My Haunted Life 3 Readied for Release

Yesterday evening, I finished My Haunted Life 3. It needs editing now and so on but it will be available later next week. Here is a listing of stories for you;

  • ORBS

Again, some of the stories are about me but several are stories I have been told by friends. I hope people enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

my haunted life 3

However, thats the last of The My Haunted Life series – at least for now. They have proven to be popular and both My Haunted Life and My Haunted Life Too are on several Amazon best seller lists still (The latter in the top 10 in the UK!). I do hope this continues and that the third installment does even better. I also see my other books selling more strongly so hopefully, I have begun to build an audience.


There is much, much more in the works…. and I feel good about the future for my writing.

Thanks to everyone who may have bought one and please do remember – reviews – good or bad – are important and don’t take so long to write.

What Am I Becoming?

I never saw myself as a grammar nazi. I make mistakes. We all do when writing. We also use short cuts like ‘u’ for you and so on. To me that is acceptable. I know that I am clueless about commas. I have no idea where commas go so I kind of make it up as I go along. This too must annoy comma nazis. However….

Just recently I have become really quiet appalled at the mistakes people make in written English. Many of these people are totally unaware that they make mistakes too, which makes it even worse. The ones that really, really bug me are as follows;

1. There, Their, They’re

2. Were, Where, We’re and,  would you believe – Wear?

3. To, Too, Two

4. Your, You’re

5. Peek, Pique, Peak

6. It’s,  Its

There are others but it these particular examples that crop up over and over again.

I think the problem is that once you start to notice something because it irritates you, you begin to see it everywhere.  All of a sudden, incorrect usage of words seem to pounce out at and jump on you, fists flailing. You find them laying in wait causing a gritting of teeth and tightening of the sphincter as the blood pressure rises bit by bit.

It’s a plot I tell you! A plot!

And it just serves to remind me that we do really create our own reality through the way that we interact and perceive things. If you give something permission to bug you then all of a sudden the Universe decides….. let’s get that Bastard.




An Experiment

I have blogged for years – actually since about 2004 – always using my own hosted custom site. I originally started out using Drupal but about 3-years ago or so, I switched to WordPress. Now I am experimenting with something equally dramatic….. moving from my own hosted custom site to a blog hosted on

I have always avoided as it stops you from running any advertising. The truth is, I have made about $300 in those ten years blogging from ads maximum and so I have come to the conclusion it simply doesn’t work. Still, I write books and I use amazon ads for my books and that won’t fly here….. There are ways around that issue however which is to direct people interested in buying my books to my book review site – strange book reviews – a site I and a friend own and host and where I can still get a commission…..please do buy your occult books there and do buy mine there… royalties are small so an extra bit on top in the way of an Amazon commission is nice.

What brings me here is community. I am hoping there will be more interaction with other bloggers and more readers of this blog. We will see. I will preserve my existing blog for a while and may switch back. But, for now, lets see how it goes.


One real drawback is that all my google links now lead to the old site….. and when that goes away, to a black hole….

Ah well….

What do you all think? Comments please as I seek to see if this is a good idea.

I will also eventually bring over the url and get rid of the bit…. but only after I am sure this is the right way to go.

Finding an Audience

How do you find an audience? Some people manage it. Others don’t. Is it luck? I don’t think it is necessarily talent – although my perceptions of talent my not be your view. I have blogged and written pretty much twice or more a week on this and other blogs since about 2004 or around 10-years. I don’t have much of an audience. My books don’t sell well. I have failed to find an audience. The hint though on how to build an audience was always right there. My single blog post about sex in the Czech Republic still gets more traffic than all my other writings put together. Is that a sad indictment of me or just a sad indictment full stop? Maybe I should give up? When I first started blogging there were many millions fewer blogs less than there are today so it has become much more competitive hasn’t it. The same goes with books… it is hugely competitive.


