Since I've had a huge number of unsubscribes from my posts while I've been covering Series 2 of Broadchurch, I've decided I will publish the final three episodes as web pages instead of through the blog. That way they should no longer flood everyone's inbox, but anyone interested can call this post up and follow the links that will appear once I've completed the reviews.
My teen science-fantasy novel Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin has been published on Kindle, and will be available in print later in the month.
Just for fun, and a leap out of my comfort zone, I made a video of me reading an extract from "Maddie". Enjoy.
Rise of the Machines : Human Authors in a Digital World is the latest book by social networking expert Kristen Lamb. If you are familiar with Kristen Lamb's blog, you will recognise some of her wisdom and advice in this book, which acts as a consolidation of her tips on the social networking approach to marketing and promoting your author platform. Purchasing her book is a great way to thank her for the extensive advice she provides for free and to have all the best of her information in one place in an easy-to-read, follow, and implement guide.
Rise of the Machines covers much of what is still pertinent in Ms. Lamb's previous books on social networking and blogging (We Are Not Alone : The Writer's Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It's Me, Writer) plus contains new information and research, a healthy dose of history, and a serving of philosophy, all delivered with Kristen Lamb's tongue-in-cheek sense of humour and highly-readable narrative style honed through her dedication to posting on her blog five times per week for several years. In fact, she suggests such a rigorous blogging schedule as a training ground for developing a professional pace that will enable a writer to keep up with, and perhaps exceed, reader expectations of a minimum of one book per year.
Being yourself is key to using social media to develop a platform, and Kristen Lamb is sincere and genuine, warm and funny, and well worth spending some time with.
The following post is sponsored by Grammarly. I also ran this post through their grammar check just for fun, because I knew it would trip over my grammar blunder examples. I’m wicked that way! See my results below.
Writing has become more conversational than ever before thanks to blogging and social media. But does this mean grammatical standards should be tossed out the window completely with the defence of “I write like I speak”? It pays to be aware of how your conversational style is perceived internationally. Are these quirky variances tripping you up?
Using Different as a Comparison
“Different [than]” instead of “Different to”
Comparisons involve three “steps”:
good, better, best
happy, happier, happiest
...whereas a judgement, statement, or opinion is specific to a single option:
My teen science-fantasy book, Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin, will be out later in the year - at this stage I anticipate September or October. This is a very first sketch for the cover illustration by the talented Sandra Salsbury.
Here is the blurb for the book:
Be careful what you wish for.
When Madison Lane is given a magic wand, she wishes for the thing she wants the most – or so she thinks. As she tries to reverse the consequences of her wish she is pulled into another world and a quest to compensate for using the Wand of Rasputin. It is there that she discovers the real, terrifying cost of making a wish. And how impossible it is to control her own thoughts. One more wish and she loses everyone and everything she loves.
And now someone else is after the wand. Someone who will stop at nothing to get it. Someone with an unfair advantage.
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Beyond the murk
The ire of dragon long impaled on wretched lance
Encircled in a bitter trial.
Sacred heart and evil dance
And hemlock burns in desperate pale
Beyond and through the cries of night
Bewitched and thrice behove of light
Briton’s daughter-earth beyond
Fearless echo of their heart.
It was a day for dancing, Eloise thought. A week of rain and now weak sunlight trickled through the dissolving clouds and everything sparkled. But she had vowed never to dance again.
She looked down at her purple fairy gumboots as she squelched through the muddy grass. What a wonderful sound they made. Not as nice as the clack, clack sound Trina was making on the pathway. Eloise turned her head and grinned at her sister.
“I wish there was some way to tell them apart,” the lady at the grocer’s had once said to their mother. That was before the accident, of course. Now they were The Normal One and The One in the Wheelchair.
But today Trina had legs. Shiny metal legs that went clack, clack on the pathway. Faster and faster she went until Eloise could feel joy-thrill-wonder-relief coming from her the way she could sometimes feel a tiny bit of the worst of her pain. The clack, clack was the beat of a song, now. Eloise stepped onto the pathway and took her sister’s hands.
And they danced.
This story was written for all the paralympic athletes and others who inspire by overcoming the difficulties they face, and was prompted by this gorgeous photo of Cody McCasland and his carbon blades.
Photo credit: Dancing Children by Valerie Everett
This book stumped me for a while in the search for its theme. Almost unbelievably, it was staring me right in the face. I had to change two characters to find it, but the wealth of additional subtext that opened up was so worth the extra work. It forms part of one of the book's twists, so I don't want to reveal too much, but the main theme is "taking responsibility for what you create" - very apt for me right now, on many levels from my writing to raising my children. Last year was a hard one, parenting-wise, and my son and I need to do some revision on our relationship this year, too.
My daughter is nearly a year old, and has been walking for a month, and, thus, our motherbaby dyad is slowly coming to an end. Because of her reflux and the distress that lying horizontally has caused her, we have spent the year quite literally attached. This is how I managed to get all my editing done this year:
Hustle is a British TV show about a group of likeable con artists and the elaborate confidence tricks they pull. In addition to having criminals as the protagonists, the show also breaks other storytelling rules (like “never cheat your reader”) to great effect. Here are some ideas you could borrow to up the ante in your own stories.
Cast of Hustle - Robert Glenister, Kelly Adams, Adrian Lester, Robert Vaughn, Jaime Murray, Matt Di Angelo
1. The Loveable Rogue Protagonist
The first risk Hustle takes is that of the lawbreaking hero.