Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Being an Author: 2013 in review

With writerly goods, bads, and weirds: 2013.

The Good

I can't really say anything without mentioning that this year Nocturnal Press Publications picked up my debut novel. Yes, that novel I was talking about finishing in last years review will be on the shelves before Christmas. Yep. In the next few days.


With the help of Eden Royce, the completed manuscript was refined and made ready for those who will, to see, and then taken by NPP. Refined further by Eden, who was then working on behalf of the publishing house, it is here. Ready.


Saber Core Art Studio created the perfect cover.

What more can I say?

And then, in the closing few weeks of the year, Redemption, a tale with a long story was taken by Black Bed Sheet Books. Another publication? Wow.



When I started working with author Charles Day, three years ago, we were both wet behind the ears. We wanted, but didn't know how to achieve. We wrote two novellas based on Charles' idea of a young girl who wanted to help wildlife and was taken from the world early. Revenge. Redemption.

Three years. Three years. 

Development takes time. It's a novel now. And it'll be in the stores next year.

Did I mention The Devil's Hand?



Book 1: Crossing Guard and Book 2: Conviction, are both available to buy at Amazon. 2013, the year of self publishing. I'm proud of what I've done, and proud of the people that have worked with me.


The Bad

Okay, I can't not mention this, but I'll take the higher ground.

The Human Condition 2: Human Behavior has been put on hold. I shelved it. With the contractual problems I have experienced with The Human Condition I've sort of lost momentum for it. It's a shame I was half way through writing it.

Small Cuts is still coming though, but in a different form to that I planned.

The Weird

I said last year my writing had changed. That it has. And so it continues to do so. I write different things now, in different ways.

I'm still changing.

I've written dystopian sci-fi,  erotica, horror, bizarro. I've had success.

Me?

My bacon, I mentioned her last year, is more bacon than I can describe. The feelings run deep. All is good. I have a new house, a good job, and a future.

And the writing works. It's working for me, and with me.

I found the secret of loving my characters, rather than hurting them.

The Future

Who knows. Tomorrow never comes. But if next year is as good as this, well...

... it sounds good to me.

Next up is The Devil's Hand book 3: Celestials, and my next novel: Vampire Blue. I'm going to concentrate on the later, I think. (Until next week, when I change my mind)

And I was struggling with grammar - particularly commas - last year. I still am. But I think I'm getting better. Only the Boss will know. First line. Eh?

Friday, 13 December 2013

Interview: Shane S Almond

Today we welcome Shane S Almond, author of The Last Child of Asgard; Delta.


FW: Firstly, could you tell a little about yourself?

SA: Ok, my name is Shane S. Almond, my middle name is Stephen, only people who know me, know that. I am an author of YA Fantasy/Mythology and I am also the Founder and Owner of a publishing house called Nocturnal Press Publications. 

FW: Tell us about The Last Child of Asgard; Delta.

SA: It’s been quoted as being “Harry Potter meets Percy Jackson” and that has stuck really. It’s about a boy called Maximus Turner and he discovers that he is a two-tone god, but he also discovers that because of this, he has a lot of enemies and Delta really, is a way of Max honing his skill and finding his feet, because let’s face it, the hard work is yet come.  

FW: What’s it like running a press and being an author? 

SA: It’s hectic to say the least, but I love every second of it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

FW: What tips can you give new writers?

SA: Never give up! In life if you want something enough then you will make it happen, but you need to make it happen! Also no matter how long it takes, keep at it. Delta in total has taken me 11 years to get right. *laughs, so if it takes a couple of weeks or a couple of years it really doesn’t matter. 

FW: Where do you see yourself going, writing, or publishing?

SA: There are two more books in The Last Child of Asgard series, then I am looking into doing a few Olympus Origins books and as a publisher, I plan on continuing to make this fantastic company with all the amazing people in it, grow and evolve.  

FW: Who is your biggest influence, and why? 

SA: As a writer, I would have to start with the author that got me reading in the first place, J.R. Tolkien.
I also come from a music loving background so I draw a lot of inspiration to a lot of artists such as Michael Jackson, Eminem etc...  

FW: What new works do you have on the go? 

SA: I am halfway through book two in The Last Child of Asgard trilogy called Loki and I am looking to release that next August.  

FW: Anything else you’d like to add? 

SA: You can find me and Nocturnal Press at www.npuniverse.com
http://www.npuniverse.com/authors/shane-s-almond/
http://www.npuniverse.com/books/the-last-child-of-asgard-delta/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shane-S-Almond-OFFICIAL/256346651082304 https://www.facebook.com/NocturnalPressPublicationsLtd
and twitter @nocturnalpress

FW: Thanks for coming in.

