#CoverReveal An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson @KiltieJackson @rararesources #FictionCafeWriters

Hey everyone. Here’s a quick reblog of a cover reveal for an ARC I’m currently reading and loving!

Original post from A Little Book Problem

via #CoverReveal An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson @KiltieJackson @rararesources #FictionCafeWriters

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Jennifer Gilmour – Isolation Junction {Freebie}

Today I’ve got a fab freebie from you from Jennifer Gilmour, below Jennifer will be explaining why she is offering this free to readers. 

My name is Jennifer Gilmour and I am a survivor of domestic abuse, I have published two books both with a focus on raising awareness about domestic abuse at their core. Whilst both aim to raise this awareness one is written as a work of  fiction whilst the other is a compilation of survivor stories and therefore non-fiction. Both work in different ways to educate and raise awareness of this insidious and unacceptable behaviour.

Over Christmas, incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police rise. Assault and domestic murders increase 25% during the festive period with a third of them been on Christmas Day itself. Bombarded with images of the perfect nuclear family gathered around the gold baubles of a Christmas tree, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is a time of coercion, punishment and violence for many women* and men.

Now I know it isn’t Christmas anymore but January can be just as bad because all those credit card bills come in alongside your usual direct debits. There is even a day in January called Blue Monday and this year its on the 15th. The date is generally reported as falling on the third Monday in January, but also on the second or fourth Monday, or the Monday of the last full week of January.

The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

Can you imagine this formula and applying it to an abusive relationship?

For 5 days my debut novel Isolation Junction is going to be FREE on Amazon Kindle, this is the first time ever to happen. It’s the week before Blue Monday, I wonder if those reading will be inspired to take action?

I ask you all to share the link and break the silence surrounding domestic abuse.

UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LX4HLT0

US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX4HLT0


*https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2015/12/it-s-hardest-time-year-why-domestic-violence-spikes-over-christmas

Blurb…

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in Isolation Junction.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren wont let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

Its at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how shell ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she cant, will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

Thanks for reading and downloading thqis important book. 

Emma-Louise x

Top 17 Reads of 2017

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

Well didn’t that year fly by?

It the start of the year I set a goal to read 50 books, at the end of the year I finished at exactly 90! I have read, read and read more. Mostly for blog tours so my TBR pile is now as big as my house lol.

As you can imagine picking 17 books from 90 has been quite a task, some have stood out more than others but I have read so many good books this year. 

So without futher ado, here is my Top 17 of 2017 (No particular order).

1) Wintersong by S Jae-Jones

2) Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

3) Gilded Cage by Vic James

4) Mythica by Kevin Nielsen

5) Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

6) The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

7) Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella

8) Rock n Roll Lifestyle by Kiltie Jackson

9) Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles by J.M Sullivan

10) The Carrero Effect by L. Marshall

11) Lullaby by LRW Lee

12) The Path To The Key by April Canavan

13) Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James

14) Flashfall by Jenny Moyer

15) A Court Of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

16) Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch

17) Ink by Alice Broadway

There are three more books I’d like to give a shout out for. 2 which are more non-fiction; Isolation Junction and Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour and another I beta read which is not out yet called Colonial Prime by Kevin Nielsen, I advised you keep an eye open for this!

I would love to know your top reads of 2017. 

Thanks for reading. 

Emma – Louise x

Author Guest Post: Jennifer Gilmour

‘Our wings were clipped, our restrictions were made, our boundaries were tested but now we are free, aren’t we?We look above in the sky at the birds and hope to be free. But the birds make their nests in the trees high above, to protect themselves from predators. Free birds must keep looking over their shoulders the same way all of us have to.’

-Jennifer Gilmour

Today I have a very special guest post for you from Jennifer Gilmour who will be discussing a very important topic with us. I have read and reviewed both of Jennifer’s books and they were fantastic. Jennifer is an Advocare for women in using relationships. Author of Isolation Junction, Clipped Wings and columnist for CCChat Magazine.

