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"Nocturne" available from Kindle Store

The third of the Backlist Downloads is now on sale at the Kindle Store…a chance to acquire Nocturne for a very reasonable £2.99. Kindle versions of Permissible Limits and Airshow will come next, followed by the Pan/Macmillan backlist, featuring Rules of Engagement, Reaper, The Devil’s Breath, Thunder in the Blood, Sabbathman, The Perfect Soldier and Heaven’s Light.

This is my first attempt to master the challenge of digitalisation and the learning curve has been steep. This stuff may only be of interest to fellow scribes but converting hard copy to an uplift-ready Word doc isn’t as simple a procedure as you might expect. Until, that is, you make the acquaintance of Kevin Archer at Service Point. These guys are all over the country and they offer a fast-turnaround service for Kindle-hungry authors like yours truly.

It works like this. You supply a mint-fresh hard copy of your precious book. Service Point tear it apart, feed it through their scanner, and return it on a CD in whichever text format you choose. This means you can manipulate your e-book post-scan on your own laptop or PC.

The result isn’t 100% perfect. The scan is occasionally predictive and it took me a day and a half to tidy the text up. “Fact” sometimes emerged as “fart”, the scanner had a habit of converting “I at the start of dialogue to “T”, and some of the margin indents drifted to the left. But the characters are sharp on the screen and I broadly estimate a 99% accuracy rate which – at Service Point prices – is hugely cheaper than a retype . Further details from Kev on 07760 172666.

And Nocturne itself? This is a stalker thriller I wrote 15 years ago. It’s pre-Faraday and pre- a lot of other things in my life. It’s also the first book I’ve ever re-read in any detailed way and this experience – in keeping with the book itself – was a bit surreal. After a couple of pages with the narrative voice (tyro TV researcher Julie Emerson) I was back in the mid-Nineties in the fag-end of the Major years, sitting at my PC trying to figure out how to spend the next 83,000 words pretending to be a woman. Rather worryingly, from my wife’s point of view, it seems to have worked.

See what you think…