June 2014


@GaryTroia Opens Up About Rejection, Book Sales & #SelfPub - #AmWriting #Fiction

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014

So, you’ve written your book, found an agent, your agent has matched your book with a publisher. What next?
  1. It can take one year before your book is in print. Throughout the year you will receive two or three rounds of edits, then copyedits, then line edits. You’ll be asked to proof the cover copy of your book. A bio and a professional headshot will be created. Blurbs need to be written. At least 3 months before publication your book will be sent to reviews and the press for pre-publication reviews and to bookshops. 
  2. You may or may not be lucky enough to have a publicist, either way you still have to market your own book. If you are fortunate enough, you might have a book tour. But touring Authors around the country is expensive, don’t expect any-more travelling by coach! You need to market yourself in any way possible, talk to local papers, radio shows, apply to be a guest at local conferences or speak at libraries, book clubs or schools. And don’t forget social media twitter, Facebook etc… 
  3. You get to select your book cover. This is very unlikely, the book cover is usually the work of an art department, with the opinions of everyone from the editor, publisher, marketing and PR departments. Everyone has their say but you!
  4. You still get rejections. It’s true. Just because you have a publisher doesn’t mean that your new manuscripts or proposals won’t be rejected. 
  5. You will still be poor. If you are extremely lucky your book will make enough money so you can quit your job, the average book advance is a mere £3,000-£5,000 then you have to wait a year until it is in print-then if you’re fortunate enough to sell tens of thousands of copies you may be in a position to quit your day job.

For the first time ever, this collection of short stories by Gary Troia brings together, in chronological order stories and memoirs from Spanish Yarns and Beyond, English Yarns and Beyond and A Bricklayer’s Tales into one complete volume.
“Excellent! A collection of short stories about depression, alcoholism and drug use. Very compelling reading. I read this short story collection all in one go.” (Maria, Goodreads.)
A Bricklayer’s Tales is the ultimate “I hate this job” story, written as a collection of short stories and memoirs, each one revealing a snapshot in the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This book of short stories is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book achieves clarity without trying.
Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.
A collection of short stories and memoirs that include:
The Cuckoo’s Egg. Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.
My Grandfather’s Shed. The making of an English key
No Comb on the Cock. Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
What I Did In My Summer Holidays In 1000 Words. Could having an idea ever be considered a criminal act?
My Best Mate’s Head. Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
The Shetland Isles. A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
Pointing a House in Islington. Too much alcohol and cocaine don’t mix well on building sites!
Angel Dust. The peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers
Peyote. Hippies, LSD and an idyllic refuge
Return Ticket. Handcuffed and ready for deportation. A sad departure from the States
When I Joined a Cult. Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
Bilbao. How very, very English!
Teaching Other People. The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis. With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
Catania. A meeting with a Sicilian fox, some Neapolitans, and a man with a camel haired coat.
Advert In The Art Shop Window. Will a new building job in Spain be the start of a new life?
Gaudi. A flight to Barcelona for a kebab, and a look at the Sagrada Familia.
The Day My Soul Left Me. “To be or not to be? That is the question”
How Not to Travel to The AlhambraHung-over, the wrong fuel, the car breaks down. Will they ever make it to Granada?
The Road To Ronda. A terrifying drive to Ronda, was it worth it?
Poking A Carob Tree. A new home and new neighbours, just in time for Christmas.
Spain Reborn.No more commuting to London. Lets celebrate!
Home From HomeA parallel world where the Spanish have taken over Weymouth.
Three Common Carp.An epic battle with a whale and marlin it is not.
Mrs. McClintock. An absurd farce in which a Glaswegian couple retire to Spain
Steak, Egg and Intensive Care. A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
The Unchangeable Chameleon. Can a leopard change it’s spots?
A Bricklayer’s Tale. The story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer
A collection short stories and memoirs of British dark humour.
 Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fiction, Short Stories
Rating - PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Gary Troia on Facebook & Twitter


