Blog 24: If you can’t write, then READ instead.

Sometimes writers just don’t feel like writing. We’re all human at the end of the day and sometimes we are busy but often we have times where we lack motivation. I’ve spent the last couple of days distracted by other things in my life and unable to write a word. Even writing this blog has been difficult. I’ve been umming and ahhing about what topic to cover and how to give old topics a new spin, but my brain wouldn’t work and I was getting nowhere with it. Then it struck me, ironically I thought to myself ‘why don’t I write about not writing?’ I dug into my old topics and decided to take the advice I had already written in other blogs, if you can’t write, then READ instead.

Some people would probably groan at the very idea of reading a book. Unlike listening to the latest chart songs, books require hours of dedication and in our busy world some would say that they simply do not have enough time. However, not all books are epic fantasy novels with hundreds of sequels and prequels, there are short stories out there too.

Why am I championing reading? read more »

Blog 23: Inspiring Authors

There have been a number of authors who have inspired me over the years and some of them I have only discovered recently. Whether they have made me laugh, cry, or just hooked me into buying more of their work, there are just some books that you will talk about and remember forever.

Unfortunately I don’t have the time to write about all the authors who have inspired me right now, so I’ll save them for future blogs. However, I have noticed a certain trend that crops up amongst some of my favourite books. If the author’s writing style or ideas are quirky, funny, clever and/or unusual, then it will most likely snag my attention. With that knowledge in mind, I couldn’t resist writing about these three particular gentlemen… read more »

Blog 22: Reactions Make Stories Believable!

Emotions

Have you ever read a book where a character does or says something that seems to be completely bizarre? I don’t mean a plot-twist, I mean when a character literally does not follow ‘normal human behaviour’ causing the story to lose its believability and you, as the reader, end up questioning what planet the author was living on when they wrote their book? Unfortunately this seems to happen from time to time and it can cause readers to lose interest in, or give up on, a book entirely.

As much as every person is unique and reacts differently to different situations, and of course you will always have the anomalies (or rather the few that don’t behave like the majority), sometimes characters react in ways that you just cannot fathom, and when this happens your brain will point out everything that it views as flaws. Sometimes this is down to the individual reader but often it is the author’s fault, whether it be poor writing, or poor structural editing, or a seemingly lack of understanding in basic human reactions. Sometimes authors write sentences, paragraphs and even chapters that your brain just cannot get on board with. Before I go further, it is important to point out here that not everyone will enjoy or understand a particular book, everyone has different tastes, and even the famous authors receive bad reviews. read more »

Blog 21: Social Media for Authors, Writers and Readers.

blog 21

I’ve scoured Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the internet for groups, pages, blogs, channels and websites specifically aimed at authors, writers and readers. I’ve picked out a few and listed them below to help you get started, but there are plenty more out there to choose from…

facebook logoFacebook pages & groups for Authors/Writers

BooksGoSocial Author’s Group

BooksGoSocial Book Review Club

The Writer’s Circle

Writers’ Group

Writers Write read more »

Blog 20: Six Villainous Character Types.

Villains 2

The villain or antagonist will usually play a crucial role in any good novel. So, after reading hundreds of novels and watching hundreds of films over the years, I decided to analyse some villains for myself. What exactly makes a good villain and do they fit into different categories? Well yes they do in my opinion, though it is likely that a memorable villain – just like any person – will fit into more than one category. With a little bit of research and reading, here are the six broad categories for different types of villains that I decided upon… read more »

Blog 19: My Average Writing Day…

MAWD

I wanted to post something a little more humorous and hopefully somewhat insightful. All of you writers, authors and freelancers out there who don’t adhere to the 9-5 hours and work 7 days a week, this is a post for you.

My average writing day doesn’t begin at 6am or even 7am like most people. It’s not because I’m lazy or because I don’t work for the same amount of hours, it is because I have often been up the night before writing til dawn. My day begins at around 10am, and sometimes my alarm clock is the sound of window cleaners banging their mops and brushes against my window. In my half awake state I’ll head straight for the kettle for some glorious caffiene. read more »

Blog 18: Six Paranormal Fantasies for the Summer.

