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….

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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…..

 

 

I found a thing : You should check it out (it’s isnt porn, lol)

So I have found a thing! Unlike sky news when there isn’t any news I don’t make any up. That’s just my style/procrastinationy way of life, currently I am editing my first book yet again and there is no news. But back to this thing, it’s a cool thing, it’s a funny thing, it’s an interesting thing. More about this thing in a minute.

Last night I was driving home and listening to the radio (its only taken me my third car to have this relatively modern function in working order) and a man was talking. He spoke of this thing and about how fun it was to visit the website this thing was on. Ok I have used thing enough (yes I am really trying to draw this out). And no it isn’t porn *

* I have to put this disclaimer because people will worry and many people sometimes don’t read my title,  this especially applies when I cryptically describe something I have found online, most of the time it is porn, but not this time.

I am talking about a website called yougov. A questionnaire/ poll website. They have a feature or thing called profiler. Now this thing is pretty cool, type in a key word. Such as a TV program you like or a favorite food and it will profile you. Go and try it, this thing is fun.

 

yougov

My result highlights were as follows:

Key word : Buffy the Vampire slayer

Apparently I am between 25 and 39, correct!

I am female , no

Hobbies and activities : Using the internet , video games and writing, see this thing is pretty good.

It even tells you who you are likely to follow on twitter.

 

So now I have talked about this thing, go and try it. Tell me the results via the comments and tell me what you used as the key word.

Here’s the link : https://yougov.co.uk/profiler#/ or you can click on the large picture of yougov up there, yes I have the technology to do that!

Alton Towers Scarefest Review: Get Corrected

Aptly this is my th13teenth blog (see what I did there?) and it’s Halloween week. Last Thursday and Friday I spent at Alton Towers Resort for their annual scarefest, there were certainly some brown trousers after that!

sanctuary

 

The thick clouds above were beginning to darken. There we were in the gardens of Alton Towers, walking towards a grand Georgian all glass conservatory. But this wasn’t no ordinary manor house, this was the sanctuary.

(eerie organ music perhaps)

We walked into the glass building and  immediately met with a stale musky smell. To our right a small shrubbery area with dead plants, all of them plastered with spider webs and dust. The windows decorated with faded white curtains all around. A piercing buzzing alarm sounded for an instant forcing me to look ahead. As I did a group walked through the large security gate, a nurse dressed in all white slammed it behind them.

I then knew in moments that would also be my fate.

50’s style health posters were plastered all around saying things such as ‘A smile a day, keeps the doctor away’.

smile a day“Welcome to the sanctuary.” The nurse said in what can only be described as a 1920’s accent. Her eyes transfixed on us.

This creepy looking nurse explained to us what would be happening. She took her time and there were many awkward moments of pause.

“Do you understand sir?” She asked me as I smelt the stale musk in the air.

I simply nodded as my eyes met hers. She smiled as the piercing alarm sounded again. A green light mounted on the gate meant it was time to enter the sanctuary.

The nurse opened the gate and we walked forward. Met by a narrow green corridor it continued for a stretch. As we walked the foulest stench could be smelt. It was as if the floor hadn’t been cleaned in years combined with rotting cheese. Maybe a hospital that hadn’t been cleaned in years.

Shuffled to a small opening we were met by what can only be described as an institutionalized doctor. After some shouting and erratic behavior he explained the procedures carried out at the sanctuary and his support for them and for someone called Dr Kelman.

“Do you know what this light means?” He asked pointing to one of the two lights, this one being green.

We presumed it meant things were good.

“But do you know what this light means?”

Obviously bad things. Then it illuminated and the doctor opened a large door. It was now time to go inside the sanctuary.

Walking through the many rooms of this ‘sanctuary’ it was clear to see this certainly wasn’t one. From every corner we were approached by ‘patients’, some snorted at you, others would shout, whilst the odd patient would get close enough to hear you breathing.

Continuing onwards we came to a narrow bright white corridor with screens at height. There was a distinct smell of apple pie as it was displayed on the screen. A wet spray then hit us as the white became brighter and brighter. Different colours flashed making it very disorienting and seeming as if you have gone mad.

Through a plastic sheet we continued and that was when we came to some wooden stairs, but they led down.

“Don’t go into the basement.” I remember numerous patients saying to me during the walk.

This is where the numerous ‘surgeries’ took place. It was safe to say they were failed surgeries to ‘correct’ a patient. The voice of this doctor Kelman sounded, asking why his patients didnt respond and to ‘get corrected, get corrected’

Tension was building and building as we came past an operated body that had obviously failed to be corrected.

