Month: February 2016

7 Tips to Create Your Perfect Author Newsletter

Author NewsletterI hear parrots squawking the same mantra constantly: “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The best way to drive book sales is through a subscriber list.”

Its that thing where you: create a newsletter, do book updates, bonus content and give your hard work away for free.

If you got books to sell, you need that list.

This made me do one of those gut busting groans. Seriously? I spend enough time writing posts instead of my novel, do I actually have to add something else to my seven hundred and forty-eight page to do list?

Apparently I do, and that means you do too.

I heard that message loud and clear, especially as I’ll be releasing books this year. So I made a subscriber list one of my goals and I’ve been busy rolling up my ‘bonus content’ sleeves. Finally I’ve created one and it’s ready and chock full of just that: bonus content, round ups, writers tools, recommendations, writing inspiration and book updates. If you want to sign up for it, you can here. And actually, once I did create it, I got kind of excited. The customising tools and fancy schmancy things you can do are quite exciting.

Here’s what I learnt in the process: (more…)

3 Reasons To Use Crop Circles to Build Worlds – Weekly Wonder #11

Crop CirclesI’ve always wanted to find a crop circle. I mean, realistically I’d find it, do a flappy hand jig, then pause and have a horrible “oh” moment as I realise I’d have to be in the air to actually appreciate. But still. It’s on my bucket list.

They’re works of art, whether they’re made from the hand of a human or from the oddly artistic feet of an alien space craft, there’s no doubt they still look awesome.

But what is the significance of them? Why do they cause such controversy? and why the shit is it relevant to my writing? (more…)

Writespiration #81 When Something’s Not What It Seems #1000speak

Not What It SeemsI’m a bitch. I know. You’re not supposed to admit things like that. But I just did.
Let me elaborate. I’m not the: ‘I’ll stab you in the back and claw your your eyes out in order to dry hump your boyfriend’ kind of bitch. Partly because I don’t do sloppy seconds, but also because I’d be stealing your wife not your husband!
I’m more of your silent bitch. The one everyone comes to with: “you’re not going to believe what such and such said. She was all like…. And he was like…. and then I’m all like, he never?!”
No. I’m a bitch cause I sit there nice and quiet. Taking it all in, and then I smile inwardly as I pick a story this latest drama is getting inserted into!
But there’s more to this story…

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Grab Your Readers Attention – 5 Tricks To Kicking Down The 4th Wall

Grab Readers Attention - 5 Tricks To Kicking Down the 4th WallWhen I heard about Deadpool’s use of the 4th wall, I raised a skeptical eyebrow, checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t May, and braced myself for some kind of Marvel comic pornstar love fest between Obi Wan and Asimov. I was disappointed, there was no need to call social services. The hybrid love child was not to be.

Instead, I discovered it was one of those literary techniques I knew, but didn’t know I knew.

Have I lost you yet? I have, haven’t I? You’re thinking Sacha’s pulled one too many all nighters, lost her shit and fallen into a caffeine induced hallucinatory coma.

Okay, let me start again… I had one of those, mythical childless evenings the other day. So the wife and I hot footed it to the movies before my mother came to her senses and promptly brought the terror tot back. We watched Deadpool, the latest Marvel comic hero movie and in my usual style, I dissected it in order to bring you some kick ass (did you see what I did there?) lessons. (more…)

Got A Writing Problem? Let Me Know

Writing problemYou there, reading this…

I need your help.

I’ve had an idea. I know. I know. Finish the chuffing books you’re working on first. But you know I can’t help myself. Besides, this is for research purposes only…I won’t write a word until at least one of my other books is finished…honest.

Have you ever, or do you currently have a problem with your writing?

It could be ANYTHING. From pesky crutch words, to not being able to blend between scenes or chapters. Maybe you just can’t get your character arc right. Or perhaps its dialogue that plagues you. Is it the outline? The synopsis? Or just plain old fight scenes that bug you.

Whatever your writing woe/s, I am desperate to find out.

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Writespiration #80 Utopia

Write About UtopiaI have an obsession with the concept of dystopia. Always have. I like the cloud darkness that comes from chaos and disorder. I like it in an almost sick kind of way. It pushes people to their utmost limits, and I want to know what happens when they get there. I’m practically voyeuristic about it.

Do they break, crumble and fail? Or do they rise up from the ashes of society and become a hero? (more…)

10 Must Attend Writing Events for 2016

10 Must Attend Writing EventsFor a while now, I have been searching for writing conferences. All I come up with are events across the pond in America. That is, until I was talking with my friend Christina, and she mentioned that conferences were probably called festivals here.

Well, what do you know, I had a google and a wealth of events opened up.

In every industry I can think of there is one rule to getting ahead of the game.

Networking. How better to network than a festival full of literary people?! (more…)

F*** Fermi – I Never Liked A Paradox Anyway

Fuck FermiI get questioned a lot on whether or not I believe the stuff I write in my weekly wonders. Mostly, I just like writing controversial or thought provoking stuff. But primarily, I research it cause it inspires my own stories.

But, one thing I don’t mind admitting, is that I am 100% certain we are not alone.

You can’t tell me in that infinite void we call the universe, no one else climbed out of the primordial slime. No chance. I mean, does anyone actually believe that any more?!

But then, if there’s life out there… where the hell is it?

And that’s the question Fermi tries to answer with his paradox. (more…)

Writespiration #79 Write About The Edge

Write About The EdgeMy son has been driving me insane this week. He is two. Everybody says ‘oh yeah, terrible twos, proper bad them…’

But, no body tells you how bad they really are. Cause trust me when I say, it is fucking horrendous.

My wife needs a medal for her patience and levels of tolerance. Quite frankly it stuns me. See, my frustration is that we are doing everything by the book and by that I mean: the naughty step, only so many warnings etc. We are consistent, constantly refer to each other to ensure we don’t undermine each others authority, back each other up even when we disagree (he doesn’t know that) and our childminder does the same. She uses the same methods, timings and types of discipline. And yet, still he tantrums until he’s blue in the face and trying to vomit!

I know… I know… he’s two, they all do it and he will grow out of it, but seriously… Right now, it doesn’t feel like it. I’m tired and I’m at the edge of both my sanity and my patience.

This week, the challenge is to write a story about the edge, whether that be of your sanity, your patience, the edge of a cliff, maybe even the edge of a blade, whatever that looks like, write about it in less than 200 words. Post your story in the comments below or on your blogs and I will publish it with next weeks entries.

Here’s mine: (more…)

You Need To Try This Guaranteed Method of Creating Depth In Your Writing

More DepthOne of my favourite quotes is a juxtaposition, pitting perfection against failure.

“I think perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” Yohji Yamamoto

There are a million juxtapositions I could have used as examples, even ones as simple as: light and dark. But the point is over the last few books I have read, I have discovered what an extraordinary tool they are and, one that should be in every writers’ bag of tricks.

Here’s why, and how to use them more effectively.

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