New Releases

The 17th Man is pleased to announce the release of his two latest books – numbers 4 and 5 in The Diary of the 17th Man series.

The first and the funniest books published about the latest Ashes series follow the daily action through the unhinged pen of The 17th Man and his parallel cricketing universe.

 

ashes diary 2 cover 2b“Ashes Diary 2 – The 17th Man’s Summer of Shove – Australia 2013-14″

The whole story behind the return Ashes series and Australia’s 5- nil win.

Laugh your way through the triumph and the pain – depending on who you support.

Ebook: OUT NOW at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

Tweets Cover 2“10 Ashes Tests in Tweets”

The 17th Man’s ever popular and hilarious Best of Twitter for every day of the 10 tests of the double Ashes series, collected together in one place.

Did you make the cut?

Ebook: OUT NOW at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

 

 

 

Also by The 17th Man:

“Ashes Dairy – Summer of The 17th Man – England 2013″

The complete story of the 2013 Ashes Series, as told by the 17th Man. From CoachGate to DRS controversies, all the way through to the series win by England, with the agony and the ecstacy all laid bare by the observant eye of The 17th Man. Illustrated by Jock Macneish.

Ebook: OUT NOW at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. NOW ALSO AT kobo.

Paperback: OUT NOW at amazon.co.uk

 

From Dust to Dust – The Australian Team’s Tour of India 2013

Find out what really happened on the Tour of India through the wickedly outrageous chronicles of the 17th Man as he picks over the daily entrails of a Tour gone wrong.

Australian Cricket Tours of India always start with winning expectations that are ever so slowly deflated by stifling days watching dusty pies belted over the boundary ropes and a curry smorgasbord that runs through you like the Ganges. Mental disintegration under pressure is nothing new. Add the spice of HomeWorkGate, persecution of the Mohali 4, debilitating on-field performances and a dash of sledging and you have enough explosive to shake the pillars of Australian cricket.

In his first book, The 17th Man reveals all about the Tour of India, from HomeWorkGate to the dead pitches and everything in between.

Available as an ebook (for Kindle and Kindle apps), and now in paperback as well, at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

From the Desk – November 2013

Unfortunately, this is not my desk

Unfortunately, this is not my desk

So what’s happening in Dave’s Writing World?

The Diary of the 17th Man has resulted in three books, two of which are in paperback.  With the Ashes cricket on in Australia, we’re currently writing daily at 17thmandiary.com

Live-Fiction.com is well underway.  There are three books published, with two to come before the end of the year – “Prank!” and “No Room in the Bin.”  There’s also a podcast – the first two books from the series are available now for free, and I’m also aiming to record Spillage as a teaser for Advanced Smash Repairs.

I’m expanding the paperback catalogue, with Advanced Smash Repairs Six Pack in proof and out this year, and The Queensberry Rule next in line.  I’ve also expanded the availability of ebooks in stores, with Live-Fiction, Advanced Smash Repairs Six Pack and The Diary of the 17th Man catalogue available at kobo.com.

And coming up? 

There will be another Diary of the 17th Man book in January based on the current Ashes Tour, and more Live-Fiction novellas and ultimately, collections.  There have been discussions about a sequel (and a prequel) to The Queensberry Rule and another novel with Steve McAlpine called “Warm Honey.”

Happy reading!

 

Dave C

Publishing Microfiction

The last few months have been dominated by a particular project, so I thought I’d write a quick post about it to let you know what it is all about.

The Big Idea

Write a “fictitious” daily blog with humorous 500+ word posts for 100 days, and then bundle up the material into a book (ebook and print).

The Project

The construct was to write a blog that represents the daily diary of a fictional international sportsman – in this case an Australian cricketer player.  He is the last man picked in a squad of 17 players – thus the moniker The 17th Man – and with only 11 playing in any game, he has little chance of appearing for his country.

We developed a fictitious team of characters to distance ourselves from “real life” just a little, while the diary operates in a world of the real results.  The project is set in the context of “The Ashes” – the most epic cricketing contest involving five five-day cricket matches between England and Australia.

Each day we wrote at least 500 words, with the average over the cycle ending up about 650 per day.  With the real action happening overnight Australian time, our aim was to publish by 4 pm every day – so Australia subscribers could pick up their notification before leaving work, and UK readers would pick their’s up first thing in the morning on the day following,

Collaboration

With two writers, we settled into the routine of two days on, two days off.  We planned out a number of story lines, and each writer took charge of specific threads, weaving them into the ongoing narrative.  With cross editing, we maintained a reasonably consistent voice, but used a variety of styles of post to keep the reading experience fresh every day.

Through a personal recommendation, we were joined by a cartoonist, who regularly contributed to the blog – sometimes his own response to the action or the post, sometimes in response to a specific commission.

