December 23, 2011

"Merry Christmas"

This will be my last update for the year, so to tie up a few loose ends...!

Firstly, I have posted the prizes to the winner of the Day of the Diesels competition - they should be with the winner next week, or the week after. Huzzah!

Secondly, the winner of The British Railway Series' Christmas Competition on the series' Facebook group has been chosen - and the winner will receive his prize next week or the week after. Congratulations to our worthy winner, who posted a stunning photograph which encapsulated the "railways in snow" guidelines I set out.

Thirdly, my thanks to everyone, friends and family alike over the last year: it's been a tough one, but hopefully with several bright lights on the horizon, 2012 will be a year to remember.

And finally, to everyone waiting for the first book to be released - stay tuned. I may have some very exciting news come the new year.

Until next year, ladies and gentlemen - thank you for reading.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!


December 15, 2011

"Rant of the Week: Manufacturer Bashing or Constructive Criticism?"

"Manufacturer Bashing" - a get out clause phrase for people who want to pussyfoot around problems with manufacturing, research & development, and good old fashioned quality control.

I refuse point blank to pander to the idea that we cannot in this day and age communicate positively on the drawbacks, negatives, or problems thereof, of a product with its manufacturer if it is warranted.

If everyone was so unable to coherently put forward their point of view on a product and point out factual shortcomings, then we would not see improvements in anything. We'd all still be driving around in Model T Fords and running clockword trains, whilst balsa wood and canvas aircraft float clumsily around our heads.

Equally, we should praise manufacturers when they get it right: and I am choosing to do so by asking everyone to vote for Dapol as manufacturer of the year. Over on RMweb, their company's representative, "DapolDave" has been exemplary in his communication and willingness to help with any problems.

That, and they've made some very fine models this year of prototypes you wouldn't have dreamed of being made. Beattie Well Tanks for Kernow Model Rail, Class 22 diesel hydraulics, and a plethora of N gauge models of excellent quality.

Until next time - remember: if you do wish to criticise a product, do so constructively and factually. If you want to praise - do so openly and honestly.

Until next time.

December 11, 2011

"Hub Worlds on Youtube!"

Something I hope will make things a little easier on Youtube - a "Hub World" video where all of the episodes are linked in the form of the Youtube annotations! Give it a try. Episodes 1-12 are in the first set, episodes 13-20 will appear after The Last Run airs in 2012.

Until next time!

December 07, 2011

"Artwork & Musings"

Dean's handiwork once again bringing to life the characters I write about.

Another piece of the puzzle. But who, what, and where is this happening?

All will be revealed in Tale of the Unnamed Engine!

Coming guessed it, "to a platform near you!"

I have updated the pictures to the right with their descriptions, putting to rest (I hope) some of the rumours going round various websites. It should make my intentions quite clear.

Until next time!

December 02, 2011

"Engage Smug Mode"

Sir Ralph seems to be making a habit of being the subject of the header pictures in my rants and general posts recently. This picture shows him being SO smug, I just had to share it with my readers. With special thanks to Dean Walker, the stories' superb artist.

Why is Sir Ralph so smug? You'll have to find out when the first book goes on sale! Trust me, he doesn't stay this smug for long...!

I am in the process of finalizing the pictures, story, and a new addition to the Colour version of the e-book - an appendix with some history of the characters and locations seen in the book.

This will, I hope, become a normal fixture. Haven't as yet decided on a title for it - my first instinct was to make it narrated by Stephen and call it "Stephen Says" (as "Simon Says" might be a bit too self serving!!!)

I can confirm that the e-book will be published on the Kindle, in a supremely cheap grayscale version, and a slightly more expensive full colour version. Both will work on the original Kindle, but the Colour version will be of course, at its best on the full colour Kindle.

I am also working on an iOS (that's Apple) version of both e-books to be sold on iBooks. I can't guarantee it will be out at the same time as the Kindle one as there is slightly more paperwork to put through, but hopefully it will not be too much longer.

I can also confirm I will be releasing a full colour paperback version of the book, in a limited amount, release date to be confirmed.

You'll also notice I have enabled comments on the blog for the first time. I have put in place settings that will allow users to comment without fear of reading vast amounts of spam.

Thankfully, with everything now set up on my smart phone, I can moderate the blog and Facebook group while on the move, so my fears about the blog being unmoderated at any time can finally be laid to rest.

Until next time!