Friday 22 November 2013

Snow Blind and Other Shocks

New from Patrick Mulready, three more stories to go with Snow Blind.

Snow Blind, a scifi adventure off world where snow isn't as pretty as you think

I Got Ripped in 4 Weeks, the dangers of taking dietary supplements?

Gemina, Wyoming, a man looking for a new life.

Death Is In Season, don't mess with things you don't understand!

For links to buy check out Patrick's page here 

Thursday 14 November 2013

The Goldilox Effect Book 2 of the Stalk Holding Super Heroes

BHP - Books for Children is pleased to announce the release of the second book in the Stalk Holding Super Heroes series.

    Find out if our heroes can save the fairy stories of the world being wiped out for ever.

     See Bertram George's page for links

Wednesday 13 November 2013

A new book from Tom Winton

Second Chance EbookLong Island salesman Sonny Raines has had it. He’s sick and tired of living in a world where wrong always wins over right. Then, on his thirty-ninth birthday, when he loses his job and comes home to the most devastating shock of his life, that’s it. He’s dropping out. With nothing left to lose, and little in his pocket, Sonny chucks it all and drives his aging van fifteen-hundred miles to the lower reaches of the Florida Keys. All he wants is to get over his recent losses and simplify his hectic life, and that’s exactly what he thinks he’s doing when he settles on a paradisiacal speck of an island known as Wrecker’s Key. While surrounded by the warm aquamarine waters of two tropical oceans, he not only falls in love with the key but also establishes a close bond with the free-spirited locals who call it home. But all isn’t blue skies, swaying palms, and coconut oil on Wrecker’s Key. There’s trouble wafting in the warm breezes that caress the island. Although Sonny certainly isn’t looking for romance, he finds himself falling for his next door neighbor. Ex-model Julie Albright just may be the kindest, most beautiful woman to ever grace his eyes, but there’s a snag. She has a small physical flaw that, no matter how hard he tries, Sonny can’t overlook. And his feelings are no secret to Julie. She can read them, and they weigh as heavy on her heart as they do on his. Then things get even worse. One night, under the cover of darkness, danger drifts up the deep, silent currents from the lower keys—serious danger—life and death danger. And Sonny Raines finds himself right in the middle of it.
And if that wasn't enough, I have an excerpt for you to make you want even more! Believe me after reading the following bit, you will click one of the links below and get your copy of the book. :-)

