Category: Creative Review Members


People!

After much tweakage and work, the cover for the ODS paperback is ready to be unveiled!

The grand reveal will be in two weeks’ time on the weekend of 30th June, and with a bit of luck I’ll have some guest blog spots and maybe the odd freebie to tempt you…

So watch this space while I get back to the final proofing before the text is sent off to be formatted. Paperback here we come! Rah!

JAC

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Hey all;

The party’s down a Cambria’s FB page here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138?ref=ts

where to celebrate the release of Charade, sequel to Maskerade, much fun is to be had!

Head on down there for all sorts of goss, prizes and no doubt the odd toilet snake…

And here’s hoping it goes with a swing! See you there, perhaps….

JAC

Hey all –

I have a really quick question for readers. The first post on this thread explains it and if you have a moment to just let me know your opinion I’d really appreciate it.

Post is here on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/897572-quick-yes-no-question-for-readers-please

and if you’re not a member, do leave your answer here as a comment or mail me on

jaclement [dot] ondarkshores [at] gmail [dot] com.

All feedback greatly appreciated!

Thanks guys:

JAC

To celebrate the release of On Dark Shores 2, the ebook of the first novella (ODS: The Lady) is free this week on Amazon.com (UK to follow) Smashers etc

Amazon.com link here: http://ow.ly/aVPn0
Help yourselves!!

If you feel inclined to pass the word onto others, that would be fab – and in the meantime, you should see the cover for the paperback in its lates incarnation! Watch this space….

<excited>
JAC

Hey everyone:

For those of you who have read Book 1, Book 2 of the On Dark Shores series is out!

Here is the blurb:

“Nereia is faced by a frightening choice. Copeland is getting dangerously unpredictable; and in the blind darkness of the sea-caves under the cliff, Blakey is about to make the acquaintance of the Archangel…

Sequel to On Dark Shores 1: The Lady and second in the dark fantasy series, this novella is gritty and gripping with a rich tapestry of characters and darkly evocative setting. Contains violence and drug-use.

The story will be followed later in the year by On Dark Shores 3: The Mother.”

It’s available on Smashwords as well as Amazon – US and UK and should make its way through to Apple, Nook, Kobo and the rest in the next week or so.

Anyone who wants it, head on over to whichever of those places sells the file you need – and if you’d consider leaving a review, whether you like or hate it, I’d really appreciate it, as reviews sell books!

I’m not going to do the whole publicity thing for this one as – next bit of gossip approaching – at the moment I’m working on the paperback.

Because Books 1&2 are only 40k words apiece, they’re too short for individual paperbacks. (From Book 3 onwards this will not be the case though!). What I’m going to do is put BOTH of the first two novellas together into the first paperback, and just call it “On Dark Shores” without the subtitles.

Probably this will cause a certain amount of confusion but I don’t think that can be helped, unfortunately.

Anyhow, the cover’s being put together by none other than the highly talented (and infinitely patient!) Regina Wamba of Mae I designs, and you should see it!! Well, you will see it soon enough, but it’s going to be FAB! Check out her portfolio here – and bear in mind that a couple of designs there are for sale… Must admit there are several there that made me go “WOW!” and I only wish that I could think of a story for the one with the blue ravens – love that one!

Rambling aside, what this means is that I’m going to need a big publicity push for the  paperback and I don’t want to get unduly spamtastic as that can be very tedious. That being the case, I’m not specially going to  publicise The Other Nereia per se, as I figure anyone who’s read On Dark Shores: The Lady already has all the relevant links in the back of the book to find it and anyone who hasn’t read either would probably do better to get the omnibus anyhow.

Which means that in effect, you faithful regulars are pretty much getting a sneak preview…

So, if you do enjoy it, tell anyone who’s read the first one – and if you don’t, tell me! And if you’re not inclined to read it at all, then go look at Regina’s site and enjoy the pretty pics, because she has some properly stonking ones up there…

Back to it! Bk 2 to format for paperback, bk 3 to finish and a couple of so-called “shorts” for the Parallels series to be getting on with in the meantime.

