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Meet the Authors > Seb Kirby - Take No More

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message 1: by Seb (last edited Nov 05, 2011 07:42AM) (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

I'm a writer from North West UK. I grew up in Birmingham, left for University in Swansea at age 18 and stayed there until twenty years ago when I moved to Liverpool. Three places I am equally fond of; three roughly twenty year phases of my life.

I was raised with books – my grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham and my parents inherited a random selection of the books. They weren't much interested in them; they were piled up in a box room, gathering dust. I would disappear in there and resurrect much used classics – Zane Gray 'Riders of the Purple Sage', H G Wells 'The Invisible Man', Charles Dickens 'A Tale of Two Cities' and more obscure stuff that I don't now recall. I was hooked.

There was gap, a long gap, until I was lucky enough to find an inspirational school teacher. He donated his own books to make a lending library in a stock cupboard off the classroom. Kids queued to borrow the books. These were the classics – Franz Kafka 'Metamorphosis' and 'The Trial', George Orwell '1984' and 'Animal Farm', Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 'One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich', Ray Bradbury 'Fahrenheit 451', Boris Pasternak 'Dr Zhivago', Arthur Koestler 'Darkness At Noon', Vladimir Nabokov 'Pale Fire', Ken Kesey 'One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest', Aldous Huxley 'Brave New World'………….

I've been an avid reader ever since.

My debut novel is 'Take No More'. It's a thriller set in present day London and Florence.

Julia Blake is a conservator, working with classic art. Her expertise includes imaging beneath the surface of paintings to discover what lies beneath. She is sure that a number of those valuable paintings described as 'missing, believed lost or destroyed' have in fact been overpainted as a means of hiding them when the moral edicts of the past deemed them unsuitable. She has tracked down a collection of pictures in Florence that looks promising and has gone there to try to discover a hidden masterpiece and make her reputation.

'Take No More' begins when James Blake, Julia's husband, returns to their home in London to find that she has been shot and killed. What had brought her back to London unannounced? Why has someone killed her?

Blake determines to find her killers. He has little to go on - just her last message to him sent from her mobile phone: 'help me' with an attachment showing Michelangelo's painting 'Leda and the Swan'. There is no help from the police as Blake is impeded by the unsympathetic Inspector Hendricks who suspects him of the murder.

His search takes him into a world of lies and deceit beneath the sophistication of the art world in Florence, a world that he has to overcome to find the truth.

I'm trying to develop my website as something more than a place to publicise my book by including articles of wider interest.

A second novel is about fifty per cent completed at the time of writing this. Something quite different to 'Take No More. The follow up to TNM is in the planning but will have to wait its turn.

Take No More by Seb Kirby Take No More

More details at Take No More US or Take No More UK

message 2: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments Hi Seb,
Good to find you here. The history of how you got involved with books is very interesting.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Seb, you must have the most interesting accent ever!

Your book looks fab, too. Thanks for joining us.

message 4: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments Nice to 'meet' you Seb. I've read Take No More - it's an excellent book and one I'm very happy to recommend.

message 5: by Thea (new)

Thea Atkinson (theaatkinson) | 55 comments Hey Seb! just thought I'd pop in to say hey, since your thread cropped up on my feed and it made me think, "Hey I know that guy."

hope sales for TNM are doing well

message 6: by Seb (last edited Nov 05, 2011 10:28AM) (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Jacquelynn / Patti

Thanks for the welcome!

Accent - wise, I had the Brummie accent educated out of me before I left Birmingham and I never acquired anything of that wonderful Swansea brogue when I was there. Maybe I'm now picking up a little Scouse intonation. However, if I ever I listen myself on tape I can still hear 'You can take the boy out of Birmingham, but you can't take the Birmingham out of the boy' coming through, faint though it now is.

Best wishes


message 7: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Ignite

Great to 'meet' you here too!

I'm more than pleased that you enjoyed 'Take No More'. I very much prize recommendations from readers and thank you for that.

I've made a GR friend request so that I can follow your reviews.

Best wishes


message 8: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments Got it, responded. Welcome, friend! I don't think I ever reviewed TNM. I only started leaving reviews recently when I realised how important it can be to Indies. I think I should go back and review a few retrospectively. I have endorsed your book on one of the Indie authors' threads on Amazon though. You can only say 'This is my book and this is what it's about.' It needs one of us, the readers, to say it's a brilliant read and you should buy it.
I'm really looking forward to your next.

message 9: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Ignite

Thanks! Yes, I hear that recommendations from other readers are one of the main factors when people are considering purchasing a book.

I'm fifty per cent there on my next book but this one 'got in the way' of the sequel to 'Take No More' that I had begun and could see the main outline of. So, the TNM sequel will probably not see the light of day now until Spring of next year.

Best wishes


message 10: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Thea

Thanks for dropping by.

I promise to return the complement by calling in on your thread here.

Best wishes


message 11: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

I've revised the description for 'Take No More' three times now in order to make it effective. Here's the latest version:

My name is James Blake.

