Real Neat Blog Award Nomination!

The Hall of information blog has been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award by Jaycee Lynch of the Thinking Moon Blog!

real neat

In what appears to be my most important year for writing and blogging things just get better and better. It’s an honour that a blogger as renowned as Jaycee would think of an operation like this and so a huge thank you to an awesome fellow blogger and important member of the writing community.

thinking moon

Seeing as one of the only things I am good at is manners I shall take this opportunity to tell y’all a bit more about the blogger who nominated the Hall of information. The Thinking Moon Blog is a plethora of adventure into the written word. From sustainability, to interviews, music and various immersive writings, it’s the pinnacle of what a successful blog should be. Plus we’re both huge fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so it’s safe to say we’re cultured individuals with aligned tastes. Jaycee has been a huge supporter of my work and is one of the helpful few who have allowed me to reach the many.

So what does the Real Neat Blog Award nomination mean? Well there’s some rules which are:

  • Display the Award Logo. 
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
  • Answer the questions from the blog who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Ah right, I think I got this… so here are the questions provided by Thinking Moon that I shall try my best to answer in a fun, witty but clever way…

1. If you won a Grammy for any genre of music, what would it be? 

It would most probably be for a musical album, no joke. If I were ever to enter the music industry it would have something to do with my writing getting me there. I’ve always played around with the thought of converting one of my sci-fi stories into a full on musical. Just imagine being in the cinema watching some epic inner city battle between robots and humans; then they break into song!

2. Who is your favourite villain(s) from any universe?

There is a stack of awesome bad guys out there but so many of them are missing that final piece of a nearly complete puzzle – beliveable motive. In the comic book universes especially; a big bad will normally show already being bad and it just feels one dimensional.

dent.PNG

I don’t have a specific bad guy that I am fond of but my favourite in terms of journey, motive and all around reasons for being bad is Harvey ‘Two Face’ Dent from the Dark Knight. Here we see a man who is good and wholesome, but the world his character interacts with has turned him into the villain he becomes in the latter stages of the film. He is a creation of the environment around him and actually sees sense in aligning himself with the anarchy of the Joker. This also moves us to a pretty awesome segway into question 3…

3. What was your all-time favourite Halloween costume or cosplay you’ve done? Pictures please! 

I was literally asked the other day by someone; do you remember Heath Ledger’s Joker from the Dark Knight?

joker yeah

Way back when, before the aging process set in, I looked a lot like Heath Ledger (apparently… I didn’t just go around saying this to everyone) but you got to admit; that picture above, I can confirm is me at the London New Years Day parade, does look a bit like Heath’s joker.

nor con

4. What’s the weirdest trend you’ve ever partaken in? 

In the age of the internets there have been a huge amount of flavour of the week fads or trends and in all honesty I don’t usually get myself caught up in such things, I live under a rock most of the time, but even I couldn’t resist the urge to play…

flappy bird

Now considering I am a bit of technophobe/ can’t be bothered to keep up type of person, this game had me hooked!

5. What Movie/ Play/ Game soundtrack is your favourite?

If I want to be consistent with question 1 then I’m going with a musical soundtrack. The Greatest Showman is possibly one of the best modern musicals for a very long time. Nearly every song is catchy and meaningful, plus for Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron reasons.

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An honorable mention must also go to my top Nightshift listen ‘Once more, with feeling’ the album taken from Buffy’s famous groundbreaking musical episode!

once more

6. What was the best thing, before sliced bread?

Although sliced wholemeal does appear frequently in my diet I will have to say the best thing before they decided to sell sliced bread would have to be books! I wasn’t around when they first decided to slice bread but I know for a fact they were slicing pulp into pages way before! Although I am kind of obligated to say books (being an author and all) I have to show my support for the literary industry as a whole…

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7. What is your favourite inspirational quote? 

