A Quick Update for my Readers

 

Image by Jcrakow

Image by Jcrakow

Hello Readers,

My blog has been a little quiet lately, I know. I’ve been focussing on running a promo for Easy Prey and testing some AMS ads out for both The Crimson Guild and Blood Rage. The promo went quite well with 50 downloads over 3 days. This isn’t bad considering I only used free advertising on a few newsletters. I also feel like I am making some progress with my ads. People are clicking on them, that’s a start. The next step in the process is converting the clicks to sales. So I have been revisiting my book blurb for Blood Rage. Reviews also help out with converting clicks to sales and thankfully I have had a few come through recently. They act kind of like a recommendation from a friend, so thank you to every one of you who have left a review so far.

This has been taking up a lot of my time, but in the midst of it all I have been trying to write. I haven’t made much progress here, but I have been creeping forward with a fantasy story I have been working on. I have also been fleshing out another fantasy/sci fi idea that I have knocking about in my head. I really want to get a few more stories out this year, so at some point I may have to lock myself in a room with no internet access and get stuck into my writing.

As for reading, I have made some headway this year. I think I have read 5 books to date (though a goodreads glitch says I have read 2 of them twice on my reading challenge) and I’m over half way through a beta read I’m doing for another author. I’m also 25% through another book, but I’m struggling with this one. The story is original and quite good, but the writing style is not working for me and I think it is going to be a DNF (Did Not Finish). I’ll see how I go, I really don’t like not finishing a book as I like to post a review when I’m done, and polite, constructive criticism can help an author to improve.

Anyway, that’s about it from me, take care and happy reading!

 

Advertisements

What Is Your Favourite Fantasy Novel?

picture-by-shannon-hauser

Picture by Shannon Hauser

Hello Readers,

I was having a look to see if I could find any good fantasy novels/authors to read and while trawling through lots of blogs and webpages I thought to myself “I wonder what my readers really enjoyed reading?” That gave me an idea. Why don’t I ask? So I put this quick blog post together just for that reason. I’ll share some of my favourites with you first.

  1. Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercombie.
  2. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercombie.
  3. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
  4. The Lascars Dagger by Glenda Larke

Okay so there are four of my favourites. Now it’s over to you… What are your favourite fantasy novels?

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ for updates, special offers, etc…

A Year in Review(s) – Thanks to my Readers.

Hello Readers,

After doing my wrap up of what I achieved in 2017, I got to thinking more about my year in review. This sparked an idea. Why don’t I do a post on “a year in reviews” and thank my readers for taking the time to not only read my books, but for posting a much appreciated review. Here’s what I came up with, some snippets from the reviews that have been posted over 2017 and a personal thank you from myself. I hope you enjoy the read.

Comments on The Crimson Guild (Blood Rage Series) – Fantasy Novella:

“A wonderful bit of escapism and fun to this little read.”
– William B

Thank you to William B, Amazon customer, for your wonderful review.

The banter between characters was a highlight of this story; they are quick witted and hot headed street urchins.”
–  Melanie Hill

Thank you Melanie Hill, Goodreads member and fellow author, for your kind review.

“I really enjoyed this book. Great characters and an interesting storyline”
–  John

Thank you John, Amazon customer, for reading and reviewing my book.

“Wow! I didn’t really know what to expect from this book but it turned out to be an absolute delight to read.”
–  Rachael

Thank you Rachael, Goodreads member, for your lovely comments.

“I hadn’t really been in the mood for fantasy lately, until I read this.”
–  Michelle

Thank you Michelle, Goodreads member, for your kind review.

Comments on Blood Rage (Blood Rage Series) – Fantasy Novel:

“The introduction of new characters was done in such a way that you thought you already knew them.”
– William B

Thank you William B, Amazon customer, for going on to read the next book in the Blood Rage Series and sharing your kind thoughts.

“Been a while since I’ve read a good fantasy book and this hit the spot.”
– Aaron C

Thank you Aaron C, Amazon customer, for reading my story and leaving a review.

