Weekly Ramble #33

Let’s talk about Game of Thrones; I want to talk about what a lot of folks have on their mind and like me I wholeheartedly agree with the fact GOT resolved itself in a pretty shitty way.

I don’t think a petition to redo will make it any better and when we’re removed from it in ten years time will it be that bad? Some of the stuff that happened fit, the good guys kind of prevailed and the evil Lanister regime fell. Overall GOT became a coming of age story for the Stark kids, looking back at S1 it always was about them so why would anything different happen?

John Snow returning north did kind of leave me a little deflated. Not every loose end was tied and above all this thing felt like a quick cash grab wrap up. Or is this just the complaining culture we live in these days? One person says something sucks; gives zero real reason other than they didn’t like something and then all of a sudden a twitter group is 200,000 strong and putting petitions together.

GOT and it’s final season may be the first time the internet horde generation has faced something like this. Maybe because of the availability of instant opinion means maybe it was always destined to fuck a lot of people off, or am I trying to rationalise the fact it was a shitty ending? But it isn’t ruined, it’s just not the way you fantasized it, grow up. At the end of the day you watched it, so they won.

From a writers perspective it seems the story was put together in a rushed kind of way. It’s almost as if the show writers/runners were offered some kind of lucrative deal from someone like Disney and they got distracted. This sounds like the case and in my opinion if so they have broken the golden rule of story telling – tell the current story you are working on, in an orderly fashion with all of your upmost effort. One project at a time, tell what is in front of you, not in the future or shall we say in this case a galaxy far far away. Above all that’s just unprofessional and bad form; hence GOT’s downfall… 

Another huge factor to the show’s somewhat disappointing culmination is the fact it always had to end. Most shows run until they get cancelled; the show runners then move to an endgame. In this case there was always going to be an end but it just wasn’t very good. It’s not as melodramatic as some people were trying to debate online; quite honestly I don’t have time to discuss a TV show. It is what it is and we can now all move on. The pandemic of bad story telling in the final act is alive and well, I guess they can’t all be Breaking Bad…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Ramble #32

As an author do you want to know what’s worse than a one star review?

A one star rating with no review, words, explanation or even evidence said ‘reader’ has taken on your work. Not to mention the mindfu** it will give an author for a long time constituting to the round in circles question; why didn’t they like it?

One of my previous ramble post’s was half rant and half response to a one star review that had an actual explanation which I tried my best to debunk and move on from. This is different and it appears a particular book of mine keeps getting ‘pot shot’ with these random ratings (Open Evening) via Goodreads. In fact you can compare the reviews on Amazon (UK) to Goodreads to see the inconsistencies which just leaves me flapping my arms as to why?

I don’t want it to appear as if it’s getting to me, but it is, because we’re only human right? As authors we live and die by the currency that is reviews and as a reader if there was something I thought deserved a one star review I probably wouldn’t have finished reading it and then would have just moved on (and I have done that very recently). We’re all entitled to an opinion, that’s fine and I am not contesting that, what I am contesting is conduct towards writers. Leaving that one star might turn someone away from the craft forever.

Another huge factor is Open Evening like all my books was funded entirely by me including the sequel and the other book it is linked to Darke Blood; there is plans for further sequels but thoughts of that turn me away from it.

The question that remains in my head; Is Open Evening that bad? Does it justify someone swooping in to leave a one star rating and think nothing of the consequences? Maybe some like minded writer folks should swoop in and help an author in need…

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #31

Writing is home for me. But right now I feel far from home. Things are busy, damn busy and although it’s the fashion these days to have loads going on, it’s relentless right now. I just can’t catch a free moment, and I know if one want’s to write, one will write, but time is something I don’t have and inside it’s partially killing me not to be sat at the keyboard creating.

I’m an adult now, perhaps that’s the problem because I have responsibilities and stuff, that’s something I have to learn to live with whilst also feeding the need to write. 2019 is proving to be one of those important season finale type of deals with loads of plot arcs wrapping up and people rushing to resolve their stories whilst I’m jumping from one turning carousel to another. Many of the things I’m wrapped up in this year are more significant to others while I play the passenger and it’s tiring.

