Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Am I just being cynical?

I'm not sure, but.... I saw a tweet from a fellow author friend saying, Authors!  Join me on such and such a site, register on (insert name here) database. Promote your book!  This site also regularly runs competitions, for 'best cover', etc, though all the people who vote appear to be other writers.

I quite often see such tweets.  I got to wondering, as they say.  What is the point of these databases?  Does anyone ever look at them?  I bet they don't, but I'm asking because I'd like to know, and am happy to be proved wrong.

I wondered, then, if they're like Facebook, which is, I believe, just a huge vehicle for data mining and stealth marketing.  Do these author databases just exist to get all the contact details of hundreds of indie authors together in one place, so that they can be targeted for the sale of services such as book marketing, editing, cover illustration, etc?

Or is that just me being cynical?

Monday, 22 April 2013

A Tribute to 24

Since I wrote this a year ago, of course, the new series is now on, but I'm saving it to watch all at once when it's finished!

22 April 2013

Okay, I was late coming to the party.  I never watched TV series '24' when it came out.  Throughout the 'noughties' I didn't watch much telly.  However, I've caught up.  I've watched the whole 8 series in the last couple of months; I watched the last episode last night and I don't know what I am going to do with all those telly hours, now.  After a long day at the laptop, I can no longer relax with Jack and co.  Unless I start from the beginning and watch the whole thing over again.  I think that's the only thing left to do - I tried watching a new series tonight and it was just - well, it wasn't 24.

Anyway, being obsessed, as I am, I have made my Top 20 of my favourite characters throughout the series.  I hope fellow CTU and Bauer addicts will enjoy!  

The countdown....


Played by Sarah Wynter.  I liked her because she wasn't a silly girly, and just got on and did stuff even though she was scared - and even though it involved the capture of her evil terrorist sister.  She was the only one of Jack's women who didn't come to a sticky end.  Probably just as well for her that he dumped her, really.



Played by Roger R Cross.  One of those new CTU agents who don't approve of Jack's methods, but ends up seeing that his is the only way.  Pity he didn't hold on to that knowledge; Jack was forced to kill him, after which he was seen crouching on the ground giving it "I can't do this anymore." Curtis was a decent chap, and his friend.



Played by Paul Schulze.  The sort of chap you think is a bit of a tit at first, then realise is a good guy.  So sad how he went willingly when Jack was forced to kill him to appease terrorists.  Especially sad when Jack asked him if there was anyone he'd like him to contact and he said no; he had no close family, and no friends; it had always just been the job.  It was all for nothing, too...



Played by Paul McCrane.  Jack's evil brother.  Seemed so sinister and powerful when he was controlling President Logan, but so much less so when Jack got hold of him.  Then he just seemed pathetic; especially as it was obvious he had, like, issues with his ditzy wife being an ex of Jack's - and probably still in love with him.  Suspect his whole life had been destroyed by one-sided sibling rivalry....  Hands up who else thought his son was going to turn out to be Jack's?



Played by Jude Ciccolella.  Original Chief of Staff for David Palmer, made a bit of a prat of himself and had to resign, but redeemed himself later, sussing out many of the Charles Logan shenanigans.  Really liked him even though he only showed one facial expression all the way through.



Played by Louis Lombardi.  CTU systems analyst guy, always arguing about stuff that didn't matter, with Chloe, but good at sussing out the stuff that did matter, in the end.  Became Chloe's friend; so sad when he was one of the casualties when CTU was attacked by lethal gas and he was unable to get to the secure room in time.  Remember Chloe finding that picture of the two of them together?



Played by Katee Sackhoff.  At first I thought the constant pout was going to be too annoying, but she became much more interesting when her dodgy past was revealed - and even more so when she was discovered to be a baddie.  Didn't see that coming at all.  She still managed to pout a lot even when she was shooting people to make various escapes, but by then she'd redeemed herself by doing lots of good stuff like breaking out of "APPREHEND ON SITE".

(Note 11/4/2013: special mention here for the wonderfully loony Martha Logan and the hilarious Maurice O'Brian - I've just watched series 5 again...)



