To all - Live long and prosper.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF
BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
I wake on Wednesday morning with a headache, which has a tendency to put me in a bad mood. Not that surprising as I've suffered from migraines for the best part of forty years. They are painful but recede as quickly as they arrive, so I fully intend to ignore the banging in my head and get ready for my family breakfast meeting.
It takes me longer to get dressed this morning because of the pain, but after a cool glass of water from the fridge, and a short sit down in Jonathon's chair I feel prepared for the day ahead, and grateful that the migraine seems to have ebbed somewhat. It's early but the birds are chirping and it is another beautiful day. I debate momentarily whether or not to use public transport, but I'd much rather drive myself to Polly's house – there are too many changes and at this time rush hour will already be in fully flow.
My keys are lying, neglected, on the dresser on top of the chest of drawers in the hallway, keeping my family photographs company. As I pick them up, listening to their jangle, my fingers glide against the hand delivered note from the previous afternoon. I'd forgotten about the unopened letter, and make to open it before halting. I have an errand to run, and the last letter I opened had turned my world upside-down. I have begun to feel sorry for my husband's mistress! No, I will wait and open the letter after I have spoken to Polly.
I pick up my bag that I'd packed the night before with all the documents and snippets of information I'd collected over the last few days. I have no doubt that Polly will want to cast a highly critical eye on everything I've found and then make a judgement. My heart is in my mouth and I can't remember ever feeling this anxious before. Not even on my wedding day, nor when I found out about the other woman in Jonathon's life. I know seeing Polly and getting a second opinion on the scattered and erratic thoughts in my head is sensible, but I can't help feeling that I'm missing something.
Locking the front door my mind flickers to Peter, whom I won't have seen for several days now. I know it isn't my place to contact the postman, especially as we only know each other professionally, but it is disconcerting to think he's gone and I could have helped.
I turn the corner and open the garage. My 2001 silver Jaguar sleeps in the darkness of the garage until I turn on the lights. It is a beautiful car and drives like a cloud – a thunder cloud no less, but seamlessly. Every other year I get the latest model, a tradition started by Jonathon and his love of cars. He had his heart set on owning a piece of British automotive history and I think he could have single-handedly kept the company going for decades had I allowed it.
The car feels expectant, as if it was waiting for me and knew I would come. I try not to think of the 1974 version my husband's mistress had. A car that could become mine... That stops me in my tracks. Who knows what went on in the back of that vehicle? Do I really want to be a part of my husband's hidden relationship.
The art of former President George W. Bush. The first is a portrait of his father and the second is a self-portrait. These two are part of a series of paintings of world leaders.
To the readers,
It's been a year since I started posting on this website on a regular basis. There have been some fits and starts and changes to this ongoing experiment in publishing. I've posted music, stories, art, pop culture and news, sports and more. The main offering of the site is the journal of Ella Thomas - the main character of my first novel, published in October, Ella.
What I wish to know - what offering on the site do visitors enjoy? What keeps you coming back and what do you wish to see more of? I'll give you a chance with a few short poll questions. Without delay, here are the polls.
I'm trying to figure out the best mix of content on the website. Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section if you don't see what you like in the poll.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy your day!
From Las Vegas,
Stephen John Moran
To the readers of my blog,
When I started Moran Publishing, I geared most of my efforts towards online and selling e-books through Amazon, partly on the myriad of stories from other authors telling me that's how books are getting sold nowadays in America. I published my first book, ELLA, last fall through Amazon - e-book first - to very limited success. However, when I released the paperback version of the book a month later - the response and demand was overwhelming. I physically couldn't keep the book in stock so many wanted signed copies.
This leaves me with a dilemma I haven't fixed as of yet. Seeing as my original business plan was to sell e-books online and that simply isn't how things are working for me - the question is - what now?
Readers have told me again and again - they desire paperbacks - and quality ones at that. The paperback version of ELLA is no trade paperback - it's printed on thick, cream paper for ease and enjoyment of the reading, with suitably large font. To repeat what I said above - the response to this type of product has been overwhelming. People again and again say - I want books like THAT!!
No, the readers aren't just talking about more Ella stories or more of my own fiction. Readers keep telling me to produce more high quality paperbacks. Books with quality paper, beautiful art covers, and well-produced final product.
The question I have for all the writers/readers out there - Where do I sell these products? With so few bookstores out there, how does one sell paperbacks? What's more - where does a publisher sell high quality 'art house' paperbacks? (For lack of a better term)
Tell me your ideas in the comments section.
My idea is to rent a physical space and sell art-house quality paperbacks and hardcovers from a consortium of writers - call this group of writers the collective.
What do you think?
Stephen John Moran
Stephen Moran lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, baby Kiana, and two dogs.