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Sunday, 31 March 2013

 hello all

 it has been mentioned  that some of you might be interested in my family history.  That some would like to know the story behind this edifice in Rye Sussex That is why i am adding this today

Rye wasn't the tourist town it is today when the Procter's first arrived
it was filthy disgusting and degrading. read the court papers of the time and see what people of Rye were being tried for. Theft , drunkeness and i fear to say copulation with animals Yes i can hear the cries of anquish from here but the 1700's were terrible. There is also reports of teams of men spending days clearing the streets of horse and human dung which was feet thick in places. illness was rife, despite their being an abundance of doctors. The death rate was high among the smugglers and sailors that had turned Rye into a cesspit of humanity.

Despite or because of this men with cash to spend and the desire to make more were drawn to the town. One being my 7x grandfather. Thomas Procter who arrived circa 1720. He soon made a a name for himself, arriving on the customs cutter the Amelia from either further down the coast or from Yorkshire (the jury is still out on which departure point it was.) He was to marry the daughter of the Amelia's owner and captains Nathaniel Pigrim, a rich local man who was mayor numerous times.

Unfortunately Thomas's wife Elizabeth and their daughter also Elizabeth died less than 10 years after their marriage. Disease took them both within months of each other, but Thomas married again and that marriage bore eight children, all but three died in childhood or infancy. Of the three that survived the two daughters Martha and Susan married local lads and had families of their own while Nathaniel would do very nicely thank you.

Thomas for reasons unknown tried his hand at many trades before becoming a brewer. he bought land and became pretty successful. eventually buying a house on the top of the hill near the Church and close to Mermaid Street. many of you will know that name as it is where the local Hawkhurst smuggling gang hung out when in town. Thomas and his family would have seen them, would have heard them, perhaps he even helped them who can say certainly Thomas's fortunes increased rapidly.        

 So  much so that around 1730-40 he had built the building pictured the Tower remains in the garden of what became his family home in West Street. a story exists in Rye that Thomas built the tower to spy on his errant wife while she went to meet her love. A nice story but totally wrong, no Procter would waste money on such a thing the wife would be simply disposed of one way or another. possibly it was built to watch out for smugglers or customs officers or more likely as an urban oast house a means for Thomas to dry his grain.

 Whatever the reason the family remained there for many generations until the house wa sold but that is another tale if anyone is interested.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

     Can I say here an now how much I appreciate all those who have taken the time to look at my website. we only made it live in July last year and yet it continues to grow daily. We have tried to make it as interesting as possible by adding new items and removing old  but what really gives me a buzz is to see the comments left by those who look in,.

  Speaking of which this month our friends in Ireland  have visited most closely followed by America and Canada. My thanks to you all and to all those others people who have joined us. There is a page where I post comments from genuine readers. Most good but I make no bones about showing those comments left by those who find Dead Men Lie not to their taste. I believe that if you are honest in all you do your customers will respond in kind. That is why for one month only I have reduced the cost of my book to £1.50. as a way of saying thank you the reduction starts on April 2nd until May 1st  

 While I am on the subject i would also like to say thank you to those who have visited this blogspot. I am a novice here, Not sure what it is you do with such a thing. i have posted some thoughts which have been read but as yet only three people have left comments so please do tell me what you would like to see what else I can do to make this interesting.

it seems that a lot of you liked reading what Sylvia and my ex English master said so perhaps you would like to read more of that? if so please do I will post whatever you send me within legal definition and good taste. No inflammatory remarks pleas and definitely no swearing. I can curse with the best but there may be youngsters reading this and good manners cost nothing. salutary words to that foolish woman who ran into my ankle with her shopping trolly.It still hurts madam.

For the moment I can think of nothing else to add so I am going to raid the Easter Egg stash before my granddaughter discovers them. Happy Easter to you all and if you are snowed in then stay warm as for me I am going to Rye on Tuesday to visit my family and get some delicious fresh fish and fresh cheese. Possibly one day we might meet and if we do i will stand anyone a drink in the Ship Inn on the Strand.

Bye for now


Friday, 29 March 2013

Here we are again for another daily dose of my whimsical observations.

