A Big Thank You!

As many of you know, my latest book Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!) came out at the weekend. In the run up to the launch, I asked if anyone had any tips with regards to marketing (I’m hopeless !). I have to say, I was overwhelmned with the response. There were offers of guest blog posts, shout-outs, suggestions to do a blog tour and much more! Thank you so much. I really do feel grateful to be part of the blogging community. You’re all pretty fantastic.

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Funny Of The Week

I’d like to see someone try that!

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Laughing Along With A Limerick

Happy Monday! It’s limerick time! Send in your own or here’s a prompt for you –

SCREECH

Here are a few limericks to make you smile this Monday. The prompt was FOOL:

Keith Channing:

I felt like I needed to cool

So went for a dip in the pool

Like a bird I did fly

But the pool was bone dry

Small wonder I felt like a fool.

Christine Mallaband-brown:

I eat at the ritz as a rule.

The food really makes me drool!

From canapés to icecream

Their chefs are a top team

Especially the great gooseberry fool!

John Reynolds:

There was a young man from Chad

Who at times, was a bit of a lad.

He stole a red car,

and a one-string guitar

Then, chased down the road, by his dad.

Ritu:

A young man from Liverpool

Thought he looked rather cool

Music blaring from inside

His souped-up ride

To be honest, he just looked a fool!

Kim Smyth:

The town’s bully was such a fool

Driving around being cool

Or so he thought

Until he was brought

To his knees by a very big tool!

Rhen Laird:

Don’t be a fool, giving place to despair

Tearing what remains of too-thin hair

Step back from life’s crazy whirligig

Before you’re forced to invest in wig

Eat big bowl of fruity sherbet, lift faith-filled prayer

Murray Clarke:

There was an old lady from Poole

Who, in lockdown, ate nothing but spinach.

When asked why she did it

She replied, ‘You may think I’m an idiot

But I assure you I’m nobody’s fool!’

***

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Launch Day!

It’s here at last – the launch day for Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!). Thank you to those of you who pre-ordered the book. I hope you find it useful.

The idea behind the book is to help you become a published writer. I know many of my students have struggled to become published or have had a piece published only to be faced with rejections when they’ve tried again. I know how they feel – I’ve been in that exact position. My book shares the lessons I’ve learned along the way, together with plenty of examples, tips, writing exercises and resources. If you take it step-by-step, you can become a published writer and on a regular basis.

Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!) is currently only available as an ebook. A paperback will follow shortly.

To buy the ebook, here are the relevant links for you:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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An Interview With Author Mick Williams

I met Mick Williams at an author meetup just before lockdown. I only managed to have a quick chat so it was great to find out more about him and his books during the interview.

Q. Your latest book, Hope’s Game, came out earlier in the year. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

A. First of all, it’s a little different from what I usually write! If you’ve ever seen the TV show Black Mirror, you’ll know what to expect. It centres around a character named Charlie who has lost everything after suffering a breakdown following the disappearance of his young daughter, Amelia. When he hits rock bottom, he’s offered the chance to take part in a trial for a revolutionary Artificial Intelligence program. Users are able to go ‘Under’ to worlds of their own making. In his world, Charlie meets Hope, a stunning seductress, who helps him to understand how to make his ‘Under’ more vivid and powerful. Of course, nothing goes to plan and it’s not long before Charlie finds himself in a fight for survival. Plus, what happened to Amelia? And what is Hope’s game?

Q. You write stand-alone thrillers. What do you most enjoy about writing in this genre?

A. I thought I did too but, the more I look at my books, they actually span genres, from thrillers to adventures, and from romantic comedy to a splash of sci-fi! Ultimately, I love to put ordinary people into extraordinary situations. I’ve been told that, although my books do move at a fair pace, it’s the characters that make them. They each also have strong female characters and at least a hint of romance. And it’s funny that you mentioned ‘stand-alone’, because I keep having thoughts about my previous characters (not those kind of thoughts!). Exodus, my first award winning novel (it’s great to be able to say that!), is now the first book in what will become a series. It is a thriller, but it’s packed with action and interesting characters. I’m about halfway through the sequel to that. And I’d also love to take Paul and Sabrina from A Guy Walks into a Bar and do something new with them. They became a brilliant and witty team and could be a lot of fun to revisit. And finally, I did write ONE romantic comedy (A Reason to Grieve) …my readers have been crying out for a sequel to that, too! Again, it’s got lots of witty characters and I have about a third of a sequel to that sitting here! So much to do and so little time!!

