An Interview with James Stevens

An Interview with James Stevens

An Interview with James Stevens

Welcome! This month, I have a very special treat in store for you. We’re back in the land of the American dream, which, funnily enough, is America, for an interview with the multi-talented, James Stevens. In addition to being a successful author, James Stevens is also a highly-skilled illustrator, who not only did the cover art for his own novel but also did some for me, too. Check out The Lucius Chronicles, if you don’t believe me. So, let’s get down to business and meet the one and only, Mister Nice Guy himself, James Stevens!


James, apart from your love of dragons, which is evident from your many Twitter posts, what gave you the inspiration for your book, Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon, and why did you decide to pitch it at a younger audience?

My youngest son was the inspiration for my book. He came to me one day, a quizzical look plastered on his nine-year-old face, and asked me a simple, yet, difficult question. ‘How do you write a story?’ I couldn’t help but be taken aback. Without going into a massive lesson, I simply began to write. What was meant to be a short explanation, evolved into ‘Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon.’ Suffice it to say, I credit my awesome son with my authorship.


What did you find hardest about writing the book?

Simple. Finishing! Writing is easy, but completing a full-length novel is a daunting task. But, like it always does, perseverance pays off. I am now trudging towards the finishing line of volume two of the Fern Majestic series.


Front cover for Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon by James Stevens. Rob Gregory Author

Front cover of Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon, by James Stevens.


You’ve mentioned on social media that you have a military background. What, if anything, did you bring to your writing from that part of your career?

Ah, it’s funny you should ask! Leave no soldier behind. As you read Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon, you will find how devoted Fern is to his friends; he would die for them.


What’s the biggest buzz you’ve had from your writing so far?

Again, I must return to the completing of Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon. The pride/buzz that I felt as I turned the last page was the highest high anyone could ever have. The sense of accomplishment, the pure joy of knowing your hard work will be enjoyed by others, made me soar!


If you had the choice, what would you prefer to do, publish traditionally or self-publish?

I truly have no preference. If my work can be enjoyed by ONE person, be it traditionally published or not, my purpose for writing has been met.


Copies of Fern Majestic and the Fall of a Dragon, in a bookshop. Rob Gregory Author

Copies of the book, in a real, bricks and mortar, bookshop!


You’re a bit of a demon on Twitter. How much time do you spend Tweeting relative to writing and is it a happy balance for you?

I would describe myself as more of a dragon, but ‘demon’ works too. Lol. Seriously though, I spend ample time doing both and believe it’s a nice balance.


Have you always aspired to be a writer, or did the idea just spring into your mind later in life?

Well, to be honest, I aspired to be a Disney artist as I’ve always loved animation and drawing. I studied civil engineering in college and I am a United States Army Veteran; being an author was never in my deck of cards. Life is a funny animal.


Can you remember the first book that really had an impact on you? What was it and how old were you?

This is easy! The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I was eight-years-old when my father introduced me to the great grandfather of fantasy. I have never looked back!


Promotional blurb for Fern Majestic and the Fall of a Dragon. Rob Gregory Author

Promotional poster for Fern Majestic and the Fall of a Dragon. Pretty impressive, I think you’ll agree!


Have you ever started to write a story and then completely given up on it? If so, what were the reasons behind your decision?

No, not yet. Lol


How easy was it for you to find a publisher and what have been your experience with it so far?

Ugh! Is that too short of an answer? Well, that’s all I’ve got on the subject.


What’s the most uncomfortable thing that you’ve had to do as an author?

Definitely book signings. I’ve had to destroy the thick shell around my introverted self.


James Stevens signing a copy of his book. Rob Gregory Author

James Stevens signing a copy of his book.


Are you working on anything at the moment and if so, when and where can we expect to see it?

Volume two of the Fern Majestic Series. I’m hoping beyond hope that it’s ready early next year. Fingers crossed!!


Finally, do you have a message for your fans out there and also any sage words of advice for aspiring authors?

Fans? Do I have those? Cool! Well, if anyone wants to listen, I’ll say this to both fans and aspiring authors: never give up! As cliché and simple as those words are, they are words to live by. Nothing can ever be accomplished if one gives up. No truer words have been said!


