“In Vino Veritas” A Book Uncorked

Once again a blog of shameless self promotion…well you have to admit it has been awhile since the last one. And today I have something to celebrate…

After months of writing, rewriting, reading, rewriting and correcting, my new ‘baby’ is done, cooked, bottled and has been unlaunched on the unsuspecting public. It is a ‘wine crime’ book, now, who knew that was such a sub-genre of crime fiction? If you give your characters glasses of wine to drink, then kill them, does that make it a ‘wine crime’ book?

So I took the finished manuscript and I formatted it for Amazon, which means a page break after every chapter and all the right “stuff” in the front and back pages. It goes through three different conversion formats and then…no problem at all, it is reviewed and a few hours later it is ‘Live’.


and for the UK


You need to write a Product Description to entice people to part with a little of their hard earned money in return for your entertaining world of characters. But there are things I didn’t want to give away, so I constructed it carefully:

“Vinnie Whitney-Ross is passionate about wine, he sells it, he talks about it, he lives it and he drinks it. He, and his wife, Anna, enjoy their life in the heart of London, a life that revolves around wine and chocolate. Then a twist of fate puts him in the wrong place at the wrong time and he witnesses two gruesome murders. By another twist of fate he knows the murderer, from another life long ago. He’s left with no choice and in order to survive he must commit a terrible crime.

In return for testifying against his childhood friend, he receives immunity and both he and Anna are placed in witness protection. He fulfils his dream, instead of selling wine he gets to make it. They buy a boutique winery on an island off the coast of New Zealand and, with new names and new identities, they continue Rocky Bay’s fine tradition of exquisite Bordeaux blends.

But festival success brings recognition and recognition brings danger. Some very nasty men are hunting Vinnie to convince him to rescind his testimony. Everything is at stake, his precious wife, his dog, his winery, it is time to stand and fight…and add to the rising body count.

“In Vino Veritas” is the first in a trilogy of crime novellas featuring Vinnie and Anna Whitney-Ross and Detective Inspector Peter Harper. Death by a bottle of Petrus, death by drowning in a vat of must…In Wine, Truth. ”

So far, so good. Then I had to format it for Smashwords and that is waaaaaaaaaaaaay harder. I do the nuclear method, which means you take your manuscript and copy it and put it into Notebook. That ‘nukes’ all the formatting, all the italics and all the subscript etc. and then you copy it back into a clean, empty word document. Then you re-enter all the formatting using their guide to the absolute letter of the law. Then you submit it and cross your fingers. And it comes out approved!! So you do a small dance around the room at 11.45pm and pat yourself on the back. This means it’s approved for the Smashwords Premiere Catalogue and will be distributed to all the other e-retailers, itunes, Sony, Barnes and Noble etc. I had a record to maintain, none of my books have ever been rejected on the first attempt and I wasn’t going to give that record up without a fight!


Then the promotion starts, a Facebook page:


And Tweets and posting on forums and blogs. I had a list of people who had emailed and said lovely things about “The Secret Keeper” and asked to be notified when new work was uploaded, so I have contacted them.

Is is selling? Yes, it has sold a few, but it is only Day One and this is a marathon, most definitely not a sprint.

The most important thing is I can call myself a writer. I have sold 21,000 copies over five months and have several lovely reviews. This is all I’ve ever wanted to be and I could, honestly, die tomorrow and be perfectly happy and content with my achievement. I have the start of a trilogy up there and now I have to fulfil my promise to my readers and write the next installment.

If you like wine, crime, witty dialogue, unusual ways to die, gorgeous vineyards and you just want to give an indie writer a hand, have a look at “In Vino Veritas.” If you know anyone who might also like all of the ab0ve, spread the word. I shall pause, with my fingers above the keyboard, and know that you have and I shall smile.