I am not the Lee Hall who wrote ‘Billy Elliot’

Hello everyone. Important message here, well all of my blog posts are. I feel somewhat inclined to reach out to everyone in general just to say I am not the Lee Hall who wrote Billy Elliot. Quite recently I have received messages from people assuming that I am that same Lee Hall. I am not. But my name is Lee Hall.

And yes this blog post is totally dedicated to me not being the guy who wrote Billy Elliot!

It isn’t particularly difficult to work out that I am an Indie Author of 4 books and 2 plays. None of which is Billy Elliot. I mean that in the most sincere way but use your fu**ing eyes! I’m sorry for swearing but all you really have to do is read probably the first few lines of my profile on all social media outlets to grasp that. I’m not angry either (that’s not allowed either these days).

However, speaking of me, here are the four of my books that are competitively priced on amazon, you should buy one and leave a review….

books

5 Reasons why you should read Darke Blood

I’ve come to believe that anyone can write a book. I mean that in the singular sense. Most of us have enough inside us to create one book’s worth of content and tell a story worth reading. Although having one book out there is indeed a phenomenal achievement a real writer only finds themselves after that first journey. What I’m saying is indeed subjective and from experience but I truly believe that I became a writer only after I managed to finish drafting Darke Blood and so here are five reasons why you should check out my story of true darkness… 

dfw-lh-db-cover-3d

1: This was the most difficult project I’ve ever drafted… and arguably the most ‘book like’ book I have out there… it’s probably the most rewarding too…

I almost sent ‘DB’ into the recycling bin around a third of the way into drafting. It made me angry that I just couldn’t get the book to work or fit with any type of story. My writing style isn’t to have much of a particular plan, in fact for this book I had 3 or 4 ideas and no real idea for a finish. Without boring you all to death with vague details let’s just say I persevered and found myself as a writer, pulled everything together during an angry session at the gym one day and created a story I am damn proud of.

The real truth is; and this is further to my point above, I gave myself 4 ideas and then said ‘let’s go write a book’. Being able to write a story on the spot with just a handful of concepts is the definition of a real writer. They will find a way to link everything together via characters, plot and setting no matter what.

Most of my books read like a film, but ‘DB’ reads in a more stationary manner making it deeper and immersive and overall more book like.

2: Yes it’s a vampire story, but that’s just a side genre…

Creatures of the night have been done and done again we all know that and I knew that going in. But Vampires have never been seen in the way I delivered them (sophisticated and logical, no offence or slander towards others though) and as much as people think they have been done; there’s still a huge array of vamp stories out there. This story is Vampires grown up. Above all DB is about identity and finding yourself even if you can only see pure darkness eventually you can find your own light to shine a way.

During the difficult draft I decided the world of Darke Blood was in fact linked to another world created in my debut novel, which brings us to numero 3…

3: Darke Blood is set in the same universe as Open Evening!

dfw-lh-oe-cover-ebook

I had a great deal of fun building bridges between Open Evening and Darke Blood. Without dropping a bunch of spoilers I will say it just makes sense for these stories to be in the same ‘time’ and world. If you have read ‘OE’ and if you are looking closely you’ll see a few hints towards the ‘DB’ universe. This becomes a little more obvious in ‘DB’ and those who know the two universes will collide eventually.

4: The characters

Quite simply Darke Blood is a character driven novel, for much of the writing I let them lead the charge and you’ll find arguably the greatest cast I have ever assembled on the page. One of the biggest motivators to write this novel for me personally was to tribute Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a subtle sense as well as carving my own path. Those who are one with the Whedon will know his work is driven and centered by diverse three dimensional characters and Darke Blood tributes that. There is a character for everyone waiting in Darke Blood

5: There’s going to be a sequel!

I have already drafted the sequel to DB and at the far end of this year I shall delve into the editing phase. In terms of release date, we’re looking at 2020. ‘Darke Awakening’ will see the world of Open Evening and Cemetery House collide with Darke Blood in the ultimate culmination and cross over.

Bonus Reason 6:

Turns out cross overs are hard and long (that’s not a porno honest…) so ‘Darke Awakening’ is part 1 of 2 Darke Blood sequels. ‘Darke Apocalypse’ will close the story and crown the ‘Darke Trilogy’ along with carry on the story of Open Evening and Cemetery House. This will be later as opposed to sooner so you have got all the time in the world to read Open Evening, Darke Blood and Cemetery House.