The Darker Side to Christmas

You may think I am going to write a piece of flash fiction or talk about a recently read thriller book – but I am not. What I am going to share with you is, in fact, reality for so many people all around the world – especially at Christmas.

My name is Jennifer Gilmour and I am a survivor of domestic abuse, I have published two books both with a focus on raising awareness about domestic abuse at their core. Whilst both aim to raise this awareness one is written as a work of  fiction whilst the other is a compilation of survivor stories and therefore non-fiction. Both work in different ways to educate and raise awareness of this insidious and unacceptable behaviour.

Over Christmas, incidents of domestic abuse reported to the police rise. Assault and domestic murders increase 25% during the festive period with a third of them been on Christmas Day itself. Bombarded with images of the perfect nuclear family gathered around the gold baubles of a Christmas tree, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is a time of coercion, punishment and violence for many women* and men.

Christmas for me was one of the loneliest times of the year and a time when I would try to be on ‘my’ best behaviour’, meaning that I didn’t even think of not doing as I was told because I didn’t want to ‘set him off’. I wanted to keep my partner happy and in trying to do so, I endeavoured to take on the financial pressures myself despite there being rules surrounding gifts for family members. Most of the time I handmade gifts for relatives and although this is a popular option now, compared with the glossy, manufactured offerings, my gifts looked cheap and homely. This made me feel guilty and embarrassed.

Alongside this, Christmas was a perfectly orchestrated opportunity for arguments and the reality was that my ‘best’ behaviour was never ever going to be acceptable to him. There was always something to nit pick at even if it was that I didn’t react to a gift the ‘correct’ way. This criticism nearly always escalated and I always felt he was  simply looking to create conflict with me and I could never understand why this should be the case. It was a relief to be able to look forward to him going back to work after Christmas and thankfully his job didn’t allow for much time off over the (not so) festive period.

I have reduced the price of Clipped Wings which is my latest publication until 25 December to mark this time of the year. I ask you all to share the link and break the silence surrounding this kind of behaviour this Christmas.

* https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2015/12/it-s-hardest-time-year-why-domestic-violence-spikes-over-christmas

You can find link’s to Jennifer’s profiles below.

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com

Facebook; www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

Clipped Wings on Amazon UK; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076KNZJZQ

Clipped Wings on Amazon USA; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KNZJZQ

Goodreads author profile; https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour

Clipped Wings on Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36449221-clipped-wings

Huffington post blogger profile; http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Thank you so much Jennifer for taking the time to talk to us today.

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: Liz Taylorson

Today I have a Guest Post from Author of The Little Church by the Sea, Liz Taylorson. Liz talks to us about Inspiration. 

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Inspired by …

Many authors draw inspiration from the view outside their study window. The rolling hills of the Cotswolds, perhaps, the Lakeland fells or a windswept Scottish beach … Ah, smell that sea air, how could anyone fail to be inspired?

The view from my desk is rather more suburban. I can see a wide patch of tarmac intended for turning vehicles but mostly used as a handy little car park by the neighbours, and a road beyond it. It’s not an exciting road, it’s a small hill that goes up towards the railway station. The most exciting things about it are the blossom trees in the spring and watching cars slide down it in the snow.

However I still spend an inordinate amount of time looking out of my window when I should be working … So other than gazing out of the window, where do I get my inspiration?

When it came to writing my first novel, the first thing I did was make a list. I love lists and pretty notebooks to write them in and I knew I wanted my story to have a wintery setting – I wanted the bleakness of the seaside in winter and I wanted the prettiness of Christmas, frost and snow. So I listed all the things that inspired me about winter – the contrast of dark nights and pretty lights, frost on the windows and flames in the hearth, holly and ivy hanging against a wood panelled wall and silver candlesticks. I listed half remembered childhood customs, songs and stories. And then I tried to imagine the kind of place I could set a story that included all these elements.

