My writing has been virtually non-existent lately which is sad. I love the out-pouring of emotion and general release that only writing can offer. The pen no longer a material, solid object but part of your body, a functioning limb.

I miss the peace and tranquility that is only found when I disappear from this world into one of fantasy, even if the fantasy world contains horror, pain, torture or loneliness. I know that this is temporary, and like Alice, I will soon climb back out of the rabbit hole safe and sound (of mind).

Now, being in the real world is not such a simple story.

Being a Mum, an entrepreneur of a new business in these difficult and unstable times, and dealing with the day-to-day issues that life throws at you, like health issues, can be challenging. But, and this is a big BUT, I love it all. I love that I am now the proud owner of my own business. I love that I can get up each day and be excited about my job. I love meeting new and interesting people on a regular basis. I love that i’m helping other people and businesses to achieve. I LOVE LIFE.

I don’t think that I have ever been this happy and it appears to be drawing more happiness in towards me every day.

I have neglected this blog, but it has been for a very good reason. One of the main reasons is the one thing that will one day give me the lifestyle to be able to write all day everyday, my company.

I have now allocated two hours per week to spend on blogging, this blog is too important to me to give up.

For those writers that subscribe to my ramblings, I am helping to organise seminars for the amazing Mr David Baboulene http://www.baboulene.com   PhD Scholar, Story Consultant and published author.

See my previous blog;  https://persistentwriter.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/the-science-of-story/

The first seminar will be held at Birmingham City University, Edgbaston on 1st October 2011.

Ticket Cost £49.00 / £39.00 Concession.

If you want further information or would like to book your ticket for this amazing event, please do not hesitate to contact me: kirie.hansen@sky.com or click on the Baboulene link above.

We look forward to seeing you there…

 

 

 

Over the last couple of months I have been putting together the queen of all business plans in a bid to become one of Britain’s newest entrepreneurs. I have also been playing email tennis with a very kind-hearted successful businessman with a nose for an interesting opportunity and the patience of a saint (lots of theological references here for some odd reason!), I don’t know what I would have done without said Business Angel (he really is an angel).

I knew that the idea for my business was sound and original, that my services would be welcomed and appreciated, and that i’m not scared of hard work, but i’ve spent nearly eighteen years making money for others and this was all new to me. I have a sound corporate background working in a variety of positions and sectors, I knew that I could do this … or could I? I have spent so long being protected under the shield of a large organisation, suddenly I would need to protect myself.

Confidence, or a lack of it, began to attack me for the first time in my life. What if I couldn’t get anybody to deal with me? What if my great ideas and creativity weren’t so great after all? Blah Blah Blah. I no longer had a Director to pat me on the back and tell me how great I was, I was REALLY alone. I told my wonderful business angel and he kindly rounded up all of my stray confidence and put it calmly back where it should be, “YOU CAN do this!!!”

I didn’t have a great deal of cash to invest in this venture but I had an abundance of enthusiasm and a resourceful disposition. Oh and a ton of determination. I had my experience and contacts and wonderful friends. I CAN do this!!!

Because I am over thirty and don’t live in a developing area, I couldn’t get any funding or financial help. So much for the Conservative government desperately needing entrepreneurs! Ha! I had to do this on my own. Scary. Where do I start?

Business Link was my first point of call, helpful to a point … though the website is an excellent resource www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/home .

Business Link then referred me to Business Enterprise Support (BES), they assigned me a Business Support Rep, Pascal, very helpful chap. I attended a one day training event then I was on my own. I still had questions and so The Chamber of Commerce was next. I made an appointment with the senior business advisor for my area and took in all of my documentation and business plan. This was an excellent meeting and filled me with confidence that I was making the right decision. I was actually doing this… YIPPEEEE!

I have now designed all of the literature for my business, designed and produced a basic website, and purchased all of my stationary. I have found the perfect office to work from and I have networked my wee butt off. I have gained my first clients; the launch of a new bar, Passion Cocktail and Tapas Bar Fazeley, and I have arranged a number of seminars for a Story Consultant / published author, David Baboulene across the UK.

http://passionfazeley.co.uk/

http://www.baboulene.com/

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be your own boss. I feel like I have powerful wings that are carrying me skyward without limits. I can do anything I put mind to. After my soul destroying 2010, I never thought that I would get to where I am today. It’s taken a lot of hard work and determination (and a few sleepless nights) but i’ve done it. I’m under no illusions that this is going to be easy and i’m learning every day, but it’s worth it.

