Monthly Archives: September 2012

Guest Blogger : David McGowan

And the next one, right in here. please…My Guest Blogger for today is the superb thriller writer, David McGowan, taking a virtual trip to the Middle East to say ‘hi’..(I think it’s the lure of the sunshine that brings ‘em all out here eventually y’know)…The cover page of David’s recent highly successful offering, THE HUNTER INSIDE is shown to tempt you into downloading (easy as pie,  that is, eh?)…no, Mabel, no… the picture with the glasses is the author himself… meanwhile here’s a glimpse of the mental machinations and cerebral torture that we nutty band of scribblers put ourselves through, all for an adoring (??) reading public… (What?!!?)…whatever, …enjoy..

The Glamorous Life of the Writer
‘Oh wow, you’re a writer, that’s so cool!’

..,pina colada, Sir?

This is one of the many things people say to me when they ask me what I do. I guess it’s funny that people consider writing to be a glamorous occupation. Do they think I spend my time on a yacht in the blue tropical waters off Hawaii? Sipping a pina colada with my Apple Macbook on my lap, endlessly and effortlessly spinning tales as good as anything ever written like some kind of modern day Shakespearean reincarnation.

Well, firstly, a few confessions. I don’t have an Apple Macbook. I can’t afford one. Oh yes, I don’t own a yacht that I sail off the coast of Hawaii either. And please don’t hate me, but I’ve never, ever, had a pina colada. Ever.

I suppose to someone who’s never attempted the excruciatingly difficult task of actually writing a novel to its completion, the idea of doing so sounds exciting and glamorous. Maybe that’s why 65% (figure for illustrative purposes only) of the people who I talk to about writing say they always wanted to be a writer. ‘Do it,’ I tell them. ‘It’s never too late. A novel’s no good inside your head. Write it.’ I say these and many other things meant to inspire, but the simple fact of the matter is that most people will never write a novel, and if they do, they’ll never sell it. Hell, some of them won’t ever even show it to anyone else.

So no, I don’t have a yacht, and no, writing isn’t really a glamorous occupation. When you sit down to write a novel you invariably do so alone. And you don’t sit down to write a novel once. You sit down a million times. And you don’t sit down a million times to write your story. You have to research setting, scene, characters, plot details. The list is endless. And these settings need to be reflective of your plot and your characters. Your characters need to be believable and have depth. Your reader has to connect. They must be built. Block by block. Blink by blink. Tear by tear and smile by smile. Their whole lives must be constructed inside the mind of the author and put down on paper. The reader might not know that your character got stung by a bee when she was six and has a mortal fear of anything that buzzes, but the author will.

Oh, and those words you use to describe things? You need to know lots of those, because you can’t keep using the same ones over and over again. You must always have a good one to hand. And things like metaphors and similes – they come in handy too, but you can’t use clichéd terms. That wouldn’t do.

And how glamorous is getting up at 5am to write before you go to your day job? When it’s cold and dark outside and your bed is trying to hold onto you. Not very. Or the solitary, infuriating task of editing, when you really feel there’s something missing from a passage, but you can’t see what it is. Or when you feel that your skills are not adequate to describe and do justice to a scene, emotion or event. Or the lack of social life that you put up with. Working into the wee hours and all weekends, and only coming up for air to clean, shop and eat.

Nope, not glamorous. I’m not being angry or condescending to people making these assertions. They are, after all, genuinely interested and pleased for you to be doing something creative. All too often people don’t see creativity in the people closest to them, so when it creeps up on them they are genuinely amazed and pleased.

That doesn’t always equate to sales though!

I guess this is a motivational piece for authors. We need to remember that there are millions of people out there who would love to share our talents and commitment to writing. Many of them will never feel the sense of accomplishment or buzz of excitement that we do when we write a killer line or paragraph or chapter, or when we are inspired and words are flowing from our fingertips.

It truly is a wonderful feeling. It makes the early mornings, late nights, and the challenges of constructing a world, characters, good plot and (sometimes) intricate sub-plots all worthwhile. Let’s forget the dark days when we look at a blank screen and struggle to fit two words together, because that’s definitely not glamorous. Let us think instead of our work finished, with a great cover and sitting proudly at the top of the Amazon sales charts.

Because then, and only then, will we live up to our reader’s vision of glamour.

‘Waiter,’ he said, waving an arm, ‘another pina colada.’