James Stevens, the author, in all his majestic glory. Rob Gregory Author

James Stevens, the author, in all his majestic glory!




Well, there you go. James Stevens, in a nutshell. Definitely, an author to watch out for, you can get your hands on a copy of Fern Majestic and The Fall of a Dragon, as well as connecting with him, by clicking on the links below.



Thanks for reading and I hope that you enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for another one, next month and in the meantime, have a wander around some of my other blogs. Guaranteed to brighten up your day!

Seven Books in Seven Weeks

Seven Books in Seven Weeks


Seven Books in Seven Weeks – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

… Part one of a seven part series…


Last year, I did a silly thing on Twitter. No, it wasn’t sharing an inappropriate picture of my anatomy with my followers or trying to chat up a complete stranger using a series of amusing GIFs, it was far more subtle than that. Share one book that had made an impact on me, every day for a week. Funnily enough, it was called Seven Books in Seven Days and the main criterion was that you couldn’t say anything about the book in the Tweet, you just had to post the cover. Thinking back on it, it would have been more appropriate to have called it Seven Book Covers in Seven Days, but then that wouldn’t have been so headline-grabbing.

Anyway, it was a bit of fun at the time, but because I am a writer and someone who believes that people can still read more than two-hundred and eighty characters in one sitting without fainting, I always felt that my selections deserved a bit more explanation. So, today I give to you Seven Books in Seven Weeks, a series in which I will revisit each book that I Tweeted back in November and provide you with a little more context about why I chose it. It will actually take a little more than seven weeks to complete, due to other blogging commitments, but you get the idea and I am sure that you will forgive me for the subtle deception in the title!

The first book that I have chosen is a children’s classic and one which has been reissued countless times since it’s initial publication, as well as being adapted for television, the theatre and the big screen. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis.


Front cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Seven Books in Seven Weeks. Rob Gregory Author

Front cover of the 1971, UK version, of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis.


First published in 1950, I have a copy of the 1971 edition, which was given to me by an uncle when I was about seven or eight years old. At the time, I was still of an age where I preferred pictures to solid text, so was delighted by the many delicate line illustrations, drawn by Pauline Baynes, which littered the chapters.

Without giving too much away, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe tells the story of four British children, who are sent to live with an elderly professor in the countryside, during the outbreak of the Second World War. Separated from their parents and in a wholly new environment, it is Lucy, the youngest of the two boys and two girls, who stumbles upon a magical world, apparently hidden within an old wardrobe, standing in one of the many unused rooms of the professor’s house. The world, called Narnia, has been locked in perpetual winter by the evil witch of the title. Lucy is mocked by her older siblings, until they too encounter the world and are thrown into an adventure, which sees them having to battle the witch, with the help of Aslan, a talking lion, in order to restore Narnia to its former glory.

As an adult, it is easy to disassemble the underlying mechanics of the story and especially with the cynicism that pervades modern society, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe could be dismissed as an outdated tale about four, privileged, white children, who, assisted by the most powerful being in the land, displace a tyrant, only to take over and rule without challenge until they are old.


Inside the beaver's house. One of Pauline Bayne's illustrations in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Rob Gregory Author

One of Pauline Bayne’s wonderful illustrations in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.


However, through the eyes of a child, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, is a magical and very powerful book. While the setting, the characters and their behaviour are undoubtedly dated, they are also absolutely of their time and for me, this is part of what makes it a classic, along with the excellent storytelling, of course. Who, when they were growing up, didn’t like the idea of being thrust from their own mundane existence of school and suburbia, and dropped into a land filled with talking animals, overcoming supreme evil, in the form of a horrible enchantress, to end up living a life of luxury and adoration?

I recall being spellbound when I first read the book. I loved Mister Tumnus, the faun who befriends Lucy and is, in his own way, just as brave as the four children. The corruption of Edmund, Lucy’s older brother, with the promise of Turkish Delight had me on the edge of my seat and the scene with Aslan and the stone table upset me deeply, all of which was intended by Lewis’ fantastic writing.