Today in answer to another question I will explain how  and where I write.

Every author you ask if they are honest will tell you they have a system that works for them. Some might write in long hand, some might compile copious notes, some might free write others may cogitate and have the story mapped out in their heads before commencing their work. All laudable all note worthy all successful to their own individual writer.

My own style differs vastly but it works for me. before a word is written i have to compile a title. It may not be fantastic, it most definitely rarely ends up being what the reader sees but without that heading I cannot compile the story.

Take Dead men Lie for example right up until the final edit this book was known by its working title Whispers in the Dark. That gave me indirectly the course to steer, it led me in the right direction even though i knew from the outset who the heroine would be and who her protagonist was also. Whispers in the dark though conjured up mystery and intrigue, of secrets not told and deceits unrevealed.

 From that the first chapter came then the story builds. the first draft was a little over 80,000 words so you can see how it built. I always write quickly I don't worry about spelling mistakes grammar or content the story rambles at its own speed. Not until the second rewrite do I take each paragraph and add move and reconstruct. My Editor and mentor will vouch for the fact that my stories change dramatically.

 That is how now for the where. My office is untidy, my daughter keeps threatening to get in there and tidy it up but i know where my notes are in fact I can put my hand to everything ...eventually. I wake early and spent the first hour drinking tea and thinking, making notes then its down to work. i write for no longer than two hours at a time, or 2500 words per session whichever comes first. That is enough for me, after which I take time out but it's never wasted time I am always thinking putting my characters into situations and working out how they would cope. I carry a note book everywhere and make copious notes never throwing anything away you never know when something will be useful.      

 i do not enjoy a pleasant view from the office window no panoramic view to enthuse the creative juices. I live on an estate its not grand nor is it horrible its ordinary in fact that's what I am I am ordinary. I write because i enjoy writing, i hold strong views and unfortunately those views bring me into discourse with many other writers. I do not spend too much time on social sites because that wastes time however i do use them as an outlet because writing by its very nature is a solitary thing.

Time for breakfast and a little research hope my ramblings help you so until the next time good writing my friends.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The over riding question asked by those setting out is "why did you self Publish?"

The simple answer is i wish i didn't have to. I always wanted like every other author, that elusive publishing deal, the six figure sum and the kudos of being a recognised author. I soon discovered you had to be very lucky to achieve that in this day and age. More importantly i learnt early on that while I was expected to do all the hard work, the research, the writing the mid night oil burning there was a horde of people waiting to feed off my work, the editors, the copy editors, the typists, the office girl, the agent, the tea boy, the printer, the publisher, the book shop owner, the van driver the .....list goes on  Somewhere along the way me the poor writer becomes lost in the mire.

Of course the scores of reject letters didn't help either.

So disheartened and despondent i saw an advert "Written a book allow us to publish it for you" yes i had become suckered into that undignified world of Vanity printers. I sent my book, edited to the best of my ability, checked numerous times by my adoring wife and daughter.  Our problem was we had become word blind we missed certain fundamental mistakes and the book that we got back was far from perfect and they had charged me a veritable fortune for something which to be fair was unsell-able. I will not mention the name of that company but their name can be found very easily for those authors desperate not to follow my own mistakes.

 After that i fell into a pit of despair. I had stories to tell but no way to have them published which was when I discovered a friend who became my sage and editor. Together we honed and polished Dead Men Lie to within an inch of its life. We then had the problem how to continue, we had the product but not the resources or the means to advertise. That was when I decided to become a publisher. I had the book formatted which cost me a new computer package, I had never heard of Words  but when i was dragged kicking a screaming into the 21st century i found we could make the book look good we could even furnish our own front cover design. So armed with a PDF version of my tome we went in search of a printer, thereby hangs another tale to get the price to an acceptable unit cost we had to reformat the pages we were wasting too much paper as a printer in Canada informed us. From that we cut the page count from 600 to 450.

