.. which means, of course, the small and highly combustible material you need to light a fire. Or, in this day and age, self-publishing an eBook on Kindle.
Actually, both meanings suit quite well at the moment - for the author/publisher does indeed want to light a fire that will burn bright, and warm many lives. And that's the kind of fire I've been busy lighting (I hope!) over the last week.
So what have I been doing? Well, first of all I tried to persuade Xlibris (the print-on-demand outfit in the USA who published my first book, The Edge of Things) that the book was hopelessly over-priced. So they suggested I gave them $200 dollars and bought the right to set my own price. Except that this was still subject to their minimum. So that didn't work. And the arrangement didn't apply to the eBook (priced at over £8!!!). So I prised the eBook rights out of their sticky paws, and set about publishing it myself.
I'd already piloted the Kindle process, with the wonderful (no, really!) The Boy and the Mountain, which is available for the princely sum of £1. Patrick produced yet another lovely cover design for it, and it went live on Amazon at the end of last month. So now, The Edge of Things has followed it into author-publication, and is available right now, for £1.01 (why the penny? Ask Amazon, not me!). And so is Slow Furies. Three books just waiting to delight anyone with £3 to spare!
For those who don't know, Slow Furies is a kind of mystery story, about a lonely woman who gets herself involved too closely in her neighbours' past. With - well, lets say, unforseen consequences. The Edge of Things is the powerful, sad story of two unloved young people who find joy in each other. Until the night of the fire ...
And The Boy and the Mountain - well, I wrote it first more than thirty years ago, thinking of it as a book for young people - but it seems to have an engaging adventure at its heart that draws the interest of readers of all ages. It's set in a fictional, historical location, and tells the tale of Tam, a young goat-herd who lives, like all his people, in the shadow of the impassable Mountain. Until one bitter winter the wolves come - and Tam finds himself on an incredible journey.
All very different. Oh, and The Boy and the Mountain has a sequel, almost ready to see the light of day. So get reading!