————————————————————————

The Hunter Inside – Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/The-Hunter-Inside-ebook/dp/B0082KLJO6 and Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Hunter-Inside-ebook/dp/B0082KLJO6
My website/blog – http://davidmcgowanauthor.com
Twitter – @dmcgowanauthor

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Guest Blogger : Odessa G. Tomes

All of you wonderful people whom I’ve had the inestimable pleasure to meet on these cyberlinks have brightened my life over the last twelve months, and to each and every one of you, let me say,  I love you like family.  A huge, sparkly, Twitter-y, Blog-gy, FaceBook-y, universe of pals, buddies, mates, chums, pick your own words, but I think you get my drift. Among these, no one is more special to me than my Guest Blogger today, the amazingly supportive, Odessa G Tomes. She is an outstanding writer of things and stories of the spirit world, but her feet are firmly planted on terra firm, and she IS possessed…possessed of more humanity  than most people I’ve ever met,  unstintingly giving her blog space and other social media channels in  serving other authors and their efforts…I am privileged to have her sprinkle some of her magic and humour in the following blog.. LUV YA, OG!! (Clicks on where she has underlined words and phrases will cleverly lead you into other parts of her world…enjoy ..)
Dear Seumas, thank you for the opportunity to cut up and have fun!!
 
 
The sound of shoes tip tapping across the stage echoed from behind the closed curtains.  The sound of a scuffle and then a tinkling laughter was heard as the audience watched the movement of someone trying to find the opening in the heavy velvet that seemed to have hung for years waiting for just this moment.
 
“Bless, help me find the opening!”
OG prayed out loud then grinned as she found access to the stage and approached the podium.  She was smiling and blushing, obviously embarrassed, causing laughter to twitter through all those that had come to see her presentation.  ‘It was now or never’, she thought as she froze looking into the eyes of those waiting to see what she would do next.  Pulling herself together, she cleared her throat knowing her nervousness was plain for all to see.  Seeing Seumas standing off to the side she focused on his silly grin.  He was proud he had finally pulled her out of her closely protected shell with the intentions of letting the world see the person he had come to know.  She cleared her throat again and took the plunge, looking him straight in the eye.  His smile gave her courage and she began to speak in a clear yet soft southern drawl.
 
“Thank you, Seumas for inviting me here today.  It is a great honor and privilege to be standing here on the very same spot where week after week you endear so many with your wit and charm.  We met almost a year ago by sheer happenstance and I must say, you have honestly become one of my most cherished treasures.  I know being my friend is not an easy task but without your support and friendship, I can only imagine what trouble I could have found.  I want to say thank you again because every time my steps have faltered you have been the gentleman who held out his hand to help steady my progress in the right direction.”
OG dabs at her eyes and it is clear they are real tears she isn’t ashamed to shed.  Then she grins with mischief and sticks out her tongue in a dainty move of defiance and continues…..
 
“As I watch your books soar through this swirl of self-publishing toward their pinnacle, I have to say:  I TOLD YOU SO!  You are a bright light shining for all the world to see.”
She turns raising her arm directing the audience to look toward the screen being lowered behind her.  She steps away as the lights dim, to stand and watch as her little skit begins to scroll across the screen.
“Grace Under Pressure”
When everyone else in the world seems to rush through their time here on earth missing the good things, a southern woman takes her time to enjoy every moment as if it were her last, for life has proven there are no guarantees.  Genteel women of the south, know the true meaning of the word poise.  We face life’s hardest issues with a stoic composure knowing that if our tribulation does not kill us, we will be stronger and therefore blessed again.
We are schooled from birth, by our families, to care for others with love and affection all the while being a rock foundation supporting our homes by creating a sanctuary of hospitality for family, friends and even the odd road- weary life traveler that appears at our door.  We offer a hug, an ear, a shoulder and always a repast coupled with a glass of sweet iced tea, for nothing can quite soothe a soul like sharing iced tea on a porch swing, as we rock away the worries of those we care for.
Our gardens are tended to, just like our children, to make their mark here on this earth as proof we have existed and have given life our all.  We harvest the bounty from these endeavors cherishing every flower and seed produced, making sure they are preserved and added to our heritage.  We love, we nurture, we heal and, when necessary, we sort things for others when they become lost in their way along the road of life.
We believe, even while surrounded by doubt.  We know private humors are the best medicine for what ails a soul.  ‘Laugh, live and love’ is our life long pledge usually learned at the knee of our wisdom filled grandmothers.  There are more blessings given in a southern home on any given day than discounts given on seniors’ day at the local grocery.  We will bless you while offering a humble apology for having to correct you with a logical truth, for our honesty though tempered, can be perceived as brash at times.  Never fear, we have been schooled to offer a correction with a velvet glove.  No matter how harsh the truth may seem,  we feel compelled to convey it to a culprit we find in need of mending their ways.  We can coax you to appreciate our honesty as you walk away after accepting our apology for having to give you our opinion or solution.  God bless, you just have to love a southern woman for her gentle honesties delivered with her humble apology.
Temper every indignant thing a southern woman says with the following…. humor, logic, love and sarcasm.  Sprinkle it, with bodacious yet elegant ‘snarks’, then mask the delivery with a bejeweled, positive view and the translation will come to you.
Oh, I should also give you this little extra tidbit to help you understand: most southern women are born with the disarm/endear gene; both go hand in hand like the salty sweetness of honey roasted pecans .  I believe that falls under the category of strategies, for we know the power of a silent look yet we also know the strength of our words and the feelings they can invoke.
Example:
A storm’s fury broke the tall oak tree.
or….
A strong storm snapped the tall oak tree in half.
or
said with ‘southernality’ ….
A storm raged through the branches of the ancient oak causing its gnarled limbs to twist and contort until it was forced to bend too far making it surrender then relinquish its majestic stance as if it were a mere twig.
We are a paradox within ourselves for as gentle as our speech is to hear,  never , I repeat never, doubt that 5’3” woman weighing in at 100 lbs soaking wet, when she threatens to have you tied to a tree in her front yard for your misbehavior.  We believe in loyalty and keeping secrets, and yes, we do take them with us to our grave, so by setting an example we earn the staunchest of defenders.
Mine appeared at my door one stormy night when the power was out along with the phone lines…… all 6’5” and 350 lbs of him.  The poor thing had done battle with an ancient oak felled by lightening and his only weapon had been his truck.  I had greeted him at the door armed for I was not expecting a visitor.  I tended his wounds and fed him simple fare, giving him a safe place to wait out the storm.
 Take note:  I can call my loyal friend, Tiny, at any time of the day or night to do my bidding or to protect me from harm.  He thinks I do not know where the flowers left on my porch come from, but I do.  They are from my loyal friend who once pledged, so long ago, to always be true.
Please, dear matron, try your best to remember this:
“Grace Under Pressure” says it all when facing what life can throw at you.
[OG giggles and looks up from her notebook she keeps hidden away from the matron under her pillow because the matron has no clue as to her fate]
“Seumas!  Stop erasing my words from the wall!”
[OG jumps up and stomps her foot, placing her hand on her hip then holds out her other hand for the nubby pencil, almost wasted away, with the chewed end where Seumas has tried to expose more of the eraser]
“Seumas give me the pencil now.”
“But you will be getting us in trouble again!  I don’t want to make the matron mad!”
“Stop that pouting!  She demanded to know why I think like I do, so leave my words alone, Seumas!  I own my crazy and you should, too!
“I hear her coming!  Get the lights!”
[Seumas whispers this loudly as he hits the mattress like a pro at deflecting the matron’s wrath and pulls his covers up snug]
“The matron won’t be able to see my words!”
[OG whispers back, clearly sure of her plan]
“I don’t want to wear the jacket again!”
[OG flips the light switch and calmly saunters over to her bunk and lies down on her side waiting for the matron with confidence twinkling from her eyes and whispers in reply]
“Don’t worry, I got this!  I will get you out, just like before!  Tiny is coming to visit tomorrow and he will tie her to the tree in the courtyard for me!”

She Becomes You by O. G. Tomes

By O. G. Tomes| 1 video

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Guest Blogger, Andrew N. Peters

Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye, come hither any and all who enjoy the combination of a superb wit coupled with excellent short stories. My Guest Blogger today, Andrew Peters, has opened up the world’s eyes to the adventures of Otis King, a Welsh-born blues musician cum Private Detective in the great city of Memphis. I strongly recommend to you his latest three offerings, all available on Kindle and elsewhere as noted below, (beneath Andrew’s totally misleading self-deprecating description of himself),  viz:  Solos;   The Blues Detective;    A Case For The Blues Detective.

Andrew, in a burst of unparalleled Celtic magnanimity is offering a signed copy and 5 eBook copies of Blues Detective for each 1000th response (okay, every 5th response as judged by me) on the blog or on my Facebook Page referring to this post and naming the country that Andrew currently resides in..( clue: check his Facebook )…Enjoy …

ANDY’S GUIDE TO WRITING A BEST SELLING NOVEL

1. Turn on computer.

2. Attempt to open word processor program. Open bottle of wine while it starts up, and enjoy a glass or two until the “NOT RESPONDING” message disappears.