I actually have two which come to mind. Both from films that have influenced me:

robin quote

Of course I couldn’t just leave a Robin Williams quote without saying how much his work influenced and filled my childhood with awesome memories. Even into to adulthood I learned to appreciate his comedy, energy and presence. Robin Williams was truly a wonderful performer who left us too soon.

doc

Back to the Future is my all time favourite film and the series isn’t far behind. No matter how many times you go back or forward in time to change things and no matter how much time you think you don’t have; you future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!

Nomination time

Fellow bloggers I would like to nominate and acknowldge for the Real Neat Blogger Award are: 

  1. Debjani – Debjani’s Thoughts
  2. Blair – Feed the Crime
  3. Bookshelf Q Battler – Bookshelf Battle
  4. Irene – Irene Pylypec.com
  5. Christina Engela – The Crow Bar
  6. Sifar – sunilmdabral
  7. Michaeljordahl

Questions for the nominees

  1. From all the books you have read, name one you would have loved to have written and why?
  2. What was the subject of your very first blog post?
  3. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you had any paranormal experiences?
  4. Do you have a go to music album or vocal artist you have always listened to?
  5. In a few sentences how would you define blogging?
  6. Have you ever had a hero you’ve looked up to?
  7. Are you a believer in luck? Tell me about your luckiest moment in life?

 

Thanks for reading and of course thank you to Thinking Moon for thinking of me with the nomination. Rock and roll man!

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A thank you to everyone!

I don’t normally post something on here unless I have the material but guys the follows and overall support I have got this month as an author is incredible!

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU ALL. Like publishing a book in general I took a plunge or leap this month while already riding the coat tails of some already epic numbers this blog has seen in 2019. Just look where we stand now….

dem numbers

I mean those figures speak for themselves alone just for this month, but 2019 so far has been huge compared to before and there’s another incredible result…

teleporter logo

Last year I dove into the unknown of publishing a super hero comedy novella. Upon release the sales figures were insulting, my ego diminished and all belief in book stuff pretty much gone. We all want instant results but they don’t happen and so after some serious time spent making a name for myself in the literary world of indie publishing/ reviewing, The Teleporter finally arrived!

tp promo results

As you can see The Teleporter shifted some big time numbers and even had a stint as #1 in it’s particular ‘genetic engineering’ chart…

And that isn’t all because there are some genuine results from the Teleporter’s arrival!

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I had to put together a fricking slide show to display the amount of new reviews we got!

But wait there’s more, I’ve even had fellow bloggers write reviews which I then re blogged here so Thanks to Mullen Crafts and  also thanks to Elysia Lumen Strife. Both of your reviews were probably better than the damn book itself, and they made it all the way to Amazon.com! the holy grail of places for reviews! 

There was also a 1 Star review which I won’t dwell too much on, but I think some people came out to read the Teleporter in response and support of me, so thanks folks. You can read my reaction to it here via weekly ramble numero 30…. 

For those looking for book promo tips I recommend this little results post I put together earlier in April

And to everyone else, writer, blogger, tweeter or reader, a tip of the cap to you all. Peace out! That’s April folks… my best month ever in writing!  

April 7th… 

tp reviews

April 30th

teleporter now

Amazon US 

amazon us

Weekly Ramble #23

I’m still coming down. And god damn I am proud of what we did over the weekend. For the first time in the 76 year history of Iver Heath Drama Club we put on our own written pantomime show.

This journey hasn’t been easy (and there’s still another weekend of shows to go), they never are and the reward is like nothing I have ever felt before. Writing plays is something I transitioned into from performing, every show I was cast in, I took that as an opportunity to fuel my learning. Eventually that turned into the unique ability to be able to tell my own stories and the open welcoming environment of Iver Heath Drama Club has fostered and nurtured my writing to heights I could never imagine.

I take a look around and ask myself how the fu** did we get here? How did this whole deal become this big. The answer, like all big answers is relatively simple. Without intentionally being deep, the answer much like everything good we ever do or create comes from within.