“Enjoyed this book. Loved the characters of Conall and Erin. Good setting.”
–  Ashleigh

Thank you Ashleigh, I’m so glad you enjoyed the read.

Comments on Easy Prey – A Short Horror Story:

“The characters were interesting especially Judd. It felt like he was the creepy one.” 
–  Talitha Gelah

Thanks Talitha Gelah, Amazon customer, for taking a chance on my writing and leaving a review.

“This was an interesting read!”
– Michelle

Thanks Michelle, Goodreads member, for your review.

“Thank you for the good story. I gave it 4 stars. I am hoping for a more extended version of this. It was interesting you know.”
– T.G.

Thank you T.G, Goodreads member, I really appreciate your review.

Comments on Darkness In Shadows – A Short Sci-Fi/Horror:

“Short, but plenty to slake your appetite.”
– Kirstie

Thank you Kirstie, Goodreads member and fellow author, for taking the time to read and review my short story.

Comments on Low Life – A Short Horror:

“… this story had a good creep factor to it,”
– Joyce

Thank you Joyce, Goodreads member, for reading and reviewing my short story.

Once again, thank you all, your reviews help me as an author. They provide ‘social proof’ to other readers, proof that may just persuade someone else to pick up one of my books and give me a go. Without readers, writing just wouldn’t be as much fun. You give authors like me a reason to keep writing! I look forward to writing more stories for you all through 2018.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ here for updates, special offers, etc…

Is it Time to Try Something New?

Photo by Renaud Camus

Photo by Renaud Camus

Hello Readers,

Cor blimey! That’s right, you heard me correctly, I said cor-bloody-blimey. My reading world has been turned upside down. I am currently reading a book written in a first person point of view (POV). What on earth is happening? Anyone in my writing group will tell you, I don’t read first person and I don’t write first person. I do not like this POV, I have never liked this POV and I didn’t think I ever would like this POV. Yet here I am reading a book in… you guessed it, first person POV. And I am loving it! You know that saying, “if you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right author.” Well this must be a case of I had never found the right ‘first person’ author.

So what am I reading? I hear you asking. That is another conundrum. It’s a YA book called Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson – a book I would never have picked up to read if I had not enjoyed his Mistborn series so much. So, I think it is fair to say it is time for me to re-evaluate and consider what I might have been missing out on all these years. I may even try to write a story in a first person POV. Who knows what wonderful emotions it may stir, what creativity it may bring out. Not me, because I have never tried it. Is it time for me to give it a go? It just might be.

2017… That’s a Wrap!

Picture by Sebastien Wiertz.

Picture by Sebastien Wiertz

Hello Readers,

Well it looks like every man and his dog are doing a wrap up of 2017, so I thought I would jump on the band-wagon. This is the bit where I have to reflect on what I have achieved over the last 12 months. With a memory like mine that is a tough call, but thankfully I have the help of social media to fall back on. So, this is what 2017 looked like for me:

  1. I just scraped in on my Goodreads reading challenge of 26 books for the year, and when I say I just scraped in… I mean I finished book 26 on New Years Eve. Phew! I admit, I took a few shortcuts when I fell behind, reading a few volumes of Tite Kubo’s manga sensation “Bleach”. I even re-read a couple of my own short stories, which was a good exercise, because I still enjoyed the read and can see that I have improved my writing (at least in my opinion). If I did audiobooks, I would have ‘read’ some of these too, But I don’t do audio books, they just don’t work for me.
  2. I published 5 books in 2017. My Blood Rage series in the fantasy genre, which consists of a short story, a novella and a novel. The others 2  were short stories – Easy Prey and Making Magic, one of which I would classify as horror, the other is more fantasy with horror elements and a little humour.
  3. I managed to get some of my books into bookshops and work out that this isn’t very economically viable when you they take 35 to 40% of the RRP (that’s the RRP, not the profit) to put them on the shelf. So I won’t be actively pursuing this as a sales channel until I can get a reasonable print cost (noting price generally comes down the more units you buy, but until I know I can sell the units, I’m not keen on large orders).
  4. I also got ‘The Crimson Guild’ and ‘Blood Rage’ into some libraries, so if you are in the Logan city area and want to try them out, visit your local library and you can loan them.
  5. I have written a book on how to self-publish, but I’m not sure if I will release it or not. I finished it a few months ago now, but the playing field is constantly changing and it may need to tweaked if I decide to release it.
  6. I have spent hour after hour researching writing and marketing techniques.
  7. I put some of these new skills into practice and commenced running a few ads on FB and Amazon.
  8. I have tried to maintain a constant blog across the year, but did slack off a little at times to focus on writing/editing so I could get some more work out.

