18 The Anthology – Get your free e-copy

18 Anthology18-diagonally







On one of my recent posts I mentioned that my Writers’ group – Vision Writers’, were producing an anthology. Well, I am happy to announce that ’18’ is here! Woohoo, I hear you all shouting. And believe me, I am just as excited as you are. The anthology celebrates 18 years of Brisbane based writers’ group – Vision Writers’. The group has a number of published members, including our founders Marian De Pierres and Rowena Corey Daniels. Vision Writers’ has a variety of characters from all walks of life, and as a member of the group you’re sure to get honest and invaluable feedback on any stories you submit for critique. I have learned a great deal from this fantastic Medley of Sci fi, Fantasy and Horror Authors. 18 Showcases the talents of some of our current authors with thirteen stories to lose yourselves in. The anthology covers tales of Wizards, Dragon’s, Spirits, Mobsters and much more. These stories will take you to new worlds; worlds of fantasy and worlds of horror. Thanks to all who helped put this anthology together: Trahern, Belinda, Talitha, Meghann, and all the other writers involved. 18 is available as an E book for free on various sites, check out my ‘Publications’ page for details.

So, enjoy and once you’ve sated your reading appetite, please post a review or let me know what you think via comment on this blog post.

Play Things & Past Times

I thought I would share this, because I love Gen Flynn’s horror stories. I have cast a spotlight on her in the past, here, and stick by my opinion that she is an upcoming author to keep an eye out for.

Source: Play Things & Past Times

An Interview With Daniel Ferguson


Image by Drestwn – CreativeCommons

An Interview with Daniel Ferguson

Daniel Ferguson is an avid gamer, reader and writer. Having paid his dues at uni, he emerged with a degree in creative writing, and is the author of the newly released novel ‘Children Of Fire’.

Allan Walsh: Hi Dan, tell us a little about yourself and the genre’s you write in.

Daniel Ferguson: Hi Allan. So I’m the kind of writer who doesn’t drink coffee. (hears the entire writing community die of shock). I do have caffeine often though, just not through coffee. I don’t have a job, that’s because I have a disability and get a pension for having it, which is pretty nice (though it does get boring sometimes). I love rock and roll, my DVD collection is monstrous, and I do karaoke any chance I get. Maybe because I slayed that particular beast, the semicolon is therefore nothing to me. I write mostly some variety of fantasy or apocalypse, but I am aware I should try out genres other than my favourites. And I live in a suburb whose streets are named after Greek and Roman mythology.

Allan Walsh: You’ve just released Children of Fire (COF), can you give us a quick summary of what the book is about?

Daniel Ferguson: Children of Fire is about a girl. This girl has magic powers that she doesn’t want, because [Spoiler]. She sets out from the fallout shelter she’s lived in the last 4 years, alone and up against the scary world outside. There she meets up with the main characters, who are helpful mercenaries (that’s a sentence you might not read/hear very often!) with super powers of their own. In short, it’s a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy/superhero novel about a girl who doesn’t want to be a sorceress any more.

Allan Walsh: How long have you been working on your first published novel – COF?

Daniel Ferguson: When I was a teen, I came up with the characters that found their way into the book. I was writing some stories with those characters, and I was enthusiastic about it. Eventually I had a bit of a nervous breakdown, and I questioned everything I thought about the stories they were involved in.

Fast forward to 2008. I’d decided sometime around there that I wanted to use the characters, but put them in a new world. I also liked apocalypse stories, and urban fantasy, and I just had the epiphany that I wanted to combine them. The rest is history.

Allan Walsh: So now you’ve released your first novel, what’s next?

Daniel Ferguson: one: I can now write the rest of the stories in the series, because I don’t have the spectre of COF looking over my shoulder as I write. You would not believe how good it feels to slay that monster. I’ve been basically focusing on the publishing, as a self-published author. Mostly I just want to rest. And even though I’m writing, I’d still count myself as resting after this one particular milestone that’s been so long in coming. Then right back into the word mines.

Allan Walsh: As a writer, where do you draw your influences from?

Daniel Ferguson: Terry Brooks wrote Armageddon’s Children, around 2008. I got a lot of inspiration from him. He was the one who taught me I can mix fantasy and apocalypse, something my mum doesn’t think can be done. I will have to put that book in particular on her desk some time.

Allan Walsh: You are a member of a Brisbane based writers’ group called Vision Writers’ – How has the group helped you with your writing?

Daniel Ferguson: How *haven’t* they helped? They’ve helped me turn from a monkey flinging raw, unpolished ‘prose’ (I use the term lightly) around, to someone who can write a proper sentence (usually). Uni helped too, of course, especially one teacher in particular. But Vision have helped by putting up with me, believing me, and helping me spot errors I wouldn’t see on my own.

Allan Walsh: And finally, do you have any advice for wanna-be writers out there that are trying to write and publish their own novels?

Daniel Ferguson: Remember that the worst published novel is still going to be more successful than the best unpublished novel. And also, YOU are in complete control. Write even if the muse doesn’t have your back. Forge ahead anyway. You’ll thank yourself later.

Allan Walsh: Well Dan, it’s been great talking to you, thanks for your time and I wish you all the best with your new book.

Daniel’s story Children of Fire, is available now from http://tiny.cc/cof2e (ebook) and http://tiny.cc/cofprint (print).

To find out more about Daniel ferguson and his work you can check out his blog at http://thedarkword.wordpress.com/.

Trial, error and ignorance.

