Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sarah’s Child Getting Rave Reviews

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Slide1My latest novel, ‘Sarah’s Child’ is getting rave reviews over on Smashwords.com  and even better reviews at Amazon.com. I co-wrote this with Paul England; he supplied the true events and I wrote the narrative. It is a fictionalised account of events that affected his family in recent years. While the theme and plot are accurate, the characters have been radically altered to ensure they can’t be identified as anyone living or dead, except perhaps by the individuals themselves; if they choose to so identify.  That would be a mistake as I have applied considerable literary license to the novel to make it entertaining and fiction. The ending, for example, is total fiction but gripping nonetheless.

What is very true is the social issues it addresses such as; postpartum depression, single parenting, controlling relationships and so on. There is already a sequel planned, ‘Sarah’s Turn’ and that should begin pre-production as the movie types say, tomorrow. I am very pleased with the reaction so far and am looking forward to writing even better for the sequel. Paul has given me more information and direction as to where he wants the novel to go and I am confident I can weave another enjoyable read from his material. The book will be released on Amazon.com tomorrow. So far it has had 915 downloads of the beta reader, or review copy. The first few hundred were of the pretty raw first draft, followed by several hundred of the 80% edited version. The feedback from beta readers was crucial in getting the plot holes ironed out and any confusing bits repaired. Then I sent it to my  proof reader, Jeff Kennedy for final editing. Jeff is a lot slower typer and reader than me and misses nothing, as well as being a talented writer in his own right. If nothing else, his corrections prove once again, if any further proof is necessary, of the value of having your manuscript proofed and edited by a fresh set of eyes.

I hope readers will surf over to Smashwords and buy a copy, just US$4.99 in eBook format and as a paperback only US$14.99 plus shipping.

Blog Tour? Wazza Blog Tour?

Monday, May 26th, 2014

The Tale Of The Ancient MarinaI have been invited by Aaron David, the well-known Bolton bon vivant and author of ‘The Tale of the Ancient Marina’, to join his blog tour. Aaron, by the way, was discovered by me and I published his very funny first novel to international acclaim (some might dispute the details of this allegation). If I had the five thousand quid to enter it into the Man Booker Prize I would, but sadly funding issues and all that. Lame excuses aside, the blog tour is a way for writers to network and have some fun and hopefully draw some attention to their writing and their blog. Given I have been flat strap since my last post, this is one of those good things we all need from time to time to kick start us into doing something.

So the thing is, I answer four questions about me and my work, link to other writers and they do the same and all of a sudden we achieve the fame and fortune we deserve. So here goes!

1) What am I working on?

I have several projects going at the moment. I am ghostwriting three books, editing two, publishing one and trying to get some of my own short stories written for the ‘Postcards From Pudu’ anthology inspired by my recent tour of Malaysia and the Philippines with fellow author and business partner, Frank ‘Currywolf’ Green. I have quite a busy schedule of work, interspersed with tutoring sessions and the odd lecture course at college but it keep sme busy and the wolf from the door and as a self-employed writer, one must have multiple streams of income.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?Photo: Designed the cover of the anthology that is planned to emerge from our trip to Malaysia and the Philippines in April. 'Postcards From Pudu - Short Stories From Singapore To Cebu' by Curry Wolf and Satay Bear. Ten ripping yarns from each author that are all set in the Malay archipelago in the tradition of W. Somerset Maugham and Louis L'Amour!It will be available sometime in the second half of 2014, so get your pre-orders in as stocks will be limited to a few hundred thousand only...

If we are talking about my Street Lit Trilogy, ‘The Cool Side of the Pillow’, Twenty Seven Seventy’ and ‘Never Be Unsaid’, I think it is that I try to bring a higher standard of literary application to topics of contemporary and everyday mundanity! Mundanity is the noun of mundane. I just made it up but you can use it, introduce it to your personal lexicon, get it out there. Discussing deep topics in ordinary language everyone can understand is no easy task and I don’t always succeed; at least not if success is measured by the number of copies sold. But I do try. And I love trying.

https://dwtr67e3ikfml.cloudfront.net/bookCovers/8ed531604446e74899c5005783951651e26c762fMy short stories attempt to entertain and intrique and most of all, make the reader pause, ponder and process. I love the short story format because you can get the job done and see the end of it, unlike the long term commitment to a novel. Shorties are coming back into vogue because we have more platforms to read them on with eReaders, blogs, eBooks and of course, mobile phones.
3) Why do I write what I do?

Because (with my novels) I have something I want to say. I believe I have said it all for now and have turned my back on novel writing. I prefer to pursue the short story and help revive it with the new platforms eWriting is offering in blogs, eBooks and so forth. I personally believe an anthology of short stories is better for someone going on a journey than an airport blockbuster they may or may not finish, not to forget the sheer weight and bulk of those things. I write what I write for my own enjoyment as much as anyone else’s. Just as Aaron wrote in his blog, I am my own best audience, my biggest fan but also my most strident critic.
4) How does my writing process work?

With short stories I usually have an idea for a title, a snatch of dialogue or a plot twist; most often drawn from something I have observed first hand in real life or that has morphed from one idea to another. By this I mean I have a random thought that trots off on a path in one direction, then takes a side street, then a short cut, then doubles back and so on. Very rhizomatic one might say.

