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

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

 

Just as well that I am not superstitious.

Just as well that I am not superstitious.

I’ve just noticed that in the UK on Amazon, my novel  “Echoes of the Storm”:

a. Has 13 reviews
b. is 666 in Dark Fantasy (kindle)
c. is 666 in Low Fantasy (kindle)

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A Kingdom Falls – The music

As most of you know I use music a lot when writing, and whilst writing “A Kingdom Falls” So if you fancy a musical taste of what “A Kingdom Falls” is going to be like you could try listening to

Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion (the video below)

Sirenia – At Sixes and Seven

Sirenia – Sister Nightfall

Within Temptation  – what have you done ( a brilliant video by the way)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-RVJyNpfDk

Alan

#stormseries #darkfantasy #horror #writer #books

Dyslexic Writers

Because I have not posted for such a long while, I’m going to re post something from awhile back – Dyslexic and Proud.

The reason I’m reposting this is for the following four reasons:

a. if you read my blogs and think to yourself, for a writer his spelling and grammar is awful. That is because I am Dyslexic, and if its been a really bad day the results can be unintentionally very funny.

b. To reassure people that all my published work is fully proof read and checked by a lovely lady called Lisa W from Texas in the USA. Like all writers I take great pride in my work and I want readers to enjoy the storylines, plots and characters, and not be distracted by bad spelling or punctuation.

c. Yes you can laugh when you spot an amusing mistake – I do when its pointed out to me.

d. Finally Dyslexic is a reason, it is never ever an excuse.

Anyway on with the re posting.

Dyslexic and Proud

I am Dyslexic – I was diagnosed in 1985 ish

However, being Dyslexic has never really impacted on my writing, yes it’s a minor hurdle that needs to be overcome but it does not stop me thinking of plotlines, creating characters and telling (hopefully) interesting and entertaining stories.

I have successful written and self published a trilogy and a couple of books of short stories and have received many good reviews and a few bad ones : )

However, I have come across a very small group of people who think that being dyslexic, it’s impossible for me to write a story.

This small group of people got me thinking – “How many famous Writers are Dyslexic?” So I went to the British Dyslexic Website and discovered that the following people are Dyslexic:

Damon Albarn – Singer / Song writer

Gary Chapman – Film script writer

Agatha Christie – Writer

Steven J Connell – TV writer and author

Roald Dahl – Author

Albert Einstein – Scientist (I’m sure he must have written something )

Sophy Fisher – Journalist

Esther Freud – Novelist

Noel Gallagher – Singer / Song writer

John Irving – Author

Lynda La Plante – TV writer

John Lennon – Musician (he wrote songs hence I’m keeping him on my list)

Pablo Picasso – Artist (Ok not a writer but I am trying to make a point here – gently)

Matthew Sturgis – Journalist

Lord Willis – Author

William Butler Yeats – Poet

Murray Lachlan Young – Poet

Benjamin Zephaniah – Poet

For a Full list of famous people who are dyslexic, you can go to the British Dyslexic Website, the link is below

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/about-dyslexia/famous-dyslexics.html

So to that small group of people who say that Dyslexics cannot possible write novels – “Read the above list and weep”

Dyslexic’s rule KO 🙂

Alan

In celebration of the ‘unknown’ Arnold Bennett

A fascinating article about a very interesting man

Alan

By Samira Ahmed, BBC Radio 4

Arnold Bennett was once considered a national figure, whose death caused widespread mourning

Arnold Bennett is probably the most successful and famous British celebrity you’ve never heard of, unless you’ve tried the omelette that bears his name.

The dish was invented at London’s Savoy Hotel, where this lover of the high life often stayed.

The JK Rowling of his day, his books sold in huge numbers, he was a figure of huge influence in politics and culture, a friend of the newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook, and declined a knighthood after notable service running the French propaganda department for the British government during World War I.

When Bennett lay dying from typhoid in his flat at Chiltern Court above Baker Street station in 1931, London’s city authorities laid straw on the streets to dull the noise. It was testament to his status as a great national figure.

His books

The Card (1910): A comic fantasy about an ambitious young man (rather like Bennett) who tricks, flirts and works his way up the social ladder to become Mayor of his home town. Made into a film with Alec Guinness in 1952.

 

The Old Wives’ Tale (1908): Bennett’s masterpiece about two sisters was inspired by seeing an old, fat lady in a Paris restaurant, and imagining her past life: “She was repulsive, no one could like or sympathise with her. But I thought: ‘She has been young and slim once’.

 

“Anna of the Five Towns (1902): Meet Anna Tellwright, a modern young woman with wealth but a domineering father seeking freedom and independence in a small town with small town values. Will she marry for love, or for duty?

 

Riceyman Steps (1923): A remarkable London novel about the household of a miser, told from the point of view of the maid, Elsie, married to a shell-shocked soldier back from WWI.

