Saturday 28 April 2012

Statistics, damn statistics, and lies.

Blogger recently upgraded their system and one of the improvements was more detailed statistics on who is reading my blog. I doubt anyone but myself is sad enough to be interested in this, but here's some facts gleaned from the information:

Apparently the most popular items I've posted are on here are about :

1. Ashes to Ashes
2. 100 best novel lists
3. The Dumarest Saga
4. ITV Xmas panto series
5. Citizen Smith
6. Death in Paradise
7. The Gor Saga
8. New Tricks

Everything I've ever posted about writing, westerns, my books, or myself doesn’t get a mention! My traffic comes from :

1. US (41%)
2. UK (36%)
3. Australia (7%)
4. Germany (5%)
5. Netherlands (3%)
6. Canada (2%)

Most of my traffic comes from google and other than the items mentioned above, the most popular searches that find me are :

1. Petes dragon crying (?)
2. Still Crazy (Damn fine movie. Watched it again last week.)
3. Jim Dale (An old British movie star who I assume I must have mentioned some time)
4. Mr Pitkin (The much missed Norman Wisdom)
5. Women in chains humiliation (still scratching my head over that one, but hopefully I didn't disappoint too much!)
6. Beatie Edney (Appeared in Dressing for Breakfast and I assume I must have mentioned that once)
7. Western Gunslinger (oh joy, something about westerns)…

And wait for it, bottom of the list of things people tap into google and are then sent here is:

IJ Parnham

Ah, the fame. 0.14% of all my visitors comes from people sticking my name into google. Now, I'll have to see if blogger will give me their names and addresses so I can thank them all personally. It won’t take long!

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Review of The Search for the Lone Star

Ian Parnham expertly captures the readers imagination with his superbly crafted characters and the fact that their true goals aren’t all revealed at once, thus he succeeds in hooking the reader with the need to discover just what they are all really up to, and if any of them will be alive at the end of the book...

Read more of this very welcome review of my latest BHW at Western Fiction Review.

Saturday 21 April 2012

The Search for the Lone Star

Today I received my complimentary copies of The Search for the Lone Star, my 24th Black Horse Western. The story is a convoluted mystery involving the search for hidden treasure in which everyone who knows where it's been buried has been killed, leaving a heap of people who all know a part of the truth fighting to get their hands on it.

Although the finished tale is my usual blend of gunfights, punch-ups and hopefully a few surprises and twists along the way, the story started life as something very different. For no particularly good reason I started writing a story told entirely in diary form. It was intended to be a sort of written version of a found footage film, even though I neither like found footage films or stories written entirely in letters, emails, etc. Sometimes it does you good to go outside your comfort zone and in this case I enjoyed trying to construct a story and a character entirely through that fictional character's writing.

The story involved a barman writing in his diary every night about his customers' antics. I reached short story length without the story going anywhere until a character in the bar told a tall tale about missing treasure. This got the barman's interest, and mine, and very quickly the story expanded into a full length novel. The first draft included the original diary entries, but on reflection I had to admit the interludes didn't work well in an action western, and I couldn't think of a good reason for eking out the diary entries throughout the book to avoid giving away the ending. Bit by bit I deleted the diary extracts until in the end they got so few they no longer had a purpose. So the published book is another one of mine where not even a single word of the story I set out to write made it into the final novel!

Anyhow, the book is now available and here's the blurb:

It had long been rumoured that the fabulous diamond known as the Lone Star had been buried somewhere near the town of Diamond Springs. Many men had died trying to claim it, but when Diamond Springs became a ghost town, the men who went there had many different aims.

Tex Callahan had been paid to complete a mission, Rafferty Horn wanted to put right a past mistake, George Milligan thought he knew what had happened to the diamond, and Elias Sutherland wanted revenge. All were united by their hatred of Creswell Washington, a man who had cast a dark shadow over all their lives during his search for the diamond. Only after violent retribution will the truth be finally revealed about the Lone Star.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Cover for Beyond Redemption

I see that amazon are now showing the cover for Beyond Redemption, my 25th Black Horse Western. It's a fairly generic western image, but as it's one of those stories that involves gun-toting blokes hiding behind boulders a lot, I reckon it's nicely appropriate. On the other hand, I don't think any cover would completely satisfy as Terrell L. Bowers' recent novel had the perfect cover for this book.

This cover by co-incidence depicts a scene from Beyond Redemption, and it was not only an important scene, but it was the first part of the story that I wrote. I'd originally intended to start the story with a literal cliff-hanger, but as I moved on I became more interested in finding out why this situation had arisen and so I kept going back and back until in the end the situation comes at the halfway way point. The standing bloke is even a perfect depiction of how I'd imagined Elmer Drake to look.

Anyhow the book is out in August and here's the blurb:

As a child Jeff Dale witnessed the terrible aftermath of an atrocity. Elmer Drake killed three members of a family and when the surviving girl Cynthia went missing, Jeff vowed that one day he'd find her, no matter how long it took.

Ten years later, after finding a clue about Cynthia's fate, Jeff becomes a bounty hunter and follows the trail to the frontier town of Redemption. And in Redemption stalks a gunslinger who carries a gun in one hand and a cross in the other. A man with a rope-burn around his neck, called Elmer Drake...