Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Power of Books… 2

This week, I have found myself paying more attention to all the work my sister, Jaye Marie does, not just for her own work, but mine as well. We do share a website, but I don’t think I have fully appreciated how much work is involved with all this marketing and promotion.

She says it’s not really work as she enjoys doing it so much, but I was still staggered to discover just what she does every single day, and still finds the time to write, garden and all the other jobs she gets around to.

Jaye Marie, my very own editor-in-chief, without her expert help, none of my five (soon to be six) books would ever have been published, for I couldn’t do what she manages to achieve, if my life depended upon it.

Here follows an excerpt from her first mystery/thriller, The Ninth Life…

The daylight was beginning to fade, although Jack hadn't noticed. He wasn't aware of anything, locked in his own private world of pain and anger. Not even the pain from his fingers as he chewed them unmercifully in his frustration.
Darkness was gathering in pools all around him as he sat at the kitchen table, Kate's carton of cigarettes in front of him. He wasn't seeing them anymore, her face occupied his mind again and no matter how he tried to distort her image with every ounce of hatred he possessed, he failed miserably as usual.
He had never understood the power she had over him, the way just looking at her made him feel unworthy. Kate was not beautiful in the classic sense, her nose was a little too big, her mouth lopsided, but a light seemed to glow inside her and the more you looked the more you were compelled to.
If he didn't know any better, he would describe the aura that emanated from her as saint like, for he could almost hear the soft chords of a church organ and in her presence he felt touched by something divine.
Anger sparked and flared again as he remembered the day she had vanished, throwing his love away and all he had given her. He reached out and grasped the box in front of him, gripping it so hard his fingers shook and began to bleed. She probably thought she had succeeded, even now.
He relaxed his grip and slowly stroked the packet, spreading a smear of blood and imagining her fingers touching the paper, fingers that should be touching him.
White-hot anger seared through his brain and he ripped the carton open, destroying the contents in a frenzied rage that seemed unending.

Sometime later, when the rage had abated, he stared at the rubbish in front of him. Of all the things to steal from her, he thought, why these? Because he knew she would miss them the most. She always seemed to need a cigarette much more than him and that had always infuriated him and driven him mad...

There will be a Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon, from 19th May to 25th May, when The Ninth Life will be FREE for a week.
Your support would be amazing, and gratefully received!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Chair...

             The Chair

             One small empty room with nothing but a chair,

             As I entered, I felt the warmth that lingered there.

             My heart was gripped with sudden fear, 

              As I sat upon that lonely chair.

             The silence grew like angry whispers, their voices clear

              Do not close the door and leave me here.

              Their need to tell their stories filled my eyes with tears,

               If only they could speak with one voice

               I would tell their stories for those who want to hear.

               I will not close the door and leave them there…

Anita Dawes 2015

Friday, 8 May 2015

The Joker...

The  cleverest card in the deck… care and trouble free…
  (posted by Jaye Marie)

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I think my brain has reached another tipping point.  Since we began this journey into the weird and wonderful world of self-publishing, an avalanche of confusing and often unhelpful information has assaulted my poor brain.
I have tried my utmost to assimilate what I thought (and was told) was necessary to be successful in this new digital publishing world.  You know what I mean... that you must have a good and interesting blog, you must be on Facebook, and Twitter... the list goes on and on.
Well, I have tried to do all of those things, but it doesn't help to discover you might be using an unsuitable website provider... and that Facebook keeps changing the rules (which I didn't understand the first time) to maybe our keywords are not good enough. (More about keywords in another post)  Not forgetting the most important one, have we forgotten something crucial?

Remembering last year…

All of which made me remember something that happened last year.  I had been gazing out of my window to where all my bonsai lived on their shelves, hoping for some divine inspiration, when I noticed something odd. I had to go and have a look, for my eyesight is not what it was and I sometimes see things that are not there. But not that time. It was real and I had to take a photograph to prove it.  On the shelf, nestled between a pine tree and a Ginko, I had placed this huge pine cone that we found in a forest. It must be about six inches long and it really does tell you about the weather. It closes up tight when it rains and opens wide when the sun comes out.
But what was special that day (as you can see in the photo above) was the fact that tiny mushrooms had sprouted from inside it. Don't ask me how... it just had. I think it is magical, and it got me thinking differently about many things.

An impossible dream?

That maybe we were trying too hard on all the wrong stuff. Because one of the things that has started to annoy me big time, was the fact that what with all this networking, blogging and searching, there seemed to be precious little time left for what is important...writing. And as hard as I tried, I couldn't squeeze everything in. It was simply impossible.

That was then and so much has changed. It is still hard to fit everything in, but I have written my first book since then, so it wasn’t as impossible as I thought. The sequel is well under way too.
Overall, I am pleased with our progress. Anita has added another book to her repertoire, shortly to be followed by another, later this year.
We are told that what you really need to be successful, is to keep producing brilliant books, so that is what we are doing... and loving every single minute!