The Grimbold Books Kickstarter – What It Means and Why it Matters

A FANTASTIC post by Joanne Hall, check this out guys and PLEASE support Grimbold Books Kickstarter, every £1 helps! 😀 xxxx

Joanne Hall

356fohThe deployment of Professor Farnsworth is to celebrate the fact that the Grimbold Kickstarter is over 50% funded with 32 days to go – thank you to everyone who has generously made pledges so far, you’re all awesome. If you haven’t been able to support us yet, well that’s fine too, but if you can find it in your heart to spare a quid or two that would be lovely. Every pound brings us closer to the total and it really does make a difference.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/505305158/grimbold-books-from-dream-to-team

Why it matters.

Aside from the fact that if you pledge you get fabulous rewards, you mean? And you do – pledging as little as a fiver will get you TWO free ebooks from the Grimbold back catalogue, many of which have been reviewed on this here blog, so I can testify to their goodness. The goodies only get better as you scroll down…

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This week’s Summer Reads guest is…me! …er, not actually, it’s the lovely Kay Kauffmann!

Week 8 of the Summer Reads Blog Tour, and it’s the lovely Kay Kauffman, fantasy writer and creator of the wonderful Lokana Chronicles. Check it out folks!!!! 😀

Suddenly they all died. The end.

This week, it’s my turn! I hope you’ve enjoyed everyone’s recommendations so far – this has been a whole lot of fun, and I’m tickled to share my summer book picks with you. Read on to find out what they are, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post! There’s lots of awesome prizes, including a copy of my poetry collection, Tuesday Daydreams!

Summer Reads Blog Tour – Week Eight

Kay Kauffman

Tick tock, tick tock, it’s week eight in our Summer Reads Blog Tour and I’ve come to welcome Kay Kauffman to our madness!  Kay is another lovely online friend from Authonomy who I’ve been chatting with now for a number of years.  She’s fun, has a gentle spirit that I simply adore, and will be the first to gather her popcorn bucket when Sam and I start our online battles!  Let’s hear it…

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A Summer of Reading – Summer Reading Blog Tour Week One

Here is a marvellous new Reading Blog Tour for the Summer. So for all of you jet-setting to sunnier climbs or just hoping for some chill time in the garden with a good book, this is for YOU! Over the next few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to be able to participate in this wonderful Summer Blog Tour (brainchild of the ultra-talented Lisa Weidmeier) – highlighting the very best new books and authors for you to enjoy! Have a happy Summer! 😀 xxx

Andrea Baker Author

As you’ll know from my earlier post, my wonderful friend and fellow author Lisa has put together a 13 week experience where you get to meet new people, and discover some of their favourite summer reads.

Lisa is one of my favourite up and coming authors, her “Timeless Series” is a fantastic read, and there are already four of them available. Be warned though, you may become a fellow sufferer of CATTS (chronic addiction to Timeless Series) 😉

Find out more about Lisa here

I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself!! Sam, Carrie and I wanted to provide for you, my avid readers, a way to not only meet new authors, but also books you might not have seen or heard about. A way to expand your reading list for the summer.

Over the next 13 weeks, I've asked various authors I know to come share not only…

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Make Hay while the sun…er…shines?

After visiting the beautiful town of Hay-On-Wye on the Herefordshire/Welsh border for many years, I am eventually visiting this little book idyll during the festival itself!

My idea of heaven…nothing but wall to wall books and people who love them!

The Hay Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, an ideal time for my first visit.

Of course, I’d LOVE to have stayed for the entire duration, to immerse myself in the culture of it, the thrill of like-minded ‘lovers of the written word’…but unfortunately reality bites, i.e. a full-time job with heavy workloads and a serious lack of accommodation. Those going know all too well, that if you haven’t booked your accommodation by the end of January, you’re sleeping in your car!

But, none of that matters…I’m going and I’m thrilled! Along with a fellow writer friend of mine, we’ll be soaking up the atmosphere, trawling through every bookshop and generally drifting round in a halcyon state of bliss, come rain or shine.

Then…drum roll please…we’ve got tickets to see Terry Pratchett! SO excited to see the great man. Whether you are a fan of the fantasy genre, comedic novels or of Terry Pratchett himself, none can deny the sheer creative genius and inventiveness of the guy! Should be an excellent talk and a wonderful day! Can’t wait… 😀

Here’s a little ditty about the great festival:

Hay Festival founder Peter Florence remembers 25 years of what Bill Clinton called “the Woodstock of the mind”

In a digital world, it seems more important than ever to be together: there’s nothing quite like the intimate contact of face-to-face conversation. In a way, Hay (and the festival, in particular) is like a physical manifestation of the internet. There are untold miles of second-hand books that hold browsable stories; thousands of old – and potentially new – friends in a real social network, all sharing their love of books and music; and people from all over the world discussing ideas. The big plusses are great food, spectacular landscape and the pleasures of mind and flesh.

There have been incredible moments: Van Morrison’s legendary five-hour gig in 2001; Ted Hughes reading against a storm in a tent that almost left the ground; Maya Angelou summoning a rainbow over the Wye through sheer force of poetry; the crowd roaring their love for Desmond Tutu and Wangari Maathai; and the opportunity to talk over many years and on four continents to my activist hero Bob Geldof. But the abiding memory is the pleasure of seeing friends year on year, the coming together bit of festivals that is so magical.

Thank you again to Beattie’s Book Blog for this.

Hay…here I come! 😀

‘Aspiring Author’, really?

writing

I was having a discussion with some writer friends recently and this topic came into the conversation. It is also popped up on my publisher’s website, and they are of the same opinion as me. That although it is certainly a very common turn of phrase on writing forums and social media sites, it is also a complete cop-out!

Why ‘Aspiring’? Yes, to be an author may well be a long-held dream, certainly in my case, it has been a lifetime’s ambition, harboured and nurtured since I was a child. So I understand the longing, the desire to achieve ‘Author’ status, what I don’t understand or agree with, is the sentiment behind the word ‘aspiring’. It is such a terribly weak statement.

You are not an ‘aspiring doctor’, or teacher, or lawyer, or dentist…you either ARE a doctor, teacher, lawyer, dentist, or you are NOT. There is no halfway house. Yes, you may be ‘in training’ to join one of those professions, but you should still consider yourself to BE one of them, even if you can’t practise on your patients! Have confidence in your abilities and in where you want to go. You wouldn’t consider yourself an ‘aspiring human’, would you? Ummm…well in some cases that may actually be true! 😀

Have the strength of your convictions and the confidence to see them through.

Putting yourself in the category of ‘Aspiring Author’, merely tells the world that you don’t have confidence in your own writing and that you don’t consider yourself to be a professional. Why should any publishing house take you on and take you seriously, if you don’t take yourself seriously. Publishing houses are not looking for amateurs. Debut novelists, new writers…YES! But ‘Aspiring Authors’? Really?

Your approach and your thinking must always be professional, from the outset. No weak ‘aspiring’ here.

Some consider the sacred term ‘author’ to be based on sales. That you cannot call yourself an author until you are published and those royalty cheques start coming through your letterbox. Again…is this right? If you are basing your status as an author purely on sales…then you are in the wrong profession! Yes, being an author is a professional endeavour, but it is also a highly creative one. Creativity should and MUST always come before hard cash.

Although it is easy to get carried away with stories of instant success and truck loads of money, Christopher Paolini is a good example. If you are writing to get rich…you are DEFINITELY in the wrong profession! These stories hit the headlines precisely because they are so rare. Most writers struggle with sales and building their fan base for years and years, there’s nothing instant about it. It’s hard graft all the way. A good mate of mine, Will, once said that writing the book was the easiest part about it and he’s absolutely right. As hard or as easy as you may find the process of writing and editing your work, that really is the easiest part of being an author.

Think of the great writers of the 19th and 20th century, few of them had instant success with their very first book. They too had to build their readership, hone their craft and get on the carousel of marketing and promotion. Why a carousel? Because it NEVER stops! If they had dismissed themselves as merely ‘aspiring authors’, when their first book languished on the bookshelves due to poor sales, then they probably would never have written a second or third book and thus deprived us readers of some literary masterworks!

Sales has nothing to do with writing or wanting to be a writer. Yes, you’ve got to be professional and yes, good sales are what you want to strive for and achieve, but it should NEVER be a motivational tool or a yardstick by which you class yourself as an author or not.

Be what you want to be. Have confidence in your abilities, your imagination and your writing. There is nothing ‘aspiring’ about it…inspiring, hell yes! Wouldn’t you rather be an inspiring author than an aspiring one?

Whatever your professional day job…You ARE a writer…or you are not. That simple.

For me?

I am and have always been a writer, an author and proud to be one. 😀

Escapism at its best!

Yesterday I was very flattered and rather humbled to be included in Tricia Drammeh’s – ‘Authors To Watch’, focusing on the work of ten new fantasy writers and their reasons for writing fantasy!

Tricia Drammeh’s question was this: “Why do you write fantasy?”

The answers were wonderfully varied and gave a fascinating insight into the writing processes and motivations of each author.

Some wrote from a compulsion and obsession to write, others from a need for escapism in a hard or dreary world. Some wrote fantasy as a cathartic release, a way of working through demons and again escaping a less than easy life, others simply because of their profound love of the genre, the way it can encapsulate the imagination like no other writing form.

My reason for writing fantasy? Probably all of the above! 😀

Huge thanks to Tricia Drammeh! Check out her wonderful website and the ‘Authors To Watch’ section here:

http://www.authorstowatch.triciadrammeh.com/2012/03/great-escape.html

Tricia Drammeh’s website: http://www.triciadrammeh.com

😀