Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Direct from Australia, please welcome Dr. Bob Rich! #author #giveaway

Hi, Bob. Welcome to Celtic Connexions. I’ve had a nosey around your website and blog to get a better insight into the man who is Bob Rich. You have your fingers in many pies, as they say. Author, psychologist, environmentalist.

Thank you, Melanie, for the honor of having me here. I promise to behave as well as I can, which is usually not very good.

There is something funny about “psychologist.” In Australia, this is a registered term. I would be breaking the law if I referred to myself as a psychologist, even as in “retired psychologist.” Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not collect $200. 🙂  So, I have to be careful and say something like, “Bob Rich has a Ph.D. in psychology and 22 years’ experience in psychological counseling.”

While as Bob Rich I have no Celtic connections at all, I have actually been an Irishman who was transported to New South Wales (what later became Australia) for the term of his natural life. If that sounds odd, you have to read the story of my life, Ascending Spiral.

I met Bob recently, after he left a comment on my blog interview of our mutual (but virtual) friend, Joan Y. Edwards.

What compelled you to start writing? I use that phrase because as writers, we’re driven to do it.

I’ve always been buzzing with ideas, but never knew I was a writer until 1980. I enjoyed distance running, and as the miles passed, I sort of meditated, without thought, but at the same time all sorts of things cooked in the background. In school and university, that’s how I dealt with essays and assignments: read the question, go for a run, have the answer all ready and hardly needing any revision. Often, though, what cooked was some story or monologue or a new way of looking at something. I didn’t share these with anyone — who could possibly be interested in MY ravings — but many years later, these ancient thoughts were the kernels of some of my best stories.

I did scientific research in exactly the same way. I still didn’t know I was a writer, but my reports were actually readable. Then I retired for the first time at 35 years of age, and started building an adobe house, with my own hands, not by hiring Experts. I even invented a new way of making the bricks. One day, the local kids were playing a boys vs. girls soccer game, and needed one more male. They kidnapped me, and who was I to argue? I went, muddy boots and all, slipped, and tore a cartilage in my knee. Let me tell you, this is not a good idea. So, there I was in hospital, with nothing to do. I borrowed the office typewriter (you know, one of those ancient things with wire levers, worked entirely with biological power), and wrote an article about my new way of making adobe bricks for Earth Garden magazine.

I’m still writing for them, 39 years later. My articles resulted in my first book, The Earth Garden Building Book. This came out in 1986. The 4th edition finally went out of print in February 2018. During that time it sold hundreds of thousands of copies. This was because although it was well-researched nonfiction, it was also fun to read.

Then I decided to train as a nurse. This meant staying in a nurses’ home. Being surrounded by gorgeous 18-year-olds, I had the choice of making a fool of myself or of doing something useful with my time. So, I tried my hand at short stories. The first one won second prize in a contest, and I’ve been writing fiction since.

Your books have a spiritual side to them, as in goodness prevails in the end. Can you tell us more about this underlying thread that brings the books and characters to life?

Melanie, that’s an astute observation. It is certainly true of the stories I’ve written this century, but it wasn’t always so. Look, until about 15 years ago, if an insect annoyed me, I killed it. I simply can’t do that anymore. I’ll either put up with them, or catch them and take them outside.

My novel, Ascending Spiral is actually my life story, fictionalized to protect the guilty. The hero, Pip, faces all the life experiences I did, but handles them the way I wish I had at the time. This is a valuable form of therapy, as I describe in my latest book, From Depression to Contentment. Because I had significant past life recalls, Ascending Spiral is the story of several lives as experienced by the same spirit (me/Pip). And I learned a lot of things about myself, including that, as Dermot, an Irishman born in 1780, I became a bully. I have no doubt that being on the receiving end for the first 20-odd years of my life was paying fair restitution. So, from my childhood on, I have always hated bullying victimization, exploitation. As a youngster, my response was to belt up the bully. As I grew, this changed to leading the bully to a better way of being.

So, my early novels, and short stories, and my award-winning biography, Anikó: The stranger who loved me celebrate the ability of the downtrodden in overcoming those with power. I have a collection of 26 short stories with the title Striking Back from Down Under. But my first novel to win a first prize, Sleeper, Awake has no villains. There is plenty of tension and conflict, but no nastiness. And, as you note, the books since have the theme of leading people to spiritual growth. This is true of my two recent novels, Guardian Angel and Hit and Run and also of my self-help book, From Depression to Contentment.

