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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
piper and Holmes
It’s been a while, but I’ve dusted off the 30 Second Interview for a second outing. And who better to kick start it than belly dancing, fiction writer, Piper Bayard.But first, what do we know about this post-apocalyptic author, who happens to be my critique partner, and a very good friend? Well, she’s a recovering attorney, who has one or two university degrees under her belt, and kinda rules Twitter. (Seriously, I guarantee you a reply – even a conversation – if you tweet her).Piper grew up in New Mexico, and during her teenage years, worked summers at a Rock Mountain dude ranch (in a State she refuses to name), as a horse wrangler. Why the unnamed State? Because there was this one time when a group of New Yorkers wanted to see an elk – and there wasn’t any elk to see. So, to get over the problem and give their tourists a good time, Piper strapped an ornamental deer ract to the head of a bay horse named Bucky. And, unbelievable as it is, it worked!

So, how did this cowgirl become a writer when she was actually studying law? Well, it was when a job offer for her to sell insurance landed at her feet. She’d hit a cross-roads in life, and her chosen career path boiled down to one thing: What could she not live without? Selling insurance or writing books? We all know how that one turned out.Apart from Piper’s debut novel being a dystopian  thriller, she also writes spy novels with fellow writer, (who also happens to be an Intelligence Agent and real life James Bond), Jay Holmes. Together, they have just finished the first in the seven part ‘Apex Predator’ series, which will be published by Stonehouse Inc., in the near future.

Oh, four other random things you need to know about Piper… she taught me to shoot a gun, she makes me run for EVERY plane we have to catch, she can ride an ATV like no one else I’ve ever seen, and she is one heck of a cool room-mate!

Right then, let’s see how she did with the feared ten questions:

1.  What is your favorite word?  Serendipity

2. What is your least favorite word? Globule

3. What turns you on?   Laughter. Laughter is the closest thing to sex besides sex

4. What turns you off?    Malice

5. What sound do you love?   Bells

6. What sound do you hate? Fighting

7. What is your favorite curse word?   Fuck me Agnes! (Blame Holmes for that one.)

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Host on Mythbusters

9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Nursing

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Good job”

 

firelands cover

‘Firelands’ is an amazing read, and available on amazon in digital and paperback format.

And, watch out for the first novel in the ‘Apex Preditor’ series. Release date to be confirmed shortly.

Contact Information

For more information regarding Piper Bayard, please check out her websiteFacebooktwitterblog.

 

If you want more of me, try checking out: FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramYou Tube, and Linkedin.

Join my email list and be first to hear about upcoming releases and offers.

 

 

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Okay, today I have been busy finishing my novel, and now I have to go pack for my holiday. So, I’m passing the reigns.

Now, I won’t tell you how I stumbled upon Peter Koevari’s post, Authors and Piracy, eBooks on the high seas,  – but it was funny.  Anyway, I really liked it and wanted to share it with you guys. So, I illegally downloaded it for publication here. Later on I’ll be touring London, selling it on printed flyers for the small fee of 99p. Just to be clear, the author will be receiving none of this fee…. but Shhhh – don’t tell anyone.

I couldn’t think of a better titled that Peter’s, so I stole that too.

Over to you, Peter.

I am going to tackle what I think is a very important topic for Authors and creative artists. I’m going to talk about Johnny Depp piracy!

It’s a funny thing, piracy (aaaarrrg!), as we live in a world where it is very easy for people to jump onto torrent and release sites and download whatever they want, for free. Most people accept that this is the case and at some point in their lives, have likely done it themselves.

What if we got you as a reader, and a room packed full of people and asked the question, “Raise your hand if you have *never* downloaded absolutely anything illegally or broken copyright laws. Never copied a movie in a VCR, photocopied copyrighted material, bought anything pirated, downloaded an image and used it on a blog from google images, or absolutely anything that can be considered a breach of copyright?”

I would be surprised if any hands went up, and I would be floored if a number of hands went up. Do I endorse it? Absolutely not, but you can’t change the world… you can only adapt.

Lady Gaga was quoted to say that she is happy for people to download her songs, as she makes all of her money from touring anyway. This is not such a case for us as authors, is it?

We don’t “go on tour” to sell out tickets to our shows and make a huge packet, do we?

So, why did I bring this topic up in the first place?

Because I googled my book title with a timeframe of the last week, and discovered that my books have been pirated. Was I happy about it? Of course not, although the attention is flattering.

The funny thing about everyone who pirates is, it doesn’t bother them and they have all sorts of justifications for pirating… and that is all well and good, until it’s *their* work that is being pirated. They don’t slave over manuscripts for many years to write a novel, pay editors, cover artists, work every day to promote their novels. No, they enjoy reading the books that other people produce… just like we all do as readers.

After all, pirates are just regular people, but with a different perspective and values. Do I consider them criminals? No. Do I want to run out there and track down everyone who downloaded my book illegally and persecute them? No.

You may be looking at me in shock and horror, but why on earth would I want to ruin someone’s life over copyright laws, for wanting to read my books?

Let us face the reality about the argument of potential sales: It’s flawed.

I put pirates into a few categories:

A) Pirates who NEVER buy what they download

B) Pirates who download to try without paying, and then go ahead to buy what they really like

C) Pirates who buy what they really like, and pirate what else they can, because they can and they may want to look at it later.

D) Pirates who (for whatever their circumstantial reason) cannot afford to buy the things that they want.

E) Pirates who cannot buy what they want, due to restrictions

The pirates who are in category A, will never pay for our books. Are they a lost sale? No. Are we losing money because they download our books? No. Are they still ripping us off as authors? Yes… but what exactly can we really do to change it?

The best we can hope for is that they tell their friends and families about our books (if they enjoy them) and some of them may want to buy them.

Pirates in category B, will try our books without paying for them first. If they like them, they will probably purchase them… but likely not.

Category C is similar, but the stuff they hoard and download will likely never be seen or read, but will definitely be shared.

Category D is a tough one. I mean, at the end of the day… just because we can’t afford to have something, doesn’t give us a justification to take it without paying because we want it. However, people do what they need to do and although we don’t like it, there are some real reasons why people would like to genuinely buy something, but the way they need to purchase it deems it “not viable”. Does it excuse it? No… but we can understand it. We can hope that those readers do help us as authors by spreading the word about books that they like, and when they get into a position that they can afford it, they support us as authors.

Category E concerns me greatly, and the fact that people can’t buy ebooks over the Internet, due to restrictions is just ridiculous. We should all push for any companies who do that, to change.

Whatever category these pirates are in, it does not matter, they are going to do what they do, regardless of what we try to do about it. People who would buy our ebooks and paperbacks will still do so, even if the availability of our books on pirated channels would make them more accessible for free. Not everyone pirates, and lots of people out there like to support authors and keep them writing.

For any pirates out there that think all eBooks should be free, I would like to ask you… would you go to work from 9-5 for no paycheck at the end of the day? I doubt that you would, but if you are happy to work all your life for no money, then you can stand tall with that argument.

For those Pirates that say that Authors are the real pirates for controlling their work and restricting what you can do with it… I really question that. If you buy my paperback, you can sell it, share it, sleep on it, use it as a paperweight, throw it in the air… I really couldn’t care less what you do with it… but I do hope you share it with your family and friends.

eBooks are usually considerably cheaper than paperback editions, and I have not put DRM on my ebooks (Can’t change the kindle Legends 2 edition when purchased from Amazon, they wouldn’t let me undo it). Although I don’t encourage emailing my book to every man and their dog, I see no reason why you couldn’t share the read in the same manner as a paperback.

As for the analogy of people buying ebooks and that they can’t sell it as they would a car, that is an interesting one. There is no real “second hand market” for digital works. Like second hand video game stores, further sales only profit the people trading in them… not the makers of the game. The same applies with eBooks.

Why would someone want to buy a second hand eBook when they can just buy it online themselves? We’re not talking cars worth huge money, are we?

Writing books is hard work and we work for nothing until we make any sales on our books. I am an indie author, what does that mean? We don’t get fat pay cheques from publishers, and we have to pay our own way and promote our own way for my books to be successful. Unlike movie studios, we don’t make millions or hundreds of millions in sales.

As much as the world is what it is for pirates, it is what it is for authors. We write for you, the reader, to enjoy our stories. If we all stopped writing, there would be no more books to read.

Having said all of this, what disappoints me the most… is that if any of these pirates bothered to come to my site and contact me, asking if I can give them my ebooks for free… I would have offered them an honourable deal of giving them my ebooks in return for an honest review. The act of pirating my ebooks is an unnecessary exercise of breaking copyright laws and using torrents or hosting sites.

I would love for pirates to consider buying my books and sharing them with their friends and families, but it is their choice if they wish to support me as an author, or not.

As a result of all of this, I stand by my words and I have put up a page on this very website that clearly offers review copies of my first book, Legends of Marithia: Prophecies Awakening (Uncut and Extended Second edition) to anyone willing to show some class and honour, and review my books for me on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. No need to break laws or illegally distribute my books!

It shows that you respect me as an author, and I will… in turn, respect you as a reviewer and respect your opinion. I don’t care if someone is a pirate or not, the offer is open to you equally.

If you decide to change your approach and buy my books (before or after you have read them, and however you have obtained them. eBook or paperback), then you have my gratitude for supporting me as an author.

Do you have an opinion on this? Have you had this happen to you? Comment and talk about it.

Follow Peter on twitter @Peterkoevari

If you want more of me, try checking out: FacebookTwitterGoogle+InstagramYou Tube, and Linkedin.

Join my email list and be first to hear about upcoming releases and offers.

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For those of you who don’t already know, I am starting something very special at the end of this month.

Teaching.

Yep, in between an already over-subscribed schedule, I’ve joined the team at WANA International and slipped in a few classes on fiction writing.

In the past I have helped writers via email, but find this method extremely limiting and time consuming.

So What’s different about the WANA method?

I’m really excited about WANA teaching. Mainly because of the awesome team on hand, but also because everything is done on-line via Webinar. This means distance between student and instructor isn’t an issue, plus the WANA method enables a much more personal approach. It gives me the opportunity to interact with you guys, verbally. For you, it’s like being in a classroom – only in the comfort of your own home. Perfect!

There will be opportunities to speak to each other and ask questions. Plus, the class is recorded so you don’t have to worry about scribbling down any notes. You can just sit back, relax, drink a cup of coffee, and absorb. And, I may even throw in the odd competition 🙂

On 30th June I’ll be holding a class on ‘Dialogue Only Your Characters Would Say. This will cover common mistakes, basic do’s and dont’s, and all the tools you’ll need to give your character their own ‘voice’.

On 14th July, you’ll have the opportunity to learn how to create your characters. The class, ‘Getting To Know Your Characters‘, will take you through the stages of character creation and show you how to inject them with life. Your readers will love them!

And last but not least, ‘From Idea to Storywill be held on 21st July I’ll be explaining how to take your idea and turn it into the full length fiction novel you’ve always dreamed of writing, with

I am so excited about WANA.

As well as my classes, there are many more subjects available from the crème de la crème of instructors.

So, what are you waiting for? Get over to WANA and book a class.

 

 

If you want more of me, try checking out FacebookTwitterGoogle+,GoodreadsKloutand Linkedin

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
 
Ooooh, it’s all turning romantic on the 30 Second Interview today.
 
Why?
Because Mills & Boon author, Nicola Marsh, has taken the plunge (all the way from Melbourne, Australia I might add), and answered the famous ten questions.
 
Okay, so as always, let us start at the beginning and find out how one can go from wanting nothing more than a career in Journalism – and ending as a  physiotherapist.
 
During Nicola’s tenth school year, she embarked on some work experience in a physiotherapy department at a rehab hospital. A girl after my own heart, she admits to not even knowing what physiotherapy was up until that point. But she absolutely loved it. And after four years at university, she happily skipped into a career within the health industry…..where she remained for thirteen years.
 
“I’m going to write a book one day”. Ha! How many wannabe writers have that nagging voice sitting on their shoulder? Well, Nicola decided to do something about it.
 
After reading an article on speed dating, Nicola wrote her first book, The Tycoon’s Dating Deal. In 2003, she not only sold this book to Harlequin Romance, but in 2004 it won the CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Harlequin Romance. Not bad going for your first novel.
 
Since then, Nicola has published a whopping 32 novels, selling over 3 million copies. I think it’s safe to say she is a firm favorite with Harlequin Mills and Boon Romance readers.
 
And it doesn’t stop there. Nicola has racked up a mountain of awards, including Bookscan, USA Today and Waldenbooks bestseller.
 
Now, I’ve done my maths. Okay, you guys know when I’m lying – I used a calculator, but I know that Nicola averages four novels a year. That’s a (wait while I hit a few more buttons) book written every three months! Heck, it takes me that long to plot my story and characters.
 
How on earth did this wife of one and mother of two find the time to answer these questions?
 
1.  What is your favorite word?  Mummy
 
2. What is your least favorite word? School-fees
 
3. What turns you on?   Flirting
 
4. What turns you off?    Sleaze
 
5. What sound do you love?   Laughter
 
6. What sound do you hate? Alarm
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Damn 😉
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Hairdressing
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Politician
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “Angel!”
 
