Attic Whispers and Reader of the Month [June 2020 Edition]


Greetings from my slowly-coming-out-of-isolation attic in the Blue Mountains!

It is difficult to believe that this dreadful Covid-19 pandemic has now been with us for over 5 months, placing huge restrictions on our way of life, our economies, and our future.  I have been very fortunate to be able to spend this difficult period in virtual isolation up here in my attic in the Blue Mountains, which has allowed me to devote my time almost exclusively to writing the next book.



This has had an unexpected, but positive, impact on one particular important matter, which I would like to share with you now:


You will recall that in my previous newsletter I indicated that I have decided to divide the next book – which will be Book 6 in the Jack Rogan Mysteries series – into two parts, and release these parts separately.

The reason behind this was to shorten the time gap between publications, as many of you have urged me to expedite the release of the next book if at all possible. According to your many emails, a year or so was apparently far too long to wait to find out what Jack, that incorrigible rascal, was up to this time. I took this as a huge compliment, and responded by trying to divide the book into two parts as stated above. However, the dreadful virus has once again interfered with these plans, this time in a positive way!

I am pleased to tell you that instead of releasing the next book in two parts with a gap of say, six months in-between, I am confident that it will now be possible to release the entire book later this year, as one. This has become possible because of the lockdown and an unprecedented writing spree without the usual interruptions of travel etc. I believe this will work well, and give you, my valued readers, what you’ve been asking for.

For now, my friends, this is all I can share with you, but I will be telling you more about the exciting book to come, and the proposed release date, in our next newsletter. After all, many of you are part of my Book Launch Team, and will therefore play an important part in preparing the way for publication. Exciting times ahead!

It always gives me great pleasure to be able to share some really exciting news with you. What is set out below is indeed exciting, and would certainly not have been possible without your wonderful ongoing support.

The best way to measure the success of a book is by reviews, and of course sales, which are often directly linked to reviews. These factors also determine rankings in various categories in the very competitive worldwide marketplace.

In early May, the Jack Rogan Mysteries Boxset, books 1-3 smashed ranking records in both, the US, and the UK ( as well as some other countries), as follows:

Amazon US:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14 Free in the entire Kindle Store!!
#1 in Mystery Anthologies (Kindle Store)
#1 in Historical Mysteries (Kindle Store)
#1 in Historical Thrillers (Kindle Store)
#1 in Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction

In addition, we have moved up in the rankings to an even bigger main category. We were #1 in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction (one of the big subcategories under Literature and Fiction). This was the first time we ranked in this category.

Amazon UK:
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14 Free in Kindle Store
#1 in Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction
#1 in Historical Mysteries (Kindle Store)
#1 in Mystery Collections & Anthologies.

So, once again, a big Thank You! to you all, for your ongoing support. This outstanding result would not have been possible without it! This is what keeps me motivated, and makes the countless hours spent up here in my attic, satisfying and worthwhile. In every endeavour – especially one as time-consuming and solitary as writing – motivation is everything.

This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes. It’s by Winston Churchill:

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

― Winston Churchill

The little: “You are not alone” surprise; an update

Most of you will remember my recent ‘You are not alone’ surprise. The surprise was my little contribution to make staying at home and dealing with the challenges of this stressful Covid-19 crisis a little easier to bear. For a period of 3 days in May, I offered the Jack Rogan Mysteries Boxset, books 1-3, FOR FREE on Amazon.

I am pleased to tell you that this offer was embraced with great enthusiasm, and resulted in 11,000 downloads. What this means is that 33,000 books are out there right now, and Jack is entertaining new readers with his escapades FOR FREE! during the lockdown.
Together we can fight COVID-19, and please remember, you are not alone! Jack is never far away…

Readers’ Survey; an update

Many of you have recently participated in our little Readers’ Survey and provided valuable feedback and information my publication team and I will use going forward. In case you’ve missed out, or you didn’t have the time, you can still participate by following this link:

Click here to give your feedback!

Any additional feedback will assist us further in making the right decisions.

This will allow us to shape and improve the way we interact with you generally, because we realise that just writing a book is not enough. We have used the extra time provided to us during the Covid-19 shutdown to conduct this survey, and thank you for your generous and most helpful contribution; greatly appreciated!

I always look forward to writing this segment. Once again, I have received countless emails from you from all over the globe, but one in particular, stood out:

“If I have an email from you I always check it first. I think you are amazing! After reading your “tome” I scream “MORE”, never tiring of your master writing. You take me away to counties I’ll never be able to visit, your newsletters are interesting, and your garden always makes me smile. I’m not happy with complications of coronavirus, especially with my 20 year old granddaughter on the front lines as CNA. But the up side with your being in your attic in the Blue Mountains is, weaving your magic! I’ve told you many times that Jack Rogan is a combination of Indiana Jones and Crocodile Dundee, only much-much better! I am so honored to be a part of your advance readers. You and wife take care.”


And this is why you, dear Sandy, are my READER OF THE MONTH! Thank you for your kind words. They make burning the midnight oil up here in the attic worthwhile.

What travel? Qantas, our national airline, has just announce that international travel is unlikely to resume here in Australia until sometime later next year. As I’ve pointed out in the last newsletter, I have cancelled all overseas travel not only for this year, but for next one as well, as it seems improbable that our borders will open up before that. This means that I will be spending a lot more time in our garden up here in the Blue Mountains doing what I love most, WRITING!


In my last newsletter I showed you what our spectacular autumn looked like this year. As winter has now arrived with a vengeance, I would like to share with you some spectacular images of last year’s snowstorm that transformed our garden into a winter wonderland. I have no doubt we’ll once again have some snow soon, which may allow us to celebrate a white Christmas in July, a wonderful Aussie tradition.

Finally, my friends, just another little reminder about the FREE Starter Library which can be downloaded right now by visiting my website and following the prompts.


We are all in this together, and together we will get through this!


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