Played by Bob Gunton.  Loved him anyway for sussing out President Taylor's horrendous daughter Olivia, and also for getting the better of her, but loved him even more when he stood up against President Taylor, and tried to stop her making the worst decision she could ever make.  Failed, poor chap, but expect he's enjoying a peaceful retirement.



Played by Cherry Jones.  President of US and all round woman with the right ideas, especially putting her own daughter, the ghastly Olivia, in prison.  She was a lady on an idealistic mission of good - until she made a deal with the devil.  Happily this backfired on her, but she redeemed herself in my eyes by being a big fan of Jack and, of course, facilitating what we hope was his final escape....



Played by James Morrison.  One of the best, albeit with a slightly 'jobsworth' start.  Very pleased when he got together with Karen Hayes, who later disappeared as if she had never existed, it seemed.  Or maybe I missed something.  Loved the way he started up again in 'deep cover' after the dismantling of CT, (Oh, and, ladies, I loved the new white-hair-and-black-polo look in Series 7, too, didn't you?)



Played by Penny Johnson.  Always felt a bit sorry for her because she still loved President David Palmer, but kinda got it all wrong.  One of those not-a-goodie-but-not-quite-a-real-baddie people.  Clever manipulators always make great characters, of course.  



Played by Annie Wersching.  Definitely the best of Jack's birds.  Much more interesting when she came back after her breakdown in Series 8.  Obviously had a better hairdo in the previous series, though.  Loved her because she was tough and sharp and quick, and a worthy partner for Jack.  Tragic end, had me in tears.



Played by Gregory Itzin.  What a brilliant character - a man who is evil because he is weak and vain.  Easily manipulated because he was so cowardly, but learnt to manipulate others, too.  Not one single redeeming feature; even his feelings for his wife (his only true ones, I thought, aside from his own vanity) were very much on his terms only.  Without any principles whatsoever - and, of course, right at the end of Series 8 he spilled the beans at the very touch of a blade to his throat. No staying loyal to or protecting his associates for President Charles Logan.



Played by Xander Berkeley.  Jack's first adversary - remember when he disabled him right at the beginning of Series 1?  Seemed like a right stuffed shirt at first, but showed his heroic true colours when he was contaminated by radiation, yet told no-one of it and struggled through to do what he could in his remaining hours.  His final flight, to deliver the nuclear bomb over the desert, and his final goodbye to Jack, was one of the most moving moments of all the series.  Sniff sniff sniff. 



Played by Glen Morshower.  What a man!  The sort of guy you want on your side, quietly, just there watching, listening, doing the right thing and sussing stuff out.  Glad he found some happiness at the end of it, however briefly, with Martha Logan; you could tell he was happy because he was wearing casual clothes.  Seemed like the wiggly ear wire was still there, though, all the same.  Perhaps it still was.



Played by Sarah Clarke.  The best baddie of the lot - because she was such a convincing goodie I was even wishing, in Series 1, that Jack was still with her instead of the extraordinarily irritating Teri.  Had no idea at all what she was up to - and I loved her supreme baddie-ness in that she didn't even have any principles, wasn't affliated to any cause, just did it all for the money.  I still think Jack fancied her, even when he'd tied her up in some barn in Mexico. I'm sure they had a 'moment'....



Played by Carlos Bernard.  I dunno, nothing was ever going to go right for Tony, was it?  He had a chip on his shoulder right from Day One, really, when he was knocking off Nina Myers and thought she still fancied Jack.  I never took to Michelle, but I felt so gutted for him, the way he kept doing a whole bunch of good stuff, like Jack, then getting banged up for his trouble.  No wonder he went bad.  I think that he genuinely cared for Jack as a buddy, though, even when he was double crossing him.  If you know what I mean.



Played by Dennis Haysbert.  What a guy!  How could one man be bestowed with so many wonderful, God-like qualities?  Sincere, honest, decent, brave, principled, but with humility, too.  Also in the top 5 of Most Tear Provoking Moments:  when he said his last goodbye to Jack, before Jack disappeared pretending to be dead.  The way he called him 'my friend' - not a dry eye in the house!  GUTTED when he was killed.  On re-watching Series 4 last week, it occurred to me that if Dennis Haysbert ran for Presidency in real life, it would probably be a landslide.



