Wednesday, 28 October 2020
I pride myself on honest reviews and have never asked family or friends to post reviews. The extreme nature of these two reviews is amazing and reflects diversity of opinion. How far diverse these are is an eye-opener.
Both are about Drachar's Demons, the prequel to The Prophecy of the Kings. It is a free ebook and is available in many formats https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/491179
The first review was:
"First of all i was really looking forward to reading Drachar's Demons as i have read many fantasy books and i just love how they allow you to enter a whole new world and leave your own problems right outside for awhile.
This book has to quite honestly be one of the best Fantasy books that i have read in a long time!.It really kept me turning the pages (i had the just one more page syndrome) long after i should have gone to sleep and to me that is a sign of an excellent book right there.
The book truly has some epic battles and has so much of what makes a classic Fantasy and it really hits all the top notes.The whole visual world and in depth characters really do have u envisioning the action taking places and the people involved.
There is so much going on,love,betrayal,epic battles,adventure,revenge,survival,and some heartbreaking losses.So there is something for everyone.
The way the Authors write about how the characters feel about what is happening gives u a really good personal insight into their worlds,thoughts and feelings and really brings the characters to life.It's a very in depth and goes in to great detail about how it all happened.
it's easy to see how much David Andrew Burrows enjoyed writing this book and i think the passion that he puts in to his writing makes the reader enjoy it as much as he enjoyed writing it.
I'd definitely recommend :)"
The second was a bit more succinct:
"Do not I repeat, do not get this book. A retarded 5 year old could write better. This is terrible."
Both reviews can be found here Amazon reviews Drachar's Demons
I do hope more people fall in to category 1 than 2 but if in doubt - check my website for sample chapters and more reviews. Good reading. :) http://davidburrows.org.uk/
Saturday, 24 October 2020
Some years ago I ice-climbed as a hobby, with my friend, Andy. One time we climbed Ben Nevis. One side of the mountain is a reasonably easy ramble, however the other side has a number of quite difficult rock and ice-climbs. We were on Tower Gully.We both had crampons and an ice ax each. No ropes as it was a grade 1/2 and the main difficulty was the cornice, an overhang of ice, at the top, which we would have to dig through.
I initially found the climb easy and exhilarating. That soon stopped.
I think we are all afraid of heights as I soon discovered. My friend was above and he hit a patch of water ice. That is ice that is very hard and it shatters when you hit it with an ax. He called down and suggested we retreat and then move across sideways and try and go around the water ice.
I looked between my legs as I descended and that was terrifying. The climb is two thousand feet and looking down was horrible. Talk about disco knee. We descended and then went sideways and resumed the climb. We could hear cracks as somewhere on the mountain ice and/or snow fell. I wouldn't say avalanche as that would be too dramatic, but it was unnerving, nevertheless.
At some point a flake of ice or snow landed in my eye. I blinked and out popped my hard contact lens. Andy asked why I had stopped and I said I had lost my lens. Exasperated he said to carry on. Amazingly I saw the lens. It had frozen to the surface in front of me. Putting my arm through the loop of my ax I managed to reinsert my lens.
We eventually got to the cornice. There was a ledge beneath it and I sat on that whilst Andy used my ax to hang on and his to dig through the overhang. Sitting on the ledge was horrible.The view was amazing but I was conscious of the weight of ice above me and the frop below. It was too easy for the ice to give way. Andy was also in danger as a cornice could collapse and carry him away. With my ax!
He succeeded and together we gained the summit. One hell of an experience and very exciting.
Anyone else lost and recovered a lens in bizarre circumstances? The photo is of me and Andy on top of a Munro. Not sure which though but clearly a white-out. Camera on timer given there were just the two of us.
Sunday, 4 October 2020
“Why are you crying, Guthrum?” Alfrec asked.
Guthrum was a picture of misery, sitting amongst the hedgerow, his knees to his chest. His threadbare tunic damp from his tears.
“Dad is going to kill me,” Guthrum snivelled, wiping his nose with his sleeve.
“I won’t let him,” Alfrec replied and Guthrum choked on a half-sob, half-laugh.
“You are two years younger than me. If Dad beats me half to death how can you help?”
Alfrec looked down, his well-meant intent shining in his eyes. Guthrum regretted his reply and said, “You are brave to offer, but I have to face him myself.”
“What have you done?” Alfrec asked, sitting alongside his brother. The day was warm and the sky clear. It was almost pleasant sitting in the dappled shade.
“He gave me a penny to buy a chicken, but I lost the penny.”
