Saturday, 29 September 2012

Hot Chick Gives It Away

Now, that got you interested did it not. OK fellow scribes, I'm trying something new. Once upon time in the land of Amazon KDP Select one could paper the house with free tickets and spread the word. And the word was Sales. My own experience was initially positive but with the change of algorithms and a new Amazon recipe containing 3D humble stumble potion, red sales headed for the sunset.

Now has come the idea of gifting your book to people who really want it. Using The Reader's Guide To E Publishing (RG2E), it is possible to feature your book for the day. This site offers free books. The down side is that the author pays for them! However, much of this money will come back to you via your Amazon sales and the cost is far less than conventional advertising which will only sell you a few books if you are lucky. Of course, you are free to adjust your price in advance of your offer. In the UK such costs are fully tax deductible. 

Another advantage is that you are asking people to choose books they like. With KDP I found that there was a download frenzy like anorexic mackerel swallowing silver paper. A few would then submit reviews within an hour beginning "I hate this kind of book and could only read three pages".  

Today, RG2E are featuring "The Chosen", my short tale of roguish aspiration. The idea is to get a bump up the charts. Let us see what happens. You will be among the first to know and I won't charge a cent.

Emma thinx: Rarely is freedom given. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Love A Happy Bookshelf

There's no end to books.
There's something new on the block. I am a member of a writers' group under the banner "Love A Happy Ending". My inclusion has been a wonderful element in my writing career and has brought me into contact with some amazing and committed authors. Yesterday, they launched a new bookshelf section that features a selection of writers and their work. And guess what - yes I'm on it!

The world of publishing can still be called a world but none of the old maps really work any more. The Loveahappyending Bookshelf is a unique initiative between Authors and Publishers to promote and discover new writing talent and to share news from around the publishing universe. It features  Indies, the Pindies and the Traditionally published. The Pindies are writers who have published independently and have secured deals from publishers. There are also writers who have had deals in the past but have now gone Indie. 

In all of this raging torrent, I am but a minnow or even something smaller. I feel myself to be very privileged to be among such larger fish and so far no one has looked hungry. 

Loveahappyending Bookshelf Authors:
Linn B Halton Carol E Wyer Mandy Baggot  Janice Horton Richard F Holmes Ali Bacon Sheryl Browne Nicky Wells Kit Domino Stephanie Keyes Melanie Robertson-King

Loveahappyending Bookshelf Publishers:
Sapphire Star Publishing  Safikhet Publishing Thornberry Publishing 4RV Publishing Inkspell Publishing

Standing by for touch down Captain. 
OK - let me descend into the metaphysical depths and share with you a photograph I took yesterday of a  cauliflower I bought in Walmart (ASDA). As I looked at this green alien landscape I found myself piloting my CLM (Cauliflower Landing Module) onto the surface of this wonderful fractalised world. The mother ship held orbit over the draining board galaxy while I swept my eyes through vistas of breathtaking beauty while making a sound of alien wind. It was then I realised that I was being watched by those who wanted to eat. I explained of course that I was merely looking closely for any worms or caterpillars. Normally my fantasies involve far more basic concepts. Oh no - is my libido slipping? When your hormones go, do you turn to Sci-Fi?

And here is a trail for my next post. I want to talk about toys and their place in the modern literary love-place. This may not involve Lego. Brace yourselves. 

Emma thinx:  Ideas only want to play.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Oh Autumn - Love Child of Spring

Oh juice! Oh fullness; Oh grown love-child of Spring !
Season of mists and mellow novelists; Ah yes Autumn it is. Cold arrows of rain drench my heroine's passion as I sit here trying to write about rising sap and hormone inspired springtime lust.  I always find it easier to write during the actual season where my characters are. Trouble is, it would always be Spring or Summer. All that northern writhing on rugs in front of open fires has always seemed hazardous to me and you have to be careful about where you catch sparks and chilblains. 
Torn wings of toil, mortal beauty in the last sun.

England is the most wonderful of countries. Yesterday I cycled to the country town of Stockbridge and sat in the warm sun watching an alien tweed clad upper class world go by. I stopped and watched the last late cygnets in the river Test. Four deer startled and ran through the sun dappled woods where the bluebells will bloom in May. I long for them now and for their prophets - the snowdrops. 

Today is cold and the last swallows fill their tanks before hitting the gas pedal and heading south. Geese begin to gather at the starting line. Soon enough it will be out to work in the dark and home in the dark. Perhaps I should strategically place a furry rug in front of the open log fire and do some research. No fire - no problem: I could paint some flames on a radiator in the lounge I guess.
Willows overhang a sun warmed river Test. 

In these last days of pseudo summer I took some pictures. Once upon a time I could have done a poem but that gift voucher is long ago spent on frippery, anger and hoover bags. 

Emma thinx: If it's going, let it go. Just keep hold of the string. 

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Lunch With Mrs Fox

It's OK, I'm friendly.......really.

For me, Nature, in all its forms, represents a shimmering drop of liquid beauty trembling on a leaf between Wonder and Fear. Now - how is that for pure PURPLE!!!!? The sad thing is - that is how I actually feel about it. Who could deny the sense of awe at the close up view of a spider's leg?

Well actually I probably could.....

Sometimes Nature just ain't natural
All this leads me to my recent lunch with Mrs Fox. It's hard to tell quite often but I'm sure it is Mrs Fox because shortly after she arrived at table, she sat down to have a wee. Generally in my experience, ladies sit down.
 She turned up quite out of the blue. I had done my domestic servitude duty at ASDA and had sat down with a mortadella baguette with English salad cream and lettuce. A slightly misty sunlight flooded through the lattice of oak trees and concrete council street lighting. Mrs Fox wandered across the lawn and sat down next to me. We looked at each other in the way that people do on trains and at supermarket checkouts. We shared my sandwich. She liked the meat but looked at me in horror when I offered her some bread. (It was like being the only mum without a new 4x4 vehicle at the posh school).
Thanks for lunch - see ya later.

Mrs Fox seemed quite content to eat the rest of my lunch while I went and got my camera. Being very much an urban urchin I have always been part terrified and part overawed by wild beasts. In my own humble little way I felt as if the universe had conferred a great honour on me.Encounters form our lives I suppose, but we savour so few.

Emma thinx:  You are what you meet.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Ordeal By Pagan Passion

Wednesday, the day of Wodin, the most powerful of the Norse gods. Who could feel secure on a Wodinsday? I guess I could just hang about to see if I could get selected as a Valkyrie since I've had rejections slips from the other big six publishing gods. 

But even more worrying is the pagan ordeal that lies ahead. Rather than diving down to collect dead warriors on my horse, all I have to do is meet the book buying public. They will be able to poke and question me. They will be able to mock my prose and ask me to expose my purple literary cellulite. Writing of love and passion in the warm air of France with a glass of wine, responding to the remembered thrill of new love and a view of a muscular sun bronzed young man forking his harvest is easy. Presenting my somewhat experienced and time washed persona to the masses is NOT.  All the same, I have signed up to attend the Festival of Romance in the historic city of Bedford, UK. I just know I can do it....

The good news for all you scribes out there is that if you are not already a block busting mega stegosaurus you can enter their New Talent competition. Check out the details below.

New Talent Award aims to uncover romantic fiction authors of the future
The Festival of Romance is delighted to announce that the New Talent Award will run again this year. The industry judges are Georgina Hawtrey-Woore senior editor at Cornerstones, Random House and Diane Banks, literary agent at the Diane Banks Associates Literary Agency. The Festival of Romance New Talent Award aims to cast a spotlight on the authors of tomorrow and is open to all writers who have not yet had a book commercially published. Writers may submit the opening chapter (up to 3,500 words) of a romantic novel of any type by 30th September 2012. The winner and runners-up will be announced and presented with trophies at the gala Festival of Romance Awards on Friday 16th November 2012. There is a small entry fee to cover the award administration. Entrants may also gain a critique of their entry written by a professional novelist.
“As part of the Festival of Romance we want to help new writers with talent get their break into the commercial fiction world,” says Kate Allan, chief romantic at the Festival of Romance. “At the Festival of Romance in November we are running writing workshops, an industry conference and chance to meet publishers face to face as well as the New Talent Award. I'm delighted that Georgina Hawtrey-Woore and Diane Banks have agreed to judge this year's entries.”
Winner of the 2011 New Talent Award Henriette Gyland subsequently garnered a book deal from publishers Choc Lit. Her debut novel Up Close will be published in December 2012.
For more details about how to enter the New Talent Award please see

Anyway, here I am back in the UK. I'm trying to drive on the left 

and live without plat cote de boeuf cooked in a full bodied red. I 

had severe warm baguette withdrawal symptoms this morning. It is 

tough but I'm coping.

Emma thinx:  Never stop doing within what you can't do without.