3. Remove cat from keyboard.

4. Insert screwdriver blade under CAPSLOCK key and prise it off. You’ll thank me later for this one. Saves so much retyping when you accidentally brush it with one of your three typing fingers.

5. Remove cat from keyboard.

6. Insert small Philips screwdriver into hole where CAPSLOCK key used to be and turn off CAPSLOCK function.

7. Select font size. I recommend a 16 for the middle-aged author. You can change it later so you don’t end up displaying your masterpiece one word at a time on Kindle.

8. Remove bloody cat from keyboard, place cat in another room and shut door.

9.  Refresh wine glass. Take a sip or two. Relax.

10. Remove second cat from keyboard, exclude from room. Carefully search room for cats. This step is essential, as all cats know the location of the secret key which will delete everything you have ever written in your life.

11. Type out brilliant novel. Press SAVE…….a lot……an awful lot. Every ten minutes or so, save it to the pen drive, every half hour or so put the pen drive in the laptop and save it there too. Buy another pendrive, an external hard drive, hire an Egyptian slave with papyrus scrolls and make copies everywhere.

12. Edit and proofread brilliant novel. For the love of God, save each edited file with a date, and don’t end up re-editing last week’s version. That way madness lies. Do not drink wine during this part of the process. Really not.

13. Purchase cover for brilliant novel. No, don’t try to do it yourself. No REALLY…..I recommend genius boy Joe Lumley joe-lumley@live.co.uk  , but I am told there are others,nearly as skillful  .

14. Upload brilliant novel to Amazon…..you DID upload the proofread version, didn’t you? See what I mean about putting dates on those files?

15. Tell nobody it’s there.

16. Buy it yourself.

17. Read it carefully in the biggest font you can on your Kindle.

18. Spend a week fixing the mistakes, then re-upload.

19. Repeat 16, 17 & 18 as necessary.

20. TELL THE WORLD THAT IT’S AVAILABLE.

21. Sit back and watch your sales mount & your royalties roll in.

22. Buy pizza with royalties (small, cheese & tomato…..no extra toppings).

23. Repeat steps 1-22 until you are as rich as you need to be.

Pah!! And they say it’s difficult. See you down the yacht club my friends.

Andrew Peters is a remarkably unfamous writer who is far too lazy to write any novels ever, but churns out plenty of short stories, many of them about Otis King, Memphis’ Number One Blues Detective.

He will be very happy to order a small cheese & tomato pizza at your expense if you care to invest in his masterpieces.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Blues-Detective-ebook/dp/B008PB1S66/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348502074&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Case-For-Blues-Detective-ebook/dp/B009FDSYYM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348501783&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Solos-ebook/dp/B008PBOLLK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1348502146&sr=1-1

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Guest Blogger :Katy Huth Jones

Okay, stand by your quills, here’s the first in the wave of wonderful people risking their reputations by contributing to my blog space..

My dear friend, Katy Huth Jones has this piece which will make you think..and by the way look at THAT photograph…who says writers lack  colour ?

Writing Honestly

Since I was a little girl I’ve had “skills” and impressed all the teachers with my ability to weave words into essays, research papers, stories and poems, so it only seemed natural to turn those abilities into making extra money years ago writing magazine articles and a book of historical nonfiction.

But my real interest for the last twenty-five years has been writing fiction, both short stories and novels.  In contrast to my nonfiction, I’ve written many more stories than I’ve been able to sell, which puzzled me until recently.

I asked a book reviewer to read my first published novel, Leandra’s Enchanted Flute, and in her honest review she gave me a tremendous gift.  She helped me see myself more clearly than all those teachers and even all the editors I’ve worked with.  I want to use that gift to improve my writing and make it more honest.  More raw.  More real.

Honestly, I’d rather stay in my cocoon.  It’s safer to write from a distance.  Perhaps it’s the German in me (my Dad was 100% bona fide stoic German, and I’m more like him than I realized).  But unless I allow the unfettered emotions of the characters to flow through me, I won’t be able to effectively channel that energy into my writing and make the important visceral connection to the reader.

We’re taught through the niceties of social convention not to express overt emotion.  When we meet a friend for lunch we may think, “What has she DONE to her hair?  It looks terrible!  It makes her look ten years older!”  But we filter those words and instead reply, “It’s great to see you looking so chipper today!”

When we filter our words as we’re writing, however, we dilute the tremendous energy inherent in honest emotion and our prose feels sterile.  Or even worse, falls flat.

If you haven’t read it, and even if you have but it’s been awhile, I recommend Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.  She writes honestly about writing honestly and gives many practical suggestions and exercises to help break through the barriers.

