Mark Ellot Month

I’ve been trying to learn Danish and CStM has been learning Welsh. The common ground we have is the frequent exclamations of ‘What the hell is wrong with this insane language?’

Welsh, of course, is a sensible and logical language . Danish makes no sense at all.

When I was growing up, 3:30 was ‘half past three’. Easy. There was a momentary hiccup when I came to Scotland where they don’t have time to say it all so they just call it ‘half three’. I soon got the hang of this because leaving out the extra word saves whisky drinking time.

In Danish, 3:30  is ‘half four’. Not half past. Halfway to. This has caused a little confusion.

Worse, when you want to say 3:25 you’d say either ‘three twenty-five’ or ‘twenty-five past three’, right? Not the bloody Vikings. They say ‘five minutes to half four’. No wonder they all buggered off in ships all over the world. They weren’t raiding, they were looking for a sensible language.

If I am asked the time in Denmark I’ll just show them my watch.

The number system… Oh I’ll leave that for another time. My head hurts.

It’s Mark Ellot’s turn for publication again this month. His collection of short stories, ‘Blackjack’, is now in format for print and awaiting cover images and final checking. Two weeks tops before this one is finished – and it’s mostly thanks to Roobeedoo giving it a first pass while I was working on Margo Jackson’s ‘The Mark’.

It’ll be a touch over 200 pages so around the £5 mark for print again. Cheaper for the eBook, naturally. I was going to say ‘about half that price’ but the Danish stuff in my head says ‘No, they’ll think you’re planning to charge a tenner!’ It’ll be around £2.50-ish.

The cover image will be constructed by me, and this one should be a good one. I have proper photographic background sheets now, and all the bits needed to put the cover together. I’m gradually becoming a cover art star – I’m on the first Underdog Anthology and on Margo’s cover too. One day my face will appear, probably on a Halloween one.

Meanwhile, Mark Ellot’s  ‘Ransom‘ has had a makeover. New front cover and interior typos fixed. Amazon have, at last, updated their sales copy so if you have one with the old cover it’s now officially a rare book. If you have a signed one with the old cover, then when he gets famous you’ll be rich. If he keeps this up he will be, so encourage him!

Here’s the new cover, much the same as the old cover but with the mundanity extracted and a bit of drama added :

Monochrome apart from the computer screen. I like it, at least I like it a lot more than the old straight office shot. The cover for ‘Blackjack’ will be in full colour, not least because I’m using my fancy inlaid table for this one. I have to do a lot of work to shine up this table but I think the worn look will be best for the cover. It’s meant to be a well used card table.

I’ll have more books in Dutch coming up and more in English, maybe even one in Danish if I ever get the hang of the language that Satan still chuckles about inventing.

Don’t forget the Halloween Anthology. Number ‘Tree’ 😉

I’m scouting for stories for that one now. Treeskull is definitely a go and I want to be ready ahead of time so I’m looking to close submissions on October 1st at the latest. Send them in around August/September to be in it. Halloween based, no need to force in trees or skulls. I’ll take care of that.

Number Four could be a Christmas one, if I get enough in. There are some already, from the failed one last Christmas. I could probably fill it myself with re-used stories but I don’t want to be the main event in these anthologies. The whole point of Leg Iron Books is to publish new authors, make them famous, and hope they remember me when they are lounging in their infinity pools in Barbados.

I don’t want to be famous but I’d quite like to be rich. Please help this man become a capitalist.



9 thoughts on “Mark Ellot Month

  1. I love the sound of Welsh. One of my fondest memories of my travels through England, Scotland, and Wales ten years ago is when I woke up one morning to the sound of John Gray’s 92 year old mum talking away in Welsh downstairs on the phone. My grandparents all had very thick Irish brogues, so maybe Welsh revived warm memories of that “sort of” sound… I dunno. All I know is that it sounded beautiful.


    Liked by 1 person

    • A memory that will never leave me comes from when I was still small. I was playing with my brother and my grandmother said something in Welsh. My mother replied ‘Not in front of the children!’

      To this day, neither of us have any idea what she said.


  2. You should try telling the time in Thai. They split the day up into four six hour sections, so half past nine in the evening is ‘saam tom kreung’ (half past three evening), half past three in the afternoon is ‘bai saam kreung’ (half past three afternoon), half past nine in the morning is ‘saam mong kreung’ (half past three mid morning), and half past three in the morning is ‘ti saam kreung’ (half past three early morning). Got that? Easy, eh?

    Fortunately the Greeks are pretty sensible about these things, and keep it simple, so half past nine is ‘nine half’, twenty past nine is ‘nine and twenty’, and twenty to nine is ‘nine less twenty’. So at least when someone asks me the time here, I can answer.


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