22 Feb 2014

Cover Reveal ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation’ by Paul Cude

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Cover Reveal ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation’

“Stolen” from http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/

Following his harrowing and near death experience at the talons of the evil dragon Manson in ‘A Threat From The Past’, Peter Bentwhistle, the human shaped dragon and reluctant hero, finds himself on the slow path to recovery.

Helped by his dragon friends, Tank and Richie (both in their human forms), he finds solace in his new found friendship with the dragon king. But the three friends are soon unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.

Blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over, stretch the bonds of the dragons’ friendship like never before. New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen. Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.

Explosive exploits, interspersed with a chilly backdrop and unexpected danger at every turn, make for an action-packed, electrifying adventure.

‘Snow way you’ll wanna miss this!  A-Chilling-Revelation-Cover-Reduced

Excerpt

With that the king looked away. Flash knew his time was up. It was now or never. With one last look at the semi-naked human dragon, Flash turned and flung himself head first into the icy flowing water.
The mantra that had been cast on him still held, was his first thought, as he tried not to pass out from the pain and shock of the water. His second thought was that it hurt more now, entering the water a second time around.
The light from the cavern subsided as the stream became fully enclosed underground, quickly leaving Flash encased by fast flowing water and bubbles of air. He couldn’t see further than about two feet in front of him. How on Earth was he supposed to see when the stream separated into two parts? Kicking with his feet and flailing about with his arms, he tried as best he could to stay over to the left side of the channel, scraping himself along the side of the icy underground tunnel as he did so.
A sharp right hand bend, followed by a steep drop, sent Flash tumbling head over heels as the freezing water numbed his exhausted body. As he came out of the roll, his face smacked violently into a sharp, vertical piece of rock, right in the middle of the stream.
‘Oh my God,’ thought Flash. ‘This is it! This is the point where the stream separates.’ Scrabbling with his hands, he managed to get a handhold on part of the rock that he’d just banged his face on, realising belatedly that the tumble had moved him to the wrong side of the stream and now he was perilously close to plunging down the right side of the stream, and almost certainly to his… DEATH! He held on for all he was worth, despite the fact that he could barely feel his fingers or hands. The fast flowing torrent of water continued to pulverise his body. He knew that the longer he remained here, the more likely it was that he would be carried to his doom down this side of the stream.
Digging his fingernails into the rock, he used every muscle in his entire body, willing them all to work, despite the pain he felt in each and every one of them. It was working. His head was nearly level with the top of the rock. All he had to do was pull himself up just a little higher and then he could get one arm over the other side and pull himself into the left hand stream’s current. He was concentrating so hard on pulling himself up that he hadn’t noticed the tiny slivers of water that had started to seep through the mantra that held the pocket of air around his head. The surprise of feeling the ice cold water running across his face nearly caused him to lose his grip. Opening his eyes, for they’d been closed as he had willed his muscles on to greater things, he saw that water had started to leak in all around his face.
‘The mantra must be wearing off,’ he thought, totally terrified. ‘I’m gonna drown in only a matter of moments.’ It was this thought, and this alone, that gave him all the energy he required. Scrabbling up the rock and throwing himself into the current on the other side, Flash zoomed headlong into the fast flowing water, concentrating on what was in front of him and the watery pocket encasing his head.
More water had started to flow around his face now, so much so that he’d swallowed a couple of mouthfuls accidentally, and had taken to spitting some of the water back out and away from his face. The stream started to slow as the tunnel widened. The icy white sides of the tunnel became smoother, a bit like an underwater bobsleigh run. Flash hoped that the changes were indicative of reaching somewhere outside the mountain, somewhere he could exit the stream. Still the water leaked in even more around his freezing, throbbing, bleeding head, if he was not mistaken.
‘Must have been where I hit that rock,’ he thought, spitting out the blood along with a mouthful of icy cold water. Flash’s hope that the river would be leaving the mountain and coming out above ground seemed to have been dashed. The much slower flowing water was still firmly encased in a dark, icy tunnel, punctuated only by a few random eruptions of bubbles from the stream bed. Flash knew his time had nearly run out. Only a small amount of air remained around his face, air that he knew could disappear at any time. Desperation forced him into action and he started to swim as fast as he could, all the time taking deep breaths of the remaining air, knowing that one of them may be his last. Rounding a huge corner in what seemed to be the widest part of the stream he’d come across so far, he pushed on, forcing his legs to move for fear of drowning.