Everything in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is meant to appeal to children and this is why I think that it has endured for so long. The clearly defined struggle between good and evil, the fact that the ‘good guys’ win in the end and get their reward, not to mention the ability to spend a lifetime in paradise, without any time passing in the real world, has an appeal that we see reflected, not only in modern storytelling, but also in modern movies, albeit to a lesser extent than before.


Rear cover of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Seven Books in Seven Weeks. Rob Gregory Author

Rear cover of the 1971, UK version, of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Note the absence of a barcode.


However, in amongst the saccharine and sugar frosting are darker themes. Edmund’s betrayal of his family, including Susan and Peter, his older sister and brother, for his own immediate gain, reflects a selfishness which many children can relate to and even though he is subsequently redeemed, he pays a price which hints at what life in the grown-up world can be like. The callous treatment of those who dare to oppose the witch, being turned into stone, introduces the nature of despotism and while done, I imagine, to help set the witch up as the central figure of hatred in the book, possibly also subliminally reflects events that had happened in Europe just a few years earlier.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is also a book which contains strong Christian themes and although, in 1958, Lewis himself made the point that they were suppositional, rather than allegorical in nature, I have to admit that I turned away from it for many years because of this fact. I have, however, since re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a number of times during adulthood and am happy to say that the Christian overtones no longer bother me as much as they once did. And looking back, it is hardly surprising that the book has a somewhat religious bent to it. After all, it was written at a time when Christianity enjoyed a far stronger hold over the British public than it does today and C. S. Lewis was well known as a deeply religious man, who included Christian themes in many of his works, both those for adults and children.

The impact of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on me has been profound. For one thing, it was one of the books which really got me interested in reading and I think that the fact that I’ve consumed both it and the other chronicles of Narnia more times than I can remember, speaks for itself. However, I also think that it helped me to develop my own ideas about what imaginary worlds could look like and taking Lewis’ lead, I’ve certainly not been afraid to do all manner of unusual and downright unexpected things to the characters in my own books. Anyone who has read ‘Death and the Schoolboy’ or ‘Drynwideon’ will be able to attest to that!

So, there you have it! Book one in Seven Books in Seven Weeks. Stay tuned for the next instalment, coming soon. As to what it is, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Thank you!


I hope that you enjoyed this blog. If you did, then please do share it with your friends and have a look at my other offerings.


The mid-year writing review

The mid-year writing review

The Mid-Year Writing Review

… A lot has happened in six months…

Wow! It’s hard to believe that we’re fast approaching the middle of the year already. So much has happened in the last six months, that it feels like it was only yesterday that I was writing to you with a wrap up of everything that had happened in 2018.

Although I’ve been fairly quiet on the blogosphere since May, an awful lot has been going on here in the little prison-study that I call home. So, without further ado, let’s bring you up to speed with the Rob Gregory Mid-Year Writing Review 2019!

JANUARY. The start of 2019 saw me frantically working on the final edits to my epic revenge thriller ‘Yogol’s Gold’. Weighing in at just under 115,000 words, it was the longest piece of work that I’d produced to date and probably the one with the most difficult gestation. After scouring the Internet, looking for literary agents, I finally began sending out queries at the end of the month, in the hope of securing a traditional publishing deal. So far, the response has not been encouraging, but still, the year isn’t over yet, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Bars of gold. Yogol's Gold, mid-year writing review 2019 - Rob Gregory Author

Yogol’s Gold. Click here for a synopsis in rhyme!


FEBRUARY. This part of the mid-year writing review was dominated by all things related to The Lucius Chronicles, the compilation of the DATS Trilogy, which was my first offering to the literary world. Despite saying that I wasn’t going to bother much with self-publishing anymore, I found myself spending hours on Amazon and Smashwords, not to mention Facebook and Twitter, making sure that the book was formatted to perfection and given the best chance of making it. I even revised the front covers of the original books in the trilogy and made Death and the Schoolboy, the first instalment, FREE on Smashwords.

