Blog on the Bus pt 43 (et tu adversity)

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God [it’s] free at last!” And so echoed the words of the unforgettable Martin Luther King. A man ready to stand up in the face of adversity. Clearly he was referring to his fight against racism in the States in the 1960s but I don’t believe he would mind me para-phrasing to echo the point of Death Toll.

That’s right fellow bus dwellers Death Toll is free to download this weekend.

Before you threaten to lynch me for stealing an inspiring anti-racism mantra, I wish to argue the point of why I believe it is still befitting of today’s blog.


Modern writers walk in the face of it everyday. Every time I write a new word of a project I am slapping adversity in the face with a glove; challenging it to stop me.

“You’re not good enough.”

“Your story is unoriginal.”

“Your characters are paper thin.”

“You’re just not the sort of author we’re looking for.”

Okay, so my name’s not Brown, Grisham or Rowling, but does that still mean I don’t deserve the right to share my soul’s inner thoughts, feelings and dreams with the world and let them decide?

If you’ve never read any of my work, statistically there’s a 16% chance* that you’ll hate it and condemn it as the worst book you’ve ever read. (*based on the number of 1* / 2* reviews on Amazon).

Of course that leaves an 84% margin that you might just enjoy it.

I’ll let you be the judge.

But for all those rejection notices received from agents who don’t believe my writing will make them millions in commission, there is an audience (albeit a potentially small one) who actually think I’m pretty good (I’m sure they must all be on prescription medication).

Now this is not an uncommon feeling amongst the ever-growing number of indie writers out there battling to get their voice heard over the clamour.

Death Toll is a project where 5 such independent authors (Alex Shaw, Liam Saville, J H Bográn, Howard Manson and Stephen Edger) decided to link arms and stand in the face of adversity together. Death Toll is the first anthology of short stories published by a contingent of indie authors. Does that make it bad then? Well internationally best-selling authors Jake Needham and Stephen Leather don’t believe so. Jake has written the introduction and Stephen contributed 2 of his own stories.

Death Toll is available for free download from today (31 May) until Sunday (02 Jun). We are asking you to link arms with us and to help this movement grow stronger. As Martin Luther King spoke up for his cause in the 1960s, so I am standing up for talented but under-appreciated indie authors everywhere.

Join the cause.

Download a copy today.

Tell your friends about this great collection of short stories.

Re-blog this.

Tweet links to the books.

Scream it from the rooftops!

Every copy of Death Toll downloaded is a slap in the face of the major publishing houses. It’s a slap in the face of adversity too.

Until the next time, happy reading!


(Stephen is the author of Integration, Remorse, Redemption, Snatched and the forthcoming Shadow Line. Find his work here or via


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