My mind these days resembles a large blob of jelly, and I can’t remember if I have covered this topic before. If I have, then just click delete (oh, you do anyway?) never mind. Can you click the ‘like’ button on the way out anyway?

I’ve always wondered what is the difference between – a finder’s fee and a bribe – an introduction fee and a bribe – a favour and a bribe. Is it just a matter of degree?

I first encountered this when I was working on the radio in South Africa, and my assistant knew this person was looking for a video company to make some programmes so she introduced us. I then presented to her company, they were satisfied and they then contracted me to work for their clients all over the country. This continued for 9 years, although each time, I would have to pitch for each project.

Every time I met up with this particular lady, in the meantime we had become good friends, for lunch, or even for coffee, we scrupulously went Dutch, paying individually for our Chelsea buns and espressos.

a_cup_of_coffeeWhy? Simple, because she had recommended my video production company to her own international corporate, and to a major bank, who in turn commissioned me to make

programmes for them.

The silly thing is that I wanted to treat her to lunch. We were friends (she may be reading this now) and I wanted to say thank you in some small way. BUT, would this be seen as a bribe? A payback? Collusion?

The original connection was there and this is what we were afraid of.

Years earlier, I remembered working for a producer who was making programmes for the SABC. There were rumours of producers paying their way into the programming slots and as far as I know this lady didn’t, but at Christmas she gave all the commissioning editors very expensive presents, Du Pont gold pens for example. At that time, I was a complete novice when it came to marketing and liaising etc and I was very lucky that my name was passed on without me having to do any promotion at all. – Wow, am I learning now in the field of selling books!

Introductions in business have been around since the Egyptian camel herders asked where they could get the best price for their spices – in fact an Arab won’t buy from a stranger, you have to get to know the seller first.


Which brings me, eventually, to reviews.

It’s accepted that Kirkus charge an arm and a leg to give you a review and if you get a good one you shout about it from the rooftops. It means something, it carries weight, it impresses your readers and other authors. There are dozens of web sites offering you reviews in exchange for money. Yet now, the big A are freaking out about this and taking down reviews they feel are not honest or if you are friends with the author. Will they leave the Kirkus reviews in place?

Is it OK to pay for a review as long as it comes in at one star? Is it then seen to be honest? Is it ethical to pay for a review if no one knows you and promises to be honest?

Currently the big A is now deciding who is friends with whom and who are enemies and sweeping the reviews off the board like breadcrumbs. Food for thought? Comments?


Now I really should use my blog occasionally to mention my books I guess. So a quick reminder that in 4 days, Amie and the Child of Africa hits the virtual bookshelves worldwide. You can pre-order it (please do) and here is the link to make it nice and easy for you. It’s another fast paced, action packed adventure like ‘wot they used to write!’

Amie 3 front cover jpeg

Back in time, James I had no such problems trying to flog his books. He simply ordered that every church should buy one and his ratings on Amazon soared straight to the #1 slot in all genres. Even today the King James Bible is found in millions of homes. Can you image his royalties?


However I have been learning you about Charles II and this is what was written about him.

We have a pretty witty king,

Whose word no man relies on,

He never said a foolish thing,

And never did a wise one”

But he replied “That’s true, for my words are my own, but my actions are those of my ministers.” This has become the new code of ethics for modern day bankers.

Photo of a marble bank
Photo of a marble bank

Well poor, old Charles (he was neither) had a sudden apoplectic fit (whatever the hell that is) one morning at the age of 54 and four days later he was dead. He was very apologetic about this and said “I am sorry, gentlemen for being such a time a-dying.” He was polite right up until the end when he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, not a popular move. But of course it was much too late to do anything about it. He was buried in Westminster Abbey (the Protestant one).


Time for the next king – next time.

1 Way to Help You Meet New Readers: Meet and Greet

Dream Big, Dream Often

imagesWhat day is it??!!  HUMP DAY!!  No, that is completely wrong…it’s Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts…

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My View on Human Tragedies: Why Some Do What They Do

I htought this was certainly food for thought.

Dream Big, Dream Often

Paul-Tillich-alone-quotesWhen I was studying philosophy and religion at UNC Charlotte, we spent a lot of time, as one would expect, on the nature of mankind. My favorite theologian and existentialist was and is Paul Tillich, he had an incredible mind and ability to put the human condition is perspective.

In his work The Courage To Be, Tillich discussed how a loss in the meaning of life causes a plague-like condition of anxiety . He cited courage as the cure. He goes on to discuss how having courage is the strength to go on living a quality existence even when faced with the fact that we all will finally die and may not live with any great purpose. Also, that people will spend their lives living with a huge amount of guilt for not being perfect or good enough.

We have had another mass shooting in the United States and…

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It is with great sadness that I have to announce that this will possibly be a weekly blog from now on. Life has found me and dragged me kicking and screaming into the real world. It’s that time of year when people eat together, drink together and generally chat together.

No longer can I live my hermit existence totally engrossed in my own world. Of course I love to meet up with my friends (as long as they talk about books) and go out for picnics (as long as they talk about marketing books) and get together for an evening of frivolity (as long as it’s all about Amazon algorhythms).

I think you get the drift.

For weeks I’ve not written a single word on my next work in progress, and I’m getting severe withdrawal symptoms. There are never enough hours in the day. If I had to do a pie chart of my daily activity at present, it would go something like this. (I’m not clever enough to actually draw one, so you will have to imagine it).

Getting out of bed, washing, dressing, showering, getting back into bed, reading etc 5%

Eating (although this does double up with reading emails and reading books) 5%

Checking sales figures, along with pages read and pre-order numbers 10%

Answering personal emails 5%

Blogging 2%

Answering Facebook emails 8%

Marketing and promoting 25%

Thinking of witty things to write on FB and other places 1%

Trying to work out new computer programmes eg graphic things and web pages etc 4%

Watching television 1%

Writing monthly column 1%

Thinking up new plot lines 10%

Interaction with the outside world 1%

Placating DH I am still alive and interesting and not that immersed in my writing / marketing 7%

Sleeping 15%

I’m sure you can see my problem. I’ll have to balance things out a little or I’ll become invisible in the local community and I’ll be looking for a cat to keep me company. It’s going to be a hard transition, but now the weather is cooler, everyone has come out of hibernation.

A couple of things to mention before our history lesson.

Firstly here is the link to a radio interview I did with Carol Graham who is a lovely caring person, winner of an award for all her work. We chatted about Walking over Eggshells and growing up with my dysfunctional mother. Thank you Carol for giving me a chance to share my story. I hope it will help others.


Secondly, More Truth, Lies and Propaganda is on a Kindle Countdown from Tuesday 6th October if you want to pick up a cheap copy.       MTLP cover v4 small pic(3)

Back in time, without Facebook and the internet, people had lots more time to do things – like 4 hours to get dressed for dinner, several more hours eating and lots of time for court intrigues.

Poor Charles, everything went wrong in his reign. Beside the Great Plague, otherwise known as the Black Death, there was the Great Fire of London.


This was set off by a baker in Pudding Lane (picture below)


who was fed up because people were not buying his burgers and so decided to wipe out all those who had survived the plague.

But all was not lost! There is always a bright side as it caused lots of work for the builders, including Sir Christopher Wren, who built a tiny chapel called St Paul’s.

St Paul's cathedral

We know ALL of this because of Samuel Pepys, who wrote down everything in his diaries, in case anyone hadn’t noticed the plague or the Great Fire.

samuel pepys

Samuel Pepys painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller in 1689

Till next time