Archive for the ‘Self Published Sunday’ Category

Blog Tour: The Puppet Master

Abigail Osborne

Manipulated by fear and love…could you cut the strings and take back control?
Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise is that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain?
Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems.
Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them?
One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.

Let’s start simple, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello, thanks for having me. Well, I’m a Needs Assessor, which involves helping students with disabilities at University. I live in the West Midlands with my husband and my two crazy cats Poppy and Lulu. I also have my own book reviewing website called Many Books, Many lives. I love to read and my spare room has so many book cases there is a very real possibility the floor may cave in.

Writers should be readers too, so… what is your favourite book at the moment?
Oh that is so hard, I have so many but if I had to say my all-time favourite book it would be Jane Eyre. It was the first book that made me realise how much power writing had and how gripping it can be. It gave me friends when I didn’t have any and just made me feel less alone. I reread it all the time.

Where did you get your inspiration for the Puppet Master?
I got my inspiration from various things that have happened to me and my friends. I always find it fascinating how people can have many faces. They can control you without you realising and what’s more, they think they have every right to do that. I have experienced manipulative people in my life and I wanted to write a book that showed not only the different ways people can be manipulated but also that these people don’t have to win and it is possible to take back control.

What is your favourite beverage to have while writing?
I am a massive diet-coke addict. I don’t drink coffee or tea so for me it is the only way to get a caffeine fix. It wakes me up and gives me energy when I’m lagging. I don’t even think I particularly love the taste I just think it’s the energy boost I like.

What was your favourite part of writing the Puppet Master?
My favourite part was writing the parts that came purely from my imagination. I would read it back and I would think to myself – where did that come from. It’s a really strange and enjoyable feeling reading back something that didn’t exist until you wrote it down, if that makes sense.

If you could live inside any book world, which world would you choose and why?
That is very hard. It’s going to have to be Harry Potter’s world. I mean magic wands and apparating! Don’t even get me started on playing Quidditch (FYI – I would totally be playing professionally!)

If you could be best friends with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
One of my other favourite books is The Name of Wind and I would love to be friends with Kvothe, I really love his character and his personality, plus you know there is going to be adventure wherever he is!

Can you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters)
My book is about the power manipulative people can wield and the strength it takes to overcome horrific ordeals and not let them define you.

Interview questions by Faye


Abbie was born in the Lake District and has moved all around the UK since then until she met her husband at University. She lives with him and their two crazy cats in the West Midlands. She is a Needs Assessor for students with disabilities and has her own book reviewing blog called Many Books, Many Lives. Even though she did English Literature at University it wasn’t until she started reviewing books that she realised how much she loved to write. The Puppet Master is her first novel but it certainly won’t be her last.
You can follow her on @Abigail_Author or @MBequalsML.

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Blog Tour: Making Arrangements

Ferris Robinson

Against all odds, cancer survivor Lang Ellis is celebrating the one-year anniversary of her “death sentence” when her beloved husband drops dead on the tennis court.
Devoted to him, she reels from the loss, focusing on her precious granddaughter but struggling with her bossy only child, Teddy, and his aloof girlfriend, Sarah.
With her historical family estate in jeopardy, Lang realizes her husband wasn’t as perfect as she thought.
The secret he carried to his grave can ruin her life.
If she lets it.

Excerpt
What do you wear the day after your husband dies? Lang wondered, damp from the shower. She put on her old sweatpants and Jack’s practically disintegrated Auburn sweatshirt because they were so soft. She wanted to feel something easy on her skin. She pressed the frayed ribbed collar to her nose and breathed in the sharp smell of aftershave and bacon grease. Jack’s smell.

Teddy sat hunched over the kitchen counter with Sarah and Katie D. on either side of him. Sarah leaned into him, her cloud of pale hair floating out over the back of Teddy’s brown sweater, hovering with static electricity. Lang watched the three of them for a moment from the doorway. She could hear murmurs of their sentences: Katie D.’s singsong voice, Teddy’s hoarse rumble, apologizing for something, and Sarah speaking so tenderly her voice didn’t sound human.

Lang closed her eyes, holding on to the doorjamb for balance, and felt Sarah’s words like they were something physical, covering her softly. Gently.

“Mom!” Teddy said, scraping the chair away from the counter. She jerked to attention.
He looked like he hadn’t slept in days; the collar of his button-down shirt was uncharacteristically wrinkled, and his azure eyes were flat.

“Oh! I didn’t hear you!” A. J. said, appearing suddenly from the hall bathroom. She looked Lang up and down, grimacing. “You still got that rubber band around your wrist.” Lang pulled the frayed cuff down to her knuckles, holding the soft fabric in her fists.

A. J. looked like a different person except for her crumpled tennis clothes. Her hair was styled and her eyes were bright and her skin was dewy. She looked like she’d found a day spa in the hall bathroom. Lang sniffed the air, detecting vanilla and deodorant.

“I smell something,” Katie D. said.

“Halston,” A. J. said, flapping her hands in circles about her neck in an effort to spread the heavy perfume around the room. Katie D. crinkled up her nose.

Lang ran her fingers under her own eyes, trying to remember the last time she’d looked in a mirror. She should have put on some makeup after her shower. Concealer under her eyes at least. She reached her hands out toward her son, then curled them into useless fists as she shook her head slowly.

Teddy wrapped his arms around her, and she felt her boy sink into her, collapsing for a second. His breath caught, and his chest shuddered against her shoulder.

“Shhh,” she said. “Don’t cry.” She felt him stiffen before he stepped away.

“How you holding up?” Teddy asked brusquely. “Who would have thought, huh? Sorry, bad joke. Dad would have laughed, though.”

Lang squeezed the edges of her mouth up into a semblance of a smile. No one would have ever thought Jack would be dead instead of her. Hilarious.


A former columnist for the Chattanooga Free Press, she is the editor of the Lookout Mountain Mirror and the Signal Mountain Mirror. Her work has been published numerous times in The Christian Science Monitor and the “Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series. She is a columnist at chattanoogan.com.
The author of several cookbooks, including “Never Trust a Hungry Cook,” which she wrote in college and the “Gorgeless Gourmet’s Cookbook,” Ferris was featured on the cover of Women’s World magazine. Promoting her super-easy but healthy recipes, she made numerous television appearances and sold 10,000 copies of the Gorgeless Gourmet’s Cookbook, pre-Internet. Paid subscribers from every state in the U.S. received her newsletter featuring “practically fat-free recipes for super-busy people.”
Her book “Dogs and Love – Sixteen Stories of Fidelity” has 94 reviews on Amazon, and her other books include “Authentic Log Homes.” “Making Arrangements” is her first novel.