Bonus Bonus Reason 7:

Okay I’m pushing it now and I don’t want to go hard sell but Darke Blood is relatively undiscovered. The truth is it needs a bunch more reviews and reads before I will even think about launching the sequel. My big plan and aspiration this year is to get DB read and reviewed more. You could be responsible for the success of what is a deeply immersive character driven story. Anybody who does wish to read it, I will happily send an e-copy for free in exchange for a review so get in contact for more info…

Or you can just wait until this friday when it will be free to download for one day only celebrating 3 years since release!

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Ramble #21

There goes another decade, well nearly. Time flies when you’re writing books I guess and this year just sort of crept up from the shadows. The past few weeks have all kinda merged but things are trying to settle down…

Lets talk goals for 2019; because A new year feels like a fresh start, this is my year and it may even be the crowning piece of one hell of a decade.

  • I’m handwriting the first draft for my next book, a paranormal romance in the form of a diary. Yes I said romance, my whole deal in writing is to nail as many genres as I possibly can. If you can tell a story, genres are just the variable. We’re looking at a festive season 2019 release and I may fully self publish this one, I will still need an epic cover though!
  • Book Code named ‘Project X43’… or the real title ‘Jack Thorn’ – ‘In the future there will be robots… and this book is my writing destiny’. This year I’m finishing the rebooted draft and I’m going to find an agent and get it published (yep easier said than done). Those who have followed me from the start will recognize the ‘Thorn’ name and yes this book is massively linked to it.

dfw-lh-db-cover-ebook

  • Darke Blood Sequel: ‘Darke Awakening’ has already been drafted and for those who have been keeping up this one serves as not only a sequel to ‘DB’ but it’s the continuation of Open Evening and Cemetery House. This year I will hopefully edit and set a release date for the Awakening. It will probably see the ‘light’ in 2020.

43623070_1845669605548507_4131498512841965568_o

So that’s all of my writing goals for 2019, let me just take this opportunity to say, keep it real, be safe and may the force be with you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cemetery House Blurb Reveal!

With Halloween on the not too distant horizon, this year comes the long awaited sequel to Open Evening; Cemetery House. Those who survived are back to continue what has already been started.

I began production of ‘CH’ quite literally after Open Evening, well sort of. The first portion of the book serves as a prequel/origins story of a man named Twister, I wrote that very early on. The rest of the story is a continuation of Open Evening making the whole deal rather unique. I’ve tried to take all the good stuff from sequels I like and put those concepts into this book along with being conscious of what makes a bad sequel also (I didn’t to put that stuff in). There will be answers this time around, especially from the many questions Open Evening asked. What this has resulted in is a story in which I am so damn proud of, these characters who carried the last story were given another opportunity to prove how wonderful they are, and for me they wrote this one.

Those that do know, this story is indeed linked to Darke Blood and their universe is shared. There will be more nods towards that in this book, so look out. 

I have just finished my final OCD edit, and reading through Cemetery House has actually pulled me out of a rather rough time I have been having as of late. August was a pretty hard month personally but I am over myself now and this book has helped leaps and bounds.

So there’s only one thing left for me to say, here’s the blurb of Cemetery House….

The survivors from Open Evening are back for their next chapter and together they must face life after high school. Led by a man named Twister, they learn of his origins and where he came from; a place that suffered a similar fate to their hometown. Accompanied by his newly formed crew; Twister must return home to face the demons of his past, only now the town has been converted into a horror themed amusement park.

With a ‘purge’ imminent in the park, those who survived High School must look for answers as they take on their next challenge. The world of work can be filled with horror hiding just beneath the surface which has returned yet again for the roller coaster ride that is Cemetery House.

So get ready to run, think, fight and live, because ‘survival was just the beginning…’

 

2018 Preview

Happy New year loyal reader and welcome to 2018! My blog is back for what will hopefully be the biggest yet for my writing.

‘They’ do say it takes 5 books to finally ‘feel’ any success towards being an author and so 2018 will see the arrival of not 1 but 2 more books to the back catalogue. That puts me 1 away from being a modern Tolkien right? We’ll see I guess but first before I talk about my books I want to address the white elephant in the room!

Star Wars – What were they thinking?

last jedi

This review will contain spoilers, but if you haven’t seen the Last Jedi, scroll on or don’t see it, I stand in either choice right now…

That bad? Well thinking about it and having let the whole thing sink in after xmas, yes. Now not all of it was terrible and as a casual (didn’t see them fully until my teens) fan I found myself wondering what the hell they were doing along with ‘hey that was pretty good’. There were some parts of the Last Jedi I did really enjoy, I could count them on one hand and on the other hand all of the bad or shall I say unnecessary plot arcs, events and characters that took up too much of the long run time.

