269 Days To Darker

I am thrilled to announce that it became official this week that The Darker Side of Fiction will be an annual event to be held in Peterborough. While there is of course no guarantee I will be invited back each year I can see me attending on a regular basis even if only as a guest, I love the fact Hourglass not only were willing to take a chance on me personally but that they work tirelessly to support and promote independent authors and give them chances they would struggle to achieve on their own.

I have done small signing event in my friends shop, I have done an on-line book launch but proper signing events are very hard to organise, I believe it is possible to arrange to do them in your local Waterstones but like everything it costs, and of course so does this but here is the big difference. You publish your first couple of books but are still struggling to make your voice heard and get your books read, all those people that promised reviews somehow never quite got round for it so you and trapped in the undercurrent of Amazon’s logistics, so how do you make you voice hear, get your work seen, well in steps an angel or in this case a couple of angels.

Hourglass events is run by Jo and Rachel, and they decided to combine their events business with a love of reading and create first the Leeds event then the Darker event, this gives smaller authors like myself the chance to sign alongside others with established followings, it provides the possibility of reaching a wider audience, that someone looking at the next stall might pick up your book and decide it looks interesting and worth taking a chance on. Kindle give-aways are great for getting you book onto peoples kindles what they can’t do is get that person to actually read it and post a review if they enjoy it, someone picking up a print version and investing their own money is more likely to at least read it, the review well that can come down to numerous other factors but you do stand a higher chance if they loved it.

I would really encourage anyone who gets the chance to go along to one of these book signing events, they are a fairly cheap way to pass a few hours, and even if you don’t by a stack of books you get the chance to meet new authors, get their cards and follow them on social media so you can find out more about them and maybe buy the books at a later date, but more than anything give them the support to continue following their dreams in an industry where so often you can be left feeling like you have banged your head against a million walls.

Join Me At The Darker Side!!!!!!

Well guys the countdown really is beginning and over the coming weeks I will be bring you more from the other awesome authors who will be joining me in Peterborough next year at the first annual Darker Side Of Fiction event hosted by Hourglass Events. At the minute I am under no illusions I will be one of the lesser known authors there but I would of course love it if any of you can make it to either the day signing event or the evening ball, there will be lots of fun, give-aways, raffles and craziness.

So last night at ten this happened…

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Yes the tickets went on sale, now if you are interested the link you will need is here… https://thedarkersideoffiction2017.eventbrite.co.uk

The event is being held at the Holiday Inn in Peterborough this is the ballroom though I think the decor shall be a little darker or course for our event, and anyone who does decide to come along to the evening event please let me know and we can arrange for you to be at my table should you wish

peterborough-moat-house-peterborough_210520101312083125In the next twelve months as we countdown to the event there is so much to look forward too, my dark medieval trilogy will be coming out with the first part out this year and parts two and three next year, the print version of Voices Across The Void will be out for Halloween and there will be give-aways to come with that both here and on FB. For those of you on FB please come and join us on The Darker Side Of Fiction 2017 page where you can keep up with events and also grab yourself lots of give-aways, freebies and enter some cool competitions.

Q & A with Darker Side Signing Author Hemmie Martin

This week I am honoured to be able to share a Q & A session that the very talented Hemmie Martin was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to complete, IMG_0357Hemmie is one of the authors I shall be joining at The Darker Side of Fiction signing event, next year in Peterborough and is and has an impressive array of work under her belt which can be found on Amazon here. For today however she has paused writing and agreed to answer a mix of questions that I hope will both entertain and let us get to know Hemmie a little better, so without further ado…

1) I did consider starting with when did you start writing, but I think most of us started at a fairly young age and carried on until we could string coherent sentences together. So instead I will ask it a different way, when did you realise you had stories you wanted to share with the world?

My English teacher at High school commented that I had written a book over the years about a World War 2 fighter pilot called Hayden Moss, due to using him as a character in every story I had written. I thought then how cool it would be to have a book published, but life took me in a totally different direction, and I didn’t consider this to be a realistic goal until 2004.

2) How did your nearest and dearest feel when you first announced you were publishing a book? Has their reaction changed as you have released more and become more successful?

When I first began writing, my husband thought getting published was a pipe dream, but he saw how happy writing made me, so he continued encouraging me. When I received news from a publisher that they wanted to work with me, my husband and daughters were very excited. I now have seven books published with Winter Goose Publishing, but I’m not sure it impresses my family much anymore. The first book was exciting, now it seems a normal event. In fact, my husband sees it as my job now, so no need for praise! I do wish more was made of my publication day by him (daughters are now at university), but I’ve accepted not to expect too much, or anything at all!