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Blog Tour: A Wicked Old Woman

Today we welcome Ravinder Randhawa as she tells us more about her latest novel, A Wicked Old Woman.
wkdoldwomanDrama. Masquerade. Mischief.
A sharply observed, witty and confident novel. Linguistically playful, entertaining and provoking.
In a bustling British city, Kulwant mischievously masquerades as a much older woman, using her walking stick like a Greek chorus, ‘…stick-leg-shuffle-leg-shuffle…’ encountering new adventures and getting bruised by the jagged edges of her life. There’s the Punjabi punk who rescues her after a carefully calculated fall; Caroline, her gregarious friend from school days, who watched over her dizzy romance with ‘Michael the Archangel’, Maya the myopic who can’t see beyond her broken heart and Rani/Rosalind, who’s just killed a man …
Vividly bringing to life a bit of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

A Wicked Old Woman is an adult novel but Beauty and the Beast and Dynamite are both categorised as YA, how different was the writing process between these novels?

I’d say language is the first distinctive difference. For A Wicked Old Woman I was writing with my natural but unconscious ‘voice’, although I was surprised at the style that came out. It almost seemed as if it had been sitting inside me, just waiting for the right moment, the right book.
Beauty and the Beast, which was originally published as Hari-jan, was commissioned as a YA book, as an Asian teenage romance – the first one at that time. Because of time constraints I had to work really fast, but loved every minute of it. It’s very difficult for me to say what I consciously did, to enter the teenage voice, the teenage world, but when I was writing, I was Hari-jan, I became her, I was the one trying to make sense of life with that volatile mix of energy, ideas, ambitions, constraints, thoughts, feelings, emotions, defiance and wit; getting things wrong, trying to do too much, trying to do right.
Dynamite is a collection of short stories, and actually includes stories with teenage protagonists as well as young women in their twenties. I don’t think there’s an exact science to different voices, and differently aged characters, but I do feel the character’s voice, world, sense of self, comes from the story, from what they’re dealing with and how they’re dealing with it.

If you have to describe A Wicked Old Woman in a tweet (140 characters), how would it go?

Yikes! That is such a cruel challenge. Here goes: Kulwant mischievously masquerades, Maya gets madder than Mad, Caroline is wooed by a toy-boy and Rani/Rosalind’s just killed a man… (134 characters)

Are there any moments in the book that you loved writing? Could you tell us about them?

Oh, so many. The first party that Kulwant goes to, the samosa making session, the night at the musical extravaganza… but the one that stands out for me is the conversation between Kulwant and her mother, in the dark night-time garden, the night before Kulwant’s wedding. It’s a moment that’s sad and poignant but quietly dramatic. I find it hard to write such passages, but I feel this one worked. I love it for the quiet, but tragic feel of it. The mother is deeply hurt and bewildered by her daughter’s decision, believing that she’s throwing away her opportunities, perhaps a glittering career, and probably fearing that it will all fall apart in the long run. It’s a moment that captures the fork in the road, the branching of paths.

When your creativity is running low, what do you do to find inspiration again?

Give up and watch T.V. Indulge in guilty pleasures, like too many cakes and biscuits. Go and sit in a café, staring out of the window; rifle through old newspapers, that are still waiting to be read, go shopping, meet a friend for coffee… And then at some point, just sit back down at the keyboard, and start typing … and carry on typing… . I may have to throw it all away, but it gets me back into the rhythm.

Are there any books that you feel readers of A Wicked Old Woman would enjoy?

Another difficult question. There are such wonderful books out there, but if I stick just to British-Asian authors then here are some suggestions, with the huge disclaimer that this list is in no way comprehensive. ‘The Hope Chest,’ by Rukhsana Ahmad, which is about three women, Ruth, Reshma and Rani, whose lives touch tangentially and who, in their different ways are searching for something deeper. Marriage Material by Sathnam Sanghera which tells the story of three generations of a Punjabi family: the betrayals, loyalties and loves that play out in the family’s corner shop over more than fifty years. Another Gulmohar Tree by Aamer Hussein. More of a novella than a novel, it’s a tale within a tale, starting with three short fables then telling the story of a British woman who marries a Pakistani man. Anita and Me by Meera Syal; the story of Anita, from the only Punjabi family in the Black Country mining village of Tollington.

Questions by Faye

wikedoldwomanauthorRavinder Randhawa is the acclaimed author of the novels Beauty and the Beast (YA), A Wicked Old Woman, The Tiger’s Smile and the short story collection Dynamite. She’s currently working on a trilogy: The Fire-Magician. Ravinder was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Toynbee Hall, Queen Mary’s University, the University of London, and founded the Asian Women Writer’s Collective.
Ravinder was born in India, grew up in leafy Warwickshire, now lives in London and agrees with Samuel Johnson’s saying (though of course, in a gender non-specific way) ‘…if a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.’ Loves good coffee and really good thrillers.
Website: http://www.ravinderrandhawa.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RealRavs
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ravinderrandhawaauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3518698.Ravinder_Randhawa

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Blog Tour: The Out Of Orbit Series

We are delighted to welcome self published author, Chele Cooke

dead and buriedYou are an inmate, not a medic. You should get used to that.”
On the planet Os-Veruh, the native Veniche have endured a decade under the oppressive rule of a race of invaders, the Adveni.
When Georgianna Lennox, a Veniche medic, discovers her childhood friend has been sold into slavery, she seeks help from a revolutionary outlaw group.
As Georgianna’s struggle to save one life ignites a battle to liberate her homeworld, is she about to discover that it is better to be dead than ‘buryd’?

Where is your favourite place to write?

I really want an office. I think, if I manage to go full time, I’ll need to make myself an office somewhere. At the moment, I write at a small desk in my bedroom. Forget all that house with a garden and a dog stuff… I just want an office I can organise.

I do like my little desk and it’s currently my favourite place to write. I have spreadsheets and character lists pinned up on the wall in front of it, and with nothing else to distract me, it’s easy to get in the zone there.

Are you a plotter or a panther?