 
You can purchase Top 5 Best South Asian Fiction 2011, Busted In Bollywood here.
 
Special Ops short story Tag Team is currently free at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, all Romance Ebooks, and Smashwords!  If you like sparks, sizzle & suspense, this read is for you!
 
And, watch out for Not The Marrying Kind, a marriage of convenience story set in Vegas and featuring a desert bad boy made good. Release date to be confirmed shortly (will be within the next 6 months.)
 
Contact Information

For more information regarding Nicola Marsh, please check out her website, Facebook, twitter, blog.

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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A couple of weeks ago I received an email from ECollegeFinder notifying me that my blog had been nominated for an award. Yesterday, voting opened.

This is an extremely exciting for me.

I posted my first blog on 28th November, 2009. Like most new bloggers, I think I blogged about three times in two months and then nothing until October 2010, when I began blogging once a week. Now, however, I blog three times a week. I aim the majority of my articles towards writers, being I am one, but every now and then I like to have a little fun and embarass myself.

Every Monday I list all the latest writing competitions for authors and screenwriters I can find. Each Wednesday I post a 30 Second Interview, the particpants being either authors, screenwriters, or staff writers,  and Fridays are usually a mix between writing advice, guest posts, book reveiws, or just a bit of ‘fun’.

What has overwhelmed me, is the amount of support my twitter and Facebook peeps have shown. I’ve lost count how many messages of congratulations and RT’s I’ve received on twitter alone.

If you like this blog, and if you would like to show your much appreciated support, please click the blue box above (or the one in the top right hand margin). It only takes a minute. Click ‘Donna Newton’s Blog’, and then, at the bottom of the list, ‘VOTE’.

Voting ends Friday 3rd February, so there’s no time to waste. Oh, and if you feel really generous, you can vote for me more than once. So even if you already have …..Vote again 😀

I’ll let you know how I do.

Let me know what special awards you’ve been nominated for, or received. I don’t care what it’s for. School activities, competitions, anything goes on here.

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

 

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James Lipton and the Actors Studio did it for fun with the actors…..Now, I’m doing it for fun with the writers.
 
Before I start on Robert, I must just tell you this. Many years ago, I was fortunate to attend one of his personal appearances. I remember a story he told like it was yesterday. That story is this. Robert’s friend had (decades earlier) offered him the chance to invest in a little unknown venture called ‘the internet’. Robert didn’t think it would amount to anything, and declined the generous offer. Thank god he did or today he may have been too busy counting his zillions to take part in the ever popular 30 Second Interview.
 
1956 saw the birth of one Robert Llewellyn. He never had any desire to perform and at the age of 16, was expelled from school and became a ‘hippie’.
 
At 24, and with only a Christmas charity puppet show under his ‘belt of experience’, Robert entered the world of show business.
 
What began as a hobby, Robert’s amateur cabaret evenings in a riverside warehouse overlooking London’s Tower Bridge, soon became a great success. Together with Bernie Evans, Nigel Ordishand, and Graham Allum, Robert formed the alternative comedy group, The Joey’s. The first year alone would see them tour the UK and Europe, clocking up a massive 260 performances; thousands more over the following four years.
 
Spurned on by their success, Robert turned to novel writing. But ‘All Quiet in the West End’ was never published. A good thing according to Robert, “as it was total trash.”
 
Robert was an avid writer for the show, and as their success grew, so did their singing talents.
 
After the Joey’s split, Robert, along with Chris Eymard, wrote and starred in Channel 4’s comedy, ‘The Cornerhouse’. Robert remembers it as a “true disaster that just wasn’t funny.”
 
Undeterred, and inspired by Paul Verhoeven ‘Robocop’, Robert wrote comedy play ‘Mammon’. It premiered in 1988 at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and was a great success.
 
‘Mammon’ was seen by Paul Jackson, the then producer of Red Dwarf, who immediately offered Robert the part of ‘Kryten’. But Robert’s show, ‘Mammon’,  had been commissioned by Channel 4 and he nearly declined the offer.
 
Luckily, he didn’t. In 1989, Series three of Red Dwarf aired. Robert joined fellow cast members Craig Charles and Chris Barrie, and stayed until the show ended in 1999, five series later.
 
