Category Archives: Author Promotion

#Author Interview: Sacha Black

Sacha BlackI am delighted to feature Sacha Black today.  For those of you who don’t know Sacha, she is the founder of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Bash Awards. (More about the Bash at the end of this post).  Please join me in congratulating Sacha on the release of her first book, 13 Steps to Evil:  How to Craft Superbad Villains, a step-by-step guide to creating multi-dimensional villains and much more.

 

 

Buy the book HERE and HERE  

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

Welcome, Sacha!
Why did you write this book?   This book started out as a couple of blog posts. Everything I’ve learnt on my journey to publishing, I’ve blogged. I guess as both a consolidation of my learning and a way to give back and share the lessons and mistakes I’ve made so others don’t have to. When I was studying villains it was no different. I wrote up the things I’d learnt as blog posts and I was fortunate enough they proved popular. But that told me that kind of content was not only wanted but needed too. So the seed was sown for 13 Steps To Evil.
Did you feel there was a gap in the market for this type of book?   Absolutely, because of the popularity of the posts, I did some research and discovered that although there were lots of blog posts, there were only a couple of books out there that covered the topic and none were as in depth as I wanted. So absolutely there’s a market.
Does the book shed new light on a common issue?  I think so. It comes at villain-creation from a different angle. For a start, it’s based on a myth busting concept. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Most writers have hero-worship syndrome. Blindly concentrating on their hero and creating his or her depth of character and forgetting that a novel isn’t just one character.
So 13 Steps To Evil tries to blow that concept apart by suggesting the villain is actually the most important character in an author’s book. Why? Because a villain is the source of conflict, and without conflict, there is no story and no need for a hero.
Is it a topic that a lot of people can easily relate to?  Absolutely. This isn’t a stuffy textbook. I purposely use really well known character examples from books, film and TV because most people will have heard of all, or at least most of the examples. I try to sprinkle a little humor and sarcasm into the book and provide a couple of thought provoking exercises at the end of each chapter.
How will the book help writers?  The book is an easy to understand, step by step guide to creating Superbad villains. Each step has bite size chunks of info a summary and a couple of useful questions/exercises. There’s also a free checklist to go with the book, a short course and I’m also opening up a Facebook group for the short course completers where they can discuss their ideas/feedback with each other, and I will be in there monitoring it as well.
It will take writers from the basics all the way up to their ultimate warlord.
Who’s your favorite villain?  Can you ask me that? That’s totally not fair! Honestly, I have a penchant for anti-heroes. The first anti-hero I ever fell in love with was Beetlejuice, I secretly wanted to wear his stripy suit. I love Deadpool too, with his ego and outrageous sense of humor, Loki, Patrick Bateman, Dexter, GAH there are so many. If we’re talking pure villain, then one of the best has to be Hannibal Lecter, surely? 

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

BIO
Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.
BLURB
Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:
  • How to develop a villain’s mindset
  • A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
  • Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
  • What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.
These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