A plotter. Definitely a plotter. I pantsed for almost ten years and rarely finished anything. Then, one year for NaNoWriMo, my friend and I switched. I had to plan, she had to pants. That was the first year I completed NaNo, and now I have about 10k in plots, chapter plans, and character information before I write a single word of the manuscript.

Alright, let’s be honest… I have about five different projects with full planning done, just waiting to be written. I might have a bit of a plotting addiction.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Of my own characters, or someone else’s? Either way, this is an evil question.

Other people’s characters: I’m going to go with Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby. I love the fact that he’s removed from the main story and how much we see of his character through his reactions to the things going on around him. That whole book is filled with morally grey characters, and Nick is no different.

Of my own characters, I’m going to have to go with Dhiren Flynn. I fell in love with him unexpectedly. He was supposed to be a character who was around for five or so chapters at the end of book one and the beginning of book two, but instead he took over and I couldn’t push him aside. He’s fiercely protective and, like Nick Carraway, morally grey on how he goes about it. The more I write him, the more I find out, which is so much fun to write.

What made you decide to write a sci-fi series?

I never really thought I’d be writing Sci-Fi. Growing up I was always more of a Fantasy person. When this story came along, it wasn’t that I’d intended for my next project to be Sci-Fi, it just happened that it was the most fitting genre. My Sci-Fi is definitely more on the Dystopian end of the scale. I focus on the characters and how the events change and shape them.

Once I started writing this series, the ideas just kept coming. Now, I’d say about sixty percent of my ideas would be classed as Sci-Fi, though usually they’ll have other elements mixed in. One of my works in progress is a sci-fi mixed with a nineteen twenties circus and some western elements. They’re all a bit different.

Do you know what is going to happen at the end of the series? – don’t tell us, we’re just curious if you know!

I’m currently planning the final book, so while I’ve had the destination in my head since the beginning of the series, I’m now working out exactly how I’m going to get there without hitting too many roundabouts or traffic jams.

There are certain scenes I know I want to have, and subplots that need to reach a specific conclusion, but the meat of the final book is still up in the air.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Especially from a self-published perspective?

My biggest piece of writing advice is to remember that what works for one person won’t work for everyone. Never feel bad if what works for you doesn’t work for someone else, just keep doing what works for you.

As for self-publishing, my advice is not to rush it. Take your time and do things to the best of your ability. Hell, this works for writing too. Don’t feel like you have to put out a book every six months just because that’s what some people are doing. Take the time to get your book properly edited and covered professionally, to do the proper marketing and give your book the best start it can possibly get.

Also, when it comes to writing and self-publishing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Indie community is incredibly friendly. They will celebrate your successes and help you through the rough patches (because most likely, they’ve been there already.) People say writing is a solitary process, but in this day and age, you have a much better support system. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Thank you for the wonderful questions! These have been really fun to answer, and I hope you’ve got a little more insight into my writing, and me in general.

Interview questions by Faye

chekecookePart time author and full time fantacist, Chele Cooke is a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author living in London, UK.
While some know they want to write stories since childhood, Chele first started writing as a teenager writing fanfiction and roleplaying. Before long playing in other people’s worlds wasn’t enough and she started creating her own. Living in San Francisco at the time, she found a lot of inspiration in her favourite city, some of which can be found in her books.
With a degree in Creative Writing, Chele’s first novel was published in 2013. She currently has three books published: two books in a sci-fi series, Out of Orbit, and the first book of a vampire serial, Teeth.

To find out more about Dead and Buryd, the first book in the Out Of Orbit Series, check out it’s Goodreads page here. Dead and Buryd and two of it’s sequels, Fight or Flight and Rack and Ruin, are available to buy now from Amazon.uk (here) and Amazon.com here.
Giveaway

Chele is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her Out of Orbit tour!
The prizes include;
A full set of Out of Orbit series in paperback and a £25 Amazon giftcard
Ten ebook sets of the Out of Orbit series
To enter the giveaway visit Chele’s website here

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Self Published Sunday Chats with Melissa Brown

This week on Self Published Sunday we are delighted to welcome debut author Melissa Brown as she talks about the inspiration behind her recently released novel, Becoming Death.
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00026]Ever since her father’s demise, Madison Clark knew death had her number. After losing her first job, she is ushered into the cryptic family business. Little does she know her family is hiding a dark secret; they are grim reapers, custodians of souls on their journey to the beyond. Madison expects her historic legacy to have benefits beyond immortality. What she doesn’t expect is to still be struggling for cash while reaping souls on the side.
As if being Death’s minion wasn’t strenuous enough, Madison finds herself back at school with her worst enemy studying the ancient rules, methods and paperwork of her vocation. In a cascade of life changes: her best friend admits he’s in love with her and she starts a new job as a professional mourner, but she can’t help thinking her family might have other secrets.
Just when things are finally starting to feel normal again Death throws her a curveball: her next victim is her best friend. Madison must find a way to overcome the strict guidelines of being a grim reaper in order to save his life.

1. Have you always been interested in grim reapers or was it just an idea you had?

I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, I was a huge X-files and horror movie fan growing up. The idea to write a book about grim reapers came while doing research for a paper at university about fairytales and folklore. I realised female grim reapers seemed to be a rarity and thought it might be fun to place one in a modern setting.

2. When you write, do you plot or are you more of a panther?
I’m a pantser, I like discovering how the story is going to flow as much as the reader. I normally have an ending in mind I’m writing towards but even that has been known to change in the past.

3. What is your favourite UKYA book at the moment?

A Little Princess Frances Hodgson Burnett

I just re-read this and there is a reason it’s a young adult classic because it’s magical. Sara Crewe’s dreams are bigger than herself and she draws the reader into them. She is a female character that takes on any challenges thrown at her and comes through the book a stronger person.

4. How did you go about researching your book?
I spent a lot of time watching TV shows, movies and reading books with grim reaper’s in them. It was hard work, trying to keep track of all the different ways grim reapers were portrayed and the lore about them in each story.

5. Are you a secret grim reaper?

Maybe…best not get too close.

melissa brownMelissa Brown an American author that lives in Norwich, England. She is a teacher in ICT skills, English and creative writing. In 2014, she was shortlisted for the IdeasTap Inspires: Writers’ Centre Norwich Writing Competition and longlisted for the Nottingham Writers’ Club’s inaugural National Short Story Competition. She was also a featured poet at the Norwich: City of Stories launch event, where she did a live reading of my poem ‘The Library.’ She enjoys films, books, comics, fangirling and subscription boxes. She blames her love of the written word on her hometown library and fanfiction. She lives with her partner, Kris, and her awesome cat, Hailey. You can learn more about Melissa and her work by visiting her website here, her Facebook page (here) or Goodreads authors page (here). Alternatively pop over to Twitter (click here) and converse with her there

Becoming Death is available to buy from Amazon.uk (here)

Melissa is hosting a tour-wide giveaway!