Catch you later, peeps:

JAC

Hey all –

Just a real quickie as it’s some godawful time in the morning and I’m only up due to an ongoing bout of insomnia. Guess what I’ve been working on while I can’t sleep, these past few weeks?

No less than the final, final edits of Book 2. It’s been through two separate editors, it’s been formatted (for the most part) and is being beta’ed as we speak! And all I need now is a good chunk of time to get the damn toc.ncx working (took SIX attempts for book 1, you know!) and I’m good to upload.

Also, looking for advance reviewers so if I haven’t already contacted you and you’d like to review it, do give me a shout.

While we’re on the subject, I should warn you, it’s not the book you’re expecting (quite literally!).

At the end of Book 1 there was a sneak preview of the book that was to have followed, which was The Mother and dealt with the attempt to smuggle the Mother of the Shantar people out of her own land and across to Mardon City, heartland of the nation with whom her people were at war ten years previously.

However, feedback on Book 1 was that it was too short, and that you were all desperate to know what happened to Nereia before cutting to the other plot strand.So, a certain amount of rewriting later, I’ve swapped round some parts of the story to make it fall into more novel-sized chunks.

So: Book 1 of On Dark Shores, which is The Lady will be followed by (new) Book 2 – The Other Nereia. This is another novella, about 40k words in length. This will be released separately for all you who have the first book already, but also as an “omnibus” edition comprising 1&2 together, and this is the edition which should appear in paperback later in the year. (I’m just talking to someone about the cover now, which is very exciting).

Lastly, The Mother will now be Book 3.  Quite a lot of it is already written – the first 90k words or so – and there’s more story to come to even when you consider that I lose about 10k words of every 50k in the editing, that should still be a full-length novel (though don’t ask me when it’s likely to be released!).

And after that?

Well, there’s a good two books already planned out, and another two or three places they’ll be going after those, so it’s not going to be the shortest series you ever came across.

Should be fun going along for the ride though….

Anyhow, I must go as it’s way past 5am and I have to get to work; but just so you know, it shouldn’t be more than a week or so getting ODS2 onto Amazon (a bit longer in some of the other outlets maybe) so –

Watch this space!!

JAC

 

Dear all –

First an apology – this should have gone up last night but my computer is still having the occasional temper tantrum, and so I am a day later. But better late than never, esp in this case where our guest is none other than Prue Batten, who will be telling us about her new book Gisborne; Book of Pawns.

I asked Prue for a biog, and this is what she sent me;

“The best way to describe myself would be to use a quote written         about me by Mark Williams on a blog  (http://markwilliamsinternational.com/) in 2011. Since then, Mark has become my UK digital publisher through his highly successful  publishing house: MWiDP.

Here are his tongue-in-cheek words: ‘She lives in Tasmania, has a pet Tasmanian Devil called Gisborne, eats kangaroos’ testicles, has the most ridiculous one-star ever awarded on Amazon, and wrote a novel on Twitter…’

Believe it or not, most of it is true. My husband and I do own a farm so we have lots of kangaroos around, but the testicles? NEVER! As to the Tasmanian Devil? Not really the right sort of animal to cosy up to; besides, as reported in the Huffington Post, http://huff.to/f3zxSd the Devils are suffering the ravaging effects of a disease that is bringing them to the edge of extinction.

I do have a one star rating on Amazon… a woman bought my first book thinking it was an embroidery book, despite the blurb, and then gave ME a one star despite HER mistake.

And yes, myself and 50 others wrote a Jane Austen style novel on Twitter, [(#A4T) http://www.austenproject.com] which was mentioned by The Times (UK) no less as it took off in 2011.

Me in a nutshell!”

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That is indeed a corking biog! So without further ado, let me hand you over to Prue, and let’s find out a bit more about her take on one of the characters from the UK’s favourite folk-legend, and just what he looks like! JAC

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How many of you might have watched the BBC’s version of Robin Hood?

Being a lover of all things historical, both dramatic and less so, I did and I was honestly charmed by the in-jokes, the modern turn of phrase, the olde costumes with an edge and the slightly left field storylines.

In Series Two I began to hear a rather lovely male voice, one I hadn’t noticed in the first series – fans since have called it velvet, although how a voice can be velvet I don’t know… perhaps it’s the feel that tickles your spine as you hear the tone. At any rate, I was sewing at the time, and I remember looking up to see whose was the voice. It appeared to be an actor called Richard Armitage and whom I subsequently found out had an Army named after him and a global legion of fans devoted to him!

And so my affaire with Guy of Gisborne was conceived.

At the end of Series Three, I went to an online site called www.wattpad.com only to find that many fans were re-writing the series in flash-fiction form. And as I washed the floors one day, I began to imagine what Guy of Gisborne might have been without Robin Hood, without the Sheriff of Nottingham. And heresy… without Maid Marian!

Thus Gisborne the novel began – far from the traditional trope.

I began detailed research into the twelfth century, structuring the story as pure historical fiction. (I have an innate love of the hist.fict novel, stirred and fanned in the first instance by the inimitable Rosemary Sutcliffe from my childhood).

Eighteen months later I have finished writing the first in the series. I say ‘series’ advisedly because whilst there is definitely to be Volume Two, I think there could even be Volume Three… but of course my plots take me on strange journeys and Vol 2 may be the conclusion.

Gisborne, my protagonist, is based very loosely on his dopplegänger Armitage, or at least how Armitage portrayed the man… the tall, dark, embittered knight who abhors life.

So what is it that makes this man so raw?

Ah… well that’d be telling, wouldn’t it?

A postscript: The idea for a second volume came from a short story called Gisborne that I wrote for a miniature book press in America (www.bopressminiaturebooks.com) in 2011. The tiny bespoke book led me on such a journey, sold and is selling well, so that the publisher and myself sent one to the man who inspired it. We received a kind letter back, sent from his UK home in Leicestershire, whilst on a break from filming The Hobbit in New Zealand.

The short story prompted me to think hard on the ending for Vol 1 and to see that changed and manipulated, it might lead Gisborne down another even more convoluted road. Thus Volume Two is on its way!

Buy it from Amazon US and Amazon UK

The novel will be available for all other readers (eg: Nook, Kobo, i-Pad etc) by the beginning of March. It will be available in print with all online distributors in May.

Useful links:

Website: http://www.pruebatten.com

Blog: http://www.mesmered.wordpress.com

Twitter: @pruebatten

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Prue.Batten.writer

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So there you have it, guys, and many thanks to Prue for that little slice of gossip!

If you’re curious about Richard Armitage, here’s the link to his IMDB page and if you’re curious about Prue, please do go and check out her blog – sounds as if the next part of the story will be out soon, and you’ll get the news first that way!

Have a good weekend all – for the next couple of weeks I am having a push on the editing so please do check back here, but if posting is a bit sporadic it should only be for the next month or two while I concentrate on getting Book 2 out into the open.

Catch you later, peeps!

JAC

Dear all;
Today we have a guestpost and giveaway by the lovely Splitter, author of The Reluctant and it’s sequel The Willing. At the end will be a giveaway – a free copy of each and all you need to do to enter is comment with your worst joke or most embarrassing moment!

Alas at the mo my computer is offline & am having to upload this from my phone so apologies if the formatting is all shonky- I’ll sort that out later.

So here are Splitter’s books on Amazon (check out those reviews!) and will leave you with him!
JAC

Splitter’s page on Amazon.co.uk

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And Now for Something Completely Different: The US vs. the U.K.

No, I am not trying to rekindle unpleasantness that was settled more than 200 years ago. This post is about two countries separated by a common language who share completely different cultures.

Living in the US, we are somewhat insulated from the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, our largest export just might be our culture (for good or ill). Our television shows, movies, music, and books, end up all over the world. Most of us don’t take a lot of notice of things made elsewhere.

I guess I am a bit different because I have been a fan of British television since I was a kid. Dr. Who anyone? I, Claudius? I even watched soccer (sorry, I know that is a bad term over there but we have our own version of “football” and we get confused) and became a Manchester fan. We only got these movies and programs through our state’s public television stations and they were sandwiched between really worthless programming. But I loved them even though I did not always understand them.

Now, with the advent of satellites and cable, we are exposed to far more entertainment from around the world. Recently, my wife and I found BBC America on our cable system. They even show some old American shows that I still love like Star Trek the Next Generation.

But the most wonderful thing about BBC America is the programming that comes from Britain. Yes, they blur the naughty bits when there is nudity and bleep language too foul for our American ears (drives me nuts!), but the shows are outstanding!

We have a long history of stealing the best British TV shows and Americanizing them. “All in the Family” was a great old example and these days, we have “Being Human” among others. The thing is, there is nothing like the original.

In the newer British shows, I have been tremendously impressed with the writing and acting. I have favorite American TV shows too, but Hollywood turns out more trash than treasure by a wide margin. Britain seems to hit the nail on the head far more often.

Just some examples:

Luther: Who knew Stringer Bell had that accent? This show is spooky and deep with very conflicted characters. But our question is: Where are all the people? Luther is always running around an empty city. What gives? And maybe you should consider giving your police guns because Luther gets beat up a lot…by criminals with guns.

Torchwood: Ahhhh, a secondary character that should have been killed becomes a star. That’s ok, I like that woman. Great stories, but do you all really have such a problem with aliens? Why have we not heard anything about this? Seems like all of the police over there know about it. Your people are obviously better at keeping secrets than our people.

Bedlam: Now we are talking! All the actresses are super hot. My wife says the main guy is too…but she is married to me so if you question her taste, I understand. Insane Asylum turned condominium complex = win.

Fades: Maybe my favorite. Again, I find it hard to believe that so many people are dying and no one notices, but I am willing to suspend disbelief. I write fiction so I understand the need to play with reality a bit for the story. GREAT characters. I especially like the friend who is obsessed with women and Mork and Mindy. Really, though, my British friends….do all of your young men walk around in the same pink pants every day?

I had to make a stop on my blogtour here on JAC’s (that what I call her) blog because she has been such a supporter and is a talented writer in her own right. I am not sure that there is a large international market for my books because they are rather “American” in setting and language. My writing is also rather American and JAC and I have discussed the differences in styles before. So I am not sure you all will like them, but I did want you to know that some of us do appreciate what you have to offer. Maybe my books can be one of the things we export that the rest of the world might actually appreciate.

Eh, who am I kidding.

By the way, sorry for that whole “late to WWII” thing. And thanks for the Beatles. We do hope you are enjoying McDonalds, though.

I know…you all might have gotten the better end of the deal with the whole colony thing.

Splitter
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so peeps- to get your free copies of Splitter’s very entertaining books, all you need to do to enter is comment with your worst joke or most embarrassing moment!

We will post the winner over the weekend, and you may have the ebook in whatever format you specify.

Thanks for dropping by, all – now, enter below!
JAC

Hey all:

This week’s guest post is by another alumni of Creative Reviews, no less than Beth Ann Masarik. She has recently brought out Prince of Darkness, part of her trilogy The World Among Us. So all you fantasy  / romance fans, take a look at her interview below and be aware that she’s going to do a giveaway- there will be a couple of great prizes, all to be had for a simple comment below.

I leave you in Beth’s capable hands!

JAC

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Name: Beth Ann Masarik

Author of: The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness

Genre/s: Young Adult/Fantasy (Urban Fantasy)

P- or e-book: All formats…paperback, hardcover, and e-book

Available from:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords & Otherworld Publications

One-sentence summary: The World Among Us is a Young Adult/Fantasy Trilogy that has plenty of Greek Mythology & Vampire lore, and of course, forbidden love.

  One-sentence biog: I love to write, read and    role play.

 Links to your Blog / Twitter / FB / other:

The World Among Us Fanpage,

My Author fanpage

 Twitter accounts:

@theworldamongus &

@literarylunes

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When you write, do you have a routine or habit?

I usually like to write in my bed, with my pajamas on, and the music blasting in the background. I usually listen to something fast beat.  This is going to sound weird, but I like to try to write to the beat of the music. Does anyone else do that?  I also usually have either a glass of Pepsi or mom’s homemade iced tea & a bag of chips with me when I write.

What kicks off the book – a character, a situation, a plot-point? 

Usually a situation is what kicks off my books.

Do you plan the plot or follow it as it unfolds? How much do you know in advance? 

I usually do very little planning.  I like to have set goals or situations that have to happen in each book I write.  Otherwise, I usually just let my characters write the books, and I dictate.  Sometimes, however, my characters tend to sidetrack, and I have to get them back on track and plot a little bit.

Do you write character notes or background information?

Yes!  That is mostly what I plot. It’s how I get to know my characters.

Do you do research and how?

It depends on the topic I am writing about, but yes, I do research.  I usually browse the internet for said topic, and keep looking until I find whatever it is I am looking for.

Do your characters do as you intend or do they tend to run away with the plot? 

My main characters are generally good with doing what I want them to. However, once in a while they tend to get off track.

Do you have clear visuals of places or characters? 

Most of the time, yes I do.  It’s getting that vision into words that’s the problem sometimes.

When you have writer’s block, what do you do? 

When I have writer’s block, I usually put the book down for however long I need to, and read.  I usually read books in the genre I write in, and after a while, something I read or see in real life will spark an idea. I find that going to church is actually a good place to get inspiration from.  I often find myself zoning out of the homily’s after the gospel during mass, and entering the thoughts of my characters.  It’s a nice escape I have to say (especially if the sermon is really boring lol)

What made you decide to write this story? 

I’ve always been into the fantasy world, and love vampires and witches (not so much werewolves).  It was one of those stories that once I got the idea for it, it just HAD to be written.

What element did you start with and how did it develop? 

I started out with knowing the last ¼ of The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness, and developed the story around it.  It sounds complicated, and I guess you could say I kind of wrote the book backwards, but it developed nicely (I think).

Did anything change substantially along the way?

Sometimes something that started as a detail suddenly becomes a plot point. Have you had that happen and what was it (if it would not be a spoiler to say)?  I am sure that I have, but to be honest, I can’t remember a specific detail.  (there are just too many).

Do you have a favorite character or place? 

I hate being asked about my favorite character lol. It’s like being asked if you have a favorite child.  I love them all.  In terms of a favorite place, I would have to say Mount Olympus.  You don’t get to visit it much in Prince of Darkness, but you will get to see why it’s my favorite in Stormy Nights.

Are any of your characters / places / situations based on real life? 

Some of the places are loosely based off of places that I frequently visit in real life.  IE, Holly Oak University is based off the college I went to, and Port Washington is a real town in NY.  It’s in Nassau County, Long Island.

What are your views on self-publishing? 

If you have what it takes, go for it!  I self-publish my magazine called Literary Lunes (www.literarylunes.com), so I know that it’s a lot of hard work, and can be very frustrating if you don’t know what you are doing.  BUT if you have the time and patience, then by all means, all the more power to you!

What are your views on e-books?

I think e-books are great and convenient for traveling, but, I still prefer to hold the actual book in my hand.

Do you have / are you considering getting an e-reader?

I actually just received an e-reader for Christmas from my fiancé.  I received the Nook Color J.

Did you have your cover made /  work edited / proofed by someone else?

My cover was designed by someone that Otherworld hired.  James from JE Ellis Design designed it.

What do you do to market your book? 

I talk about it all the time on facebook, twitter etc. I have a fanpage on facebook (www.facebook.com/theworldamongus), and my twitter handle is also the title of my book @theworldamongus.  This way, whenever someone sees the name, they are always thinking or talking about my book (even when they don’t realize it!)

Are you on any social media? Which do you prefer? 

I am on too many social media websites. I am on so many, that I can barely keep up with them all.  I personally prefer facebook & twitter as opposed to myspace, however.

What has proved your most successful marketing method so far? 

Networking sites such as facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.  They are MUST HAVES, especially for new authors.  Blogging is also proving to be successful as well.

Have you read and enjoyed any other indie authors? Who / what book? 

I’m honestly only just starting with reading some Indie authors, and the one that I just read was called Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz.  It’s a new, romantic thriller that has you on the edge of your seat right to the very end.  It was out of my normal genre (YA/Fantasy), so it took me a chapter or two to really get into it. BUT once I got into it, I was hooked.  I will be writing a review for it on www.literarylunespublications.blogspot.com over the next week.

Have you any tips for other authors? 

Be kind to your fans & readers.  If you’re on a pedestal, step down.  No one likes a stuck up author.  Be humble.  If someone takes the time out to review your book, be sure to thank them, or pay it forward. If you received a bad review, take it with a grain of salt.  Remember, a review is ONLY ONE PERSON’S OPINION.

Which book review sites do you read?

I honestly try to avoid reading book review websites BUT I absolutely ADORE everyone that has been participating on my tour.  It’s hard to pick just one.

Which review sites have reviewed your book? 

Too many to list.  If you take a look at the tour list on www.bethannmasarik.com or www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com you will get an idea of who’s reviewed me.

Are there any resources you have found really useful? 

Goodreads is a goldmine for authors, writers, and yes, even readers.  It’s a great way to connect with your fans and the general audience.  There are lots of great books out there, and Goodreads is a great resource to finding them.

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Many thanks to Beth for the interview, and now for the giveaway – Beth has kindly offered prizes for you! There will be the chance to win an ebook, a fanclub Tshirt and possibly a mug, which could be yours! To enter, please leave a comment below…. and if you know other fantasy / romance fans, please let them know as well!

Thanks to Beth for this great opportunity;

JAC

Morning all! And have we got a treat for you!

Today’s guest post is courtesy of the lovely MT McGuire (and the Ely Marrow). Author of humorous fantasy Few Are Chosen (which I’ve read and did enjoy) she has come on the blog to show off her shiny new cover – look further down the page and admire the Dangermouse-ness thereof!

Writer, mother of a 2-yr-old, driver of a shiny Lotus and inventor of the flying snurd, she has shared with us the following wisdoms for your delectation…

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 Name: M T McGuire

 One-sentence biog: M T McGuire is 43 years old but still checks inside unfamiliar wardrobes for a gateway to Narnia.

Blog  Facebook Twitter: @MTMcGuireAuthor

Author of: Few Are Chosen, K’Barthan Trilogy 1

Genre/s: Humorous fantasy, if you have to pin me down but don’t ask me to tell you an age group or I may have to kill you. It’s aimed at a type of person and a mind set.

Available from:

E Book: Amazon UK:    Amazon US:   Smashwords:    Barnes & Noble:

Paperback:  Amazon UK   Amazon US   Barnes & Noble   The Book Depository or get a signed copy from www.hamgee.co.uk

One-sentence summary:
OK, I can’t do the book but I can do the trilogy, which goes like this: A cowards falls in love and thinking with his trousers sets out to win the girl, if he wants her he’ll have to save the world… but can he?

When you write, do you have a routine or habit?
No, I have an addiction. Writing, for me, is like a bad crack habit. If I don’t manage to write a certain amount each week I go a teeny bit mental. More than a teeny bit as McOther and McMini will probably attest.

What kicks off the book – a character, a situation, a plot-point?
Usually music. I will be listening to a song when I’ll see something in my head and think, ‘ooo that looks interesting’ and take it from there.

How much do you know in advance?
The beginning, a couple of emotional flashpoints or moments of extreme violence, a bit of conversation and the end.

Do you write character notes or background information?
Nah it’s bad enough having it all banging around in my head without trying to write it all down. If I had time to do more than the bare minimum pukkha writing I might.

Do you do research and how?
I try to establish parameters and rules which the plot, the science and the world I’ve created must stick to.

Do your characters do as you intend or do they tend to run away with the plot?
Oh they run away. Completely. The Pan of Hamgee, the male lead in the K’Barthan Trilogy was a bit character originally. Someone for another character to have an amusing conversation with in gaol. The minute I typed his name, he took over. I don’t think I’m the only writer this happens to.

Do you have clear visuals of places or characters?
Very but it’s not always easy to describe. The pictures on my website of my characters are exactly how they are in my head (only badly drawn).

When you have writer’s block, what do you do?
Draw the characters, market my previous book, or write something else, even if it’s just long tracts about how I can’t write.

Are you indie or trad-pubbed?
Indie.

What made you go that route and why?
To be trad pubbed it needs to be immediately obvious how my work could be marketed and what box it fits into. It’s clearly commercial but it doesn’t obviously fit in a box. Also I need to find an agent. I did try for a year after finishing Few Are Chosen during which time I managed to get polite ‘no’s’ from 5 of them. I do appreciate they’re busy and I can imagine the pressure they are under but I’m 43 now and I decided that I would quite like to see my work in print before I die. So I published it myself.

How long since you published your first book?
A year and a bit. K’Barthan 2 is due out next spring. Thank you everyone for waiting patiently. Writing and looking after a toddler does not make for a quick sequel.

Is there anything you wish you had known before you started?
The above. Oh and make your first book stand alone. Only start with a series if you are a complete nutter.

If you were starting from scratch today, is there anything you would do differently?
Pretty much everything although I’m happy enough with the way it’s turned out.

What is the most important thing for you about having your book published?
That when I have bludgeoned people into it – usually at gunpoint – nearly everyone who has read it likes it. I find this slightly amazing and I am waiting until the moment when the bubble bursts and I get covered in soap!

What are your views on self-publishing?

I think it’s brilliant.

From where I sit, it looks as if the publishing industry has trouble investing in new talent. Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I worked in an industry which comprised many small companies, much the way publishing used to be. However, the many small companies were gradually bought up by five or six big ones, much the way publishing has been. Having experienced working in that model, I can imagine what goes on. In my field a product which was considered a money spinner for a small company suddenly became a loss maker when we were part of a group. As a big group, we had higher overheads and costs so our products had to make a consistent 30% of operating profit to break even. Some of our products made 5% or 10% and they were binned or the rights sold off. I can’t help wondering if this has happened in publishing. I’m guessing that if it is, it might explain why nothing seems to be countenanced in publishing unless it’s a sure fire monster bank.

On the upside. I guess that means something has to come out of the woodwork which can and will make those lower margin, niche-but-profitable books pay. Enter indie and self publishing. No-one in the industry is ever going to take a punt on my book but maybe, if I can build up a readership and a following, they will. And, if, after that, I am not the next J K Rowling, at least my books will be out there. Money is lovely (mwah ha ha haargh) but this is, essentially, about reaching people who will enjoy my books. If they do I don’t mind if there aren’t that many of them.

What are your views on e-books?
I think they’re excellent. They have no shelf life and they allow people like me, who have written a slightly weird book, to reach people who might enjoy reading it directly. And those people are there, just not in big enough quantities to appeal to a publisher.

Also let me just say how much I love e-ink. Please god let them make it in colour, so it’s like a computer screen only not. It’s saving me a fortune in paper and electricity charging stupid batteries because unlike reading on screen, it gives me that sense of removal required for editing.

E ink. Colour. Soon. With touch screen. Go on lovely techies. Kissy kissy. Please…

Do you have/are you considering getting an e-reader? which?
Yes I do. I have a Kindle, because I’m a sheep.
No-no, I’m not a sheep, honest. Actually, I didn’t think I would possibly find a use for a kindle but McOther wanted to buy me something for my birthday and he offered.. Round about that time, it occurred to me that if I write e-books it might be smart if I had a vague idea how they looked on an e-reader.

