Tag Archives: nova scotia

Running Madly In All Directions – E-Book Edition


This is me - squinting blindly and blithely, straight into the rising sun.

This is me – squinting blindly and blithely, straight into the rising sun.

Let me see if I can give you a final summing up here.

Over the month of October I have sold almost 300 books in total on Kindle alone – which is pretty huge for me. I haven’t EVER sold more than 200 e-books in one month before.

Specifically, that was 214 copies of TATTERDEMON and 36 copies of DEVIL TREE – as well as a smattering of other sales.

On Kobo I sold 49 copies of TATTERDEMON and 1 copy of DEVIL TREE. I am pretty certain that was primarily due to my taking part in the Kobo promotion. I’m not sure if ANY of my prom websites made ANY sort of difference to my Kobo sales.

I feel that the Kobo sales were worthwhile, over all.

On Nook and Apple I sold 4 copies of DEVIL TREE and 1 copy of TATTERDEMON.

I am really beginning to grow discouraged about my lack of action on Nook and Apple. I feel that part of that inaction might be because I reach both of those services through an aggregator, namely D2D but because I am Canadian and I do not own a Mac computer I am really hamstrung when it comes to publishing directly onto Apple or Nook.

There are ways to do it – but I am not particularly inclined to going about all that much trouble for what might be a limited reward. Nook has not been shining for a lot of e-book authors. I know some folks do really well there – but every day I hear nothing but bad news about Barnes & Noble and Nook in general.

I had been trying to decide whether or not to go all-in for KU or to continue playing it wide. Given that I am still happy with Kobo’s results I probably WON’T let go of Nook and Apple yet. Why should I? It doesn’t take any effort on my part. They are already formatted and entered. The only reason to leave Nook and Apple would be if I were ALSO leaving Kobo – so why bother?

All that remains for me to figure out is whether or not my promotion expenses were worth it or not. I am definitely going to have to take a long look at what worked and what didn’t.

I’m going to leave both books – TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE – on for 99 cents for the rest of the week and then bump them up to $3.99.

I sold 66 copies of TATTERDEMON yesterday, thanks to a ROBIN READS promo that is still in effect this morning. The promo spot on Robin Reads cost me $15.00 – which I made back and then some yesterday.

So – what’s going on for November?

Well – it is going to be an awfully busy month.

For starters – my e-book UNCLE BOB’S RED FLANNEL BIBLE CAMP – FROM EDEN TO THE ARK was free yesterday and is still free this morning.

Just click and grab it while you have got the chance!

Just click and grab it while you have got the chance!

I am in my last week of my Kindle Scout program and any nominations are gratefully appreciated.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

And I am in my third day of NaNoWriMo – which I still have to talk about – but not today! I am 3600 words into my new novel – THE NOVA SCOTIA BROTHERHOOD OF UNITED GHOSTS – and I need to bang out 1700 more words this morning.

NaNoWriMo 2015

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Please click this link and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program.

Please click this link and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program.


Is Nova Scotia in danger of extinction?

Okay…so we have had a LOT of snow fall on us this weekend here in Nova Scotia.

Just ask Rick Mercer.

I watched that clip and I thought to myself – “Yes, that’s me, a frozen woolly mammoth.”

Winter has hit hard, here in Nova Scotia.

February 2015 Winter

The whole concept of Nova Scotia becoming extinct beneath the numbing blanket of winter doesn’t seem all that hard to believe to me. Why not? I’ve had walking pneumonia for the last couple of weeks. Yesterday, after the snow stopped falling I went out to shovel the sidewalk.

It had to be done.

I started at one end of the sidewalk. It was slushy and I pushed it off of our wooden deck easily enough. However – fifteen minutes later – by the time I reached the end of the sidewalk the temperature had plummeted so much that the slush had frozen solid.

I went back inside and lay on the couch and slept for about an hour, I was that tired. I am beginning to see the wisdom of these Nova Scotia snowbirds who head south every winter and find themselves a condo in Florida.

But that’s not all.

What about those Nova Scotians who work out west in the oil fields. I know of MANY folk who leave their family home and fly to Alberta and work for several months at a time before flying back home for a couple of weeks off.

Not to mention the young folk who graduate university and fly to Toronto or Texas or Vancouver to buy a home and settle down.

Is Nova Scotia becoming extinct?

Only time will tell.

Perhaps it is the heavy duty antibiotics talking, but I started thinking about the extinction of Nova Scotia after I watched this 60 Minutes news special on the possible extinction of Italy – or at the very least many small Italian towns.

Watch it – it’s only thirteen minutes long – funny AND thoughtful.

