Weekly Ramble #16

The show I wrote is looking exceptional. All projects go through that uncertain phase where you dont really know if the whole deal is going to work.

Last night for me came that feeling where everything has come together. I can compare it to that moment when you reach the 50,000 word milestone in a first draft, also known as the moment you realise you’ve got a book and it works.

Yesterday saw that moment I knew we have a show and this whole deal is going to work. Having written books, blogs, a one act play and now a full length pantomine I think this project is the one I am most proud of. Writing is normally a solitary lonely task, but for this project: Beauty and the Beast; the story is being told by a wonderfully gifted cast, stage crew, set builders, artists, front of house team, choreographers and Directors all of which are working together to put my words into something much more. I have zero credentials in selling a thing. I couldnt sell shit to the flies but the people I stand with in telling this story are doing that for me and together we’re gonna tell one hell of a story that will immerse, entertain, inspire and captivate. The symptom of that will be proving that I am a capable story teller and this is my dream…

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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..

pan

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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2017 #writing #revolution

Who would have thought putting black ink on the underside of your forearm would leave such a bad rash after?

revolution

Either way the photo looks kind of cool and I’m willing to live with the redness for a while, plus it also displays my prime directive for 2017!

Revolution! Not viva la France or anything politically crazy like that but something I have envisioned for my little patch amongst the world of the internet and book writing. In order for me to have any type of success and to sell books I must revolutionise the way I do things here. After all this is a journey to publication and that is an experience that doesn’t finish after I reach print, especially for the first time.

2017 will see my second publication come to life and its coming sooner than you think! An announcement is imminent but until then you will have to put up with me telling you about my next novel DARKE BLOOD and the range of other exciting projects I have lined up for this year. So here’s the plan….

THE NEXT BOOK!

I set out just over a year ago to try and repeat the model I used when drafting Open Evening; that was to write a stand alone story in order to build up a profile as an author and try and make it a little bit good. After much frustration and hard work throughout the beginning of 2016, I clutched the few straws of ideas I had and made them into a wonderful little book I am ever so proud to bring to world.

DARKE BLOOD is a story of one person’s journey to find out who they really are and along the way meets some ‘people of the night’ types and some ‘spell casting’ types. Everything culminates in what I can best describe as a shutter island meets a gender swapped Twilight, sounds interesting right, cool.

 

MY NEXT PLAY!

This month, yes this month I will be making a moderate return to the stage for Iver Heath Drama Club’s annual pantomime show Jack and the Beanstalk! For those within the area of Iver heath and surrounding I must urge you come on down to watch a wonderful show put on by great performers who do so much for the community and guarantee a night of entertainment, plus you get to see me in a totally non writing capacity. Tickets can be found here which are very competitively priced, and I must stress there aren’t that many left, we have even sold out our Friday night show!

MY NEXT PLAY (that I am writing)

You may or may not know but I also write plays. 2016 saw the debut of my stage work with Hotel Doom and was a wonderful success. Well I’ve only gone and done it again, well kind of. Over the summer I envisioned myself writing a pantomime based of the story of Beauty and the Beast. I currently have ACT 1 of a script drafted which I fully intend to complete after presenting to my drama club peers. Then my full vision would be to direct it, exciting long term plans are the best plans. I say that because there’s nothing more satisfying than having a plan and then having someone ask you about it and you tell them until they get bored. Seriously having a plan is where success grows from!

OTHER STUFF INCLUDING TOP SECRET REBOOT OF OLD PROJECT THAT IS MY DESTINY TO WRITE

Right now after a nice few weeks away from editing I am drafting some new material. This stuff is very much connected to why I set out to be a writer. There will be robots, enough said. Right now I will call this Project X43.

JOIN MY MAILING LIST!

I have said before and will say it again, I have an abundance of free material I want to give out but I need you to sign up via email to this website. Trust me good stuff will only be sent your way, sign up today!

 

And so my 2017 is fully planned, I even have a list on my wall. Let the revolution of writing begin!!!!