Seconds after taking another deep breath, the remaining air surrounding his head bobbed away, leaving him terrified and exhausted. If he could have done, he would have cried. The irony of being surrounded by this much water and wanting to cry nearly made him laugh. The current carried him along as he held his breath and looked back on what had been quite an adventurous life. The first dozen or so thoughts and images that whizzed past jolted him into action. He wasn’t the sort of being that calmly laid down and waited for the end to come. Alright, given the choice, he probably would have gone for an all-out fight to the death, with amazingly bad odds and just a hint of glory.
‘Well,’ he thought, ‘I haven’t been given the choice, but that doesn’t mean I’m just gonna give up and drown.’ He urged his legs on, kicking as fast as he could, the muscles burning with pain as he did so. He knew at best he’d have maybe another minute or so before his breath gave out, but he was determined to fight to the very end, albeit in a very different way from what he would have preferred. Swimming for all he was worth, he seemed to be moving faster and faster.
‘The current is increasing again,’ he thought, ploughing on. Soon, wave after wave of bubbles blocked his vision, as he moved through them at unerring speed. His cheeks, with the remainder of his air, were battered and bruised by the rushing water and the bubbles, and wanted nothing more than to expel their last breath. Moving his arms and legs was getting harder, as he was concentrating so hard on not opening his mouth. As he pitched through another curtain of bubbles, a torrent of white water engulfed him, dragging him round a bend and into an almost vertical drop. Fighting not to open his mouth while wanting to scream, he hit the bottom of the river bed, hard, jarring his right knee and elbow, both at the same time.
He was only a few seconds away from drowning now. He could feel his mouth about to open, and knew there was absolutely nothing he could do to stop it. Unexpectedly, a haze of light appeared through the bubbles up ahead. Clamping his mouth shut with all his might he surged forward. Black spots started to cloud his vision, but he pushed himself on. Rising upwards towards the light, Flash had no option but to open his mouth. His body continued its journey to potential salvation as the freezing water poured into his throat. Amazingly he broke the surface of the stream, out into the bright Antarctic daylight. The spots before his eyes were getting worse; only tiny openings in his vision remained. With both his arms outstretched, he pulled himself for all he was worth out of the freezing cold stream and onto the snow covered bank. Turning onto his side, he immediately began throwing up all the water he’d swallowed. The cold nibbled at his wet body, piercing him like a poker. After the excess water had left his body, Flash passed out on the snowy river bank, only inches away from the bitter stream that had nearly cost him his life.
Barely five minutes later, Flash’s survival instinct kicked in, and in a staggering display of stubbornness he awoke, wishing with every part of his body that he hadn’t. Feeling worse than an alcoholic’s hangover, and shivering on a national level, he knew that he had to get back to the dragon domain. Nothing else existed, only that one thought. Getting to his feet, he staggered slightly and then fell back down to his knees. His head was so muzzy that he just couldn’t concentrate. Two deep breaths later, he was back on his feet. He had to get a grip, get his bearings and find a way to get away from this hellhole and back to the dragon world. Looking back round at the body of water he’d come out of, he found that the stream only broke the surface for perhaps twenty feet or so before disappearing back underground. The bank and the surface of the stream were shielded from the normally roaring wind by a wicked looking rocky overhang that hovered menacingly over him at the moment. As Flash took all this in, a little voice in the back of his head said,
“They’ll come after you. As soon as they’ve recovered, they’ll come.”
He knew what he had to do. Still shivering violently, he took off his precious watch, noting the time and GPS location of where he was before he did so, and then set it down in the snow. Rubbing his hands together, he tried to get some feeling back into them and his fingers before he went any further. Not seemingly making any difference to his fingers, he set about turning the watch into an explosive device. He knew how to do it of course, and under normal conditions it would only take a few seconds, but his cold fingers made it hard to press all the small buttons in the right order. At the rate he was going, he’d be lucky not to blow himself to smithereens.
Eventually, after lots of fiddling and amazing amounts of concentration, Flash managed to set the proximity detection function. Setting the countdown to sixty seconds, so that he had enough time to get out of range, he depressed the button to start the countdown, leaving the watch on the icy bank, just pressed into the snow. After the timer had counted down, any movement at all in a radius of thirty metres would set off the explosive device in the watch. Flash turned away from the watch and started to jog slightly, buoyed by the knowledge that he had once again escaped certain death by the very skin of his teeth.
A few paces into his jog, a loud splashing noise from the stream caused him to turn round. A vision from hell appeared, dripping wet, on the water’s edge. The golden-coloured naga who’d captured him earlier, the one that he’d last seen flailing around on the floor of the prison barely conscious, stared at him from thirty feet away. Flash couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Another forty seconds or so and the naga wouldn’t have been a problem, because the explosive Flash had just planted would have gone off, either killing the naga, or trapping it below the surface of the stream for good. Waves of exhaustion washed over Flash, begging him just to lie down in the snow and call it a day. He couldn’t believe that he’d come so far, avoided death by a gnat’s… well, whatever it was, only for it to end like this. If it weren’t for the deadly seriousness of the situation, he could definitely see himself laughing about it all.