My writing continues, though in smaller chunks of time, and I have every intention of continuing with this blog so please stick with me. I’ll keep you all posted of how my journey progresses.

http://www.kiriehansen.co.uk/

 

 

 

As a writer of Paranormal Romance, I was looking forward to reading Bone Dressing. Most of the books I review tend to be non-fiction or horror; all that is about to change…

I tend to try to avoid reviewing books from the genre in which I write for fear of accidental plagiarism. There is no need for me to worry, as from what I can gather from reading Brooks’s Bone Dressing; we all write VERY differently.

Brooks main character Syd is a tortured teenage soul due to losing both of her parents, and spends most days in the cemetery where they are buried. It’s one of her favourite places, or as the character says, “her neighbourhood”.

Syd lives with strict but caring foster parents, and Brooks carries the natural angst and feelings that such a situation would create, cleverly onto the page.

Our protagonist, Syd, is first person narrator throughout the story and Brooks does not disappoint with her ability to keep in age perfect character throughout. There are moments of adult speak, but didn’t we all think that we were grown ups at that age???

As the genre category suggests, this is a love story, and Syd finds love in the form of Beau (clever naming). Thank goodness that he does not have sparkly skin, nor does he drink blood.

(One of my novels is a vampire story so I really shouldn’t say that!)

This is a fast-paced book cram-packed full of adventure, fear, joy and lurrrve (on top of the angst-filled teenage stresses). Oh yes, and there is an evil teacher thrown in there too, i’m sure that we’ve all had one of them *daydreams*…

…I was once forced to stand on my desk and chew chewing gum – in an exaggerated fashion – for a whole lesson, with boys looking up my skirt! My only crime was not putting my gum in the bin / trash before I got to my desk! Evil.

Anyway, congratulations to Michelle I. Brooks for a grand job, and for creating a thoroughly fabulous read!

4/5🙂

Perfect for teenagers!

This is no excuse, but i’ve been trying to earn a living.

I’m starting my own company, and it’s hard work this self-employment lark.

Excitement and adrenaline have taken over the tiredness from a severe lack of sleep. 

Not only have I been setting up a business, training and researching for my first client and new friend, but I also had the opportunity to go to this years Hay Festival, so it would have been rude not to go (teehee).

Unfortunately, I missed Rob Lowe, darn it!

I’m in the process of writing a blog about Hay, amongst other topics, which I will post on here in the next couple of days.

I promise not to neglect my wonderful readers and followers again. 

I recently received my copy of The Winchester Writers’ Conference Anthology 2010 and it is a fantastic read. For those of us that entered the competitions last year, it was good to read the winning entries and analyse what the judges look for. My own entry into the Short Story competition received a commendation which was one hell of an achievement; i’ve been writing (seriously) for two years.

I can’t stress enough, how important I think it is for a writer to enter competitions and, or, attend conferences. The feedback you receive is vital for your growth and necessary sustenance for your long journey on the road to becoming a published author.

I am proud to announce that my name is published in the anthology (see below), though sadly, my story is not.

I have uploaded the story onto  if you wish to read it http://beta.iwritereadrate.com/books/view/36

The adjudicator for this particular competition was John Jenkins, publisher and editor. 

Here is what he wrote about the entries;

“Compiling  a competition short list from a host of short story entries is not too difficult if you approach the task methodically, work away from other distractions and concentrate. You ask yourself a number of questions:

What was the author trying to achieve?

Did he or she succeed?

Was it worth the effort?

Would I as an editor publish it inviting people to pay for the privilege of reading it and using up some of their time?

It is, as sports commentators twitter: a tough ask. But the answer for everybody on the short list was yes.

To assist in this course of action it is usual to de-construct the story under a variety of headings: Opening, Title, Plot/theme, Pace, Characters, Entertainment, Dialogue, Language and Ending. Other judges use more, e.g. story arc – and occasionally fewer headings.

Then there is something indefinable, a certain je ne sais quoi. Much as I deplore foreign phrases there is nothing quite as accurate as this one.

One story will score high on all headings but another will be a better story. It will resonate in the mind either because the tale is beautifully told or it strikes a chord where a chord needed striking.”

You can enter the 2011 competitions by logging onto this site: http://www.writersconference.co.uk/

Good Luck!

