Read yourself into the venueviamy second Six Sentence Story this week. The Prompt Word (helpfully) was BOOK.
A neon sign lights up the narrow side street which leads to the Six Sentence Café and Bistro where a bearded man waits, watching as a minivan draws up. The driver leans out of her window and waves, and a leather-jacket-clad man wearing dark glasses, despite the lateness of the hour, emerges from the vehicle carrying a box marked ‘books’.
Low-lit ambience and laid back vibes wash over the now-iconic interior, where sunflowers grace every table, and the author, fidgeting with her special book-signing pen, observes the figures who drift into the room, each familiar from their glowing presence in cyberspace.
The scene is set, D has done a marvellous job; passing the author’s table, now loaded with shiny new books, she places a calming hand on her shoulder, winking at a recent arrival, who slides into a side booth with an enigmatic smile, indicating the bottle of apricot liqueur that’s partly concealed within her capacious handbag.
Returning to the bar, backlit by the reflections in the long mirror, D gives a nod to the MC. The tall, slender man strides onto the stage and offers a lavish introduction to the now inwardly-quaking author, who lays her pen aside and advances.
Now on stage, I turn and survey the room, shading my eyes against the spotlight, I can’t see you properly, but I know you’re all here. Thanks so much for coming to the launch of my new novel, Spirit of the Shell Man.
I have to admit, I’m a little overwhelmed.
My heart-felt thanks goes to my fellow Proprietors of the SSC&B who’ve done so much to set up our little soirée, and to my ARC readers, Chris Nelson, Paula Light and Gretchen Bernet-Ward who have offered such encouragement in their feedback and reviews. Chris recently posted his review on his blog – I’m thrilled with it – you can read it here.
Okay, that’s enough from me, I’m no good at this self-promotion stuff, but since the audiobook version is being recorded at the moment, here’s a foretaste from Chapter 7, beautifully narrated as always by the wonderful Terry Lloyd Roberts.
Ceridwen regarded her visitor, there was something familiar about her, although she was sure they’d never met.
Cullen jumped up beside Cynthia and started grooming his silver-grey fur; Cynthia’s face lit up, ‘what a beautiful cat, a perfect pedigree, like my own handsome cat, Asmar,’ she smiled at Ceridwen, ‘I feel I already know you, being another of Ms Hall’s characters – we were talking about you when she came around to invite us to her book launch* this Friday,’ Cynthia caught Ceridwen’s puzzled expression, ‘ah, but you would know her by her pen name, Holly Atkins, I suppose.’
A flicker of recognition passed over Ceridwen’s face and Cynthia pressed on, ‘I came to warn you about the potential danger you’re in from the Jade Camel – that little statue that Joey found the other day – you must have felt its aura.’
‘I did sense something, but when Joey went out earlier whatever it was left with him.’
‘Just be careful, I don’t know what Ms Hall has planned for the little series you’re in, but that camel means trouble,’ Cynthia stood up, suddenly feeling rather faint. It was time to get back to the familiar surroundings of her own book.
*The author is indebted to Spira for the promo video
A frosty atmosphere pervades Cynthia’s normally welcoming sitting room which has nothing to do with the February cold. Gina regards me steadily from across the room and Gary, who’s perching on the arm of her chair, wears the expression he normally reserves for the rare occasions when Liverpool FC fail to win. Even Asmar, Cynthia’s cat, has turned his back on me.
Connor addresses me from a commanding position by the fireplace. ‘It’s not that we don’t understand your need to follow your authorial instincts, Ms Hall, and we’re delighted about the upcoming release of your new book, but this latest little series you’ve embarked upon doesn’t seem to be turning out as we’d hoped.’
‘As soon as we saw the title we thought we’d be in it,’ says Gina, ‘but no, you gave the starring role to Joey, and his character only gets a tiny mention in the final paragraph of our novel*.’