Download ‘Benthwhistle The Dragon In A Threat From The Past’ free from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035

Download ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation’ from Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/394788

Paul’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Cude/e/B007339206/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Bentwhistle For Nook At Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Bentwhistle-The-dragon?keyword=Bentwhistle+The+dragon&store=book

Paul’s Blog: http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/

Bentwhistle The Dragon Website: http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/

Bentwhistle The Dragon on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Bentwhistlethedragon?ref=hl

Follow Paul on twitter: @paul_cude

06 Dec 2013

Ian Hutson: “NGLND XPX”

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From the Isles that brought us Oscar Wilde, Willaim Shakespeare and the Monty Pythons I present to you another literary delight today: Ian Hutson and his own blend of literary humour: original, absurd and hugely entertaining.

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“NGLND XPX” by Ian Hutson is a very entertaining collection of humorous short stories, some absurd and off the wall, others more satirical and tongue in cheek.
The subjects of the stories range from science fiction and futuristic ideas to more traditional British and political themes. 
As a non-British person living in the UK much of the stories that were rooted in persiflage and caricature of the contemporary Britain were particularly funny for me but even if you do not know who Boris or Blair are, you will be able to appreciate the jokes and ideas behind the stories.
Immigration and the future of humanity are some of the more serious subjects, Androids and Zombies are fleshing out the collection of original scenarios and ideas with some very cleverly written puns.
This is very enjoyable and a pleasant way to spend a few hours. It is non-offensive and easy to read. 

 

INTERVIEW WITH IAN

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Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

The notes in my file attached to my cage here in the laboratory read as follows. Born in Cleethorpes, England. Moved immediately to Hong Kong (fortunately parents went too). Spoke only Cantonese as a child, then a little pidgin English on return to Blighty and now reasonably proficient. Mother was a complete enigma; a factory worker when necessary and a toff-hobnobbing socialite. Father was a deep-sea trawlerman turned Cold War spy, courier and electronic warfare expert, hopping from RAF station to RAF station. As a brat, Hutson minor was of the opinion that the family was on the run. We probably were. Accidentally joined the British Civil Service himself for ten years, then sold his own contract to multi-nationals. Escaped, started own businesses, nose-dived like a doomed Spitfire into personal bankruptcy losing home, car and valuables – and re-gaining freedom. Has only ever been deliberately shot at once (they missed). Once forced a dark, violent, nebulous “something” out of his ancient farmhouse in the Norfolk countryside and bade it haunt elsewhere forthwith. Once crashed his brother’s Rolls-Royce into a pile of pipework on Grimsby Docks (disappointingly unspectacular). Now lives as a pragmatically peacenik, rabidly atheist, fluffy vegan hippie in a hedgerow at the side of a lane in Lincolnshire. Spends his days writing or prowling the lanes ranting at sparrows, walking with a Morse-esque limp (an injury from Civil Service days has resurfaced).

What made you become a writer?

The encouragement of my invisible childhood friend. The encouragement of my invisible teenage friend and my invisible adulthood friend. That and the less insane encouragement of two teachers – the lady at The Nicolson Institute, Stornoway, who taught me to read and write when I was aged nine, and a young newly-qualified teacher at a vast and inhumane, very rough comprehensive school in Huntingdon who was still fresh enough to take an interest.

Have you always written?

Since I could, yes. When at a twenty-pupil (all ages) one teacher village school in the wilds of the Isle of Lewis we were all encouraged (with the tawse – the leather strap) to enter a national competition – and my story ‘Tarka the Otter’ won first prize… Yep, ‘Tarka the Otter’. I don’t have a copy of the story but I’m assuming, I’m hoping that it was original and the title was just some horrible coincidence. Otherwise my first commercial success was a dreadful example of plagiarism that somehow got past the panel of judges in Edinburgh!

Was it always going to be comedy?  1477008_769574226391831_1676148633_n

We’re a recently evolved, very short-lived, fur-less species living on the surface of a barely cooled blob of magma, in a very thin, necessarily very precisely mixed layer of gases, rotating at a thousand miles an hour and spinning at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour around a nuclear fire – with the whole arrangement itself spiralling at half a million miles an hour through space. There are comets flying about, asteroids landing on Russia and our best guess is that the whole thing, including time and thirteen dimensions (most of which are denied to us for some reason), sprang into life in a massive explosion about thirteen thousand million years ago. Massive, toothy dinosaurs once ruled our neighbourhood. Something killed them all off in one fell swoop but we rarely worry about that because it’ll never happen to us. In the midst of all of this, whenever it gets dark and we’re at our most vulnerable, we shove ourselves under a blanket for a nice snooze and we have to set an alarm clock in case we oversleep. How can that not be funny?

Can you be serious?

I’m really not sure. My next book is edging about two percent along the scale towards “more serious”, but that hardly counts. I haven’t really tried yet. I wonder if deep down I am scared of being serious? I’ve seen enough seriousness to last a lifetime, I’m not certain that I want to add anything more to the human race’s pile of “serious”. Let me get back to you on that one.

Tell us a little about the history of the book.

NGLND XPX includes a couple of stories written years ago (you’ll be able to tell by the names) but the rest were all written recently. There were about thirty of them waiting at the dockyard gates for work but I chose the ten that waved at me the most eagerly.

How long did it take you to write and publish?

