Emerging Writers Guest Post #53 – About Debbie Martin – writing about challenging subjects

Posted by on Jul 21, 2013 in Guest Posts

About the Author, Debbie Martin: I live in the UK, on the south coast in an idyllic thatch cottage. I’m widowed and have two teenage daughters, but don’t let the ‘roses round the door’ image fool you. Since being widowed I’ve done many things, including paragliding off a mountain and internet dating – not that dissimilar actually! Internet dating encouraged me to write my first book and that gave me the writing bug big-time. I’ve since written two more books, including my first novel, ‘Chained Melody’, and have two manuscripts in draft. All, apart from the first book, are self-published. Its’ tough getting out there, but I won’t be beaten … About Chained Melody ‘Despite the sexual revolution, men remain men; but courage is not necessarily about conventional bravery, nor love about conventional stereotypes… Chained Melody is a tale of two men’s journey from boyhood to maturity. They are best friends as children but are completely different in personality. Their lives go in extraordinarily different directions as one embraces his masculinity and the other realises his feminine side by changing his gender. Their worlds collide at a time of great personal discovery, and their feelings towards one another change dramatically too. Eventually their relationship evolves into something special and incredible against the backdrop of prejudice and their own confusing emotions but not before they’ve each had to challenge their beliefs and find their own version of inner courage. Why did I write Chained Melody, as I’m not gay, transvestite or transsexual? Because after discussing with my older daughter how Twelfth Night was one of the earliest plots to include gender confusion as an issue, I realised that it was a very serious and distressing issue, yet one that barely gets any really empathetic airtime. Much of the LGBT type fiction is blatantly erotica and I wanted to write an account that led non-transgender people to understand it as a serious issue, not a tacky joke. On Amazon.com On Amazon.co.uk See the book trailer here. My website. My Blog Twitter @Storytellerdeb Debbie had other books on dating and relationships, all available through her sites or on Amazon. +++++++ Welcome to the guest post slot Debbie. Becoming a writer as we get older is a wonderful thing. We bring our compassion and, I hope, wisdom, to subjects of all types. I wish you well with your writing and everything. This guest post is part of a series where I will be showcasing emerging and established authors on this blog. You can help by visiting their sites, buying their books, sharing this post on Twitter and Facebook and coming back for the next post. You can also follow this site (click the button above right), to be notified by email on who is next in a few days time. And if you are a writer and want to be featured send me an email lob@yourasms.com and I will send you the submission guidelines. And please support this site and the promotion of writers by buying:  The Istanbul Puzzle & The Jerusalem...

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Emerging Writers Guest Post #46 – A Must Read – Hilary Retig & The 7 Secrets of the Prolific

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in Guest Posts

I help people increase their productivity in writing and other areas, and have taught productivity and time-management classes at top writing, business, educational, arts, and community organizations.   My articles have appeared in Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Future Buzz, Time Management Ninja, Tomorrow’s Professor, Authors Helping Authors, and numerous other publications.     From 2001 – 2012 I worked as a business coach and microlender at two nonprofit agencies in Boston, roles in which I helped hundreds of people from all backgrounds start and grow businesses in fields including art, technology, personal services, professional services, manufacturing, distribution, and retail. It was in the course of this work that I became acutely aware of the forces that hold so many talented, energetic, ambitious, and visionary people back, and it was this awareness that catalyzed my current mission. I’m also a vegan, free software advocate, and lover of life and dogs. I’m also a former foster mom of four teenage Sudanese refugees (a.k.a., “Lost Boys”), now all adult and living independently. And I’m a living kidney donor. If you’re a prospective vegan, free software advocate, foster parent, or kidney donor, email me and I will support you however I can. I also have an abiding interest in social justice–my first book was The Lifelong Activist, a self-help guide for progressive and radical activists–and it was from my activism that I gained insights on personal power that inform my current work. When I was a kid, I mainly wanted to do two things: write and help. And I find that, as an adult, the more time I devote to these activities the happier I am. I’m a classic “late bloomer” who didn’t start coming into my own, professionally or personally, until I was well into my forties, and so I understand first-hand the despair that comes from feeling like you’re not living up to your potential. But I now know what I didn’t know then: that blocks are often easily overcome once you stop blaming yourself for being “lazy” or “undisciplined” and start looking for the real roots of the problem. And so, my main message to others is often, “relax, it’s gonna be fine.” Perfectionists tend to see their projects as long strings of words – and there’s a natural tendency, when you have that viewpoint, to want to start at the beginning of a piece and write straight through till, “The End.” It’s much more productive to view your work as a landscape that you’re viewing from above, and whose topographic features include: hard parts, easy parts, exposition parts, dialog parts, visual description parts, parts involving Character A, parts involving Theme B, etc. Viewed like this, your project resembles an illustrated map, or maybe one of those miniature landscapes you see in museums, and it’s now accessible to you in its totality. And now you can use a visualization tool I call the “writercopter,” a mental helicopter that can transport you to...

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Emerging Writers: Guest Post #19 – Why poetry, if you can’t stand reading it?

Posted by on Mar 17, 2013 in Guest Posts

Adam Moursy was born in New York City in 1986. He’s lived in and around the city ever since, with much of his adult life influenced by street culture, heavy drinking, and overall debauchery. To no surprise, he writes what he knows — hard-hitting anecdotes from both the past and present, without many frills. He was first published at the age of twenty-four, and has appeared in several lit mags and poetry journals in the US and UK. A witty and insightful look at the daily (and moreover nightly) carousals of its author, Slinking Under The Electric Bulb is the first collection of prose poetry by Adam Moursy. From chance encounters with loose women, to struggles with both money and the tameless characters of New York City’s underbelly, the writing remains fast-paced and blunt, in a sort of hit-and-run fashion. Why Poetry?  I’ve asked myself that question more times than I can remember. I can’t stand reading it, can’t stand the stigma that comes along with it ‒ so why write it? Is it for the quick fix? A means of dealing with a terribly short attention span? Or for the simple appreciation of having a good bathroom book on hand? The answer is D: All of the Above. But it’s so much more. Poetry needs a new voice. Whitman had it. Neruda carried the torch. Bukowski killed it. Now what? Another change, of course. Poems for the modern day man ‒ void of rhyme and decorum, of senseless fluff. In an age where sex drives us all, where rebellion is openly tolerated (and even encouraged), it’s amazing that the poets of today, both young and old alike, still stick to the formulas of their more than century-old predecessors. We know that the trees are there, that love is a blade, and that the sun rises and sets for each and every one of us, but what about what really goes on? What about that hemorrhoid you’re sitting on, that blowjob you got last week, or hell, even that god-awful guy or girl you met through OkCupid? Here we are, living by the social network, by GPS and text messaging, by designer drugs and complex drinks and convenient everything. We don’t even have pubic hair. So, when will poetry finally catch up? That’s where I come in. I’ve planted a seed, and it’s called Slinking Under The Electric Bulb. Take the title head-on: I drank and fucked and did so by today’s standards, like a rogue cat creeping down some dingy street of terror, and made sure to write about it while not holding anything back. Yes, it’s plenty vulgar. And, no, you probably won’t regard me as anything more than your dirty little secret. But you will relate, whoever you are, as there’s something in there for everyone ‒ from being held-up at gunpoint, to pop culture and literary...

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Movie news & a new month long chance to win signed copies of The Jerusalem Puzzle & The Istanbul Puzzle

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Competitions

Last month’s winner of a paperback copy of The Jerusalem Puzzle was Jamison Duncan. Please email me Jamison (lob@yourasms.com) with your address! This month I am offering a free copy of The Jerusalem Puzzle & a unique advance reader copy of The Istanbul Puzzle, both signed, posted anywhere in the world. An exciting offer has come in from a Hollywood producer to make a movie of The Istanbul Puzzle, shooting to start within eighteen months, so I expect these signed copies will eventually become more valuable. But for now we keep our feet on the ground. The competition will run for a month, until the 15th April 2013. You have a chance of winning a free copy of both my published novels if you share this post, on Twitter and Facebook please, with your followers. You must comment below when you have done that to enter. I truly appreciate and am humbled by all your support. If I can involve you in the movie making process I will, as I will be a script consultant. Get in touch if you have ideas, what scenes must stay in, who should play Sean and any other thoughts. I am working on finishing The Manhattan Puzzle this week. It is due out October 10th. I hope it will entertain and interest you. The truth about the puzzle will be revealed in The Manhattan Puzzle. If you are a writer and want to be on my list for guest posts please email me: lob@yourasms.com and I will send you guidelines. I want us all to work together to promote our writing. If you want to buy The Istanbul Puzzle click here. And if you want to buy the The Jerusalem Puzzle click here.  Each month, from now until October, one person will be chosen using a random number generator from the list of comments below. So keep coming back  if you don’t win! And you can enter multiple times by sharing on Twitter and Facebook on multiple days and commenting on each day below, so you have multiple comments. I will take a look at any multiple comment winner shares to make sure this is fair for everyone. Thank you all for sharing this post and for buying my novels and for all your support.  I hope you win! And I hope you’ll enjoy the...

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Emerging Writers: Guest Post #1 On Finding the Right Voice

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Guest Posts

Sliding on the Snow Stone author, Andy Szpuk, tells us about finding the right voice: It was back in 2007 when I conceived the idea of writing Sliding on the Snow Stone. I’d already written a box full of short stories and was developing my writing craft, taking small steps daily, and occasionally, bigger leaps. However, when my father recounted the experiences of his childhood in Ukraine and subsequent journey through the horrors of famine, Soviet Terrors and Nazi brutality during World War 2, I knew I had no choice. It was a story that needed to be told. Ideas began to form in my head about how to approach it. First, I considered producing it in standard biographical format. Biographies are generally written in the second person, but with much of my father’s material consisting of so many powerful personal experiences, I felt second person would create too much of a distance for the reader. Often, biographies can become academic in their tone. Instinctively, this didn’t feel right for my father’s story. I felt I needed a way to project the emotional drama, to capture how it must have felt. I spent many hours talking to him, and making copious notes, collecting details and building a picture. It was sometime during this process when I realised it was HIS story, so I needed to write it from his point of view. I decided it would need to be written in the first person. It presented many challenges over many months. Managing a story in the first person presents obstacles: the viewpoint is limited, and the voice needs to be consistent and authentic, and also there needs to be variation in the first person delivery, i.e. starting too many sentences with ‘I’ can become over-repetitive for the reader. Finally, after much editing, Sliding on the Snow Stone was published in 2011 by That Right Publishing. It was quite a journey to undertake, but I feel I’ve added a small piece of jigsaw to the history of the world, and I’ve given voice to a story that might never have been heard. For details on my other written work, including a diary of a 10-day stay in Ukraine in 2012 when I visited my father’s old home, visit my blog: Lines from the Word Lab +++++ Thanks Andy for being our first guest post writer. Your story is very interesting. War casts a long shadow. Please visit Andy’s site and if you like what you’ve heard Sliding on the Stone it’s available to buy there. This guest post is the first in a regular series in 2013 where I will be showcasing emerging writers on this blog. You can help by clicking through to their sites, buying their books, sharing this site on Twitter or Facebook and coming back, or by Following this site (click the button above right), to see who is next in a few days. And  if you are a writer and want to be featured...

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