Saturday, 26 April 2014

Winner of the Holding Paradise Giveaway

Well the Launch Party has ended but the effects of the champagne and the extra supply by a good friend late last night are still with me.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by here yesterday or supported me on Facebook or Twitter and to the wonderful writer Elizabeth Hein on her blog!

So - just a quick post to announce the winner of the copy of Holding Paradise!

It goes to Showbi and I'll repeat her entry here. I chose it because it was quite touching and heartfelt and maybe a little different to what I was expecting:

Attached are just a few of my photos of an idea of paradise.....I say ‘an idea of paradise’ because what is paradise really?  Yes it’s a beautiful place, a peaceful scene and setting and I’ve captured that in many of my photos during my several travels  to destinations far and wide which I have been very fortunate to do.  But what is one person’s paradise is not another’s and of course vice versa.  This little beautiful lady I met on a lovely beach in Sri Lanka touched me deeply and I still think of her.  She worked hard on this beach everyday with a smile trying to earn a little for her family and granddaughter, whom I met.  I have fond memories of them during the brief few days I was there.  People passed her by, as happens I know in many countries, hurrying to enjoy their own bit of paradise, freedom and relaxation during their hard earned holiday .  And don’t get me wrong - rightly so to enjoy the beautiful tranquillity of an idyllic location and not want to be harassed by ‘sellers’, but this lady didn’t do that.  I approached her and during our conversations I learned of her ideas of paradise.  We also talked of her struggles, fears, hopes and happiness.   During this holiday I also read your lovely book ‘Holding Paradise’ and I was touched and reflected on how along with this dear lady selling her wares for her family’s better future, on a beach in a certain part of paradise, that no matter where you are, around the globe, ‘Paradise’, although it can be a location, it is also the same worldwide deep feeling, no matter where you are,  and holds the strong emotions I felt in your book..........that  of love, deep commitment to family and loved ones, a feeling if you are lucky enough to have you want to keep and hold.

Stop Press:

This weekend the Kindle version of Holding Paradise is reduced in price. Why not download a copy? Here are some links:

Amazon Kindle UK - Click Here
Amazon Kindle US - Click Here 

For the old school who prefer a paperback (but sorry not reduced price) Click Here and Here

Thanks again to Everyone


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Friday, 25 April 2014

Holding Paradise - The Book Launch!

Welcome Everyone and thank you for coming to the on-line book launch for Holding Paradise!

I still haven't gotten tired of saying how excited and how proud I am and my cheeks are sore from all that grinning.

So, now I'll try to relax, pour myself some champagne and make my first announcement.

The winner of the Fiction Addiction Book Tour Cover Reveal question was Pat who answered on The Book Corner on 26th March. Hope you enjoy the book Pat and are able to drop in today!

My second announcement is that for this weekend only the Kindle Version of Holding Paradise is at a knock down price. For a UK Kindle copy please follow this link and for the US Kindle copy please follow this one.
Happy reading and please leave a review if you can.

Now, for your chance to win a free copy of Holding Paradise today:

All you have to do is tell me what your idea of paradise is. You can send a picture, write a poem or short story. Put a link in the comment box so we can all see your entry and comment. Link to your blog, Facebook page or Twitter and I'll check it out.

Here's my idea of paradise

Taken on the island of Dominica, it was my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and I'm with my husband, Pete, in this photo. It was a great holiday and most of the family flew out. Sadly two of our loved ones are no longer with us since then and I've dedicated Holding Paradise to both of them.

So - my party friends, get creative and I'll be catching up with you all - around the world and around the web!!

The winner will be announced after 9pm (GMT) so don't forget to come back and don't forget to drop in all the other guests to say hi!

My first book is finally published Yay!! and Cheers Everyone!

Here are Showbi's lovely photos taken in Sri Lanka

Thank you, Showbi xx

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Friday, 18 April 2014

That Old Devil Called Writer's Block

As some of you may know, I started studying for a Creative Writing MA. There has been a lot of controversy lately about the validity of these courses, with writer, Hanif Kureishi, saying that Creative Writing can't be taught. Confusing since he makes money as a Creative Writing professor at Kingston University. Hmm, well. But I digress.

The main reason for posting today is that I'm testing out whether or not my claims that I have writer's block are valid or not. Can I really use writer's block as an excuse for not completing my coursework assignments for my Creative Writing course?

I've got a serious problem of not knuckling down and finishing the two 6000 word assignments. I'm in a panic because the deadline for handing them both in is looming. 7th May is etched in my brain like an albatross around my neck. I'm seriously panicking here!

