My second book cover… Revealed

OKAY EVERYONE HERE IT IS….

THE COVER OF DARKE BLOOD IN ALL IT’S GLORY…

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ARE YOU READY??

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Andrew and Rebecca from Design for Writers have put in some fantastic work with this cover and I think we can all agree it looks awesome! 

The final steps are approaching for the publication of my second book but there is still so much to do. As we get closer to publication day on the 25th I will be organizing a Facebook event to gather everyone for an online launch. Your likes, shares and comments are what will make this book a success and I have to thank you all for the continued following and support.

Any big news from now on will first break via my email list, so sign up today via email (box up in the top right corner) and you will be the first to get stuff (this includes free books/material). 

Rock and roll man…

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Alien Covenant Review

The Saturday morning blog is back! This time I am armed with a review of the new Alien film which was indeed a sequel to Prometheus which was indeed sigh worthy but I went into the cinema with partial hope.

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First of all; I don’t listen to film review people, as far as I am concerned they are full of sh** , let’s face it they are. You know that and so do I, they are either so far up the rear end of a film or the quite the opposite. Here you will read an honest review with a focus on what was good and what wasn’t so good. I think we all owe Ridley Scott some respect for sticking to a series of films and his overall contribution to cinema should never be overlooked.

And that’s where we will start; Alien, Prometheus, Gladiator and now Alien Covenant to name a few. Ridley Scott makes some awesome looking films, you’ll never see him skimp out on production value and this especially goes for the world he has built with Alien. The industrious environment of spaceships and far off planets are always created with a realism in mind. I guess I shall have to nod towards production design as well as a director or writers vision. But in order to make a good film you can’t rely on visuals alone, you need story, performance, tone, theme and plot.

Quite honestly Alien Covenant ticked many boxes but it also fell short in some ways. For much of the beginning portions of the film I felt as if this was an Alien remake, and look we are in the days of constant recycling of material, stuff that works I guess and initally Alien Covenant worked.

First of all we are shown our first billed actor Michael Fassbender his performance as a robot is arguably the best we have seen in this series so far, without treading on the likes of Bishop (Aliens) and Ash (Alien). And a very strong theme in this film is robots or at least Fassbender’s character. So what seems like an intriguing start the main narrative of the film then begins.

A colony ship called the Covenant is on it’s way to a distant planet, events turn quite unlucky and dark at the very beginning so the crew are awakened out of hyper sleep. As they recover from the events and begin repairing damage there comes a distress type signal with it’s origin not far from them. Already this formula sounds rather familiar with some changes and of course comfortable stuff that stays the same throughout an Alien film. We see a diverse range of characters who make up the crew of Covenant including a Captain seemingly out of depth with the arising situation and some familiar faces from recent film which all put in believable performances.

Eventually the crew arrive at the source of this distress type call, that being a distant habitable planet. At this point the build up and introduction of the story is paced well with the ever important element of mystery in the story. What is this getting to? What’s coming? are the sort of questions you ask yourself at this point.

The unlucky element of this arriving crew strikes again with a sinister level of disaster. In moments everything falls apart for them, two members become infected with a new type of organism (which is very alien like) but not shown before or explored in this world and that’s what I feel Ridley Scott is trying to do here, he’s trying to bring his Alien story full circle and with this film we are only half way there.

Eventually the connection to Prometheus kicks in but don’t let that put you off, everything is explained with in this film’s narrative. Soon enough Michael Fassbender is face to face with the character David he played in the previous outing and this was done well. The whole robotic morality thing is touched upon here as they meet but the sinister edge turns even more as this crew are taken in by David.

As much as I would like to give the rest away, that’s not how we do reviews on here. So let’s cover the good and bad.

The good

This felt a lot more like an Alien film as opposed to Prometheus. There was suspense and real tension. The scenes didn’t jump around and most of the time Covenant focused on one story instead of trying to tell five. This means all of the scenes shown were indeed necessary. Prometheus didn’t know what it was but this one was a horror film.

The characters: many of these personalities we have seen before but they were great, Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts) and Danny Mcbride (Pineapple Express) all stood out to me.

It continued on from Prometheus and was way better than it. This time we saw an actual Alien we all know well and this time around it seemed more lethal than ever. This may have been due to the use of computer generation of the Alien but gave it an Alien Isolation (video game) feel.

The visuals and sets were awesome as always and kept to the theme of previous films.

The music choice this time was better than Prometheus, and nodded to Alien more.

Robots in this were more of a big deal and less of just a side threat.

The not so good

Bad is a big word to use for a film and Alien Covenant wasn’t. But there were things that weren’t so great.

It was predictable, most of the time we knew what was coming. There were only a few Alien related things we hadn’t seen before.

There were a few moments where things didn’t get explained or where they expected you to fill in the gaps ( don’t do that in a film).

The twists nearer to the end could have easily been called from early on. You could even say some twists just shat on the audience at the end.

This doesn’t wrap up the series: unfortunately we aren’t there yet folks!

Conclusion

For what felt like an Alien Remake to begin with this film took it’s own identity but continued to nod towards the original. If you use Jurassic World as an example, that film nodded to the original but cut its own path more. Alien Covenant just felt as if it was up Alien’s ass too much.

Most importantly for any Alien fan and to my conclusion its worth a look! Prometheus was a solid 3/10 this one is north of 5/10.

 

Any Other Business

Next week things are really going to hot up towards my next book arriving. Darke Blood should hopefully get a cover reveal at some point! I have also started a sale on my first book Open Evening which is available as an e-book for £0.99! 

Free Pre Release Content is available if you sign up via email to this blog. I’m talking free books for loyal followers!! Sign up today peeps!

Great Conspiracy Theories

Before you scroll past this blog link which seems like click-bait, it isn’t. If there’s one thing I love it’s a good conspiracy theory. As the internet becomes more and more powerful and public free speech continues in most places there will always be conspiracy theories. So here’s my take on some personal favorites. And there may be a special very soon to be relevant theory that may just be fiction, or not…. (nudge/ wink) 

Roswell 1947 – Present day!

Many will say this is where the birth of the ufologists came from, yes there is a name for people who study this stuff. I have even had the pleasure of working with someone who used to be a ufologist and seeing as I love a conspiracy we have spent many a night shift discussing this stuff.

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In 1947 something crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Wikipedia says it was a balloon and so did the military, but the press and eyewitnesses said something different. Of course in all reports like this there are difference of accounts and opinions. Some people saw a ‘flying disc’ and those who found wreckage of what crashed was made from a material described as ‘nothing made on this earth’. So how could this be a weather balloon? Further witness reports even suggested ‘bodies’ were removed from the crash site wreckage. Aliens?

Over the years many people tried to debunk what the military firstly reported, there were books written and several eye witness accounts going into the hundreds. Roswell itself cashed in big on the theory and see’s tourists flock there every year. But what did really happen?

In the 90’s the US military eventually released two statements. Firstly they concluded the wreckage was most likely from a high altitude surveillance balloon used in something called Project Mogul. Then they tried to explain the presence of ‘bodies’ recovered from the wreckage. Memories of accidents involving military aircraft combined with them using dummies in previous projects were to blame for people thinking they saw ‘bodies’ when they didn’t. Seems legit huh?

Either way Roswell was a cool conspiracy theory and the alien autopsy that came out in the 90’s adds a new spin on the whole thing, but was proved to be a hoax.

The Solway Firth Spaceman

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You cant help but let your imagination jump to several conclusions when you see this pic. Now to me the figure seen behind the little girl looks like somebody fencing (sword fighting).

Taken way back in 1964 by a man named Jim Templeton in Cumbria UK, he seems to have captured more than he bargained for. Many people contest that this photo is indeed an alien or spaceman. Mr Templeton claimed at the time the photo was taken there was nobody in the background so it wasn’t until he got them back from Kodak that he saw this.

Kodak confirmed the photo was genuine and hadn’t been tampered with. He even took it to the local police who found nothing suspicious about it. To make things strange Jim was even approached by two people who claimed to work for the government. They asked him to show them the site and then abruptly left after. Weird or what?

The Darke Crusader

This is a largely unknown one, but still cool if you get my drift? So back in the early 2000’s a forum appeared on the now defunct or forgotten geocities web hosting service (remember that?). The original site was deleted long ago but someone did manage to grab a few screen shots of the original forum.

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The Darke Crusader whom runs this forum talks of visiting a town where things start to get weird. The last entry talks of this ‘crusader’ going into the forest. That was the last anyone heard of the host. The only trace left is of this website which appeared recently.

The Dylatov Pass Incident

After spending many hours of boredom combing YouTube and Google I stumbled across what is my favorite and creepiest conspiracy theory.

The Ural mountains, Russia, 1959; cold war territory. A group of mountain trekkers braved the snow on a expedition which would claim their lives. All of them were highly experienced on the mountains. During their hike the weather gradually worsened and moved the group off course. They eventually set up camp on an open mountain side as opposed to a nearby forest area which would provide better coverage from the elements. None of them knew at that point that was their final camp.

Eventually the group were reported missing and rescue efforts were mounted. All 9 of the expedition were found dead but this is where it gets really weird. Their tents were torn from the inside and there were signs of the group fleeing the area without adequate clothing for the weather. They were running from something.

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The camp discovered later on by a rescue team

 

Initial investigations confirmed 6 of the group died of hypothermia whilst the others had signs of trauma caused by something physical.  Another suffered brain damage but with no obvious cause from impact. What made this even weirder was one woman was found with her tongue and eyes missing. Some of the group were found separately whist others had grouped together, but what happened to those people on the mountains of Ural?

Well the camp showed no signs of intruders, the group left there willingly. Many of the injuries they had couldn’t have been caused by an animal such as a bear. There was a theory suggested an indigenous people lived near by, but were believed to be peaceful.

The bodies and condition of their organs was never made public.

Other hikers 50km away from the camp reported the sight of ‘orange spheres’ seen in the sky that night which points towards military. But the investigation concluded a ‘compelling force’ had caused the Dylatov Pass incident, but maybe we will never know. There are some great resources of this theory on youtube but remember when your watching this stuff at 2am, don’t have nightmares….

My New Book: A Retrospective

May has arrived, and for me this is the biggest month of my writing life! Darke Blood arrives in a mere few weeks so this entry is a dedicated retrospective of all things Darke. I will be talking about the story, the inspiration behind it and of course my extensive attack based marketing plan which is already in full swing! This is Darke Blood, a retrospective look.

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 My first real television hero in life was female. Many of you will know whom I am referring to but before the days of the Avengers and the seemingly endless tirade of cape wearing redemption seekers there was Buffy Summers. One of the very first female leads in television that was perceived as strong and later on independent. This might not appear a big deal today but we still have a very long way to go in terms of diversity in all forms of storytelling,  although cliché does have a big factor to play in that but so does society.

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Joss Whedon created Buffy with a view to flip cliché and embrace the quirky differences many of us have. The real horror in a world of vampire slaying wasn’t the demons coming out of the hell mouth below the high school, it was the high school (something I used in Open Evening). A clever and different story followed from this premise with the introduction of a character orientated story and the ever important humour that brings it away from any real darkness. As the high school in Buffy crumbled so did the change of horror, now it was surviving college and struggling to date someone who’s actually mortal. Eventually it shifted again with adulthood becoming the real theme of Buffy, either way the characters had each other to deal with whatever life faced them and that is above all what inspired me to write stories, the resolve.

After finishing my first published novel Open Evening, there came a decision I needed to make. What next? Very quickly the genre of vampires and witches came to mind, but there were two reasons for this. Firstly I had always wanted to do vampires just to pay homage to my favourite television hero and secondly, these stories still sell and are arguably more popular than ever. If you look at TV and literature, in the last decade there has been more than one big time vampire or witch story . So to me this seemed like the perfect idea to step into.

I’ve already shared the somewhat painful drafting process Darke Blood I went through so I wont dwell on it but there was the question of what exactly does it pay homage to? Well, stories speak to people in different ways, go ahead and read a book you’ve read before, give it a few years and your perception, mood and current lifestyle all come to play in how you perceive it, sometimes it will even change.

As I have read through Darke Blood after the several edits and of course the back and forth with my editor, I think I have finally grasped what it’s about and what it really pays homage to. That being strong female lead characters and our need for them even more so today.

Hence I have come full circle in life, from sitting in front of the TV as a 12 year old kid on a Thursday night, to writing my own take on Buffy. And if you ask me Darke Blood is so much more than homage to a TV show which broke boundaries back in the day.

But isn’t the main character in Darke Blood male?

In essence there are two lead characters in Darke Blood one is male and the other is female. But throughout the narrative our female is the stronger and somewhat a leader, but it isn’t about breaking down those boundaries because Buffy did that, this is about that concept working alongside with the other.

What set’s Darke Blood aside from other stories of the same genre?

Well this book doesn’t spend the whole time paying homage to Buffy, it has an independent identity and my own take on vampires. We are all led to believe that vampire stories have to fit into a certain set of rules, rules which have just been there since the Van Helsing days. You know, using garlic and having to invite a vampire in. Instead of these tales of folklore, why not add a little science to vampires? Maybe even define vampirism as a disease which in fact could one day be cured. What if there was a blood substitute, after all it’s a chemical right?

Same goes for my take on witchcraft. If you break that word down, you are left with ‘craft’, so what if there were different particular crafts? Again I used the science route to redefine and somewhat invent my own version of magic but strictly keeping it close to a reality where this stuff could actually be possible.

Both vampirism and witchcraft are just sub-themes, as much as they are unique selling points that give the book it’s rounded appeal, the main theme of Darke Blood is identity. Main character Blake Malone soon finds conflict within himself as the realization comes apparent that his memory seems to be blocked. Along the way of trying to resolve this conflict he discovers the forces of vampirism and witchcraft accompanied by some very special nods towards Open Evening. I will say no more.

How are you going to implement Darke Marketing?

My first book was always going to be a trial and error experience. Many lessons were learned and a lot of stuff came up that I probably should have done but wouldn’t have been aware of unless I took the plunge into publishing (if you get what I mean?).

In terms of marketing as an independent author I am pretty much the General or architect of my own success. But social media is the king of book sales and so my efforts towards it have gone up tenfold this time.

What I have already done

Teaser Trailer

This was my first experience of making something like this and to be fully honest it looks okay. The whole idea of this trailer was to get the name out there and of course the release date. Over 700 people have viewed it so far, and if I can convert even a small percentage of that figure into sales then we shall be off to a good start. I even had some good people share it which is always fantastic so thanks to those that did.

Emailed my subscribers/ people I know who would like the book/people whose email I have

Yep if you’re lucky you may have an email from me in your junk box. This sort of thing is imperative to get the word out early. Loyal friends are great way to get in early reviews and get the ball rolling. Sign up now by following this blog with your email address to receive future stuff for free.

What will you be doing?

Book cover reveal blog post

Book cover reveal FB post

Book cover trailer (Maybe)

Facebook online launch event – invite people to share the link

Going live on FB- Maybe a Q and A if anyone actually cares (maybe)

Facebook Advertising

Goodreads exclusive UK giveaway

Ask some peeps to guest blog on my site

Incite people to take a book selfie – this really sold books last time

Press release to local and national press

Instagram posts (something that is book related and not just booze or food)

Email my loyal followers – sign up on this site today to receive future news first and even exclusive pre sale content.

So as you can see I have a huge list of stuff planned. This month there will be all hands on deck from me to give Darke Blood the best chance it has of being a success. I do hope you can join me, this story isn’t just about vampires, witches and identity. It isn’t just about a homage to Buffy or female lead characters. It’s about all of them and so much more!

Next Book Release Date Confirmed…

Yes you read the title of this post correctly! I officially have a release date for my next book Darke Blood.

Things are getting pretty busy around stately Hall manor right about now and most of my efforts are now pointing towards the official release date of Darke Blood which is….

Thursday May 25th

Of course this hasn’t been a journey of solitude and again I have a wonderful book team; both Nicky Fitzmaurice of Satin Publishing and Design For Writers will be reprising their roles in helping me bring an awesome book to you.

Another huge member of my book team is you, my valued reader whom I do this for. Open Evening was a huge learning curve and somewhat a success, none of what I have achieved in writing would be possible without my readers. Thank you all for the support, likes and follows. Together we are a successful unit of independent publishing.

There were many times throughout the drafting of Darke Blood where I thought it wouldn’t make it as a book. Truth is this one was hard, really really hard. But I got through, mainly due to the support of my wonderful readers and people of Facebook and twitter. So here I stand just under a month away from another book release.

I have just put together a short trailer for the book which can be seen via my Facebook page, something which I didn’t do last year, even though I probably should of. My marketing strategy for this one will indeed be more detailed with giveaways planned and of course another book selling selfie movement which I will be forever thankful for.

So what’s Darke Blood about you ask? And is it a sequel to Open Evening?

My short answer to the sequel question is no, sort of. This is a standalone story set in the same universe as Open Evening. If you read either when they are both available you will see they are linked with the view of an eventual crossover of stories. Darke Blood explores the occult and witchcraft along with one of my all time favorite things, Vampires, which seem to never go out of fashion. This is my own take on the above and is a little different.

So what’s it about, well here’s the blurb….

‘There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.’

Blake Malone is in search of a new start, he arrives in the remote forest town of Darke Heath. The memory of his past oddly becomes a blur as he discovers this place isn’t what it seems.

Malone shares a romantic encounter with someone who reveals herself to be a ‘creature of the night’ and he learns of her story which intertwines with the history of the ‘Heath’. Together they must face the evil forces of vampirism and witchcraft that lay in the Darke forest.

But just who is Blake Malone? That’s something even he must fight to discover. Because ‘you’ve never known true darkness…’

 

Darke Blood arrives on the 25th of May in both paperback and e-book formats!!!

 

Power Rangers Review

It’s been over twenty years since many people of a certain age would have first seen the Power Rangers. I was in my second year of school when the first film arrived and before then the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers in all its 90’s greatness was probably the first television show I followed as a child.

pr 2.PNGBack then it was everywhere seemingly, and the merchandise that went with it was of course always sold out including the original mega zord or those dolls which you could flip the head. But things move on and times change. One thing that remained and carried on through many different versions was indeed the Power Rangers. Whether it be Turbo force, Dino Thunder or Zeo, the power rangers series has managed to cultivate and capture generations of kids imaginations all looking for their Saturday morning fix of heroes.

To me the idea of a rebooted Power Rangers film (about the first series) has been something I have been waiting a very long time for. The concept of 5 teenagers chosen by destiny to save the world was very much lost in the cartoon style of the original and of course we shall try to forget the disappointment the first film came to be. So for a 90’s kid like me I was in full support of this reboot which is in fact much more than that. It’s a re imagining and expansion of  the original concept story and has been given the modern cinema treatment.

The films opens with the back story of old. Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) betrays Zordon who’s dying act is to send her packing deep below the ocean. This happens in what later becomes modern day Angel Grove.

Next comes the gradual and detailed introduction of the five main characters; the rangers. Jason, Kimberly, Billy, Zack and Trini. All of them high school kids and all them with the many problems that come with that age. You could even call them a group of misfits that don’t really like one another and that’s where this film becomes interesting. Back in the original there was a hell of a lot of less detail about why these kids were actually friends.

The film succeeds in displaying what modern age kids are like and some of the struggles they have to deal with, such as bullying and just trying to fit in. Jason a once star football player has to face not being that anymore. Billy; the clever kid on the ‘spectrum; Kimberly who just had a rough break up and is involved in a photo texting scandal. We also see Zac who’s mother is sick who he has to look after and of course Trini who’s always the new girl in town.

I thought the introduction of these new kids as the iconic parts previously played was vitally important to get right and the young actors and actresses very much did that along with giving these characters a depth I never thought they had.

After some time they find 5 previously buried colored rocks known as power coins which teases they eventual stumbling of their way to the command center; a crashed space ship in which Zordon (Bryan Cranston whom voiced characters in the original series) is somewhat imprisoned in the ships computer. Of course we see the re-imagined robot Alpha 5 (voiced by Bill Hader) and things start to roll towards these five misfitting kids becoming friends.

Rita Repulsa finds her way back to land and to life and so the real threat becomes apparent. The five kids must become Power Rangers to save the day.

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Verdict

I have only chosen to mention selected parts of this film so I don’t spoil it for anyone wanting to go and see it. I recommend it highly and so comes my verdict.

For any fan of the old show you will indeed like this film if you are willing to wait and see everything unfold. The action doesn’t get going straight away and this is a slow burner which works towards these kids becoming the rangers. When the action does happen its explosive and sort of like a controlled transformers action sequence. Fan boys and girls will smile at the homage to the original opening sequence of the TV show as the zords arrive.

The power ranger suits I thought looked modern and was a far cry from spandex and the helmets of old. Above all what I enjoyed the most was comradery of these 5 kids who are chosen unwillingly to save the world. Bryan Cranston although mainly a voice impressed and inspired with his performance. Elizabeth Banks played Rita without the cartoon- esque demeanor her character is known for and very much impressed me. Overall this film was enjoyable and although it didn’t hit number 1 in the charts this is probably because Beauty and the Beast was released at a similar time and was equally as impressive. 

Go go power rangers and hopefully soon we shall hear the announcement of a much needed sequel.

Wrestlemania 33 as it happened review

WWE presents what the ultimate thrill ride! Or what seems like endless hours of wrestling fun (I hope) as I went the duration to stay up until past 4am to watch Wrestlemania 33. Here’s my as it happened blog of the biggest wrestling event of the year… 

(this may contain typos and of course spoilers, duh)

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Kick off pre-Show (10pm UK time)

Things begin with Renee Young amongst three WWE hall of famers which include Shawn Michaels, Booker T and the King himself Jerry Lawler. There’s talking and a live Q&A session planned with Paul Heyman. Next comes a few promo vignettes featuring the Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton match/ Seth Rollins and Triple H fight/match. Looks like a long night of build up ahead.

First Match for the Cruiserweight Championship

Austin Aries vs Neville (C) 

The purple ropes are set up for our first bout of the night. Audience are still arriving but that aint stopping the show from going on. They chant for Aries as the two competitors lock up. We get a little stand off between them which is of course an attempt to warm the crowd. Early on there’s a lot of mat based moves which is quick fire, back and forth they go with Aries coming out on top with an impressive range of aerial attacks. Neville scraps back and then comes a commercial break… We come back to see Neville with Aries in a lock hold which breaks up the pace. They go high risk with a series of impressive assaults outside the ring. Near fall as Neville kicks out. Aries continues his assualt with an impressive missile drop kick from the top rope. Neville finds his way back into the match with a snap German suplex. Another near fall comes by way of another snap suplex from Neville. Aries come out on top with a crashing right hand to Neville who slips out of the ring and from danger of being pinned. He recovers and goes for the red arrow but Aries jumps up onto the top rope and delivers a crashing hurricarana type move which he then follows through with a 450 splash. Neville rakes the eyes of Aries and hits the red arrow. 1, 2, 3.

Result: Neville Retains

The second hour of the kick off begins with the same hall of famer panel and Renee Young…

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

The two headline competitors Big Show and Braun Strowman get entrances, the rest just trail down the longest ramp used in Wrestlemania history. Braun gets started straight away by eliminating several competitors. The Big show replies with the treatment to several superstars. They face off and then separately become mobbed. Braun breaks away and eliminates Big Show. The mob then move to Strowman and eliminate him! Its gang warfare folks! The competitors slowly trickle out over the top rope with Dolph Ziggler doing that same hanging on for dear life rope spot at least three times.

Down to the last few and there’s an altercation outside the ring between Jinder Mahal and audience member/NFL football player Rob Gronkowski. Gronk comes up into the ring and tackles Mahal. He gets eliminated by Mojo Rawley and we have our winner! Not a bad start and of course the celebrity contribution means this is Wrestlemania.

Winner: Mojo Rawley

Paul Heyman Q&A Session which is mainly a set up for the Goldberg Brock match later. I’m sure we’ve seen this before last year…

Final kick off match 

Intercontinental Championship match 

Dean Ambrose (C) v Baron Corbin 

A quick and physical start to the match which quickly spills out of the ring . Ambrose takes the lead as he takes a dive out into Corbin. They get back into the ring with Corbin quickly capitalizing. They head out of the ring again utilizing the barriers around the ring making this a brutal theme for the match so far. Corbin continues with the offensive with Abrose sporadically fighting back and going for the dirty deeds. Abrose commits to another dive out of the ring and seems to be desperate in stopping corbin.  He builds some in ring momentum but every time Corbin blocks him. Somehow Ambrose finds the momentum and hits the dirty deeds which is enough to grant the win!

Result: Dean Ambrose Retains the IC championship

Wrestlemania 33

Midnight has quickly rolled around and here we go. Its a jam packed match card for this years showcase of the immortals. America the beautiful is sung by Tinashe ( I don’t know who she is either) and we see a fly by of some jets!

Wrestlemania hosts the New Day appear and hit the ring. They make a penis reference and talk about starting the show.

Shane McMahon V AJ Styles

Interesting choice to start with this match. Things begin with the traditional lock hold style which goes back and forth. Styles seems to be outsmarting Shane with every move so far. But saying that Shane shows off some impressive moves in his arsenal with a pair of arm drags forcing Styles to retreat out of the ring. They brawl back in the ring with Shane being the more brutal of the fighters. He’s botched out of the ring and AJ delivers a powerful sliding kick forcing Shane back and over the German announcers table.

A slugfest ensues back in the ring with AJ dominating but Shane isn’t out of this yet. Again Styles is being cocky by taunting the crowd and goes for a two count pin. He seems to be on top with Shane battling back to be shut down every time. McMahon counters and blocks AJ’s spring board attempt.  Some boxing style jabs come from Shane as he appears to fight back. This match is enjoyable so far with both Shane and Styles being impressive.

AJ tries to make Shane tap but he maneuvers out of it for a rear naked choke which he then converts into an arm bar. Double clothesline as they both get up and charge to each other. The audience applaud in approval for their joint efforts. Styles goes for a springboard 450 dive onto the downed Shane who catches him and turns it into a triangle choke. AJ tries to break free and converts into a modified styles clash! Shane kicks out. Eventually they get onto their feet and exchange blows, AJ accidentally hits the referee and he goes down. Styles brings a bin into the ring and sets it up for a coast to coast by wedging it between Shane and the bottom rope. Shane jumps up and hits AJ with the bin to counter. He sets AJ up into the corner and uses another bin to set up coast to coast. He hits it with perfection, that’s got to be it. And the referee is up in true cliche style but its only a 2 count. The crowd are loving this as Shane dismantles the German announcer table and lays AJ on it. He climbs the top rope. Shane jumps for AJ to move at the last minute. This match could go anyway.

Both back in the ring as Shane converts another springboard attack by Styles. He impressively goes for a shooting star press! But AJ moves out of the way! Where is this match going, who cares but its great. Styles eventually hits a springboard right hand and goes for the cover to win

Result: AJ styles wins via pin fall but both of them deserve the credit of a win. Highlight was definitely the fact they matched each other in every aspect including Shane’s shooting star press attempt! Potential match of the night!!!

United States Championship

Kevin Owens V Chris Jericho (C) 

The match quickly spills out of the ring with Jericho on top to begin with. Getting back into the ring Y2J continues with his onslaught until Owens hits a kick to regroup and floor Jericho. It’s Owens turn to ensue with a beat down which slowly wears his opponent down. They go back and forth with a slow pace until Owens hits a package style sit down style power bomb, Owens forehead is bleeding slightly as he goes up to the top rope but Jericho is there to block and force an impressive hurricanrana which is followed by a near fall.

The match continues to build slowly with Jericho hitting a bulldog and then an unsuccessful lionsault. He attempts it again after thwarting an Owens frog splash which Jericho counters. Owens then goes for a swanton bomb only for it to be blocked. Y2J attempts the walls for Owens to counter into a two count fall. This is a reversal fest so far. Jericho finally connects with a lionsault which is answered by a two count pin fall attempt. The crowd are with Jericho here all the way.

Owens modifies his way into the walls of Jericho on his opponent in the middle of the ring. He springs out of it and into the corner which Owens then goes for the cannonball but Jericho converts into the walls eventually. He’s going to tap at any moment but gets to the rope!

Pop up power bomb by Owens but Jericho kicks out at two. 70,000 strong are mostly behind Jericho here. Then comes the code breaker by Y2J and he crawls to the cover but Owens’ finger hits the rope. They head out and Owens powerbombs Jericho into the apron. He bumbles Jericho into the ring to pick up the three count.

Winner: Kevin Owens new US champ. Good match full of reversals/ back and forth action. Both competitors used each others signature moves.

Raw Women’s Championship 

Bayley (C) V Charlotte Flair V Nia Jaxx V Sasha Banks (Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match) 

Nia Jaxx is targeted straight away but powerfully fights off the much smaller competition. She eventually clears the ring and shows her dominance. Its looking like a 3 on 1 handicap match now as the other three circle her upon entering the ring. They impressively triple team her down and she kicks out at a two count. Again they triple team her off the top rope into a power bomb and all three of them cover her for three and the first elimination.

Its now a triple threat match but Charlotte steps out and urges Bayley and Sasha to fight. Bayley heads out and then Sasha somersaults out of the ring into her. Next comes Charlotte’s high risk as she corkscrew dives into the other two. Action moves quickly into the ring as Banks goes for the bank statement on Charlotte, she breaks out. Sasha goes for a roll up for Charlotte to kick out at two. It’s just them in the ring.

Sasha Banks is thrown into a partially exposed turnbuckle which Charlotte was responsible for, she is out and gets pinned by Charlotte.

Down to two, Charlotte and Bayley. Figure 4 then figure 8 by Charlotte who is determined to win but Bayley reaches the rope. Charlotte continues to target her opponents knee as she is hung in the tree of woe. They fight up on the top turnbuckle which results in a sloppy botch style slam to Charlotte with Bayley staying up on the rope. She turns and lays in an elbow to Charlotte to get the three count.

Winner: Bayley (Retains Raw Women’s championship). Good quickfire match, a good wrestling match doesn’t have to be long to be effective and good.

Hall of fame inductees were then introduced. A good class this year with a real mix of old and recent. Of course Kurt Angle made the headline entrance. You suck!

Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match

Enzo & Big Cass V Cesaro & Sheamus V Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (C)

As the match is about to start the New Day’s entrance theme hits and they announce the match to be a fatal 4 way and its the return of the Hardy Boys!!!!

Enzo & Big Cass V Cesaro & Sheamus V Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (C) V The Hardy Boys!!!

The match begins with a mass brawl. The Hardy’s start impressively with a series of well known double team moves. They clear the ring but Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson stop them them from getting the belts. Cesaro attempts to climb but Big Cass shuts hit down. He big boots a flying Jeff Hardy. It’s chaos early on.

Enzo and Big Cass send more ladders into the ring as there are more set up outside. Two ladders are laid out along the ring apron and security wall. Inside the ring Sheamus and Gallows battle. Cesaro puts in the save as they work as a team on the tag champs. Jeff goes for a spring board to the outside but receives a kick from the celtic warrior. He and Gallows climb and battle each other with Enzo pushing over the ladder.

Enzo is up and begins to climb slowly. Big Cass comes in to help him up higher but Gallows and Sheamus work to put Cass into a ladder. Anderson and Enzo battle up high with the belts between them, they hit each other right and left. Matt Hardy is back in and goes up the ladder with Anderson as Enzo is down and out. Twist of fate from the top of the ladder meanwhile Jeff climbs up high and swantons though Cesar and Shemus who were laying upon ladders outside.

Matt climbs and reaches for the belts. He pulls them free.

Result: The Hardy Boys are new tag team champions. Great to see them back and what a shocking return, well done wrestlemania. Moment of the night so far.

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John Cena & Nikki Bella V The Miz & Maryse 

Okay I’ll admit if I didnt actually watch this story line unfold but basically two couples have beef which ties in with the Total Divas TV show so I guess this match gives other WWE shows validation.

The match starts with some cat and mouse from the Miz and Cena, The crowd seem to respond to the Miz well as he taunts them trying to be a heel. Eventually the Miz gets on top and dominates oddly. Cena manages to dodge a corner turnbuckle assault and tries to sway momentum his way.

Maryse pulls Nikki from the apron and runs for it as the Miz dominates again. Cena kicks out at two after a thunderous DDT from the Miz. We have a Bella hot tag brewing. The Miz begins to mock Daniel Bryan with a series of Yes kicks. Full credit to Jerry the King Lawler and his awesome commentary.

Nikki is tagged in and begins the attack on Maryse. Both her and the Miz are down and here comes a double five knuckle shuffle. This is followed by a double finisher for Cena and Nikki to get the win.

Result: John Cena & Nikki Bella. After the match Cena grabs the microphone and talks about some stuff. He proposes to her and pulls out a ring. Nikki says yes.

Seth Rollins V Triple H (Unsanctioned Match, if that makes sense for a wrestling match)

Of course we see an elaborate entrance from Triple H involving police bikes. The game himself is riding a motor tricycle with Stephanie on the back. Blazing sirens welcome him down the ramp.

The bell rings and immediately the bout spills outside and over the security barrier. Rollins has the upper hand early on and he springboards off the barrier onto Triple H. They brawl in and out of the ring with Seth taking an announcers table apart. The table doesn’t break as Triple H DDT’S him into it. The game is targeting the story line knee injury of Seth Rollins with a steel chair.

Triple H continues to work the knee with a range of lock holds and kicks as Rollins is wedged into the corner. He fights back and they climb up with Triple H trying to go for a superplex but Rollins diverts it and tries a sunset flip; he cant pull it through due to his knee much to the Games advantage as he smiles. Triple H looks over his downed opponent and they move into pedigree attempts equally are both thwarted. Rollins buckle bombs triple H.

More action out of the ring as Rollins dives off the top rope onto the Game who is outside. Seth begins to turn his fate on his opponent by throwing him into the ring post. Seth goes under the ring and pulls out two chairs and a table which he sets up outside the ring.

Rollins attempts a chair shot but again his knee is targeted. Spine buster by the game and he sets the chair up with Rollin’s knee inside it. He stamps on it hard and then heads to the top rope.  Seth is up and throws the chair into HHH who stays up on the corner. Superplx by Rollins and there’s a near three count.

Stephanie McMahon gets involved in the match and trips Rollins who is up top. Triple H puts in a leg lock onto the knee. Rollins gets out and moves into a lock hold of his own but has to break away due to his knee. More back and forth as the sledgehammer makes an appearance.

Rollins grabs the weapon but Stephanie jumps up onto the apron and snatches it away. Its enough to distract Rollins and Triple H pedigrees him. He kicks out at two and a half. Things go the other way as they climb up onto the ropes and Rollins goes for a phoenix splash but it only results in a two count.

Triple H goes for another pedigree but Rollins reverses and then Triple H reverses, they exchange reversals until they break away. Stephanie goes up onto the apron and is in the line of fire as triple H unintentionally hits her off and she goes through the table. He turns and Rollins hits the pedigree. One, two, three.

Result: Seth Rollins wins via pinfall after a pedigree and Triple H actually puts someone over, the first time since well Wrestlemania 23…

Music break featuring Pitbull Featuring and Flo Rida… Enough said…

WWE Championship Match 

Bray Wyatt (C) V Randy Orton 

Quick offensive starts the match in Orton’s favor and he goes for an early RKO but to no avail. Bray soon dominates and everything goes dark, maggots seem to be projected onto the mat. The referee bolts…

Lights resume and both competitors exchange finisher attempts. Now the ring goes dark again and we see worms projected onto the mat. I haven’t seen anything like this before.

Again the lights resume and action continues. Wyatt attempts his finisher sister Abigail again but Orton battles out. They go outside the ring and this time Wyatt hits sister Abigail on the floor. They both go back in with Orton exiting from the opposite side. Now Orton hits the RKO on the outside.

They eventually get back in the ring with an Orton punt kick attempt which Wyatt converts into a failed attempt of his finisher. Orton comes out on top with a back breaker. Again Wyatt comes back and hits sister Abigail but Orton kicks out at 2.

It goes dark for the third time and more bugs are projected. Randy battles his demons and the lights resume for him to hit the RKO. The referee counts to 3.

Result: Randy Orton is a new WWE Champion. Strange match but still entertaining, felt rushed considering how late in the night it is and how many matches are left…

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WWE Universal Championship 

Goldberg V Brock Lesnar 

I’m expecting the entrances to be longer than the duration of this match and at this point 03:52 am there is twitter talk of the smackdown women’s title match being shelved.

The bell rings and Lesnar hits a series of German suplex’s followed by Goldberg laying in two spears! Brock rolls out and Goldberg stalks his opponent into another spear through part of the security barrier. They head back into the ring and Lesnar converts a jackhammer attempt into an F5, Goldberg converts into another spear. He then hits a jackhammer which Lesnar kicks out of. Its balls to wall here!

Goldberg readies for a spear, Brock leapfrogs and german’s him. Suplex city with Goldberg in trouble. Ten german suplex’s completed. Brock is sweaty and red/purple. He hits the F5 and gets the win.

Result: Brock Lesnar wins and is new WWE universal Champion.

Smack Down Womens Championship 6 pack Challenge (1 pinfall for 1 win) 

Alexa Bliss (C) V Becky Lynch V Mickey James V Carmella V Natalya V Naomi 

The cool down match for what is preparing for the main event which is the Undertaker Vs Roman Reigns…

The entrances were rushed but things kicked off with the running theme of this mania, chaos. Some gimmicked up guy called Ellsworth interferes which has been the only real highlight so far. Becky Lynch has been the standout competitor with Naomi looking promising. Natalya goes for a double sharp shooter on both Naomi and Carmella but is broken up by Mickey James.

Naomi makes Alexa tap.

Result: Naomi wins and is the new champ. Quite a sloppy match and these women have a long way to go if they want to be seen as equal to the men. Either way it was good and all of them were impressive.

The New Day announce a new attendance record for the citrus bowl. Not sure the actual number, google it because I write this at 04:20am…

The Undertaker V Roman Reigns – Main Event of Wrestlemania 33

It’s the big dog V the Deadman. The video package plays out and then the good ol JR comes out to be a guest announcer of the match. This feels like the Undertaker’s send off and Jim Ross returning is indeed another great moment.

The bell rings and the Undertaker immediately sends Roman out and claims it to be ‘his yard’. Roman gets back in and delivers a series of right hands before pushing Taker out. The Deadman pulls him out and sends him into the steel steps.

They spend the next moments in and out of the ring much like many of the matches tonight. The typical Undertaker spots go through the motions with him finding some dominance. Snake eyes followed by a big boot and leg drop. They go back outside and make use of an announcers table. Taker chokeslams Reigns onto it but it doesn’t break.

They both climb up onto another table with Reigns delivering a thunderous spear to Taker and the table gives. Eventually the Deadman rises to his feet and gets back in the ring with Reigns continuing his attack of kicks. The audience boo but its clearly muted.

Next comes in a steel chair which Taker uses on Reigns. Its a pleasure to hear JR on commentary again, old skool feels. They both head out and back in with Reigns hittig a series of superman punches until Taker grasps his neck and chokelsams him onto a chair. Two count.

Undertaker gives the sign that the end is near and goes for the tombstone. He hits it and goes for the pin but Reigns surprisingly kicks out! He goes for another and Reigns botches a reversal and then hits the superman punch again. Reigns sets up for a spear and it hits, he goes for the pin but Taker puts in hells gate! Reigns gets to the rope and its broken up.

Both competitors are down and slowly try to get up. Roman is first and stops Taker from grabbing a chair. He lays into the already downed Taker with several hits! Reigns hits another speak and the Deadman breaks out at two and a half. Roman is unable to pin the Phenom this time.

Reigns sets up again for the spear, Taker is on the ropes. The spear hits and again Taker kicks out. Where is this going? Now comes the superman punch from Reigns with the Undertaker flat on his back until he half sits up and then flops over.

They both get up with Taker dwindling. Reigns goes rope to rope and hits a thunderous final  spear. One, two, three.

Result: Roman Reigns wins.

Final Wrestlemania Verdict: Very good show although long like last year. My only complaint was the result of the last match, everything else was actually good for a Wrestlemania. The Hardy’s returning was a personal favorite moment for me and of course hearing Jim Ross on commentary, he’s still as good as before! 

 

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Beauty and the Beast: Review

It seems to be movie season yet again or shall I say movies that I want to see are coming out thick and fast. This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching the live action ‘remake’ or ‘reboot’ of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast…

Let me say first of all, the two words ‘remake’ and ‘reboot’ don’t really fall into my thoughts of what this film was. In fact I was very impressed and don’t have much at all to really criticize.

I think it’s very bold of Disney to try and reinvent and re imagine their previously successful tales especially as it hasn’t really been that long since the animation came out. As a child I saw both the animation and a stage production on a school trip which always left a lasting memory and fondness for this tale older than time.

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The film verdict

It gets going straight away with the very familiar telling of how the beast came to be. This time though we get a more detailed version instead of just a brief skip over. Life before being a beast is shown and depicted effectively with some impressive looking sets, costume and cinematography. I did struggle to tell the difference throughout the film at what was clever computer camera stuff and real stuff.

Then of course the movie flashes forward to the present and we are treated with the famous opening number from the animation. Now don’t let the homage to the original animation put you off if you haven’t seen it, this doesn’t really matter. This opening number impressed me no end and it was an effective way of introducing main characters and minor characters who were all equally impressive. In and out of song we went with Emma Watson proving herself not only to be the perfect fit for Belle but to also have an impressive singing voice.

I think for the first time she actually stood out in a film and I know she had a massively successful tenure in the Harry Potter films, I will boldly say she fitted better into the role of Belle than she would ever as Hermione Granger ; simply because she could express herself more into what her character meant. Bare with me here but in Harry Potter she spends most of the time reigning in Harry and Ron with the casual viewer developing a somewhat toleration for her being there. However with Beauty and the Beast I think we actually see Emma Watson for the first time and you don’t have to be ultra glamorous to be a Disney standard princess and this is the wonder of live action, these are real people and it feels more real.

Again I must say how well the cinematography was throughout along with the sets and costume. Disney weren’t messing around with this one and meant business. The full cast was decorated and a full ensemble of Hollywood’s then, now and future.

The main ‘baddie’ type character came via the flash arrogant Gaston who was wonderfully brought to life by Luke Evans. He was joined by Josh Gad who played by the equally as funny and different LeFou. Belle’s father came to life by the veteran actor Kevin Kline who fit into that role perfectly. Lower down the pecking order of major to minor characters you had Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Ewan Mcgregor (Lumiere, who I give full credit to as I didn’t know that was him especially with the french accent), Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts) and Stanley Tucci ( Cadenza).

Now for what was mostly a great film there is one minor or major flaw that bugged me ever so slightly. The Beast throughout was mainly computer generated from what I can gather. Now he was voiced well and I believed his character throughout but there were just some moments where the animation of him seemed a tad clunky, this was the only real thing I had which could be classed as a problem but everything else was, well let’s say awesome. Dan Stevens did great as the Beast but the computer effects just let it down a tad.

There was action, tension and detail where there previously wasn’t in the past version. Emma Watson has officially arrived as an actress who should no longer just be known for Harry Potter and Disney have taken a well calculated risk which has indeed paid off. This film has something for everyone, as long as you like the occasional song and well choreographed dancing number. Everything that Disney are known for being good at is in this film.

My final rating for this film is 4 Roses out of 5!

 

A guide to getting published: Conclusion

A guide to getting published…. The concluding conclusion

And so it was early 2016, I had organised a publication date for Open Evening and now I needed to find a cover artist!

cropped-boooks.jpgThe platform in which you can upload and self-publish books via amazon allows you to use their software to put together a cover. The offer a fairly limited amount of designs mainly of the plain persuasion but it all depends on what you want, sometimes plain can be effective. I’ve personally never used it and on advice I received I suggest you don’t either. Unless you have an elaborate idea of what you want or even a photo you have personally taken I would suggest using the services of a cover artist in which there are many out there on the world wide webisphere…

I’m telling you to do this because A) Getting a nice cover made should already be in your budget and, B) a cover is really important and just in case you didn’t know, people do judge a book by its cover. If you read the last post you can see at the very bottom how mine turned out, and yes it looks wonderful.

design-for-writers

After some research and even reading some self-help books I concluded that I wanted a company called Design for Writers to make my cover. Their Facebook page displayed a wonderful array of covers in which I imagined mine would be like. And like that I accepted their quote and waited until closer the publication day to begin working with them.

During this time and getting nearer to publication day I began to pen my next book Darke Blood in which I concluded drafting in June of 2016 (coming out this year!).

Editing and Cover stuff- Final putting together of the book

Nicky Fitzmaurice my editor had informed me she had began her work and it was August now! Time flies huh? It wasn’t long until I had back my manuscript which had been annotated throughout with changes/corrections.

After approving the changes things were really ready to move into publication.

Design for writers presented me with a link to an online basecamp where I could tell them what I wanted. They asked me a boat load of questions regarding tone, plot and characters just to get the idea of what I wanted and what they could do. After some weeks of work and back and forth (its okay to ask questions at any stage of a project, especially if you are not sure) soon enough we had a cover ready! They had even given me the choice of 3 completely different options.

The final cover proof was sent to Nicky who uploaded it to Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing along with the edited manuscript and we were ready for launch!

Book Launch and Marketing – This doesn’t have to be a frightening ordeal but this is what I did and learnt from it…

And so here it was, the moment I had been waiting for since that rainy Sunday afternoon with the windows 98 computer. Book release day.

Now my advice would be to publish and upload your book maybe a week or so before your actual publication date. This allows for you to make sure it’s OK and delivers out to people in one piece. By this time, you have maybe told a close group of friends and some of them have ordered copies. Now the buzz can really begin. Some of them may have even put up a first impression review!

Out of all my ideas to market Open Evening there was one movement which sold more books that I hadn’t accounted for. The Open Evening ‘SELFIE’. And trust me book selfies sell books, in fact they sell around 50 in the first week of release.

open evening clip collection

Selfies and cats sell books!

Even now I am still figuring out how to market my book and get sales which haven’t been remarkable but… slow and steady does eventually win the race. My amazon UK page has 6 reviews so far and all of them are good.

Goodreads would be something I suggest you get into and they offer an awesome giveaway service which will get an abundance of eyes on your book. I have also tried the Amazon US giveaway scheme which can actually get you more twitter follows.

If you would like to read on about more of my book marketing advice and adventures then check back with my resources section soon.

 

Now finally the conclusion via a list of stuff you need to be like me and published…

 

  1. The willingness to write and get better at it
  2. Dedication
  3. A book idea that’s good
  4. A completed manuscript which you have edited multiple times. Trust me this is important and the amount of people who have unfinished work is more frequent than it sounds. Get to writing you can do it!
  5. An online presence – Facebook/ Twitter and Blog. Get out there and engage with people!
  6. Money! You can do this on a budget but I would say you need at least £800 to get everything you want, this also includes marketing such as Facebook adverts!
  7. An editor and or publisher who wants to publish your work.
  8. A cover artist. Plenty of good ones out there, research research research!
  9. A thick skin and a lot of patience (mainly because stuff doesn’t ever happen quickly)
  10. The ability to ask questions…. Because although it looks like I know everything, I don’t.
  11. A plan to market and sell books. How are you going to do it?
  12. A good group of friends to help you launch the book with selfies and those important first reviews.
  13. A realistic approach and of course its all subjective. Success as an author is in the eye of the beholder so set realistic and gradual goals!
  14. Just keep going and never look back!

 

Final thought

Its been rather nice re-living the story I lived over the past few years and I must thank you all for the wonderful response I have received so far. Thank you all for the likes, follows and re-tweets.

This has been my journey to publication and of course we all know it has only just begun…..

 

 

 

 

A guide to getting published

Welcome to part 2 of A guide to getting published….

So to recap from part 1; by now you should have answered the initial questions of wanting to be a writer, are you the right ‘person’ and very importantly are you dedicated to endure this journey?

These wont be questions you can answer over night and of course what comes next will also take some time. Social media has many platforms in which a writer can delve into and explore. I started with Facebook and twitter, then I created a blog some few years later. At this point I have only been on Instagram for a fraction of that time.

But during all of this you can and should be writing. It will be lonely and quiet and you wont have news to share every day. 95% of my writing life is spent with just me and words.

Eventually after a lot of dedication and time you can do it, because I did, you will face those two synonymous words; ‘THE END’

Everything up to the point of having ready material to show the world is protected by a curtain I call theory. ‘I’m going to be a published author, uh in theory’ is what you have probably said to yourself at this point but now you have some work to show for it and hence the plot thickens…

This time for me (August 2015) I was ready to make a huge decision. Before this date I was a book writing machine. In three years I had churned out not only my first book with several edits and drafts, but the two sequels all of which were related to that initial first idea I had back when I was 12 on that rainy day with the windows 98 PC. This is where I really learned my craft and developed a style which coincided with my process. I learned to become a writer. 

Book 1 had been through several rounds of submissions to various ‘big time’ and ‘smaller time’ standard publishers and literary agents. All of this received no success. Three years of starting a blog, launching Facebook/twitter and building a following was being blocked by the people whom I wanted to like my work the most, the literary industry. Now they weren’t personally blocking my success they probably didn’t even have much idea I was writing them as like many writers their work ends up on the ‘slush pile’.

Hence comes the fork in the road for you…

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Yes, I went there

Your masterpiece is written and now you are asking google how to get published. You find yourself here maybe and read a few other people’s well earned experience. Right now the world perceives there to be two main ways to find your book into print.

‘Traditional’ – This involves sending your manuscript out to masses of literary agents and waiting. Then wait some more and receive a rejection letter maybe up to or over a year later. Or if you are really really really really lucky. And I’m talking 1 in a JK Rowling billion you’ll be offered representation by an agent who will then pitch your book to a big time publisher.

To begin with this is the route I envisioned to take. But I never got to the representation offer. There are many reasons why rejections happen, firstly agents and publishers really want the very best and are swamped with submissions every day so you have more chance of being accidentally discovered from a slush pile. Not suggesting your book isn’t the best, but it is a humbling reality check trust me.

A lot of places are picky and take first impressions as an opportunity to reject E.g. If you don’t present to them with a  ‘standard’ covering letter or they want more than just a sample such as a synopsis. To be honest why would I write a story about my story, which is essentially what a synopsis is.

They are just doing their job and finding the very best is just that.

This isn’t the route I have taken but good luck if you do try this route to begin with. I recommend you do just for perspective.

 Self Publishing/Independent Publishing – So back to August 2015 and after sending out over 100 submissions I had finally accepted that it was time to try something new. Albert Einstein did define insanity by doing the same thing over and expecting different results.

The stories which I desperately tried to get published were sealed away via USB mass storage and a new journey began. This was no easy decision mind but if I really wanted this it was a liberating and difficult decision I had to make. I needed to do this if I wanted to arrive in publishing and so I turned a corner

My focus was for a new stand-alone story based upon some notes I wrote after a vivid dream I had when I was 14. The choice to do this meant if this project wasn’t a real success then I have no real loss other than my pride and I’ve experienced publishing!

Quickly Open Evening was born and I was going to get this one published by an independent publisher I had my eye on for a little while.

To define an indie publisher can be a little subjective as its classed as self publishing. I wanted to find someone who would edit, format and upload my stuff to amazon via their operation so it’s hardly a ‘self’ activity. But I would be paying for the services provided.

Finding a publisher

satin-logo

Check out my review of Satin Publishing here!

I had come across Satin Publishing whilst networking and generally being an author with an online presence. Never underestimate the power of networking or even exchanging ‘likes’ over Facebook. Always be nice, courteous and of course helpful because you never know when you might need someone who offers a service. Having looked at the work Satin produced, to me they seemed like the perfect choice to give Open Evening a home. Soon enough I made contact with Satin’s own Nicky Fitzmaurice and she was happily to publish my book!

After that journey of trying to get my last book published ‘traditionally’ I quickly asked myself why didn’t I try this sooner?

The package with Satin Publishing included editing, formatting and uploading to amazon and kindle. So this was actually happening!

There are numerous independent publishers out there looking for first time authors and to me Satin Publishing was a perfect place for me to begin this journey. They had a decent number of followers on social media and looked all around professional. The work they had previously published was a good mix of genre which convinced me to contact them.

As much as I knew they were going to be great to work with this is a leap of faith (of sorts) and that’s something all authors have to take if they want publication.

I could have just asked Nicky to edit and format the book but the deal also included uploading and sorting out all the nuts and bolts that comes with getting the whole thing up on amazon.

I had researched prior and knew exactly what I wanted; Open Evening to be published and available on amazon via print on demand paperback and e-book!

Let’s just break that down – My book is available to anyone who can order it via amazon in two different formats

  1. Paperback – via a print on demand service. This means when one is ordered one is printed and dispatched so there is no need for me to store them. If I wanted to send a copy overseas I can via amazon and it saves me mailing it as they print and package it locally.
  2. E-book – An electronic version readable on most e book readers such as Kindle.

Agreements were made and a quote was sent out. We quickly arranged a publication date and then I got busy social media-ing. What I needed next was a cover for Open Evening and an artist to make one….

Next time on A guide to getting published…..

The Publication Process

That concludes part 2 of A guide to getting published! Stay tuned for part 3 of A guide to getting published. I will explain how it all formed into what you can see below…. I will also speak of how much you need to spend, and I will even give you a basic step by step guide.

 

 

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