The Opening Chapter of How To EAT LOADS And LOSE WEIGHT

To Begin With

Back in 2013 I found myself on BBC Radio Two, talking to Steve Wright (in the afternoon), about a book I’d co-written that seemed to promise the impossible: How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim.

Steve was very enthusiastic about the book. Or, more accurately, about the title. And the blurb. He liked that too. Little wonder; it promised a diet-free way to lose weight. This was everything that Steve, and potentially a large proportion of his listeners, had been looking for. But as the interview progressed, it became obvious that Steve wasn’t going to be reading past the blurb, because we hadn’t written the book that he really, really wanted. There was a look on his face, one that said “I’ve heard this all before.”

Thing is, whilst Steve wasn’t 100% right, he wasn’t 100% wrong either. How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim does indeed contain a lot of conventional advice that you might have heard before. But it also, I’m proud to say, contains a few ‘new’ ideas which I think we did a damn fine job of putting into layman terms.

That said, I’m the first to admit that some of the suggestions we made might have been a little too ‘out there’. Very few people seemed willing to give the ‘oil diet’ a go.

Looking back I realise that How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim does exactly what it says on the cover; if you’re already slim, then that book might help you stay that way. Maybe. If you follow the advice.

But what if you’re not slim? What if you’re overweight and desperate… what then?

Well I’ll be honest with you, following our advice might not work. And how do I know? Because four years after that radio interview I was fatter than I’d ever been in my entire life. I could no longer bear to see myself naked.

How did I get that way?

Simple: By enjoying food, by being happy with life, and celebrating the fact whenever I could.

Did I buy smaller plates to control my portion size? No.

Did I vary my meals as much as possible in order to confuse my taste buds and dull my appetite? No.

Did I have a protein rich breakfast? No!

Did I swap high fat products for low-fat alternatives—absolutely not!

Did I try anything that my co-author and I had proposed just a few short years earlier?

Yes. I gave my beloved oil diet another go.

Did it work…?

No.

Then in September 2017, Valerie, my partner, did a very risky thing. She suggested that I needed to lose weight. You know you’re in a strong, loving relationship when one of you can say something like that, and get away with it.

I was shocked. More than that, I was shocked that I was shocked. Because she was right.

In the previous couple of years together I’d started to struggle with certain age-related ailments. The rubbish feet I’d inherited from my father were starting to play up. My knees had started to creak. To sleep through the night I’d have to take a good swig of antacid to calm my acid reflux, and then follow that with an antihistamine.

This was the new norm.

But it wouldn’t be like that forever. I could see where this was heading.

My father is an enormous man. He has severe dementia, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. He can barely move. I love him dearly, but my biggest fear was (and still is) that I might end up with the same physical ailments. On those occasions when I could actually bear to look in the mirror, it wasn’t me who I could see staring back at me, but my father.

I had no idea whether losing weight would prevent the inevitable, but it certainly seemed a good place to start.

You know what the most dangerous word in the English language is? Should. Behind every should there’s always an assumption, and I’ve noticed that nine times out of ten times, ‘assumptions’ are nearly always wrong.

Take weight loss for instance; when I came to try and lose all that ‘extra’ weight by adopting a simple ‘eat less, move more’ strategy, or any kind of calorie counting regime—advice that, so conventional wisdom had it, should work—my body steadfastly refused to play by the rules. I was hungry all the time. I had zero energy. I’d lose maybe a pound here and there, only to put it straight back on again. Somewhere along the line assumptions had been made, and clearly they were wrong!

I’ve always been a problem solver—a ‘fix-it’ man if you like. Much of my professional life has been spent figuring out why stuff that should work doesn’t, and then putting solutions in place. So faced with the problem of trying to lose a few pounds I did what I always did: I read a lot. Went in search of solutions. Found some! Made changes accordingly. And…

It worked.

In a few weeks I lost 18 pounds. Over a stone.

I was slim again.

More than that… I’m still slim.

And what’s more I’m still enjoying food. I’m still happy with life, and I’m still celebrating the fact whenever I can.

For instance; last night we went out to an Italian restaurant. I had a steak, with a blue cheese sauce. Val had the meatballs. We shared two bottles of Prosecco. Then today I had a ham hock omelette for breakfast, and for lunch I’ll probably have a cheesy meaty wrap. For dinner I’m cooking a broccoli bake in a heavy cream & mozzarella sauce. And there’s another bottle of wine chilling in the fridge to go with it. Tomorrow morning we’ll have our usual weekend fry up, or maybe scrambled eggs. And yet, for the first time in my life, whilst my weight might fluctuate from one day to the next, it has, by and large, stayed pretty much the same for an entire year.