With novels and non-fiction work I plan it out using Excel to give me chapter headings, outlines and word count. I have Scrivener, which is a superb software program however I can’t be asked to invest the many hours it would take for me to be able to use it as well as I work my own method. Once the Excel scaffold is laid out, I use Word in Notebook format to give me a tabbed page for each chapter, then I collate them in Print View and edit, format and publish. My only whinge is you can’t check word count in Notebook format, so you have to copy/paste to Print View to check if the chapter is hitting the planned word count. More for non-fiction than fiction writing.

So now I have to upload this, add the links of course and then perhaps try and get stuck into something that pays me to write it! I’ll let you know who my three writers are when I attract them, entice them, coerce them or blackmail them into joining the tour!

 

 

Awesome Result In 24 Hours

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Screenshot 2014-01-13 00.54.48In the first 24 hours of being available for sale on Amazon.com, ‘Out of Stock, Sir!’ has made it to a ranking of 172,187 in the Paid Store! I am stunned. I did push a free coupon download to facebook friends last night and so far two dozen half availed and a few have written great reviews. I have sold one copy on Amazon.com but I still have no idea how come it is ranking so well, so soon. Stay tuned!.

Update 24 Hours Later: Within 30 minutes of publishing this post the ranking sank to 180,000. The following morning it was at 230,345 and now, 24 hours after first checking and finding it at 172,187 the rank is 115,522! Will it crack five figures? Who knows, stay tuned!

 

130 Today – Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 9th, 2010

I just read that a woman in Georgia has turned 130 years old. That’s the country on the Black Sea, not the US state, in case anyone was curious. I doubt there is anyone in the US that is healthy enough to live that long and we in Australia are waddling up fast behind them. This woman lives in a remote, mountain village. This suggests to me she has had to keep physically active far more than her city dwelling sisters might and her diet would be far less processed than yours or mine.

I do wonder how much change she has actually seen since 1880. Do they have television and the internet in her village? Cell phones? Was she even aware that Joseph Stalin ruled the country between the Czars and the current democratically elected Georgian president? How much protection and longevity would such isolation offer? She has had a long life, but has it been a good one? Quality of life is important and while you never miss what you never had or know exists, has she had a good life? Consider before the Russian Revolution was five years old she had passed her 40th birthday and was quite possible a grandmother. By the time the Second World War was happening in her neck of the woods she was past retirement age!

There have been many stories written about immortality, time travellers and dynastic sagas because there is a  marketable fascination with time and ageing and life. When I turn 130 it will be the year 2092. I wonder what this world will be like then? Maybe I need to go and hide away in some mountain fastness because most of these really old people seem to live well above sea level. So long as I can get online there…. why not?

How To Make Money Writing – Starting Online Today

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Product Description
Imagine if you could write simple articles about things that interest you and make money doing it? There are more than twenty lesson/chapters in this book that show you how to do just that by using the internet.

The primary focus is on using short articles to promote a website or blog. Money is made with products or with ads that generate income for the website owner for each click – several ways to “monetize” a website or blog are discussed. Articles are dis… More >>

How To Make Money Writing – Starting Online Today

The Freelance Writer’s E-Publishing Guidebook: 25+ E-Publishing Home-based Online Writing Businesses to Start for Freelancers

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Product Description
The Handbook of Writing skills for E publishing and the Digital Media. This book is about creating 25+ home-based online writing, producing, or information disseminating businesses for freelance writers, editors, and those who serve them in the information industry. The book targets the digital media and electronic publishing industries as well as details more than 25 different businesses for freelance writers who enjoy working online and at home. It’s useful also a… More >>

The Freelance Writer’s E-Publishing Guidebook: 25+ E-Publishing Home-based Online Writing Businesses to Start for Freelancers

Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Product Description
How to apply digital writing skills effectively in the classroom, from the prestigious National Writing Project As many teachers know, students may be adept at text messaging and communicating online but do not know how to craft a basic essay. In the classroom, students are increasingly required to create web-based or multi-media productions that also include writing. Since writing in and for the online realm often defies standard writing conventions, this book d… More >>

Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments

How To Find an Online Writing Class

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Product Description
Many people of different skill levels and experience levels want to flex their writing muscles with an online writing class. If you’re one such person, here are a few tips…

Written by experts in the field, Quick Easy Guides share little-known trade secrets and helpful hints to get you moving in the right direction.

Quick Easy Guides gives you books you can judge by the cover. Our books are short, sweet and cheap. You can see for yourself.

We s… More >>

How To Find an Online Writing Class

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Product Description
The same award-winning content that has made the Paradigm website an Internet classic is now available in this quality paperback edition.This writer’s guide and handbook accompanies the popular website, www.powa.org. It offers strategies for discovering, organizing, revising, and editing your mastering the writing process. It also covers thesis/support essays, informal essays, exploratory essays and argumentative essays. In addition, the book offers a clear, concise… More >>

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant

The Online Writing Conference

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Product Description
Composition is going digital. Online writing courses in colleges across the country are increasing each year. How do we best teach writing over the Web? Beth Hewett provides real and practical answers in The Online Writing Conference. Grounded in current theory and research, her approach centers on building relationships, solving problems, and working efficiently with mini-lessons and clear directions so that teachers and tutors can guide students toward improved wr… More >>

The Online Writing Conference