Played by Mary Lynn Rajskub.  How could you not love Chloe?  Still wearing her pissed off teenage schoolgirl facial expression even when she was heading up CTU, patching real time satellite images through to Jack's PDA like she was born to it, hour in, hour out.  Loved the way she said what she thought to stupid pretentious people and didn't stand for any shit - and, of course, the way she was the one person Jack could rely on, always.  Well, she was one of the very few who weren't dead, of course.  



Don't need to say who played him, do I?  
Jack, our hero, the man who saves the world over and over again.  
The man who is brutalised in a Chinese prison for two years, and needs only a shave and a change of clothes, then he's back saving the world again.  
Jack, we love you.  
Copy that

Hope we'll see you again one day ~ wherever you are....

and indeed we will!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

I don't follow you back on Twitter if....

  • you don't have a profile picture - come on, there must be something you can upload....
  • you don't have a bio - although I do make an exception if you look nice!
  • we don't share any interests at all, as I don't see the point - nothing personal
  • you mention the words TEAM FOLLOW BACK
  • your profile picture is of someone's genitalia (I realise it won't be your own, as I doubt very much that people with the bodies displayed on such pictures have to go trawling Twitter looking for sex partners)
  • you are an author of the type of erotica that is openly hardcore porn
  • you reckon you're a book marketing/social media expert (bet you're not!)
  • you are a rap artist (nothing against you, just really not into that sort of music)
  • you are a book; I prefer to follow the writer, not the book 
  • you send me tweets telling me to follow you back
  • you send me tweets trying to flog me something
  • you send me tweets asking me to RT something without even having said hello
  • your bio implies that you are looking for sexual shenanigans
  • I don't think your profile photo belongs to you
  • your bio says 'download book here' followed by the link
  • your bio isn't written in English
  • your bio is semi-literate
  • you try to be clever - I have since found out what a 'petanquist' is, but I still reckon he was just showing off
  • you claim to be 'inspirational' (bet you're not!), or have 'eclectic tastes', or be a 'self-confessed geek'
  • your bio is some worn out, so called 'profound' quotation
  • you describe yourself as an entrepreneur, or, worse, a 'mediapreneur' - or the horrendous 'mompreneur'
  • your bio is a mass of hashtags - why???
  • you are a Belieber

Monday, 8 April 2013

Think you can't afford a PROOFREADER? Think again!

I think it's agreed by most, now, that publishing a book without getting it properly proofread is one of the worst mistakes an author can make. Here's Proofreader Julia (@ProofreadJulia on Twitter to tell you about what makes a good proofreader, why she loves doing it, and (most importantly) what she does - and how much it costs!

The floor is yours, Julia!


When I Tweet that ‘every author needs a proofreader’, you may think that I am merely trying to drum up business.  Well, you’d be right – but what I say is true! 

An educated, intelligent person like you can do your own proofreading, right? Wrong! Being highly literate is no guarantee of being able to proofread one’s own work. In my experience, authors are too close to their own work to see mistakes; they see what they expect to see, not what is there. A writer needs that impartial pair of keen, trained eyes, and that’s where the proofreader comes in.

What sort of person makes a good proofreader?  Someone who feels the  burning desire to inflict physical harm upon those who misuse apostrophes compulsion to right wrongs in the printed word wherever he or she sees  – I have been known to pounce on mistakes with my red pen, shouting ‘Aha!’ like Alan Partridge, though some may consider this reaction rather extreme!  You need to be the sort of person who, when he sees a misprint in a notice in a shop window, is tempted to march into the premises and demand an explanation for this outrage.

Anyone can set themselves up as a proofreader, but to practise effectively you need to know the difference between speech marks and quotation marks, when to use a colon and when a semi-colon, where a hyphen is needed, how to fix a wrongly-assigned dependent clause, and a whole host of other things that, sadly, are no longer taught in schools; that is why many people under the age of forty are unable to see where their written mistakes lie.  That’s where I come in – alas, it also means that I have to admit to being aged considerably over forty.