Want to know how?

Welcome to How To EAT LOADS and LOSE WEIGHT.

If you’re fed up with diets, diet food, counting calories, and all that miserable weight loss malarkey, then this book might be for you.

If you suffer from any kind of weight related ailments—diabetes type 2, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, acid reflux, GORD—then this book is probably for you.

And if you want to take back control of your body, if you’re prepared to make some fairly painless (but nonetheless significant) changes to the way that you eat, if you’re prepared to do a little bit of reading, thinking, questioning, and re-learning—and if you really, really, want to eat LOADS (of lovely, proper, tasty food) and still LOSE WEIGHT—this book is most definitely for you.

But it’s not for everyone.

For instance, if you’re a lifetime member of a slimming club, follow some sort of calorie controlled diet, and that seems to be working for you… well, this book might not be for you.

If you think of yourself as fairly traditional, find ‘newfangled’ ideas difficult to swallow (pun intended), might have used the phrase ‘fad diet’ once or twice in your lifetime, have an absolute unshakeable faith in the medical wisdom and advice of the last five decades, and you prefer the taste of skimmed milk over full fat… well, this book probably isn’t for you either.

And if you’re one of those people who don’t like being told what to do, can’t stand change or ‘compromise’, of any description, might—once or twice—have been accused by friends and family of being a ‘fussy eater’, and would rather part with tens of pounds than hand over that packet of biscuits you’re currently munching through… yeah, this book: definitely not for you.

But you know what? You’re here now. You’ve read this far. You’re comfortable. And I’m not actually going to ask you to change anything… not for a few pages anyway.

All I’d like you to do for now, is read.

And think.

Give me one chapter. And if you find yourself surprised, maybe even a little intrigued, by what I have to say, well then give me another.

Because you too can EAT LOADS and LOSE WEIGHT.

The Big Fat Lie

Fats make you fat.

Everybody knows this. That is, after all, why they’re called ‘fats’. It’s a ‘fat fact’. One that’s easy to verify with other facts, and a little logic. Let me talk you through it.

Pretty much everything we eat is made up of three ‘macronutrients’. You will have heard of them, I’m sure. They are: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

So, for instance, a humble 100-gram stick of celery (let’s assume that it’s a very large humble stick) contains 3 grams of carbohydrates, 0.7 grams of protein and, wait for it, 0.2 grams of fat.

Each of these macronutrients contain energy, which we measure in terms of ‘calories’. The human body needs energy to function, and the more active a body is, the more calories it ‘burns’. In that sense, you’re a bit like a car.

So the more calories a food has (despite its size that enormous stick of celery only has a mere 16 of them) the more energy a food is, and the longer it can sustain you.

From this we can conclude what I’ve always known in my heart to be true; man cannot live on celery alone.

But there’s more to it than that.

Anybody with a basic knowledge of human biology knows that the body stores the calories it doesn’t use. It does this so that if there aren’t enough calories coming in the front end, it can use the ones in storage. Which is why we get fat. In that sense, you’re like a car with an expanding fuel tank.

So, to lose excess weight you merely need to eat food with fewer calories, or burn more calories than you consume, and you should get slimmer.

Or to put it another way, eat less, move more. Calories in (eaten) vs calories out (used as fuel). Simple.

Here’s the crucial thing though; whilst all macronutrients can be measured in terms of calories, they don’t yield the same amount of calories. Protein and carbohydrates both contain four calories per gram, whilst fats contain a whopping nine calories per gram! More than double.

So by avoiding fatty foods, you should, logically, reduce your overall calorie intake a lot quicker. Reduce those calories enough and your body will be forced to fall back on its reserves, use all those stored calories and suddenly you’ll be able to get back into those skinny jeans you had three summers ago.

And if that isn’t enough to start you munching on celery sticks, how about this: fats are bad for you. Specifically, saturated fats. Saturated fats clog up your arteries and raise your cholesterol. Clog them up enough and you might drop down dead. Still finding it hard to get excited about celery?

Except that… all that I’ve just told you might be nonsense.

For whilst it all makes total sense on paper, it’s not actually borne out by any solid scientific research.

Not one scrap.

