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….

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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… 

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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!

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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!

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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…’

 

The Weekly Ramble #2

I want to talk about cliché, a word every blogger and writer clashes with every time they put finger to key board, and in this place it’s okay to talk about it…

Is it cliché to come across as artsy and reflective when talking about being a writer? As much as I like the image of wearing a dark roller neck jumper, cradling a whisky tumbler, staring thorough thick rimmed glasses and reclining in a popular chat show sofa; that image totally isn’t me.

I find myself dancing around the inevitable question when somebody tells me they’ve read my work, it’s almost as if they are waiting for me to ask ‘what did you think?’. Instead I’ll weave around their words and seem disinterested, yet another typical behavior artists have towards their work.

But cliché seems to evolve around everything successful in story telling today, you see it in similar looking book covers, titles and everyone has to have at least two reviews on that cover. As much as we strife to stay away from cliché, we need it for our stories to thrive.

In my writing I like to suggest something typical is about to happen or a certain person has traits that are seemingly familiar only for the reader to discover there is something much deeper within and that is the inner message of all my work. I call back to my latest novel The Teleporter, and the main character Kurt Wiseman. On the surface of this story the whole deal reeks of comic book style cliché with a dusting of comedy, something I meticulously toiled over and decided would probably sell the book, something now I was very wrong about. I wanted people to come for the super hero bit, but stay for what the story is really about (read it and you will find out). In essence I failed to capture the right level of cliché in a super hero comedy, a niche which would seem failure proof.

Unfortunately cliché moments in the book are what sometimes define them, readers want to see the good versus evil battle, the damsel in distress get rescued, the rugged semi handsome guy put in the save, an older paternal/maternal type perhaps die on their valiant sword for their efforts, the guy gets the girl, the nerd is actually a warrior, the monsters came from space, the bad guy is bad for a reason, the dead parents… the list ultimately goes on.

What if all of the above is justification to say there are no more original stories?

Something which I half agree with, but what if you can get over that statement by being different, perhaps delivering the story in a different way that distracts the reader enough not to think this was the same old stuff. If can call back to another one of my works; Open Evening, the not so typical high school horror with so much more waiting underneath the surface. Yes you’ve got the typicality of such a story, but the way it is delivered, the struggle, the uncertainty, the ultimate resolve all have a different and a cliché busting way of providing the story which is totally different to those in it’s genre. Just read the reviews, not one bad word goes against the actual story.

If I’m going to plug my books it is not complete without Darke Blood; a not so ‘vampirey’ type vampire story… again the whole deal begins with your typical horror affair but what comes out the other end is a bunch of things done before, but not like they have been done in Darke Blood.

All of my work is example enough to say cliché can be embraced and avoided. There are ways as writers and bloggers that we can deliver our products and words differently. Then again if we are all going to be different, then aren’t we actually the same? I guess that’s cliché to say…

 

 

 

 

 

What’s next for Lee Hall…

I agree the title of this month’s final blog entry is a little self centered but you have to be that in order to write a blog. It’s all about the me apparently and so my second book release has been and gone, sales are still trickling in bringing it to around 20 units sold so far.

My conclusion right now is yes Darke Blood has been a success for an independent author like me but right now I have done all I can to market the book. Much like Open Evening or any book; real success takes investment of time and along the way I have learned a hell of a lot. And now I even have a back catalogue, groovy right?

So what is next for me? Well as an independent author I mostly have control over what I plan to release and what I want to work on next. The turn around time from finishing a draft to publication is around a year or maybe less depending on the quality of the story and availability of editor/publisher/cover artists.

 “Good ol’ ‘CH'”

Yes for those who are aware of the ending of my first book Open Evening (I wont spoil it, that much), it ended with a nod towards where the story was going to go next. The word Cemetery House in all it’s damning glory was mentioned in the final pages and yes that is what I am currently drafting at the moment! I guess that’s an exclusive scoop, of course I will announce that officially when I am ready. But let’s just say I am around 30,000 words in.

Darke Blood 2?

All I can say is read the first one, then we’ll talk about a sequel! Review it and let people know about it. And yes Darke Blood and Open Evening are connected in a way or two.

A super hero comedy book!

Back in 2015 when I decided to drop the series of books about robots in the future I came to a proverbial fork in the road, I was either going to write Open Evening or try having a go at a comic book style hero story. At the time I had more story to go on with Open Evening and so I wrote it, over the last few years I have gathered some ideas of how to make this potential super hero book work, so watch this space.

Acting? No I was just asleep..

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I have been taking a break as of lately in terms of all things stage, and by that I mean all things Iver Heath Drama Club. My efforts were needed towards Darke Blood and IHDC’s current production nodded heavily towards giving their youthful demographic a chance with some big roles for their up and coming show Peter Pan! So naturally I thought it was appropriate to step back for a while and maybe recharge a little.

Right now I have every intention to return to the stage for auditions in the late summer for the next IHDC pantomine show; I hope I still have something relevant to offer in my forever hopefulness of getting a larger role this year, we shall see.

Iver Heath Drama Club presents Peter Pan tickets available now online! Support local live entertainment! 

 

And remember every writer needs reviews for their work, if you have read either of my books, be cool and leave a review!

And here are a few highlights of social media from the week… Click on them and they take you places!

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Darke Blood Goodreads Giveaway

It’s time for a Giveaway! Yes free stuff alert, because I have began a Goodreads giveaway for my latest book Darke Blood…

You can get your hands on a signed copy of my latest book by entering the giveaway for free here! In order to enter you can sign in to Goodreads through Facebook making this whole deal a lot easier than signing up to a site you may not use often. I am asking for an honest review in exchange of entering the giveaway because it’s all about reviews, reviews and more reviews! Over 100 people have entered so far!

With publication day and the release of Darke Blood behind me now its up to the rest of the world to help spread the word about the book. Reviews are what sell books and must I implore you to leave one on either amazon or goodreads  or both; even if you are only a portion of the way though Darke Blood, every review helps! 

And some of you have been fantastic in showing your support, the #darkeblood selfie movement has begun which is massive in getting the book seen across social media.

Publication Day! Darke Blood out now!

The day is finally here! My second book Darke Blood is officially out now! The selfies already started earlier this week after I kicked off proceedings on Instagram where I can happily say we have already broke records with the amount of likes it recieved.

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That many likes for something without a cat, food or cleavage…

And that is all I want out of this book, growth and evolution. A few more sales and few more likes than last time will make me a happy independently published author.   Above all more reviews on Amazon and hopefully Goodreads will grant this project a success, so please if you read my work leave a review!

I must take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support towards Darke Blood, this was indeed the hardest story I have ever struggled to tell and seeing the whole thing come together with your support has been fantastic. Being a two time author makes this all seem like I am more than just a lucky one off guy who published one book, plus it gives readers a back catalogue to delve into if they like my work.

If you like Darke Blood and survive the ride,  the twists and the turns then I guarantee you will be a reader of my stuff for years to come. This one really tests the boundaries for the reader as well as tell an atmospheric psychological story of redemption and identity. And yeah there are vampires, witches and some connections to Open Evening!

This hasn’t been a sole effort and I must thank my editor and publisher Nicky from Satin Publishing for helping me so much develop this story into what was an initial draft all the way to polished published book. Darke Blood went through many minor and major changes throughout the drafting and editing process. My next thank you goes to Design for Writers , they simply gave this book an identity by creating a fantastic looking cover. I was really stumped as to what I wanted this one to look like so Design for Writers saved me in that sense and the outcome is a world class looking cover.

All there is left for to say is thank you everyone, I have achieved my dream once again and now it’s over to you to help me find some success with it. Let’s start a new selfie movement with Darke Blood and remember your shares, likes and comments are what generates buzz about this, and will ultimately decide its success!

Happy publication Day!

And heres the direct link to the book…