Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday
ISBN 978-1-84624-877-1

Well  Good Friday is here and if you do, or you don't, care about what this day means at least you should be able to take a break, and relax. That was what I was going to do today! I was going to give Fridays posting a miss, go to the shop, and purchase an EDP then do nothing, but relax. Unfortunately there has been a chill wind blow in from Russia, and with my little darlings on their Easter break from school they have been indoors, and driving my wife and I into a Frenzy. So I've hid myself away and decided to chill out by writing this.

You have to respect the Russians on how they get on with it no matter what the weather. In the U.K you get some snow and half the country comes to a stop. In Russia as well as Canada it can drop to -30 and they just shrug their shoulders, and get on with life (Although in Russia a shot or two of the local Vodka does go some way in helping) Just like the lead character in Frenzy.

Daniel Jones stumbles across a gruesome secret that nearly wrecks his life, but he has no choice other than to pull himself together, and to get on with what needs doing. So I will go for a walk later to get my copy of the EDP, and the children will go outside for a walk as well; no matter how much they moan and groan about it being cold outside, and no matter how much they give me their little sad puppy eye look. If the Russians, the Canadians and those Americans, and  Europeans  who have to live with freezing conditions can carry on as normal, so can me and the family when it's only +4 degrees outside.

So to all the readers of from around the world I salute you and wish you a relaxing and enjoyable time over this Easter period.


Mark King

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Silver lining behind every cloud
ISBN 978-1-84624-877-1

Things in life may not turn out how you had planned and hoped they would, and it can be a shame when it doesn't, but the biggest shame is not to have tried at all. My book Frenzy may or may not be a world best seller, but I did it so there's no shame there.

This was brought home to me over the weekend when I was sent a post on Facebook by a friend. It concerned a young family who had migrated from Norfolk to Australia two years ago. It hadn't turned out as they hoped because their son was diagnosed with a rare disease, and he has been fighting a terrible fight against cancer ever since. The posting was an auction appeal to raise funds to bring the family home to Norfolk so their son Charlie Ryan www.facebook/charlieryanukfund could spend his last days with his family.

I donated my author's copy of Frenzy signed by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Norwich, and myself to the appeal and I'm glad to say the winning bidder paid more then the face value of the book. Within 36 hours of the appeal going out dozens of gifts had been donated by locals helping to raise money towards the thousands of pounds needed. Unfortunately it won't be enough for the £300,000 it would cost for specialist treatment in Germany, but from this grey cloud at least a small light has shone.

I must admit that I've had to stop a couple of times to shed a tear or two as I've written today's blog because I can't stop thinking about my own son, who is of a similar age, and how I would find life terrible without him being part of it, alongside my daughter and wife.

But, and there is always a but, every grey cloud has a silver lining and the next story goes some way to prove it. I read a wonderful article yesterday in my local paper the Eastern Daily Press written by Rowan Mantell about the 50th anniversary of the Beeeching report.

For my followers around the world who may not know of this event, Dr Beeching recommended in his report the closure of nearly fifty percent of the railway system in the U.K. At the time the car was the future so the train had to give way. Millions of people were effected by the line/station closures, and tens of thousands, if not hundred's of thousands of people protested against it, but to no avail.

So what happened after all this track that was torn up, stations closed, and to the steam engines sent to the scrap yard? Well the British public did what they always do when they don't agree with authority! They stuck two fingers up to the powers above, volunteered, raised money, campaigned, you name it , they did it, bought the old lines, redundant stations, restored the old steam engines from the scrap yards, and now the U.K has more heritage steam railway's than the whole world put together.

When our German friends Ulli and Heinz flew in from Munich for their very first visit to Norwich we took them to the the North Norfolk Railway and Heinz was just a Frenzy of delight, he looked as if he was a kid who had been given the keys to a sweat shop, he is a steam enthusiast. You see the Germans were wise enough not to downgrade their railway system, but to invest in it, and that's why they have one of the best in the world now, but the other face to this is that that they don't have the same level of steam heritage left as in the U.K.

