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Writing tips: self-publishing: how many books can you sell?

How many books should a self-published author aim to sell?  If you are writing a book, how much money are you likely to make from publishing it yourself?

When I lived in Germany, trying to get my second book published, I was friends with a German author.  I was rather jealous of him: he had written four novels, all published commercially.

But he was not happy.

‘My publishers don’t market my books properly,’ he would say.  ‘They simply publish them and forget about them.  I keep trying different publishers, but they are all the same.’

I asked how many novels he had sold.  He told me he had never sold more than 600 copies of a novel.

I thought of my friend when I self-published my first novel, “Blood Summit“.  I set a target of selling 600 copies.  How did I do?

The first year, I sold 246 copies (more…)

What will happen after coronavirus? My new novel CORONATIME

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  

Lockdowns, flight bans, quarantine, school closures, contact tracing – coronavirus has changed society in ways that would have been inconceivable twelve months ago.  What will a post-pandemic world look like?

I told my gal the future looked a scary place to be.

She said, don’t worry Dad, it’s cancelled.

I saw it on TV.

Coronatime is a thriller, a comedy and a love story.  In a future world where universal contact tracing and advances in medical technology have created a society of oppression, corruption and injustice, one man and one woman must defeat a system which makes 1984 seem as menacing as a teddy bears’ picnic in a kindergarten. (more…)

“Blood Summit” live readings in Berlin 21-22 February

My two live readings in Berlin are coming up.

I shall be reading from my thriller Blood Summit in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.  I will also be doing a tour of the Reichstag and nearby locations where the action in Blood Summit takes place.

A video by Sibylle Trost of me reading from “Blood Summit”.  Now you can see the real thing.

Unfortunately, the tour, first publicised last month, is sold out.  But the readings still have places available:

  • 21 February 18.00, a reading from Blood Summit in a room with a view of the Reichstag generously provided by Mazars GmbH & Co Berlin, Alt-Moabit 2, 10557.  Full details of how to register, plus help with planning your weekend in Berlin, are at this link.  This is a free event.  I will be signing copies of my books Blood Summit and Seven Hotel Stories.
  • 22 February 19.00, a reading from Blood Summit at the salon of Christiane and Ari Großkopf, Bamberger Str. 56, 10777 Berlin.  This is a free event which Christiane and Ari are kindly hosting.  If you would like to attend, please e-mail me on robertpimmauthor@gmail.com with your name(s).  I will also be signing books.

(more…)

Seven Ukrainian Girls – now available on Amazon!

Welcome to a brand new “Hotel Story”.

Seven Ukrainian Girls is the eighth story in the series, and follows on from the tales collected in my book Seven Hotel Stories.  

The Ultra Platinum Paradise Beach Resort offers fabulous facilities.  The exclusive Black Hole Coral Reef Dive Adventure, the Blue Planet Fish Restaurant and the Metaphysical Balance Repair Clinic and Spa should surely guarantee guest satisfaction.

So why is the Ultra Platinum losing money – and why is no-one drinking the famous Megastar all-day cocktails at the Beachfront Ultra Platinum Club?

Ms N, the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, has been sent in to solve some problems.  Her beautiful but naive ally Tatiana has accompanied her.

Ms N believes that “in every challenge, there is an opportunity”.  But how will she tackle the hotel’s problems by calling in seven beautiful Ukrainian girls, who bring with them five large suitcases of high pork traditional country sausages? (more…)

“Blood Summit” readings in Berlin 21-22 February

It is time to plan your weekend in Berlin.

I shall be doing two readings from my thriller Blood Summit in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.

A video of me reading from “Blood Summit”.  Now you can see the real thing.

Details are:

  • 21 February 18.00, a free reading from Blood Summit in a room with a view of the Reichstag at Mazars GmbH & Co Berlin, Alt-Moabit 2, 10557.  Full details of how to register, plus help with planning your weekend in Berlin, are at this link.  This is a free event.  I will be signing copies of my books Blood Summit and Seven Hotel Stories.
  • 22 February 19.00, a reading from Blood Summit at the salon of Christiane and Ari Großkopf, Bamberger Str. 56, 10777 Berlin.  This is a free event which Christiane and Ari are kindly hosting.  If you would like to attend, please e-mail me on robertpimmauthor@gmail.com with your name(s).  I will also be signing books.

(more…)

Blood Summit – a Berlin thriller

Welcome to the opening chapters of my Berlin thriller, Blood Summit.  

I wrote Blood Summit from my personal experience, after years of working with real terrorist incidents and real intelligence agencies.  I have exercised with special forces and fired live rounds at their training facilities.  This is the real thing.

What if the leaders of the eight most powerful countries in the world were taken hostage by terrorists, who then starting executing them live on-line in a facility designed to be impregnable?

What if you knew how to stop the slaughter, but no-one would listen to you and those you loved were amongst the hostages?

“Utterly gripping: I devoured it” – Edmund de Waal, author of “The Hare with Amber Eyes

“Blood Summit is a cracker. Pimm has hit the ground running” – Matthew Parris.

You can find Blood Summit on Amazon as a paperback or, for instant download, an e-book.  For a sample, read on.

BLOOD SUMMIT

A novel by Robert Pimm

Prologue

Two years earlier

There were children playing in the street outside her door.  Turkish, Uli Wenger guessed from their dark skin and bright clothes.  He walked around them.  The first insect Uli ever killed had been a child.  Today, he had more important business.

The surface of the door was rough with dirt and spray paint.  Sixteen buzzers studded the wall.  The target lived on the third floor.  Uli pressed the button by her name.

There was a crackle.  ‘Yes?’

‘Post,’ Uli said.  ‘A package.’

‘OK.’  The door popped open.

The hallway was cool and dark and smelled of damp stone.  Two bicycles (more…)

A complete short story: “Taxi to London”

I wrote the following story as flash fiction at a writing course I attended recently at Loutro on Crete (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).  Unlike my recently-released collection, Seven Hotel Storiesit is not a comedy.

Taxi to London

I had my head down over my exam revision when the hospital called.

‘Is this Dave Ellingsworth?’  The girl’s voice was so calm I felt my adrenalin spike.

‘This is Dave.’

‘You are in a relationship with Joanne Jones, is that correct?’

‘JJ, yes, Joanne, I know her, yes.’

‘In a relationship?  I can only speak to next of kin.’

I felt a sense of despair, and weightlessness.  Was I in a relationship?  JJ had said she thought we were.  But I thought I had ended it last night.

‘Sure.  In a relationship.’

‘She took some pills.  She is out of danger now.  She asked if you could come and see her.’  The woman on the phone sounded like she thought I should go. (more…)

Pictures from my reading in Innsbruck

What do you think a reading with Robert Pimm looks like?

I was delighted on 18 October to read from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit in Innsbruck.  

Some pictures:

The reading took place at the magnificent Stadtbibliotek

Q&A afterwards with Andrew Milne-Skinner

Questions were incisive and challenging

Afterwards I signed copies of “Blood Summit” and “Seven Hotel Stories”

As I mentioned in my curtain-raising post (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site), the reading was organised by the excellent English Reading Circle in Innsbruck.  I am particularly grateful to Maria Kandolf-Kühne, who brought the book to the Reading Circle and suggested I do a reading in Innsbruck; and to Andrew and Sandra Milne-Skinner, who were instrumental in setting things up.

If you want to know more about Blood Summit, see my blog Blood Summit: the US President in the killing chair.  It is available from English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna, or from Amazon.  If you have a book group, you may like to read my blog post Blood Summit: Reading Group Questions.

I also presented in Innsbruck my recently-published paperback of Seven Hotel Stories.  It seemed to go down well.

 

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please follow me on Facebook.  Or you can join my mailing list – I’ll be delighted to give you a free “Hotel Story” to say thanks.  Check out the range of writing on this site via my 5 pleasure paths.

