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.