Long leggety beasties by Alienora Taylor                                 November, 2012
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Ali Taylor has published her first novel on Kindle .. with a little help from Steve. Just how little ... or how much, is revealed in their blogs. 'Long leggety beasties' by Alienora Taylor From Steve's blog: I have spent most of the last seven days metaphorically tied to my PC, as I worked on preparing my wife's novel for publishing on Kindle. Last night I finally got it finished, pressed the button, and whoops! - nothing happened for the next twelve hours. This morning I got up and checked: yes, it's there on Amazon's Kindle store in all its glory: 'Long leggety beasties' by Alienora Taylor. Now we are waiting anxiously to see if anyone will buy it. The process has been a long and complicated one. Before the masterclass last weekend, that I wrote about in my previous blog, I had already edited SWMB's novel, thinking that that would be enough. It wasn't: I had to remove, manually, piece by piece, all the formatting that the typists (i.e. us) had unconsciously incorporated in the text as we rattled away merrily on our keyboards. All typists do this - every time you touch the space bar or the Enter key, for example, you are formatting. Anyway, it all has to go, because if you leave it in there the ereader program creates unwanted gaps in the text, and the future customers, when they try to adjust the size of the text on their devices, get irritating anomalies that can mar their reading pleasure. I had to create a Table of Contents, involving Bookmarks and Hyperlinks (don't ask unless you've got half an hour to spare) to enable readers to find their way around the book. I had to consider what to use as a cover. (I opted for simple: I took a photo of Tintagel while we were down in Cornwall, and we've used that.) 
I had to create an account with Kindle - not as easy as it sounds - for which I had to visit our bank to get some information to enable SWMB to receive payments from abroad. When that was all sorted, and SWMB had written a blurb and done various other fiddly bits, it was uploaded  - and there it is. Do have a look, and if you have a Kindle, smart phone or other ereading device, buy it, and make SWMB famous - and rich! And enjoy her Rabelaisian humour.
Ali's blurb on Amazon Kindle: We all are experts on education, aren't we?! Well, we all went to school, didn't we? And our strong opinions are banked, from age four onwards, to flame into oft bigoted fire as we get older... But some of us get closer to the tangled intestinal tract that is the educational system than others. I was such an one: for thirty years, man and boy, I toiled down the Chalk Face, bringing up deposits, mainly mineral but occasionally gold - and, in this, at times gusset- splittingly funny ( though I say it myself) fictional account of the joys and foibles of the teaching profession, I give you my bizarre version of the truth: an exaggerated, nay surreal, version, granted, but anyone who has ever set foot in a classroom in order to perpetrate an act of teaching, will recognise much of what I say I deal, in this novel, with types, even archetypes, rather than actual people I have known. You will, I am quite sure, have met your full quota of dinner ladies, eccentric members of staff, naughty children and so forth. Here they all are, spread out in a moving - in both senses! - Advent calendar for you, in these pre-Christmas days : open a metaphorical door each day, and see what lies behind! Go on. I dare you!!! SV's review on Amazon Kindle: By scv Amazon Verified Purchase "...resembled nothing so much as a brace of hamsters in a particularly vicious blender." This simple phrase sets the tone for pages of untold delight in the creative misuse of imagery. To say the contortions of Miss Taylor's mind resemble those of a pretzel would be, I feel, both a gross understatement and a deep injustice. She is utterly twisted. A sense of the ridiculous pervades this book, with deep appreciation of the lunacy of her fellow man, woman and child... keenly observed and relayed with loving laughter. It does not lampoon lunacy, it celebrates it. The school appears poised between St Trinian’s and Bedlam, the staff as Miss Taylor says, the archetypes of teachers we have all known. Nor does Miss Taylor hide behind the role of heroine. Though not strictly an autobiography, there are clearly Moments. Those familiar with her blog may well recognise the location of an odd bush or two. Half hidden between the comedic cameos nestle moments of deep sadness, a fragility as a young teacher comes to terms with a world that is neither funny nor pretty. There are the tragedies of forgotten and abused children, the ludicrous system within which a teacher must work, the politics of personality in the staff room.... Yet through it all is a deep sense of satisfaction and joy as the author condenses a career into a highly readable and hugely funny tale. Worth every penny and the box of tissues.