I’m sure there is more I could add to this list, but I can’t think of it right now and I have covered the main items from my FB timeline now. Looking back, I am quite happy with what I have achieved over the year.

On a personal level, I have been very lucky to have an amazing woman who not only supports me with my writing, but spoils me on special occasions. I’m not easy to buy presents for, so she tends to get me ‘experiences’. This year I have learnt how to drift a Lotus Elise around a skid pan, which was an awesome and exhilarating activity. I have flown a light aircraft over Brisbane, yes… I actually piloted the plane for a 30 minute flight. Now that was quite scary for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to holiday in Japan during the Cherry Blossom season and I’ve managed to get back to the UK and catch up with family and friends (only my 2nd time back in 20 years). As this only happens once in a blue moon, we made the most of it. We took the train through the Channel tunnel to Paris (crossed that one off my bucket list) and drank Belgium beer in Belgium. I really don’t think I would have half of these things without my great woman’s drive and motivation.

What’s lined up for 2018?

Well, on a personal note, I already have a ride in a Centurion tank and a “learn-to-fly-a-helicopter” flight lined up. We won’t be doing much travelling this year though. We’ll need to knuckle down and save for the next trip.

Writing wise I plan to continue to learn as much as possible about writing. I am starting to plot a bit more these days, so I’ll see if that makes much difference with my writing this year. I have a few unfinished titles I’ve been working on over the last year or so and I’d really like to finalise some of these for publishing them this year. I tend to jump between projects while I work though, which slows the progress on individual stories, but sees me finish a few closely together. I’d love to get a few more short stories and another novella or novel out this year, so I look forward to looking back at the end of 2018 and seeing if I met this goal.

Celebrating Christmas in Oz.

Hello Readers,

My Christmas day was spent at the beach, in the sunny 36 degree heat of the Queensland, Gold Coast. I thought I would share a couple of pictures of the beach, as you may well see it during the commonwealth games if you watch the beach volleyball. These pictures were taken just outside the surf club, where I had dinner and a few beers on Christmas eve. Christmas morning was spent having breakfast with friends and family before we popped back down to the beach for a hour or so to relax. Then we all had some Christmas lunch together. An enjoyable way to spend the day.

How did you spend your Christmas?

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ here for updates, special offers, etc…

Merry Christmas to All.

Picture by Matthias Ripp

Picture by Matthias Ripp

Hello readers,

I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all my fans out there. Thank you all for supporting me this year by reading my stories, following my blog, sharing my posts, writing reviews, and everything else. All these things help me as an author. I truly hope you have a wonderful time with your family, friends and/or loved ones. I wish you all the best for the New Year and hope to get some new stories out to you all in 2018.

For those of you who will be alone over Christmas, you have my heartfelt wishes and I’m sure there are some amazing times awaiting you in the new year.

The future is full of secrets that only come to light as time goes on.
The past allows us to look back on where we have come from.
The present is the place between that moves us forwards.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here.

Visit the ‘Hall of Whispers’ here for updates, special offers, etc…

What are my Favourite reads of 2017?

Hello Readers,

Books are wonderful things aren’t they? As a reader they can take you on a journey to new worlds, meeting new people, experiencing new things. They can bring back feelings or memories you had forgotten about. They can offer an escape from the real world or plunge you deeper into the realities that exist in peoples lives. As an author they can increase your creativity. They can teach you how to be a better writer by showing you what works and what does not. They can make you feel the emotions you strive to stir within your own readers and give you tips on how to achieve these reactions.