But the most important thing above all for me is that I am not alone and I haven’t been for seven years to the day. Today I celebrate walking my significant other home on a rainy late April night and asking her to be my girlfriend, it sounds like some next level sitcom romance stuff, and back then it was, and still is. I can only function while being happy, all of this circles around the concept of having someone and I do. Somebody said once that all you need is love, and beneath the shroud of busy and hectic life I have right now is just that. Don’t ever understimate the power of having someone and that makes me feel at home more than anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #30

I find myself resisting the urge to react to a negative review of The Teleporter. I know the ‘rule’ is to ignore and move on but this format here is my yard and I’ll use it however I like. First of all I don’t wan’t to appear to ‘retaliate’ in anyway but everyone whom I have spoken to about this has deemed the situation a little unjust and that’s something The Teleporter fights for…

You can find the review on Goodreads and if you ask me; like others have pointed out, it’s contradictory. And should I even be doing this? Right now, yeah, as I’ve said this is my motherfu**ing yard’ll say what I like.

The main gripe focuses on the reviewer not appreciating name calling of a certain character. In fact this reviewer clocked up the precise amount of times this character was called a certain name or referred to it as that name, which tells me there was more counting going on than reading and delving into the words. I just feel as if this book reviewer has rushed through my work and not actually read it properly. Maybe we’re just looking to add another number to the goodreads list…

The focus on this name calling which I wont fully explain because I don’t need to, can be defined with this statement:

 If you don’t get it, you don’t get it, but the whole name calling thing of this character is a part of her journey. Plus this book is a comedy of the comic book persuasion, sometimes people and places are named quite literally. It’s never said in an abusive or bullying type of manner. Her journey which includes this name she is called comes to a culmination with her winning and then choosing to embrace the name everyone calls her, how can’t you see that? 

This reviewer has totally misinterpreted The Teleporter by basically concentrating on finding something that could be deemed as offensive. Maybe we were looking to slam a book because we haven’t given a bad review before… Unfortunately the world is full of name calling, sometimes it can be considered as banter or fun and sometimes it’s part of wider story that the reviewer didn’t quite grasp.

We live in a world where if one person gets offended by something arbitrary then all of a sudden everybody grabs a pitch fork and torch; this is my one fear in the outcome of this review. I’m not against anyone having an opinion, that’s allowed, but make sure you execute what you have to say in a less contradictory manner.

I don’t give shit if it got one star and it wasn’t somebodies cup of tea, try tequila instead and grow the fuck up.

 

Weekly Ramble #29

This week more than any I stand by my decision to write and tell a story about a drunk super hero.

Like all of my books they are about so much more than what’s on the surface. Blurbs and covers sometimes do a book zero justice and even now I have a feeling people judged the Teleporter harshly to begin with and most probably still do (I guess I cant win them all). How dare I write a story with a genre that’s ‘in’ at the moment because even now I can see my own logic in doing it. Super heroes are more popular than ever, and did people just see through that? Did everyone just see me trying to ride a trend and attempt to cash in on it?  Was it just an empty grab a fashionable genre?

To begin with that’s what I set out to do, but in the end, this book became something so much more.

The sheer will of my main characters journey is what makes The Teleporter worth reading.

13 people purchased a copy of the Teleporter on release. That was my lowest ever book launch sales figure until Cemetery House but we won’t count that or talk about that (sequels are strange) and even though it’s low, I have zero complaints. That number grew by a handful until this year and back then (even January this year) my following was a lot less than what it is compared to today. This whole deal; reviewing books, interacting, giving back to the writing community has opened a huge door for me. And I haven’t just reached out past my own shores of Hall island to sell books, I’ve done it above all to become a better writer and to be taken seriously, and people are taking this seriously now.

There are two ways a writer learns their craft; by doing and by reading. Along the way I’ve met some pretty bad ass bloggers and authors, types whom I share this voyage with. Perhaps building bridges is what leads to real success in creating.

This week The Teleporter has owned the day. Several times when complete strangers have cast the net out into the twittersphere looking for reads; my scrappy little underdog of a book has come out on top; above other books from authors with huge amounts of follows. That has always been my gimmick, the underdog who waits on the fringes of the unexpected, waiting to strike, waiting for my moment and proving to the international stage that I’m good at what I do.

Thank you to everyone this week, and before this moment. Those who left a review for the Teleporter before today are probably a huge reason why it’s been downloaded over 600 times in two days!

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Weekly Ramble #28

Success as a writer will always be in the eye of the beholder. The real aspiration is simple for me and plenty of other wordsmith folks out there. To get better. Everything else is just a reaction to the effort we put in as writers, a bloggers or content creators. 

