My Independent Author Journey by Alan Scott Author of the Storm Series

Prelude
I was born and raised in the West Coast of Scotland. The small town I was brought up in was surrounded by mountains, lochs and was situated next to the sea.

Chapter one – The start
Since I was Dyslexic and it being the 80’s I was in the second lowest English class during my entire secondary education. Hence, I was more or less written off when it came to English as a Subject. Luckily this meant we mostly taken to the school Library and told to pick books to read quietly.

I was in heaven.

I got to read all the books I wanted to read, Fantasy, Sci fi, westerns, not the rubbish that those further up the pecking order had to read.

The only exception to this was To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee. I demolished this book in two sittings over the weekend. It opened by eyes to the fact that you can enjoy a book no matter what genre it falls in, as long as the writer cares about their characters.

Chapter Two – The Middle Bit
Left school at 16, joined the RAF aged 20, travelled the world, left RAF when I was 32, joined a local council. Read a lot

Chapter Three -The Writing Begins
When I had just turned 40, I kept on having this dream of a man walking away from a woman as the rain gently fell. He has a sad mocking smile on his face and she is crying. However, she is not crying for herself, she is crying for the man.

One day I picked up a pen and started write a story and for the first time since I was 14 started to write a story.

And that is basically how my first Fantasy novel “Echoes of a Storm” came into existence.

Chapter Four – Proof Readers are Worth their Weight in Gold
I then started a Facebook page for my book and that is how I meet the lady who would become my proof reader. One Ms Lisa W from Texas USA.

I am the first to admit that my early books, weren’t the best when it came to grammar etc (in my defence I did have people look over them) that all changed when Lisa volunteered to proof read my work, and what a wonderful job she does

If you are thinking about writing, trust me when I say this – A good proof reader that is willing to challenge you is worth their weight in gold.

Chapter Five –The Covers
I was originally designing my own covers. They weren’t that good. So, when my brother said he knew a German artist, who might do the covers for me. I jumped at the chance asking for her contact details.

Unknown to us at the time he gave me the wrong website and by mistake I contacted the wrong person.

That was a huge piece of luck as the lady I did contact, Saskia Schnell is a highly sought after talented artist, who has worked on many wonderful projects. She creates my covers because she likes the ideas behind my stories.

Chapter Six – The Future
I have now published 14 books on Amazon and are now looking to turn my ebooks into Audio Books, narrated by the extremely talented voice Actor Cari Scholtens from the USA.

Chapter Seven – Publicity
The hardest thing about self-publishing is getting your name and your books out there. You will never do anything as difficult as trying to publicise your work.

To that end, if you are a reader of any self-publishing authors work, then if you read one of their books please leave a review. Reviews are extremely important to self-publisher as it helps other readers decide whether or not to buy the book.

It’s a simple equation, the more honest reviews, the higher the chance of the book being bought.

Epilogue
I write because I enjoy doing it, and I hope people enjoy reading my stories and tales.
Enjoy your reading

Alan

#poweredbyindie

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Guest Writer Blog 2 – Malkia Ganghi

Quit India – the story behind it
by Malika Gandhi

 

A thought became a revolution; it took over minds and hearts and it divided a country in two. Once brothers, the people of India turned into enemies when their motherland, India, became India and Pakistan.
But when did the hatred, the resentment begin? When did the British Raj become insufferable?

The British entered India in 1608, concentrating on trading on new land. It was only when the Mughal Empire weakened in 1707 and dissolved that the East India Company took over India in 1764 after the Battle of Buxar. The East India Company – a British trading company administered power over India and ruled most states aswell as exercising power and control of Indian Military Forces.

There were many battles and disagreements through Indian history, such as the Battle of Buxar but what began the Indian Independence ‘battle’ was the ‘war’ between the British Raj and the Indians in 1857, known as the First War, the Great Rebellion and the Indian Mutiny amongst other such names. This war was a sepoy’s (an Indian soldier) fight that escalated throughout India.

Although this was seen as the catalyst of the First War, other factors contributed to the slow but sure build up of resentment and hate toward the East India Company.
It came to be believed by the sepoys that the East India Company intended to divide faiths and have them convert to Christianity, by force or deception. Land seizure was another British rule, one that forced the fact that if a ruler did not produce a true heir, their land would then be the property of the East India Company. As a result, many kingdoms such as Oudh, Nagpur and Awadh were taken over.

But what started the Mutiny? What was the cause of such an upheaval? The answer – a disregard of the native’s faith. The beliefs of the Hindu and the Muslim man were ridiculed by the East India Company.

Ignoring the Hindu’s religious devotion and worshipping of the Cow, the ‘mother’ who gives milk, and the Muslim’s revulsion of the Pig, that they see as dirty, lazy and greedy, the East India company ordered their army to manually load ammunition that was greased with the fat of the pig and the cow. Therefore, biting one end of the cartridge before use in a certain rifle was outrageous!

But no one had the nerve to stand up until Mangal Pandey, an infamous sepoy, took lead and braved to voice the injustice of the Company. He brought the cow/pig greased cartridge fact to the forefront to his fellow sepoys. Anger led to retaliation, with Mangal Pandey leading. He fired the first bullet.

Mangal Pandey with a few others was arrested and sentenced to death by hanging but Pandey was hanged ten days before his sentence date.
After the ‘War’, the East India Company was abolished and the responsibility of India was taken over by the Crown. Many steps were taken later to ensure some peace, some which included the end of attainment of land from stately princes.
After a lull in the Indian subcontinent, in 1915 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi arrived from South Africa, known as Bapu (father) and Mahatma (the Great One). Gandhi travelled throughout India to ‘see’. He observed the rich and the poor, he witnessed ill treatment from the British Goré (white people) directed at the natives. Racial discrimination and prejudice were high.

Gandhi realised that India needed to fight back, to win back her rights and to claim her country back from the ‘foreigners’. One day, Gandhi settled on his decision. The European’s injustices and his tolerance to them went just too far. In 1942, he called for the ‘Quit India Movement’. He wanted the British out of India!

Gandhi advertised the Quit India Movement throughout India and voiced clearly that there must be no violence. India’s people embraced the Movement and embarked upon it with passion. Vallabhai Patel – Indian barrister and statesman, Jawaharlal Nehru – Indian politician (who became the first Indian Prime Minister), and Muhammad Ali Jinnah – Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman (founder of Pakistan), united with Gandhi in the Quit India Movement and participated and argued in heated discussions and speeches.

They were all arrested for ‘disturbing the peace’. But this didn’t stop India, who fought back. Nothing was going to stop them now. During the course of the Movement, many riots started along with the damaging of government buildings, derailment of railway lines (which the British Raj had introduced into the country), boycotting of schools and colleges and the throwing away/setting fire of British goods.

Marches, riots and freedom speeches were a regular occurrence; violence (against Gandhi’s pleas to stop) turned murderous. Indians were arrested or killed – the lathi, a soldier or policeman’s baton was never far away from the protestors. Many were jailed for a long time or executed.

In 1946, Jinnah proposed a new country – Pakistan. He wanted a Muslim country, to be ruled by a Muslim man, not Hindu. The other leaders were not happy about this and tried reasoning with Jinnah to no avail. Jinnah was adamant. He declared 16th August 1946 as Direct Action Day which saw colossal rioting and manslaughter across Calcutta.

Tension, anger and fear grew amongst the Hindu and Muslim communities and during October and November 1946, horrendous numbers of massacres, abductions, rape and forced faith conversions of Hindus, aswell as loot and arson were seen in Noakhali, actioned by the Muslim community.

Gandhi spent four months in Noakhali trying to restore peace and bring the communities together. But his efforts failed. During this time, Partition of India was accepted by the Congress Party.

14th August 1947 – Pakistan was formed.
15th August 1947 – midnight, India was made a Free country; she gained her independence. The British flag was lowered and the Indian flag rose.
It was Independence Day and both countries rejoiced in their new found Freedom.
Today, in England and in many other countries, Independence Day is celebrated each year on the 14th and 15th of August remembering those Martyrs who sacrificed their lives for us and mourning those Indians whose lives were taken away through riots and massacres; a time which changed lives forever and is still fresh in those minds who lived during those horrendous times.

 

Today, I am giving my Ebook Freedom of the Monsoon away for free. Just click on the link below. I hope you enjoy the book, and I hope you will be
encouraged to leave a review. Thank you!

 

Abstract:
Pooja stared back at her reflection. The bruises were deep purple and her mascara had run, leaving black streaks behind. Taking a wet cloth, she wiped away the signs of abuse from the corner of her mouth. She took out a compact from the antique dresser and fought to cover the bruises with her scalded hands, then she brushed through her already knot free hair. It was then that she stopped crying.
Gingerly, Pooja adorned her hair with a butterfly clip, and stood up to examine herself in the full-length mirror. She looked better now; the bruises didn’t show up as much.
“It’s alright, beta, things will get better, I promise,” she whispered, putting her hands on her stomach. “Your Papa didn’t mean to do it. He is a good man.”
Pooja walked from room to room, overlooking the cleaning of the house. The servants were busy today; Amar was expecting guests. She must try and present herself well…
“Meenakshi, how is the dinner coming along?”
“Very well, Memsahib,” Meenakshi, the chef’s wife assured her.
Pooja was satisfied, and moved on. Everything must be perfect today. Amar must have no complaints. Pooja passed the drawing room – something wasn’t right. The cigars!
“Laxman!” she called.
“Yes, Memsahib.” Laxman, who overlooked the housework, appeared.
“Laxman, the cigars. Fill the cigarette holder and quickly. Saab must have it full.”
The big clock struck seven. The guests would be here soon with Amar. Pooja steadied her breathing, and went to her bedroom to get changed. Maybe a little more powder will be good. She opened the wardrobe, which contained over two hundred saris, and searched for something suitable. She settled on a pink and silver one. She hoped Amar would approve. Glancing in the mirror, she noticed there was something wrong with her hair. It was the hair-clip. Amar didn’t like butterflies…he would be so angry. Pooja changed it to a flower design – yes, that’s better.

 

Links to download the free Ebook:

UK: http://amzn.to/2waXrA6

USA: http://amzn.to/2ffQk2o

INDIA: http://amzn.to/2w9UeAE

india cover

Guest Writers Blog – Rebecca Taylor

I am starting a guest writers blog, this is where any writer of any genre can say something about their books, how they write or if they are running a promotion.

The first person is a lady called Rebecca Taylor.

DREAMS CAN COME TRUE

Do you have dreams in your life that you keep hoping will come true? Besides, winning the lottery that is, I think many of us have that dream but it comes down to the luck of the draw. For dreams which are not dependent on luck, you have the power to make them come true.

These past few months, I have been working to make some of my dreams come true. My dream included getting my writing published. I have loved writing since before I could even properly put the words on paper. When I was twelve years old, my first poem was published. Since that time, I have continued to devote myself to my writing and have had the opportunity to have poems and short stories published by many online and print publications. Some of my favourite projects include my children’s short stories, and novels. I have sent these projects to many publishers but for the most-part I got back standard rejection notices, and as per some publishers’ policies, no answers came at all. However, I did not allow myself to become discouraged. I continued to dream. I found a few online platforms that allowed me to write for others and that work and the feedback that I received, helped to fuel my continued dream of publishing my works under my own name. Then, I discovered Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing, which allowed me to take control of my dream. I recently published my novel “The Moderna Way” and it is available for purchase on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as both an e-book and paperback novel. There was no better feeling that holding the paperback in my hands and finally being able to have people read it in book form, in the way that I love to read my favourite authors’ stories. I am now working on getting one of my children’s stories “Finding My Blue Ribbon Pet” ready for distribution. I am hoping that it will be on the market in time for Christmas.

My accomplishments go to prove that if you are willing to work hard, that you can make your dreams come true. Never let someone tell you that you cannot accomplish your dreams, because chances are there is a way out there that will allow you to succeed. It might not happen in the way that you expected, but with some work and an open mind, anything is possible.

Some of my writing (including some free stories) can be found online at:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/believe02
https://paradiseonpaper.wordpress.com/
https://www.amazon.ca/Moderna-Way-Book-ebook/dp/B06XTRSYQD/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=V1NAJ52R9V0R0XHPRJCY

I wish you a month of dreams and happiness.

 

Rebecca

 

Nathanial West and Twever

I always enjoyed writing the scenes between Nathanial West and Twever. Even though they are two of the most dangerous characters in the trilogy, when they are together they act just like naughty school boys.
The extract below from Scions of the Storm, sums the pair up perfectly.
Hope you enjoy
Alan
“Anyway,” said Twever, “you then add in the fresh herbs and serve with rice. It’s lovely.”
“Does sound nice,” agreed Nathanial.
Charlie looked on in disbelief at the two unarmed older men standing in the middle of the trail, calmly chatting away as if fifty armed men walking towards them were a common occurrence.
“It looks like our guests have arrived,” Twever grinned. “Do you want to do the talking?”
“Bollocks to that.”
“Succinct and to the point; I like it. Ok, I’ll do it.”
Charlie stopped ten feet away and held up his hand to indicate to the rest of his pack to do the same.
Nathanial stood silent.
“You will have to excuse Natti-boy, he can be an antisocial bugger, at times. A bit moody at times, also. Let me introduce myself. I am,” Twever struck a suitably dramatic pose, “Twever the Magnificent, the Beast of the Granite Mountains. You may have heard of me?”
“Nope,” replied Charlie.
“Oh,” a slightly deflated Twever said.
Nathanial smiled.
“You think that funny, do you?” Twever asked Nathanial and hit Nathanial on the shoulder.
Nathanial’s smile got wider.
“Hate you.”
“If I could interrupt you idiots,” called out Charlie, “what are you doing?”
“He may be an idiot, but, apparently, I’m insane, so I would be grateful if you could get it right.” Twever sniffed.
“Do you know what we are?” asked Charlie.
Twever looked at Nathanial. “Do we know who they are?”
“Yes.”
“Do you think they know who we are?”
“Doesn’t seem so.”
“Do you know who we are – eh, what is your name?” queried Twever.
“My name is ‘Your Death’ and I do not care who you are, fools,” Charlie replied.
“Well, ‘Your Death’ – that’s a daft name – anyway, Deathie-boy, I strongly suggest you look at us.”
Charlie felt the restlessness running through his pack. “I am looking at you, and all is see is two dead men,” he said, angrily.
“Try looking through a different set of eyes,” suggested Nathanial.
“Excellent suggestion, Natti-boy,” grinned Twever.
***
Ardo slowly moved into position behind the pack and settled down to wait.
***
“This is a serious matter, you cretins. You should take this seriously. I will show you ‘different eyes’,” growled Charlie as he started the change. He fell to his knees and cried out in agony as his body was wracked and torn by the transformation. His pack became more and more agitated by the smell of blood and, at the sight of Charlie’s warping body, one by one, they began the transformation themselves.
Nathanial and Twever watched on with disinterest. “He wants us to be serious,” said Nathanial.
“Then the creature is a fool,” said Twever, flickers of red starting to show in his eyes. “The last thing any creature should wish is for us being serious.”
Nathanial rolled his shoulders and neck. “It’s been a long time, Red Eyes, since we hunted.”
“That is true, Red Claw; however, these pathetic fools will be poor sport. They don’t even know who we really are.” The flickers of red in Twever’s eyes changed to flames of deep hellfire and his face started to twist into its demonic mask.
The pack leader of the Dev’ver slowly stood and roared its arrival into sky, its pack mates answering his call. Lowering its muzzle, he looked at the two weak creatures before it and hesitated, and for the first and last time, felt a flicker of fear within its linked souls.
There before him, their hearts burning bright, were two ancient and Greater Ones. There before him was Red Claw and an unknown but extremely powerful Fire Spirit.
“Do you need any of them alive?” asked Red Eyes as he flexed his fingers before they vanished.
“No,” growled Nathanial.
“Correct answer,” said Red Eyes as his hands reappeared with a wickedly curved sword in each.
Nathanial locked eyes with the creature that had been Charlie and started the change. His eyes never wavered as his body ripped itself apart and started to rebuild into a Dev’ver. Finally, with a shudder and a roar of challenge, Red Claw entered the world of men again.
“Come, Red Claw, let us be serious,” said Red Eyes.
The pack leader looked at the great prizes before it. If it could claim one of those hearts, it would gain great power; it would become great and gain a name. Howling its own challenge, which the pack picked up and amplified, the pack leader charged.
The Dev’ver known as pack leader rushed at Red Claw and took a wild swipe. With effortless ease, Red Claw batted the arm aside, reached out, and ripped the creature’s throat out, throwing the flesh in his claw contemptuously to the ground. Red Claw moved on, the useless creature’s heart not worthy of his attention.
Red Eye’s swords leaped and danced, cutting through flesh, separating heads and arms from bodies, his face a mask of demonic glee in which his eyes burned with a deep hellfire red, as he systematically worked his way through those standing before him.
Ardo heard the roars of challenge and, as the pack surged forward, he leaped into the fray, his mighty jaws and paws ripping through the neck and back of the rear- most Dev’ver.
End of the extract.