With real life being stranger than fiction, there was never a shortage of events to twist, change and exaggerate as we made up the adventure of the 17th Man and his team mates.  Our fears of running out of material over the long 100 day slog were unfounded – we were left with plenty of unused material we had prepared in advance.

Blog to Book

We copied the material from the blog into Scrivener in chunks whenever we remembered to do it along the way, so the master file for the book grew as we went along.  We decided that we were only going to edit for typos (no small task!) to leave the end product with the day-to-day freshness of the blog.  We had intended to do that along the way, so by the end of the writing period then book file was fairly “mature”, but we soon fell behind.  This meant that the last two weeks of live production were crazy busy as we tried to catch up with editing the book product while still writing and promoting the blog, as well as organizing a cover.

The resulting book is over 70,000 words. Ashes Diary – Summer of the 17th Man – England 2013 is on sale now in ebook.

Blog to Audio

We also settled into a routine of recording the blog posts in twos and threes for a podcast.  This means that the book is already available in audio on itunes.

Next Steps

The ebook is on sale and paperback will hit the market any day – beating any other books (written by real players and commentators) on the Ashes Series by months, we hope. We’re promoting madly, sending out review copies and getting ready to launch into another daily grind come November.

We’ve got two similar previous works on sale, and we’re also developing a version of the cricket “diary” concept for younger readers.

Key Lessons

  • Writing collaboratively can work!
  • Nothing beats a daily deadline for making sure the writing gets done.
  • There is always more to do than there is time to do – do the things that you think will work best for readers.
  • Don’t underestimate the time needed on production if you want to get to market quickly – you can’t afford to short change things like proofreading that effect the readers’ experience.

Checc out the three books in my new project, Live:Fiction, here.

Coming Up

“Hey, what’s happening with your writing?”

Love it when I get asked that.  Here’s the answer:

– Most time is currently being spent on Diary of the 17th Man.  That involves publishing 500+ words of humour every day, and getting ready to publish the book of the current series as soon as we can in early September.  In ebook AND print.

– Writing “Performance Anxiety”, a long short story/short novella about drugs in sport.  This will be the first story published under the banner of LIVE:FICTION.

– Setting up for the LIVE:FICTION launch.  This will kick off with several ebooks, with an accompanying podcast of story readings followed by print versions of collected works. Read about the vision for LIVE:FICTION here.

On the site, I’m aiming for:

– More movie reviews (Next is Romeo + Juliet)

– the podcast of Live:Fiction stories

– some serialisation of developnig LIVE:FICTION stories.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

A Year in Self Publishing

I first dipped my toe into the self-publishing water in September 2011, with a collection of short stories and a humorous travel book.  This helped me uncover and understand the sweet spot in my writing.

Inspired by a photograph, I conceived a novella series in March 2012 that suited my emerging style and the time I had available to write. Advanced Smash Repairs was born.

It’s taken nine months longer than planned, but the series is finally complete.  It’s a quirky six-part series about a smash repair business that “knows too much.”  Craig runs the workshop, and with the help of his staff – lead mechanic Pavel, apprentice Clint, enigmatic test driver Boris and mysterious newcomer Isobel – he fixes cars in unconventional ways, solving a few mysteries along the way.

Each of the six “episodes” is a stand-alone story of about 12,000 words. Just like a TV series, there are common characters and themes that also work their way through the whole series. This approach to writing and publishing fiction has been championed by Sean Platt and David Wright with their popular Yesterday’s Gone post-apocalyptic horror series and the other series they have published.

That’s all sounds good, but there have been a few hiccups along the way.

In theory, it’s best to write the series, then edit it as a whole, before publishing the episodes.  Platt and Wright’s current thinking on best practice is to publish Episode 1 and the whole season compendium at the same time, then publish the remaining episodes week by week for their readership that prefers that. Back in 2012, I couldn’t wait – I thought I’d be able to keep up with a monthly schedule, so I published Episodes 1 and 2 in April and May of 2012.

Then . . .

I got distracted by the demands of finishing The Queensberry Rule, a novel I had been co-authoring with a friend for several years.  I got through the completed first draft just in time to deal with some serious health issues, which laid me low for months. At first I thought I’d be able to make some real progress with the writing while convalescing and then partially returning to paid work, but it was four months before I could concentrate when sitting alone at the keyboard.  This was no ordinary “writer’s block”.

New Year was a turning point.  I was able to think clearly again and get stuck into finishing the series, inspired to at least attempt to “write fast” as Platt, Wright and Johnny B Truant talk about on The Self Publishing Podcast. There are similar ideas in this article by Rachel Aaron.

A good measure of my recovered confidence was starting a new project in March, The Diary of the 17th Man.  This is a fictitious and (hopefully) humorous daily blog, again co-authored, which follows the Australian Cricket Team – in this case on their Tour of India.  After 40 days of non-stop production, including recording the material for a daily podcast, we bundled up the content into an ebook, “From Dust to Dust“, published the day after the Tour ended.  This speed to market was followed just a couple of weeks later by the paperback.  No other books about the Tour have been published yet as far as we know.

