Saturday, 24 September 2016

Hornsea Writers circumnavigate the globe

The name and work of Hornsea Writers spreads far and wide. An anthology featuring Stuart Aken as an invited contributor is currently at number 2 in a list of recommended reads in St Kilda Library, one of the biggest and most popular in Melbourne, Australia.

The science-fiction anthology, Synthesis, was read and enjoyed by Robert Llewellyn – Red Dwarf’s Kryten – who wrote a foreword to the collection whilst filming on the latest series, set to air this autumn.

The anthology spans the range from hard science-fiction to the edge of fantasy. As well as our own Stuart Aken, it includes gems from master of the surreal, Boris Glickman, and virtuoso of the space adventure, Drew Wagar.

You can get your own copy of Synthesis HERE

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Book Trailer Anyone? #2

There's nothing like getting stuck in to discover how difficult a simple job can prove to be.

Following on from her first post on Book Trailers HERE, Linda Acaster decided to have a go. The result... Ah, it seems she hasn’t yet reached a result. Find out why HERE. You may just save yourself some time and effort.

However, co-member April Taylor is made of sterner stuff. Read the blurb to her new Mystery Dearly Ransomed Soul about a jobbing Early Music singer "in concert and in death" in Worcester's Three Choirs Festival, and note which elements she used in the book trailer HERE.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Book Trailer Anyone?

Amid gearing up for forthcoming book launches, guest-posts, blog spotlights, signings, and panel appearances – shouldn’t writing be in there somewhere? – members have been discussing the merits of Book Trailers.

Some of us have been lucky enough to be provided with one as part of our publisher’s package. Some of us haven’t. To whet your appetite, there's a link to Stuart Aken's The Methuselah Strain HERE.

Across on her blog, Linda Acaster has started a short series HERE on what to consider prior to storyboarding your own, ably supported by that 'man of the moment' from one of the BBC's historical dramas. You know who; he of the smouldering looks, dark chest hair, and far too much open flesh for the period. Enjoy. [The post!]

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Exclusive Elite: Dangerous artwork? I have a premonition

Here’s a trick to net yourself some exclusive artwork. The FantastiCon2016 Kickstarter already gives exclusive digital wallpaper for its minimum pledge but if you follow this dodge, you will also net some Elite: Dangerous exclusive high-quality artwork (you’ll have to throw £1 into the Back-This-Project pot if you haven’t already pledged). Simply go to the comments section on THIS LINK  and add a comment that contains the phrase “I have a premonition”.

That automatically adds you to the recipients of Sci-Fi legend Drew Wagar’s Reclamation artwork, exclusive to those who add exactly that phrase to the comments section. You’ll see several comments on there already that simply say, “I have a premonition”. More detail on the artwork and its origins HERE.

Why is this relevant to the Hornsea Writers? Because if you go a step further and buy a ticket, we would be delighted to meet you at the convention. Several of us along with Royd Tolkien (JRR’s great grandson) will be there celebrating the written word. And if books are not your bag, there will a plethora of attractions on show – Daleks, Darth Vader, interactive gaming, Nerf Wars, shows, live music, free soft drinks and biscuits and all manner of wonderful things.

Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th November 2016 at the Guildhall in Hull.
Looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Taking the Summer Off? Er...

August is the month for lazy days in the garden, hitting the toppling TBRead pile, and generally recharging the creative batteries, right?

The question gained a hollow laugh from members. Yes, they agreed, they should be soaking up their share of Vitamin D to boost reserves ready for an autumn of daylight hours chained to their laptops. Yet a gulf yawns between theory and practice.

‘My schedule used to work like clockwork,’ says Linda Acaster. ‘I’d start a major project in early autumn, run it through winter and bring it to fruition late spring. This left the summer months for research trips, decorating, and letting my mind swim in my ideas tank.’ What intervened? ‘Life,’ she says, ‘and this year the fact that I altered the balance in my work-in-progress, the final novel of the Torc of Moonlight trilogy, and it had to return to the drawing board. Now I’m running to catch up instead of skipping merrily along.’

April Taylor isn’t so much running behind as marching in front. Book 1 of her Georgia Pattison Cosy Mysteries, Dearly Ransomed Soul, was launched last month in time for the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester, where the novel is set. ‘I’m up to my eyes in marketing & promotion on the one hand while on the other Books 2 and 3 are in the process of being prepped for release. I do, though, insist on an early morning walk to get the blood flowing and synapses sparking.’

