Introducing Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2015 Grand Prix Season

Major changes to the makeup of the grid set the tone for a promising 2015 Formula One season. Two World Champions have opted to switch teams in order to reinvigorate their careers following lacklustre results last year. Fernando Alonso returns to a team he almost destroyed back in 2007, while Sebastian Vettel makes a clean break from the team and personnel that have been responsible for his F1 success to date.

The Honda Motor Company return to the sport as a supplier, looking back to their past in the hopes of resurrecting a successful partnership for the future. After the reforms of last year, power unit regulations remain relatively unchanged, allowing for development to continue throughout the year.

The stability in the regulations extends to more than just the engines, with small tweaks here and there attempting to improve the show. The front ends of each car will look different this year, long life components will have to last even longer, and the safety car should make less of an impact on race day, but otherwise 2015 is all about building on what was learned last year.

Three new drivers step up to the plate for their rookie F1 season, joining a mixture of existing drivers – those still learning and old hands. The calendar will visit old haunts as F1 returns to Mexico. The Russian and Austrian races introduced to the schedule last year remain for a second season, whilst Abu Dhabi retains the rights to host the final round in November.

There’s so much to look forward to in 2015, and this book aims to guide you through the teams and their drivers, the regulation changes they have to deal with, as well as each stop on the racing calendar. No matter where you are, keep this handy guide to the 2015 F1 season in your pocket.

Available now on Amazon for Kindle and iBooks.

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Creativity by John Cleese

When it comes to getting creative, particularly with writing, we all know the key is to just get started. You’re not going to come up with anything by going about your normal day to day routines and hoping it is somehow getting done, you actually have to put the effort in and begin.

There’s an old video doing the rounds on Twitter at the moment, a talk by John Cleese on how to get the creative juices flowing, and it’s really well worth a watch. If you want to skip to the abridged version, I have made some notes below the video with what I took away from it.


Creativity is not a talent. It’s a way of operating.

It is unrelated to IQ. It’s not that you can either do it or you can’t, but those that are good at being creative are good at getting themselves in a particular mood.

General, everyday moods are closed – hectic, anxious, tense, with a list of jobs to do and a slight feeling of relief when each is ticked off.

To be creative, you have to generate an open mood, and for that you need five things: 1) space 2) time 3) time 4) confidence and 5) humour.

In brief, they relate to:

  1. Space. Get away from the closed mind situations physically, and find a space where you will be undisturbed.
  2. Time. Allow for a specific and definite period of undisturbed time. 30 minutes is too short, as you need time to relax the mind and let it open, 90 minutes might be ideal. Tolerate/ignore the racing mind (sharpen pencils, take out bins, make more tea, etc) until it quietens.
  3. Time. Know what time you have for the project. If there are decisions to be made, know when and don’t rush. Don’t accept the easy answer if you have time to keep thinking through for better solutions.
  4. Confidence. Risk saying/writing things. While you are being creative NOTHING is wrong. It can be useful to surround yourself with other people, but not if they make you feel defensive. And likewise, don’t disparage others.
  5. Humour. Allowing humour into the situation, even if the topic is serious, can allow the mind to get to the open mode quicker.

Creativity starts with connecting two separate ideas to create new meaning.

Guide to the 2014 Grand Prix Season now available on iBooks

If you’re not a fan of Kindle-shaped reading products, never fear! The iBooks edition of the Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2014 Grand Prix Season has arrived. The book contains all the driver and team profiles, rules and regulations updates, and circuit information that you’re going to need for the upcoming Formula One season, and has the iBooks bonus of easier navigation and better-looking tables.

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So, if you own an Apple device, be it phone, tablet or desktop, there’s no excuse not to get your hands on a copy of the Pocket F1 Handbook. You can download a handy sample to preview the book before you buy, but snap it up soon. There are only nine days left to the start of the 2014 season, so you can swot up on all you need to know before the action gets underway in Australia next week.

Complete your Pocket F1 Handbook collection

To celebrate the release of the latest Guide to the 2014 Grand Prix Season, the previous two editions have been reduced in price, allowing you to complete your Pocket F1 Handbook collection.

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The Pocket guides have been previewing the last three seasons of Formula One, featuring all the information you need to know about drivers, teams, rules and regulations, plus bonus extra content in each edition of the book.

The 2014 edition is now on sale on the Amazon store for £2.99 (in the UK, worldwide prices should correspond accordingly). If you’re looking to recap who was contending the 2013 season, you can pick up the handbook for £1.87. To round out the trilogy, the 2012 Pocket F1 Handbook guide is now just 99p. There’s no excuse for not completing your collection now!

Introducing Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2014 Grand Prix Season

The 2014 F1 season promises to be a dramatic one, a time of regeneration and modernisation that more than anything else guarantees to be unpredictable. With an overhaul in the regulations, a raft of driver and personnel movements, plus a handful of new races to challenge all, it is set to be an eventful year in motor sport.

Defending champions Red Bull field a revised driver line-up, but they are far from alone. All teams bar Marussia and Mercedes have at least one new face behind the wheel. The regulations too create their own special kind of chaos, with new turbo engines, fuel limits, plus a raft of aerodynamic tweaks to challenge the most experienced of engineers.

Commencing in Australia, the 2014 calendar snakes around the globe to nineteen destinations, culminating in the season finale in Abu Dhabi in November. The Austrian Grand Prix makes a comeback, having last run in 2003, whilst Russia steps up to host a brand new race around the freshly paved streets of Sochi.

There is much to look forward to this year, and Pocket F1 Handbook aims to bring you right up to speed. No matter where you are, ensure you have the facts and information on the 2014 F1 season firmly in your grasp.

Available now on Amazon for Kindle and coming soon to iBookstore.

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Keeping track of a book series

Do you read a lot of series of books? I do. Books from the likes of Clive Cussler, Jeffrey Deaver, Bernard Cornwell, and Alex Scarrow all make my list. And the list is the key point here. Sometimes, particularly if there are double digits worth of books in a series, it can be hard to keep track. It’s okay if you’re just working through a trilogy, it’s not difficult to keep your place, but something like the Sharpe series has 24 books, and they’re written out of sequence in terms of dates and history. Tricky.

I found an interesting site called FictFact, which not only helps you keep track of what you’ve read and what is next on your list, but also keeps tabs on what the author is up to.

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There are plenty of lists to follow and track, keeping up to date with which book in a series you’ve just finished and recommending the next in line. There’s also a personalised calendar so that when you’ve reached the end of the current series and are eagerly awaiting the next instalment, you’ll know exactly when it’s being released.

This is the kind of site that picks one problem, solves it, and does that one thing really well. I haven’t invested a huge amount of time in logging all the many series’ I’ve been reading, but I think it will be worth the effort.

Five tips for easing back into writing

Recently, I’ve noticed a few people lacking motivation when it comes to writing – specifically in this instance about blogging. I thought I’d share a few of my favourite tips on getting back your writing mojo, whatever the project, because it’s a new year and a good time to blow the dust off that keyboard.

I’m not an expert, by any means, but I’ve written and I’ve had writer’s block, and these are the tips that have helped me. If you’re struggling to get the motivation to write, try one or more of these on for size, and see how you get on!

  1. Don’t start with a blank page. Obviously, it’s hard to achieve this because you always have to start from a blank page at some point. But a way around it is to make a list of five topics you might want to write about. Then, go away, think about it and when you return, add in some quotes or links or tiny bits of research you might have found about each topic. Repeat as necessary. Each time you come back to your list, you’re no longer faced with a blank page, but instead have the notes that could get you started on a pretty awesome post.
  2. Switch something around. Maybe you’ve been using the same blog theme for a long time. Perhaps you need to refresh your header. Maybe, like me, it’s time to move on to a whole new blogging platform. Sometimes, just a little change can make things feel fresh and new, and give you a little bit of inspiration to fill the good-looking page with content.
  3. Write like no one is reading. If you’re keeping up a blog online, it’s likely you want people to read your words. But equally, that can be a mental barrier to getting the words out of your head and onto the page. People are actually going to read this? What if it’s not good enough? Instead of worrying about it, write as though no one is going to read it. Perhaps turn comments off. Perhaps publish but don’t plug your work. Maybe even set up a secret site somewhere so that no one really is reading. Whatever it is, it may help boost your confidence that you do know how to write, and that people may actually be missing out on your work.
  4. Start small. You don’t have to be groundbreaking all the time. You don’t have to be groundbreaking at all. If you’re struggling for topics, or worried about what to write, start with something different, unusual, and most of all, not too taxing. Forget the 1000 word essay on the future of microbiology. Why not take a picture, post it, and explain why you like it? Or pick a handful of your recent tweets and expand on them. Perhaps review something you watched/read/played recently. Those items in themselves may then propel you on to bigger and better things. And if not, they’ve at least got you posting again.
  5. Just do it. To borrow from a certain sports company, in the end, you just have to get on with it. The painful part about writing is that there’s no way to solve any of the issues you have without just doing it. Whatever your reason for not writing is, the solution is always going to be to just hit the keyboard and don’t be scared of that publish button. You never know what you might end up with.
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