For your chance to win one of 5 necklaces inspired by Becoming Death or one of
2 copies of Becoming Death check out the rafflecopter below.

This giveaway is open to UK participants ONLY.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Neverland

Anna Katmore
neverland“Any last words?”
“Go to hell, you freaking…filthy…godforsaken…”
Our noses almost touch as he dips his head and brushes a strand of my hair behind my ear. “Angel, the word you’re looking for is pirate.”
Why is there a boy who doesn’t want to grow up?
How can an apple start the sweetest romance in fairytale history?
And what does a ruthless pirate have to do with it all?
Although Angelina McFarland loves reading fairytales, she never dreamed of falling right into one herself. But that’s exactly what happens when she slips on her balcony and a flying Peter Pan catches her mid-fall.
Ending up in Neverland where no one seems to age and laws of nature are out of control, Angel has no idea how to get home. Worse, the ruthless Captain Hook captures her and keeps her trapped on his ship, the Jolly Roger, where she gets caught between the lines of a timeless battle. But the more time Angel spends with the captain, the more she sees beneath his ruthless façade. The feelings she’s growing for him are as intense as shocking, and soon she can’t stop thinking about how soft his lips felt on hers when he kissed her under the stars. But Angel and a pirate? That’ll never work. Or can it?
As Angel desperately tries to find a way to return to her real life, she discovers a train ticket to London in her pocket. It won’t be any help in getting off the island, but as her memory fades away the longer she stays, this is all she has left to remind her of her former life and why she can’t give up trying.
Or is staying in Neverland forever the better choice after all?
Grab a happy thought and follow Angel on an adventure that will keep you breathless and smiling long after you read the last page…

We were all once children, and as such I do believe there isn’t a single child who doesn’t know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, as told by J.M. Barrie. And then we grew up. We learnt all about those annoying things called responsibilities, about being mature and sensible, and above all that fairy tales are just for children.

Anna Katmore however had a different opinion. What if Peter Pan wasn’t quite the hero and all round good guy he appears? What if the gift of never growing up was actually a curse in disguise, holding back more than just a gang of orphans? And what if Captain James Hook wasn’t quite the black-hearted pirate our younger selves thought he was?
Having thrown several spanners into my childhood fairy tale I was quick to get my mitts on the book and dive into Mermaid Lagoon and unravel the mystery.

Angelina was a strong and interesting female character, but for once she wasn’t the one stealing all the limelight and I found myself very intrigued by both Peter Pan and Captain Hook too.

The narration was alternated between Angelina and James (Captain Hook) giving the reader even more food for thought as both sides of the tale are depicted. But do not be fooled, if you read Neverland in search for Barrie’s version from a different angle that is not what you will get. Anna Katmore took Peter Pan and his comrades gave the whole story more depth and background than you could imagine. Gone are the gentle themes for children of good and bad within harmless games. Neverland was enriched with the strong emotions of betrayal, hate, love, anger and loss. Feelings that would not mean much to a child too young to comprehend, but that in an adult cause a lot of damage. These emotions transcend time and space wreaking all sorts of havoc across decades.

But that is not all, because just as you think things may be finally over Anna Katmore turns things around one more time. Surely you didn’t think Captain Hook and Peter Pan were left on Neverland and suddenly learned to play nice? Did you?

Verdict: I very much enjoyed the easy read and yet thought provoking tale of Neverland and anxiously await for some fairy dust so that I may follow the second star on the right and fly straight on ‘till morning to land in the sequel Pan’s Revenge.

Reviewed by Prudence

Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: April 2014
Format: eBook
Pages: 301
Genre: retelling, romance br />
Age: YA
Reviewer: Prudence
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None
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Blog Tour: Ascension of the Whyte

Ascension of the WhyteWe are delighted to host a interview with Rose, a character in Karen Wrighton‘s Debut novel, Ascension Of The Whyte
Sara Carson did not believe in life after death, Heaven, Hell or even reincarnation. However, what she didn’t know was that some of us are special. For some of us, death is just the beginning of our next great adventure. Sara Carson was one of those special people, and her most incredible journey did not begin, until the day she died.
A magical début novel that will leave you breathless.

In your own words, how would you describe the four different areas of the world you live in?

Well I have only really explored Aurum and Ferrum to any extent yet. I only know about Hydrargyrum and Rhodium from what I have learned from the Sooth and from Cognito class. Aurum is the most eastern of the Afterlands, the land of the golden dawn. The climate in Aurum is temperate, but quite warm and the landscape is generally one of wide open plains, though there are mountainous and wooded areas and a large area of swampland off towards the south west inhabited by the wolf men known as rougarou. The capital city of Aureus is rather grand and its people are intellectuals who are relatively wealthy. There is little evidence of hardship in Aurum from what I have seen, everyone seeming to lead a happy and contented existence, except for the rougarou that is.

When we travelled into Ferrum the landscape changed dramatically to one of green rolling hills, forests, waterfalls and areas of open water. There seemed to be a lot of animals and farm land, the buildings had a more rustic feel and the people were less refined than in Aurum. We ran into some prejudice in one of the small towns and that upset me a great deal. I was disappointed that such a hardworking and unpretentious people could harbour such hostile feelings about people from their own world, many of whom even had Ferrish blood running in their veins.

I learned a little about the southernmost land, Hydrargyrum, from one of its people; the Blood Ascendant, Lady El-on-ah. She described it as a hard land, a barren land, where its people were forced to endure great hardship and had to work in the mines in order to provide for their meagre existence. In the Oratory we were taught that the area was inhospitable because it was mainly volcanic, but that it was also one of the few areas in the Afterlands where dragons could be seen living wild.

Of my own land, Rhodium, I have yet to travel there and I know very little except for what Lord Dux has told me. Rhodium the most northerly of the Afterlands and is a land of snow and ice, its towns and cities were now mainly in ruins after the Great Dragon War of over a thousand years’ ago. No one lives there now; all of the Whytes were destroyed. I am the only member of a long dead race, from a land of ruins frozen in ice and time.

