Monday, October 29, 2012

The Delta Chain's Breakthrough on Amazon US lists

Over the past week, 'The Delta Chain,' appeared for the first time on the Amazon US Paid Top 100 lists. (Woo hoo! as they say in the classics).

It reached #6 in Technothrillers, #7 in Police Procedurals, #37 in Thrillers, and featured in sponsored posts on Kindle Nation Daily, Cents-ible Ereads, Flurries Of Words, Ereader News Today, FK Books and Tips and Bargain Ebook Hunter. Currently with 13 reviews, averaging 4.2 sars on Amazon US, and 10 reviews from UK readers, averaging 4.5 stars, on Amazon UK.

My interview with Anthony Wessel, from Digital Book Today, can now also be found on The Delta Chain's US Kindle ebook page, or here at DBT 

A big, personal thank you to all those who've supported the book over time.

You can check it out at or at 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Time travel, rock'n'roll and Stephen there's a combo

I’m a bit of a sucker for time travel stories. On an entirely different note, Stephen King has written some of my favourite novels over the years. (The Green Mile comes to mind).
So when I saw that King had published an epic time travel novel, “11.22.63” I was attracted like a moth to a flame.
Those who know anything about Stephen King know that he likes his rock’n’roll  , has at times played it himself in a group, comprised of bestselling authors who-play-intruments, called the Rock Bottom Remainders, and that he has an enduring interest in the America of the mid to late 20th Century (reflected in his novella ‘Stand By Me,” and many other works).
One of the fascinating aspects of the time travel genre is that it enables us, through the eyes of a character from our time, not just to observe the past but also to imagine the impact of interacting with it.
And King does that – and more – in this story of Jake Epping, who does not just visit a previous era but “lives’ in it, day by day, year by year, becoming part of the lives of a group of people. For Jake there is a life-changing romance with the wonderfully drawn Sadie Dunhill, while dancing to some of the now classic rock hits as they are released for the very first time.
From the perception of a man of “today,” we experience the culture, the attitudes, the prejudices (and in some cases the innocence) of a different generation. All leading, of course, toward one of the most famous and tragic moments - the JFK assasination - in the history of America.
"11.22.63," won the Los Angeles Times 2011 Best Mystery/Thriller Novel and the 2011 International Thriller Writers Best (Hard Cover) Novel.
My Goodreads review of “11.22.63” follows:

I've always enjoyed a good time travel story, and I'm a long time reader of Stephen King, so when King produced an epic time travel tale, I was a definite starter - and without question this is one of the best I've read. This novel has a powerful emotional tug, and delivers fascinating insights by juxtaposing the social mores and thinking of the current era against those of half a century ago. An ordinary, everyday guy - a teacher - from our time, goes back and lives and works - and falls in love - in the America of the late 50's/early 60's. And we experience it as though we are right there alongside him. Once again King builds the suspense with a master's touch as we head toward that historic day in November, 1963. Can an ordinary man alter one of the most fateful moments in history? Should he?

Rock'n'roll image -
© Ashestosky |

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Amazon UK Top 20

Update : 'The Delta Chain,' this past week re-entered the Amazon UK Top 100 Mysteries and Thrillers bestseller lists, on Thursday reaching #18 on Thrillers and  #22 on Mysteries.

A fine day indeed then, as my Irish friends would say.

The UK site has thee 5 star reviews, and the Amazon US site nine reviews, averaging 4 stars.

In addition to the ebooks, both 'The Delta Chain,' and 'Disappear,' are also available in paperback from the Amazon sites in the US, UK and Europe, and from other online booksellers.

A big "thank you" to all those readers who have supported the book.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

'Disappear,' on Amazon UK Top 100 Thrillers and Amazon France - Top 10 - English Thrillers

'Disappear,' has had strong support since its launch last week, and on Friday appeared on the Amazon UK Top 100 Kindle-Thrillers list, sneaking in at #100.

It has also appeared on Amazon France's- English ebooks- Top 10 Thrillers. So not too shabby.

Thanks to all those who have been supporting the book.