 

A complete short story: “Fixing It”

I wrote the following story as flash fiction at a writing course I attended recently (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).  Unlike my recently-released collection, Seven Hotel Storiesit is not a comedy.  Comments welcome.

Fixing It

I was born in sadness.  My mother, bless her soul, was not killed by my arrival on this world.  But she was ruined, my father said.

The doctors agreed.  My head was too big, they said.  I ruined her.

Maybe the doctors in our village were not too great, either.

I never knew my father before I was born, of course.  I never knew whether he hated my mother before I ruined her.  I never knew if he hated me, either, before I arrived.

What I do know is that after I arrived, he wanted neither me nor her.

Maybe my mother tried too hard to please him, after he said she was ruined.  It made him angry that she could no longer climb the stairs of our small house, to where the bedrooms were.  She made the front parlour sparkle and the kitchen smell of bread and herbs and put wine on the table for when he came home.

Still, my father was angry.

One of my first memories was of her, dragging her poor broken body (more…)

“Seven Hotel Stories” paperback now available!

The paperback version of Seven Hotel Stories is now out.  It looks like this:

I’m pretty excited about this, so all shares, retweets etc welcome!

The text on the back reads:

“Funny, pacy and sexy” – Matthew Parris

You’ll never make a fuss at a hotel again. (more…)

7 Hotel Stories: 5 suggestions

‘Where can I find out more about your paperback “Seven Hotel Stories”, featuring the world’s most homicidal hotel manager, Ms N, and her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana?’ someone asked me the other day.

‘Try my blog,’ I said.

‘Sure,’ she said.  ‘But can you be more specific?’

I took a look and realised I had not written a post about my Seven Hotel Stories since May 2018.

Clicking on the image above will take you to Amazon

Apologies.  I have been a bit busy since May 2018.  I have found time to complete two all-new Hotel Stories, entitled Seven Ukrainian Girls and Total Control, but have not yet published them.  This is partly because (more…)

A complete Hotel Story: free!

I am grateful to everyone who reads this blog, my Berlin thriller Blood Summit or my novel-length collection of Seven Hotel Stories.

So I thought I would give away, to everyone who finds their way here, a complete, free Hotel Story: The Two Rooms.

Ms N, the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager and her beautiful but naive accomplice, Tatiana, have to deal with an avalanche of problems involving Mr Burke, an unspeakably obnoxious guest; a dodgy Prime Minister on a moral crusade; Ms Gentle, a provider of specialised services for men; a pack of cigar-smoking Russian ice-hockey fans; and a murderous Japanese sushi chef.  The story contains a startling twist.  Is it my favourite Hotel Story?  Perhaps it is.

To receive a free PDF copy of The Two Rooms, please click on the cover below:

If you’d prefer to download a “Word” copy, click here:

If you like The Two Rooms, you may like to read the complete Seven Hotel Stories.  But that’s another story.  Six, in fact.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via my 5 pleasure paths.

The toughest, sexiest woman in fiction?

What kind of woman is tough, yet keeps her femininity and beauty?

Meet Ms N, the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, and her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana.  Ms N is one of the most formidable women in fiction

Ms N is so modest that she does not want anyone to know her real name.  But no-one handles men more effectively and more conclusively than she does, in the Seven Hotel Stories in which she stars.

You can buy a paperback or e-book version of Seven Hotel Stories at Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk, and other reputable Amazon outlets.  You won’t regret it.

If you don’t want to pay for a story, contact me via the form below and I’ll send you a Word copy of one of the stories.  We try to please!

P.S. The Seven Hotel Stories are not intended for children.  “The White Blouse”, in particular, contains some very evil men indeed, who get what they deserve.

P.P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Robert Pimm Live in Salzburg 20 February

Stop press: I will be doing a reading from my Berlin thriller BLOOD SUMMIT at 1800 on 20 February 2019 at The English Centre in Salzburg.

For a taste of what my readings are like, see the video below by Sibylle Trost, a film producer in Berlin.

If you live in Vienna, you may wish to note that Blood Summit  is available from English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna:

(more…)

Blood Summit: top reading group questions

Blood Summit is ideal for reading groups and book clubs.  This intelligent thriller appeals to a wide range of audiences (see reviews on Amazon) and contains a host of controversy and material for discussion.  Here are some questions you can use for discussion.

One publisher rejected “Blood Summit” because they said Helen, a female action hero, was insufficiently feminine or “too much like a man”.  Do you agree?  Is Helen lacking in feminine qualities?  Would it matter if she did?

How would the plot develop differently if Helen was a man?  Which elements of the story, if any, would be less compelling or make less sense?

Helen is furious that her husband refuses to leave London and come with her to Berlin.  How would life with Nigel fit in with her lifestyle in Germany?  Are they sufficiently compatible to live together?   (more…)

“Prep”: is this how women think? 7/10

Many years ago I worked alongside a young woman who, long before in another city, had had a relationship with a man who now worked in the building we were in.  Whenever she spoke of him, her voice quavered and her eyes brimmed with tears.  She was sure he was in love with her, but was dismayed that he showed no interest.  She longed for him, but had not spoken to him for years.  At certain times of day, when he might be due to leave work, she would go to the window and gaze out, hoping to catch a glimpse of him in the distance.

The cover of my (borrowed) copy of Prep

I thought of that colleague when I read “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld, published in 2005.  The book follows a 14 year-old girl, Lee Fiora, who leaves her family home in Indiana to take up a scholarship at Ault, an elite boarding school on the US East Coast.  Through her four years at the school, she obsesses about her relationships and develops a crush on a boy.

What a crush. (more…)

Thank you!

‘How many people are you expecting at your reading?’

‘Well, it’s impossible to know.  Maybe five, maybe 20.’

‘But how many people will you will be happy with?’

‘Well, anything over three.’

We’re on our way to my reading from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit at the excellent English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna.  Not only is it a Friday night, but the World Cup has started: Portugal vs Spain, no less.  I am managing my expectations appropriately.

We gather in the bookshop.  It is a beautiful place, in the heart of Vienna’s old town.  Outside, a cobbled street.  Inside, books reach to the ceiling: a temple of imagination, stories and ideas.  If you have never visited Shakespeare & Co, go today or, at the latest, next weekend.  They are open until 9 p.m. six days a week.

People keep coming.  By the time I start the reading, at 1930, the shop is already crammed – I count 19 people.  More keep arriving, slipping in cunningly through a hitherto unsuspected back door.

A wonderful place for a book-reading – Shakespeare & Co

(more…)

This Friday 15 June! My live reading from “Blood Summit”

What does reclusive author Robert Pimm look like in the flesh?

You can find out on Friday 15 June at the wonderful Shakespeare & Co bookshop at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna.

I will be reading from my new Berlin thriller “Blood Summit” (“a rip-roaring romp of a thriller” – Sir Christopher Mallaby). Entry is free and copies of the book will be on sale.

Come along – and bring a friend!

For a preview, see the video below, from my March 16 reading at Cafe Korb, also in Vienna.

In fact, you can buy “Blood Summit” in Shakespeare & Co any time: (more…)

Seven Hotel Stories. Yes, seven

I have so far published seven hotel stories, available on Amazon in the novel-length Seven Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection.   

All the stories feature the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, Ms N; her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana; and Ms N’s unique methods of solving problems.

The first story, Britches, shows how Ms N and Tatiana first met; and how they sorted out the hotel owner from hell using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick’s Day Ball (they exist – I have been to one); the President of China; and something Tatiana found under a handsome Scotsman’s kilt.  You can read an excerpt from Britches here.

The second Hotel Story is The Two Rooms.  It features an obnoxious guest; a hypocritical Prime Minister on a moral crusade; some Russian ice-hockey fans; an angry Japanese sushi chef; and a startling twist.  Is it my favourite?  Perhaps it is.  You can read an excerpt from The Two Rooms on this site.

(more…)

Robert Pimm Live in Austria

Franz Schubert steps to one side.

The lights go down.

Robert Pimm looks up at the packed crowd.

‘My name is Robert Pimm,’ he says.  ‘First time I’ve said that.’

 

For those of you who were kind enough to attend my first reading from my new Berlin thriller Blood Summit at the Cafe Korb in Vienna last year, introduced by remarkable artistic director Franz Schubert (“this name is not a joke”), thank you.

The video of my reading from Blood Summit above was produced by the excellent Sibylle Trost in Berlin – thanks, Sibylle!

I was delighted to receive a good deal of positive feedback on 16 March, as well as news the next day that brilliant English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna had run out of copies of Blood Summit.

They have since renewed their supplies. (more…)

Robert Pimm: my first public reading – 16 March in Vienna

Have you ever wondered what Robert Pimm looks like in person?

Now you can find out.

I will be performing my first public reading at 19.30 on 16 March at the Cafe Korb, Brandstätte 9, in the First District of Vienna.  Details are at the Cafe Korb Facebook page.

The Cafe Korb is a fine cafe, as I have reviewed separately.  Its glories include an Art Lounge – click on the link for a 360-degree view.  The cultural programme is eclectic and sublime – upcoming events range from “Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?”, through the Korb’s famous Philosophical Evenings, to a performance by US jazz, blues and soul singer Margaret Carter.

It is in this splendid space that I shall be reading excerpts from my thriller Blood Summit – a world premiere.

The Art Lounge of Cafe Korb – worth a zoom, or a visit

The Art Lounge is not fantastically large and I am hoping it will be pretty packed.  Entry is free, and I will answer questions after the reading.  I look forward to seeing you there.

“Blood Summit” Chapter 6: a mysterious Russian

Here is the text of Chapter 6 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.  

“Terrorist Uli Wenger meets a mysterious Russian.”

Enjoy!  You can read the first six chapters of Blood Summit together here.

The Reichstag dome.  Bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”

 

BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 6

One day, Uli Wenger thought, he would be tagged.  If he lived that long.  The technology existed: the state would inject a chip into each citizen and track them by satellite.  If Uli were in charge, he would have people tagged tomorrow.  He would want to know where everyone was, so he could torment them as they had tormented him.

But for now, there were no tags.  That was good.  Otherwise, what he planned for tomorrow would be impossible.  The insects had saved him.  The insects hated change.  They liked their old-fashioned ID cards, which could be forged and bought and fixed.  (more…)

“Blood Summit” on sale here

The book fits right in, between Ian Fleming and John le Carré.  Good company.

“Blood Summit” at Shakespeare & Co in Vienna

Shakespeare & Co, the famous Vienna English language booksellers, stocks my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.  I am proud to see it there on the shelves.

If you live in Vienna, I suggest you nip right down to Shakespeare & Co and buy yourself a book from their well-stocked shelves.

Shakespeare & Co also stock my book Seven Hotel Stories.  

Shakespeare & Co is at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna (1st District).  It is worth a visit.  A sketch, including of the excellent Guy Perlaki who helps run the shop, is on the Vienna Würstelstand site.

If you are do not live in Vienna, you can buy Blood Summit as a paperback or e-book at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de (it is a big hit in Germany and Austria) and other reputable outlets.  I hope you enjoy it.  Hundreds (so far) of others have.  You can also read the first five chapters on this website.
P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

The Laughing Halibut

‘One of my favourite restaurants in London is the Laughing Halibut,’ I say as we eat our lunch in Vienna.  ‘When I first started eating there in 1979, it was run by this Italian guy, and one of his sons used to work there, a young bloke.  Now, the son is still there, he seems to run the place, but he has become a much older man.’

’40 years is a long time, I guess,’ my friend says.  ‘The Italian has aged.  But you have stayed the same.’

‘Correct!  It’s like that Joe Walsh song, Life’s been good to me so far.  Great lyrics.  It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame, he sings.  Everybody’s so different, I haven’t changed.  Best fish and chips in central London.’

A delicious portion of chips from the Laughing Halibut – RP

I often think of the Laughing Halibut, and would recommend it to anyone visiting or living in London.  In fact, I like it so much that it features in a key scene in a novel of mine, which is on ice at present but might see the light of day in a couple of years.  The scene also features a phlegmatic Italian waiter.

The scene (which I have lightly edited, for reasons too complex to explain here) is as follows.  Angus Fairfax, the protagonist of the book, is meeting his wife Rosie for lunch.

Excerpt from an unpublished novel

Rosie and I had instituted regular Monday lunches when she was promoted – again – twelve months before.  ‘You must be in the diary,’ she’d said.  ‘Otherwise, I’ll never see you.’

She’d been right.  These days, most of our conversations seemed to take place in the Laughing Halibut in Strutton Ground.

Strutton Ground was a curious street.  (more…)

Blood Summit: the US President in the killing chair

The US President, British Prime Minister, German Chancellor, Russian President and other G8 leaders are taken hostage by terrorists at a summit in Berlin.

Rescue is impossible.

One after another, hostages are executed at point-blank range, killings streamed live, bodies left on show for fifteen minutes to prove that they are dead.

Then the U.S. President is thrown into the killing chair – and shots ring out.

Who is to blame for this cataclysm?  Who can resolve the crisis – against a background of terrorist demands which seem impossible to meet, yet which have demonstrators massing outside the Reichstag to support the hostage-takers? (more…)

“Blood Summit” Chapter 5: Things get worse for Helen

Here is the text of Chapter 5 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.  

“In which Helen Gale gets into even more trouble.”

The Reichstag dome.  Warning: bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”

 

BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 5

Helen watched Sir Leonard Lennox grow angry.  It was a rare, but frightening sight.  Even when the ambassador was calm, his rugged features tended to darken in response to obstacles or unreason.  Now, the combination of brilliant white bandages and a choleric outburst made his face look black with rage.

‘They say what?

Basil Nutter grimaced, glanced around the conference table and said nothing.  Decades of experience in the back rooms of embassies from Abidjan to Yerevan had left the wizened but career-challenged diplomat equipped with two convictions.  The first was that the key to a contented life was to avoid drawing attention to yourself.  The second was that efforts by governments to influence the media were at best pointless and in most cases counter-productive.  Basil was arguably, therefore, ill-fitted to the job of embassy press officer.  He seemed physically to have shrunk as the Summit loomed.  This morning’s blast had left his brow, and his suit, more deeply creased than ever.

Helen had been thinking of the injured child in the street.  She saw Basil’s plight and intervened.

‘Ambassador,’ she said.  ‘You need a cigarette.  Possibly two.’

‘First sensible idea I’ve heard all day.’  A lighter and a packet of Benson and Hedges were in the ambassador’s big hands in an instant.  ‘And before you say anything, Jason, this is an emergency.  Since the windows have been blown out by a terrorist bomb, we’re technically outside anyway.’

Jason Short said nothing, but looked at the overwhelmingly intact windows and pursed his lips.

The ambassador lit a cigarette, blew a stream of smoke towards the ceiling, and turned to Basil. (more…)

2017: 10 best blogs

I have chosen my favourite ten posts, out of the 47 I published in 2017.  Which is your favourite?  Let me know.  And feel free to re-post this on Facebook or to “like” it – if you do.

A novelty this year was my Picture Quiz – not including this picture from Cuba. Spot the Che Guevara tattoo

It wasn’t easy choosing a shortlist.  I’ve left out many favourites, including my account of how, aged 8, I used to electrocute myself regularly with my girlfriend Barbara in Wonder Woman and Wartime Moral Confusion; or my recent review of The Last Jedi 3/10: the galaxy’s most shagged-out designers? (more…)

My thriller “Blood Summit” – Chapter 4

Here is Chapter 4 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.