But, Robert’s career didn’t stop there. As well as appearing in TV classics such as  Bottom, Discovery Channel’s How Do They Do It?, and the ever popular Scrapheap Challenge, Robert started a web series called Carpool. Carpool  was simple. Robert picked up a ‘famous’ person and drove them to work. During their journey, Robert and his passenger would chat and laugh. The series was an instant hit and in November 2010, UKTV began broadcasting the show on Dave.
 
 
So, now for the long awaited questions. A funny man with very funny answers.
 
1.  What is your favorite word?  Cunnilingus
 
2. What is your least favorite word? Ananas
 
3. What turns you on?   Hands
 
4. What turns you off?   Touchiness
 
5. What sound do you love?   Laughing
 
6. What sound do you hate? Diesel Engines
 
7. What is your favorite curse word?   Tosser
 
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?   Sewage Work
 
9.  What profession would you not like to do?  Singer
 
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?   “Tosser. In you come.”
 
   
        
  
Contact Information

For more information regarding Robert Llewellyn, please check out his Website, Facebook, twitter

If you want more of me, I can be found on FacebookTwitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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There are different types of writers, and I would hazard a guess that you are one, too.

Am I right?

So, what do I mean when I say ‘absent author’?

Well, clearly I mean an author who is not present during the writing of their book.

What? How can you write a book if you are not present? It’s damn right impossible. Trust me, I’ve tried. One night, I told my computer to finish chapter four and when I checked it in the morning, nothing had been done. I know. It’s unforgivable. I spend hours sitting at my computer and it couldn’t even manage a measly few paragraphs for me. I promptly sent it to the naughty step and left it there to stew for a full sixty minutes.

As writers, whether you write fiction or non-fiction, we spend hours and hours researching, plotting, crafting, devising arc’s, editing, character backgrounds, re-writes……well, you get the idea. We work damn hard.

But, what is the absent author?

Hold on, I’m getting to it.

Let me throw a few names at you. Actually I think it’s easier to show and not tell 🙂

Left to right - Kardashian, Snooki, Loren Conrad

Okay, are we on the same page? For those of you still scratching your heads, I’m talking about ghostwriters – and not the supernatural kind.

Jordan (aka Katie Price), Hilary Duff, Nicole Richie, Lauren Conrad, and Snooki have all produced novels with the aid of ghostwriters.

They market the book via press and television, leading their young fans to believe they have in fact either picked up a pen, or tapped endlessly at their keyboard and written every word themselves. And, guess what? They get angry if questioned about it.

According to website ‘Jezebel’:

“Ms. (Nicole) Richie promoted her second novel, “Priceless,” in an interview last year with USA Today, describing her writing routine: write early in the morning, before the rest of her family wakes up. “I write all my own stories,” she said.

But Ms. Richie’s publisher, Judith Curr of Atria Books, indicated otherwise, saying that a ghostwriter did most of the writing of Ms. Richie’s book. (Ms. Richie did not respond to a request for comment.)”

Hilary Duff, who when quizzed as to why she didn’t credit her co-writer, basically replied with a ‘why should I? It’s my idea.’ (That is my edited version)

But is this right?

Agents and publishers know there is money to be earned off the back of the celebrity’s name. They also know if they market the product correctly, they can often secure the sale to the movie/TV rights as well. The publishers earn a stack of cash, and the substantially wealthy celebrity extends their ‘brand’….everyone’s happy. Or are they?

What about the writers who ACTUALLY wrote these books.

It is almost non-existent they are ever mentioned on the cover. Doesn’t the publishing industry owe the ghostwriter a little more credit?

Doesn’t the publisher have an obligation to let the reader know their beloved celebrity had (a lot of) help with writing the book they are about to read?

Shouldn’t the publisher have a conscious and clear their desks of celebrity endorsed stories? Maybe make a little room for the talent of up and coming novelists?

Then again, publishers and agents are in this game to make money. It’s probably the main reason they get up in the morning. They’d be nuts if, for instance, they were to choose first time and unknown novelist Sissy Smith from Ramsbottom, Kent over, say, Cameron Diaz.

If you read Kristen Lamb’s blog, you’ll see that social media plays a massive part in a novelist’s road to sales. However, you’d have to be dancing with the fairies and sprinkling magic dust to think you’ll ever create a name bigger than an A-list celebrity. Not even marketing 25 hours day will get you that kind of notoriety.

So, as always, I would like your comments.

Do you think publishers have a moral right to print the co-writer or ghost writers name on the cover of a novel? Should readers know whose writing they are reading? Or is it just a business and they are right to earn their money anyway they choose? Are you a ghostwriter? Would you want to be one?

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin

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