As for me, I'm currently compiling the first in a series of collections of my short suspense fiction. More about this in the near future. And plunging into the second draft of a new novel.

So no rest for the wicked. Or for me.

For 'Disappear,' on Amazon US  - find it  here  and on Amazon UK - you can find it here


Sunday, June 24, 2012

FREE Giveaway extended

Due to a delay in the Free Promotion going live on the site, the Free Download for Kindle has been extended to Monday 25th June Pacific Standard Time (and in Australia and New Zealand that's late afternoon Tuesday) - go here to download for your Kindle from -or- here to download from Amazon's UK site.

To recap : my previous novel explored the mystery of bodies that could not be identified. Who were they? My new suspense thriller, 'Disappear,' delves into the flip side of that scenario - the body of a man, a hit/run victim, whose body carries ID that clearly establishes who he is. However, Brian Parkes has been missing for eighteen years. His body has been found in the same street from which he went missing, wearing the same clothes - and his physical appearance is exactly the same now as it was then.

Previously published in Australia in trade softcover as 'The Silent Scream,' the novel has been revised and published in ebook and also in a new paperback edition alongside my novel 'The Delta Chain.'

In 'Disappear,' Parkes' widow, Jennifer, finds the memories and the grief of the past re-ignited when her husband's body is found. Successful and much wiser than the shattered young woman of almost two decades before, this time she is determined to personally solve the enigma once and for all.

'Disappear,' is available in ebook exclusively from and also from the Amazon sites in the UK and Europe. For this special promotional launch it can be downloaded FREE this weekend for Kindle.

I hope you enjoy reading 'Disappear,' as much as I did writing it.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Disappear - FREE on Kindle this weekend

Free for two days - Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June (Pacific Standard Time) go here to download for your Kindle from -or- here to download from Amazon's UK site.

My previous novel explored the mystery of bodies that could not be identified. Who were they? My new suspense thriller, 'Disappear,' delves into the flip side of that scenario - the body of a man, a hit/run victim, whose body carries ID that clearly establishes who he is. However, Brian Parkes has been missing for eighteen years. His body has been found in the same street from which he went missing, wearing the same clothes - and his physical appearance is exactly the same now as it was then.

Previously published in Australia in trade softcover as 'The Silent Scream,' the novel has been revised and published in ebook and also in a new paperback edition alongside my novel 'The Delta Chain.'

In 'Disappear,' Parkes' widow, Jennifer, finds the memories and the grief of the past re-ignited when her husband's body is found. Successful and much wiser than the shattered young woman of almost two decades before, this time she is determined to personally solve the enigma once and for all.

'Disappear,' is available in ebook exclusively from and also from the Amazon sites in the UK and Europe. For this special promotional launch it can be downloaded FREE this weekend for Kindle.

I hope you enjoy reading 'Disappear,' as much as I did writing it.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cell phones and Kiefer Sutherland