Then I came across a door. A picture of a door, in fact, an old wooden door belonging to a tiny cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay, a fishing village not far from Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. It had a beautiful old door-knocker and a Christmas wreath hanging on it. It would be just the kind of place for wood panelled walls, silver candlesticks, mulled wine and mistletoe, but what kind of things might happen in a cottage like that?

Now I had a setting of the seaside in winter, I knew that with it would come an element of danger – high tides, storms, cold and a community that could easily be isolated by the wrong kind of weather, plenty of drama there! It gave a lovely contrast to the warmth and tradition of Christmas.

Finally I had to think about who was going to be at the heart of the story. I knew that I wanted to write about a lonely woman who had never had a full relationship with a man, so I asked myself who might find themelves in this position? The answer came quite quickly – someone with a strong belief that sex before marriage was wrong. Someone religious … a vicar perhaps? A female vicar. But why on earth would a single female vicar be living in a pretty cottage in the middle of a seaside village and not a in vicarage?

Because something had happened to the vicarage and she couldn’t live there. Something dramatic and unusual that would make a good starting point for her story, her quest to find a home and the right man to share it with … And this is where another kind of inspiration came in. I sometimes work with an author of local history books, helping him prepare his manuscripts for publication – and he had written a book about the North Yorkshire coast, which documented several cliff falls including the demise of the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough in 1993. So, what if her vicarage had fallen over the cliff?

And there you have it. The things that have inspired me – books, pictures, pretty notebooks to make lists in and looking out of the window!

Liz’s novel The Little Church by the Sea is published by Manatee Books and can be purchased from Amazon at: goo.gl/Wwr5uG  

Liz is on Facebook at @TaylorsonLiz and Twitter @taylorson_liz. She has a blog at liztaylorson.wordpress.com 

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Thank you so much to Liz who happens to live local to me, your time writing this is much appreciated. 

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: J.K Ellem

Hey, today I have a Guest Post from J.K Ellem author of the No Justice Series, who discusses his take on writer’s block and what he wish he’d known before becoming a writer. 

On…Overcoming Writer’s Block

 I don’t really get writers block. What typically happens is that I will be struggling with a scene in the book and realise what I have written is terrible. What I then do is stop, get up and get a coffee or if I need inspiration to write better I will pick up a book from one of my favourite authors and read for a while. That usually does the trick. My advice is that if you get stuck, don’t know what to write or the story has grinded to a halt then go and read. Reading someone else’s book is one of the best ways to overcome this.

On…What I Wish I’d Known

I wish I knew how wrong it was when people say it’s a very lonely existence when you are an author. It is completely wrong. When you spend hours a day just writing you will feel lonely. But when you spend hours a day living in the scene or inside you protagonists head or in a villains perverted mind, you are surrounded by people, places, smells, sights and emotions and it can be as busy as standing in Times Square on a Friday night. It’s the same tactic you need to embrace when you get writers block. You are not sitting at a desk gazing at words on a screen. You’re in a forest in the snow at night, someone is following you and you have just stumbled on a body. What would you do next?

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today JK Ellem. You can find out more about this author on his website jkellem.com

Emma-Louise x

Guest Post: Natali Simmonds

Hey you lovely lot. Today I have a Guest Post by the amazing N.J Simmonds who discusses the Top 5 YA Book Myths. Natali has not only author with a 5 star rated book but she has experience with writing and marketing in the bucket load.

TOP 5 YA BOOK MYTHS

YA fiction, otherwise known as Young Adult literature, gets a bad rap. If I got a pound for every time someone misunderstood what YA really is I’d be making a lot more money than I am now as a humble writer!

From Twitter comments to conversations in book stores and right through to my own reviewers, I am forever hearing comments such as –

‘I can’t believe I really enjoyed that book when I’m not even a teenager’

‘Oh I don’t want to read YA, it’s for kids’

‘YA writers aren’t proper writers because they don’t write for adults’

‘YA books are all about high school dramas and boring teen issues’

So what does YA actually mean?

‘Young Adult’ is simply a description of books with teen protagonists covering issues that concern young adults. Therefore you won’t find a book about a divorcee struggling with her failing business (unless that person is the main character’s mother) – but you will get a story packed with tension, page-turning intensity and some of the coolest protagonists ever created.

For those of you that are still unsure what YA is – here are my 5 top YA myths!

  1. YA is a genre

Whoa! Did you think it was? Most people do and it’s a topic that is argued a lot in the book world. But if Romance, Thriller, Fantasy and Crime are literary genres then YA can’t be. ‘YA’ in itself is not going to explain to you what kind of book you are going to read because YA lit also has sub-divisions. YA Fantasy, YA Thrillers and YA Contemporary are all very different; the only thing they have in common are character ages and themes. You wouldn’t say that books by Marian Keys are the same as books by Stephen King because the characters in them are in their 30’s and have families, would you? Well it’s the same with YA.

  1. YA is a recommended age limit


Whoa! Another myth busted. I’m not kidding…if you’re avoiding YA literature because you think you’re too old then you are missing out on some of the best books out there right now. Take ‘The Hate U Give’ (Angie Thomas), for instance. Why is the book YA? Because it’s written through the eyes of a 16 year old girl, yet its political themes inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement are far from childish. This book has won all the awards of 2017 and been enjoyed by all ages, genders, race and backgrounds – because a good book is a good book. The fact that the YA book’s main character is a twelve year old wizard, a torn black schoolgirl or a heroic dystopian teen is neither here nor there – and it shouldn’t put you off reading it.

  1. YA books are simply written

No. They are not. Middle Grade books (think Roald Dahl, David Walliams and Enid Blyton) will certainly have more cartoon-like colourful characters and a simpler linear plot because they are written for kids aged 10+ BUT YA is read from 12+ such as the Harry Potter series (J.K.Rowling) or in some cases 15+, such as my own novel ‘The Path Keeper’ (N.J.Simmonds). When you go from Middle Grade books to YA the writing style jumps dramatically to a much more adult level in terms of both vocabulary and theme.

If you compare the writing styles of YA authors you may be in for a shock – each one is just as unique as non-teen based literature. There is no dumbing down for teens in the book world. YA bestsellers such as I’ll Give You The Sun (Jandy Nelson) and ‘We Were Liars’ (E. Lockhart) are both written in a poetic and whimsical fashion compared to the more dramatic language and style used in fantasy books such as the Twilight (Stephenie Meyer) or Divergent (Veronica Roth) series. So when you pick up a YA novel, you may be surprised that the language, pace and structure is just as challenging and unique as any ‘grown-up’ novel out there.

  1. YA books are tame and have no sex or violence in them

Actually, they can do – especially fantasy novels. Fans of Sarah J Maas will be the first to tell you about chapter 54 in A Court of Mist and Fury (put it this way, I struggled not to blush on the bus while reading about Feyre and Rhysand and his impressive wingspan). When writing my own YA Fantasy Romance series The Path Keeper I never intended for it to be enjoyed by teens until my publisher at the time told me it would be marketed as YA. It has three pretty explicit sex scenes, plenty of swear words in two languages and a few gory scenes (and book two Son of Secrets, release date to be confirmed, is even darker). I was shocked that it wasn’t going to be edited – until I remembered what I got up to at 17. YA isn’t written for impressionable young kids, most readers are young adults, so they want to read about people just like them acting like real teenagers do. And the best bit? YA books are full of way more drama, intensity and excitement than the boring reality of adulthood – so they are the perfect escape for everyone.

  1. YA books are not as high-brow as the classics

Have you ever read To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)? How about Lord of the Flies (William Golding), Catcher in the Rye (J.D.Salinger) or The Outsiders (S.E.Hinton)? They are all YA books. So does that mean, because you are no longer a teenager, you should avoid them? Of course not!


YA literature has been around for decades, it’s nothing new. The only difference, in this age of marketing and social media, is that by differentiating books that will appeal to teens publishers and authors have a better chance of reaching their ideal audience.

By writing YA and covering the concerns that young adults encounter during the most tumultuous period of their lives, authors (myself included) hope to not only show their readers that they are not alone…but bring them together through the love of a good story.

So next time you read an article about the best YA books of the year or see the New York YA bestsellers list – don’t dismiss it. No matter how old you are now, we were all young adults once. By exploring YA literature, not only will you revisit the angst and excitement of your youth but you’ll also get to enjoy some of the best books out there right now!

 

N.J.Simmonds is the author of highly-acclaimed The Path Keeper series, a YA fantasy romance set in London. She is currently working on book three in the series as well as a number of contemporary YA novels. Learn more about her work at njsimmonds.com or follow her on Facebook,

Twitter and Instagram.

Photo by Jeremy Standley (jeremystandley.com)

Thank you so much to Natali for taking the time to write this post for us.

Emma-Louise x

Author & Editor Guest Post: S.D Mayes

Today I have another amazing Guest Post for you. Author S.D Mayes not only discusses her writing but offers some fantastic tips to others who want to write.

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S.D. Mayes – Journalist, Author and Editor

I always liken editing to cleaning the skirting boards. I don’t really want to do it, but afterwards I feel so much better. However, after doing many rewrites and edits – and that was around eighteen drafts of Letters to the Pianist, my historical suspense novel, I was ready to throw the blimmin’ laptop out of the window. Yep, this novel was probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. Timewise, I spent a year writing and nearly two years editing and rewriting, so getting it finally published at the end of September this year was a huge relief.

I’ve worked as a journalist for over twenty years and had already written a best-selling self-help book, Be Your Own Psychic, published by Hodder & Stoughton – one of the big five, so I thought writing a novel would be easy. How wrong I was. I had chosen a complex multi-layered plot with a parallel father and daughter story, simply because the story popped into my mind years back and I loved the premise of it – a Jewish man who loses his memory and marries into a family of Nazi sympathisers. I thought it was going to be hard work, but it just kept popping into my head, and one rainy Sunday afternoon I got started. I had two protagonists: teenage Ruth Goldberg, and her father Joseph Goldberg who was renamed Edward Chopard by his new aristocratic wife Connie.

A protagonist is the character your story revolves around. And I chose to write Ruth in the first person so her story was right up front and in your face. I then chose to write her father, Joseph and all the other characters in third person – both of which was clearly delineated by change of chapter. Many of the reviews I’ve received have said that they like getting the many third person point of views of different characters, but this book was a steep learning curve in many ways – and as I also beta read and edit other authors manuscripts as part of my other work, I’ve seen the many mistakes we can all make as new writers.

Show not Tell

I’m sure you have heard this phrase. It is essential for good writing, and most new writers don’t fully understand what this means. With ‘telling’ many paragraphs can end up being summarised instead of really engaging readers in the powerful elements of a story, so there is a huge lack of description throughout a book where the writer generalises far too much and expects the reader to join the dots as to what’s happening. As writers we need to be painting a story with pictures. A good parallel about the difference between show and tell is that with ‘telling’ the reader becomes an observer of your story. When you ‘show’ however, the reader really experiences your story, often becoming one of the characters in their minds. So that’s a huge difference in the experience of reading.

Here’s some examples with the authors consent on manuscripts I’ve edited.

Telling

‘My father died when I was young and my mother raised me. She was very pious, prayed constantly and took me to church every Sunday. The bitch didn’t allow me to read any book other than the Bible and she didn’t allow me to listen to music either. She was very strict. Every minor infraction would lead to a severe beating with a belt, rod, or cane.’

This paragraph gives a quick summary ‘telling’ us. There needs to be description and detail about how the relationship developed between mother and son. There is barely any description of Jack as a boy and no description of his mother’s character.