 

 

 

My new Book is complete

Now before I and at least one person who reads this gets carried away, let’s just say those two words are always written ironically the first time around. I know more than most that a writer’s work never really ends.

Yesterday I overcame odds which seemed to pile up around me back in April. Back then my story seemed to have no way out, it felt boring and lacklustre. Amongst the few cool concepts there was just no way I could continue this and get a book out of it. It even made me a tad angry.

Now that’s all in the process of creativity, I have learned. Especially this time around. Ever since I dropped my previous robot crime futuristic project I have tried to write in a way where I am not attached emotionally to the narrative.

Yes, anything I write means a lot to me, but the stuff I am now writing leaves me willing to chuck it all towards the publishing fire and spend it on building a readership. This doesn’t mean the product will lack in quality, there is just less emotion on the line if it fails.

My arrival as an independent author is important and imminent. Tomorrow will see the final performance of my first written and directed play by Iver Heath Drama club. A beta arrival if you say where my work and voice can hopefully be seen, all portrayed by some wonderful performers.

first drafts...

Back track to last year and Open Evening was born, a soon to be published debut novel by me which I am ever so proud to bring out. After finishing that and organisation of the publication I had a great energy to see if I could do another. Not a sequel but another stand-alone book in the genre of mystery and thriller (there will be more about it very soon). By the turn of this year my efforts were well under way for this next story and everything became apparent.

With the balance of shift working and trying to write amongst a social life that tended to decline slightly, my back was firmly against the wall. Consideration must be taken into account as I had very few plot or themes to work with. This book was the child of spontaneity. I planned badly and tried to rely on the Open Evening formula, that being a story which I have seen a thousand times which poured onto the page. This next project not so much, in fact this has been my longest draft to date, just shy of 7 months.

Only my experience and dedication alone got me out of this project in one piece and still my record for starting a project and completing it remains, just about. Next I shall be taking a week or so off writing. Then my attention turns to the final edit of Open Evening, just in time for it to go towards Satin Publishing and then to my readers.

As I said a writer’s work is never done.

Oh and one other thing, my next book is called Darke Blood!

My #YearOfWriting Continues…..

 

 

A thank you to followers

The Hall of information officially opened for business nearly two years ago with a dedication to gaining more followers. With every entry over that time I can happily say that the follows have slowly crept up to 70. Something which two years ago Lee wouldn’t have thought a realistic thing.

My whole premise is to build a loyal following of good tasted people who will buy my book when it first hits the shelves this September. Yes, Open Evening will make its journey over the summer through a professional cover artist and professional edit. Hopefully a wonderfully polished product will come out the other side and will be something I am more than proud to share with you.

This blog is titled a journey to publication and it is during my year of writing that the destination is sitting just before the horizon now. A year so far which has seen me over come a high level of writers block type frustration along with adapting to being a shift worker. Things will just take longer to create from scratch from now on. My latest draft of a new title will hopefully reach completion with in a few weeks and maybe I will divulge some more info on that soon.

In other writing news my first play will make its way to the stage next week. Hotel doom stars an all talented cast of fine actors and actresses who have worn my writing like a glove. Their input has been amazing and we have a great show. It would be a shame if the audience numbers do not match the level of this show so if your in town next week then check it out here.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has ever supported me on this journey of writing. Whether you have simply liked a status, retweeted or followed me in some capactity I can only do this with your help. Let’s get some new faces out there on the shelves with decent meaningful stories to tell.

editing begins

Year of writing

New Year Same Momentum

Like everyone else I am going to say that 2016 is here! It does seem like quite a while since my last entry as I decided not to review 2015 simply because I didn’t fancy recycling old posts and linking them. It’s boring to me if you are recycling old crap and shoving it towards loyal readers. Saying that 2016 and 2015 are just both numbers to me. For many it’s a clean slate to start things again, for the Chinese it probably doesn’t mean a lot and for me well I actually count my years via my birthday.

Momentum is something I want to briefly talk about as I have been gaining a lot of it since my year started back in august. I hope to carry that momentum into this year. Open Evening my latest project ( young adult in genre) has been written, edited, edited again by myself and now it is in the stage of organising a professional edit. I have envisioned the release to be around September time, hopefully.

