‘The Ghost Beside Me’ Official Cover Reveal!

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

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

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

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

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Weekly Ramble #52

Anxiety, depression and loneliness are all things we should talk about way more. Even in this modern age where we appear to be more connected than ever before, we still face these issues on a pandemic scale. You would think the concept of social media would help to battle such issues but from my experiences it can foster depression and possibly make it worse. Perhaps the original intention of social media – if it ever was good, has been overlooked and overshadowed.

2010 – you’ve got to get a Facebook profile picture..

2019 – you’ve got to get off Facebook…

It’s strange how time can turn things around, or in this sense nearly a decade .The same generation (folks like me) who knew a life before being internet reliant and then embracing it is now choosing to come away. Perhaps the old saying too much of anything is bad for you turned out to be pretty accurate.

The reason I link mental health and social media together is because last year these two subjects culminated in what I recall as a particularly dark time for me personally. I know many people who have been on their own mental health journeys; many of them blog or post about it (the good guys!), and well I’ve been quite vague until now because it is still fresh and context along with timing has urged me to share it only now – plus compared to last year right now I am probably in one of the best places I’ve been for a long while, as I said it’s funny how time can turn things around.

Off the heels of my 4th book release and the 2nd one of last year which didn’t go particularly smoothly and subsequently didn’t turn out how I envisioned. I’ve only learned all of my ‘book stuff’ by doing/ trial and error and well the release of Cemetery House was indeed just another day at the learning factory – sequels are a specialist thing in indie publishing, and while I did put the whole thing on a pedestal with a long running social media campaign and a whole bunch of expectation, let’s just say in my head I didn’t exactly get a hole in one. By this time I had already drafted the Darke Blood sequel and immediately I pulled the plug on releasing that this year – it wasn’t ready and neither was I.

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There was also a bunch of other stuff going on at the time; that whole year had been building up towards me moving into my own place with my more than better half. Moving places is naturally stressful even if it went quite well – there is more paperwork than any book I’ve ever written… So by the end of November and with my mind trying to crawl towards a better place I took the huge dive into deleting the Facebook app off my phone – for those who know I was always on Facebook; that’s my secret captain… I even decided to go dark across all platforms probably apart from this place. This may have been the best health decision I have ever made in my entire life –  arguably probably better than no carb Thursday or no meat Monday… Immediately my mind and focus turned towards other things, of course the move was coming but very quickly and after being burned by book 4’s ‘debacle’ I wanted to write again!

For those who have read my books will know they are about more than genre and even the main plot. In everything I have created there is an underlying message within. I took on a new writing project and with my crusade against staying off social media I went a further step creatively and decided to hand write my next project. My vision was to take away page counts, word counts, windows updates and the temptation of logging on to Life Invader as well as finding my writing routes. This was just Lee, his pen, some paper and words. At this time I was still healing and so I got writing and subconsciously put together a story that reflected how I was feeling in a sense.

That recollection of feelings reflected via a story ended up becoming a book called ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ which is due for release this December. Because it was handwritten and had a sole focus on just telling a story it turned out to be quite short but it could arguably be my most powerful and important project. And so we go back to the start of this entry… Anxiety, depression and loneliness are all things we should talk about way more, you’ll find these subjects in my next book and they are talked about. That is something we need to do so much more. There are some creators I know that also talk about self care – this is just as important, finding away to get through stuff is a vital part of talking about it!

Now I’m not just using this as an opportunity to sell some books, this has never been about that, it’s an opportunity to use my writing for something more than just telling stories. 

By the end of December last year I had mostly recovered and dove into Indie Book Reviews which has probably been a lifeline for me. Connecting with other authors and bloggers who face what I face gives me a great sense of not being alone in the huge overpopulated world of social media. Even now I am weary of Facebook, it’s #4 or #5 on my platforms for author stuff, this place  is numero uno followed closely by the tweet machine.

For what is my 52nd ramble post – a year of rambles, although I started this series little over a year ago – I would like to take this opportunity to everyone who reads this and say thank you! This blog and your support has given my writing a new lease of life and very soon ‘The Ghost Beside Me’ will be my redemption, whether or not it is a success actually doesn’t matter, it’s the journey of creation that truly matters. 

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Weekly Ramble #49

How the hell are we in November, again? Even with a mere eight weeks until the culmination of not only another year but another decade I got a lot of stuff left to do!

These days it’s kind of cliche to be busy, but this past year I’ve been one of the busiest motherfu**ers in the world… Okay that may be a tad over dramatic but I’m tellin’ ya now, even though on the writers side of things it’s been good, if not awesome, everywhere else, off the written page has kicked my ass.

This ramble post is just a check in before what is one of the biggest weeks of the year for me. My brother is getting married tomorrow and I have the honour of being the best man – this involves a speech in front of a very specific audience – family and close friends. The truth is, I’m anxious, nervous and every other type ous there is available. As a whole the speech does what I always do, it tells a story. I’ve recited it out loud several times and I am probably prepared for it. I’ve been in 16 stage shows in 9 years but this is whole different type of gig. I’ve constructed what I hope is a speech that is emotional, touching and sometimes funny with a balance towards a wide audience of ages. Its in situations like this you just have to trust the story to do the rest.

The next ramble will probably be a debrief of sorts. My mind is only focused on this right now but at the very back of my mind is my 5th book.

‘The Ghost Beside Me’ drops in December. I am on the lookout for a handful of beta readers, anyone interested in a shorter read that is both weird and a paranormal romance then hit me up. Until then, I’ll see ya’ll on the other side…

Weekly Ramble #46

There is no shame in having anxiety. We should never beat ourselves up for what is essentially a reaction or a feeling to something. Like a suspension bridge the cables and struts of it’s anatomy only have a certain tolerance, own own cables and struts (emotions) are under the same stress.

It’s a natural normal thing to feel anxious and the triggers can spring up from anywhere. That big presentation, a speech, an important game and even getting on that plane (for me). Rationalization is hard thing to find in the murk and dark of anxiety, every little thing becomes heightened. It can be hell for sometimes days before and then the actual experience may turn out to have all been in our heads (but even after I still hate flying).

We can debilitate ourselves with thoughts alone, and maybe we were being silly in that moment, but that’s not tackling the issue, that’s just a dismissal. In this day and age especially we must talk about our emotions, they lead us through that murk. Depression, anxiety, nervousness, worry, they are all considered as bad feelings, but they are normal reactions to the life we live. It’s okay to have these feelings, sometimes every day.

The next time you lift something heavy or god forbid do a plank, your arms or abdominal muscles begin to shake, that’s because they are working and again that is something normal like emotion.

In a world where all of us strife to be different we all have one thing that is the same, our emotions, so let’s bloody talk about them more!