Writing By The Seat Of Your Pants with Richard Parry @TactualRain #Fantasy #WriteTip

Posted on Friday, June 13, 2014

No plan survives contact with the enemy, but plans are really useful anyway.
The thing is, my writing tends to be pretty organic.  The conversations my characters have aren’t manufactured through some formula.  The path the story takes?  It’s not set in stone.  I tend to outline just enough to give me a path to follow, maybe some high points to hit, and then write.
The outlines I write are more detailed at the start of the story, and less so at the end — often having a single outline point like, “Hero saves the world.”  I mean, that’s enough: it says everything it needs to say.
Making characters real means you need to allow them some flex in their interactions.  If you need John to get that cat out of the tree, but it’s more fun or interesting to have the cat escape from him instead, you’re kind of screwed if your whole story revolves around him returning to Andy with the cat.
The better writing gets lost in service to the outline you’ve drafted, and that’s not okay.
Different writers have different views on this, and I think that’s great.  I’m not trying to tell people that there’s only one way to tell a story — I’m saying that when I write stories, I try and make sure there’s room for my characters to grow through that story.  After you’ve spent 100,000 words with someone, they’re a lot more real than they were on page one, right?
When I wrote Night’s Favour, the basic outline — hand drawn in blue pen — was on a page of my notebook, and some supplementary pages for specific scenes.  Writing Upgrade, a more complex story, I’ve needed to bust out Scapple to do a quick A4 on the moving parts.  There’s lines everywhere.
Funny thing is, both stories diverged from the originally planned ending.  It’s meant more work for me in terms of the writing, but it makes me happier with the end result.  I’d rather the end show a believable outcome for my characters than keeping to an outline that was started months — if not years — ago.
Outlines are great, but like the rest of what I write, they’re disposable in favour of the better story.  To make things better, you sometimes need to throw your initial thoughts into the trash.

Valentine’s an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. His boss is an asshole. He’s an alcoholic. And he’s getting that middle age spread just a bit too early. One night — the one night he can’t remember — changes everything. What happened at the popular downtown bar, The Elephant Blues? Why is Biomne, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, so interested in him — and the virus he carries? How is he getting stronger, faster, and more fit? And what’s the connection between Valentine and the criminally insane Russian, Volk?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Action, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Rating – R16
More details about the author
 Connect with Richard Parry on Facebook & Twitter


UNFINISHED BUSINESS #Excerpt by @Ted_Tayler #AmReading #Thriller #Fiction

Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2014

There are so many different avenues through which you can promote your writing; blogging is a useful way of getting your name further up the pecking order in the search engines. It is a relatively inexpensive way of getting people to at least consider buying your books.
If you have a marketing budget (lucky you!) then virtual book tours can speed up the process of getting readers to visit your site; while they are there you have the opportunity to grab their interest with what you have written in your latest post. Personally I don’t fill my blog posts with things about my novels or short stories; I write about everything else in my life as well. The reason for this is that I want them to know that I’m a ‘real’ person who has all the same highs and lows in my life as they do. I chat about the weather, my family, events in my local town, my holidays, and the death of one of my closest friends. I cast my net as wide as possible to find a few items that will interest them.
I attempt to engage them enough to want to come back time and again. Perhaps it will take them one visit, perhaps it will take several but eventually I want them to trust me enough to believe that if they move around my website and finally take the plunge and buy one of my books, they won’t be disappointed.
I came to blogging in a roundabout fashion. I had my book of memories published in 2011 and then I invested in a website and joined Twitter. This was an afterthought! I was selling all the paperbacks I had had printed and I wondered whether I could sell the kindle version of the book as well. Writing a blog chapter every few weeks was suggested to me by the designer of my site; I didn’t know what a blog was! I’m glad I followed up on her suggestion because it was those blog chapters that I wrote over the next twelve months that reminded me how much I enjoyed writing and gave me the courage to start ‘The Final Straw’ and then self-publish my first novel. I haven’t stopped writing since.
My Twitter followers were initially music lovers and musicians, because of the content of the first book. I hit fifty thousand followers by the end of 2012; today I have around ninety five thousand. A large percentage of the latest recruits are book lovers and other authors.
Naturally, I direct followers to my site so that they can read the blog and maybe buy a book; there must be something about my tweets that keeps them coming and staying in such large numbers but there’s no guaranteed correlation between followers and book sales I can assure you! If I could crack that I’d be a happy man. On balance I’d rather be blogging and attracting more readers than giving it up as a way to promote my writing. For me it will remain an important tool as an author.

The sequel to the award winning ‘The Final Straw’ sees Colin Bailey return to the UK after almost a decade abroad. With a new name and a new face he still has scores to settle. His meticulous planning takes him ingeniously across Scotland and the North of England ticking names off his list with the police completely baffled. 

DCI Phil Hounsell pitted his wits against Colin before and so he is sent to Durham where he teams up with super intelligent young DS Zara Wheeler; together they track their man to Manchester and then eventually south to Bath. 

The final scenes take place on the streets of the Roman city; Phil Hounsell’s family is threatened and in a dramatic conclusion reminiscent of Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the two men struggle above the foaming waters of the historic Pulteney weir. 
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Ted Tayler on Facebook & Twitter


Is Your Chair Killing You? by @KentBurden #AmReading #AmWriting #NonFiction

Over the years the one thing I have found to be true in life is that things are never as simple as we would like them to be. Just a few years ago if someone asked you if lived an active lifestyle, you knew that if you worked out for 30 to 60 minutes a day 4 to 6 days a week you could answer “yes.” If not, you said “I’m working on it.” For decades scientists have studied the relationship between how much we exercised and our exercise levels and health. But in the past five years, some scientists began looking at this correlation from a different perspective: Instead of thinking about what exercise does for the body, researches started to investigate what sitting for long periods of time does to the body. This was some seriously unconventional thinking.
Rather than looking at what we weren’t doing they started to look at what we were doing, which was a heck of a lot of sitting. In fact, by some estimates many people are sitting as much as 12 hours a day. This new perspective has begun to turn the science of sedentary studies on its head. Researchers from such diverse fields as epidemiology, molecular biology, biomechanics and physiology are seeing more data that is leading them to believe that the amount of sitting we do on a daily basis may not only be making us very sick, it could be causing us to die prematurely. The most disturbing revelation is that 30-60 minutes of sustained exercise may have little or no positive affect on a sedentary lifestyle. To put it simply, sitting for extended periods of time may be slowly killing you, and just working out after sitting around all day may not be enough to save you.
The fact that sitting around is bad for you isn’t very surprising; you would have to be living under a rock not to have heard that doing nothing for long periods of time could make you fat and unhealthy. But most of us thought that if we hopped on a treadmill or took a spin class or shook our groove thing in a Zumba class a few times a week, we’d be cool. But according to microbiologist Marc Hamilton from the University of Missouri we need to adjust our thought process. “People need to understand that the qualitative mechanisms of sitting are completely different from walking or exercising…Sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little. They do completely different things to the body.”
This subject has been thrust into the national spotlight with a new Australian study that looked at death rates over a three-year period. The study concluded that people who spent a lot of time sitting at a desk or in front of a television were more likely to die sooner than those who were only sedentary a few hours a day. Of more than 200,000 adults age 45 and older, the lead author of the study Hidde van der Ploeg and his colleagues at the University of Sydney found that people who reported sitting for at least 11 hours daily were 40 percent more likely to die during the study than those who sat less than 4 hours daily.
The results appear in the Archives of Internal Medicine, March 26, 2012, and reveal that the link between too much time sitting and shortened lives stuck even when they accounted for how much moderate or vigorous exercise people got, as well as their weight and other measures of health.
Another study released in July of 2012 showed that an analysis of five large studies that followed about 2 million people in several different countries lead by Peter Katzmarzyk of Louisiana State Universities Pennington Biomedical research Center found that the life expectancies of people who said they spent more than three hours a day sitting were a full two years less than people who spent less than three hours sitting daily. Maybe even more surprising was that this was true regardless of whether subjects reported getting the recommended amounts of exercise or not.
In a 2005 article in Science magazine, Dr. James A. Levine, an obesity specialist at the Mayo Clinic, gave his insights into why, despite similar diets, some people are fat and others aren’t. “We found that people with obesity have a natural predisposition to be attracted to the chair, and that’s true even after obese people lose weight,” he says. “What fascinates me is that humans evolved over 1.5 million years entirely on the ability to walk and move. And literally 150 years ago, 90% of human endeavor was still agricultural. In a tiny speck of time we’ve become “chair-sentenced,” Levine says. This “chair sentence” as Levine puts it may very well be a death sentence.
So what’s the big difference between sitting and standing, you ask? I mean just standing around seems every bit as lazy as sitting, doesn’t it? Hamilton knows better. “If you’re standing around and puttering, you recruit specialized muscles designed for postural support that never tire,” he says. “They’re unique in that the nervous system recruits them for low-intensity activity and they’re very rich in enzymes.” One enzyme, lipoprotein lipase, sucks fat and cholesterol from the blood stream, and burns the fat for energy while shifting the cholesterol from LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol) to HDL (the healthy kind of cholesterol). When you’re sitting, the muscles are relaxed, and enzyme activity drops by 90% to 95%, leaving fat to hang out in the bloodstream. After a couple hours of sitting, healthy cholesterol drops by 20%. Amazingly this is just one of the myriad of chemical changes that take place in the body while we sit. Sitting for extended periods of time has a huge cascade of effects on the body, everything from back pain and restricted blood flow to being implicated in an elevated risk of certain kinds of cancer.  Let’s take a look at what this new research really has to say.

Sitting for extended periods of time is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. And exercising for 30-60 minutes a day isn’t enough to undo the damage from extended periods of sitting. Is Your Chair Killing You reveals shocking new research showing that sitting for long periods greatly increases your risk of developing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Our bodies were designed to move constantly over the course of the day, but most of us sit for hours a day at work and at home! Fitness and wellness expert and award-winning author Kent Burden has created brief, simple movements you can incorporate into your daily life to combat the damaging effects of sitting. These simple movements, done standing for 1-5 minutes each hour will burn calories, energize and refresh you, and you won’t even break a sweat; you’ll even improve your back pain. This book is a how-to for weight loss and disease prevention. Read this book–you’ll be healthier in as little as 8 minutes a day.
Nominated for the Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards and won honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-Fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Kent Burden on Facebook & Twitter


Malpractice! The Novel by William Louis Harvey @sexandlawnovel #Drama #Fiction #BYNR

Posted on Thursday, June 5, 2014

In the midst of this process, he heard the water start in the shower but didn’t alter the pace of undressing. When all was in order, he went into the bathroom and opened the shower door. He stood there, immobile except for a growing erection, admiring her beautiful body. Cleo was a few inches shorter than Paul, neither thin nor fat, with a firm body; beautiful, firm breasts with erect nipples; a thin waist; and smooth skin that had a slightly tan color from her one-quarter Hawaiian heritage. Her face remained exotically beautiful after all of its makeup was washed away, with just a hint of Asia in her eyelids, and she had black hair that was stylishly cut short.

Her pubic hair was also black and appeared to be standing guard over the delights below, like the eunuch guarding the sultan’s harem.

Finally, in mock anger, Cleo said, “OK, Boss, either come in or leave, but close the door. You’re getting water all over the floor.”

Paul laughed and complied. They put wet, soapy arms around each other and washed backs while their fronts were in contact. (pp 181-182) Malpractice! the Novel 


Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Steamy Courtroom Drama
Rating – R
More details about the author and the book
Connect with William Louis Harvey on Facebook & Twitter