3) Have you ever been in public, maybe on a train or plane and seen anyone reading one of your books? If so had did you react, if not how do you think you would react?

I’ve not had the pleasure – although if someone was reading the kindle version, I wouldn’t know! If I did see someone reading my book I imagine I would feel ecstatic and embarrassed, and definitely far too shy to say anything.

4) Everyone has that one character that when they write him or her they fall in love with, mine is my bad guy from my as yet unpublished trilogy, who is yours and can you tell us a little bit about them?

Mine is DI Eva Wednesday, from my crime series. I originally wrote ‘In the Light of Madness’ as a stand-alone crime novel, but Eva touched me, and I found myself missing her and wanting to get to know her more – hence a four book series, with the next one due in September 2017.

I love the fact that she has an internal anxiety about becoming mentally ill, as her mother suffers with schizoaffective disorder. She has a half-sister who has always dominated Eva in the looks department, hence Scarlett always finds herself in a relationship, yet Eva struggles to even trust a man if he did pass her way.

5) If your books were going to be made into films do you have any ideas in your head who you would like to see play any of your characters?

Ruth Wilson would make a wonderful DI Eva Wednesday, as she has a hidden quality when she acts, that suits Eva’s persona. Ruth Wilson has the ability to be aloof, which Eva comes across as with strangers, and Ruth’s look is how I imagine Eva to be.

Interestingly, I would also cast Ruth Wilson in the part of Lilith Fields in ‘Attic of the Mind’, as she would play the role of a tormented, anorexic, hell-bent on seeking revenge on the charge nurse who abused her whilst she was in a psychiatric hospital, very well. As you may have noticed, I’m a huge fan of Ruth Wilson, since seeing her in ‘Luther’.

6) Now a bit of a silly one, as frequently seen on FB the zombie apocalypse has begun, stick your hands out and tell us which two items you grab and how you are going to use them to fight off the starving hordes.

Jelly babies – I would throw them into their mouths to stave off their need for my flesh.

Cuticle cream – I would smear it along the ground between us so they would slip over.

7) Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release, and as a bonus give us the name of the song that would be the perfect theme music to it?

My latest release is the fourth in the DI Wednesday series, called ‘What Happens After’, where a murder occurs during a Parting Ways weekend in a hotel in Cambridge. Four couples are attempting to divorce amicably, but when one person is found dead, DI Wednesday and DS Jacob Lennox are faced with a widow, sparring couples, the group facilitators, and the hotel staff, many of whom appear to hate the victim.

The case strengthens Wednesday’s negative views on marriage, and brings Lennox to a place of reflection as he analyses his past and contemplates his future.

The song would be ‘It’s Too Late’ by Carole King.

8) One of the hardest things to take as an author can be the reviews, have you ever had any negative ones, if so how did you deal with them and what advice would you give to people starting out?

Thus far, the only negative comment I have received said that the denouement of ‘Attic of the Mind’ was a little rushed, and I have to admit, I believe they are right. I was so keen to tie all the loose ends together that I rattled it all out with a rapid intensity, when I could have taken more time over it. It was only my second novel, and I still had – and have – much to learn. I’m aware of the comment in my head each time I write a denouement, so it has served me well.

For authors starting out I would say don’t take negative comments personally, and try to learn from what has been said. It’s important to see what the readers dislike so you can improve future novels.

9) Do you have any writing rituals, for example, I have one author friend who has a bowl of a certain type of sweets on her desk during edits as a reward for hitting her targets, do you have anything you like to have handy during any part of the process?

I always eat jelly beans or jelly babies when writing, but I’m now fearing for my waistline, so I’ve started nibbling on sweet and salty popcorn. Hopefully my body will appreciate the change! I also wear cotton fingerless gloves when I type in the warmer weather, and cashmere ones in the colder months.

10. What is the last sentence you wrote in your current WIP?

A text from Oliver interrupted her reverie.

11. Do you have a secret talent or claim to fame you are willing to share?

I speak fluent French after living in France for six years. In my youth I played the clarinet, classical guitar, and the piano, but I think those skills may be lost in the ether of time. I’ll happily sing Carly Simon songs at Karaoke events, after a couple of drinks!

12. Final question, if you had to choose between writing something really popular and making a fortune or writing a literary masterpiece that was highly acclaimed by academics and critics which would you pick?

I’d like to be able to say the latter, as I somehow think it would reflect a more altruistic side, but in today’s current climate, I would have to say the former. Money may not bring happiness and good health, but it would certainly make life easier in so many ways.  It’s not a dream I cling to though, as so much luck is involved in being discovered.

Many thanks for interviewing me, Paula, I really enjoyed answering your diverse questions. The music question was great fun!

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If you would like to find out more about Hemmie and her books here are the links…

http://wintergoosepublishing.com/authors/hemmie-martin

http://hemmiemartin.com/

https://www.waterstones.com/books/search/term/hemmie+martin

http://thewritersroom.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/HemmieMartinNovelist

Welcome To The Dark Side

The clock is counting, literally, I have downloaded an app on my desktop that counts down to various events, but the big one is 416 days until the Darker Side of Fiction 2017. You have joined me on the process of publishing my first two short story collection but now it is time for you to join me on a longer journey, one that will see my full length novels sent out into the world, all into the lead up to my first major book signing event. 13769599_1112537118806833_4336781662454501331_n

This journey will see me not only publish more books but also try to get a grip on all the things that go alongside signings and appearances, what swag to give away, what you can sell alongside your books, banners, blogger packs and setting up order forms.  For a lot of people further along in the process a lot of those things will seem like things you should know but I want to share the whole process here and more. I will be doing Q & A sessions with other authors who will be attending the event, most of whom are well versed in making a living from writing and have impressive bodies of work behind them.

mortality-401222_960_720For the next 14 months each Tuesday there will either be some sort of an interview or an update on how things are going, I mentioned previously that one author has been making her own character pop funko’s so I hope I shall get a few lines from her regarding how she found that process, I have ordered a couple of product samples to discuss the promotional stuff available out there, and of course there is a whole issue there with costs, who much do you invest and what can you do DIY. Other things to consider is the table itself, and by that I mean how it is going to look, do you buy display stands, if so what type.

Now obviously, these are not all things I am going to need to do now, some stuff may not even be needed for a first signing but it is all a learning curve and that is what I want to look at, but along the way I hope to pick up some hand tips from other authors that I can share here for anyone else just starting out on the road to self publishing, I am sure I will make mistakes, but if I do I will share those with you here as well, I may even find I have to try to fit in a few extra hours at the day job to fund some of the experiments, but however it goes I know we are heading on a very exciting leg of our journey together.

So if you are ready let us begin our descent into the darker side of fiction, but be careful not to wander from the path…

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New Trailer

Hi guys sorry for my silence but I have been busy putting the final touches to what will be the final edit of Voices Across The Void, it is available for pre-order on Amazon and although letting go of this book has been really hard I am finally pleased with the book I am putting out there, the stories are more about the voices of the ghosts than traditional ghost stories so while I finish up and have a couple of days to chill while it goes through the approval process enjoy this trailer, and if you listen carefully you might just hear a familiar voice.

The Journey To #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017 Starts Here

I am hoping the ladies won’t mind me using their graphics but it make more sense to make the pages I shall be sharing more recognisable.

So where does this journey really begin or did it truly begin here, The Masquerade Ball, the fact is attending that event made me more determined than ever to make writing my career, I was incredibly jealous of those who had attended as authors and the people I met at the ball that evening made me realise I too could do it, it would time time and patience, and of course a lot of hard work but I knew I had a realistic destination to aim for.

So when the forms appeared for #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017 I filled it in, nothing to lose, so why not?

Then they started announcing the authors and my heart sank, I had thought I had no chance, that though I have plenty of stuff in the pipeline which will be out before the event, I thought my lack of published work right now would count me out, I had resigned myself that I would be attending as a guest once more next year and comforted myself by the knowledge it would be a good day/night out and I could network and meet more amazing people.

Then I got the email! I read the email, I read it again, I forwarded it to my daughter and got her to read it just to be sure I was  not misunderstanding it and that they actually wanted me as a writer not just to attend. Then I sat with a silly smile on my face as I replied to the lovely Rachel, who along with Jo, run Hourglass Events that host these fantastic signings. A few days later everything was signed and sealed and then something that was so incredibly difficult, keeping my mouth shut, I am sure I scared a few people that weekend by grinning insanely at them without telling people why.

The Monday night came and I was introduced to the Facebook page, and if you are on Facebook please come and join the group, not only will you learn more about the event there but you also get to interact with lots of fabulous Indie authors and get the chance to get involved in lots of give-aways and receive some freebies #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017.

So what else to say for today, this is a list of the authors involved so far, however I am writing this Monday afternoon to schedule for Tuesday morning so there will be a couple more names added to the list by then. I will however keep updating the list each week and at a later date will make a proper list complete with links to all my fellow signing authors pages.

