To celebrate the fact that it’s always Spring – somewhere, I’ve decided to put all my tales on Amazon up for free today and tomorrow (12 – 13 April). I’ll pop the links on here if you’d like to download them. I hope you enjoy them! They will go free at around 12 CMT, so in around two hours from now. African Me & Satellite TV will be published next, and then on to the second book in the Shadow People series.
And join us today and tomorrow at the Spring Fever Reads Giveaway, and stand a chance to win more books and a Kindle Fire!
Till next time friends. xxx
Still busy sorting all my old blog posts into categories. Seeing the dates on these posts has made me realise how quickly I’ve zoomed along this indie writing road. I opened the WordPress site in March 2012 after joining Facebook in January. Before that the only IT knowledge I had was how to operate my cellphone – sort of.
As far as writing went, I’d only started that the year before when I wrote African Me & Satellite TV, scribbled in notebooks and on bits of paper shoved into an old manila folder. The story had been niggling at me for a while. To begin with I really just wished it would go away. I’d never written anything before. Never yearned to be an author, or ever imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be capable of writing so much as a paragraph of fiction that anyone would actually want to cast their eyeballs over.
It never went away though. It grew and grew, and became my obsession, until finally it was done, sitting in a tatty pile on my desk along with the two books that grew side by side with it. Two of the characters in African Me were so huge to me that they had to have books of their own. And so they did.
Not ever having been on line before, and not even knowing that Kindles existed, I tentatively tried to look for agents. I’ve never approached one though. A friend suggested that I join Facebook and look for writers there. I did, and found one brilliant little group of mainly aspiring authors and one or two stars. There, apart from gaining a couple of amazing friends, I learned about indie publishing. It was only towards the end of last year that I found myself swept away on the indie highway.
Along the learning way I’ve published two short stories, and a sci-fi/fantasy novel on Amazon, obviously expecting to be hugely famous mere hours after pushing the upload button. Shame about that. I’ve found out lots about finishing, formatting, and publishing e-books, as well as creating covers for them, not to mention marketing and SEO. The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is that I have only one toe in the water. As far as indie publishing and marketing knowledge is concerned I still have miles to travel. I’m just really glad to be on the trip.
And that trip was all about getting African Me & Satellite TV published. There were just unexpected twists, trips, and bonuses along the way. I now have the first book in a series out there, with loads more to come. I’m painting away to create images of Lapillus and the characters in Shadow People, so that anyone who reads the books see them a little as I do. I’ve learned that writing and reading short, sharp stories is brilliant. For the first time in my life I’ve written poetry. This was really hard, but a bit of African Me just had to have it, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.
African Me & Satellite TV will be published soon, and I am terrified and excited. My main point of this ramble is that no matter what trip you are on, you never know where it will take you.
To writers more newbie than myself I say – gosh – are there any? Seriously though, from what I’ve learned so far I have a couple of opinions.
• Don’t publish your beloved first. Publish another brilliant, but lesser love first and learn the ropes a little.
• Don’t believe that just because you have “Author” attached to your moniker, thousands will fawn at your feet.
• Learn about marketing on line, and follow through. I’ve been held back in this department by constant (daily – very often weekly) power outages, and the weakest internet signal on the planet, but that has never stopped me from trying.
• Research every thing that you do. Don’t fall for “editor” “publisher” tricks – there are a lot of nasties out there who will con you properly. Check credentials.
• Beware of spending the majority of your waking hours in the wrong areas of cyberspace. Do you really think that posting links to your books on a group of other indie writers will generate sales or get you real readers?
• Do join other indie writers for online events. You will build up a group of indie writer friends over time and this is good. You support each other. Boost each other. You need this. Just be careful who you team up with. Make sure your indie buddies are cool.
• Don’t ask people for fake reviews. If I see a book with hundreds of gushing five star reviews, I’m immediately wary. And if I then read the book, and it’s really bad, I’m not a happy girl at all. I do review for friends, but never if they ask me. If I like what I see, am a fan of the genre they have written in, I buy their book. I never leave bad reviews – ever. If I don’t like a book I leave it at that. There are loads of people willing to leave crap reviews – some that seem incapable of spelling “and”, I’m sorry to say.
• Have patience. What will be, will be.
Till next time friends. xxx
It’s totally untrue that science fiction fans (and writers) are silly, nerdy, oddballs that like to dress up in Star Wars outfits, and believe in aliens. Well… they’re not silly at any rate. Sci-fi geeks are very clever people. Morgan Freeman is clearly one as the host of my favourite documentary, Through The Wormhole, and he has to be the un-geekiest person I’ve ever seen. I am a fully paid up member of the geek club.
