Weekly Ramble #54

I need an agent. That is my conclusion if I want to achieve what I want to achieve. With every book my following goes from strength to strength and without disparaging any of my supporters, it’s not enough. My reach or lack of it belittles what I have achieved in writing. Without sounding high and mighty, my efforts as a story teller are falling on deaf ears. 

As a person who started this at absolute zero I cannot help but look back and be damn proud of where I am. But if this dream of mine was a house I built from the foundations, I’m still siting in the footings of the basement. For the stories I have written and the efforts I have put in, the return if I were to look at this as a business person is lacklustre. The board of directors would have shut me down after book 2’s release.

It’s conflicting because ‘business’ is not what this journey is about. I’ve written 5 books. Every single one them became a huge learning experience in both publishing and the written word. Some incredible folks have helped me get them out there; editors, cover artists and the like. Reviewers have kept my belief alive. For all these efforts in vain I am a story teller and I know what a story is. You can only learn to write stories by finding it within yourself. Anyone can be taught grammar, punctuation, spelling and all of the functions of language, but to be able to pen a story from beginning, middle to end with everything in between, that is what I learned while putting together 5 books.

And now after everything I set out to do, even in creating this blog, I am back where I started – looking for a literary agent. But this time I am armed with experience and the know how of story telling. The times have changed and everything I thought I knew about getting an agent, the last time I queried circa 2013, has changed. Apparently science fiction isn’t looked down on anymore. It just so happens to be the genre I am going to use to find an agent. But I need a book and I’ve got one. This year I drafted ‘Jack Thorn’ a story, the story that got me into writing. It’s funny how things go full circle. And as I said, I need an agent…

Have you queried to agents recently? Any good responses? Let me know via the comments, this is our journey, not just mine… 

The Irishman – Review

Martin Scorsese delivers with his impeccable standard while managing to make a story heartfelt and a tribute to a timeless genre by way of some fantastic performances…

I haven’t seen Joe Pesci in a film since probably ‘Casino’ and even after all that time he hasn’t lost any of his presence and the same can be said about everything else in what is arguably the Netflix film of the year

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For a gangster epic ‘The Irishman’ feels subtle in some senses, especially for Scorsese who is known for that ‘Goodfellas’ style of telling you it how it is and who could forget the fourth wall breaking style that he adopted yet again in ‘the Wolf of Wall Street’.

In the earlier stages of this film it takes a little while to work out that this is the story of a Henchman/Problem Solver/ ‘House Painter’ known as Frank Sheeran portrayed by Robert De Niro who may be the greatest actor of a generation. It is on this journey that Frank delves deeper and deeper into the world of ‘bosses’ and he meets Russell Bufalino (Pesci); a somewhat quiet but powerful type. In this world Frank becomes renowned for ‘problem solving’ and it isn’t long until his perhaps not so reputable ways of handling business is noticed. Al Pacino plays the man (Jimmy Hoffa) who notices Frank’s efforts and they develop a bodyguard/adviser friendship.

It’s obvious to see these three greats of cinema have aged but that doesn’t take anything away from their performance, in fact they may be older but arguably better than ever at portraying the characters they did. There’s a combination of computer generated effects and make up that works well in showing their age and perhaps youth. This is a story that is told over time.

For a Scorsese film it runs long but with a sense of freedom this time around. Scenes of dialogue feel extended almost as if the camera starts rolling prior to the plot lines being anywhere near said. The truth is I never noticed the film’s length even if I did watch this in 2 sittings (I go to bed early on weekdays, it’s how I stay looking this good…). Not once did my attention waver and the story felt somewhat final in some senses like this could be it for a generation of gangster films like this. Easily I could imagine a story like this being turned into a serial of five or so episodes. The three hour plus running time would let you watch it that way.

Those who are familiar with Scorsese’s works will thoroughly enjoy this, a film with cinema worthy presence. Anyone else I would recommend it to just for the level of performances that compliment a great story. I enjoyed it.

9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review – The Ghost Beside Me by Lee Hall

A tip of the cap to the awesome Mullen Crafts for this sweet review!

Mullen Crafts

Book: The Ghost Beside Me (Available on Amazon*)
Author: Lee Hall

The Ghost Beside Me by [Hall, Lee]
Neville has carefully crafted his life to keep social interactions to a minimum. He works as an accounts clerk, leads an introverted life, boards in lodgings where he can very much keep to himself as he desires. His only friend Humphry Hardwick, is very much the opposite. Loud, brash, jolly, outgoing, and always asking if Neville has met that special lady yet. Hardwick is convinced a lady in his life is all Neville needs to turn from solitary loner who hides among numbers, into a social butterfly.

Neville keeps a diary of his wearisome and dreary life. Particularly as his new lodgings seem to become that little bit less wearisome, and certainly a little less dreary. He begins to question if his self enforced life of solitude has sent him on a downward spiral of insanity. Or is…

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MIND: Two Short Tales of Horror by E.H Night – Review

Two deep descriptive accounts that play with the imagination…

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For two quite short tales E.H Night has proven that sometimes less can be more, especially in this capacity for this is a reading experience that is unique and imaginative. The descriptive and deep style of writing has a way of surrounding the reader while also giving plenty of room for the imagination to run wild. It’s almost like these stories simply suggest what is happening and our imagination’s fill in the rest – this is a form of story I hold in the highest regard.

Although both of these stories are very different they are linked by their sensibility to the environment of the earthy surroundings. I managed to read both in thirty minutes and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something different, descriptive and on the darker side.

5 Stars – Reviews via Goodreads and Amazon UK 

The best reviews I’ve received this year…

Alright, I know. This may just sound like an empty opportunity to lick one’s posterior and it is partially, but 2019 has been a big time year for reviews of my stuff. In this year alone I’ve got more reviews than I have ever had for any other previous year.

It feels as if my arrival to the indie publishing scene actually happened but only with the help of what I regard as a truly important group known as the writing community, this is of course without discounting anyone else’s efforts to review my books, friends, family, bloggers and plenty of other folks I have connected with along this journey.

While it would be nice to celebrate all of the ‘positive’ or ‘good reviews’ we’re going to start with honoring a not so great review of my super hero comedy The Teleporter. I know for a fact my work isn’t for everyone and the reason I am celebrating this 1 star review is because of the response that happened afterwards!

1 star

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Before I delve into the most heroic of reactions from some fellow authors let me quote what this particular reviewer had a gripe about…

“While Hall did a good job doing this his way of treating the side characters Casey really saddened me. I don’t know how many times I marked the word “bitch” associated with her name (I marked it 32 times and the word was used 48). Why? Sure in the beginning Kurt (the main character) called her that because it was kind of her nickname in the building but why did he keep thinking of her as “the bitch” for most of the rest of the book?” 

Now this review dropped back April and right now I’m pretty much over it however my point is simple when it comes to the whole gripe about a character being called ‘bitch’. The reviewer totally and completely missed the inner meaning of it. This wasn’t just a blind attempt at bullying or name calling. I did put together a response of sorts via my weekly ramble post which you can read here  but let me just say that sometimes we get reviews that hurt, and it’s so damn important not to directly respond, do it on your blog instead… like me. 

And so why did I class this 1 star review as one of the best I’ve got this year? Quite simply because of the response that followed. If you are a part of the writing community or any type of group that supports your efforts they will be there when the chips are down. I found this out after this review dropped. For every 1 star review a well supported author will have another 5 writers jump to their defense. 

Just a week or two later an awesome author by the name of Elysia Lumen Strife restored all reservations and doubts I had with the Teleporter. Her review which is probably better than the damn book (and that seems to be a running theme) is probably too long to slap onto this post but you can read an excerpt below or the whole thing here.

“It was entertaining to find a book about a realistic man that had something supernatural happen to him. We all want to feel like there is this possibility, this hope, that some miracle will pull us out of the muck of everyday life, and we’ll be able to finally change the world. All too often superheroes are from rich families or royalty or gods. Kurt is an unlikely option in our stereotypical world. But here, we get to see him in action. Hope and humor thrive together in The Teleporter…”

The month of April continued to be huge for The Teleporter with reviews from some other wonderful wordsmiths:

Shiulie Ghosh author of the ‘Daugther of Kali trilogy’ had this to say… 

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Irene Pylypec  author of ‘A Squatter in London’over in Canada had these thoughts…

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And the reviews continued… an instant response for an author in need!

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Like I said for every 1 star review a well supported author will have another 5 writers jump to their defense. 

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The love for the Teleporter continued with reviews coming from bloggers Mullen Crafts and Feed the Crime  

To quote another review from top author Kurt Brindley ‘Mission Accomplished!”

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So that next 1 star review you get may be a blessing in disguise, trust me! 

The best reviews I got this year weren’t all from the Teleporter, even though it is probably my most successful book ‘Darke Blood’ literally came out the shadows  after not having a review for quite some time. 

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‘DB’ was downloaded over 3000 this year!

Blogging royalty and big time supporter of my work Jaycee Lynch from Thinking Moon Blog had this to say about ‘DB’. Take into account she is huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan much like me so of course her standards are going to be high… 

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‘DB’ also happened to be the first book I asked Blair from Feed the Crime to review, here’s what he said: 

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You can read the rest of Blair’s review here and remember to give all of these awesome bloggers I’ve mentioned some love by following them! 

Nicole from Mullen Crafts put together a review that championed probably one of my favorite characters in anything I have ever written, Caitlyn Turner and yes you will see a lot more of her in the planned Darke Blood sequel which should arrive in September 2020!

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We haven’t had a review for my debut ‘Open Evening’ in what feels like an eternity. Luckily Nicole had my back and so in November the story of the unexpected got some more good words…

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You can read the rest of the review here

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The stats are looking gooood!

And so the Goodreads statistics pretty much speak for themselves! But If I wasn’t constantly up selling then I wouldn’t be an indie author because you may have heard, I’ve got another book out! And what’s incredible is that good folks have already been reviewing it!

‘The Ghost Beside Me’ is literally a week old and already you can see from the stats above it’s doing quite well!

Here’s what author of ‘The Four Before Me’ E H Night said about it: 

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And it hasn’t stopped there. In one weekend both Mullen Crafts and Feed the Crime put together some awesome words…

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You can find their full reviews via their blogs which I urge you to follow and support! 

Final Thought

It’s been a journey this year. Much of the success and reviews have come from people who are genuine supporters. The writing community is an important pillar in all of this and no matter what people think of my stuff, reviews good and bad help sell books. Remember if you are published your stuff is out there in the public domain. One star reviews happen, embrace them, learn from them and don’t let them dishearten you! 

Shout out to everyone who has reviewed my work this year! Peace out! Rock and roll man! 

-| Mini Paranormal Romance Review… The Ghost Beside Me by Lee Hall |-

Here’s a very recent review of my just released paranormal romance ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ which is available to download for less than $2…
A huge thanks to the awesome Feed the Crime Blog for the kind words…

Feed The Crime

So if you haven’t heard me talk about Lee Hall this year then I’ve no idea where you have been! Lee contacted me back in March to see if I would like to review his book Darke Blood which I really enjoyed! I then read and reviewed The Teleporter which I adored, it has made it’s way into my most surprising books of the year list.

When it comes to The Ghost Beside Me Lee asked if I would be a BETA Reader (my first ever time) and I just fell in love with the story it’s a paranormal romance which as you know is not usually my jam however I read this in one sitting!

Let’s just get started…

“Even in the deepest darkest of voids one can find something truly worth having in life, or death…”

The paranormal is a subject that E. Neville holds with the utmost…

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Red Dead Redemption 2 – Review

A stunning visual spectacle with a truly beautiful story…

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I don’t play many video games these days. My time is valuable and so if I am going to pick up my playstation controller it has to be for a good reason and this year Red Dead Redemption 2 has been just that.

Rockstar have put together a game that is not only a spectacle visually with a stunning looking backdrop of emerging America but they have constructed arguably the best story a game has ever had. The ballad of main character Arthur Morgan is one of a man trying to find his way in a world becoming more and more civilized by the day. Gunslingers and outlaws are becoming a thing of the past and the group Morgan belongs to are looking for that final payday. He’s a real character in a sense that he has a detailed history, believable flaws and even health problems all of which that just add to the realism of a story that is both emotional and beautifully tragic at the same time. The old west can be a brutal place and it spits you out as a player sometimes while also being an immensely rich and a fun environment to play in. GTA of the wild west it is not, although some will say it is, RDR2 is more complex in a lot of ways.

I spent much time doing everything but main story line stuff and even side story line stuff, much like GTA but with less intentions to commit criminal acts, in this game being wanted is a pain in the ass. You can turn your attention to pretty much everything that is interactive in the world. You can craft, fish, hunt and generally just live in the world. Your choice to be honorable or not is always held in account. There are only a few real drawbacks, as a player you have to ride horses quite often and the mechanics of combat can be clunky.

There are some points in the game where this is a truly cinematic experience which is complimented by the rich soundtrack. Galloping along with seven or so fellow outlaws by your side will make it as authentic as the Magnificent Seven or the many Clint Eastwood forays into the genre.

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The characters that join you are one of the strengths that help carry a main story so rich with drama, action, deception and so much more.

For everything RDR2 the one thing it isn’t is a disappointment. I spent five months gradually playing out what is an incredible and sometimes poignant story that at moments brought a tear to my eye. Games are becoming more and more cinematic while also retaining the charm of being a solo experience although many times my better half would happily watch. There is no medium out there like a video game and the satisfaction that comes with it is hard to recreate elsewhere. If anything this sort of thing is an escape from our own world, like all good story telling RDR2 is very effective at it!

9.5/10  – stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Fallout, Skyrim and of course GTA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ghost Beside Me Official Book Launch!

Yeah I don’t do lavish book launches… you’re over there and I’m here so unless we do some kind of Skype/LAN party this is as good as it gets!

My 5th book ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ is officially launched today, with the paperback going live which you can grab on Amazon for less than $5

The e version is less than $2!

I am more than happy to send you a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!

 

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I think we can all agree that Design For Writers have put together an incredible cover! 

Already some well read and well cultured types have downloaded it when it became available a few days previous – shout out to those awesome people! Within hours of being added to Goodreads we already got a review! Thank you to awesome author E.H Night for the rating! 

Review

2019 has been a damn important year for me in terms of interaction. I’ve been acquainted with so many awesome fellow authors and bloggers whom I am proud to call my friend. This book launch is dedicated to all of you who have proven to me that this whole writing journey is worth sticking with!

For those who do grab a copy, remember to leave a review! Peace out, rock and roll man! 

Book links: (I should probably include them somewhere) 

UK PAPERBACK LINK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/171328829X

UK E- BOOK LINK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0825DY6VB

INTERNATIONAL PAPERBACK LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/171328829X

INTERNATIONAL E-BOOK LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0825DY6VB

 If you aren’t UK or Amazon.COM this book should still be available wherever you are! 

I can send you a free e-copy in exchange for a review! Hit me up in the comments! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #53

All this year I have been immersed in being busy. Whether that’s writing stuff, work, moving places, performing or even doing social things. In some senses I don’t think I could function without doing stuff. I know we all need a rest every now and then, the mind must wind down and reflect, right now I’m doing just that (while subconsciously thinking ‘what’s next?’).

While being real busy I just haven’t taken a moment or used any mind space to reflect on that fact that I now have 5 books published. A feat which is actually pretty damn cool, especially after doing it in under 5 years. The truth is and without sounding overindulgent I am damn proud of my work, in turn I am damn proud to know some of you who have pushed me on and on this year and in previous years. Being proud of the good things in life is so important and not everyone will get that. Now I am of a certain age (the kids won’t get this) I have come to appreciate that this life can bite you sometimes. In fact there aren’t many real good days that we have. Be proud of the good things you achieve, wear them, carry them with you, let them remind you it isn’t always bleak. Life is too damn short not to be reminded every day of the good stuff. 

This blog and it’s ‘moderate’ success has been a revelation this year, all you need to do is look at the numbers below to see how things exploded in a matter of months. There are a stack of good supporters this Hall of information must and will pay tribute to next month.

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For those in search of a ‘different’ type of read, my 5th book ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ has literally just been published and is available to download for less than $2 (it always will be). The paperback drops next week. Check out the awesome cover here. It’s a story about love, life and even if people do leave us, their influence lives on inside us.

Peace out and thanks for reading well cultured, well read individual! 

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‘The Ghost Beside Me’ Official Cover Reveal!

‘The Ghost Beside Me’ is coming next week and well I should probably share with ya’ll the rather spectacular looking book cover which was literally finished today!

Scroll down to check it out. If you ask me I think it’s incredible and Design For Writers have yet again done an amazing job!

So what is ‘Ghost’ about? Well in a few words, it’s about a lot of things. It’s first and foremost a ghost story and a love story combined. The book is dedicated to the memory of my Grandfather whom when I was quite young told me and my brother a ghost story which I still think to this day is true. With that dedication comes a story inspired by that and an opportunity for me to deliver an important message that the people we have in our live’s may leave but their influence never goes away and they are always with us.

The story is also about overcoming the adversities our own mind can create such as anxiety and loneliness which is such an important thing we must all talk about more. For quite a short book there’s a lot going on and I do hope you will all join me for it’s release hopefully next week! 

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