‘Then Ceridwen appears and she’s from a completely different book**,’ adds Gary. ‘She must be getting on a bit now.’
‘I would rather like to meet her,’ says Cynthia thoughtfully. ‘Not only is she a woman in her prime,’ she casts a meaningful glance at Gary, ‘but I think we’d have a lot in common.’ She draws her purple pashmina around her shoulders and looks at me earnestly. ‘I hope you’re not going to saddle her with the jade camel.’
‘Saddle the camel.’ Connor chuckles. ‘Good one, old thing!’
Cynthia gives him a withering look.
My gaze travels from one face to another. ‘I honestly thought that you’d all come forward once I’d started the story. That’s the way it usually works.’
‘Oh, so I suppose it’s also our fault that you’re still not starting our sequel.’ Gina’s eyes narrow. ‘We know you’ve already begun thinking about a sequel to the sequel you’ve just finished.’ She nudges Gary. ‘Did you see? She’s already covered that whiteboard of hers with ideas.’
Connor raises his hands towards her in a calming gesture then turns to me. ‘Sorry, Ms Hall, it’s just that we feel we’re not getting the exposure we deserve.’
I have an idea.
‘Listen. Why don’t you all come to the launch of the Spirit of Shell Man next Friday? It’s being held at the Six Sentence Café and Bistro. My back catalogue books will be there, so you’ll be able to engage with readers.’
‘Is that a real place?’ says Gina in sceptical tone.
I smile back at her. ‘It is if you want it to be.’
Connor’s eyes light up. ‘Might I bring along some of my slim volumes of poetry?’
Grab your seat at the launch here at lunasonline next Friday!
* You’ll Never Walk Alone (2019) ** The Silver Locket (2012)
This time last week I was hauling a bag of my novels into Bookworms bookstore in preparation for last Saturday’s book launch event. We’d certainly had a big build up, with Bookworm’s owner, Waldo, inviting folk to come along and ‘rub shoulders with literary geniuses’. Ahem.
Here we are on the big day, posing happily for the paparazzi!
Paul, as some of you know, is my writing buddy. We meet up over coffee and cake and have ‘writerly conversations’ from time to time, email each other when stuck and generally exchange ideas about our current projects. You’ll find Paul over at Backroom Bulletin where he chats about his writing progress each week. Here’s Paul’s take on the event.
I hadn’t come across Jill or her books before, but after chatting on the phone a week or so before the event, I went down to Bookworms to snag a copy of her new book, thus ensuring a sale of one of mine! I’d almost finished reading Noah and his Solar-Powered Ark by the day of the launch, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. You can read my review on Goodreads here and meet Jill herself at her website here.
Also at the launch were a couple of beginner writers and it was great to offer them encouragement on how to progress their craft. All in all, it was a fun morning, and although sales were quite modest, it was lovely to meet both readers and writers and talk about books.
We also got a super write up in the local newspaper, the Bolander, which is widely distributed in the local area and also online, making it so much easier to share with you: Book launch at Bookworms.
As Waldo says, when quoted in the article: “Our very first book launch went down famously… and I’m looking forward to many more to come.” – I couldn’t agree more!
Now, I must dash. I’m off to meet my beta reader friend Laurette for her feedback on the manuscript of my soonish-to-be-released latest novel. The cover is almost ready and I’ve even finished agonizing over the ‘dreaded blurb’. More about ‘Spirit of the Shell Man’ soon!
Better still, bookstore owner Waldo extended Jill’s invitation to other local authors to join in the launch. Keen to support any book-related event, and even keener to publicise and, dare I say it, sell our books, fellow Somerset West author, Paul English and I jumped at the chance to join her.
Although I don’t have a new novel out quite yet, it is at least a happy coincidence that Song of the Sea Goddess has its first book birthday that day. The sequel is ‘still in production’ but it’s not too far away from release. You might even get a sneak peak at the cover soon…
Look out for my freebie e-book offer next weekend to celebrate that special book birthday.