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Television Tuesday – Live From The RSC

Television

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomething a little different today, the show was actually a few weeks ago and I am also classing this as my film choice as well as I went to see it at the cinema, but as we have just celebrated the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare so after a couple of weeks to reflect I decided it was time to write a post.

I never studied Shakespeare at school, and I was lucky enough to come to know his work first not through the written text but by seeing acted out albeit on the screen rather than in person.  I believe that is where so many schools go wrong, they try to force children to read the words first and deny them the experience of seeing it live and acted out as it should be. Once you have seen Shakespeare performed it makes it so much easier to read and to understand the lilting quality required for the iambic pentameter. I am sure they will repeat it at some point or you will be able to buy a DVD but let’s start with the trailer.

It is of course fascinating to see how much the words of Shakespeare have pervaded through modern culture, phrases we use every day can be found within his plays, and of course each actor who treads the boards or stands before the cameras and performs those words put their own emphasis upon them, it is humorously shown in this clip, but it is worth considering how conventions are being challenged by the new versions created with women taking up male roles, and of course traditionally all roles were male as historically women were not on the stage when the plays were first produced, though maybe Dame Judi is a little old for playing Hamlet.

The final clip from the evening I leave for Catherine Tate, first known as a comic then for her role in Doctor Who she has also proved herself to be an exceptional actress

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So on to the final clip for this section and it is not actually from the live night itself, but before I post it I want to just briefly discuss the experience of watching this in the cinema rather than on the TV at home, first I think it really did add an extra element for me on a personal level that I have been lucky enough to go there, the two photos I have used in this post were taken during the trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon for my daughters 21st birthday, but also the most overwhelming aspect of watching on a big screen was the sound. Every time the audience in the the are clapped it was like being there sitting in the audience but being the only one not clapping, the first time I did actually look round and double check that the people in the cinema were not actually joining in but no they weren’t.

I really would encourage people to try this option out if it is possible at their local cinema, there are several other plays they intend doing the live link to throughout the year as well as opera and ballet performances, it is a great way for those of us who live outside London to experience the best in theatre and live performance without it costing a fortune in travel and hotels.

And speaking of sound that brings me to this final clip, something I saw on FB the other day and decided would fit in well with this post and give people a very different idea of how Shakespeare would have sounded when first performed, personally would love to hear the balcony speech done in this accent, guessing might not sound quite as romantic when Juliet responds.

YouTube

I found this video in the suggested list after watching a different youtube video, I confess the title drew me in but I kept watching for pure comic value…

Song

So for this weeks song I am going to share a video and a link both by the same band, the lead singer of which is related to one of my friends, the band has just had a name change and under their new name of Bravado Cartel they are going from strength to strength. They are heading to the States as I post this for a brief tour before heading back to Blightly for a couple of festivals over the summer. I could not find the video for the song in the link which is raising funds to fight cancer so I shall share another of their songs and let you see them and then you also have the option to click the link and listen to the other song.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id1112195102?app=itunes

Television Tuesday – Watching on I-player

Television

Sometimes you catch a tiny bit of a programme and get frustrated you had not seen it advertised if you are in the UK and it is a BBC programme I-player can be a life saver. Sadly however I could not get any clips but this is the Radio Times link and UK viewers can get the programme links from their for a limited time span. http://www.radiotimes.com/programme/dzxyhp/the-prosecutors-real-crime-and-punishment

I loved this programme because it showed the behind the scenes process in a way you do not often get to see, there are many times when we hear about people getting away with terrible crimes and it is hard to understand why, therefore to see the other side of making those decisions the way they have to try to be impartial as they decide on charges and cases was fascinating.

In one a woman was assaulted by the boyfriend and the case is being dropped until she appeals, it turns out the reason was that witnesses did not want to get involved yet q few interviews later and things have changed and you cannot help wondering why the system failed. You can see a combination of factors in cases, witnesses, physical evidence, police reports, and see how these all go together to create the whole picture. Like in writing there is always a back story for every decision made, while we might not need to share them all sometimes it can be interesting to investigate a few.

Film

I haven’t really watched any films as such this week, I have annoyed myself my misplacing the Game Of Thrones boxset of series 1-3 and the search for that could have made an epic movie by itself, and nope I have not found them so I know they are in a really safe place. I did intend to watch the new Bond film Spectre but that is still sat on my desk where the others should have been so hopefully by the time the A-Z challenge is over I will have watched that.