Of course most of you know how much I appreciate the support. A follow, a like, a share or even a comment can propel amyone towards having a better day.

The arts will always be subjective. So will percieved success. Whether or not we reach such a thing doesn’t actually matter. To create something that takes just one person away from the mundane of life is to really succeed. I do this because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. To find something like that is rare. If you enjoy something make it your passion, want to get better at it by simply doing it. Put in the hours. Toil over the words, the characters, their conflict, the setting, everything. Listen to those closest to you and even those who are distant, especially when they give constructive advice, yeah we know they haven’t lived the lives we have through words, but their perspective counts, they live in this world too.

In every project I take on, I simply look to deliver it in a different way to the last as well as proving to those who follow me that I am getting better. Although I realistically do it for me, they are the ones who will be reading my work.

Progress may be slow, but then again when was the last time you turned around and realised not just a handful of loyal people were following you, but 200 plus. It took me 6 years, four books and 2 plays to convince enough people my voice was worth hearing, and still I try to prove to more people everyday.

Good things can happen in creating. The best results take time, work, honesty and above all, the desire to want to get better is all you need

 

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200 Followers Special!

It’s finally happened,

I did it, more like we did it!

Lee’s Hall of information blog has reached 200 followers!

It’s taken the best part of 6 years but together we have built a following that is 200 strong. So this post is dedicated to those who have helped, inspired and shaped this blog. There are even some out there who aren’t aware of their influence and that can sometimes be what the definition of a writer or blogger is; creating something and not knowing how far it will stretch…

I will get to those individuals shortly but first and foremost to everyone…

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING! 

This journey into the unknown of words began way back 2014 and now we are here!

And so now I must acknowledge some folks who have influenced and helped me over the years… 

Way back before I took the path of indie publishing, I had a starry eyed view that some literary agent would notice my below par unpolished work and take me under their wing, a six figure publishing deal would follow and Spielberg would be on the phone at tea time. As far as I am aware, that didn’t happen, to me anyway, but like many indie authors out there, they are non trad published authors who never gave up and so I needed to start from the very beginning.

catherine ryan howardI needed a guiding light with self publishing. And this biblical level of advice came in the form of a self help book called ‘Self Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing’. Written by Catherine Ryan Howard; a now very successful author who has just got herself a huge publishing deal; a phenomenal achievement and also pretty damn inspiring for small time indies.

Self Printed’ is written in a light hearted and sometimes comedic style which works as a no nonsense useful guide to anyone who is interested in taking self publishing seriously. I particularly took inspiration from much of  her blogging advice and without that book this Blog would not exist! Her equally helpful blog has a huge amount of stuff that I must recommend to anyone looking for a guide in writing and blogging! 

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Matthew Streuli is the go-to blogger for all things mental health; he has also been a close personal friend of mine for the best part of 10 years. Matt’s blog contains a wealth of personal mental health experiences that he has bravely shared with the world.

From battling depression and even a suicide attempt his blog is a vitally important contribution to mental health campaigning and awareness. Depression is something many of us will suffer from at some point in life and Matt has been leading the charge with his blog for many years. He has even written articles for the Huffington post as well as making many television and radio appearances. His contribution to blogging and the mental health community deserves to be acknowledged.

 

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Without Nicky Fitzmaurice there would be no ‘Open Evening‘, ‘Darke Blood‘, ‘The Teleporter‘ or ‘Cemetery House’. Nicky has worked with me as an editor, formatter, uploader, publisher and expert advisor for all of my books. It’s s a rare thing to find someone trustworthy, honest and reliable in the world of publishing and Nicky is all three and more! Without being over assured or straight up arrogant the reason why my books are as good as they are is because of the work that goes in after I have drafted them.

Specificly speaking, the ending to ‘Darke Blood’ was shaped by Nicky’s advice and the reason why ‘The Teleporter’ flows like it does; especially in the latter chapters is because of her wonderful work!

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It is also safe to say there would be no ‘Open Evening’, ‘Darke Blood’, ‘The Teleporter’ or ‘Cemetery House’ without Design for Writers, and these books would look nowhere near as good without their fantastic work on what are incredible looking covers. Andrew and Rebecca work trumendously hard and they have always been there for me and a huge array of authors. For what is such an important part of book publishing, I would always reccomend Design for Writers!

 

In more recent times I have changed my whole approach as an author and blogger. My belief now is that no wordsmith is an island, as you can see above the people that have influenced this operation. But by just interacting with others via social media you can build a readership and following; something every author needs.