Putting the book together was about three months – getting together a collection is like herding cats through town on market day. Slide one into place and two others fall off the shelf. The technicalities of publishing it were approached with my usual philosophy – ‘Suck your gut in, Princess, and do it step by step the long way because you know what happens when you try shortcuts. Then draw a line and finish it, because if you don’t finish it you’ll never finish it.’

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

My favourite part of the process is after the first draft, going back and re-reading, sorting, putting the pieces together and sometimes getting that elusive “ooh yes” feeling. The hardest part is actually deciding to put it out into the world, wondering if it is complete talentless nonsense. 

Would you say there is a message in the book?

If there is then it’s well hidden. All of my thought processes are born out of some quite old-fashioned values. If you give your word you keep it. Honesty is still important even when no-one is watching (because honesty is something you “do” for your own benefit). The difference between a lash-up job and a proper job is usually only about five minutes’ work. Communication with other creatures, including with fellow humans, is a very hit and usually miss affair since it all has to be filtered through my idea of language and symbols, across the aether and then through the target’s idea of language and symbols. I hope that at least a little of those values shines through, but I don’t worry about it.

Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

It’s early days for the book, and I worry that a lot of folk will open it expecting either hard science fiction or else bombastic colonial nonsense – when in fact it is just a flavour of both and also neither. I love the English language (original, current, proper – not this new-fangled “global English”) so the words and their flow are as important to me as the message and the story. There have been some excellent reviews so far, for which my tension-headache is extremely grateful!

What do you like most about your characters?

I’m a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to my writing and to my characters. They make me chuckle when I am with them but the relationship soon loses its lustre and I move on. There are plenty of characters to savour in real life, I don’t need to tow along all of my imaginary friends too. I have yet to use the dear neighbour, a sitting Lord, who had half a dozen dogs and always took them with him wherever he went – because only the dogs could find their way home again. Then there’s the relative of an in-law’s cousin’s second twice-removed something who, during a discussion on buying houses once put down her sherry and remarked ‘Oh I see! You borrow the money to buy the house and then repay to the building society. What’s the advantage?’ With souls like those wandering around without supervision you surely have to love real people more than characters in a book…

Which one is your favourite?

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I honestly can’t point to a favourite. They’re not drawn to vast depths (most of them are as shallow as summer puddles), and can’t exist out of their immediate context.

Are you like any of them?

I do confess to being a clumsy gestalt of my characters. I was brought up in an old-fashioned and most peculiar family, beginning in an isolated pocket of the tail end of the British colonial era and mixing more with adults than with other children. Later, as a putative adult myself I continued to hop about like an influenza virus on a turkey farm and I have never put down roots anywhere, so I’ve never settled on just one form or disguise. I blather a bit – but I do it deliberately, half seriously and half for fun. I like people to defend and to take pride in whatever roots they do have, because I rather defend and take pride in mine, such as they are. It is possible to have a splendid and distinct England (not “Britain” or – ugh – “the UK”) that is free from jingoistic twaddle, just as it is possible to take pride in a fantastic Germany or Ethiopia or China or wherever, whenever. I won’t apologise for the past because I wasn’t there, and I won’t apologise for the present because I’m not the only one responsible for the way it all turned out! Now, what was I talking about? Oh yes – yes and no is the answer. More tea, Vicar?

Who would play the characters in a film?

Peter Ustinov, Prunella Scales, Bill Nighy, Margaret Rutherford, Alastair Sim, Joyce Grenfell, Dirk Bogarde, James Robertson Justice… the list goes on and on for an ideal cast. Don’t get me wrong, more recent and current actors are fantastic – well, one or two of them are – but for the world existing in my mind only those of that brilliant, star-spangled era will do. Bill Nighy is the exception; he’s a walking, talking, slightly creepy and disturbing bucket of talent who is still working (and long may he do so).

What are your next projects?

I am busy at the moment with two short stories for separate anthologies. One is a “B-Movie” spoof combining Miss Marple with One Million Years BC. The other is a science fiction story in the Dan Dare mode with lots of proper rocket ships. There’s another collection of my short stories in the offing as well but the major project has the working title ‘Rupert of The High Seas’ – time travel, pirates, treasure and a happy ending for all but one of the characters.

What is your life like?

Currently I live in North Lincolnshire (the wolds) on the outskirts of a small village. When I’m not dissolving steel spoons in free-format curries I can be found writing furiously, sleeping furiously or striding around the lanes ranting at hedgerows and dodging maniacal tractor drivers. At the moment I am hors de combat and sport a “Morse” limp – if it goes on much longer I may allow myself to take up a walking stick, the better to lash out at any traffic in my way or to poke at bodies in ditches.

