With 2013 the bad reviews of my e-books have turned from a trickle, if not to a flood, then a regular river. I never would have expected that I would have been so savaged for my views on Finland. I am taken to task for portraying it as an ally rather than simply a co-belligerent of Nazi Germany. Furthermore apparently my counter-factual analysis is poorly researched and superficial. I am naive in that I focus on single elements of change and apparently fail to grasp every logistical and political element of the implications, only mentioning some of them. I never start with foregone conclusions, but rather through testing the ideas come to conclusion of whether the alternative was feasible and the extent of implications from it. This is clearly an unacceptable approach.
Ironically I worried that my ideas were too sweeping. However, clearly the style of Peter Tsouras whose writing encompasses every movement of every military unit on a day is what people want to read. I set out to write essay collections that stimulated debate. I did not aim in 2-5,000 words to cover absolutely every aspect of a 'what if?' and so I am attacked as being incompetent and superficial. Others feel that I put in too much actual history and looked at too many potential outcomes. Overall there is no acceptance for the type of book that I have been producing and selling for the past year. There is no point in setting myself up to be dismissed as foolish and sloppy. Clearly there are loads of other writers out there who are far better than me and so I am poor in comparison.
Yes, I have made mistakes. I have portrayed Finland in the 1940s in a way which is apparently unacceptable. My defence of my view of its government is apparently too weak to be acceptable. I mistyped 'John' when I meant to write 'James' Buchanan, the US president. I also managed to mix up Rhode Island which is the size of London with Michigan which is comparable in size with the size of the UK. My spellchecker changed 'regent' to 'region' and I failed to stop it. Of course, in this world of the single reader as all-powerful, these errors, corrected in a matter of seconds, mark my books out as unacceptable forever more. I cannot afford and editor. I know no-one with sufficient knowledge to edit the books that I write covering so many countries and time periods. Errors slip through even with leading authors, I have noted errors in books by Philip Kerr, Henning Mankel and for Jonathan Franzen the entirely wrong version of his book 'Freedom' was published. These days, make a slip-up and that is your book condemned without chance of redemption. I have been told that there are so many errors in my books that people have not got time to list them all. This shows that I clearly know so little about history despite researching it and teaching it for the past twenty years, that I can never hope to write an 'accurate' book.
I used to think that I wrote English well. I do have a tendency to write over-involved sentences with too many sub-clauses. To some readers it is difficult to penetrate such writing. At the same time Britons and Americans see my text as too fragmented. Despite all my reading and re-reading and editing, apparently I end up with incomplete sentences and too much repetition of words. I clearly lack the ability to step far enough back from my writing to see this, that is even though I spend far more time editing than I do writing. I made a mistake in trying a 'chatty' style for my books. Clearly what customers insist on is a very serious style with short sentences that are complete. Though I have tried to do this I have clearly failed. Readers find my style so offensive that they simply have to write about it in detail. Apparently every page of my books are filled with grammatical errors, no matter how much I run the grammar checker over my text.
I have clearly been deluded from comments on this blog and from sales of my books over the past eight months that I could be an author of counter-factual books. I thought I had found a style which was appropriate for e-books, engaging people in historical debate without drowning them in details. However, it is clear that I was wrong in this. My books clearly frustrate and upset people to such an extent that they have to take them to pieces and portray me as a foolish, sloppy, naive and ignorant man. The one comment that I cannot forgive is to be told that I lack the skill of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich is not a historian, he is an extreme right-wing propagandist who supports utterly unacceptable policies. To have had my work even compared with his is incredibly insulting.
There is no point fighting against the strength of opinion regarding my books. Clearly their very existence offends people and so I am removing all the counter-factual history books from sale and will eliminate all the references from this blog. I will keep my novels active until the torrent of abuse comes about them. In this age of indignation it is a mistake to put yourself in a position where people are able to pour vitriol on what you do. The personal cost is high.