There are steam buffs everywhere in the world, in America, France, New Zealand even in places like the Ukraine. You can come to East Anglia for two weeks holiday and visit a different steam heritage sites every day, from narrow-gauge up, plus museums, and not visit them all.

So sometimes there is a silver lining behind every cloud, and maybe Charlie Ryan and his family will see one soon.


Mark King

Monday, 25 March 2013

Thank heaven for little girls.

It's over! The weekend, at last it's over. There was a time which I refer to as B.C (before children) when the weekend was for relaxing, to take it easy, and do nothing other than think about ones own pleasure.

After B.C it all changes and this weekend is a good example. For twenty hours my wife and I had the pleasure of trying to keep seven very excitable nine year old girls entertained, and feed, at my daughters sleep over party.

What struck me was how much they have changed in just twelve months. Last year the weather was warm at her party and all she and her friends wanted to do was jump about on the trampoline, and play pin the tail on the donkey. This year two of the girls turned up with phones!. One girl not only had a phone with her, but also an Ipad!! This year it was a constant battle to get the phones turned off, and to keep their tiny minds from surfing the Internet.

I've got just a basic phone so it must say something when nine year olds have better technology than you. For short periods of time we managed on occasions to keep the decibel levels down, but most of the time is was a Frenzy of  giggling, talking, laughing, running about, and generally ignoring our instructions.

One thing that sticks in my mind is a basic difference between males and females. Generally when a man is in a small group of other males, one will be talking why the others listen, but with girls this is not the case. All seven of the little darlings would be chatting at the same time to each other while also understanding what the other six were all talking about.

It's an observation I might try and use in my next book after Frenzy.

Anyway I think they all finally went to sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning after all my failed attempts at getting them to settle down. No matter how much I stomped up the stairs calling out in my growling bear voice 'now come on girls it time to go to sleep.' It would go quite for a couple of minutes, and as I returned to my wife with thumps up my triumph would be short lived as the giggling would start, to be follwed by a Frenzy of chatter.

By 10.00am on Saturday morning their respective parents came, and picked up their girls, and I thought to myself that no matter what part of the world, be it in America, Germany,  New Zealand, or any other country, little girls will be little girls.

It didn't stop there though because the weekend was still young. We had to take my daughter off to another birthday party, then on Sunday Morning she was singing in the choir, and in the evening dancing in a show at the Hollywood in Norwich.

I was just thankful I had visited my Chiropractor on Friday morning because I don't think my back would have taken the strain.

As I sat in my seat on Sunday evening with the family watching my daughter's dance group performing on stage I was filled with love, and joy, and a song from a musical kept playing in my head. Thank heaven for little girls.

Of course it still doesn't end here because in two weeks time it's my son's fifth birthday, and the frenzy starts once again.


Mark King

Friday, 22 March 2013

Today is the Day

Today is the day! Today is the day when Frenzy is released! Today is the day when I feel I can call myself an author! Today is the day you can see what two years of hard work, and stress can achieve!

Well yesterday was the day, but today's blog is the nearest date. I awoke on Thursday at 03.55 in the morning because my burning throat had turned into a tickle that was more annoying than a dripping tap. After spending most of Wednesday and Thursday resting against a hot water bottle my back pain has eased and other than that not much else happened on my big day, except the boiler stopped working and we had no heating, or hot water, on a day that was forecast to be the coldest of the year so far, -10.

It's a bit like loosing your virginity; afterwards you think, "is that it?" And it is! Like all things in life if you want to make it, you have to keep at it. keep learning, to keep going.

I was reminded of this by a news report I watched on the footballer David Beckham yesterday. He came from my part of the world in East Anglia and was only hours away from signing youth terms for my team Norwich City Football Club before Manchester United stepped in, and signed him up.

If you like him or you don't, you have to at least respect him because he keeps at it. David was in China and the crowds were going crazy, and he even mentioned about playing there one day. His career was written off by many so called experts after he left Man United, but he went to America  via  Real Madrid/Milan, and proved them all wrong, and now he is in France proving them wrong again at Parish Saint-German.