Showing

‘One afternoon I walked into our house after school. I was only seven, a small, thin waif of a boy because I didn’t get fed much, only rice and beans if I was lucky. My mother was scrubbing the kitchen floor on her hands and knees, pushing the bristles back and forth. It was a strange sight to behold as she barely did a scrap of housework. As usual, she stank of rum and her shirt was partly undone showing her huge breasts wobbling about.  I stood in the doorway staring.  ‘Mom’, I muttered, feeling ignored yet again. ‘Mom’, I’m starved. Can I have some bread?’  Finally, she looked up at me with bloodshot eyes, peering at me strangely. ‘Hungry, huh, well there’s no food for you, boy. Get upstairs and read that bible,’ she shouted. You have a darkness in you, I can see it oozing it out of every pore – the spirit of Beelzebub is in you, and you need to read that bible over and over to get it out. Do you hear me?’

With ‘showing’ the reader gets an immediate understanding of the dynamics of this boy’s childhood and relationship with his mother.

Another example of ‘telling’ from a sentence is this.

‘The food was retrieved from a counter where a team of cooks worked furiously to get enough food out for the encroaching students.  They ate well, the food was good. Few words passed as the food went down.’

So what’s wrong with this paragraph?

Firstly, the word ‘food’ was used four times in one paragraph. It’s important for a writer to vary their language. Repetition of the same words too close together reveal boring lazy language – and you want to keep your reader on their toes. But it’s also important to be descriptive to state what this food is. The author needs to make sure it sounds delicious. For example, a description of ‘showing’ with food would be this. ‘There before us, was a long table set out in front of the bay window with the most mouth-watering display of food: platters of buttery smoked haddock and crispy potato cakes, bagels oozing with cream cheese, a dish of boiled eggs, a sponge cake trickled with honey, and my favourite, big round sugary doughnuts all set out on lace doilies. I was drooling, picturing the sweet jam exploding into my mouth.

You get my drift? This kind of detail is what brings stories alive so the reader can see and taste the food.

POV

POV relates to the point of view of a character and many writers resort to head hopping which can confuse the reader. And this is very common. When you write from first person it’s obvious you are in your protagonists head, and that can be up front and powerful as the character tells their story. The problem with first person is that it is limited to that one perspective. So events can only unfold from that characters perception as they tell their story.  Many novelists such as Paula Hawkins author of ‘Girl on the Train’, and Gillian Flynn author of ‘Gone Girl’ use this first person POV for all their characters by putting the name at the top of the chapter, so they get another characters perspective. And in my view ‘first person’ is the easiest way to write.

Third person is far more complex when you go from one character to another, and this is something many authors struggle with where they resort to ‘head hopping’. There is a golden rule with POV. The rules in writing are that you cannot head hop from one character to another without first changing scene or chapter. For example, in this para the characters headhop from Jenny’s thoughts to David’s in two consecutive paras.

Get up, you two! Quickly!” Jenny yelled. The emphasis in her voice appeared to be sharp and impatient. Knowing that assisting the slumbering twins could get her in trouble, she quickly removed her head from underneath the ivy-covered entrance.

David was shocked that Jenny still had such pent up energy despite being up all night. Although he overslept, he felt like an extra hour would have helped him feel less groggy.

So this has gone from Jenny’s point of view to David’s in the same scene. Dialogue can of course go back and forth between characters, but you need to choose whose head you are going to be for that scene or chapter and stick to it, or create a new scene if you are changing POV to another character.

Adverbs: I often find new writers over complicate a sentence by using too many adverbs. I know I did initially. Strong, direct language is best. Adverbs are fine in moderation, but many manuscripts I’ve seen use very similar phrases within a few paragraphs, so there’s a lot of glaring eyes, saddened eyes, brooding eyes and bulging eyes. Writing is about being creative in how you write, not saying the same thing with a few different words.  Find different ways of physically showing how your characters express themselves. For example, instead of saying saddened eyes which is technically ‘telling’ – say ‘she hunched over, clenched her hands together, her eyes wet with tears.’  Leaving in adverbs can look amateurish and lazy as if you can’t be bothered, so describe things properly instead of generalising and be confident with leaner sentences that read in a cleaner, crisper way.