How do you feel about each of the different members in your cell?

When we ascend to these lands, alone and without memory of our past lives or our families, we are told that the members of our cell will become our families, and that is sort of how I see them now.

Auriel is like a sister to me and I regard Ash and Lee as brothers. I love them all dearly; I love Auriel’s strong moral compass and unshakable loyalty, Ash’s sense of humour and his ability to always see the rainbow in every thunderstorm and I even love Lee’s naive insensitivity and cold clear logic, because it’s unashamedly honest. Lee would never lie, he just wouldn’t know how to.

What is your favourite aspect of your world?

I think that my most favourite thing is that being a Whyte ascendant has given me the freedom to be anything that I want to be, to do anything I want to do and to have the chance, despite being young and female, to really make this world a better place.

At first when I discovered that I was the only Whyte I hated it. I felt alone, isolated and powerless to change anything. Now I feel different, because of Eldwyn’s prophecy, being a Whyte has actually given me power, power to make people take notice of me and listen to what I have to say. It has made me realise that I can make a big difference, maybe even save some lives or at least make some peoples’ lives better.

I also LOVE magic and I especially love being good at it!

What is your favourite thing to eat?

In the Afterlands every ascendant’s favourite food is the same; Guilywally Fyre-pot, it’s a traditional dish from Hydrargyrum, a pink stew that is enchanted so that it tastes of whatever it is that you are hungry for. So you could eat it every day and never get bored with it because it would taste different every time you ate it. It really is the most delicious thing ever!

However, In Cognito class we learned that as good quality fresh food was so scarce in Hydrargyrum, that the alchemists devised the charm so that scraps and poor quality food would taste as good as the finest Aurum feast. That way everyone would have enough to eat, there would be no waste, and no one, but especially the children, would realise that they were often eating food that was not really fit to be eaten. It never quite tasted the same after I learned that.

What is your biggest dream?

My dream is that prejudice and inequality be wiped from the face of the Afterlands. That it’s people would live in harmony, each of them, though different, being accepted as equal, and that Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus be purged from these lands forever.

Where would you love to live in your world if you could live anywhere?

I would like to live in Rhodium, in my own land, with my own people, but my people are gone forever, so this can never happen.

What do you think about the place you’re studying?

I expect you mean the Oratory? When I first arrived at the Oratory I felt rather overwhelmed by the opulence and grandeur of the buildings and the obvious high status that had been afforded to me and to a lesser extent the other ascendants. The Sooth frightened me and so at first, did Lord Dux, who used magic with such ease and to such effect that it took my breath away. However once I had met my cell and settled in I enjoyed being there. I learned so much about my new world in such a short time that I quickly began to feel a part of it. The classes were amazing and all of the Magisters were such experts in their field that I doubt I could have been schooled by a more qualified group of teachers. Who wouldn’t like learning how to read a whole book in a few seconds, talk to bees, brew charms and cast spells? I struggled a little at first, but Lord Dux helped me and I soon discovered that I had a great aptitude for most of it, especially the magic.

Do you like magic?

Magic is at the core of my soul. It now comes so naturally to me that it is like a reflex… like blinking, I do not have to even think to use it. When I need it I just react, in the blink of an eye, no conscious thought involved, even the incantations are instinctive now. So I don’t like it exactly… that’s like asking if I like breathing, but I don’t think I could live long without it now.

Are you ready?

Can we ever be ready for something as all consuming as a war against evil, against prejudice and cruelty, and against an enemy so powerful that they can take the very essence of what you are and imprison that essence within their bodies for eternity?
I believe I am here for a reason, the prophecy of Eldwyn predicted that I would ascend and tells of my unifying the people of the Afterlands against an old enemy, but the way I read it, it does not predict the outcome of that confrontation.
Am I ready to unify? Yes. Am I ready to fight Lord Ka and the Djinn of Erebus? Yes. Am I ready to lose my friends in battle, to see these lands burned to ash and to be assimilated into the body of a Djinn until I can no longer act for myself and can only bear witness to the horrors that unfold before me? No… no… I will never be ready for that.

karen wKaren Wrighton was born in a small town in the English county of Staffordshire and
began writing prolifically and drawing from a young age. Karen trained as a Psychologist
and Teacher before finally finding the time to pursue her love of writing, firstly by
creating a successful Psychology blog and now by writing her first novel.
Karen’s début novel ‘Ascension of the Whyte’ is a magical epic fantasy novel for young
adults and is to be the first book of the ‘The Afterland Chronicles’ series.
Karen’s style is strongly influenced by the books she loves to read, such as Lord of
the Rings and Harry Potter. This is evidenced by the magical quality that pervades her
writing.
Karen has two daughters and lives in Norfolk, England with her husband John.
To find out more about Karen and her book, or follow her on social networks click on the
links below.
Twitter (here), Facebook (here),Google Plus (here), Website (here),Author blog (here).

There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;

– Author signed paperback copy of Ascension of the Whyte
– Themed metal bookmarks
– Postcards with graphics of the book cover and a colour map of the Afterlands
(signed by author if requested)
– Original hand-made Adder stone pendant like the one described in the book.

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Self Published Sunday: Glaze by Kim Curran

We are delighted to welcome author Kim Curran to Self Published Sunday. Not only has Kim taken the time to answer our questions, she has also provided us with an excerpt from Glaze and a fantastic giveaway!
GlazePetri Quinn is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started.
Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening on GLAZE, all the time. Including things she was never meant to see.
As her life is plunged into danger, Petri is faced with a choice. Join GLAZE…or destroy it.

Glaze is your first self-published novel, was there anything in particular that prompted you to make the decision to self-publish?

Initially, I had hoped Glaze would get your normal, traditional publishing deal. And my agent sent the book out to a handful of publishers with that intent. However, it quickly became apparent that they either had something similar in the pipeline or they had doubts about the market for YASF. Combined with this was my realisation that the topics in Glaze were (sometimes eerily) starting to happen. The social network in GLAZE is accessed via a chip in the brain that creates an optical overlay – and I’d written it before I’d heard a thing about Google Glass. The first chapter features a riot in London – and it was written long before the London riots. And I realised that I was going to have to move super fast to ensure the book stayed topical. And that’s the beauty of self publishing. I was able to move as fast as I liked.

Plus, I really loved the idea of trying a new approach to publishing. And Glaze seemed to be the perfect book to do that with. It’s about disrupting the establishment after all 🙂

Glaze is a truly scary look at social media, where did your initial inspiration come from?

