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Nipper – NIGHTMARE, MONSTER, HORROR, SURVIVAL SERIES – Book One

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Once a week the monsters come. They hunt all night. In the morning they’re gone. That gives me six days to get ready. Then they come back again. Hi Everyone Here’s the opening chapter of the first book in my latest series. Nipper tells the story of a girl and her dad who have to defend their house from a weekly invasion of monsters. When her dad is badly injured, Nipper has to try and get him to safety before it’s too late. If you like what you read then why not download Nipper from Amazon? The links are here and here . Scream The first thing you hear is the scream. One of them starts and the rest join in. They get louder and louder. It sounds like the night is crying angry tears of pain. It...
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Writing: making Your Mark.


The British Library in London has a new exhibition, all about writing, that sounds like it is well worth a visit. It is on until August 27th. Writing is a lot younger than language; the earliest recorded writing is a mere 5,000 years old, but scholars reckon the spoken word is anything from 50,000 to more than 200,000 years old. The exhibition traces the development of writing from its origins in the Levant, China and the Americas. It looks at the earliest examples, through to hieroglyphs, calligraphy, printing, typewriters (a Chinese typewriter is one of the exhibits), and modern text speak and emojis. There a several personal artifacts, such as Florence Nightingale’s notebooks, and Lord Te...
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Is Storytelling a Science?


Will Storr is a journalist and bestselling ghost-writer. He also runs workshops on how to write narrative, and has written a book based on these workshops – The Science of Storytelling. His theory is that the key to a good narrative is not the plot or structure, but character, preferably flawed. He isn’t the first to be fascinated by this (Aristotle was also keen on ‘tragic flaws’). But Storr believes that our evolution has depended on our ability to ‘read’ other people. Hence a misreading – or unexpected changes – in character is, in his words, ‘the single secret in storytelling.’ He offers a helpful process to achieve this to the aspiringwriter: Locate your character’s ‘sacred flaw.’Imagin...
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series


The Eleventh Film XVII This was the world’s last great expedition. The territory was not uncharted. All was familiar. But it was just no longer feasible. She reached the Library and spent her days and nights exploring texts, poring over cuneiform – desperately trying to decipher long-lost languages without so much as a phrase book. She probed and pondered. For a while she was certain of making progress. A letter here. A symbol there. Sometime a sentence promised to offer up a partial truth. Other times that same sentence became devoid of anything. The process became so arduous that one by one the lexicographer’s party fell prey to unknown ailments. One person fell asleep awake forever. Anoth...
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The Queen’s (or her heir’s) English?


The Prince of Wales was in the news last week. As he isoften written about, that fact is not, in itself, newsworthy – at least not fora blog about writing and writers. What drew literary minded people’s interestwas his letter to President Macron after the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral inwhich he used a number of Americanised spellings, namely –ize instead of –ise. Theprince’s fuddy-duddy reputation as a traditionalist was under threat – had he fallenunder the influence of his new American daughter-in-law? Was he trying too hardto be ‘down with the kidz? Was ‘Westerncivilization’ (as he wrote) under threat from his expressions of sympathyfor the French in this ‘most agonizing oftimes’? As one ...
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Writing – a solitary occupation that brings people together?


Whilst on holiday last week I read I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill. This is her grimlycompelling novel about the relationship between two small boys; one a bully,the other his victim. In a postscript she summarised the origins of the story. She had rented a remote cottage where she could work uninterrupted on finishing another novel. Her tranquil surroundings inspired her – the beautiful surrounding countryside including a nearby wood, the unusually hot weather, and two small boys who she often spotted when out on her daily walks. These boys seemed like great friends, unlike the two in her novel. But they provided the germ of an idea for a new story. By the end of her sojourn, she h...
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

tundra
The Eleventh Film XVI It was a four month voyage and nothing was seen on the way. The world was as it had always been. Only it was empty now. Devoid. Great swathes of white pinned to the planet’s surface by the heaviest silence the world had ever known. She passed the time by finding words for the views that she saw. Gelid. Hiemal. Spoliate. Each entry in her notebook brought her closer to the source. Unbearing. Boreal. Forever. Unlimited. She knew that final word from before. Original link
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

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  The Eleventh Film XV In previous times of doubt and despair the world has always sought solace in the written word, hoping to discern a truth among the millions of symbols and ciphers and syllables. And so slumberous stories emerged through dreams about a library long-lost to the world. A place where the answers to the world’s final question might still be found. She was the world’s last lexicographist and so she was chosen to lead the expedition. The hunt for the site began. There was nothing to lose and there was the possibility, however small, that there still might be a way out of all this. As the years passed the world lost hope that the library would ever be found. The lexicographer ...
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The Land of Meow - free story available on Wattpad.


https://www.wattpad.com/story/184035889-the-land-of-meow I have been working on  series of children's stories to release on Wattpad to increase my readership and build a following. These stories have been written for fun, mostly by me, but with the occasional input from others. The stories fit the genre of human/animal fantasy, and feature an eight year old boy who dreams that he roams the urban landscape with his cat. I haven't kept the words "easy" the tales are for fluent readers, parents, reading to children, and anyone who generally loves animals. Original link
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VIRO – Infecting Imaginations One Zombie at a Time

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Hi Everyone It has been 13 months since Book One in the VIRO was published. I thought it would be useful to compile a list of notable things that have happened since.   1. NUMBER ONE With very occasional variations, Book One has been Number One in the Teen & Young Adult Monster Fiction eBooks chart since April 2018. This is very exciting and I have to say a big thank you to everyone who has read the book. You can get your copy of Book One here . 2. BOOK TWO The apocalyptic adventures of Jake and his friends continued in May 2018 when Book Two was published. This time the friends find themselves caught between the rampaging viros and the Tall Man, a local militia leader recruiting the able-bo...
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Super writing tips.