What is it about actor Kiefer Sutherland and cell phones?  During the years of TV’s “24” series, (a personal favourite) Sutherland’s character Jack Bauer spent much of every episode on his cell phone, while at the same time pursuing terrorists by car, on planes, trains and buses or on foot across overhead passes and through underground tunnels.
While all this as going on, he was simultaneously talking on that cell with other agents, with the President, with his enemies, and sometimes with his daughter, Kim, while she was being chased by stalkers, kidnappers, psycho survivalists, various teenage delinquents and other assorted creepies. Just another day yakking on the phone.
In his recently premiered new tv series, ‘Touch,’ Sutherland plays Martin Bohm, the father of an autistic boy, who is mute, and who communicates his prophetic abilities via the use of numbers. In the opening episode  the boy writes these numbers down and manipulates multiple cell phones to ring with those same numbers. Yes. Cell phones again (more commonly referred to in Australia and the UK as mobiles.) Other plotlines in that opening epidode, and in subsequent episodes, have kept finding various uses for cell phones. (For the record, I'm enjoying 'Touch,' which explores the interconnection between all of us.)
Thriller fiction has always been adept at taking new technologies, which have become part and parcel of our ordinary, everyday lives and then casting them in a sinister light or as an unexpected ally to propel the suspense or horror being experienced.
And the good ‘ol cell phone has taken pride of place in being that object in recent years. These days everyone walks around with a phone glued to their ear as though it was another necessary appendage like an arm or a leg. We even have fake toy cell phones for kids. Next thing you know there’ll be cell phones for people’s pet dogs.
There’s something chilling when the most familiar, taken-for-granted items in our lives become the focus of something…else.
In Stephen King’s novel, ‘Cell,” a pulse sent out over cell phone networks turns most of the population into violent, mindless “zombies,” and the use of the pulse and the phones features prominently throughout. A cell broadcast that attacks the human race? These days there’s probably an app for that.
In the movie, “Cellular,” a damaged cell phone becomes the vital lifeline between a kidnapped woman and a young man who thinks the call he receives from her is a prank. (Okay, we all know someone who’s made a  prank call that's not much better than that.) 
In the film, “Buried,” Ryan Reynolds plays a truck driver who is buried alive in a box beneath the desert with just a cigarette lighter (for light) and a cell phone (for contact with the outside world which, despite its best efforts, cannot find him.) Suspenseful and claustrophobic, it’s a movie that realises one of everyone’s worst nightmares.
In Greg Bear’s novel, “Dead Lines,” a businessman launches a powerful new cell phone called The Trans – and we are plunged into a world of pure horror when we discover that these phones can contact the dead.
The cell phone thriller – it’s on its way to becoming a sub-genre of its very own.
And if a movie of King’s ‘Cell,’ is made – or some other cell-related thriller film, and the filmmakers need a lead man experienced in acting with cell phones?
Just give Kiefer a call.

Kiefer Sutherland image - © Davi Sales |

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interview with Digital Book Today

Anthony Wessel's interview with me is now at Digital Book Today, and I talk about the writing of 'The Delta Chain.' No ranting, no throwing phones. Just book stuff. You can find it here and make sure to check out the rest of DBT, lots of great info on authors and books.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The people who encourage and inspire us

A Writer's Sojourn

I was going to sub-title this post "A Writer's Journey" but the word "journey" has been so over-used on reality tv it has become something of a caricature of itself. And that's a crying shame as it is a perfectly good word, and an effective one when used correctly and sparingly.

Thankfully many reality shows have recognised this and are now encouraging their participants to use different words and phrases. Hopefully, then, "journey" will one day regain its rightful place. The English language can be robust like that.

The writing life is a little of both - the trip, and the temporary stays along the way.

But I digress.

My first writing sojourn began when I was very young, telling stories by play acting all the characters. If I'd continued down that path I might've been treading the boards as an actor but I didn't go down that path (too many strange looks).

I started using stick figures and props, moving them around the back yard. If I'd stayed on that path I might've been a Spielbergian-type director, treading the red carpet at the Oscars. But I didn't continue down that path and have a baby grandson named Oscar instead.

I began writing stories down in exercise books (I shoul'd've been doing homework.) I'm still writing stories down in exercise books when I'm not tinkering with them on laptops.

A couple of weeks ago the KDP Select Free Kindle/Promo Giveway for 'The Delta Chain,' exceeded my wildest expectations in reaching the #6 spot on Amazon's Free List for Mystery/Suspense and #1 on Amazon UK's Free List/Thrillers.

After the Free Promo ended, sales of the novel received a much-needed kick up the you-know-where, reaching #30 on Amazon UK's Paid Bestsellers List/Thrillers and #60 on the Mystery List.

Many authors have reported similar experiences with the Amazon promotional initiatives. It's much welcomed encouragement for authors and it caused me to reflect on the importance of encouragement for writers on their life-long storytelling sojourns (there's that word again.)

Several years ago 'The Delta Chain,' was taken on for representation by a leading UK literary agent, Bob Tanner of the International Scripts Agency in London. Bob loved the book and wrote me a letter, offering representation, that bubbled over with his enthusiasm for the project. Bob had an editor with a large UK book imprint wanting to publish and waiting on approval from his board. Unfortunately the acquisition fell through for reasons not fully understood but something to do with not enough votes to keep me on the island.

The editor was disappointed, I was disappointed - and Bob seemed even more disappointed. There were a few other setbacks and Bob suggested putting the manuscript aside for a while and working on another.

Unfortunately Bob passed away in 2009, after a forty-plus year career as an editor, publishing executive and literary agent. He founded the International Scripts Agency in 1979 and over the decades had worked with many authors in many genres, including Richard Laymon, Simon Clark and Dean Koontz. Dean Koontz's dedication in his novel,'Strangers,' was to Bob, and he wrote: "To Bob Tanner, whose enthusiasm at a crucial stage was more important than he can know."

In the brave new digital publishing world, many literary agents have expanded their role, in some cases becoming e-producers for their authors, or e-distributors, and in some cases going on to form their own e-publishing operations. Ever the entrepreneur, I've no doubt Bob would've been in the thick of it.

I didn't know Bob beyond some written correspondence and a couple of phone calls. He was in London, I was in Sydney but even from that distance his enthusiasm for my writing, his support and his encouragement made an impact that I've carried with me ever since.

In part it's the reason I pulled 'The Delta Chain' from the drawer and submitted it to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel award, where it was a 2009 Quarterfinalist. It attracted some good reviews, further prompting me as the ebook age dawned to publish the novel and then promote it via the Amazon/KDP Select promotional campaign.

When I saw 'The Delta Chain,' at #1 on the Free Books List/Thrillers, on Amazon's UK site - and then the following week reaching #30 on the Paid Bestsellers List for Thrillers, I was immediately reminded of Bob and his inspirational comments, and smiled at the irony that this first breakthrough for me was in Bob's country, not to mention the same country from which my Mum and her family emigrated to Australia after the Second World War.

I reflected on how vital those encouraging words were to me, from Bob and from others, during the years of this storytelling journey (ok, so I've used the "j" word.)

There is no question that those genuine moments of passionate support for an author, (or for anyone from any walk of life), be it from an agent, an editor, a reader, a reviewer, a friend, have a deeper and longer-lasting effect than the person who gives them could ever realise. (Relax, I'm not going to break into a rendition of 'The Wind Beneath My Wings,' and even if I did it wouldn't sound anything like 'The Wind Beneath My Wings.')

Even sports teams have their cheerleaders, rolling out the fanfare whether their team is on a winning or losing streak.

We all need our cheer squads, our mentors, our supporters. And we're all capable of offering our own cheer to others. We may never know how important that encouragement is, or how far-reaching its effect. Those positive comments, whispered in someone's ear, are like a ripple on the water, spreading out over the pond.

They just keep on going and going.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Delta Chain debuts on AmazonUK Top 100 Kindle/Thrillers

It's been a breakthrough week for 'The Delta Chain,' debuting on the Amazon UK Top 100 Kindle/Thrillers Paid Bestsellers List at #91 and reaching to #30 last Thursday (and #207 in overall ebooks) and then hovering in the #40's (Thrillers) for the rest of the week.

Across the Atlantic at the novels's overall ranking has risen from 400,000 and was hovering at around 5,000-6,000, not too shabby after last weekend's KDP Select promotion.

A big thank you to all those who've been supporting the novel and this blog, and my new Twitter ramblings @IainEdwardHenn

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Delta Chain - FREE on Kindle this weekend

Free for two days - Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th March,(Pacific Standard Time) go here to download for your Kindle

There's nothing quite like an idea that comes with its own intriguing built-in mystery, one that won't go away, that keeps nagging at you, that screams out for a solution.

Several years ago I read a news article about a body found in a local bay. After several months the police had been unable to identify the body, and no-one that had been reported missing was a fit for the man's description.

I did some research and discovered that each year, in the U.S alone, close to 1,000 bodies were found that remained unidentified for long periods of time. Some were never identified. There are similar numbers each year in many other countries, including Australia. Who were they, where had they come from, how could no-one have noticed they were gone?

That was the starting point for my novel, 'The Delta Chain,' in which the investigating detective and a feisty young IT troubleshooter are united by a shared grief. Across the Pacific, a retired Chicago newsman, visiting Florida, is drawn in when he stumbles across some startling facts.