So today is another day and I will just have to keep at it. Like Beckham I hope to prove them all wrong, the people, and companies that kept me always-hanging-around only to say no to Frenzy by Mark King.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

From bad to worse

I awoke at 04.30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. It wasn't the anxiety that was messing with my body, but the dreaded Man-flu. I went to bed on Monday with a dry throat and all through Tuesday it burned like a red hot poker. By 04.30 Wednesday morning my throat was on fire, my nose blocked up, my eyes watery, my body had the chills, but the sweats as well, and I was sneezing. That is Man-flu in my eyes, although my wife will most likely tell me to pull myself together, and say 'it's only a simple cold!'

But now it's gone from bad to worse because you will remember that two years ago, to this very week, I suffered from a crippling back injury. Something in my spine bulged out where it should not have, and I have never felt pain as terrible and for so long in my life. Since then I have been using a Chiropractor, and made a full recovery without having to go under the surgeons knife like most people.

Well this morning as I did the simple task of blowing my nose I felt a spasm of pain shoot across my lower region, and now I have a very stiff and painful back. I'm hoping it's only muscular and not spinal, and after a week or so will loosen up, and I will be back to normal.

This always happens to me when I'm stressed out and it's a sure sign that there is something else on my mind. And there is!

It's my daughter's ninth birthday (going on nineteen) this Friday, and after much badgering from her, me and the wife agreed that she can have a sleep over party with friends on this night. From what I gather from other parents who have suffered a similar fate a night in hell with Satan while he whips you would be more relaxing, and joyful experience. So for twenty hours we will have to keep entertained, feed and pampered, seven very excitable, noisy, demanding, and cheeky young girls.

I mustn't grumble though, by Thursday Frenzy will be released so there will be no turning back, Friday morning (luckily) I have another appointment with the Chiropractor who will soon sort out my back, and by 10.00am on Saturday we will be able to hand back our charges to their grateful parents. You never know, by this time next week I might be over my cold, sorry, Man-flu, and life will be back to normal!

Monday, 18 March 2013


There I was 05.30 this Monday morning laying in bed with my guts churning. It's a horrible feeling and one that I had not felt for a long time, anxiety.

In my previous job every Monday morning I would awake early with anxiety eating at my soul. I worked for a company that operated seven days a week, and all the senior staff had Blackberries. When I had what was called in the company,a rest day, I would always turn my one off to stop me getting addicted to it. In the early hours of the morning I would suddenly wake up. I would try to get back to sleep, but I couldn't get my thoughts away from what emails were waiting for me, and more especially what cock-ups had happened over the weekend, and who would get the blame for it!

The more time I spent laying there in bed the more anxiety nibbled away at me. It would get so bad I would almost be paralysed with fear. Like an animal with rabies that's dieing of thirst, but is terrified of going near water.

In the end I would get out of bed, head downstairs to the kitchen and sort through my emails. Once it was over the anxiety would go away, unless of course there was a problem and other people had been quicker than you, and had already passed the buck your way!

So why the anxiety today?

I can only put this down to one thing, and that's because Frenzy is released this Thursday the 21st. After always-hanging-around the book will be out and people will get their chance to read it.

Will they like it? Will they not? This thought was churning in my head, and then I could feel myself tightened up. The book has been written for young adults of both sexes, but I have also tried to write it in such away that adults can enjoy it too. I make no claim to being an intellectual I just want to be a good story teller and I think it shows in Frenzy

I hope over the week the anxiety will ease but I have a gut feeling it won't for a while let. I know one thing, anxiety is felt by everyone in one degree or another so I am not alone, and it seems to be the price you have to pay for success in what ever field you follow. Actors, musicians, comedians, sportsmen and women, presenters, the list is endless.

Anxiety can effect people in different ways and at different levels, and is a horrible thing if you let it be, and the only advice I can give is to hold you chin up high, stare it straight in the eyes and get on with your day.

Friday, 15 March 2013

It must be hard to be a journalist

I started always-hanging-around after I had finished the manuscript to Frenzy. I could have started on another book, but I wanted to concentrate on getting Frenzy published so I held off, but I had twitchy fingers, and writing a blog for three days a week was a way to keep them happy.

