Thursday, 31 October 2013

Awesome Indies Halloween sale - Day 2


Happy Halloween


The hosts of our party have some mean bad guys hiding among their pages. Today, some of our authors open their books and let their monsters take a peek outside. Click on over to the Awesome Indies, read the descriptions and vote for the monster you think is the creepiest.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Awesome Indies Halloween sale - Day 1

Watch out! There's demons, ghouls, ghosts and other nasties on the Awesome Indies and they're escaping their books on Halloween to host a party for all the gentle souls from the less frightening stories. The spread is amazing, a smorgasbord of genres, over 40 books on sale at 99c from the 30th of October to the 1st November, plus a fun quiz, a meet the monster day and a goody-bag of give-aways. 

The party starts today with a fun quiz. Click over to the Awesome Indies blog to find out what you didn't know about Halloween.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Home is where the art is - or maybe it isn't

I've just come back from an overseas holiday.

Mind you, thanks to the wonders of technology, any followers here at Dag-lit Central (come out of hiding, I'm sure you're out there somewhere) might not even have known I was away. I'm a pretty private person and I didn't particularly want to broadcast my away-ness, so I kept the posts popping up. Apologies if that seems a bit sneaky.

Anyway, the holiday was really fun. Got to visit a bunch of places I haven't been to in over 20 years, with my family in tow. And got to spend time with my overseas family, most of whom I haven't seen for over 20 years. It was a really great experience for everyone.

And now I'm home. Amazing how quickly it went. One minute, overseas and having the time of my life. The next, back home and trying to settle back to real life again

I needed the break. With all the writing and working I've buried myself under this year, I was pretty close to hitting the proverbial wall. One of the nicest parts about the trip was switching off from all of that and just enjoying each day as it came. But now I'm back, it's definitely switch on time again. And that isn't quite so easy.

So it's back to work and back to writing. At least one of them. With work, I don't really have a choice. There's only so much leave I can take in a year and I've pretty much taken it. That just leaves the writing. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to get that started again as yet. Not for lack of trying. I've sat at the computer with the word processor on, but the brain just isn't coming to the party. At least not yet. Hopefully I'll be able to pull myself over that bump in the road shortly and get back into it.

You know what they say - home is where the heart is. But at the moment, it's definitely not where the art is.

Have a good week. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Inspiring teens blog hop - interview with Sibel Hodge

Today I'm pleased to be participating in another really fun event - the inspiring teens blog hop organised by Greta Burroughs and Vickie Johnstone. Today, as part of the hop, I'm hosting an interview with Sibel Hodge.

After you've read and enjoyed the interview, be sure to answer the question below and follow Sibel on Twitter, Facebook and her blog for a chance to win a copy of her book The See-Through Leopard. And don't forget to enter the raffle for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

1. Reading

Why do you think Teen Read Week is important? 

Young adult novels now encompass so many different styles and genres, and deal with issues and pressures that can give valuable insight to teens. It also allows escape from the pressures of life. Readers can experience challenges, thrills, dangers, and learn lessons without even leaving the house!

How do you think we could encourage youngsters to read more? 

I think the explosion in ereaders, tablets, and smartphones makes reading much more accessible for teens, even when they’re on the move. So mixing technology with reading can be fun. 

When you were a teenager what books did you like to read and did you have an all-time favourite character? 

I loved coming of age stories, and books about overcoming injustice. One of my all-time favourites is To Kill a Mockingbird. I still pick it up every now and then and re-read it.

2. Writing

Do you think today’s teens are in a better position if they want to be a writer than you were all those years ago (hee hee)? 

Hey, it’s only (ahem) a few years ago! Yes, with the opportunities for indie publishing now, anyone who can write a good book has the potential to be successful. 

What advice would you give a youngster who enjoys writing? 

Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Read to experience and understand what good writing and good story-telling is all about. Write to hone your craft, even if it’s only a few hundred words a day. But, most importantly, follow your dreams and be true to yourself. 

3. Your books

What is your latest book about?

The See-Through Leopard is an inspiring and uplifting coming of age story about fighting for survival, healing, love, and recognizing that our scars don’t define us. 

Are you working on anything new at the moment? 

I’ve just finished the 4th book in my Amber Fox cozy mystery series, and I’m about to start on an inspiring new adult novel.

What do you love about being an author? 

When I was a kid I used to get told off for lying. Now, I can do it as a job and get paid for it!

Book description 

Most sixteen-year-old girls are obsessed with their looks, but Jazz Hooper is obsessed for a different reason. After a car accident that kills her mum, Jazz is left with severe facial scars and retreats into a dark depression. Fearing what will happen if Jazz doesn’t recover, her dad makes a drastic decision to move them from England to a game reserve in Kenya for a new start. And when Jazz finds an orphaned leopard cub, it sets off a chain of events that lead her on a two-year journey of discovery, healing and love.