What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

I can sometimes be found on the business end of Victorian or Edwardian cameras in my alter-ego guise as a flash-bang-wallop vintage photographer – the full velvet dark cloth, mahogany camera and pyrotechnic powder-flash job. I’ve worked at venues as diverse as Leeds United stadium, Southbank in London and private country house weekend parties. For pleasure though I oik out my bag of electric Nikon digital camera gear and gallumph around the countryside photographing motorsports – motorbikes and car rallies. The former means period costume and customer deference, the latter is a more splendid mix of sitting on my backside in a water-filled ditch punching the air because I got the shot I wanted. My last close shave was a BMW rolling end over end at speed towards me – I took the photograph and then threw dignity to the wind and ran, screaming.

Who are your literary influences?  images (7)

W E Johns (Biggles), Enid Blyton (Famous Five), Robert Heinlein (Time Enough for Love, Number of the Beast, and that era), Tom Sharpe (Wilt, Blott on the Landscape, etc)  Asimov, Aldiss, Huxley, Wyndham . I’m a bit stuck in that era.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Films? Withnail and I, Alien (almost all of them), Carry on Up The Khyber… far too many and diverse to list. Books? I love all sorts. All of my books are currently in storage and I miss them terribly. All by the authors listed above and lots of new works too – books are there to be vacuumed up like tasty morsels at a banquet. My shelves – when I have them – include everything from Principia Mathmatica to Clive Cussler. Albums? As far as music goes I’m an old rocker. And a new rocker. And a Glam rocker. Also a pop-music enthusiast. A lover of classical. No one genre is sufficient – from Genesis to Falco, from Dwight Yoakam to Delibes, from Shirley Bassey to Muse to Whiny Amehouse.

What are your views on independent publishing?

 

It’s brilliant. The old dinosaur industry has had its day. It abused the public dreadfully when it was the only source of books and it’s paying the price now. I dance on the grave of multi-national corporate publishing and I throw what rose petals I can find in the path of small publishers and independent authors.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

Oh yikes – I am a member of several indie author groups, love loads of the books I’ve found there and I am not about to offend anyone by singling out names! Your own books aren’t bad… Mr Christoph Fischer.

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

I have been constantly and genuinely puzzled why anyone would want to associate with me so I’m not at all sure what they would say. Probably ‘he went away when asked and hasn’t really bothered us since’.

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?  images (6)

Animal – dog (mutt, friendly). Colour – that’s a difficult one, I love blues, greens, an odd shade of faded tangerine and white. Outdoor activity – walking (civilised walking, we’re not talking Olympic-level fell-walking or crossing deserts here) and chasing motorsports.

What would you take to a remote island?

My library, a supply of Scottish single malts and Christian Bale.

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Odd one here. I’d like to invite my parents. I lost them years ago and I will always miss them.

 

NGLND XPX on Amazon – http://viewbook.at/nglndxpx What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

FLIGHT on Amazon – http://viewbook.at/FLIGHT

 

 

There are a few snippets of detail about my current larger project, ‘Rupert of The High Seas’ at my website and blog, both of which can be found at

www.dieselelectricelephant.co.uk

along with links to me on

FacebookTwitter @dieselelephants

where you can read as I whine about the process of writing it.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I’m hungry, I have bills to pay and all of my books are for sale on Amazon and in all major outlets.

 

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‘FLIGHT will transport you to an insane world of elderly, talking, pole-dancing dogs, intelligent pheasant, screaming sheep and cute mendicant monk rats with little rat-tonsures and sandals. A verbose world, a delicious world with absolutely no sub-plot, no meaning and dashed little in the way of d’etre raisins. There’s a wheezy badger with the transplanted lungs of a sparrow, an all-pheasant pub quiz team and a dog that, but for her flatulence problems, would be able to successfully disguise herself as a eucalyptus tree by standing on one leg and freezing. There are three rather philosophically-minded hens, one of whom is the local Police Constable and has replacement steel buttocks and a Taser. Elvis and Amelia Earhart re-appear (quite separately; there’s been nothing untoward going on) and there’s a right royal punch-up when Santa d’Claus croaks, assumes ambient temperature, puts on a wooden overcoat and Christmas is summarily cancelled. It’s all splendid blathering nonsense such as one might read as a bed-time story to one’s pet dog or read while waiting for the cistern to refill in the smallest room in the house.’

 

 

28 Nov 2013

Aaron David: “The Almost English Dictionaarony”

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Aaron dictionary

“The Almost English Dictionaarony” by Aaron David is a selection of eight intriguing and very funny shorts.
The author has a very quirky and unique sense of humour that he has already proven in a full length novel, The Tale of the Ancient Marina.
In this book he explores some obscure but clever ideas, such as space travel gone wrong, acting ambitions pushed to the limit, monkey vertigo and a set of hilarious made up biographies. Some stories are actually quite meaning- and thoughtful and show the author’s ability to serious reflection but the main purpose of the collection is valued entertainment.

Short, concise and very enjoyable.

 

 The Book is FREE 28 -30 Nov 2013

 http://bookShow.me/B00GT1HK5W

 

Interview with Aaron David:

 

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer and a person.

OK try to stay awake; I’m 48 years old, married 28 years, three kids; 20, 18 and 16 (unusual names). I’m a tradesman running a 24 hour call-out service. I live in Bolton in the north west of England.