It’s my great pleasure to welcome indie author, Tom Burton to this month’s Launch Pad spot. Like me, you may have come across Tom’s vivid creative writing on his blog. I happened upon it a couple years ago, my interest having been grabbed by his episodic story following the adventures of one Sergeant Craig Harper. Since then, Tom’s readers have been treated to many well-crafted stories across many genres.
So, let’s find out a little bit more about Tom. We’ll start with his official author bio:
Tom Burton is a British author with a passion for writing magical, mysterious and historical fiction. He lives with his family in Devon, his writing fuelled by the magic of dark chocolate and Yorkshire Tea.
His short stories have appeared in Spillwords Press, Literally Stories, Dreaming in Fiction, and Whatever Keeps The Lights On.
Before we get to Tom’s latest release, he’d like to share some of his own thoughts on writing, garnered from his own experience as a storyteller. Over to you, Tom!
Tom’s Top Three Guidelines
I know, I know. We’ve all read those wonder lists of the “Top Ten Tips To Write Right!” or whatever. Who on earth am I to give advice? Eww. *retreats under couch hissing like a cat*
So I’ll just call them guidelines, NOT rules. They’re not hard and fast tricks to success – these things never are. What works for me might not work for you.
But they sure helped my writing improve.
1) Entertain One Reader.
That’s it. You and your reader. All it is. Good writing makes your reader laugh and cry. If there’s no emotion? No buy-in to the story. If your book says what you want and how you wanted to present it? Job done. Whether people like it or not is entirely up to them.
Not everyone’s going to love your book. Harsh but true. If you try to write to please EVERYONE, you won’t end up pleasing ANYONE. If your work’s out there, readers who love your style and genre will find you. There’ll be a whole lot of ‘no’s’ along the way. But it only ever takes one ‘yes’.
You’ll get SO MUCH unasked-for advice from readers. Thank them politely. Read it. Shelve it to one side. Move on. They didn’t write your book. You did. Own it. Be proud of that glorious mess you made.
Someone once sent me an actual email cordially advising me to write longer flashfics as they come across more ‘writerly’ (???) and I sent them a reply that just said ‘Chapter One: No’.
”I really liked the idea but thought there should’ve been a twist in the end to make it like a thriller.” Which would’ve been, y’know, GREAT advice … for someone writing a thriller.
2) Immerse your reader.
Use different senses to plunge your reader into a scene: what can the character hear, smell, see? Getting the setting, mood and background senses right make the scene pulse with life and draws in your reader! Smell is often underused, but it really enriches your story. “The stench of a decaying carcass” paints a hugely different picture than “the sweet aroma of jasmine”.
Immersion pulls us right in the thick of the story. We feel like we’re living these stories because the author’s ensured we’re fully captivated. We forget that it’s words on a page that another person has written. We forget that hundreds of other people could be reading the story at that very moment. It’s our story. Just us and the characters and their world.
Immersing your reader is different than just hooking them, it’s keeping them hooked. It keeps them plugging along and (hopefully) conjures some kind of emotional response. (Preferably one that doesn’t involve hate mail.)
Omit dialogue tags (I said/you said/he said/she said) if it’s clear which character is talking. Words like “said,” “asked,” or “wondered,” drag down your story telling. Instead, spice up dialogue with action! Having that back-and-forth punctuated with action makes dialogue flow smoother, so your reader never gets yanked out of the story. For example:
“Get out of my room, you brat!” Evie demanded. Mark glared at her. “Make me!” He retorted.
“Get out of my room, you brat!” Evie tried to shove her brother into the hallway but his heavy bulk ruined her efforts. “Make me!” Mark held his ground.
3) Keep it simple.
Less really is more. The delete key is your friend! Often the best days are when you have fewer words on the page than when you started. Window Prose helps: the kind of writing that’s so simple, clear and minimal that the audience doesn’t even notice they’re reading. They never have to stop to think, so it’s just like gazing through a window at the unfolding action.