Which really brings you to a couple of questions. The first is why do I bother? You know I don’t really know but I don’t think I could stop writing articles about life and the world as I see it even if I wanted to. A few people read the articles. You never know, I may still find an audience. More importantly, I probably enjoy talking to myself and better I do it this way than in public where people might believe me to be a nutter. The second is why haven’t I found an audience? Well, in some ways I have. On the energy and commodities side, my writings do sell and are somewhat in demand. I am recognized as an expert and I make a reasonable living talking, writing about and discussing the energy and commodities industry. Its a niche and its quiet small but I have an audience and I have a voice. As for my view on what’s right and wrong with the world – well, maybe I’m old fashioned and out of step. I still believe in manners, politeness and decorum. My poetry may sometimes be good and rarely if ever better than that but everyone writes poetry and poetry doesn’t sell – not anymore. As for writing about the esoteric – well, if you take it seriously as opposed to sensationalizing it into something its not, its also a very small niche. If the truth be told, its a whole group of related niches that are all very small.

On the other hand, maybe I am simply kidding myself. Maybe my blinkers simply don’t let me see that no one is really interested in what I think – about anything. Everyone is so full of themselves they have no interest in anyone else. Maybe I am just the same pushing myself relentlessly to a bunch of others who are pushing themselves and on and on. If so, then plainly, I have yet to identify my audience because there are consumers out there – masses of them. People who take what is put in front of them and consume it. So how do I get my stuff in front of them? Are we back to blogging about sex again I wonder……

Goats! Sex! and…… Builders!

An unusual blog title borrowed from a blogosphere pal Alienora Taylor. She is a pretty amazing writer and an avid (possibly addicted) blogger. She writes about her life with a brutal frankness and a bawdy sense of humor that can and does have you literally ROFLing…. (Roll on floor laughing for anyone who doesn’t know). How this lady isn’t a household name as a writer is beyond me as she has a golden pen and a viciously twisted and maliciously funny way of seeing things……So what about the Goats and Sex and those Builders? Well, for just a couple more days, you can download her hilarious novel Long Leggety Beasties for FREE! Go on, download the bugger. You will laugh until you cry and find out what the Goats, Sex and Builders references are…

Oh, and while on Amazon downloading Alienora’s free book, how about spending a few bucks on mine?


My review of Alienora’s book

You know some books are just good and this one is exactly that. It is a giggle from start to finish and the author has a wicked but nice sense of humor. If you don’t find this book funny I reckon you need a lobotomy frankly.

Highly recommended.


The Anatomy of a Bad Review

If you take a look over on at the reviews for The Last Observer, you will discover a couple of 1-star reviews there. I’m not sure if these two people know each other but they sound remarkably similar. There is nothing wrong with bad reviews. We don’t all like the same things and constructive bad reviews are useful in growing as a writer or whatever it is we do. In fact, go to any book on Amazon with several reviews and you will find a range of reviews from bad to great. I was just reading Anthony Peake discussing a bad review he got for one of his books too. Sometimes, people are not just critical but personal and its then that I feel things cross the line to inappropriate. To make my point, one of the bad reviewers took the time to go through all of the good reviews and mark them as ‘unhelpful’. This is just vindictive.

Let’s parody these bad reviews just for fun….


“I actually picked up name of book here on the cheap. After reading the copyright information on the inside cover I immediately knew I had wasted my 99cents. What kind of publisher would take this nonsense I thought as I returned it to the second hand store and demanded my money back. I confess to flicking through the rest of the book just to confirm my views that this writer should never have learned the alphabet. It was all those 5-star reviews that tempted me into parting with my hard earned cash but now, I realize that I was conned by the fabulous job the author did bribing his family, friends and colleagues to write these brazen, gushing, deceitful and annoying lies. Buyer beware, no one who isn’t bribed by this author or currently sleeping with him/her would write anything positive about this book.