1) She Never Got To Say Goodbye by Ica Iova

A Paranormal Fantasy and Thriller with a splash of Romance. She Never Got To Say Goodbye follows the lives of Olivia an aspiring lawyer, and Brandon the already established lawyer. The story starts off fairly normally, Olivia and Brandon coincidently meet at a restaurant, start talking and then later fall in love, marry and have a child. However, that is where the ‘normal’ ends. After a particularly bad case, Brandon ends up falling into a spiral of guilt and depression, turning to drinks and drugs in an attempt to drown his sorrows. Brandon’s addictions drive a wedge in his relationship with Olivia, and after a drunken argument, Brandon wakes up on the floor of his home to find that his wife has been murdered. Olivia returns as a ghost, and with little recollection from both sides as to what actually happened the night of her murder, she immediately blames Brandon. Furious that Brandon could do such a thing, Olivia is hell bent on making Brandon’s life as difficult as possible. However, as time goes on and Brandon is cleared of murder, Olivia is left wondering about who murdered her and why?

Beautifully written with humour and heartbreak, this is a story with many twists and turns, and although the murderer is easy to spot, this story will still surprise you.

Amazon: Kindle Ed, £2.12. Paperback, £8.99.

2) The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

Weird but brilliant, The Rest Of Us Just Live Here is a quirky coming of age story. Focusing on the minor characters and their lives rather than the main characters (aka The Indie Kids), Patrick Ness has managed to write a compelling story from a completely different viewpoint. The story follows the life of Mikey and his friends, who in normal fiction would be the background characters, yet they catch glimpses of the ‘heroes’ who are out there saving the world. Cleverly written and packed with humour, Mikey and his friends just want to make it to prom and graduation. Despite Mikey’s OCD’s and his unrequited love for his friend Henna, he just wants the last few weeks of school to run as smoothing as possible. However, not everything is as ‘normal’ as it appears. One of Mikey’s friends happens to be a demi-god, a new kid called Nathan appears to be a former indie kid, and a car accident involving a deer leaves Mikey both battered and confused. Will he ever conquer his OCD’s? Will Henna return his love? and which indie-kid will save the world this time?

A must read for anyone who is looking for something a bit different.

Amazon; Kindle Ed, £4.99, Hardcover £9.09.

3) Message Bearer  by M.S. Dobing

A Paranormal, Urban Fantasy with plenty of Mystery and Thriller thrown into the mix. Message Bearer combines the real world with magic and multiple mythologies in one action-packed adventure. This story centers around a young, homeless man called Seb, who ends up crossing the path of a woman and a terrifying creature. Unfortunately for Seb, the woman gives him a hidden message just before she dies, which makes Seb the creature’s new target. Seb is thrown into a world of magic and daemons where he discovers his own hidden magical talents and a secret magical world. Seb is not welcomed with open arms and is only tolerated because he is the only one who can reveal the secrets of the hidden message. As more daemons appear and the fabric of reality starts to break down, it is race against time for Seb to break open the hidden message. However, the bad guys and good guys have mixed motives, leaving you wondering who is truly good and who is truly bad? Will Seb be able to uncover the secrets of the hidden message in time to save the world?

A must read for those who love action-packed adventures, and/or are interested in mythologies. Another extra addtion, this story is set in the North-West of England with references to real places.

Amazon UK: Kindle Ed, £0.99. Paperback, £8.99. Amazon US: Kindle Ed, $1.43. Paperback $11.99.

4) The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Beautifully written and historically educating. If you love Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, you will love The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo.

Set just a little before modern times, The Ghost Bride follows the story of Li Lan. Since the death of her mother, Li Lan’s father has amassed debts and lost most of their former wealth. Li Lan’s father is then approached with an unsual but not unheard of proposal. Li Lan is asked to marry the recently deceased and wealthy heir of the Lim family, in complice with ancient chinese traditions and in order to satisfy and honour the spirits of the dead. However, Li Lan is understandably a little hesistant. The idea is outdated and she doesn’t want to tie the rest of her life to a ghost, despite the fact that the Lim family’s wealth would help her father. When the Lim’s deceased heir starts to torment her dreams, Li Lan accidently slips into the spirit world where she uncovers some terrible secrets about the Lim family, and where she meets the mysterious Er Lang. Can Li Lan find the truth and avoid her marriage, and can she escape the spirit world and return to her body in time?