‘Get corrected, get corrected’

Then we were outside in the open again. The scare maze had finished!

After my experience in the sanctuary I can happily say I was corrected!

Yes I am talking about one of the great scare mazes at Alton towers.  Last week I made the voyage to the UK’s greatest theme park. ‘Theme park’ is the only way to describe this place as the various rides and attractions are incredibly detailed and even more so during their annual Halloween scare fest. I recommend it to everyone, and they even reply on twitter. These guys build worlds, and the sanctuary felt like I was walking through a horror movie in real life.

As much as it was scary the experience was intriguing to say the least. I do love a good scare and this is as close as one will get to a horror movie. I did also experience the terror at the towers scare maze which was equally as good.

zombies

If you go down to the woods today…..

thirteeen

Not being a roller coaster fan I set myself a goal upon this visit. Ride at least one of Alton Towers worlds firsts. There is a few to choose from but mine was roller coaster 13. A rather unknown ride set in the eerie nearby woods. As you walk along the queue in remote woodland a mini van taken over by a growing tree can be seen.

thirteenBefore I knew it, I was riding the various ups and downs of th13een. But as we came to an ascent we stopped abruptly. Was this part of the ride experience? No we were stuck*. After ten minutes the ride continued and into a dark building we went. The sound of wood snapping all around us and then a sudden drop in complete darkness. Yes this is the worlds first roller coaster where the track and carriages drop together onto another track!

There we were going backwards in the dark. For someone who doesn’t enjoy rides too much this was just right for me. And it’s a world’s first!

*Side note : The ride did get stuck for around ten minutes, in this time we were looked after and reassured, I was asked at least twice If I was ok. After the ride we were then given fast track tickets to skip the queue of a ride of our choice, see below:

priority

Overall a great experience at Alton Towers resort and they even reply on twitter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Simpsons Guy, a Review and I changed my name, sort of

Hello and welcome back to Lee’s Hall of information. I spent much time this week pondering as to what I was going to put into my blog this week. A wet, rainy and wild Monday morning hit me with a cold slap in the face with the realisation that winter was on the doorstep. But something else hit me.

When I first opened the Hall, back when the temperatures were hotter and the sky was somewhat brighter, so were my prospects of becoming self-published.  But Monday something hit me, with reference to the whole L A Hall author thing. Who the fu** is L A Hall? My name is Lee Hall and I don’t really give a flying frig who else is named the same, that’s me and that’s who I am. (I then marched upon Facebook, twitter and wordpress and changed my name accordingly to what it’s supposed to be!)

Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project is written by Lee Hall and Lee Hall only! Ah Lee Hall, nice guy (likes the sound of his own name and voice though)

Since coming back from my holiday and the start of this series I haven’t been involved in any writing. One of the key ways of surviving as a writer is to take a step back every now and then. The brain is also a muscle and many of us like to go to the gym and work on our muscles. But in order for them to grow a little rest is needed.

Soon it will be time to shortlist a group of agencies for submission. Of course a brand new synopisis will feature and I shall share that with you good people.

As I do send off my work, a week to week report will feature on the blog, tracking my progress, if any.

Please check out my resources section.

 

The Simpsons Guy

Television crossovers are a very rare and fragile thing. When I heard the news that Family Guy would cross with the Simpsons I was immediately intrigued as to how they would achieve such a thing.

the simpsons guy

 

For 24 years Matt Groening has delivered an animated television show that in my terms can only be described as undisputed. From politically loaded satire, to guest voices all the way to spoofing everything including itself. The Simpsons has achieved everything, even managing a box office smash film and then proceeding to recover and carry on.

How in the world is anything supposed to stand next to what the show has achieved? That’s what I asked myself, then an already cancelled once animation show came along. In many ways it echoed the Simpsons but Family guy is somewhat different. The themes are consistently adult and yes the spoofing and political satire is there. Throughout the late 00’s family guy began to snowball into something of a large following.

So I looked for what would make such a TV event work. To me it was what the two shows shared and what they had in differences ultimately made this wonderful viewing.

homer vs peter

Both families differ in so many ways, that when their scenes together were happening it was simply magic to me. It slotted together ever so well. I found myself enjoying what was unfolding on screen. A longer than usual running time, but this was needed because both families to me are larger than life. This was the moment when Family guy finally stood shoulder to shoulder with the Simpsons. And what I like the most about it is, the Simpsons can live with that.

I think only a certain age demographic will appreciate the Simpsons guy, but I recommend it to all that have seen either shows, just for the fact that it’s a massive writing undertaking and a great achievement by all involved. I look forward to the Simpsons Futurama crossover.

 

 

 

Decision Time, To self Publish or not, that is the Question?

I’m back, fresh from a week in the hot sun and ready, well sort of. To take on the world of self publishing!!!

But first!

scotty

Scotland didn’t go independent!

I try to stay out of politics, mainly because I swear too much (so fu** off). But I have to say that I am immensely proud that the people of Scotland voted to stay within the UK.

And you know what, they deserved to decide that through a democratic medium. We all criticize our governments but there are many places in this world where that sort of thing is decided through the medium of war and violence. To me it was the finest display of democracy and thanks Scotland.

I have had the pleasure of working and seeing such a wonderful country with a population of a naturally mad and funny people, the type of people that make Britain great! I hope many places on this globe take a look and note how independence can be decided and that is through the peaceful mode of democracy!

Decision Time!

I did say at the close of my last series of blogs that I would come to a decision when I return. But what exactly does that decision involve? (yes I am drawing this out, literally)

Do I self publish my first novel, Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project?

During my holiday I took some time to think, I walked along the sandy beach taking in doses of ultra violet rays.

My position right now is represented below (excuse my wonderful Paintbrush skills)

self

Copyright Amateur Hour

As you can see once the self pub path has been taken there is no return. But I have a plan!

On my ever continuing journey towards self-publishing why don’t I continue to try and acquire an agent whilst doing so? (This is represented by the engineering drawing  below*)

self2

*No British rail I am not available for your already brilliant design team

So that’s where I am now. In the next month I will be implementing another edit of my book and then a new search for representation will happen! This will involve putting together a top notch Synopsis and covering letter which I will share with you good people.

No matter what the goal is it will always be the same and that is to get my novel published and read by the world!

I think either way there is a leap of faith that I need to take, it’s time to stop hiding behind a decision I am somewhat afraid to make and go for it!!! (pause for applause)

I hope you enjoyed this short but to the point blog, that is the aim for me this series. Write something worth reading that doesn’t drag on! A few minutes in the Hall of information is all you need.

Until next time, I’ll be seeing you, please share, comment and like, have a nice day/evening/morning/afternoon

 

 

Episode 5 (you can’t take the sky from me)

Hot dang it’s Thursday again (or whatever day you are reading this on) so time for another blog entry.

Buckets of Ice

So finally the world has gone public with the fact that they actually wash. Ok that’s not particularly true but at the weekend I was nominated by my good friend George Black to take up the Ice bucket challenge. These challenges are spreading like wildfire. Every day since my nomination I am seeing people I know take up the challenge, but exactly is it for?

Well the ALS association is an American non-profit organization that raises money for research and patient services related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or in the UK motor neurone disorder. Now they had this idea of setting up this challenge and what a fine piece of marketing. There isn’t a citizen of the internet that doesn’t know what an ice bucket challenge is and it’s constantly spreading.

  ALS                                           ICE BUCKET

It’s good to see so many people giving to charity and not just to the ALS association but other organisations too. You can see my ice bucket challenge right here

Introductions Part 5 (yes this is still going, but there is an end in sight, I hope)

So the first 3 chapters of ‘warrior project’ remained on a USB memory stick gathering dust. In that time I had moved house and changed jobs, in fact my whole world had changed after 2011 and writing to me became an afterthought.

Although the characters I had created never stopped talking in my head (maybe I need to be diagnosed with something) my life had moved away from writing, that was until winter of 2012.

If you remember the original concept of Jack Thorn, a guy seemingly talented at fighting robots. At the time (I was 12) my favourite TV program was Buffy the Vampire slayer, in which Jack is loosely based on. What inspired me the most was the story that unfolded in this program, the characterisation and above all what they stood for. Joss Whedon was the creator/writer/director of Buffy and master of character driven stories so in the winter of 2012 I was inspired by his work again.

You can’t take the sky from me. 

Yes I am talking about a rather short-lived title named Firefly (available on Netflix). This 14 episode space western adventure had inspired me to take hold of this USB stick and plug it into my old windows xp piece of sh**.

But why you ask? Because the one thing that inspires me to write above all is good story telling. It entices and feeds the imagination and fills my brain full of impossible ideas.

Having looked at the material on that USB stick, I had that ‘moment’.  A moment all writers have with a story and I said to myself,

“This story is good enough to be published, and by golly that’s what I’ll do” (or something like that, who even says by golly these days)

The story actually held up, so why didn’t I carry it on? So that was when I made the decision to bring ‘warrior project’ out of the shadows and into the light. I purchased a laptop and began work, quickly the title changed to Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project and I began to look for a platform to release my material online. The journey had just began……

I need more followers!!!

I have made the point before of saying, I’m not gonna do well at this alone. The Hall of information needs your help, yes you! Don’t turn around, I’m talking to you! Come back, please. Sign up to the mailing list, the link is to the right >

Lee need’s you to Tweet, Facebook, email, network and share to the world wide interweb about this page and our cause. So when launch day comes we have a chance of making a real stab of glorious success at some level. I want you all to be a part of this and if we shout loud enough more people will join. To good people who have blogs and pages of your own, let me know and I’ll happily check them out, there are many ways of contacting me.

 

 

caleb

 

On an unrelated note, last year I made an attempt of writing some fan fiction and crossing it over with the world I had creared. Buffy the Vampire Slayer : Clark Thorn Crossover Project was born, have a read by clicking on the picture above.

 

 

 

 

Episode 4

It’s the fourth episode and I still have stuff to write about!

Introductions Part 10

Whoa I hear you say. What happened to the introductions between? Well I’m doing that clever thing like in TV or film when they flash forward into the future for a brief time. (I’m not actually sure if there will be 10 instalments of introductions but it sounds like a round figure to jump ahead to)

So in March of this year, I had reached frustration city in terms of sending my manuscript out to various agents and publishers seemingly to no avail. At this point I just wanted to know if or where I was going wrong, and if my book has what it takes to stand shoulder to shoulder with others.

After some googling I came across the oxford editors. They were offering a service that appraises a manuscript and involves a report at the end. Finally I have received most of that report (I wont go into the amount of chasing I had to do for it and quite honestly I wouldn’t do it again).

My whole angle was to actually have someone honestly look at my manuscript without it just being cast off into the many slush piles. It involved a fee and hopefully that would entice someone to be obligated to actually have a read.

The initial part of the report came through and here are the highlights in the form of quotations:

“I think the idea of this book is ingenious and it has a great deal of potential. However, the first few pages of any book are so important and here I think that you put all the points, but it is rather flat the way you have presented it, so it is like reading an article and not the sort of start that pulls readers into a book”

As much as this starts off complimentary I agree with the points.

“Probably the most important moment of the entire book, in terms of hooking readers, agents and publishers is that first sentence.”

Again I agree and my opening sentence could in fact be better.

To interpret the rest of the report it is apparent that the opening chapter does need some work in order to really grasp the reader. Not work as in rip it up and start again but a series of minor changes and additions to get the opening looking great. That goes for the whole book, there are some instances where I am telling the reader something when I should be showing them.

This is what I have been waiting for since March and now I have been given some decent constructive advice. From here the plan can be instigated. Phase 1 of the Warrior Project Publishing plan has been activated.

  1. Receive manuscript assessment      (I am more proud of the fact that I discovered there is a button to allow crossing words out, technology these days. I’ve been waiting to use that since I started this blog)

Back to the main plotline

Introductions Part 4 (where were we)

After much thinking I decided to start from the very beginning of my story. On my brothers laptop I began writing a title called ‘Untitled Warrior Project’. At this point it that was it in terms of a title and over many autumn evenings I pecked away, putting together the foundations for what would be my ‘first’ book. I had previously attempted to write a Clark Thorn story (a few years back on the xp piece of sh**) so from that initial idea I built the basics.

I struggled throughout this time, adapting to the horrible process that I still don’t like and that is the initial draft. (I do it in hour sessions now (controlling my addiction) To me drafting just feels like whatever thoughts one has is literally sucked out onto page, and that is what one element of what writing is to me. Translation of thought from brain to page.

My run in drafting this ‘warrior project’ ended just as quickly as it started leaving me with writers block at chapter 3.

To be continued….

 

A video

This week a good friend of mine Matt Streuli released a video in tribute to his late mother Janet Ann Streuli. As much as his journey and story is a sad one it also pays homage to the legacy left behind and how it helps him to this day. I share the same hobby with him, that being amateur drama, something I have grown to love and almost need in life. For a few hours a week we get to be what we want to be, whether that is the dashing hero or dastardly villain and perhaps anything in between. It’s a release and stress reliever at times. For whatever is going on in our lives there is always a place where we can be us or someone else. Check out his video here

 

A final note about a prestigious valuable item of memorabilia or sale on ebay, check it out, you wont be disappointed. Click here