Where do your ideas come from?

To some extent, I’ve already answered this question, but if you have time for a few laughs, you might want to read one of my monthly essays on writing at Bobbing Around. There I introduce you to Little Bob, who lives inside my head, and does the actual work.

I mentioned in my introduction you’re an environmentalist. I’m not talking tree-hugging extreme, but you care about climate change and the effects it’s having on the earth. What have you done to create a ‘carbon-neutral’ or as near to as possible in your home and community?

Melanie, there are only two kinds of humans on this planet: Greenies and Suicides. I am a Professional Grandfather. Every person under about 25 qualifies as my grandchild; they only need to apply. I want a survivable future for them, and a future worth surviving in.

In the 1970s, I joined a recently established rural cooperative. Working for a sustainable future was an explicit part of what we were about. This cooperative is still vigorous. I’m still a member, although too many injuries have forced me and my wife to move closer to shops and doctors and things.

One of my mottoes is “Live simply, so you may simply live.” In 2001, I described how I do that, and why, in a speech, Saving Money — and Saving the Future. It even has a handout on what to do to reduce your personal footprint, and the first item is: get rid of your TV.

My electricity bill shows that my daily consumption is about one-tenth of that of my neighborhood. And of course we have solar on the roof. I am a member of a local group with the aim of making our little town 100% carbon neutral, and also a member of a political party with environmental sustainability as its major aim, the Australian Greens.

The trick is to have philosophy come before a list of recipes for action. This philosophy is, “Only two things matter in life: what you take with you when you die, and what you leave behind in the hearts of others. Everything else is Monopoly money.” Let go of stuff, and you won’t be stuffing up our lovely planet.

As a writer, there is always something percolating in the grey matter, whether it’s for the work-in-progress or ideas for future projects. How do you keep track of them?

Sometimes, I carry an idea around for years before doing something with it. Often, something around me leads to a concept, and I record it in a file, which goes into a folder in my computer. I occasionally inspect these, and one might take off.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write? I’m talking bum in chair and fingers on the keyboard (or pen to paper even).

Paper? PAPER? Not while paper is minced trees. In a sane world, paper would be recycled rags, agricultural waste like straw, or harvestable plants like bamboo.

I think on the keyboard, and my favourite time is whenever the world lets me. Before I retired the last (5th) time, this may have been ten-minute spans between clients, or between getting home and “Dinner is on the table, darling!” Now, life is far freer, and I have more time.

Today, I helped to run a solar energy workshop in the morning, then instead of writing worked on my answers to you, then a nice lady from a newspaper came to interview me about that community I mentioned, and if I wasn’t still answering your questions, I’d be writing.

But then, answering questions from lovely people is just as creative. The current children of my mind can wait.

Of your 18 books to date, do you have a favourite?

I don’t like playing favourites among my children. It is always the last project I’ve finished.

What’s next for Bob Rich?

Since early 2015, I’ve had an on and off and on again project, the Doom Healer series. Four books are complete, and I’ve submitted the first to a publisher. I am working on the 5th and probably final volume. This one is fun. Twelve humans have invaded a planet in another Universe, in order to help this Universe to grow up and become enlightened. Only, this planet, Magog, has 26 billion people of the dominant species, who are genetically cannibals, and where punishment for any crime is to have the victim torture you to death as slowly as possible (then eat you).

My twelve “special children” are doing well. You can read the start of this volume here: The Doom Healer part 5.

And what’s next after writing this is to once more thank you. I welcome comments, and am happy to offer an electronic version of one of my books to one randomly chosen person who comments before [2 weeks after the interview goes online]. You can inspect the list of books at Bob’s Booklist.

Here is one of my standard wishes, to you and our visitors:

May you live in contentment.
May you be healthy.
May you rise to your challenges.
And above all, may you grow spiritually.

