From Subscribers’ November Newsletter

I wrote the story called “Terminal Space” last winter, and kept it on one side with a folder of others for future reference. Then the future reference turned up in the form of a vector picture I noticed on Shutterstock – the Images Website. It was a coloured pattern in a doughnut circle. I downloaded the free image and tried it out as a book cover, with some text, and then a cityscape panorama from Dreamstime (a rival Image Website). I liked the way it looked, and paid for the high-quality versions. Somewhere in the process, I’d decided that one particular story fitted that picture really well. So I jiggled with the text here and there – not a lot – and there was the story, with the pattern being the Terminal Space that is the exit/entrance for an orbiting station/depot/prison. All the visiting ships, large and small, go through there, and in the usual free-for-all, it’s not the safest place to be. As Prisoner 296 discovers when he’s sent to do some repairs on the power panelling.

The end of this month is the projected date of letting this one off the leash. - YES!!! Dec 1st!!!

Writing on the blog the other day, about where on Earth do ideas come from, two additional sources of ideas occurred to me this morning:

Sitting on the bench in the back garden in the sun, with Chris (my wife) and a few shandies (A very frequent occurrence this past locked-down summer). We have a couple of ponds. One is very small, for sticklebacks and minnows. The other is about twenty feet long and has koi carp, shubunkins, frogs and a large grass snake which used to eat the frogs and smaller fish. From these have come stories such as “There’s something in my pond” (which – I’m bragging now – won a short story competition last year) and “Pondkeeper”. Both started with a few pages jotted down in a notebook in the back garden, and migrated to the computer not long afterwards. I enjoyed doing the illustration for Pondkeeper, too.

Walking the innumerable footpaths round the village. Brinsley is about ten miles from Nottingham, and is right in the countryside. A couple of stories that spring to mind are “The Portal” and “Go for a walk, Oscar, Dear”, both set along the disused mineral line that is now a leafy broad track.

I hope you enjoy what we offer. Please feel free to make constructive suggestions, and give the books positive reviews on Amazon, any time. On that subject – two readers have recently been extremely kind recently in their reviews on Amazon. I appreciate this enormously. Without reviews, Amazon’s marketing algorithm S9 doesn’t notice a book, and it stays in the unknown recesses of the Kindle shelves. So please, if you feel you can give a positive review of any of the books – go on the Amazon site – or Google Amazon Trevor Watts – that’ll get you there, as well. And at the bottom, “Customer review”. On the strength of the last reviews, I changed the whole back cover of Terminal Space to quote extracts of them.

I’m open to bribing anyone who gives a positive review for one book. Such as the gift of a free digital (PDF) copy of another book. Amazon’s OK with soliciting reviews in that manner, by the way. Or contact me for pop-in at-the-door freebies.

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Best wishes - Trevor Watts

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