For the last four decades at least, although the powers that be and the mainstream media have consistently cast saturated fats as the dietary arch-villain, preached the mantra of calories in vs calories out, and provided us with low-fat everything, as a nation we’re not getting any slimmer. We’re getting fatter. And sicker.

Some diet professionals claim this is because no-one is listening to the advice. No one, apparently, is buying diet books. No one is attending weekly weigh ins, or diet clubs. No one is eating those low-fat foods. No one.

Except of course we are.

So maybe it isn’t us.

Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t actually our fault at all. Maybe the traditional weight loss advice of the last half a century is total and utter bilge. Maybe fat DOESN’T make you fat. Maybe it’s something else?

Blimey.

That can’t be right.

Can it?

EAT LOADS LOSE WEIGHT


How To EAT LOADS And LOSE WEIGHT will be available in paperback, and for your tablet, phone, or computer (via the free Kindle App) from Boxing Day (26th January). Pre-order here, now.

The eBook is a mere £1.99. Less than the price of a cup of coffee. Click or tap here now.

Other ebook formats will be available in the New Year.

If you’re reading this in an email, why not forward it to a friend?

New Book Coming Soon (but possibly not the one you expected)

Just over a year ago (November 2018 to be precise) I blogged about how I’d just finished my fourth novel and was about to start editing (you can read that post here).

However, about fifteen minutes after writing that post I glanced down at the enormous pile of freshly printed pages – pages that were sitting there patiently waiting for my red pen – and thought… nah.

I wasn’t ready. It had taken me a year to produce that first draft (though it had felt like five), and the thought of going all the way back to the beginning to hunt down and resolve all the inconsistencies and plot holes that I knew were waiting for me… well… I just couldn’t do it.

So I didn’t.

Instead…

I wrote another book.

I returned to my non-fiction, self-help roots, to write a book that had been on my mind for a while. As a result I’m delighted to tell you about this…

EAT LOADS LOSE WEIGHT – My fifth self-help book – will be available from Boxing Day (26th December 2019) (although you can pre-order it right now).

Now you may remember that I co-wrote a similar sounding book, a few years back. 2013 to be precise. That book promised a diet-free way to eat loads, and stay slim. But shortly after it climbed the charts I started to meet more and more people who needed a different kind of book. Something that was a little more ‘direct’. Something for the person who had somehow failed to ‘stay slim’. And four years later – despite being the author of a diet book – I too was one such person! I had somehow managed to pile on the pounds, and was heavier than ever.

Two years ago my partner suggested I lose weight. Now you know you’re in a loving relationship when your partner feels they can say something like that. However, when it came to fighting the flab (again), all of those weight maintenance tips and tricks that my co-author and I had recommended years earlier, failed me.

You know me – I’m a fix-it man at heart! Whenever I come across a problem that needs a solution – or better still, a solution that should work but doesn’t – well… it’s like a red rag to a bull. I started to wonder whether, when it comes to LOSING WEIGHT, there’s a better way. An easier way. One that doesn’t involve calorie counting, low-fat spreads, eating less, moving more, exercise, or any of that other traditional dietary advice that sounds oh-so-sensible, but just doesn’t seem to work.

Turns out… there was.

And it was a lot easier (and more interesting) than I ever could have realised.

So if you’ve already decided that the diet starts the day after Christmas Day, or on January 1st, or whatever date you’ve pencilled into your diary (you do own a diary, don’t you?), why not allow me to be your weight-loss coach? Together we can EAT LOADS and LOSE WEIGHT.

PS. And what about the novel, I hear you ask? You’ll be delighted to know that I have finished editing it. Almost.


How To EAT LOADS And LOSE WEIGHT will be available in paperback, and for your tablet, phone, or computer (via the free Kindle App) from Boxing Day (26th January). Pre-order here, now.

The eBook is a mere £1.99. Less than the price of a cup of coffee. Click or tap here now.

Other ebook formats will be available in the New Year.

If you’re reading this in an email, why not forward it to a friend?

My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend – My third novel is here!

Happy Birthday To Me…

October the 10th. A lot of things happened on this day in history.

In 1913, the Panama Canal officially joined the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific ocean. How about that.

In 1967, the USA / Soviet Union ‘Outer Space Treaty’ came into force, and is the reason why the US does not own the moon, even though they planted a flag.

And in 1968… I was born.

