Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

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Finding Lost Books and other friends

Do you have a book that you’ll never forget but you can’t remember the name of it, or the author? I like to try new (to me) authors and different types of books and those that have stuck in my mind tend to be by authors I haven’t read before. One that I only remember a little of was about people travelling to another planet by hot air balloon–I know, right? Sounds ridiculous but I enjoyed the weirdness, the fresh ideas of that book. I had no idea until yesterday even who the author was, since it was at least 2 decades ago that I read it.

I love Google and look up all sorts of things so I tried a pretty random search for a book ‘about people travelling to a different planet on a balloon’, without much hope, and found it!  Apparently I have quite good taste as it won an award and he was quite a prolific author. It’s probably one of those books that people either love or hate and I wouldn’t read it again because I might hate it now. I just really appreciate writers who can come up with bizarre ideas and somehow make them work.

Another book I loved years ago, for the same reason, and wouldn’t read again, for the same reason, is The Watcher. The name, strangely enough, popped back into my head a few years ago and that made it easier to find, although it’s not the only book by that title. It’s too weird to describe but well worth a read if you like horror/fantasy/psychological thrillers.

There’s another book stuck in my head, something about people living on the edge of a chasm, but I can’t find it. There’s a number of books with Chasm in the title but I don’t remember enough about it–it may not even have that in its title.

I’ve also found, not on Google, but on Facebook, two people, one a cousin and one a friend, I haven’t seen in over 40 years, so the internet’s working well for me!

When I’m not on Facebook or Google, or learning French on Duolingo, or writing, I like making new covers for my books. Here’s the latest. You can find all my books on Amazon:




What’s your favourite thing about the Internet?

I love Google–don’t we all? All the information you can imagine at your fingertips, from–where have we seen that actor before?–to what will we have for dinner tonight? I have a bookshelf full of encyclopaedias because–well, they look nice and besides I always wanted them. When I was growing up our encyclopaedias were a window to a world we knew very little about and a constant source of entertainment. (Yes, I was a bit of a nerd.) Now we have Google. It’s not quite as accurate of course and we do need to be a bit cautious about, for example, taking as gospel that those symptoms that kept us up all night can be cured with a visit to the Google doctor rather than the local GP. We also need to be careful about what our kids are reading and believing, but, all in all, I think Google’s brilliant.

I also love email and don’t know how I ever managed without it. If our Internet connection ever spits the dummy I feel quite isolated, as if no-one can get in touch with me and anything could be happening out there and I wouldn’t know! (As if no-one knows my phone number.) I love that I can send messages to my friends and family and that I can submit a story in minutes, anywhere in the world, without lining up at the post office and working out the cost of return post and so on. I can receive a short story to edit, again from anywhere in the world, and probably have it back on the same day. I do love email.

Since starting this blog though, what has really struck me and I absolutely love is the range of it all. WordPress allows me to see what countries my readers are in and, while the majority are in USA, (and, unfortunately, there’s no more information than country) some are from places I know nothing about and occasionally one pops up that I’d never heard of before–like Saint Kitts and Nevis! Heard of that one? Hi to my reader in St Kitts! So when that happens, of course, I have to get on to Google and find out a bit about the location. I’ve never been any good at geography at all but now I know that St Kitts is in the West Indies. I also know Jersey is closer to France than England and that it’s self-governed. All I knew about it before was some vague idea it was one of those islands near England.

So I’m learning my way around the world, in bits and pieces, about places I’ll never see, and I’d love to hear from you about your place–something a bit more than just Russia or just USA–whereabouts? What’s it like?

Inheritance is free on Amazon for the last time today and is already on the top twenty free list.  I’m going to be taking my books from the KDP Select program next month.