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 #48 – Why I love (and write in) the young adult genre ‒ Jack Croxall

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Guest Posts

I remember the moment I first wanted to become a writer. I was sitting in my early-teenage bedroom reading The Amber Spyglass in between stints of homework, GameCube and playing electric guitar badly, when *spoiler alert* star-crossed adolescents Lyra and Will were forced into parallel universes never to see each other again. Before starting the His Dark Materials trilogy I had bypassed the young adult (YA) genre completely, instead choosing to graduate straight from children’s books to novels aimed at adults. With the benefit of hindsight, I suppose I’d done this in some misguided attempt to appear cool to the opposite sex but, thankfully, Philip Pullman’s books were knocking about the house for some reason and one day they just happened to catch my eye. I was not ready for the heartbreaking ending of The Amber Spyglass. It got to me in a way that nothing I had ever read/watched had done so before. I’d identified with the characters early on and, although I didn’t fully appreciate all of the complex themes the books explored at the time, the plot had drawn me in hook, line and sinker. Once I’d read the book’s final sentence, I immediately turned over to the cover and thought, Mr Pullman, I want to be able to make people feel how you’ve made me feel. And in truth, that was depressed into to a mild stupor for days – but in a good way. From that moment on I started feasting on nothing but YA, only picking up the occasional ‘adult novel’ once I was into my twenties. I do enjoy reading books aimed at mature audiences but I rarely connect with them like I do with novels following adolescents. After much reflection, I think this must be because some of the trials and tribulations teenagers go through are universal and that means I can still relate to them despite being slightly less Y and a little more A these days. So, when I finally sat down to write my first novel, Tethers, (sadly my education got in the way of me becoming a writer the instant I finished His Dark Materials) there really wasn’t any question over what kind of book it would be. I wanted to write in the genre I loved and, indeed, my protagonist was a teenager named Karl almost from the moment my fingers touched the keyboard. Tethers follows Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson as they become embroiled in a sinister conspiracy. The book is available through Amazon (http://amzn.to/WRf4vI) and you can find out more by visiting: www.jackcroxall.co.uk The paperback version of Tethers is now available for purchase. This release is particularly special for me because  half of all royalties incurred will go directly to ME Research UK,  a wonderful charity that works to fund biomedical research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also known as ME and CFS). I wrote Tethers whilst suffering...

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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 #8 Divergent Lives – Twins, real sociopaths at the edge

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in Guest Posts

A native of New York City’s “El Barrio,” Minnie Lahongrais is a mother and grandmother who works as a litigation secretary for an international law firm by day. She has always been an avid reader. As a child, she would sneak books to read under her covers at bedtime by the light of a penlight her father secretly gave her. Her current novel, a psychological thriller entitled “Divergent Lives” was released December 12, 2012. It is the story of fraternal twins born in NYC to immigrant parents. They are separated at birth. One remains with the biological parents, the other is sold on the black market to a couple living in another state. Both grow up to be sociopaths. One is a serial killer. Minnie currently resides in the borough of The Bronx in New York City. Divergent Lives is available on Amazon here. Take it away Minnie. *** The 40-Something Reader As a voracious reader with a vivid imagination, I read stories that feed my darkest fantasies. My wheels spin. My heartbeat quickens. Depending on where my head is, I can often be found reading more than one book at a time. My tastes run from biographies or bodice-ripping romance and erotica to fantasy, science fiction and everything in between. Many of the works I read in my youth and through my late thirties were not only intriguing, but showed me what I could strive for in life. Then they began to feel formulaic to me: Young, perky girl, not smart enough to stay out of trouble, fights while wearing spiked high heels (and wins!) but is vulnerable enough to get the hot guy in the end. These stories weren’t geared toward the woman I had become. I rarely discovered heroines or even villains over thirty unless it was some wizened character with no sex appeal, no power. I wanted to see ass-kicking by people MY age. I wanted dark and light to be wrought in the hands of amazing people who have experienced life’s agony, joys, mistakes and passion – and lived long enough to appreciate them all. Many genres could stand an injection of maturity. Along with unexpected twists, they tackle real life issues and attract older, more experienced readers – like me, maybe like you too. That’s why the main characters in my recent release, Divergent Lives, are all near their forties. These characters are believable, relatable, not polished. They are smart, sexual creatures. Like the rest of us, they are flawed. Divergent Lives is a psychological thriller, a story about fraternal, sociopathic twins separated at birth. Though they never learn of each other, their paths cross nonetheless. You never really know where the story is going or how it’s going to end. These characters carry baggage that affects their logic – or lack thereof. Sometimes they get so caught up in the moment that they don’t take time to think things through and end up making “fatal” mistakes. Maybe you can relate? I know I can....

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