Stephen West


Heart of Clay

HeartOfClayCover small
So this is my latest up on Wattpad. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of the golem– an artificial man, a clay robot. But whereas golems are a particular product of Eastern Europe, I wondered what would happen if they had existed, not in the cold shtetls of Prague, but in the sweltering souks of Morocco. Heart of Clay is the result, and you can start reading it here.


Update on the Wattpad thing

Thought I’d give a quick update on the Wattpad experiment. As you might remember, I decided to put some stuff up on Wattpad, the free online reading community... thing. This is my page.

Now Wattpad isn’t the easiest thing to work out. It has a very “young” feel to it— lots of One Direction fan fiction. And some of the stuff with the most “reads” and “votes” seems not all that well-written, if I’m honest. And the inevitable system of followers and votes seems like yet another social network mountain to climb. Read More...

How to write a review

Reviews are the lifeblood of book sales on Amazon. The more reviews your books have, the more this “social proof” will persuade potential readers to buy them. It’s a simple psychological fact: when lots of other people like something, you are more likely to consider it than if no-one has shown any interest.

But reviews are hard to get. You give out free books to people, and they somehow never get around to writing a review like they promised. You have free promotions on Amazon with hundreds of downloads... and no reviews. It’s frustrating. Read More...

The Mt Gox Bitcoin collapse - what really happened

I first learned of Bitcoin a few years ago, so it’s been interesting to observe how it has become more widely known in recent months. At first the coverage focused on the esoteric mathematics behind the algorithm, and the fortunes being made by the early adopters. But recently the news has become less positive.

Lifting Gas in Airships

Most people know that zeppelins like the Hindenburg were filled with a flammable gas known as hydrogen, and that the Hindenburg disaster was caused by this gas igniting. Some also know that American airships were filled with the inert gas helium, but that the Zeppelin company was not allowed to purchase helium from the Americans. But what are the other characteristics of these gases, and are there any other alternatives for providing lift to airships? Read More...

An Experiment

I’m always looking for new ways to connect with readers, and I’d heard about the online community known as Wattpad some time ago. Since I’ve written a fair chunk of the Aeropolis short, I decided to experiment with releasing it on Wattpad in serial form (something which Wattpad specialises in).

The first two parts are already up, and I’ll be adding steadily to the story over the next couple of weeks. I’d be interested in your comments.

New year, new stuff

As I’ve mentioned before, I wrote the first few drafts of Airship City (then known as Aeropolis) on my iPhone. This was because I wanted to write on the Tube on my way into work, and I didn’t have a laptop then. It actually worked pretty well. It wasn’t much good for editing and rewriting, because the small screen area and touch screen controls makes it difficult to move around in the documents and make changes. But for banging out the first draft, it was near-perfect. Read More...

Behind the cover

Doing a new cover for Airship City was something that I wanted to do anyway; I was never entirely happy with either of the first two covers, and spent a fair bit of time thinking of how I could do better. But another really strong reason was that I wanted to do a print edition with CreateSpace, and I knew that my first cover, which was also the one I liked better, was too low-res to work in print. Read More...

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Airship City Available in these formats:
Amazon Kindle edition
Paperback edition
(Location-aware smart links)
Read a free preview on this site (no download).

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