The Reichstag dome.  Warning: bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”

How did Dieter Kremp, Deputy Head of the Summit Security Unit and a macho package of anger, “exquisite, toned musculature” and chauvinism, become the lover of Helen Gale – a Cambridge-educated top diplomat?  How did the US Secret Service almost stop the Summit happening?

Find out now.

BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 4

As he ran towards the Summit Security Unit command bunker, Dieter Kremp was reminded with a jolt how much he hated the logo for the Children’s Summit.  A Berlin bear on its back, for Christ’s sake, balancing a cute kid on each of its sharp-clawed paws.  The bear was grinning playfully – hungrily, more like – as it performed this unnatural act.

(more…)

“Blood Summit” now available! Read Chapter 3

Wonderful news and äußerst schön.  My Berlin thriller Blood Summit is now up on Amazon, both as an e-book and as a paperback – I’ve seen, and signed, a copy.  Both look terrific, thanks to Ken and Kate over at Creative Covers.

If you enjoy Blood Summit, feel free to leave a review an Amazon, repost my facebook posts, retweet my tweets, or do anything else to spread the word.  The greatest challenge faced by any author is bringing her or his book – however brilliant – to the attention of people who might enjoy it.

I’ll be doing my bit on this blog and elsewhere, but all help gratefully received.

I will also be happy to sign paperback copies – these first editions will obviously be priceless collector’s items in years to come.

Potsdamer Platz – Helen Gale lives in a flat here (photo RP)

Meanwhile I shall continue to publish excerpts from the novel.

Chapter 3 develops the conflict between Helen Gale and her boss, Jason Short, and introduces several new characters including:

Ram Kuresh: the only avowedly gay member of the Secret Intelligence Service Office in Berlin. (more…)

My thriller “Blood Summit”: Chapter 2

In the last couple of weeks  I have posted the prologue and first chapter of my new thriller, Blood Summit.

This week comes Chapter 2.  Get to know Uli Wenger, the mastermind behind the plot to seize the Reichstag.  What drives him?  Why does he detonate a bomb outside the British Embassy in Berlin?  You decide.

The full text of Chapter 2 is below.  Or you can read all the excerpts published on this blog together at my new Blood Summit page.

One other big piece of news.

The complete thriller Blood Summit is now available on Amazon.  On Friday 1 December I uploaded both the e-book version (suitable for Kindle) and, for the first time in my experience, a paperback version.  The e-book is already available at the link above.  The paperback seems to take longer to appear; I will let you know when it does.

I have worked long and hard on Blood Summit, both to write the novel (a big job) and to prepare it for publication.  It is a wonderful moment to be able to make it available to readers.  I hope you enjoy it.  Anything you can do to draw the book to the attention of potential readers will of course be welcome.

Blood Summit: the cover

Here is the text of Chapter 2.  Thoughts, comments and re-posts welcome!

CHAPTER 2

It was not accident but design which made Uli Wenger so hard to see. His disguise was brilliant. Only one person in the crowd could recognise him. She would never tell a soul.

More marchers were appearing. The merciless punctuality made planning easy. Uli was in control. In thirty-six hours, he would hold a knife to the throat of the world. A few hours after that, the world would embrace him as its saviour.  (more…)

My novel “Blood Summit”: Chapter 1

Last week I posted the prologue of my new novel, Blood Summit.

This week, you can read the first chapter.  It introduces protagonist Helen Gale, a brilliant, tough counter-terrorism expert responsible for protecting G8 Presidents and Prime Ministers at the Children’s Summit in Berlin.  The blurb:

Counter-terrorism expert Helen Gale has one job: to protect world leaders at a summit in the Berlin Reichstag.

But terrorists take hostage presidents, prime ministers, one hundred innocent children – and Helen’s journalist husband.

Then the executions start.

Helen’s life implodes. Yet she alone can see the truth. As special forces plan a deadly assault, she must enter the shattered hulk of the Reichstag to stop a bloodbath.

Blood Summit: the cover

Here is the text of the first chapter.  You can read the prologue and first chapter together at my new Blood Summit page.

CHAPTER 1

Helen Gale was briefing the ambassador on the Children’s Summit when the first rock hit the window.

‘The Prime Minister flies in at 1500 tomorrow,’ she said. ‘The trouble is, Air Force One is due at 1450. Obviously, the German Federal Chancellor won’t have time to greet the President of the United States at the airport.’

‘Who wants to meet a child in a sandpit?’ the ambassador said.

‘The President’s been called worse things.’

‘Not by the Chancellor. After a speech on US foreign policy. When someone’s left the microphone on.’

(more…)

My novel Blood Summit: prologue

What is in my new thriller Blood Summit?

Here is the prologue.

The complete novel, as both paperback and e-book, should be available soon on Amazon.

Watch this space.

Early draft of “Blood Summit” cover

Prologue

Two years earlier

There were children playing in the street outside her door.  Turkish, Uli Wenger guessed from their dark skin and bright clothes.  He walked around them.  The first insect Uli ever killed had been a child.  Today, he had more important business.

The surface of the door was rough with dirt and spray paint.  Sixteen buzzers studded the wall.  The target lived on the third floor.  Uli pressed the button by her name. (more…)

Blood Summit: the cover. Views sought

I am working with the outstanding designers at Creative Covers on images for my new novel Blood Summit.

They have sent across a few mock-ups.  I’d be interested in feedback.

Contenders are:

Option 1:  (more…)

A new Hotel Story: The Three Heads

In 2017 I published the seventh Hotel Story.

The Three Heads.  

Like all the Hotel StoriesThe Three Heads features the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, Ms N, and her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana.  Like its predecessor, The Swedish WomanThe Three Heads presents Ms N with a crime which she must solve, reinforcing her credentials as the Sherlock Holmes to whom Tatiana, the narrator, plays Doctor Watson.  I’d be delighted to hear your comments.

What are the rest of the Hotel Stories like?  Take a look at the book:

By way of a taster for The Three Heads, I hope you enjoy the following excerpt.

The Three Heads (excerpt)

‘Tatiana, my sugar plum.  You are looking beautiful today.’

‘Thank you.  But – ‘

‘I mean it, buttercup.  I never forget how lucky I am to have you.’

‘Pablo.  I am grateful.’  When I gaze into Pablo’s warm brown eyes and see his soft lips smiling at me, I find it hard to think straight.  ‘But we need to talk about your plans to promote the hotel.  Our Caravanserai Ultra Platinum is in trouble.’

‘Our hotel promotes itself, turtle-dove.  It is the coolest, most luxurious and most ecological destination on earth, and the only hotel located entirely within a hollow mountain.’  He gestures around the Sunset Bar, with its outrageously exclusive (more…)

Blood Summit – the blurb

More complex than Dan Brown.  More thrilling than Le Carré.  Closer to the truth than either.

Counter-terrorism expert Helen Gale has one job: to protect the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the US, Britain, China, France, Russia, Germany, Canada and Italy at the Children’s Summit in Berlin.

The Reichstag is the most fortified building on earth.  Yet terrorists take world leaders, tycoons, one hundred innocent children and Helen’s husband captive.  Then the executions start.

Helen is suspended from duty and sued for negligence.  Yet she alone sees the mastermind behind the siege.  As US special forces plan a deadly assault, Helen must enter the shattered hulk of the Reichstag to stop a bloodbath.

“The genuine article: clever and melancholy: a security-pass into a world-within-a-world” – Matthew Parris on Robert Pimm.

*

OK, everyone.  Help me.  Ahead of publication of my new novel, Blood Summit this autumn I am drafting the blurb for the back page.  What do you think of the above?  Would it make you want to read the book?  Comments welcome: do use the comments box or send me an e-mail.

