Hey Al, What you up to?

If you haven’t worked it out already, I’ve decided to take a little break from WordPress over the festive season. I’m trying to concentrate on finishing the novella I have been working on this year. As I have some time off work, it is an ideal time to concentrate on making some progress with it. While I am returning to work in a week or so, I want to make a solid attempt at getting this book finalised, so I won’t be posting much in the next month or so. Once the novella is done, I anticipate editing, formatting, preparing cover art (for the two books in the series without covers) and moving through to publishing the Blood Rage series in the first half of 2016. A little bit behind my original schedule, but better late than never.

What is one of your goals for 2016?

Merry Christmas

Picture by Matthias Ripp

Picture by Matthias Ripp

I just wanted to say “Merry Christmas” to all those who follow my blog. I wish you all and your families a fantastic time during this festive season and a happy new year. Here’s hoping 2016 brings us all the best year of our lives.

Super hero or Super zero

Picture by Gareth Simpson

Picture by Gareth Simpson

By day I’m a mild mannered office worker running a great team of people committed to doing a good job. But when the sun goes down, I rip off my collared shirt, put on my black rimmed glasses and transform into my alter-ego known only as… The Writer! Destined to use my super-powers for good, I reach for my trusty laptop and stare at the blank screen. My mind goes blank and words flow from my fingers, through my keyboard, and onto the virtual page faster than a speeding snail. In less time than it takes to walk to the moon, I’ll have a story. But alas, my arch nemesis the “Grammar Error” lurks near by. I focus my x-ray editors vision on the page and search, only to come up empty handed.

This is how I feel more often than not these days. Is working a full time job a writer’s Kryptonite? I get home feeling drained of all energy, yet I sit in front of my laptop every night trying to get some words down, even if it’s only a few words, because those few will get me closer to my goal. We all go through our peaks and troughs. There are times when I am inspired, I want to write, and hundreds, even thousands of words come in a gush of creativity. At the moment though, I have a story I want to finish so bad it hurts, but every time I look at it my shoulders sag and I stare at the page. Do writers need to take a break from there work? I wonder? Maybe I should slip my black rimmed glasses into there case, close my laptop and chill out over the Christmas break. But then, the time off work may be just what I need to get my story finished.

What I do know is that when my story is done I will feel like a super hero, but if I don’t keep trying… all I’ll come up with is super zero!


Can Saying Thank You, Increase The Loyalty Of Your Audience?

As a writer and a blogger I am constantly looking for new ideas or techniques I can apply to my writing and/or blogging. I have found that a lot of these ideas and techniques come from training and articles sourced through my day job. The latest being an article from a Harvard Business Review that explains how a boss can increase the support and engagement of their staff by providing regular praise. The article goes on to support the claim with a series of stats from studies completed on the topic.

For me, the main thing that stood out from the studies observations was that recognition has a direct correlation to loyalty. This got me wondering if the same applies to authors and their audience. I don’t really know the answer, but I figure whether it works or not, it is always nice to get some recognition, even if it is just a simple “Thank you”.

And on that note, I’d like to say “Thank you” for reading my blog/work 🙂

What do you think? Are you more likely to support an author that thanks you for your readership?

What do You Think of Book Trailers?

Picture by Kevin Stanchfield

Picture by Kevin Stanchfield

I have been known to be a bit of a movie buff, in fact in years gone by I much preferred a movie to a book. Believe it or not, I never used to enjoy reading. As a writer this is a bit of a problem, so I’ve pushed myself to read more books. I’ve have learnt to enjoy reading and now I find myself trying to make up for all the books I have not read.

This brings me to my point. Recently I have heard about book trailers. I have even seen a few put together by authors I know and I have enjoyed watching them. But, I find myself asking “do the two really go together?” Advertising a book through a movie style trailer is a bit of a paradox to me. It seems that on one hand you have those who love to read, on the other, those who love to watch, and then there are others who enjoy both. I know many a reader of a great book has gone to see the movie. I also know many a movie goer that has invested in the book. But would a book trailer entice you to read a book?

I would be keen to know what you think.