It was good being away from the internet for a while. Not only did I enjoy the extra time exploring Crete and spending time with Genie, but I also had some pleasant surprises when I got back. Instead of watching obsessively for things to happen, I stepped back as things I’d put in motion before I left England continued by themselves.

First, a short story I’d sent off months ago in the February snows was accepted for publication in Volume II of Spark: A Creative Anthology. The story’s based on the King’s Cross Fire, a terrible fire in a London Underground station in 1987, and explores questions of guilt by telling the story of a man who thinks his cigarette was the one that started the fire.

A Virtual Love in WHSmithAlso, word came through that WH Smith had ordered 1,500 copies of A Virtual Love and promoted it in their stores across the country. My family sent excited emails about seeing the book in various towns, and fellow Legend Press author James Higgerson kindly sent through this pic of the book on the Fiction charts on the shelves in Manchester (one spot ahead of The Reluctant Fundamentalist – just saying…).

Separately, the Kindle version of the book was listed in Amazon’s list of “100 featured books for £2.99 or less” for the month of May, which seemed to improve sales and give me some new readers, even though the idea of my four years work selling for less than a bottle of water was a little painful.

I was also interviewed by women’s magazine Female First, and shortlisted for the Bath Short Story Award, and A Virtual Love got a great review from Stefanie at So Many Books. And just this weekend, JoV reviewed the book and published an interview with me.

And all of this happened while I was driving around looking at apartments and eating in tavernas! Back to work now to plant some more seeds…


  1. Charlie 4 June 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Well done for the short story! I was in WH Smith the other day but (amazingly) didn’t go to the books section, so now I’m wondering if they’ve got copies in my local. Awesome that you’ve new readers, and don’t forget the whole willing-to-take-chance-on-a-cheaper book inspiring a reader to buy the backlist and future books 🙂

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 5 June 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Thanks Charlie! You’re right, the Kindle offer would have convinced a lot of people to take a chance on my book, so that’s good. I do worry a bit in general, though, about all these 99p or even free offers reducing the overall price expectation – will people still pay £7.99 for a paperback, or £4 or £5 for a non-discounted ebook, or will they just wait for the Kindle special deal? The low prices are great for me as a reader, but worrying for me as a writer! Interesting times…

  2. Vishy 6 June 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Nice to know that you are settling down in Crete, Andrew. (Crete, that is so amazing, I am still thinking :)) Wonderful to know that WH Smith is promoting ‘A Virtual Love’. I hope it reaches the top of the bestselling charts. Love the bookstore shelf picture that you have posted 🙂 Congratulations on your short story being featured in the Spark anthology! Happy reading and writing!

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 7 June 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks Vishy! Yes, things are going well here. How is life with you? Always good to hear from you.

      1. Vishy 11 June 2013 at 8:04 pm

        Wonderful to know that, Andrew! I am doing well. Following the cricket Champions Trophy these days 🙂 England, West Indies and India seem to be doing well 🙂

        1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 12 June 2013 at 5:02 pm

          That’s good to hear, Vishy. I’ve been following a bit over the internet – looks as if India are really strong so far! Will be interesting to see how it develops. England seem quite erratic in one-day cricket, but home advantage may help 🙂

    1. Andrew Blackman - Site Author 7 June 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks Michelle. Are you going to enter that Utah writing contest? I’m sure you knew about it already, but thought you might appreciate the reminder/hint… 🙂


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