And what better way to celebrate my forty-something birthday than by announcing the publication of my THIRD (yes, third!) novel – My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend.

“So,” I hear you ask, “what’s it all about PJ?”

Well, funny you should ask!

It’s the tale of Adrian Turner. Mountaineer, Secret Agent, Fireman… Ade would dearly like to be any of these things. Though he’s trade them all to win the heart of feisty Public Relations Executive, Paige.

Instead, our hero is a disillusioned school teacher, on suspension, after an unfortunate incident with a heavy piece of computer equipment. And somebody’s foot.

And Paige? Well, despite being his girlfriend for the past eighteen months, she still seems to have one foot out of the door and hasn’t quite committed to leaving a toothbrush in the bathroom. Of course, it doesn’t help that she’s working with her ex-boyfriend, Sebastian. A man who in almost every way imaginable is better, taller, wealthier, hairier, and infinitely more successful than Ade.

Is Paige still in love with Sebastian? Maybe. But why then did she suggest they get away for a few days? Some place romantic…

But when Adrian finds himself in Slovenia – with Sebastian in the room down the hall – he realises there’s serious possibility that he’s in danger of losing his job, his mind, and the woman he loves…

Now doesn’t sound like the sort of hilarious romp that would brighten almost any boring commute? Eh? Eh? (Unless you drive to work, in which case, erm… it goes really well with a cup of tea, and is the perfect alternative to actual work.)

Best of all, here in the UK (for a limited period), the book is just 99p, and ready to download to your smart-device ready to read via the FREE Kindle app. But if you’re elsewhere in the world or you’d prefer a paperback, follow one of the links below to a format of your choice

Where to buy the book…

UK (paperback | ebook) | USA  | Australia | Canada
France | Italy  | Germany

If for some strange reason you’d like a signed paperback, drop me a line here

You’ll find my other two novels (and all my non-fiction) on amazon here.

Publication Day Push

A number of fellow authors and bloggers have very kindly agreed to help me give My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend a ‘Publication Day Push’. If you’ve got a spare few minutes why not visit one of the blogs below (links under the image). You’ll find book extracts, and at least one honest review (which even I haven’t read… yet).

Ali – the Dragon Slayer

Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

Dash Fan’s Book Reviews

Little Ray of Sunshine

Waggy Tales Dog Blog

Book Lover in Florida

Chelle’s Book Reviews

Vikbat

Rae Reads

Novel Gossip

Many thanks to these blogs, and indeed everyone who’s helped bring this book to fruition.


Click or tap here, to visit amazonHot news! 

My Girlfriend’s Perfect Ex-Boyfriend is just 99 pennies for the entire month of October 2017. Download the book for your smart phone, tablet, or kindle, today.

Visit BUYTHEBOOK.TODAY to buy the book… today!

(The FREE kindle reading app is available for everything. Seriously; EVERYTHING.)

Crazy, Undercover, Love

Crazy Undercover Love Cover
So, how’s tricks? How ya been? I’m loving what you’ve done with your hair.

I just popped by to let you know that I’m still very much alive and working hard on the release of my debut novel – The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl  – which should be out, er, any day now. I promise.

In the meantime, you might be interested in Crazy, Undercover, Love – from fellow author Nikki Moore – which is released today on ebook from HarperImpulse. In her own words; “If you like pacy, sexy romance and fancy a long weekend in Barcelona with a smoking hot guy this one’s for you!”

Here’s the blurb:

When uber-feisty career girl Charley Caswell-Wright takes on the assignment as PA to the gorgeous Alex Demetrio, CEO of Demetrio International, she’s there under entirely false pretences; to get her life back on track. Having lost the job she worked so hard to earn, she’s determined not to give it up so easily, especially when she didn’t deserve to lose it in the first place.

Mr Dreamy CEO is her only chance of clawing back her career – and her reputation. So she has to keep things strictly professional… boy, is she in trouble!

Wowsers! Now if that doesn’t get you clicking the BUY NOW button I don’t know what will!

Nikki Moore Author Pic 1Nikki Moore lives in beautiful Dorset and writes short stories and sexy, pacy romances. A finalist in several writing competitions including Novelicious Undiscovered 2012, she graduated from the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers’ Scheme after four years and and has contributed to their magazine Romance Matters. She has far too much fun attending the annual RNA conference and has previously chaired a panel and taken part in a workshop at the Festival of Romance.