A single act turns my life upside down. I come home to find my wife, Julia, shot and bleeding. She dies in my arms.

The police are no help. I'm sure they're trying to fit me up for the murder.

I check Julia's messages and find just one. It says 'help me'. It comes with a strange, old-looking
image of a woman being seduced. It's all I have to go on. That and the fact that someone is trying to kill me.

But I will find Julia's killers, no matter what it takes.

5 star reviews:

'It was a few pages before I realized what I was reading: a sort of modern noir. I walked in the hero's shoes, was privy to his thoughts and intruded on his emotions as he was drawn into the mystery of his wife's death. Kirby's spare yet rich prose, his perfect word choices, made this a work that appeared to be effortlessly constructed. That seamlessness is the hallmark of a gifted writer. Definitely recommended.' (Rebecca Forster)

'From the first pages 'Take No More' held me enthralled and it delivered on every promise it made. It is a rich story set in a complex tapestry of characters and settings.'

'This is an outstanding debut novel by Seb Kirby. He captivates the reader from the first page, and remains gripping and compelling throughout. I could not put this book down.'

'If You Like Harlan Coben, you'll love 'Take No More' favorite kind of thriller...' (Libby Fischer Hellmann)

'The comparisons with Harlan Coben are well merited because this is a gripping thriller in the same vein. It begins with the aftermath of a violent act and doesn't let up until the end. As an author who always aims for momentum and suspense myself, I take my hat off to Kirby.' (John Harding)

'Take No More' is fast-paced, 69,000 words, about 260 print pages.

Best wishes


message 12: by Steve (new)

Steve Robinson (steverobinson) | 2930 comments Hi Seb and welcome! You've come to the right place. Everyone's really nice and very indie friendly so they'll look after you. Sorry I missed your original post on the 5th - I've been lost in a new plot lately that's demanding most of my time and all my grey matter. Actually, I'm surprised not to have seen you here before now. What kept you? :o)

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Seb wrote: "Hi

I've revised the description for 'Take No More' three times now in order to make it effective. Here's the latest version:

My name is James Blake.

A single act turns my life upside down. I com..."

After that I'd buy it if I hadn't already.

message 14: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments I have thought before that authors should change their description occasionally, especially in the Indie Authors threads on Amazon. After a while you get used to the old one and your eye slides across and you go, "yeah, yeah." and on to the next. A change of wording or emphasis catches the potential reader's eye.

I always feel that some readers are hooked at the thought of the plot, some by the characters, so if you change now and again, you may ensnare a new group of readers. Anything's worth a go isn't it?

Note to self - must write that review!

message 15: by Anita (new)

Anita | 3758 comments Hi Seb, nice to meet you, your book is already on my wish list to buy this month, it looks great & I already look forward to reading it.

message 16: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Ignite

Thanks for the wonderful review:

To say that has made my day would be a real understatement!

Best wishes


message 17: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments D'oh - I spotted a typo! Off to rectify it.
I'm glad you were please Seb. Probably nearly as pleased as I was to find such a brilliant book!

message 18: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments A great review, Seb.


message 19: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Steve

Thanks for the welcome! Hope your plotting is going well. I'm in a similar position on my next story. Lost in a labyrinth of my own making!


Great to hear that you have TNM!

And Anita, pleased to hear that it's on your TBR. I hope you enjoy it!

Best wishes


message 20: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Ignite

Well spotted!

And thanks for also posting your review in the US!

Best wishes


message 21: by Seb (last edited Nov 13, 2011 01:50AM) (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

Just to point towards some new articles that I've recently posted on my blog:

Indie Book News Review

Topics include:

- Is Twitter good for marketing books?
- The author who 'lost' $10k
- Humorous video on plot selection

Best wishes


message 22: by Seb (last edited Nov 15, 2011 12:54PM) (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

I run a feature on my blog on humorous videos with literary connections:

Kurt Vonnegut photo
The Funny Side - a collection of memorable pieces that reflect on the humorous side of the ebook world

Any more suggestions gratefully received.

Best wishes


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Seb, I now have The Indie Author Lament stuck in my head and will be singing it for days! ;)

Great videos!

I've always liked Vonnegut's advice on writing a short story. 'Start as close to the end as possible'

If I find anything good for you to post, I'll be sure to let you know.

message 24: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Patti

Yes, Melissa (Conway) has done a great job on that! And her observations are perceptive, too!

Kurt Vonnegut remains a real inspiration of mine. Reading 'Slaughterhouse Five' for the first time was a special moment.

Best wishes


message 25: by Roger (new)

Roger Cave | 129 comments Seb

Interesting thought for short stories, starting as close to the end as possible. Do you think we'll get away with publishing flash fiction on Kindle? (Just kidding, as I don't think a 55 word story would go down well!)

Good to see you're continuing to get those great reviews for Take No More

message 26: by Seb (last edited Nov 18, 2011 11:42PM) (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Roger

Yes, I think that Kurt had a great way of getting a laugh by stating the obvious! (LOL).

And congratulations on your Alec Fincham series!

Best wishes


message 27: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

Just to add that I've posted on my blog on Sara Lund in 'The Killing II' and on the rise of women fantasy and sci fi writers:

Best wishes


message 28: by Karen (new)

Karen Lowe | 2336 comments Fantastic. Thanks for those links, Seb. Really enjoying Killing II, especially the new jumper.

message 29: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Karen

Yes. The jumpers are of note. We've only seen the more iconic white and brown patterned version once. Maybe the director has been keeping this back for Sara's trip to Spain/Afghanistan!

Best wishes


message 30: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments I must be psychic.

Yes, the going got tough. Yes, Sara tied up her hair and, yes, here came the return of the iconic jumper - but this time white on brown.

And yes, she's off to Spain!

Best wishes


message 31: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

Just to thank everyone who's called into the new Meet Our Authors area on amazon UK and made a contribution. With your help this can be more than a backwater.

And, of course, more power to Meet Our Authors here!

Best wishes


message 32: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments I've started posting at Meet Our Authors, Seb. But it's a bit like finding your way around Hampton Court Maze. I expect I'll get used to it in time.


message 33: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

And just to thank everyone who's been lending a supporting hand to Take No More in its recent campaign.

I'm very grateful.

Best wishes


message 34: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Hi

Just calling back in to say that the second campaign went very well.

And here's a recent new review of 'Take No More':

'Seb Kirby has written a fast paced thriller, full of twists and turns. His research is extensive into the worlds of art and art restoration, police procedural matters, and several famous Italian cities. One of his accomplishments is that his erudition is worn lightly - the reader is not preached at. The writing becomes surer as the story proceeds, which it does in logical fashion. Several twists had me thinking, "I wish I'd thought of that!," and the complicated attempt to bring down a Mafia type clan, no sure thing at the outset, is skillfully and believably set forth. I would only suggest an occasional change of the emotional pace - the more to entrap the reader, if you will - and a few more details about the settings, to distinguish the Italian locations more clearly from each other. This is a fine effort, and I look forward to more stirring tales from Mr. Kirby.'

Best wishes


message 35: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments Hi Seb. I really like the name Seb.
Your books don't need saved~

message 36: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Just finished Take No More, what an incredible read! Got sucked in very quickly and I am so glad I read the last third of it all in one go! Wouldn't have been able to put it down, or would have been really annoyed if I had had to!

message 37: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments It's a great story isn't it Lorraine? I would love to see it made into a film!

message 38: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Yea it could really work Ignite... Definitely fast paced, some really good twists, and definitely lots of suspense !

message 39: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Lorraine

Thanks so much for those wonderful comments about 'Take No More'. It's what makes the writing worthwhile. Would you consider posting a short review at amazon US and amazon UK? Just a few lines would do. It would be a big help in getting the message out to other readers!


Thanks for your support, as always. I'm heading for Day 3 of my Select campaign on Thursday (Feb 2), so it will be interesting to see what excitement that brings!

Best wishes


message 40: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Seb, the review is planned, coming up in the next few days (sorry got to get myself organised) :) x

message 41: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Just done the review on goodreads Seb, will copy it across to the amazons when I go on the laptop later :)

message 42: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Lorraine

Thanks so much! That's a wonderful review! Thanks for posting here on Goodreads and on the amazons.

Just gearing up now for tomorrow's free day. Hoping that's as hectic as last time!

Thanks again

Best wishes


message 43: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments You are most welcome Seb, thank YOU for the great read. Best wishes for tomorrow x

message 44: by Seb (last edited Feb 03, 2012 01:08PM) (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Lorraine / Ignite

There was a delay because A managed to lose track of book sales for a little over two days. They've put that right now, so Take No More is *free* today for one day only.

Be grateful if you could spread the word to anyone who isn't aware of it yet.

Best wishes


message 45: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Doing it right away !

message 46: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Lorraine

Thanks for your help!

The one day free went really well, especially in the US. TNM reached #68 overall and #7 in thrillers.

Now to see how well it does as a paid for book. Pretty good so far.....

Best wishes


message 47: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments wow Seb, well done !

message 48: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25094 comments I'm really glad it's doing so well Seb - you deserve it to. Any news on your next volume? :)

message 49: by Seb (new)

Seb (sebkirby) | 143 comments Lorraine / Ignite / Patti

There was a rocky start to paid for sales when TNM came off from being free. Something to do with the Superbowl and possible A glitches. But things are looking very interesting as from this morning. TNM started the day at #1,986 overall in paid for books in the US. Since then it has moved up to #1,026 and now also shows as #86 in Thrillers - Suspense. It's all very exciting!

If you can spread the word in any way, I'd be really grateful.

Best wishes


message 50: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) | 8999 comments Sounds interesting indeed ! What are the figures like in the UK?

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