(and thanks to the blog MARGIE IN ITALY for writing about this phenomenon in the first place!)

Watching that clip got me to thinking about this whole “Mamoni” phenomenon.

It really isn’t all that uncommon.

Think about all of the Nova Scotians who have moved back in with their family due to economic reasons. Or who have to move back home to take care of ailing parents. I know of many families in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland where two or three thirty to forty year old family members who have moved back in with their mothers and fathers for one reason or another.

Mamoni, eh?

It isn’t as uncommon as you might think it is.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If you enjoyed this blog entry why don’t you do one of the very best things that you can do for an indie writer and pick up one of my e-books?


Steve Vernon on Kindle!

Steve Vernon on Kobo!

Anatomy of a Book – Chapter 2: Publishing Options

Hey all of you Halifax and/or Nova Scotia writers.

Any of you writers here might want to check out my talk this coming Monday (January 12, 2015 from 7 to 9pm) at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

It is part of an ongoing series for writers entitled “ANATOMY OF A BOOK”.

Myself and Patrick Murphy (Managing Editor, Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press) will discuss the difference between independently publishing your work versus traditionally publishing it. This is going to be a lively discussion given Patrick’s long history with Nimbus and my long and ongoing history with Nimbus.

Admission is $10.00 for WFNS members and $20.00 for the non-members.

Hope to see some of you there.

You can find further information right HERE!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


I’ve recently released a collection of three novellas of Canadian horror entitled MIDNIGHT HAT TRICK.

The three novellas include SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME – which is available separately and is a novella of hockey and vampires.

The second novella in MIDNIGHT HAT TRICK is entitled HAMMURABI ROAD. It was originally released in trade paperback and hardcover from Gray Friars Press in a two novella collection entitled HARD ROADS. The book is out of print although you still might be able to find copies of it out there. I’ve even got a few sitting on my bookshelf.

The third novella is entitled NOT JUST ANY OLD GHOST STORY – and it has never been published before.

The collection is available in Kobo format – just hit the link on the illustration at the bottom of this page to download a copy – and it will soon be available in Kindle and other formats.



I have heard an awful lot of stories and I have even told a few of them myself and nearly every story I have ever heard or told was born from my dad. I guess this one is no different and why should it be? My dad has told me nearly every story that I have ever learned and twice as much as I’ll ever be able to forget.

And even now I remember it all.

He has told me about snow snakes and mud trout. He has told me how dreams were nothing more than stories waiting to be born. He has told me that the ocean was made out of tears cried by a woman who sits upon the bottom sobbing and shaking so hard that the waves toss and turn in their sharing of her sorrow. He has told me how my home province of Nova Scotia once served as Glooscap’s bed and Prince Edward Island was the pillow for his head.

“But Cape Breton was the old dark fooler’s canoe, you bet,” Dad would tell me. “Hunting or fishing, when Glooscap wanted to get himself anywhere handy to interesting he came right straight up to old Cape Breton Island.”

My dad has told me how the raven stole the sun from the heart of winter and traded his song to keep it. He has told me how icicles are nothing more than snow-angel-tears wept down for all of the snowflakes that never reached a child’s out stretched tongue. He even claims that the flounder got to be so ugly-faced a fish after losing an ill-planned swimming race with a fast-moving skate.

“That old flounder pulled a face in disgust and it just stayed stuck,” Dad told me. “Believe you me, nothing sticks harder than regret.”

And maybe that’s so. We all learn to carry so much damn regret. We drag it around behind ourselves and we wear it sewn into the inner lining of our shadow. I think that the heart of every ghost story ever told is awash with the soft faded autumnal color of pure unredeemable regret.

“Why do you tell me so many stories?” I once asked my Dad.

“A man is nothing more than the stories he knows,” Dad answered. “And here in Nova Scotia we grow our stories long, rambling and deep. Life isn’t all about cable television, cell phones and newspaper. There are the silences that whisper between the words, those secrets not shared that linger long after any story ever told. Believe you me, mister man, there is a tale to be told for every wave that washes the shores of Nova Scotia.”

This story is one of them, I guess.


“Get in,” the trucker said, so in I got.

I had been standing here on the side of the road just short of the east most end of the city limits of Toronto, my thumb hooked hopefully into the contrary-minded west wind, just wishing for a ride when that big old semi rig pulled up.

When it hissed to a halt I was halfway lost in a day dream, wander-bound and telling myself a slow quiet sort of nothing-thoughted story, staring off down the highway and thinking on how absolutely miraculous it was that this single patch of road could tie one end of our country to the other and by nature must touch nearly every other road in North America. It is like my dad always said – bloodstreams and building blocks – a body sometimes wonders just how much of the world is made out of nothing more than itself made big.

