The Sheriff's Catch

By James Vella-Bardon

A man forced to join the Spanish Armada must flee fatal capture in 16th Century Ireland

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Merry Xmas & Happy NY!


Dear all,

Crazy to think that it’s already Christmas Day tomorrow, and less than a week until NY day. Then again, I probably shouldn't be surprised at how quickly the year has flown. The last time I wrote a group-wide message was August, when I was still stressing over how I was going to meet the demands of the structural rewrite.

Incredible to think that it’s all water under the bridge now, and that the manuscript was signed off last month, following another demanding round of copy-editing and a bit of back and forth at the proof-reading stage. Anyone who follows my updates on Facebook, Twitter, my Unbound Author Page and ‘The Wall’ on my own website will be well aware of all the work that went into the last four months.

And now that we've reached the end of such an eventful year, I'd like to say THANK YOU

Thanks to all pre-purchasers who made this novel a reality, and everyone else who supported this venture in any way. As we approach the pearly gates of publication I want to repeat that I can’t thank you enough for your support and I have learned heaps this year. The guys at Unbound have been just great. I wish you and your folks a fantastic festive season, a wonderful Xmas Day and a great New Year. Have a fantastic time, wherever you are!



I'd also like to share two exciting updates:


I don't yet have an actual date, but I can confirm that the guys at Unbound are dead set on it being sometime in January 2018. I tried to ask them whether we should push the publication date back to March 2018 to better prepare for launch, but that suggestion didn’t go anywhere. Unbound have since also shared their marketing and distribution plans with me, which sound quite exciting.

Oh, and for those who are interested: ‘The Sheriff’s Catch’ is going to be available for reading on ‘The Pigeonhole’ from the 8 January 2018 (which should be a few days before the novel's publication in electronic and hard copy). For the uninitiated (who recently included me) ‘The Pigeonhole’ is a cutting edge online platform which works with some of the world’s biggest publishers to bring its users the best in fiction. It also allows readers to share ideas and thoughts (during their read) with other readers and of course the author, who can answer any questions readers might have etc.



Award-winning designer Mark Ecob, who’s designed covers for works by Roald Dahl, Wilbur Smith, Arturo Perez-Reverte and Paul Kingsnorth (among others) recently got back to me with a couple of first roughs last week, with one of them set to become the cover of the novel.

Both covers were posted on my Facebook novelist page around a week ago, with friends asked to click a button depending on which cover they preferred. People who kindly also left comments will have their names thrown into a hat, and the name I pull out of it on Christmas day will receive a nice bottle of plonk for their pains.

Feel free to dive in and have your say, if you haven’t already.


In conclusion, a last couple of points:

·         Last minute pre-purchases: anyone wishing to get their name in this novel still has a few days left to do so. Just hop onto this webpage.

Once you’re in it click ‘Log In’ on the top right of the page: you’ll then be able to create a profile by providing a username and password, and other details which include address. Once this is done, go back to my page again and choose the reward which you’d like to receive for your patronage. Anyone who’s still not sure how this works can contact me by email or phone and I’ll take them through it.

·         Reviews: anyone who wants to help give this novel a 'kick in the pants', can help me as follows: after reading it (post-publication), it would be great if you could share your thoughts about it on Amazon and Goodreads. Just a short review of a couple of lines will do. Reviews get the novel to pop up as a suggested read more often on Amazon, which helps drive digital sales, which in turn boosts orders from bookshops. So my colleague Preston at work was right when a few weeks back he asked me: ‘it’s all about the reviews isn’t it?’

That’s all for now folks, and look forward to further adventures in the NY –  ROLL ON 2018!!!


With best wishes,


24 December 2017



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