“Where did you lose it?” Alfrec asked.
Guthrum snorted. “If I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting here.” Alfrec cast Guthrum a glance that suggested the reply was unhelpful.
“I had it in my pouch,” Guthrum said. “I stopped when I saw a hare and took out my sling, but the time I had my sling ready the hare had gone.”
“Empty your pouch and let’s check,” Alfrec offered.
Guthrum upended his pouch and his worldly belonging spilled out onto the damp grass.
“What’s that,” Alfrec asked pointing at one object.
“That’s a bat’s wing,” Guthrum said picking it up. “It brings me luck.”
“Well I would get rid of that. It clearly hasn’t helped.” Alfrec said. “No sign of the coin then. Can we steal a chicken?” he suggested hopefully.
“What and have my hand cut off? No thanks. There’s nothing for it, but to face Dad and take a beating as well as I can.”
Alfrec looked down, “You are braver than me. I’d run away before facing him.”
The two boys sat in silence, neither wanting to hurry toward the dreaded encounter.
Jack grinned. “Bloody hell,” he said with a whoop. His detector had given him a faint signal and now a glimmer of silver stood out in stark contrast with the black loamy soil. His fingers scratched at the dirt revealing more of the object.
“What u got,” Kev asked, coming over and laying his own detector down before removing his headphones.
“A hammered, I think.”
“Bloody hell, is right,” Kev said reaching out to take the object which now sat in Jack’s hand. “That’s a Saxon penny.”
Jack stood and promptly started his hammie-dance. “Oh yes! Oh yes!” he chortled as he circled round his friend.
Kev grinned, “Great find, mate. This’ll be find of the month.” Neither men gave a thought to the lad who had lost it and the beating he took from his irate father ad if Guthrum had been alive to see Jack’s hammie-dance, he would have groaned to see such peculiar cavorting by a grown man.
Saturday, 3 October 2020
In these grim times, check out my Fantasy Jokes Blog. https://davidsfantasyjokes.blogspot.com/ It is easy to make up a joke, so feel free and send me one. For example, replace elephant for a troll in elephant jokes. Bring a smile to our faces.
One of my favourite:
Paddy the orc takes his mates back to see his new flat, and after a few more beers one of the lads asks him whats the big brass gong hanging on the wall,
Paddy says, "Its my speaking clock" !
"How does it work?" his mate asks.
"I'll show you", and Paddy hits it full pelt with a claw hammer,
A deep troll-voice from next door yells"For fucks sake you orc-git, its twenty to three in the morning!!
Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Keywords are difficult and in Google Webmaster Tools I investigated many keywords and combinations of words and what they might score in terms of (a) the number of people searching for these keywords and (b) the competition. These are the essential parameters for finding optimised keywords.
Ideally you want a keyword that gets lots of people searching for it and also has low competition i.e. few websites containing these keywords. If the competition is high e.g. searching for FANTASY then there are large numbers of websites with that keyword. The optimum site using this keyword has it (1) in the web address (2) the page title (3) in the Meta Tag (4) in the first Heading (5) in subsequent headings. The key difficulty is in the web address and unless your website has YYYfantasy.com then it is unlikely to be found.
Searching for longer keywords such as High Fantasy narrows the search but on Google Webmaster High Fantasy has very low searches per month although the competition is lower. The problem is also knowing what people are searching for. A search for Recommended Books gets well over 1000 searches a month but again the competition is very high. Recommended Fantasy Books is a surprisingly low search rate. I have checked many combinations of keywords and many have a very low search rate. Many were 100 a month. They are simply not worth using although the conversion rate (i.e. the length of time people spend on your site is improved).
Sensibly, I searched what other authors use as keywords and guess what I found. Of the 10-11 author websites I looked at - there were absolutely no keywords. A lot of sites (the majority) used the authors name as the webpage address (mine is davidburrows.org.uk as an example) so unless you knew the author's name it was difficult to locate the web page. - in other words, other authors had hit the same problem I had.
I shall keep you informed if I make any progress to counter this view but authors are clearly finding other ways of getting their web pages found. For the likes of George RR Martin, this is easy as his books and his name are well known. For less well known authors it is having other websites point to their web page which is the key to getting traffic. Ideally a well known corporation (e.g. the BBC) discussing your book and linking to your website is a vast improvement. I have several good Book Review sites inking to my website and this has certainly helped my traffic.
So, as far as spending money on SEO and keywords, I would advise against this. If you have a different experience then let me know.