THE FIRST PART, THE BIG TRIP – SECOND PART, QUEEN VICTORIA

It’s over a year now since we returned from the Big Trip so it’s all a bit hazy – not too surprising when you realize I have trouble remembering yesterday.

The nice people at the tour company wrote it all down for us, but on occasion we did not visit places in the same order as the route march itinerary, so possibly I may even have labelled sites and statues and places incorrectly. Thankfully the photos on my iPad are dated so I shouldn’t be too far out. But, this is a happy, casual blog and under no circumstances should be used as a comprehensive travel guide. Nor should the writer be held responsible for any errors and should you follow this and end up in the Falklands, then that is to your own account.

After our visit to the royal palace, we took a ferry across the Chao Phraya River and as we landed I noticed a photo shoot, so I hopped in with the camera and took a few photos, but the light was not good. We couldn’t work out if these were national costumes for a particular cerebration or a tourist brochure.

We’d taken the ferry to see, guess what? Yes, another temple, although I did rebel a little here and insisted we stop for morning coffee. The drink was good but the surroundings decidedly dubious and our guide was not too thrilled, there was the itinerary to follow with Thai efficiency.

THE HISTORY BIT

Now I don’t know whose fault it was but Victoria and Albert obviously watched too many Disney films and they were great fans of Little House on the Prairie. They wanted one of those perfect families, where all the children were well behaved, and loved Mummy and Daddy and – wait for it – did as they were told. They wanted to set an example to the world of the perfect fairytale family as an example to all their subjects.

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To start with all went well. Albert doted on little Vicky (there they go, using the same names again and again). It was all very discreet of course, as they lived in a Hypocratical age, as piano legs were wrapped in blankets so as not to appear rude or remind anyone of the begatting of children.

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Till next time, take care.

IT’S MY EXPLANATION (AND I’M STICKING TO IT)

As one or two of you might know I used to work in the media, and I’ll never forget the awful day when the editor turned to me and asked what the next shot was. Now very few programmes are shot in order, you might even capture the final shot first. I looked down at the script and told him it was the guys climbing the pylon.

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“And the in and out points?” His fingers were poised over the controls. I checked the shot list, and then checked it again and again and again, panic rising, heart beat racing, I could even feel my blood pressure shooting skywards. But no, the shot wasn’t there. We had forgotten to film anyone even near the pylon, much less climbing it.

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I still shudder when I remember that moment, and from that day I meticulously made sure that every scene we ever needed was safely in the can.  Over the years I became more and more efficient and we were able to work faster and faster.  –  Patience, I’m coming to the point just now!

Then of course I retired (joke) and I began the book writing thing. My first book languished away on Amazon, picking up less than 2 dozen sales in the first year, until I discovered marketing, or rather the need to market. (Sad to remember I thought that people just ‘found’ books on Amazon and shot you to the heights of the best sellers). I ventured onto Facebook and a kind writer put up my web page and then I dipped my toe in the blog world.

So, blogs were a good way to chat to people. They give you more freedom than a short post on FB and trying to get much of a message out there about anything in less than 140 characters on Twitter was going to need a lot of practice.

So what could I write on my blog? I had no advice for anyone, I had used up most of my experiences in two more memoirs so I began to expand on my silly history of kings and queens of England based on a humorous lecture I’d given locally – entitled All the monarchs in 59 minutes and 3 seconds. It had taken me some time to write and it seemed daft not to use it as it would never see the light of day again.

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Then came the Big Trip and I really wanted to share this with the world, I was just blown away by the sights and sounds of the Far East. But, there was a problem, I was still fumbling my way through history, I’d only got as far as the Tudors. OK, I thought, I’ll combine them and do half of each.

I was still thinking how clever I was until a couple of writer friends pointed out at lunch yesterday that my blog is totally confusing. “You’re jumping around all over the place” they told me kindly. Readers don’t know what to expect!

Now, I’m getting to the point. It’s all in the planning. If only I could have my time over again for the last few years. For example, I would have realized that I needed to co-ordinate the covers on my Amie series – yes all series have matching covers I know that now – and it’s taking time and money to replace them all.

Amie covers right now – see not matching!

Even the cover of my first book was really amateurism, even though I was so proud of it at the time – and that’s now been changed 3 times.

I’ve learned that you need to build a platform of friends months before you even write Chapter One on the screen, and if you are even thinking of writing a book, practice Twitter, a basic graphics programme, familiarize yourself with analytics and how to format for the sales channels. It’s also helpful to find out how to convert your documents from one format to another, pdf, epub, mobi etc  and how to decide which blog host to choose and set up your page. You also need to suss out the promo sites and which ones give value for money and then there are the key words and the rankings and the … the list is endless. Dozens of people have written books about how to do all this, or whole books on only one topic of all the knowledge which will help you on your way to the top of the charts.

Of course I didn’t even know you had to plan, and let’s face it, often we are not sure what works if anything and to what extent.

The postscript to this is I’m afraid you will have to live with my lack of planning and suffer both the Big Trip and, currently, Queen Victoria a little longer. They will be back next week. We’re coming to the end of both topics and then I’ll be stuck!!

Now I’m sure you’ve noticed that I rarely push my books on here but I would like to mention my new monthly newsletter which will have news about my books and those of other people. Plus a downloadable back story to the Amie series, plus information about the pending court case (that is not serious). I hope I can find the sign up form here again, but if not, please leave a comment and I will happily add your name. Happy to cross promote with other authors, but to start with I am focusing on new releases and books with an African connection.

Oh, one final thing – my Goodreads giveaway is ending in 2 days – for 2 signed paperback copies posted worldwide. Here is the link. https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/217970-amie-an-african-adventure

Till next week.

Amie in Africa visits Lisa Burton Radio

Amie celebrity for a day – that’s as much as she’s going to get!

Entertaining Stories

Today is Thursday, and that means it’s time for another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my very special guest today is Amie Fish. “Welcome to the show, Amie.”

“I’m really pleased to be on the show Lisa thank you for asking me.”

“So what possesses a newlywed to uproot and move half-way around the world to darkest Africa?”

“I didn’t have a choice, Lisa. My newly married husband was offered a job in Togodo and it was expected that I go with him. I wasn’t looking forward to it, not one little bit. I had a good job in a local television production company and my family lived in the same town. I was quite happy as I was.”

“My bio says you got a little bored, and went to work using your journalism skills for an Army Colonel. What kind of…

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BANKOK AND ALMOST THE END OF ESCORTED BIG TRIP

The summer palace at Bang Pa-In was truly special and as I can’t put too many photos in each blog, I’ll spread it out over a couple of weeks. No words from me are necessary, the pictures speak for themselves.

HISTORICAL NONSENSE

Well of course all this frolicking around in the bedroom had consequences didn’t it? (Urban legend has it that Albert put locks on the doors – that’s how serious it was).  I’m still puzzling over that letter from last week, do you think Albert ever got to read it?  The Queen hated being pregnant, viewed breast-feeding with disgust and thought new born babies were ugly. She compared them to frogs.

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In November 1840, three doctors and a nurse were installed in Buckingham Palace. When the Queen went into labour, she was worried that she might cry out and be heard by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister Lord Palmerston and other important ministers who were all waiting in the next room.

This was referred to as the first silent birth – and you thought it might be fun to be a princess? Think again.

The reason for this almost public exhibition? Years ago, many had believed that James II’s son was a changeling and had been smuggled into the queen’s bedchamber in a warming pan, so it became practice to have state ministers on hand to view a new royal baby immediately it was born.

Stay safe until next week.

THE BIG TRIP AN UNDISCLOSED NUMBER

Honestly I’ve lost count of the number of posts, but we were still in Bankok, and here are a few more shots of the Royal Grand Palace. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures inside. (It’s at times like this you realize how lucky you are to be a very ordinary person, and don’t have members of the great unwashed traipsing through your house gawping at everything).

We left Bankok for Ayutthaya which was the former capital to see the Bang Pa-In summer palace which was really beautiful. The palace is located on the Chao Phraya River bank in the Bang Pa-In district.

I will post pictures of this next week as I have some more here that I want to share with you.

HISTORICAL NONSENSE

Well of course as we all know Victoria fell hook line and sinker for the upright, prudish minor prince from some unpronounceable place in one of the German states – that’s why we just call him Albert.

During her lifetime, Victoria kept a daily journal and wrote dozens and dozens of letters. On average she wrote 2,500 words a day, but she never managed to upload them successfully on Amazon. After her death, two of her daughters destroyed some of her writings, so we may have inherited a somewhat sanitized version of events. We can only imagine the erotica she wrote from one letter she wrote to her Dear Lord M about her wedding night in Buckingham Palace.

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It was a gratifying and bewildering experience. I never, never spent such an evening. His excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness. He clasped me in his arms and we kissed each other again and again.”

Words fail me – until next week, stay safe. Oh, did you sign up for the newsletter? I hope so. Hre is the sign up sheet again.

Our Books Are Not Free

If only EVERY author decided to charge even a few cents for every book they have on sale, how long would it take to persuade the reading public not to expect free books? Can you think of anything else people expect for free?

Rainne's Ramblings

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Guest post by Rose Montague, writer of Urban Fantasy/Young Adult books with a lot of humour and just a touch of romance.
Rose has worked both in a library as well as several bookstores. She lives in Elon, NC.

Excerpt:

It started with a bit of a rant with my post on Facebook:

“Free, Free, Free…

I see it in my emails, on twitter, on my Facebook newsfeed, 20 free books, 400 books at 99 cents, sign up and get free books, enter to win 47 free books, 36 authors giving away eBooks at this event. I’m not participating, sorry.

How about a fun read at a reasonable price? That sounds like a good plan to me.”

Thirty minutes later, I added this in a second post:

“I’m thinking about doing an event called OUR BOOKS ARE NOT FREE.

No giveaways, no prizes, no incentives other than meeting authors and…

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FREE continuing promotion right under your nose …

This was definitely worth a reblog. I’d not thought of reposting old interviews etc. Great idea. 🙂

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

READERS will also find this interesting (and they can *see below how they may help), but …

This post is mainly for all you angst-ridden authors out there who moan and groan about how little promotion and publicity you receive for the books you publish. Yes, it’s true, there are definitely fewer outlets reviewing books or interviewing authors. So what are we supposed to do to get the word out and attract new readers to our work?

I have a cunning plan!

When I ePublished my first novel, I received “some” attention (i.e. Not a lot …) for my efforts, but I carried on regardless and continued to promote other authors, as well as my own books, through my business Alberta Books Canada. Then I moved back to the Caribbean and become much more involved in the online writing community, especially with regards to indie authors around the world who…

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