I’m chuffed to little mint balls to be in such august company as the other nominees, quality writers all (well, mostly) who include one Alex Brightsmith I’m pleased to see.
Voting starts on September 1st, and I’ll bang on about it at length then, no doubt begging for your votes.
“The church maintained that a man’s penis was required to have fulfilling sexual activity, and therefore frowned far less on women lying with women than it did on male homosexuality.
Indeed, medically there existed a school of thought that the womb of a woman contained a build-up of her seed, and without penetrative sex this would cause suffocation of the womb. The cure for this was to find a midwife or cunning woman willing to place hot items upon the woman’s privities and bring her to release.”
– a little snippet there from the ongoing The Raven’s Wing.
The Game is a futuristic bloody killfest put on for the entertainment of the masses in the late 21st century. An Exhibition Match is mounted to decide the greatest fighters of all time, and the book is written from the viewpoint of the commentator known as The Voice.
Unlike some reviewers on Amazon, I found the opening slow. I had to force myself through the first few chapters before the style of writing – a combination of interviews, flashbacks and autobiographical rantings from The Voice (not a character I ever really warmed to) – began to weave its spell on me.
I’m pleased that I persevered, for the novel grows into a “beautiful kaleidoscope of blood, violence, gore and vengeance”. Not kidding, these pages are soaked with red, but the action is so well-written, so well paced that I never felt like I was reading some schlock-horror pulp. This is superbly-crafted book for adults. Take it on the bus with you and you’ll miss your stop.
4/5 wombats for Ed Kendrick’s The Voice of Reason.
So, the first ever UK Indie Literary Festival in Bradford was a thoroughly jolly beano and no error (sorry, I went all Fifties Celia Johnson for a moment there). Organised superbly by the remarkable Dawn Singh, author of the excellent Regina books, it all went swimmingly, though no one got wet.
This was my first book festival as an attendee, and my first wow was at other authors’ banners, proudly announcing who they were to visitors. Made my laminated A4 sign look a bit meek, but then I had something they didn’t – free sweeties and a daft hat. Never underestimate the attraction of a daft hat.
The table that really struck me was Alex Brightsmith’s, as did the paper aeroplane that she threw at me, entirely oblivious to the distinct possibility of HAVING MY BLOODY EYE OUT! This inspired a happy ten minutes of flinging the thing around our end of the room with reckless abandon. And that’s the memory that will stick with me most from this event – the friendship and supportive good-humour; the laughter and respect in that room full of truly talented writers. Plus I signed and sold a few books, too, so, you know.
I found it difficult to find a table guard so missed many of the readings and panels, although once the current Mrs. Wombat turned up I did manage to attend a fascinating panel on World Building given by Dawn Singh and Joe Kipling. That too rippled with laughter. My own reading went very well, I thought, and I was flattered to be complimented on my woman’s voice. No really.
And of course I collected some books. My #UKIndieLitFest tsundoku (reading pile) consists of Alex Brightsmith, J.G. Clay, Rose English, G.K. Holloway, Diana Jackson and more I’ve grabbed since on my Kindle. These should keep me going for a long while yet. Thanks for all the fun, UKIndieLitFest Alumni. Here’s to next year!
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know of my occasional forays along the deeply dismal A58 to Bolton, whose market is smaller but far more vibrant and less anodyne than Bury’s vast but mostly bland affair. You will also be aware of my love of the coffee served by Nigel at The Coffee Grind in Bolton Market. Why, I even wrote him into a short story, look.
Well, here’s good news – Nigel and Gill have expanded with a new shop on busy Newport Street. It’s on the left as you walk up from Town Hall Square. Stepping inside The Coffee Grind from the busy thoroughfare is like walking into a welcoming cup of finest coffee after a busy day (without getting wet: you understand similes, right?). The ambience is welcoming, calm and full of taste. There’s a sense of enormous space, thanks to the mirror wall at the far end, and more seating downstairs for those who prefer a more intimate setting, like lovers or spies.
With the extra space come extra goodies, and Gill will happily sate any hunger you might have for cake and paninis. Nigel continues to rush his bottom off serving punters in the market, so now you have a choice of independent venues at which to buy coffee (or tea, or, I have to say, a quite stonking hot chocolate). Avoid the major chains and give The Coffee Grind a try. Your tastebuds will love you for it.
Are you coming to see me at UK Indie LitFest in Bradford on 23rd July? Want a free audiobook to listen to on the way home?
The first ten people to say “Ee a Moth Girl” to me (that’s a quote from the book which is also an anagram of the person who inspired it) will receive a code for a FREE download of the Moth Girl audiobook from Audible (together with detailed instructions on how to jump the stupidly complicated Audible hurdles).
Hello, kids! Are you around Bradford on Saturday 23rd July? Why not pop into St. James Hall to say hello to me and loads of other cracking authors? There’ll be books and book-related swag galore.
Date: Saturday 23rd July
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: St James Hall, Bolton Road, Bradford, BD2 4LH
‘Summer 2016 is to be an exciting time for authors and reading fans in West Yorkshire. With amazing best-selling authors the first ever UK Indie Lit Fest is set to a must for all book lovers and aspiring writers.’