Some writers confuse “shocking” with “honesty” but this is much more than a gimmick.  We should strive to be authentic in who we are and how we live our lives, and that head-to-toes, heartfelt honesty will come through in our writing and connect us in a meaningful way to our readers.

If we let it.

Katy Huth Jones

www.katyhuthjones.com

http://www.amazon.com/Leandras-Enchanted-Flute-ebook/dp/B006XGCC9W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348497440&sr=8-1&keywords=leandra%27s+enchanted+flute

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGi7bTUp8JY

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…entries now open for the Blogging’s Got Talent reality show series…

IT”S GUEST BLOG TIME FAST APPROACHING…I suppose it bears deep questioning, to have anything tagging writers’ bloggings in the same sentence as a ‘reality show’ …as usual, I’m inviting trouble with a capital ‘TR’…for those practitioners of the ‘suspension of disbelief’ idiom to have anything with  ‘real’ in the frame is stretching things just a tad…but now I’ve opened the box, ol’ Pandora and chums just won’t lightly jump back in again…so now it’s open season for Master Gallacher’s search for this season’s Blogging Idol contestants… there are one or two fundamental requirements, as you might expect from a traditionalist such as myself… First, the blog must be in a language close to English (Oh, alright, if you insist on Sanskrit, I’ll have my cat look at it …)…Secondly, it must have letters and words in it …I know, I know, I know,… I’m picky like that …Thirdly, write ANYTHING you want to  (crossed cheques  could also be included in that, payable to Matron…)…The first universal invitation to guest blog here garnered several excellent prospects, and their offerings will grace this space in early course…(thank you, also, Uncle Fred and Auntie Mabel, but p’raps next time )…Now back to business … m’Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Writing Persuasion, be duly informed that entries are now officially open for your finest scribblings to appear unadulterated, or even unchildren-erated,…you are most welcome to have your guest blog posts  accompanied by the usual suspects, such as links to your own blogs, links to your places where the good reader folks of the planet can find your masterpieces, photographs of yourselves, photographs of people you don’t even know (what the heck, let’s go for it!)  and so on, and so on.. you know the drill guys and gals,,, now set to it,,, let me have your stuff …unless they are truly offensive, like criticizing Sir Alex Ferguson, all will be printed without any interference from me…Gosh, I’m so excited I nearly forgot my tablets,, where did I put them…??

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…one Shade of Seumas…

Inevitably, comparisons are always going to be made—the holding up of measurement mirrors, the galling gauge that indicates how far up, or how far down, or how far middle our achievements rank in whatever we do…no less so in this enthralling Big Dipper of book-write-ery—I understand that I can now string together fairly coherently up to at least five sentences, well, maybe four sentences, and make them sound half-way sensible—and therein lies the rub—delusions of adequacy can quickly pile in to tempt me to think that perhaps I’m getting somewhere worthwhile along the path of accepted author-dom—listings in Amazon Kindle pages, cleverly presented by those who manipulate such things, can have me believe that my novels are reaching a credible level of acceptance…happily the sales drawdown figures do not lie, so I can rest easily in my cot at night knowing that tens of thousands of people now have  Kindle copies of THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK nestled somewhere cosily in beside their anonymous copies of FORTY-NINE PLUS ONE SHADE OF A CERTAIN COLOUR…thus far however, apart from some (personally) very expensively produced hard copies of my offerings, the universe of readers can only get to see my musings through eBook download, and I’ve  been deliriously engaged with that for the last twelve months…today, however, I’m pleased to share with you that all that may about to have an additional dimension…the Scribing Gods have engineered a meeting for me with local book distributors here in the Middle East…I may be on the cusp,  to boldly go where many millions have gone before…having hard copies for sale in book shops…oh, the very swooning thought of it…I sense what Darien must  have experienced from that vantage point in Panama all these centuries ago… a brave frontier awaits me…my little baby steps lengthening into a-wee-bit-more-grown-up-paces…I may be about to become the 213,746,029th Wonder of the Writing World…Steinbeck, O’Hara, Child, Dickens…eat your hearts out…I’m on your trail…What? ..Yes, Matron, I was talking to myself…again…aw c’mon, give a guy break… not the restrainers again…see you later folks…I’ll keep you posted…

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…regrettably, Sir, there is no known antidote…

