Sunday, 29 July 2012

'Bloodgifted' on Youtube

I have officially entered the 21st century!
By that, I mean I've succumbed, once again, to the lure of the topical and the technological.
If someone had told me - while I was still gainfully employed as a teacher and making a 'legitimate' living - that one day I'd give up my job, move out of the city and write an urban fantasy (with fangs!) and self-publish it, I would say they were nuts! If they were to go on to say that I'd end up promoting it by creating my own book trailer and posting it on Youtube, well, my response would have been even less polite!
But, there it is! What's the old adage, life is stranger than fiction? And mine has certainly proved that way.
Yet, I can't say I'm not enjoying every minute of it.
Writing Bloodgifted has been fun. And making the trailer? It was a challenge, but it's taught me new and invaluable skills, not to mention the exercise my little grey cells received. If anything, it'll stave off dementia for a long time yet, if not send it entirely to a "galaxy far, far away."
So, now that my trailer is out there, I've only to complete a few corrections to my final manuscript and send it off to CreateSpace.
In three weeks, I should have a paperback copy in my trembling little hands to thoroughly peruse before giving it the all okay. It'll then be magically transformed (not by me) into an Ebook as well as a Print-on-Demand - for those of us who like a hardcopy.

So, go onto Youtube and check out my book trailer. And please, don't be shy, leave a comment. Tell me what you think. Does it wet your appetite?

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Beware of Using Google Images - They're Not Free!

Those of you familiar with this blog, will see that I have removed most of my previous images, except those which were my own. That's because I made the assumption that google images were copyright free. They are not!
Recently I read a horror story; that of a fellow writer sued for using images downloaded from Google. Like me, she believed they were free and therefore not breaking any copyright laws. WRONG!

As a writer, I understand the issue of copyright. I can't imagine how I'd feel if someone used my work without my permission. It goes the same with images - they belong to the person who made them and you need their permission. It doesn't matter whether it's a non-for-profit blog, twitter, Facebook, tumblr or pinterest. It's copyrighted.

Now this came as a shock to me. I honestly thought - like many others - that they were free, otherwise I would never have used them.

So, loaded with this new knowledge, I've decided to make greater use of the camera on my phone and create my own images. It may not be as professional, but at least I won't be keeping someone else's lawyer happy at my expense!
But, if you don't have the time for that, I suggest you try this site -

Good luck!

Since posting this blog, I've managed to replace almost all my pictures from the reusable images on Google's Advanced Search site. The choice is excellent and many are better than the ones I'd used previously.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Erotica or Not to Erotica...?

So far, the most-viewed post on here has been the facetious little article I wrote on Fifty Shades of Grey; a book I had no intention of taking seriously, especially as there was no recognisable plot and the most interesting part were the emails exchanged between the two main characters! Yet, it generated such interest and the reason, of course, is the amount of erotica the book itself contains, particularly the BDSM kind.
Personally, if my partner came anywhere near me with a smile and a whip, he'd soon learn the meaning of pain! And I don't mean in a kinky way.
That said, Fifty Shades, is not so much a love story as a sex fest; a manual describing how to seduce a virgin to the dark side. And it explores that in intimate detail.
And that's the issue here. How much is too much? Has the gauntlet been thrown down to writers  - of any genre - to include such explicit scenes in our books?
As they say, sex sells. And there's no doubt E.L.James, the author of Fifty Shades, is laughing all the way to the bank. She's already sold the movie rights. Actors are lining up to play the two leads. But really, who needs acting skills when all they do is sex! Although, I do have to admit, there are times when a woman has to give an academy award performance in the bedroom to assure her partner that, yes, that was the best orgasm she's ever experienced! But, I digress.
As a writer, of course, I'd like my books to sell, yet do I go down that path to erotica? I enjoy a good love scene as the next reader, but is it necessary to describe every breathless release, each pleasurable touch and exploding...? the rest is your imagination!
For those of us with families, this is a dilemma.
I have eight beautiful nieces -  ranging in age from eleven to twenty-five - who intend obtaining a copy of my fantasy book when it's released in August. After all, I'm one of their favourite aunts!
Do I seriously want them exposed to erotica, particularly the younger ones??
This is my consideration.
So, do I follow the masses and sell out to the devil? Or keep erotica in the bedroom where it belongs, between the cotton sheets, rather then the sheets of a book?
That is the question.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sharing a Link

I've entered a new world - promoting the work of fellow writers. Over the next few days I'll be posting links by other authors, so all those who read my blog will have a chance to check out their work

Here's the first one by Morgan Marshall.

Okay, here's the next one.
Check it out and enjoy!

Here's the 3rd link. It's for writers and for those who simply love to write and share their thoughts.
Happy reading!

And on Day 4 we have the brilliant originator of the blog-in, Kate Policani.
Great website!

On day 5 we have:
Can't wait to read this one, as I'm an archaeologist myself!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Laughter is good for you!

       Someone asked me why I write humorous blogs.
       My answer to that is, why not?  There are enough informative, critical and self-promotional blogs out there to keep the population of this planet occupied for centuries to come. But, if I can bring a smile to somebody's face, and just for a few minutes help them forget the day's cares, then I feel my little posts are worth the price of my electricity bill!
       I figure it this way. Having a good laugh is not just healthy for the soul, but the body and nation as a whole. Latest medical research has shown that laughter - be it giggling, chuckling or a simple smile - boosts the immune system. Now, those who enjoy good health are more productive at work, take less sick days and earn more money. And since they have no need of medication, there's more money left in their pockets to spend. This is a good thing because it means the happy, healthy person will spend that extra cash - and we all know the therapeutic value of shopping! - thereby helping to alleviate the current economic gloom.
       So, bottom line? My humble little blog is good for the economy as well as the nation's collective health!
And since I'm a good citizen, I believe it is my civic duty to keep posting humorous observations of life's little irks and quirks, and hopefully, keep my readers from the doctor's door.