Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Outback Now Available On Amazon and Smashwords

Finally, my debut novel is available to download on Amazon Kindle:

or on Smashwords:

The novel is priced at $2.99 (US), £2.99 (UK), e2.99 (EUR). Sample chapters are available for free download via the respective stores and more information will be appearing on this blog soon.

When Matt arrives in the small outback town of Birribandi to take up harvest work, he finds that drink, drugs and sex are just as easy to come by as they were on the coast. What he does not count on is his farm boss; a cruel, sadistic old Aussie named Rhett Butler. The backpackers try to keep a low profile around their boss, but Rhett has an agenda of his own and as Matt and his new friends are about to discover; it could cost them their very lives...

The novel is a thriller, based, you've guessed it - in outback Australia. All of the characters and events are fictitious, but the story is based on my own experiences of working and travelling through Australia. Although, the actual inspiration came from a different place altogether.

Upon returning to the UK, I found myself smack, bang in the middle of the worst recession since the 1920's (it's a global thing - you may have noticed yourselves!). The first thing that I had to do on my arrival was to sign on at the local job centre, who soon found me a job at my local job centre! I then had to spend 8 hours a day explaining to angry job seekers why they had to wait so long for their dole money to arrive. It is fair to say that I took a lot of abuse.

One evening, after a particularly rough day of abuse, I came in and simply could not take it anymore. Thinking of a scene from my favourite Adam Sandler movie, Happy Gilmore (for any young people who are more familiar with his more recent movies, I can tell you that he did used to be good, way back in the 90's - really, check it out for yourselves). I decided to find my happy place. I closed my eyes and imagined where I would like to be if I could be anywhere and I instantly thought of the outback. Not for its psychopaths (that aspect of the novel is fiction), but for its remoteness, its vast scale and most importantly of all - for the stars. There is nothing quite like looking up to the heavens on a clear outback night. It really makes you appreciate how vast and beautiful and magical our universe really is.

I suddenly felt inspired to stop the travel journals that I was working on and to start writing a novel. For the following months all of my spare time was taken up with what would eventually become; The Outback. (The trouble that I had settling on a title is documented in a previous post). Then after redraft, upon redraft, upon redraft, upon many more redrafts, it was finally finished. My biggest hope is that it can provide the same element of escapism for the people reading it as it did for me writing it.

Uploading to Kindle could not have been more easy. The only thing is to make sure that you follow the formatting guide. It can take several hours to painstakingly review every [return] and [page break], but it is worth it.

Smashwords followed a different formatting process to Kindle and again this took time. Details of both ways to format the book are explained flawlessly in the FAQ sections of both sites. Kindle took 12 hours to appear in store after uploading and Smashwords was pretty much instant. I only hope that the sales follow just as quickly!

So what now?

Well, obviously I am going to have to put a lot of work into marketing the book and I can also now begin the final redrafting of my second novel Stealing Asia. I hope to have this for release before the end of June 2013. Until then, I better get back to it.

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