A lot more research goes into writing science fiction than you would think. Even though you’re reading about something or some place that (apparently) doesn’t exist, the actual idea for it probably came about while the author was pulling on his Captain Spock leotard in front of the television set, watching a geeky science documentary. Theoretical science is my favourite playground, but actual science is very often a lot more mind blowing. Especially when it comes to the mind.
Good versus evil, reincarnation and time travel are all large parts of Shadow People and the stories to follow in the series. Do we have souls? Are these souls reborn good or evil? Is life all just about a physical form that is born and dies – The End. Not in Shadow People. Dragons reincarnate as humans, and angels become demons. There is lots of zooming around through time and space, and the fight between good and evil decides the fate of the universe. So. Even though none of us can prove any of these theories beyond a doubt, I do like to at least have a little insight into what I scribble about. This means that I have to find out as much as I can about these things from the actual current proofs and theories that are floating around. I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve found. Right now I’m eyeballing the evil. My dear Morgan explored the brains of truly evil people.
There is a part of the brain that controls empathy. If this doesn’t work you’re apparently not going to feel sorry for anyone or thing in pain or suffering. In the brains of psychopaths this area comes up cold blue in MRI scans. Aah, you say. It’s a physical thing then. I don’t think so. The doctor who discovered this did scans on his own family, and discovered to his horror that not only did he have the brain of a psychopath, he also had people in his family tree who actually had been cold-blooded, convicted killers. He’d never had vicious urges though. The only compulsions in his life had led only to him being an overachiever. He thinks that his saving grace was his incredibly loving family and idyllic childhood.
Aah, you say. It’s an environmental thing then. Maybe not. Another doctor conducted tests on babies around six months old. She put on little plays where one teddy was nice and another teddy was really nasty. Over eighty percent of the babies liked the nice teddies. This sort of shows that we have some small clue about good and bad way before anyone tells us the difference. She also found that even young babies tend to group with other babies who agree with them and shun those who don’t or are different to them. Again, way before their parents tell them it’s not cool to play with children that are “different” to them. These tests made it clear that while similar, babies know what they want or like from very early on. Just because they haven’t figured out how to chat, doesn’t mean that they each are not born as the person they’ll become.
I honestly didn’t come away after this particular programme with any good reason why people turn out to be killers or torturers. Definitely one or two have been made so by tumours pushing on relevant parts of their brains or have some other physical issues there, but not by a very long way for the majority of them. Some people have zero empathy and view the rest of the people in the world as objects. They don’t all turn in to rapists and killers. I’m sure there are quite a few that maybe don’t make a lot of friends, but harm nothing more than a turnip for their soup.
Then you get to that belief that both good and evil exist as forces in the universe, and that it’s up to those with free will to decide who wins in the end. I like this idea best. I’ve gotten a lot of things wrong in my life, but I like to think that once you realise you’ve done something horrible, and hurt someone or something with your actions, you really don’t have to do it again. That’s free will. If these cruel killers really and truly did not believe that what they do is wrong, why do they hide it so well? They don’t want to be caught, you say? Fair enough.
But still. I think that on some level they do know that their deeds are evil. It’s often hard to do the right thing for all of us, let alone for someone with a damaged brain, but the fact that they get through life for so long having everyone around them thinking that they actually are kind and nice, makes me think that they know exactly what kind and nice is. There are some people on this planet who get up to such awful things, that I personally would be more than happy to stomp on them with hobnailed boots. So – my opinion — Evil exists as a force in the universe, and should be exposed for what it is, and duly stomped on.
My lovely visit with the amazing Lucy Pireel.
Yay! Today I have my dear friend and talented author Jo Robinson as featured author to talk about her books and whatever more she wishes to disclose.
Hi Jo! Nice to have you pop over to answer some questions I have for you. So let’s not waste anymore time, which is precious as it is with all the promotional things we need to do to get our work under the eyes of the general public.
First some questions to get in the mood though and then we’ll move on to the serious stuff. Okay?
Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?
Whoop dee doooo!!! Or in as my UK friends would say, Jolly Dee!
Okay, sounds like a winner that one, but does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner…
View original post 1,223 more words
A hidden room. A prophesy about to be fulfilled. On Lapillus, the demonic Nefandus torture and kill to satiate their foul hunger. A small number of the dragon-like Voxavi remain in limbo, and their Lord is trapped in a wall of diamond. Natalie, Gabe, and Brian are propelled into this gem encrusted world, only to find that the fate of the universe rests on their shoulders.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 291 KB
- Print Length: 201 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BCL91EC
I live in the wilds of Zimbabwe with my husband Angus, a dog with an odd sense of humour, four birds, and some chickens. One of the birds spends most of her time on my head, weaving my hair into dreadlocks that have to be cut out, so every day’s a bad hair day…
View original post 184 more words
The best day of 2013 so far, and the first day in the amazing world of books for Shadow People. Even though a lot of my plans for the day didn’t happen with the couple of stumbling blocks, and the mad rush to get it published on “the day”, I was still planning to show it around its new home a little today. So of course I sat down on the couch for only a minute, and conked right out for half the day, leaving my poor new baby all on its lonesome out there in the big wide web. Brilliant performance indeed! I really am doing well!