Here’s what I do.  I correct the following:

  • Spelling errors
  • Typos
  • Punctuation errors
  • Grammatical errors
  • Obviously missing or duplicated words
  • Misapplied or inconsistent tenses

Proofreading is not the same thing as editing.  Many people don't realise this. Editors will perform services such as: suggesting cutting out characters; changing or omitting dialogue; cutting superfluous description; moving chapters around; various other suggestions that will in their opinion improve the book.  I don’t change the actual content of the work, I just correct the errors.  For example, you might have begun six sentences running with the words "He thought."  Whether this is advisable or not, it's not my job to change it.  It's your editor, if you have one, who will make that change. However, if I happen to notice, for instance, a continuity error (e.g., someone being described as 26 years old, when in the previous chapter it states that they were born 28 years ago), I will let you know!  I'll also tell you if I spot a feasibility error, or duplication of words.

So how much will all this cost?

I charge £3.50 per 1,000 words, which is USD $5.5.  I do not invoice until I've finished the work, which I aim to complete in 10-14 days for novels or long works, or less time which I will advise of in the case of shorter works.  I can be open to negotiation about price, or offer instalment payments, if a future client wishes to discuss this with me.  You could, for instance, pay me £40 a month for five months, while you are writing the novel, so that by the time it's ready to be proofread you are fully paid up, and I can start the work. I invite possible new clients to send me a few pages of your manuscript which I will proofread free of charge - this is so that you can see if what I do works for you. I can also negotiate, if a novel is a lot longer - I'm always happy to discuss, just email me.

And finally, here is what one of my clients very kindly wrote about me:

‘With my latest novel, I decided to ask Julia to help me.  Not only did she find hundreds of errors that I had completely missed, but she even spotted factual flaws and names that didn’t match and an element of the plot that didn’t work, things I had not noticed.  She kindly went beyond her brief to do these things, in addition to correcting so many typos, missed words, repeated words, inappropriate commas, incorrect words even, that were totally invisible to me, perhaps because I was too close to the work.  And all these myriad mistakes were present after I had already carefully checked the manuscript three times.’ 

Geoffrey D West

Note ~ Sept 12 2015:  This piece was written over 2 years ago - there are now many, many testimonials on Julia's site, if you would like to look at some more, and all the writers can be contacted to confirm.

Many thanks to Julia for that!

If you would like to contact her with a view to proofreading your work (please note: she will also proofread CVs, dissertations, essays, etc), you can follow her on Twitter (link above), on Facebook, or email her on

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

My new novel FULL CIRCLE - out soon!

... cross fingers!

FULL CIRCLE is the sequel to my fourth novel, DREAM ON, but can also be read as a stand alone.   If you'd like to read about love triangles, infidelity, the lure of celebrity, the destructive nature of alcohol addiction, with a bit of rock music thrown in, then I think you may enjoy it ~ oh, and it's quite funny in parts, too - well, my husband and sister have both read it and laughed out loud at some bits, anyway!

The cover (give or take some changes that may be made)

Here's an early draft of the Amazon blurb:

~~~ ~~~

FULL CIRCLE is the sequel to Terry Tyler’s fourth novel, DREAM ON, but can be enjoyed as a stand alone.  It’s a tale of love triangles, infidelity, an English rock band, the lure of celebrity, and the destructive nature of alcohol addiction.  FULL CIRCLE ~ love, sex and marriage, rock music and secret affairs, with a few laughs along the way!


Two years have passed since we left Dave, Ariel, Janice and Shane at the end of DREAM ON. 

ARIEL thought her hard work and perseverance had been rewarded when she met record producer Theo Perlmutter ~ then a tragic event turned her dreams to dust.

Newly married JANICE was happier than she’d ever been ~ but the honeymoon ended when born again alcoholic husband Max careered off the wagon and into the nearest bar.

Being dragged onto The Jeremy Kyle Show in DREAM ON was not enough to make ladies' man SHANE learn his lesson – will his philandering ways eventually catch up with him?

Rock band THOR has risen from the ashes…

… but DAVE is unhappy, trapped in a domestic situation not of his choosing.

Will there be a happy ever after ending for any of them?

~~~ ~~~

I'm hoping it will be out by the middle of April - until then, my fingers are staying crossed!