What made you become a writer?  Aaronpic

In 1997 we were awaiting the imminent arrival of our third baby in four years. My wife worked strange shifts so I based my work around hers. Thankfully this meant we never had to rely on anyone else for childcare; the kids were always with one or both of us. Anyone who’s been through the whole “baby thing” will know you spend a lot of time waiting; for them to wake up, for them to be hungry etc. I thought I could use this time productively so embarked on writing a novel. Sure enough, a mere ten years later it was finished! The rest is geography… Physics… Double-French… History.

Have you always written? Was it always going to be comedy?

I always wanted to write, I was the class clown at school then later at work and in the pub. It HAD to be a comedy. I was genuinely shocked when my readers told me it was a thriller.

Can you be serious?

I can but prefer not to.

What was the easiest about writing the book and what was the hardest?

I found it easy because it was enjoyable. When you write you discover what your opinions are. I didn’t treat it as a job; didn’t sit down to write eight hours per day. I’d write when I felt inspired then stop when I wasn’t. I would go months between writing bits. I think over all the book benefitted from that.

Would you say there is a message in the book?

No.

Do you find it is well received and picked up by the reviewers?

So far (touch wood) I’ve only had positive reviews. The only criticism was that it’s too short; which is kind of a compliment. Means the reader wanted more.

What do you like most about your characters?

They’re all fictional but could be real. None of them are based on real people except Mike, Ken, Clare & Judith. If I’d ‘nicked’ real peoples’ personalities I’d feel I owed them something.

Which one is your favourite?

I have a very soft spot for Nobby; In the face of adversity (being incredibly thick) he muddles through life somehow.

Are you like any of them?

Ken is an idealised version of the older me, Mike is an un-idealised version of me in my twenties

Who would play the characters in a film?

Steve Coogan would be a brilliant Tony, Peter Kaye could play Nobby better than he’s written.

What are your next projects?

The Almost English Dictionaarony; a collection of short stories is available on Amazon now. I’m running a free promo’ 28 – 30 November.

What is your life like?

Hectic!

What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

My work and family keep me busy, writing is my only ‘hobby’.

Who are your literary influences?

My readers would be the best judges of that. Several reviews have mentioned Tom Sharpe. I’ve never read any of his work but must get around to it some time.

What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

I don’t get nearly enough time to read. I’ve re-read the Red Dwarf novels several times, heartily recommend them (except the third one; “Backwards”; not rubbish but not as good as the other three). “A Matter of Life and Death”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Toy Story 1, 2 and 3”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2”, “In the Line of Fire”… I could go on for weeks. The best album ever is “Bat Out of Hell” by a loooooooooong way. The two ‘sequels’ were AWFUL!!!

What are your views on independent publishing?

Very hard work and very time-consuming but ideal for control-freaks like me.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

Your good self obviously, Ian Hutson, Tony Gilbert, loads of others

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

Friends?

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

Dog, black, playing football/ tennis/ badminton on a warm beach with my wife and kids + girlfriends/boyfriends.

What would you take to a remote island?

A boat and a map to get back home.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

The sequel to “Marina”; “All the Loft Insulation you can Eat” is an ongoing project. I write short stories when an idea hits me.

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

They’re brilliant and worth every penny. J

 

Thank you so much, truly an honour and a privilege. As you know I’m a big fan of your work.

 

The Tale of the Ancient Marina on Amazon: http://bookShow.me/B004C05C98

An Almost English Dictionaarony on Amazon http://bookShow.me/B00GT1HK5W

19 Nov 2013

Melodie Ramone: “After Forever Ends”

2 Comments Book Reviews

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“After Forever Ends” by Melodie Ramone is an absolutely charming and enchanting love story. Told by Silvia, an old widow it is the tale of her love to her husband Oliver, whom she meets at the age of 15 and whom she loves ever since.
Their wonderful, sweet, honest, romantic and deep love for each other crosses the paths of a few other significant people, not least Oliver’s twin brother Alexander and Silvia’s sister Lucy. This is the story of their life in Wales, their struggles and their ‘forever’.
The book is written in a most enchanting style and leads us through the stages of the couple’s life in wonderful detail, thoughtful, humorous, inspiring and heart-warming. 
I can’t stress enough just how beautiful this book is without crossing the line into unnecessary drama or kitsch. The romance is heart-felt, realistic and magic at the same time as Ramone has created very likeable characters that are not always totally perfect but are trying to be. Although the book begins with Silvia at an old age and being widowed it ends on a positive note and left me happy and cheerful. It is a credit to this author to have handled the sadness as well as this and bring happiness to a time when forever has ended.
I am massively impressed with this effort and urge you to see for yourself how lovely this book is.

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

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Hi Melody, thanks for taking the time for this little interview.

Hi, Christoph! Thank you SO MUCH for inviting me! I’m really excited to be doing this.

