First edition

I have mentioned my slow, even tortuous progress to publishing my book, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. You can read the first three chapters here.

Well, the story so far (ha!) is I think I’m nearly there. I have a cover…


DEAD FLIES 3 cover ben boost

the cover…

I have a blurb…

It’s summer 1976 and hotter than Hades

Harry Spittle, nineteen, is home from university, aiming to earn some money to go on holiday and maybe get laid. But things start to unravel as his parents’ marriage implodes. Harry’s problems mount with the appearance of old family friend, Charlie Jepson, his psychopathic son Claude and predatory wife Monica. Before Harry knows it he’s in debt up to his ears, being stabbed and dealing in drugs. His job is at risk, his sister is in trouble and he’s sure he has discovered a family secret that might destroy him. Can Harry survive to see out the summer? To do so he will have to face his worst fears as well as confront the local criminal mastermind. Oh, and he still hopes to get laid.

And my oh so very kind beta readers are handing back the final final thoughts after which (having made any changes I think needed) my fantastic editor will have a final sweep, make sure I’m formatted for a kindle…


People, help me. If you saw the first page and the cover and the blurb, what would you think? Am I missing something in the bleedin’ bloody obvious category? I’ve not been through the process of self publishing yet so it’s going to be a bit of a (painful) learning curve. If you have any pointers, things to avoid, must-dos, I’d be eternally grateful for any guidance.

Indeed any thoughts on any aspect will be marvellous. Your comments are always welcome but this time they will be ushered in, sat in a comfy armchair, and supplied with a glass or mug of whatever it is they fancy while I pull up a footstool, prepared to absorb all words of wisdom…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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16 Responses to First edition

  1. Annecdotist says:

    I think the cover is great and the blurb sums it up nicely, except that I’m not sure about the punctuation it this bit:
    But things start to unravel as his parents’ marriage implodes. Harry’s problems mount with the appearance of old family friend
    but I’m not entirely sure how to fix it – the full stop doesn’t seem right but I’m not sure what should replace it, might need to reword along the lines of
    But Harry’s plans unravel as his parents’ marriage implodes and an old family friend appears on the scene …
    See what others think.
    Good luck!


    • TanGental says:

      Thank Anne. Reading it now it looks clunky. I will have a rethink. G


      • Charli Mills says:

        Exciting!!! I’ve been so intrigued by your book cover and the blurb does a great job of matching up the type of story I’d expect just from the artwork. The cover catches my attention and the blurb makes me want to read. You’ve done all the right things so far–you had beta readers, an editor, a designer. Trust that it is done. I’m on your heels as far as completion of my first novel goes and I have been experiencing paralyzing doubt and fear. I didn’t think I would, but I’m finding that putting the first novel out there in the world is difficult. I’ve learned so much since writing a second and starting a third that I wish I could just start over, but then it would be such a different book and it deserves the light of day. At least, we will learn from our firsts. Every writer has a first. Get it out there, Geoff and keep writing! I’m coming back to read the first three chapters.


      • TanGental says:

        Thanks so much for the support Charli. I’m with you and I will get it out there for sure. I think….


  2. Sherri says:

    Ahh Geoff, I remember seeing your delightful cover before and liking it very much indeed. I can’t any offer any advice re the self-publishing aspect having not gone down that road myself…yet (and you can be sure I shall be watching you very closely and absorbing as much advice from you as I can as you pave the way before me…if you don’t mind 😉 ) so I’ll only say this re the blurb: Having read Anne’s comment, I would agree. Maybe instead of the full stop after ‘implodes’ you could put a colon to lead into what Harry’s problems actually are? Maybe the sentence ‘Before Harry knows it…..’ could read as follows:
    ‘Before Harry knows it, he’s dealing in drugs and up to his ears in debt. Things go from bad to worse when he gets stabbed.’
    Just a thought…see what you think but do ignore if no good!
    Great blurb though, really does give a wonderful taster for the story and makes me want to read it most definitely 🙂


  3. Norah says:

    Hi Geoff, I like the cover, title, blurb and name of your main character, including his nick-name. Having read your first three chapters I think the blurb helps to flesh out a little more of the plot. As far is adding advice goes, I think I’ll leave that to your beta readers. Best wishes for the next steps towards publication. 🙂


  4. I just released an early version of my book blurb myself!
    I’m certainly no expert, but I thought your blurb read like it should have ended after ‘Can Harry survive to see out the summer?’
    A lot of blurbs I read end with a similar question.


    • TanGental says:

      Hi Jessica. Thank you for taking the time to comment. The point is well made and I have toyed with it already; is it needed to show the book is essentially light-hearted or just pfaff. One more thing to consider…


  5. lorilschafer says:

    I’m very excited to read your first three chapters, Geoff! I’ve bookmarked them and will get to it as soon as I can.


  6. lorilschafer says:

    Love the cover, love the blurb, loved the first three chapters. Your writing is very clever – you’ve got numerous “zing” moments that tickled me pink and a variety of other colors – and if that’s consistent throughout, I think you’re in great shape. The manuscript does need a bit of editing here and there – there are sentences that I think could be cleaner – and based on what I’ve read on sites like, I suspect you’re going to hear that you need to get to the main conflict of the book a little faster. But I really enjoyed it – can’t wait to read the rest! 🙂


    • TanGental says:

      Wow thanks. As it happens it is going through a bit edit right now so hopefully I will iron out some wrinkles with the editor. Your encouragement is much appreciated.

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