“As soon as I stepped outside I broke into a trot. Passing all the rest of the trailers first then heading up the same narrow road I followed Julie home on the night before, all I could do was think about how she must be reacting right then. I envisioned her staying in her bed alone, thinking. I could see quiet tears making their way down her cheeks. We may have only known each other for twenty-four hours but the mutual attraction we felt – both mental and physical, was undeniable. And it was deep. I knew for sure she really liked me, but there was a lot I didn’t know about Julie Alright. I had no idea she hadn’t had a semblance of interest in any man since her modeling days ended sixteen years earlier in New York City. Nor did I know that back then she was engaged to Mark Richardson, a very promising young attorney. Mark was about to become the youngest partner ever at Dalrymple, Stockton and Stockton, one of New York’s most prestigious law firms. Julie and Mark had been dating for two years, and they had a big wedding planned for that fall. The ceremony was to be held in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, followed by a reception at the Waldorf Astoria. Money was no problem for Mark’s parents and they insisted on buying the grandest wedding available. His father, J. Walter Richardson of Scarsdale and Palm Beach, just happened to be the sole heir of the “American Grains” breakfast cereal fortune. At that time Julie was one of the big up-and-comers in the modeling world. As a matter of fact, she was just about to cross the threshold to cover-girl fame. But it never happened. One June morning, when she was on her way to the biggest shoot of her career, her sunny future eclipsed totally, and in an instant. Sitting in the back seat of a Checker cab, she was headed uptown to the world-renowned Clairidge Studios where she was to pose for an upcoming cover of Vogue Magazine. The sun was beginning to shine, but Madison Avenue was still slick from a late morning rain. Julie, who was sitting behind the driver, cranked down the window and held her left hand out in the breeze, drying her freshly applied nail polish. Then, just as the cab was crossing the intersection at 44th street, another cab, heading east, didn’t bother to stop for the red light. The driver of the at fault cab, one Eloi Hernandez, was so toasted on coke he didn’t even notice the light had turned red. Thoughts of stopping never entered his hopped-up mind until after he’d sped into the intersection – and slammed broadside into Julie’s cab. The impact to the driver’s door was so forceful that her driver’s neck snapped so far sideways it literally cracked. The two vehicles then skidded, smacking sideways into each other, crushing four of Julie’s fingers in the process.The driver of Julie’s cab, a Greek immigrant from Astoria Queens, whose name she never learned, was dead by the time the ambulances reached the scene. Julie was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital where a team of three plastic surgeons performed micro-surgery in an attempt to re-attach her fingers. Her middle and index fingers were salvaged and the nerves regenerated in due time, but her pinky and ring finger were so badly mashed there was no possible way of saving them. Eloi Hernandez did a short stint on Riker’s Island; the Greek was buried out in Queens by his family; and Julie’s potential international fame never materialized. On top of all that, when Mark Richardson found out Julie had lost two fingers, he decided that just maybe he wasn’t ready for marriage after all. After knotting the loose ends of her life together the best Julie could, she returned to Ft. Lauderdale with lost dreams and a broken heart.”
Buy your copy from AMAZON
Read more from this author on Wattpad
006 Something about the author Tom Winton has been listed as an Amazon Top 100 Author in Literary Fiction. It has been said that he is a man who writes with his pen dipped in his soul. Born in New York City, Tom has done everything from working on a railroad gang in the Colorado Rockies to driving a taxicab in Manhattan. He's been a mailman, a salesman, an entrepreneur and more. He now lives in Florida with his wife Blanche and their ill-tempered but loveable Jack Russell terrier, Ginger. They spend part of their time in Carmel, Maine. Mr. Winton's debut novel, Beyond Nostalgia, has been likened to such classics as Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. Praised as "A 20th century Gone with the Wind," Beyond Nostalgia is a four-time Amazon Bestseller. His second novel The Last American Martyr has been on six bestseller lists at the same time. His third book, Four Days with Hemingway's Ghost, has been a repeat bestseller as well. Tom can be found online on Facebook, Twitter as @TomWinton, Goodreads, and Amazon

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Be Careful What Advice You Take

Regular readers of this blog will know that we don't often give advice to new authors. There are so many bloggers out there dispensing advice on how you should or shouldn't write. And new writers are eager to gobble up said advice and try to fit what they are working on to those instructions.
   I recently read a blog that was trying to tell new writers how to start their books, or more importantly how NOT to. There are some obvious things to avoid, but some of the advice given in said blog was...well let's say subjective.
   Much of writing is subjective. This blog said don't start with descriptions and gave an example of something that was supposed to be bad and off-putting to the reader. Actually I liked it, I wanted to read more, if I had come across the piece as a sample I would have bought the book. Subjective.
   Many great writers start their books with descriptions of action or places. The key is writing in such a way as to engage your reader. How do you do that? Again, subjective. The best you can do is write what you want to read.
   Know who you are aiming for, not always easy. But someone who likes murder mysteries won't want to read pages of literary ramblings that fill the pages of Cider with Rosie or Catcher in the Rye. As my husband says, nothing happens. On the other hand some people like reading for the joy of the words, the feel of the sensations the words provoke.
   The best advice for new writers is, read good writing and try to emulate it. Don't copy it precisely, but take the feel of what you like and find your own style to suit.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Meet the very talented B.A.Morton (Babs to her friends!)

I first met Babs (virtually speaking) when we were both on Authonomy. I loved her writing then and I'm pleased to say many more people can share it now as all her books are available on Amazon. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to interview her here today. Click the link and meet a great writer.
Babs Morton

Sunday 29 September 2013

A Menu of Death by Lucy Pireel - BOOKBLAST

A Menu of Death


A collection of stories centered around vengeance, obsession, cravings, and life.