I thought writing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be hard to complete, but its not been the case. I tried to keep each blog short and sweat and its been similar to writing a manuscript. It's been a story of my journey with a few other bits thrown in.

I could have tried to make extra income writing for the media, to become a journalist but I think this must be much harder to do in today's age with the Internet. News now is so instant it must be much harder work writing an article that is original, and that has not already been blown around the digital world within a few minutes.

As a example a few weeks ago I finally joined the world of twitter as @author-king and what a experience it has been. There I sat the other night watching the news with my lap top. I was on twitter as well as watching the live feed from the Vatican as the world waited for the door of that famous balcony to open, and the new pope to walk out.

Within 30 seconds of the new pope being revealed to the world, twitter was buzzing with his name and pictures came flooding in. 30 seconds that's all it took!

It must be hard to be a journalist and this is why I am more than happy to stay an author. But if you want an original story then last Thursday the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the fine city of Norwich, and walked from the forum to the cathedral.

I had my author's copy of Frenzy on me to show some friends, and when for one minute the Archbishop was on his own I asked if he would autograph it for me, and he did, and then the bishop of Norwich as well. I wonder if I'm the first writer to get his author's copy signed by the British version of the pope?

I may or I may not be the first author and it may not be big enough news to light up the worlds media but it's news to me, and I have decided to give away this copy of Frenzy to a good course which might hopefully raise a pound or two for a local charity.

So I doff my hat to anyone who has to make a living in today's cut throat world of journalism and wish you all the best.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

When an ocean becomes a sea.

I do like to find out something new especially when it takes you by surprise, like today when I read a wonderful article in my local paper, the Eastern Daily Press. It was about old maps of the area, some hundreds of years old and I learnt that the North Sea which is not far from where I live was known for hundreds of years as the German Ocean.

So during the first world war the Germans lost an ocean and the British gained a sea. I don't now if people in Germany still call the North Sea, the German Ocean, but it has kindled an interest in finding out.

Getting back to my main point. It was only a short while ago when I was taken by surprise, and learnt something new at the same time. It was the day when I got a knock on the door. I answered it and there stood a delivery man. He had a parcel which I signed for. It was a total surprise to me. What could it be? What could be inside?

I walked through to the kitchen and used a knife to open the parcel. When I pulled out what was inside I learnt that day what it felt like to be an author, for in my hand I had my author's copy of Frenzy.

Here it was, after nearly two years of hard work, rejections, financial hardship, fumbling in the dark and upsets, here it was, my book, my dream, and I stood there in a dream state.

After a minute or two of silence I broke and started to dance about the kitchen. I didn't now if it was through joy or relief, or maybe both, but it was a wonderful feeling.

Then I had to sit down and have a cup of tea, just to steady my nerve.

My next feeling turned to nervousness because now I could call myself an author, but the next stage on my journey was to start, because now I needed it to sell it if I wanted to stay an author, and not be forced back to my previous life.

Frenzy is out on the 21/3/13 and from this date this is when it counts, but then if you can turn a German Ocean into a sea, I should be able to sell some books!

Monday, 11 March 2013


So when it came to Frenzy there was no more I could do than wait for the finished product. To bring in some much needed money I was working at various jobs up to, over, and beyond Christmas and the new year, but I felt restless. I had the urge to write and other than my blog there was nothing.

When I started this adventure, or quest, or mad journey, or what ever it may be called I had decided to just concentrate on completing the task in hand. But now as 2013 began I couldn't control myself and started the early stage of a manuscript for a second book.

I now write this blog every Monday, Wednesday,and Friday along with working as well as writing another book so my days are kept busy. Always-hanging-around was the name I gave to my blog because this is all I seemed to be doing as I waited for other people or companies in the early days, but now the waiting is nearly over.

Just ten more days and the fruits of all my hard work will be there for everyone to see (and hopefully enjoy). Frenzy (A Daniel Jones story) by Mark King will be on sale.