I ‘met’ Nikki online about a year ago when she was kind enough to interview on her blog where she muses about her three favourite things – Writing, Work and Wine.  Pay her a visit if you get a moment at www.nikkimooreauthor.wordpress.com, or find her on Facebook  or Twitter

Crazy, Undercover Love is available for your ebook reader from AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesKobo, and Sainsbury’s. Or pre-order the paperback from Amazon here.

 

 

 

Get Dating For Less Than A Quid

SDSW
This weekend, those charming folks at ebook soda are featuring my latest book, How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting, and in return for sending a few new readers my way (‘Hello’ to all new readers) we’ve temporarily dropped the price of the UK & US kindle edition to a mere 99 pence (or cents, depending on the coins in your pocket).

I’m enormously proud of this book. It’s crammed with dating advice for the man or woman who really doesn’t ‘do’ dating.

The paperback’s well over three hundred pages. The audio is eight hours long! And if you’re part of the kindle generation it can be yours for less than the price of a cheap cup of coffee (that was the best analogy I could come up with – hey, it’s early as I write this!)

To download the book and start reading, click here and hop on over to amazon. But hurry – the price goes back up next week!

Haven’t got a Kindle? Why on earth not? Download the FREE kindle app for your computer, smart phone or tablet from amazon (.co.uk | .com)

Start Dating, Stop Waiting

heart-love-romanceBefore I started on my quest for happiness, I was using my problem solving skills to figure out what actually works when it comes to courting the opposite sex. From the pen-pal clubs of the early eighties, to the lonely heart newspaper ads of the nineties, from postal dating services to the more formal introduction agencies – there hasn’t been a dating service that I haven’t tried!

And after many, many years of seemingly making every dating mistake there is – scouring every scrap of scientific research I could get my hands on – I finally cracked it. There’s love in my life. And it wasn’t an accident.

If love, lust or romance feature in your goals for this year let me see if I can impart some of my dating prowess to you now. Here are my top five tips for dating success.

Dating Tip Number 1: What do you want?

Figuring out who it is you’re looking for is probably the most effective thing you can do to kick start your love life. You might think (as I used to) that you can’t afford to be picky, that finding someone who doesn’t repel you too much and is content to remain in your company might be the best you can hope for. I’m here to tell you that the reverse is true.

After months, possibly even years, of less-than-satisfactory relationships with long periods of nothing in-between, I sat down and wrote out what I actually wanted. A list of qualities that I hoped for in my ideal person. And about six weeks later I met my wife, Kate.

Now – that’s not the whole story, obviously. There were a few stages between writing my ‘perfect woman shopping list’ and choosing to sit next to this beautiful blonde I spied from across the room, but a few months into our relationship I looked back at that list and I was amazed at just how many of the criteria Kate met. Coincidence? Perhaps. But for the time it would take you to create your own list isn’t it worth the effort?

Dating Tip Number 2: Go online!

By my calculations online dating websites are responsible for one in five marriages. Include relationships that haven’t got as far as the altar, throw in the likes of facebook and other social media websites, and I estimate 50 percent of all romances probably start on the internet. Which means that simply using your computer to meet people could double your chances of dating success.

Dating Tip Number 3: Pick a good dating website

There are a LOT of dating websites out there – finding a good one can be a challenge. My current feelings are the free-ones can be just as good, sometimes better, than the paid-ones. For extra oomph pick a site that does some form of compatibility matching!

Dating Tip Number 4: To meet ‘the one’, you must first meet ‘the many’

Very, very few people go on one date and hit the jackpot first time. In fact, in the years I’ve been chatting to people about this stuff I’ve never met anyone who has. Dating is a numbers game. If you find someone you like online send them a message. If they respond toss a couple more messages back and forth. If you still like them arrange to meet. Meanwhile; continue to browse the dating sites, continue to send messages, continue arranging dates. Exclusivity should be reserved for that special someone you’ve dated more than once, in real life, and even then only if you want to.

As well as a numbers game, dating is a skill. The more dates you go on the better you’ll get.

SDSW drop shadow colour smallDating Tip Number 5: Have fun!

Dating is tough. It has to be said. Some days it can feel like a slog. But if it always feels like a slog, if it’s tough without being the slightest bit pleasurable, well, then you’re doing something wrong!

Try changing your mindset. Dating can be a fun. An adventure. Exciting. It’s a little like a lottery; Sometimes it’s just OK. Sometimes it’s better than OK. Occasionally it’s a total disaster, but every now and then it’s magical. And those moments make up for everything.

