Pleasant Surprise on Amazon

Opened up my Amazon page this morning to find this:

Complete Series

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Alex Keyes (2 Book Series)
Theo Knell
Kindle Edition
£4.92

 

 

 

From Book 1 The Apprentice: Alex Keyes is a man with a secret. Its discovery would destroy him and everyone associated with him. He has spent years training to be a “grey man”: quiet, unassuming, invisible, but now, having been sent behind the Iron Curtain to find someone who doesn’t want to be found, his survival depends on him becoming a different person entirely.

 

From Book 2 The Journeyman:  Haunted by his past, and now hunted by both sides, Alex knows that revenge is never going to be enough.

Amazon Page

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What to do in the Quiet Times?

Well, the Christmas holidays and the upcoming festivities are almost upon us, but what about the quiet times, those periods when the eating and drinking are done, (at least for the time being) and you don’t wish to spend ninety minutes anticipating the next line in yet another Christmas TV re-run? It’s times like this when you grab a book or your kindle and go in search of somewhere to recover, a quiet corner. But are you making the most of what’s on offer? In addition to the old favorites, the latest Lee Child thriller, an absorbing biography, or a Sci-Fi adventure, why not include the work of an author with a proven track record, one who is trying to break into a new genre?

My first book, “A Hell for Heroes” an autobiography, was released by Coronet, an imprint of Hodder and Stoughton, back in November 2012. The book was a success and even after three years, it still occupies a slot in the top 100 in the Military and Special Forces categories. As a result it was suggested that I begin writing thrillers using the true-life experiences of my military career.

“The Apprentice”, my first novel was released on Amazon on the 22nd of June 2015 and is the first book in the “Alex Keyes” series.  Trial TA2

“Alex Keyes is a man with a secret.  Its discovery will destroy him and everyone associated with him. He has spent years training to be a “grey man”: quiet, unassuming, invisible, but now, having been sent behind the Iron Curtain to find someone who doesn’t want to be found, his survival will depend on him becoming a different person entirely”.

The_Journeyman_Cover_for_KindleIf you have already read The Apprentice, and a big thank you to all those who have, the second book in the series, “The Journeyman” is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

“Haunted by his past, and now hunted by both sides, Alex knows that revenge is never going to be enough”.

So when loading your Kindle in preparation for the quiet times, why not give a new thriller author a whirl? Follow him behind the Iron Curtain; visit the dark side at the height of the Cold War, and all from the comfort of an armchair beside the fire.

As for me, well I will spend the quiet times this Christmas working on the third book in the series, “The Master”.

The links below will take you straight to the respective pages on Amazon.

The Apprentice-on-Amazon

The Journeyman-on-Amazon

Feed an Author, Leave a Review!

To a struggling author, especially the indie authors amongst us, reviews are just, if not more important than sales.  When your sales are generated through something like Amazon, the prospective reader/purchaser has nothing physical to pick up, flick through, and read the odd page or two, in order to determine whether or not they might like what is inside. Even if you provide a paperback version, the reviews your book receives on sites like Amazon and Goodreads are essential.  The_Journeyman_Cover_for_Kindle

So after a rather lengthy, and what some might consider a rather obvious observation, I hope that you will forgive me for what looks like a bit of outright begging.  The Journeyman, the second book in the Alex Keyes Trilogy was released on 24th of October, and although the sales have been very good, the book has only managed to generate one review.  So if you bought a copy, have read it, and have the time, please leave a review.

Alex Keyes Trilogy Previews Now Available

I have been asked on a number of occasions if I would consider providing a preview of both The Apprentice, the first book in the Alex Keyes Trilogy, and The Journeyman, the second book in the series.  So bowing to popular demand here are the two links to a free download sample.

 

Previews

The Apprentice Preview

The Journeyman Preview

Excellent Value For Money

The second book in the Alex Keyes Trilogy, The Journeyman, was released on the 24th of this month, and a big thank you to all those who have already purchased a copy.

