Tag Archives: author interviews

What’s in a book cover? A change gives a different perspective on an established series.

Today I am delighted to share Tahlia Newland’s new, super-duper, improved covers along with some info on the why, the how and the wherefore of covers, cover changes and the reasons she made her changes.

One of the great things about indie publishing is that, thanks to ebooks and Print on Demand technology, covers can be changed at any time. But why would you want to? What’s in a book cover?

Changing covers after publication is not limited to indie books, either; mainstream books with a long shelf life often get new covers and some even have different versions available at the same time. Why? Are the publishers not happy with the original covers?

No. Looking at young adult titles, the original Twilight covers were stunning, but after the movie came out, those covers were replaced by ones with photos of the movie characters. The new covers appealed to a different (possibly younger) audience, and changing the covers opened the book up to a new market, those who had seen the movie but not read the book. They also highlighted the human element in the book and communicated more about the content of the books.

The Harry Potter series also had different covers, and each new look appealed to a different kind of reader, thus giving a boost to the established series. And now, Tahlia Newland’s Diamond Peak series has a brand new set of covers for the same kinds of reasons. The previous covers were graphic, symbolic and sophisticated, aimed at an older market; the new covers are dramatic and sexy and say more about the series in one glance.
Diamond Peak Series3

The use of faces and a Photo-shopped style of artwork is the more traditional style of young adult cover, and though many young adult books have moved away from this look, the style existed and was used for so long because it appealed to the target audience. The fact that it is less in use today will make these ones stand out all the more.

The covers highlight the action, the romance, and the strong female character at the centre of the series. Those elements have always been there, this cover merely emphasises them. The only thing the covers don’t hint at is the humour. The mysticism is there in the sparkle on the cover for Eternal Destiny.

Here are the previous covers – graphic, symbolic and sophisticated – though fabulous covers, they say little about the content, even if you take the time to read the symbolism. These will remain the paperback covers, at least for the foreseeable future.
Diamond Peak Series2
Which covers do you like best?
Find out about the AIA Seal of Excellence award-winning Diamond Peak series on the author’s website. http://tahlianewland.com/my-books/diamond-peak-series/ or visit her Amazon Author page.

All covers by Velvet Wings Design. What’s in a book cover? A change gives a different perspective on an established series.

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Are you talking to me pal?

Is staring at something you’re trying to find for ages, without seeing it, a super power? I don’t know but it’s probably the closest I’ll get.

Does he have a better short-term memory than I do? Very probably.

You can read some wittering about that and other ideas in this week’s bit of light fluff. It’s an interview  over at Katherine’s Corner. Yes, I’ve been bending someone’s ear again. This one is part of an ongoing series of author interviews comprising two sets of questions; one frivolous and one sensible. The author being interviewed has to answer both, although in my case, there’s not really much difference between the two. You can find some witty and interesting answers from other authors on the blog here and you can read my attempts at the end of the links below.

Sensible

Frivilous

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Box 010: Number 12, Angela Burkhead

Well hello, and after a bit of a hiatus, welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, except in the holidays when I turn into Mumzilla and everything goes a bit mental, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Angela Burkhead. She has just published Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea, a young adult fantasy novel.

Hello Angela and welcome to Box 010. Before we get started, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, yes I would. I’m a full time writer and a full time mom. Of the two jobs, I cannot decide which is more difficult and time consuming, but both bring the joys of fulfillment and accomplishment.

My son and I currently reside in Richmond, Ky, just north of Kentucky’s arts and crafts capital, Berea, Ky, where I was born and raised.

Ah a fellow author combining the rigours or writing and motherhood. Right then, let’s get onto your rant. What is the first thing that you would like to see expunged from existence for ever?

The first on my list I wish to ban from existence is Auto Correct. Let’s face it, we have all been victim to Auto Corrects evils in which the sentence: “I’m hanging out with Mary Anne” has become “I’m hanging out with Marijuana” causing a parent or two to inflict unnecessary punishment. D@$! you Auto Correct! It needs to be unmade.

Heavens yes, Auto Correct is the Devil’s tool. Good plan. So, onto your second item.

Commercial Duct Tape Products is on the top of my list.

Well, technically, it’s at number two.

Pedant!

I know, I’m sorry please carry on.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Red Green who is always welcome to invade my tv with his quirky duct tape repair ideas, but people actually pay a company for something made out of duct tape? There are so many duct tape patterns out there, go on Pinterest and make it yourself! At least that way when someone asks you why you have a duct tape wallet you can say, “Oh, because I’m poor and couldn’t afford a real one.” People may be so impressed they’ll tell you how special you are. Just remember to take it as a compliment….

Oh my giddy aunt! Do people do that? Is there a whole duct tape subculture thing going on, here, that has passed me by? Mwah ha hhahargh! How did I miss it, or am I going to be grinding my teeth in a year’s time, when it hits good old Blighty. Hmm. That’s a worrying thought! Wow… so what’s your item number 3?

The use of more than one exclamation mark to express excitement. Nothing can ever be that exciting. Plus, the people reading the overly-exaggerated exclamation tend to need to express the same, if not more, enthusiasm which leads to a small army of exclamation marks that, if they were truly an army, could probably take over a small town whose inhabitants would tweet about the invasion with more exclamation marks… At this rate, the Army of Exclamations could take over the world in less than a week. One exclamation mark is enough!

Yes, oh yes, oh yes. Phnark.  Vote it in. Please… Er hem. Sorry what was I thinking of, I’m supposed to be impartial. Right then, please can you tell us what your fourth item is Angela?

Space Chimps. Not actual chimps in space, I mean the movie Space Chimps. I worked at a theater the year it came out. I’m pretty sure the children lost IQ points during the film and I still wish I could get back the 10 minutes of my life I spent watching the film during my work break.

Tell me about it. We have a kids programme on TV called Waybaloo and I swear I used to feel my brain turning to mush as I watched with my boy. Although, I confess I’ve never heard of Space Chimps – clearly I’ve lived a sheltered life.  This has been an education. OK, then, what is your fifth and final item?

Best for last, Disney’s rights to Star Wars. Oh, George, what have you done? Lucas may be frighteningly awful at romantic scenes, and I think deep down he knows he should never have filmed movies 1-3, but handing the rights over to Disney does not make up for his mistakes. It actually made things worse. I will never be able to forgive the destruction of my beloved Star Wars and I have only one thing to say; Live Long and Prosper.

Yeh and the first thing they did was stop making Clone Troopers, which my boy loves and which is brilliant.

Right then, Angela Burkhead, thank you very much for joining me today. Now it’s time to vote. You can find more information about Angela’s latest release, Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea – along with details of where you can stalk her on the interweb below the poll. Join us in a couple of weeks when we find out how many of Angela’s pet hates you have voted into the oblivion forever.

Sticks n’ Stones and the Garden of Phea

Rather than spending one more day amongst the humiliating remarks to the amusement of her fellow peers, Emily Fickeltin runs away. Or, rather, walks away. Emily is misunderstood and disliked by what seems to be every other child her age and on top of it all, she is overweight.

Her attempt to escape her pain leads her to discover a hidden place with new hope for friends and acceptance, though she cannot stay long. In this magical garden, Emily meets Phea and finds that she is not the only one looking for an escape.

Together they battle their inner most demons. Will they ever discover peace and acceptance? These two lost and disheartened souls must find who they are before they are both lost forever.

You can stalk Angela Burkhead on the internet in the following places:

https://www.facebook.com/AngelaBurkheadAuthor?ref=hl
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7824929.Angela_Burkhead
https://twitter.com/TheMsBurkhead
http://themsburkhead.tumblr.com
http://angelaburkhead.blogspot.com

 

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Box 010 Number 10: Michael Cargill

Well hello again, and welcome, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, except in the holidays when I turn into Mumzilla and everything goes a bit mental, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Michael Cargill. He hasn’t stuck to any particular genre. His latest work, Underneath, has been compared to Ruth Rendell – you can find more details about it at the bottom of the page.  He likes writing humour and satire, too – as you’re about to find out. You can find more of that on his website here .

Hello Michael. So, before you launch into your enormous and really quite splendid rant, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello there,

My name is Michael Cargill and I started writing about two years ago. So far I haven’t stuck with a particular genre as I like to just write whatever pops into my smoothly-shaven head. Along with my books and stories I also have a website of satire humour stuff that I update every now and then.

By day I work in IT and I have to force myself to traverse the world of office life just like everyone else. Getting up at 6am is such a drag, man.

You said it, I’m not a morning person either so I sympathise with anyone who has to get up at 6am, 7am is bad enough but where was I? Ah yes, Michael, without more ado, please tell us the first item you’d like to cast into the unending darkness of Box 010.

Whacky t-shirt slogans:

“Keep calm and drink tea!” advises a thin sheet of blue cotton.

“Oh wow, that’s so random!” exclaims a breathless 19-year old student called Jeremy. “£35 is a bargain, I’ll take three of them.”

Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy. What are we going to do with you, eh?  Set you on fire and shove you in the direction of Primark, perhaps?  Exactly what does this t-shirt give you?  Sure, the local homeless guy might be entertained by your brief sojourn into sponsored hilarity, but let’s not forget that he also gets nosebleeds whenever a helicopter flies overhead. Never let your life be dictated by a thin-blooded anaemic.

Ah yes, right, MT hurriedly crosses her arms to hide the picture of snurds on her T-shirt… no witty slogan though, perhaps I’m safe. Oops, anyway, right, OK Michael, what’s you’re next pet hate?

Poo.

Mwah ha haargh! Really?

Yep, no shit. Poo: It smells and you can’t really do anything with it, unless you’re a monkey in a cage in a zoo, throwing it at passersby. If you try to use it as ink, your filing cabinet will soon be swarming with flies; if you try to use it as stuffing for a pillow, you really will have to worry about the bed bugs biting you during the night; if you bake it like clay and try to use it as a credit card, it will get stuck inside the cash machine and you’ll never be able to get a mortgage or a loan again.

It makes bloody great manure though, my geraniums are marvellous this year.

Hnur hnur hnur hnurrrrgh. Something makes me think you might not have got all that you might have done from any visits to the zoo you made as a child. OK, so after poo what’s the next item you’d like to throw into Box 010?

Three-quarter length trouser-short things: Let’s face it, no-one likes a cyborg. Robots are great, ‘cos they build cars and lift things wot are too heavy for us humans to lift. They can even speak in cute little voices if programmed to do so.

Humans are great as well. They can be pleasant to look at, they sing nice songs, and some of them can even make a right nice cup of tea if asked nicely.

Cyborgs?  Yucky, ugly creatures that have bolts poking out of their eye sockets and bulging electric veins that dangle down from every nook and cranny. And so it is for those ghastly three-quarter length trouser-shorts. If it’s warm, wear proper shorts. If it’s cold, wear proper trousers. There is no such thing as warmy-cold weather that is too hot for trousers and too cold for shorts.

Ah but what about when it’s too hot for trousers but your knees are too scarred and vile for shorts? That’s when these three quartery length abominations become quite useful. Er… at least, that’s why I wear them, anyway. But I agree that, as a fashion statement, they are a bit pants. Then again, as a, lardy, 45 year old stay at home parent I’m probably about as close to making a fashion statement as I am to Alpha Centuri so I don’t expect it matters… sorry, gone off on one there. Right-o, please can we hear about your next item?

Audiophiles:

“Yeah mate, that would deffo sound better if you were using a gold-plated SCART cable instead of them earphones. It’s all about the conductivity.”

Really?  How fascinating. And there was me thinking that listening to The Sex Pistols would be a simple affair of popping in the CD and hitting the play button. Had I known that I needed to pray to the God of Unicorn Farts at the Altar of Elbow Grease beforehand, my delicate wee eardrum would no doubt be bestowing me with flowers and blowjobs by now. Thank you, Mr Engineery Man, for your advice on the things that matter. May your moustache be forever neat and tidy.

All I can think of now is the Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch:

“I’d like to buy a Gramaphone.”

Cue about 20 minutes of laughter.

“A Gramaphone, do you mean a music system?”

“What’s the difference?”

“Oh about 30 years and a plastic casing to you Granddad.” etc.

Sorry, moving on. Michael, what is the fifth and final thing you’d like to put into Box 010?

Asparagus.

Noooooooo!

Yes, because it’s crap.

A bag of frozen green beans will cost about a quid. A bag of frozen asparagus will cost a ton. That is, if you can even find a place that sells frozen asparagus, as it’s clearly such an important and precious length of green that no-one dares freeze it, lest they risk the feeble wrath of asparagus worshippers everywhere.

Apparently asparagus is good for seducing women; I disagree. Vodka works perfectly and it’s cheap. Asparagus is expensive and is a far higher maintenance vegetable than it’s cousin the green bean. You also end up discarding half of it anyway.

The asparagus vs. beans debate is similar to the ebook vs. real book debate: “Oooooh, a real book is so much more engaging!”

No it isn’t, so stop lying.

Michael thank you for making us laugh so much with one of the most splendidly random Box 010’s so far. It was great! The results will be posted in a week’s time, when we will find out if my asparagus bed and halfway-house trousers are going to join my husband in Box 010.

Readers, you can vote on Michael’s choices here.

Underneath
Look at the person sitting just across from you. It doesn’t matter whether they’re a loved one, a friend, or a complete stranger.

Now look at their face. Are they happy?  Are they sad?  Or are they angry?  Can you even tell?

How well do you actually know the people closest to you? Have you ever seen the real person that lies just underneath what you see…?

Here’s where you can stalk Michael Cargill on the internet.
Website:- http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @MichaelCargill1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelCargillAuthor

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Box 010: Number 9, Lynda Wilcox

Hello Ladies, Gentlemen, those who aren’t quite sure and, of course K’Barthans. Welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is Lynda Wilcox writer of the children’s adventure books and light hearted whodunits, the latest of which, Strictly Murder.  You can find her website here .

Hello Lynda. Right before I let you rant, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself.

Of course, I was born in Derbyshire and, even as a small child, read voraciously, happily losing myself for hours in Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven and Famous Five books. Looking for a new source of income when my husband was made redundant in his mid-fifties, I turned to writing. In the beginning I wrote the sort of children’s adventures I’d been so fond of myself when young, and then turned my hand to old-fashioned whodunits, which I’d enjoyed since my twenties. I’m happy to say that both have proved popular, because I have a lot more stories yet to tell.

That’s interesting, I reckon Enid Blyton got a whole generation of kids into writing. Most of the early stories I wrote were Famous Five style, too. So, the time has come… What would is your fist candidate for Box 010?

Celebrity chefs or, more properly, TV chefs:  I learnt to cook at my mother’s knee, though I suppose I must have been taller than that or I’d never have reached the stove! In my day cookery was taught in schools. Now we have to learn how to prepare and cook our food from the likes of Delia Smith or Raymond Blanc. Everything is ‘fresh’, ‘crisp’, and ‘beautiful’ before it becomes ‘delicious’, exquisite, or ‘perfect’. Yes, well they’d hardly say their ingredients were stale, soggy or bland, now would they? Or that the resulting meals tasted disgusting. I’d love to be able to pout and flaunt my way around a kitchen the size of Nigella Lawson’s but I live in your average semi and cook in a kitchen where you have to close all the cupboard doors before there’s room to open the fridge. And we don’t all live in London with a bustling daily market just around the corner. Open my kitchen door and there’s a main road facing you, not a perfect pottager or herb garden. I’m as likely to get run over as I am to find a sprig of mint!

Hmm… I do enjoy a good cookery programme but I agree that many of them tend to make certain assumptions which are just plain daft! And Nigella does my head in.

What is the next item you would like to hurl, through a black hole, never to be seen again?

Chilli with Everything:  Not everyone likes chilli,  and even ordinary white pepper is too hot for me, but these days the wretched stuff turns up in everything — even chocolate and ice cream! Whatever next? Chilli flavoured Victoria sponge for heaven’s sake? I’ve no objection to those who like their food so hot they can’t actually taste it, but recently my local supermarket’s selection of barbecue meat didn’t include a single item that wasn’t hot and spicy or crammed to the gunwales with chilli, lime and coriander. Hey, all I’m asking for is a little choice, OK? Besides the idea of a barbecue is surely not to feel that you’ve cooked your own tongue on the damned thing.

Mwah ha hahargh! I am going to be thinking about cooked tongue for the rest of the day! Hmm another controversial one there, I reckon. I love chilli, but I do understand this, because I’m allergic to mushrooms and the amount of times I’ve explained this carefully and been served something stuffed to the gunwales with them are too numerous to count. Sorry, going off on one there.

What is the third verucca of existence that you would like to burn from the foot of time?

Council Profligacy and Council Speak:

Excellent, sounds like a good one!

Yes. It causes more chuntering, more dark mutterings in Wilcox Towers than any other. Less than half a mile from my front door, proudly displayed over the entrance to the District Council offices is a fancy sign saying, ‘Your District Council — Working For You’. I KNOW THAT! Who the hell else would they be working for? Patagonian llama farmers?

God know how many hundreds or thousands of pounds of tax payer’s money, MY money, they wasted stating the blindingly obvious. Just how dumb do they think the local residents are? Oh, OK, don’t answer that one.  Just tell me why, when the council have removed all the cameras from speed traps around the county, they need to spend several hundred thousand quid painting the empty boxes? It’s madness.  If you are thinking of going and working for them, you’ll need a degree in gobbledegook. A current vacancy calls for, ‘a portfolio holder for community engagement and wellbeing’. I’m applying myself — as soon as I’ve worked out whether they want an MC for bingo nights or a doctor!

Local Government Gobbledgygook excellent suggestion. I suspect we’ll all be voting for that one. OK, Lynda, what is the fourth item you’d like to put into Box 010?

Texting and mobile phones: Specifically those who insist on keeping their hands down, thumbs going nineteen to the dozen as they walk down crowded streets expecting everyone else to get out of their way or risk being barged into. They surge across busy roads, still typing Cul*r, oblivious to traffic and the world around them. Wherever they are,  in supermarkets, libraries, on the train, they feel compelled to whip out their Nokias (and there’s a euphemism, if ever I heard one!) and call someone to announce the fact. They discuss the most personal details, medical or financial, in plain hearing of all around them, forcing you to listen. I don’t want to hear about your attack of dysentery on holiday, your gynaecological examination or how you had to transfer money to pay for your son’s new car. Please, please, please,  just shut up!

Oh I heartily agree with this one. Come on readers, stuff it in! Right, Lynda, we’re coming to your fifth and final item. Please can you tell us what it is.

Rude people: whatever happened to common courtesy? To good manners? Don’t people bother with P’s and Q’s any more? I’m fed up with being barged off pavements, pushed out of the way in shops, and cut-up by other road users. For all that they get a bad press, it’s rarely young people who are guilty of such bad manners, either. While I was shopping last week, a forty-something woman cried, “Oh there it is”, and without so much as an “excuse me”, shoved out an arm right in front of my face to take something off the shelf. Similarly, whilst looking at the Alfred Jewel in the Ashmolean Museum, someone reached in front of me with a mobile phone to take a picture of it. Grr. I can find no excuse for such rudeness and it makes my blood boil.

In that case, readers, to reduce risk of Lynda’s blood boiling – which can’t be effecetious for her health, please, please, vote rude gits into Box 010.

Lynda, thank you so much for joining me. Readers, it’s now time to vote! Join me next week when we find out how many of Lynda’s choices are going into Box 010. To find out more about Lynda’s books you can visit her website here, more on her latest release, Strictly Murder, at the bottom of the page.

Strictly Murder

The Estate Agent’s details listed two reception, kitchen and bath. What they failed to mention was the dead celebrity in the master bedroom. Personal assistant Verity Long’s house hunt is about to turn into a hunt for a killer. It will take some fancy footwork to navigate the bitchy world of dance shows, TV studios, and dangerously gorgeous male co-stars. When Verity looks like the killers next tango partner, she discovers that this dance is… Strictly Murder

A reminder

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Box 010: Number 8, David Haywood Young

Hello everybody peps! Welcome, once again, to Box 010; a bit of light whimsy which is, in no way, inspired by the popular BBC programme Room 101. Here’s now it works. Every two weeks, my special guest will pop in and then present us with five things they would like to see consigned to the dustbin of existence. This week’s special guest is David Haywood Young, who has two novels published; a supernatural mystery and a romance/mystery with a bit of Gypsy ghost story, along with a book of short stories which he says are ‘mostly strange’ and therefore, in my view almost certainly to be recommended. He is running a giveaway on his site at the moment so you can try his books, for free, and it’s also worth keeping an eye out for his new release, which will be out in a few weeks.

Hello there David.

Hello.

Thank you for visiting us today. Before we attempt to consign your pet hates to history, please can you tell us a little bit about yourself.

If I exist at all, there’s a good chance I’m a bit odd by nature. Even-tempered, though. At six years old I began writing (and binding!) books for my younger brother and sister. I taught them both to read, as I needed an uncritical audience. Eventually the day came when my parents no longer gave me lunch money. I considered burglary (I still consider it fairly often) but ended up combining software development and professional poker…for more than twenty years. But I shut down my company last year in favor of writing. We’ll see how it goes. It feels fairly wonderful so far.

As MTM mentioned, I’ve published two novels and a collection of short stories (mostly strange). All three are available, one per customer (on the honor system), via a giveaway I began on the solstice: http://davidhaywoodyoung.com/blog will get you there until 21 July 2013. Though leaving my site again will be entirely up to you, as there’s nothing in it for me.

Also, I’m @DHY_writer on Twitter if you’d like to say hello there. Which you can actually do twenty-eight times in a single tweet, and I think that’s awfully friendly.

Phnark, it is too… I will be trying it out shortly! Mwah ha hargh. Alright then, let’s get onto the action. David, what is the first item you’d like to throw into Box 010?

Lists: Yes, all lists. My wife creates them daily, and I love her very much, and this prohibition will resolve all related issues. Also, if it doesn’t, we won’t know. Besides, I once heard someone say that a plan is just a list of things that don’t happen. I figure it’s better to strike at the root than to attempt to model an entire universe—even supposing we only have the one to deal with—and all its myriad interactions on chewed-up tree pressings. Even Post-its, in my opinion, are not truly adequate to the task. Life should be experienced as is, not interpreted via coercive flights of predigested (and appallingly limited) fancy. Or so I suppose.

This is very true, McOther makes lists and thinks things through, I find that any list I make will be overtaken by events anyway… like my to do list for today, for example, which went pear shaped about five minutes after leaving the house.

Sorry, where was I, ah yes, Thing 2. What is your second candidate to set adrift in the darkness of Box 010, never to be seen again?

Constraints:  This certainly includes the list (see issue #1 above) of restrictions you sent me. I’m not to include items people have previously identified as unnecessary/hated/expunge-worthy?

Mwah ha ha hargh! No! Those were the things that are already in Box 010 so in theory you can’t throw them in a second time because they don’t exist, although they do because I’m in Box 010 now, because McOther was thrown into it with all other Lawyers last week. Phnark.

Fine! But this is the beginning of the end. Once we start down this path, we’re on a path, and that means we’re probably not paying as much attention as we ought to various less-than-obvious dangers I obviously can’t enumerate (see above, and also counting is by nature too limiting). So…excuse me, were you saying something? I was to make a point? Oh. Well, too bad. Now what?

You loony! Now, I think we should move onto your third item.

Agriculture: All right, enough fooling around. This one is serious. I’m a natural hunter-gatherer type, by which I mean I’m too lazy to do much until the need for food (or cash) becomes pressing. Yet another source of marital friction! She feels we should put something aside for emergencies—and once that’s done, well, we might need more for a more serious emergency. Fine! I declare an end, right here. If we can stage a zombie apocalypse (even if without actual zombies), and go back to proper societal norms (meaning I hunt when hungry and do very little else, but as a noble primitive rather than a slacker) I think the world at large will run much more smoothly.

Hmm… I get the logic in that but I’m a poor hunter and I like to know where the next meal is coming from. Being  a lazy slacker though… that sounds cool.

Mathematics: An easy one. Not that math-

Eh?

Remember, I’m roughly American. Not that math(s) is inherently horrible, but so many misunderstand its function! It’s another system for modeling reality, sort of like—wait for it—lists. People start thinking the system we’ve made up can somehow override reality, as if two chairs are always precisely twice as good as one when a body wants to sit. Mathematics can model bits of the real world, but fails to replace them. Nonetheless folks believe they can prove things about the physical world via appallingly simple flights of mathematical whimsy…and so we develop perversely boring religions all over the place. No more! Leave the math to the computers, I say. And don’t believe anything they say either.

As someone who hasn’t passed a maths exam since the age of 9, think maths is a cracking candidate for Box 010. Then we wouldn’t need money, either and we’d swap stuff, which is so much simpler. OK, what’s your fifth and final candidate for the Box of Doom that is, 010?

The rule of law: Well, look, this one really applies more to the rulers than the ruled…and who could argue that their behavior (Yep, I’m still American) has been what it ought to be of late? Or at any other time. So, the heck with it. From now on, I say we all do just as we please—

Hmm… but David, what pleases you might be a complete pain in the arse for—

What, you’re interrupting me again? Yes, of course this will be mandatory. How else could it work? Giving orders is ridiculous, but come the revolution anyone caught following them will be first against the wall! Because I said so.

There, that told me! Thank you so much for joining us, folks, this week’s guest has been David Haywood Young, who you can also find on twitter, saying hello a lot so you can follow him here @DHY_writer. Now the time has come to vote. So, Ladies and Gents, do rules appal you? Is planning, like spare tyres, for whimps? Only you can decide…

Vote here.

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Guest post: How do I write? by Tahlia Newland

Hello everyone, this week, I’m delighted to welcome a guest poster on my blog. Many of you will have heard of Tahlia Newland. Today, she’s going to tell us a bit about how she writes and her new release. So, without more ado… take it away, Tahlia.

I used to be a visual artist (actually I still am, it’s just not my main income anymore), then I worked in Visual Theatre for over twenty years as a writer and performer, so visual imagery is not just important to me, it’s part of who I am as an artist. Visual Theatre communicates with visual symbolism and my Diamond Peak Series is full of symbolism, so though I’m writing instead of creating visual imagery with paint or with dance, costumes, sets, props, masks and music, my writing is full of visual imagery and symbolism.

I’m a visual author. I guess that’s why I like to write fantasy and magical realism.

Reviewers have said such things as “truly spectacular imagery;”  “unique settings;” “a rich, detailed world building”, and “It’s a visual writing style – you can see the action”. About the symbolism they have said such things as; “author Newland exhibits great skill in allegorical storytelling;” and “an epic adventure with real world symbolism and depth.”

Stories come into my mind in a visual way as well. I see the scenes playing out as a movie and I write the scenes as they come into my head, so I don’t feel as if I’m making the story up, I’m more writing what I see. It makes me wonder if the stories aren’t happening somewhere in some other reality. Certainly in symbolic terms, the Diamond Peak series is played out in the psyches of every person on the planet whether we know it or not.

But the visual and written aspects of my creativity are even more linked than just how they come out in the final product. Part of my creative process in writing is to consider the book cover, and I use Photoshop to mock up different ideas at various stages of writing. Sometimes, I take a break from writing and play with Photoshop and what I come up with helps to clarify the images in my mind.

I’ve just released Demon’s Grip, the latest book in the Diamond Peak Series. I built up this cover with the help of my daughter at Centrepiece Productions Design Studio (a good place for cheap but professional covers).

Here's the cover of Demon's Grip, Tahlia's new release.

Here’s the cover of Demon’s Grip, Tahlia’s new release.

It’s always best to start at the beginning of a series though, so to inspire you to do just that, book one in the series is only 99c until the 6th July on Kindle and Kobo, so pick it up and read your way to the top of Diamond Peak.

You can also pick up a FREE short story prequel to the Series here.

If you’ve read books one and two, you can find Demon’s Grip at your Kindle Store , Smashwords & Kobo.

Tahlia Newland, the award-winning fantasy and magical realism author with a metaphysical twist. If you enjoyed this blog post, you can join her on Facebook , Twitter or Google+ You can even fan her on Goodreads. When not reading, writing, reviewing or mentoring authors you may find her being an extremely casual high school teacher or making decorative masks. Tahlia began writing full time in 2008 after twenty years in the performing arts and a five-year stint as a creative and performing arts teacher in a High School. In 2012, she set up the Awesome Indies List to showcase quality independent fiction. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in an Australian rainforest south of Sydney. Creativity is her middle name!

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