Purple Prose uses large, complicated indulgent words to over-describe simple, clear descriptions. It’s flowery, excessive and breaks the flow of the reader’s attention. Don’t slip a ten-dollar word into a ten-cent simple sentence like “scintillating” and “incandescent”. It messes up the flow and makes the reader reach for a dictionary (BIG no no). Don’t drown your reader in unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Run-on sentences bog readers down with unneeded elaborate detail and distract from the story. For example:
“The branch on the fire burst asunder with a muted pop as the coals underneath heated the gnarled length of wood to the point where a small cache of water that had somehow evaded the sun’s rays for untold decades exploded into steam” GAAAAHHH
“The fire crackled.”
Seduce your reader, don’t burden them. Never use five fancy words when three simple ones will do. Be concise. Don’t fall in love with the gentle trilling of your smooth flowing sentences. Cut out what doesn’t need saying. You don’t want to be writing with a thesaurus in your other hand, choosing unfamiliar fancy words to replace simple, clear, familiar ones. Plain, clean language is the way to go!
Want to enhance a scene? Use precise, punchy nouns and strong vivid verbs that heighten the reader’s sensations, paint strong mental images, and avoid wordy descriptions and overused adjectives.
Tom’s latest book of short stories is Pocketful of Time, a splendidly vivid collection of historical tales. You can read my review here.
Now, over to Tom to tell us a little more about his book and how he came to write it.
Thanks ever so much for hosting me, Chris! It’s such a privilege to be invited to a great outlet for indie authors. Really excited to be here and share my latest book Pocketful of Time on your blog. Also, thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my writer’s thoughts with your readers!
I’ve always loved history from an early age. It’s fascinating to have that unique viewpoint into the living, breathing world of our grandparents and ancestors – that shock of the intimate past that reaches out to jab us in the ribs. Historical fiction’s made such a triumphant comeback recently; Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, Sebastian Barry’s A Long Long Wayand Ian McGuire’s The North Water are all critically acclaimed for transporting the reader into rich evocative worlds that capture the audience’s imagination.
I also studied history at Uni, which I’m sure helped.
Pocketful of Time grew out of that childhood fascination for history. Being a part of our wonderful WP blogging community for the past several years really gave me the inspiration to help my writing blossom and take the leap to self-publish for others to read via Kindle Direct Publishing.
Short stories were something I was slowly getting better at, so I thought: why not self-publish eight of these together in a collection? So I did. Big advantage of publishing a collection: if the reader doesn’t like one particular story, they’ve got plenty more to choose from.
A world-weary cynic rediscovers his faith. A soldier is haunted by his duty. A prisoner faces her last night on earth . . .
These visceral tales dive into the depths of humanity, exploring the darkest deeps of despair and mortality. Human history is often a grim legacy of bloodshed, misery and despair. Yet still there is hope, the triumph of the human spirit against overwhelming odds and enduring courage in the face of adversity.
Poignant, gruesome, chilling and triumphant, this collection of adult short stories has a little something for every reader.
Fancy diving into William Tyndale’s struggle to publish the first English Bible? Guy Fawkes’ last days in the Tower of London? A lone German citizen’s non-violent resistance to the Nazi regime? Then feel free to check these stories out!
Pocketful of Time is available in paperback and ebook – get it here: Amazon US / UK
Tom’s second historical collection Only Human is due to be published in time for Christmas! Fourteen short stories including:
> the final voyage of Lady Jane Grey > the swashbuckling life of pirate Mary Read > a trapper boy’s childhood down the coal mine > the last arctic mystery of the doomed Franklin Expedition > a suffragette’s fight for the vote in pre-WW1 England.
If you’re a writer with something to say about you new book I’d love to hear from you. All mainstream genres are welcome be it fiction, poetry, memoir or even non-fiction (am I the only person who reads cookery books cover to cover?). I’m particularly keen to support fellow Indie Authors, although by no means exclusively.
