MY JOURNEY INTO SELF PUBLISHING: PART FIVE: ADDED VALUE

The Blackwater Bugle is my added value site that aims to complement The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey by giving readers access to the life of the town where the story is set.

Maintained by 10 year old Samantha Kwok it should, in theory, add another layer of entertainment, cross promote the novel and encourage loyalty. It also allows me to seed characters who will feature in sequels like The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. Santa Claws.

It’s a simple, free WordPress template that will look something like this when it goes live.

Mark Gorton The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey

It also means I can introduce hero Kenny’s talent for art, albeit with a free tool that converts photos to ‘drawings’.

The Utterly Amazing Bumbling-Boy VS. The Green Bogey

There are issues: things designed to make my life simple have made it complex. I need to remove my name as the poster boy writing this stuff, as well as the automatic dating of each post. Just how I do this I have no idea. Maybe I know someone who does.

progress4

Dave Kennedy has sent the latest version of the work-in-progress cover. It’s terrifically encouraging. Even if I sell only a handful of copies I will have something groovy to hang on my wall, though I begin to worry that the book behind the cover does not live up to the expectations it raises. I only have a couple of notes to do with positioning of text and the size of my name – ahem. I should have the finished product in a couple of days, whereupon I will have to devise a schedule for the pre-order period and the promotional activity – what that will be precisely I am unsure – to take place during it.

I have had another idea for a follow-up book, probably the fourth in the series when Bumbling-Boy has overcome the likes of Santa Claws and Cybernan.

Bumbling-Boy v. The Miceman

The Lane, Kohli and Kwok families decide to take the summer holiday of a lifetime in Los Angeles where they will visit Lindsayland. It’s a good thing George’s life has turned around thanks to events described in the first Bumbling-Boy book, because otherwise Kenny’s parents would never have been able to afford it. (George is Kenny’s dad.)

Their arrival in L. A. coincides with the discovery of Lindsayland’s creator, Walt Lindsay, the animator, roboticist and theme park pioneer who put himself in cryonic suspension in 1966.

Walt is thawed out, but when he returns to consciousness after more than 50 years on ice it becomes clear he was not the fun loving gentleman we all thought he was. Perhaps his friendships with scientists like Wernher von Braun should have given us a clue.

Walt Disney and friend in 1957

It turns out Walt froze himself so he would wake up when the time was right to conquer the world…and the solar system. As luck would have it he can take control of the forthcoming unmanned mission to Mars, have robots pilot it and so claim the red planet for himself.

In a cavernous base built in the 1950s he hid an army of automaton mice troopers. Walt activates them and they march outside to wage war with their electric stun guns.

He also deploys nefarious flying mind control helmets, which resemble skullcaps with two big round mice ears for antennae.

When they attach themselves to tens of thousands of heads the wearers are turned into slaves who obey without question as Walt transmits orders from his labyrinthine lair.

In their biggest challenge yet, can Bumbling-Boy and Dinkesh save the world from batty Uncle Walt, the Miceman?

I like this, although it probably rules out Disney as a potential buyer of my character. I may have to think again.

To be continued…

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Author: Mark Gorton

I am a television producer making things for screens large and small. In my spare time I write, with a particular interest in fantastic fiction and sport non-fiction. It is an honour to host Samantha Kwok's local news site, the Blackwater Bugle. Blackwater never ceases to amaze.

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