Change the culture

Never did I think I’d know something well enough to see through it and realise there’s a culture that needs changing. Of course what I think like anyone else is just an opinion and not fact, remember that, but after many years of being published I’ve made an observation of something that I believe needs to be changed. Whether it be through lack of awareness or even lack of knowledge, all the way to ignorance, there is a huge step missing in the culture of modern day self publishing.

Now anyone who enters any arena and achieves an eventual level of expertise might inadvertently change the culture just by enduring that journey. Some changes can be natural like evolution – a change nobody see’s but then some changes need a little encouragement.

Right now we are in a boom period for publishing, especially of the do it yourself persuasion. No longer are the gate keepers controlling content. The online world that has evolved and evolved again is driven by content and most probably these big time publishers and literary agents cannot keep up with starry-eyed story tellers who are pumping out thousands of books, their dreams, their visions brought to life before their eyes. Some are pure treasure and probably good enough for any pro publishers interest. Some might not be but are still a good effort anyway and contribute to the literary industry no matter. No longer are authors waiting to hear back from agents leaving them in limbo or having their work destined for the slush pile, in effect that slush pile is now on Amazon and it’s fighting back – it’s great, it’s richly diverse and it’s there for anyone.

There just seems to be selfless disregard for the industry so many of these published authors are entering, and I’m not putting labels on any particular group of authors but every day I see it, authors old and new blindly sharing the link, sharing the link, sharing the link and then getting down because nobody bought the book and let alone reviewed it. The cycle just repeats. That definition of madness comes to mind.

This culture of over self promotion and nothing else is something I have an ambition to address. Yes we all need to get our stuff out there but there is other stuff out there too and authors can promote themselves by supporting others. I choose not to address this because I am an activist, not because I am some kind of wannabe hero or do I even want to stir a debate, fuck debates online. I want this to change because in the past two and half years I have embraced and supported fellow authors probably more than I have supported myself, and the reward – more than any success I had before that time. It’s done way more good for me that I could possibly describe and I want that good to happen to others!

Just how do these authors think they are going to sell their own book if they don’t support books themselves? That whole being an island thing just goes round like a broken record. Authors looking for that quick fix to sell – there isn’t one. All they constantly want is reviews and sales – this is a just a marathon that never ends because no author will ever be satisfied with the amount of sales and reviews they get, but the truth is, this year for the first time in my life as I writer I felt satisfied. In July I broke my sales record and then I broke it again in September. I won’t be promoting my work with effort for at least four months now. I don’t need to, I’ve got enough and so my focus moves back home, to supporting other authors and a little writing. Why? Because I love books, I love stories and that’s all it needs to be. More authors need to love other books too. You probably have time to write one, so you have time to read and review a few, at least. Give back, trust me, just look at the graphic I shall finish this piece with. You can near enough pin point the moment I started supporting other authors.

Weekly Writing Inspiration #11

Memes and general writing wholesomeness that you may get something from, that’s the name of this game. A new week and new month – 2020 is slipping away, now my main writing goals are done, I can only welcome the end…

Did you watch the debate? Even though I was at work all night I chose to watch Mega Shark Vs Octopus instead… that says it all really plus I’ve had enough of the clown politics this side of the pond

Ha, I love shit jokes, mainly because I am one…

Who remembers cookie crisp? Is that still a thing? I’m in my 30’s so its plain tasteless wheat for cereal these days…

Keanu – patron saint of the Internet. The Matrix is well worth a re watch… (other Keanu films are available)

DIY Meme of the week, selling paperbacks of a book that’s the 4th in a series that 15 or so people have read is one hell of a victory in my eyes. You know who you are, thank you!

But wait there’s more…

Having sold every book I have available including the new one is a new record, it took 5 years to achieve that! Good things take time…

2020 is officially the best year ever for the Hall of Information Blog. Views are the best they have ever been. we overtook last year and we’ve just started October!

That wraps up another weekly writing inspiration post, I hope you were either inspired or amused. Catch you in the next one. To those who have grabbed a copy of Darke Awakening, thank you. Peace and love. Rock and roll man!

The Walking Dead…and buried?

 

This weekend see’s AMC’s the Walking Dead stand on the cusp of maybe the biggest fall from grace in television history. Here we stand in the middle of it’s eight season feeling pretty much underwhelmed and somewhat not bothered about it, well that’s my feeling anyway, and I’m an avid fan.

I don’t usually do debatable pieces but I feel compelled to give you all my two cents…

To begin with, this article will contain spoilers of the Walking Dead, you’ve been warned! 

twd

I remember some years back spending the month of August binge watching seasons 1 to 4 of the Walking Dead readying myself for the remarkable season 5 and the year after which saw possibly the most gripping moment on television. Season 6’s finale episode.

You can’t not mention the arrival of the notorious big bad known as Negan, and every top story must have the big bad. Soon after his introduction we realized the Governor was a choirboy compared. The S6 finale had us on the edge of our seat, Rick and the gang were on their knees literally and were putty in Negan’s hands. What a huge moment for TV, an introduction like nothing we had ever seen and a monologue sequence by Jeffrey Dean Morgan which put viewers for the first time in a wonderfully weird position, a love to hate position for record breaking viewing figures. Then, we had to wait half a year to see who died. Say what you like about that moment, but that was part 1 of TWD’s peak.

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Season 7 opened where we left off, Rick is a defeated man, his eyes say it all, fantastic acting from everyone in this episode, much like all of the series. That episode did something to the audience which has never been done before. We felt demoralized, down and not wanting to see any more. I didn’t want to watch anymore, seeing such strong characters chopped down.  I have never felt that way about a story before. Two beloved characters fell, Glenn and Abraham, a shocking turn of events and even then it didn’t cheapen the major character death thing that Game of Thrones loves to do, quite well mind. We as an audience were wounded. And that folks was the very peak of this show, it never got better than that.

It just went downhill…

The Walking Dead has never recovered from that moment and the introduction of Negan. I’m not sure the show knew what to do with him next, maybe the greatest thing about the show (him), ended up being its true demise. Looking at the current mood on social media, most people are not happy with the show.

And  S7 had it’s moments, the whole Daryl getting kidnapped easy street thing was good, and the Hilltop seemed intriguing, along with an introduction to King Ezekiel by way of Morgan and Carol. Dwight’s character was perfectly conflicted and full marks for Eugene. All of these ingredients were the perfect recipe for this show to really push forward and move into a whole new chapter, war. Except that didn’t really happen. Season 7 was a sluggish decline all the way to the finale when we finally saw the three ‘good’ communities unite, that was awesome, but was that really enough? We finally saw Negan retreat, just about, and was that enough?

Although the whole long hard season thing worked to an extent, viewers didn’t get anything from it. There was no Negan origins story, no signs of any real fight back and no consistency with how the last seasons dealt with any resolve. Okay, some series are allowed a duff season, I can allow that considering the Walking Dead has a fantastic cast of actors who take their craft seriously. The zombie effects are second to none, but the story; began to show signs of crashing and burning throughout season 7. And then the first half of Season 8 happened.

The opening three episodes opened with a good effort of trying to replace the missing action from the previous season. But it didn’t feel like an ‘all out war’, as advertised. a lot of it just seemed over pushed and over done just to cater for S7. I know this show doesn’t like to explain things and sometimes that’s good for ‘creative scope’ but I began to question what exactly was going on.

Negan looked to be on the back foot but then the resolve of that angle just fizzled away. And again we saw no origins story. We are then led to believe the Saviours are trapped in their own compound but then just got out. The one good thing about S8 was the King, and his epic ‘still I smile’ routine which got dashed and ruined. Don’t get me started on how pointless the tiger turned out to be! Jesus appeared to be a complete flake, a soggy corn flake actually and his confrontation with Morgan was underused.