About the Author

Shane S. Almond was born at Whipps Cross Hospital, London on Saturday 26th July 1986.

Shane is a young inspiring fantasy novelist who started writing at the tender age of thirteen. At fifteen he started to consider himself as an author and strived to develop his writing skills. Shane has always had a passion for Mythology, he spent his childhood years reading the legends of Hercules, Perseus and Jason and the Argonauts, and always wanted to create his own legends and that was when Maximus Turner was born.

Then he researched other mythologies and started to incorporate the Norse legends into his novel.

On May 8th 2012, his debut novel was completed, but it had to be called back for a re-edit.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Interview: Louisa Mullerworth

Today we have Louisa Mullerworth in the interview seat, author of the forth coming novel Dying to Help.



FW: Firstly, could you tell a little about yourself? 

LM: Well, where to start? I am a published author, and Marketing Advisor. I am very much a family oriented person and love my work because it gives me the freedom to work from home; giving me a perfect Work/Life balance. I always knew this was what I was going to do, don’t ask me why, it was just always on the cards. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write and I spent most of my childhood surrounded by the ‘Sales world’ for better or worse.

FW: Tell us about 'Mistol; A New Beginning'. 

LM: Ahh yes, Mistol was written in 2010 and published in 2011 for a family who tragically lost their daughter (Bannesa Rose Ayers) only days before she turned eighteen. Bannesa had written the original script and her mother had approached me asking if I would re-write and edit it getting a few copies done for the family. I self edited and got a package from a ‘publishing house’ which I don’t think did it justice looking back so in the near future ‘Mistol; A New Beginning’ will be re-released with Nocturnal Press along with the two follow on books which are yet to be written. It is a story about a young girl and her friend who find out about a world that exists within our own. It is filled with mystical and wonderful beings but it is in trouble. And it is down to the young girl and her friend to help bring the world back from destruction. It is Lion, the Witch, And the Wardrobe meets Harry Potter. I loved writing it but it was very difficult as I was working on someone else story.

FW: And what about the forth coming, ‘Dying To Help’? 

LM: Another interesting story behind the story, I started this when I was fifteen... A decade ago now (wow I managed to make myself feel old!) I started the first draft when I was in college hand written and was rarely found without it. The story got its name through a quote from the original draft. In an altercation with ‘The Host’ (the leading opposition) my lead is asked “Oh you are just dying to help aren’t you?” From that point on it stuck. What tips can you give new writers? Never stop honing your talent, and never stop believing you
can do it! There are so many people out there willing to tell you it is a ‘pipe dream’. Well you may not get famous, but that isn’t the true goal; if you work hard enough and long enough it is possible to get published by a legit publisher and get your book out there!

FW: When writing, music or silence? 

LM: Music all the way, when you watch a film it will rarely have the same depth and intrigue without music (one exception that springs to mind is ‘Clover Field’. For me I find I write with more detail and depth when there is music in the room. But it has to be the right music.

FW: At home, or in a coffee shop? 

LM: At home, far less distracting and in a coffee shop I feel like I am on display, what am I trying to prove? For me personally I feel as though writing in a coffee shop (unless I have nowhere else to write) feels like I am trying to prove I am working... An accountant doesn’t sit in a coffee shop and ‘crunch numbers’. It could just be me.

FW: Who is your biggest influence, and why? 

LM: Matthew Riley, Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper. I grew up on Matthew Riley’s book ‘Contest’, I still own a very battered, very dog-eared copy of it. I adore it! Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper where two of the lead writers on StarGate Universe; a superb Sci-Fi program that some love, and others hate. (The best kind by any standard!)

FW: What is in the future for you?

LM: A wonderful life as a working wife; a thriving career as an Author and Marketing Advisor for Authors, as well as lots of good health and very happy and healthy marriage. This is all I want from life.

FW: Anything else you’d like to add?

LM: To get in touch you can find me at the following;

Facebook; www.facebook.com/AuthorLouisaMullerworth
Twitter; @babymull
Blog; http://babymull.wordpress.com/
Nocturnal Press (Marketing Advisor); http://www.npuniverse.com/publishing-services/our-marketing-advisor-louisa-mullerworth/
Nocturnal Press (Author); http://www.npuniverse.com/authors/louisa-mullerworth/
Website; http://lmullerworth.wix.com/louisamullerworth
Email; l.mullerworth@gmail.com

FW: Thanks for coming in.

About the Author



Louisa Mullerworth is an author of Science Fiction/Fantasy. Look out for her Nocturnal Press debut: Dying To Help, which Light Shifts into bookstores worldwide June 2014.
Louisa Mullerworth has been a writer for as long as she can remember; from writing poetry as a young girl to short stories as a teenager. Through college she was rarely found without a folder containing a story she was working on and in 2010 she published for the first time with Mistol; A New Beginning.
It was something Louisa knew from a young age she would be doing and with one book under her belt Louisa wants nothing more than to go onwards and upwards with a second one due to be complete in 2014, a new series of books in her favourite genre ‘Sci Fi’.
But right now she is enjoying this new step in her career; finding a publisher that fitted her, and enjoying life as it comes as well as working on the first in the new series.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Guest Post: Penny Estelle


I can’t tell you how excited I am that my very first ever Christmas story is being released today.  The Unwanted Christmas Guest is a story about Elizabeth McMurphy, an up and coming high powered attorney, who is after vengeance.  Her sights are set on one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.



When one of the worst blizzards in history, hits Colorado and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, she must decide to either take care of him, or throw him out to fend for himself.

Excerpt

“What’s going on here? Where the hell are my pants?”

Elizabeth practically jumped out of her skin. Steve stood in the bedroom doorway, wearing only some tight fitting pink sweats.

“I found you after your car went nose to nose with a tree.” She crossed her arms. “The question is, what were you doing up here in a snowstorm? Were you coming up here to spy on me?”

“Jesus, my head hurts.” Steve groaned and sat at the kitchen table. “And don’t flatter yourself.” He brought up his hands to rub his eyes and push on his temples. He started to say something when a giggle and a round of undistinguishable sounds caught his attention. Steve stared at the little girl, a whisper of a smile on his pale face. “You have a daughter?”

She chose to ignore the question. “Again, Mr. York, you were headed…where?”

“I was going to see some friends in Granby, then on to Steamboat to spend the holidays with my family.”

“You figured on taking a short cut on Badger Springs Road?”

“Basically,” he muttered. “I had a phone in my pants pocket…” Steve looked down at the pink sweats. “Yours, I presume?” At her nod, he asked with a smirk, “And you’re the one that took my clothes off?”

“Junior, my neighbor.”

“If you’ll allow me to use your phone, I’ll call Triple A and get myself and my car out of your life.” He reached over to Katy and she latched onto his finger, the brightest smile ever illuminating her sweet face.

Elizabeth quickly picked her up, as if he would contaminate her by his touch.  “Phones are out.”

“Internet?”

“Nope.”

“How the hell do you live here?” he asked irritably.

* * *

Please find The Unwanted Christmas Guest and my other stories with MuseItUp publishing @


Feel free to stop by and check out my other stories and/or leave me a message.  I love visitors!



www.pennyestelle.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/Pennystales
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5820078.Penny_Estelle
http://www.facebook.com/pennystales

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Contracts

So you're an author. You've written a novel, a short story, an anthology of your own work, heck, even a piece of flash, and you want to sell it. You want to be published. You're going down the route of selling the story yourself. You're agent-less. That extra % is going in your pocket.

THE FAME. GLORY. ALL HAIL THE HYPNO-TOAD.

You've got to sign a contract.

Gotta be done.

Okay... but do you know what you are really getting into?

For those of you that know me and the blog, you'll know I've fallen foul of the signed contract. The Human Condition was signed under a small press. Editing: done, cover art: done, Blurbs (really, really, awesome blurbs at that): done. Then the press falls foul of something that I (the author) have nothing to do with nor know much about, and functionally falls off the face of the planet.

Taking my book with them.

So I look at the contract. There's no get out clause aside from the one in mine that says (and I paraphrase) "we have 5 years to publish this".

Where does that leave me? It's two years later. No book. No contact.

So, I'm not a legal boffin, but here's my advice for what it's worth:

Remember: This is Business.

And by that, I mean you have your reasons to want to be published, and the publisher has theirs. Theirs will be gain. They will publish your book to make money, build a business, gain recognition. Whatever it is, they will not be publishing it because you are friends, nor that they think it should be "out there". It is a business transaction, and no one does business to lose.

What does that mean you ask? If it's not written down, it doesn't exist. I know it sounds callous, but trust no one.

Have someone non-bias to look over the contract.

Ideally someone who is a legal boffin. But I know the financial restrictions of that, so someone you trust who knows something about something. Another writer perhaps? Someone at work?

Make sure you understand it.

"I didn't know" does not stand up.

Don't sign contracts for work that mean something to you with a publisher with little or no track record.

I know, everyone has to start somewhere, but new starters are sometimes non-starters. Look for a track record. Someone that's "going places" may never get there, but someone that's "halfway there" is a better bet.

Not everyone is out to get you and you can ignore this advice most of the time.

Most people have their heart in the right place and will either publish your work or release you from the contract. It's sort of an unwritten agreement between civil human beings. In which case, if the worst happens just ask them to release you from contract. Most people will give you the nod (in writing, of course) and you are free to tout your wares.

And me?

Well, it was hard work, and many people have sweated buckets on it, but those that wished to publish the Human Condition have ignored me and my requests to be released from contract (It has been edited by two professional editors (who did it as a favor to me), I have a string of blurbs from established authors who I'm sure have better things to do than to read my book just to give a one line sales pitch to me, and the cover art work is my desktop background and not much else.)

I'm seeking legal advice now.

*On a side note my debut novel Shutter Speed is coming out at the end of this month and Redemption a novel I co-wrote with author Charles Day is coming out next year.

When it all goes wrong, keep at it.

And worst case scenario? 2016 isn't that far away....



Sunday, 1 December 2013

Interview: Hayley Barlow

Today, Filingwords is happy to have with us Hayley Barlow, author of Lust or Love.



FW: Firstly, could you tell a little about yourself?

I would like to introduce myself to you all; I am a thirty-two year old and mum to a wonderful eight year old girl. I am a massive bookworm; I love to read anything so long as it has a gripping plot. Although new to the writing scene I also run my own small business in massage and holistic therapies which I started in April of 2013.

FW: Tell us about your forthcoming novel, Lust or Love.

Lust or Love is for 18’s and over only due to some swearing and sexual content. It isn’t your typical ‘happily ever after’ story; no rock stars, cowboys or rich guys sweeping you off your feet... This is an everyman romance.
What do you do when the one who completely wrong for you keeps coming back into your life? Single mother Heather is turning thirty and can’t help but evaluate her life. The book is set in a small town in Yorkshire, England in 2011. You will look back into Heathers past and follow her into the present.
For six years Heather has been torn between her feelings for the destructive Kian and the harsh truth that they probably won’t ever be together. For more than six years life has taken them in different directions; however Heather can never seem to get Kian out of her mind, and at the most unexpected points in her life Kian has a habit of reappearing. If it isn’t really love than is the lust worth the pain? Or can Heather let Kian go for good?

FW: What was it like to complete your first novel?

It was very surreal to be honest; I don’t think it has sunk in yet that I have actually written a novel. Also really scary because now it is getting closer to the publishing date I am worried people aren’t going to like it, or no one will buy it. On the other hand it is exciting because it is a huge achievement so a real mix of emotions I feel constantly.

FW: What tips can you give new writers?

Please do not give up on your dreams, don’t ever doubt yourself or let someone tell you, you can’t do it. Also there are lots of book chat groups on Facebook which are a great way to find like-minded people; it is also a great way to advertise your work. Create a blog and author page; let people follow you on your journey. The support you can receive is amazing and it is another great way to build interest in your writing.

FW: Who is your biggest influence, and why?

I don’t just have one; so many authors have inspired me; if I have to choose just one I think it would be E. L. James. I have seen lots of interviews she did and she seems so real and honest. I bet she never thought Fifty Shades Of Grey would ever get as big as it has done. I was truly inspired by the fact that she is just a normal housewife who followed through with an idea and kept going with her dreams.

FW: What do you think of self-publishing, as opposed to traditional publishing?

I was all set to self-publish as it did seem like the best route; it is hard work though with editing and formatting especially if you have never done it before. But you certainly can’t knock it; there has been so many to do it and be very successful at it. Before I was picked up by Nocturnal Press it seemed like the best way for me to get my work out there and seen. However there has been a spike in bad press about self-publishing of late. Authors having their work taking off sites and a lot of talk of taking down self-publishing programs which must be heart-breaking for those who had put all that hard work, time, passion and money into something to have it simply disappear! I was uncertain what to do as I thought you had to give publishing companies a lot of money before they would publish you, and it seemed almost pointless with the amount of rejections authors seem to go through. I didn’t think I would be able to handle that. I have been very lucky to find and be signed by Nocturnal Press Publications; so I am very excited that my work will soon be published. And I was wrong about all publishers; not all of them want money off you up front, thank goodness! But I will say like anything there are good and bad points to either route of publishing.

FW: What new works do you have on the go?

I have got a few ideas for my next novel; however I haven’t decided which I will be writing just yet. For now I am focussed on getting Lust or Love out and getting Christmas out of the way. By new year I should be starting my next book.

FW: Anything else you’d like to add?

Lust or Love is due out on the 15th of January 2014; for more information I have a few ways you can find me or get in touch, either through Facebook or my blog. Also there are some links for Nocturnal Press should anyone want to find out about the other authors or get in touch with NPP.



FW: Thanks for coming in.