Monday, 30 April 2012

"The Other Side" - my new novel


My new novel will appear on Amazon Kindle Store in about a week's time, all being well.  It's called 'The Other Side', and I thought that anyone who has read and enjoyed 'You Wish' and 'Nobody's Fault' might like to know a bit about it. 


Here is the blurb to be posted on Amazon; it might be re-drafted yet, though.



BLURB FOR AMAZON FOR 'THE OTHER SIDE' 


Decision time.  Left or right?  Mr X, or Mr Z ?
Imagine being given an insight into what would happen if you chose the other path….
Would you make the same decision? 
If you could, would you go back and change all the mistakes you've ever made in the name of love?

The Other Side tells of four lives, all so different. 
Glamorous KATYA is certain she can ‘have it all’, but forgets that some people have long memories... 
CATHY is trapped in a tedious marriage with the in-laws from hell – but why did the rock chick marry Mr Pipe and Slippers? 
ALEXA fears that a ‘friend’ is trying to steal away her perfect life – everyone dismisses her fears as paranoia…
…while SANDIE struggles with a drink problem, a life spiralling downwards – which came first, the drink or the problems?

Four very different stories – but they are all connected.

THE OTHER SIDE travels backwards through time to unravel the decisions of the past and their influence on the present lives of everyone concerned - for better or for worse







**** 

End of Blurb!  There are many questions to be answered and twisty bits as the story unfolds.  It was hard to write a novel that goes backwards in time, and I spent many a frustrating hour trying work out continuity problems; I knew the concept would be a difficult one to execute, so I hope I've done so successfully.  The proof of the pudding, etc.

Aside from that, if you like reading about bitter love rivalry, tales of unrequited and lost love, infuriating mothers in law, downward slides into debt and alcoholism, jealousy, the satisfaction of long awaited revenge, ghastly flat-mates, dinner parties gone wrong, the horrors of weight gain, and the cringe-making things people do when they're drunk, then you should enjoy it!



The Other Side by Terry Tyler - on Amazon in May 2012.













Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Should Authors Comment On Reviews?

I'd love to know anyone else's opinion on this.

This may sound incredible, but until yesterday I hadn't even noticed that you could comment on reviews.  I only did so when I noticed 3 comments on one of mine.

I skimmed past a blog posted on Twitter about this yesterday; unfortunately, something else distracted me and I forgot to read it, then later on I found myself wondering about that very thing.

My initial reaction is NO!  I make the following points:

  • It would be lovely to thank everyone for the good reviews, but then you would also have to thank people for the so-so ones, wouldn't you?  And make some reasonable sounding comment about the bad ones.
  • People are entitled to express their opinion in a public arena without having it criticised and questioned.
  • Whereas thanking someone for something can never be wrong, people should be confident enough in their own work not to have to explain or justify it.
  • You can't tell people how to read something; for instance, you can't say "But Penelope's motivation was always to have Raoul love her, not just to retrieve the diamonds!"  Maybe you should've sharpened old Raoul up a bit, I say.
  • It would be tempting to get into further discussion with someone who had bothered to write a review but is it all that productive?  I am writing this off the top of my head and it just occurred to me that maybe this could be a 'YES' argument.
  • Apart from thanking someone, it's not very cool.

Would LOVE opinions on this!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Thoughts on Self-Promotion, Twitter & Reviews....

I am not new to writing (13 novels and loads of other stuff over the years) but I am new to self publishing - and, thus, the whole self-promotion process.


At the weekend I did a free download promotion for both the novels I have on Amazon.  It was successful far beyond my expections; I just wanted to share some thoughts about it.


I started my novel "You Wish" after a ten year break from writing anything other than amusing little bits and bobs to make my friends laugh.  When it was finished, I got out my Writers and Artists Yearbook, selected appropriate agents, checked their websites for submission requirements, and off I went.  I had some interest (the full manuscript being requested a couple of times), but no offers of representation.  A tad disheartened, I shelved the whole thing, until two people suggested I try it on Amazon's Kindle Store, this being the way forward, etc etc.  I didn't really know about Kindles; at the time I had never even heard of John Locke.

I stuck them on there.  Various friends (and friends of friends) had read the novel and liked it very much; the ones who didn't were kind enough not to tell me.  Those who liked it, I asked to review it for me, which they did.  I started to write the next one, and put that on, too.  Nothing much happened, apart from a few downloads and a few more very good reviews.

Someone suggested to me that I try Twitter.  Best move I've made in years!

It's not only about advertising your stuff, is it?  I had no idea.  I've 'met' other self-published writers; how wonderful it is to share ideas and thoughts with others who are in the same boat!  Not only that, but I've read so many fascinating articles that have really helped me.  Previously, I was arrogant enough to think "huh, I don't need to be told how to write!", but I am so glad I re-thought that attitude.  I've learned so much about cutting unnecessary descriptive passages, interspersing long passages of text with dialogue, starting the story off with a bang rather than a whimper, not using cliches like the one I just wrote, casting out 90% of adverbs.  In particular, the writer and publisher Scott Bury posts some marvellous articles.  Look him up!