About Bob

Bob Rich lives inside his computer. Everything outside of that, including you, is an illusion. This is just as well. In the outside world, there is a lot of suffering, and wars, conflict, terrible stuff. In the reality of his computer, you’ll find the same things, only there are solutions that work, so it’s a much nicer place to be.
Bob has been magically inhabiting his private world for a long time, and has written regular reports, some of which are disguised as short stories, others as novels. You can find out about them, and more about him, at his blog, Bobbing Around.
Naturally, you can’t believe anything he says, because he is a storyteller.
The picture shows Bob leaning against one of his favorite people.
Bob
You can follow Bob at the following links:
Writing showcase http://bobswriting.com
Environmental site  http://mudsmith.net
Newsletter archives with lots of good stuff http://mudsmith.net/bobbing.html

 

Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. It’s been a pleasure hosting you here, today. Don’t forget the giveaway for your chance to win an electronic copy of one of Bob’s books!

 

 

 

Warm welcome to Joan Y. Edwards, author, illustrator and motivational speaker

It’s my great pleasure to welcome author, illustrator, and motivational speaker Joan Y. Edwards to Celtic Connexions.

joan y. edwards

I’m dying to know, when were you first bitten by the writing bug?

When I was five years old, My parents bought the 12 book collection called MY BOOK HOUSE edited by Olive Beaupre Miller and a Grimm’s Fairy Tales Book. Mother read me stories. Babysitters told me stories. I made up stories. I started reading these stories at four years old. I made up a folktale about a little duck, Flip Flap Floodle, who never gives up on his song. I told it to everyone who would listen: my sister, my baby brother in the crib, my cousins, and neighbours.

Flip Flap Floodle came to fruition. Can you tell us about it?

In 1967, when I was married and expecting my first child, I wrote the story down I tried for many years to get publishers to publish this book, but it didn’t happen. When I retired from teaching in 1998, I promised myself that I would illustrate Flip Flap Floodle and publish it in five years if no one said, “Yes. We will publish your book.”  So, in 2004, I self-published Flip Flap Floodle.

Flip Flap Floodle is a little duck who is on his way to play a song on his new flute for his grandmother. His mother warns him to watch out for Mr. Fox. Flip believes his song will keep him safe from Mr. Fox. However, when Mr. Fox doesn’t even like his song, Flip finds himself in deep trouble.

joan y. edwards

What prompted you to write your elder care guide?

When I started taking care of my Mother in 1995, there were no books and the only local resource was Social Services in the county where we lived in North Carolina. I learned through personal experience that the most essential thing for a caregiver is to have time away from caregiving responsibility. With that, it is doubly essential to leave plans for the person taking your place. They must know what the usual routine is and what your elder can and cannot do. Before Mother died in 2009, I thought maybe other people would like to have resources to help them take care of their elder and take care of themselves, too.

joan y. edwards

Was it difficult to make the jump from writing a picture book to a non-fiction guide for adults?

Going from 1,000 words to more than 150,000 words was very different. There were many subjects and many words and many ways to organize them.  Karen Cioffi-Ventrice, the second-editor 4RV Publishing assigned to me, helped me immensely with organizing it into a very helpful resource for caregivers.

Are you working on a book now? Can you tell us about it?

I am working on the second of a series of three Gospel-based crossword puzzles books to use with Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, or Home Bible Study. I am working on the illustrations for a chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey. I am reformatting a screenplay comedy, The Perfect Couple.

What advice do you have for writers beginning their author journe

My advice for beginning writers:

Read 100 books in your favourite genre.
Make note of your 10 favourite first lines.
Make note of your 10 favourite ending paragraphs.
Make note of 10 of the best setups and payoffs authors used to create a need for change in the main character.

In September 2018, I published the first of three Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzle books to use with Children’s Liturgy, Children’s Church, Sunday School, or Home Bible Study.

Anything else you care to share about Joan Y. Edwards that isn’t already included in your bio?

I worked one year and two summers for the Department of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. to earn money to pay my tuition for my last 3 years of college. I had a job as a typist. My boss, Lt. Col. Solossi, said you aren’t sweet enough to call you, “Sugar.” You’re not sour enough to call you, “Sour.” You are a little spicy, so we’ll call you, “Ginger.”

I received the Best Character Actress at Western Carolina University in 1961 for my role as Mommy in the Sandbox by Edward Albee.

