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Free Audios of Chapters of my Novels

For anyone who’d like to hear the first chapters of my novels, they are freely available at the link below, or just clicking HERE.’brien

So far there are chapters of the three parts of the Silver Nights Trilogy, and of The Ecology of Lonesomeness.

I plan to add the first chapters of my other novels soon.

And they’re read by the author, too, so you will get to hear what I sound like in real life – or remind yourself of my strong accent if you know me already!


And please, feel free to leave a comment – or a review of the books!




So I have a new book out…


Your friends don’t give a toss about your new book.

That’s one of the first things authors have to learn when they first publish, along with not to read reviews, not to take bad reviews to heart when they don’t follow that previous rule, and certainly not to comment on bad reviews even though they want to gouge out the eyes of the reviewer.

Your friends are not your friends because you are writer, even if you’re a good one, or a published writer. They were there before you told them you wrote. They were there when you were clicking away at the keyboard in your spare time at work, when you told them you were holding out for the box set of season three of The Wire because you were really writing instead of watching television. And they gave you a pass, held off on the spoilers in your company, though they’d to bite their tongues to do it.

When you put away the notepad you’d been scribbling on in the coffee shop before they came in, they didn’t twist your arm and demand to see your poems, or short stories or whatever. And you were glad.
Now that you’re published, you can’t go and demand everyone read your shit, or get pissed off that nobody seems to give a toss that you have this amazing new novel out now (Spoiler alert: I have a great new novel out today, but I can’t give any more info because it would be spoiling). You can’t now do the equivalent of shove that notebook in their face at the coffee shop and tell them to check out what you just wrote before they sit and get a cup of coffee. The truth is they don’t give a shit.

Yet, if they did, would you be happy? I suspect, because I have no firsthand knowledge of such situations, that it would be similar if a Hollywood movie actor’s friends were all waiting for his or her new flick to come out, or asking them to give a few lines of whatever movie they were rehearsing at the time was. And you’d think they were just there because you were what you were, not who you were.

That’s what I tell myself anyway. It helps when friends don’t give feedback, when they don’t crack the book you asked them to beta-read, when they give you no, “hey, thanks,” or anything of the sort in response to the dedication you put in the book you sent them a copy of when it came out, because, basically, they didn’t even fucking look at the acknowledgments.

There will be plenty of people out there who delight in the fact that you’ve a new book out. They’re not necessarily your friends. They’re called readers. If you are lucky, there will be overlap. But there doesn’t need to be. There just needs to be people in both camps. Lots of people in one, and however-many you’re comfortable with in the other.

When your friends don’t respond to thinks like wedding invitations and photos of your children, you can worry. You might see your book as a newborn baby, but to some you’re basically asking them to get all teary-eyed over a work project you finished. They didn’t read your research thesis, nor the amazing 100-page contract you wrote for the sale of three thousand solar panels to a Chilean copper mine consortium, nor did they do much more than glance at the wing mirror you designed for the new Chevy Volt (is that car even being made?). It’s all work to someone, though it’s art to others.

(for the record, fiction writing is totally fucking art, though my doctoral thesis is also stimulating reading…)

Seeking Beta Readers….

Hi folks.

Sorry I’ve been a bit absent in recent days – just had to power through a second draft of my newest novel that was in rough shape after the first draft. That’s done, now, though, so I will be posting a few poems soon, and I have a guest on Tuesday, but in the meantime, I’m looking for beta readers….

That’s beta readers, not better readers – though I am looking for some of those, too! Only kidding. But what the hell is a beta reader, you ask.

It was a new term to me, too, not so long ago and I’m not sure I really understand it all that well, so to give you a clearer idea and to get it straight in my own mind, here are the advantages and disadvantages of being a Beta reader for someone – particularly me.

I will start with the disadvantages, though that’s not the way an opinion piece should be – I want to make sure everyone is on board with the thing, so while I want to convince, I don’t want to sell you a used car here.



  1. You get the book NOW – before even my publisher sees it.
  2. You get it before the public and you get it for FREE
  3. You get to tell me what’s good and what sucks. And you get to call me out on my grammatical errors!
  4. You get to shape – if only a little bit – what the final edit will look like.
  5. You get my thanks, and an acknowledgment in the book, if and when it’s published. And it will be eventually, even if I have to do it myself: but I’m sure it won’t come to that!



  1. You have to read it. All. Now. And get back to me in a matter of weeks. No “Yeah, no, I haven’t gotten round to it yet – been up to my eyeballs.” It’s now or never – sorry, I mean now or buy the book and read it at your complete leisure!
  2. You have to read the book in its unfinished, unpolished, imperfect state. Sure, you can read it again – lots of folks read book twice or more, and yes, I’ll spot you a free polished copy, so you can spot the differences, see where you made a difference.
  3. You can’t tell anyone about the book. You can say, I’m reading David J. O’Brien’s new novel. It’s not out yet.” But when someone says, “Oh? What’s it about?” you cannot reply: Nothing, nada, nout can come out of your mouth about it. Not a word: no, “Ah, it’s about dragons, but that’s all I can say.” Not even vague shit, like when some asks you to “Just say yes or no” and makes random guesses.

You can only say what I am going to tell you about it right now, so that you have some kind of idea what type of book you’re signing up to read.

It’s set in Scotland in the present day – say between 2012 and 2014. It’s not about dragons. And it’s got biology, and romance of course: there’s kissing, but not heavy sex (just in case that’s a dealbreaker for some:-) ).


So if you think you’d like to do me the favour – and, really, at the end of the day, there are 5 advantages over just 3 disadvantages… then drop me a line however you want – comment here, davidjmobrienauthor@ or at my facebook page – like button is across the screen on the right…