Torture can present itself in many guises, but the most pernicious of these is the self-inflicted form… the ‘creep-up-and-bite-you-on-the -bum-when-you’re-not-looking’ variety, the ‘I-never-realized-that-was-happening’ format…I know this from deep personal experience, the ‘I-remember-when-I-used-to-have-a -life’ cry…Once upon a time, (you see, it’s even crept into my blogs), there lived a quiet gentle Scottish laddie, who lived by the beautiful ocean in the Middle East…the sun shone every day, he could play with his bucket and spade in the sand all day if he wanted to, wear sunglasses that would make Lady Gaga envious, and fly to London every now and then just to see what rain looked like… and was he happy? …apparently not… this poor unsuspecting boy had yearnings to be a writer, a peddler of prose, a worker of words… the lure was too strong.. a laptop was purchased, the devil’s workings it would  ultimately prove…the web was introduced, (…’deliver us from email…’), Twitter was discovered, Facebook dawned…and the rest, as they say, (as they say), is His  Story…no, that should read ‘history’…now, a couple of novels under his embryonic scriber’s belt and his life is mortgaged to the Great God Laptop, his waking hours shackled to the grindstone that’s laughingly dubbed the Sosyal Medya…the tentacles that bind became even more Medusa-like, as fellow authors, good people all, became ensnared in the same virtual mesh…the feeding of each other’s mail boxes a life-sustaining supply of communication oxygen…I have consulted experts on this, a couple of five-year old children who inhabit the same building as I…both of whom are light years in advance of me in knowledge of how to work the gadgetry that propels the modern day miracle that seems to have replaced actually talking to people…they told me, these children, in the politest of manners, “…regrettably, Sir, there is no known antidote…”… or, at least, I think they said that, it was them wasn’t it? wasn’t it?…I am quite sane, really I am…nurse, nurse what are you doing with that syringe,, leave me alone…I can get into bed without this silly jacket with knots at the back…

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…becoming a legend in my own lunch-time…

One of the strangest foibles of human nature is the lunacy of doing the same actions over and over again and expecting different results as a consequence…part of the discovery trail that I’ve been trudging so happily recently involves getting out of my comfort zone, changing my routine, doing what my betters exhort me to do, not just listening to them and nodding like the five-dollar plastic puppy on the car back window… I’ve been told, instructed, advised, …nay… ordered… to get out and about as an author and tell the world about my work as a writer…Now, most scribblers that I’ve met, both online and face-to-face (yes, that still happens), will aver that they write… plain and simply, write… The original wordsmith-y deal didn’t come packaged with the duties of marketing, spouting in public places, book signings, launches, local newspaper and magazine pieces  and all of that mesmerizing stuff that belongs surely to showbizzies?…Well, the wake-up alarm is well and truly trilling, the klaxon kall is klattering, the siren  is screeching…we, this happy band of Thesaurus-thumping penspeople are obliged to clone ourselves…to be half-novelist, half-public-speaker and half entertainer  (I know, I know, I know, that’s one and a half already.. math was never my strong suit…) This morning it was my privilege to be the guest speaker at a local Ladies Group in Abu Dhabi…every red-blooded male’s best dream come true, right?… a room full of more than sixty women, and yours truly, the lone male…I wasn’t sure if I’d died and gone to Heaven ,..or died and gone to Hell…it turns out that these lovely ladies were a wonderful listening audience, and when it came to the Q and A session, were terrific (no, Mabel, they didn’t ask things thing like ‘what do you put on your toast in the mornings’…) the time allotted virtually flew by, and incredibly, it seems they ALL wanted to take away copies of my novels…so the message in there for me at least, and probably for most of my writing peers is simple..GET OUT THERE, become a legend in your own lunch-time…enjoy being a media tart… it looks good on the curriculum vitae… and it’s FUN…however, a little warning is in order…I’ve found myself taking to standing in front of mirrors, peeking to see ‘what’s my best side?’  ‘does this pose cut it?’ …’d’ye think a bit of Botox is called for?’… oh, I could go on, but the nurse’s is on the way with that stuff that makes me sleep till morning, must go…see you later …

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“…no man (woman, author, authoress) is an island…”