EXCERPT
Why Writers Fudge Up Their Villains
Villains are like newborn infants. So much glorious potential. Until we writers get our grubby mitts on them and balls it up. With the careless flick of a pen, we can turn a finely sculpted baby villain into a cringe-worthy cliché because we didn’t make him bad enough, or we create something so heinously evil it’s unrealistic.
A villain might be a plot device, but he still needs a purpose and a goal, or he’s unworthy as an opponent for your hero (See STEP 3 for motives and goals).
While researching this book, writers told me all kinds of problems they encountered while creating their villains. From getting the dialogue right and avoiding clichés, to knowing how evil to make a villain, to how to reveal her motives without using blatant exposition.
Behind all these issues lie two basic barriers that are the Achilles in every writer’s villainous heel:
   1. Depending on the point of view (POV) the book’s written in, the villain is usually seen through the eyes of your hero.
A solitary POV gives you a page-limited amount of time to show your villain’s best, most authentic and devilishly evil side. Page-limited to the point it makes it eye-wateringly difficult to convey her backstory effectively without information dumping. You have to be better, clearer, more tactical and more concise with your words to create superbad villains.
   2. Writers are hero worshippers.
We love our heroes and protagonists more than our spouses. And as a result, we spend shameful amounts of time honing our protagonist’s muscular heroics into shape. But that relegates our villain (the plot-driving conflict-creator) to the corner of our book, complete with a nobody-loves-you-anyway hat. In other words, writers don’t pay enough attention to their villain.
Learn more about Sacha:    Non-Fiction Website            Fiction Website    Amazon UK   Amazon US   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Instagram   Tumblr   Google+   LinkedIn   Goodreads Non-Fiction   Goodreads Fiction
Annual Bloggers Bash
Sacha organizes the #AnnualBloggersBash along with Ali Isaac, Geoff LePard, and Hugh Roberts.  This year, the Bash will be held on June 10th in London.  If you haven’t yet voted for your favorite blogger, you can do so HERE.  But hurry, because voting closes on June 2nd at 12 p.m. BST.
Thanks so much for stopping by

The Decision to Go Dark (Guest Post)

Christy Birmingham hosts Charles Yallowitz talking about the 13th book in his fantasy series, Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb. Is it acceptable for a Young Adult author to go dark? Nowadays, it seems young adults thrive on the gruesome, but read what Charles has to say…

Poetic Parfait

Profile Photo of Charles Yallowitz Meet Charles E. Yallowitz, Author of the Legends of Windemere Series.

Please join me in welcoming author Charles E. Yallowitz to the blog today! His fantasy stories are truly one of a kind, as shown by the Legends of Windemere Series. With the newest book in his series, Ritual of the Lost Lamb, going live within the past week, it’s an exciting time for Charles! He’s here with a guest post that talks about the darker side of this newest novel and why he chose to go that way with the series. Take it away, Charles:

The Decision to go Dark

Thank you to Christy for letting me write a guest post to help promote my newest book, Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb.  This is the 13th book of my fantasy series and it’s where things start to take a dark turn for the heroes. Luke…

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Splendor. (London Jewel Thieves.) Shehanne Moore Chapter One

Shehanne Moore ~ prolific Smexy Historical Romance author and human mother to The Dudes ~ has released her 6th novel. The Dudes introduce Chapter One of Splendor in their charming and amusing style. Congratulations, Shey!

shehanne moore

Splendor CHAPTER ONE

London 1810

There was nothing wrong with pistols at seven paces at dawn. Except dawn was at eight o’clock tomorrow, and Splendor had a dressmaker’s appointment then. Three thimbles and the scissors had smacked into the back of the Chinese dressing screen the last time she’d wandered in ten minutes late. Madame Renare had said these were meant for her assistant, that paying customers, even those who were behind with their bills, were sacrosanct. Splendor knew she lied, that Lady Haskins, who always had the next appointment, would depart wearing Splendor’s guts for garters if she were late again. And if she didn’t bring the money to pay her the bill.

Despite the pulse beating in her throat and her desire for the black-and-white checkered floor she stood upon to open up and swallow her, she’d promised Gabe there was nothing to this. She wouldn’t do anything…

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Problem, Lesson, or Opportunity? – Guest Post by, Tina Frisco…

Our generous Story Reading Ape has granted me another guest post on his most informative blog. Thank you, Chris, for giving me the opportunity to share the little wisdom I have acquired throughout this earthly journey we call Life. And, if you haven’t already done so, remember to stop by the pearly gates and pick up your angel wings 💜

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

When faced with an inexorable problem where emotions run high, knowing what to do can be a challenge. Rational thinking becomes obfuscated, forcing us into a holding pattern of circular thought.

Anger wants to place blame on others. Obsession with fine points masks the big picture. Abject frustration insists we bury our heads in the sand. Emotions churn and become ill-defined. Focus obscures. Common sense derails. Indigestion, insomnia, or worse take up residence.

