Monday 29 July 2013

Karl - The Lost Adventurer (Paperback Edition)

It gives me great pleasure to announce that the second volume of Karl’s adventure has finally made it into a physical book. 

This has been quite a worrying period and I had started to believe it might never happen, and Karl’s future would have been reserved solely for the Kindle market.

The Short story... Book 2 now available as I've found a new publisher.

The Long story... Book 1 was originally expected back in September 2010 from Hundred Publishing. It never made a physical print until about April 2012 – by this time the future of Hirst Publishing which owned Hundred was already on the cards. By the time book one was a reality the chances of two and three coming from the same publisher were minimal, I’ll not go into further details but it left me looking around for a new avenue for the remainder of the story. Towards the end of last year I took the decision to get book 1 on to the Kindle, a lot of people saying they were now switching to ebooks rather than physical printed books. Real books as I like to call them. 
Last year's writing retreat in Cornwall where
Book 2 was completed and Book 3 planned

Once it was agreed that I could carry the original cover, I had the book re-proofed and this became the second edition of book 1 which went to Kindle, the story is the same but some errors that had previously escaped correction were put right.

So what about book 2? It was written and waiting but how was it going to get there? I approached Rob who created the original cover for book 1 to keep the style the same, and he was delighted to be asked to provide covers for two and three. Very quickly the cover for number two found its way to my in box – we were in progress. The first and obvious step was back to the Kindle – where book 1 had been slow to reach the ebook market book 2 would get there first. The irony – this time having published to Kindle first there came the cries from a number of people who prefer real books rather than the download version. So the hunt was on.

Last year at a book festival I heard of Berforts who among their many activities support self publishing authors. I would have to follow this route if I wanted to get the book two out in a timely fashion, any attempt to find agents and a publisher willing to gamble today would take forever and the momentum would be lost. It did not take long for Berforts to come on board and a new printed edition of book one has been produced matching the Kindle edition along with number two.

Working late into the evening in the garden on book 3
The new edition of book one has received a tweak to the layout of the cover to match book two, and so here we are finally, a delivery of both has just arrived. Even this has had me on tender hooks, as the delivery was originally scheduled for last week but due to the hot weather that hit the UK just before the printing and binding machines decided they needed to have issues with the heat. But all’s well that ends well, and here they are... You should be able to order these very soon, I will be offering signed copied via Amazon Marketplace also both will be available from the Tenth Planet Events Website. 

Links to both are available in the right rail of this blog..

So I would like to say a big thank you for the support from Marc, Debbie and Bryony my read through team, to Rob for the fast work on the wonderfully atmospheric covers and to Bob and Dale over at Berforts.

Sunday 28 July 2013

Goodbye Modelzone

We might be hearing reports of a turn in the economic climate, but the effects are still being felt, as ‘Store Closing’ signs have started to appear in the windows of one of the few high street stores specialising in modelling here in the UK.

Modelzone, that narrow shop that stocked a few paints, brushes and scenic accessories towards the back were placed into the hands of administrators on the 26th June. You can read the full statement on all that remains of their website here.

I don’t want to speak ill of the dying but at the same time I need to be honest; it was not by first port of call for modelling materials. I’ve used two different branches  of the chain and I must admit the customer service was in most parts quite poor, ranging on apathy (yes I stood at the counter for nearly 10 minutes once trying to get somebody’s attention to serve me) through to a passable acknowledgement that  as a customer you existed. Only once can I say that I received a very good customer service experience where a member of staff helped me try and find some items I was looking for, and I never saw her again. So I wonder, as they did not actually compete on price with anywhere else, there was not a warm welcome what would draw in customers?

This is in contrast to the very good customer service I’ve received in general from my local Hobbycraft who have been willing to check stock levels, go and find additional items and generally greet their customers at the tills with a friendly smile. A similar experience in the Lego Store at Stratford where struggling under a couple of bulky boxes already selected, an offer to hold them at the till for us, allowing us to continue unhindered with pick-a-brick, and with friendly staff that are enthusiastic about their product all makes for a much better customer shopping experience. A feeling that you are being appreciated. In a world where the high street is still suffering, stores need to consider and value their customers much more and become the places where people want to visit if they are to survive. I hope this serves as a lesson to other chains that have recently turned a blind eye to customer service.

For those of you wondering what is on offer and have I picked over the some of the bleached bones exposed to the world, most products including Airfix and Lego are currently on offer at 20% off, tools, brushes, paints and glues are at 50%. Hornby and Scalextric are not on included in the discounts, but Airfix is.

For those wondering what I have bought, some tree materials for my growing forest area, a bench clamp, a set of pliers and some other tools.

And on goes the roof

Another quick update for the scrap piece house. 

Main roof with an extra piece of foam board found at the last minute
I moved some boxes around the other day and discovered another triangular piece of foam board just as I was about to start work on the roof. It found its way on to the roof and finished the main roof off very well. 

The roof was made from some more mail order packaging card covered in more coffee sticks. I shaped the roof on the model and pinned it in place with dress pins whilst it dried with a few sticks glued in place to help keep the shape.