I tried to put my inability to function down to the the old writer's block but here I am writing away. So what is wrong with me? I've asked several people and the consensus says that either a) I am tired, or b) I'm stressed by the task or c) both of the above. As 7th May rapidly approaches I'm leaning toward c). But what can I do about it?

How can I get my assignments done in time and with the hope of gaining all A grades? The answer I'm told is easy and within me and only me.

The advice:

1. Get Started
"One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph, and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily."
(Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

2. Grasp those ideas
 "I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that's only the first step. Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats."
(Sue Grafton)

3. Cope when the writing is bad
Maya Angelou
 "What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, 'Okay. Okay. I’ll come.'"
(Maya Angelou)

Stephen Fry4. Set up a routine
 "I have to get into a sort of zone. It has something to do with an inability to concentrate, which is the absolute bottom line of writing."
(Stephen Fry)

5. Just Write!
 "My block was due to two overlapping factors: laziness and lack of discipline."
(Mary Garden)
 "If you are a genius, you'll make your own rules, but if not--and the odds are against it--go to your desk, no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper--write."
(J. B. Priestly)

This is expert opinion. I'll read this over and over again and take action - soon.
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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Author Interview - Yawatta Hosby

It is my pleasure to welcome author Yawatta Hosby to my blog and to thank her for the insightful answers to the questions I put to her today.

What was the thing that influenced you to start writing?

When I was 8, I loved to draw. I always created paper dolls, cutting them out and creating different scenarios for them. After awhile, I thought it would be cool to write dialogue, like a screenplay, for my characters' interactions with one another. From there, I found the love of creating stories. I carried notepads and pencils with me wherever I went.

Tell me your success stories in terms of publishing/self-publishing.

Deciding to self-publish, I knew things would start out slow. I studied the statistics so am pretty realistic in what I could earn and how many readers may actually find my books. I don't think of gaining thousands of sales as the only factor in an author's success. To me, just the fact that I'm vulnerable enough to put my work out there for the world to see is an accomplishment. There was a time when I only wrote for myself, and no one could even take a peek at my rough drafts.

I also think success comes from readers taking the time to leave a book review without the author asking them to. It always puts a smile on my face when I wake up to a surprise review. I'm grateful to any reader who finds my books or my writer's blog.

What are your top writing tips for any aspiring writer?

  • Self-publishing is a marathon, not a race. There’s no guarantee that your books will find an audience unless you learn to market yourself. And even then, it may not amount to anything. Don’t give up. The beauty of self-publishing is that your books are available online forever unless you choose to take them down. Build your platform. Get a following. You may not get noticed until your 4th or 5th book.
  • Just because you start publishing one way doesn’t mean that will be your entire writing career path. For example, if you self-publish, you can try the trade route. If you trade published, you can try self-publishing in genres your agent doesn’t want to work with. Research whatever you decide. Weigh the pros and cons. Then take it from there.
  • Protect your writing time. Non-writers don’t understand the importance of when you’re jotting down things in your notebook or when your eyes are glued on the computer screen. They don’t think that’s working, but it is. You’re creating stories. Or editing. It gets old really fast when someone keeps interrupting you or keeps making plans during your writing schedule, forcing you to choose between them or your writing. Let your friends and family know your writing schedule, so they know when to respect your time. Trust me, they’ll test you. Just stay firm.
What are you working on now?

Right now, I'm working on a suspenseful novella. I just got feedback from all 3 of my beta-readers, so I'm ready to revise, then find an editor. I was considering calling the book Trapped: A Novella, but one of my betas pointed out that the title may be too vague. I'm considering changing the title, so it ties into the story more. It's about an obsessive man willing to do anything to get the family he deserves.

What do you draw on for inspiration?

I love drawing inspiration from music. I can listen to a particular song over and over again when I'm writing a particular scene. I always produce a song list whenever I'm working on a new book. I also get inspiration from real life events and my favorite scenes from TV and movies. I'm a huge couch potato :)

Please tell me anything else you'd like the reader to know about you.

I love reading! I became a book reviewer, so I could find different books I may not have considered before. My favorite genres are thrillers, horror, mystery, and women's fiction. I would have never tried a scary book if it wasn't for my reading challenge. I search for books by my blogging buddies or through Goodreads and other reader/writer forums. I'm a firm believer in authors supporting other authors.

Thank you Yawatta.
And here are some links to Yawatta's books:

One By One  -  On Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords

Something's Amiss  -  On Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords

And to keep up to date with Yawatta, her work and her words then do check out her Website and her Blog

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