Whilst that is in motion of back and forth emails I have taken steps towards drafting another project. I won’t reveal any more details other than that as I am still unsure at this stage if it will go any further than the 800 words currently drafted.

Over the festive break I had the pleasure of going to the cinema and yes you guessed right it involved jedi Knights and Storm troopers.

ar wars

Star Wars: the force awakens was a fantastic few hours spent and well worth the over priced popcorn and beverages. As an audience we are introduced to a group of new characters who will later become the heroes much like the original trilogy. We are then re introduced to some favourite characters who then interact with the new. Simply put, this film is a re introduction of star wars for the generations who haven’t had the chance to see it on the big screen and just as important, a carrying on of the original story. One top thing I have heard about this film is mainly from people who are strangers to the Star Wars universe and they themselves say its good, so I recommend it. The force is definitely awake and has out shone the prequels to say the least. I would even argue that this is the best Star Wars offering yet.

 

Moving on, the beginning of a new calendar year means one thing for me and group of talented performers. That’s right, Iver Heath Drama Club are back on stage this month for their annual pantomine show Dick Whittington.

Ticket sales are doing well but could be better, so if you are in the UK and can get to greater London then I suggest you come and see me in a show! Tickets are available online here. You will catch me working alongside fellow blogger Matt Streuli who is the resident dame and chairman of IHDC. A lot of voluntary hard work goes into these performances and it shows when the curtain finally comes up.

Year of writing

My final note will be about the campaign I began late last year called #YearOfWriting . Basically using this hashtag will group all of my stuff together on social media platforms so go ahead and use it when sharing my stuff, that’s if you do share my stuff. Anyway thanks for reading, drop me a comment sometime, share my stuff and thanks to old and new followers. Here’s to a productive new year filled with success and good things.

 

dick

5 Years in IHDC : My story

5 Years in IHDC : My story

On the 21st of July 2010 I began my on stage journey. Back then I only had thoughts of seeing myself in lights. But after watching that year’s Iver Heath Drama Club production Bugsy Malone I envisioned myself being able to stand alongside some of those performers .

Back then I was different and so was the world. David Cameron and Nick Clegg had recently gone into Downing Street and everybody had blackberries.

There I stood in a village hall about to join a diverse group whom have now changed dramatically over the last half decade. Mostly for the better but there are still some faces who have gone in which I believe still have a place on stage and they will be missed.

From a largely youthful group (it still is in many ways) I instantly realized these younger people all had their own little groups within. Some even rivaled to each other. There was a somewhat negative vibe surrounding certain groups and a lack of long term cohesion. But this is something which has definitely changed for the better over my time there.

“People either see what you’re doing and follow or walk away.”

Today at Iver Heath Drama Club I firmly believe the group is the closest and most hard working ever seen down there, by me at least. Not to take anything away or tread on any toes of the past but I call it as I see it.

Back to year one, three weeks passed and it was audition time for the next show. That being Snow White. Being someone who always bites more than I chew. I went for a main part. On that day, I turned 21 and had also been given my first ever main role. I was cast as the man in the mirror!

 

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silver tights from my first ever role, take it in ladies

“There have been good successful shows and some bad, that’s the art of performance.”

In my first few years in IHDC a miniature revolution took place. A small influx of adult performers paired with our hardworking attitude shifted the gears in terms of standards. Shows got better, the performances got better, the production value increased and audience members spiked. They still improve today and without any arrogance, one thing I would like to say I contributed to is the hard working attitude that this crowd now have. It’s their core value.

“To make it in IHDC you need to have the right team working attributes and attitude for hard work. Fitting in and talent are two things that aren’t a necessity but they help. Overall if you are seen to be putting in a shift, the top parts will come your way. Trust me, I’ve been there.”  

Yes I have had high points, playing hamlet is one of my personal favorites and requires no introduction. Bringing our first ever Shakespeare production to life was challenging, the dialogue is something that present day people are not used to and gave everyone involved a bigger scope. Plus who doesn’t love wearing a shirt like meatloaf.

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Playing Hamlet alongside Richard Gittens as Horatio was one of my finest moments

But being granted the role of Robin Hood in an IHDC pantomine will always be my favorite achievement to date. The various promotional appearances and newspaper articles I made will always be a great memory for me. But it was hard work, being a name that people know carries an expectation, one that I hope did Robin Hood justice. That production in particular convinced me that things have changed for the better in IHDC, there’s a certain work ethic about the place now.

Even though I am kind of tired from Robin Hood I am still more than ready to take on another challenge.

Thank you to everyone who has had some level of involvement to IHDC over the years. It’s been a ride and one that will continue for me.

Next year my writing will come to life on stage when I bring my one act murder mystery farce Hotel Doom to IHDC. Performing with this diverse wonderful group has brought me confidence to write, to blog and to continue in all of my performance rated endeavors.

“The people I have met are my friends for life and what we have at IHDC is a family of ragtag sometimes dysfunctional queens, but they are my queens and we do well together.”

 

Here’s to many more years and below are some of the fond memories…

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100 Days until the UK General Election : A somewhat humorous Guide

Yes folks it’s that time again for some of us to express our democratic right and have some part in choosing the next person we can all blame for not having any money and other stuff.

It seems this year the election is wide open, as opposed to normally being a two horse race between team red and team blue. Last time saw the emergence of team yellow and Nick Clegg shortly followed by his demise, quicker than a student can drop a fire extinguisher from a building.

Come with me as I take a brief look at the top political parties looking to gain some ground in the 2015 UK general election.

all parties

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservative (current champions, only because Nick Clegg’s Liberal party shared his votes with them so they could form a coalition government)

Headed by our prime minister David Cameron, he will be looking for an outright victory this time round, but honestly I really cant say what’s gonna happen (like I know). It will be interesting what he has to say when the live television debates happen. Hopefully he will be more prepared than the prank caller was.

titand

Liberal Democrats

Clegg’s team will be looking to scrape back some level of respect after his u turn on student fees. Doubt that will happen.

(I am trying to do the right thing here and insult every party, that way everyone is cared about)

Labour

Ed Miliband is the man for Labour, I just don’t know If labour is for him. Like the two above parties they are all considered as the top 3 (well they are statistically) but the parties below will be challenging them. This time it could even be serious. So Labour may loose more than they have gained in recent times.

SNP – Scottish National Party

Only contending for seats in Scotland they have gained much ground in recent times. Especially after the referendum last year. If they win out right in Scotland they will hop over team Clegg and become the 3rd biggest party in the UK. Good luck to them, especially after the no vote for independence so perhaps this shift could help change things. (Ok notice I didn’t add an insult here, so I will just say this, I have never tried Haggis)

BNP – British National Party

Seriously? No.

UKIP- UK independence party

Armed with a leader who spends much time in a pub and a face only fit for punching Nigel Farage will be looking to steal votes from the power 3. Will he steal enough to get into downing street? Doubtful, are we worried? Yes. UKIP could be the deciding factor as to who will win.

farge

Look’s like somebody did punch him!

 

The Green Party

There are three chapters of the greens, one for Ireland, one for Scotland, then England and Wales. Another popular choice for those looking at the polling card and saying ‘None of these please’. They currently run the coastal district of Brighton. Could we see them take more places?

Plaid Cymru

Welsh party who co ordinate with SNP. Last time around they came 4th on their home soil.

 

So that’s the guide, who are you voting for? Or like me you are waiting for the politicians to make arses of themselves on the televised debates. Of course this is or UK residents only but if you could vote who would it be for? Check out a podcast I am in all this year for exclusive election coverage! And remember I have a competition running, scroll down! A grand total of 0 entries so far! Rock and Roll!!!

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 A final note from the Hall of information 

This weekend and next I am performing in Iver Heath Drama Club’s annual pantomine; Robin Hood and the babes in the woods! Yes ladies I am Robin Hood and will be wearing those tights, come and see me and many more talented people who put together this awesome show. For tickets click here, for more info click here.

