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SANDMAN REVIEWS


A gripping psychological read with characters that reach out and grab you. A real page turner.

SOPHIE KING
bestselling author of The Wedding Party and other novels

Sandman touches our primary emotions: jealousy, love, fear, hatred, and grief... Kingsley has written an intriguing mystery/psychological thriller with interesting, believable and well-developed characters. There are twists, turns, red herrings, and a healthy dose of hair-raising fear and suspense to keep even the most fickle reader captivated. The dialogue is authentic, and, along with the scene-painting narrative, you’ll feel like you’re on the beach witnessing the unfolding action.
Highly recommended to readers who enjoy a great mystery!

WILLIAM POTTER
Reader’s Choice Book Reviews
(5 Star Rating)

Finding similar authors

A website for widening your reading horizons

It's great to have favourite authors but, after a time, it might be refreshing to step out of that comfort-zone and find another author you will like. Eventually you'll be forced to! But there's a risk, isn't there? If you don't like their style you've wasted time as well as money. If that is your position, you will be delighted to hear about the Literature Map. Apart from helping out with that particular problem, this website is fun and really fascinating to use. So what is the Literature Map?
Imagine a huge blackboard. Write the name of your favourite author in the middle. Then think of your second-best author who writes in a similar vein. Write his name near the central one. Think of others, then place their names on the board such that they are nearest to the authors already there who are the nearest in style. Now imagine if all well-known authors were placed on a huge board just like that. The chart would be so big it would spill over onto the walls. In fact, you could never see it all at once. Imagine adjusting the view to place any author you like in the centre of your board. You could then easily see who the nearests authors are to that person and, if you like a given writer, you will probably like those nearby on the chart.
The Literature Chart is a website that has already done all that for you! Enter an author's name and it will build the appropriate chart before your eyes. Watch as other author's names spin out from the central name, then they adjust relative to each other to best place themselves in the crowd. It is truly amazing, and so useful for avid readers. I really do congratulate the webmaster of this awesome facility.
It's all very well devouring all the literature for your favourite author, but the fact is most authors write very similar stuff. This may be because that's what they like to do. It may be because that's all they're comfortable doing. (Barbara Cartland made a living out of this, churning similar romances out like a factory, thanks to a secretary.) Another reason authors do this is because that's what their publishers want - and pleasing them, and readers expecting this, represents their income stream. Once an author is recognized within a particular genre, the publisher's theory is that their fans will only be interested in similar works—in the same genre. Authors who want to spread their wings into other genres often have to use pseudonyms to get away with it for many publishing houses.
As an aside, I would quickly get bored writing 'same-as' books. That, of course, is unfortunate for me with publishers, but I believe it gives readers a bit more interest: if they like an author's style.
It so happens that Peter Carey is one of my favourite authors. Alongside John Irving. They, like me, believe in the importance of 'character'. So I look for novels by authors who can deliver 'character-rich' novels and hope my writing improves by osmosis. In my search for new authors I discovered the Literature Map after putting Peter Carey in the centre ground. I was particularly pleased to see I feature on the same landscape, as you can see from the following screen-capture, where I have superimposed arrows to myself and Peter Carey...

What happens is that, over time, as more and more people input data about authors, this map is finely adjusted. Great, isn't it? It suggests, for example, that all the authors in this view have similarities, and those closest to each other are the most similar.
Want to try the Literature-Map out for yourself? Click here to see the Peter Carey map above, or go to the home page to start out fresh: www.literature-map.com/. Click any name other than that in the centre and it shuffles that author to the centre. Click the central name and it leads you to the comments section relating to that author.
So far as I am concerned, if you like other authors on this particular literature map, please give my books a try! Even without this map I would have said that, for characterisation and style, I am near to Peter Carey, Tim Winton and John Irving—although more plot-oriented: because I always like an active plot to be driving the novel onward all the time. For psychological thrillers like Sandman I am in the same ball-park as Robert Goddard (I think there is an error in that some people have confused Literature Map by putting Richard Goddard instead), and a bit similar Sophie Hannah (but less concerned with individual policemen, being more focused on the affected characters). With the publication of Flying a Kite you might find a tendency to add underlying depth like James Redfield in his The Celestine Prophecy. If people start putting me as similar to him, though, this could pull me into a strange place on Literature-Map! That is the cross I will have to bear by being a cross-genre author.
So why don't I use different pseudonyms to cope with the cross-genre thing? Firstly, 'Ian Kingsley' is already a pseudonym (because most people cannot spell my correct surname). Secondly, I have not been that prolific in fiction yet and that would reduce my apparent output considerably. It would also mean problems with social media, since I only want to be one person in places such as Twitter (where I am @authorkingsley, by the way, not the person with the same name as mine!).
So, given that most authors do stick to the same genre, Literature Map is a great place to go in order to discover new authors to explore. I hope this articles helps you to expand your reading horizons.


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