'The Delta Chain,' was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist that has received 4 and 5 star reviews. The ebook edition is currently exclusive to Amazon, available for free rental to Amazon Prime members, and this weekend as a special promotion is FREE as a Kindle download.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Books and blogs, it's a small world

Sometimes it's the simplest idea that jumps up and really grabs you. The title of Gregg Hurwitz's novel, simply "We Know," did that - along with the plot: an ordinary, everyday young guy is whisked away by a Government agency to confront a terrorist at a nuclear power plant.

When I saw a copy I bought it, lured in by the title and the concept. It's one of those thrillers that are lean, taut, tight and terrific (like an athlete's bod, the kind some have and the rest of us would like to have but without doing all the grunt work.) Hurwitz's novel also has something else that makes a great thriller stand out from the madding crowd - an emotional tug, tied in with the hero's predicament and his past, that keeps you turning the pages.

Thriller supremo David Morrell's work has always had that emotive wringer, ever since he introduced troubled ex-Marine John Rambo in "First Blood," and through to his many espionage tales ("The Brotherhood of The Rose" and its sequels) and his standalone suspense novels. "Long Lost," and "Burnt Sienna," are prime examples of electrifying suspense with haunting and ethereal undercurrents throughout.

Here's the thing: I first read about Gregg Hurwitz in a blog, and then in a comment posted to a forum, then I read "We Know," then I began checking out Hurwitz's own blog (an interesting background writing not just novels but comics, film scripts and academic Shakespeare articles) and now here I am blogging about the author and his books. Full circle. Maybe it really is a small world, and if that's the case, the blogosphere and the myriad maze of social networking platforms, as vast as they are, are also in their own peculiar way, a small world.

For example, David Morrell's Facebook page has become something of a meeting place for conversation on popular culture, as he'd hoped it might, containing broad views from many contributors on the latest projects and releases in books, film, television, and on what's happening week by week in those industries.

Discovery of a new blog/forum/website/online group or twitterer is just as exciting now as unearthing a new book or tv series or "indie" movie that's just right for you. And you'll probably start blogging and twittering about it.

I read David Morrell's novels for many years before 'discovering" his Facebook presence and now look forward to his breath-of-fresh-air posts as much as I do his new book releases.

And, like many others out there nowadays, the reverse is also true: I've found I'm discovering a blog or a website that I really like, and as a result then starting to read that blogger's or twitterer's books as well (that is, if they have them). Full circle again, but it's certainly not a vicious circle or a merry-go-round. Instead, it's more the "big bang' variety, a circular, ever-expanding journey to constantly new places.

I'm glad to be along for the ride.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The caring, sharing, ever-expanding entrepreneurial writing community

Over twelve months ago I blogged about one of the most inspiring aspects of the rise of the "indie" author, and the ebook/Print-On-Demand revolution. That was the willingness and honesty of writers to share their experiences. Not just about the craft of writing and editing, but also the mechanics of publishing, of promotion, of cover design, of pricing and distribution and networking.

This caring and sharing came not just from big-name bestselling authors such as David Morrell and Stephen Leather, but also from a diverse range of those practicing the craft -from mid-listers through to newbies, from the traditionally published to the self-published.

I decided to update that post and wondered what had changed since my earlier blog.

As it turns out - nothing, and everything.

That collective cyber-consciousness of information, advice, tips and support from writers for writers is still there, but it has not just grown, it has literally exploded nova-like and has spread to include editors, literary agents, readers, reviewers, all playing a part in shaping a vibrant new literary landscape. That point was brought home to me when I read a new thread posted to the Kindle Community board this week, from David Peters, simply titled "A Thanks to the Indie Community." He writes - '...there have been quite a few authors I have latched onto and would read just about anything they have to say but as yet have not yet been discovered by the mainstream,' and '...thanks to those taking the time to answer questions...and offer that nudge of encouragement that many need.'

I was reminded that the ebook/POD revolution isn't just a global business phenomenon - it's also a very personal one for individual writers and readers.

