Monday, October 30, 2017

Announcing The Fox Wife's Tail now available

Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls, "The Fox Wife's Tail" is now published and available both in Kindle and Print editions.

The Kindle edition is available here for less than the price of a pint.

The print edition is available on, and CreateSpace and costs slightly more than the price of two pints.

The pricing is so far as I can manage approximately identical across and .com and Createspace, though I seem to get a much better royalty from CreateSpace.

"In 2005, a dusty collection of papers were discovered in a cellar in Dublin. Untouched since 1860, the papers told the story of Otaro, a Japanese fencing teacher, and Captain Robert Hood, a discharged American soldier. It was a tale of duels, suspense and adventure in a Japan struggling to come to terms with the realities of the steam-powered 19th century.

When the two friends discover a samurai lord murdered on the road and his only son and heir kidnapped, they find themselves drawn into a mystery as baffling as it is deadly.

They will need sharp wits, sharp swords and stout hearts to survive the enigma that is “The Fox Wife’s Tail.”

Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Patrick O’Brian and Agatha Christie will love this old fashioned adventure story."

I am reliably informed* that reading this novel will make walk taller, fill you with a tremendous feeling of well being and substantially increase your chances of making an advantageous marriage.  Studies suggest it improves swordmanship, provokes laughter and gives one a better singing voice.

I certainly enjoyed writing it, I hope you enjoy reading it. Now I'm off to fret about the next one.

*But do not expressly guarantee.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Gentlemen in red

Prince August Guardsmen & Line in Home Service Helmet

I've been busy with other things recently, mainly baby related, but I pulled out some old Prince August castings I did last year and set to with rasp and clippers.  They are not my best work, but with some greenstuff they are at least respectable. 

Pursuing Soviet BMP just out of shot

Played a great game of Black Ops the other night - again set in my 1970s Soviet occupied UK. Wolfie & the Tooting Popular Front and the cast of the Bill (plus some from Spearhead) versus the Russkies. They pulled off a magnificent heist where the TPF turned the escort into a giant smoking crater with home made nitro, DI Burnside from the Bill jumped aboard the supply truck carrying the target dragged the driver out and drove the thing off the board while being chased by a Soviet BMP. 

Prince of Wales Own

I thought since I was going to do a few figures in Home Service, it might be fun to some as the Prince of Wales Own.  A good friend of mine is late of that particular parish and it seemed like a fine idea to add him to the collection in lead. 

Four Irish Guardsmen

I also pulled out a few Guardsmen while I was at it and began dollying them to add to the little collection of the Irish Guards that are marching across the mantel piece.  One thing I noticed though was that I'd run out of GW Goblin Green for the bases.  The new GW paint, which is I think called Warboss Green, is very, very thin.  I had to do three coats to get decent coverage. I thought it was a bit odd to be honest. 

Line Infantryman in Home Service Helmet

Still there is something very soothing about painting these very simple figures.  It undemanding and the results are a known quantity.  They will probably end up decorating a book shelf somewhere as well.  Though I will have to get some proper smelly varnish for them first though. Stuff that needs turps - the water based variety simply does not cut it. 

Cigarette card with details of the PWO

Though having wrestled with the intricacies of plug in heads (the bodies for the line are cast seperately) I think I might do a few more.  The 18th Royal Irish, being the old local regiment, might be the next lot to get the treatment. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Fox Wife's Tail

The first few copies arrived

It is a very strange feeling holding a book that you wrote in your hands, but here is where we find ourselves.

So what is it?

The Fox Wife's Tail is a story set in the 1850s about a Japanese Fencing Teacher and his American friend as they wander through a Japan that is struggling to come to terms with the intrusion of the modern world.

When the two friends discover a samurai lord murdered on the road and his only son and heir kidnapped, they find themselves drawn into a mystery as baffling as it is deadly.

They will need sharp wits, sharp swords and stout hearts to survive the enigma that is “The Fox Wife’s Tail.”

Why did you write a book, Kinch? 

If I'm honest, I don't know.  

Because I had to.  

I've been scratching away at stories since I was old enough to hold a pen.  The practicalities of actually getting things into print has eluded me up until relatively recently - but after being repeatedly kicked in the seat of the trousers by Mrs Kinch, we set up A Simple Plan Press. ASSP will be publishing "The Fox Wife's Tail" in 2017 and will be publishing work by Mrs Kinch in 2018.

If I wished to buy a copy where would I go? 

