Sorry for the hiatus – not that I imagine anyone much reads this crap! I have been desperate to finish “Who Killed Charlie Artful” and have now done so and it is available in e book format and paperbook through Amazon. I have managed to put a few others on as paperbacks as well – and don't blame me for the pricing as that is set by Amazon!

Back to self publishing and this writing bug. Great care needs to be taken with the many firms offering to read/appraise/comment on and generally advise on your ms. Now, don't for one moment imagine that there is even the most remote possibility that one of the readers will ever say your stuff is good: they are not in that business, are they? I have heard many stories, but a very dear friend paid a firm £750(!) and after a few weeks the ms was returned. My pal opened the envelope and after three paragraphs he realised that the critique was more an assassination of his work rather than a constructive effort to help him. He took the letter to the bathroom to finish reading it – and came out in tears. I promise. The remarks were appalling: insensitive, unkind and so disparaging that the poor chap has never written another word to this day.

Then there are the so-called 'week-end writing retreats' – average cost £800. These consist of a group of would-be JK's all listening to advice from a group of nobodys on how to become a best seller and one would imagine a total waste of cash and time.

“Why should we listen this fool?” I can hear you saying. “He has no agent and self publishes.” And you're right. But I try, and try and try, even though I am 77 years old and know I haven't got a hope in hell. Read the reviews of my books – all genuine, I promise you. They can't all be wrong, can they? But for all the difference it makes to agents, the reviews might as well not be there.

So long as there are WAGS with big tits who are prepared to 'kiss' and tell, MPs who have been to prison for fraud, illiterate criminals who reminisce about past murders they have done and happy days inside (and Jeffrey Archer, of course), you and I have no chance – none at all. Books by persons such as these are going to sell (if you don't believe me, look at Waterstones shelves) so the publishers have a guaranteed income, and no need even to consider Joe Schmoe and his unproven efforts.

But don't let me put you off!!