During that journey of interaction I met a fellow blogger who has not only become a loyal reader/ follower but also a friend and blogging influence, plus she nominated this very blog for an award!

Jaycee Lynch has helped and contributed to the growing of this blog and my overall following as an author. I very much carry the simple philosphy that consists of paying back people who help you. Jaycee has always taken a genunine interest in my work and has left reviews, blogged about my stuff and has overall been a great supporter. In return I sent her a signed copy of Open Evening; something I feel obliged to do when I get support of this level. She has a blog also which has a crazy amount of followers and content. This place is basically a beaten up old shed compared to the castle that is the Thinking Moon Blog

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My final acknowledgement of those who shaped this blog is The Writers Community of the Tweet machine! Late last year I started taking Twitter ‘seriously’ and just put out some feelers to see if there were any indie authors who wanted a review….

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As you can see the response only got a few hits… it was at this moment whilst I was watching something on Netflix, I briefly looked at twitter via my google chrome app on my phone and realised…

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I used to have the app but deleted it to save phone memory…

Since that day I vowed to review all of the indie books! This year alone I have read and reviewed 10 indie books and that number is steadily growing. Without reading and reviewing some awesome titles, this blog would have never surpassed 200 follows! 2019.PNG

Final Thought (Jerry Springer style)

And so as the 203rd blog post, a 200 followers special comes to a close we should take some time to reflect and look to the future… Without that being an obvious plug to Jack Thorn; my sci fi dream novel which is going to be serialised via this here blog, I would like to just share with you what blogging progress looks like… 

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Bad times don’t last, but good words do, especially when they are followed by even better people! Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #27

Dreams are weird. There are so many people (probably all of us at some point in time) that say we want to do something and never get there. The amount of variables that surround us at one time deny us of achieving that dream or cut it short, then there’s the whole deep down fear of can I really do this which is in turn followed by do I want this?

Fear can keep dreams from being achieved. Even I’ve suffered from being somewhat scared of what people think. Coming out as a writer in 2012 was the biggest plunge into the unknown I have ever taken. Many around me still aren’t convinced, and that’s fine, opinions are allowed and this has always been a one person at a time deal. Overall it fuels me to prove what I am and what I will achieve. Then again I don’t really care what people think of my work, I do it because it makes me feel free in this world where we are all confined. To be able to create is to feel free and to to feel free is to truly live.

I’ve found my freedom in writing stories and building worlds. I first did this when I was 12 years old and haven’t ever thought twice about not wanting to write.

Success is another variable that combines itself with fear to keep us from getting to our dream. What if nobody likes my stuff? What if I don’t sell any copies? What if writing a book isn’t a success?

The biggest personal achievement in writing is simply being able to write ‘The End’ when you finish a project. Everything else, the hard stuff, comes later and actually doesn’t really matter. I’ve found that out gradually. Reviews are great and I am so damn grateful for the ones I have, sales also mean a lot along with social media follows and interaction. I have met and know so many awesome wordsmith people and bloggers along with readers. All of that is material compared to being able to say you wrote and finished a book. There are so many people out there who say they tried but never got there. The true success and achievements in writing come from where everything else does in writing. Our ability to write, our sustainability is creating, our editing skills, our scope for characters, theme, settings, characters, all of it comes from within.

I have an excellent memory, even though I work shift at the moment and that’s a sure fire way to frazzle some cells; I still remember the story that brought me to this point. After all these years, I still remember being 12 years old facing a windows 98 computer and writing a story about robots in the future called Jack Thorn. It’s not just some empty one dimensional action story and in the very preliminary stages it may seem like an out of date male lead character fest, but it isn’t and that’s the beauty of it. Jack Thorn isn’t just about Jack Thorn, it’s about humanity, equality, family, destiny and prophecy.

I know that story because I have carried it with me since then. It is my dream, and sometimes they can be weird.

(Jack Thorn – a science fiction story of the future will premiere on Thursday the 14th of March in serialized form on this very blog.)  

Weekly Ramble #26

I’m writing the book I was always destined to write. Of all the writing journeys we take, they can normally be linked back to a pinnacle moment in time. Many of us hold the memory of it close and dear, we’re protective of it, for some of us it has grown alongside our own personal growth much like our dreams. It feels far away from now and it could be  that manuscript sitting in a drawer, or a file unopened for years on an old computer. It may not have ever graced the writing process and sits forgotten whilst we have moved on.  What if that story stayed in the back of my mind since this whole deal began? What if I never forgot what it did to inspire my writing efforts. What if everything I did in writing was for that story inside me?

