A future without teachers…?

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Last night I went to a panel discussion at Regent’s University titled ‘The Future of English’ featuring several luminaries (the ‘great men’) of the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) world. TEFL is my day job. David Graddol was there, who inspired my MA thesis. He writes about the megatrends of the world, like demographics, economics, military, culture and …

That breakeven point I was talking about…

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The stats from Amazon are in and I can finally represent, in hard-data graph form, the beautiful surfacing of my books net earnings- up from the depths of debt and into the dizzying clear sky of profit. It has been a long time coming (two years self-publishing now) and there was never any certainty I’d get even this far. It …

The Walking Dead S6 E01 ‘First Time Again’ Strategy Fail

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Count the number of tiny bandages on Rick’s face. Go on count them. 5? 4? 3? When it gets down to 1 he’s basically recharged and it’s clobbering time, like an Energizer bunny. Ah I love the Walking Dead. Zombies, Rick Grimes, murderin’, gore, zombie conga, it just gets no better. I love the episodes that open with a time …

London Indie Writers exists!

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So after years of thinking about it and months of gathering information on what such a group might actually do, I’ve finally made my own writer’s group on Meetup.com called London Indie Writers. http://www.meetup.com/London-Indie-Writers/ So far it has two other members: they’re both ladies, one writes romance with a high level of success, and the other writes ‘cli-fi’, or climate …

Sorry the site was down!

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My site was down the last few days- nobody knows why, not me, not my hosting service, nobody- so apologies about that if you were checking in and getting rebuffed. I spent a few days fixing it, with a lot of trial-and-error installing, deleting, reinstalling, moving around, password changing, syncing and other stuff later, and now it is back- with …

How ‘The Name of the Wind’ blows Robert Jordan away – book review

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Take the story structure and wizarding world of Harry Potter, add the main character and creative problem-solving skills from Ender’s Game, then stir liberally with a generous helping of ‘epic’ from The Wheel of Time, and you’ll come up with Patrick Rothfuss’ 2007 debut fantasy novel ‘The Name of the Wind’. It tells the story of Kvothe, ‘the most interesting …

Bible and Holly Lolly

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We bought a Bible! Actually I should say we donated for a Bible, as it was offered to us for free when we went to church again today. Church AGAIN?! Yes church again, but not the brainwashing rock-out of the family service we went to last time, instead back to the regular solemnity of a proper service. Now that the …

Kingkiller & Holly Lolly

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I just finished book 2 of the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss- proper review forthcoming- and now I need something similar to read. All I want is more Kvothe! There is none though, the third book in the trilogy has been expected for at least 4 years, and still no sign of it coming. What is Rothfuss playing at? Whatever. …

Kindle Publishers Meetup Group

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Last night I went to Canteen in Spitalfields market to join the Kindle Publishers Meetup group, hoping for a good discussion about self-publishing and book marketing with fellow authors. To some extent I got it, from a very friendly and welcoming bunch, with a very friendly and cheerful leader, Sharif. The discussion was maybe not all I’d hoped for- though …

Work style…

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At drinks with colleagues a few days back, the topic came up of my lack of ‘work style’. Of course I wear a suit, so I’m smartly presented, but that always becomes shirt and pants as I’m not comfortable in a jacket. Add that to the fact that I don’t wear a tie (nobody does here) and I often wear …

Fareed Zakaria reaches out to me

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I take a keen interest in U.S. politics, regularly listening to podcasts of Meet The Press, Bill Maher’s Real Time and Fareed Zakaria’s GPS. I used to watch CNN’s State of the Union too but that on top of the others was a bit much even for me. Why do I take this interest? Cynically I will say that U.S. …

Medieval humble bragging

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Last weekend while I was in Leicester Cathedral, standing by the sleek new tomb for car park King Richard 3, I cast my eye delicately over the tombstones built into the walls and stumbled upon this little beauty. Humble bragging was a thing even in 1743. What is humble bragging? Bragging about how humble you are. Look at this for …

MJG’s Author Rank 2014/2015

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Amazon offers a number of statistics to authors who publish through them- one of them being Author Rank. I don’t know exactly what goes into calculating it, but it’s most likely a combination of the sales rank (number of sales combined with recency of sales) of all an author’s books, plus perhaps something for number of reviews and maybe even …