Monthly Archives: June 2011

It really doesn’t matter what religion you choose

According to Blue Mink, anyway – it’s a sixties thing, children of the blog. They thought we needed a melting pot. Instead, we have our world. In 1969, Blue Mink sang…

Rabbis and the friars
Vishnus and the gurus
We got the Beatles or the Sun God
Well it really doesn’t matter what religion you choose

(paste from http://www.codehot.co.uk/lyrics/abcd/bluemink/meltingpot.htm)

Oh yes, we were all hippehz then. I had the song. On a truly with-it album called 20 Red Hot Hits. It also contained such gems as Garry Puckett and the Union Gap singing “young girl get out of my life, my love for you is way out of line, better run girl, you’re much too young girl.” It was an interesting album for a nine-year-old to get as a present.

And whoa, how about the religion thing? Did they get that wrong or what?

The Blue Mink theory of genetic engineering likewise never took off, because nobody knew that skin bleach would still be a big seller by 2011. We were all going to live, like, totally at peace. Brothers and sisters, everybody.

War would be over, you see, (no srsly, let me just give you this daisy, and you will totally lay down yr arms) and we didn’t know the future. Hell, Michael Jackson still looked like a human boy.

Of course, MJ mutated into something strange, and the wars never ended. I feel for the men and women serving overseas. So i’ve arranged for them to get free copies of my book. I figure my brand of silliness will at least be distracting.

If you’re a member of the various Coalition armed forces currently deployed – just go to Operation Ebook Drop (OED) and sign up. Same if you want to put your book up for free download.

The above does not imply I in any way support the political motivations of the various military actions the USA and my own Australian government are involved in.

I do support the human beings who are sent to war on my behalf (whether i approve of my government’s actions or not).

Copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com/

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Some light reading…

Short Excerpt from

The Birthday Dragon

Book One of the Polo Shawcross Journals

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Smashwords Edition

ISBN 978-1-4580-8526-9

Copyright Polo Shawcross 2011-12

Cover Design and Artwork By Derek Armsden Design

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Chapter 1 – Somewhere, Somewhen

It was a while before I realised that I wasn’t like the commoners. They were human. Father was human. Grandmama, Mother, and I were only descended from humans. I was also descended from Mother, something that even before I went to school was a worry. Continue reading


Welcome to the world of Emo PR

Second Competition was won by @agent_x and @bastardsheep who both get an ecopy – congratulations and enjoy.

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Honestly, i have been trying to promote the book, but a death in the family (not my side) and a flood later, i’ve only managed a bunch of Tweets and a competition, and it’s already been 16 days since i published.

Oh yeah, and i joined Facebook, which i don’t know how to use. I’m Polo Shawcross on there, if you do know how to use it. I am good at friending back.

What i really need are reviews – i have one, now i have two! They both really liked the book, (i have the gift of making you want to turn the page – woot) and i achieved top rating – you can see reviews on the page the book’s on. Also, it’s not a kids’ book – it has sex and drugs, along with that page-turning adventure.

Humans bioengineered themselves, creating a new race, Dragon, and creating something that – quite accidentally – looked like magic.

Thousands of years later, their descendant Polo Shawcross is about to find out what it means to have a Dragon in the family.

link to my book "The Birthday Dragon"

So go see, read 20% free, or i’ll die, and it will be YOUR fault. Wait, have we done guilt already? I was going to make people read The Thing (as it’s affectionately known) by running through a gamut of manipulative emotional techniques.

Damn, i missed a trick with the floods, i could have deliberately made myself homeless and then whined about it online forever after, thereby garnering heaps of attention, probably a house from a well-meaning charity, and getting lots of pity sales. (Pity sales are like pity fucks, but the glow lasts longer.)

So, the floods: we’re alive, hasn’t reached house yet (though ran in a little at the back, with the wind), but the floods stopped a metre from the back door (a yard). We’re not doing too badly, not been declared a disaster area yet, though 30k’s north of us is. (Less than 20 miles.)

Oh wait, i’m supposed to be making a meal of this – not making out like we’re fine. If you don’t buy my book *looks pitiful* my house will fall into the lake! OMG, and it will be your fault!

We may still possibly flood later today/tonight or over the weekend – that will also be your fault, nothing to do with torrential rains, bad storms, and stupid people building houses in flood zones.

Sorry, i don’t think i can manage this emo thing – do i have to cut myself? I am not at all sure i’ll be able to keep a straight face. Maybe i could persuade some professional victim to do it, and film it, pretend it’s me? Sounds plausible.

I reckon it’s much easier to bribe you, so here it is. Buy the book or when i take over the world you will be the first to the wall. Hang on, i do think that may have been a threat, not a bribe. I’m really not good at PR.

However, if you join me in the glorious revolution – yeah, yeah, you only have to buy the book, or at least read the first few pages (you are allowed to decide not to read, we’re a despot, but we’re fair) – then you’ll be sweet.

