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Showing posts from April, 2014

Why Female? Guest Post by Eric Tomlinson

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Why do female heroes intrigue me?

Like many Lord of the Rings aficionados, I think Peter Jackson’s greatest travesty was swapping Glorfindel’s role in Frodo’s rescue to Arwen??? (Yes indeed, a full three question marks of horrification.) I’m not sure if the offence was downgrading the greatest living elven warrior to a mincing monosyllabic snob, or the clumsy attempt to hammer character into the vaguely drawn princess.

As a fantasy-reading British male, raised on a diet of dragons, elves and dwarves (Tolkien spelling,) I should only consider women as the romantic interest to hang on the arm of the real hero. The fact is that for me, strong women make great central characters. 

It’s a long time since the first female hero slapped me into paying attention - Cirocco Jones from John Varley’s Titan, Wizard, Demon series. Bi-sexual, Rocky staggered from substance abuse to demi-godhood. Starting life as the child of a rape victim, she’s described as hawk-nosed, wiry haired and standing over six…

Authors Electric How To Day – DropBox – How to load books and documents on your Kindle fire using DropBox – Chris Longmuir

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Normally to sideload a book or document to your Kindle Fire it would be done by connecting the Fire to your computer and copying the appropriate file into your Kindle Fire. I am going to show you an easier way to do it using DropBox.

Installing DropBox First you have to install DropBox onto your Kindle Fire, and this is quite easy to do.
1. From the Kindle Fire’s main screen place your finger at the top of the screen and swipe downwards. This will reveal your settings. 2. Tap “More” and from the list of settings tap “Device”. 3. Where it says “Allow Installation of Applications” toggle it to “On” – the default is “Off”. When it is “On” it allows you to download Apps other than Amazon ones. 4. After you have done this go back to the “Home” page and click on “Web”. This will open your browser. 5. In the search box type http://www.dropbox.com/android. This will open the download page for “Dropbox for Android”. 6. Once it’s downloaded you will see a box with “Dropbox for Android” at the t…

SPIDERS (and books) by Enid Richemont

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I've recently been sent the first cover image of my newest little book with Franklin Watts. ARABELLA'S WEB is the story of a spider trying to build a web in all kinds of unsuitable places, and who finally gets it right. The inspiration for this came, as always, from things observed - late September spiders in my garden starting their webs in places where they'd inevitably be destroyed, and then, suddenly, one morning, I was looking at bushes draped in silver - like frost or a Christmas tree - and there they all were (not much fun for passing flies, though). I'm not sure about the Hollywood eyelashes, but the composition's nice.

At present, I've been re-reading Jeanette Winterson's 'WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL?' As with all good writing, there's always more to discover, and what an amazing question posed by Jeanette's extraordinary and terrifying adoptive mother. On the surface, the question's almost a joke - of course we would o…

Ghostwriter as Birthday Gift - Andrew Crofts

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“Are you doing anything next weekend?”
I’d pulled the car over to take the call and was having trouble hearing my client’s voice above the rushing traffic.
“No,” I said, “I don’t think so.”
“It’s my father’s seventieth birthday and my mother’s throwing him a party in Dubai. He’s always saying one day he’ll write a book and we thought we would give him a ghostwriter as a surprise birthday present.”
“Jumping out of the cake you mean, like Marilyn Monroe in front of President Kennedy?” I joked.
“We can work out the details once you are there,” he replied, obviously not ruling out the cake-jumping possibility. “I’ll email you with the arrangements.”
The email was already waiting in my in-box by the time I got home. My client was a wealthy businessman in his own right, based in London. His family was one of the richest and most powerful in Asia and his father was now the head of the large, extended dynasty. I guess it was a bit of a challenge to think what to give a man like that for hi…

Foundations of a Millennium by Ruby Barnes

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The other weekend we (my ten-year-old son and I) climbed up the round tower of St Canice's Cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland. We had different objectives in mind. His was to view the city streets from above and check out the accuracy of the maps he has been drawing since last summer. Mine was to collect a periodical reminder that I don't like heights and climbing ancient towers.

Here's the mandatory tourist stuff - estimated mid-9th century construction, 100 feet 30 metres high, built as a place of refuge during Viking raids, one of only two round towers in the country open to the public to climb.

Rapunzel springs to mind when I think of this tower and the nearby one at the Rock of Cashel (which Rapunzel may still live in, who knows, it isn't accessible to the public).


When we returned home we read the photocopied leaflet from St Canice's. The foundations of that 100 foot tower are ... two feet deep. Originally built on top of fresh graves, the tower has stood for a …

Tracking the Wolf's Footprint by Susan Price

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The other day the Mighty Zon delivered the proof copy of the first actual, physical, self-published paper book of mine that I've done. Here it is: The Wolf's Footprint.