The story is non-existent and based on my 30-second flick through of the text over my cod and chips from the local chippy, if you have seen any of the Matrix movies, you will be sickeningly familiar with this type of book. Vasey – oh I forgot – that’s Dr. Vasey (always a give away of mostly illegible writing), can’t write and in my learned opinion, should never have graduated high school. I mean, exactly who actually uses terms like “Oh, I see!” or “Yes, I’ll have a beer please” or, even worse, “Hello”? There are no characters, nor any story of any value that is obvious to the 30-second flick through. Vasey obviously has grandiose ideas of himself and his writing that need to be nipped in the bud by someone sane and rational like me and I have made it my duty to protect you all from this kind of amateurish crap.

Trust me, don’t buy this book. It truly sucks and so does Vasey who probably should have been aborted before birth so that the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with his horrible self promotion and ugly prose.”

Just Words

If I am honest I would say at times I wonder why I write anything at all. I sometimes feel like there isn’t much point as I really don’t have an avid fan base or readership to talk of. I often feel as if my words go unread. Despite that I keep writing. I guess that there are a number of reasons why including the hope that one of these days one of my books will sell a few copies, because I enjoy writing whether or not I am very good at it and I have things to say. I think those are all good reasons.

As I have said before, its a competitive business writing. I am comfortably in the majority when I say nobody reads what I write. The minority that sells all the books is very very small. The internet is filled with people writing – that’s good isn’t it but why should my writing stand out? Perhaps another problem is that my interests are diverse – perhaps too diverse. I write for business (see the CTRMCenter for example) and I am fortunate in that, in a sense, I write for a living – a good living too. I write on this blog about anything my wacky brain finds interesting – from global warming to family matters. On Asteroth’s Domain, I write about esoteric topics. I guess I am hard to classify especially when I churn out poetry like a machine – some of it good, much of it bad and one or two gems.


On the other hand, just occasionally, you do get some feedback that seems to make you believe that someone – perhaps the right person at the right time, is stumbling upon and reading the material I produce. For example, here is part of a note I got from someone in South Korea…

I’m a big fan of your books – they had been very helpful for the initial planning, feasibility study and execution of the first Korean ETRM project starting three years ago. Without them, it had been much longer before the commencement of the project, indeed.

Pushing Books and Chasing Royalties

Over the holidays I managed to add a chapter and a half to The Lord of the Elements (the prequel to The Last Observer). To be honest, I am still trying to plan the story a bit….. I mean, I know what the plot is but it needs a few twists, turns and subplots and I am still ironing it all out so progress is slow. Meanwhile, I am starting a new business book with my colleague Patrick Reames that we hope will be out later this year. I am also preparing a new version of Poems for the Little Room that will be better suited for Amazon and Kindle…..

Of course, books need to find a market too. It would be great if my books occupied a particular niche but they don’t. I have books on hedge funds, commodity trading software, fantasy novels, poetry, esoteric philosophy, magic and so on…. That means that each book more or less has to be independently marketed. So I do apologize if you are sick of reading about my damn books…. but give me a break and a bit of leeway, I obviously want to sell them after writing them… At least, that’s the general idea I believe.


If writing and promoting wasn’t enough when you do sell a few books it seems that you have to chase the damn royalties. I realized today that I have never received a dime from Kindle so I wrote a couple of ‘where is my money’ letters to Amazon this evening. I have a publisher who is slow to report and I need to send him an email reminding him to let me know where we stand. Meanwhile, the two books on software that sell quite well, well, Amazon pays royalties every month – just not to me! (to my former employer!). Oh well. Shouldn’t moan especially so early in the new year.

The Last Observer continues to sell but more slowly than I really hoped. I keep imagining that it might take off a bit and suddenly accelerate in sales.

I read a story today on the Internet. I would link to it but I don’t think I could find it again. It was about Sting earning 2,000GBP per day in royalties! Apparently, a good proportion of this is for one song and apparently, he actually wrote it with the rest of the band but they didn’t insist on putting their names to it while he did so it is credited simply to Sting……… now, those are the kind of royalties you can only dream about (or imagine).

Before It Was Never the News (Or Ever Will Be)

You know, I write about things as I see them in my blogs and books. I don’t think I am a great writer but I confess to liking to write and so I do. Occasionally, I get on my high horse and have a rant about something that bothers me and I do try to be controversial from time-to-time in the hope that I find a new audience or two. I have a few folks tracking the blog and the books sell a few hundred copies over the space of a few years. I wish it were different but I am clueless as to how to build an audience beyond simply writing and hoping. I had hoped that The Last Observer would be the one that would find a broader audience but I begin to despair there as well….. fingers still crossed but more loosely than in the past.

So where am I going other than feeling a tad sorry for myself? Well, to be honest, I don’t quite understand how, writing about reality and things that are real and everyday, I can barely find an audience while writers who make up the most ludicrous, banale and idiotic nonsense enjoy huge audiences. I kid you not. There is a site called before it’s news. I occasionally post some blog articles there to drive a bit of traffic. On average, my articles get 40-80 reads. Meanwhile, one lady who delivers a constant stream of ‘The end is nigh’ stories based on absolute nonsense enjoys a readership in the tens of thousands!


Here are some sample stories and their reads;

– Update! Proof ISON Survived & WTF Is That Giant Thing Following Behind It? (Video) – 21,188
– Swarm Of Space Bodies Following Comet ISON And The Ongoing NASA Cover-Up (Video) – 5,014
– Where Are Obama’s Daughters’ Baby Pics & Birth Records? – 17,307
– CBC: Something Very Odd Is Happening In The Pacific (Video) – 29,078

These ‘stories’ are without substance, without logic and, my guess is, totally made up fabrications in about 99% of cases. What’s even more baffling to me is that even though story after story by a particular author is almost immediately shown to be a fabrication simply as a result of the passage of time (and the predication not coming true), the very next OMG the World is Ending story by the same author is devoured by thousands as well.

You know, I just don’t understand it. Is this sort of stuff the new fiction then? I guess it must be. BTW – if you think I don’t have much writing talent, check out some of these stories. Whoever wrote them obviously has trouble stringing words together coherently!


So, expect more nonsense, tripe and crap from me from now on as I search out the formula for writing success because it plainly isn’t telling a good story or writing a useful article that grabs attention and readers these days!

Saturday Night Thoughts on Promoting Books…

So its Saturday night and I find myself sat in front of the PC wondering yet again just how in thee world you actually promote a book. You see its November and believe it or not but The Last Observer hasn’t yet made any best seller lists and quiet honestly I am a tad disappointed. I reckon that by now my friends and family are sick to the back teeth of the hearing about the bloody book and probably do the internet version of crossing to the other side of the street when they see me coming! I reckon most of them that will buy it already have so I need a broader audience. But how?

I must have spent hours googling ‘how to sell my novel’ and similar search terms and I can only say that it has turned up nothing but the most turgid crap imaginable and the same old stale ideas about reviews, bloggers, press announcements, trailers, book signings etc. etc. bloody etc.

I have a problem. I don’t live in an English speaking country so book signings have very limited effect.

I’m stumped and have resorted to hiding behind lamp posts springing out on unsuspecting dog walkers clutching my business card replete with head shot photo on one side and book cover on the other. Sell more books? Hell no but it nearly got me arrested.

I have 1000 of these cards. What was I thinking? 1000! It was cheaper to print 1000 that 100 (well almost) and I can take them on business trips….

Actually, I need YOU. Word of mouth. Tell your friends and if they won’t buy it, buy it for them – for Christmas and tell them to tell their friends…

If you blog – let me send you some article that discusses the book. Actually, I have placed several of these and have a magazine article due out shortly too…. This may work.

Of course, what I really need to do is something so bizarre and so weird that it makes the news and goes viral on YouTube. What could that be though? Lady Ga Ga seems to have done everything I can think of involving nakedness and bizarre behaviour and my tongue just can’t compete with Miley’s…..


Perhaps the best advice I have read – in stark contradiction to almost every other article including my own publishers advice – was forget promoting your book just get started writing the next one….. You know, that is really really good advice.