And I say this now as advice to anyone looking to succeed in not only writing, but in life and work. All you have to do is show up on time and work hard. Get there and roll up your sleeves. If the environment you’re in is decent and so are the people, eventually they will reward you for showing up and doing a shift. And quite possibly they might even love you for it. Everything else will follow, we all learn in our own way.

I view story telling as just a sequence of ideas put together in a neat orderly fashion. The more time you spend tidying up those ideas in that mind of yours, the better the stories will get along with those ideas. Above all I create because I enjoy it, making something gives me the greatest sense of fulfillment in life and this time around I am not alone. We put together a show as a team, and for the first time, writing hasn’t been a solitary lone affair, its been so much more and so I can live with being high on that for a while…

Weekly Ramble #12

I can finally move on. The book is finally published in paperback and my job is done. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Releasing stuff always is because in essence its a part of me until I let it go. 

Now I can focus my emotions onto something else; first of all nothing; sometimes nothing is your friend; emptiness and silence can fulfill where there was once chaos. The words I have laid down this time around were for a specific group; those who supported me in the beginning and those who have read my work.

I don’t do this for money, for fame or for even recognition. I’ve been lucky enough to discover my calling in life; telling stories; stories that are a part of me; characters and situations which are intertwined with truth and fiction. Imagination is what sets us apart from everything else. Even though that’s deep after everything they are just words.

Many writer folks and even novice wordsmiths will be delving into the na-no-wri-mo thing this month; me I’m officially in off season. And if you ask me writing a novel in a month is just opening yourself up for disappointment. Stories take more than time limits to find shape. They grow over months and years and not for the sake of a hashtag. Try writing all year round.

Nobody can be taught to write and anyone who claims they can teach writing is full of shit. Learning to write is something you can only find alone and it comes from within. This craft is built upon time spent laying down words. And when you aren’t writing you should be reading; everything by everyone. Indie work, traditionally published stuff, unpublished stuff and even newspapers. Read, read, read, and write all the damn time; eventually your voice will discover itself.

There will be more books but for now my mind will rest and delve towards another script; a play about a certain forbidden fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weekly Ramble #1

I’ve been inclined to start a weekly article called the ‘ramble’,  a place to take my writing and more importantly opinions of stuff that 3 novels and counting just couldn’t contain…

Everyday I find myself scrolling through social media, playing the proverbial game of bingo spotting the usual bullshit that fills up our timelines and stories, yeah I’m in that crowd, but normally I share stuff because it might enrich someone or at least make them aware of my efforts as a writer, it could even make someone happy.

el director

Us human beings have and always will be on the hunt for instant gratification, hell I’m sure that’s what the ‘gram’ is named after, a basic extension of life invader or Facebook as you all know it. An opportunity to create blatantly planned and set up moments… back to that game of bingo, I see a full plate of food with a pair of sunglasses and maybe a book. The only thing missing is the phone which should be face down, just eat the damn meal and read the book instead, nobody really cares about your average life. People emptily like the picture probably because it’s better than the one below it, of that person telling you how good and full his life is when really deep down that post is aimed at an ex and so again I stamp my bingo card.

You can define the social media user by two crowds, the constant posters and the ones who hide but are always watching. The watchers will say they’ve had enough of Facebook and will probably deactivate their account when they get round to it, or in fact they have just returned from a three month stint of that blank profile picture, you’re not fooling me, you are just the same in nature to the constant posters, you need it, for the gratification and because it’s still there you return.

I mean I am no saint when it comes to social media, of course I probably over use it, I am human after all, and my weird journey as an author wouldn’t be what it is without that. Success as a writer and on social media echo each other in the same bipolar way. Take my latest novel, The Teleporter, a super hero type comedy with a hell of a lot of relation to this modern world, it’s anti Trump, and sometimes pro booze. There are so many things in that book that make it unique, despite that and all my marketing efforts, it sold less that 20 copies. Bipolar right? Or maybe bad timing or maybe nobody is interested unless it’s Marvel or DC, or so many other theories, I think maybe the cover has something to do with it, not that it’s bad, I think it’s wonderful, but is there some kind of primitive dislike for a certain colour or font? Because whenever I put that cover up anywhere on social media, the likes and attention are seriously reduced. Is it the title? Weird huh? and you should see for yourself, it’s probably the most interesting outcome I have had for a book, it has simply been rejected.