So the Saviours get out with no real harm and go straight after Alexandria. Quickly they dismantle the place and pretty much level it. We see a brief exchange/fight between Rick and Negan, again not enough. The good guys and characters we have come to love are hidden underground, and then it gets revealed Carl has been bitten.

There’s no real indication as to where Season 8 part two will go. Like many of the seasons they play up to the unpredictable nature of what a zombie apocalypse is but there’s hardly anything left for me to look forward to. I’m not bothered at all about tuning in this monday (sunday for US fans).

If you ask me, there’s something really wrong probably happening underneath the hood of the car as to speak. You can almost sense that in Talking Dead when Scott Gimple sat on the couch. He confirmed Carl will die, a character we all thought would see the finale episode. How many high profile original character deaths can an audience deal with until they call time?

Rumour and induendo suggest that Gimple has been removed from his current position and there have been talks of a ‘shake up’ but again this gives me little faith for S8 part 2. More news has recently surfaced that Lauren Cohan (Maggie) hasnt signed on currently for Season 9. Another top character death will bring the walking dead on the verge of being buried and with no signs of retribution for Glenn’s death by the birth of their child.

My conclusion is simple, if this was a show based off my books, I would have stepped in a long damn time ago and never let this show get to this stage. Negan is slowly becoming a pointless novelty, albeit well portrayed like all of the cast who I imagine work so hard to convince us and immerse us into this world. Time is quickly running out for probably the most watched television in a generation.

Netflix are becoming stronger and stronger, they started out with producing low budget high performance quality shows. Now they are producing high budget, high quality performance shows at an increasingly quick rate. If they were to create a high budget zombie show, then it could be curtains for TWD.

There are some great shows currently streaming; Altered Carbon, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Westworld, Black Mirror to say a few.

Broadcast television has to catch up in terms of quality story. And for the network that brought us Breaking Bad, AMC are a far cry away from those days now.

I will be tuning in, but the Walking Dead currently sits on probation/ last chance saloon for me. In the words of Shrek, it could be ‘all ogre now’…

 

There was another debate…

Last night was yet another date on the election campaign debate tour and I have to say it was rather enjoyable. Good on ya BBC, you put on a decent show (I will ignore the 70’s for now). Talking of shows there were two no shows. The current leaders of Britain Nick Clegg and David Cameron were both absent. Damn did they miss out the action.

In fact the two words Nick Clegg weren’t mentioned once. Does that suggest the liberal democrats are now a lost cause?

So here we saw the five potential downing street parties go head to head about issues in forms of questions raised by the audience. The leaders all introduced themselves and the audience slowly came out of their shells to applaud some of them.

Already I liked this debate more than the 7 way a few weeks prior. There just seemed to be a better energy about things. One common theme of slamming David Cameron indicated that he had been badly advised not to be there. Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish national party even suggested a coalition with Ed Miliband’s labour party just to get the conservatives out.

Nigel Farage came across strong and with relevant points but half an hour in he weirdly insulted the BBC audience. He is quoted to say “This is a remarkable audience even by the left wing standards of the BBC.” We would then see the other candidates lay into Farage somewhat defeating him. Of course the pantomime style booing ensued. Although nearer the end he did get some applause. I will give it to the man, he can talk but is the controversy of UKIP really him?

Ed Miliband did his usual talking to the camera and people at home instead the audience. Although it’s kinda cheesy it does work. Yet again he talked about previous labour getting it wrong, and getting money from a mansion tax.

Leanne Wood from Plaid Cymru (Welsh party) came across likable, but are the needs of Wales the needs of the UK? Her best moment and maybe of the whole debate came from her comment to Nigel Farage about disagreeing with her opponent on the far right (boom boom).

Natalie Bennet of the Green party heavily opposed any type of nuclear weapons when asked about trident. (Cough cough, tell that to the other countries that have nuclear capabilities)

Well I think I have said something about every candidate.

From this debate and with 20 days until voting, I now know who I will be voting for. I t could be 1 of 7 or is it 1 of 5. Either way if you are of voting age in the UK, this BBC debate is definitely worth looking at.

 

ladies man

Ladies man