Ama Blog Novels

Making stuff up and writing it down

Self-promotion is not my thing

Since publishing my first novel, Ama, I have messed around with different ways to promote it, but self-promotion, it seems, is not my forte. Traditional advertising was a non-starter as it was too expensive (I blew my budget having my novel professionally edited and turned into an audiobook), I found Facebook and Twitter infuriating to say the least, and approaching reviewers with requests to ‘please read my book’ is not something I’m willing to do.

letting the grapevine do its thing

I know getting reviews is a major part of the game, but I’d rather people feel compelled to write a review because my stories provoke a natural response (good or bad), not because I’ve asked them to do so. So I’ve resigned myself to letting the old-school grapevine do its thing, while I do what I enjoy; making stuff up and writing it down. My ship may come in one day, until then I’m happy to sit on the beach.

Some cool feedback

I think Ama is doing well, for a first novel by an unknown writer. It’s getting some fantastic praise-filled reviews, and judging by the feedback via email it has seen the light of day in many far off places around the world. I’m still waiting for that email requesting the film rights though, but I’m sure it will come soon (Click here if you’re a filmmaker looking for a damn good horror story to turn into a movie).

Ama won a competition

Ama also won first place in a competition for the best opening of a self-published novel, which gave me a smile for days and an excuse (not that I need an excuse) to drink copious amounts of wine in celebration.

So what’s next?

I’m working on my next novel and the screenplay for Ama, I’m also making notes for four other novels and a couple of screenplays I’ve got rattling around within my chaotic brain … While also running this website and trying to hold down a full-time job … And … Some other stuff too, you know, that thing called life.

Daniel MacKillican on Dartmoor
Twas a cold and windy day on Dartmoor.

But it’s all good fun! Least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Ama Blog Novels Poetry

My wandering book

A wonderful roadside book exchange.

Cargreen book exchange
A wonderful little book exchange in Cargreen, Cornwall.

I love book exchanges. From purpose build wooden dens of knowledge and wonder, to old telephone boxes given a new life and purpose. While exploring a beautiful little harbour-side village called Cargreen in Cornwall, I stumbled across one such book exchange.

I thought it would be a cool idea to add a copy of my novel to its shelves with a note asking the finder to let me know about my book’s wanderings. If it got passed on and the various readers played along, letting me know each time it found a new home, how far would it travel?

Still waiting…

My wandering book by Daniel MacKillican
A copy of Ama with a poem inside.

So I waited, and waited, until about two weeks had passed when I decided to return to that old telephone box… Cool! My book had been taken. So I waited, and waited some more… This was over a year ago, and I’m still waiting to hear if my book has gone any further than Cargreen. Along with the note, I also signed the book. I think the finder is hoping I will become famous so they can sell it on eBay. Oh well… I hope they enjoyed the read and one day, maybe, decide to let me know before passing it on.

The poem asked:


Hello, dear reader. I hope you enjoy the horror within. Once done reading, please don’t put me on a shelf or throw me in a bin.

Let the author know where I am in the world, then send me on my way. As he is curious to follow my journey and see how far I get each day.

Say hi through his website and let him know where you’re from, it’s easy to do at

My journey started from a lovely book exchange in Cargreen, an old red telephone box that is a wonder to be seen.

Give me to a family member, a friend, or leave me in a charity shop, anywhere and to anyone you like, so my travels don’t stop.

Many thanks, if you do play along with the author’s little game. He’s hopeful this isn’t it for me, as that would be such a shame.

Please place this note back inside the front cover, so it’s easy for my next owner to discover.

By Daniel MacKillican