Now I have it I am delighted with it. Not only do I read more but I have access to lots of books I have absolutely loved which I’d never have been able to read without it. Indeed, I read one book in 2010 (I’m a stay at home parent with a toddler so time and head space can be thin on the ground). I bought an e-book reader in June 2011 and I’ve read about 15 books since. Not much, I agree but a hell of a lot more than I was reading before.

Did you have your cover made/work edited/proofed by someone else?

Yes, yes and yes.
Seriously, get your work proof read by a professional and don’t get it done on paper because if you do you’ll put a whole new raft of mistakes in when you do the alts. Get it done by someone who will correct the document. Blindingly obvious that but publishing gold and yes, despite a 12 year career producing print, it’s a nugget I missed entirely.

If you know a decent designer, get them to do the cover and think hard about what you want first. It took me about a year to realise what I wanted. Once I did, I discussed it with the designer and get something that was close but would also work commercially. They did a fantastic job. A Trouble Halved in Stratford-upon-Avon if you are interested.

What do you do to market your book?
Not nearly enough! Mwah ha ha haargh. Actually, I think it’s a good idea to have something out there free, more than a sample, a story. In my case I have some very bad shorts which I don’t know what to do with and a prequel to the K’Barthan Trilogy called Unlucky Dip. Don’t be daunted by conversion rates though. I reckon freebies work like a mailshot so about one in every hundred will buy something. That said, there are lots and lots of freebie sites so, in theory, you can get that hundred readers several times over.

Are you on any social media? Which do you prefer?
I’m on Facebook  and Twitter ( @mtmcguireauthor ). I also visit forums; kindleboards, mobilereads, amazon.co.uk, goodreads and the like.

What has proved your most successful marketing method so far?
Interviews, reviews and posts like this.

Have you read and enjoyed any other indie authors?
Mmm hmm.

Who? JA Clement, naturally, (JAC: clearly a woman of taste!) Danny Gillan, Lexi Revellian, Ali Cooper, Melanie Dark, Joyce De Bacco and I have a whole truck load in my to be read folder which I haven’t yet done.

Have you any tips for other authors?
If you’re self publishing, think about the basic stuff. Trust me, in my real world job I produced reams of print in a year and I assumed I would not be at home to Mr Cock-up. Unfortunately, when I produced my book, Mr Cock-up, his family and most of his relations took over my guest room for some weeks. There is a lot of really, really obvious stuff that I missed. Here’s a purler; when Few Are Chosen came out I didn’t actually say anywhere on the cover that it was part one of a trilogy. How stupid was that? Naturally, a few people complained about the end being a bit abrupt.

(JAC: Yes, well easy mistake to make, sure lots of people have done that. Er…well at least one person in the vicinity has done that!)

Are there any resources you have found really useful?
Yeh, Simon Royle’s indieview site.

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So there you have it, peeps!

MTM’s book is worth the reading, and you should all go have a look at it – and of course there is the short story Unlucky Dip if you just want to start with a small snippet.

So, in the run-up to Christmas what else can we expect? Next week we have a guest blog from Lexi Revellian, author of Remix, Replica and a new fantasy series starting with Torbrek and the Dragon Variation.

In Christmas week I’ll be writing my own Christmas post – and if you have any requests for that, leave a comment or message me on Goodreads!

And in January I will be bringing you assorted posts from other authors along with (I hope) a new release or so of my own.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the mailing list (if you’re looking at this on https://jaclement.wordpress.com you’ll see the nice shiny “Get the gossip” button over to the right) then please do so, as apart from anything else I’ll be mailing out a discount code for Book 2 to anyone on the mailing list – and there may be advance review copies going, you never know….

In the interim though, have a good weekend, and if you have any questions for MTM or myself, please comment below!

See you next week:

JAC