Masiphumelele – A Jewel Before Our Eyes

Hi All, apologies for the age since my last post, but what better than to return by sharing with you the most heart-warming and uplifting day I had yesterday. Together with a dear friend, I had the pleasure of being taken to the Cape Town township of Masiphumelele by my great friends Bongani and Lunga Makunga. Despite being somewhat nervous, we were greeted by its people with smiles and friendship wherever we went. It is true that, in an area of such poverty, to be taken there by two such well-known and popular residents does make things much smoother, and, under different circumstances, one might need to be more cautious. In fact, there are other townships in the region that, for the likes of us, are sadly but most-definitely to be avoided. Yet Masi greeted us with the warmest of smiles, and what better gift can you give to a stranger? It seems too easy for the media to paint all townships with the same brush of woe. But Masi is not like that. The atmosphere was relaxed and open-armed, and inspite of the poverty and lack of opportunity clearly endured on a daily basis, the people live their lives with that smile, and an indomitable self-respect and fortitude to get-on-with and enjoy their lives. And, being stripped of so many of the material items that often cloud values and claim such false-importance, Masi is free to continue each day with a defiantly strong sense of community and togetherness. In fact, it is from the very fact of being deprived of so many of these ‘material items’ that the wonderful core values of family and friendship have come to flourish. Masiphumelele means ‘We will succeed!’ and its people are not-only a wonderful breath of fresh air, they are also a huge inspiration! Thank you Masi! Viva Masi! You’re the best! To end, here are the photos I took, which can’t do justice to one of the most amazing and heart-warming places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. And thank you so much Bongani and Lunga. You guys rock!

My first day at sea

Hi All, Sorry this has taken an age. Took me longer to adjust to the daily schedule than I anticipated. Anyhow, here’s the first posting that went on the Apex Shark Expeditions website, aka the guys I work for 🙂 http://www.apexpredators.com/blog-article/my-first-day-at-sea Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. More tomorrow… promise 🙂 Best wishes from South Africa Dom

A Leisurely Day in Simon’s Town

My first day at sea will now be on Sunday, after today’s trip was cancelled due to bad weather. Still, I know the sharks are about after being awoken to the shark sirens wailing at 8.30am-ish this morning, across the bay at Fish Hoek. So I took the opportunity to wander around Simon’s Town a bit more. Here’s the sign on the jetty and the historic main road. Simonstown Resized Simon's Town High Street Resized Simon’s Town was founded in 1680 by Simon van der Stel, the first governor of the Cape Colony established by the Dutch. For the past two centuries its been a naval base, at first for the British Royal Navy, and now of the South African Navy. I first came here in 2008 to finally meet the Great White Shark, and the place always struck me as friendly though quite quiet. Eight years later it seems much busier, with lot’s more shops and restaurants whilst retaining its friendly manner. The jetty pictured is a hub of activity (not least for the occasional visit of a Cape Fur Seal) Cape Fur Seal Resized where numerous shark and whale watching excursions depart from. Jetty Resized 2 Beyond the harbour jetty lies the open False Bay, and due east lies Seal Island where the Great Whites will be. Can’t wait. Beyond The Jetty Resized Until then, I bid you all a lovely evening. Off to watch the footie now…

Join Me in Cape Town for Great White Shark Season!

Greetings All from sunny Cape Town. I arrived here yesterday for White Shark season, to volunteer as crew on Chris & Monique Fallows’ boat which runs shark spotting and cage diving trips from Simon’s Town on the Western Cape. I’m also here to put the finishing touches to the re-launch of my first novel – Dead Men Should Know Better. Each day I’ll be blogging about our experiences out on the boat, the sharks we encounter and my time in beautiful Cape Town. I’ll also be posting updates on the manuscript and build up to launch date on Oct 27 2016. Be great if you could join me.

20160609_085037 Best wishes from South Africa. Have a lovely day. bookcards

Dead Men Back in Print (Well, Almost…)

Who is Bristo Trabant? I hope you can all remember. The rather large-eared, apfelstrudel munching, Trabant P601-driving rookie recruit of MI6’s Priority Surveillance Unit. After such an unforgettable arrival in Cannes, I never envisaged the second print run, not to mention the second book, taking such a long time to come to fruition. Indeed they are still not ready, and Bristo is busting at the seams to get out to a wider audience, now in both print and eBook. I assure you that both are hot in production, and whilst the countdown continues, I wanted to take the opportunity to again thank you for your patience, support and encouragement. I look forward to sharing with you the relaunch, from which point it will be go, go, go with an exciting marketing campaign. Meantime, keep well and spread the word about Bristo’s debut mission. As we know, he’ll need all the help he can get! Best wishes Dominic

Dead Men Still Alive & Writing…

Hello everyone. I hope this post finds you well? Apologies it’s been so long. I’ve been working hard on the marketing campaign to hopefully give the sales of Dead Men a boost. It’s almost ready to go live, and cross-fingers it will raise the profile. Someone once said that writing and publishing a book is like a triathlon. Phase 1) writing it; phase 2) bringing it to market (eg editing, typesetting, cover design etc). And 3) advertising & marketing. Phases 1 and 2 took so much time and effort that I rather overlooked phase 3, resulting in okay but not large sales, which all us writers dream of. I have struggled to attain the breadth of exposure that only a full-on campaign can (hopefully) give. I can’t afford billboard posters or bus advert space, but what I have planned will hopefully be even more engaging. Watch this space. I’m back on the blog now, and apologies again for my silence. Have a lovely day, and look forward to catching up tomorrow. Best wishes, Dominic

Guardian 2013 Recommended…

Season’s Greetings All. Over the moon to be listed in the Guardian’s 2013 Recommended Self-Published Author list. Thanks to all who voted for me, and a huge thanks to the Guardian for running such a wonderful campaign, and for giving us independents a huge focus. Very much appreciated. My number of Twitter followers has increased overnight, and I’ve had requests for interviews by various industry people. It’s been a wonderful year for books sales and promotion, yet also very hard work to break through and reach the masses. This kind of exposure is a golden nugget of assistance, and really does help. Hope you’re all well and revving up for the season’s festivities. All the best, Dominic

eBook’s A Comin…

Hi all, hope you’ve enjoyed the lovely sunshine today. What a beautiful weekend. I’ve been indoors working on the final adaptations for the eBook to be created. Hope it will be out early August, and I’m planning a few goodies to help the online launch. Getting the eBook to market has taken too long, for which I am solely to blame, but this is a learning process and I’ll be quicker to the draw next time. Happy Sunday evening, have a great week, and catch up v soon. All the best, Dominic

And now – phase two…

Hi All, I hope this posting finds you well. I’m delighted to say my daily writing target of 2,000 words has achieved the aim and finally, after two and a bit months, produced the beginning-to-end story and plot. It’s by no means the finished article. It still needs a huge amount of work, endless polishing, tweaking and tightening, but the essence is there, and the key points, emotions and structure are set. Needless to say, I’m immensely pleased. Now comes the next stage, the daily polish and attention to detail, that will hopefully take it another step closer to being the edgy, fast-paced thriller I want it to be. The manuscript will go in for its first-stage edit on May 1st, which I am really excited about. In the meantime, there’s the no small matter of still promoting/pushing the first book, which I’m delighted to say is receiving good reviews and feedback. Lots to do, a huge amount still to learn, and loving every moment. Hope alls good and that you have nice weekends planned. Bye for now, Dominic

The First Ten Chapters In Reasonable Shape

Hi Everyone, apologies for not posting for several days, its been rather hectic here with book events planning and the setting up of distribution lines, which have been promising but not yet cemented. I have still been writing 2000 words a day (honest!), but I often finish late at night, by which time I’ve run out of steam and the blog suffers. Hands up – guilty as tried! The good news is that the early draft has sufficient word count and action to go to the next stage – the polishing and honing of the work. I am pleased with developments, and the action, and the pace, but there’s still one hell of a way to go til its ready for stage one edit. I have also decided that from now on, this blog will be free of any clues and giveaways as to the action in book two, as I don’t want to spoil the story at all. I’d like to end by mentioning that tomorrow Thursday 7th March is World Book day. Bookshops around the world will be holding events, and working with schools, colleges etc, to again promote the wonders of books in all shapes and forms. So please checkout www.worldbookday.com It’s a wonderful global event, that always inspires people of all ages. Catch up again tomorrow, take care, and go on – treat yourself to a book, you deserve it! All the best, Dominic
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