MARCH. The launch of The Lucius Chronicles. Despite applying just about everything that I had learned about self-publishing during the previous year, the response to the launch was more than underwhelming, despite masses of self-promotion and discounting on my part, in order to spike some interest among readers. Needless to say, I was left feeling rather deflated and began digging into the dark side of self-publishing. What I discovered there was truly appalling and has tainted my view of the industry forever. It will be the subject of a future blog, but if you’re interested, you can check out one very enlightening article about shady practices here.

The Lucius Chronicles. A book by Rob Gregory Author. Mid year writing review 2019

The Lucius Chronicles. Check it out, because it’s going to be a classic!


Despite the failure of The Lucius Chronicles to set the world alight, I did manage to begin work on a novella, set in Northern Thailand, provisionally called ‘Turning the Tide’. It was nice to get stuck into something a little different and more gritty than contemporary fantasy and it must have had some effect on me, because it was done, dusted and out for review by early April.

APRIL. At this point in the mid-year writing review, let me say that I’d reached something of a crossroads. With one novel out for query with literary agents, another doing very little on Amazon and Smashwords, and a 52,000 novella being tested by beta reviewers, what was I going to do? The answer turned out to be simple. Write another story! So, I set about creating a book of short, interlinked, fantasy tales, with a humorous twist, using some of the characters from my first novel, Drynwideon.

At the same time, I decided to make my Fotherington-Tomas series available on Amazon and Smashwords, under what is known as a rapid-release schedule, i.e. one story each month or thereabouts. For those of you who don’t know, Fotherington-Tomas is England’s greatest secret agent, super-detective, appointed by Her Majesty the Queen no less, to protect the good name of the monarchy and British Empire. A mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Harry Flashman, he’s an old school hero, dropped into the modern world, with highly amusing results.

Oh, and I also kicked off the first in my series of author interviews, focusing on the lovely Shauna McGuiness, from America.

The Untimely Demise of Fotherington-Tomas. A short story by Rob Gregory Author. Mid-year writing review 2019

The first in the Fotherington-Tomas series. Now available at Amazon and Smashwords.


May. Lovely May. With summer just around the corner, I spent a fair bit of time editing the four books that comprise The Lost Tales of Landos, for their owner, British author, Chris Whyatt. It was one of those all-consuming tasks, made all the more pleasant by the fact that I enjoyed his writing immensely. In fact, I now understand that he’s in the middle of writing the fifth novel, so watch this space for details.

June. And so, we arrive at the here and now, which is also the end of the mid-year writing review. A few days ago, I finished the first draft of the fantasy short stories I’ve been working on and will shortly begin the editing process. Then, that will go out for beta review. If anyone is interested, then drop me a line at

Following that, I’ll be finalising Turning the Tide, in readiness for another round of agent querying, before starting work on yet another book. I’m not sure at this stage, whether it will be my much-anticipated comedy Sci-Fi novel or another Thailand book, but whatever, you can bet that it’s going to be good.

So, there you have it. Not a bad effort for six months of work if I say so myself. Let’s just hope that it starts to pay off in the closing half of the year!

Thank you, as always, for your continued support and check out my books, especially the Fotherington-Tomas series, if you haven’t done so already!



An Interview with Chris Whyatt

An Interview with Chris Whyatt

An Interview with Chris Whyatt

Welcome back to my, hopefully, regular author interview series, in which, I rather unsurprisingly interview up and coming authors that I’ve met on my various travels around the Internet. This month, we have Chris Whyatt, from the United Kingdom (pre/post-Brexit, I’m not sure), author of the most excellent Lost Tales of Landos. So, without further ado, let’s meet Chris Whyatt!


So, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where did you spring from? What part of the world do you call home and what is your biggest love/pet hate?

Chris Whyatt, grubby little street urchin in the ‘artful dodger’ mould. Born in 1967, in Hackney, London. And no, this does not mean that I’m a posh banker or City trader. We lived there at a time of communal street parties and little money. It was a place everybody wanted to escape from and move to ‘the country’, which my parents managed to do somehow. In hindsight, it was the best quality of life decision, but also the biggest mistake they ever made!

Home is where the sun is! I love travelling to hot places, but that lesser spotted ball of flame is not synonymous with the fair isle of Britain, so I can see my wife and I spending more and more time away from England. We have three grown up lads, with grandchildren all over the place, so that’s even more reason to be away!