This year I set myself a reading challenge to read 26 books. So far I have completed 23, but I am almost 70% through another and I still have time to achieve my goal. I must admit, I cheated a little by reading some Manga and a few short stories, but it all counts in my mind. Anyway, here is the pick of my favourites:

 

The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonThe Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

I really enjoyed The Final Empire, book one in the Mistborn series, and its original magic system. The characters are well defined and the story is interesting. If you haven’t read it, give it a go, it is definitely worth the time.

 

The Well of Ascension by Brandon SandersonThe Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson.

This is the next episode in the Mistborn series and it does a great job of building on the first story. It gives you more insights into the story questions and things that happened in book one. The magic system also gets a little deeper, though I felt Sanderson went over a lot of old ground to bring readers that missed book one, up to speed on the use of magic. Still, the book was a good read and is worthy of investing your time in.

 

Red Country by Joe AbercrombieRed Country by Joe Abercrombie.

If you follow my reviews, you will already know that I love Joe Abercrombie’s books. He has got to be my favourite author to date and while I enjoyed this book, it is my least favourite of his works. Red Country has a real ‘Cowboy and Indian’ Western feel to it and it was not what I expected, nor what I was looking for. It still had the same gritty feel that I love about his work and some old favourite characters, but I felt somewhat removed from the story because of the setting. Still a good book in my opinion and if you like Abercrombie’s style, you will like this one.

Mortal Engines by Philip ReeveMortal Engines by Philip Reeve.

This is an old YA dystopia/steampunk novella with some original ideas. The characterisation is done well and it is an enjoyable read, though a little predictable in places. I believe that Peter Jackson is currently directing the movie adaptation for the big screen and that is something I am looking forward to seeing.

So there you have it, my favourite reads of 2017. What are the best picks from your 2017 reading list?

 

A Quick Update for Horror Fans

Image by Jcrakow

Image by Jcrakow

Hello Readers,

I have some exciting news for you, I have recently finished reviewing my editor’s comments on a new short horror story I’ve written. I have amended the story based on the edits and I am very pleased with the final polish of this piece. I think it has buffed off the tarnishes and made it shine. I have also secured a cover for the story and plan to do a cover reveal in the near future, I just need to sort out if I am keeping the working title or amending it and if I’m going to apply a tag line (I will if I can think of something suitable).

My plan is to release this in KDP Select to see how it goes. Once the Amazon exclusive period is up, I will look at going out on a wider distribution. I will let you know if and when this happens.

In the mean time, I wish you some scary reading.

Looking for something to read? Why not check out my books here

Writing Habits – Good or Bad?

 

Photo by Renaud Camus

Photo by Renaud Camus

Hello Readers,

Writing is an art. As a writer, I need to practice the craft to improve my skills and become the best I can be. Because of this, I read and write consistently. Every day. That’s right – every day I will do some reading or writing to help me improve.

Some writers get up early to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, but not me. I’m not a morning person. I tend to practice my craft in the evening. I come home from my day job, sit down with the family for dinner, then disappear into the study. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it works for me, at least for now.

It is a challenge maintaining my writing as I try to balance my home life, monitoring my social media, blogging, etc… I need to tackle these things each day too. I have a note stuck to my laptop that says “Write First!” to encourage me not to get caught up with other stuff before I write. It doesn’t always work, but it does serve as a reminder for me not to get too bogged down in the other stuff.

If you have read any of my writing, you may have noticed some profanity among the pages. I don’t believe there is anything too harsh, but it is something that I find myself shying away from the more I write. I won’t say I’m going to cut it out altogether (as I feel there is a place for it in some circumstances), but I am considering that omitting it may give appeal to a wider audience. I suppose I am still trying to find my voice within my writing and this may be a part of that search. I guess time will tell which way I will lean in the future.

Thanks for reading my rambles.

Allan Walsh writes Fantasy and Horror. If you’re looking for something new to read in these genres, why not check out his books here