So what good is it just sitting forgotten when really it’s the purpose of all of this. We cannot take our dreams with us, so why the hell should it sit gathering dust on the mind? 

This blog and my writing is the most successful it has ever been right now.  If I could ever define my efforts as a writer it would be one of a chancer who takes the risk from opportunity that is sometimes presented by circumstance. Holy shit that sounds technical but I know what I am, I always have. Slowly people are taking that on with appreciation, and I very much admire the efforts people make to tell the world about my work, I am thankful also.

I started this whole deal when I was twelve years old on a rainy Sunday afternoon facing a windows 98 computer. It was an escape and that was when I typed the initial words about a character named Jack Thorn who fought against robots in the future. The story and premise grew up with me and took on many incarnations from a handwritten Tesco value notepad to a fully typed up first attempted draft of 40,000 words when I was fifteen and should have been studying. 40k aint bad considering it was attempt numero uno.

Still this story and those within it stayed alive in my mind. Even back then I vividly remember sighing and looking at the keyboard whilst muttering “What the hell have I got myself into? Writing books is hard…”.  Even when life took center stage I was reading, Crichton, King and Conan Doyle who were residing on my growing shelf.

I moved house, jobs, had tough times and good. Witnessed great successes and losses, I lived until the dream of writing fully gripped me. Still that story stuck out, even when I started again with a character named Clark Thorn, I learned to write by figuring out his journey.  Those first few years (2012-2015) I was writing 4 hours a night. You have to find the ability to write within, it cannot be taught, anyone who says that is a bullshit merchant no matter how subjective. I found my voice during those years, my starry eyed belief thought a literary agent would pluck me from the slush pile and I would be on Graham Norton in two years time. Pipe dreams are nice, but they are not reality. I’ve only ever got anywhere by rolling up my sleeves to prove that I can write, I know I can and so do my audience.

It’s going to take a lot of work to convert an old time action story to today’s audience, there will need to be a balance, but Jack Thorn is home to me, it always will be, and his story will reside in serial form on this blog from next month. It’s a story of humanity intertwined with the destiny of those who look to defend it. This is the book I have always aspired to write, and write it I will!

In the future there will be robots…

(Jack Thorn will premiere on Thursday Evenings from March and will be serialized through this blog. Next year I shall be querying agents with my story of the future. Do not fear though, I have at least 3 other writing projects currently in development for I am the writing machine! And I’m still reading and reviewing indie stuff) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #25

It’s okay to have anxiety. Sometimes the smallest of stuff can bring you down. We’re human after all and the world is slowly grasping that. Unfortunately this world can be prone to making us anxious and it can also turn our thoughts dark.

I say this with my fair share of experience. In part, dark thoughts can be part of an authors work process like all artists or creators, much of it can be self inflicted or sometimes triggered by the arbitrary or just the need to go to a certain place. The work we do creates a level of expectation in our heads that most of the time it doesn’t succeed that expectation. We build stuff up in our heads and on paper it may look awesome and then the world appears to reject it or ignore it. That may not be the case at all, and brandishing everyone with carelessness is careless in its own right. The whole manifesting ignorance is just a thing in our head, like anxiety and subsequent dark thoughts.

If this stuff comes from within then so can solutions and ways out of it. For me things and thoughts turned dark a while back, really dark. I don’t feel it necessary to give any details other than I thought I was done with writing. Eventually a lightning strike of epiphany hit me, that dark thinking passed, inside my brain had figured it out. Internally I was thinking about all the good that I have in my life, it pulled me through. And that is my advice for anyone going through stuff, take some time and just think about what you’ve got in life that simply makes you smile; a memory, a person, hell even your job. You’ll be surprised how resilient you are inside because I found out I am.

It took me a while to process that whole being ‘done’ with writing. But it did pass, and since then the time after has been my most successful as an author, blogger and creator. Your moment could be over the next horizon.

I finished my latest writing project over the weekend, it’s a great achievement but for me it’s redemption for carrying on in life. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you cannot find yourself in creating, I have several times and yes there will be anxious thoughts, sometimes on a daily occurrence, you have to breathe and think. You can work through it. Talk to others about it, none of us are really alone in this world anymore.