Patrick G Cox

Revising a manuscript ...

At present I am revising a manuscript for a story very dear to my heart - one that I did a huge amount of research for and spent a long time writing. It isn't easy to revise, since the subject spent large amounts of time alone, or cut off from those around him for reasons of language, status and age. He wasn't an easy man to find either, he is now so hidden behind legends, fairy tales and mythology that you have to dig deep and wide to find the truth. What emerges is a man far more interesting than any legend about him can ever be.

So who is he?

Book Review: Young Nelsons

I acquired a copy of this excellent book from the Royal Navy Museum shop in Portsmouth. Written by D A B Ronald and published by Osprey, the book is very well put together, and very readable. I have long had a fascination for Naval history, particularly British history and this book is a part of my ongoing search for information and background for my own writing. 

The author has opened a window into a world most modern youngsters would find intolerable, a world of bullying, self discipline and hardship. It was a world of separation from friends and family at a very early age and one in which you either learned fast and grew to manhood and responsibility - or perished. Mr Ronald has used the journals, letters and diaries of the Midshipmen who 

New cover art for On The Run

The new cover artwork for my latest book, On The Run; a Harry Heron Adventure, has arrived. Below is a somewhat reduced image of the painting which has taken sometime to realise ...

Readable? That's irrelevant ...

I recently watched the pre-Booker Prize Dinner interviews on the BBC. It was eye-opening to say the very least and made me very aware that some of the Traditional Publishers - and perhaps the Book critics as well - have no interest in generating a wider audience. The statement that really got my attention was from one of the Judges, who is a senior member of the Prize committee and if I heard it right, a Commissioning Editor for one of the major publishers. In response to the interviewers comment that the "favourite" for the prize was a thick tome which was "barely readable" he stated "Readability is irrelevant. What matters is its literary value."

Chasing deadlines ...

I got back from my conference in Tehran yesterday in the early hours of the morning. The list of "things to be done today" is daunting, especially chasing the things that should have been completed by my return ...

I have to say that the experience was a mixed bag. The people I met, talked to and was hosted by are fantastic, the regime, obviously, is another matter and the experience of getting the visa and then of the security checks at the airport were - shall I say - designed to deter anyone, however well disposed, from visiting the place.

Iranian hosts take their duty as hosts extremely seriously.

Artwork, marketing, conferences ...

Time seems to accelerate when you're busy. My artwork for the latest Harry Heron novel has been delayed - the artist went and got sick - and that's thrown a spanner in the works for finishing off the cover, which knocked on delaying the production of galleys ... It always has that domino effect when something is delayed, or so it seems. 

My lack of posts recently is down to last minute preparations for a conference I am speaking at and problems getting the visa, the airline tickets and all those last minute details. Trying to push forward and expand my marketing activities at the same time is probably not good timing, but then when is it? 

Progress - I think ...

Sometimes it seems that time just slips away, regardless of your efforts to keep it under control. It reminds me of an article I read recently which stated, among other things, that we all experience time differently. It certainly feels that way at present.

Their Lordships Request goes electronic ...

It's taken a while, but it has finally come together. The e-publisher, 46 South Publishing has released Their Lordships Request in the formats for Kindle, iPad and PC/Mac. On sale through their online shop at US$3.99 it's a very affordable read. 

The process has been an interesting one for me as an author, perhaps naively believing that it was simply a matter of converting the Word MS into an electronic version of the publisher's page layout program.

Books, publishing and readers; a conundrum?

The death of paper based "print" books is much discussed these days on a variety of fora frequented by authors and would be authors. <a href="http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/390067.html">Seanan MacGuire, writing on Live Journal</a>, makes an excellent case regarding the need for "printed words" to continue. I find myself in full agreement with him.


Electronic books are fine, I have some of mine available in e-format now, but if you don't have a Kindle, iPad, whatever, you can't read them. All you need to read a paper book is the book. You can get it from a library, from a bookstore, from Amazon and even from the second hand bookstore tucked away in a backstreet. But here lies a part of the problem. Authors have to get past a large number of "gate keepers" in order to get published by the traditional publishers. Most won't even look at a manuscript submitted by an author if it doesn't come through an agent. Even when they say they will. The truth is that they are swamped by manuscripts these days as the electronic age gives more and more people the power to create the novel "everyone" is supposed to have inside them. 

Cover Designs ...

The new cover is now available and will appear within days on the e-version of the Their Lordships Request, available from 46South Publishing. I will make sure there is a proper link to it in the "Store" section when I have it.

My original cover design was meant to look as if it had been executed by someone aboard the ship Harry is serving on, but I was never very satisfied with it. So I commissioned a new cover. Now I have to get it swopped onto the printed version, an exercise which I suspect will take longer than I think. Never mind, it will be worth the wait, of this I am pretty sure. In the meantime, here is an image of it ...

I have to say that I am very pleased with the finished product. I sent copies of the four final drafts round to a wide range of friends and family and got some very useful feedback on it. The consensus was divided between two of the four, but with the largest number preferring the cover above. Better yet, the publisher is delighted!

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