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Showing posts from May, 2014

Writing, the Devil, and Carl Jung - Guest Post by Jessica Smith

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Using the Devil, the Lord of all Evil, as a fictional hero may seem strange to some. How could he be such a thing, right? Instigator of sin and destruction, the ultimate tempter. He fell from grace because of pride, and got the whole of humanity barred from the Garden of Eden. He reigns over sinners in eternal torment, burns them in Hell for eternity. Not such a nice chap, you'd think.

But every story has two sides, every tale multiple perspectives, and I like to believe that even the very darkest of souls contain shades of light within them. Every soul is capable of transformation, at least I hope so, and Lucius Devlin, the Godcorp Devil, is no exception.

When creating Lucius, and the overarching Godcorp storyline, I was inspired by the work of Carl Jung. I'm fascinated by his explorations of the psyche, and the myths and archetypes hidden within our human existence. Jung, and his many peers, have been pioneers in exploring the strange and powerful roles within our unconscious.…

Just Writing a Book isn’t Enough! - Guest Post by Louise Wise

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I’ve been a writer for many years now, and during that time I have learnt a lot about social media—and seen a lot of hapless authors trying to sell their book on the back of it.

The number one no-no is authors not using their name in social media (the name on the book they are promoting), and probably worse is building an entire author platform around a single title. What they do when they release another book? Make another website? Who’s got that amount of time?

Your name (the name on your book) is the SINGLE most important thing when it comes to social media. JK Rowling couldn’t sell The Casual Vacancy until someone let slip that she wrote it, so what does that tell you? If you need it spelling out you’re in the wrong business!

The next is on Twitter (my favourite waste of time) where authors overuse hashtags. Take for instance this:

#animalbooks Stop ur #dog fouling in the house. #animallovers #nonfiction #dogs #animals #canines #booksonanimals Http://not.a.real.link.amazon.com

Like th…

How to set up shop - virtually by Cally Phillips

This post is partnered with my regular blog slot of 4th June in which I’ll look at the ‘whys’ of setting up an online store. For this slot, I’ll confine myself to how to set up an online store for ebooks. Sorry, there are no pictures but that would take me another half hour or so of time I don’t have and if you’re interested enough to read this, I don’t think pictures will do much but distract you. If you’re easily distracted… (see, lost them already!) What it lacks in pictures it makes up for in hyperlinks. Much more useful things.
Let’s start at the very beginning:
The price objection The first thing is, it’s going to cost. While you can set up an online store using a variety of free software, I have not found (and believe me I’ve tried) any way to set up a store which will allow digital downloads without forking over money.
So now we’re looking at cost and ease of use.  I researched this area for a couple of years (during which  time options changed of course) and the best I ca…

Three Ulcers, a Hospital Nightmare and a Reading Fest by Enid Richemont

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Here it is - the cover image of my very scary, but very funny, short chapter book for early readers. The inside illustrations, or at least those I've seen, are delightful. It's not easy to portray a cat in the process of turning into a boy, and Gustavo achieves this splendidly - his cat drawings are so witty.

 Since I last blogged on Authors Electric, I have been very ill, and in hospital, which turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life. I was automatically placed on a geriatric ward where, already frightened by my condition, I was subjected nightly to the disturbing and haunting cries of a very small and rather distinguished-looking, but deeply demented old lady who kept repeating two phrases: "You're amazing", and, "In the mist". Irritation combined with my inevitable writer's curiosity - who was so amazing? and just what was she seeing in the mist? It would have been impossible to engage her in any kind of conversation, so I began…

Real Life "Shades of Grey" - Andrew Crofts

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Their enquiry stood out from the others that came through that day. James emailed that he and his girlfriend, Penny, lived in Switzerland and were looking for a ghostwriter to tell their love story. He warned that it would contain sexual elements that many would find shocking, but that there would be many lessons to be learnt from it.
Dear Mr. Crofts, if possible, I think that meeting up with us, seeing who we are, hearing us out, would not be a waste of time.
He told me they would be in London the following weekend and would be staying at the Dorchester in Park Lane. Curiosity got the better of me. “Fifty Shades of Grey” was selling millions of copies a week and female sexuality was the hot topic of the day. Since I was going to be in Mayfair anyway, interviewing an African leader whose memoir I was just finishing off, I suggested I pop into the Dorchester once I was finished.
The African leader had a busier schedule than expected and finding myself free in the middle of the day I s…

The Evils of Multi-tasking - by Ruby Barnes

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Modern life is complex.
Sometimes I wake up of a morning, usually a Monday, and the birds are singing in the trees. All my projects – be they writing, home or day job – are like ripe fruit ready to be picked. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that life presents.
Other days I wake up with a huge weight on my chest. Each project is like a rock on a medieval torture board, squashing me flat as a suspected witch. I can’t draw breath and one more task will finish me off for good. Those days are thankfully few and are just to be got through in one piece. I can’t even reach up to remove a rock and spend the day just concentrating on breathing, knowing the next day will be better.
I’ve wondered about this phenomenon because the projects on the good days are often the same as those on the bad days. Perhaps the good days are when I have my optimistic head on me and I’m anticipating the rewards of a job well done. On the bad days I’m scared of failure. Failure is a real risk.
Why would a complex…

