Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

 

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…

 

 

 

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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!

Today we are pleased to be talking to Jennifer Wylie again about her forthcoming short story releases and her writing life. Jennifer is a regular on Twitter and both friendly and helpful. She is published through Echelon Press.

 

 

It’s been a couple of months since you last stopped by, what have you been up to?

I’ve been a very busy bee! Jump had an amazing release in December, jumping (haha) into the Top 10 Best Seller list on OmniLit on release day. It’s stayed there ever since, and is currently at the #1 spot!

Some very exciting news is I was contracted by my publisher for a short story series. I am one of twelve authors from around the world participating in the dynamic new Electric Shorts division. Written specifically for young readers, the Electric Shorts are high impact stories presented in a venue similar to that of popular television series. Electric Shorts will publish one story/episode each month in eBook. An Electric Shorts season will last six months.

Tell us more about your new stories and how we can get hold of a copy

My first episode [Banished] in the “Tales of Ever” series will debut on March 1, 2011.

Electric Shorts are written for readers between the ages of seven and seventeen with fast-paced and intense storylines. My series, “Tales of Ever,” is a modern adventure fantasy geared toward teens, ages thirteen to seventeen.

Banished

My life was normal. It sucked, but it was normal. At least until I got this new power. I can control fire. It would be cool if it weren’t so dangerous and if I knew how to use it. Pretty much my sucky life took a nosedive once I got it. Yup, everything gone. I suppose I should be thankful some uncle I never heard of took me in. Turns out the whole family isn’t normal and my power is a lot more dangerous than I thought. I thought things couldn’t get any worse. I was wrong. They banished me to Ever.

If I’m lucky, I might survive my first day.

I mentioned I’ve been busy, I also have another short story out in March, Immortal Echoes: The Forgotten Echo. It is a paranormal I’m sure everyone will enjoy!

Sometimes death is only the beginning…

After a bad day Cassy is surprised to find herself shot, an innocent bystander in a drive by shooting. Bleeding to death in an empty parking lot she knows she’s going to die. What she doesn’t expect is the arrival of a strange, yet gorgeous, man who tells her he can keep her from passing on in return for being his forever. Whatever that means…

In desperation she agrees, but after an unusual kiss she is beyond dismayed to discover she has died. To make matters worse, the strange man has disappeared. Her spirit wanders, afraid and alone until she meets another like her and she discovers she not a ghost at all, but something much more.

My new short stories are available in eBook formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and OmniLit for 0.99 each. See my webpage for more information http://www.jenniferwylie.ca

I know all of the Mum’s out there will want to know; how do you find the time to write, manage your blog, AND keep a family and home in any kind of order?

That depends how you define order… LOL. I have a lot of energy and run around crazy a lot. Lists are a big thing with me, without them I think I’d lose my mind. I’ve piles of little ones beside my computer. I also try to keep as organized as I can, folders to sort my email, my files. I make up documents to keep track of all my blog dates, who’s on my site, where I am and when etc. Every once and I while I get a bit overwhelmed, sometimes I miss things. But I just do the best that I can!

What is your favourite time of the day to write?

Evenings! I don’t do well with distractions. I will occasionally open up one of my stories and jot some ideas down (so I don’t forget) or sometimes even a short scene or dialogue. Normally I really get going once the kids are in bed. Lucky for me their bedtime is around 7pm!

I recently posted a blog about how we channel negative emotions in our writing, and whether it is possible for an author to write about death and pain without ever experiencing either for themselves; what are your own views on this?

I think it depends on the author really. Some people are very emotional and can tune to these feelings well. Others not so much. Some just wouldn’t be able to convey it even if they had experienced it. Writing is make-believe, when I need to write about my MC losing the love of her life, I imagine what that would be like and write how I feel. Sometimes it takes a while.

Describe your writing environment at home (we’re nosy!)

I’m hidden down in my own little room. I’ve a nice toasty fireplace to keep me sorta warm during these horribly cold Canadian winter days. My writing desk is also my craft station (not that I craft much anymore LOL but all the stuff is still here) I’m surrounded by my candy stash of jelly beans, peanut butter cups and gum balls. For Xmas I actually got a real computer chair, it even has a back massager!