Oh no - picture by Tom Woodward

Oh no – picture by Tom Woodward

I began my WordPress blog in March 2014 and after all this time, I would consider myself well versed in the use of my WordPress blog. When I set up my blog, I specifically picked a theme that was capable of working on mobile devices. I thought this was the smart thing to do, what with all the different tablets and phones out there. Today, some 20 months later, I was messing around with themes, thinking I might need to do a refresh on my site and while comparing a new theme to my current one, I realized I had not switched on the mobile device capability, Doh… I thought this was automatic, Double Doh… So, this in mind, I thought I would put the message out there. Anyone who has chosen a theme with mobile capability, don’t assume like I did – You should check it is switched on!

Book Review – Bleach Vol 1:Strawberry and the Soul Reapers by Tite Kubo

Bleach, Vol. 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers (Bleach, #1)Bleach, Vol. 1: Strawberry and the Soul Reapers by Tite Kubo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Okay, I’m a little behind on my Goodreads reading challenge and need to make up some ground. So I have switched to Manga for my next review. Bleach Vol 1 starts the story of Ichigo Kurosaki, a boy who sees ghosts. An unexpected encounter with Rukia Kuchiki and Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, hunting evil spirits that eat the souls of humans with psychic energy.

The Bad Stuff: For some, the reading from right to left, starting at what we from the western world would call ‘the back of the book,’ may be hard. Other will enjoy this and find it adds to their enjoyment. For me, there is nothing bad about this, it’s manga! Oh… yeah – I’ve found that you either like manga or you don’t. I like it, so it’s all good news for me. If you are one of those that dislike it, you’re probably not going to read it anyway.

The Good Stuff: This is manga at its best, it’s easy to read, well illustrated and witty, providing some laugh out load moments. The characters are fun and will keep you amused as you follow them through the book.

I loved Vol 1 and I’m looking forward to moving through the next 26 volumes on my book shelf. I’m giving it 4 out of 5 Golden bookmarks.

View all my reviews

Book Review: The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke

The Lascar's Dagger (The Forsaken Lands, #1)The Lascar’s Dagger by Glenda Larke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Lascar’s Dagger is the tale of a Saker Rampion, a spy of the Va faith who, coerced by an enchanted dagger, is unwittingly drawn into a stranger’s quest.

The Bad Stuff: In my opinion there are two major logic flaws within this story. The main character, Saker Rampion, is a veteran spy and I quote “the pontifect’s best; the hunter after truth, the clever spy, the sharp witted investigator.” For a man who is all this, I found him likeable, but incredibly stupid. Saker makes rash assumptions when there is evidence to the contrary. And then there is ‘the thing’ that princess Mathilda hides from the world. I won’t tell you what it is, that would spoil your read if you do take a gander at this tale, but honestly, I have my doubts that she could hide something like this, in this world, under the conditions imposed upon her. I also found some info dumping in the text and some ‘telling’, both of which could have easily been dealt with through different writing techniques.

The Good Stuff: Aside from the flaws I have mentioned above, I really enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting and apart from Saker, they all have strong, clear traits and they stay ‘in character’ throughout the book. The author, Glenda Larke, builds a believable world with a diverse ensemble of characters. She has some creative ideas and weaves some interesting plot lines.

As a reader it is easy for me to criticise Glenda Larke’s writing. As a writer, I know how easy it is to make these sort of mistakes and still not notice them after reading the story a hundred times. On the whole, Glenda has created an original story with some great characters, set in a believable world. Her prose makes for an enjoyable read and I will certainly read more of her works. I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 Golden bookmarks.

View all my reviews

Do You Judge a Book by its Reviews?

Picture by Sebastien Wiertz

Picture by Sebastien Wiertz

Reviews. I’m told they can make a huge difference to an author. They can increase your visibility as a writer and help push sales of your books. But do they really? With all the stories I’ve heard lately of people paying for reviews, I guess there must be some truth to it. Personally, I don’t look at the reviews. If a book cover or a title catches my attention I will read the back blurb. If that sounds interesting I will read the first few pages. If the book hasn’t hooked me by then, it’s not likely I will read it. Something I find more powerful than a cover or a title is a recommendation. If a friend recommends a book to me, I will want to read it. If several friends recommend a book to me, I will read it. Why? Because I trust their opinions? Yes. Because I don’t want to miss out on a good thing? Also a yes. Because it gives us something to talk about? That’s a yes too.

So what about you, do you read the reviews? If not, how do you choose your books?

Thoughts on a Page – Looking Back at Whats to Come

Photo by Renaud Camus

Photo by Renaud Camus

Hello readers, writers, followers and those of you just stopping by. I have tried to get some reading done to meet my Goodreads writing challenge for the year. I don’t think I am going to make it, with seven books left to read in two and a half months, but that won’t stop me trying. As well as reading, I’ve been trying to get some writing done, the combination of which has been enough to see me neglecting my blog a little. Hence I thought I should post something a bit more substantial than another quote. So I got to thinking about what I have done that could provide some content for my blog and it struck me. While I was writing the other night, I thought I would go back and look at something I had written in the past and see just how bad it was, see how far I have come, and to take a look at the direction I’m travelling. I turned to a short story called ‘Low Life’ that I wrote for an anthology called ’18’, published in May 2014. I have not read this piece since its publication and I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t written as well as it could be, and in hindsight, I would make a few changes if I were writing it now, but that’s the beauty of it. I can see my mistakes and I know I wouldn’t make them now, that tells me I have improved. I have come a fair way since then, not just with my writing, but also with my knowledge of other things. Things like editing, marketing, formatting and more. I can look back and be proud of how far I have come. I may not have made good use of all that knowledge yet, but I have a better understanding of how to do things when I am ready to do so. Who knows, if I look forward a year or two, I could be writing another post like this one, looking back at what I have accomplished through hard work and persistence. And maybe I will have finally published a novel. So to all the writers out there, maybe you should go back and see how far you have come, then take a look at where you are going, where you want to be. There’s only one way to get there, keep working for it and never give up on your dreams.