I’m crowdsourcing comments and you, faithful readers, are my crowd.

And thanks for all your comments on titles.  Excellent comments from different people in different senses.  For now, I’m going with Blood Summit.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – the “click here” blue button).  You can check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Body Politic? Blood Summit? Or Show Me the Head of the President?

You’re shopping for a fast-paced, intelligent action thriller.

You spot three books, set in Berlin, which you think might meet the bill.

The Reichstag in Berlin: setting for my new novel

One of them is called Blood Summit.

One of them is called Body Politic.

The third is called Show me the head of the President.

On which do you click?

Please let me know in the “comments” section below.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Women in fiction: Atomic Blonde and Blood Summit

A review of the forthcoming thriller Atomic Blonde describes it as “the biggest action role for a woman on screen to date”.

Sounds good to me.

Atomic Blonde (2017) – trailer

A piece in the International New York Times by Jessica Manafi, which appeared in the Austrian Standard on 22 May, argues that Lorraine Broughton, the MI6 spy who is the heroine of the movie played by Charlize Theron, is getting closer to equality by (more…)

Tatiana speaks: how to enjoy the Hotel Stories

I recently asked Tatiana, narrator of the Hotel Stories, how she would describe them.  She answered as follows:

‘If I am honest, I am astonished that so many readers are interested in reading about Ms N, my small but perfectly formed boss, who is a normal female hotel manager like any other.  She herself asked me to point out that the publicity describing her as “occasionally homicidal” is libellous and that that she would never seek to harm any guest or colleague, or encourage anyone else to harm him, no matter what bad things he might be doing.

It is not her fault if these people sometimes suffer tragic accidents, such as Mr Buddy Rich in Gents in the Florida Everglades, or Mr Matt Miller in The Swedish Woman in a pool of blood in the lift.  With hindsight, Francois, the too-macho diving instructor in the soon-to-be-published Seven Ukrainian Girls should never have asked to be smeared with lubricant before he put on his diving outfit.  And at the time her boss suffered an unfortunate surfing accident in Hawaii in the not-yet-published Total Control, Ms N was in a double-landlocked country far away and thus cannot be held responsible.

I hope that is clear.

I also am noticing that some people are buying individual Hotel Stories separately!

I am sorry to say that this is not logical, or appropriate.

This is because if you are buying even two Hotel Stories, the cheapest and best way and if you are asking me most sensible way all round is to buy Seven Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection.  In this book you can read seven Hotel Stories.  I guarantee this is best value and also a wonderful book.  You can buy it on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

So: check out the Complete Collection.  Like I was saying: seven whole stories.  By the way, I am in all of them; and so is the remarkable Ms N.

Thank you for listening.’

Tatiana

‘P.S. If you would like to see more tasty, fresh, original writing by Mr Robert Pimm, follow his Facebook page or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see blue “click here” button).  You can explore the wealth of variety in the more than 200 posts on this site via Mr Pimm’s five pleasure paths.’

Like Science Fiction? Try Coronatime

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  Read Coronatime.

What if technological innovation was so all-transforming that it reversed the advance of civilisation?

It has happened before.

In recent centuries we’ve got used to the idea that technical innovations – the steam engine, electricity, air travel, antibiotics, contraception, the Internet – mean that “Things can only get better”.

Tell that to the collapsing dregs of the Roman Empire.  Or the Aztecs. (more…)

The Swedish Woman: ‘Please, Tatiana, show mercy!’

‘Please, Tatiana, show mercy!’

But Tatiana does not show mercy.  You can find out why in my 2016 Hotel Story, the sixth in the series.

If you have read any of the Hotel Stories, you will enjoy this one.  If you haven’t read any, The Swedish Woman is a great place to start.

How to enjoy The Swedish Woman;

  • You can read some of The Swedish Woman instantly via this free chunky excerpt;
  • You can scoop up all seven Hotel Stories, including The Swedish Woman, in one package in Hotel Stories: The Complete Collection;
  • If you can’t afford it or don’t like paying for stories, no problem: write a comment below and I’ll send you a free Word copy of the first short story in the series, “The Two Rooms“.  It would be great to hear from you.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Why you’ll like The Swedish Woman

Who is the enigmatic Swedish woman?

 

It’s time to find out.  The Swedish Woman, the third short story in the unique “Hotel Stories” series, reveals the answer.  It’s the most entertaining story yet.  It has several outstanding twists and novelties.

One of the novelties is that for the first time (more…)

The Swedish Woman – Hotel Story No.3

In an hotel elevator awash with blood, a man lies murdered.  But who is the killer?

What is the role of the enigmatic Swedish woman, whose identity is shrouded in mystery?

In The Swedish Woman Ms N, the most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager in the world, must solve the crime before the country’s untainted-by-corruption-of-any-kind Minister of Justice, who happens to be one of the suspects, can solve it in his unique and not necessarily helpful way.

The Swedish Woman has been rated by some readers as the funniest Hotel Story so far.

(more…)

Preview: a new Hotel Story: The Swedish Woman

In an elevator awash with blood, a man lies murdered.  But who is the killer?  And what is the role of the enigmatic Swedish woman, whose identity is shrouded in mystery?

Find out here, soon.

After a year in the crafting, I shall publish soon my third in the series of short Hotel Stories.  

Its title is The Swedish Woman.

Hailed by early readers as maybe the funniest of the Hotel Stories so far, The Swedish Woman features a galaxy of extraordinary characters – from the 100% untainted-by-corruption-of-any-kind Minister of Justice and the charming but elderly Irish gentleman in search of female company who may or may not have only six months to live; through the brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager Ms N and her beautiful but naive ally, Tatiana; to the mysterious Swedish woman herself.

Who is she, and what is she doing in the hotel?

By way of a taster, here is the first part of the story.  Enjoy, (more…)

The Hotel Stories – 7 reasons you should read them

I am standing in the lobby of a breathtaking luxury hotel.

My friends, all top hotel professionals, crowd round me.

‘We’ve heard about your Hotel Stories,’ says one.  ‘They sound fabulous – a little bit spicy, a little bit mysterious, loads of strong women.  Are they based on real life?’

‘Absolutely not,’ I say to the group of hotel managers and luxury travel experts.  ‘The stories spring fully-formed from my imagination.  But enough about me. Has anything weird or stimulating happened in any of your properties recently?’

‘Weird or stimulating barely suffices to describe what happened at my hotel in London last week,’ says the general manager of a legendary five-star property.  ‘Let me tell you about it…’

*

So what is in the Hotel Stories; and why should you read them?

All seven Hotel Stories star the world’s most brilliant hotel manager, Ms N (she is too modest to wish to be named here).  She has strict methods of dealing with badly-behaved hotel guests.  The stories are narrated by Ms N’s beautiful but naive colleague, Tatiana.

The first reason you should read the Hotel Stories is Britches, which records how Ms N and Tatiana first met.  They form a team, as Tatiana helps Ms N sorts out the hotel owner from hell using the President of China; a whisky-tasting; and something Tatiana finds under a handsome Scotsman’s kilt. (Links in bold italics are to other posts on this site.)

(more…)

2 sets of brilliant tips on “how to write”

I wrote a blog a while back called “how to write“.  It was one of my most popular blogs.

Here are two lists of tips from famous authors about “how to write”.

download

The first list, by George Orwell, is good for style:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

The excellent writer Owen Matthews brought to my attention a second list, by Henry Miller. It is good for (more…)

My fifth fabulous Hotel Story – “Ask for Scarlett” – now available!

I’m delighted to announce that the fifth in the series of “Hotel Stories”, Ask for Scarlett, is now available.  If you have a Kindle, or a Kindle app on your iPad, laptop or other digital device, you can download it instantly with six other stories in Hotel Stories: the Complete Collection.