By David Baboulene

David Baboulene is a published author of five books and has had three film production deals; one here in the UK, and two in Hollywood.

David works as a story consultant with training and development organisations, aspiring and established writers and producers. He is also working at Brighton University on his Ph.D. and on the use of story as the most effective possible tool of teaching and learning. David is giving seminars on story principles throughout the UK and in Los Angeles in 2011 in collaboration with The Script Factory, Euroscript and other partner companies including Persistent Writer. David writes extensively on his subject, including his monthly column in Writing Magazine and Writers’ News.

Now over to the man himself;

“In my work I have been fortunate to have conversations with famous people who have made their money from stories, including:

  • Bob Gale (scriptwriter of Back to the Future);
  • Lee Child (16 million Jack Reacher Novels sold);
  • John Sullivan (TV comedy writer of Only Fools and Horses; Just Good friends; Citizen Smith…);
  • Mark Williams (Actor in, The Harry Potter films; Shakespeare in Love; 101 Dalmations…);
  • Willy Russell (Theatre supremo and writer of Educating Rita; Blood Brothers; Shirley Valentine…)

 to name but a few. So, from the insights from these fine gentlemen, from my own experiences getting published and writing The Story Book, my work as a story consultant, from working on films and from undertaking my PhD in Story Theory, here are my top ten tips for writers.

1) If you want to be a writer, read a thousand books.

2) Write every day. Make it a priority, build it into your schedule and discipline yourself to it. Yes, being a writer is glamorous to talk about and a romantic place for dreamers, but the ones who make it work very hard, are professional and productive.  

3) Don’t try to learn ‘how to write’. No course or method or rule book or guru can tell you how to write. There’s only one person who can tell your story your way, and that’s you. Those who make it have self-confidence in writing what THEY think is great. Yes, learn about STORY – where story power comes from, how they work, why they exist, how they resonate, what factors are present in all great stories – then use that understanding to take responsibility and write your story YOUR way.

4) Understand story structure, but structure is NOT a starting point for story development, so don’t let it drive you. Let your creative brilliance run wild and free and write from the heart in creating your story; then later, use your understanding of structure in problem-solving and optimizing your story.

5) Most of all, understand SUBTEXT. And understand the creative behaviours that embed subtext. Subtext is the substance of story. If you have no subtext you have no story. The more subtext there is, the higher a story is rated by the audience. Fact.

6) Stories are about character behaviours. Don’t think about ‘plot’ and ‘character’ as separate things. What a character does when he takes action will define his true character, and what a character does when he takes action will also provide the action. Character behaviours meld plot and character into a single entity (story). Get this right, and your story-telling will be tight, cohesive and greater than the sum of its parts.

7) All the greatest stories show us a character learning and changing and growing through the experiences of the story events (or failing to learn and grow, but the lessons are still evident to us as readers/viewer). Try to ensure that at least one character is offered the opportunity to climb the ladder of life. You will find that this is actually your real story, and this is what resonates with your readers and elevates your story.

8) True character comes only from putting your players under pressure to make difficult decisions. For a mountaineer to climb a mountain might be a huge challenge, but  he’d be delighted to do it, so the conflict is not meaningful and therefore the story is not meaningful. For a mountaineer to climb a mountain to save a stranded friend… risking his own life to do so whilst his children are begging him not to go and his wife says she’ll leave if he does… that is a story. Sit your characters on the horns of a dilemma wrapped in a choice of evils and sandwiched between rocks and hard places and your readers will be gripped…

9) It’s really important to learn to handle rejection (there WILL be rejection…) otherwise you will never send anything off. I know many, many writers who develop their stories… then develop and develop some more… because they are so scared of the Judgment Day that comes the moment they admit it’s finished. There’s no easy way. You have to grasp the nettle and get on with it or give up now. Put your ego to one side (the vast majority of rejections are nothing to do with your ability or the literary merit of your story); dig deep, be strong, and put it out there. When I asked John Sullivan for his advice for aspiring writers he gave me this series of steps that should define a writer’s life:

    A) Write the best stuff you can.

    B) Send it off.

    C) Go to A.

It ain’t rocket science! But you do need to be brave, or else you won’t get anywhere. As soon as your material is good enough, you WILL be recognised… and you WILL get a deal! And I promise you – once you’ve had 10 rejections, the 11th doesn’t hurt so bad!  