 

The Pretty Lady (1918): Bennett was fascinated by the demi-monde. This sympathetic tale of a French prostitute who comes to London at the start of WWI features a powerful description of being caught in a Zeppelin raid.

Not bad for a pawnbroker’s son with a terrible stammer from the grimy Staffordshire potteries’ town of Hanley who dreamed of escape.

And that story of social mobility is what makes it all the more remarkable that Bennett’s place in literary history is currently so obscure, especially compared to his great friend HG Wells, with whom he shared a fascination for the technological innovations like the cinema and cars that were transforming early 20th-Century life.

Bennett came to London aged 21, originally to be a solicitor’s clerk. But after winning a literary competition he never looked back and never stopped writing; up to half a million words a year.

First he wrote short stories for women’s magazines, then novels and more: He wrote blockbuster film screenplays (Piccadilly 1929) and discussed working with a young Alfred Hitchcock.

He wrote smash hit plays that made him a theatre celebrity. He wrote self-help guides, such as How To Live On 24 Hours A Day (still in print today).

Bennett’s most famous novel The Old Wives’ Tale is about two sisters one of whom elopes to a scandalous life in France and the other who stays at home running the family draper’s shop.

The shop, now empty, that inspired the book still stands in Burslem. It used to belong to Bennett’s maternal family. And by coincidence Peter Coates, the millionaire chairman of Stoke City FC started his family’s Bet365 business in that very shop.

Coates is one of a significant core of Bennett devotees who believe Bennett deserves rediscovery.

The Old Wives’ Tale was made into a 1921 film starring American actress Florence Turner

They include novelists Margaret Drabble and Sathnam Sanghera, who transposed the story of The Old Wives’ Tale to an Asian corner shop in the 1960s and 70s for his recent novel Marriage Material.

Ask a Bennett admirer like Coates or Sanghera how they first came to read him, and almost always they say it’s because someone gave them a book and they were hooked by his great stories and characters.

So why did Britain stop reading Bennett in significant numbers?

Many of his books are short and very readable. One of his funniest novels The Card was made into a much loved film starring Alec Guinness, shot on location in the Potteries.

But that was in 1952. And it was the 70s and 80s when the last major TV serialisations of The Old Wives’ Tale and the Clayhanger trilogy were made.

Some fans say he wrote too much, some of it very mediocre. But that still leaves a dozen great novels and collections of short stories.

Many believe the long-term decline was down to the critical trashing of his reputation by Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury set of modernist writers which continued after his death in 1931.

Arnold Bennett ruffled feathers in his native Potteries when in his novels he reduced the official number of towns included in the title from six to five and painted a gloomy picture of life there

Margaret Drabble, who wrote Bennett’s biography, believes upper middle class snobbery at a lower class provincial writer was part of it.

But there is also the author’s strained relationship with his roots. Bennett’s most acclaimed novels were nearly all set in the Potteries that he’d been so desperate to leave.

He hardly ever went back. He turned the real six towns into a fictional five, which still rankles.

And in Clayhanger, Anna of the Five Towns and other books, the Potteries were portrayed as places of oppressive religious conformity, bullying Victorian patriarchs and philistine attitudes to art and literature.

This cryptic entry in Bennett’s journal written on 20 October 1927 – nearly 40 years after he left – says it all: “I took the 1205 back to London, which went through the Potteries. The sight of this district gave me a shudder.”

These days Stoke-on-Trent is proud of Bennett, but getting his books back onto school reading lists is a challenge.

You can still get an omelette Arnold Bennett at the Savoy Hotel or make one yourself, which is a lot cheaper. But why not try one of its namesake’s classic novels instead?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27920331

 

The Dreamer / The Writer

I dream during the day and at night.

I dream about men that turn into ferocious beasts and the deadly tap of a cane – of a woman standing in the rain, crying as she watches a man walk away. Why is she crying? What has he done? What has she done?

I dream about the year 3256 and a complex killer with his robotic hamster living on a starship deep in space. I can see the women, the thongs, and the deaths that fills his life.

I dream of a man at work, sitting at his desk, watching the rain flow down a windowpane whilst he is in deep thought. What is he thinking and why?

I dream of a nightclub filled with interesting people and ideas – where nothing is quite what it seems.

I dream of the Midnight Man and his Brethren of the Night.

I am a dreamer and I dream a lot, for I am a writer, and when I dream is when I go to work.

Sometimes you just have to write!

I don’t know if any other author out there has mad moments! But I had one yesterday.

 I was talking to Lisa W a couple of weeks ago about writing a second trilogy to follow on from the Storm Series, various suggestions were made and ideas brought up and that was that.

 Or so I thought.

Yesterday (at work) I started typing and the words just flowed (luckily it was a quiet day) and 1’000 words just appeared. However, as is my way of writing, I’ve written the end of the trilogy first .

So I now have the last 1’000 odd words of a trilogy written, I suppose I had better start thinking about plotlines and for the first book now lol

Has anyone else ever had that happen to them?

Alan