Book your ‘First Friday’ spot now, especially if you have a book release lined up in the coming months. Just drop me an email at email@example.com and in response I’ll explain what I’ll need from you and when.
It’s my great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Gauffreau to this month’s Launch Pad spot. Like me, you may already be familiar with Liz through herblog, and others of you will know her through her wonderful novel, Telling Sonny, a book I thoroughly enjoyed when I read it earlier this year.
So, let’s find out a little bit more about her. We’ll start with her official author bio:
Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a BA in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an MA in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. After a misbegotten stint teaching high school English and Latin, she spent her career in nontraditional higher education.
Her recent literary magazine publications include Woven Tale Press, Dash, Pinyon, Aji, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters, and Evening Street Review. Her fiction and poetry have also been featured in several themed anthologies, including Ad Hoc Monadnock, Shifts: An Anthology of Women’s Growth through Change,When Last on the Mountain: The View from Writers over Fifty, Familiar, and Poetry Leaves. Her 2018 debut novel, Telling Sonny, was inspired by a family secret and a lot of research into small-time vaudeville.
Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband. Their daughter has flown the nest to sunny California.
Liz’s new book of poetry, Grief Songs – Poems of Love & Remembrance, is just out. It’s a deeply moving collection of poetry which speaks to an album of her family photographs. I just finished reading it yesterday, such a wonderful bitter-sweet collection, it moved me deeply. You can read my review here.
Now, let me hand over to Liz to tell us about the background to her new release.
Thank you for hosting me on your blog, Chris. I greatly appreciate it.
I am a fiction writer by training, so I never expected to be releasing a book of poetry, much less a book of poetry written in tanka. However, being a part of our wonderful blogging community for the past several years has given me the inspiration to take my writing in new directions and the courage to publish the results for others to read.
Grief Songs started with the last poem in the collection, “Portland Head Autumnal,” although I had no way of knowing that when I wrote the poem. I had been following Colleen Chesebro’s poetry blog, “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry,” for some time and growing more and more curious to try my hand at syllabic poetry adapted from Japanese, such as haiku and tanka. I wrote “Portland Head Autumnal” as a tanka after a trip to Portland Head Light in Maine on a cold, gray, windy day in September when I could not recall any time I had been to Portland Head when the sky and water were gray, rather than bright blue.
Two months later, my mother died, leaving me the last person in my immediate family. As people do, I turned to the family photograph albums in an attempt to keep my mother with me just a little longer. As part of that process, lines of poetry started coming to me. Tanka seemed the appropriate form to give those lines shape and purpose. In the book, photographs are paired with poems to tell the story of a loving family lost.
Grief is a deeply personal experience, yet it’s an experience many of us have in common, particularly as we get older. What prompted my decision to go ahead with publishing Grief Songs were readers’ responses to some of the individual poems I shared. The poems prompted fond memories of their own loved ones. For me, striking a responsive chord with a reader’s own experience in any number of different ways is what poetry is all about.
Thanks again, Chris, for featuring Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance on your blog and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts with your readers.
When a loved one dies, the family will often turn to the photograph albums as an act of solace, to keep their loved one with them just a little while longer, Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance arose from that experience. The collection opens with three free verse expressions of raw grief, followed by a series of photographs from the author’s family album, each paired with a poem written in tanka. Taken together, they tell the story of a loving family lost.
Praise for Grief Songs
“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.”
~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review
“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.”
~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
So lovely, I’ve watched it again and again…
Grief Songs is available in paperback and ebook from all your favourite online bookstores – buy it here
It’s my great pleasure to welcome Jacqui Murray to this month’s Launch Pad spot. You may well already be familiar with Jacqui through her blog, WordDreams, others of you will know her through her books. It is Jacqui who introduced me to the wonderful world of prehistoric fiction, a genre I hadn’t heard of before, but now I can tell you, I’m totally hooked!
So, let’s find out a little bit more about her. We’ll start with her official author bio:
Jacqui Murrayis the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Naturewhich explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of theRowe-Delamagente thrillersandBuilding a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as anAmazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, is due for release in winter 2022.
Before we come to Jacqui’s latest book release, let me share what Jacqui as to tell us about her journey into self-publishing and finding her authorial voice.
Finding my Voice– by Jacqui Murray
I have been writing fiction for about 25 years (non-fiction longer, but that’s a different story). When I started, I wanted to write the biography of a prehistoric female – how she survived when experts said she shouldn’t. I took some classes, attended conferences, read a bunch of books, and got excited about writing as a craft. An agent suggested I not write prehistoric fiction because the market was too small so I switched to thrillers. I wrote one, another, both well received but they didn’t sell much. I figured if I was going to write and NOT sell, I might as well write what I wanted so I switched back to prehistoric fiction. My first novel, Born in a Treacherous Time, was rejected over one hundred times but still, I wrote another, Survival of the Fittest.That too was rejected one hundred times (I stopped sending out queries when I received my 100th rejection). Repeat for two more and then I stopped submitting to traditional publishers. I got whatever message they were sending and decided to self-publish. Yes, I was confused and intimidated, like a web browser with nineteen tabs open, seventeen of them frozen and one with music blasting but I couldn’t tell where it came from.
But none of that mattered. I was in charge of my destiny and that felt good. I peacocked for a while and then went back to work.
Somewhere along the line, I figured out my voice. That was scary at first, putting a book out to the public written the way I wanted but I felt good about what I was writing. I knew the rules, which to follow and which to bend, and understood the importance readers place on how a story is told. In fact, that is as important as rules. By the third book written my way, I began to gain traction and sell enough that I could even call myself a writer.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some success. A first place in a writing competition. Quarter finals in a national competition. I even had an agent for a while… That’s another story. I’ve tried quitting, but I’m back at it within weeks, like an addict. I know people who quit smoking and their rough period starts when they quit and continues till they die. Is that what being a reformed writer would be: “Hello, my name is Jacqui and it’s been ten days since I edited my last novel.” I get the shakes thinking of that.
If you’re trying to find your voice, here are my suggestions:
Know the rules of writing in your genre
Talk to professionals in that genre about your writing
Then, write the way you want to, with passion and energy. That’s your voice. You’ll find a group of people who like it and that will be good enough.
Someone once said about the death of one particular amazing writer whose stories seemed to be effortless:
Talent on loan from God. Talent returned to God.
When you find your voice, that’s what it feels like, as though someone greater than you is whispering in your ear and you darn well better listen.
Jacqui’s latest release is Laws of Nature, the second book in her Dawn of Humanity trilogy. I finished reading this only last week, and Irecommend it whole-heartedly!
A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.
In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa, the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.
Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.
It’s my great pleasure to welcome Paul English to this month’s Launch Pad spot!
Paul lives just up the road from me in Somerset West in the beautiful Western Cape of South Africa. You might remember him from the book signing we co-hosted back in 2019. It’s such a pleasure to have a fellow author close by with whom to exchange ideas and discuss the ups and downs of a writer’s life, although much of this has had to be virtual over the past year or so of lockdowns.
Paul’s an ardent superhero and sci-fi fan and has a love for mysteries, all of which has contributed to the writing of his novels. Originally inspired to create his first superhero character by watching an interview with the late great Stan Lee, Paul is an encyclopaedia of knowledge concerning anything and everything related to Marvel and DC comics. Paul’s also a keen follower of pro-wrestling and enjoys dabbling in drawing his own comic books and writing the stories. You can find him blogging about his writing and his books on his blog, Backroom Bulletin.
Paul’s book, Scorched Earth: Arrival was released earlier this year and he’s here to tell us about it. Take it away, Paul!
Thank you for having me on your blog today Chris, I’m excited to tell you about my latest book which is the start of my Scorched Earth trilogy.
Scorched Earth: Arrival is the seventh book in the Fire Angel Universe, the new superhero universe which I created when I started my writing and publishing journey. Once I’d introduced several compelling characters over the course of my previous Fire Angel books, I decided it was time for all these characters to come together, and what better time for superheroes to meet than during an invasion from an alien empire? Given the fact I’m a science fiction fan it seemed the obvious choice and hence the Scorched Earth trilogy came into being. This first book deals with the arrival of a powerful alien force, an empire bent on the invasion of yet another planet: Earth.
Writing the Fire Angel series has been really enjoyable, although each book has come with its own set of challenges. The Scorched Earth trilogy is proving no different. I’m currently nearing the completion of the second book, Scorched Earth: Takeover, so keep an eye out for that when it comes out.
The Earth is being invaded. A hero falls.
As a ruthless alien empire sets its sights on Earth, the time has come for courageous people to step up and defend the world.
When Project: Guardian’s leader, Kat Palmer goes AWOL, Randy Wilson is next in line to lead the clandestine government task force against the most serious threat the human race has ever faced.
And now, when both the military and the police have their backs against the wall, humanity needs new heroes too. Alexandra Grant answers the call, not only to save others, but to redeem herself for condemning the superhuman, Fire Angel.
Meanwhile, the members of the underground Society of Science, are working against the clock to find a chink in the invaders’ armor and stop them before it’s too late.
It’s my great pleasure to welcome Jude Itakali to this month’s Launch Pad spot. Many of you will already be familiar with Jude through his blog, Tales Told Different, but let’s find out a little bit more about him from his author bio.
Jude was born and lives in Kampala, Uganda, and when not being an athlete on the rugby field, or crunching down numbers on a computer for work, he delicately pens the epiphanies from life and its different relationships and encounters.
He writes about all sorts of topics, finding a way to relate them with each other because no one theme exists in a vacuum.
Empathy is sometimes considered a gift, and Jude has it in abundance.
Jude has recently released his first book, Crossroads (Winds of Love) – a collection of poetry, prose and short stories. Here he is to tell us all about it. Take it away, Jude!
Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today, Chris. I’m excited to tell you all about my book, which is entitled Crossroads (Winds of Love).
This is my debut publication and I used poetry because of its ability to touch a variety of people in a variety of ways. I admire the creativity it gives and the outlet of emotions that might otherwise fester within. The ability to exercise the breadth of language to pass on a message has always captivated me because it touches and evokes much deeper than plain words.
CROSSROADS (Winds of love) is a collection of poems, prose, and short stories written in verse. Many times, romantic love is depicted as a formula: advice on ways in which to get the best out of love. In my time and experience through many kinds of love, some my own, many from the people closest to me, and a few from the world testimonies and stories, I have come to understand that each situation is different, and not all advice is applicable for everyone. Love is not bound by rules, and in most cases, it does not make sense.
I wrote and compiled these poems and stories to show multiple aspects of love, to show the reader that they are not alone, that they should not be judged, and even though love’s pleasures may come with even greater pains, that in the end, the power to change it or discover it in its best form, lies within us.
This precious gem of a book has poetry in structured forms including, but not limited to sonnets, haiku, etheree, tanka, cinquain, shadorma, and many more. It also contains free verse poetry and a splattering of short stories. It takes us on an adventure through longing, intimacy, heartbreak and healing.
Click here for some of my latest reviews and some short extracts from the book.
In the corridors of love, At the crossroads of loneliness, We stand at our most vulnerable. As the winds of love swirl, we are often ill-prepared for the portends and promises they carry; The longing, fear, and deception. The intimacy, and the horrors of heartbreak. But also the hope, renewal and strength from the trials we have survived.
May these poems, prose and short stories touch each in their own particular way, And bring us all perspective, compassion, hope and ultimately; Love!