It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of an excellent book, or seven, is definitely in need of a shedload of marketing.
I don’t think I’ve come across any author yet who particularly likes this side of their job. When I first met Mark Barry via Twitter I only knew him as Wiz Green and it took a while for me to find the man behind the wizard and discover that he’d written some books, and mighty fine ones at that. He rarely tweets about his own stuff and I think ideally he’d prefer to stay hidden behind his blogs, but marketing in this highly competitive world doesn’t work like that and I firmly believe his writing should be read far and wide.
Although Mark Barry is a huge supporter of everyone else, particularly via his author interview blog, he is remarkable reticent on talking up his own work so it is that which is the subject of this post, not Mark.
I am specifically posting this now because every one of his books is available for only 99p/99c until the end of October (okay, well apart from one, but I’m still including that, for very good reason). If you want to go straight to his author page to hoover up these offers then it is here.
A favourite indie author for many Mark has written an eclectic mix of books but at the heart of all of them is terrific and original writing.
So, in no particular order…
One prestigious awards ceremony
Eight hundred years worth of hotel
Six million dollars
One man to keep it all under control…
This book is on Rosie Ambers Book Review Team list of top reads…see for yourself right here in the sidebar. Now although the ebook is 99p/99c and is brilliant I would urge you to splash out on the paperback if you can as this has the most unusual feature of having footnotes which are a wonderful addition. My review is here and to see loads more go to…
This is the first of Mark’s books that I read…I knew then that it wouldn’t be the last.
Cult novel, Carla, is an introspective, moody and chilling romance novel with its roots firmly in the work of the great pulp writers of the fifties. It is a book for adults and for those who have lived through the occasionally bloody battlefields that are the relationships between men and women.
My review is here, and there are many more for you to feast your eyes on here…
This is the latest one out and it is as entertaining as it is shocking…
Not that long ago it was quoted as being Terry Tyler’s top indie read of the year, she is not the only one who feels this way – and there are a lot of books out there. It is filled with deliciousness…
‘Each vowel of her voice is airbrushed and lacquered, tainted with nicotine and peaches; each consonant stroked, massaged and caressed with a mysterious, nameless balm dripping with solace. I could sit and listen to her recite the Yellow Pages and not interrupt her for one single second. (That voice…)’
My review is here and the blurb…
Terry Valentine could have made something of himself had it not been for an obsession with easy women, hard drugs, football violence and the horses. The dark side of life, the fun side.
Now, he’s washed-up.
A loser. A failed wannabe living an invisible life.
After being released from prison for a crime he definitely committed, the good times are over. On a fast road to nowhere, his obsessions alternate between suicide and the next fix of Doom, the latest designer drug, a highly addictive synthetic amalgam of crack, E and opium.
By some stroke of luck, he takes a casual, cash-in-hand job driving and providing security for Chloe, a beautiful young escort who caters for the city’s increasing number of rich and successful businesswomen. He is a protector, a minder – a necessary cog in Chloe’s business wheel and the two form a bond. For him, a bond that’s a shot at redemption.
Until one night, Chloe encounters a tycoon on the outskirts of the City, a woman whose forebears came over in the Norman Conquest. A wealthy magnate who can have everything she wants at the drop hat.
And she wants Chloe, a sentiment that is most definitely not reciprocated.
But the tycoon isn’t the type to take no for an answer. Using infinite resources, Chloe’s oily, untrustworthy pimp, an army of corporate goons, and her Man of Business, a cunning and rock hard ex-Guardsman, she sets out to claim her prize by any means necessary.
And only one man can save her; Terry Valentine. Failed gangster. Ex offender. Loser.
(sorry, I couldn’t just leave it at a few words for this book!)
This is the one that is £1.99 (still not exactly pricey), it is very popular and has sold in large numbers. I wasn’t sure how I’d get on with a book that is essentially based on football hooliganism…but don’t let this put you off because it is a sensational read, here is my review.
Ultra Violence is the thrilling, humourous, nihilistic and sometimes moving story, told partially in flashback, of one man’s journey from idealistic young fan to major football hooligan set against the shadow of a grim and soulless middle age in the bustling English city of Nottingham.
And here is the sequel…
The most dangerous creation of any society is the man with nothing to lose
A football hooligan is released from an institution near Newark, which could be a prison or a mental asylum. He is introduced to an author, and along with his old friends and family, recalls the halcyon days of mayhem and violence on the terraces at Meadow Lane.
Then, the Bentinck, a grand old pub the gang used to frequent, is turned into a coffee shop.
This unpopular development threatens to inspire another tragic descent into over-aged hooliganism at the last match of season, which just happens to be against a serious firm with a reputation for savage violence.
Do fifty and sixty year olds really fight at football matches? Why? Is the caper THAT addictive? The last chapter has to be read to be believed…
My review is here
The paperback covers work perfectly together!
Mark’s first novel was my last read of his…
Buddy Chinn, a deadbeat Los Angelino living in the shadow of doomed Hollywood Park meets a big time book collector and gets a proposition. Find a unique and long-lost manuscript written by your deceased beat poet dad: Succeed and receive a hundred grand. Fail? It doesn’t bear thinking about. Enlisting the help of an English comic dealer and poker player, the two men search the country and beyond, avoiding the attentions of hooligans, gangsters and a gorgeous gang boss with a thing for big guys. Like Buddy.
Will they find the merchandise? Or will they end up underneath a flyover holding up the Interstate.
Thriller. Chase book. Black Comedy. Philosophy.
You read it. You call it.
My review, should you want to read more is here.
And now onto short stories, I love reading these to give you the taste of an authors talent and this is a book filled with excellent ones from many different writers – including one Stefan Xerxes who writes a passionate piece about kebab addiction…it needs to be read 🙂
The Reality Bites anthology is made up of twelve stories on the subject ‘Hope from Despair.’
‘The overwhelming feeling I got from this extraordinary bunch of writers was of heart-rending truthfulness. So powerful were these stories you felt the authors baring their souls as they wrote, the words pouring onto the pages like blood from a freshly cut vein.’
Read the rest of the review here.
And finally… an added extra, L.A. Punk Rocker presented by Brenda Perlin – a fabulous collection of personal stories on the Punk era and a couple of fictional short stories by Mark based on Billy Idol…fantastic – I can’t begin to tell you what a joy these are… my review is here.
This is again slightly outside the 99p/99c I quoted above but believe me it is worth every penny.
There is something else coming shortly – Mark is heavily involved in the Brilliant Books project whose aim is to keep kids reading and which focuses on reluctant readers in schools. As well as a benefit night on Friday 13th November 2015 at The Chameleon Arts Café in Nottingham there is a fundraising book about to be released in which Mark has a short story – I can’t wait to read it and will update this post with the details as soon as I have them.
A book, or seven, for only 99p/99c each seems like a terrific investment to me, where else could you get so many hours of pleasure for so very little?
I hope I have whetted your appetite for something a bit beyond the everyday, the average and that you will take the opportunity to invest your shiny pound wisely… you will not regret it 🙂