Even so we needed a print run of 100 to make them financially viable. Step in  my printers we can get small quantities printed for a reasonable cost but i had always envisaged this book to be sold as an E-book so costings weren't at the top of my to do list. However all authors need at least 6 copies as a legal requirement so we had 50 printed. Some we gave away, most we sold and that was our beginning. Enter the self Publishers worst nightmare the family and friends who expect a copy of your work for nothing.  There are those who deserve freebies, but most do not, as an ex plumber I never did work for nothing and I refuse to do so now. Even my daughter has bought a copy for her Kindle why not I fear i have alienated some so called fiends but you have to learn that we are running a business not a free show,our work is hopefully worthy of recompense and anyone desiring to read my work or yours should be prepared to pay for it.

There you a salutary tale of one man's foray into the world of books. I have made mistakes God some have been howlers but we have also learnt a lot. Don't be afraid of your work, if its good it will sell. Don't be concerned with those who want free copies, most will never read the book and of those who do none will give a usable review so what have you gained? Nothing

That's all for today more tomorrow now i am back to writing, so much to do and Spring is upon us.
Good writing my friends more soon.

Dave P        

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Hello everyone

  Well have had two positive feed backs today. One from a old teacher of mine who writes.

"Procter was always a student who spent more time dreaming than learning but is with interest and distinct pride that i discover my time wasn't totally wasted. He has produced a work of such meaningful reflection that I am proud to say I taught this talented new yet elderly author. Never did I expect work of such magnificence but if this is what he can produce he will I am sure go on to become a worthy and well read author well done David".

My thanks to you as well sir.  

The other positive comment comes from a person who bought Dead men Lie from Kindle and her thoughts came via my guest page at

Sylvia W writes. "I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to end, Abigail was a character i could associate with while Bayles was a true villain. The way thre author plays with the reader leading them in one direction then suddenly takes off somewhere else keeps the story alive while the end was completely unexpected. Loved it more please."

What then is in store for Easter? Well starting on the 2nd of April 2013 both Amazon and Kindle editions of Dead Men Lie will be reduced for one month only to £1.50. I hope many new readers will be encouraged to discover my wonderful world.

 Bye for now more later perhaps.


Monday, 25 March 2013

How do you discover your stories?

As you will see I am taking as my subjects views already raised on the website

This one comes up every time I speak about my work and its actually the easiest (or so I find) to explain.
I find stories everywhere. take today for example I was talking to this bloke in well somewhere and he starts to explain how the was wounded while serving in the army. prior to that he had a home and family and now he has nothing lives alone on benefits which even they are being reduced. there is a story, twist it around put it into a different context and you have the beginning of something by the way i have that on copyright now so no stealing please.

Then of course if i do get stuck i simply look at my family there are plenty of stories mixed up in our history. I have 400 years of stories to pull from which perhaps explains why I love historical fiction there is so much scope.

As for Forgotten souls well that was born out of many stories and one day i will revisit it re-embelish it and breathe life back into dying embers.

So look around discover your stories and enjoy.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

What made you start writing?

A good question one almost all writers have been asked at some time or another.

 My own story began while working a  a plumber. yes some of you will have read the soundbite and choked but it did actually happen. I presented an estimate and the customer laughed then stated "You should write fiction this estimate could be a bestseller" or words to that affect.

But years later I did sit and pen the first draft of a book entitled Forgotten Souls. It has since been removed from sale but will return under a different guise and after it has been reformatted.

 Soon after starting to draft that book I discovered the skills I had once had were long gone and so to regain them I attended some writing courses. Good fun and met many gifted people from those lessons I wrote constantly and submitted many short stories plays and scripts for possible publication. I eventually had enough reject slips to paper my bedroom.

 I did though come 16th out of 1000 plus in a play writing competition and had many favourable reviews for my work. This made me determined to continue.

Dead Men Lie eventually came to life. How? Well it was simple really.  One day I was what I call speed writing simply writing anything regardles of spelling or grammar or content and Abigail's story was born from that. One phrase was the start and that was 'she was abused.'  with that and a title (I have to have a title before the story flows and Abigail's tale started life under the name Winds of Change read the book an you might still see why.)