The initial spark came from watching this TED video on the Filter Bubble.

http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles

In it, Eli Pariser talks about how the filter through which we experience the internet is so designed around our personal interests that, in an attempt to be totally relevant, it risks cutting us off from the wider scope of topics. This really scared me, as it’s something I do personally: if someone on Twitter tweets something I don’t agree with, I unfollow them; if someone on Facebook bangs on about topics that don’t interest me, I defriend them. I started to wonder how this might work if it was done on a social level. If all of our relationships with each other and with our society was controlled and ‘filtered’. And so the idea for Glaze was born.

Prior to the start of Glaze, Petri is already socially isolated, how important was this to the decisions she made throughout the novel?

For me it’s Petri’s desire to ‘belong’ that is the main thrust behind the whole book. She’s an outsider looking in on a world that feels out of reach. And in my teenage years (and still today) I felt that intently. Even when surrounded by friends, I felt someone how isolated. And all it would take would be one of those days when everyone seems to have ‘in’ jokes that you don’t get and that sense of isolation could become crushing. And so I wanted the network to become a metaphor for that experience. It’s the ultimate ‘in crowd’!

I liked the fact that they had a physical barrier on the use of social media in schools; do you believe that the abundance of teenagers using smart phones affects their education and social interactions?

That’s a really fascinating question. There’s a genuine fear that our ‘always on’ culture is affecting our attention span and our ability for prolonged thought. But then, people said the same thing about books! Of course, smart phones and access to social media is changing the way we consume information and how we interact. However, whether that change is negative is unclear. I think it’s just change. And that’s a neutral thing.

What I really do worry about, however, are the changes that are taking place in our education system. It feels to me that we’re moving to an old fashioned view of what it means to be educated. Which is to have your brain stuffed full of facts and figures. For me, education is so much more than this. It should be about sparking a passion for ideas and encouraging young people to question their world and what has shaped that (whether that’s history or physics). And it’s this attempt to erode that space to ask questions that I think it the real danger in our schools!

Is there one form of social media that you personally cannot live without?

I wouldn’t say live without – as I do often wish someone would save me from myself and ban me from the internet! But I love Twitter so very much. Since going freelance to focus on my writing it’s become my work chat, my social group and my source of news and gossip.

Glaze, as mentioned above, is a little bit terrifying, I admit that while reading Glaze, I felt a little bit uneasy about accessing my own social media; did you experience this while writing it?

Absolutely! I started to question the motives of everyone I interacted with online. And I got the sense that everything I was sharing online was being watched (because IT IS! ☺ )

This paranoia was combined with the fact that as I was writing it, it all seemed to be coming true! I was sitting in an office in East London when the riots broke out. And that was after having written the riot scene at the beginning of the book. Then all the news about GCHQ started to break. And finally, Google Glass was announced and I started to get seriously worried someone was hacking my brain!

Is there one message you’d like readers to take away from reading Glaze?

Question who is in control of your information.

Which five words would you use to persuade someone to read Glaze?

Argh! This is so hard.

Try a twisty, thinky, tech-thriller. 🙂

What have been the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of self-publishing?

The whole process has been incredible! I thought it was going to be so isolating but the truth is it’s been one of the most supportive and collaborative experiences I’ve ever had. I’ve been really lucky that an imprint called Jurassic London got excited about the idea of Glaze and wanted to publish limited edition hardbacks. And so I was able to work with Jared Shurin – the editor there on that. Glaze was also edited by Amy McCulloch at Puffin, plus I had amazing copyeditors and proof readers. And so I had a team of people around me to help make the book better.

And then, when I reached out to bloggers #TeamGlaze was born and I was overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm. It’s been such a humbling experience and I sort of feel that Glaze belongs to everyone who’ve helped me in that journey.

It’s also been really empowering to take control over my career. Ultimately, all the choices made, have been mine. Which is terrifying, but also really rewarding.

Honestly, the only challenging thing was making the decision to do it. Which was a really tough one. I thought people would judge me and think I’d somehow failed. But the support I’ve had has blown me away.

Can you tell us anything about what you’re currently working on?

I’m just finishing up the final edits on Delete ¬– the final book in my Shifter trilogy. And I’ve started a new book for young adults that I am so exceptionally excited about I can hardly sleep. I can’t tell you much about it, beyond the fact it’s tonally very different from anything I’ve written before. It’s a series of letters between two girls and…actually, that’s all I can say without giving it all away. The working title (exclusive here) is We’ve Only Just Begun. So, watch this space! 🙂

Excerpt

I sit on the least damaged of the seats and start to swing. The rusting chains are damp from the morning’s rain but the seat is dry, which means someone has been here before me. Kiara climbs up on the warped, burnt-out seat and pushes back and forth, her long, dark hair splaying out behind her, then catching her up on the upswing.

We swing in silence for a while.

‘What’s it like?’ she says.

‘What’s what like?’

‘The blank chip. Can you feel it?’

‘Not really. At first, I could see the company logo, floating in my eyes. You know, like when you stare at the sun too long. Three faint triangles drifting around. But I don’t even notice them now.’ I look down. I was hoping that I’d feel something with the chip. Get some kind of feed. The time and date. My location. Something. Anything. But after the logo faded, there was nothing.

‘You know, you’re lucky.’

‘What?’ I look back up at Kiara flying back and forth.

‘Glaze. It’s not all that. I’m thinking of having the chip removed.’

‘What? Why?’

She leaps off mid swing and lands badly. I jump down and try to help her back to her feet. She sits in the mud and laughs.
‘Are you OK?’ I ask, meaning the ankle she’s cradling.

‘No, not really.’ Her smile fades. ‘I mean, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.’

I know she’s not talking about her ankle.

‘You remember when I was off school last month?’

‘With glandular fever?’ I say.

‘Yeah, only it wasn’t glandular fever. Unless you can get that from a stomach pump.’

‘What are you on about?’

‘I tried to kill myself.’

She says it like it’s perfectly normal. Like she’d just tried a new nail varnish. Or she has a crush on someone. I find I can’t breathe and slump to the floor next to her.

‘Oh, don’t worry,’ she says, leaning back on her hands and looking up at the clouds. ‘I did a really crappy job of it. Apparently it’s really hard to OD on ibuprofen. Who knew?’

‘Kiara, I… I… Why?’

