Tag Archives: #Voinks

Writer’s support

…my great pal, Val Portelli, she of ‘Voinks’ blog fame, pens this terrific piece which makes for almost mandatory reading for every author on the planet, in my not-so-‘humble view!



Writing can be one of the loneliest professions. Even if we’re not stuck away in the proverbial attic our quill pens or laptops are not the friendliest of company. 

Luckily the ‘family’ of authors are one of the most supportive group I’ve ever come across. Having been there, done that and bought the printing paper I’ve learnt that experienced, best selling, traditionally published scribblers are as likely to offer their advice and support as others still struggling to understand the vagaries of the Indie route.


Here’s a quick guide to writing a book and becoming an overnight success:

  • Have an idea.
  • Start typing (or writing) feeling inspired.
  • Get stuck half way through.
  • Finally type ‘The End.’
  • Sit back and wait to become famous.
  • Realise that’s not going to work.
  • Re-read your masterpiece and discover all the errors.
  • Friends and family re-assure you it’s wonderful.
  • Re-write your blockbuster.
  • Proof read.
  • Get…

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…a truly magnificent Guest Post from my friend, Authoress, Val Portelli…

…this  ol’ Jurassic is blessed with gazillions of great scribbler pals on the Web, many of whose Guest Posts have graced this page… but seldom do I receive one that simply blows me away… yeez will enjoy this remarkably uplifting piece from my dear friend, Authoress, Val Portelli… I’ll let her speak for herself… have a peek…


What is a writer?


A writer is someone who writes, so I guess that includes most of us.

I wrote a daily diary from when I was very young, and when I was about nine or ten I submitted a short story to ‘Woman’ magazine. The naivety and expectations of youth, but to give them their due I actually received a response; my first rejection letter, but old fashioned courtesy in taking the bother to reply.

Years went by and with the necessity of earning a living I went into a respectable profession.

Life plodded along, I earned a reasonable salary, bought my own house, worked hard, and was able to afford two week’s holiday every summer.

At first Spain was my destination of choice, even if at the time it was less Watney’s Red barrel and more fishing villages, natural beauty and a few small hotels. I remember being serenaded by a young, local guy, who borrowed a guitar from a total stranger to serenade me as we strolled along the beach. Yes, he did give it back. A simpler, more trusting time.

I expanded my horizons and Italy, Portugal, France, Turkey and even Casablanca joined my ‘Been there’ list of countries to contribute to the memory bank. The place that stayed in my heart was Malta or IDB as I still call it. (‘Italy and down a bit’ when trying to explain to non-Europeans where the bit of rock in the middle of the Mediterranean actually resides.)

Valletta, the capital, will be the European City of Culture in 2018, an honour attributed to Glasgee in I believe in 1990. I stand to be corrected by a kilt-wearing author who will know better than me!

I digress. My love of writing and memories of my ‘second home’ combined to produce my first published novel, ‘Changes’ by ‘Voinks.’




‘Be careful what you wish for’ is I believe an ancient Chinese curse. My active, social, hectic life changed overnight when my wish was granted. I received the gift of ‘Stop the world I want to get off.’

Not quite what I intended when a freak accident caused me to be house/hospital bound for nearly two years. Another cliché. ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ has always been one of my favourite expressions, except I couldn’t walk a yard, never mind a mile.



Going stir-crazy I arranged for a friend to bring my laptop into the hospital. ‘Changes’ was conceived. If I had still been working 24/7 it would probably never have seen the light of day.

Trembling when I received the envelope with the publisher’s logo, gearing myself up to receiving my second rejection letter, but older and wiser now than my pre-teens.

‘We have received your first three chapters and want to see more.’

Did you know you can do a happy, skippy dance even if one leg is useless?

If you look up the great God Amazon, you will find me. The bug had well and truly bitten, even when I became slightly more mobile. Short stories, Drabbles, Facebook author page, blogs, book signings, competitions, inspiration for new ideas are now part of my daily life- and I LOVE it!

My second book, ‘ABC Destiny’, is now also available on Amazon

abc destiny


Most importantly, I have joined the community of ‘Authors,’ and what lovely people they are.

My fellow writers understand the highs and lows, the joys and frustrations, and why the sale of midnight burning candles goes through the roof when the latest block-buster is being developed.


Gawd bless you my fellow authors (and readers) for your sharing and support. Thank you for your encouragement and may you reach No 2 in the best sellers list. (Guess who number one is reserved for? I may be nice but not that nice!)

Lol and a big mwaah (which my spell checker now accepts as normal thanks to my fellow authorish person and blogger, Seumas Gallacher)

Keep on scribbling.

Voinks x


…thanks for your story, m’Lady, Val… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…



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…LUVLY Guest Blog post from my authoress pal, Val Portelli…

…the modern truth for authors, self-publishing or traditionally housed, is the need to be present on the SOSYAL NETWURKS, and to engage in blogging… here’s the delightful trip to that discovery by my great pal, Authoress, Val Portelli



I am an author- I LOVE saying that.

Years ago I was a banker, when it was a highly respected profession, but somehow it didn’t have quite the same ring to it.

‘No way!’ I told my niece, when she insisted I should have a Facebook page to promote my first book ‘CHANGES.’



‘That’s just for kids, playing silly games and chatting online, instead of walking five minutes to a friend’s house to speak face to face. E-mail is good enough for me. It’s easier than buying a stamp, writing a letter and waiting for a reply, in the hope the postman is in a good mood. ‘

Famous last words.

Apart from becoming a closet, addicted online games player, I’m now the proud possessor of two Facebook pages, – Val Portelli (the ‘me’ one) and Voinks (the professional ‘me’ one.)

My original solitary e-mail has now grown into four.

Blogging was next on the list.

One of those ‘it seemed a good idea at the time’ ideas, which now involves more hours spent keeping track of what’s been posted where, than actually writing!

Then there’s learning how the darn thing works in the first place. All good experience as they say.

In the midst of all this I somehow managed to get a publisher interested in my follow-up book

ABC Destiny.’


My very first book-signing event was arranged for the week following publication. Exciting stuff, except the builders were in and all my decent clothes were in black sacks, buried under piles of rubble.

What I have found amazing is how small the online world actually is, and how much cyber friends have in common. Readers of fiction seem to share a common love of animals, (I’m a dog person more than a cat one), nature and beautiful photographs.

Family and health are another common denominator, and I find myself routing for online friends beating Cancer, supporting those suffering from a bereavement, or celebrating the birth of a grandchild with a total stranger I have never met.

What a weird world we live in. Despite the changes in our lifestyles, technology still offers the old fashioned ‘over the back fence’ gossip, and support necessary for humans to interact with their fellow man.

Mix and Match

My online friends are an eclectic mix covering my various interests. As I get to know them I have discovered they are impossible to categorise. Initially they were divided into appropriate tags;

Elvis, Rock and roll, Authors, Animal lovers, Readers, Book clubs, Malta and so on.

Over time the categories become less clear cut. The professional contacts, such as Seumas Gallacher had to be moved to the ‘proper friends’ department; supportive, encouraging and there for you when you need them most.

His blog about his daughter enjoying a show and speaking in Tagalog, reminded me of another friend from the rock and roll category, who had an identical experience.

I’ve given up trying to categorise people; perhaps that is the true meaning of social media.

Thank you Sir Gallacher, me old Jurassic, for letting me liberate these thoughts, freeing my brain to get back to writing my next best-seller.

Love yeez.:

…m’Lady, Val’s wee masterpieces can be ‘clicked’ and owned thus on Amazon:

ABC Destiny’ by Voinks.


CHANGES’ by Voinks.







With stupendous thanks to my good friend Seumas Gallacher and his sidekick Jack Calder, who despite being world renowned (and Scottish) is supporting up and coming authors who are looking to take his crown. LoL. X

…many thanks for sharing, m’lady, Val… onward and upward :):)



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