These aren’t my super tips. They are from Joe Norman, whosebook – The Super Tutor: The BestEducation Money Can Buy in Seven Short Chapters, is published this week.Luckily for us, two chapters aredevoted to writing and here are some of the tips he comes up with. In the chapter on how to hone your writing style herecommends splitting your allotted time into three parts. First try staring outof the window a lot without really thinking about exactly what you want to say,followed by examining your thoughts – perhaps making a few rough notes, but notactual sentences. Next, when you get round to the actual writing, try writingas you speak – find you voice, in other words. Though, if you don’t like ...
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HerStory (2) – talking books, writers and readers.


Saturday 30th March. Picture for yourself nearly 20 women and two men, aged from about 15 to 70, in an airless, windowless, side-room in Coventry city’s main library. Outside is is a beautiful spring day. Inside we are talking about HerStory – why women write and do they get a fair deal? The poet, Emilie Lauren Jones compered, and I was on the panel with two poets, Sarah Leavelsey, and Malka Al-Haddad who is originally from Iraq. It was all part of the Positive Images Festival 2019, in Coventry – the nominated City of Culture for 2021. There was plenty of audience participation. First of all we discussed whether women get the recognition they deserve. Why it is that awards seem to go to book...
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Diary of a Free Ebook – Day 378 – What’s in a Word?

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E-Book? Ebook? Hyphen? No hyphen? What’s in a word? There is something very old-fashioned about the sound of the word(s) used to describe an electronic book. Much like the way in which we still use the word ‘video’ today to describe moving images. As a word, ‘video’ reminds me of watching dodgy copies of banned horror films on VHS in the 1980s. Despite the fact that we use the word to mean something very different in 2019 ‘video’ just seems so old-fashioned. For me, it is the associations. The clunk of the door as you inserted the tape into the recorder/player. The sound as the machine steadied itself. The roll of the lines up the screen. The occasional distortion as the sound synced. The ha...
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HerStory – why women write.


On Saturday 30th March I am participating in HerStory, a free literary event aimed primarily at women writers and readers. It is part of the build up to Coventry being the City of Culture in 2021. It is hosted by the poet, Emilie Lauren Jones, and will be taking place in the Central library in Coventry from 1pm to 3.30pm. And did I mention that it’s FREE! We will be talking among other things, about how can youtell if the writer is male or female? And does it matter? Is there a‘recognition gap’ between the ranking of male and female writers? Is there onefor male or female characters? On a more personal level we will talk about why we write; howwe choose what to write about; and how important...
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Readers wanted!


In a blog a week or so ago I wrote about how publishers and literary agents need writers or they would be out of work. If only it felt, as a writer, that we had the upper hand, rather than struggling to keep that pleading tone out of our cover letters! It can feel like a struggle when looking in the other direction too: writers need readers. But how do we get people to buy our books whilst not sounding too desperate in our ‘buy my book please!’ tweets and Facebook posts? After all, why should someone read our books? Indeed, why does anyone read books at all, when there are so many other interesting things to do? Reading, is such a solitary activity, why would someone want to look like a lone...
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‘The Walking Dead meets The Famous Five’ – The VIRO Trilogy is Rapidly Spreading like an Imaginative Infection

VIRO eBook_ Barnaby Taylor_ Amazon co.uk_ Kindle Store (4)
  Hi Everyone I have some amazing news. Can you believe it has been a year since the first VIRO book was published? A whole year! And so much has happened since then – it has been an incredible journey so far. The most exciting news is that VIRO is sitting at Number One in the charts. This is really amazing and a special thanks must go out to everyone who has helped to get it there. In the space of that same year we have also seen the launch of Books Two and Three in the VIRO series. Slowly but surely, VIRO is changing the way we think about zombie novels. Even as we speak, Book Four is on the way. If you have been following the adventures of Jake and the gang then you will know that there w...
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Viking Talk


The Vikings were an energetic and ruthless bunch of pagans, who travelled from Norway (Norge) in the late eighth to late eleventh centuries to raid the North of England, amongst other places, and indulge in a spot of rape and pillage, before sailing back home with their loot, or deciding to settle in the balmier English climate. There have been attempts during the last few decades toportray the Vikings as misunderstood, peaceable, immigrants, who liked nothingbetter than sharing their art and poetry and settling down with a local girl. Butin reality they had a well-deserved reputation for savagery, and were more thanjust the ‘long-haired tourists who occasionally roughed up the locals,’ as o...
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The Eleventh Film – Horror/Science Fiction Flash Fiction Series

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The Eleventh Film XIV The world looks small now from above and beyond, just another doomed star earmarked for destruction. The years that followed the angels’ response saw the world’s vitality seep away. Seas froze over. Temperatures decreased. Glaciers spread. The world’s surface grew a new skin. A tetchy and desperate dermis. Unwilling or unable to nurture any more. It was like this for a lifetime and then we lost contact with the Library and everyone knew that this truly was the end of days. Original link
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Pitching your work


I recently attended an excellent workshop on how to pitchyour masterpiece – sorry, manuscript – to a potential agent or publisher. Theworkshop concentrated on doing face to face pitches, but much of the adviceapplies to the pitch you would want to make in a cover letter. I will justrefer to an agent here, but the same goes for pitching to a publisher whoaccepts unsolicited submissions First and foremost, of course, you need to actually have acompleted manuscript. No good having most of it still in your head if an agentgets back to you and says they want to read the whole lot next week! Assuming you’re good to go, the pitch needs to answer theagent’s unspoken question – Why would I want to ta...
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