Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Welcome to our garden in April.

Rain has fallen at last so no watering to do. However the weeds are now shooting up. Some I allow, especially in a small corner which is quite wild and full of wild flowers according to season. The rhododendrons are now coming out in all their glory. Unfortunately, we have had to cut out some well established ones in the front garden due to disease, but we are filling in the huge gap with other shrubs and trees. I thought I would put a few photos here of our back garden — the wild corner, side path and part of the border on the other side. The mason bees have set up home again in part of the lawn under the big oak tree. Birds are busy feeding their young and squirrels never fail to amuse us. A year or so ago, I watched one play with a stick like a dog!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Post-War Fashion Central to Awakening Love Setting

When I was a young designer of sixteen or seventeen, Dior had changed the fashion scene with hi NEW LOOK. Britain was still recovering from the war effort and the new fashion with its long and sweeping skirts caused a bit of angst because of the amount of fabric used. Remember we were used to make do and mend and clothing coupons. But it seemed to me, even at my young age, that women were weary of drab clothes and relished the idea of femininity — nipped in waist, shapely breasts, soft shoulders and dreamy skirts floating mid-calf or lower. I did some fashion sketches for a portfolio and I still have them. I am putting some of them here.
This is the world of June Armstrong, the main character in Awakening Love. June is a socially and sexually naive teenager who is determined to rise above her working class roots and, through sheer hard work and determination succeed as a top designer. Her single-minded ambition becomes the chief rival to being the wife of the man who awakened her to love — war hero, Major Arthur Rogers. (Because of their age difference the affair is kept secret but he gives her a locket containing a diamond for a ring as proof of his intentions) Assisting June towards achieving her goal is her boss, the ruthless entrepreneur Robert Watson — ruggedly handsome and renown for his sexual prowess. She soon discovers his adroitness at achieving his own ends by whatever means. From the beginning he makes it clear that he demands total dedication from June — she is to be the linchpin for a new branch of the Watson enterprises. When she insists on having the holiday due to her to be with Arthur, Robert insists they are a perfect team and she does not need another man to satisfy any of her needs, including sex. He make his play to own her — body and soul…

Friday, April 10, 2009

Writers' Angels On the Internet — Ernest Johnson

I came across Ernie Johnson over the Internet.
To get my books noticed I joined various web sites to do with writing, publishing, and marketing. With all the various sites, groups, and interesting individuals I am now in contact with, my aging brain soon became confused with what is what, and who is who. You may have been there yourself? When you have every day crammed with activities, as well as engagement on the Internet, and continually meeting new people — most of them across the pond or the other side of the world — life is not easy for wrinklies.

So it has taken a while for individuals to emerge clearly in my mind, that is, enough to hold a picture of them with name attached. Ernie is one of them.
Why? Because he reaches out to people, and to put it simply - he touched me because of his enormous generosity.
Ernie has kindly agreed to answer a few questions.

Q: Ernie, where is your home, and has it affected the kind of stories you write?

ANS: I live in Billerica, Massachusetts, a rather large town about 25 miles north of Boston, MA. I can't say that my location has affected the kinds of stories I write, mainly because I write in a variety of genres, from Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense, Romance, War, Disaster, well you get the idea.

Q: Gosh, that is quite a spectrum of writing. It takes a lot of dedication to write books. What inspires you to write and go on writing day after day?

ANS: There's a whole world of people out there who like reading good, well thought out, stories. When I started writing, back in the early 1980's, I didn't have the slightest clue as to what I was doing, but I did it anyway. I poked along, like most newbies to this profession, getting critiques along the way, and each one making me a better writer. In the early 1990's I took a hiatus from writing, because of all the rejections I was getting from both agents and publishers. I started writing again in 2001 and I've not looked back. I've now got one traditionally published book and 5 books via POD (Print On Demand) with the sequel to my traditionally published book all written, edited, and in search for a publisher.

Q: I can certainly empathise with the rejection story. Great that you came back and produced so many books. That’s a lot of work. Ernie, would you like to tell me what motivates you to help other authors the way that you do?

ANS: As a newbie (a new author) I knew the struggles I was going through to get the word out about my book. Even book stores don't want to take a chance on me, because they don't know who I am, and are afraid to risk losing their valued customers on an unknown author. That said, I'm 63 years old, or young, whichever way you want to look at it, and by helping other authors succeed, or even remotely succeed, then I can feel better about who I am as an author. Word is getting out about concerning Author Ernie Johnson and his book DESTINY OF THE DIVAS, and a lot of the reason is because I take the time to help a few of those individuals who are just starting the arduous task of Marketing Their Books.

Q: So in helping others you are also making authors and booklovers aware of your own books. That is a lesson for all us authors. Would you like to mention things you have done already, before your latest venture?

ANS: As most authors know, one of the keys to their success is having a website where people can go to learn about the author and what they've written. To date I've helped 9 authors build their websites and taught them what I know, or have learned from experience. I also created the blog AUTHORS AND THEIR BOOKS. This was done as a free posting of one book, complete with a synopsis and a link to where the book could be purchased. I learned early on, that as good an idea as that was, the drawback was that those who were posted first, were continually being pushed further back into the archives of blogdom, and no reasonable person, wants to go back 7 - 8 - 9 pages or more to find out what books we have and the authors who wrote them.

Q: Yes, that is a problem. So now we come to the Bookhouse. Explain what it is, and your hopes for this feature.

ANS: THE BOOKHOUSE was my solution to the problem created on the BLOG. As a website, I could offer authors a chance to promote more than one book, and I could also keep the books of the same genre in one place, or close by thereto. I put myself in the shoes of a prospective book buyer. If I went to an online bookstore, what would I want to see? Using that criteria, I developed the pages to accommodate a prospective buyer's needs and still make the author happy at the same time. An author can promote up to four books. One book (their choice) is complete with cost, number of pages, book cover, author picture, buy now button and a link to where the book can be purchased. The other, up to three books, gets only the book cover and a buy now button with a link to where it can be purchased.

I kept the cost to the author at a minimum - just $2.00 for one year's posting and I get nothing for the sale of their books. They get to keep whatever their publisher has agreed to. The money I charge the author, goes into keeping the website running and advertising where I see fit to attract buyers to our website.

Q Do you have more things planned?

ANS: THE BOOKHOUSE is my final online project. I have one more manuscript that I'm searching for a publisher for, but THE BOOKHOUSE is a full-time job online.

Thank you, Ernest Johnson, for giving me your time and being frank about yourself and the work you are doing to help other authors. I for one truly appreciate all that you have done for some of my books, and I am sure other authors feel the same. I hope you soon find a publisher for your new book and I wish you well with sales of those already in print

Ernie has kindly given me a page on the Bookhouse web site, in the Romance section.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spring Has Arrived

It is a glorious sunny day today and so I took the opportunity to take photographs of the garden.
Soon we will be able to take photos of the new Laurel and Hardy statue being erected in a revamped County Square of Ulverston. Apart from the statue, engraved into slate flagstones are all the films the couple made. I f you don't know already, Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston. There is a small museum dedicated to their film antics and a pub named after this town's famous son. I doubt Stan ever thought of such fame when he lived in Ulverston. Other famous people lived in Ulverston, including Sir John Barrow, but tourists would have to climb Hoad Hill to have their photo taken beside his monument — it is built in the shape of Eddystone lighthouse, appropriate for a man of Naval history.

Wrinkly Writer
Magpies Nest Publishing
My Space/Gladys Writes