It felt as if all the great work and promise from the force awakens seemed to be completely ignored or dashed by new the director Rian Johnson (the now voldemort of films). We didn’t see anywhere near the screen time needed for both Finn and Poe Dameron. Instead we are introduced  to filler characters. Some of which are trying to make an already richly diverse universe even more so. This time around the whole diversity thing just felt pushed. I mean the world is obsessed by such a thing which the original Star Wars had. Princesses that were strong and could fight, different skin tones and accents, its all there in a new Hope.

I cant get my head around why they cocked this up but they did. And for those who had waited 40 years to see their master Jedi return, you will be disappointed by Luke Skywalker, the recluse who spends a film ignoring Rey.

What interests me the most is an impending doom of where they will go next. Maybe Rock ‘the Dwayne Johnson’ was right by releasing Jumanji at the same time…

Let’s talk my books 2018…

Loyal followers will know this year will see two books come out.

The Teleporter

In a world where there are already too many super heroes, comes another super hero…

teleporter

Okay that may be a bit broad, but the Teleporter, arrives this April/May and promises to be of novella length. This short mainly comedic piece will see one layabout drunk guy accidentally acquire the ability to Teleport! Some other stuff happens and he tries to save the day and get drunk….

Sounds fun huh? Well I enjoyed writing what is a departure from horror and took my time to create something which will hopefully be a barrel of laughs. There will be more teasers like the one on the left soon. You can find more information here.

 

Cemetery House

‘Survival was only the beginning…’ 

The long awaited sequel to Open Evening arrives this Halloween and sets out to tell the story of those who survived that night in Haddington. We will see an extended origins arc for Twister who has to ‘go home’, this time around he’s not alone. Here’s the teaser trailer…. 

Cemetery House will also connect with Darke Blood resulting in a crossover coming 2019!

 

 

A guide to book promotion

The thing about life and doing stuff means that sometimes you gain experience. And to be more specific, when it comes to writing books (I currently have 2 published with 3 in the pipeline) I have learned all sorts of crazy, funny and sometimes important things. I’ve dabbled many times in sharing my experiences all things publishing and this post is indeed another branch from my resources section.

This is my guide to book promotion…

First of all the results I got from my various endeavours is subjective and dependent on a lot of things. This includes: the type of book you are promoting, the state of the market, timing, pricing, quality of product and how it looks, how many reviews, yada yada yada.

A lot of things have to align pretty well for any book to sell, even thought there are snake like marketing tactics to trick people into buying things. You wont find any here, just honest experiences, ideas and tactics.

STEP 1 

Firstly you have to decide what you want. For me personally and my two books, I wanted people to know they existed, quite simply. Thousands of sales would be great but I realistically want to shift enough books just to know they are being read. A majority of 2017 I spent trying to figure out the best way to promote both of my books and truthfully my sales were god awful. (Basically near to zero).

I went from near enough nothing to a maximum of 600 plus sales in 1 day! Hell we even hit number 1 in the occult charts at one point. And there’s no proven secret, you just need to do your homework and that’s the next step.

STEP 2 – RESEARCH 

Now where did I do my homework? Goodreads!

image

There are hundreds of discussion boards/groups amongst the grand depths of goodreads full of mostly up to date and historic information. One particular group I joined; ‘Support for Indie Authors’ is packed to the rafters with stuff. And for the first time in my writing life, I knew I wasn’t alone.

This group is full of not only valuable tutorials but it is run by people who have been there just like you, their books haven’t sold either and they discuss it, vent and share. This is the wonderful thing about the modern age we live.

There is a section dedicated to book promotion, and so I got to work deciding how I would go about promoting my books. I wanted people to know my product was there so how would I do that?

I was willing to part ways with some money, not a lot mind, say around £50. How would I know my money was being put to use, I consulted the discussion boards where people tell you results and now here I am.

STEP 3- DECIDE 

I put together a short list of promo service providers. Websites and companies who specialize in promoting books via websites and mailing lists. Some of them promised over 10,000 eyes would look over their newsletters alone. I made contact with ones who looked genuine; many of them have a process such as a form making it all the more easier. I will list my results further down.

STEP 4 – IMPLEMENT 

I timed my booked promotions with a view to eventually give the e-book of Open Evening away for free. I enrolled in KDP select for both books and set up dates for them to be free (5 days in a row). (I only intended Open Evening to be free but Darke Blood was also for a time). Everything was organised and so I waited for the promo dates to roll by.