Q. Have you thought about writing a series? If yes, will you be and what will it entail? If no, why not?

A. Haha…see the above answer. I’ve gone from writing none to at least two. And, again, it’s all about the characters. They’re so much fun to hang out with that I find it hard to let them go. And they’re so fully formed, all I have to do is find interesting things to do with them. The only thing stopping me is time. And procrastination. Lots of procrastination.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. Too much! The first draft for the sequel to Exodus is about half done. About a third of the first draft for the Reason to Grieve sequel is done. Oh, and I started to write another stand-alone thriller (because, you know, why write two books when you can write three!) that’s darker than my previous books. This one is about a retail store worker who decides that he’s had enough abuse from the public. You really shouldn’t tell a stranger where to deliver your new sofa, and then abuse him…that’s just asking for trouble. And a visit. And then, not knowing that he’s developed a liking for a little ‘retribution’, you really shouldn’t mess with his friends. It’s going to get nasty. Through all of this, my publisher has suggested that I concentrate on one book at a time, so I’m giving the Exodus sequel my undivided attention at the moment.

Q. Where do you get your ideas from?

A. Everywhere! They’re all around us. Exodus came from a holiday in Jamaica and a visit to Bob Marley’s estate. A Guy Walks into a Bar came from people watching at a bar in Kentucky and an article I read in Wired magazine. Whatever it Takes came from talking to people I knew that deer-hunted (also in Kentucky). A Reason to Grieve came from an old co-worker who’d get to work early to trawl through the obituaries to see if he knew anyone that had died recently. Callie’s Eyes was a blessing – I dreamed the basic plot (and even her full name) and woke up enough to write it down. That was a lot of fun to write. And Hope’s Game is based on a screenplay by a very good friend of mine, Craig Ostrouchow. His film version of that is on hold due to the pandemic, but what I’ve seen so far looks spectacular.

Q. Your last two book covers, in particular, instantly catch the eye and really stand out. How do you get your ideas for your covers?

A. I’ll confess that I leave that to the professionals. I had a large hand in the cover for Whatever it Takes and, although I like it, it’s possibly the weakest of the covers for my books. Lesson learned! At first, I didn’t like the font on the Exodus cover, but now I think it’s perfect. I almost asked for it to be changed and it would have been a huge mistake. So, like I said, leave the pictures to the experts. I’ll concentrate on the words.

Q. What’s the hardest thing you find about being a writer?

A. Sitting down and doing it. As well as writing, I currently work full-time from home. Once Covid-19 kicked in I figured I’d have more time than ever to write, but it seems the opposite has happened. My writing space has turned into my workspace and, for whatever reason, it’s had a huge and negative impact on my writing. I’m trying to get back into the habit of writing at certain times of the day because if I don’t make the time, I’ll never find it!

I also struggle with patience. I’ve only written one book ‘by the seat of my pants’ and, as exciting as it was, I ended up making loads of time-consuming changes to the draft. I normally outline my books, then get halfway through the outline and jump in! Again, it’s something I need to work on. Having said that, the last few seem to have worked out okay, so maybe not.

Q. Can you tell us about your journey to publication?

A. I’ve been fortunate beyond words. I lived in Kentucky for almost ten years, where they have an excellent convention called Imaginarium. There’s nothing better for meeting people, learning about how writing works, and getting inspiration than something like that. I’ve written for as long as I can remember but have never had the push to let anyone else see it! I left the first Imaginarium with a new mindset and wrote my first two books. Once I’d completed A Guy Walks into a Bar, I printed off two manuscripts and gave them as a ‘thank you’ to two great people I met there. Later that year, I asked one of them, Tony Acree, for advice on self-publishing and he suggested we meet for lunch (as you do in America). Little did I know, Tony had taken over Hydra Publications and I left our lunch meeting with a smile, a full tummy and a publishing contract! Four of my books have now been published through Hydra. I’ve also self-published two of my own; not through any fault of Hydra, but because it’s a completely different journey and very fulfilling. I’ll probably continue to mix it up a little.

Q. Do you get time to read yourself and if you do, what books do you read?

A. I love to read. It’s writer’s homework! I grew up reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert, and then seemed to get worn out on horror and moved onto Stuart Woods, James Sandford and Lee Child. Recently, I’ve really enjoyed Blake Crouch’s books recently, along with some published friends of mine like Mel Sherratt, John Pye, JF Burgess and Chantelle Atkins. Right now, I’ve dipped my toes back into the horror pool and I’m reading Ravens Gathering by some fella named Graeme Cumming.

Q. Finally, what advice can you give to writers who haven’t yet had the break they’re looking for?

A. I’m still looking for that same break, but I’d say keep writing. I think it’s important to write at least something every day. That’s the thing I’m having to work hard at more than ever. Marketing is also vital and something I’m useless at. And read. Read lots. See how the experts make you laugh and cry and then, don’t steal from them, but adapt your own writing to incorporate their techniques.