First Negative Review for Audio Version of ‘Echoes’.

From America, I’ve had my first negative review for the Audio version of ‘Echoes’. I have to say its a little bit harsh. Although, after looking at his other reviews he does seem to be harsh with everyone.

 
My response to Alpha20’s review is the following.

 
I am sorry that you did not enjoy the Audio version of ‘Echoes of a Storm’, and as a paying customer you have every right to have your say. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to write and post a review. Something I wish other people would do more often; although I would hope for a more positive reaction.

 
However, I feel your review is overly harsh (although it is in keeping with your other reviews) and I of course totally disagree with all your comments especially about the narrator.

 
I fully support my choice of voice actress and I think she had done a wonderful job of bringing the book alive. From the many positive comments and posts I have received, I can say with confidence that the vast majority of my Readers and Listeners agree with me.

 
As for my story being boring, that is your point of view and I respect that.

 
I hope you find something more to your taste

 
Kind regards
Alan.

Reviews are really important Ladies and Gentleman, please (yes I know I sound like a broken record) if you enjoy any of my novels in any format, leave a review. I do read them all.

 
If you want to read Alpha20’s review the link is below
https://www.audible.com/…/B073GC…/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl…

Cheers
Alan

How to get the Fantasy Novel “Echoes of a Storm” in both Kindle and Audio Format in the USA or UK From Amazon For Less Than a Price of a decent Cup of Coffee

I want people to read “Echoes”, and hopefully the rest of the Storm Series, and you really do need to hear the highly talented, American voice actress Cari Scholtens, who voices the Audio edition.
So when I discovered three cheap way for you to buy both or either I thought I would share . Please note this only works in the USA and UK.
The first way – You already have ‘Echoes’ on Kindle
If you have already bought the Kindle edition of ‘Echoes of a Storm’ then because of the Whispersync from Amazon you can buy the Audio version for only £2.99. that’s a huge saving of £16.40 on the audio version. Simply go to ‘Echoes page’ and click on Audio book.
The second way – You own neither.
If you own neither, then simply buy the Kindle edition first (remember you can download the Kindle app onto most devices) in the USA this will cost you $1.29 in the UK it will cost £0.99.
Then once you have down loaded the Kindle version. Simply go back and buy the audio for the reduced price. In the UK this means that you can get both for £3.98.
The third way – you just want the Audio version.
If you have never used Audible before then you can sign up for a 30 day free trail and use one of your two free books choices to pick “Echoes of a Storm”. But don’t forget to cancel before the 30 free days are up.
So, grab a copy of ‘Echoes’ now. sit back with a coffee and a muffin and either read or listen to a fantastic story.
I hope you enjoy
Alan

#audiobook #amazon #whispersync #audible

QA Gave Us 3 Small Technical Errors – Which is a Good Thing.

I recieved an email from ACX Quality Assurance (QA) saying that they have given us 3 small technial errors which we need to correct before procceding

This is a good thing for 2 reasons, and before you start thinking I’m mad let me explain.

1. QA is a good thing. Both Cari and myself want to create the best Audio book possiable, so having a QA proccess is just like having a proof reader or an editor when writing a book.

Also knowing that the finished product will have pasted a QA process can only be good for the customer.

2. We only got 3 small technical error, which lets face it, is not bad at all for the first time.

Anyway, we have fixed the errors, well I say we have fixed the errors, what I mean is Cari has fixed all the errors and re submitted the audio book to ACX QA.

Fingers Crossed

Alan