Running With Wolves - by Susan Price

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Well, it's been available on Amazon's Kindle platform for some time now. But at last, at last, it's available as a paperback book, published by PriceClan. A paperback, that will clatter through your letter box, wrapped up in brown card, and solidly thump onto the mat. Or carpet. Or floorboards, or whatever you have under your letter-box.
I set out to achieve this more than a year ago, when I received lots of emails from teachers, asking where they could buy copies of the book. It's always gone down rather well in schools, when I've read it aloud, and it seems many schools want to use it as a class reader.
          But it was out of print, and second-hand copies were selling on eBay and through Amazon market-place at silly money.
          So I commissioned new illustrations from Andrew Price, and published the book on Kindle, where it's selling rather well.
          But some teachers said they would prefer a paper book - and, of course, there are thous…

Chopping it all down - by Jo Carroll

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This:


is all that remains of my apple tree.

It was, once, impressive. Its blossom hung heavy in the spring. I sat in its shade to read in the summer. It kept my neighbour and I in apples through the autumn.

Then last year it began to look sorry for itself. My tree-man (everyone should have a tree-man - or woman - someone who knows all about trees and shrubs and comes round every now and then to give them a serious talking-to, and sometimes a serious pruning) frowned, broke off a twig or two and said it had a hint of green, leave it, it might recover.

I left it - but, as everything else burst into bloom this spring, my apple tree stayed resolutely bald. It was obviously an ex-apple-tree. It was gone before. Its fruiting days were done. And so it has had to come down.

It wasn't fun, taking it down. It involved a lot of noise and lugging logs up and down the garden and general harrumphing because (to be honest) I loved my apple tree and was sad to see it carted about with such lack …

Between a Block and a Hard Place by Lev Butts

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It's summertime here in the sunny South (and, I guess pretty much everywhere else in the northern hemisphere). My papers are all marked, my grades are turned in, and for the first time since teaching high school, I have three whole months where I don't have to be anywhere (Don't get me wrong, I still have work  to do, but they're all online classes).

Three whole months of limitless opportunity.
You get me, Alice Cooper; you really really do.
At least it seemed so two weeks ago when I locked my office door and drove home. I spent the hour and a half drive meticulously planning how I would get ALL of the writing done this summer. I was going to finish the Lovecraft book I'm editing AND finish the next installment of Guns of the Waste Land. Hell, I'd even try to tap out a little more on the next story in my Ragnarok retelling. Maybe even write a new blog post for my woefully underused personal blog (I've grown so lazy with it, I forgot to even link my last Aut…

Book Cooking by Susan Price

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Since we still don't  have a regular blogger for the 22nd, I thought I'd pop up with a reminder that the authors are still cooking.
Tasty treats and unusual eats from Authors Electric blogging collective! Eating your words, devouring a book, writing and food go together like fiction and chips. Here’s a chance to cook from our books with e-readable recipes, or just get the not-so-skinny on what keeps authors stoked while they scribble: some of it yummy, some of it funny. An ebook to binge or snack on, where the calories are certified virtual. Dig in!
         The idea for the anthology came from seeing bookshops piled high with shiny books by cooks and chefs and more cooks. Hey, that's our space! The Electrics felt we should fight back.          So here's a taster for our writing. It's a book for dipping into, for reading in short bursts on bus or train, a way of trying out a few of Authors Electric's writers before taking a bigger bite.          You wil…

Surfing, Fishing and Foggy Days – by Pauline Chandler

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May 21st 2014    Surfing, Fishing and Foggy Days –  by Pauline Chandler

I’ve been writing this novel for eight years.  I know. It’s a very long time and I can imagine a variety of responses. An agent might say: ‘We need a book a year, at least!’ A publisher will say something similar: ‘We can’t wait.. write something else..move on..’ If you’re not a writer, it might be :‘What’s takingyou so long? How hard can it be? Enid Blyton, Patricia Cornwell, that pink lady, Barbara Cartland, etc, etc …they all wrote at least one book a year, if not more, so why can’t you do that?’ 

I have to tell you that for writers there is nothing worse than a deadline. DEADLINE. Dead line. The line beyond which, if you're not standing there, wild-eyed and breathless, manuscript in hand, you are, or might as well be...er..dead. Such a cruel word. 
A writer might say, ‘Yes.  It happens like that sometimes.’ A writer will understand my problem. You do, don’t you? 
Writing is like surfing.
For a while you po…