Joan Y. Edwards is a motivational speaker, author, and illustrator who informs, inspires, and helps others to laugh and never give up. Her blog, joanyedwards.com/ has more than 521,000 views. She is the author of three books: Flip Flap Floodle, Joan’s Elder Care Guide and 80 Gospel-Based Crossword Puzzles for Year B

Edwards has a Master of Arts in Education. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Charlotte Writers Club. She and her husband, Carl enjoy humorous mysteries, like Columbo and Monk. They love being with family and friends at home, in the mountains, and on the beach.

I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Joan’s Elder Care Guide. This is my review.

Must have resource!

An invaluable resource for anyone who finds themselves looking after an elder. I wish it were available when I looked after my mother. While specifically written for a US audience, the same principles apply anywhere, maybe even some of the organizations exist in other countries – just under a different name.

JOAN’S ELDER CARE GUIDE by Joan Y. Edwards

Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive by Joan Y. Edwards

AVAILABLE ONLINE TODAY!

 

elder care

SYNOPSIS

Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive gives you, the caregiver, ways to meet your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social needs and those of your elder to promote healing, well-being, and survival. Based on the author’s research and fourteen years of experience caring for her mother, this book provides many resources to find the right place for your elder to live, explains ways to improve communication to help find solutions to problems, and gives organization ideas for medical, financial, insurance, and legal documents. It offers ways for a caregiver to get time away from caregiving responsibilities and contains information substitute caregivers must have to keep their elders safe. Along with all this, the book explains the signs of the end of life, ways to celebrate an elder’s life, and gives duties of an executor of an estate. It also includes ten useful charts to assist in assessing and recording an elder’s needs and capabilities.

What People Are Saying:

“There are several charts in the appendix for the reader to utilize by filling in related information, making it a truly useful, everyday tool for everything from organizational tips to emergency needs that will slide right into a purse or overnight bag. Certainly not one of those books you half-read then sit on a shelf to collect dust.”

“It provides links to online applications and phone numbers, ideas and resources as a starting place to brainstorm easy, meaningful ways to assist you in maintaining your elder’s health and your own…I wish that I had known of it when I was a caregiver. I know that I would have been prepared for everything and possibly paid for it too! If you have a family member who needs your help, don’t hesitate to buy this book. It is a valuable tool for every family, organization, or caregiver.

“This book is a no-frills, very well-researched self-help guide on how to help. The language is simple, saying what Joan wants to say and no more…What is particularly impressive is the logical, step by step way Joan analyzes each problem, so that without talking down to the reader, she presents a guide even a kid could understand and follow…I have worked both as a psychotherapist and as a nurse in nursing homes. My wife cared for her mother for many years, with me on the sidelines. From this personal experience, I can recommend Joan’s Elder Care Guide as accurate, helpful and even inspiring.”

Official Video Trailer for Joan’s Elder Care Guide


Joan’s Elder Care Guide

PURCHASE ONLINE NOW (Thanks) (Prices may change. Find the best deal for you!)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

elder care

Joan Y. Edwards is an author, illustrator, and retired teacher in North Carolina. Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive is published by 4RV Publishing. She wrote and illustrated picture book, Flip Flap Floodle, and self-published it with BookSurge in 2004. She is currently working on illustrations for her chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey.

Her Never Give Up blog, http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com has over 340,000 views and 350 subscribers. She encourages writers, illustrators, and others to never to give up. Her website, http://www.joanyedwards.com has a multitude of Gospel-based devotionals, puzzles, and skits.

Joan is a member of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her article, “Find Your Creative Edge,” appeared in the July-August 2011 SCBWI Bulletin.

Edwards thrives on spending time with her family and friends. She presents interactive writing and motivational talks and workshops for children and adults. She reads humorous and self-help books. For inspiration and self-acceptance, she heeds the wise teachings of Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, Maxwell Maltz, and Tony Robbins.

Facebook Page Joan Y. Edwards, Author https://www.facebook.com/Joan-Y-Edwards-Author-111310278911077/

Twitter @joanyedwards

Feel free to reblog this post.

If you would like to have Joan Y. Edwards as a guest on your blog, please contact her at joanyedwards1@gmail.com/.

 

Grumpies On Board by Carol E Wyer ~ BOOK PROMO

grumpies

GRUMPIES ON BOARD

BY CAROL E WYER

 

grumpies

Grumpies On Board

Genre: humour, non-fiction

Release Date: 21st May 2105

Publisher: Safkhet

A “book it” list like no other, with humorous suggestions for extreme active ageing trips and why grumpies should not go snuffle trunting

Fancy a holiday with a difference? Then pack your bags and get ready for some extreme active ageing. Us ‘older’ folk are heading away from the traditional hotel holiday and at last, having fun!

This humorous guide, compiled by Mr and Mrs Grumpy, offers alternatives to the usual holiday—from sensible to outrageous—to suit every grumpy guts.

Learn about Arctic boot camps, ayurvedic retreats, drumming holidays, ice blokarting, motoring experiences, skijorking, tubing, Vespa excursions, voodoo trips and discover why Mr Grumpy will never go truffle hunting again.

With over 300 suggestions of how to get the best out of your vacation and live life to the maximum, this book aims to inspire and entertain.

Read it and put some choices on your “book it” list. After all, you only live once!

“An excellently researched insight into the world of the truly grumpy traveller. Youngsters beware..!” Nigel Vardy AKA Mr. Frostbite. Record breaking mountaineer, author and inspirational speaker.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON.COM

SAFKHET

ABOUT CAROL E WYER

grumpies

Carol E. Wyer was born in Munster, Germany in 1960. She began her working life in Casablanca where she taught English and French in Language Schools and for companies. used to race around the streets on a clapped out VéloSoleX bike, avoiding donkeys. She changed career to become a fitness instructor in her forties and appeared in Zest magazine as a ‘success story’. No longer able to touch her toes with her hands, she has now become a full-time writer. Having written a series of educational yet amusing books for children, she turned her attention to the adult market in 2010 when her son flew from the nest.

Her first two novels Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and Surfing in Stilettos won several awards for humour and much attention from the media. Since then, she has won the people’s Book Prize Award with Grumpy Old Menopause and has appeared on over fifty BBC radio stations, several international radio stations, Sky News, NBC television and BBC Breakfast television discussing age-related subjects such as ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Grumpy Old Menopause’. Her writing style has been described frequently by the media as ‘witty’ or ‘humorous’ and has even been compared to the acerbic wit of Jeremy Clarkson and the humour of Robin Williams.

Carol has written articles for and featured in several national women’s magazines including Take A Break, Choice, Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Own who also wrote about her journey to becoming a best-selling author.

Currently writing a series of novels and articles aimed at the ‘older’ woman and man, Carol is also engaged in writing by-line articles and posts for magazines and websites including Silver Travel Advisor and the Huffington Post.

Carol is also a regular Loud Mouth on BBC Radio Derby.

Last year, she took a crash course in stand-up comedy and is currently doing a comedy tour entitled Smile While You Still have Teeth to sell-out audiences, proving you’re never too old to try a new experience.

Safkhet Publishing:  http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/admin/authors.html

Website: http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

Blogs: www.grumpyoldmenopause.com

http://facing50withhumour.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer

Member of Romantic Novelists Association: http://www.romanticnovelistsassociation.org/index.php/about/author/carol_wyer

Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=116225863&trk

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carolewyer/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj5O-lvkAYO19S0AMW8VqJQ

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – copy of the book (uk winner a signed paperback / non UK an ecopy)

grumpies

2nd Prize – Grumpy old git / cow travel mug

grumpies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

grumpies

Author Interview with Chris Longmuir, Scottish Crime Writer

It’s my pleasure to welcome Scottish Crime Writer, and my friend, Chris Longmuir to Celtic Connexions. I can’t wait to find up what you’re working on now. So, shall we get started?

DeathGame-AMAZON

You’re working on another historic crime novel in the Kirsty Campbell series. What is the title? Can you tell us what this book is about?

I’m keeping the title under wraps at the moment, it’s quite distinctive, and I hope unusual, so I’d hate to see it on another book!

The novel is a murder mystery, of course, with a spying sub plot. It’s historical, set during the First World War, so I have a cast of characters that includes women police, a Belgian refugee, munitionettes, Irish revolutionaries, MI5 agents, I even give a walk-on part to the Prime Minister of the time, Lloyd George.

It starts off with the Silvertown explosion in January 1917. This is based on an actual event, the explosion of the munitions factory in Silvertown. It was catastrophic and destroyed most of the area (70,000 properties were destroyed or damaged), with the effects felt miles away, there was even damage across the river on the Greenwich peninsula where a gasometer was blown up creating a massive fireball. This is the area where the Millennium dome is situated. The Silvertown explosion was an accident, although in my book it is something much more suspect, and sets the scene for a spy chase which leads us to Gretna Munitions Factory on the border of Scotland and England.

The Death Game was set in 1919 after the Great War. This book is set in 1917 during the action. Would you consider it to be the prequel to The Death Game?

That was certainly my intention when I started this book because it was intended to be a Kirsty Campbell novel. However, my characters often have different ideas to the ones I plan for them, and at the moment, my Belgian refugee, Beatrice Jacobs, is jostling for the top spot. She is a very interesting character, and I think I may give double billing to Beatrice and Kirsty. I will just have to see where they lead me.

What motivated you to depart from your contemporary Dundee Crime Series to historical crime?

I actually wrote The Death Game before I started the Dundee Crime Series, but I had an unfortunate experience with a publisher who contracted it. The publisher made so many demands for changes that the book became almost unrecognisable as the one I’d written. And, of course, as a new writer at the time I was anxious to please and thought they knew what they were talking about. So, I made the changes they requested, and in the process destroyed the book! When I came to my senses I did my best to get out of the contract, which fortunately had an expiry date, and put the book in the bottom drawer where it languished while I wrote the Dundee Crime Series. That series has proved to be very popular with readers, but I always had a niggle at the back of my mind about the Death Game which I had so successfully destroyed.

I decided to resurrect The Death Game, but because it was in no fit state to be read by anyone following the editing changes I decided to rewrite it from the beginning rather than mess about with it again. The book is now how I wanted it to be, but the style is different to that of the Dundee Crime Series, which is multi-viewpoint. The Death Game is much more focused on Kirsty, but my new Kirsty book, the one I talked about earlier, is more like the Dundee Crime Series in style, because it is also multi-viewpoint. But that is simply the result of my writing style having changed as I became a more experienced writer.

Will there be more books in your Dundee Crime Series starring DS Bill Murphy?

Yes, there will be more of the Dundee Crime Series, DS Bill Murphy would start to feel neglected if I didn’t pay him some attention. However, the conundrum will be, how I divide my time between DS Bill Murphy, and Kirsty Campbell.

You published a non-fiction book last year based on the blog posts you wrote as part of the Edinburgh e-book Festival. Can you tell us about it?

CrimeFictionIndie-AMAZON

I did indeed. It’s called Crime Fiction and the Indie Contribution. It’s a study of independent publishing, and the focus is on ebooks and the independent authors known as Indies, who write them. I examine all aspects of publishing and make comparisons between the traditional and the independent models, pointing out the pros and cons of each. In conjunction with this I look at crime fiction, how it has developed over the years, and all the different subgenres. One thing I found out while doing this, is that what we in Britain refer to as crime novels, are more commonly seen as thrillers in the US and Canada.

I include discussions of 71 books written by indie authors or published by indie publishers in order to assess whether they meet the standards we expect from traditionally published books, and I read every single one of those books. These books were by authors unknown to me, and the book includes authors who probably have no idea I’ve included their books.

Writing this book was completely accidental. I did a series of posts for the Edinburgh Ebook Festival in 2013 – I was the Writer in Residence for the festival that year – and a lot of people followed the posts. However, after the festival finished, the posts were no longer available online, and readers were looking for them. It was a fellow writer who suggested I take the posts and make them into a book. Great idea, I thought, the posts were already written, so it shouldn’t take long! Well, you’ve heard the saying “Famous last words”, that could quite easily have been attached to those thoughts of mine. For a start, the posts were far too bloggy for a nonfiction book, so they had to be rewritten. Still, the information was there, so that wasn’t too onerous. But the main problem was that there just weren’t enough words for a whole book. So that meant a lot more research, extra sections added, and a lot more reading of indie novels. Anyway, I won’t go into details, but the end result was excellent, and I was pleased with it. The people who have read it have been very complimentary, even going as far as to saying it should be compulsory reading for anyone who writes, or wants to be a writer.

I know it’s still early days, but have you noticed a significant change in your sales since the changes to the EU VAT rules?

I’ve done a couple of blogs about these rules. I did one aimed at readers for my own blog, here is the link to Paying More for your Digital Downloads? Here’s Why.  (Editor’s. note: I re-blogged this last Saturday.) The other one I did was for writers and it’s posted on the Authors Electric Blog site, and here’s the link to ‘EU VAT Changes Are Doing my Head In’.

These new rules have created havoc within the writing community, particularly for those authors who want to sell directly to readers through their websites. But apart from that, it’s pushed the prices of ebooks up in the UK and the EU countries. Where before, there was 3% VAT on ebooks (no VAT on printed books, they’re exempt), there is now 20% VAT on ebooks in the UK. That has had the result of pushing prices up for readers, and I think that is totally unfair considering the exempt status of print books.

I did worry that readers would think that we, the authors, were putting our prices up, when in fact it had nothing to do with us. However, because ebooks are relatively cheap in comparison to print books, the price rise is not extortionate. I think it’s added about 60 pence onto the price of each of my books. I know that some authors are saying their sales have gone down since the introduction of this tax, but I must say it doesn’t seem to have had any effect on my sales. I think that if a reader likes the way you write, and likes your books, they will still buy them. I know that if I want a particular author’s books, it wouldn’t make any difference to me.

However, I’m really sorry that readers are having to pay more, and I can only hope it doesn’t stop them buying books from their favourite authors, or those authors who have been recommended to them by other readers.

* * *

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Melanie. I’ve enjoyed the interview, and if any of your readers want to ask me anything, feel free. Your readers can also contact me through the contact page in my web site, and if they do, I promise to reply in an email.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, Chris. I’ve enjoyed our visit as I’m sure everyone who stops by Celtic Connexions has, too.

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You can follow Chris and find her books at the following links:

Dundee Crime Series New

Website:     http://www.chrislongmuir.co.uk/

Blog:       http://chrislongmuir.blogspot.co.uk/

Amazon UK:   http://ow.ly/GeM1w

Amazon US:   http://ow.ly/GeM9R

Apple iBooks UK:   http://ow.ly/GeKOr

Apple iBooks US:     http://ow.ly/GeKUi

Kobo:     http://ow.ly/GJGy5

B&N Nook:     http://ow.ly/GeL0D

Nook UK:         http://ow.ly/GJGRt

 

Liebster Award


Thank you to Irish author, Joanne Clancy, for awarding me this. Joanne is the author of The Unfaithful Series; Unfaithfully Yours and Revenge, The Secrets and Lies Trilogy; Secrets and Lies, Aftermath, Redemption and The Wedding Day, Unforgettable Embrace and My Love. The third book in her Unfaithful series, Web of Deceit, will be available in January 2013. You can visit her amazon author page here.

The Liebster Award is an award for up and coming bloggers with less than two hundred followers so you can imagine how chuffed I was when Joanne nominated me.

Instructions for Nominees:

Post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.

Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and notify each blogger that you have nominated them.

Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards YOUR nominees. (Do not nominate the blog who nominated you!)

Paste the award picture into your blog.

Random facts about me:

  1. I love to travel, especially to Scotland.
  2. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.
  3. I’m an avid reader and am happiest when I have my face stuck in a book – physical or e-book.
  4. My debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, was released in September 2012.
  5. I love to nap on the sofa.
  6. My Scottish heritage is extremely important to me.
  7. I’ve been writing off and on since I was a teenager (although lately, more on than off).
  8. I love my morning coffee.
  9. I’m addicted to Coronation Street.
  10. After fighting it for a long time, I finally got on Facebook earlier this year.
  11. I collect stuffed animals.

Joanne’s questions for me:

  1. What’s your favourite book and why? My all time favourite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The conflicts between the races in the deep south during the time before desegregation were coming to an end when I was born, but the idea of a white lawyer defending a black man back in those days was unheard of. I applaud Harper Lee for writing a novel on such a controversial subject.
  2. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? Not so much anymore but when I was younger, I used to dream about a road that disappeared over a hill behind a house. It terrified me back then.
  3. Do you believe in life after death? Yes.
  4. What do you like or dislike most about Christmas? Dislike – Shopping and the hassles that go along with it. Like – all the classic Christmas movies and spending time with family.
  5. Why do you blog? I love to talk about my Scottish heritage, my writing and showcase up and coming authors.
  6. What inspires you? Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River that I love so close to.
  7. What is your top health tip? Don’t stay glued to your desk and chair all day. Get up and move around. Your eyes, wrists and butt will thank you for it – not to mention your heart.
  8. What is your top beauty tip? Be yourself and be comfortable with who you are. Real beauty is below the surface.
  9. What’s the best book you’ve read in 2012 and why? I’ve read a lot of books in 2012 so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. I would have to say it was Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugton. I loved the lengths the mother went to in order to prove her autistic son is innocent of murder. There were also elements in the story that rang really close to home.
  10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? Coming out of the ladies with my skirt tucked up inside my pulled up pantyhose.
  11. What’s your guilty pleasure? Guilty implies that I sneak it but I do love red wine – but I’m very open about it.

My questions for my nominees:

  1. Who is your favourite author?
  2. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
  3. What is your favourite travel destination?
  4. If you had a choice to visit any country in the world that you’ve never visited before, which one would it be?
  5. Books or movies – which do you prefer?
  6. What is your favourite food?
  7. Do you have a favourite hobby?
  8. Sitcoms or dramas? Which do you prefer?
  9. Do you have an all-time favourite movie?
  10. iPhone or Blackberry?
  11. What are you most afraid of?

And finally – drum roll, please – my list of nominees:

Miriam Wakerly
Pauline Barclay’s Scribbles blog
Chris Longmuir
Jontybabe’s Brook Cottage Books blog
Dorothy Bush
Joe Mossman
Jo Lambert – Writer
Rosemary Gemmell’s Reading and Writing blog
Stephanie Keyes
Gina Dickerson
Gilli Allan’s Writer Cramped blog

Starship Goodwords from Carrick Publishing

I’m thrilled to announce that my short story, Cole’s Notes has been included in Carrick Publishing’s first cross-genre anthology!

Details are available at Carrick Publishing’s website, including the list of authors and genres.

Starship Goodwords is available for the Kindle at Amazon.com and at Amazon.co.uk

If you enjoy short stories, you’ll enjoy the variety on offer here.

Lovehappyending Feature Author, Richard Holmes, launches his first book in the Fragments of Divinity series

LAHE logo
“The first book in the Fragments Of Divinity series. An innovative publication of blog style articles that deal with potentially complicated spiritual subjects in an easy to read and understand way. based mainly on the author’s own actual experiences, these delightful articles will provide both inspiration and insight to the reader, and will also answer many of those nagging questions that you thought you would never receive answers to. A truly inspirational read.”

 

 

About the Author
Richard was born in London in 1955 and has lived a very topsy turvey life that hit rock bottom as we entered the new millennium.

I always felt like a bit of a misfit, not really belonging anywhere. This is illustrated by the fact that I left school at 15 with no qualifications and would have been asked to leave had I not done so voluntarily. By the time I was 17 I’d had 24 jobs and was just not able to settle anywhere.”

Out of frustration and boredom Richard joined the army in 1976, but this did not work out either and he left at the end of 1979. After a three month interim period Richard went off to Germany to work and remained abroad for six years. It was during his time in the army and in Germany that he succumbed excessively to the temptations of alcohol.

I had taken certain drugs at a younger age but my body had not responded well to this punishment. Because of this I had no trouble giving up the drugs but alcohol represented a different proposition, and for many years I sought solace in this substance which inevitably led to depression”.

Richard returned to the UK in 1986 and by the mid 1990’s found himself in a pretty sorry state. Things came to a head during the latter part of 2000 when Richard’s life seemed to sink down to an all-time low.

Finally, out of the darkness there came a light and in 2001 I found my spiritual pathway giving me a purpose in life“.

These days Richard lives in Tetbury, Gloucestershire and has been working as a medium for over ten years. He runs workshops in various spiritual topics, gives private consultations for guidance along life’s pathway and also tutors on a one-to-one basis in meditation and spiritual awareness. He is a Reiki healer, psychic surgeon, spiritually inspired artist and gives profound interpretations of dreams.

You can find Richard here:

Website: http://www.richardfholmes.org
Facebook: Author Richard Holmes
Twitter: @atmicsplendour

And his books here:

www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Holmes
http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Holmes
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/146207