My book "Erasure" is in the ABNA quarter finals!

It seems that we might be on to something with “Erasure”.

I got the news today, and I am more than a little happy.

Erasure has moved up to the quarter-finals in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2014.

I haven’t been broadcasting it, I’ve been too nervous, but the process started back in January when I submitted the manuscript as one amongst 10,000 other hopefuls.

In March, it was selected for the second round, a situation that culled 80% of the entrants.

Today it is one of five hundred entrants selected for the quarters, and one of one hundred in my category – mystery/thriller.

“Why are you telling us now? You are going to ask us to do something aren’t you?” I hear you ask.

No, actually I’m not. Unlike many other competitions, the ABNA is entirely industry based and NOT a social media share-and-like popularity contest. Erasure has made it through the first couple of rounds based entirely on physical review by the judges...

...and that it is not a popularity contest gives me a feeling of validation due to Erasure not being up against social media “like-farms” and free-baiting book aggregators.

I admit to getting a little emotional this morning when I saw the email in my list.  I didn’t want to open it, because when I did it would all become too real. To be frank, I’m not sure whether I was suitably prepared for either the “in”or the “fail” outcome.

Erasure is in, though, and I couldn’t be happier.

In the next round, publisher’s weekly will be reviewing all the entries and recommending the stand-outs for the semi-finals in June – where the final 25 will be listed. From that list, five winners will be selected; one from each category and announced in July. Of those five, one will be selected for the grand prize by way of voting from the public. To be clear though: Up until the 5 winners are announced in July, there is no public participation.

It’s a long way off, but I remain hopeful.

“So, Andrew, now that the book is getting real industry cred you are no doubt going to jack the price up... you know... ride the wave.”

No. I won’t be doing that. In the event that Erasure wins its category or, *gasp*, the Grand Prize, Amazon will be taking over the publishing rights, and will no doubt price it however they see fit. Until then, I’m leaving the pricing as it is – which is still at the special rate that came from the release of “Broken”. 

“So, you are going to make a stack of cash and buy a house and a car and holiday in the Seychelles... because that’s what you writer’s do, you know.” 

Ummm, no. There is prize money involved, but only if Erasure wins. IF it does, then the money is already spent – the yet to be covered costs for the production of the book (good books cost money to make, no matter what the screaming anti-independent hoards would have you believe) and the rest will go toward paying school fees for my writing degree.

For those of you who have already got on the Erasure-train, thanks a bunch – for those that are yet to grab a copy – if you are looking for a book to read, I really hope you consider this one.

The industry is considering it, and they like it. You might too.

It has come to my attention that the sidebar isn't always visible for mobile devices, dammit! - So
here are the pertinent links to Erasure OR simply go to your favourite Amazon and search for "Erasure" and "Webber". It'll be there...and so will you, or something.

Erasure at Amazon US 

Erasure at Amazon UK

Erasure at Amazon Australia

Philip Seymour Hoffman - another one gone.

Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose on Saturday...and it's awful.

What I find even less palatable is the manner in which denizens of the social media world float around the corpse of news like vultures around a bloated hippopotamus.

It seems that with every celebrity death and outpouring of shock, there are many who wish to diminish the individual's presence to "just a junky", and I am perplexed by it.

A man and his cat.

This is Moose. He's an ex street-cat who now
lives with us - safe from the dangers of the street.
He is fond of used coffee cups.
He is lucky, and so am I - you'll see what I mean.
The guy who washes our cars came today.

He's a really nice guy - He is one of the house staff from one of the larger houses where we live.

He is always happy, and enthusiastic - waves to everyone in the street (I think he does a roaring trade in washing cars to supplement an income that would be criminally low anywhere else in the world).

His English is ... interesting, but he speaks it with such enthusiasm and confidence and and vigor that even if the words are completely wrong you just over look it and try to work it out - he makes himself understood, and that's all that matters.

He's washed our cars for the best part of a couple of years. Early on in the relationship he noticed that we have cats, and asked if he could have some cat food.

Turns out he has been feeding a local street cat, and that cat had become his friend. So rather than giving him little bags of cat food from our stash, we bought bags of cat food just for him; a situation that pleased him greatly.

Before that he would just share his own food with his little friend.

Did you help save Locky's dad? Or did Autism posts get in the way?.

Nick Auden died on Friday - or Saturday depending on the timezone you live in.

Regardless of where the arbitrary line that states what time of day it is for you, for Nick, 72 hours ago, time became finite.

HIS time ended, and everything that his supporters could do was done.

Remembrance day, why bother?

I am no fan of war.

It is a space inhabited by people who are asked to do unimaginable things, in unimaginable circumstances, while the rest of us sweat over whether the train will be on time, and bemoan the lack of talent of the new barrista at the coffee shop.

A space that is inhabited by all parts of the spectrum of life: The living, the dying, and the dead, all of whom are intrinsic to the act of war.

I have stood in the fields and farmlands around Ypres in Belgium with a feeling of hopelessness and futility as I gazed across the killing ground. For years I had been told of the acts of heroism displayed by the forces from both sides as they fought and died to gain the high ground.

Only the high ground that I imagined, painted by various educators at public schools, simply didn't exist.

"Broken", the latest installment in the Erasure series - out later this week.

Broken, the prequel to 2012's Erasure is almost ready.
The editors have trawled and poked, and cut and provoked it into life, and we are all pretty proud of it.

Set in a time of pure hell for Bammer, 'Broken' answers a lot of questions for fans of Erasure.

Questions I won't elude to here.
Simple: To name those questions would affect the impact of Erasure.

But there are questions, and Broken finally produces answers.

The restraints attached to Belinda’s ankles and wrists, while a large padded belt wrapped around her mid-section.  
The smell of urine. Not warm and new, but older and almost masked by hospital bleach. 
Apart from Bammer’s soft breathing there was no noise in the room. It was a sealed universe, and Bammer at its center

“What do you want?” It was the only thing Jesus could think to ask.
More breathing, though louder than before, she must have been looking at him.
“What do I want?” she said, her voice low, “I want some fucking dignity back.” 

What gets you off? The DOMA/Prop 8 decision

Warning: This post is of a sexual nature, some people will find it confronting, even though it is in no way explicit.

The outcome of the DOMA/Prop 8 debate is a positive one.  The ongoing movement to equality, whatever the variables, can only be a good thing.

Yes there will be the usual backlash - my favourite is the many variations of "Now THEY have the right to get married, what is to stop someone marrying a poodle? It's sick, SICK".

And yet there is some level of irony surrounding those assertions that sexual preference is a deviance.