Two pieces of roof now ready to be added
Once it was shaped I then unpinned it and glued the full set of sticks to the card and used the clamps to hold the sticks in place. Finally once the roof pieces were ready I glued them back on the model and pinned them in pace again until they set. 

You might notice the slight misshape to the roof, not quite sure what happened there but I think it adds character to the final model so I didn't get the knife out to hack it about again. 

All I need to do now is tidy up around the joins then a quick rub down before the paint brush comes out.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Competition Time on The Photography Website

Calling all UK photographers out there -
Have you been over to The Photography Site recently?

If not - why not?

Apart from all the listings you would ever need for anything connected to photography they are also carrying a series of photography competitions courtesy of  Currys with some really great prizes on offer.

A new competition is launched each week, based on a new theme each time.
Read the online e-zine on the site for hints and tips for your entry.

Friday 26 July 2013

Coming together

The house made from the left over pieces is also coming together at the moment. Until now I’ve worked on the parts separately so that it was easier to put clamps on to hold the sticks as they dried. Now has some the time to glue the three parts together so that I can then start work on the roof.

Three parts to join up

Front view

Rear view

All glued together now

Thursday 25 July 2013

Knock Knock

Who's there?
Yep, I guessed you'd forget who I was.

Apologies again for slow updates, I’ve been a bit of a busy bee with getting the second volume of Karl’s story off to be printed, approving proofs and everything. The laptop has also had some hissy fit moments and I’m in the process of transferring everything to another machine quickly obtained from a friend so that I can keep the work on Karl going uninterrupted.

However I have spent a few hours working on some of the buildings. This post shows the finally finished doors for the last three coffee stick buildings all now painted and ready, and inserted into their respective buildings. Some can be switched about making for a few slight variations when needed.

Monday 8 July 2013

Congratulations Big Lee

He's only gone and done it. 

A huge congratulations to BigLee over at Big Lee's Miniature Adventures for reaching the milestone of a few page hits. Okay, a million page views. I get the feeling he is slightly excited by the fact and that to celebrate he's giving stuff away. I think it might also have something to do with the unnaturally hot weather we've had this weekend in the UK.

But once again - well done Lee. This is the guy who dragged me kicking and screaming onto the blogging forum to witter on about my model building and other stuff. There's no way on this earth I could compete with this guy and if I'm still here in a hundred years I don't expect to reach that milestone. Anyway I'll shut up now before you fall asleep and hand you over to the big man himself...

Thursday 4 July 2013

Karl - The Lost Adventurer (Kindle Edition)

Book 2 of Karl’s trilogy is now available to download on the Kindle from Amazon, it took a bit of time getting there I'll have to admit. The initial intention was to launch book two on the 1st July, but Amazon’s systems seemed to have had their own ideas. The book published to some of the Amazon sites like .com and .ca but the book failed to reach, and some of the other European sites.

But now I am pleased to announce that the book is live everywhere and can be downloaded in just the same way as book one. Once again the atmospheric cover has been provided by Robert Hammond.  

The Karl Axilion Trilogy
Book 2
Karl – The Lost Adventurer

By D.J. Kettlety

Karl, the boy that should never have been born has now been lost for two years.

The son of a trader, Karl has been kidnapped and dragged many hundreds of miles from home, but not entirely by strangers.

Karl's family have a secret, his grandparents were Guardians of the Knowledge, a small select group that can pass on their life essence to their grandchildren. Many are powerful users of magic, gifted from the gods, and collectively they hold the secret to the coming battle between good and evil, but part of the secret has been lost.

The time rapidly approaches that the evil force that has lain dormant will rise; and for that it will need to claim a vessel. Legend suggests it will attempt to rise three times and on the third occasion be successful - but legends can be wrong.

For Karl: lost, alone, prisoner, homeless, victim of some of the most vile people this new town can produce, and a potential sacrifice - a friendly face or two now would go a long way.

UK Price £2.99
Details regarding the paperback edition will follow shortly.

The final part of the trilogy is provisionally scheduled for the end of 2014.

Also thinking of running a competition on Karl's Facebook page for anyone who has bought book 2,
why not visit and like the page for when details get announced!/KarlAxilionTrilogy

Monday 1 July 2013

The Photography Site

Ok time for another plug, but since I know the owner of this site, and I also know the amount of work that has gone into making this happen there is nothing shameless in helping to spread the word.

Amongst all the major news stories of the day, you probably missed the launch of the new photography site that came live in the UK – “ThePhotography Site”, to give it its full name. The one place to find comprehensive listings for anything you should need if you’re a photographer. There is material here for both amateur and professional, and a place for professionals to display their skills to acquire future commissions. Membership is free; all you’ll be asked to do is register. There are additional premium areas where a small charge for this membership will be made – but more details are available on the site.

From listings for make-up artists, studio hire, events around the UK, equipment hire, business services to places to sell your work, it is all listed here.  And if you just like to browse then the portfolio sections will offer some of the best photography examples to inspire you.

The site is growing by the day, and very soon will have its own ezine with articles covering a wide variety of subjects related to photography. So why not pop over and take a look.