Now rejection is something we all need to embrace if we want to use social media, people wont always be there to like your stuff, and people that do without fail, are they liking the content or the person? Rejection may as well be my middle name when I began this journey into the words, I still have the rejection emails in the hundreds via the inbox of a time not so long ago.

I continue to process why the Teleporter has seemingly failed, and I say that in the least dramatic sense, I know some have read it, but not a lot, and it is still very early to really gauge the success of it. How I process this stuff is simple, retreat into writing, keep churning out content across genres, I’m holding hundreds of darts and the target is somewhere ahead. As long as I keep throwing, some day the I’ll make something stick….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Self Interview: Lee Hall pt2

Hello and welcome to the second part of my author self interview series. Today we cover book reviews, the ten year anniversary of the Christ Benoit murder suicide tragedy and a whole host of indie author questions…

doom 16

How important do you think book reviews are for an indie author?

Reviews are a doubled edged sword when it comes to books. They are very unique to any other product available on amazon simply because most of the reviews critique or praise the writers efforts. Clothes, electronics or even medications are reviewed for whether they fit or even work. Books really are unique to review as a product.

So do you think people have read a review of Open Evening and then decided to buy it? 

I would like to think so, even though a very small percentage of the people who did buy my first book left a review. So even though I am thankful for the praise and kind words I don’t take reviews massively seriously.

What are you currently reading? and is it important that a writer must also find time to read? 

Dragon Teeth by Michael Critchton and god yes! If you ever want to get better at every element of story telling you must read and then read some more. Our minds are constantly growing and books feed that growth. With reading you take something in as opposed to writing which works the opposite way!

How are you marketing yourself as a writer currently? 

I like to stay relatively active on social media and do try not to just talk about my books. When possible and if I have some material I like to blog. If I have watched a new film or TV show I may review it or maybe even whatever political situation is going on in the world right now. The first rule of selling books is not talking about selling books…

Being an indie writer means that I probably doesn’t pay the bills. So what do you do for a living? 

I work at the very forefront of cutting edge experimental science. My job involves working in the control room of a particle accelerator in Oxfordshire for the STFC. It’s a pretty cool place and there’s always something interesting happening or another challenge arising from science. I started out as an electrician and then moved into engineering which now nods towards physics, pretty cool right?

Feature Question: Lastly this week has seen the 10 year anniversary of the suicide murder case involving WWE wrestler Chris Benoit, what are your thoughts?

flying

Benoit (right) with his signature flying headbutt

Well where do I start? Back then I was a huge huge WWE fan! I was still a stupid 17 year old kid but even back then wrestling was everything to me. Chris Benoit was and still is to me the pinnacle of what a successful wrestler should be. He worked his way up for years and only really got rewarded later on in his career. I related to the guy because like me he was only 5’8 but he was tougher than anyone in that ring. Seeing him win in the main event of wrestlemania 20 was pretty special then some years later all of that went away.

Back then I used to record the WWE shows on a small vhs combo TV I used to plonk down next to our actual TV. So I had already watched and recorded the Sunday event where Benoit was scheduled to show up and face CM Punk in a championship match. Of course this never happened and obviously the events that unfolded at Benoit’s residence were tragic and horrific. He took his wife and son’s life before committing suicide himself.

The news broke initially with WWE officials not really sure what to do as the truth was still unfolding. So I put in the tape of Monday night Raw to see an empty arena and even stranger a tearful Vince McMahon. The context is previously McMahon died on screen in a story line which due to the events just got dropped. He spoke about what had happened with Chris but not to any detail. At that moment my heart sunk and everything felt distant for some time,  I was even numb perhaps. I knew back then wrestler deaths were common but a top guy like Benoit was a deep wound to the industry.

The three hour show that night displayed Chris Benoit’s best moments and it even contained some interviews of current WWE talent. Some of which were cagey and may could have actually known the circumstances, I remember both John Cena and William Regal holding their cards close to their chests. Little did anyone know this would be the last mention of Chris Benoit on WWE TV ever! They literally deleted him from the history of their company but for good reason.

It’s scary how quick time can go and I cant believe it has been ten years since the Chris Benoit tragedy. WWE changed that day. The investigation revealed Benoit used a lot of steroids, had some bad brain damage and had domestic issues with his wife Nancy. I guess we will never really know what happened over that weekend but my guess is the combination of lots of things caused this.

Soon after in WWE a new drug wellness policy got phased in. The next year they went PG and never looked back, they look after their talent a little more now but that doesn’t ever change what happened 10 years ago.

 

 

My Big Book Announcement

The day is finally here and with great excitement I can happily announce that my first novel ‘Open Evening’ is going to be published!

As some of you may have seen the other day I put up the picture of a date on both the tweet machine and Facebook (or life invader, the name I prefer). And yes and this is actually happening.

On the 29th of September 2016 Open Evening will be available as an e-book initially and then later on in mid-October will see the release of it on paper back.

This blog site has been the very forefront of my publication journey in the past few years and finally there is a destination on the horizon. If you look to the right you can see a countdown of sorts that I had ‘fun’ trying to put up on Tuesday (look I don’t computer well ok).

If you have come from life invader you will have seen my short but sweet announcement video available to watch here. 

The details

As many of you book people will know getting published takes a lot of organisation and firing back and forth of emails. Now you’re probably asking who will be publishing Open Evening.

Well back in December I made contact with Nicky Fitzmaurice of Satin Publishing, an e-pub house I have had my eye on for some time. After sending my work to Nicky she happily accepted and will be editing the book (as well as doing many more things in terms of publishing it).

Open Evening has been recognised as YA (young adult) in genre and will hopefully appeal to a broad range of ages. You can read what it’s all about here.

Now finding success through publishing a book is not something that can be done single handed. Having already organised the services of an editor/publisher I have also been on the lookout for somebody to help promote and publicise the book.

Last week I asked a good friend of mine and fellow blogger Matt Streuli if he would help publicise things?

‘Of course’ he said (in abridged form). Now some of you will already know Matt who does fantastic work, blogging and campaigning for the awareness and stigma that comes with mental health. His journey in the past year can be seen in his many blog posts about the subject of mental health. He has appeared on the radio and even writes for the Huffington post.  I will even mention that every year he finds new and innovative ways to advertise the community drama club we both belong to.

What needs to be done?

So my book team has been organised and ready to assemble, what happens now?

Well there is still a lot to consider before any of you read the first words that begin Open Evening.

Firstly I need to get in contact with a cover artist. I know the saying about never judging a book by its cover but people do so it needs to be good.

Then I will need to get my head around all things that make up the publishing process. After all this is a journey of discovery.

At some point I shall sit down with Matt and discuss all the ways I can annoy people on social media about my book.

Importantly I will be blogging and bringing any updates onto here in order to build up an even bigger following that I already have. That ladies and gentlemen is where you come in.

No writer has ever found success without the support of loyal readers and in this day and age, followers. Quite honestly I need you all to like, share, retweet, re-blog and rewind the VHS before taking it back to blockbuster (what?). Seriously I need you, because on that day of publication I want Open Evening to make a dent in whatever list or chart it finds itself on. My dream is for the world to read my stuff and it’s on the horizon, but only if you help. There may be a signed book or cup of tea for your reward.

I said 2016 will be my #YearOfWriting and it is. So come with me if you want to read…

Thank you all sincerely for reading this and liking my posts on whatever social media platform you find me on. It means everything to me. This journey has been long but its going to get interesting soon.

LH