Secondly, make sure you’re doing things you actually enjoy. For me, a good first date takes place in a coffee shop, if it’s going really well I might suggest wandering across to the pub over the road. Dinners and first dates don’t mix well. But that’s just me. Maybe you’re into bungy jumping, or white water rafting or long walks in the countryside. Picking an activity you enjoy will significantly increase the chances of your first date going well.

Want More Tips?

If you want to delve into the detail behind the five tips above, pick my brain for more nuggets of dating gems, or need a little more hand holding, then I have some very good news. How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting, my third self-help book, is available in paperback and as an ebook. An audio version – which includes the companion guide How To Be even more Attractive will be available any day now.

FREE TALK

author pic2

Wednesday 15th January 2014 – 7:30pm (sharp)

I’m delighted to announce I’ll be giving a *FREE* one hour talk at the Therapy Life Centre in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, January 15th next year.

I’ll be chatting about how and why I came to write How To Do Everything and Be Happy, briefly discussion some of the ideas in the book, as well an answering any questions you might have.

Bring your book if you’d like it signed, or better still, give the one you have to a friend and buy a brand new copy from me on the day! 😀

No need to book – just turn up. Talk starts at 7:30pm sharp as there are other free talks scheduled in that evening – see the Therapy Life Centre website for more details, nearer the time.

Where is the Therapy Life Centre?

We meet at The Therapy Life Centre, in Southend On Sea, Essex. (the old driving test centre) – there is reasonable parking.

The address is 11 Prittlewell Chase, Southend-on-Sea, SS0 0RX
The nearest station is Prittlewell (just fifteen minutes walk away) which is on the Liverpool Street – Southend Victoria line.

Map

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Any questions?

Drop me a line via the contact page if you have any questions. Operators are standing by.


Visit the Therapy Life Centre’s website
More about the Therapy Life Centre

Doing Everything. Being Happy.

walletThe eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that it’s been a while since I posted an entry on this blog. I’d like to tell you that I’ve been ludicrously busy, and whilst that wouldn’t be a lie (these past few months have been possibly the most manic I can remember) it certainly wouldn’t be the whole truth.

The thing is, I’ve been feeling a bit of a fraud.

This is my author blog – it says so right there at the top of the screen, but with only book to my name, published through my own company, there have been times this past year – quite a lot of times – when I’ve felt that calling myself an author is akin to the average man on the street buying himself a second hand lute and declaring to the world that he is a musician. But no more.

Allow me to give you a potted career history of Peter Jones.

Back in my early twenties, a series of poor choices and lucky accidents resulted in me becoming self-employed and working for most of the UK’s Credit Card banks as a freelance business consultant. I was (and I suppose, still am) an ideas man, and a fix-it man; wealthy men would ask me how to make even more money using the tools they had at their disposal, and I would tell them. Though it pains me to admit it, the credit crunch is partly my fault – not my idea, but I was most definitely pulling the levers and pressing the buttons that made it happen.

It wasn’t a bad way to make a living – the money was nice – but whilst I enjoyed the problem solving, and the company of the people I worked with, as the years rolled by I became less and less comfortable working in that industry. By the time I met my wife Kate I wanted out, and much of our time together was spent trying to find ways to use the few skills we had between us to create an alternative career. We tried everything from website design, to property investment. None of those things really worked. And when she died, it felt like my dreams of escaping credit card consultancy died with her.

How wrong I was.

What actually happened was that my focus changed. And instead of trying to dig myself out of the pit I’d spent almost twenty years getting myself into, I concentrated my solution-finding skills on seeking out the very thing that I seemed to lack; happiness. I read a lot of books, made a lot of lists, and tried anything and everything I could think of. Most of the ideas didn’t work. But some.. did!

One day a good friend of mine (hello Tina) suggested I ought to write down some of the quirkier ideas. Several months later I found that I’d accidentally written a book.

Around that time one of my banking contracts was drawing to a close, so I took the somewhat risky decision to dedicate the next few months to publishing my strange work of accidental non-fiction, first as an e-book, and later as a (Print On Demand) Paperback. If you’re a regular visitor to this blog you’ll also know that not only did I achieve that but that the book was quite successful. And when I say ‘quite’, I am of course being extremely British about the whole thing. I’m using ‘quite’ in the same way that some Americans might use the world ‘wildly’. By Christmas of last year my sales were such that I’d started to wonder if I could actually get away with not returning to my previous life – whether I could achieve the impossible, fulfil a child-hood dream, and become a full-time author.