With Advanced Smash Repairs now out of the way, preparation is underway for a micro-fiction marathon – 500 words a day for 100 days straight, starting mid-June, following the Australian Team’s quest to win back the coveted trophy, The Ashes.

Reflecting on the last year, a few things come to mind.

  • Be patient!  I feel a bit dumb launching a series that has had Episode 1 out for a year, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Apart from that, I’ve had to let the trauma of an unexpected illness work itself out, emerging from a difficult period as a more confident writer.
  • You can write fast. For those who hold down jobs and write in their “spare time”, finding out what works for you in this regard is essential to getting more work out in the world.
  • You can collaborate.  I never imagined writing with someone else, but both The Queensberry Rule and The Diary of the 17th Man are far better for being collaborative projects. Check out this episode of SPP for more on collaboration.
  • You can spend a lot of time doing stuff that isn’t writing. Constrain the time you spend on “stuff”, and value writing time highly.

The rough tally for the year is one novel, six novellas and a compendium, and a sport-based humour book.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a cracker of idea for a new short fiction project. It’s fresh, unique and hopefully salable. I just need to get my collaborators organised and we’ll be off.

Dave C

 

Like to keep up to date with my writing and new releases ? Sign up to my email list here and receive a free ebook as my gift to you.  It will be great to have you along for the adventure.

 

From the desk

After a mad few weeks, here’s an update on what’s been happening:

  • Diary of the 17th Man has taken on a life of its own, having started out here.  It has moved to its own page, and we’ve started a podcast.  This is a fun project, and is attracting a lot of interest. Ebook now on sale.
  • Cracks in the Ceiling, my first book, is now available in print from amazon.com. I’m currently working on the print version of The Queensberry Rule.
  • The Advanced Smash Repairs Series is creaking along much slower than I’d like, with Number 5 in the series, “Shatter”, almost finished.  “Scratch” and “Hammer”, numbers 3 and 4 respectively, are with beta readers. The finale to season 1, “Burn” has a rough outline.

There’s another short fiction project in concept development – but I can’t get to it!  Maybe over the winter . . .

Regards

Dave Cornford

 

Reading in 2012

I’ve read a lot more this year than last year – partly intentionally, as every writer needs to be reading, but partly due to a period of illness where I was sitting around trying not to be bored.

So, without too much comment, here’s the list in no particular order:

Salmon Fishing in Yemen – Paul Torday

The Guernsy Literary  Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaefer

Taliban Cricket Club – Tameri N Murari (incomplete)

Unreliable Memoirs – Clive James

The Name of the Book is Secret – Pseudonomous Bosch

And the self-pubbed:

MOD – J C Allen and Shirley Hicks

Shot of Tequilla – J A Konrath and Blake Crouch

The Fall of Billy Hitchings – Kirkus MacGowan

Are We Nearly There Yet? – Ben Hatch

Yesterday’s Gone – Sean Platt and David Write

Thy Feifdom Comes – David KO Chin.

10 Days to Tell the World about The Queensberry Rule

The Queensberry Rule has been on sale for a couple of weeks, and now there are just ten days left until Christmas.

So, here is your challenge, dear readers – Tell the world about it in the next ten days.  You might Facebook it, tweet it, put it in your Christmas newsletter, give it as a Christmas present, chalk it, wear it, shout it, tell people to sign up to my enewsletter.

Leave a comment with what you’ve done to promote The Queensberry Rule, and the Top Ten ideas will each receive a free ebook.

The competition will be judged by yours truly, based on:

  • Imagination
  • Reach

and the prize – a free ebook from my catalogue – will be emailed to the ten winners on Christmas Eve, just in time for some holiday reading.

So, get your thinking caps on and share it with the world!

The Queensberry Rule On Sale Now!

It’s now five years since Steve McAlpine uttered those fateful words “I’ve got an idea for a film script” one night in Perth over a beer.

With a few twists and turns, some dormant periods and many skype sessions, our cross-continental collaboration has finally yielded The Queensberry Rule.

It’s a short novel, with an accompanying film script already underway.

It’s available now at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

 

Book Launch Event

Dave Cornford and his co-author Steve McAlpine are pleased to invite you to a launch event they are holding for their novel, The Queensberry Rule.
Monday 3 December 5.30 – 7.00 pm
Corner of Phillip and Bent Streets, Sydney.
 
Dave will speak briefly about the book, and drinks will be on sale at the bar.
RSVP 1 December by email to [email protected]
Bring your e-reading device with you – you never know, you might want to buy the book on the night. Wifi connection available.
If you’ve got an iPad, iPhone or Android device, make sure you download the kindle app. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771
The Queensberry Rule is a mystery thriller about one man’s search for justice in a world where the “truth” can been manufactured in an instant.
Ebook available soon from amazon.com