Friday, October 26, 2012

Where To Find My Books

Both of these books are written solely for the purpose of raising money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

My second book - Living In The Real Cyprus - is now available for purchase in paperback or e-book versions. The paperback can be bought only directly from me. It is available at all my talks and presentations - see

or click HERE

The e-book is also available from all the e-book suppliers listed below for my first book.

My first book - Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England - can also be found in paperback or e-book versions. The e-book version is available from Amazon Kindle, iPad, Sony, Kobo, Barnes&Noble Nook, Baker &Taylor, eBookPie, Copia and Gardner's Books. The paperback can be bought directly from me either at one of my Vic Talks The Walk presentations, or email me at:

or click HERE

All proceeds from both books go direct to pancreatic cancer research.

Two of my short stories - one pure fiction and the other semi-autobiographical are contained in the Kindle e-book "A Splendid Salmagundi" which can of course be found at any of the Amazons. This book also contains an eclectic mix of stories and poetry. I am sure there is something here for every taste.

Click Here To Go To Vic's Main Blog

Thursday, July 5, 2012


I have decided to merge this blog with my main blog "Vic's Big Walk", which now becomes "Vic's Big Walk and Other Books".

Clicking here will take you straight to "Vic's Big Walk and Other Books".

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Olympic Torch Relay - We Should Be Told

I had this very droll email last night from a friend who has read "Vic's Big Walk" on his Kindle and has now ordered the print version (not yet on Amazon but can be acquired direct from the publisher):

"Yes I managed to download the e version when we got home, and what a pleasant read it was. It was just as if you were telling the story to us in a Polis cafe, that is a straightforward style without the usual Francophile rubbish about cuisine etc.

Seems like you had some tough days out there, so, bloody good effort!

The book has left a lasting impression on me; I keep seeing "Costas Cafes" everywhere we go that I swear wern't there before.

And another thing, this Olympic torch business is scheduled to take exactly 70 days; coincidence? I don't think so. We should be told"

And that bit about getting my book direct from the publisher. This is where you will find it:

or just click right here to go straight to the page.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cycle Round The Author Ring Road

So what is this "Author and Blogger Ring" wotsit which has appeared just underneath my bragging rights at the top of the blog?

It means this blog is part of the author and blogger ring for the Goodreads Amazon Kindle Forum, a very friendly and active group to which I belong.

If you click "Next" it will take you to the blog of another author on the ring. Click "Next" again and another wonder will appear. And so on and so forth, until you arrived where you started. A bit like trying to find your way out of some cities and towns I know. If you click "List" you see the full list of blogs.

This is a new thing and new authors are being added day by day, so if you try again tomorrow there will likely be more than today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Egg On Face

Dozy devil! I sit here waiting for my paperback to appear on Amazon (I believe it can take weeks anyway) then realise I have not carried out the vital step of approving the proof copies I had from Lulu.

I have done that now, so, like Cyrano above, I hope I no longer have egg on my face.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

At Last The Paperback

That heading reminds me of a book I once read - "Too Late The Phalarope" - by Alan Paton, who also wrote "Cry The Beloved Country".

Today I received the corrected copies of the paperback edition of my book. They are pictured above. I have approved them and soon they will be available for purchase from Amazon. As with the e-version, all proceeds will go to pancreatic cancer research.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Vic's Big Book - The Paperback

Arrived home in France today after 7 days dashing round UK, to find the first two copies of the paperback version of "Vic's Big Walk" waiting for me. It was only last Sunday that Peter, my designer friend (the author of "In The Well") and I spent all day putting it together!

The books look excellent and very professional. A change to the cover is required because of a slight error we made on a very tiring day, but I believe that can be easily done. The book should be available for purchase on Amazon and elsewhere by the end of the month.

I used Lulu for this service and I have to say I am very impressed with the results.

I have just read through the book to make sure the layout is OK - it is - and I have to immodestly say that, even 18 months after I finished writing it, I am still very pleased with the book itself.

I am pretty sure that the next 3 books, which I hope to publish during 2012 and 2013, will be published simultaneously on Kindle and in paperback via Lulu.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coming Soon To An Amazon Near You

News Flash.

Spent all day yesterday with Peter, my book designer.

The paperback version of "Vic's Big Walk" has now been put to bed and is with the publisher. I hope it will be available for reading by the end of June.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mouse One And USB Two

We are off to UK for a week in a few days time, partly to visit friends and family, and partly to finalise the production of my book "Vic's Big Walk" as a paperback. I shall be guided in this process by my good friend Peter Labrow, who is an author himself. His book "The Well" has sold very well, appropriately enough, both in paperback and e-book versions.

The little chap above, last seen in public when he was clutching the e-text of my book in his belly, is now replete with the p-text. I am sorry that I have had to dismember him to demonstrate his secret abilities.

What I have not told him is that he is not the only courier. In case he turns out to be a double agent or just a downright traitor, another copy of the text has been sent with another operative, codenamed (just between you and me) USB Two. You do realise what the consequences will be if you give that away?

The paperback will be available from Amazon by the end of June.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Excellent Review

This is Susie Kelly's book about walking across France from La Rochelle to Switzerland. I recently read and enjoyed this book very much. Susie has a wonderful sense of humour and a nice turn of phrase.

And this is Susie's book about she and her husband cycling from Fontainebleau to Paris and then out of Paris and back in again, following in the steps of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI of France as they were captured by the revolutionaries, escaped and were recaptured. Unlike the royal couple, Susie and her husband cycled. This is another very amusing and also very informative book.

Susie has recently read my book "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England". She has done a wonderful review which I reproduce below. The review appears on Amazon and Goodreads. In addition Susie has blogged about my book, Tweeted and Facebooked.  Here is the review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars La Grande Randonnée, 16 May 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Vic's Big Walk (Kindle Edition)
To celebrate the debut of his eighth decade, Vic Heaney decides to walk from his current home in the French Pyrenees to the town where he was born in England. A distance of a mere 1900 kilometres, or 1,100 miles, in 70 days. The second reason behind Vic's Big Walk is to raise money for research into pancreatic cancer, which killed his first wife. With the whole-hearted support of his second wife Gay, who plans his route and drives the campervan in which they spend their nights, Vic sets off to walk the length of France and almost half the length of England.

La Belle France has a vast network of hiking trails through glorious countryside of hills and valleys, waterfalls and tumbling streams. On websites and in brochures you see images of tanned and joyful GR hikers striding out in groups beneath cloudless skies. But, when you are walking a very long distance in a relatively short time you have to opt for the shortest route, and unfortunately that doesn't always mean the most scenic. And contrary to what the tourist brochures might suggest, mid-summer in France isn't always hot and dry. Vic has set himself a strenuous schedule that means he had to walk every day. He's pretty fit for his years, but its still a physical challenge. And then there's the coffee problem. Unlike England, a far smaller country where even the remotest village will usually have somewhere you can find a cup of coffee and something to eat, you can walk all day in rural France without finding anywhere, and even if you do there's a fairly strong possibility that it will be closed for no apparent reason. And for vegetarians like Vic and myself, meal choices, if you are lucky enough to find somewhere open, can be rather restrictive.

Written in the form of a diary, Vic's Big Walk records his journey as he trudges, scrambles, and sometimes just ambles along, undeterred by rain, roads that lead to nowhere and campsites operating on the lines of prisons. He meets friendly people (but never on the beautiful hiking trails!) who instantly donate to his cause, others who promise to but don't. People happy to stop and chat, and others who ignore him.

I so much enjoyed this read. His easy and chatty style, spiced with his dry humour, carries you along effortlessly, and I could totally relate to his highs and lows, triumphs and frustrations. having done something similar myself. I was SO pleased when he got lost even with the benefit of GPS!

Chapeau, Vic. A tremendous achievement.

All the proceeds from Vic's book sales go to Pancreatic Cancer Research. It's a good read for a good cause. Download a copy.

Reviewed by Susie Kelly, author of Best Foot Forward - a 500-mile Walk Through Hidden France

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bakers And Buffalo

One of my favourite stories amongst those I have written for the monthly competitions is one about the demise of the buffalo on the American prairies. Colossal numbers - many millions - of this magnificent beast were wiped out, mainly for sport, and reduced to a few thousand.

We have never seen a live buffalo, or bison, in the USA, but there are a few places where they have been saved - they are being farmed for their meat - and where you can go to see them. We intend to do so on one of our visits there. We did not expect that our first sighting of live buffalo would be in a small touwn, Oxford, in New Zealand. But here they are, two of them, in a field with two cows. Not sure what the objective is. Is the intention to breed them together? To cross them with cattle? No idea, but they are very handsome animals.

The story I have to write this month is on the theme of food. So it was very amusing to see this bakery van in Akaroa a couple of days ago. Look at the registration plate as well as the sign in the window. I think our baker friend Lorenzo (who, coincidentally)  has a bronze statue of a buffalo family near his home) would like to have this van.

Tomorrow we leave New Zeland and should be home in just over a week. This means that the hard grind will begin, objectives being at least one short story per months, "Vic's Big Walk" into paperback, and three more books published in e-format and also possibly in paperback.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Foot In The Door

Well, despite distractions such as this outside the window, I managed to get that story finished on Sunday afternoon and whizzed off to Writers' News.

I am not happy with it, but at least I am sticking to my resolution of getting an entry in every month. This one will not fulfil my other resolution of actually winning one of the competitions this year, but it will keep my foot in the door. There is a slightly broader spec for next month's competition - instead of giving a last line which you have to lead up to, the story has to be about food.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Stuck In A Hole

Maybe I shouldn't have said that - about the story flowing out through my fingers when I sit down at the keyboard.

I have written scores of stories, but for the first time ever, I have sat down with a basic, very sketchy idea of a story in my head, written a few paragraphs, then backed off, having decided I need to think more about what I am doing.

I seem to have a bit of a paranormal tale on my hands, with a very sick woman seeking shelter in a cave from a storm.. I know roughly what will happen, but am a bit stuck with how exactly to deal with it.

I have another 10 days before the story has to be whizzed into the ether, but it will be a busy ten days for us as Gay's sister is arriving from Australia tomorrow and we shall be doing a lot more driving and sightseeing than we normally do on our own, as we try to give her a taste of New Zealand.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Down To Business With Descartes

I shall be starting work on the next 3 books from about July onwards.

While I am still overseas, I can do some work towards two other objectives.

One is to win a Writers' News short story competition. I can clearly do this only if I enter the competitions. I have already sent in the entry for the competition which has its closing date in mid-March. For the next one, due in mid-April, the brief is to write a story of 1500-1700 words, ending with the line "Out she walked with a spring in her step." I have no idea what I shall write yet but will be starting work on it soon. I frequently find myself in the position of sitting down to start a story with only a very vague idea of what the story will be about. Some writers have the whole thing sketched out before they start, with copious notes about plot and character by their side. Others fly more by the seat of their pants and I seem to be one of those. Something about sitting with my fingers on the keyboard seems to produce words in an order of which I had been completely unaware a few minutes before, with people taking shape and events happening almost out of my control. I hope that will happen again this time - and of a good enough quality to get to the top of the heap.

I had no idea I was going to write all of the preceding paragraph, for instance, just that I need to get cracking on the next story. It's a sort of mechanical verbosity, I suppose, rather than the audio version.

The other thing I need to do before starting on the three new books is to produce the paperback version of "Vic's Big Walk". Fortunately, I have a friend who has published through Lulu before and Gay and I have a one-week visit to England booked for June, partly to spend time with Peter preparing the paperback version. In the meantime I can correct the few typos and errors which I have been made aware of in the e-version. For instance, when describing my walk through the town of Descartes, I said that Descartes the philosopher had not made it into the famous Monty Python Philosphers Drinking song. I even checked the song to make sure I was right about this but must have been suffering from word blindness at that stage because I missed the obvious fact that he was indeed a drunken fart in the song.

I also mentioned at one stage that Jean Mortensen was the husband of Stanley. Only one person has pointed out that she was actually his wife.

Both of those errors, and a few others, will be corrected before the paperback goes to press.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Never Give Up

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly

- Proverb.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vic's Shorts

And the third book? I mentioned that I have written many a short story for the monthly competition in Writers' News and Writing Magazine, being shortlisted several times.

The third book will be a compendium of a number of the stories I have written, and maybe one or two other items.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Swim The Atlantic?

The second of the 3 books which I am working on and which I intend to publish in the next 12 months has the working title "Swim The Atlantic?". It will be an autobiography.

If you want to know how I came by the title, click HERE to see a YouTube clip of the BBC TV news item about the finish to Vic's Big Walk:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Living On An Island

I thought I should include this picture of how hard I am working in such arduous conditions and climate down here in New Zealand while so many of our friends have been trapped in their homes by snow so recently.

I don't normally read in the bath, especially while using electronic devices, but I am taking quite well to writing in one.

I mentioned above that I intend to publish 3 more books in the next 12 months. The first of these will be called "Living On An Island", about the 8 years Gay and I spent living in Cyprus from 1995 to 2003. Cyprus is part of Europe and is now (but not then) a member of the European Union. But life and attitudes are so very different there to what we were used to before we went. I look forward to giving our take on it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Oops, I accidentally put a report of the last day of our Rail Trail Walk on here instead of the "Vic's Big Walk" blog. I have now corrected that.

What a plonker.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writers' News

Writers' News is a large circulation monthly magazine which, if you are a subscriber to Writing Magazine, comes bundled with it.

Writing Magazine is also available off the shelf at newsagents.

Each magazine has a monthly short story writing competition. For Writing Magazine there is an entry fee. The competitions in Writers' News are free to subscribers.

I subscribe largely so that I can enter the competitions. As I travel for several months each year I generally enter about 6 competitions a year, but now it is possible to enter through the Internet so I hope to be more prolific.

I have not yet been a winner, but have been shortlisted 5 times, which seems a bit much to me. It is about time I won, which is why I have set this as one of my writing objectives for 2012.

Today I sent off this month's entry. I had to write a story of 1500-1700 words, which was to be linked in some way to resolutions, New Year's or otherwise. My story is called "Two Pounds Below". About a father's obsessive desire to help his daughter succeed with her resolution to lose a few pounds, and the tragic consequences.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Objectives

In 2010, to celebrate my 70th birthday, I walked for 70 days, at an average of about 30 kms per day, from my home in the French Pyrenees to the house of my birth in Northern England. The book about that walk, and much else besides, is called "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England". It is available (in e-book version) from Amazon, Apple's iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, the Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, eBookPie, and many more in the coming months.

The paperback version will be published by Lulu in June 2012, and, in order to keep the price down, will be available only from Amazon.

All proceeds of all versions go direct to pancreatic cancer research.

Click HERE to see the reviews of "Vic's Big Walk", which are all favourable, on Amazon:

My writing objectives for the next 12 months are to win a short-story writing prize and to publish 3 further books.

I will say more about those objectives, and the 3 upcoming books, in further posts on this blog.