"A percentage of the royalties from the sale of this book will be contributed to Panthera, a leading international conservation organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the world's big cats, plus other wildlife conservation groups." -- Sibel Hodge, author.

Amazon US link

Amazon UK link

About Sibel Hodge

Sibel Hodge is the Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author of Fourteen Days Later and Be Careful What You Wish For. She has 8 cats and 1 husband. In her spare time, she's Wonder Woman! When she's not out saving the world from dastardly demons she writes an eclectic mix of romantic comedies, mysteries, thrillers, children's books, and non fiction. Her other books include My Perfect Wedding, The Baby Trap, The Fashion Police (Amber Fox Mystery), Voodoo Deadly (Amber Fox Mystery), The See-Through Leopard, How to Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men's Room (and other short stories), It's a Catastrophe, Healing Meditations for Surviving Grief and Loss, A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey, and A Gluten Free Soup Opera.

Her work has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008, Highly Commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009, Runner Up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Comp 2009, nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements in 2010 by The Romance Reviews, Runner Up in the Best Indie Books of 2012 by Indie Book Bargains, and Winner of Best Children's Book by eFestival of Words 2013. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the Top 40 Books About Human Rights by Accredited Online Colleges.    

TWITTER HANDLE –  @sibelhodge




Sibel has two ebook copies of her book The See-Through Leopard to give away. To be in the running, all you have to do is follow Sibel via the links above and then post an answer to the following question in the comments below:

Tell me what your favourite animal is and why.

And make sure to enter the raffle at the inspiring teens blog hop site.



Saturday, 12 October 2013

Author or narcissist

Have you been into a bookshop lately? Or more likely, have you browsed through an online booksite like Amazon? What is the first impression that you get?

I know what I think. Lots of books.

It always gets me thinking. Thinking about why there are so many books. Thinking about what would be involved in reading them all. Thinking about the sort of effort that went into writing them all. Just thinking in general that there are so many books around.

With so many books already in print - or online - why do we need to make more? Are there really any new stories we can tell? Are there any more twists we can find to tell the same old story in a different way?

And, of course, I can't help thinking about my own place in this puzzle. As a writer, why do I write? Why do I feel that I need to add to this abundance of books? Do I really have something new to say, on top of what has already been said, often by writers of substantially more talent and with deeper insight into the human condition than myself? Am I adding something significant to humanity's body of work, or am I just adding to the confusion.

Sometimes I wonder whether we writers are just supreme narcissists. That we're somehow imbued with this self-belief that our stories, no matter how tangled and mangled, are intrinsically worth reading. That the words we conjure are somehow deeper and wiser and wittier than those of our competitors.

Of course, I prefer to think that isn't the case. And yet, I'm more than happy to override any self-doubt and push my work out regardless. I suppose I just can't help it. In my mind, I'm not sure if I'm a narcissist or not, but I do know for sure that I am a writer. And that's good enough for me. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The laziest hard worker I know

For a lazy person, I work really hard.

Perhaps I should rephrase that. For a hard working person, I'm actually really lazy.

And I do work hard. On top of my 9-5 job and sundry family obligations, I keep a cracking schedule as far as my writing goes. I set myself goals and focus myself on achieving them. At the moment I have 4 different WIPs:
  1. The next Neville Lansdowne story - tentatively titled Scrawling - which I'm hoping to release before the end of the year.
  2. My picture book Thomas and the Tiger Turtle which should be out in May 2014.
  3. My detective story (no planned title as yet). I'm aiming for late 2014 for this one, having just finished a second draft.
  4. My YA story (again no title). I finished draft #1 last year so this one is still a long way off. Maybe 2015 but maybe even later. We'll see.
In addition to these, there are always a heap of ideas bubbling in my head. Plus, of course, all my blogging and twittering and other socially network stuff. I'm actually pretty proud of what I'm managing to achieve at the moment. Especially given one big proviso - I'm very, very lazy.
I love to sleep in. I tell you, every day is a battle to get out of bed, and not just on weekdays. Even on weekends, after quite a good sleep in, I'd happily remain under the covers.
Once I'm up, it takes me ages to get going. I'll sit around and do nothing much. In fact, a number of people I know have commented on my capacity to sit around and do nothing much. It's a talent I'm quite proud of.
I guess that's the thing with all of us. We're all a bundle of contradictions. I can be both lazy and hard working at the same time. It's all part of the wonderfulness of being me.
Anyway, better go now. I have a whole week of working hard to do nothing in front of me.