Youtube

They played this as sort of an intro at the Kylie concert I attended I totally forgot about it until it showed up in the side bar as I searched for something else, I am classing this as the Youtube video rather than the song simply because it was part of a bigger experience than just the song, as you watch it I want you to imagine the DJ who was the warm up act has disappeared down into the stage, the lights are down. Then on two screens one at either side of the stage this appears and the concert begins…

Song

After watching Boy George’s team on The Voice on Saturday night I ended up on Youtube watching lots of 80’s videos so I thought this week I would show a classic, I will also confess that in my naivety I the first time I ever saw Boy George on TV I was convinced he was far too beautiful to be a guy

I am also sharing and extra today and that is a friends new WordPress site where she will be doing book reviews, she will offer services fr both reviews and proofreading so please give her a follow, share and spread the love https://accidentalbookreviews.wordpress.com

Television Tuesday – A Woman and a Van

I didn’t watch much TV the week before last but had recorded a few things so this week was a little bit of a catch up viewing week

Television

The Oscars…

I was thrilled Leo finally won his Oscar but more than that I love the fact he took the opportunity to put across the serious message about climate change rather than just a gushing stream of thank yous. I mean of course he did that but he went that step further and spoke from the heart, mentioning the real experience he had in how far they had to travel to film in snow. I have not seen this film yet but I am really looking forward to it and hope that the human race can amend their ways before we reach this point but I am not optimistic. It did annoy me that the Oscars was shown on one of the movie channels limiting the number of people who had the option to watch it over here, technology did mean I did not have to sit up all night but I could only watch it as I have the movie and sports package (I get it for the rugby) but the other thing I do love is seeing the dresses, yes totally girly I know but it never fails to astound me that there are still celebs who obviously don’t have any real friends, I real friend would not let you go out looking a mess no matter what the designer or how expensive the dress!

Film

I was in two minds whether to watch this I shall explain why in a minute…

It has been a while since I read this book and though I know I enjoyed it I cannot now remember all the details so when the film came out I had to decide do I want to watch it or reread the book first. I decided in the end to watch the  film first then reread the book, which I have just started today. I shall discuss more when I do the book review but I do recommend the film.

Youtube

Now I know if you are here reading my blog you are not easily offended, but if you are of a more excitable nature you may wish to pop your hot beverage down before pressing play on the next video, Mina is an incredibly lovely friend, not only does she look fantastic but she actually arranges these Silken Burlesque Shows…

Now, you might wonder just how I can get from Mina’s nipple tassels to writing but actually a good striptease is like a good plot, you reveal everything slowly and in way which draws people in and tantalise them, and although at the end you might think all has been revealed, when you stop to think about things you see that actually just a little has been left for you to fill in your own blanks and maybe want a repeat performance.

Song

A song performed at the Oscars

This is quite a hard video to watch but an important one, too many times stories of things being swept under the carpet or the victims getting the blame seem to pervade.

Television Tuesday – Dark Comedy

Sorry I am late posting this but I forgot to hit schedule lol

Television

So lets start off with something I watch every week when it is on…

I love the Voice because it is the Voice which determines the success not the look or marketability, I watch this while on the phone with my friend Debbie, we both sit in our respective homes and text back on forth numerous comments regarding our thoughts on performance, song choice and which judge they should go with, not all our texts would be suitable for a younger audience lol hence the reason we text rather than speak. This week was a battle round where they are supposed to go against each other but this to me was a perfect duet and I was gutted that they had to be split up, it would have been amazing had they formed a duet .

Film

A comedy that begins with a suicide…

I remember watching this film when it first came out, well the first time it was shown on TV at any rate, I cannot believe it will actually be twenty years since this film was released in September, and though I cannot help but ponder the effect that technology would have on the formation of the club I hope that they never feel the need to remake it. The stars are each individually amazing, together they are outstanding and their chemistry is so good that I really cannot imagine another group of women being able to recreate it, plus lets face if few films give all the main roles to women past a certain age.

Youtube

Something close to my heart…

I have contributed to a couple of crowdfunded projects and this is one of them am the producer Clare Eden is an amazing lady who I have become FB friends with, I have the beanie hat, sadly it does not suit me but I also have the signed Strangeness In Space art work you can see in the background, if you love quirky space/sci-fi adventures then check out the podcast, if you enjoy it (the episodes are free you can find them on i-tunes or at http://strangenessinspace.com/) and consider joining us mirthlings.

Song

This is also from the Voice but I will explain why in a minute…

I love this song, but it is one where I generally hate any attempt at a cover version, however this does work mainly because they both put their own twist on it and neither was trying to be an exact copy of Sinead. I am also going to share another song from the Voice because even though I love this record it is performed so differently that it took me a little way in to really click that it was this song, again taking something that has been done before and making if totally different and unique.