I wrote about Ask for Scarlett in a previous post, including the fact that it lets us, for the first time, see parts of the story from the point of view of Ms N – the most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager in the world.  It may also, perhaps, introduce a couple of comparatively sympathetic male characters.

(more…)

Coming soon – a new Hotel Story! Watch this space

Wonderful news for the hundreds (yes, I have counted) of fans of the ‘wonderful, feminist and dark’ Hotel Stories.

A fifth story in the series, Ask for Scarlett, is coming soon.

 

Many readers have asked – please can we see what is going on inside Ms N’s head?

Others have said – surely there must be a few more sympathetic male customers in these five star hotels?

One or two have said – the hotels you’re depicting aren’t luxurious enough.  What about some real luxury? (Actually, I made that up.  No-one could possibly doubt the luxury of the establishments in Hotel Stories 1-4.)

So watch this space for news of Ask for Scarlett – out soon on Amazon for your delectation.

It will address all the queries and alleged deficiencies mentioned above.  Well, some of them.

Incidentally, analysis shows that my most popular post about the Hotel Stories is 5 Ways the “Hotel Stories” can improve your life, featuring beer, fish and chips, the picturesque hamlet of Stow cum Quy and “Don’t get mad, get even”.  Check it out.

It’s true.  The Hotel Stories can improve your life.

Coronatime: how Klimt, Beethoven and The Grateful Dead fit together

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  Try Coronatime.

I wrote a while ago about “7 ways to explain the meaning of life” (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

I said that the meaning of life would emerge around 80% of the way through my novel Coronatime; and that it involved “Come Celebrate with Us” and “The Kiss”.

IMG_3544

Wiener Secession, 2015 – Photo: Robert Pimm

I live in Vienna. Since I lived here in the ’80s the wonderful Secession building built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich has a new basement housing Gustav Klimt’s magnificent Beethoven frieze, (more…)

Writing tips: How I write

A look at how to write novels, a blog and short stories, all while holding down a full-time day job.  A target-driven approach may work for some people.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading my thriller Blood Summit and the famous Hotel Stories.

People sometimes ask me: ‘when do you write?  What are you working on now?’

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Here is a snapshot.

(more…)

Corona time: When waiting for a London bus is pure pleasure

How is the coronavirus changing the world?  In addressing how everything may be affected by coronavirus, Coronatime examines existential questions such as the relationship between time and money.

I wrote in my blog Red London buses and the meaning of life (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site) how we all have a limited number of years, months, weeks and days to live.

FullSizeRender

My blog Read this now – before you waste more of your precious life pointed out that most of us feel short of time; and are not sure how to spend what time we have.

So what would happen in a world where some people were able to live for hundreds of years.  What leisure activities would they seek?  Read on:

Edited excerpt from “Coronatime” Chapter 15

KY Sutanto had visited London many times. But this was his first venture to the district called “South of the River”. (more…)

Coronatime: Red London buses and the meaning of life

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  In addressing how the world may be affected by coronavirus, Coronatime examines existential questions such as: when is the next bus coming?

We all have a limited number of years, months, weeks and days to live.

FullSizeRender

So why should we spend that time waiting for a red London bus?

My recent blog Read this now – before you waste more of your precious life pointed out that most of us feel short of time; and are not sure how to spend what time we have.  I also noted that my novel Coronatime (hit link to read) explored 5 ways wealth and creativity can’t mix (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

The conclusions of Coronatime are good news for poor people.

So where do London buses come in? (more…)

Coronavirus: don’t waste your precious life

My novel “Coronatime” creates a post-coronavirus society where the relationship between time and money has crystallised into a way to trade life itself.  A post-pandemic world will tell us a lot about our existing world’s obsessions.

Have you ever wondered: “what shall I do today?”

Or even: “what shall I do now?”

It’s one of life’s mysteries that:

– we all have a limited number of years, months, weeks and days to live;

– we all want to make the most of that time;

– many of us feel short of time to do the things we want;

– and yet… when we do have some free time, we’re not sure what to do with it.

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It depends how you look at it.  Anish Kapoor in Istanbul.  Photo: Robert Pimm

Part of the problem is excess choice.  Twenty years ago, I had a job where I flew regularly between London and the Far East in business class.  I had a busy job, and I used to relish the thought of a 15-hour flight with no disturbances and a host of pleasures on-tap.  But when I settled down into my comfy seat on the plane, I sometimes found myself overwhelmed by a kind of existential panic.  Should I (more…)

Coronatime: Peter Pan and Steve Jobs

My post-pandemic comedy, thriller and love story “Coronatime” looks at how a world after Coronavirus will be shaped by our obsessions with beauty, wealth and staying alive.

What do Peter Pan and Steve Jobs have in common?

Answer: they both help explain why wealth and creativity cannot mix.

There is a reason for that stereotype of a starving artist in a garret.  Need, and monomania, sharpen the senses.  No wonder millionaire rock stars have trouble re-creating the catchy tunes which made them famous.  Why should they get out of bed in the morning?

My post 7 ways my sci-fi novel Coronatime explains the meaning of life (bold italics are to other posts on this site) contrasts how you might behave if you suddenly found you had only six weeks left to live with how you would act if you learned you were immortal.

In the first case, we’d all try to enjoy an intense six weeks.

Me aged 1 (in pram) with elder brother – both rich in Biotime

This brings us back to the quote by Steve Jobs which opens Coronatime: (more…)

Coronatime, Klimt and Beethoven

What can a post-coronavirus society tell us about love and the meaning of life?  My novel “Coronatime” is a thriller, comedy and love story set in a post-pandemic world.

I wrote a while ago about “7 ways my sci-fi novel Coronatime explains the meaning of life“.

I said that the meaning of life would emerge around 80% of the way through the book; and that it involved “Come Celebrate with Us” and “The Kiss”.

IMG_3544

Wiener Secession, 2015 – Photo: Robert Pimm

I live in Vienna, where the climax to Coronatime takes place, and was delighted to find that the wonderful Secession building built in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich had got a new basement.  That basement houses Gustav Klimt’s magnificent Beethoven frieze, based on the Ninth Symphony, which, to quote Wikipedia, “illustrates human desire for happiness in a suffering and tempestuous world”. (more…)

Coronatime: why wealth and creativity can’t mix

How will coronavirus change our world?  Maybe our post-pandemic future will be like the worst features of today’s world, but much, much worse.

You know that stereotype of the starving artist in a garret producing a masterpiece?

It appeals to starving artist types.  It also appeals to comfortable well-off types who think that maybe if they were skinnier and hungrier they’d be creative too.

All I need to be the next Toulouse-Lautrec/Stevie Smith/[fill in name] is a garret!

Like many stereotypes there’s a grain of truth in it.  But why?

You can find a philosophical and intellectually robust exposition of why wealth and creativity don’t mix in my novel Coronatime.

Coronatime looks at how coronavirus may change our world

You can read the first part of the novel on this site.  The whole novel is not yet available.  So for now, here’s a summary of 5 ways Coronatime shows wealth and creativity can’t mix:

(more…)

5 Ways the “Hotel Stories” can improve your life

I had the honour and pleasure recently to go for a walk with a bunch of creative types on a sunny spring day near Cambridge.  The landscape looked like this:

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As we strolled in the bright sunshine I mentioned my Seven Hotel Stories.

I said I was proud of the stories, and that they sold in good numbers.  Someone asked: why is that?