So, in January I set myself the following goal:

“I am supporting myself
doing the things I love & enjoy,
and no longer worry about bills.”
December 2012

By March, and thanks to the persistent efforts of my assistant, I found myself one of the many authors taking part in the prestigious Essex Book Festival. A few weeks later I signed a three book deal with audible (.co.uk | .com), the world’s largest supplier of audio books. I asked if I could audition to read my own book – I passed the audition, recorded the title, and timed the second e-book edition of How To Do Everything and be Happy to launch alongside the audio in June.

It was always my intention to bring out this updated version in paperback too but events took a slightly different turn. The cover with drop shadowebook success and audible deal got the attention of an agent, who in turn was able to get the attention of some fairly major publishers. On August 31st I officially signed a deal with publishers Harper Collins to relaunch the book that got me here in the first place. Essentially How To Do Everything and Be Happy has broken into the mainstream.

What does this actually mean?

Well firstly the book has a brand new funky cover. Secondly, the e-book is now available EVERYWHERE, for every e-reader on the planet, from all good e-book retailers. Thirdly, it’s still only £1.99 (or your local equivalent).

And last, but by no means least, a brand new paperback version – with all the lovely second-edition extras & goodies – will be on shelves, in bricks and mortar UK book stores, on the 17th of January 2013 (a little later in the US – be prepared for half a zillion pictures of me in bookstores up and down the country on facebook in the New Year)

That said, you can pre-order it right now from your favourite online retailers (amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | other options) – amazon have even slashed the RRP price down to a mere £5.99. That’s £3 cheaper than the original paperback ever was.

To celebrate the re-launch of the paperback I’m planning on having a book-launch thingamy. I’m not a huge fan of book launches, or indeed any social gatherings (you seem surprised?), but even I’ve got admit that this can’t go by without something to mark the occasion. And so long as I’m left in charge of organising it please consider yourself (and a friend) invited, because I could never have got this far without you!

So does this mean I’ve achieved my goal?? Am I no longer worrying about bills? Pfff! Not quite. But I’m a good deal closer, and I’m still working on it.

The next book – How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim – is finished. In a few days I’ll be able to tell you where and when it’ll be available. And right now I’m half way through writing a third book, and about to start a fourth. I am quite frankly stunned at what I’ve managed to achieve. Not proud – just stunned. Pride will follow shortly I’m sure, but right now I’m still reeling on a daily basis from how much you can achieve if you set your goals correctly, and put some effort in.

And you’ll be pleased to know I’m feeling a good deal less fraudulent. Expect more frequent author blogging from this point on. At least, assuming I’m not too busy.


The official announcement in The Bookseller

This blog, in your email! (What’s a blog?)

subscribe

Being an observant lot it probably hasn’t escaped your notice that over there on the right hand side is a mysterious box with a button next to it that says SUBSCRIBE.

See it?

I know what you’re thinking. You’ve been wondering what that means, right? What would you be subscribing to? How much would it cost? What on earth is a post? Or a blog come to that?

Ok, ok – settle down.

This right here – what you’re reading right now – is a ‘post’; an entry into a kind of online journal which for reasons that I can’t be bothered to look up is called a ‘blog’. I know. Computer people are weird. But we’re relatively harmless. If you click the blog  link right at the top of the page you can see all the posts in (reverse) chronological order.

New posts  are added as and when, and each one usually invites comments (at the bottom). Feel free to have your say, I read every comment that’s posted – but if you’d like new posts delivered to you via email (thus saving you the trouble to pop back), you can sign up for that via a free service (from google) called feedburner! Simply give feedburner your email address (completing the “are you a human” test), and when the confirmation email arrives, click the link. And you’re done. New ‘posts’ will come to you via email. (If you don’t get a confirmation email, check any spam filters you may have).

It’s all entirely automated. I don’t even get told who’s subscribed or when. And although I can find that information out, I absolutely promise that I’ll never ever pass your email address onto anyone else – the only thing I’ll use your email address for are blog updates.

And if you ever want to unsubscribe, either drop me a line via the contact page, or click the link at the bottom of any of the emails from me.

Everybody happy?

PS. You might also like to subscribe over at my other blog – How To Do Everything and Be Happy .com


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