|Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.|
Monday, 24 November 2014
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Anywho-be-do, what better way to return than with the help of a friend of mine, someone who’s had a book bubbling inside of them for quite some time and has just recently stepped out of the shadows of Authordom. Say “Hi” to Wayne.
Hi there! My name is Wayne Sharpe, aka: Bloomdell, to those on Twitter. I am the author of 'Humboldt's Tears' which can be found on Wattpad or by searching Barkermouth & Bloomdell. (Self promotion ahoy).
I am privileged to have been asked by Shaun Allan to scribble a few of my erratic thoughts across this here page on his blog. I'm flattered to think that anyone would be interested in my mental leakage. I would both, like to thank and apologize to Mr Allan up front for what follows.
It has been said that everyone has a book somewhere inside of them, I don't know who put it there, but there it is. The problem is, not everyone realises this to be the case and not everyone knows how to reach it. Like the proverbial block of marble, somewhere beneath its milky veined surface is hidden their very own David or their Venus de Milo, just waiting to be freed. Rather than a mallet and chisel they cry out for you to put pen to paper and tell their story. But so few ever do.
Well, like many before me, I decided to rise to that call and place pen to paper or more to the fact, fingers to keyboard and write my book.
But there it sat, on my computer, unread but by a few. My David (not quite a Michelangelo) had been freed from its marble bonds, only to be imprisoned by Windows (8.1, argh. Bring back 95).
Turning to my friend, Shaun Allan, author and creator of the marvellous Sin, I ask for advice and guidance, which he happily and freely gave. He pointed the way to Wattpad, our favourite online self publishing website. My book was released at last to roam free through the fibres of the web, to be read by anyone willing to give it its day. And now, like a proud parent, I watch on as people from around the globe journey through my creation. I found the book inside, I moulded and shaped it, and freed it. Job done?
All that said, I still feel like a pretender, someone who has written something, rather than an author who has published something. Yet I'm happy with this arrangement. I will allow others to make their minds up as to what title I should take.
I feel like a busker, a one man band, harmonica between lips, cymbals between knees and bass drum strapped to my back, playing noisily on the street corner. A busker who dreams of one day being a musician, a writer who dreams of one day being an author.
So, if you have taken the time to read these spilt thoughts of mine, please, look inside yourself, find your book, mould it, shape it and free it. Above all else, be happy and busk away!!!!!!
P.S. The distinction between biscuits and cake, is that, when stale, the cake goes hard, yet biscuit goes soft. So, when you curl up quietly to read your favourite book tonight, a hot coffee by your side, which do you reach for, the stale cake or biscuit.
I ask, is it hard or soft?
P.P.S. Innuendo should always be crass, otherwise what's the point. In your endo, oh yeah!!!!
Monday, 14 July 2014
This story was written in conjunction with NBC Universal and Wattpad to help promote their new film The Purge: Anarchy. To say I was honoured to be asked is an understatement. I was blown away and was worried I’d do them justice.
It appears my fears were unjustified. It appears my story wasn’t too bad at all. The comments I’ve had for Mr. Composurehave been so amazing, I’m staggered by the amount of love given to this story. So many people have said how much they’ve enjoyed my writing, with many begging for the update.
Unfortunately, of course, the updates are governed by the executives at NBC Universal and Wattpad. They have said the updates will be weekly, leading up to the release of the film.
There’s been three updates so far. The first part went live on the 24th June. Part two followed on the 3rd July. Part three was uploaded last Tuesday, the 8th July.
Part four, the grand finale, goes live tomorrow.
I mentioned in my last post that writing this story was out of my comfort zone. I normally write either paranormal thrillers or children’s stories. I’ve dabbled in science fiction and erotica too, but, normally, it’s the paranormal thrillers than win out. So, to have such a huge positive response to Mr. Composure, is quite humbling really. At the time of writing, I’m coming up to 80,000 reads, which is phenomenal, really.
And tomorrow, the last part is uploaded. I have to admit to being a little anxious. I’ve deliberately been somewhat vague about the main character but I knew exactly who he’d be when I started. I had the final two sentences written pretty much as soon as I’d written the opening! I think people are going to be surprised – and shocked – by two things in particular.
In fact, I hope they are. That was my intention.
The story will be, I’m told, used to help promote the film over the next year. I have no idea what form that promotion will take, but I’m looking forward to finding out.
Whatever happens, I do hope, if you’ve read Mr. Composure, you’ve enjoyed it (and voted!).
And, this comment by a reader made me feel I must be doing something correct with my writing. This is what really makes my day.
“I just found a new role model in writing. YOU! Thank you for sharing your works!!! I just stumbled across your account and read one of your excerpts. Fantastic. Amazing. No words to describe my emotional disbelief that an individual can write so well. Keep it up, and never, ever, stop improving because my goodness, I don't even know if you CAN improve. I don't mean this in a bad way. I mean this in the way that you are literally the best, and your works are the best that I have ever come across. So well written!”
Monday, 23 June 2014
Why? Because it's a Tuesday! Is that not a good enough reason? You want to know more?
Last year, my novel Sin was serialised on Wattpad – the YouTube of books with over 14 million unique hits per month. I’d posted samples before this point and was surprised and delighted to be asked to put the whole book up there. Of course this was a risk. If people could read it, why would they buy it? In the end, however, this hasn’t mattered. At the point of writing, Sin has had over 607,200 reads and some very humbling comments. The fact i now have such a large fanbase wipes out any concerns I had about book sales. I’d much rather have someone tell me they’ve enjoyed something I’ve written than have a couple of quid and not hear anything.
NBC Universal's page is here, where you'll find my story plus others and a whole lot more!
Have a look at the trailer for The Purge: Anarchy. Looking good!
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Print on Demand. There’s so many options, it’s difficult to know where to turn.
And that’s my problem. I don’t know where to turn. A veritable plethora of PODs to pick from. But which is the best?
Everyone seems to have their own opinions and pertinent points. One offers free alterations, another has lower shipping costs, another better distribution. But one might insist on a larger wholesale discount and another has greater printing costs. It’s a conundrum which has my head spinning.
I’m looking from a UK point of view, remember. I don’t know how these companies work in your respective countries, but the main options here include:
FeedARead is sponsored by the UK Arts Council, I believe, and Ingram Spark is essentially Lightning Source for people with less than 30 books – which removes Lightning Source from the options anyway. CreateSpace doesn’t actually print in the UK (I could be wrong) and I’m worried about shipping costs. Lulu is OK (I’ve used them before), but the shipping costs aren’t cheap and others have less production costs too.
Then there’s ‘Global Marketing’ or ‘Extended Distribution’ or whatever each company wants to call their particular flavour of getting your book out into the big wide world. They don’t all take returns, which could rule out independent bookstores taking on copies.
CreateSpace are part of Amazon, so your books will be on there, which is great, but they all, pretty much, get your book on the Mighty A. With CS, your book will always be in stock, whereas with others it could say it’s normally 3 weeks delivery. Or 6 weeks, even.
Ingram Spark are, as the name suggests (and by association Lightning Source), part of Ingrams. This means your book is automatically on the Ingrams catalogue, a very useful thing to have. FeedARead apparently make sure you’re listed on Bertrms and Gardners, again, very useful when you want your baby in bricks’n’mortar stores. In the UK, some of these list on Waterstones too.
I’m heard the CreateSpace interface for adding your book is fantastic, a real breeze. Lightning Source, on the other hand, is meant to a real pain. Lulu isn’t too bad but is somewhat awkward.
Who do you use? And why? And why not one of the others? Of course, it’s each to their own. It could come down to the toss of a coin, but I’d be interested in views.
It’ll help me make my own mind up!
Sunday, 25 May 2014
Friday, 16 May 2014
It was a wet and dreary day in Grimsby.
No, they’re actually not all like that. It started bright and sunny. I popped off into town to have my eyes tested (no, not to be able to see the weather properly, thank you) and then we dropped our youngest off at her nanna’s for the day.
Because we were going on a road trip! Manchester, here we come!
But before I get to that, let’s take a moment to step back in time. Not too far back, but, without a big blue police box, we’ll do our best to return to a day in 2012
Now, music is a big thing in our house. Once or more of us is prone to bursting into song (badly in my case), or dance to something on the TV. Only the other day, my 10 year old and 2 year old were singing the songs from Disney’s Frozen, and acting them out. Whilst out driving somewhere, my 2 year old will ask for anything from Over the Rainbow to Cyndi Lauper to ACDC (one of her current favourites is Highway to Hell, which she’ll happily be air guitaring to). My 10 year old is much the same. My wife and I regularly go to concerts or The Yardbirds, our local rock club.
As such, it won’t be a surprise to tell you my wife was eager to see the film Rock of Ages. So, being the wonderful husband I am, I took her. At the beginnng, I was unsure. A bit too cheesy. It didn’t take long, however, for me to be swept up in the music, the comedy and the fact that Tom Cruise was actually decent in this. I took the gleeful burst of applause she gave at the end as a sign she’d enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, when it came to be attempting to get tickets for the actual stage show, I was disappointed to find it had closed. Ah, but it was on tour! Yay! Christmas was coming so tickets for the show would make a perfect present for my wife and ten year old. As the best venue for us was Manchester (Palace Theatre), that’s what I booked.
Only to find out, a couple of weeks later, it was coming to Hull. Manchester is 2½ hours away. Hull is less than 45 minutes.
Oh well. It would be a nice trip out, and we could grab something good to eat on the way. A proper night out.
My girls were overjoyed when they opened the present to find the tickets inside. None of us could wait.
So, tick, tick, BANG! And we’re back to last weekend. A dreary day that began quite pleasantly.
Manchester and Grimsby are virtually opposite sides of the country. There’s a pretty straight road (the M62) which stretches across and it’s one we’ve travelled many times to various concerts and shows (30 Seconds to Mars, Snow Patrol, Bon Jovi and more). It’s not an unpleasant drive. The scenery is beautiful – and we like the little house stuck firmly where it always has bene, causing the road to split around it. Yes, there’s roadworks. Yes, there’s 50 mph limits with average speed cameras. None of it matters. Only once, when we went to see Snow Patrol the first time (excellent, though the second time we saw them thye were amazing), was the weather really bad.
Saturday, the weather was bad again. It rained, heavily, for most of the way and when it didn’t, we were attacked by the spray from the cars on the wet roads. Not nice, indeed.
But we got there and it was in time for that nice bite to eat. There was only one choice for us, really. Nandos! Yum. The car park, Nandos and the Palace Theatre were only around the corner from each other (luckily because of the weather, which had reduced form an onslaught to a drizzle), so we made it to the theatre in good time.
Our seats were two rows from the front, next to the aisle, and were well worth the extra money they cost. We were in a prime place for the way the cast would come down to the front of the audience (singing to my daughter atone point), and the guy who was running along getting everyone to do a Mexican wave etc..
As for the show itself...?
Well, we we surprised, initially, to find it didn’t follow the film – or rather the film didn’t follow the show. We weren’t expecting that, thinking it was the one story. That didn’t matter though, it was still all great fun.
The band were brilliant, smashing through rock classics with the whole audience, more or less, singing along. The cast were excellent too. We were surprised (again) to see the lead was Noel Sullivan, whom we’d only seen fairly recently in Pricilla, Queen of the Desert. It was a dramatic change of character for him, but one he handled admirably, and proved he can definitely sing.
The rest of the cast were great too, including the scantily clad backing singers and dancers. In particular, Stephen Rahman-Hughes, who played Lonny and the NarratOR, shone. He was hilarious and had everyone laughing and genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself. Daniel Fletcher as Donnie Dupree was very good too, and came down to the audience throwing bits of silver foil about – and had a little battle with it with ym daughter.
Of course, when the finale of Journey’s Don’t Stop believing started, everyone was on their feet, clapping and singing, testament to the fact we weren’t the only ones having a great time.
I liked the various touches where the narrator would talk directly to the audience, for example with his Dummies book and when he spoke to Drew as Noel (named after Christmas). They added a quirkiness to a show that had already won us over easily.
We arrived home at around 1:30 am after leaving at just after 3 in the afternoon.
Was the journey worth it? You’d better believe it!
Tuesday, 13 May 2014