It’s Fun to Play at the G.D.P.R…

If only Village People had released GDPR as a B-side to YMCA we could all be waving our arms around in true disco delight, come May 25th, instead of waving them round in confused despair (or maybe that’s just me).  BUT rules are rules and I want to make sure I’m playing by them, so I’ve given this GDPR thing  my best shot, with a little bit of help (and good old copying and pasting) from other writers along the way (thank you to them).

But if the following all gets too tedious for you, do feel free to break out into your own version of GDPR instead… just make sure you warm up properly first – that ‘D’ is particularly tricky for the flexibly challenged.

(This chap’s giving it his best shot, although his ‘P’ is looking a bit back-to-front from here…)

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From May 25th 2018, EU law requires anyone who holds personal data and information to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulation.

In terms of relevance to you as a reader of this blog, please note the following:

When you leave a comment or subscribe to this blog, WordPress stores your gravatar name, IP Address, comment, and email address. Therefore, subscribing or leaving a comment is considered a clear affirmative, specific, and unambiguous action as defined by the GDPR giving me consent to store this information, and permission to contact you in the future by email.  I do not, however, operate a mailing list, so any details stored by WordPress are retained solely for the purpose of this blog.

Your personal information will not be sold or shared with any third parties under any circumstances. Your information shall be retained until you unsubscribe or ask me to remove your data. If you feel your data has been misused, you have a right to complain to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office – in the UK. Other countries have data protection supervisory authorities). If you do not consent to the above, please don’t leave a comment.

For further information on how WordPress stores and uses your data, click here.

Children and minors:

It is not my intention to collect data from people who are underage. If, unbeknownst to me – because a minor has clicked the link to subscribe or follow me – I have collected the data of a minor, and you, being their parent or guardian, feel concerned, please contact me so that I can delete this data immediately.

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TEN THINGS TO TRIGGER YOUR WRITERLY INSECURITIES (and how to cope with them)

A fabulous post by Non Pratt for writers everywhere

AUTHOR ALLSORTS

REJECTION

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Every writer in the world has heard about Harry Potter getting turned down. You’ve probably also read a book that received ZERO rejections, but you definitely haven’t read that unpublished book by that unpublished author who gave up after five.

What am I driving at? There is no correlation between the number of rejections you might receive and the possibility of success or failure.

One rejection is one rejection, nothing more, nothing less and with each one, you must ask yourself the same question: is this bringing me more pain than joy?

More pain? Then stop. Give yourself a break. You don’t have to keep doing this. There are better ways of making a living and you can enjoy writing without having to be published.

More joy? Then keep going. That might mean persevering with this one manuscript, or it might mean rethinking the story. It might also mean…

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Cover Reveal – ‘Halloween Night: Trick or Treat’

Shut the curtains. Turn off all the lights (except your reading lamp – you’ll need that) and find a nice big cushion to hide behind.  Halloween is about to get a whole lot scarier…

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“Graveyards, spirits, witchcraft, black cats, candy, and haunted houses. 

Strange things happen on Halloween. All Hallows Eve is the single night where the veil between the living and the dead is opened. And now spirits, monsters, and candy will collide!”

Halloween Night: Trick or Treat (Hocus Pocus & Co) is due for release on 27th October – just in time for the big night – and contains the following spooky MG and YA stories, including my Trick-or-Treating tale, ‘Knock, Knock’:

Big Brother Zombie by Evan Purcell

Give Us Something Good to Eat by Rie Sheridan Rose

Halloween Ritual by Amy Giuffrida

Haunter by Ryan Bartlett

Hello Annie by Tiffany Morris

It’s All a Bunch of Hocus Pocus by Violette Ulalume

Knock, Knock by Jennifer Moore

Ms. Holstein’s Special Halloween Treat by Chad P. Brown

Night of Monsters by Matthew Wilson

Something Good to Eat by Patrick Hueller

The House of Sam Hain by Betty Rocksteady

Sweet Nothing by Julie Hutchings

The Ghost by David N. Smith and Violet Addison

The Peeping Trick-or-Treaters by Kevin Lewis

Tricks and Treats, and Chicken Feet by Shawn Anderson

What Lurks in the Darkness by Kathleen Palm

Doctor Who, When & Where – Welcome to The Time Machine

SketchGuru (1)

Greetings Earthling.

Welcome to the Writing Room.

From the outside it’s just a normal-looking door.

But, like all the best time machines, it’s much bigger on the inside…

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Just a quick few thousand touches of the buttons on  the control keyboard and the entire universe is your oyster…

Recent top destinations have included Victorian England, an alien maternity ship, the inside of Schrödinger’s box, Frogner Park in Oslo and the bottom of the ocean.  But that’s merely the tip of the travelling iceberg.  The writing room time machine promises to take you wherever and whenever you want and still have you back in time for tea. Not bad, eh?

There’s no need to splash out on psychic paper before boarding – as soon as you take your seat and fire up the controls you’ll find yourself slipping seamlessly into the skin of any chosen creature, be they human or otherwise, living or dead.  They’ll probably require regular feeding, however, so be sure to bring a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and snacks.

Don’t forget to pack a spare pair of plotting pants and maybe a sonic biro or two for in-flight doodling. Next trip commencing in four… three… two… one…

So Long Easter Bunny, Hello Little White Rabbit

The Easter Bunny may have hopped off into the warm melty sunset for another year but there’s a new member of the Leporidae family ready and waiting to take his place.  BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT (Leap Books) launches today!

All thirteen Young Adult stories in the collection are inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but this is Alice as you’ve never seen her before… from rich historicals, castle towers and deathly plagues, gritty urban explorations, intrepid reporters, would-be car thieves, watchmakers, futuristic wormholes, secret workshops… to the last human in a world ruled by machines.

You can read a sample of my story, ‘Undercover Alice’ and all other twelve tales over on the Leap Books blog site or head to goodreads for links to stockists.

Lucky for Me (Less Lucky for the Horse)

Question: What do best-selling children’s authors have that I don’t?

(And no, you’re not allowed to say “talent”. My blog, my rules, I’m afraid.)

Answer: Luck. Or, more specifically, a lucky horseshoe rescued from the muddy tussocks of Dartmoor, lovingly de-nailed and de-rusted and polished to a satisfying sort-of shine.

Admittedly this is largely (OK, totally) conjecture on my part but I like to think it’s what separates the literary elite from the literary wannabes. “And why’s that?” I hear you ask (yes, you do have to ask that, I’m afraid… like I said, my blog, my rules). Well, I’ll tell you why (seeing as you asked).  It’s because I’m now the proud owner of my very own lucky horseshoe rescued from the muddy tussocks of Dartmoor, lovingly de-nailed and de-rusted and polished to a satisfying sort-of shine.  Ta-dah!P1120049

It’s up in my writing room, positively glowing with authorial luck, so all I have to do is sit back and wait for the offers from agents, editors and Hollywood to come pouring in.

That’s it… any moment now…

Does anyone else out there have any writerly superstitions? (You know, just in case the horseshoe’s having an off day…

How I Got My Agent (An Utterly Fictitious Guest Blog by Hope Lesscribe)

Writers are always whining on about the submission process – the long waits involved, the sleepless nights, the inevitable heartache… Personally, I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  Writing the blooming novel can be tough, I grant you, but finding someone to sell it for you couldn’t be easier.  The high street is full of estate agents, all equally desperate to take on your house precious tome.  And the process needn’t be a long drawn out one either.  All you need is a pinch of determination, a completed MS and a spare four walls and roof, by way of a covering letter.

My estate agent, the wonderful Lotta Brixter-Shift of Move4Less, couldn’t have been more surprised thrilled when my novel landed on her desk.  I think her exact words were, “What’s this?”  “I’m glad you asked,” I replied enthusiastically, moving straight in with my well-rehearsed escalator pitch.  “It’s Harry Potter meets Wuthering Heights.  A heartbreaking tale of one man’s fight with chronic obesity and the demon-infested gnomes in his geriatric neighbour’s garden.”  I know.  Who wouldn’t want to read that book?  I could tell Lotta was impressed because she started making frenzied hand signals to the senior estate agent at the next desk and muttering something about it being time for her lunch break.  (She was clearly desperate to sneak off for an hour and get reading straight away – and who can blame her?)  I promised to come back later in the day when she’d had a chance to digest my creative genius at leisure and I’d had a chance to digest the tuna mayo baguette peeking out so seductively from the window of the sandwich shop opposite.

Well the rest of the story is pretty much by the book (if you’ll excuse the hilarious pun!).  I returned to the estate agency later in the day to sort out the paperwork.  Lotta insisted that I make my late 80s semi part of the sales package to entice perspective homeowners publishers and I finally agreed.  We talked about what sort of offer I’d be willing to accept (you won’t believe the size of the advance Lotta is anticipating!) and before I knew it I was signing on the dotted line.

It’s taken a few days and a few bottles of celebratory fizz for it all to sink in… I’ve only gone and landed myself an estate agent!  Lotta’s already sent someone round to take publicity photos and apparently I can expect my first round of perspective purchasers publishers this Saturday.  They’re literally queuing up at my door for a chance to get their hands on my house novel!  Next stop the Pimworth Property Pages New York Times bestseller list!