I said: “I guess it’s because the Hotel Stories can improve your life.  Here’s how: (more…)

Coronatime: 7 ways to explain the meaning of life

What if the cure for coronavirus is worse than the disease?  What if after COVID-19 we have COVID-21, COVID-35 and COVID-42?  How will coronavirus change society, and the world?  Read Coronatime.
A wise man was reading my novel Coronatime the other day.  He said “how can you get to the depths and layers of Coronatime earlier in the book to draw readers in?”
Depths and layers.  It’s true.
On the surface, Coronatime is a straightforward story about a detective who is framed for the murders of 10,290 mothers, babies, medical staff and visiting family members in a Santa Monica neonatal unit and has to prove his innocence.
The background is Coronatime itself – a life-exchange fluid of which one gram equals one year.  Great news, right?  No-one ever need be poor again – in theory.
If you’re short of cash you can sell some of your life expectancy to someone else.  Ditto, the rich need never die – provided they can keep producing enough wealth to buy Coronatime to live until eternity.
The world of Coronatime is hyper-capitalist.  But unlike pale imitations such as In Time (good premise, poorly executed) people don’t go on behaving as in today’s world.
In Coronatime, although things look familiar, everything has changed. That change is encapsulated in the opening quote by Steve Jobs: “Death is very likely the single best invention of life”. (more…)

Coronatime: how DNA Tabs are coming true

Writing about a post-coronavirus world, I’m finding that many of my worst predictions about the future are already coming true.  Why a chip to use a photocopier could become much worse.

I’ve written before about my fears that if I don’t publish my novels soon, they’ll come true.

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This is one of the reasons I want to publish Coronatime.

When I wrote Coronatime, I imagined that before long, every human would be chipped at birth; that such chips would be linked to your DNA (to prevent transplants); and that they would communicate with a central database (the Federal Unitary Control Computer) a thousand times a second to confirm your location and what you were up to.

Now I find that similar chips – minus the DNA, so far – are being used to allow staff in Sweden to use the photocopier: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31042477.  No more painful than an injection, reports the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones.

Better get ready, guys.  They started with cats and dogs.  Soon they’ll be coming for you.

P.S. you can sample more fresh, original writing on this site via my 5 pleasure paths.  If you enjoy it please follow me on Facebook.  Or you can join my mailing list.

Seven Hotel Stories – what’s in the Complete Collection?

The Seven Hotel Stories are available in a single, wonderful, novel-length volume, both as a paperback and as an e-book.

But what are the stories?  Here’s a quick summary.

The first hotel story, Britches, shows how Ms N and Tatiana first met; and sorted out the hotel owner from hell using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick’s Day Ball; the President of China; and something Tatiana found under a handsome Scotsman’s kilt.

The second Hotel Story is called The Two Rooms.  It involves an obnoxious guest; a Prime Minister on a moral crusade; a high-class call-girl; some Russian ice-hockey fans; an angry Japanese sushi chef; and a startling twist.  Is it my favourite?  Perhaps it is.

In the third story, The Swedish Woman, a man is found dead in a hotel elevator awash with blood.  But who has killed him?  The suspects are many, including the enigmatic Swedish woman, whose identity is a closely guarded secret.  If Ms N and Tatiana cannot find the murderer before the untainted-by-corruption-of-any-kind Minister of Justice can summon his portly Chief of Police, disaster looms.

(more…)

Coronatime: what motivates terrorists?

Why do terrorists carry out terrorism?  What are the goals of terrorists?  How can you stop terrorism?  How can you achieve the goals of terrorism without so many people getting hurt?  “Coronatime” explains.

It’s time to start unpacking the box.

Let’s have a look at an excerpt from my new novel, Coronatime.

What motivates terrorists?  In another of my novels, Blood Summit, I point to the importance of the Herostratus Syndrome, as explained in the excellent book by Antony Borowitz (long title: “Terrorism for Self-Glorification: The Herostratus Syndrome”).  In the foreword I quote Mark Twain: “One of the commonest forms of madness is the desire to be noticed”.  I also quote Mark Chapman, the murderer of John Lennon: “I was an acute nobody… I was ‘Mr Nobody’ until I killed the biggest Somebody on earth.”

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Part of Coronatime is set in Vienna – Photo Robert Pimm

In the dystopic world of Coronatime, terrorists are motivated by money and by the urge to show their lives have meaning.  Here, in an excerpt from the book, our heroes Jake and Sandy meets a member of terrorist group The One Life Army.

 

Coronatime: an excerpt.  The One Life Army

‘We are not terrorists, or freedom fighters. Actually, we see ourselves more as a pressure group which is not afraid to apply real pressure.’

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Seven Hotel Stories: 19 Reviews

Seven Hotel Stories is available on Amazon – as a paperback or an e-book.  All the stories are set in luxury five-star hotels and star the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, Ms N; and Tatiana, her beautiful but naive accomplice.

Rather than have me tell you about them, let’s see what reads have said about the Hotel Stories:

  • “You’ll never make a fuss at a hotel again”
  • “Tatiana is Watson to Ms N’s Sherlock Holmes”
  • “These stories are a delight.  Robert Pimm understands the female experience of keeping life on track whilst needing the keep the illusion of male superiority intact.  But his heroine can be ruthless, too.”
  • “Beautifully written and compulsively addictive.”
  • “A slick read, lots going on here, finely paced and loved the subtle unsheathing of a hidden cutting edge in 5-star hotel-keeping.”

  • “A cross between The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Fawlty Towers”
  • “Delightful, dark, twisted, ingenious humour”
  • “This is strong stuff. When the beam of Tatiana’s torch swings round in stifling darkness to reveal handcuffs and workmen’s tools,we know it’s time to right some truly awful wrongs”

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Hotel Stories No.4 – “Britches” – now available!

You can now find the fourth in the series of “Hotel Stories”, Britches, published on Amazon as part of Seven Hotel Stories.

Britches features a rather attractive Scot in a kilt, an analysis of which (at the link) shows that although Tatiana may not have a great education, her intellectual skills are second to none.  Let’s get straight into the action with an excerpt from the start of the story.

 

Britches (Excerpt)

A short story by Robert Pimm

03.00

‘The music is too loud.’

‘I beg your pardon, sir?’

‘You are kidding me, right?’ The customer in the dressing gown peers at my name badge. ‘Tatiana.’

‘No, sir, of course I am not kidding you. But I cannot hear you too good.’

The man is narrowing his eyes. I think he is deciding whether it is worth being angry with someone so unimportant as me. (more…)

Hotel Story Number 4: “Britches” – Coming Soon part 2

My last blog promised that the fourth Hotel Story, Britches, would be coming soon.

I’m editing it this afternoon.

It’s good to re-read a story and enjoy it.  Here are two excerpts from Britches:

– As our narrator heroine Tatiana is manhandled through a crowded party in the Dionysus Bar of the hotel by an over-excited guest, she assesses the situation:

I try to relax and to focus on my task, which is to turn the music down, or even off.  As I am being dragged I examine the people I am being dragged past in case they can help me.  Most of the men have more white hair than the women, but their noses are not so sharp and their lips are less stretched. They are dressed in black suits with black or white open-necked shirts and some of them have what look like small white moustaches. But when I look closer I see that they have dabs of white powder under their nose as if they have cut themselves shaving.

It is as if there has been a bad-shaving massacre in the Basement Luxury Venue.

– Later, Tatiana recruits help from some men in kilts to tackle a problem; and we see her famous analytical skills in action:

If I am honest, I am thinking that the man with the hairy, shapely legs has already tonight had one or more drinks. But in a moment he has pulled three other men in skirts from the crowd of people who are watching the Long-Legged Lovely Lassies. All of this new group of men also have hairy, shapely legs. In fact, I am wondering whether this is because men with hairy, shapely legs are enjoying wearing a skirt more than men with legs which are not so hairy or shapely; or whether it is because wearing a skirt makes a man’s legs more hairy and shapely.