(WOW, I want one Jen! Tee-hee)

What are you hoping to do next?

Hopefully, I can keep up with the busy months ahead. I’ve more shorts to write for my series, and am currently working on edits for my novel to come out in May. I’m heading to the USA for two conferences this summer and I’m really excited about that! Of course there is the never ending marketing too, which I actually really enjoy doing. 🙂

Thank you to Jennifer Wylie for stopping by today, we look forward to speaking to her again very soon!

Thanks so much for having me!!

Good luck with the blog tour Super-Mum!

 

Links to Jen’s amazing tales 🙂

http://www.omnilit.com/product-banished-519511-234.html

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Banished/Jen-Wylie/e/2940012206961/?itm=1

http://www.omnilit.com/product-theforgottenecho-518338-234.html

http://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Echo-Immortal-Echoes-ebook/dp/B004P5NQ1G

I am about to open a can of worms. I know this, but I feel so passionate about the subject that I need to comment on it.

 

I’m the proud owner of an iPad (which is annoyingly now updated! But that’s a whole different blog!).

 

My iPad is mainly used for writing and reading (amongst other things). Those of you that have visited this blog before will know that I am an avid reader and lover of books; these can be paper or electronic. My loyalties and heart will always be with paper. The feeling you get whilst turning a page; the scent that fills the air around you with nostalgia and memories whilst you hold your tome of choice in your hands. But, we have to accept that times are changing and the format from which we read is rapidly changing too. I own a vast number of EBooks in a variety of genres and each year I purchase fifty or more paper books; the majority of which are new releases.

Some girls buy shoes…. I buy books.

I am writing this blog as a reader primarily, and a writer secondary.

What driving force leads you to select one book / genre over another?

For me, it’s not a pretty cover – I know the marketing processes having worked in sales and PR – or whether it’s on a table at the front of a shop. It’s not because it’s an Amazon / iTunes best-seller (though, I do check those lists). When selecting my books I either read a sample chapter or extended blurb / first couple of pages, or it’s because of a recommendation; word of mouth. Most of my friends are avid readers too. I have also been known to contact friends on creative writing courses and ask for their reading lists (yes, i’m that sad).

A thirst for knowledge (non-fiction), beautiful wording and a great story drive me to buy my books.

Two weeks ago I purchased a selection of eBooks. Some of my choices were recommended by Twitter friends (followers), or were by the authors themselves. I’m happy to say that the majority were fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed them…BUT…there were some hefty duds amongst my purchases and I only wished that they came with return and refund guarantee!

It’s disappointing and grinding to read an opening chapter FULL of typing errors, spelling mistakes and basic grammar issues. I know that some clever person is going to go through this blog and find errors (I hope not!) but i’m not making people pay to visit! If the story seemed reasonable, I tried to continue (red pen extracted from my mind) but this only uncovered more issues; gaping holes in the plot, uncharacteristic behaviours, unbelievable dialogue, amongst many other problems. I know that this is not the norm, but it’s becoming more prevalent.

Why is this happening? How are these terrible books getting published?

This is only my opinion, feel free to offer your own, but I believe that it is because many more people are self-publishing. Anyone can purchase software and produce an eBook. Writers who do this are generally bypassing the copy-editing stage. Proofreading your own book doesn’t count. By the time you come to the end of your WIP you will have read the same text over and over; you won’t spot even the most basic mistakes.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I implore you, as a keen reader / potential customer (also trainee copy-editor), before you publish anything; pay for it to be professionally edited. There are so many companies out there offering this facility (I will be one very soon!) and it is well worth the money if you want people to buy your books.

This experience has put me off purchasing any more eBooks by self-published authors.

I’m hoping some wonderful author will come forth and change my mind! I don’t like discrimination!

I sincerely hope that no one takes offence to this blog, only accepting it for what it is; advice and help for a fellow writer.

Now let’s get out there and show them how it is done!


