Time For Another Update.

What on earth have you been up to? We haven’t heard from you in ages, I hear you saying. Well. to be honest, I’ve been really busy, but I don’t feel like I’ve got much done at all. The life of a writer is hard yakka. I’ve been working on promo for months now, trying different things with small successes here and there, but nothing to write home about. I’ve done a bit of Face Book advertising, been drumming up a few reviews, dabbled in some Amazon Marketing, and now a good reads giveaway (and boy has that taken off… Not in sales, but I’m getting a lot of adds to readers TBR lists – which is awesome!) In between all that I’ve been building relations with a publisher (helping them to help Indie authors), trying to write more (not had too much luck with that), and trying to keep up with my own TBR list.

As far as my actual writing goes, I’m about half way through a short story I was doing for an anthology, but the submission date for entries has passed now, so I’ll be saving that story for another book. I’ve got around 3 complete stories in the first draft stage that I need to edit/rewrite to polish them up. Then there’s a novella (that might end up as a novel) that is around the half way mark. I plan to get stuck into finalising these in coming weeks, so I can start formatting them for print/ebook and find appropriate covers. At least that’s the plan!

If you haven’t read any of my work yet, you can grab a free copy of the anthology ’18’ from most of the popular retailers. It has my first published short story ‘Low Life’ lurking amongst the pages. The anthology Darkest Depths is also tipped to become free in the near future, so keep an eye out for that. It contains another short story by ‘yours truly’ called ‘Darkness in Shadows’. These both fit into the horror genre, but if that’s not your cup of tea, you can always enter the good reads giveaway for a copy of my fantasy novella ‘The Crimson Guild’ or if you’re feeling generous, shell out on a copy of ‘Blood Rage’ (or better still, the boxed set which is better value). In the meantime, I’ll do my best to get some new material out over the next 6 months.

Happy reading.

What Made You Purchase Your Last Book?

As an Author, I am constantly hearing that you need to have a great cover for people to pick up your book. You need a great blurb on the back to grab the readers interest. You need a well edited story to hold the readers attention. This all makes perfect sense, but I’m curious if there is more to it than this. I mean, I’d buy a book if I heard people saying how great it was, regardless of the cover. I’d buy a book a friend recommended to me without even looking at the blurb. I’d even read a book with a great story without too much concern for its poor editing. But everyone is different, so I want to ask you, What made you purchase your last book?

Why is having fun so painful?

Hello Readers,

I thought I would do a more personal post today, so I’m going to let you know what I got up to over the weekend. Firstly, it was an early start for me, early being 6am. “That’s not early!” I hear some of you saying, and for some people, it isn’t, but I’m not real good with early mornings and 6am is early for me. Anyway, after getting myself ready in a zombie-like state, it was off to Mount Tamborine. There’s a beautiful national park at Mount Tamborine and amongst it is a place called Thunderbird Park, where you can go to fossick for Thunder Eggs, but that’s another story. There is also a put-put (mini golf) course, laser skirmish, a café, and a tree top challenge – an obstacle course in the trees. It was the treetop challenge that drew me there. Why not have some fun in the treetops? I thought. Well after 5 hours across 4 courses that get progressively harder, I was exhausted. My hands were sore from holding on, my legs were sore from using muscles I didn’t know I had and my arms… well they almost decided to give up and play dead! Here’s a couple of pic’s for you.

This is me, having completed the easy circuit, thinking the hard circuit is going to be a piece of cake. I’m such an optimist.

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And below you can see me standing on the platform in the trees.

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Flick forward to Sunday morning:

Ouch! my body aches… I roll out of bed, shuffle to the shower, soaking my aching muscles. I soon find out I’ve been thrown into some crazy world of ‘It’s a Knock Out’, ‘Wipe out’ and ‘Takeshis Castle’ all rolled into one, as I try to get dressed and my muscles refuse to comply. I hobble into the kitchen and fumble through making a coffee, like a two year old with a shape sorter toy, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I sit down, feeling a little sorry for myself, and ease my super-heavy coffee cup to my lips, biceps straining under what can only be liquid lead within my cup; nope, it’s just coffee! I gulp it down and everything seems a little better. Why is having fun so painful?

 

More From Japan.

Just a quick post with some photos from Disneyland Tokyo. Here they are:-

Back in Australia now and need to catch up on my writing stuff, but look what was waiting for me when I got home today:

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So for those that have put in your orders, let me know when you would like to collect your copy.