STEP 5 – TRACK SALES AND RESULTS

Book sales began to trickle in. And so here are the results and who I used:

Before books were free: 

Book Doggy – Cost $10 – Book sales – 21 (not bad huh?)

Bargian Booksy – Cost $43 – Book sales – 21 (somewhat pricey compared to above..)

Fiverr – Cost $5 – Book sales – 3 (Probably not worth it again, but lesson learned)

The 5 days my e-books were free:

Bookwerm – Cost $10 – Book sales – 10

And then things went a little crazy, by day 2 I had sold 83 books and then that number kept growing until my final day of being free. Open Evening was downloaded 629 times. We hit number 1 and many post downloads came in after! oe 1

So there it is, Open Evening officially arrived and I was only just touching the surface in terms of promotions. But this is the beginning.

The good thing about kindle is that you can also track pages read, and so here are my results…

people are reading

As you can see people are reading my book. Which is what I wanted from this, just to let people know it exists. When it comes to promotion of books, the job is never done. And there is always someone who has been in your situation.

Big Book Update 2018

2018 is closing in on the horizon and I find myself asking where did that year go? Time flies when your kicking ass and writing books. But these days blog posts are rare for me due to my procrastination efforts and my philosophy of no news equals no blog.

17 18

Of course I could find something to vent about, like the deteriorating political situation in ‘insert nation here’ or how ‘insert maniacal world leader here’ will get us all into a nuclear war. It’s safe to say I prefer not to debate and voice opinions of such things, I find most news tiresome, especially when most of it is bad, I’m not ignorant, just selective. All bad news aside, I must say 2017 has been incredibly diverse for me in terms of success and writing efforts.

Earlier in the first half of this year we saw the release of my second novel Darke Blood in which sales are still trickling by and even some fresh reviews have made their way in. The feedback overall has been good and my efforts to publish this book have been very much worthwhile.

oe 1

Open Evening had further success by reaching Number 1 in its Occult category on amazon and sold over 600 copies in a day (it was free to download at the time!).

Soon after DB’s publication and before I got to work drafting my next next book. I say next next because 2018 is a huge year for me.

 

2018 will see two books of mine grace publication. My back catalogue this time next year will increase to 100%! (that’s just maths…) 

So what are they? Well scrolling down past this post you will see my announcement post for CEMETERY HOUSE; the sequel to Open Evening and also linked to the Darke Blood universe! Exciting huh? Click on the picture below to view the teaser. We are looking at a Halloween release for CH.

survial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what’s the other book?

Soon after finishing the inital draft of CH I needed a much needed light hearted break away from horror/thrillers and so I got to work on a comedy novella called, wait for it….

THE TELEPORTER; a super hero comedy type story. I am looking at an early April release date and more importantly over the last week I have been in contact with my awesome book publication team and I can confirm…..

both Satin Publishing and Design for Writers will be on board to publish/edit and create an awesome cover not just for the Teleporter but for Cemetery House also!

the to

My next step will be to let my loyal readers know official release dates which will turn up sooner than you think! Hashtag creepy wink!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cemetery House Release Date confirmed

Yep, you read that title right. CEMETERY HOUSE, the sequel to Open Evening has an official release date! There’s a teaster trailer currently making the rounds of the Facebooks so if you see it, remember to give an indie author a hand by liking, sharing and commenting…. 

Seeing as I haven’t blogged in quite a while here’s a rundown of all the recent news from the universe of Lee Hall, procrastination extraordinaire and sometimes word smith…

trailer

Click on me to view the trailer, you know you want to…

September Anniversary Freebie Bonanza!

yeah

Yeah!

A few weeks back I celebrated the 1 year anniversary of becoming a published author via the arrival of Open Evening. For a few days the E-book of both Open Evening and Darke Blood were available for free (I only intended the first book to be free, so a cock up on my behalf). But either way the reaction was massive, and already I have received new reviews from new readers. And I have to say the numbers of downloads were record breaking for me. A new personal best came on the 23rd of last month with over 600 e-books being downloaded. Of course if you were watching, Open Evening shot up the Occult charts on amazon all the way to Number 1! Awesome right?

Drafting finishes for the Teleporter!

My next book will be a novella/shorter story called the Teleporter, and it is predominantly a super hero comedy with elements that break the fourth wall and has some politically loaded messages. Last month I managed to finish the first draft and will hopefully be looking at a release in the fist half of 2018. You can like the Teleporter’s page right here. 