If all goes according to plan, we’ll all be living in Queensland with our Hello Kitty Kalashnikovs, in our own private enclave. Yes, you may have to occasionally peel grapes, but you’ll be alive. Worth thinking about, eh?

In the meantime, i’ve decided on another competition – because some PR is better than none, or at least i’m assuming.

This competition, I was considering something cool like infiltrating the Vatican, but then i remembered this, and realised there’s no need.

So, for competition number 2just follow the simple instructions at the top of this post.

I personally don’t like reading on the comp – but i discovered that both Adobe and Amazon do free PC versions of their readers which make it rather pleasant.  (Amazon Kindle for Mac is here.) There are also plenty of apps for that, i believe some of those are free, but phones just aren’t my speciality – someone mentioned Stanza for the iPhone as being good (and also free, at least to try).

People are also put off ebooks by the awfully intrusive DRM copy protection – my book is on Smashwords and (like all their books) doesn’t have DRM copy-protection.

This makes their books much easier to download, and you can have them on different devices without problems. Also, if your machine loses its data, you can still get another copy of the version you bought.

I am aiming at a print version – would love to do a limited edition artwork – but until i sell rather a lot of $4.99 ebooks, that’s for later.

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Oh dear,  i think the lake is rising again. *sighs and looks as if i might cry* Okay, so you’re feeling guilty? Excellent – do have a look at my book.  😀

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STOP PRESS – am in the Smashwords Premium Catalogue,

(no, you don’t pay for it, you have to meet certain requirements,

and be read by their staff)

so now *drumroll*….

The Birthday Dragon by Polo Shawcross is now available

at the Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo and Diesel.

Even later STOP PRESS… the lake has returned its usual place, at the end of the garden, no longer touching distance from the house. For this, we are rather grateful.

Copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com/


In celebration of our incredible good fortune…

I’d been waiting for them to come and arrest me or something after i published my book, The Birthday Dragon (The Journals of Polo Shawcross). Instead, @Tweet_Fail must be on drugs too, because she liked it.

Yes, someone’s finished it. And twelve other people bought it. I’m shocked. @Tweet_Fail liked it a lot. More beautiful words were said in private that left me fluffy for ages, and still make me glow when i think about them. People keep doing this – liking my writing – it’s lovely, but shocking.

The hero of my book, Polo Shawcross, (also my pen-name) would tell you that one must never be shocked. You can be surprised, but to be shocked marks you as an ingenue.

He learned this from an older woman during a long coach ride. Which you can read about for free, as it’s part of the 20%  free to sample  (about 25,000 words, enough for a decent commute) on Smashwords. If you want to read further, the whole book is $4.99.

But wait, there’s more…ahem… *waits until you look up from your phone* Yes, a competition. The voices-outside-my-head think it’s a good idea.

In similar fashion, they signed me up to something else i think is rather excellent, which i don’t have full details about yet, but it’s to give free ebooks to soldiers from all allied forces serving overseas, which i think is a nice gesture.  I’ll post more details when i have them.

Meanwhile, the competition.  Easy peasy.

Leave a comment answering these questions…

  1. What’s the name of the hero of my book? Hint: Also my pen-name.
  2. What’s the book called?

I’ll figure a way of randomly selecting two lucky winners.

Competition closes on Saturday midnight my time – which means as we’re in the future here in Oz, it will close Friday USA time. Or as the most excellent  timeanddate.com tells me…

The World Clock Meeting Planner – Details

These are the corresponding times for your meeting:

Location Local time Time zone UTC offset
Sydney (Australia – New South Wales) Sunday, 12 June 2011 at 00:00:00 EST UTC+10 hours
London (U.K. – England) Saturday, 11 June 2011 at 15:00:00 BST UTC+1 hour
New York (U.S.A. – New York) Saturday, 11 June 2011 at 10:00:00 EDT UTC-4 hours
Auckland (New Zealand) Sunday, 12 June 2011 at 02:00:00 NZST UTC+12 hours
Corresponding UTC (GMT) Saturday, 11 June 2011 at 14:00:00

The winners will be drawn at random to win a ebook copy of the book – downloadable from Smashwords.

It has to be approved (still a couple of weeks away) before it goes into the Apple Store, or onto Amazon, Barnes&Noble, etc, but you can download in any format from Smashwords now. Or have a look at the free sample.

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And then @Tweet_Fail (Barbara Bailey) did her review.  I am officially blown away.

Review by: Barbara Bailey on Jun. 09, 2011 : star star star star star
My favorite writers: Terry Pratchett, Connie Willis, and now, Polo Shawcross. This first book in what I anticipate will be an exciting thrill-ride of a series left me hungry for more.

Trouble seems to follow Polo, hide in the shadows, and catch him by surprise, often because of his inability to keep his mouth, and trousers, zipped.

The story is as believable as it is fantastic. The writer deftly spins humor in the most unlikely of places, shocked, horrified, and thrilled me regularly throughout. No matter what trouble awaits Polo, how spoiled or self-centered he seems, or how often I wanted to reach through the pages to smack some sense into him, he’s a genuinely good kid, and a very likeable one.