I clambered into the truck before the driver could think to change his mind.

“Strap yourself on in,” the trucker told me.

The trucker was built big, even sitting down. All shoulders and arms looking like he had strength enough to tear that steering wheel off the dashboard and tie it into a forget-me-knot about my gawking neck. He looked like he had been poured out of concrete into the seat of that semi-truck and let harden for a while. He reached over and shook my hand clear down to my toe bones. I counted my fingers when he let me have them back again.

They seemed mostly intact.

“Been out there long?” he asked.

“Long enough,” I said.

Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t nearly as terrified of him as I was scared of what might be waiting for me back home in Deeper Harbour. Going back home will do that to a fellow if he has any sense of history or style. Memories will scare you if you think on them hard enough.

“So where are you headed?” the trucker asked me while I was busy strapping myself into the shotgun seat.

“Nova Scotia,” I answered, keeping it simple. Deeper Harbour would have been far more information than he needed to hear. When you are hitching a ride it is best to keep your answers comfortably vague. Facts will only get in your way. The road isn’t a place for conviction or scrupulous detail.

“I’m going that way too,” he allowed. “Halifax.”

“Good,” I said. “That suits me fine.”

I figured I could easily hitch the rest of the way up the Cabot Trail to Deeper Harbour, once I got myself handy to Halifax.

“You got a name?” he asked.



yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Attention, Attention.

…loudly clearing throat…

I am very pleased and proud to announce the release of my very first YA novel FIGHTING WORDS.

The e-book was released today as part of the KOBO WRITING LIFE beta test program.

Have a look at the cover!

So what is it about?


Max was just a thirteen year old nobody – until the fight.

He didn’t plan the fight. He didn’t even want the fight to happen – but after he stood up to Rodney freaking Hammerhead to protect his sort-of-best-friend Tommy – Max decided that fighting could be a good thing.

People looked up to fighters.

Girls liked fighters.

Now Tommy and Max have decided to create their own personal fight club.

It seemed like a good idea – but what can I tell you?

Sometimes stupid just gets in your eyes.

Please download a copy today.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

No cake walk…

I remember physical education. Everyday they would drag us into the gym where we’d play dodgeball, badminton, basketball, murderball, floor hockey, and other assorted indoor sports. There was also time for dance and judo and other oddball activities. They took outside for football, cross country skiing, track and field, rugby, soccer and other assorted sports.

In addition there were afterschool programs. A soccer team. A basketball team. A cross country running team.

Nowadays phys-ed in most schools is limited to a two or three a day a week activity.

And what is our government doing about it?

Well, they’re outlawing cake for one thing.


And they are going to fund a two million dollar program to “encourage” fitness in kids


Why is it so hard to figure out that kids aren’t going to be “encouraged” by a nifty brochure, a speech from a consultant, or a tacky commercial on television?

The answer to the burning issue of how to get kids active for at least an hour a day is to put a few more physical education teachers in the schools.

Do you want to get kids moving? Well – GET kids moving. Make it a class, make it part of the curriculum – like it used to be – and make them sweat a little.

In the interest of keeping it real I will freely admit that I sucked at sports. I hated phys ed. I often signed up to work volunteer in the school library to get out of phys- ed class – (so, in a really twisted kind of manner, phys-ed helped foster my love of reading) – but when I was there I ran and bounced the balls and sweat and was physically active.

A lot of kids were.


I feel the same away about encouraging literacy among kids. We need more librarians and more dedicated library time.

For some reason the school systems in Canada – and in a lot of other countries – is becoming more and more of a compromise. I feel as if the school system these days is being designed by Red Greene, with a truckload of duct tape and an absolute lack of pure common sense.

I know a lot of people will tell me that it’s the budget and the economy and that there just isn’t enough money for that sort of basic approach to remedying this problem.

I’d really like to know what happened along the way. I remember when I was a kid. I remember five days a week at school, with a library that was always open and a full-time dedicated librarian and a gymnasium and an auditorium and a well-rounded approach to education.

I don’t remember buckets of money. I’m not quite sure how we managed to afford all of this decadent splendor – like gym teachers and music teachers and librarians. Perhaps the school board was running a counterfeiting ring in the janitor’s backroom. Possibly we were laundering money for organized crime. Maybe the principal was a millionaire in disguise.

I’m not sure if the folks in charge are running things the way they ought to. Perhaps it is time for a revolution.

Hell, even Marie Antoinette was gonna offer up cake…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon