Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Requires sleep, a holiday and a lottery win.

I'm in the middle of writtin (I can't even type) writing the second book to follow on from the...oh FFS you know what I mean. Anyway, it's erotica. I've been putting it off for days. I'm up to the point where I need to write a sex scene, something hardly anyone knows me for, because I'm known as the wife, mother, sister, aunt, nephew (huh?), diet consultant. I find writing tiring probably because like many other authors it's not my only focus during the day. I find writing erotica particularly tiring for some reason and I can assure you it's not because I'm physically researching every scene as I write it. Although that's not a bad idea...

I've been working on my business, writing a few words and promoting the Spring Book Festival for the past three days and I'm knackered-not in the good way!

Don't get me wrong, naturally, I'm not averse to writing a sex scene, I've read enough. (Personally I'm as pure as the driven snow, don't you know...) I was however wondering if I could just type the words "insert sex scene here" and let the reader write their own. Bit like John Cage's 4'33" (If you watch that You Tube video-I can play that.) No? Damn.

Let's focus on progress I have made for a minute. Some of this will make no sense if you haven't read past blog posts. Well, what can I say, do keep up! They're still there, help yourself. 

As I clearly like talking about inserting things into other things:

-I finally successfully inserted toilet rim blocks into the toilets. No strawberries were harmed in the process.
-I have inserted my daughter's newly acquired birthday presents into wrapping paper.
-I have inserted the family dinner into various cooking devices.
-The family has inserted said dinner into their mouths and had a damn good mastication.
-Apparently I am now inserting yet another cold coffee into my mouth.

And no, there was literally no reason for this blog post.

Why are you still here?

Last chance...

It's the last day of Navigating Indieworld's Spring Book Festival. Don't miss out on all the free and discounted books we have on offer. 

There are books covering multiple genres including mine which is still available for 0.99 here. After the event the price will be 2.99 which frankly is worth every penny for something that has the "subtlety of Rocky Horror," is a "surprisingly good book" and "presses all the right buttons." I didn't even make that up-three different people said that.

So have a look and enjoy!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Pay attention, I have something to say

Before I go off and do family weekend things which I'll tell you about later-I'd like to draw your attention to that banner. Read it, I'll wait. Remember this website:

Between those dates go take a look and see what books you might like to read. These are written by a multitude of talented indie authors and me! There are many different genres. Something for everyone. Yes even you. Yeah I know how fussy you are, but even so, you should take a look. You never know, we might surprise you. 

Some of the books will be on offer for the duration of the event. I'm in the erotica section, and just for the event Modified will cost a mere 0.99, go on, it'd be rude not to!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Stop the world...

I could say it's been one of those weeks. It's only Tuesday. (I think.) I could also say it's been one of those years, but it's only March. Maybe it's just one of those lives!

I went out to buy a toilet rim block for the downstairs loo this morning, couldn't find one, came back with a punnet of strawberries. Not sure how that will work. But I'll run with it.

I started the week with a long list of things that I needed to do all under the heading of wife/mother/work/author. I failed to write the list down. Fatal. Now, as well as losing half my mind, apparently I've lost half my list. But I've gained strawberries. Does that help?

This is where I need to win a serious amount of money on the lottery so I can employ an assistant.

So far I think I have managed to ascertain that we'll be able to get into London for the annual theatre trip, despite the best efforts of the rail company to thwart my plans.

I have remembered that I need to cause an outburst of maniacal hysterics by working out how much it'll cost to replace our bathroom before the wall at the back of the shower cubicle falls down. Add to that the numbers involved in replacing the family caravan with something more suitable for what is in effect a family of four adults. And whereas I have booked in Sam the degu and Crunch the tortoise for their holiday this year, I have yet to secure a place for Cossie the bearded dragon.

I absolutely wrecked my diet over the last few days because we were celebrating my husband's birthday. I've now got a run of a few days to undo that madness before the next birthday.

Speaking of which, there is a possibility of a lunch out that won't break the bank for our daughter's birthday. But I have realised that unless a box of After Eights, a hair widget and a bookmark are deemed exemplary gifts, I have a stunning lack of 17th birthday presents sorted out. I suppose I should be grateful that she at least likes strawberries...

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

SEX Now I Have Your Attention

Morning, evening, who knows. I think I'll declare a coffee emergency. There is not enough of it to deal with today. I'm shattered and I haven't done anything yet. It is very grey beyond the dinosaur model standing guard at the French doors. I'm blaming the weather for my lack of energy.

For those asking, Nate and Day, the sequel to Modified is about half finished. Or more. They've just got to the bit where the thingy happens and Widget decides to do the something that means that the other bit has an issue. But it's all OK in the end because the vending machines still work and some people removed items of clothing.

In the mean time I've written a couple of articles for the Navigating Indieworld web site recently. This one is my favourite, naturally. It's kinda clean. Sort of. 

SEX Now I Have Your Attention

Enjoy your articles responsibly.

Monday, 13 March 2017

New Super Power...

...nothing quite like blowing your nose and being able to feel a stream of tears shoot out of your right tear duct. I'm not sure if that has a purpose, but what can I say, it made me feel quite speshul! Bloody cold. 

In other news I bought a new book cover. I have given in and put naked people on the front of my book. Looks like this:

I have no idea who these people are, but with any luck the cover now looks like it's probably not a physics text book or something wholly factual. It was either that or a banner on the front saying "Warning contains naked people."

I have also written a short story which will be included in a free anthology coming up. The short story does not contain naked people. Although there are a couple of guys wandering around in bathrobes and work boots, but only because it amused me. More news of that later.

And for now, here's a short video of Sam the Degu making a racket trying to destroy his cage.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Author interview with the talented Ember Raine Winters.

Good morning/evening/whatever. I don't know where you are, I barely know where I am. Today I am thrilled to be able to showcase the lovely and talented Ember-Raine Winters. Grab a coffee and I will attempt to ask some intelligent questions...

-Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, where you’re from, what do you write, do you write full time or do you have another job and what you do for fun when you’re not writing. (Inside leg measurement, head circumference, shoe size-kidding!)

HAHA! I have a huge head but I guess it's better for my huge brain! *laughs* My name is Ember-Raine Winters and I am from Southern California. I have written in two separate genres, YA Dystopian and Adult Romantic Suspense. I do write somewhat full time but only because I help my mom with her printing business as well. I love to read and writing and social media have become a passion of mine since I started my publishing journey a year ago.

-Was writing a lifelong ambition? When did you start?

Writing wasn't a lifelong dream. I always liked the idea of creating my own worlds, but I never actually tried to write a full length novel until about three or four years ago. I have been hooked ever since.

-Producing a book involves many different things-what do you enjoy the most?

I love interacting with readers. A part of the new marketing strategy I have started, I do a lot of Facebook takeovers on blog pages. It is so much fun interacting and getting to know readers! I love it!

-Is there anything from writing through to promotion and publication that you wish you didn’t have to do?

The whole graphics thing gives me the most trouble and its one of those "do I really need that" types of things. I hate it, but I do it because they really are needed.

-(Please don't mention graphics right now I might cry. I cannot do graphics) Tell us about where you write. Do you have a dedicated space or are you able to write anywhere?

I do a lot of my writing from my phone so, in theory I can write from anywhere but I have a patio chair in my backyard that I do a lot of my writing in.

-I would love that. Alas it rained yesterday so maybe not! Do you have a process or any habits that must be completed before you start writing?

No not at all. I am easy when it comes to writing. If I have just started a story and put it down for awhile I will go back and read what I have written so far and continue from there.

-Name a place fictional or real that you’d like to visit.

Ireland! I have always wanted to go to Ireland and do like a two week long tour of the whole country. It wouldn't hurt things to meet a hot Irish guy with a sexy accent! Haha!

-Another place on my doorstep I've never been to, I really ought to get out more! Who are your favourite authors and what are you reading at the moment?

I haven't been able to read a lot lately I have been busy promoting and writing. I love Rick Riordan, and JK Rowling, I also love K. Bromberg, she's an awesome romance author.

-What music do you like? Who is on your current play list?

I love older late 90's early 2000's rock and pop. 3 Doors Down, Linkin Park and Matchbox 20 are on my playlist constantly!

-Ah older lol I grew up in the 80s-older still! Finally, if you weren’t a writer and you could choose to do anything else with your life what would you do?

I have been wanting to start a non-profit sports organization that helps underprivileged kids pay for sports programs. I would probably do that.

Thank you so much! Earthlings you may now click all these links to be transported elsewhere. Off you go. Click stuff.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Author interview with self publishing legend Carole P Roman

What on earth do you ask a woman who has published more books than I can count, has won a ton of awards and is so far at the other end of the publishing spectrum to me I can barely see her? OK I did try. Please put your hands together for Carole P Roman.

Voice: You're not on TV
Me: (Thwacks owner of voice round head)
Also Me: (Now has headache)

Congratulations for many things: Your recent article in Forbes, your new radio show, the book Navigating Indieworld-A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book co-written with Julie A Gerber (thank you for that book). I have tried to count how many books you’ve published. I counted as far as a lot. How many different series of children’s books have you published and how many individual books is that in total? (I love numbers!)

Thank you so much, Amy. Sometimes I can't believe myself what I've gotten accomplished. My first series, Captain No Beard has 10 books, If You Were Me and Lived in...(cultures)- is now on the 22nd book, the historical series of the same name has 10, I have a nursery series with 5 books and finally I've just completed my first early reader chapter book. Oh yes, I co-authored a book with Julie Gerber, as you mentioned. So, by my count, that's 48 in five years.

(Whoa, sits down, drinks coffee, recomposes self, attempts coherence.) When did you write the first book and as things move so fast these days, have there been any drastic changes in the publishing world since you started?

Yes, as soon as I learned how to do something, either Amazon or Createspace would change the rules. Createspace originally was one-stop shopping. They had publicity packages, posters, bookmarks, videos, illustrators- all kinds of services that were phased out over the years. Amazon allowed you to ask people for reviews. It was easier to get your books reviewed and the reviews stayed up. Now they will randomly remove the ones they think were not by people who bought the book. They changed the pay structure on Kindle so you get paid only when the book is read. It's harder to market a book as well as harder to turn a profit.

How do you start each book or series? Do you have a brain storming session with anyone or are you very secretive about the next project?

It usually starts as a hazy idea. Something will motivate me, it could be a conversation or a sunset. For my latest book, it was the feeling that the papers on my desk had taken on a life of their own and were multiplying like the brooms in Disney's Fantasia. I took that idea and wrote my first chapter book about an eight-year-old girl whose backpack becomes so packed with all her problems, it bursts.

The captain was based on playtime with my grandkids, the nursery series are love letters to all my grandchildren. The cultural and historical series are born from my love of those subjects. I don't think long about things, I usually just begin to write and see where it goes.

Oooh oooh something we have in common-I also just start and see what happens. (The result is usually weird.) To write the number of books you have you must have a dedicated space unlike me sitting on my sofa. Tell us about where you write. Are there any weird habits you complete first or do you just start writing?

I will stall and that usually involves something fattening. I like to check the conversations of Goodreads. So many of the authors make me laugh. Once I go through all my different programs (email, gmail, hotmail, the bank, Amazon) and I can't put it off, I open up a Google Doc and start writing. I check my word count and as I see it increase it motivates me to push harder. I write all over the house or in my office. I have no set or special place.

Out of all the books you’ve written which one is your favourite and why?

I love them all, each and every one of them. I love the captain series because it's stories about my home and family. (even my husband is a character). I enjoy researching the historicals and culture books. I find the information fascinating. The other books are personal to my life (girls can be anything they choose to be), or trips to the stars and other planets. (I am a total space geek). Each one represents something that was important in my life.

When you were the age your books are aimed at-what did you read?

My grandmother lived with us. She was a wonderful storyteller. She would tell us tales of her life in Europe and I loved hearing about them. She was more interesting than anything I could have read in school. Once I did discover books, I was in a healthy competition with my best friend to see who could read the entire Nancy Drew series. I won- I read them all 100 books. Mostly, I read adult books. There were always books laying around the house. I read anything I could get my hands on. I was reading Tropic of Cancer, I think, when I was in Junior High. The teacher called my mother to complain. My mom said she didn't care what I read, as long as I read. She was my reading partner most of my life. We had our own little reading club.

You’ve written books set all over the world. Is there anywhere you haven’t visited that you’d like to?

I'd like to see the Taj Mahal. I want to go back to Florence. England is my favorite place in the world- I loved Bath and Stonehenge, the Cotswolds. I want to go back for tea. I'd like to spend a day in the Hermitage. I'd like to see the pyramids in Egypt and Petra in Jordan. I want to stand on the Great Wall of China and spend the day in St. Paul de Vince in Provence. I would like to ride in a gondola with my grandchildren and visit the Sistine Chapel in Rome. (It was closed for repairs when I was there.) I want to show my grandchildren the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. I'd love to see Pompeii.

Those are some great places.I think you've seen more of England than I have and I've lived here all my life! Who do you read for fun now and what’s your favourite genre? 

For a long time, Regency's were my favorite genre. Right now, I'll read anything. I just finished A Gentleman in Moscow. It was a beautiful book, lovingly written. I didn't want it to end. I always finish my night with something historical and non-fiction.
If you had to write another genre what would you pick?

I love genre jumping. I would like to write an adult historical fiction novel about World War 2. I'd like to honor my father by writing about his experiences in the war.

Finally, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting out as a writer?

Have a great time. You are going to learn so much about yourself. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and don't be surprised when something amazing happens. The first time you read that review where you really connected with someone is both intimate and gratifying. Unless you have writers in your family, nobody will understand your elation.

Have a thick skin, prepare to wear many hats and enjoy the wide ride of self-publishing.

Thank you Carole. They wouldn't all fit, but here are three of Carole's books.

(Me:This is where I come from. No it isn't. Shut up voice)

Test all the links for me, hit everything, all at once:

Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads  Amazon

Monday, 6 March 2017

Oh for the love of all things caffeinated

It's the age old problem of having a list of things to do, achieving some, thinking there's plenty of time left in the day and then realising the kids will be home in 90 minutes. WHERE DID THE DAY GO? I am only on my second coffee. I may need a caffeine drip.

I should tell you that there is a promotion on my book on Smashwords. It's available for FREE for a short period of time HERE. (That link should work. Only "should" it's been one of those days.) Don't read it if you don't like reading erotica. It's not a fairy tale.

Anyone who read my post I rant therefore I am will remember such mundane issues as school shoes. SUCCESS following an email conversation with a member of staff who could circle a pair of shoes deemed not suitable for school on a jpg I sent, suitable school shoes have been purchased. In 88 minutes I'll find out if they fell apart or caused blisters on their first day. Better bloody not at £48 a pair!

I should also tell you that I am currently working on a short story that will be available for free. More free stuff-how will you contain yourself? This will not be erotica. Although try as I might I can't make it not weird. (Still writing weird and I'm not even taking brain altering medication at the moment-maybe I am just...weird)

And just because I need to moan about this I am having a fight on my hands trying to reduce the number of strange little worms growing inside Cossie the bearded dragon's vivarium. I don't know what type they are, but I'm getting sick of seeing the floor of her home undulate. Not a clue if she's bothered by it. They aren't the type she likes eating. Speaking of Cossie-I have no idea how she managed to lay eggs underneath the skull ornament that was in the corner of the viv. I know she can fly and breathe fire, but I didn't realise she also had opposable thumbs. 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Interview with author and social media guru Julie A Gerber

This is Julie A Gerber. Julie has recently been featured in a Forbes article. This woman knows things. Pay attention while I ask a set of random questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, where you’re from, what do you write, do you write full time or do you have another job and what you do for fun when you’re not writing. (Inside leg measurement, head circumference, shoe size-kidding!)

I am a nurse by trade, but I haven’t worked outside the home in years. I became a blogger when my youngest was born and after reviewing a lot of books for indie authors, I decided to create a business to help them with their social media. I created Away We Go Media and help authors build their followings. I also beta read and offer other services. I have co-authored two books and have my first solo book in the works. I live in South Georgia but I’m in the process of preparing to move to sunny Fl. When I am not working, I am reading or spending time with family.

When did you first start writing and did you enjoy it right from the start?

I wrote when I was younger, but never thought I would ever see my name on the cover of a book. I have always enjoyed it, but I love to read other author’s books even more. Beta reading is the best part of my job. I enjoy seeing how my feedback can shape characters and plots.

Out of the entire process of writing and publishing what do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the publishing part more. Not the actual formatting, but the cover creation and marketing. I enjoy social media and building relationships. When you have that with your fans, it is an amazing feeling.

Is there anything from writing through to promotion and publication that you wish you didn’t have to do?
When formatting is brought up, I cringe. I know how, but I hate it so much.

Popular answer to that particular question! Tell us about where you write. Do you have a dedicated space or are you able to write anywhere?
I write at my desk. It is a dedicated space, but the location allows for huge distractions when my family is home. When I go house hunting in Fl, a dedicated office space with privacy is at the top of my list. My sanity depends on it.

Do you have a process or any habits that must be completed before you start writing?

I sure do! I have a heater that I run on my legs and feet and a fan that blows on my face and upper body. Is that weird enough for you? My feet are always cold. I do this mostly to drown out the noise. I find that when I do this, everything around me blurs and I can get into my zone and forget the world around me.

That does sound like the type of weird I do! I can certainly relate to cold feet, I have the same problem. Name a place, fictional or real that you’d like to visit.

I want to go to Scotland and Ireland with my family. I have always dreamed of spending a few weeks sleeping in castles and visiting ruins and museums. I want to smell the peat fire in a big kitchen while eating a hearty stew.

I wouldn’t mind going to Scotland and Ireland either (and I live in England! You’d have thought I’d have made it there by now.) Who are your favourite authors and what are you reading at the moment?

My favorite authors at the moment are L.T. Ryan (affliction Z series) and Bobby Adair (Slow Burn series) because I love end of the world stuff. I am currently reading Doing Germany by Agnieszka Paletta. I am enjoying it very much!

ZOMBIES! I LOVE ZOMBIES (couldn’t eat a whole one!) What music do you like? Who is on your current play list?

I love Imagine Dragons, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Joel, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Taylor Swift, and the soundtracks from the Twilight series. I like different things based on my mood.

Finally, if you weren’t a writer and social media guru and you could choose to do anything else with your life what would you do?

I guess I would be a nurse. Since I am already licensed, it would make sense! It has always been my back up plan. Thankfully I haven’t had to go back!

Thanks Julie, someone needs to decide if I want a print copy or ebook of Navigating Indieworld. Decisions decisions...

Meanwhile the rest of you click all of these.

You never know my links may even work!


Almost Halloween

Today is one of the highlights of my year. I love Halloween. I don't particularly enjoy the incessant opening of the front door and hand...