The Fox Wife's Tail will be published next month. It will be available on Kindle and in paperback at Amazon Createspace and the A Simple Plan Press website.  A novel of adventure, villainy and romance in the tradition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H Rider Haggard and Patrick O'Brian with a dollop of Agatha Christie - it would make an excellent Christmas present for any family members whose company you do not wish to be burdened with next year. 

I will be posting a little bit more about it here over the next few weeks.  I'm still becoming accustomed to the idea that it is actually a real thing.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

That's not my Tiger

That's Not My Tiger...That's Not My Tiger... by Fiona Watt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After confronting the essential poverty and meaninglessness of existence in a post modern age, a young mouse embarks on a quest to find "her tiger". Disregarding hedonism and the tawdry distractions of other lesser tigers, she demands that which neither a deracinated capitalism nor a cold and ruthless socialism can provide. This focus on the local and the particular clearly underlines the pre-modern essence of the text.

A Scrutonian voyage of discovery for the under twos.

Also chewable.

View all my reviews

Monday, October 9, 2017

What I did on my holidays by Conrad Kinch, aged 37 1/2

An artists impression of John Treadaway enroute to tell me that my copy is late. 
(Squat Trike from the pen of Paul Bonner)

My recent trip to London was a roaring success. Four nights of uninterrupted sleep was magical. Meeting John Treadaway was great fun. Lovely fella - he rather put me in mind of one of the old GW
squat bikers with his beard, ponytail, leather jacket and giant machine. It was definitely a few days of meeting old friends and making new ones. 

The Austrians advance under the command of the doughty Brian Carrick
(picture cheerfully thieved from Bob Cordery)

The game on Saturday was magnificent. A spread of 2,000 figures on a playing area sixty feet by sixty feet. I commanded the Swedish contingent (mainly played by Prussians in this instance) and finished the game in the suburbs of Leipzig having done for the Imperial Guard, which will always remain something of a career highlight. The company was excellent. Made some new friends and caught up with some old ones.

I was not in a position to take photographs, but you'll find some good pictures at the fine blogs below. 

St. Paul's went a little over board on the incense while I was there. 

Service at Westminister Abbey was wonderful. St. Paul's was magnificent, I thought it was expensive at first, but wildly underestimated how vast the place is. Worth every penny. Had longish natter with one of the Canons named Mike.  I paid my respects at Wellington's tomb. It always does to remember the local boy.

Gordon's Tomb
(image tea leafed from the Church Monument Society)

I am a great admirer of Charles Gordon and I was strangely moved when I saw his sarcophagus.  I had not realised he was quite so small.  There I think is the difference between having read a thing and knowing it. 

My own, slightly smaller, Gordon. 

My daughter was named Gordon for a day while she was in hospital.  We had settled on a name and when we saw her, we realised that it didn't suit her exactly and it took us a day while we thought of a new one.  I was very tempted to add Gordon as a middle name when I went to register her birth, but forebore at the last moment.  She has his mercurial and exploring temperament. 

I will take her to see her (almost) namesakes tomb someday.

I miscalculated and hadn't realised that the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the National Gallery hadn't begun yet, which was a shame. The Horse Guards museum was a joy, particularly as you get to watch the lads at stable duty. I ended up having a long old chat with some of the Ministry of Defence police who were on duty outside. I certainly noticed the greater presence of armed police and talked to several of them around the city, I suppose because it is so unusual from an Irish perspective. They were unfailingly friendly. The thing that really struck me was the number of them with beards - the Met clearly having different regulations on this matter. .

An artist's impression of the National Army Museum

Of the National Army museum, the less said the better. It was the only sour note in an otherwise excellent trip.

I should have listened Tim. I should have listened.  And what only makes it worse is that I missed the Wallace Collection because of it. 

I survived Charing Cross Road and Martins Lane with only minor damage to my wallet. Not many books this trip, but quite a few prints - mostly fashion for Mrs. Kinch and Alice and Pooh Bear for the Kinchlets. There is more framing in my future. 

I'm still wondering if anyone does a suitable train in 20mm

I was very happy to get a single large engraving (done as a special by the Illustrated London News) of "a reconaissance in force" in 1882, which the Egyptians record as the Battle of Kafr el Dawr. It's an engagement that has intrigued me for a while, so I was glad to get it. There was a definite thrill of discovery when I recognised the geography and the regimental numbers in the otherwise anonymous piece.

After that it was home again, home again, jiggity jig. Mrs. Kinch and the Kinchlets seemed none the worse my absence and quite pleased to see me actually.