UK Amazon: Kindle, £2.63.  Paperback, £7.99.

5) Wild-Born by Adrian Howell

Wild Born

A more sinister Paranormal and Urban Fantasy, this story is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Wild-Born follows the life of Adrian Howell (also the author’s pen name), a young teenager who discovers he has telekinetic powers. When Adrian is attacked and kidnapped, he is plunged into a brutal world with complex governments and waring groups (factions). Adrian discovers he is a psionic and that there are many psionic’s like himself. He escapes his captor and is rescued by another psionic, Cindy, who gives him a home and introduces him to a young, psionic girl called Alia. It is not long before the trio are discovered, and Adrian is captured again, along with his new little sister Alia. They are taken to a government, underground facility, where other psionics are being held and experimented on. Adrian and Alia are forced into making tough decisions that even adults would struggle with, as well as dealing with dark and sinister elements of the real world. Will they be able to hold out whilst Cindy tries to bring together a team to rescue them?

Wild-Born is unique in the way that you experience this world through the eyes of two youngsters and not older teenagers or adults. Despite being a bit sinister at times, there is still plently of action and humour throughout. Wild-Born is a more mature read and makes refence to some sensitive topics, if you are ok with this, then you will find it easy to devour these error-free pages.

Amazon: Kindle Ed, free. Paperback £8.07.

6) Anomaly (The Soul Prophecies) by Caitlin Lynagh

A Paranormal Fantasy about life and death.

Anomaly follows the story of Kyle Hunter, a business undergraduate at Red Oak University, and Alice Lynam, a recently deceased soul.

At the start of Kyle’s second year, and two years since the death of his childhood sweetheart, Kyle is trying his best to move on from Alice and get on with his life. However, unbeknown to Kyle, Alice is still around, and she has been watching him closely. Alice knows that her death prompted Kyle to give up his aspirations as a physicist and to follow his father’s dream to follow a business career instead, but Kyle along with the majority of the living are more important than they realise. Every decision that each person makes, from something small like a smile to something major like a scientific discovery, causes fluctuations in the future, and not all of them are good or positive. Armed with the knowledge of the afterlife, a book she left behind, and the memories from an ancient and extra-terrestial prophet, Alice needs to find a way through to Kyle and reawaken his old ambitions and dreams, if she fails, then the future for humanity could be lost forever.

A story that will resonate with all young people feeling the pressure of society’s expectations as they embark on their journey into adulthood.

Kindle ed: £2.99, Paperback £9.99.

Blog 17: Promoting Your Book, Advice from a Marketing Consultant.

Promoting book

We all know how difficult it is to sell books, and for the majority of authors, we just don’t have enough time or funds to market our books in the first place. So I decided to talk to a Marketing Consultant and ask them questions about how to go about marketing books, where to start and what an author needs to know. Here is our conversation… read more »

Blog 16: Ten Bookish Things for Bookish People!

Are you a book-lover or know a book-lover? Then here are ten bookish related things just for you, ranging from quirky hotels to delicious cake, this is a list of some of the bookish things you can find online today!

1] Book and Bed Tokyo is a bookstore/library themed capsule hotel. The hotel can sleep up to twelve guests in small compartments built into the bookshelves, and a further eighteen guests in similar compartments outside of the reading area. More like a hostel than a hotel, these unique and inexpensive reading nooks are all about relaxing with a good book before settling down to sleep. Even though none of the books are for sale, they are free to be read by guests and the hotel is ebook friendly with free wi-fi. book and bedhttp://bookandbedtokyo.com/en/

read more »

Blog 15: Approaching a Bookshop with your Book.

books

Now I am not an expert here at all, and as a new author I’ve only had one encounter with a bookshop so far, to say it went badly would be an understatement. However, I learnt some valuable lessons from that one encounter and I’m going to share those lessons with all of you aspiring authors.

As a new author you will want to contact local and independent bookshops. WH Smiths and Waterstones may be less likely to take you, as a new author, seriously but that’s not to say they won’t stock your book at all. Many Waterstones have a local author’s section but as I’m sure you have noticed, the giants tend to stock the famous authors and celebrity cookbooks. Local and independent bookshops will also stock these books but they are more likely to stock your book too. read more »