In my defence, it has been an outrageously busy week. Sleep wasn’t much of an option, so when the big work was all done last night, I thought I’d have the snooze of the century. I sneezed myself awake at midnight though. If it had been just one sneeze I might have been able to stay in bed. No such luck. It was a proper multiple rapid fire sneezeathon that woke everyone up and had Jelly the weaver bird out of her basket, shouting her head off and ready to take on all intruders. So I tiptoed out and pottered around till the sun came up. Then Mr Sandman pounced out from under a fluffy pillow and ambushed me. Little bugger. Anyway.
Back to Shadow People. By way of its first welcoming party, I will be giving away both of my short stories on Amazon for free on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February. They will be the party hats. They’ll also be free on the 14th – for Valentines Day. I’ll pop the links for them right here. And of course the link to Shadow People, in case any of my friends would like to have a little peep at it. If you do, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed living in it for a short while. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when I head back to Lapillus for the next book in the series. First though, African Me & Satellite TV has to be brought into the sun. And now to explain to disbelieving friends why I why I left my day old chick unattended for so long. Oh dear.
Till next time friends. xxx
I can’t say that January 2013 has been my favourite month. In general, it’s been just a little rough. I had expected to leisurely edit and perfect my sci-fi/fantasy novel, Shadow People. Instead it was a month of serious illness and other unexpected evils. On the plus side though, I’ve made the most amazing new friends, and learned that most people in the world are most cool indeed. I’ve found that friends of old are more than rocks. I send much love to you guys. I lost my beloved turkeys in a devastating way, and have only lately been able to look my three little survivor chickens in the eye. But all in all, I think I’ll be just fine.
Shadow People will be live on Amazon for your reading pleasure from around six in the morning, Zimbabwe time – that’s the only time I know really. It was published while the mystical words, “Dear God, please don’t let there be any typos.” were recited most enthusiastically. I really hope you like it. I will say that there is no doubt in my mind that Shadow People will carry on. Natalie has much to do yet, and the universe really needs a lot more work. I find myself unwilling to leave the beautiful Lapillus and her inhabitants, so book two is already semi-formed.
In this celebratory state of mind, I would like to give my friends my other two short tales on Amazon. They will both be free on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February. Not necessarily science-fiction/fantasy like Shadow People, but I hope you will enjoy them anyway. I apologise for my two day absence friends, and thank you for letting me back in.
Join our fantastic community on Google+
Free for you on Saturday and Sunday are:
And if you’d like to read Shadow People…..
Till next time friends. xxx
It’s finally happened. I asked my computer a question it couldn’t answer. Rather, I googled a question that answered most unsatisfactorily. What I want to know is, what would actually happen if an alien-ish spacecraft landed on the Whitehouse lawn? I promise that I haven’t been relieved of my very last marble. It’s just that I’m writing a scene where that happens. I was about to Google and ask about the whole security setup there, as you do, then it occurred to me that that might upset people. To be honest, knowing the sorts of things us scribblers get up to, more than likely the Chief of Security for Alien Spaceships Landing in the Rosebushes would just say, “Aaah. Another one of those weird writer people again.” And ignore me completely. But on the off-chance that they might think I was trying to figure out a way to come for tea and crumpets with the big guy, I changed the wording. I’m thinking I should just make something up in this instance. Considering some of the aliens in my worlds, it’s probably better that I don’t give them the lay of the land. You never know who eyeballs your blog posts these days. I saw the video of that snake-eyed television presenter. I’ve probably said too much already. Anyway.
Apart from slowly catching up in general with various projects, I’m working harder than I knew I could getting Shadow People ready for its zero birthday on the 8th February. January was pretty much a write-off as far as work was concerned, so I’m pleased with myself right now. I’m actually really enjoying reading it as I check for typos, and thinking that one or two other people might too. Getting ignored for a few weeks seems to have made it easier to edit. When I read that Stephen King writes a story all the way through, and then puts it aside for seven months before editing and publishing, it didn’t really make sense to me. Surely it’s better to edit when the story is fresh in your mind? Looks like our Steve is right again. Right now though, I’d better get back to figuring out whether to wait politely for the aliens to exit their ship, or blast the little buggers for squishing the hydrangeas.
Till next time friends. xxx