The mark of a good writer is the gamut of emotions they are able to evoke in the reader. I loved some characters, genuinely hated others, laughed out loud, got teary-eyed, and gasped in surprise; so engrossed in the book that I couldn’t put it down.

A posh life of luxury and power awaits Polo. I can’t wait to read the next book, and the entire series, to see if he can stay out of trouble (and alive!) long enough to reap his rewards.”

I’m just blissed…

You did see the stars, eh? 😀  star star star star star

And two more people went and bought the book.

Baby I’m amazed, as the Beatles might say.

Copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


The Dark Side Has A Like Button

I have probably had my best day ever for sales, as people were so lovely, and bought my book in droves. Well, maybe a part-drove? How many do you need for a whole drove?

It was bliss – i was number 5 on the Bestselling Scifi & Fantasy list on Smashwords (novels over 25,000 words). I just looked, i still am. This is because eight people bought my book, i didn’t suddenly sell a million – but yep, a real writer now.

Read 20% free

Leer at the lavish cover, and read 20% free (a good way to spend a commute) – go on, you know you want to – click the pic to go to Smashwords. It will open in a new window.

In my parallel role as proxy Antichrist, this kind of global reach obviously helps my case with World Domination. Soon we shall break out the Hello Kitty Kalashnikovs and the glad cries of the oppressed will ring out. Or i may just hold a quiet soiree with friends.

The Antichrist gig came my way after i coshed the real Antichrist met with an Unfortunate Accident. As i’m a much nicer person and won’t infest you with boils and perhaps frogs up your jaxie, it’s in your interests to support my interests. My interests are simple.

I had an email, you see, asking about what i was doing to promote the book. Uh, i said, suddenly remembering that part of the plan hadn’t really been executed, thanks to Elements Beyond Our Control. This was mostly that  – right up to a day or so before the publication of the The Damned Thing – due to illness and various pressures, i was ready to cancel for six months.

So in order to enhance our World Domination Experience™, we decided to join the Dark Side, irrevocably. Yeah, Polo Shawcross has a Facebook account. He doesn’t know how to work it yet, and i have no idea, so excuse us while we try to get savvy.  We are adrift on a sea of social media.

And now for something completely different, some more shameless self promotion….

Polo Shawcross has a ghost who says he’s not one, a best friend who thinks he’s gay, and a very bad reputation. Then he becomes an unwilling party to treason. Nanny Black says he’s like the goddess of death with testicles.

Despite this, he’s considered a fine companion for the heir to the throne. Nobody else seems to have noticed that the Crown Prince is in love with Polo, that the half-brother with the eating disorder is trying to kill him, and of course, Mother’s still  crazy and in denial over Father’s alcoholism. Polo doesn’t know where he fits in, but discovers that shapechanging is harder than it looks. A science fiction fantasy, set on the planet of Galaia in the Sigma Quadrant, where Men might be Dragons. Read more at Smashwords…

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If you don’t want to read on your computer but don’t have an ereader, you can get a comfier reading experience with free software for the PC or Mac – it’s rather good, i tried it.

Free Kindle Software for PC

Free Kindle Software for Mac

http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/

Sting in the Tail, Polo Shawcross, and Sheila NomNomDePlume are all pen-names and net-names of one person – she secretly rules the world.

Copyright https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com


The Birthday Dragon

Hold onto your pink bits, Beloved Visitors. The Birthday Dragon is published!

The Birthday Dragon  – out now, on Smashwords

In Sendren, Men might be Dragons, after long ago gene-tweaking created a new race, Dragon. Their descendant Polo contends with suicidal sheep, crazy parents, and checking every woman in the village off his ‘to be bedded’ list. Suddenly, life becomes about staying alive long enough to find out what it means to have a Dragon in the family.

The Birthday Dragon
(Opens in a new window)

You can read 20% of it for free.  (Also known as #TheThing if you follow me on Twitter.)  E-book only at this point. If you don’t have an ebook reader, you can read it in Word or in Acrobat, (or print from there) and snazzy free software readers are available.

http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/

http://www.amazon.com/
(you need to register an Amazon account – need an email address) then
download their free Kindle app’s.

And yes, you can read 20% – about 25,000 of my words. It’s quite up to you if you buy or not. As always, i’m a benevolent despot. I won’t track you down and get Biblical on you for not buying.

I won’t hang around your doorstep crying, rending my sackcloth, shedding ashes, and asking why why why i have such fickle blog readers and twitter followers.

Do  you like how i’m experimenting with the easy emotions first? We’ll try guilt to start with, move on to the kewl things like lust.

Or you could part with five bucks. ($4.99 US cos it’s on a US site.)

UPDATE –  18 months later, after many adventures now reduced to $2.99 – Book 2 & 3 due out together *crosses fingers* about mid 2013


If you can’t get the links to work, just go to
http://www.smashwords.com/
and enter book ID 63 286

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Copyright 2011 https://stinginthetail.wordpress.com/