Give Away & Page Take Over

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Join me tonight 9pm UK time as I take over the #Leeds2018 #HourglassEvents page click the link and join in advance http://ow.ly/McOi308JscK

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Four years ago this incredibly brave little man lost his fight against cancer, he left an army of followers all heart broken by his loss and devastated for his family, I wrote Voices Across The Void to honour his memory and to raise awareness and funds for the charity set up in his name Cords4LifeUK, I said Iwould never give this book away free because of that but today and tomorrow to honour him and this family I am with the hope if you like it you will leave a review, spread the word and help make cord donation something offered to all new mums so they may help save a life or at the very least give those precious extra few months cells from a donated cord gave Charlie with his family. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voices-Across-Void-Pa…/…/B01GZ5NFPU

 

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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.

Welcome To The Dark side With DM Wolfenden

Today I am lucky to be able to share a Q & A with my fellow Darker signing author DM Wolfenden, she is into Vampire’s, Werewoves and Zombies and taking readers on a walk into the darer side of fiction so without further ado lets get to the questions…

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1)      When did you first decide you wanted to publish your work? What was the reaction of your nearest and dearest?

2013 I decided I would go ahead and write. When I told my family they were shocked, they knew I had a crazy imagination but never thought I would put pen to paper.

2)     Do you have a writing routine? Do you find you need to write at set times in a fixed place or is it a case of fitting it in around daily life?

I have a hectic lifestyle, I work away for 6 months of the year and when I am home there is a lot of catching up to do (as you can imagine), I write whenever I get a spare hour or two.

3)     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 a collection of short stories; they are all dark and have an element of mystery about them.  The perfect song would be Cry Little Sister would probably fit well with the most of the stories.

4)     Where was your first signing event and how did you feel in the run up to it?

I haven’t been to an event yet, 2017 will be my first.

5)     Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, even if only loosely? And if so do they know it is them?

I hope not, they are evil little …

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.

Rather embarrassing, first thing is a jar of Vaseline (I’ve just had a Zombie tattoo, honest). Maybe I could smear all over myself and be too slippery for them. Second is my Frankenstein bobble head. Let’s face it, I’m dead.

7)     If you could see any celebrity reading one of your books who would it be?

Quentin Tarantino, he is so talented. Love him

8)     What is the last sentence you wrote in your current WIP?

“You need help, you need to sort your anger issues out. If you don’t we won’t survive.”

The knife clattered in the sink. “I promise I’ll see someone, babe.”

You better had, I won’t do this again. “Okay,” she said and walked away.

9) How do you celebrate finishing the final draft of a manuscript?’

I celebrate by sending of to an editor then sit there biting my nails.

10)  Do you have a secret talent or claim to fame you are willing to share?

Yes I was on the grassy knoll.

11)  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?

It would actually be my short story, Carly. She is one bad arse. I love Jessica Messenger and Helena Bonham Carter to play the two female roles. For other books they would include Tom Cruise, Anotiono Banderas, Johnny Depp and Quentin Tarantino. (psst, I’m bigging you up here Quentin, call me).

12) What one piece of advice would you give to anyone sat at home, finished manuscript in front of them, debating hitting that publish button?

First of all I would say, get beta readers on it, if they love it, you are halfway there.

 If you would like to find out more about DM Wolfenden then hit the links below…
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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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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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Exciting News!

Today am throwing the schedule out of the window, no TV, you will have noticed no book review yesterday, I was just too excited to post and was not allowed to share my news until after it was announced last night, so drum roll please………..

I have officially been signed up to be one of the signing authors at…

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The event will be taking place in Peterborough in October next year, so we have plenty of time to get really excited and hopefully I can get some interviews with other authors to share here with you as we share this next part of the journey together.

As you know I attended the ball part of the Leeds Event, I could not attend the day signing due to the day job, damn that day job it spoils all the fun, but I did grab an image from the page to share so you can see the set up and get an understanding of just how excited I am to know I will be occupying one of those tables next year.

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I am not going to say too much more here today simply because I will post more tomorrow once it has all soaked in a little more but I cannot keep the smile off my face, here is the first banner and you will see this updated as more authors are signed up and hopefully get to meet a few of them here on my page.

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