She closes her eyes and tilts her head back further, as if she were sunbathing. Only there’s no sun out today. ‘The doctors say I’m depressed.’

‘Well, duh!’ I say. ‘Award for stating the obvious goes to the doctors.’

‘I guess. But I always thought being depressed meant feeling sad all the time and not being able to get out of bed. But I don’t feel sad. I just don’t… feel. Anything.’ She sits up again and rubs her muddy hands on her skirt. ‘I used to care about things so much, you know? My art. Music. But now, it’s all noise. And without it I feel empty. And I didn’t want to go on feeling empty.’

‘I wish I knew what to say.’

‘Don’t worry. No one knows really. Mum says I’ll get better soon. That it’s a phase. Dad’s ignoring it, pretty much, trying to carry on as normal. He can’t cope with the fact I’m not his happy little Kiki any more. My doctor wants me to take some pills. “Happy pills”. He actually called them that. Literally. Happy pills. Can you believe that?’

‘And you don’t want to take them?’

‘I don’t know. I don’t really know anything any more.’

‘Has this got anything to do with Pippa?’

Kiara laughs. ‘No. Poor Pippa. Can you imagine her dealing with this?’

I laugh too. But it comes out as more of a groan. ‘Yeah, she’d make a right drama out of it.’

‘No, it’s not her. I can’t even remember why we were friends in the first place. No, it’s just… life, I guess. My life. It really does suck.’

I turn away and sigh. ‘Tell me about it.’

‘I’m sorry I’ve been such a bitch to you lately, Pet. I wanted to tell you, I really did. But…’

‘It’s fine. I get it.’ I hate to admit it, but I’m kind of relived.

We both sit and watch the clouds float past overhead.

‘So, what’s that got to do with having your chip out. I mean, can you even do that?’

‘Apparently there’s a clinic you can go to. It’s not as easy as having it put in. But nothing ever is, right?
‘And you’re going to?’

‘Maybe. It’s weird. Since I got chipped I’ve felt shrunk, somehow. Lost among all those voices. I don’t know what I really think, about anything. You know, what my opinions are.’ She presses her hand to her chest. ‘I’m stretched out in all directions spread too thin. Like a pancake person.’ She laughs again, and this time, it sounds a little more like her real laugh. ‘But it could just be me. Mum did always say I was contrary.’

‘Why don’t you turn it off? Then when you feel better you can go back.’ I can’t get my head around the idea of someone choosing not to be on Glaze. Especially when I know I can’t. Like Ethan.

‘Yeah, but I’d only turn it back on again. I have no willpower.’ She shivers and wraps her arms around herself.

‘You want to come back to mine?’ I say, standing up. ‘Zizi will be there, though. She’s working on some big project.’
‘Won’t she go totally Metro for you bunking off?’

‘Nah, I’ll tell her I’m taking a stand against patriarchal institutions or something.’

‘Your mum’s cool.’

‘Hmm. Too cool.’

‘I have to be home normal time or Mum will call the police.’

‘We still have a couple of hours. And I’ve had enough of the police for a lifetime.’

She takes my hand to get to her feet then tucks it under her arm, linking us together. ‘What was it like? Being arrested?’ Her eyes light up and I realise now it’s the first time I’ve seen them like that in too long.

Kim PicDublin-born Kim Curran is the award-nominated author of books for young adults, including Shift, Control and Delete.
She studied Philosophy & Literature at university with the plan of being paid big bucks to think deep thoughts. While that never quite worked out, she did land a job as a junior copywriter with an ad agency a week after graduating. She’s worked in advertising ever since and is obsessed with the power of the media on young minds.
She is a mentor at the Ministry of Stories and for the WoMentoring Project. And lives in London with her husband and too many books.
To find out more about Kim and her work visit www.kimcurran.co.uk
To view the full tour schedule visit A Daydreamers thoughts here

There is a tour wide giveaway during the tour.
The prizes include;
Hardback copy of GLAZE signed by the author and cover designer
Signed copies of Shift & Control
Glaze Bookmarks
Glaze badges
Meet with Kim Curran or Skype chat if not able to come to London.

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with David L. Atkinson

This week we welcome David L. Atkinson.

inceptusIn this fifth Steele novel, Patrick tackles the person who has been surreptitiously dogging his footsteps over a number of his adventures. This is not without risk, and when the focus of his love, Naomi Kobayashi, disappears, Patrick’s ability to function is seriously affected. We begin to find out more about the man himself as the adventure takes him to Eire, France, the USA, before he returns to resolve the issue in the UK. Will Patrick finally rid himself of a deadly enemy? Can our hero rescue his love, or is it already too late?
Inceptus is another tension-filled, action-packed Patrick Steele adventure with the support provided by the team he has developed over the years

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing seriously about four years ago although I have written poetry for many years. I began writing because I’d reduced my work to part time and knew that I wanted to produce a novel.

What is your writing process?
The only things I tend to do is a brief outline that includes beginning situation and central characters and title pages, acknowledgements etc.

What prompted you to self publish?
I had submitted about 8 times with the usual rejection letters then saw an article in Publisher’s Weekly recommending Completely Novel and I’ve never looked back.

Tell us a bit about your self-publishing journey – just how did you do it?
I have half answered this question above but there was further justification in the blogs I’ve read from fellow indie authors. Added to that it seemed to me that anyone who is a celebrity can get published because their name is going to sell books irrespective of quality. The growth of self-publishing and the scope that is available for marketing has kept me in the indie game.

Can you tell us about the challenges and the achievements you have experienced in your writing and self-publishing journey?
The challenges have honestly been very few, mostly around formatting which varies between companies. Similarly, I have not had many achievements of any great significance apart from selling books in the USA, Canada and Europe.

We hear a lot about collaboration in self-publishing – do you work with other people (editors, marketers, publicists etc) when publishing your works?
I have worked with three different people on editing – that is all the collaboration in which I’ve been involved.

How do you get feedback on your work? How valuable is it to read the comments and reviews of others?
I am not one for looking at reviews because I believe that writing is an art and the reviews are almost entirely subjective. I will write irrespective of what people think. Those reviewers who criticise grammar or punctuation are like someone criticising the brand of paint an artist uses. Those who criticise style and content are entitled to their opinion but obviously it won’t coincide with mine.

Have you considered traditional publishing?
Yes. I still would like to be published out of a sense of vanity, I suppose, but I’m not that desperate.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Would you recommend self-publishing?

