Our Blog

Just launched: Two Hawks and a Pelican


So many of us wish our elderly relatives would write down their amazing life stories so future generations can share their experiences, but few of us actually get them to do it. Jennifer’s father, Brian Anthony Ashley, was a pilot in the golden age, where pilots could experiment, get up to all sorts of mischief and have a lot of fun!  His passion for planes is clear, and he would never pass up the opportunity to try out a new machine. He absolutely loved flying for the RAF, which took him all over the world and led him to meet some wonderful people.

Jennifer Williams always loved listening to her father and his cronies reminisce about their days in the RAF. She realised that all those stories would all be lost unless he wrote them down. He had already written a few articles for various journals, but had never tackled such a big writing project. Jenni encouraged him to make a record of his legacy but didn’t realise just how big the project would be. Jenni comments, “As the tome grew, we suddenly realised that we actually had a book that my father wanted to publish. Sadly, he died before he was able to achieve this, so at my mother’s request, I took on the task.”

Jennifer then used diaries, photos and logbooks to piece together the rest of the story as accurately as she could. The book, Two Hawks and a Pelican, is a testimony to her father’s memory.

Two hawks and a Pelican spread

“Finding a publisher was initially a minefield. However, as soon as I came across I_AM Self-Publishing, I knew I’d found the right people to help me on my mission.  Right from the first contact, nothing was too much trouble; everything was explained in terms that I, as a layperson, could understand. The whole project was run professionally AND in a time-frame that suited me.

When the final proof arrived, I cried; it was perfect. I’m sure that my father would have been proud of what we had all achieved. Thank you I_AM Self-Publishing for a great job well done.” – Jennifer Williams


About Two Hawks and a Pelican

2hawks-pbkmockIt is the story of a Lincolnshire farm boy who dreamed of being a pilot. Despite leaving school at just 14 to work for the BBC, followed by a stint in the Royal Navy, he finally managed to join the RAF in 1950.

The book follows his career from flight training in Tiger Moths all the way through to the Buccaneer.  Over his years in the RAF, he amassed a staggering 3,160 flight hours, in 42 different aircraft; certainly one of the most prolific pilots of his generation.

He was a photo reconnaissance pilot in the Cold War, flew a Meteor in the Queen’s Coronation Flypast, completed the Empire Test Pilots Course at Farnborough, gained A1 QFI category and Command Instrument Rating Examiners rating in all four categories of aircraft, and enjoyed every moment.

Brian loved to fly, and did anything to beg or borrow any serviceable aircraft whenever possible for a try out. However, his greatest love was the Meteor, in which he flew many displays. He always likened it to a lady; temperamental but well-behaved if handled correctly, deadly if not.

The two Hawks of the title are silver statuettes of the Staff College Hawk of Horus, one awarded from the Staff College at RAF Andover, and the other from the Staff College at RAF Brampton; these, together with the Pelican from the Central Flying School, make a unique collection, of which Brian was very proud.

Available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format, and you can keep in touch with Jennifer on twitter at @WgCdrAshley.

Just Launched: Quirkswood Avenue

We are delighted to announce the launch of Quirkswood Avenue by Jack Daniel Birch. Jack approached us with a collection of short stories that each had an element of the dark and mysterious. Although he had spent a long time crafting his stories, he knew he needed the fresh perspective of a proofreader to help tidy up the little niggles that he had become too close to the story to see for himself.

Whilst we proofread his stories, one of our top designers got to work on his atmospheric cover. Jack Daniel Birch had quite a strong idea of what he wanted the feel of the cover to be. We worked closely with him to develop that very early stage idea into a really striking and intriguing cover design.

“Working with I_AM to put my first eBook out there was a great experience. When I first saw the front cover proofs, it became clear that my ideas had been heard and we were on the same page. The final cover perfectly captures the aesthetic I had in mind and makes for an eye catching design. The team were very helpful and always supportive with any questions I had, and I’m thrilled with the final result.” – Jack Daniel Birch

About Quirkswood Avenue

quirkswood avenueThe Little Fisherman: A strange fish is lurking in the ocean near Ivory Port, and its captor is promised riches beyond their wildest dreams. A young boy named Ralph Randall sets out to find it and save his family from destitution, but instead finds himself ensnared in the insidious company of Kallidus Kreed.

Meeting Marilyn: Nate goes for walks to escape the troubles of adolescence, and sits atop a mountain by the coast to collect his thoughts. Ordinarily, there’s no one else up there, except for the time he meets Marilyn and it becomes clear that things are not as they seem.

A Rose and a Darcy: Rose does her best to keep it together in the job she hates, while her boss, Dean, does everything he can to break her. When her psychiatrist, Miranda, provides a stress relief toy to help combat her anxiety, peculiar things begin to happen.

The Ballad of Dusty Rockwell: Dusty works at a movie theatre and dreams of moving to Hollywood and making it to the big screen, until he meets Nancy and her brother, Max. When opportunity strikes, he must choose between his relationship and his aspirations. Charlie and Chad, two teenage movie fanatics, get caught up in the aftermath and find themselves in another dimension.

Quirkswood Avenue is available now on Amazon.

Ruth Livingstone Shortlisted for Rubery Book Award

Our wonderful author, Ruth Livingstone, has just been shortlisted for the non-fiction category of the most prestigious indie award in the UK: The International Rubery Book Award. The Rubery is the longest established book award in the UK for indie/self-published books. The judges have a keen eye for quality, and this is not the first time one of our authors has been selected.

Ruth Livingstone’s book, Walking The English Coast: A Beginner’s Guide, was praised by the judges for its “deceptively straightforward style” and “practical advice that you feel you ought to know, but actually don’t, from what shoes to wear to how to deal with cows”.

ruth livingstone

About Ruth Livingstone

Ruth Livingstone is a GP and realised in her mid-fifties that although she gave people a lot of advice about living a healthy lifestyle, she herself had become a bit of a couch potato. Not one to do things by halves, she set herself a challenge: to walk the entire English coast. Of course, this was a huge undertaking. A steep learning curve followed. She wrote down everything she wished someone had told her before she started (from map-reading to dealing with blisters), and tracked her progress on her fantastic blog: www.coastalwalker.co.uk.

The blog became so popular that she decided to take it one step further and produce a beautiful full colour, large format book to help and inspire people on their walking journeys, whether they are just dipping their toes in or setting themselves big challenges. She covers everything, from how to map out and plan, what you need to buy (and what is not worth carrying with you), how to keep yourself safe, as well as sharing her own personal anecdotes, so you can learn from her experiences. If you plan to get outdoors this summer, this will have you reaching for your walking boots in no time.

“I wanted my book to read well and to look wonderful too. The editors at I_AM Self-Publishing helped me improve the text and created a great layout for the book – with photographs, highlighted boxes and a series of Top Tips. It was great to bounce ideas around and to have their professional help with the project.” Ruth Livingstone

Walking the english coast spread

Walking the English Coast is available now on Amazon and at other good retailers.