Dawn Singh (Festival Director)
You’ll have the chance to:
Meet over thirty authors and get signed books. And you know me, I’ll sign anything else you thrust at me.
Enter competitions to win signed novels from attending authors.
“Snap a picture with authors” it says here on the blurb, although I’m not sure that’s such an attraction with the Wombat beard.
Hear the music that inspired the writers and watch book trailers for the latest releases.
Talk to authors around the globe via Skype
Attend FREE workshops and readings, hosted by top authors. I’ll be doing a reading at 9:15, if you’re an early bird. As yet I have NO idea what to read, so any suggestions will be gratefully received.
The festival features best-selling Indie authors from every genre you can imagine, including Romance, Sci-fi, fantasy, YA, historical fiction. Among those attending (as well as over 25 in person) Kendare Blake will be answering fans questions via Skype. Blake is the best-selling author of the critically acclaimed Anna Dressed in Blood series, which has been snapped up by Stephenie Meyer’s (author of Twilight) film production company. Don’t miss the chance to support this amazing event and meet authors from around the country and across the water.
The UK Indie Lit Fest supports Lumos. All proceeds from competitions, raffles or give-aways will be donated to Lumos.
Pick up a copy of the special festival anthology, Indie Visible at the event. Half of the proceeds will go to Lumos, the other half will go to funding next years event. Ask any of the Indie Army festival helpers for more details.
Recently I was asked to write to a class of five-year-old children. Here’s the story I included.
One day, Wee Wombat’s mummy took him for a walk outside their lovely dark, smelly burrow. After a delicious breakfast of grass, she kissed him on the head and pointed to the field that surrounded the dark hole that was their home.
“It’s time you learned how to mark which part of the meadow belongs to us,” said Mombat, “so that rabbits, sheep and other wombats don’t eat all our dinner before we can.”
“Yes Mum!” said Wee Wombat, eagerly. “Which bit does belong to us?”
“All the grass between the old log and that rock shaped like a dingo,” she smiled. “You have to mark it so that everyone knows this bit of grass is ours.”
“I could scratch the log with our names!” said Wee Wombat.
“But you couldn’t scratch the rock, it’s too hard,” Mombat said.
“Oh,” said Wee Wombat. “I know! I could dig a trench by the rock to keep other animals out! I’m brilliant at digging!”
“But we want your friends Kylie Kangaroo and Wally Wallaby to be able to visit, don’t we?” Mombat pointed out.
“Oh,” said Wee Wombat. “Then what shall we do?”
“What shall we do? We’ll do a poo,” said Mombat.
“Do a poo? Ew!” said Wee Wombat.
“The smell will tell everyone that we live here, and this is our grass,” said Mombat. “Go on, try it now, on the old log.”
Wee Wombat was a bit nervous, but he was a good Wee Wombat and did as he was told. He lifted his wee wombat bum and did a wee wombat poo on the old log. One poo, two poo, three poo, four poo. But the wind blew and his poo rolled off the log.
“Oo, my poo blew, what shall we do?” he asked.
“What shall we do? We’ll do a square poo,” said Mombat.
“Do a square poo? Ew! And ow!” said Wee Wombat.
“Don’t worry, Wee Wombat, It won’t hurt,” said Mombat, “Try it now, on the old log.”
Wee Wombat was still a bit nervous, but he was a good Wee Wombat and did as he was told. He lifted his wee wombat bum, concentrated hard, and did a wee wombat square poo on the old log. One poo, two poo, three poo, four poo. The wind blew … and his poo stayed where it was!
“Well done, Wee Wombat!” said Mombat. “Now everyone will know that this grass belongs to Mombat and her Wee Wombat.
Here’s an interview on “Amazing Books and Authors” that I gave together with Lisa, Miranda and Kendall. It could be titled ‘The Making of Human 76’.
Hey everyone!! It’s been a while since a great post came this way, but today I have the extreme pleasure of interviewing MULTIPLE people at one time!!! If you haven’t heard of Human 76 then I don’t know where you have been hiding! I’ve tweeted about it and many multiple folks have as well. Today you will get to see my interview with many awesome folks! They were all part of this awesome book. Stick around, learn about it, and then go buy and or download the book.
“Quiet, you fool! You’re safe now!” Rough hands gripped Ghabrie.
A kestrel swooped but Ghabrie could not hear its call. She could hear only Nahria’s shriek. Ghabrie strained to glimpse her little sister through the mass of rebellion warriors and Prometheans. The two sides were withdrawing, both claiming their spoils and retreating. Ghabrie thrashed: kicking, biting, struggling against strong arms that restrained…
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Here’s Lisa on Human 76. Worth a read for the snippets from her stories alone.
Ghabrie and Human 76 is finally here!
And available as a free ePub eBook for two weeks to celebrate its release.
Join a new Fandom and Like our Human 76 Facebook Page to keep up to date with blogposts, links, fun stuff, and information you won’t find anywhere else!
Snippet of ‘Leaving the Nest’ by Lisa Shambrook – Human 76
We are supporting Water Is Life and all profit from book sales will go
to this deserving charity – helping to provide water where people need it.
A charity that helps people who struggle within this world.
Snippet of ‘We Make the Future’ by Lisa Shambrook – Human 76
FREE Download from Luluuntil 1st July
(ePub version of the book which can easily be converted…
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