Enjoying some time out in Japan.

Hello Readers,

I haven’t been online much lately because I’m on holiday in Japan and it has been pretty full on. I’ve been to Shinjuku, Harajuku, Kyoto and now Tokyo Bay. This is a crazy place that never seems to close down, it just keeps going day and night. The city is a modern, chaotic metropolis with people, traffic and colour everywhere, but then there are these beautiful traditional shrines, temples and parks alongside in this wonderful juxtaposition that is Japan.

The plan is to hit Disneyland tomorrow, so that will be a first for me and should be a fun experience. I’ll try to get a few photos, but here a few of my travels so far.
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That’s all for now, but I have a feeling that some of the wonder of Japan will creep into my writing in the future, only time will tell.

Time For Another Update? I Think So.

Image by Jcrakow

Image by Jcrakow

Hello Readers,

Alright, what can I say? The Crimson Guild was released in March has been out for around 4 weeks now. I did have a little hiccup with the print copy though. When I received the proof, the margins were a little out, so the words fell too close to the spine and needed to be adjusted slightly. That has all been fixed up now and the new proof looks fantastic! So I have approved it and the print copy is now available. I have also been doing a little promo work on Facebook to let people know about. If any of you have read it and enjoyed it, it would be awesome if you’d leave a review, rate it or let people know about on social media.

The month of April seems to have jumped out of the shadows, shouting boo at me. And it’s taken me by surprise! It seems like only last week we were celebrating Christmas, where does the time go? I plan to release Blood Rage this month, so I better get a move on. Luckily, the e-copy is all ready to go and I’ll probably get it out in the next couple of days, as I’m off to Japan this month for a short break (I will try and get some interesting photos to share with you all when I get back). Once Blood Rage is released, I also intend to release a boxed set which will contain The Crimson Guild, Blood Rage, and a little bonus – Blood and Fear. Blood and Fear is a short story that preludes the other two books and will be exclusive to the boxed set. Unfortunately, I cannot easily create a print copy in a boxed set, so it will only be available on e-copy at this time. If you are planning on purchasing The Crimson Guild and Blood Rage on e-copy, I would wait for the boxed set, as it is going to be great value. It will be cheaper than buying both books separately and you will get the exclusive bonus of Blood and Fear.

In between the promo work I’m doing, my day job,  and time spent critiquing at my writers’ groups, I have also been trying to read and write. I’m currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s – Mistborn and I am really enjoying it. I’ve also started a short fantasy story and I’m about 1500 words in. I’m enjoying that too, it is a little different from the Blood Rage Series as this one has elves in. In addition to this I have a few other unfinished projects, mostly short stories, and when I have finished them I think I will wrap them all up in a collection.

Anyway, that’s it from me. I hope you are all well and enjoying what you’re reading.

Take care.

Raising Good Stock – A Writer and His Books.

Hello Readers,

I thought it would be timely to give you all an update on what I’ve been up to. Well, late last year, I decided to send 4 of my little darlings off to my editor, Geneve Flynn, in the hope she would whip them into shape. So I packed them up and shipped them off.

Blood and Fear – A short fantasy story and Part 1 of the ‘Blood Rage’ Trilogy
The Crimson Guild – A fantasy novella and Part 2 of the ‘Blood Rage’ Trilogy
Blood Rage – A fantasy novel and Part 3 of the ‘Blood Rage’ Trilogy
Making Magic – A short fantasy/horror story

While they were away, I took a little break from all-things-writing to enjoy a peaceful Christmas without them. But I have to admit, I started to miss the little buggers. I needn’t have worried about them, my babies came back before the new year began – and what a great job my editor has done!

I’ve already worked through the edits on 3 of them and I’m about half way through Blood Rage. Now that they have matured and grown a little,  I need to prepare them for the cut-throat world that awaits them. I need to dress them up in nice covers, format them for publishing, and introduce them to all you lovely readers out there. And I’m getting close. Pretty soon they will be ready to move out and find a new home.

If you are considering snuggling up to a new book at night, adopting one of these poor, lonely little stories, or looking for a new world to escape to, then why not put them on your ‘To be read’ list. Interested? click here to receive an e-mail update when each one is ready to leave home.

Downtime – What do you do when you’re not reading or writing?