What does this year (2011) mean to you?

What are your hopes and aspirations?

Have you set yourself new challenges, or are you still catching up with the old ones?

What do you hope to achieve in 2011?

 

I’m often asked these questions, so I thought that I would get organised and put it all into a blog. This was my intention for the first week in January but after a serious bout of swine flu (amongst other injuries) there has been a delay and i’m doing it now.

Last year – though wonderful in many ways – was a strange year.  Some might even say disastrous; illness and challenges galore. Remaining positive throughout was tough, but I managed to do just that. If last year taught me anything, it was that I am a fighter; I never give up.

In my quest to become a full time writer, I’ve become similar to one of those psychopathic characters in a movie that just won’t die. You know the ones, you keep whacking them but they just won’t stay down. Two distinct differences between me and those characters though: i’m not a psycho and i’m real, honest! I just want to write and people to read and love my work.

So, anyway, what does 2011 mean to me?

It means a new beginning; a fresh page.

Last year I was a mere seedling planted in fertile soil. Forcing my roots down deep and starting to push fresh shoots up, breaking through the surface to feel the warmth of the sun. I’m growing more every day and I have other writers to thank for that, both experienced and aspiring.

This year means a large amount of hard work if I hope to achieve my goal, but it’s work that I love, that i’m willing to do to get where I want to be.

Kirie’s hopes and aspirations

With my first novel virtually complete and a few writers’ conferences lined up, I hope to find a fabulous agent who recognises my potential and takes me under their soft, downy wing.  As always, I aspire to write more, write better and write for longer every day.

I don’t do resolutions as I hate to feel like a failure, so this year I have set myself goals. I am making these public in a bid to encourage me to stick to them, so here goes:

1)   Finish my current MS, Dreme Guardian

2)   Start my second novel in the trilogy and finish it

3)   Enter as many competitions as physically possible

4)   Work more, procrastinate less

5)   Make more fabulous friends & meet more mind giants on Twitter / Word Cloud and at the conferences

6)   Support my fellow aspiring artists in all ways possible

7)   Practice my zombie acting skills ready for when i’m an extra for Indywood Films

8)   Read more amazing and enlightening text

9)   Work hard on my new fantasy project, Vampolice, with a fabulous illustrator who will soon be featured as a guest on this blog (he doesn’t know yet!)

10)Become successful and a great role model for others

As far as new challenges go, I think that I have pretty much covered everything in my goals but I have purchased some “How to” books to help me on my way:

How to Write Great Screenplays and get them into production by Linda M James and Getting Published by Harry Bingham.

I will review them in the Book Review section on this blog and i’ll let you know how they have helped me.

Conferences I will be attending this year are:

http://www.festivalofwriting.com/

25-27 March 2011, York University, England.

 

http://www.writersconference.co.uk/

1st – 3rd July 2011

 

Both conferences have great reputations and are different in many ways, i’m very excited to be attending.

On a last note, I was born in 1975 which was also The Year of the Rabbit. This is my year people!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first came across Gerry on The Word Cloud writers community. Intelligent and humerous, his imput, critique and general advice have always been spot on. It is with great pleasure that I introduce Gerry to the rest of the world (tadaaaah) and along with many others, I look forward to the release of his Wellesley Tudor Pole biography.

 

A Writer’s Inspiration

What was your favourite / most inspiring writing guide?

We’d been listening to a talking book version of a well-known fantasy novel and Chrissy (my wife) threw her hands up saying, ‘I could do better than that.’

Suspecting she had oodles of hidden talent, I said, ‘Go on then.’ She resisted, but I promised to act as all-round slave, discuss her ideas, offer some of my own, try not to pout when she rejected them, type up anything she wrote, get meticulous with commas, and so on. After a while she found her momentum and was away. Result: young adult fantasy thriller, The Salamander Stone, 120,000 words, scrupulously plotted, written, revised and polished. (We didn’t know the word count would kill it stone dead.)