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Episode 6 AMERICA F*** YEAH!!!

As I stumble my way through learning how to blog, it is apparent to me that last week’s entry was a revelation! Using the word press statistics thingy it has told me that my largest audience last week was in fact USA. Thank you from across the pond! But I must also send thanks to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the 2 views I had from Italy.

us flag

The country with the most views gets their flag displayed

 

A big thanks to all of you, facebook groupies or booksie members and anyone in between, cheers guys!!

I did tweet the link to Joss Whedon but seemingly to no avail. Maybe someday he could direct the film adaptation of Clark Thorn.

Before we continue! Above you can see a new page has been added next to Contact. This is my current plan, check back as it will get updated as progress is made.

Shameless Plug of something non-book related

As some of you may know, I partake in amateur dramatics. Now the club I belong to is a community run effort that relies solely on ticket sales to stay afloat. Our resident media/publicity officer Matt Streuli has discovered a nifty website that can help promote our efforts. It’s called Thunderclap and the idea is, sign up via facebook/twitter and when the allocation has been met this site will post a status via your page advertising the cause. Upon signing up the site will calculate how many people are reached and add it to the list. Cool right? This is something that I could use when my book launch is imminent.

If you would like to support community run amateur drama then please sign up to the cause, whatever corner of the web you are in, it will help. They need 100 sign ups!

Below is what the set up looks like, click on it to visit the page

thunderclap

I’ve stopped drafting my 3rd book

Every now and then I get utterly depressed with things, (not been officially diagnosed with depression) what I mean is that I lose faith in everything I do. There are a number of reasons for this, mainly it’s because I am the leader of this campaign and there is no figure above me (writing wise) to put their arm around me and tell me it’s gonna be ok. Or it’s because the soccer team I follow are crap. (although they did win the at the past weekend)

That’s life, we all get burned out and we all loose faith. It came to a point where I had planned most of what I had written so far (book 3) and then inspiration grinded to a halt. So I stopped, mothballed book three and went back home to book 1. By that I mean there was some re working to do on Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. That’s what I’m doing now, editing to me is so much more fun than drafting. You get to deal with text that’s already had it’s foundation laid, sort of like word maintenance.

Oddly enough my faith in everything was restored when I was at work. In my attempt of looking like I know how to do sciency things I somehow miraculously managed to fix something. Let me set the scene a little here: The chips were down, the experiment was gonna come to a complete stand still, options were diminishing in front of our eyes, something had to be done. What ever I tried didn’t work, hometime was in sight but that wouldn’t come to fruition until this dilemma was sorted. Lee steps up, does something and its fixed! The crowd roar as the ball hits the back of the net! In life the little victories must be appreciated.

 

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Introductions Part 6 (there is quite possibly an end in sight)

So 2013 rolled around and I was full steam ahead into writing. The first 3 chapters I put together previously were having a serious re work and I began to look for a platform to release some material. Luckily a good friend of mine (Rob Chambers) was using a website known as booksie.com to put some writing out there. So it was decided when I had enough decent material I would release Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project via booksie, chapter by chapter on a kind of weekly basis.

At the same time I created a Facebook page and my online presence had officially started. By the end of January, the initial draft of my novel had debuted online!

Exciting times for me but I did come across some difficulty, you see the first 3 chapters were written some time ago, I was a different person then, this stuff was on another frequency, but eventually I blasted through chapter 3 and forward. I will simply say the reason I got through this frequency problem is because I spent so much time writing, every week day I would be writing for 4+ hours. But for the first time I was enjoying it!

A few months passed and chapters 5,6,7 and 8 were constructed. I was on a roll and I could see exactly how and when my first book would end!

By May of 2013 I had finished drafting my first novel and at 65,000 words I was ecstatic with what I had achieved.

 

 

Next week : The final episode of Lee’s Hall of information (this series), a feature length offering concluding the introductions, whats next and a Game of Thrones Review