Of course the waiting around won't stop because it will be six months before I get to know the sales figures so once again it's a case of, always-hanging-around, but then that's life summed up.

Most people are hanging around, waiting for something to happen then there is a short brief Frenzy of action before it goes back to normal. You can't live life at a constant Frenzy because it will kill you. This is what happened in my previous job at a company that thought it was OK to work their senior managers to the point of break down.

There's no way I'm going back to that.

And if you live like that now then take a deep breath, and then a serious look at your life before it's too late for you.
ISBN 978-1-84624-877-1

Friday, 8 March 2013

21st of March 2013

21st of March 2013 that's when Frenzy by Mark King is released. We all make mistakes in life and this date is one that I have made. For some reason I thought Frenzy was out on the 28th and have been telling every one this is the case, but now I know i'm wrong, it is the 21st.

The one thing I do know I did right was to resign from my job that turned my life upside down, and take a massive risk to become an author. I know this now because as I stated recently I have been forced to seek paid employment once again to pay the bills.

I had sunk under the offical poverty line last year and this hadn't stopped me from carrying on, but this time with Christmas approaching, and with my overdraft limit reached, I had to rejoin the rat race.

I had applied for various jobs and was given some short term work from a local company working as a consultant in London. I can't fault the company or the people I worked for as they are a good company, but, and there is always a but, the five hours travelling back and forth from my front door to the capital and back every day was hard.

It was even harder as I took the train every time and had forgot how tough this can be. The train is ok if all goes to plan, and its not over-crowded, but on most days this was not the case. Five hours travel could soon turn to six or even seven as trains would stop in the middle of no where, or just sit at a station because some point had stopped working, and we had to wait for an engineer team to fix it. It was worse when the line was out of action for half the day because of more serous problems.

I'm also amazed by the number of poor souls who think this life is so pointless they have to end it by jumping in front of a speeding engine.

The rush hour was the worst for overcrowding. After spending all day pounding the street of London with aching feet I would look forward to relaxing in a seat with the newspaper only to find the previous train had been cancelled, so now I would have to stand with all the other cattle by the toilet door while my nostrels breathed in the smell of stale urine.

The only difference between the overcrowded trains you see in India and the system in the u.k is that in India you only have to pay a few pounds to travel while here you have to spend hundreads for the same level of service. I doubt if this is the same situation in Germany?

I must admit that it was nice to have the payment cheque from the company, who always paid on time, in my hand, but deep down I knew this wasn't for me.

Money does help towards happyness, but there is a point when it can also work agaisn't it. As an example would you rather be crowded on a train at six on a Friday evening, standing next to the toilet, listning to people as they empty their guts, but knowing you have a healthy bank balance?

Or would you like to see your daughter sing in the Norfolfk County schools choir festival in the historic St Andrews Hall on a friday lunch time, then after pop into the Weatherspoons Glass House pub for a couple of pints of decent ale, and watch the world go by as you finish wrting your blog knowing it's not worth worrying about your bank balance?

Well this is what I am doing now (Thank you Weatherspoons for the free wifi) I have enough change for a couple more beers then will be home by six, skint of  course, but home wth my family and happy as well.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The mad rush

The editor's copy of my manuscript with my changes was now in the hands of Bookguild publishing and by the end of the month I had received back from them the first proof for Frenzy. It was in hard copy, eg it came printed on A4 paper. It had been proof read by their relevent person, and now I had to double check it.

It was all a mad rush. I was working to a deadline. I checked every page, made a couple of changes then signed the proofing sheet before I sent it and all the hard copy back. Bookguild then completed their final proof reading before sending out the final hard copy once again for my approval, and final signature.

Once again it was a mad rush to hit Bookguilds dead line, but this time it was because the artist who was completing some artwork for the book fell ill with heart trouble!

I didn't like pushing the artist because he was completing the work for free, but I had no choice now, I had publishing dates to reach, so I started to email him, text him and call him.

The artist is called Kevin Taylor and as I explained in one of my early posting we first met by chance in my local pub. His family is from my neck of the woods, but he lives in Hertford in Hertfordshire which made it even harder to meet up to exchange ideas.

