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From Russia, with Love…

by on December 9, 2013

Now, what was the name of the Bond Girl in that film? I always quite liked her: she was more to my taste than some of the stick-thin later varieties of femme fatale. But enough of that, this is supposed to be a writer’s blog, not an indepth examination of my preferences in regard to the female sex. Even though that might well be more interesting, and send more traffic my way.

So, I hear no one cry, why do you keep thinking about Russia? I haven’t started drinking Vodka, so don’t panic. Nor have I developed a taste for caviar and champagne, and Tolstoy leaves me as cold as his characters’ feet in the snow. Nor do I intend to start driving something eastern and agricultural, take up Cossack dancing or holiday on the Black Sea coast. I might have to confess to listening to Kate Bush singing ‘Babushka’, but I don’t think that counts. And I will categorically state that I have no interest in a Russian Bride, so please do not try to sell me such an exotic creature.

It’s all about my website, Bizarrely, most of the traffic to my website comes from Russia. Now, because I didn’t quite think through all the implications of choosing The Banned Underground for my series title, I had to accept a year or so ago that a certain level of traffic would be from strange individuals watching even stranger programs (possibly about squid) in the privacy of a darkened room. And so it was. However, many of the sites they use have recognised by now that I very rarely even have an off colour joke in my books, and have quietly deleted the site from their recommended lists. No doubt in a couple more years KOBO will realise that there is no porn, smut, or abusive material in the books: and consider provisionally moving the series from the Erotica section of their site. Actually, maybe it’s one reason I get few KOBO sales – the books all get returned when the bemused reader finds no porn.

Actually, when I review the sites who have referred visitors to my website, there are still a few adult sites. But mostly these sell products (rather than people), the sort of things friends have warned me are available in Ann Summers shops. Actually, there’s a marketing thought for Safkhet Publishing: maybe on the series title they could get the books into Ann Summers? It would give the embarrassed husbands who have been dragged through the door something less exotic to examine.

And as I see from my other website, , lots of the visitors do actually cross over from The Banned’s site to my general writing website. From Russia. What on earth do they make of it? I cannot read Cyrillic script, let alone Russian: like me they must be using Google ( or is it googleski over there?) to translate. But the wonderful thing is this – lots visit the page marked ‘Where to buy’, and the sales figures suggest that they do buy the books. And that’s an amazing thought. The Russians clearly laugh at the same jokes we do, only in translation of course. Gags about their wives’ shopping habits; how useless their menfolk are; sex and relationships; pompous idiots falling over in the street; they may seem to be on the other side of the world, but we’re all the same really, aren’t we?

That’s a wonderful thought. Maybe one day I will prevent a minor war because both sides were too busy laughing at one of my bad jokes to push the button marked ‘Fire’.

Finally, may I say ‘Hello’ or ‘Arlan wa sahlan’* to the recent visitor to this blog from Iran? The fact I have hits from right across the globe sort of proves what I was saying, doesn’t it? We all laugh at the same things. Oh, and it’s time I learnt more languages.

*Sorry, I had to Google it. My apologies if it is wrong.


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  1. I must say I love get visitors from far flung places, the Republic of Korea, Surinam, Laos, even got one from the Comores! Well done honey, you’re appealing to the whole world! 😀

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