I love to chat. You can contact me at…

Email – mickwilliamsauthor@gmail.com

Facebook – mickwilliamsauthor

Twitter – mickwilliamsauthor

Or check out my website…

www.mickwilliamsauthor.com

All of my books are available from my website www.mickwilliamsauthor.com, or from the following Amazon links…

Reason to Grieve

A Guy Walks into a Bar

Exodus

Whatever it Takes

Callie’s Eyes

Hope’s Game

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Can You Tell A Story In…

It’s Thursday and your new five-word challenge is here. Last week, I wanted to know about your HAIR. This week, I want to know what you think about SHOPPING. So can you tell a story in five words, using the word SHOPPING in it somewhere?

Here are your HAIR-raising stories from last week:

Ritu:

Gray hair. I don’t care.

Her flaxen hair swayed gently.

Roots need doing. Hair SOS!

Hairy legs. A summer nightmare!

Darlene:

Couldn’t see for her hair.

Hair flew in the breeze.

Hair, all that was lost.

What colour is her hair?

Annette Rochelle Aben:

Hats off, to my hair!

Comb out hair in knots.

Paul Mastaglio:

Keep your hair on, mate!

Thin on top. What hair?

Hair today, gone tomorrow. Sorry!

Christine Mallaband-Brown:

It’s hair today, gone tomorrow.

Hare (hair) in your wine.

My hair is spun steel.

Use hair for bird nests!

The hair of the rabbit.

Grey hair, old and wise!

Kim Smyth:

My hair’s so thin – hats!

I like my hair colored.

John Reynolds:

Hair? I have none left.

Hair! Bald as a badger.

Not cutting hair no longer.

Simon Farnell:

I’m rapidly losing my hair!

Hairy ears – an evolutionary freak!

I took the hairpin bend.

Tessa:

Hair’s so long, cannot see.

Gray hair, 18 years old.

Hair is going all over.

Hair sticking out all over.

Thick hair, now falling out.

Since Pandemic, hair now long.

Need a haircut, post haste!

Hairy legs, no longer problem.

Bharul Chhatbar:

Heir gave hair raising moment.

Hair as promt, hair raising!

Long hair, beautiful glare.

Hairy legs, please don’t stare!

Rhen Laird:

Beneath thinning hair brain ponders.

Jason Moody:

Hair today. Gone sometime ago.

Hair to the mane throne.

Bald? Let me mullet over.

And something a bit different from Richmond Road:

Hair. Everywhere. It shouldn’t be

Don’t dare. Stare. At me

My naked head to see

So bare. Cold. Up there

Where it used to be.

***

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Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!)

It’s only a few days away until the launch of my first writing craft book, Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!).

Last week, I asked you what you’d like me to write for the next book in the series. Most of you came back and said you’d be interested in a book on mistakes writers make and how to avoid them. So that’s book number two sorted! Thank you for your thoughts. Watch this space!

If you’d like to pre-order Publication Guaranteed (Well, Almost!), follow the links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Funny Of The Week

Love this sign!

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Laughing Along With A Limerick

Happy Monday! It’s limerick time! Send in your own or here’s a prompt for you –

FOOL

Here are a few limericks to make you smile this Monday. The prompt was NOSE:

Keith Channing:

As every podiatrist knows

You must have good shoes and fresh hose

You may think it flirty

To let them get dirty

But it’s quite an assault on the nose.

Kim Smyth:

A lady was presenting a rose

Passed it right by the guys nose

The thorn it did catch

And delivered a scratch

Now they watch as the blood flows.

Christine Mallaband-brown:

Don’t stick your nose in that pot!

Said the husband to his wife Dot

I just had to sneeze

He said, and the breeze…

Covered the pot in my snot!

John Reynolds:

There was an old lady from Ayr

Who sat in an old rocking chair

She said to her friend

Who was quite round the bend

I fancy a chocolate eclair.

Rhen Laird:

Sad world has truly taken sick

Looks for any medicament’s new trick

Folks complain of moody boredom

Some are tipsy if drinks afford ’em

But, humor’s still free…and old gal’s paltry limerick.

Val Fish:

It was all planned, a cruise round the Med

Now thanks to Covid 19, instead

I’m stuck home on my tod

Whist hubby, the daft sod

Is self-isolating in the shed.

***

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Closing Date Today!

A few weeks ago, I announced the launch of a new short story competition to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the release of my first book of short stories, The Siege. The closing date is today, so if you’ve written a story but haven’t sent it, you’ve just time to!

I’ve had some great entries already; it’s going to be hard to choose a winning story. I’ll be announcing the winner two weeks from today – Friday 3rd July. Watch this space!

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