There is now a growing number of indie authors, not just the mega-sellers like John Locke and Amanda Hocking - but indies who have reached out and found a smaller, perhaps niche market of readers, with whom they have established a consistently growing base of readers. For the first time authors and readers are connected, via blogs, FB, Twitter and specialist websites, be it Kindleboards, Nookboards, Amazon forums, Goodreads, Shelfari and the like.

Authors/bloggers such as M P McDonald, Helen Smith, M Louisa Locke, David Gaughran and many others have kept us informed on what has worked for them and what has not - sharing their analysis and opinions not just on their successes and/or failures, but also on their experiments with pricing, networking and industry developments (such as the Amazon initiative of KDP Select).

Of course, mainstream media has always had interviews with well known authors and their path to success, but those articles were heavily edited, diplomatic transcripts. Imagine if there'd been a Wiki-leaks way back when to reveal what some of those guys really thought about the 'biz.

As writers, it's up to you and I to sift through and analyse what's best for us, and what isn't.

J. A. Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide To Publishing has been around a few years and is one of the pioneers of this warts-and-all approach. Joe was an early adopter/predictor of the rise of ebooks and of reasonable, affordable pricing. Joe is both traditionally published, and an "indie," foot-in-both-camps at various times. Thankfully, this hasn't stopped him from being highly vocal about many elements of traditional publishers and the NY6 (sounds like an evil cabal, but it's actually just an affectionate (?) term for the six big New York publishing corporations.)

When I first set out to set up my own small book imprint, and launch my own novel, I had no idea all this advice from others doing similar things, was out there.

I'm glad it was.

Some of the authors/bloggers I'm following, and gleaning plenty from their experiences, are the following:

Bestselling novelist Stephen Leather began publishing his own ebooks and he's a regular on the Amazon Kindle lists. His blog issues a step-by-step rundown on just how others can emulate his practices and achieve success, at his blog -

Michael R Sullivan writes fantasy bestsellers, also riding high on Kindle lists among others, and recently signed with trad publishers. His wife and co-publisher, Robin, has a blog titled  write2publish that provides a wealth of little gems on pricing, marketing, distribution, all the nitty gritty stuff. Robin is very forthcoming on just how she and Michael built their business, publishing other authors as well.

There's a certain bravery in communicating a personal writing journey, and I commend M P McDonald, author of 'No GoodDeed,' and 'March Into Hell,' who has shone a light ahead for those like me who are coming in from the dark. Mary's blog can be found here and likewise, check out David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital and historical mystery author M Louisa Locke's blog

The UK's Helen Smith is a playwright, screenwriter, novelist and children's author whose blog offers fascinating insights, tips, advice, promotions and, for international readers like myself, there's lots of glimpses of day-today life in and around London. Love it.

April L Hamilton's website Publetariat has long been a source of inspiration, motivation and tasty morsels of information for the budding author/publisher.

In fact, it was April's "Indie Author Guide To Publishing For The Kindle With Amazon's Digital Text Platform..." that I found one of the most useful, user-friendly, practical articles on the subject.

The Passive Guy is a lawyer and a writer with a lot to say about the publishing biz, up-to-date news and snarky observations on where it's all going, at The Passive Voice

Bestseller Bob Mayer, author of the Area 51 and Atlantis series among many others, also now runs an indie publishing house, he blogs all about it here

Jennifer Penn, author of the thrillers 'Pentecost,' and 'Prophecy,' covers writing, publishing and marketing in depth at The Creative Penn

Amy Rogers is the author of the science-themed suspense novel 'Petroplague,' published in print and ebook by the New York publishing firm Diversion Books. Amy, who has a Harvard doctorate in immunology, has an interest in all things scientific and medical, and in educational platforms on science for the young and the young-at-heart. The good doctor combines all this at, just one of many emerging websites that are champions of specific genres, connecting writers, readers and publishers of those genres in new kinds of 21st Century reading societies.

And all those mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg.

This caring, sharing, ever-expanding entrepreneurial writing community is one of the best things about being a writer right now. It's out there 24/7, it's free, it's hot-wired into the international publishing scene, and it's just a click away.