Exercise is also high on Stuart Aken’s daily schedule, and he makes time to walk in the Forest of Dean that reaches almost to his garden. ‘Nature feeds the senses, and the sounds of streams and birdsong beneath the leaf canopy is a complete change to the mental vistas of the Martian landscape that is the setting of the sci-fi novel I’m working on, earmarked for publication later in the year.’ It’s also a change from his recent epic fantasy trilogy A Seared Sky.

There’s no sign of a free August on Penny Grubb’s horizon, either. She’s still juggling a day job with her work on the PI Annie Raymond Mystery series. No 7, Tiger Blood, was launched recently and she’s well into No 8. ‘I’ve tried scheduling in a free August to enjoy the unrestricted company of family and friends, but in reality the extra time gets taken up doing all the things I’d been shelving. The actual routine of going to the day job seems to help my writing muscles relax.’

For Karen Wolfe, summer and her work-in-progress are inextricably linked: Dogdays being the final book in the Georgie Crane Dog-Whisperer trilogy. Add in the monthly canine piece for the local newspaper, and every day is part of the ongoing process of fresh air, exercise and thinking-time. Those dog-walks bring unexpected insights, small dramas, often moments of comedy gold. Not ‘taking the summer off’, more 'harvesting the crop'.

After publication of her latest historical, A Shackled Inheritance, set against a backdrop of colonial slavery and the abolitionist movement in Regency England, Madeleine McDonald made the decision to eschew the bigger projects in favour of completing shorter pieces, particularly for anthologies. ‘It’s more relaxing,’ she says. ‘I don’t get sidetracked into intensive research, and goals are attainable over a much shorter period. Without the pressure of a long-term deadline, I can enjoy the summer.’

Ah, now there’s an idea...

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Discounted Ebooks & Freebies: Final Weekend

It's the final discount & freebie weekend for ebooks at Smashwords. Get 'em while you can! Prices reset automatically at midnight PST.

Linda Acaster and Stuart Aken lead members in offering various titles at discounts ranging from 50% off to Free. There's no better time to dip into new genres. You may find yourself hooked.

Link to Stuart Aken's offered titles HERE

Link to Linda Acaster's offered titles HERE

Don't forget to use the Discount Code on the purchase page.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

The all new Dearly Ransomed Soul

When I was in my writing "salad days", I discovered an Arts Council scheme for new writers. My first Georgia Pattison Mystery was then about half done, so I quickly finished it and sent it to YouWriteOn and the book was duly published by Legend Press in 2008.

But coming back to it a few years later, I found so much wrong with the book that I felt compelled, not to just give it a severe edit, but also to provide a new killer for those who had bought the paper version. It is now also set in the cathedral city of Worcester, England.

That proved to be more difficult than actually writing a new book from scratch, especially as, in the intervening years, I had learned so much about my craft. However, eventually, I sorted it all out and I can now reveal the all new Dearly Ransomed Soul is now live on Amazon and Smashwords.

For readers who are new to Georgia, I can also recommend Whistles After Dark, an introductory novella - 23,000 words and £0.99/$1.42.

If you like music with your crime, you will love Dearly Ransomed Soul. You can find out more about the book itself on my blog

 Dearly Ransomed Soul, the first in the Georgia Pattison mystery series.

April Taylor writes historical and contemporary crime fiction. You can find her via the links below.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

July Bargains on Smashwords for eBooks

Smashwords, for those who don’t know, is a publishing platform for the many formats of eBooks. We have several books with them; one as a group and many under our individual names. The great news is that July is their promotional month, when those who wish to participate offer discounts on their books. This gives readers the opportunity to buy books at reduced prices for this period. So, if you’ve been wondering whether to sample the work of an author, now is a good time for those who use eReaders of any type.
Enjoy the read!

To get to all the books on offer, simply click on this link.

And, if you’re specifically interested in trying the books of individual authors on Smashwords, below are the links for each of them. I've included a link to Fantastic Books Publishing, as several of us have books with this great publisher. Not all are taking part in the promotion, but you might feel their books are worth the small full price anyway!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Interesting research into how a writer's brain works.

I read recently that it is almost impossible to write effectively and edit at the same time. I know people who do write and edit concurrently and wanted to know if this was, in fact, true.

When I decided to rewrite Dearly Ransomed Soul, I wanted to make it fresh again, so changed, among other things, the setting and the murderer. This was very very hard, much harder than writing a book from scratch. Was it difficult because I was trying to create an almost new book while editing the old version of it?

The results of my research are interesting. You can find them on my blog at:

The newly revised, Dearly Ransomed Soul will be available from the middle of July.

If you would like to read the introductory novella to the Georgia Pattison Mysteries, Whistles After Dark, you can find it on Amazon, see the links below.

If you want to know more about April Taylor follow the links below: