Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Reading Teen Q&A

I want to send out special thanks today to the folks at Reading Teen, especially Andye.  This is a great site for fans of YA fiction.  I think they go above and beyond to give readers great insight into what this genre has to offer. 

A couple of months ago I made arrangements with Andye, one of the site's administrators and reviewers,  to do a Q&A post which was to appear in the Indie Spotlight section of their blog.  The post was to coincide with a 5 day free ebook giveaway of Presenting (July 4 to July 8).  Today I was very pleasantly surprised that they posted it, not only in their Indie Spotlight section, but also on their main page.  Wow!  Thank you Reading Teen, and thank you Andye.

The post can be found here:

Saturday, 30 May 2015

A Thousand Words

Years ago, when I was on holiday in Mexico, I saw a large sign that read; "We believe in world peace through tourism."  It struck me then what a great thought that was, and to this day, I still think that exploring different cultures is the best way to truly fall in love with the world we live in.  While a picture may be worth a thousand words, there is no substitute for standing in a spot, and getting the full sensory experience of it.  As a writer, those moments for me, are priceless.

I've just returned from one of my favorite holiday spots, Cuba.  Yes, the beach was awesome, and ok, I had my share of Mojitos, but what I love most about Cuba is that it always sweeps me away, not just to another place, but almost to another time.  The beautiful old buildings, and the streets filled with old cars, are just part of the charm.  The rustic towns, farm fields, and mountainous regions sprinkled with towering royal palms, pulse with the lifeblood of what is real and unaffected.  To a city dweller like myself, its a breath of fresh air.

What I love most about travelling, in general, is how much scope there is for the imagination.  Wherever I go, inevitably I find a nook, or a vista, that sets my mind racing.  Inspiration can sometimes even come from something as small as an item forgotten on a chair or a table.  Who lost it?  Why were they in such a hurry to leave?  A multitude of ideas can come from just about anything, and the best way to find new treasures is to visit places you've never seen before.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A New Beginning

I sit.  It's quiet.  I happily type the words Chapter 1, and add a title for the section, that I know will likely change later.  The first line takes a little time.  Then the words come, as if they've been waiting to be found.  I see the fifteen foot stone wall, and it's heavy wooden doors.  I see the square, and begin to fill it with life.  My protagonist sits watching.  She's blissfully unaware of the journey I have in store for her.  It's going to be a difficult one.

My fingers move across the keyboard.  The words flow, then don't, then flow again.  Reread.  Rewrite.  As the scene unfolds, I see it clearer.  Faces emerge, sounds increase in volume, and there are smells in the air.  Images of what is to come flood into my mind, but I push them back.  It's not their time yet.

After three hours, I sit back.  There doesn't appear to be very much on the page, but appearances can be deceiving.  I smile.  The new series has begun.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Sportmanship is not dead!

As I enjoy a little hiatus between the completion of The Presenting Saga and my next series (yes, I've nailed down a concept, and will start work on it soon), I'm catching up on some reading and a few TV shows.  Tonight I was so blown away, yet again, by something that I have to mention it online because I think it deserves allot of mention wherever possible.  Are you watching the current MasterChef Junior?  If not, you should catch at least one episode, even if it's not your 'thing'.  You will not believe these kids! you may find it as flabbergasting as me that 8 to 13 year olds can cook like this, amazingly it's not that part that has me blown away.  In a time when it seems value is placed on cold ambition, and other reality shows seem to revere 'alliances' and sabotage aimed at eliminating the strongest competitor, these kids put their adult counterparts to shame.  The kids from MasterChef Junior don't just cheer each other on, they help each other.  When someone does well, they cheer for them, and when someone fails, they console and encourage them.  That's not to say they don't each want to win, they clearly do, but they are competing under a concept that I sometimes feared was gone; winning because you've worked hard to become the best at the task measured (not for your ability to ruthlessly eliminate competitors better than you).  What a wonderful concept, winning on merit instead of by default. 

 Kudos to those kids, and all the people in their lives who understand what it takes to build a great adult!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Jumpin' eReaders!

All I can say is WOW!  I am blown away at the great response to the ebook giveaway for Presenting last week.  Thanks so much to all of you who have downloaded a copy, and to those of you who sent me such kind comments.  It amazes me to think that my little story is being read by so many people, and that some are all the way on the other side of the world.  What a fantastic way to start 2015! 

I hope that those who are new to the story enjoy it.  For those who sent me compliments on the series covers, the kudos for those go to Laura Gordon at The Book Cover Machine.  It was alot of fun collaborating with Laura on the concepts, and it think she did a great job on all four covers.

Thanks again for your interest in my book, and I wish everyone every happiness in the New Year!