Category Archives: Weekly Trail

A little bit of love…

www.blastoffcomics.com/2019/07/four-letter-words

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Copyright Infringement, Again!

K Morris - Poet

From time to time, I Google my books to ascertain whether any of them have received a mention, for example in the form of a book review. Whilst searching for one of my titles yesterday (Wednesday 10th July), I came across a link to the book on Kiss Library.

All of my books (with the exception of Guide Dogs Anthology), are available from Amazon and (in the case of “My Old Clock I Wind“, and “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind“, also from Moyhill Publishing. I have never authorised Kiss Library to sell any of my books.

I was, obviously concerned to discover that Kiss Library is offering one of my works for sale without my permission. Firstly (as already stated) I never granted that organisation permission to sell any of my titles, and, secondly any funds from such sales will not be going into…

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Space Dust

It’s here! My blood, sweat and tears arrived today in the post and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.

The setting is as close to perfect as I can get it and my illustrations have come to life on the white, glossy pages. The true test, of course, will be whether the children engage with the book and if the story fires their imaginations. After testing it on my book club members and year Reception at school, I have optimistic hopes of getting them to love this story as much as I do.

Now the fun part: this story was written for the library service in my borough, inspired by their theme Space Chase. I didn’t want to write a generic book about racing through space and instead, took inspiration from the imaginings of the children as they gazed up at the moon. Is it made of cheese? Does it have alien trees?

Using these ideas and brainstorming with Mark Hickling, one of our teachers at my school, and my youngest sprog, a new concept was born. I created Little One – a character who could be a boy or girl, giving the story a gender neutral balance. Little One’s mum has gone away and, like most young children at some point in their lives, Little One feels as if the separation is for a long time. Big Ox, the adult in charge, decides to take Little One on an adventure to help his tiny friend cope with Mum’s absence. What better way to occupy the mind of a small person than take them in a canoe ride across space, using Big Ox’s absolute favourite spoon as an oar?

This space story aims to entertain young and old alike with various visions of space through eyes that aren’t jaded by time or a lack of imagination; instead it inspires silly questions and adventure.

If you’d like to order your copy of Space Dust, click on the pic below. It will take you to my author site with all my book titles available to purchase.

Thank you for stopping by.

Book Tuesday – Andrew Joyce’s ‘Mahoney’

Welcome to a long-awaited guest post for our book lovers out there. Today’s guest is Andrew Joyce, a wonderful fictional writer who takes the journey to America, hoping for a better life, to a whole new level.

Without further ado, I’ll hand it over to Andrew…

My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Eloisehas been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new book, Mahoney. So, I thought I’d tell you how it came about. But to do that, I gotta tell you how my mind works.

A few years ago, I had just finished reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for the third time, and I started thinking about what ever happened to those boys, Tom and Huck. They must have grown up, but then what? So I sat down at my computer and banged out Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. I had them as adults in the Old West. Kind of like Wyatt Earp type characters. It was a modest success and won an award as Best Western of 2013.

I think my favorite book of all time is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I’ve read it a number of times over the years. The last time being two years ago. Now, for those of you who may not have read it, it’s about one family’s trek from the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s to the “Land of Milk and Honey,” also known as California. Of course, California wasn’t a land of milk and honey. If anything, the family was worse off in California than they were in Oklahoma. The subtext of the book is how those on the lower rungs of society’s ladder are oppressed and have very little voice to fight against that oppression.

Near the end of the book, Tom Joad, the protagonist, runs afoul of the law and must leave his family or else be arrested on a trumped up charge or be killed by the big landowners’ goons.His mother, quite naturally, will miss him and is worried for him. The words he spoke to her in that scene have become iconic.

“I’ll be aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be everywhere-wherever you look. Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there is a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folk eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.”  Tom Joad, TheGrapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

So, here’s what I did. Just like with Huck and Tom, I started thinking about what ever happened to Tom Joad after he left his family. I wanted to write about injustices and the people who suffer those injustices. I thought I’d follow Tom around and write about what he encountered from about the mid-thirties to 1963 when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a Dream” speech.

However, there was just one problem with that: copyright laws. The character of Tom Joad belongs to the heirs of John Steinbeck. So, I had to come up with another angle. After somethought on the matter, I decided to expand my initial time frame from between 1933 and 1963 to 1849 and 1963. I’d start the story in Ireland during the potato famine and work my way to America and then I’d end up where I had originally intended.

Here’s the blurb for the book:

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a riveting story of adventure, endurance, and hope as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America.

In the second year of an Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

Well, that’s how Mahoney came about. For those of you who may read it, I hope you enjoy it. It took me almost two years of full-time research, writing, and editing to get it to where I wanted and to tell the story I wanted to tell.

Thank you, Andrew. For anyone interested in a taste of the book, here’s a little excerpt to tantalise your reading taste buds:

The reflected firelight flickered across awestruck faces and mirrored in the eyes of those who listened as stories were told of yesterday’s indignities and tomorrow’s aspirations. The look in those yearning eyes spoke of hopes and dreams. The laughter heard around the fire conveyed a sense that somehow it would all work out. For a few short hours, on Saturday nights, in the deep woods of a place none of them had ever heard of before, the constant fear that lived within their hearts was banished from their lives.

In time, they would prevail. Their sons and daughters would one day stand straight and tall as proud Americans, as proud as their fathers had been to be Irish.

Follow Andrew’s writing journey here and please remember, ever author survives on reviews. Please don’t forget to leave yours.

Author Week

It’s that time of year again at our little primary school, when we gather the children and throw them into a time machine, a fantasty world or, in this case, an evacuee’s body and transport them to another place. Welcome to this year’s theme: The Midnight Garden. Continue reading

Celebrating the Launch of my #RomanceBook #IFFILA #NewAuthor

An exciting launch of Lucy Mitchell’s summer read! Get to know more about how her book baby came into creation and links to order your copy.

BlondeWriteMore

Welcome to my virtual blog party!

The virtual cocktail bar is open and the barman will be happy to make you up the virtual cocktail of your choice.

After 3 years and 6 months of blood, sweat, tears, endless cups of coffee, 12 drafts, 5 rewrites, many hours spent at the kitchen table, countless time spent gazing out of the window daydreaming, loads of sweaty author nightmares, millions of texts and emails to writers friends, a mind boggling number of tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts and blog posts, the decision in March to self-publish after a lot of rejections, time spent with an editor, a proofreader, a book cover designer, a six-day holiday to Dubrovnik, an overnight stay at a luxury hotel in Worcester and a week filled with non-stop emotion, my book; Instructions For Falling In Love Again, IS NOW LIVE.

I would like you all to…

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Author Week and lots more…

After a busy week sketching and painting the illustrations for my new book, Space Dust, I assumed I could slide into the weekend and enjoy the fun and shenanigans planned for  special event I was looking forward to attending. Unfortunately, the cards have turned and I’ve lost this round. It’s a working weekend!

As a writer, you sometimes find that events planned coincide with deadlines – or should I say, deadlines decide to land on event days and it’s a game of trying to balance everything and be in different places at the same time. Not that I’m complaining. I am grateful for these opportunities and realise how different my life is now compared to a few years ago. The one big regret I have is not knowing how to market my books well. With sales tanking, it’s heartbreaking to create another book knowing it will be sitting idle, waiting for readers to take it off the shelves.

Author Enrichment Week is fast approaching at school and this year I’ve gone for a more historic theme with mythical fantasy thrown in for good measure. We are promoting good writing across the school and expect our pupils to thrive in an environment where they can use their imagination and the skills we have given them to produce amazing pieces of writing. To top it off, the playful teachers are planning something special for the children – which I have to write by Friday – that will have them sitting up in their seats as they are introduced to the week ahead. It’s a busy time because we are squeezing this in between school visits and sports day. I’m sure it will all work out in the day – we thrive under pressure!

Waiting patiently in the background is the October Literary Festival where I will have my first opportunity to talk about children’s books outside a school setting. I’m both excited and nervous about it. Watching the panel at the Blogger’s Bash fed inspiration on what to do when thrown a curve ball question and the authors speaking about their books were great to watch and figure out how I want to present myself. More work to do before then, so that will sit on the back burner until after the Summer Reading Challenge has been completed.

Well, I have to run away again. Dinner is probably burning and I have to finish more illustrations tonight if I’m going to meet the deadline of this weekend to format my book and publish it in time for the proof to come back and then print enough copies for prizes and donations to the local libraries.

Before I go, check out my blog next week Tuesday – I will have a guest author on my Book Tuesday post sharing his latest book which I have added to my reading list and can’t wait to review (once I’ve finished reading Hugh Roberts’ ‘More Glimpses’ which has me enthralled at the moment.)

Leave a comment and let me know how your week is going.

 

Saturday thoughts

It’s 5.54am and I’m wide awake. Continue reading

Tarzan

The house is still, no sounds to wake

The two-legged oafs

Who cried and moaned and quaked,

When sleeping is all the effort I’ll ever make. Continue reading

Saying Good-Bye

Last night, I had to say my last, I love you, and sing my last Goodnight song to another member of our family: Tarzan, our 17 year old cat.

Watching him suffer over the past few months meant it was a bittersweet moment when he closed his eyes for the last time and I held him in my arms, a moment that I barely managed to cope with. As I gulped down the lump in my throat and gently stroked his ragged fur, my children’s lives flashed before my eyes. This beautiful feline had filled their daily moments with such happy memories, memories which were coming to an end as the light dimmed in his eyes.

Darjeeling was no ordinary cat. He was run over in the first year of his life, was rushed to an unknown vet and disappeared from our lives for about three months. I still don’t know how I managed to track him down (he hadn’t even been chipped yet). I do know it took several phone calls and visits to shelters in different towns, RSPCA centres and endless calls to random cat people who knew someone who knew someone. In the end, I tracked him to a cat shelter in Twyford and sped off with my two babies in tow, determined to rescue my little Darjeeling cat.

He is the only cat I’ve ever met who could call both my Hubble and myself by name in a voice loud enough to wake our neighbours. Standing on the flat roof of our downstairs cloakroom, which was just below our bedroom window, he would call our names out to the stars until we woke and opened the window for him. If we didn’t wake in time, our neighbours would kindly inform us that he was calling all night long!

Fighting various common cat illnesses throughout his life, he managed to live up to the strength of his name – Tarzan – and was a legend in our family. He will be remembered for his love of climbing thin branches and swinging from them; giving us the stink eye when he wasn’t fed on time; and bravely staying with us through five house moves in his lifetime.

His final resting place, our dream home, will be a testament to his well-deserved rest after a very full life. To say we loved him would be an understatement. He was our cat legend, our sweet Darjeeling, our Tarzan.