Tell us a little about yourself. I was surprised to find you live in the US but your book is so convincingly set in England and Wales? How did you decide on the location?

Well, I’m Scottish on my father’s side and Welsh on my mothers, so the locations were a natural choice. I’m familiar with the area that the twins in the book are from, which is right on the border between England and Wales. Quite honestly, it’s the happiest, most magical and beautiful place I’ve ever been, so when I decided that my story would be a positive one, Powys was the first place that came to mind.

Have you always written?

 I have been writing since I was about four years old. I used to make up little poems and stories before I could even write them down.

How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?  

After Forever Ends is based largely on my own experiences in life, or of experiences based on people who have been very close to me. I wrote it huddled under a blue blanket one very cold winter while I was living in New York. It was a dark part of my life where I was facing both inner and outer demons. I was unsure of the future and looking back at my past and trying desperately not to be bitter about my situation. A lot of things went into it; my homesickness for the UK and a little house that sits in Wales, missing friends who had left this world too soon, dealing with the passing of a relative I thought of as a mother. As I pondered all of this, and much more I won’t bore you with, I began to remember the good that was in my life. All the people, the places, the conversations and the laughter, and I decided to take those memories and change names, switch locations, and jumble circumstances. When the book boils down, it’s about 90% autobiography. And then I was reading it back to myself and I realized I had lived a wonderful, bumpy, spectacular, absolutely wonderful life. So I wrote some more and when I was done, I had After Forever Ends on a memory stick.

How much of the storyline was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?

I had nothing set in my mind at all. I just started telling the story at the day I met my high school boyfriend and went from there. I really let myself bounce around the memories the whole time I wrote. Nothing was planned or contrived. It was written how it happened, with a couple of embellishments for creative measure. 

I am amazed to hear this.  I would never have known. Tell us a little about your writing and editing process.

My writing process is erratic. It begins with a voice. Yes, as schizophrenic as that sounds, it always starts with a voice, like somebody whispering in my ear. And if I pay attention to them, they soon begin to infiltrate my dreams. Sometimes I will be watching them as if I am seeing a film, sometimes I will be them, but I start to get a clear vision, literally, of the world they live in, and an emotional knowledge of their lives. And then I just sit in the still with my computer and wait for them to tell me their story. I just type it as fast as I can, then go back and fill in the blanks, if they leave me any.

What is your writing environment like? Can you tolerate music or noise or are you a reclusive writer?

It really depends. I live in a house that is generally chaotic, so I often listen to music, but not music. Not exactly. Let me clarify. I tend to put on the headset and listen to Hindi chants or Buddhist chants. Certain ones, especially Ek Ong Kar and The Green Tara Mantra. They help clear my head, help me focus, and help me see more clearly what my goal in the story is. Other than that, I do prefer it to be quiet. Or, sometimes, I will play the same film over and over and over. I won’t even be paying attention to it, it’s like a hum in the background, but I just keep hitting repeat for hours. I did that with a ongHong Kong cinema film while writing After Forever Ends. I must have played it over two hundred times.

Which of your characters was most fun to write?

All of my characters were fun to write, but I especially enjoy Oliver. He was the most challenging character, because I couldn’t quite get into his head. See, I think of my characters as real people and when you “meet” Oliver, he comes off as completely sane and reasonable, but he’s really not. He’s way off his rocker. He doesn’t think like a normal person, his perceptions are different, so you just have to sort of accept him and not put any standards on him. But the thing about Oliver is, he is hysterically funny if you pay attention to him. I think he’s the funniest character in the book, but he’s subtle, too, so you have to watch him. Funny, I should use the word “watch”, but if you read the book you will know exactly what I mean.

Who would play them in a film?

I look for people who would resemble my characters and I have to say for Silvia, I’d go with Mandy Moore if she could do an Edinburgh accent. I’ve kind of fallen in love with her since I wrote the book and realized she looks a bit like Sil. She’d have to die her hair red and make it curly, though. For the twins, I’d love to have Ioan Griffudd, since he looks something like them in the face and he’d have no problem nailing the Welsh accent, being as he’s Welsh. I don’t know how tall he is, though. Lucy…physically speaking, I’d pick Isla Fisher.

Are you like any of the characters?

I am more like Silvia than I’d like to admit and enough like her to be proud that we’re the same on many levels. Silvia’s a lot more attached and insecure than I am. That’s really a big difference between us. I am fiercely independent and she has a deep need of people. It’s one of the things I like about her, though, her endless capacity to receive and return love.

What is your life like?