Editing begins on CHc house

Seeing as I have already decided upon a release date for Cemetery House you can probably guess editing is going spectacularly well. The story is shaping up and will be somewhat of a departure from the first one as much as a continuation. Of course I plan on developing characters and giving answers to the readers along with linking this all in with the Darke Blood universe in which a crossover will follow. If you liked the first one, you will love this one, trust me.

 

All I can really say now is thank you for the continued support, reviews, likes and shares. This whole indie author thing only works if awesome people like you who use their right and left turn indicators help me!! 

 

 

Free Facebook Book Giveaway and New Book News!!!

Yes you read that title right, I’m giving more of my books away and I just finished drafting another, but this time I’m doing something I have never done. Both Darke Blood and Open Evening are up for grabs together…

This special one time promotion is driving towards my efforts of reaching the 400 like milestone on my facebook page.

That page and the many loyal likers over the years have been there for me through everything! Thank you to everyone for the support, this has been a wonderful journey with all of those who have joined me since 2012. Old and new, you all rock!

And so as I cruise hopefully soon towards the big Four hundred I have set out to pay that loyalty back.

The details… This Giveaway is closed as of the 12th of July 2017…

 

So if you are interested in entering for a chance to win both of my books signed and sent directly to your door then head on over to my page. I have a post which requires liking and commenting on (below). I will also suggest that you like my page but this isn’t mandatory but will end the giveaway sooner as the closing date is reaching 400 likes! 

giveway

CLICK ON ME TO ENTER!!

 

The other huge news is….

c house

Yes If you follow me on instagram and of course Facebook you will know that yesterday I crossed another enduring milestone. My next book is officially drafted! Right now all I will say is that yes it is the sequel to Open Evening and it is called CEMETERY HOUSE. 

Those who have read Open Evening all the way through will know a little something about where the story will go next. This time around instead of introducing a universe I have taken that ball and gone all out into a sprint with it! Hopefully after some extensive work before even taking it to a professional edit, we will have an awesome sequel which carries on the story.

And yes this book is also linked to Darke Blood and will follow into the Darke Blood sequel! 

That wraps up this weeks news and now I need to lie down. Peace out, don’t text and drive and thank you new/old followers/likers/readers/fans/cats….

Author self interview: Lee Hall

Today see’s the beginning of a new series of posts called ‘Ask the author’. I will be interviewing myself about all things books, writing and being an indie author…

 

image

Lee Hall 

How long have you been writing for? 

Since around the age of twelve I started putting together stories on an old window’s 98 computer. Seeing as I’m in my mid to late twenties that’s quite a while…

So it sounds like you’ve known for some time this is what you have always wanted to do. How successful have you been as an indie author? 

Well success as an author or success at anything in life is in the eye of the beholder. In terms of statistics I have sold around 100 copies of my books combined. In terms of money, I haven’t made anything near what people perceive. But then again I am not in this for the money. To have a few people take a selfie of my book and leave a few reviews is enough for me to grant a project successful.

What are you in writing for? 

To immerse people into worlds as I have been as a reader. There is no greater theater than the human mind. Books really do rule and they help the human imagination grow.

You currently have two books published, could you describe the both of them in three words? 

Open Evening – Teenage Terror Chase

Darke Blood – Vampires Witches Identity

What are you currently working on? 

I have been drafting two projects so far this year. The first was just a bit of fun and can be best described as a vanity project, whenever I am in between books I delve into it but I’m not telling you what it is just yet.

The second project I am currently drafting is the sequel to Open Evening! I am 80% through draft one of Cemetery House with a view to publish in 2018! For those who follow me via email I will be looking to send out sample stuff to followers!

Both Open Evening and Darke Blood can both be considered as horror or at least thriller in genre. Is there any other genre’s you would consider writing in the future? 

Hell yeah! I am currently putting together initial plans (in my mind) for a comic book style super hero comedy. This would be a novella or at least a shorter novel, so watch this space!

db and oe

Darke Blood and Open Evening by Lee Hall 

 

What advice would you give an aspiring author in terms of marketing a book? 

Start talking about your book now! Tweet, Facebook status and blog the hell out of it. Of course don’t shove it down people’s throats, be cool and subtle. The greatest way to sell a book is via networking and word of mouth. Get people talking online and sharing stuff, a good support network of friends will help to kick things off. You can read more on marketing in my resources section here

 

And that’s the first part of my self interview, thank you for reading and of course if you have a burning question get in contact and I will feature it along with an answer next time!