10) If you would like more detailed information on any of the above, get in touch with me and I will send you a free chapter from The Story Book on any topic you like, or blog on the subject if it is of general interest.

Very best of luck with your work. Oh, before I go, I think there might be just one more tip we could all benefit from…

11) Get off the internet and go do some writing!
David

JOIN DAVID ON HIS NEW SEMINAR TOUR 

TO ORDER YOUR TICKET GO TO http://www.baboulene.com/

Thank you for sparing us some of your precious time David.

For further information from or about David go to: http://www.baboulene.com

 To purchase any of Davids books visit Amazon with the button to the left or click on any of the following links;

The Story Book: A Writer’s Guide to Story Development, Principles, Problem-solving and Marketing

by David Baboulene. Nov 2010

£8.99 (Amazon.co.uk book)

£1.99 (Amazon Kindle Ebook in the UK)

$2.86 (From the Amazon.com Kindle store in USA)

£1.99 (Ebook direct from David, through his website – Kindle or PDF)


Persistent Writer is proud to be part of The King Whisperers by Kerwin Swint Blog Tour.

If you follow along you will also have the chance to win a free hardcover copy of the book by looking for the secret word on each of the blog entries and putting them all together to form the give-away phrase. Look to the very bottom of this post for the next word in this series. Two more copies will be raffled as part of the GoodReads author program. You may also join the Q&A with Kerwin Swint Group to discuss the King Whisperers (including questions from the official book club guide), the author, and his previous works.

You can learn even more about the author by visiting the tour page or by reading Novel Publicity;” our twitterview with him“.

Below please enjoy the book trailer for The King Whisperers and the review of this amazing book.

*Don’t forget to scroll all the way down to get the next word in the secret give-away phrase!

When Emlyn (Chand, Novel Publicity) first contacted me with regards to reading and reviewing The King Whisperers for my blog, I have to admit I was somewhat excited. We British love our history, and the more we know about the great leaders of our times the better. At the time of the Empire under the reign of Queen Victoria, the British were known for their somewhat “Machiavellian” approach to leadership themselves.

Having recently been on a trip to Cuba I was particularly interested in the section on Che Guevara (pg 193, The Icon: Ernesto “Che” Guevara) and Kerwin did not disappoint. I learned so much from The King Whisperers that I had not read in any other text. For instance; did you know that Che Guevara wrote a book called, The Motorcycle Diaries? You may have known about this and the subsequent movie, but I certainly did not.

Also, who knew that Dick Cheney was so “Machiavellian”? Ahem.

The writing style and language used by Kerwin is far from the boring, academic and historical style that I have previously read in similar non-fiction works. This book is as exciting as Dan Brown, though instead of conspiracy, it is filled with the most amazing facts and true stories of power, leadership and control.

The “King Whisperers” are sectioned into ten archetypal groups: Machiavellians, Empire Builders, Kingmakers, Spies, Silver-Tongued Devils, Generals, Rebels, the Truly Evil, Fixers, and Schemers. Each category is explained before telling the individual stories of the four to seven examples of characters detailed.

These are not all stories of corruption, evil and terror, there are some amazing tales contained within this beautifully put together tome of true leadership; sometimes never recognised.

I have my personal favourites of course, as will all of you, but the pages on the spies of our times enthralled me the most.

This book is unputdownable (I don’t care if this is not a real word!). Kerwin has a real talent of conveying non-fiction in a format that makes it as exciting as fiction. There is an extensive bibliography at the end of the book for further reading if you so wish.

I look forward to reading more!

I rate this book 5 star


YOU COULD BE A WINNER!

Give-Away Phrase:

The PERSISTENTWRITER secret word for the book give-away is KERWIN. Learn more about the give-away and enter to win 1 of 3 copies on the official King Whisperers blog tour page.

http://youtu.be/cC9-vbJRZto – Visit here to enjoy the exciting trailer for The King Whisperers.

For more information, please go to: http://www.novelpublicity.com/tour/

Tour Notes

Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting http://www.novelpublicity.com/kerwin-swints-the-king-whisperer-tour/ The official King Whisperers blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

And don’t forget to stop by the http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/46446.Q_A_with_Kerwin_Swint And the Kerwin Swint Group to discuss the King Whisperers (including questions from the official book club guide, the author, and his previous works.