Pick one item of the Menu or devour the entire buffet

Make sure you don't bite off more than you can chew

Read, but not with greed for

Death awaits, ready to come and collect its due

These eight short stories revolve around obsession, revenge, craving, love, and Death.

Whether it be a woman in need of rescue, a man who hungers for his wife, a demon lost, or wishes come true, all characters want something. Badly.

But ... You can't always get what you want, but you might just get what you need.


Available at:


About the Author
Lucy Pireel is a writer who doesn't let herself be restricted to any one genre. She loves to write in whatever direction her current story leads her.
When she's not writing, or reading, she is practicing or teaching yoga, her other passion. Or she could be on a long hike somewhere in the beautiful British nature.
Being an author it is almost a given she has a great love for chocolate and coffee to live on while writing, but she doesn't shy away from trying to prepare intricate dishes, for cooking is another thing she enjoys.
Should you want to follow her she can be found at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday 9 September 2013

Author Interview

Pop along to the Author Interview page and meet Patrick Mulready, a fan of James Bond, Top Gear and Doctor Who.

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Find our New Release here - with more links to come



THREE NEW FAIRY STORIES - now available on Amazon and Nook (including Barnes & Noble) . Check out the Books for Children page or Bertram George's page for links.
More links will be added as they become available.

Monday 26 August 2013

Where are the British Entrepreneurs?

Blue Hour Publishing has been going for about eighteen months now (where has the time gone). We  have tried Amazon Select and decided it isn’t for us. We were thinking of moving to Smashwords but opted for draft2digital instead.  As the one who puts all the books on line and keeps track of who has sold what, I like the way the d2d site works. Clean, simple to follow and not overloaded with information about other books. They may be dealing with thousands of authors but you feel like the only one! I don’t want to know about what else is available. I can find that out in other places if I want to. Well done, d2d. Please don’t change your website too much!
     But what really gets me is, why are all these companies based in the US. I have nothing against the way they work, apart from having to spend time and money contacting the IRS, but why hasn’t anyone in Britain come up with a company to help indie authors get their books into the ethersphere? Surely it can’t be that difficult.
     I didn’t see the programme myself, but was told that an indie author had approached Dragon’s Den for support while he wrote some books. He got turned down. Wouldn’t we all like to be supported while we got noticed?! But I wonder if someone had gone with the intension of setting up a company to convert and publish ebooks they might have been supported.
     And NO! I don’t want to do this myself. I haven’t the energy, knowledge or connections, but surely there must be someone out there who could do this. I’m not talking about a company that wants to put books put on its own platform but someone who will do the same as Smashwords and d2d. Or maybe all our technical people have crossed the pond or gone to Australia!


Saturday 17 August 2013

New Venture - New Author

A while back we announced we were adding Books For Children to the Blue Hour Publishing family.
Well the wait is over and very soon our very first Book for Children will be released.
    Meet our new author Bertram George on his own page here 
    He has written a whole series of books based around fairy story characters we all know and love, adding a new slant on them. Added to the stories are some wonderful illustrations done by the author himself. Just hope the ebooks can do them justice.  Look out for some of them here.
   In the meantime, his first book will be coming very soon. Watch out for this!

Friday 16 August 2013

New Release - Silent Love

Blue Hour Publishing is pleased to announce the release of Kristen Stone's SILENT LOVE.

The story of the growing love between Sara, the niece of Cathy and Stan and the new recruit to their animal sanctuary, David, who is totally deaf.
    David has spent his childhood unloved and almost ignored by his parents.
    Sara is a bright, independent young woman who almost runs him over on her way to the sanctuary.

Once again Kristen brings us a story that is hard to put down.

Available at these places            Amazon UK                   Kobo

Barnes and Noble             Nook

Friday 26 July 2013

Two More Titles Gone Large!

We are pleased to announce two more of our books are now available on Nook, Kobo and Apple. they are:

SHADOWCHASER by Stephen R Hulse
Occult thriller which follows Martin Thorn as he battles the supernatural to keep humanity safe.




AND the eco-thriller from Kristen Stone EDGE OF EXTINCTION

The story of people fitting for the right to live.