A talented woman, is Tatiana.  Watch this space for more news about Britches.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, feel free to friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

The “Hotel Stories” – a treasure trove of women’s comedy fiction

Have you ever stayed in a five-star hotel, or gazed at the lobby and dreamed of spending the night in pampered luxury?  

Have you ever wondered, in establishments designed to make visitors feel coddled, cosseted and indulged, how far hotel staff will go to please their most demanding customers?

Or how they deal with guests whose demands are unreasonable, excessive or, perhaps, illegal?

The Seven Hotel Stories, set in luxury hotels, are blackly comic case studies of how the world’s most brilliant hotel manager, Ms N, and her beautiful but naive ally Tatiana sort out some of the nastiest customers – and colleagues – you can imagine.

One reviewer said the Hotel Stories were “like Roald Dahl short stories, crossed with W Somerset Maugham“.  Another said “Tatiana is Watson to Ms N’s Sherlock Holmes – except more deadly“.

The Hotel Stories are written with an insider’s knowledge of how hotels work and the extraordinary things which happen within.  

You won’t find Ms N’s methods taught in any hotel school.  But I have it on good authority that at at least one hotel school, they are required reading.

To get a taste of the Hotel Stories, you can read an excerpt from each one at the links below.  Click!

The first story, “Britches” shows how Ms N and Tatiana first met; and sorted out Mr Minas, the hotel owner from hell, using a Combined Burns Night and St Patrick’s Day Ball (I’ve been to one); the President of China; and a handsome Scotsman’s kilt.

The second story, with a startling twist, is called The Two Rooms, and features an obnoxious hotel guest who will not leave; (more…)

Borrow the “Hotel Stories” for free

Terrific news: if you enrol in a Kindle programme called “KDP Select” you can borrow all the Seven Hotel Stories for free as an e-book.  That’s right: you can borrow them and read them without paying anything at all.  Kindle then compensates the author with a small sum. You don’t get to keep the books permanently on your Kindle or iPad, but since each of the Hotel Stories only takes about half an hour to read, that shouldn’t be a problem.  I honestly don’t mind whether you buy or borrow them – so long as you enjoy them.  And if you do enjoy them, I’d love it if you write a review on Amazon – to help show other people they’re worth reading.

 

 

If you do want to buy or borrow any of the Hotel Stories, you can now find all of them together on my author page on Amazon.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, feel free to friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Hotel Stories: “Gents” (Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt from the fifth of the “Hotel Stories” series, “Gents”.  The Hotel Stories series takes a wry look at the sex, humour and power plays beneath the surface of modern hotel life.  The series has been described by one reviewer as “Wonderful, feminist and dark.  Not three words that often go together.”

If you like this excerpt, you can buy a complete collection of Seven Hotel Stories on Amazon either as a paperback or an e-book.  Enjoy.  

Gents (Excerpt)

A short story by Robert Pimm

The first person I see enter the lobby is loaded with shopping bags from a major international clothing brand.

I will not name the brand because I do not like to promote these kind of clothes. But it is a brand like a masculine man’s name. So I am guessing that the man carrying the bags is hoping that wearing these clothes will make him more of a man than he is perhaps feeling inside.

‘Mr Anderson. Welcome to our hotel.’ I smile my thousand-watt smile. ‘Good choice.’

‘Hey. Tatiana. You’re using the script’ The man slides his passport across the counter and peers at my name badge. ‘Are you Russian?’

I maintain my thousand-watt smile and pick up the telephone, which our brand standards say must be answered within three rings. A Mr Miller in Suite 1295 says he wishes to complain that his shower is not working. I promise that Housekeeping will come shortly. Across the lobby I see a group of men whose uniform of dark trousers and blue smart-but-casual shirts, and the noises they are making, remind me of a party of schoolchildren. They are heading for our signature EcoSystem Lounge Bar.

The man with the shopping bags is right that our hotel chain’s core script for reception staff includes the words Welcome to our hotel and Good choice. But the guidance notes which accompany the script also tell us that The customer is a human being and that we should use originality, humour, respect and the personal touch in our exchanges. So I add: ‘No, sir, I am Ukrainian. You know. We leave the West behind.’

This is actually not the first time I am using this joke. (more…)

Coming up soon… a new hotel story: Gents

I have terrific news for all you lovers of the ‘wonderful, feminist and dark’ hotel story series: the third episode will be out soon.  You’ve seen hotelier extraordinaire Ms N and her faithful colleague Tatiana solve intractable problems at a Michelin-starred luxury hotel in Eastern Europe in The Two Rooms; and at a shitbox (“I am sorry to use this kind of vocabulary, but in the hotel industry this is the correct professional term”) somewhere in the back of beyond in The White Blouse.  But what will happen when Tatiana and Ms N coincide at a convention in Florida where nearly all the other delegates are men? Will the pushiest, smuggest and most arrogant alpha male in Ms N’s hotel chain get the job she has set her heart on?  Or can Ms N and Tatiana cook something up?

Read Gents, coming soon to this space, and find out how Ms N, the world’s most brilliant hotelier, solves the hardest problems on earth in her own extraordinary yet subtle way – always with the help of Tatiana.

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P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, feel free to friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Hotel Stories: The White Blouse: Excerpt

Welcome to a site full of reading pleasure.
The following is an excerpt from “The White Blouse“, the second of my “Hotel Stories“.  The Hotel Stories series takes a wry look at the sex, humour and power plays beneath the surface of modern hotel life.  “The White Blouse” is not suitable for children.
 Where can you read the Hotel Stories?  Lots of ways:

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THE WHITE BLOUSE (Excerpt)

A short story by Robert Pimm

If I am honest, I do not like border crossings.

It is a lonely place in the passport queue, waiting to enter the country of C— .  But what to do?

In addition, I know I should not complain because I am here by choice.  It was my decision, to apply for a job in this country.  When I was successful I was so pleased that I went out shopping and bought myself a new white blouse, which is folded up in the big black suitcase at my side.  But now, waiting in a room which I do not think has been painted or even cleaned for many years, I am wondering if I have made the right decision either applying for this job or accepting it.

The country of C— is remote.  There are not even direct flights to C— from most countries.  Instead, I must fly to a neighbouring country, R—.  R— has a capital city whose airport is a hub for the region.  From there I must take a taxi fifty kilometres to the border of C—.  Once I am through passport control I will hire a taxi on the other side of the border and continue to my destination.

I have already been waiting thirty minutes.

But now I am at the front of the queue.

The passport officer is a tall man with a black moustache and a khaki-coloured shirt which is stretched out tight by a large belly.  He looks down at me in a way I do not like.

‘So,’ he says in English.  ‘You are coming to work in our country?

‘Yes,’ I reply.  My work permit is with my passport on the counter in front of him so I cannot think what else to say.

‘You want to work in a hotel.  As a head receptionist.’  He says this as if it is something dirty.  ‘Your customers will like that.  You are a very attractive woman.’

He smiles at me, but not in a good way.

‘Is that a problem?’ I say.

‘I think we must do a customs search.’  He looks at my black suitcase, then he looks for a longer time at me, and licks his lips.  ‘Come.’  He points to a door behind the counter.

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Hotel Stories: The Two Rooms: Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the second of the “Hotel Stories” series, The Two Rooms.  The Hotel Stories series takes a wry look at the sex, humour and power plays beneath the surface of modern hotel life.  The series has been described by one reviewer as “Wonderful, feminist and dark.  Not three words that often go together.”

If you like this excerpt, you can buy the whole story as a Kindle download on Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de or other Amazon sites.  Or check out Seven Hotel Stories – the complete collection.

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THE TWO ROOMS (Excerpt)

A short story by Robert Pimm

12.34

‘I’m not moving.  That’s final.’

Mr Burke is a tall, dark-haired man in a designer denim jacket with subtle stubble and a deep, melodious voice.  He’s achingly good-looking and he knows it.

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