Category Archives: My books

I am back with Goodreads

Several years ago, I signed up for the author program on Goodreads. Unfortunately, I could not understand how it worked. It seems I am not the only one. After struggling for some time, and getting nowhere, I deleted my account.

Last week, I came across an FB posting by NYT bestselling author Alessandra Torre offering a webinar for authors on how to use Goodreads effectively. I watched the webinar several times. It was something of an eye-opener. She showed how to make the best of what (on her saying) is a confusing website for authors. So I am now back on Goodreads, confident I can use it, and intending to be more active than the last time.

If you are on Goodreads, be my friend or follower to stay up to date with my books. I have two books to be published before the end of the year.

If you would like to be on my mailing list, please email me on gerard@gerardcharleswilons.com

Ebooks are here to stay – get a device and save money

Those who continue to look down their noses at ebooks risk being left behind. I admit there is nothing like a bundle of pages sewn or pasted together, encased in a stunning cover. I love leaning back at my desk and staring at my bookshelves choc-a-block with books to the ceiling. But it would a self-defeating indulgence if I let those ethereal feelings hide the real advantages of the ebook.

I now buy many of my books in ebook format which I read on my Kindle device. There are several reasons for this. An ebook reader is very portable compared with a 600-page book; it shelve many books; the books are usually well below the hard copy price, especially with specialist books; and, finally, I can adjust the font size.

This last is a real advantage to me. As I get older I find it increasingly difficult to focus on the print size of many books. Novels are not often a problem, but many books on philosophy, politics and religion (my interests) have smaller than usual font sizes to keep the bulk of the book, and thus the price, down.

Take my advice. Get an ebook reader for ease and savings.

Tony Abbott and the Times of Revolution

I recently completed an update of TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION. I did a bit of polishing and added an index of names. An index of names was an important upgrade. I should perhaps have done that in the beginning. The book also has a new and more attractive cover. The photo is of the entrance to Sydney University where all the action took place.

Update on my writing

This year, 2020, has been a big writing year for me. By the time the year closes, I will have completed and posted 4 books on Amazon, smashwords and D2D. That does not mean I have written four books in a year. It means that I have completed four books, one started as far back as five years ago.

I have also come to a decision about where I am heading with my writing. The question was whether I would pursue the route of traditional publishing with all the risk and frustration that incurs. Or would I commit myself to the self-publishing route – no looking back? There are some great youtube channels that explore this option.

One of the best is Joanna Penn’s THE CREATIVE PENN. I have found her videos extremely helpful in making the choice. She has gone the self-publishing route and, on her saying, earns a six-figure income annually. Not that big earnings is what I am looking for. I am looking for a particular readership. There are others like Penn. They function as mini-publishing enterprises.

Another important consideration in making the choice is that my novels are in the genre of the ‘Catholic Novel’. Book agents, who are the gatekeepers of what gets published, are not looking for my sort of book, nor have they shown the slightest bit of interest. The message comes abundantly clear when you read what sort of books they are looking for. So, it’s now the self-publishing route. What that involves I propose looking at in following posts.

You will find Joanna Penn’s website HERE.

The Conciliar Series

I have begun a series of novels that has as its background the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975). The Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council was part of this cultural revolution. The bishops in St Peter’s of Rome (1962-1965) had imbibed from the same cup of radical anti-Catholic, anti-Christian civilization philosophies driving the mob in Paris in 1968.

The location of the stories in the Conciliar Series will mostly be in Holland and Australia. The first book in the series TIMES OF DISTRESS plays out in Holland, Australia, and New Guinea.

Writing update

I have devoted most of this year to my novel writing (my first love) with interruptions by the Pell Affair and the Amazon Synod. I wrote comments and provided many links to the shocking miscarriage of justice Cardinal Pell suffered. On the quashing of his sentence and release from jail, I gave my full attention to my novel writing, namely to TIMES OF TIMES.

I had reached about 110,000 words with TIMES OF DISTRESS when I saw I was going to make the same mistake as with CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS and IN THIS VALE OF TEARS. If I kept to the plan the book would be too long. As with my other novels, I had two major plot lines. I decided to remove the second plot (33,000 words) which would be the basis of a new book, book 4 in the new CONCILIAR SERIES. It is yet to have a title. I finished the first draft of TIMES OF DISTRESS in early May (87,000 words). It’s now in an advanced stage. I am looking for a publisher.

A second decision was to finish EDITING CONSTANCY. EDITING CONSTANCY had been sitting idly for a couple of years at 45,000 words. I have been working hard and at this point have written 65,000 words with an aim of 80,000. I hope to have the first draft completed in July.

Deep revision and adjustment to Novels

I am carrying out a deep revision and adjustment to IN THIS VALE OF TEARS and THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS (Books Two & Three of the Winterbine series) to bring them into line with the first book of the Winterbine series, TIMES OF DISTRESS, which will be finished in April 2020. The revised and adjusted texts for IN THIS VALE OF TEARS and THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS will be ready in May 2020 and June 2020 respectively.

My Status – Where I am up to

FOR THE TIME BEING, I am consumed with reading and research for the final third of my novel, TIMES OF DISTRESS, the first book in my Winterbine Series. I have little time for other writing which explains why most of my posts on my two websites are links (sometimes with an introduction) to essays or comments I feel are of particular interest.

I will add to my important section on Cardinal Pell as soon as I have time.

I have recently opened a Facebook page for The Edmund Burke Society – Australia. I would really appreciate it if you would give it a like. The more likes I have, the more coverage the page gets. Many thanks.

The impetus for my family history series

MEMOIRS, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES, and personal reflections had never much enticed me until I picked up a book that was lying around at my parents’ house. My mother was an incorrigible reader and always had a book on the coffee table beside her lounge chair. The book was Over the Top with Jim by Murdoch journalist Hugh Lunn. I turned it over and read on the back cover: ‘hilarious,’ ‘don’t read it on public transport,’ ‘a classic in childhood memoir.’ I asked Mum what she thought of it. She gave a shrug and said it was all right. No great vote there, I thought. I was going to put it down but absently flicked through the first chapter. The memoir was about growing up in a less than devout Catholic family. I borrowed the book and began reading. Soon I was hooked. It was true that Lunn’s book was funny – hilarious in parts – but that was not what held my attention. I was on the same track as Lunn’s experiences. More than that: I was riding beside him looking around at a familiar social environment as he told his story. It was an experience in reading that I had rarely had. As amusing as his often facetious account of his childhood was, it was his unwitting social history of the ‘long fifties’ (1945-1962) that gripped me.

Lunn grew up in the suburb of Annerley, just outside of Brisbane city centre. Other than a different suburb in a different capital city and a few years difference in age (he is five years older), my story would be roughly the same. We both grew up in Catholic families which meant our social environment and social prescriptions were fixed at least until the end of school. I think Lunn’s book has been appealing because any Catholic kid of the fifties would at once recognise his experiences and be amused regardless of whether he had kept the faith or abandoned it or was determined to rubbish it to the grave. Kids who weren’t Catholic would recognise what many of us got up to during that time, but would also be intrigued by a glimpse into the mysterious ways of the Catholic Church and its institutions, many of them thinking Lunn had abundantly confirmed their suspicions about its weirdness.

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