 That first draft was 50,000 words the final print edition is 138,000 some difference but it is a thrilling tale even if i do say so myself. I write every day no matter what, some is total trash but i never discard anything because one day I might be able to use a phrase or a line of speech somewhere. I tend to write in the morning and most days aim for 1500-2000 words which means a book of 130,000 takes me about 14 weeks to write and a year to amend and polish ready for publication. I admire anyone who can do it quicker, but that is my writing time spam its comfortable for me and my editor. others may find what i do strange but each writer is different and we must all find our perfect means to work.

I wish you all the very best of luck.    

Dead men Lie continues to expand. Where are we now? we still have a loyal fan base in Canada but Ireland is now leading the way and i thank all my friends there for spending a little time looking at what we have on

 What are we doing next well we are attending a book fair in Ottawa in June where samples of our work will be available.

 We have missed out on the Kent Show this year but next year we will be there big and bold and showing the people of Kent what they have been missing.

 I am new to this blogging lark as you can tell. i am honest in everything i do and say. it seems that some dislike my forthrightness but so what i am here to sell my work not pander to any ones feelings.

 So what can you do to help? That's simple Dead Men Lie is available to buy at Lulu, Goodreads  and on Kindle. My website will tell you mall you need to know about me and my writing. look in explore and if you like what you see buy. There that's the hard sell now the advert.

I am in the middle of writing the next book entitled The Ties That Bind. a sample of the first draft can be found on the website but the premise of the story is historical again. No this isn't the time to give too much away but suffice to say that once again there are elements of truth in the story, Where that is and what is up yo you the reader to unravel. I wish you luck, TTTB will be available hopefuly late this year or early next.

More later fans

Sunday, 17 March 2013

 To introduce myself we should start with the basics.

  I am far too old to reveal my real age so lets just say i am fast approaching my golden years. But i do have a talent, I write books, No I am not famous, nor am I rich. I am but a small independent Self Publisher overlooked by main stream publishers because they seem to think my stories are either dull or unworthy for publication. I think the truth is I am not Rich or famous for such people sell where as the likes of us are difficult to merchandise, Oh don't I know the truth of that.

  Writing is the easy part of a book the words pour out to take life at least in my imagination. then my editor in Canada takes over and once she has stopped laughing we begin the tiresome but necessary process of editing. ten rewrites later we can send the manuscript to the printer and the writers duty is done. or it would be if we were doing this in the conventional way but now our work truly begins.

     What do you do with books that no one knows anything about? Advertising is difficult and you soon bore friends and family to death with your tale. In my case finances were short and I walked the streets delivering leaflets, I met many kind people who genuinely appeared interested, and some strange people who I will forget just as easily. The website we cobbled together works a treat, thousands of people have visited in the time it has been live and to them I am truly grateful.

  To those friends in Canada who took this book to their heart and bought it i sat thank you, to everyone else who bought a copy I am truly grateful, to my home town where we were given little help I simply say your loses is the worlds gain. I am asked whether the route i took was difficult and i can in all honesty say YES far more so then i could have imagined. I was brought up in a time when if you had a product to sell you advertised in papers or shops or simply told people what you did. Today the Internet is our shop window and you have to embrace new technology which is difficult for dinosaurs like me.

 So here is the plug. My book Dead men Lie is available through Goodreads, Lulu and Amazon Kindle. My website is and here i will be glad to answer any question you care to ask within reason. i am not the font of all knowledge all I can do is share with anyone contemplating what I did, the pitfalls and difficulties they will face from complacency to being denied advertising space.

 is it worth it? Oh yes when that first book is sold, it more than makes up for the hours spent contemplating what you are doing wrong. More over to be able to speak to those who derided your efforts is also gratifying. you can then gloat at those who laughed at your work and looked at you as if you were some sort of loony when you explained to them that you had written a book.

 To anyone thinking of following my recently traveled path remember more are doing this now you are not alone we just have to band together share experiences and we will eventually achieve our goals.
That is what this site is for join in and perhaps we can help each other.      

Saturday, 16 March 2013

I am new to this so expect loads of mistakes. I am an author is there any more out there willing to share their silence with someone who understands. No that's not a Fruedian slip simply writing is a lonely occupation by nature and to speak to others in the same position might be useful