Friday, 20 November 2015

What 9 year old readers want! Interview with Martin

Home is where the heart is. Right now, that means Bogota, Colombia. My father in law passed away very unexpectedly on the weekend and we flew over as soon as we heard the news. To write this down, makes it feel horribly real. When I'm ready, I might write about the wonderful man that he was. 

For now, I can't think about anything because I'm very busy playing with my 9 year old nephew and three year old niece. My nephew, Martin, is an avid reader. Smart, creative and fun I thought he would be the perfect person to talk books on my blog.


Describe your ideal setting for reading...
On a fluffy bean bag cloud.

Do you have a favourite snack when you read?
I like to eat popcorn with a little bit of butter and a LOT of salt. My drink would be a chocolate milkshake.

What are you reading at the moment?
The Land of Stories 'The Wishing Spell', by Chris Colfer. He's a Golden Globe-winning actor best known for being Kurt Hummel on Glee.

What is the best thing about it?
I like that it's in a fairy tale land.

What are the best book covers that you can think of?
All the covers of A Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  

If you could be any character in fiction who would you be? And why?
I would be Percy Jackson. He's the hero of the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Why? Because I like adventures. He can control water. If he's 18 miles or even more, he can use it however he wants.

Scariest villain in a book?
Voldermort from Harry Potter.  

Do you have any advice for authors trying to write a book for someone your age?
To not just have normal humans, but to have frog humans or people with special powers. Preferably set in medieval times. It should be funny. It shouldn't have more than 8 main characters or it gets confusing. Don't use confusing names, for instance a  brother and sister called Jonathon and JonOthan!

What's your favourite book of all time?
The one I'm reading.

What's your worst book?
I can't remember one! (Phew)

Should a book always have pictures? Or would you rather imagine what happens?
It should have one or two pictures so you know what the main characters look like. I like the Roal Dahl books because they have sketchy pictures, not perfect ones, but enough to get an idea. I prefer the pictures to be black and white.

What do you think books will look like in the future?
I think you'll be able to open the book and feel what's happening, like you'll be able to feel the wind if it's windy. There will be a button that if you press, the book will be read in the character's voice. Some books will have holograms coming out of them.

Thank you Martin!

In other news, we are currently writing a magazine together. Our first edition of The Awesome will be out soon...

Readers! What books would you recommend to Martin?

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Publication Day! Baby Book doing well (Mother, being a bit silly)

#PleaseRetweet is born! 

To celebrate, I've wriggled my way into the following blogs and magazines. 

Thank you so much for hosting me!

Writers and Artists - Guest Post  

Did you know more people die from taking selfies than from shark attacks? One man even got attacked by a shark while taking the selfie. It didn't put him off taking another snap from his stretcher though. I guess he was thinking about all the potential 'likes' and 'retweets'. Getting bitten by a shark is social media gold; I'm thinking viral.

The question is no longer: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Rather, it's: If we were at an event but didn't tell everyone on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram ... were we really there?"  Read More. 

Rather Too Fond of Books - Q&A

Is life better now we have social media or was it better before?
What social media has done for freedom of speech and enabling the broadcast of important issues is incredible. With social media we can get different perspectives that aren’t offered in mainstream news. It has motivated people to help lots of great causes. 
On the other hand, being bombarded by so much information and so many opinions, not to mention the trolls and haters, can be difficult to process and can cause anxiety. There are plenty of pros and cons. How long have you got? Read More. 

Rachel's Random Reads - Guest post
In a recent author questionnaire I was asked, Did you go on any exciting research trips for this book? 
I laughed out loud. Oh yes, I've been all around the world for this book. Scrolling through Instagram photos does count, doesn't it? It's just I follow a lot of travel photographers. I don't think you get that kind of escapism on other social networks. Read more.

Litro Magazine - Guest Post
My young writer’s dream was very traditional: Get an agent, get a publisher and voila, career sorted!
I bought my first copy of Artists’ & Writers’ Yearbook in 2005 and would go through it with a pencil, underlining all my options. Next I’d print out my three chapters and a synopsis, put them in a big brown envelope and head to the post office, my heart brimming with hope. Maybe this time, maybe this time… Read more.
Becca's Boooks - Guest Post

Social media is a brilliant tool for connection and creativity, but the key is to use it and not let it use you. 

It should never stop you doing what you love. That's what #PleaseRetweet is all about. Taking stock of what you're doing with your life and remembering to enjoy the moment! Read More. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

If plumbers tweeted like writers...

Two toilets fixed! Feeling awesome! #amplumbing

#Free eSink download! Please share! #offwhite #freebiefriday

How Blogging Kickstarted my plumbing career! Read my guest post on #mondaymotivation

How to reach a wider audience with your plumbing! via @YouCopperTube

Interview with Winner of the ManPlumber. Client rejected his services 78 times before accepting! 

Support indie plumbers! Review my piping #review #epipes

Traditional vs Indie Plumbers - pros and cons of selfplumbing!

Who is doing #naplumbo? 50,000 toilets installed in one month!

@aspiringplumber Me! I need to get over my #plumbingblock!!


I'm sorry if you've ended up here in your search for a plumber.  I can't offer free installations of sinks, baths or anything very much. I don't even have a number for a plumber. 

On the upside, my novel #PleaseRetweet is still free to download until midnight tonight if you're in the UK. So, that's something. 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Life Before the Internet vs Now

I've been writing lots of guest posts this week and answering Q&As in preparation for the launch of the #PleaseRetweet paperback. (Psst... it's free to download here!)

One of the questions I was asked was: 

"Is life better now we have social media 
or was it better before?"

It got me thinking.  Life is definitely noisier now, isn't it?

For instance, take what happened with Eric and Joanna. 


"Joanna wasn't my cup of tea," said Eric.


"Joanna wasn't my cup of tea," said Eric.

...which prompts this alarming international announcement

...accompanied with moving, public displays of emotion

...which arouses sympathy across the globe

and leads to sensational trending topics...

 (which of course is a fantastic opportunity 
for bloggers and content creators 
to get their message out there...) 

...and random strangers taking sides 
with other random strangers over an event between two other random strangers...

...and the creation of memes

Sorry... I meant animal memes...

...and of course Inspirational Quotes. #PeaceandLove

I have a feeling I may have got carried away with my answer. 

Can you repeat the question?


For all the lovers and haters and addicts of social media, you can try out my book completely risk-free... 
because it's free!

(Free in UK only, I'm so so so so sorry lovely readers from all around the world who aren't in the UK, but if it was my choice I'd have included you ALL!)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Why I'm finally attempting the Nanowrimo challenge...

Lately I've been feeling restless. I feel like I should be happier. 

My friend sends me a video of a snoring door mouse.

I reply with a baby hamster.

A photo posted by Animals (@animaladdicts) on

It cheers me up for a while.

The trouble always starts when I'm not working on a new novel. I was, but I've had to pause it, to promote #PleaseRetweet. I waste a lot of time worrying that my book isn't going to sell. 

(It's free to download at the moment but it still has to hit the top 100 free should have by now, shouldn't it? Why hasn't it? The same thoughts go round and round in my head).   

The cure to this anxiety must be to create. I don't want to think about the point of it all. I just want to bash out words until they start writing themselves.

That's why I'm going to attempt Nanowrimo, the 50,000 words in a month challenge. I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't complete it. If I write 30,000 words, I'll be pleased. I just need to get back into the rhythm.

This is my strategy:

1. Get up one hour earlier
2. Write using a timer (45 minute stints)
3. Stay off social media until I've completed the first 1000 words a day

I reckon this simple strategy would work for achieving a lot of goals, don't you? (Just substitute 'write' for whatever it is you want to be doing!) 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Calling All Book Lovers! I've got a present for you...

Yesterday I caught a glimpse of the  #PleaseRetweet paperback on book blogger's, Becca's Boooks, Instagram feed. As you can imagine, it completely ruined my day.

Well I was so excited I couldn't concentrate, could I?

I haven't even seen a copy yet, but from afar, it looks so good I could eat it. Oh, what a lovely Christmas present it would make WINK WINK. It's out on the 5th November but you can preorder it today, plenty of time for Santa to wrap it up and shove it down a pair of tights! (Did anyone else use tights as stockings when they were little?)

And now for a special announcement!

I'm getting married

I'm having a baby

I'm gay

Ah, here it is!

From 23rd October - 1st November, #PleaseRetweet will be absolutely FREE to download.

Tell all your friends!

I won't be making a penny from this, so all I ask is that, if you enjoy it, please leave a review! Thank you!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Is it a book? - said no midwife ever.

"Your book is your baby!"

"Getting your book published is like giving birth!"

I've never given birth but I'm guessing these statements are a bit far fetched. 

Writing a book is a lot of work but at least it doesn't cry. The only person crying is you because it's taking so long.  

Your book doesn't give you mastitis. At the most it gives you a headache. Possibly a bit of repetitive strain injury. If you prefer vintage methods and are using pen and paper, there's the danger of paper cuts.

Your book does not poo. Although that doesn't mean it isn't crap. The first draft will definitely stink, even though it took you the best part of nine months to create. Ten years if you've had a stab at 'literary fiction*'.

(*Literary fiction is the one where not much happens, but it makes you cry because it's so beautiful and profound. Although you might also be crying because you've just finished reading 400 pages and you don't know what's happened.)

You don't feel unconditional love for your book. If you look too closely, you still see bits you could improve. I don't think you give birth and immediately think, Not bad! But I could have made its ears a bit rounder!  

The biggest difference I guess is, after you give birth you don't usually want to sell your baby, whereas every author wants to sell their freshly born book. The fact that this is actually quite difficult leads to what I'm calling Post Publication Blues. The post natal depression of the book publishing experience.  

There are so many posts on dealing with rejections from agents and publishers, but not so much advice for the writers who have managed to get books published, and still feel they have a long way to go until they 'make it'. How do you keep your morale up when it feels like you're getting nowhere fast?

Well, I've just opened Eckhart Tolle's book Stillness Speaks and read this: 

"Doing one thing at a time", is how one Zen Master defined the essence of Zen. Doing one thing at a time means to be total in what you do, to give it your complete attention. This is surrendered action - empowered action.

I think this translates as TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. This probably applies to babies and books. 

Reasons to buy my baby #PleaseRetweet

1. It is potty trained and doesn't dribble.
2. It sleeps all through the night.
3. It is well-behaved on planes
5. It's only £2.99

The paperback is available for preorder and will be out on 5th November!