongst us.

With that in mind, let's get back to meeting my friend for a coffee... (whose website is I told him I had just finished my new novel and I was in the process of sending it out to agents. It had already been rejected by one agent... so naturally I had instantly sent it off to another. I won't forget the look he gave me (the exact same look I would've received if I had turned up wearing a tank top that said I Love Taiwan on it), which was then followed up by a deep, 'Why?'

'Why what?' I said.

'Why are you sending it off to an agent?'

'You know, I just thought I'd go down the 'proper road' (I actually said "proper road"), and try and get an agent, and then for them to get me a publisher, and then for my book to be given a chance in the world.'

'But why?' he persisted.


'You don't need a publisher,' he said. 'You can do it yourself.'

He had mentioned this to me the first time we had met. He went on to tell me the title of a book to buy that he was sure would sell the self-published way to me. The book was APE by Kawasaki & Welch.

But I didn't listen. Or I should say: I put the title on the high shelf of my mind, forgot about it, and continued to work on my novel, and then went looking for a publisher and agent once I was happy with it (a creature of stubbornness and habit, I admit).

Baring in mind that I was already a self-published author, I lacked all faith in it. Three of my books were (are) sat there doing nothing - gathering metaphysical dust. What a shame! Not only did I lack faith in The Way of the eBook, but my attitude towards it showed lack of respect and faith in my own, already published books. What a bigger shame!!

Now here's my mate, telling me once again, 'You don't need a publisher, do it yourself.'

This time I listened.

And I feel driven, to say the least.

I've just finished reading a book called Be the Monkey by authors Barry Eisler & Joe Konrath (that actually inspired the book APE that I mentioned above). I highly recommend it if you're thinking of going down the self-published route.

My attitude towards downloading music was the same regarding downloading books. I love paperbacks. One of the very joys of reading a book comes from holding it (or is that just me?). You just don't get that same comfort from an eReader (plus, they don't smell the same as a book. Wait, you mean you've never smelt a page before? No? Well... this is a tad awkward).

But I love my Kindle! Having come to Taiwan, it has been a huge blessing. I now have nearly 200 books on that little bad boy and they all fit in my hand.

I've adapted now. Buying books on the Kindle is so convenient. So quick. So easy. And surprisingly it hasn't taken any of the joys out of reading. To be fair, if I prefer the physical aspects of reading a paperback more than I do the book (the book being the story), then chances are it's not a good book.

Eisler and Konrath point out that eBooks will not kill paperbacks. That chances are, like vinyl, paperbacks will become a niche and people will still be saying, "You can't beat a good paperback," yet they'll have hundreds of eBooks waiting on their eReader to be read (because it's so damn easy to click Buy!).

My approach to being a self-published author is going through a revolution. I can feel it.

It's time to take things to the next step, and that requires me to get a little bit more serious about what I want and expect as a writer.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Keeping Busy

I've been disciplining myself to finish my new novel... hence the reason why I haven't written on here for the past four months or so.

I don't know about other writers, but I'm inundated with unfinished ideas. Or, to be more precise, the ideas are complete as they are, but they're not fully expressed into what we call a fully fledged story.

In 2013 I booked myself into a small cottage in North Yorkshire, UK, with the simple mission to write, write and write.

It's not a simple mission...

I realised that going about the writing process hell for leather isn't the way for me. I burn myself out and the stuff I end up writing just starts to feel spiritless and tired of itself. So other than writing, my time was spent, reading, watching films and going for walks.

It was great... I had a blast.

Highly recommended.

I managed to develop one of those unfinished ideas I mentioned by adding to it an extra 20,000 words. Then, when I returned home, the ideas dried up and the idea, which now sat at a comfortable 30,000 words, came to an abrupt stop.


An ideas has a life of its own. It will be expressed when it is ready to be expressed. Maybe it's waiting for you to go through an experience so you turn into a worthy medium for its completion.

We do not choose ideas, they choose us. Watch yourself closely and you will see what I mean.

That said, this specific idea was brought back into my awareness when I came to Taiwan. I had forgotten about it, and was going about the groggy affair of looking through all of my unfinished stories (WARNING: TO AVOID PAIN, DON'T DO THIS WHEN YOU'RE FEELING UNINSPIRED).

I read and re-read the whole thing several times and decided to re-write it. It might sound like a daunting task, and if the instruction had come from, say, a publisher, and I didn't agree with them, then re-writing it would've been like a wisdom tooth removal, but the decision came from me, and because of that I really didn't have choice - artistic integrity and all...

If you're a creative person, you will know what it's like. If something doesn't feel right then you go about correcting it. The idea is your baby. It's a part of you. Unconditionally, you just do whatever it takes to bring it into this world, even if it means you're left kicking and screaming, covered in blood and other undesirable body fluids.

Plus, the idea doesn't leave you alone until it's out and about anyway! So you either do it or go insane.

So, to come full circle, that's what I've been doing for the past several months; preventing myself from going insane. That, plus learning Chinese, reading, meditating, visiting Bangkok and Okinawa, eating good food, drinking good coffee, and watching ancient people in the park, practicing Tai Chi and Chi Gong, which is always a pleasure to watch.