He is just an amazing artist and one of natures nice people. I hope that through Frenzy people will be able to discover his work, and that one day he is a world famous, and successful artist.

By the skin of our teath we made it. Kevin was visiting his family and was in town for the day. I was working as a match day steward that Saturday, and on the way to the ground I met him in the Woolpack car park where the last pieces of artwork were handed over.

The final manuscript proof had already been signed off by myself and was in the hands of Bookguild, and by the next Tuesday morning the artwork was also there via special delivery post.

It has just reminded me! The artwork is still in their hands and I need to get it back as soon as I have posted this blog. My next job will be to email bookguild and ask for the artwork back.

So there I was, all finished. Christmas was hurtling towards me and soon it would be 2013 where the story reaches the present day.

As the title of the blog goes as normal I was always-hanging-around. The release date of Frenzy set by the publisher was the 28th of March 2013 (Although on Amazon and W.H.Smiths web sites it states the 21st) so as I was absolutely skint and Christmas is an expensive time when you have a young family, I had to bite the bullet and find part time work.

Monday, 4 March 2013

The editor's copy

It didn't take long for the editor's copy to be emailed to me by Bookguild publishing. I had recieved a letter earlier that week from them telling me of it's near arrival, and documents on how to use the system to make or except changes as advised by the editor.

The attachment arrived with an email which stated how much the editor had enjoyed the story and hadn't needed to make many changes. I was pleased because the editor was female and this statement went to prove what I had hoped to achieve in the first place; this was to write Frenzy in such a way that it could be enjoyed by both sexes, no mater what your age or back-ground.

Frenzy by Mark King is aimed for young adults, but can also be enjoyed by adults who are young at heart, and just like to read a good adventure story every now and then. Just like George Orwell's Animal Farm, or even the Hunger Game series that were read by adults as well as youngsters.

Two weeks it took to read through the manuscript, twice, and complete the final changes before I sent it back to Bookguild for the next stage which was the proof reading, but now I had various deadlines to reach during each stage of the publishing process. At the same time their designer was working on the front cover, and had sent me some examples.

I had a clear idea in my mind how I wanted the cover to look. I didn't want it to be busy, it had to be clear and in gold. I explained my vision and it was like he could read my mind because the next cover he emailed to me was spot on. No more work required, that was it, the cover was complete.

It was at this point that it hit me how hard I have had to work, and how big the risk I had taken over the last 18 months to get to this point. It also hit me that I still had a long way to go, and there would be a lot more hard work to come.

Friday, 1 March 2013


So  I was brought down to earth with bump. I had had two wonderful weeks and now with the famaly car needing urgent, and expensive work, on a new clutch I had no choice, but to go deeply into debt to pay for the repair bills.

Since risking it all when I resigned from a secure job to follow my hearts desire to become a published author I have had to battle on a daily bases with juggling money to pay all our bills on time, and to make shaw the family had a roof over their heads with food on the table.

All my spare cash was now gone or spoken for, and deep down I had been dreading the day when I would have to go back to work. I was so close, Frenzy was at the early stages of the publishing process, but it would be a year at least before I would see any return for my investment.

I had some income coming in from some match day stewarding work at my local football club, but now I would need something more.

I signed up on all the internet job search sites and my heart would always since at the thought of having to go back to the slog  of fifty or sixty hour weeks in some stressful management job. The problem with these internet sites are that so many other people can log onto them you find you are one of two thousand other people who have applied for the job.

I decided to look in what some people would now call, the old fashion way, I looked throught the local paper.

I am very luckly where I live in the fact that there is a very strong independent news group who publish two wonderful daily news papers for my area. The first paper is the Eastern Daily Press, and the other is the Evenning News.

Relaxing why reading one of these is one of life's small pleasures and it was while doing this various jobs took my eye. I had decided I wasn't going to go back to the rat race full time, and was going to complete my quest of getting my first story published. If I could I would find a number of part time jobs that I could do.

I knew one thing, I had given 100% in getting published and I wasn't going to give up now.