I think Mister John Donne was on to something as far back as 1600 ( that’s the year 1600, Mabel, dear, not 1600 hours ..) when he espoused his non-recluse position for all of us, that ‘no man is an island’…the longer I’m allowed to play on this wondrous merry-go-round of the internet, with its whims, wobbles, warts and all, the more I subscribe to his view…as much as I acknowledge that my ego is in constant need of deflating, I type here before you in a state of immense gratitude…My second novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK has just completed its second two-day wave on the Kindle Free promo circuit, with gratifying success…that could not have been possible without the support and kindness of so many of you out there in the hugely embracing writers’ universe…I know, I know, I know, that we’re exhorted to use the Sosyal Medya to get our message heard/seen/understood, but when it actually happens, it’s a thing of beauty and a joy for this writer to savour for ever… I confess that my incompetence in managing even the TweetDeck (my cat could do it better, really), caused my intended individual RT requests to be blanketed to all of my follower list… major faux pas, but mea culpa, it’s done, and we move on… hopefully to ‘know better next time’…what DID happen was that so many people DID pick it up and passed it along the Twitterverse…not only that, some did multiple RT-ing, backed up by great support also on Facebook …let me not omit the groundswell that joined in from the decks of the goodship, S.S.Goodreads…there were tons of tweets and emails and wall posts of encouragement long before the freebie dates,…I hail from a supposed ‘hard’ area of Glasgow, but readily admit to a lump in the throat and an overpowering sense of the ‘niceness’ of so many of you, who’ve never even met me apart from on here…some of you will be aware that I try to ‘pay it forward’ by RT-ing and giving a leg up where I can to others, and dole out my ‘great pals awards’ weekly… it’s my silly way of saying  ‘THANK YOU’ to each and every one of you for becoming an integral part of my life… now let’s put the wimpy tissues away and get down to business…A request please… authors among you will appreciate the importance of reviews (HONEST reviews) on the likes of the Amazon pages…may I humbly ask that  if any of you were among the legion that downloaded the novel, to try to place a couple of sentences or so of review on the Amazon pages…and I’ll love you forever, or at least until I get sane, which may take a lo-o-o-ong time…Matron’s arriving with her little helpers,..I better get back to my ward…see you all later…

But before I go, a HEARTFELT THANK YOU LIST to all who’ve been involved in one way or another in this project are listed below (in NO particular order, coz I don’t want you fighting now y’hear …)

SUPER MEGA WONDERFUL GREAT MARVELLOUS PALS PERSONS LIST :

@ogtomes

@Rozwood1970

@mikeinla09  and George the parrot

@crimeficreader

@CA_Kendrick

@NessaToale81

@CharityParkerso

@jamesjohnsonka

@JoeMcCoubrey1

@Clive_SJohnson

@jimmysmustard

@WriterAnnMullan

@KTBug4Peace

@Glasgowlee

@ColinBaines

@RStephenson5

@Susan_Buchanan

@DouglasRCobb

@VeraAnnMatty

@BZHercules

@DavidHaleSmith

@EdwardGGordon

@mufc99treble

@LillithKain

@Freddy_Mash

@relatetojody

@Maria_Savva

@Joyreesemoll

@Lyndajdickson

@GaryKassay

@StuartHaddon

@albersona

@GasparTheThief

@SuddenlyLIW

@bumbog

@News_Meister

@TweetBookTweet

@MichaelJMcCann1

@nicholasbirns

@TheGonzoLecture

@kshaigswood

@AlanKealey

@KathleenHagburg

@vmmckevitt

@dagonsblood

@roylmurry425

@kindlbookreview

@TimGreaton

@SuzanneGRogers

@SerenaAkeroyd

@MaryReedMcCall

@eCrimeThrillers

@m16agenda

@PeterCarroll10

@JaneIsaacAuthor

@seamuscorry

@PeggyBechko

@ABPotts

@MissMarple1

@tishwebb1

@ZaneBradey

@Hell4Heather

@MiraKolarBrown

@memichaeledward

@PrudenceMacLeod

@janewenhamjones

@AnthonyGillis

@eBookBuilders

@squidpublishing

@tobywneal

@janromes

@BillTalcott

@iblogtoglasgow

@crimefilover

@mcswainandbeck

@janeldridge1

@jay_squires

@terrytyler4

@RobSowrey

@Gary_C_King

@TheMasterThief

@mcjordan37

@TParrington

@FifeRover

@TheDeadlySeries

@RebeccaRatliff1

@shellieblum

@BethLynne1

@thewhiteou

@jack_rylance

@bushdog51

@BerwickBabs

@RebeccaBoyle3

@JedLomax

@katelaity

@AnyaLipska

@HarryCocque

@lochee

@ceesav

@authorzoesharp

@DaviDWilson

@hawkssr128

@james_lennie

@dleadbeater2011

@Goal786

@Dearharts

@StephenEdger

@LATripp2818

@guernseyevacuee

@WSHW1966

@susanlouineau

@TanjaArtStudio

@atocher

@plantagenatea

@AnneAllen21

@dnlkenyon

@CollapseNovel

@Stephenwoodfin

@rsguthrie

@davidtlender

@TheWritersRoad

@CeliasJourney

@scarberryfields

@ds_butler

@DundeePoet

@ItDaFiveOh

@_VanessaWho

@ChrisPetersenTX

@LemuelRoem

@seams16

@crowe_lisa

@Wendy2066

@peterjmcfc

@MG_WELLS

@TeodorFlonta

@Digital_Hobo

@panika

@jayeandrew

@backporchlady

@DebraWattes

@originaloflaura

@rnmorris

@adders500

@IHPower

@MeanOldManMike

@aly3008

@SirBenfro

@momilp

@amyjarecki

@helenmpearce

@kindle_promo

@ukeditor

@AndyHolloman

@KarenFRiley

@PattyannMc

@RaeannBlake

@jameswriter

@JChaseNovelist

@WilliamJKenney

@DionneLister

@tamwirral

@Andynpeters

@GuyPortman

@douglassteve

@failte215

@Operakatie

@AnneJames22

@Eileenhamer

@TheNLVampire

@Cat_Astrophe28

@wilkravitz

@clrdougherty

@lleander11

@UnaTiers

@tbraun_author

@KatieMettner

@IndAuthorSucess

@Fredadewar

@TWDittmer

@JuliaJay8

@Melonhead999

@kaminadra

@goroe

@thefrailninja

@ellariley2

@WilliamDeen

@CynthiaWoolf

@LaurieHanan

@willowmyst

@iantweetz

@annablack01

@riceauthor

@dmcgowanauthor

@WendyCartmell

@LJGroveArts

@886niko

@jim_coleman

@mikeslickster

@onisha

@EllisVidler

@treequeen

@obsidianpoet

@c9c

@JimGiammatteo

@BWitzenhausen

@PaulDBrazill

@Mirandstork

@greg_geek

@KatyHuthJones

@samanthajamison

@the13thdoorway

@BobbyMadigan

@TeriHeyer

@bruceablake

@FlickM3

@rossmkitson

@JJCollinsAuthor

@Sisyphus47

@JAMcCorkle

@111Publishing

@WrightLaRoche

@LindleyE

@JennyTwist1

@MrTumshie

@MyVogonPoetry

@playliststory

@colon_melanie

@Indie_Authors

@IndyStories

@FreeEbooksDaily

@TheReadersGuide

@VickyLimbert

@IndieKindle

@ReginaPucket

@nightflyer7

@JMLeitch

@SimonFoxWriter

@k3books

@JillKilihill

@Carolynngill

@IndieAuthorNews

@MrsWilkinson1

@chaptersandchat

@jaycuejay

@ruthninawelsh

@LifeRestored

@andm76

@katrin_blue

@PatMcDermott

@KissablySweet1

@DouglasWickard

@FiendishlyFab

@WodkeHawkinson

@pcarrigan1

@WH_Cann

@Doug_Pratt

@BradleySalters

@MilaABallentine

@talina

@BevMorris1

@danielkemp6

@SpaceOrville

@nicolehill17

52 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…can’t get no satisfaction..sez who?…

I wonder how many fellow writers out there have experienced that strange phenomenon that has visited me recently? As a fairly new convert to the Scribers Union, part of my programme has involved speaking at gatherings of readers groups and writers associations, describing the wonders of this marvellous miracle called ‘finishing-a-novel-for-the-first-time-in-my-life.’ Now that I’ve got two published books under my belt, the buzz is no less hyperbolic. Now, here’s the phenomenon…it seems that I’m now a magnet for myriad manuscripts, albeit, clutched in various fists of budding novelists, who up until now, have kept these hidden away in garrets and attics, and old family chests… Now comes your ‘umble servant, full of the joys of laptop-ism, and a Grade-Z student of the internet…the overwhelming unspoken sense seems to be..’if THAT clown can do it, so can we..!”… and let me let you into the NON-secret—YES, you can nudge out that novel, belt out that book, manipulate that manuscript, sculpt that script, and generally, uncover that book that everyone professedly has in their own DNA…these lovely people talk to me now with that endearing belief that because I’m a new author I must have the secret key to how to do all of this,..this is equalled only by my own befuddled bemusement of really how to do it all…I can only say to them, with all the encouragement I can muster…yes, you’re right, if THIS clown can do it…so can you….Unlike my old mucker, Mick Jagger, we CAN get satisfaction…enjoy it guys and gals…BTW ( that’s internet-speak for ‘by the way”), there’ll be two final free Kindle  promotion days for VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, September 6th and 7th this week… help yourselves…you’re welcome.

The links are listed below :

Link for Amazon UK

Link for Amazon US :

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008H45KJC

6 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff