No Holds Blogged

5th May 2018

So here’s the thing about publishing novels from the independent end of the pier, if you’ll indulge me my understanding of it. You have to recognise that you are not Conor McGregor (Joanne Harris), living it big time all over Las Vegas, then smearing your competition across the floor and heading off with a snow leopard tailored around your shoulders. You’re just some guy (JW Bowe) hanging around the back end of a pub car park looking for a fight, trying to hustle people over and see if they’ll throw some coins down on the disabled parking space where you’ve thrown yours, then get down to it, Roadhouse style.

I might have overshot that, and no offence to those mentioned above because they don’t hand those careers out, but it stands to reason if not comparison, that under the fluorescent lighting of the car park you learn how to take a beating. You have to learn fast too, and think above your station because no matter what bruises and breaks you came away with last time, you’re going to be throwing your coins down onto that unused disabled bay again next week. It’ll probably be raining that night, too, and no holds barred, just like you wanted it. Glory Hallelujah!

If that paints a fairly miserable picture, I should apologise. Or perhaps you like Roadhouse, in which case I encourage you to fill your boots. Me, I love the fluorescents, and that time of night when people throw daytime to the four winds and turn to covetous animals. They’ll throw their money down, some, and they won’t take it easy on you, not when they get online later. But if you beat them, overwhelm them with bare knuckles and your written word, you both go away happy, intense, feeling independent, and I get a pocketful of loose change. That money will probably have to go to the cover designer in the end, as they won’t take a cheque that comes in the form of a fight. They just want to be remunerated. That’s okay, there’s always next Saturday night.

It gets cold, though, what with the piss poor spring we’ve all been experiencing. They even shut the street lights down after midnight. After that there’s really no one else about that you can fight with who isn’t part of the emergency services. And let me tell you now, those guys can brawl. Steel toecaps is taking things a bit too far in my opinion, but regardless, I was starting to think that I’d have to find another way of reaching people. But how, without seeing the howling whites of their eyes, all focus, steam and glower? A silversmith told me about crowd funding, but I don’t like a crowd much. I’m happy with a reasonable gathering, ideally if it is close to a refurbished canal system for a quick getaway once I have exhausted myself. I go for broke with being social, really throw myself into it until I remember that it’s more often than not a marathon in length and not the fifteen hundred metres. So I get tired. But then I pick myself up and get back out into the car park and connect with someone. Really connect with them. If I said that I have bruised some people with words, really gone for the knees with them like you should, I wouldn’t be exaggerating or even particularly pleased with myself. Someone has told me that The Meifod Claw left them feeling that we are all children playing in the garden, all of us just children in Gods eyes, playing at being adults. I don’t know how to deal with being told something like that. Sometimes the most rudimentary route is just to take the beating. They’d thrown down the money and earned it, plus I was asking for it in the first place.

So that’s a bit like what goes on with independent publishing, if you ignore the exaggeration. True story about the children under the eyes of God, though; that took me down! I was going for a distracting comedy but you take what’s given. It is all an absolute pleasure. See you on the dance floor this Saturday night. Bring some pocket change …

Seven times I’ve fallen, seven times hard luck …
JW Bowe xx

P.S! Anna urges me to point out that for all the apparent brawling, it was starting the lawn mower for mow season that has surely pulled my shoulders all out of place, and only almost back in again. Like many things which should be thrown away, the mower has been fitted with new components that keep it alive beyond a natural lifecycle. The pull cord now operates with a Russian Roulette style snap-n-lock reaction at any point during the pulling, which itself must be done with much vigour to turn the beast over – then the flailing of arms when the bastard locks on you, which it will, at any point along the run of the cord. But when it gets going and you’ve had a bit of a recover, it’s like driving something from an advanced workshop in Mordor. The grass bag is so big you could fit a whole Hobbit hole inside.

PPS. Don’t forget to check out the latest Cave Mind: Plain Flour…

If you enjoyed this blog, and you’re impatient for something else to read, feel free to bunch up close to a free sample chapter from JW Bowe’s debut novel, The Meifod Claw, which is available now at AmazoniTunes and on various other international eReaders.

You can also double up your sampling by following this link to the forthcoming fictional autobiography of The Meifod Claw’s wheelchair-in-chief, Derek Gainsborough. His life and apologies will be released this year under the sail of The Brine in Me.

JW Bowe can also be unearthed on YouTube and in various other ways through the Serious Biscuits homepage. Scroll down for further links, action and disclaimers.

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