Cliché’s

It’s considered a big no no to mention too many clichés. Expressions of speech, are different if they allude to a certain way of speaking, but it’s important as a writer to find ways of saying the same thing in different ways and finding unique metaphors. Who can forget ‘Hills like White Elephants’, a short story by Ernest Hemingway. What a great description, and one that immediately evokes a visual picture.

What I did in Letters to the Pianist was if a cliché came to mind, I would try and put my unique spin on it, so instead of saying ‘trapped in a gilded cage’ which is a well known cliché, I used, my own – ‘Everything else came under his list of possessions and she was merely another, ‘trapped in a mink-lined dungeon.’

None of this came easy to me at first, and it takes consistent work to keep going through a manuscript and cleaning it up. And I don’t profess to be an expert on any of this, but I have learnt a lot through the years, and as tough as it might be, it definitely gets your creative mind ticking over, and that to me is what writing is all about.

Letters to the Pianist is out now in hardback, paperback and eBook

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Thank you for taking the time to speak to us Sherron. You can follow Sherron on Goodreads or via her Facebook Page.

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: Carol Warham

Today I have the lovely author Carol Warham on writing her book Resolutions.

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Many thanks to Emma Louise for inviting me along to her lovely new look blog. I opted to do a guest post as I’ve had something very much on my mind recently. That is my debut novel Resolutions, which was released on August 9th this year.

I thought writing a book was hard work. I thought editing it was extremely hard work. Little did I know that the real hard work was only just starting- marketing and promoting your work. This has turned out to be very difficult. 

There is a lot of advice ‘out there’. As ever, most writers generously give their advice and support. As you’ll appreciate a lot of marketing and promotion is done over social media and it’s a worry that you are boring the same people with your posts. I’m very grateful for the help, advice, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’, which friends and other writers gave. It’s also quite a trial to force yourself to promote yourself, when it doesn’t come naturally!

As Resolutions is an e-book, I couldn’t hawk it round some local, independent bookshops. Neither could I organise myself a talk with ‘signings’ (should anyone actually want to come along!). So, what do you do?

I’m lucky enough to have had the support of my local library and community. I was offered our small village library as a venue for my ‘launch’. My daughter helped me put together a power point presentation on the locations I’d use, all which would be familiar to my audience. I was delighted with the turnout. The local Women’s Institute helped with the refreshments but the star of the night was the cake baked by a friend with the book cover iced onto it.                                                          

My husband designed and made some bookmarks for me to give away that evening. They proved so popular I’ve since had them professionally printed. A number of people have even asked me to sign them, which has been most unexpected! I’ve also taken to sneakily leaving a few around in hotels, the gym changing room, anywhere I can. Well, you never know who might pick one up!                           

Two local newspapers gave me a little coverage. I think this was particularly because I’d based the story around localities people would recognise. I was also invited onto a podcast that the library runs for the visually impaired. That was great fun going down into the bowels of Huddersfield Town Hall to record it. Although it was nerve wracking, I hate the sound of my own voice.

Of course, there are websites and books which will tell you what you should be doing. However finding the time to read, write and market is proving difficult. If you discover a way of juggling all three, please do let me know!

I’m so thankful for the bloggers and reviewers that have invited me onto their sites, either for guest posts or interviews. These wonderful people are the life blood of the author. I’m about to hold my first blog tour, organised by the amazing Lucy Felthouse. In the last few days I’ve also taken part in an online ‘party’ covering the UK, the US and Australia. That was hard work but great fun. Both the winners of a PDF of Resolutions and a Yorkshire calendar live in America. Hopefully this will lead to some new readers. Yes, I did put some signed book marks in with the calendar!

I’ve learned how to tweet – at least just about! To be honest I’m always looking for new ways in which to promote the book.  I’ve been advised that the work put into promoting this novel goes a long way in helping to promote the next, and the next and so on. 

Whatever your way of trying to market your book, I wish you good luck with it. 

Meanwhile, I’d again like to thank Emma-Louise for giving me this opportunity to be on her blog. Without bloggers like her I’d struggle to know what to do and be well and truly stuck.

Many thanks to all of you who have come along to read my thoughts. It’s been good to meet you here.

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Thank you Carol for your amazing Guest Post. If you want to check out Carol’s books you can do so via the publisher link here.

Carol’s FacebookTwitter and blog can be found on these links.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Author Guest Post: Julie Ryan

Hey! Today I have a Guest Post for you from author Julie Ryan. Today Julie discusses with us 10 things that she wished she had known before she started writing.

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Things I wish I’d known before I started – Julie Ryan

1. If I’d read more about planning and plotting a novel, I might not have had to write my first book twelve times!  Even though I can’t change the way I write, I do now spend more time plotting and less on rewriting.  I’ll always be a bit of a pantser though as I love the surprises.

2. When the writing process starts, everything else will be put on hold. Don’t expect to have clean clothes, cooked meals or be able to find anything. This is a necessary process to facilitate creativity and will last until approximately two weeks after you finish writing. See point 3 below.

3. You never finish writing! I wish I’d known that when you write ‘The End’ it’s just the beginning and the real work of editing and polishing begins. In my case this can take longer than the actual writing of the book.

4. Writing is addictive. Nobody warned me that once you start you can’t stop. My initial goal was to write a short story. The next goal was to turn it into a novel. After that the goal was to self-publish on Amazon. Then one book became a series. Once you go down that path then I think you are compelled to write even if nobody else ever reads a word of it.

5. You will eat your own bodyweight in chocolate.

6. You will become the Queen of procrastination. Jobs that you used to hate such as filling in the tax return suddenly become quite attractive when faced with a major plot hole or writer’s block.

7. You can receive US royalties from Amazon tax- free if you are UK resident/national but you have to fill in a special form. I discovered this after a year of being self-published. 

8. If you are self-pubbed you will need to become a marketing expert as nobody else is going to do it for you unless you can afford a PR assistant. I would never have thought that I would be running several blog sites, be an avid reviewer, network with the mega famous (who I always thought were so out of my league) and have developed a range of skills to be proud of.

9. Prioritise your time. Until I started blogging and building up a network of followers I had no idea how time-consuming it would all be. Admittedly hours on Facebook looking at kittens doesn’t count. Seriously though you need to ‘Work smart, not hard.”

10. I wish I’d known how much I love this passion for writing and wish I’d discovered it years ago. However, I’m enjoying every minute and making up for lost time.

Biography

Julie Ryan’s roots are in a small mining village in South Yorkshire. After a degree in French Language and Literature, wanderlust kicked in and she lived and worked in France, Poland, Thailand and Greece. Her spirit enriched, her imagination fired, Julie started a series of mystery romances, thrillers set in the Greek Isles. 

Jenna’s Journey is the first novel in Julie Ryan’s Greek Islands Series, a series she did not set out to create but which took on its own life and grew, rich and fascinating. This is the first of three published so far and promises to delight readers looking for the hidden dark sides of dream vacations in the Greek Isles.


In a new venture, Julie’s latest book is a short rom-com called Callie’s Christmas Countdown.

A prolific and well-known book review blogger, Julie does her writing and reviewing from rural Gloucestershire, where she lives with her husband, son and dippy cat with half a tail.

You can find Julie on her websites:

Website/blog for book reviews

http://www.allthingsbookie.com/

Blog

http://julieryanbooks.blogspot.co.uk  

on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/julie.ryan.3114

and on Twitter @julieryan18

Buy links

JENNA’S JOURNEY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jennas-Journey-Island-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01GGOCKLK

SOPHIA’S SECRET

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophias-Secret-Greek-Island-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00LFJGCWA

PANDORA’S PROPHECY

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pandoras-Prophecy-Greek-Island-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00V6CWVBW

CALLIE’S CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Callies-Christmas-Countdown-Julie-Ryan-ebook/dp/B0188T7H2I

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Thank you so much Julie for your post. I can relate to  number 5 100% 🙂 

Emma-Louise x