Welcome to my written words

On this site are all my books that are in print — novels, anthologies, memoirs. Magpies Nest Publishing (free postage UK) has published ALL my books in the UK. Dare Empire previously published all my novels but now Storm Moon Press is taking over The Dark Mirror and Turquoise Morning Press is now publishing my other four novels. Each publisher sells from site and through major on-line bookstores.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Dark Mirror... review by author/reviewer Sheila Deeth

The Dark Mirror

Gladys Hobson’s novel, The Dark Mirror, reminded me of the much-beloved Starbridge series by Susan Howatch. Paul Stringer’s parish is in the North of England, in Cumbria, rather than Starbridge’s fictional western counties. But his problems are just as real, and just as deeply rooted in that dichotomy where love meets law. The author portrays church, people and countryside very convincingly, with dialog that rings in the ears, accents as readable as they are audible, quiet village pub and sprawling church-yard filled with the scents and sounds of England. She also tackles the hard problems of the Church of England: homosexuality, the role of the Spirit, tradition vs modernity, age vs youth.

A long-time opponent of homosexuality, Paul finds his celibacy challenged when he finally falls in love. Led by circumstances or God to a new church, he’s ideally fitted to bring the divided congregation together. Social religion and true faith are nicely contrasted as Paul begins to make changes. But his path isn’t smooth. “It wasn’t even a proper bloody sermon!” grumbles traditionalist Kevin Raymond, while eager Rita gushes, “I felt the power of the Spirit present among us.”

Paul weaves a careful path, delighting in help, trying to guide without wounding, moving slowly towards that wonderful moment of “dancing in the aisles.” Meanwhile he suffers all the problems of a handsome single priest, all alone in that big vicarage, without the temptations. People talk—they just haven’t worked out yet what they might be talking about. Meanwhile there’s Nick, and love.

The relationship between Paul and Nick is nicely portrayed, with love that’s not just physical, faith that’s not just judgment and law, and hope that persists in believing in the power of prayer. A beautiful novel for anyone willing to wonder how the Church of England might cope, how love and law might be united, or just how an English village might react, years after the event, to a woman’s claim that her child was miraculously conceived, G.B. Hobson’s Dark Mirror holds a wise mirror up to prejudice and legalism, shedding light on some dark corners of the human condition.

Sheila Deeth... author of Black Widow and other works

Visit Sheila Deeth's blog
The Dark Mirror is now to be published by Storm Moon Press and will be available in March 2013.

And now a Review by Andrew O'Hara Author and editor (the Jimston Journal)

The Dark Mirror by G B Hobson

Gladys Hobson boldly explores the life of handsome Anglican priest Paul Stringer as he takes on an impoverished parish and pursues a loving affair—with a neighboring male priest. The author follows him as he struggles painfully with a commitment to his church and his desperate need for acceptance and companionship.

Although the two priests determine to keep their personal affair confidential, they learn that suspicions are quick to arise in this small community. Confused by the rebuffs of the parish’s most eligible bachelor, local women begin to grow increasingly suspicious of his often repeated vow of bachelorhood. Worse, the enmity of the church warden, the jealousy of a woman spurned and the sexual escapades of two teenage lovers in the chapel are twisted into a scandal that threatens to expose not only the relationship of the priests but destroy their many accomplishments in the church.

Smoothly, expertly written, the author captures the essence and conflict of human love and religion as they struggle to coexist in a judgmental world. Hobson reveals a church hierarchy attempting to compromise with a nervous reality, and walks the reader ever so beautifully through the torment of a young man deeply devoted to his vows and wanting fervently to serve his parish--with the support of a loving partner. As the story unfolds, however, his options grow more desperate and his torment ever more intense.

Hobson is a writer of the first class, able to build a story quickly and maintain excitement throughout the book. Her characters are full and multidimensional—at times, the reader is torn by compassion and empathy for one and then the other. Such is the making of a fine novel and a book well worth reading. It is unfortunate that books such as these, so worthy of recognition, go unheralded by the literary establishment. I, for one, give it “tens” across the board. Andrew F O'Hara

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What future is there for small and self publishers?

What future is there for small and self publishers?

Looking at the present situation of ridiculously cheap novels in circulation and, I might add they are well made paperbacks with good covers, it seems to me that small and self publishers are going to find it exceedingly difficult to get a foot in the door when it comes to selling books. With books by top authors — some of them with two stories — costing three for a fiver, an unknown cannot possibly compete with either traditional or POD books. The cost of printing small batches is just one thing. Discounts and shipping costs mean tiny profits, if any. And that is IF books can be sold. Established publishers can afford to invest thousands getting an author known but they are unlikely to take on new authors unless they look very promising indeed. Pulping thousands of unsold books is bad for business.

Of course authors can do much to get known themselves but few make the big time. Good editing and attractive covers can help but the book world is still full of hopefuls trying to sell books that may be very good but will never make the ‘known author’ gold standard! It has to be an exceptional book for a reader to pay the same as he can buy up to six books for. Another add-on cost for books are those that are printed or published abroad.

It could be that as eBooks become more popular, the self-publisher and small publisher will both get better sales with profits per book to equal (or almost equal?) those of large publishers. Of course there is nothing to equal the feel of that first book in your hand. And that giddy feeling when someone actually says ‘please will you sign my book?’ What a thrill and yet a feeling of wonder too, when people actually want to read what you have written, and even more so when they tell you how much they have enjoyed the book. At that moment does it really matter that your book is not reaching best seller status?

It is rather lovely when people tell you that they enjoyed your book so much that they have passed it on to friends who also passed it on to friends and family. Not good for sales but at least it is READ and giving people pleasure. Isn’t that the purpose of every book?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smouldering Embers — ready to burst into life?

My latest novel is a complete rewrite of Blazing Embers written seven years ago. I have taken note of the advice given by a top publisher and also by a top literary agent's reader. They suggested I reduce the ages of the top characters so as to appeal to a wider range of readers. In actual fact I have found the novel already has an appeal to a wide range of book lovers, especially of the Baby Boomer age but maybe this change will indeed increase the book's popularity. Justin James of Dare Empire has done a splendid job of the cover design and formatting. However, since writing this post last year, Turquoise Morning Press has taken over the contract and the novel is from their website and Amazon. Visit either site for more details.
So if you fancy reading about a young-at-heart granny determined to experience that orgasm so far denied her (and her peeved hubby being educated by his best friend who would really prefer doing the job himself), now is the time to be enlightened about her circumstances and eventual progress.

Andy O'Hara said: 'Wow. I don't say that often. Ms. Hobson's writing is quite good indeed. There's such a wistful, genuine quality to her style that it's hard not to be drawn in right away. Unpretentious — so nice to see that in writing once in a great while. Very unique, and very charming.'
Bob Taylor said: I've read all four of Hobson's books, and I find that she has a delicate touch when writing about human sexuality. I don't normally read 'love stories', but those that Hobson writes are really interesting from a man's point of view — especially when she explores the male psyche. It's just a little bit... scary... that a female should have that kind of knowledge. She's a very gifted and articulate lady.
From the book:
"You see Alice, everyone's at it these days. Young folk do it openly but if we oldies did that in public they'd take us off and put us in care!"

Late night TV helps Alice realise what has been missing from her love life. Her hubby has benefited from forty years of satisfaction, time for her to experience an orgasmic encounter?

On TV chat shows, Silver-haired sex appears to cause great hilarity. WHY?
Mature lovemaking has much to offer: a lifetime of practice, plenty of time for preliminaries and, most of all, the freedom to have a good laugh when things go haywaire!