Well, I live in a big, ugly yellow house on a shady street in a historical district with nothing other than cute little white houses on it. I have two daughters, a husband, and a couple of pets. I wake up in the morning and immediately check my computer for e-mails, then tweet, then check my Writing Group, then I think about making coffee. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. Most of my days are busy. My girls are home schooled, so we do a lot of that, and I take them to their music lessons and out shopping. We go to Sonic a lot for drinks. I like to cook and I do a lot of different things in the kitchen, hence my reputation for being a “Certified Kitchen Witch”. When I’m not cooking or cleaning or teaching or being a taxi, I like to paint and knit. And read. And write, of course. My days are always busy and almost never boring. I have a very busy, quiet, happy life. I have a lot of peace, which is something I didn’t have when I was young. I’m lucky.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Wow. You know, my favourite books are the really old, dry ones that I read when I was young. I am not a subscriber to the modern concept that a story should be told in 300 pages or less. Screw that. I love Tolkein, Alcott, and Lawrence. Those stories they told were real. Absolutely real and raw and dirt and messy and they were long, but once you read them, you actually lived another life. You came out of them with somebody else’s experience and wisdom and you were a better person for knowing the characters. Those are the kinds of books I want to write. The kind that change your mind and get into your soul and stay there forever.

As far as films, I’m a big fan of Hong Kong Cinema, but not the karate genre, per se. I love Hong Kong drama. My all time favourite film ever is a Hong Kong film called “Anna Magdalena”. But as far as American cinema, I just like movies that have meaning, or are funny. It’s always nice to just laugh.

Music…well, that’s a whole other subject! I listen to everything from opera, standards, and jazz to Iron Maiden. It depends on my mood. 

What are your views on independent publishing?

Well, I’ve been in the publishing industry on and off since I was twelve years old. I made a very intentional decision to self-publish. It wasn’t born of the frustration of being rejected by traditional publishers. I know full well I can be traditionally published, because I’ve done it under a different name. However, I didn’t want to be told what to do. I didn’t want my book to be gutted. It was so personal and so special to me that I wanted it how it was. I didn’t want it to be necessarily polished or perfect. I wanted the reader to have one of two experiences as they read: to either be the person Silvia, the narrator, was speaking to, hearing her voice as she rambled, watching her remember her life and tell it in her own words, or to be an eaves dropper on the train with them. My goal was to tell the story the way my own grandmother would have told it to me. I didn’t want anybody touching that, so I didn’t let them. I have every intention of doing the same thing with my next book, too. Every story has a soul and every author has the right to tell it the way they want. I like to do things my own way without a lot of aggravation. I’m very punk rock that way. 

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My best qualities are my sense of humour and my inner strength. I’ve been through a lot in my life and it’s made me empathetic and passionate about everything and everyone. I’m kind. My odd qualities? Oh, my, there are many! I don’t look at things in a traditional way…at all. I believe only in possibilities and never in limitations.

What are your favourite animal/ colour/ outdoor activity?

My favourite animals are bats. I think they are so cool and so cute! My favourite colour is emerald green. My favourite outdoor activity? Well, I’m not very outdoorsy, but I do like campfires and starry skies.

What would you take to a remote island?

BOOKS!

Who would you like to invite for dinner and why?

Joey Ramone. I’d love to have made my world famous pot roast for him, as a thank you, before he passed away. We’re no relation, but I’ve always been a fan.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I’m currently doing some freelance editing, but I’m working on novel #2 as well. I don’t really like to talk about my works in progress, but once it’s ready to rock I’ll be posting on Twitter and on my blog.

 

Links:

Amazon:  http://bookShow.me/B009ODTG86

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6540025.Melodie_Ramone

website 

twitter username melodie_ramone
About this author

I’m a wife, mother, keeper of fuzzy critters, author, speaker and certified Kitchen Witch. When I’m not creating Culinary magic, I can usually be found writing stories, reading books, relentlessly tweeting, knitting or delving into fringe Physics. Super geek? Oh, yeah. 

What else? Well, I’m funny and quick tempered, older than I look and young enough to be able to fall on roller skates and still move the next day. I’m short. I have curly, red hair. My favorite color is emerald green. I like Japanese Anime, rainy days, cats, kids, and any movie that includes Simon Pegg. 

I’m obsessed with the Science of Physics, particularly Particle Physics, although in the last few years I am drawn more and more toward Astronomy. I’m fascinated with Outer Space and what’s going on out there. Hubble and the Mars Rovers have sparked a passion in me that goes back to the first time I saw Star Wars. And that was a long, long time ago. I’m a curious person by nature. I want to know everything about everything, I want to see it. I want to understand it so I can understand the origins of our universe. But, then again, I want to understand everything in general. 

Some things I never will. I will never understand hate. I will never understand ignorance. I try to let them wash past me, but sometimes it’s hard. I think, in some ways, it’s why I write. So I can leave behind a world I don’t always understand, one I sometimes find too painful to stay in, and create my own universe. One that parallels this one, one that is similar, but one which I, ultimately control. One where everything, at least to me, makes sense.

In short, I’m a happy person. I’m not perfect and I’m not entirely sane, but I don’t pretend to be. In the end, when I look back at my life I will see an amazing smear of color. All the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the strength and weakness that was me. I’ll see all I did and all I failed at. And I will sigh and I will say that I lived. I really, truly lived. I was real. I wrote books. And that, I think, will be good enough for me.

 

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