Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Just as Scary as Halloween!!!!

It's been a while. I've been so busy finishing another book all about a store that's kind of creepy where weird stuff keeps happening. But alas, it's Halloween! Well, at least in a couple of days. So today I thought I'd talk about what's just as scary as Halloween.

1. How about the mean dog. You know, the neighbour's dog who yaps at you as you go past the house and it turns out it's just a scared puppy who thinks that thinks you're a monster who's going to attack its owners? And when you meet the dog, they're all wagging tail and licking? 

2. The thing in the closet. I know many grownups who still suffer from this. My own mother couldn't sleep unless the closet door was shut. She claimed she was just being neat, but I know the truth. 

3. The ghost on the way to the bathroom. All right. This one is mine. I watched the stupid movie, The Conjuring, and am still afflicted by the possibility of meeting something evil in the night on my way to the bathroom - something that will sit on my shoulders as I do my business on the throne.

4. Spiders in the basement. Well, who wouldn't be scared of them? We had a young man stay at our house for three months once who lived in terror of our spiders in the basement. I still remember him knocking on our door at 10:45 one night to see if I could come and kill an unusually large one he saw in the bathroom. (It was huge!)

5. The imaginary guy following you home. I used to suffer this when I was going to university. I had to walk past dark woods to get home and I oftentimes imagined that someone would jump out of the woods and attack me. So if I heard the smallest of noises coming from the woods, I'd break into a run all the way home. 

6. The guy in hiding in your apartment. Yup. Us ladies definitely suffer from this unless we have an alarm. I used to come home to a basement suite, leave the door open, walk in and check all the closets, the bathroom, under the bed, then run back and close the door and lock it. Of course, this happened after a break-in. 

But seriously, folks. Halloween is a lot of fun. And my Halloween novel, A Town Bewitched is free right now. So go ahead and help yourself. It won the Dante Rossetti Best Coming of Age Novel in 2013. Find out who's been vandalizing the town leaving dead birds as a calling card...

Free copy

And in case you like unicorns, book 3 of Shadow of the Unicorn has been released. 

The Revenge

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Simon Rose's new novel - Parallel Destiny!

Parallel Destiny

My guest today is Simon Rose, author of many novels and nonfiction books for children and young adults. His latest novel, Parallel Destiny, has just been released.

So tell us about the new book

Parallel Destiny is the third part of the paranormal Flashback trilogy. The first instalment, entitled Flashback, was published in 2015 and the second, Twisted Fate, was published in 2017.

The trilogy features ghosts, psychics, alternate timelines, parallel universes, and Project Mindstorm, a secret operation involving deadly mind control experiments, as Max and Julia investigate events concealed for over twenty years. 

Parallel Destiny takes place immediately after the events depicted in Twisted Fate. Project Mindstorm no longer exists and Kane and his associates no longer represent a danger. However, Max and Julia now have to contend with the sinister Alastair Hammond and his experiments into the existence of parallel universes and alternate realities. Marooned within a bewildering series of multiple universes, Max and Julia are forced to fight for their own survival and to save the very fabric of reality from Hammond’s deadly scheme.

That sounds so intriguing! Will there be any more books in the series?

I’m not sure. Right now I’m not planning on anymore since the story has reached a logical conclusion. However, Flashback was originally going to be a single novel and I didn't consider sequels until later, so you never know. I think there’s certainly some potential to write something else in this genre featuring the two main characters, but I guess time will tell.

You don’t seem to have any shortage of ideas. Where do you get them all from?

Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere really. Books, movies, TV, online research, out walking the dog, dreams, an overheard conversation, friends and family, history, mythology, and so many other sources. I have a few ideas that may never come to anything, but I still keep them anyway. It’s always a good plan to save them because you never know if, or when, an idea might fit into a story. My first four novels were all very early story ideas and were the first books to be published. However, more recently published novels, such as The Sphere of Septimus and the Flashback series, were also very early ideas for novels. They just took longer to develop as novels. Flashback was also one of my earliest ideas but again it took a while for me to develop the initial story, and consequently the rest of the series. Even if the ideas don’t work right away, they might in the future and you just never know when you’ll get another piece of the puzzle.

What other novels have you written?

I’ve written fifteen novels so far, since the first one came out in 2003. The Sorcerer's Letterbox and The Heretic's Tomb are historical fiction adventures set in medieval England, The Alchemist's Portrait is a time travel story, The Emerald Curse is all about superheroes and comic books, The Doomsday Mask is all about the legend of Atlantis, and The Sphere of Septimus involves the characters traveling into another world and is in the same vein as the Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, or Lord of the Rings.  Future Imperfect is a technology-driven story featuring mysterious messages from the future and The Time Camera about a myserious device that captures images of different historical periods, and The Clone Conspiracy features secret experiments into human cloning. The Shadowzone series featuring ShadowzoneInto The Web, and Black Dawn, was published last year. The series involves the discovery of a grim dystopian version of Earth that’s ruled by a totalitarian dictatorship, the threat of a deadly virus, and a race against time to save the lives of millions.

Are these your favourite genres in which to write?

Yes, there are certain genres that I like. When I first read the Harry Potter books, I knew that they were written for the age range, style, and had the level of danger and excitement for young readers that I was aiming for with the many story ideas that I had at the time.
However, as much as I enjoyed all the Harry Potter books, I wasn’t interested in writing my own story ideas on themes like folklore, mythology, magic wands, witches and wizards, or mythological creatures and monsters. Instead, I wanted my stories to be about the sort of things that I enjoyed reading about. These included time travel, fantasy, history, science fiction, lost cities, superheroes, other worlds, parallel universes, and the paranormal, and those are the types of stories I’ve been writing ever since.

So would you agree that authors should write what they know?

In some ways yes, although this might sound a little odd because no one actually knows how to travel in time, attend a wizard school, visit other dimensions, have super powers, or go to the edge of the universe, at least as far as we know anyway. But what this term actually means is that it’s much easier to write about what you know or about what you’re interested in. You’ll have far more ideas about your own favorite topics and you’ll also decide exactly what you want to write about and not just try to do the same as everyone else or follow a hot new trend, whether it’s teenage wizards, vampires, zombies, or something else. If you write about unfamiliar topics, you’ll have to do more research for a story or perhaps plan out the story a lot more, rather than letting the ideas from your imagination flow into the computer or onto the paper as the story keeps coming to you. Writing about things that you’re not passionate about will seem much more like work, when writing is supposed to be fun. Write about what you know and love and it’s going to be a much more enjoyable experience.

Have you worked with lots of other authors?

Yes quite a lot over the last few years, in many different genres. This has involved both substantive and copy editing of completed novels, but I also work as a coach for writers with works in progress. Some of the projects I’ve worked on that have subsequently been published are here on my website. You can also see some of the references and recommendations from other clients that I’ve worked with.

What are you currently working on?

I’m always working on something but currently I’m writing a number of nonfiction books and doing quite a lot of editing and coaching work with other authors, helping them with their novels, short stories, or works in progress. I’m also working on a historical fiction novel set in the turbulent era of the English Civil War in the 1640s and I hope to be able to focus on that a little more in the coming months.

Where can a reader purchase your latest book?

Parallel Destiny is available in paperback and as an ebook worldwide on Amazon, KoboBarnes & NobleiBooks, and Indigo Chapters in Canada, and at many other locations online. Your local bookstore should also be able to order a copy.

You can learn more about Simon and his work on his website at www.simon-rose.com or online at the following social media sites:

·      Facebook
·      Twitter
·      LinkedIn
·      YouTube
·      Google +
·      Pinterest

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thanks, Elon Musk--Buying My Tesla Model 3!

A little over two years ago, I stood in that line at the Tesla shop on Robson St. You know, the one right by Hotel Vancouver? I had been waiting for the advent of the Model 3, the more affordable Tesla, for a few years, and I was bound and determined I'd put down my $1,000 or so help me God! 

Image may contain: 1 person, indoorImage may contain: 1 person, indoorAfter what seemed forever, I got to the front of the line and swiped my credit card. That's me right afterward. Do I look excited or what? Anyway, I proceeded to wait for more than two long years. Then, on Wednesday, I got the call. It was ready! And so I went to the PNE to pick it up, along with the whole family minus the dog. Here I am in front of the distribution site.

We were greeted at the door like important guests and checked in. (I guess when you're paying big bucks, you are important.)

Tesla always treats its customers well with cappuccinos, chocolates, cookies, and candies. In this case, there were Model 3 cookies. I downed a couple. I'm embarrassed to tell you how many my boys had.

And while we waited for our appointment to hand over that humongous cheque, they had us watch videos about how to operate the car so we'd know what to do with it once we got it. Glad we watched them. The Model 3 is so super high-tech.

Here they are detailing the car while I sneak by on my way to the Ladies room after having a cuppa. The Tesla was almost mine.

Finally, it's ready! After a lesson on how to use the screen, open and close the trunk, and recharge using....our iPhones(!), we were ready to go.

And what a ride! I mean, seriously! Nothing smoother, quieter, and more powerful than a Tesla! I've never felt safer in a car. And comfortable! The seats are amazing! Even my boys in the back didn't complain. I was in Heaven. And best of all, I was doing something great for our planet.

On the way, my oldest son drew a picture of Donald Trump, a deserter of the Paris Agreement. A really good likeness, I'd say. Stupid Donald just doesn't get it. He might if he test drove a Tesla.

Anyway, so we got home and discovered this present in the trunk!

Doesn't my Model 3 look great with the new B.C. license plate? I chose my colour well, I'd say.

And look what you see when you open the door.  Better than ugly old plastic, right?

Then we discovered another surprise gift in the console--a second Model 3. No boy of mine will ever get to play with this. It's mine, all mine.

Anyway, so that's my story. I love, love, love this car. No other car I've ever had comes anywhere near close to this experience. Not even my husband's Cadillac. Thanks, Elon Musk for bringing this amazingly clean and powerful vehicle to the world. And thanks, Nicola Tesla for inventing the technology that we're finally using more than a hundred years later.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Wanna Know How to Get Started in Writing? Ask Simon Rose

I’m pleased to welcome back Simon Rose, author of fifteen novels and many nonfiction books for children and young adults. He’s also the author of eight guides for aspiring authors and has just released the second installment of The Children’s Writer’s Guide.

So what’s this latest book all about?

The Children’s Writer’s Guide 2 is ideal for writers not just of books for children and young adults, but also features information that’s applicable to writers in all genres. The first installment of The Children’s Writer’s Guide has a wealth of tips and advice, including suggestions regarding how to get started as a writer, dealing with writer's block, conducting research, choosing appropriate names for your characters, the editing and revision process, as well as the world of marketing and promotion.

This second book further explores the writing process, examining topics such as developing memorable characters, creating effective dialogue, the importance of book covers, the value of blogging, age levels and appropriate content for books for children and young adults, networking, and the process of submitting your work to publishing houses. In combination with The Children’s Writer’s Guide, this second book provides invaluable advice and support for both established and aspiring authors of books for children and young adults.

What inspired you to write this book?

The first instalment of the book came out a few years ago and at the time I had some material left over that didn’t quite fit. I considered writing a second part to the guide, but didn’t have anything else to add at the time and as with many other writers, other projects took priority. However, I did add sections when I had time and finally late last year I had enough to produce the second book.

Have you written and published other guides for writers?

Yes, in total I’ve written and published eight of these types of books. In addition to the two guides for children’s authors, there’s The Time Traveler’s Guide, which examines the writing of time travel stories and historical fiction, The Working Writer’s Guide, that explores the many ways that people can try to make a living as a writer, and The Social Media Writer’s Guide, which features tips and advice about writing online content for websites and social media. Where Do Ideas Come From? is all about creating workshops and presentations based on your books. Exploring the Fantasy Realm and School and Library Visits for Authors and Illustrators are very small books and the material also appears in the first part of The Children’s Writer’s Guide.

Is it important for aspiring authors to read books like this?

Yes, I think so. You obviously need an idea before you can start writing any book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction and are largely on your own during the writing process. However, it’s always good to conduct research and seek out information that might help you along your journey and both parts of The Children’s Writer’s Guide are very helpful for writers, and not just those writing for children and young adults. Much of the information in both books is very much applicable to writers in all genres, whether for younger readers or for adults.

Where can people purchase your book?

The Children’s Writer’s Guide 2 available as a paperback on Amazon and as an ebook on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. The ebooks are available in ePub, Kindle, and pdf formats.


Ebook Amazon Kobo Smashwords Barnes and Noble iBooks

The Children’s Writer’s Guide is also available in all formats at these locations.

Where can people find out more about you and your books?

You can learn more on my website at www.simon-rose.com or online at the following social media sites:

·      Facebook
·      Twitter
·      LinkedIn
·      YouTube
·      Google +
·      Pinterest