None of these gets us anywhere. All of them threaten our sanity and plunge us into a maelstrom of inimical emotion. What to do?

Taking in a few deep breaths is a good first step toward relaxing. Listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking a long bath are a few ways to ease the constriction felt in the midsection. Relaxing the body helps mitigate mental and emotional distress. We all know…

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Meet Guest Author, Patrick A. Roland…

Patrick A. Roland had been the victim of pranks, slurs, beatings, and deadly games all of his life. His self-esteem was nonexistent, and he increasingly yearned to die. At the age of 40, he nearly realized this desire, but providence intervened. Visit The Story Reading Ape‘s blog and read about Patrick’s excruciating journey through darkness and emergence into light…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

My name is Patrick A. Roland. I am a bi-polar, alcoholic, drug addict widow who is sober happy and healthy.

I use these powerful, stigma-filled words and identify myself in the brave and powerful way I do because I am taking my life back. If I own who I am, I can no longer be undone and broken by others in the way that I have been all my life before I boldly and loudly proclaimed my truth. I am no longer a victim of my past. I am now a survivor, dancing swiftly and joyfully into a future filled with possibility.

I’m doing what I do to save myself and others like me from the pain and hurt caused by name calling and abuse. I am beautifully broken and perfectly imperfect and I don’t care if you know it. I am not afraid of who I am, and it…

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Tell Me a Story Returns

Annette Rochelle Aben kindly invited me to be interviewed on her blog talk radio show, Tell Me a Story. Annette is such a delight to talk with. Her extensive experience in the media industry is obvious in the way she presents herself and puts her guests at ease. We talked about my books and music, and she invited me to share one of my songs. I’m posting the lyrics below, as I’ve found it frustrating when listening to a song I really enjoy but cannot understand the words being sung.
Thank you, Annette, for all the support you give to so many. Your Angel Messages and Attitude of Gratitude are but a few ways by which you share your bright light with the world. It was an honor to be on your show.  
Please visit Annette’s lovely blog and leave your comments there

 © 2001Tina Frisco

Weaver of light

Maybe it’s a matter of time, maybe it’s a matter of place
Matter it’s a matter of heart
For the ones left behind, insufficient of mind
Who are eased by your grace

Maybe it’s a matter of chance, maybe it’s a matter of plan
Maybe it’s a matter of love
For the ones who can’t speak, who sit silent and weep
And reach out for your hand

Rest your heart a while
Rest your heart a while
Dreamer and knight
Weaver of light
Cast your smile
And rest your heart a while

Maybe it’s a matter of will, maybe it’s a matter of yield
Maybe it’s a matter of hope
For the ones we intern, disremember and spurn
Who inspire your ideal

Maybe it’s a matter of worth, maybe it’s a matter of flair
Maybe it’s a matter of joy
Knowing all that you give, in the way that you live
Is a consummate prayer  

Maybe it’s a matter of pure, maybe it’s a matter of rare
Maybe it’s a matter of peace
To receive who we are, every virtue and scar
And acknowledge we dare

Rest your heart a while . . .

Choosing Keywords – Guest Post by Jaq D Hawkins…

Jaq D Hawkins
Jaq D Hawkins has a fabulous guest post on The Story Reading Ape about choosing keywords. How can we learn which words readers are using to search for books? Jaq has some excellent suggestions. I also found this post by The Wildheart team, where they suggest using Google’s Keyword Planner 😊

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

We’ve all dealt with it. We get our book files ready, check one last time for any typos that might have slipped through, get a cover file ready and write the crucial blurb that will sell or fail to sell our book… once someone actually sees it.

Then we get down to the line for selecting keywords and the fate of the book’s discoverability lies in the careful selection of a few words or terms that we predict people will use to search for a book just like the one we’re about to upload.

On Amazon, usually the seller that results in the largest percentage of sales, we get a limit of seven words or terms. How do we choose the keywords that will bring our book to the attention of our target audience?