Watch out for more releases coming soon!

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Which Symbol Should You Use?

This debate has been raging for a long time, how long I’m not sure, but I’m here to keep it going.
    What sign do you use to indicate speech? “ or ‘ ?
    Many new writers, myself included, tend to use “. We were taught in school that that was the sign to indicate dialogue. The other sign is an apostrophe and could be used to quote something within dialogue and little else.
    When I was learning to type and throughout my typing career I was taught to use “ for quotes and dialogue. “ was over the 2 and ‘ was over the 8 and both were simple straight quotes, none of this facing the letter it was attached to.
    Ah, but you be old and went to school a long time ago.
    Both facts are very true. BUT I asked my granddaughter (16) what sort of quote marks she was told to use in her English lessons in this day and age. After looking at me somewhat blankly she said “. So it’s not just the people who were taught in the days of board rubbers and ink monitors who think like me.
    It has become the Established Publishing standard these days to use a single quote (or an apostrophe) to denote dialogue. (By “Established Publishing” I mean the big boys.)  But when did this happen and why?
    I have trawled through old books I have and some use “ while others use ‘. I recently read an ebook version of The Hobbit, which, according to the notes had been taken from an early version. That had “ in yet, yet a printed copy I have of The Lord of the Rings has ‘.  So was this down to the publisher? And yet… I have The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy both Guild Publishing editions, printed by the same printers and yet one uses “ and the other ‘. And one of the very first books I bought as an adult, “Islands In The Stream”  by Ernest Hemingway and published in 1970 uses ‘.
    Another weird thing I have noticed… I have a tablet with a touchscreen keyboard. Very clever. It automatically shows capital letters after you put in a full stop followed by a space. And with those capital letters it gives you an option of “. Once you have started your sentence it goes to an ‘. Sadly it doesn’t go back to “ until after you have put a space after the full stop. As “ is only used for speech and nothing else, this begs the question, why Microsoft think it is important but publishers don’t?
    Is this important? Does anyone care? Well, you do get the odd nose turned up when some people find the ‘wrong’ sort of quotes being used. As if punctuation marks are more important than the words. And yet many of the smaller publishing houses still use it.
    I think using double quotes makes the dialogue more noticeable. I’ve recently gone through a book with my editor’s hat on and found the story brilliant, the typing perfect (and that takes a lot of hard work, even with spell checkers) but sadly lots of speech marks missing. Now this particular author was using the ‘industry standard’ single ‘. I wondered if he would have missed so many when proof reading his work if he had used “ which stand out a little better.
    Me? I will stick to using old fashioned “ until I’m forced kicking and screaming into using the apostrophe for speech.
    Oh, and as an afterthought. I have a copy of “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” by Lynne Truss. Wonderful book on punctuation. It was published in 2003. And all the way through it the good lady uses “ both for speech and quotes. Maybe I should ask for her opinion?  

Saturday 13 July 2013

The Blue Hour is now available

We are pleased to announce The Blue Hour has joined Shattered Dreams on Nook, Kobo and Apple

See the links below or use your usual shop.




Saturday 6 July 2013

Expanding Our Reach

Blue Hour Publishing is pleased to announce that over the next few weeks/months all our books will be available on Nook, Kobo and in the iBookstore.
The first to be available is the ever popular book by Kristen Stone - Shattered Dreams.
Get your copies through your regular supplier for your reader or click on the following links.




Happy reading

Tuesday 25 June 2013

When Should You Publish

You have finally written The End. Should you have the book up and available the next day? The answer is a big resounding NO.
    If you were writing for a major publisher you would understand this. You finish the book, they look at it, it could be months before the public can buy it. Just because indie authors CAN put their books out whenever they wish it doesn't mean they SHOULD.
    Why not? I hear you cry.
    The answer is simple - quality. Even the finest authors check and maybe re-write several times before being published. For indie authors this is even more important. If you cannot afford an editor it is essential you close the file and not look at it again for at least a week. You will surprised at how many typing mistakes have slipped into your work. Word shows lots of squiggly red lines for spelling mistakes and even squiggly blue ones for words out of context (I never look for the green ones for grammar, I turn that off. Word and I have a different concept of grammar!). But even with these aids there are still the odd typos that slip through, errors in punctuation, speech marks that are the wrong way around because a space has slipped into the text.
    Then after that week of rest when re-reading your work you might suddenly think of something to add, something that will improve the story, develop the characters a little more. You might spot a major flaw you had missed because you were so tied up with putting the story into your computer, forgetting that you know things in your head that you haven't told the reader.
    When editing for other people I have come across characters that have had their names changed halfway through  a story.  References to people or events that haven't appeared/happened yet. These are all things that jump out at you after a break.
    When should you announce your new book? I firmly believe - not until you are completely satisfied and have put it up for sale. You can talk about it if you wish. Some say advanced publicity is good, builds up anticipation in your audience. My personal opinion is that too much talk before the action is available has the opposite effect to what is desired. I'm probably wrong but where indie authors are concerned, if a book is not available immediately I hear about it, I soon forget it because there are so many others from which to choose. I have heard authors promoting  books they haven't even written yet and others who have set a launch date before they have finished writing!
    It makes very little difference to anyone, apart maybe the author, what date a book is launched. Picking an anniversary might be meaningful to the author but no one else will care. Launching a book on a certain date without due attention to what you have done could well result in a book that seems rushed and unpolished. 
    So take your time and make indie authors a force to be reckoned with in quality.

Thursday 30 May 2013


Out today, the new edition of LICENCE:REVIEWED 50 years of Bond Movies now including Patrick Mulready's review of SKYFALL. If this is what you have been waiting for, wait no longer.

and HERE for the UK  

Saturday 27 April 2013

Research - Essential or Just Showing Off?

   I have just finished reading the first book from a non-indie author that I have read in a long time. I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t say it was any better than most of the of the indie books I have read in the last year or so. 
   While I was reading it a thought crossed my mind. How important is research and technical knowledge in a book that is meant to be complete fiction? I’m not talking about a story that is based on real events. I’m talking about complete and utter fiction verging on fantasy, bearing in mind that all fiction is fantasy of one form or another.
   This book was an action packed horror/thriller. It was full of interesting story lines, twists you didn’t expect and many varied characters. It was set in a facility which was a cross between medical facility and sanctuary. But in parts I felt that the author had swallowed a pharmaceutical directory before he sat down to write each day.
   Why? Because he kept naming specific drugs that were being used. Instead of simply saying a  patient had been tranquilised he gave the name of the tranquiliser. The same with half a dozen other drugs for different treatments.
   Does this show the writer had done his research or did it just slow the action? For me it was the latter. I can’t remember the names of the pills I have to take (don’t worry, nothing serious) let alone what any of the drugs mentioned in the story were called, or their purpose. In this particular story it made absolutely no  difference to the reader whether the names of the drugs were real or made up. If the author invented them he must have spent hours trying to think up weird and wonderful names. I have enough trouble thinking up names for the characters in my books let alone a dozen or so drugs.
   If they were real medicines, and only qualified clinicians will know that, then was the author simply showing off? Was he trying to impress his readers with his knowledge?
   If a novel is going to be based on true facts or events, then good research and knowledge is required (although many fiction books have been published with flawed information).  But something that is complete fiction can surely get away with less detailed information which keeps the story moving and doesn’t slow the reader down trying to work out how to say the name of something. Or am I the only person who does that? And if the readers are going to skim over words like ‘tamazipan’ (heaven alone knows whether I’ve spelt that correctly) then what is the point of putting them in?   
   So my question for today is : does using technical research make for a better book or can an author rely on a fertile imagination?

Saturday 30 March 2013

Show vs Tell

I've never been one to try to tell other writers how they should write. Most of the advice I have come across from other people has provoked the reaction in me of 'Yeah, I know that.' The one thing that was new to me and the most difficult to get my head around was this business of 'show don't tell'. What was that supposed to mean? We are story-tellers, aren't we?
   After much tweaking and re-writing and many hours soaking in the bath to consider this problem, I have come up with the following illustration which I hope might help.
   The thing to remember when doing this is that style needs to vary depending on what you are writing. If it is a short story the 'tell' version might be better. In short stories you are limited to the number of words you can use and 'showing' often uses more.

  So this is my example. It's not definitive. It might not even be right. This example is from a novel.

First Version - Telling
Beatrice returned to the waiting room. As soon as she sat down David started crying again, arching his back and turning his head towards her body, seeking her breast. Sighing deeply, a feeling of hopelessness filled her as she waited to be called into the doctor.
The doctor seemed more concerned with her condition than with David when she finally saw him. He was quick to diagnose post-natal depression and wrote a prescription for some pills. When she mentioned David he was at first dismissive. He looked into his ears and said they were fine, nothing causing any obstruction that might affect the hearing. He insisted the baby was far too young to be sure of anything. Keep an eye on him and see how he went on was all he would say. So Beatrice left the surgery with a prescription for anti-depressant pills and the fear that her son had something wrong with him.

Second Version. - Showing
      Beatrice returned to the waiting room. As soon as she sat down David started crying again, arching his back and turning his head towards her body, seeking her breast. Sighing deeply, a feeling of hopelessness filled her as she waited to be called into the doctor.
She entered the consulting room feeling more than a little nervous. She did not know any of the doctors at this practise very well. Both she and Calvin had signed on with this surgery after getting married but apart from a few visits during her pregnancy to get treatment for her constant vomiting she had been fit and well and had rarely seen a doctor. This one seemed friendly enough. The sign outside the consulting room said he was Dr. Andrews. He smiled encouragingly as she entered the consulting room and nodded towards the chair next to his desk. He looked to be about fifty, which was reassuring. Beatrice didn't trust young doctors.
“And what can I do for you today?” he asked.
“The nurse was concerned about David. She thinks he might have problems with his hearing.”
      The doctor nodded.
      “Yes, she did tell me. Let’s have a look.”
Trying to look into the ears of a three month old baby was not an easy task. David was fascinated by the instrument the doctor was holding and wanted to see it, turning his head to follow the doctor’s movements. He did not want it anywhere near his head. Beatrice struggled to hold him as he wriggled and arched his back to get away but eventually the doctor managed to peer into each ear with his otoscope.
“I don’t think you have anything to worry about,” the doctor said as he returned to his seat. “Both ears look clear of any infection or blockage. No sign of glue-ear. I suggest you just keep an eye on him. I’m sure as time goes by he will start to respond to sound. Now, how about you? How are you coping.”
Beatrice sighed.
“Oh, I’m fine. Tired, of course. He wants feeding all the time. We haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since he was born. And I didn’t think I’d miss work as much as I do.”
“Yes, having your first baby is a big change of life-style,” the doctor agreed. “But it does get better. Believe me, I’ve brought up three kids of my own. Now I suggest you start taking him off the breast milk. He’s three months old now so the danger time has passed, he should be able to survive on his own immune system. And start introducing a bit of solid food to his diet. The nurse has probably already told you this, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. A bit of rusk, pureed vegetables. Just a little but it will help satisfy him and he should start to sleep for longer. And I’m going to give you something to help you cope. Post-natal depression can be very debilitating. These tablets will help you sleep and make you feel better all round.”
Beatrice wondered how tablets could replace people and company but said nothing. She left the surgery more concerned about David than when she had arrived, but at least she had some pills.

See the difference? Now this wouldn't necessarily work for every type of writing or story, but this is my take on it. Whether it is right or not I do not know.

Friday 15 March 2013

Conversations In The Abyss

I’ve often said all books should be edited. Why? Because a well edited book enhances the reading experience and will bring people back for more. A book full of typing errors, bad punctuation and repetitive phrases is likely to put people off – unless it’s called …. No, I won’t go there.
   I thoroughly enjoyed my latest job. It was to edit Conversations In The Abyss by Michael Brookes. I read the forerunner to this and enjoyed that, too, although I did point out to Michael the copy I had read was in need of editing. He assured me I had an old copy (he should know, he sent it to me) and the things I had mentioned had been corrected. Then he asked if I would edit the sequel which I found fascinating.
It is the story of the coming apocalypse, good against evil, how to thwart the approaching storm. The writing flows well, the characters are well defined and the whole thing moves on at a breath taking pace. I would recommend it to anyone. Take a look here …

   So what do I do when I edit a book? What am I looking for? The obvious thing is typos, the bane of every author’s life. The trouble is when you write a book you KNOW what is supposed to be on the screen and your brain will convince you it is there even if it isn’t. So you need someone who doesn’t know what is supposed to be there to read every single word and make sure it is the right one, both in context and in spelling. Even then the occasional word slips through. If the story is good it is sometimes hard to keep reading slowly enough to look at every single word and make sure it is correct.
   Is correct spelling important? I’m sure everyone has seen the experiment from Cambridge University, where a whole paragraph is written with all the words spelt incorrectly, just the first and last letters in the right place. It is perfectly possible to read this paragraph and come out with the right message, but it takes a lot more concentration than reading a book. And all the right letters are there, just in the wrong order. I’m not so sure it would be as easy to read if some of the letters were missing, which is what often happens. The finger misses a letter, or the spell check doesn’t tell you if it should be ‘ent’ or ‘ant’.
   Many people skim read anyway, so why bother to make sure the spellings are correct? To my mind, because it shows you care about your craft. In this day and age there is no reason why typos should get through. Some word processors even pick up on words that are used out of context, so if you type ‘too’ instead of ‘to’, then it will be flagged as an error.
   So if you have a good word processor you don’t need an editor, right?
   Wrong. Apart from checking that the text is accurately typed an editor will advise on content and possibly style. I don’t like to interfere with the way an author writes. THEY are writing the book not me. I try my hardest not to paraphrase what has been written, but there are certain things I will point out and change or at least suggest for change. Sometimes a writer might use the same word three or more times in one paragraph. I’m talking adjectives and adverbs here, not the sort of words you DO have to use a lot. To me this spoils the flow of narrative. Sometimes a repetition can be used to emphasise a point, but in general I like to see as many different words used as possible. The English language has so many, make the most of them.
   An editor can also check consistency of style. Are all the chapter headings in the same place, or are some left justified and some centred, some bold or italic? Sometimes when a book has been many months in the writing the author forgets what formatting they used at the beginning – I know I do.
   Facts – these I trust to be correct. I hope the author has done their research and got their facts correct. Sometimes I double check something, Google is very helpful these days, but I expect facts to be right. I’m a fiction editor, I don’t do research, I don’t do technical stuff.
   I DO like to see things in their proper place, the right terminology for the characters, the era and setting. To me it is sloppy to have an American walking down a pavement in New York, eating biscuits instead of cookies and making calls on a mobile phone not a cell phone. Being English myself, I can’t profess to know all the slang of the world but the obvious things at least should be adhered to. If an author can’t do that they should make characters from their own environment.
   What do I get out of editing for other people? I get to read books before they are published and hopefully help the author make their book just that little bit better. I have been very lucky in that most of the books I have looked at have been a credit to their authors. So far I’ve only had one that I felt needed to be completely re-worked and that was one I wasn’t charging for, so I didn’t feel concerned about that. If I did get a commission that was so bad I would tell the author quickly and not make a charge.
   Ok, I’m a mug, I will never make a fortune editing but then again most Indie Authors won’t make a fortune writing! If you have something you would like me to look at contact me through my website here.

Friday 22 February 2013

Who Leads Your Stories?

I was talking to my friend recently, yes I do have at least one, about writing. She is not a writer. She has read some of my books but not all and asked if all my lead characters were male or female.
"Male," I said.
"Why?" she asked.
"Because..." And I didn't really know why. Are the men I invent more interesting than women? Do I find women lacking as a lead character in some way? When writing am I creating a fantasy partner I would like to have as my lover? (Hope hubby doesn't read this). I really don't know the answer.
    Thinking about the books I have read recently there are some which have women as the lead character. Faith Mortimer's leads are usually women, as are Gerry McCullough's. Stephen R Hulse has a feisty female lead in The Blue Hour and Robert Craven has Eva in Get Lenin and Zinnman, although in both those books the action is spread amongst other characters too.
   But when I sit down to write, or more accurately when I am relaxing in the bath and ideas come to me, they always revolve around a male lead. Females, I am sorry to admit, are add-ons, companions, helpers, lovers. Maybe I am pining for the age when women didn't have to be strong and feisty. Has feminism passed me by in my sheltered existence? Does it matter?
    I don't think it will possible to change my writing habits. I'll leave it to others to promote women as lead characters and continue to create strong male leads who can take any crap life throws at them.
   But what do you think? Are your characters substitute lovers for real life? Do you go out to make a statement that women can be as tough as men? Or do they simply create themselves in your head and tell you a story regardless of their gender?

Sunday 10 February 2013

Meet the Man

This week it is the turn of Stephen R Hulse to be featured. Author of The Blue Hour and Shadowchaser, he chats about his life to Alana Woods here. Read and enjoy.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Patrick Mulready - Radio Interview

Blue Hour Author Patrick Mulready was recently interviewed by a radio station in Colorado, his home state in the US.
We are very pleased to give our followers the chance to catch this podcast by following this link.
Patrick's Interview
This podcast is for the entire show, so to listen to Patrick's interview you need to skip forward about 42 minutes.
Take this opportunity to listen to an author speaking about his work and inspiration.

Monday 28 January 2013

Resolutions Failed Already

I didn't make many promises to myself at the start of the year but the one I did make has already come to nothing. What was it? To make sure something gets posted on this blog EVERY WEEK.
   Already it's the last week in January and this is only the second post. I blame the winter weather. I don't do Winter in the same way I don't do Mornings. In fact, as I get older winter is taking over from mornings as the leader of my 'don't do' list. Winter AND mornings put together are a nightmare.
   I can't help it. I try to be cheerful. I have lots of warm clothes, a big pile of eco-friendly fire wood. I have a nice warm coat, fleece-lined boots, woolly hats, scarves, gloves, but the cold still gets to me. Emotionally, I mean. It's like my brain and will-power seize up. I want to go into hibernation. I'm sure I was a hedgehog in a previous life, or a bear.
   It wouldn't be so bad if we could be assured of some sunshine and warmth when the summer comes. If the summer comes. Last year it started quite well. Spring was reasonable. We had a few really warm days in March. So warm, in fact, I went and bought a small patio table and two chairs. It has to be small because we have an extension built on what would have been the patio but I managed to find a spot under the yew tree on the raised part of the garden to put the table and chairs and really looked forward to working out there all summer. Can even just about pick up the wi-fi signal for the internet, although the mobile phone doesn't work in the garden, nor does the hands-free house phone.
   I think I might have managed five days. Other than that it was too windy, too wet or too damned chilly to sit in the garden last summer. It feels like the grey skies have been a permanent fixture sapping all energy and enthusiasm for anything. The only difference between last summer and this winter is the temperature, it has got colder in the winter, but summer never actually got hot.
   So I will revise my resolution and start from NOW. I will post more regularly. Honest.
   BUT what would you like me to talk about?
   Over to you dear reader...

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Write with Enthusiasm

It is impossible to tell anyone what style of writing they should use. Everyone is different. That’s what makes writing and reading so interesting. But the main thing is to write with belief in what you are doing. Your enthusiasm for the idea or the story will then be transferred from the page to the reader. Your style of writing could be identical to one of the great writers you admire, but if you have no joy in writing who will want to read it?
   Some people ask ‘how long should my book be?’ The answer is simple, especially if you are writing for ebooks. How long is your story? If it is factual – how long before you have explained what you want to tell the world? If it is an anecdotal look at life – how many tales do you want to tell? Do these takes hold your attention, make you smile or chuckle?  
   As long as you can hold the attention and the enthusiasm of your reader length doesn’t really matter. What matters is whether you are enjoying what you are doing. If writing has become a chore then that will show. If you can’t be bothered to write why should your potential readers be bothered to read.
    So put your heart and soul into your writing and inspire your readers!