Reading owb’s

I love a good read and reading more helps to improve your writing. You can examine other styles and the way the author describes people and places, so it’s always interesting picking up another author’s work. I’m one of those readers who will enjoy any genre as long as it holds my interest. At the moment I’m enjoying a book of short stories. Murder Most Fowl is exactly how it sounds. A book of short stories about murders. Some of the authors included are Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. They’re two of my favourite and I’ve read numerous books by these amazing crime writers.

Short stories keep the reader interested. Normally there will be a certain word count so each word within the work is important to the story. A lot of competitions are like this. Hundreds of writers enter comps so it’s crucial for the judges to get through the work and also find a winner who can fit an amazing story into the word count set out. The story has to paint a picture that shows the audience exactly what’s happening and give the reader just a hint to help imagine the setting and characters.

So, reading owb’s – other writer’s books, is important. Especially if you take yourself seriously as a writer!

Now and Then..

When I was a child life was a lot different. We relied on our imaginations. There was television and radio but no internet. So a lot of my time was spent reading. I loved to immerse myself in the stories of others and imagined all sorts of different paths that I might explore as I grew up. The novels I read had lots of description and writers such as Dickens could take you back immediately with the swish of his magic pen. The depiction was slightly flowery and a touch dramatic but it worked at the time because, let’s face it, that’s all we had, our imaginations.

Today, the world is at my finger tips and writing has changed. The only way you can buy an eBook is via the internet. So, one would assume that you have the same advantage as me and can look things up at the drop of a hat. Which means that we don’t have to be so descriptive when we write. I would never try to steal someone’s imagination from them so some creative thought is still required, but because there is access to everything and everywhere via the internet, writing about a particular place or thing allows the reader to search and view it online. Even so, when I look back at the books I’ve read, there have been authors who have loaded their books with dialogue instead of description. Agatha Christie was one such author who had this amazing talent. She used the dialogue to paint the picture and the stories were driven by characters and not particular places but still made the reader curious as to what might happen next.

It’s strange to think about how much the world has changed and although I still love the feel of the book in my hands, I also love the fact that I can put my work out there for the entire world to read.

What if?

Of all the questions ever asked, those that begin with what if, are possibly the most powerful and leave us wondering as we follow a different path in our minds. I don’t think I’m alone when I ask myself questions about different decisions I’ve made throughout my life. The question that haunts me the most is, what if I couldn’t read? Every time I finish writing something or I finish reading something written by another author or just a note from a friend, I often wonder what I might have missed out on if I’d never learned to read. It blows my mind when I think of the thousands of books I’ve read and the discoveries I’ve made because of something that I constantly take for granted. I wonder if I would have travelled as much as I have or whether I would have settled into a humdrum life within a comfortable place and not bothered.

It’s so difficult to imagine another world than the one I’ve created for myself. I wouldn’t be writing this blog or looking at which song is up next on my playlist because I wouldn’t have the ability. This realisation makes me feel sort of ill and my heart goes out to those who don’t share the ability or have the love of literature that I have. I guess they’re probably doing something they love right now, and wondering what if, about their own skills. Perhaps, because they don’t know what they’re missing, they don’t miss it. I suppose I’ll never know.

The Big Picture

A few weeks ago I posted about advertising and said that I would let you know how it went. I suppose when I first thought about paying for someone to help me get my work out there, it was all about selling more books. Now I’m thinking differently.

Having a website that you pay for annually might seem like a waste of money and there are a lot of people who just open up social media pages which are free and that might work for them. I’ve tried advertising on Facebook but it didn’t have any impact whatsoever so I started my website. Even then I didn’t really have a clue about the way it all works. I mean, who am I? Unless I tell you, you don’t know. Unless you’ve stumbled across something I’ve written you won’t have a clue who I am, so why would you want to look at my website?

I written so many eBooks and tried hard to get people to read them but it’s so difficult because eBook publishing is so easy these days and there are millions of people doing it. So, advertising is essential. I didn’t sell a great deal of copies but I did get a lot more website traffic. Instead of hoping people stumble across my work and head to my site, there were hits from Facebook and other websites where my eBook was advertised and this made me realise that unless I get my stuff out there, it’s just going to remain unread.

It’s taken a long time and I still don’t fully understand it all, but I’m getting closer and it feels good.

Advertising

I recently advertised a book through Bargain Booksy who send out an email with your book and others from the same genre to help gain interest. Everything helps, right? I sold a few copies and it got me thinking – there has to be other ways. So I started searching the internet and I came up with a few websites that give you a list of other sites that will help you with your advertising for free or a song.

When I discover stuff like this it makes me feel as though I haven’t been doing enough research but at the same time, it’s like a revelation and quite exciting. So, I have two more ads coming out. One is going live today and the other is on Monday so when they’ve gone out, I’ll let you know how it all went.

I know it might sound easy, but eBook promotion isn’t as simple as putting a picture of the cover and link to the eBook on sites like Facebook. If all of the people you were friends with shared the post and then all of the people they shared it with did the same and so on, it might be a success. That is far from what happens though. You might get a few likes and a few comments, but that’s as far as it goes. People who spend a lot of time on social media aren’t interested in how many likes someone else gets, or how successful another person is, they’re there because they want the attention themselves.

In this world I’ve come to recognise that the only person you can truly rely on is yourself. Something to think about!

I Need Your Help!

I’m looking for people to help me launch my new eBook which is due to be released in March 2022. The eBook which is currently a work in process is based on a crime but it’s satirical and lighthearted. In short, nobody dies. If you decide you would like to help me out, you will receive a copy of the book in PDF format via email and when the book goes live, all you have to do is post a rating!

Let me know if you’re interested.

Thank You!

I recently advertised this eBook via Bargain Booksy and I sold a few copies. I’m proud of my work and although it’s difficult to get your name out there, I do like to think that somebody somewhere actually likes my stories.

This eBook is available through Amazon and Smashwords who distribute work to several eBook sellers. There is a link on the Gryffon Archives page within this website that will take you straight through to either one of those websites.

Once again, thank you and if you did read the eBook, please leave a rating.

Happy New Year

It seems like only yesterday I was seeing in the the new year for 2021 and here we are in 2022. Over the past few years it feels like I’ve put things on hold due to the dreaded virus that has infiltrated our lives, but not any more. I don’t usually make new years resolutions but I’m making an exception. All though I’m not a list maker, here’s my tiny list for 2022;

Write more – every day, and finish the work I have started.

Post more – use my website as it was meant to be used.

Run more – my fitness has taken a dive and I want it back. Runners will tell you that the constant exercise makes you feel invincible.

Live more – having stayed cooped up in my flat has taken its toll and I need the social aspect to stop myself from inventing more imaginary friends.

Learn more – take chances and do what I want to do even if I don’t think I can.

During 2021 I learned to paint and painted portraits of my friends’ pets for them. They paid me too. I also learned to sew and crochet so the old skills that were once very popular entered my life. I did a bit of kintsugi and also gilded a mirror I had owned for a long time. This year I plan to do more. I’m in the process of writing another eBook and also finishing a few that I’ve started and put aside. It’s time to make sure I get my work out there for others to enjoy.

So happy new year to you all and be inspired. I know I am!

A Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all over the world

Parents were trying to bribe boys and girls

The cattle were lowing in a manger somewhere

In hopes that Santa Claus soon would be there

The children were standing at windows to peep

Saying over and over I can’t get to sleep

With Mum in the kitchen and Dad in the pub

I lay there thinking of Xmas day grub

When in to my room on the tiniest breeze

Came the slightest sound of a feverish sneeze

I went to the window and stared into the night

On the rooftop next door I noticed a light

I crept from my room and into the hall

Down the stairs and out through the front door

When what to my wondering eyes did appear

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer

With a little old driver who looked very sick,

I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick

“Hey Santa, what’s wrong?” I called to the man

And he beckoned to me with a slight wave of hand

“I’m sorry my dear I have a bad cold

My head is so sore and I’m just feeling old

I know that on me the kids all rely

But tonight I’m afraid I don’t want to fly”

“I’ll help you,” I said climbing into the sleigh

With Santa beside me I picked up the reigns

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

From the rooftop up high to the top of a wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

So off round the world with the reindeer we flew

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too

As he shivered we flew from village to town

To deliver the goods that for children, were bound

As we flew through the night I got such a thrill

Even though Santa was terribly ill

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot

And his clothes were all blotted with ashes and soot

His eyes—how they watered, his dimples, once merry

His cheeks were all sallow, his nose like a cherry!

“It won’t be much longer Santa,” I said

“Just a few more stops and then straight home to bed”

He snuggled right up in his fluffy fine wear

And I smiled to myself because I was there

No one would believe me when I told my saga

They’d say what a shame, Sandra’s gone gaga

When I woke the next morn, on new day so clean

I pondered the night, had it all been a dream?

But tucked in the pocket of my warmest coat

From the jolly old man was a thank you note

A secret for me and one that I’d shield

‘Til this Xmas eve when I decided to yield

That Once upon a time in a wonderful way

Father Christmas was sick and I saved the day

So where ever you are when you read of this plight

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Finally!

After quite a longtime and many wasted deadlines, the eighth book in The Hooper Mysteries is published.

Stepping Sideways takes the reader back to the beginning and reveals a few secrets too.

I never thought The Hooper Mysteries would be such hard work when I started. All I wanted to do was write a book and publish it online. So I did. But I liked Bess Hooper and Eloise Wescott so much that one book turned to two and now I don’t see an end to the series as the subject covers so much. It’s not just about solving mysteries, there are ghosts, gypsies and thieves involved. Just to name a few avenues the stories go down.

Time travel is so interesting and although I never expect anybody to invent a way to cross the years, it’s something that’s always in the back of my mind. What if I could travel in time? What would I do? Where would I go? If I went to the past would I warn people of the problems we have with the environment? Would this affect the way of the world now? A myriad of questions roll through my mind when it comes to time travel.

The next eBook isn’t related to The Hooper Mysteries. I’m trying something completely different. Maybe I’ll try blogging a little more often too, who knows!