To answer in reverse order I definitely believe that self-publishing is the way to go. Advice for aspiring writers – well writing a book is rather like eating an elephant – you can only do it one mouthful at a time. Seriously though, if you’re writing a novel write the first 3 chapters before you review your work. I have spoken and read about many people who have written their first chapter, reviewed their first chapter and started again and they’ve done this several times! If you write the first three then review the beginning you will be happier with the style and content and are more likely to continue rejuvenated at your prowess.

Just for Fun:

If your book was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)?

Jason Statham

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?

Mark Knoffler

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee

Write at home or outside?

Home

Pen or PC?

PC

Email or letter/postcard?

email

And the all-controversial: print book or ebook?

Yes – both. My experience is that people who like reading have both.

image003Born in Sunderland, David L. Atkinson went to college in Bradford where he trained to be a teacher, a profession he followed for 34 years. After leaving the teaching profession he worked in a bank before taking up retirement. He remained in Yorkshire where he now dedicates his time to writing. David always had the ambition to write and eventually began writing in 2009. He has now completed five novels and is working on a sixth. He blogs daily at http://david-latkinson.blogspot.com, where you can find short stories, poetry and recipes, as well as commentary on the writing process.

Inceptus is available to buy from CompletelyNovel (here).

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Self Published Sunday: Interview with Tom Evans

Today we welcome Tom Evans, author of The Zone

the-zoneWe know intuitively when we are in the zone. We know all too frustratingly when we are out of the zone. What we don’t often know is where this mythical zone is. Sometimes we end up there more by accident than design. When we’re out of it, there’s no map to get us back there.
The Zone is that map that shows us that there is not just one zone but many. We have Doing Zones and Being Zones. We can even get trapped in Danger Zones. It explores where the boundaries of the Zone lie and how to get past Border Control without a passport.
The aim is to end up in the Magic Zone. This is a place where we can live a charmed and enchanting life. It’s a place where we go with the flow and we stop pushing water uphill.
If you perform live as a sports person or on stage as a singer, musician or presenter, you will find much here to help you keep at your peak. If you work in the creative sphere where you are performing too but off line, this book will show you how to deliver high quality output consistently. If you are in business, there is much here you can use to give you a competitive edge.
When you are fully immersed in The Zone, life becomes a breeze and takes on a magical quality.

What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I wrote my first book by accident at 35,000ft over the Atlantic in a 747. It was called 100 Years of Ermintrude and tells the life story of a centenarian in just 33 poetic stanzas. As a result of writing it, I ended up walking around London in a bra for 26 miles, for Walk the Walk, and becoming an author’s mentor and a specialist at clearing writer’s block.
What is your writing process? (i.e., do you follow a regular routine?)
I write from 8:30 to 11am most days but only after meditation and either Mind Mapping or doodling around the subject I am about to write about. This tunes me into my Muse and gets the left and right brains working in sync.

What prompted you to self publish?
The last book I had traditionally published took them a year after getting my final edited draft. I wrote the sequel just after completing it and was able to publish the sequel 9 months ahead of its prequel by using CompletelyNovel.

Tell us a bit about your self-publishing journey – just how did you do it?
After publishing my first three books with traditional publishers, I had just finished the last chapter of my fourth book, opened up my emails and there was an email from CompletelyNovel. I uploaded the draft that day and got a printed copy back in a week (which makes proof reading so much easier). So it’s fair to say that self-publishing found me, not the other way around. Now it’s my first choice for speed and control.

Can you tell us about the challenges and the achievements you have experienced in your writing and self-publishing journey?
The only challenge I face, common with other writers, is spreading the word about my books. I found, though, that having a publisher made no real difference. What is great these days is that authors support each other and social media gives us global reach.

We hear a lot about collaboration in self-publishing – do you work with other people (editors, marketers, publicists etc) when publishing your works?
Yes, I have an online TV vodcast and audio podcast channel, and I interview other authors where there is overlap between our works. This promotes both of us.

How do you get feedback on your work? How valuable is it to read the comments and reviews of others?
I love all reviews. Good ones make my day. Not so good ones make me a better writer. I had a 1 star review the other day in a sea of 5 stars. It was really clever and funny and made me laugh and not take myself too seriously.

Have you considered traditional publishing?
Yes, I’ve done it three times and was not impressed. If the right publisher came along who was serious about marketing and taking a 21st century approach, I’d be open to having a chat though.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Would you recommend self-publishing?
My advice is to write something every day, no matter how small, as this exercises our linguistic neurological centres. Then share it via blogs, ebooks and in print. Only by sticking our heads above the parapet will we learn, and the doors it opens for us will amaze and astound us. I got my second publishing deal within 24 hours from a single blog and tweet that had nothing to do with the book. Just making connections allows serendipity to flow.

Just for Fun:

If your book was made in to a film which actor(s), past or present, do you envision in the lead role(s)?
My last but one book, This We Know, would be a TV documentary and be narrated and fronted by Stephen Fry.

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
It would have incidental music by Moby and an opening song by Ed Sheeran.

Tea or Coffee?
I’m a tea man. No sugar but an accompanying digestive biscuit is my reward after each writing session.

Write at home or outside?
Both, I am mobile.

Pen or PC?
Tablet – my iPad is used for all first drafts, Mind Mapping and even cover design

Email or letter/postcard?
Email

And the all-controversial: print book or ebook?
Both but with ebook first to test the market and get reviews then an audiobook as this is the best way ever to proof read followed by print.

tom_whitebgTom Evans is an author, author’s mentor and wizard of light bulb moments.
He has spent 30 years in the cutting edge of product development in the broadcast and Internet industries. He has a knack for explaining complex concepts in simple terms. More recently has been researching the psychology and physiology behind inspiration and is lifting the lid on the mystery of where ideas, and thought, come from.
He has written three books on the creative process. Blocks explores what stops us being creative. The Art and Science of Light Bulb Moments is all about those special types of thought that appear in less than a second, yet change our world forever. Flavours of Thought is an exploration of the different types of thought that appear in our heads.
His books, Planes of Being and This We Know, are philosophical explorations into what it means to be human and where we might be going as a species.
His latest book, The Zone, explores how to get into that creative space where our productivity soars and we get things done in ‘no time at all’.
For more information visit Tom’s Website (here) or his his facebook page (here), alternatively you can converse with him on Twitter (here)

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