Blog on the Bus pt 56 (finding fun in France)

Salut, bonjour, hello and hiya! I’m back from my far flung fortnight in France and up to my usual tricks (well I’m on the train to my job in London).

So, what have I learned?

> My grasp of the French language is better than I remembered.
> Driving in Europe is not quite as heart-in-mouth as I had feared it would be (there was the odd scary moment but that’s what happens when you drive with your eyes closed)
> Flan Parisian is thick custard in pastry and absolutely delicious!!!
> There is nothing wrong with €1.50 wine (grabbed ten 1l bottles for €15!). It was very drinkable and I shall be enjoying it till Christmas.

I spent the two weeks relaxing, drinking, eating cakes and proof-reading. You’ll be pleased to hear I excelled in each of these areas. I managed to finish draft two of ‘Trespass’ my next project. It will be off to my team of proofreaders in the next week and I will publish it on 01 December. What’s more I began work on a new 15k word novelette, which I’ll publish at some point in October.

As any struggling-to-be-heard-over-the-crowd (too many hyphens?) indie author, I know what it is to be racked with self-doubt (if the acne-ridden teenager doing work experience in the publisher’s office doesn’t like it then it must be crap, right?). I’ve now self-published five novels and three novelettes in the three years since I set off on this road to writer-dom, with the two projects already mentioned due before the year is out. Surely there’s a reason I’ve completed all these projects? Right? I mean, surely (don’t call me Shirley!)

What I actually learned in France was:

Your Rowlings, Shakespeares and Browns can capture the majority of the reading world and enjoy their millions of pounds in offshore bank accounts. Whilst I would love to join that club, I have something they don’t: I have the minority audience, the handful of people who defy the pimply teenagers in the publisher’s office and actually enjoy my work! That’s something JK, William and Dan will never have. They are my loyal fan base and the fact that I’ve entertained them and you means I’ve achieved my writing goal!

I set out on this road to leave my name in history. I guess I can consider that box ticked.

Until the next time, happy reading,


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


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