I’ve read countless articles on choosing keywords from blogs and author groups, all giving advice on…

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#Book Review – #Better Blogging with Photography by Terri Webster Schrandt

Terri Webster SchrandtAlthough I don’t own a smart phone or digital camera (yet!), I’m very interested in photography for many reasons, not the least of which is to generate my own photos for use on my blog. I’m so impressed by Terri Webster Schrandt‘s book, Better Blogging with Photography, that a digital camera has just moved to the top of my Absolutely Have to Purchase bucket list! Read on and learn why… 

Purchase Better Blogging with Photography  HERE 

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My 5-Star Review  

Better Blogging with Photography by Terri Webster Schrandt

A Gem of a Little Guidebook 

If you’re considering using photos on your blog to generate readership/sales, or simply to make your website more attractive and appealing, reading this book will ignite your enthusiasm and give you the tools needed to begin. 

Terri Webster Schrandt has condensed her knowledge of photography and blogging into a terrific little resource guide. Better Blogging with Photography  outlines how to upload print copies of photos, take and curate photos using a mobile phone or digital camera, and acquire photos from contacts or garner them from the Internet. Included are websites that offer free images, and the author wisely cautions to always check the rights and restrictions for each image. She also describes how to edit your photos and suggests downloadable software that’s either free or at minimal cost. An added perk is the chapter on links and resources. 

Schrandt has managed to encapsulate the basics of her subject matter into a 50-page comprehensive guidebook. Whether you’re new to blogging or well-seasoned, Better Blogging with Photography  will set you on the right track to enhancing the appearance of your website and increasing your readership. I highly recommend this book. 

Terri Webster Schrandt’s Links:  Website/Blog   Amazon   Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Google+

#Book Review – #Meno-What? by D.G. Kaye

D.G. Kaye WriterAs I read  D.G. Kaye‘s memoir, Meno-What?  my mind flooded with images of the hilariously popular Carol Burnett Show. I saw Carol Burnett and Vickie Lawrence spoofing all the physical and emotional changes a woman can expect upon reaching menopause. Candor, humor, and helpful hints abound. I found this book incredibly valuable.

Purchase Meno-What?  HERE

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My 5-Star Review 

Meno-What? by D.G. Kaye

Navigating Menopause with Poise and Humor 

I wish I’d had this book when I was going through menopause! It would have validated all I was feeling and given me some inventive ways of coping with the inevitable changes looming on the threshold of female maturity. 

In her memoir, Meno-What?  D.G. Kaye speaks frankly about the hormonal changes that launch a war against our physical, emotional, and behavioral stability. She humorously refers to them as the “meno dragons,” a term that will be appreciated by any woman who has reached this stage in life. 

Kaye outlines, chapter by chapter, the various changes that challenge our bodies as well as our sanity and self-image. With candor and humor, she tells us how each change affected her body, threatened her vanity, and braced her determination to face each one with an eye toward melioration. 

She coins some pretty hilarious terms in describing these changes. “Circumference expansion” and “meno muffin” refer to our broadening midsections. “Fatback” and “muffin tops” describe the love handles bestowed to our bra lines. “Bottoms down” laments the loss of firmness in our posteriors. “Fred Flintstone feet” bemoans the abhorrent increase in shoe size. And “the Sahara effect” aptly portrays those dreaded, uncomfortable hot flashes. 

Avowing “That isn’t going to happen to me” did not preclude menopausal changes for the author, but it did firm her resolve to deal with them naturally and creatively. When all is said and done, Kaye states, “. . . we should always just be grateful that we are still on the right side of the green.” 

Being an R.N., I knew quite well what lay ahead in my life. What I didn’t know was how menopause would affect me personally. Chock-full of helpful hints, this book serves as both an eye-opener and a lifesaver. It is compact, easily read within an hour or two, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.  

D.G. Kaye’s Links:  Website/Blog   Amazon   Facebook   Twitter    LinkedIn   Google+