I've discovered people like Jeff Bennington, whose book The Indie Author's Guide To The Universe is, I think, a MUST HAVE for all self-published authors.  Buy it! And Melissa Foster, with her Women's Literary Cafe thingy - look both of them up, too! There's so much real help out there.  Best of all, I have 'met' some people I am sure would be real life friends if only we lived near each other.  Karen, Kirkus, how I wish we could go out for a beer together!  I've discovered new authors, people I wouldn't have known about otherwise, as I don't tend to browse Amazon.  I've now got about 20 books on my Kindle that I WILL finish and I WILL review, I promise!

As with people who are trying to make it in the music business - or the would-be Masterchef business, or the world of photography, art, anything - there is a good community out there.  We understand how hard it is and help each other, retweeting each other's promotional stuff - I cannot imagine how many people read about my books being free this weekend, but it must have been a lot because I had 17,560 downloads! That's another thing - all those people reading the stories that I wrote in the corner of my living room is so weird I can't quite get my head around it.  However, my insecurity is another subject and one I won't explore right now, okay?

.......except to say that I wonder if everyone is the same as me, and occasionally clicks on the 'click to look inside' thing on their own books on Amazon?  And thinks, oh no, that bit's crap, I could have written it so much better now, oh shit, it's embarrassing, everyone will think I'm a complete klutz......


I am now steeling myself for a bad review.  I know, the more you put your stuff out there, the more likely it is that you will get someone who not only doesn't like it, but also wants to tell you how much they didn't.  Now, remember this:  in The Indie Author's Guide it estimates that 3% of reviewers are people who just enjoy giving bad reviews.  In fact, make a point of doing so.  I've realised this to be true; I saw a very damning one on a friend's book, then clicked on 'see all my reviews' - as JB said, the reviewer had been just as crappy to everyone.  


I'm trying to make my skin thicker so that my first really bad one won't get to me - any tips on how to do this??!!

In the meantime, I shall carry on writing, and carry on twittering.



Thursday, 5 April 2012

Assorted Annoyances

 (With thanks to Julia, Mike, Lisa, Delaine, Andy, Ralph, Phil, Rob, Jorell, Freya)




Things that make me go bluuurggh....

At work:


I’ll just ping him across an email

Can I just pop you on hold?  Oh, he’s back now.  I’ll just pop you through

Number crunchers

Can we touch base?

No problem!

Can-do attitude

Since we started doing business with yourselves 

If you have any queries, please contact Ken or myself


Can you bear with me?




Misuse of words


Ignorant used to describe someone who is ignoring you

Banter when what is meant is rudeness, cheek, or mickey-taking by one person only

Vent used to mean ranting, or venting anger

Bored of, would of

Nouns used as verbs – sourced, tasked, gifted, parented, growthed, birthed

Quantity applied to an absolute term – quite unique


Floor when talking about the ground, and lay when it should be lie - he's laying down on the floor (when he is, in fact, lying down on the ground)



Pronouncing the letter 'aitch' as 'haitch'




On Facebook


The pseudo profound/inspirational – those pictures that say “Live each day as if it was your last, dance as if no-one is looking” etc, or “I am who I am, love me or hate me” etc

LOL, Yay, Facepalm, LMAO, PMSL

Lol, etc when used as punctuation – I agree lol I liked it too lol it’s great lmao

Photographs of people’s dinner with the caption nom nom nom

*does victory dance*

That awkward moment when….. (inevitably, it isn’t awkward at all)

The general wishing of a Happy St Patrick’s Day – it is only relevant to the Irish!  Worse, when it is referred to as St Patty’s Day.  Patty is short for Patricia.  The short form of Patrick is Pat, or Paddy.

Status Shuffle – for people who have nothing to say but think they’ll say it anyway

Tired.com, Bored.com, Hungover.com

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go

Attention seeking status updates – Miss X has really had enough now.  These updates are then followed by ten people saying What's up hun inbox me xoxox

Unfunny observations followed by Just Saying





Miscellaneous irritating words and phrases


From the get go

Can I get in a shop/cafΓ©/pub, instead of Can I have

Back in the day  (Back in what day?)

Toasty to imply warmth.  (nb, not ‘warm as toast, which makes sense.  ‘Toasty’ does not mean this.  Toasty means ‘like toast’)


Webinar


Podcast

Yummy Mummy

Yada Yada

Learning Curve

Journey when used to describe anything apart from the travelling from one physical point to another

“You’ll be fine” as a platitude when someone is worried about something, unless there is some substance behind it, and person A has some inside knowledge that person B really will be fine

“Look at YOU!” when seeing someone looking particularly dressed up

A cheeky anything – I’m just popping out for a cheeky beer

Simples – when said by anyone other than the meerkats


"It's my passion"




 

Particularly annoying behaviour by women


Whoo hoo!  You go girl!

Describing fat women as curvy

Describing themselves as strong women

Describing themselves or their friends as quirky, sassy, bubbly, zany, kooky, goofy

All here come the girls type behaviour

Thinking they have the right to touch the stomach of a pregnant woman without asking

Putting their hands on your face to show you how cold it is

Women over the age of 50 who suddenly get a very short spiky hair do, have it dyed red and then wear witty earrings



In the kitchen


Jus

Drizzle

Roasties instead of roast potatoes

Simply pop it in the oven!



At the Doctors


Can you just pop behind the screen, pop off your clothes, pop onto the couch, and I’ll just pop this needle into you



This is an ongoing list; all suggestions welcomed