As does every other author out there, I do my very best to provide my readers with an enjoyable and engaging read. However, I think that it’s equally important to provide them with good value for money. As a result, you can now purchase a Kindle copy of both books, The Apprentice and The Journeyman for less than £5, (£1.99 and £2.93 respectively) which I’m sure you will agree is great value for two exciting fact-based thrillers, and especially when the two paperbacks would cost you close to £20, (£19.11).

The_Journeyman_Cover_for_Kindle

Trial TA2

What to Put In – What to Leave Out?

When writing a modern-day thriller the story must be both driven and informative.

Firstly, as the name implies, the story must thrill. It should be a rollercoaster of a journey that keeps the reader glued to the pages and on their toes, encouraging them to look for clues and make assumptions. If, as the writer, you have done your job properly, the clues will be subtle, and in most cases the reader’s initial assumptions, although logical, will be wrong, leading to comments like “wow, I really didn’t see that coming!”.  The Thinker

Secondly, the story should be fast moving and not get bogged down in irrelevant detail. For instance, in a thriller the description of a person, place or object must be relevant to the story. Detailed descriptions of a person, their clothing and looks are all very necessary in a love story or historical drama as they add to the overall atmosphere and desire, but in a thriller every word written should drive the story forward and at a pace. Along with a character’s looks, their clothing gives us clues as to who they are and what they do, even before they have said or done anything. In the two examples below each description will tell the reader everything, they need to know about the character to form an initial opinion as to whether they are Friend or Foe?

“She was a pretty girl, tall but not ungainly, with a waspish waist and long legs. He looked at her feet, she was wearing flat shoes, probably in an effort to reduce her height, and make sure that her feet made it through her long shift.”

“Standing directly beneath a streetlamp, he made no attempt to hide his identity. It wasn’t the same man who had followed him on his first night in London. This man had no military bearing. He was short, probably not much more than five foot seven or eight. In his late forties and dressed in a non-committal dark suit that looked to be badly worn, and baggy at the knees. His hair was long, dark and wavy, and his face was tanned, but not as a result of spending too much time lounging in the sun. Jack guessed that he had worn his colouring since birth. He had the look of Romany about him.”

The same rule applies to your description of a place or location. It should make the reader feel either comfortable or fearful for the character.

“Standing at the entrance to Mill Lane, the narrow street that Mrs. Butler had directed him to, Jack stared into the darkness. It was more of an alleyway than a street, and it was poorly lit. Halfway along it, he found the “Rose” and looked up at the building. Even from the outside it was a disappointment.”

Up until now we have covered what needs to be included, but what about the things that should most definitely be left out? Of course, general descriptions of an environment are always necessary. They paint a picture, giving the reader clues as to what might or might not happen, as well as telling you a little more about the character. However, what you should avoid is making the description too detailed, and in doing so draw the reader’s attention to something that is totally irrelevant to the story and will never be mentioned again.

Jack looked around the small room. It contained a single wardrobe, a small armchair, and although it was currently bare, a large double bed that looked comfortable enough.   To the right-hand side of a tall window that looked out towards the river, was a narrow fireplace. Jack nodded his head. `This will do just fine.`

The above passage does the job it’s supposed to do. It reinforces the fact that Jack is there to do a job, and as a result he is happy to take whatever is offered, even rough it a little. But by adding just a few extra words you run the risk of leading the reader astray, and as a result they begin to read things into the story that aren’t there. For example:

Jack looked around the small room. It contained a single wardrobe, a small armchair, and although it was currently bare, a large double bed that looked comfortable enough.   To the right-hand side of a tall window that looked out towards the river, was a narrow fireplace. Jack stared at the officer’s sword that hung above it, and nodded his head. `This will do just fine.`

The sword is irrelevant, it plays no part in the story, but now, because it has been mentioned, the reader will be waiting to find out how and when it will be used. You may get away with something like this once, possibly twice, but readers will quickly become tired of being fed irrelevant and misleading information.

The simple rule is: if something doesn’t have a purpose, a significant part to play in the story, either now or later – DO NOT INCLUDE IT.