I finally ordered the proof Monday night and spent the next few hours putting together the information that I posted to Bear Alley Books and an announcement for Bear Alley. On Tuesday morning I remembered to put up a link from Bear Alley, checked my mail and — hurrah! — had my first order come in. Thanks, Frank.
So now that the Gwyn Evans is so close to publication — and the devilish cover is the perfect publication for Friday the 13th — I'm already working on the next Bear Alley Books' title. I've signed a deal to reprint the Sexton Blake Annual. I'm a huge fan of Sexton Blake and the four Blake annuals haven't been available for seventy years. Four annuals appeared between 1938 and 1942 (there was a break in 1939), all with paper covers. They haven't survived in great numbers and I've thought for years that they would make a great set if they were reprinted. Well, I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth was, contacted the copyright holder and we hammered out a deal.
The plan is to publish the four at around six weekly intervals between May and September. I've only just started work on them so I don't know how much cleaning up the pages will need but I suspect I'll probably begin with the 1940 volume as, of the four in my collection, that's the one in the best condition. The idea is to make them exact reproductions of the originals — the only difference will be to the rear cover adverts. At a rough guess, the final price will be £17.99 plus p&p but there will definitely be a big saving for anyone who orders all four. I'm going to stick my neck on the line and say that Bear Alley Books has never missed a release date... so if you order them, they will turn up on time.
I'll have some more details next week but for those of you who want a sneak peak, here's the cover for the 1940 annual.
Now, I've been a quite heavy smoker for thirty-five years and the money I burn in a month would easily pay for one. Some years back I was smoking thirty plus a day, but I managed to cut back four or five years ago so, recently, I've probably been smoking 20-24 a day, depending on how much time I'm left on my own. Non-smokers might find this screwy but, left to my own devices, muscle memory kicks in and I can find myself with a lit cigarette and not remember lighting it.
The plan is to cut right back and, ultimately, to give up completely. I made the decision a couple of weeks ago and I've managed to cut down without too much suffering. This is my second full week and I'm averaging something like 14 a day. The money I'm saving goes into the Kindle Fund.
How this works: To make the sums easier, we'll say that I was smoking a packet a day of the cheapest cigarettes at a cost of £6 a day. 20 x 7 days is 140 cigarettes costing £42 — 30p each. As I started on 24 March, I'm counting the week as running from Saturday through Friday; I smoked 93 cigarettes in the 7 days between 24- 30 March, a saving of 47 x 30p = £14.10. So after Week One the Kindle Fund stands at £14.10 — so that's the power adaptor paid for already!
I'll let you know how I do on Week Two next week. This time I'm determined to cut down and quit which is why I'm making this public and setting myself a target. If you want to support the Kindle Fund you can do it quite a few ways: the best way would be buy any of the books from Bear Alley Books; another easy way is if you order anything from Amazon, rather than go straight to the Amazon site, come to Bear Alley and use the search box over in the left hand column; there's also a PayPal link for donations over on the left.
Kindle Fund: £14.10
Today's Random Scans are a companion piece to the Tarzan-esque covers I posted back on 16 March. The first two are further adventures of Jacare by Victor Norwood and the latter two are Azan the Apeman by Marco Garon or Marco Garron... the name varied. Victor was a real guy, but I've always suspected that the latter were the work of David A. Griffiths, based on the two that I have. If anyone can supply decent cover scans of the other four Azan novels, I'd be grateful as I've only even found very poor scans on the web.