Next job: send out the letters. Job after that: collect the rejections. Job after that: take stock. Mm, better try some reading services. So she/we worked with Cornerstones and revised the book a lot more. Then she/we worked with Pollingers Agency (yes, they took her on) for the best part of a year until the agent took maternity leave – resulting in much hiatus, sending of enquiries, waiting of months and eventual verdict of  ‘Sorry, no’. Then she/we worked with the Hilary Johnson Authors’ Advisory Service, after which another agent thought there are ‘many published writers who aren’t a patch’ on Chrissy – though the answer was still ‘No’.

But that’s how I learnt the rules. I wouldn’t have bothered for my sake but learnt them for someone else’s sake.
How did it help you?

The first book I wrote, age seven, was ‘Luck for the Goodies’, a short epic about cowboys and justice. A few million words followed in subsequent decades, although rarely in approved form.

Since helping Chrissy, however, I have vowed to be good and do as the industry specifies. I/we have consequently found a few ways to pronounce POV and SNT. (Try a snarl: ‘PV!’ Or a growl: ‘SNOT!’). And we have tossed other ideas back and forth – Narrative Arc for instance, or Active-v-Passive. Most such concepts are instinctive, but it helps to bring them out of the unconscious into the conscious.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given as a writer?

The best advice comes from Chrissy nowadays. Having trained herself up, she became an excellent critic, pushing opinions she previously would have mistrusted.

Also, of course, different people have different strengths. I tend to be stronger on ideas and plot-mapping, whereas she’s stronger on drama and characters. So if she decides a section needs more drama or that someone is acting out of character, I ought to listen because she’s better at those things than me.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to other aspiring authors?

General life-advice: give whatever you can – you’ll get plenty more in return.

Specific advice to authors: who are you? What matters to you? What gets you so buzzing you can’t sleep for thinking about it? What expands your mind, your soul, your whole being? What is unique about you? (Yes, there really is something.)

Then, if you can call to mind an action or an event that set you thinking/pondering/feeling, you might be onto something. Passionate concern + trigger = inspiration.

What do you enjoy reading? Which books have helped you develop your craft?

Wordsworth and Coleridge were in the business of discovering Truths of the Imagination – getting to the essence of things: top men both.

The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho): only a sketch but it has a clear, inevitable, archetypal shape.

My ultimate Desert Island Book, however, must be My Dear Alexias, a selection of letters from Wellesley Tudor Pole to Rosamond Lehmann. (Wellesley Tudor Who? – ah, perhaps I should explain. Come with me, gentle reader.)

Tell us briefly about your publishing journey

Eleven years ago I took a break from self-expression (it can get a bit claustrophobic) and tried expressing someone else, beginning a biography of Wellesley Tudor Pole, the most remarkable Englishman of the last century. Research, collation, editing and writing involved about four years; then a London agent took on the result and some time later retired (not cause and effect, I trust) – after which, the book dozed.

What next? I stepped even further from self-expression and worked for Chrissy’s book instead (result approximately similar.)

And then lo! – the Universe decided fair’s fair and gave me a leg up. In September 2010 a prominent New Age figure in America spotted my wellesleytudorpole.com website, and emailed me to arrange publication.

Starseed Publications (part of Lorian press) will bring out The Two Worlds of Wellesley Tudor Pole very soon. So get ready to place your order. (Come on, you want to know about the most remarkable Englishman of the last century, don’t you? Course you do!)

UPDATE: Gerry’s book is about to be released!! I am told that it will be available for order this week! We’ll keep you informed.


Anything else?

Well, seeing as you ask, look out (eventually) for The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (novel); also for A Short Selective Journey Through Hell (follow-up novel); and maybe even A Few Brief Sorties Into Heaven (if ever I find time). Yup, Gerry finally got back to self-expression. (Or, shall we say, expressing the Universe.) None of these novels are out as yet, but the future’s a wonderful place, and that’s where you’ll find them.

 

Meanwhile

Have a chat with Gerry, if inclined, on The Word Cloud. Not a member? Well, there’s a simple enough remedy for that, isn’t there?

There is a direct link from this blog, over there, on the left.