I have just had 2 weeks off my day job and took the time to relax and have some fun. I figured if I’m going to take a break, I may as well put down my pen and take a break from my writing too. So, here is what I got up to over the last 2 weeks.

I took a trip to Toowoomba and visited the Cobb and Co. museum. Here is one of their Royal Mail coaches, some good old fashioned wind pumps outside and me having a bit of a laugh.

I visited an old church to admire the architecture. Here are a few pictures of the church and one of the old church buildings beside it.

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And here I am enjoying a ‘Schooner’ of beer at the pub.

After Toowoomba it was back home for a few nights before heading to Surfers Paradise.

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The beach here is truly beautiful and the surf life saver huts reminded me of Baywatch.

There is so much to do at surfers. I even did a few things I never thought to put on my bucket list, but really enjoyed, like virtual golf and shooting a hand gun.

Keeping in theme with my blog (and for all you book lovers out there), I also came across what I believe is an old printing press and this bookcase at the shooting range (the last place I thought I would see something like this).

Well, that’s pretty much it for my update. What do you do when you’re not reading or writing?

What Are You Looking For In A Book?

Picture by Emilio Nanni

Picture by Emilio Nanni – Creative commons Licence at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

Hello again, my blog posts are taking a back seat at the moment, but I thought I should take a bit of time to write one up and let you all know I’m still here, just busy with other stuff at the moment. Anyway, I’m waffling, so let’s get on with it.

I am currently reading Joe Abercrombie’s ‘Before They Are Hanged’, and I have to admit, I’m loving Joe’s work at the moment. Every one of his novels I’ve read so far, have stood high above any other fantasy I have read. I love his style, the gritty, no holds barred, bare your teeth and snarl at anyone that doesn’t like it, writing. To me, his prose is impressive and his stories are unique. There may be other books out there that are similar, but I haven’t read them, and I’m lapping it up because these two elements make his work a truly enjoyable read.

This has led me wonder, what is it others seek from a good book? Is it originality? Is it Style? Is it the emotional journey you take when you follow a character through their journey? Is it all of the above? I’m very interested in knowing just what is it that makes a great book for you?

Thanks for reading my post and I hope to hear some of your thoughts on this.

Hectic Lives and Kicking Goals

Hello again, I know I haven’t been posting regularly like I used to. I’ve been busy working on my book, but I am making progress, hitting 16,500 words this weekend. Apologies for not keeping my online presence up, but it is so hard trying to juggle everything. In addition to the writing, I’ve been reading as part of a reading challenge I’ve set myself. I’ve also been reading up on plotting, seeking those little nuggets of advice that might help things click into place and help me to write better. I’ve also been trying to maintain a bit of a social life, going out for a meal with my sister to celebrate her birthday. On top of that, I’ve been doing some work around the garden and trying to organize a present for my better half, who’s birthday is next month – all while working full time.

Incidentally, work often provides me with some great tips for my writing. As a leader of a team, I often come across articles on team building and the like, and I am always looking at how I can apply these as an author. The latest article was about motivation, and I thought I would share this with you. The article explains that motivation consists of feedback, goals and rewards. Here is a summary:

Feedback: 

Positive feedback can increase confidence and commitment, motivating when you start your goals. i.e. “So, you’re writing a novel? That’s awesome, I’d love to read it when it’s done.”

Negative feedback emphasising a lack of progress when your nearing the end of something, can motivate you when you need a push. i.e. “You’ve written three quarters of your novel and now your just going to leave it in a box under your bed. What’s the deal with that? I really think you should plug away and get it finished.”

Goal Setting:

This one really works for me, it’s about breaking down a big task into small goals. i.e. I am going to write 200 words a day. It has to be something achievable in a short time, so you feel like you are making progress every time you hit that target. You should focus on the progress you’ve made at the start of a project. Then as you get nearer the end, switch your focus to the distance left to achieve your goal.

Rewards:

Rewards work better if you can get them in a short space of time and if you get them when your target is met. A reward can be as simple as a bar of chocolate, a glass of wine, or a pat on the back. You could try buying a bar of your favourite chocolate and telling yourself, “I can have some of that as soon as I hit my goal for the day.” Or if you have someone supportive around you, why not let them know you just hit your goal for the day. I’m sure they will congratulate you with a “Well done!” Who knows, it may be just what you need to keep you on track.

If you’re not a writer, I’m sure you can apply these principles to another part of your life. Why not give it a go, it might just work for you.