Reading by Writing

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Who am I writing for? What is my audience? That’s actually a hard question to answer.

Firstly, on a superficial level, I’d hope that the age group that I would hope that I’m writing for would be “Young Adult” and above. I looked up what that means and there is no real consensus on the definition, but it can refer to children from the age of 12 or 13 or up. That’s a little low, I think, for Young Adult,

However, that’s not an issue so far as my writing is concerned as my characters don’t go beyond a smooch and a hug or two. What they get up to in private is entirely up to them.

I’d hope that the absence of any salacious bits doesn’t restrict the upper age limit of those who read my books and stories. It’s the story that matters, of course, and the characters.

Speaking of characters, I’ve discovered that, so far at least, I haven’t created a decent villain. I’ve created characters who could have been villains, but have turned out to not be villainous as the story develops. A vampire. An assassin. The few villains that I have created have been unimpressive. An insane Khan who quickly gets killed off. A few inconsequential Kings.

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On the other hand, it seems that I find it easy to create heroines. When I look back at my stories, a big majority of them have a heroine. I wrote ‘feisty’ there but took it out. Nasty word. My heroines can be dominant, but they aren’t, as a rule, aggressively so. They are, in general, the equals of my heroes, but they have a larger role in the story. Maybe they are the prime characters.

My signature characters are the Mage and the Boffin, and they demonstrate this well. The Mage specialises in magic and the Boffin specialises in science (or physics, they would say), but there is a crossover. The Boffin is very much the mother figure, and the Mage is a father figure.

The Boffin quite often takes the lead in their adventures, but it is evident that she believes that the partnership is 50/50. The Mage doesn’t disagree. He follows where his wife leads, but without exception, they are always headed in the same direction. They very rarely differ, and each respects the other and the other’s view of the world.

The Mage does not feel dominated by his wife. In fact, he often finds her direct approach amusing. For example, the Boffin blasts a cell door when someone incarcerates them, and he merely inquires whether or not she is feeling tetchy, since they could have simply ‘stepped’ out of the cell.

So, what would I say my genre was? I’d say ‘fantasy’, but isn’t all fiction fantasy? Technology in my stories tends to be simpler than our technology, but some more modern stuff does creep in now and then.

I’m not too concerned about anachronisms. I’m not worried about inconsistencies, except within a story, and if the same character appears in more than one story, I don’t expect him or her to be exactly the same, to remember the same things, to do the same things.

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I could explain this by pointing at the core mechanism that occurs in many of my stories – the idea of multiple worlds, and multiple versions of a character – but that’s not really the explanation. No, the real reason is that the stories are seemingly linked, but are actually independent.

I do like to keep my storyverse consistent though. It’s just that I don’t fret if it isn’t.

But to come back to my original question – who do I write for? Well, my stories are up on my website, and I know that people do stumble across it. I don’t know, because I haven’t looked, how many people have downloaded them.

Similarly, some of my stories, collected into books, are available as eBooks or even paperbacks. I have looked to see if anyone is buying them, but so far as I can tell, no one is.

So, I still keep writing them and polishing them and making them available, which means that I am, simply put, writing them for myself. I enjoy the process of writing, and when I start a story, I often don’t know where it is going to end. It’s a process that might be called ‘reading by writing’.

I’m happy to keep doing this, for as long as story ideas come to mind. Sometime someone may read on of my stories and enjoy it. That will be a bonus.

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Some of my stories have been published on Amazon (as eBooks and paperbacks) and Kobobooks and Smashwords (as eBooks). Here are the links to my Author Pages on those sites.

My Books in eBook form, half price.

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I publish my eBooks through Smashwords and Amazon, so that I get the highest visibility for them. Smashwords has a “New Year” promotion, starting Christmas Day and extending through to New Years Day. During this period, my eBooks will be available through Smashwords at half price.

My paperback versions of “The Last Beautiful Woman” and “The Mage and The Boffin” parts one and two are available on Amazon only.

The Mage and The Boffin in paperback

I’ve published some of Mage and Boffin stories in paperback on Amazon. I discovered that if I’d included them all, the paperback would be too long, so this is the first of two parts! The second part might make it onto Amazon by Christmas, but failing that, watch for an update in the New Year!

The details are as follows:

The Mage and the Boffin – Part One: The Early Stories (Paperback)
ASIN : 0473461900
Link : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0473461900

 

A new book and an update

I’ve just published my latest book, “The Mage and The Boffin”. It can be found at your favourite eBook publisher. Just search for my name, “Cliff Pratt” and it should appear in the list.

It is a book of short stories featuring the two title characters and their friends and relations. Some of the stories relate in some degree to fairy stories and legends, but they are not simple retelling of the stories and are significantly different from them.

I have also updated my brief book, “How I Wrote and Self Published My First Book: My Path Through the Creative Maze”. This describes in some detail how I published “The Last Beautiful Woman” and why, and may be useful to anyone who is going down the same path. This is only available on Amazon as a Kindle book. If you don’t have a Kindle you will need a Kindle app.

A New Book – the Mage and the Boffin

I intend to publish a new book in the next couple of weeks. It will consist of short stories about my characters the Mage and the Boffin. I still have to write a prologue and tidy a few things up. If you want to read the stories (for free, at least for now), you can find them on my website here.

Currently I intend to publish the book as an eBook, but may also make it available as a paperback on Amazon. Watch this space!

In the meantime, I have added a new Mage and Boffin story called “The Man in the Mountain“. It tells of the last few days of the life of King Arthur, from the point of view of the Mage and the Boffin.

A New Mage and Boffin Story – Mouse and Moth

I’ve added a new Mage and Boffin story. This one has their great grandson, Mouse, aged 18, as the main actor, though the Mage and Boffin are heavily involved. Mouse meets a girl in the woods – a very special girl. He is headed for love, loss, and a picnic!

Here’s the link to the page for the new story.

Please take a look at my self-published book, “The Last Beautiful Woman”. Here’s the link to the book’s information page.

Boffin and Mage Stories

I’ve mostly being working on a longer story which I’m not yet ready to post, so I’ve not been adding Mage and Boffin stories recently, but I’ve now got three new stories to add. Please see below. If you are interested in my other writing, it can all be found here.

Cloud Skiing – The Mage enjoys a day cloud skiing while the heavily pregnant Boffin relaxes at the lodge.

Mouse’s Friend – The Mage and Boffin’s great-grandson Mouse makes a friend called Jasper, who leads Mouse and the Mage to a very hot place.

Twins – Two bear cubs surprise a set of twin girls. They help the girls and their mother with a couple of issues with their neighbour. The Mage and the Boffin take a trip to meet the bears and later relax at the lake.