Biggest love? I’m not gonna be ultra-creepy and say my wife, but I just did. Okay, a different kind of love, Indian food. Pet hate? Restaurants overseas who ‘think’ they are authentic Indian… don’t get me started!


What, if anything, do you bring to your writing from your real life?

I can honestly say, I don’t bring anything! I mainly write fantasy and my working life was almost exclusively in construction, which is anything but fantastic. Saying that, maybe a couple of semi-disguised characters have crept in there on occasion. I have also written a short observational rant, which is my real life and a bit like a stand-up comedy in book form.


Mankind is a Makeover, a book by Chris Whyatt - Rob Gregory Author

Chris Whyatt’s rant. Apparently, not available on Amazon, unfortunately.


What’s the biggest buzz you’ve had from your writing so far?

The annoying one in my ear that keeps me awake at night, reminding me of all my shortcomings as a novice writer. I don’t think anybody can deny that actually holding your first book in print is a thing of beauty. Even with all of the mistakes!


Have you always aspired to be a writer, or did the idea just spring into your mind later in life?

I used to love writing long stories, poems and believe it or not, limericks, of all things, as a kid, but it eased off as real-life kicked in. I think it has always been there (the go on, you could do that voice in my head), but the decades slipped by. Eighteen months ago, I simply came home one day and started writing… and didn’t stop.


We Woz Robbed! A book by Chris Whyatt - Rob Gregory Author

A book by Chris Whyatt, which is available on Amazon!


What is the hardest thing you find about writing?

I think you know the answer to this one Rob! Formatting, punctuation and maybe grammar. Y’know, all the technical, boring stuff! On a serious note, English was the only academic subject I was good at in my school days. It’s amazing what you forget after a thirty-seven-year gap!


What are your top three books/stories of all time and why do you love them so much?

Can’t do three books! Will go with series instead, sorry…

It was my first foray into fantasy and I don’t think many, if any, fantasy fans, wouldn’t mention The Lord Of The Rings. No explanation needed!

I always lean towards humour and it was great that certain authors combined the two, so anything by Terry Pratchett, but with a definite edge towards The Watch, and the Wizards books. I also love Sci-Fi, but again, lean towards humour. Although I was probably way too young to read them, I used to love ‘The Stainless Steel Rat’ books by Harry Harrison. Pure genius.

The Douglas Adams series, of course, but actually swaying more towards ‘Dirk Gently’. Such a shame that came later and he was cut down in his prime.

Look, this is cheating Rob (count ’em), but I’ve also got to say ‘The Bible’. I’m not at all religious, but I don’t see how anybody can make even the thought of a decision either way, without at least reading it. It got me interested but didn’t sway me. A fascinating read when I was younger, nonetheless. I think I’m also right in saying, it is still the second-best selling book in the world, just behind The Fifth Horseman!


The Fifth Horseman. A book by Chris Whyatt - Rob Gregory Author

The Fifth Horseman, the fourth book in the Lost Tales of Landos series.


Have you ever started to write a story and then completely given up on it? If so, what were the reasons behind your decision?

I started writing a Sci-Fi novel in my teens and it was turning into a monster. I made the covers, illustrated it myself throughout — I was a bit of an artist too in those days — and it just kept growing and growing, until one day… football, beer and girls, probably in that order, too! I don’t even remember what happened to it, but I would dearly love to see it again.


Chris Whyatt, the author - Rob Gregory Author

The author himself, Chris Whyatt. What a happy, smiling chap!


You’re a bit of a demon on Twitter, I’ve noticed. How much time do you spend on social media each day and it is a happy balance for you, relative to all the other things that you are doing?

Demon? Me? I hated social media, until I started writing, as most are just soap boxes for so called families and friends to snipe at each other. I must admit that I found Twitter to be different. Yes, I do have fun on there, I wind people up and hopefully make most of them laugh. Not everybody shares my strange sense of humour though, which is fair enough, so I try not to overstep the mark. I tend to go back and forth to it, rather than invest huge chunks of time and I usually have plenty of time anyway, hence how the writing started.

What did you expect when you joined Twitter’s amazing writing community? Has it lived up to your expectations?

Now this I could write a book about! Didn’t know what to expect, as I did not have a clue what I was doing. I started following some famous people I liked, as you do and somehow, I inadvertently managed to insult one of the authors that I respected the most. I put out what I thought was a general tweet, but I had unwittingly sent it directly to him! He replied in person and was quite cool about it, but unfortunately his thousands of fans were not! I received about five hundred ‘death tweets’ in my first few days on Twitter! Beat that! Seriously, it had a massively negative effect on my novel, which I went on there, primarily to promote! My book never recovered, but since my return, I have found that the writing community are a wonderful family and an invaluable help.


Are you working on anything at the moment and if so, when and where can we expect to see it?

This all depends on the novels I have out there now. I am trying to ascertain whether people like the stories and characters enough for me to actually press forward, get it professionally edited and republished and add more in the future. I know it Is probably the wrong way to do it, but I was a complete novice, who just simply started writing. I looked online and there was Amazon: ‘Upload it, and we’ll publish it’, which I did and so they did, to be fair to them. Obviously, it was nowhere near ready, but I wasn’t to know that.


The Lost Tales of Landos by Chris Whyatt - Rob Gregory Author

The Lost Tales of Landos. Now available separately (see below)


Finally, do you have a message for your fans out there and also any sage words of advice for aspiring authors?

My ‘fan’ already knows my message; ‘next time, get lots of opinions and advice, if that feedback looks good, go for professional editing and only then upload or query. You live and learn. Might just have a second fan on the horizon though, eh Rob? No?


Rob’s Note: Since Chris Whyatt provided this interview, I have had a go at helping him with some of the technical, boring stuff on his novels. Consequently, he has released them separately, which is great. Click on the imgaes below to go straight to the books!

Rock, Parcment, Scythe. A book by Chris Whyatt -Rob Gregory Author

The Ghost Whirled. A book by Chris Whyatt - Rob Gregory Author

The Jewel of Merewood. A book by Chris Whyatt - Rob Gregory Author


Now that you’ve got this far, why not check out my other blogs and books? I’m sure you’ll find something there to make you smile!

Another bubble for Bitcoin?

Another bubble for Bitcoin?

Another bubble for Bitcoin?

Over the last forty-eight hours, Bitcoin has hit the headlines once again, this time due to a huge increase in its price.

At the time of writing, according to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin (BTC) was trading at just under US$7900.00, with almost all of the top twenty crypto assets by market cap, posting positive gains, following a renewed interest in cryptocurrency. Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and third-generation blockchain, Tezos (XTZ) have all done particularly well and crypto-commentators have been quick to declare a bull market, with many predicting that Bitcoin will surpass its previous high of US$20,000 in the coming upswing.

On Twitter, @BitcoinBirch cited ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) as one reason that Bitcoin will surpass US$20,000, while @danheld pointed to the fact that since 2017, a number of mainstream Apps and services, not to mention major institutional investors, have arrived on the scene, giving a greater legitimacy to cryptocurrency than was previously the case. Others have pointed to Bitcoin’s potential to act as a ‘safe haven’ because of its distributed and global nature, something that is particularly pertinent given current tensions between the US and China.

Although US$20,000 is still a long way off, this has not stopped some from proclaiming that Bitcoin won’t stop until it reaches US$80,000 or even higher. Ethereum World News reported on 15 May, that, according to Josh Rager (@Josh_Rager), if Bitcoin followed the law of diminishing returns, then a rally of some 2,400% could be in order, which would see Bitcoin sitting at $78,500. Not wanting to be outdone, in the same article, Galaxy (@galaxyBTC), predicted that if the current bull run followed the same pattern as that in 2018, then we could expect to see Bitcoin valued at over US$330,000 by the end of 2021.

That is all well and good, and it’s great to be positive about crypto after the long winter of 2018, but are these claims accurate, or just hype that is intended to help lift the market, so that those holding large Bitcoin balances can finally offload them at a profit, to the next batch of new entrants to wander in with their eyes wide shut?

Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple against a circuit board background. Rob Gregory Author

The future’s bright… but how bright?


There is no doubt in my mind that blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will play a major role in shaping the future of financial and technological markets, and that we have come a long way since those heady weeks in late 2017 when everyone thought that Bitcoin was the best thing since spray-on tan. But a repeat of 2017’s unbelievable performance? Come on, really?

I’m quite prepared to say that 2017 was a bubble and yes, that bubble burst, with an extraordinarily loud pop. The same thing happened in the 1990s with the tech bubble. And that’s the thing about bubbles, they don’t tend to pop twice, because people are far more wary the second time around and so the bubble doesn’t form. So, while it’s great that Bitcoin is making a welcome return to prominence, I for one, can’t see any reason why we will get a repeat of 2017’s madness. Fear of missing out. Missing out on what? A massive increase in price, followed by an equally massive drop? If that’s the case, then Bitcoin is nothing more than a tool for speculation, which is a shame, because it could be so much more, including that much touted ‘safe haven’ from political and financial instability.

One more comment on bubbles. Shapeshift’s CEO, Erik Voorhees, recently told Cointelegraph that bubbles are an ‘essential part of the industry’s growth’. I disagree. In just about every case where there has been a speculative bubble, including the original tulip mania of the early seventeenth century, people have got hurt financially when the bubble burst, but the underlying industry or market remained relatively unharmed. In fact, in many cases, it forced new innovation that ultimately strengthened it, without the need for another bubble. Just look at the fallout from the dot-com bubble. Millions, if not trillions wiped off the value of tech shares and companies going out of business left, right and centre. But from the ashes rose the global behemoths that we have today, including Amazon and Google, to name but two of the monsters. And if you want a more physical, and prettier, illustration of life post-bubble and the resilience of the underlying industry, just look at the thriving global tulip market that exists today.

Field of red tulips - Rob Gregory Author

Tulips. Still not doing too badly, despite the bubble bursting.


Ah, but what about those technical indicators, I hear you say. The candles never lie and besides, it’s all calculated mathematically, so it must be true. Yes, it’s all math, that much is true, but it’s all based on historical data and WATCHWORD ONE of investing is: ‘The value of your asset may go down as well as up. Past gains are not a guarantee of future success’. As for the $80K and $330K claims that are being made for Bitcoin, make sure that you take heed of the most important word in those predictions, which is: IF.

IF Bitcoin does this, then that will happen. IF the market does exactly this, then we can expect that to occur. But, hang on a Stellar-sucking moment. We’re dealing with the most volatile asset class ever unleashed on planet Earth. An asset class that can easily appreciate or depreciate by more than twenty to thirty percent in a day. An asset class so sensitive to rumour and sentiment that it makes traditional markets look absolutely stoic in comparison. Now, I don’t want to gainsay commentators who know far more than I do about how particular indicators work, but I do find it a bit hard to believe that a market as volatile as cryptocurrency will play nicely and conform to traditional measures. I’m more inclined to believe that it will duck and dive like a bucking bronco and we’ll end up somewhere around the US$15,000 mark, if we’re lucky. Call it intuition or OTTOMH analysis (Off The Top Of My Head), but then I saw what happened in 2017 and can’t help but think that the world has moved on since then.

So, what does all of this mean? Well, I’m happy that Bitcoin is moving in the right direction and I’m happy that it’s carrying other cryptocurrencies with it. I’m also really pleased to see the likes of Ripple get a well-deserved moment in the sun and I take it as a sign that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is starting to mature. My only concern is that overexuberance on the part of commentators and the media are going to trigger another bubble, with disastrous results for the nascent industry. There are some fantastic people out there, developing products that will fundamentally change the way we live in the future and I would hate to see their efforts fail, as a result of greed and speculation.

In short, the hype’s all right, but let’s tone it down a bit and let the market speak for itself.


Rob Gregory is someone who writes books that have nothing to do with cryptocurrency or blockchain technology, but does find the subject absolutely fascinating and has done since early 2017 when a friend told him about it over a beer one evening.