Introducing, Emma Jackson.

This week I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to Essex Life Magazine’s book reviewer, Emma Jackson. I thought it would be really interesting to find out more about how she chooses books to review, what the pressures of her job are and what surprises her about the books she’s sent to read. I’ve been lucky enough to have two of my most recent books reviewed in this wonderfully glossy and popular magazine, so I asked Emma if she could share some insights with other authors, to help with their writing journey.

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1-How did you become a book reviewer for a magazine?

I was very lucky when I became a book reviewer, I had emailed a few magazines and the Essex Life was one that got in touch and I’ve been doing it for about four months.

 

2- What are the biggest pressures you face in your job?  

The biggest pressures I have in my job is reading and reviewing three books in a month as well as holding down a full time job and doing my coursework!

 

3- Do you have to read genres you don’t enjoy?

I’ve actually been lucky with the genres as I’m happy to read anything. I struggle more with history but I’ll still give it a go.

 

4- What makes a book stand out to you?

The books that stand out for me is when the front cover catches my eye with the captions on them, it gets my attention and and I’m instantly intrigued with the book.

 

5- What would make you put a book down and stop reading it?

The only things that make me want to put a book down is if it’s slow pacing and doesn’t flow, or if it’s got too much swearing in it. I know sometimes it’s if a character is portrayed that way and I understand that bit if it’s for the sake of it I’ll put it down. 

 

6- Have you got any tips for other writers for submissions to magazines? 

When you submit your submissions to a magazine, my tips are to write it and leave it for a couple of days, then go back to it and do the finalizing. Make sure that the guidelines, word count and genre etc are what they’ve asked for. 

 

7- How do you find time for other writing projects?

Finding time for my other writing projects is a nightmare! Though I did get told to spread my work out a bit and to set an alarm so I’m not over doing it.

 

8- What are your plans for your future writing career?

My plans for my future writing career would be to write and sell my own book/books and to carry on book reviewing.

 

9- Have you ever been really surprised by a book?

I’ve been surprised by many books but the ones that surprise me the most seem to be rom-coms as I’m not a particular big fan of them. 

 

10- What qualities do you look for an author to be showcased in a magazine? 

The qualities I look for in an Author to be showcased in a magazine is someone who is genuine, friendly and approachable. 

Not only do the book reviews Emma writes go in The Essex Life Magazine, but  she very kindly puts them on her Facebook page which is called Loulousbookpage. They also go on goodreads and Amazon. You can also find Emma on Twitter: Emma-Lou @loulousbookpage

Twitter for writers.

Hello everyone. Happy new week. Quite a few people have been asking me about Twitter and some ways to be social on it without it taking over your whole life. It’s not easy!

Self-confidence meme by Lizzie Chantree 7.30

I feel that as a writer, it’s important to be on social media like Twitter, as it gives my readers and followers on there a chance to find out more about my personality and writing routine. If people enjoy my Twitter timeline, it makes sense that they might also like reading my books. I do schedule some tweets, but change them up every one to two weeks. Twitter doesn’t like posts to be repeated more than once every 24hrs, so be sure to only schedule posts for longer than this time. You can change one word in a tweet and it will count as a new scheduled tweet though. Most of these sites have brief tutorials of how to use them and the scheduling is pretty say to do. You literally type the text and set the time. If you do want to add images, then you sometimes have to use the paid version.

Mostly, I pop by Twitter a few times a day, to say hello and post updates about my writing. I add funny photos that fit with my writing theme, which is humour and romance and try to lighten people’s day, as this is what my books are about too, making my readers smile.

Let me know if you have any other apps that might help other writers. Have a fun filled and creative day!

 

Apps that work well for scheduling are:

Hootsuite

SocialOomph

Buffer

 

Introducing author Paula Williams.

INTRODUCING…..  PAULA WILLIAMS

Paula Williams has been writing for as long as she can remember.  As a child she churned out plays and pageants, which she would then bully her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in, something they still claim to be traumatised by to this day!

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For the last ten years she’s had a very successful career writing short stories and serials for magazines.  But her great love is crime fiction, both writing it and reading it.  She has done so since the age of 12 when her mother first introduced her to Agatha Christie.  She lives in Somerset, (UK), where her debut crime novel, Murder Served Cold, (the first in the Much Winchmoor Mystery series) is set.  In fact, the village of Much Winchmoor bears an uncanny resemblance to the village she lives in – although none of her neighbours are ruthless murderers… as far as she knows!

 

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BOOK LINK:

mybook.to/murderservedcold

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author.

Twitter @paulawilliams44

Blog   paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Website www.paulawilliamswriter.co.uk

Check out Paula’s blog at paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com

Murder Served Cold. Crooked Cat Books. October 2018

 

 

 

 

Allergic world.

Hello everyone.

It’s been a stressful weekend here, so I haven’t written a marketing post for you. My daughter had a nasty allergic reaction whilst on holiday and she ended up on a drip in hospital, which was very frightening. After speaking to her doctors about her first set of test results, we now realise that she has some pretty serious food allergies. She spent eight years in and out of hospital with horrendous coughs as a child, which was diagnosed as asthma and hyper-reactive skin, but we now suspect that food may have been the culprit all along.

Learning about allergies and the way the affect peoples lives is overwhelming at times. We now have to think about everything she eats or touches and about everything anyone else eats or touches and sometimes this seems like an impossible task. We are very lucky that everyone has been so understanding so far, but this will mean major changes to all our lives.

We have had to train our family and friends on how to use an EPI-pen, which helps counteract the reaction. It’s not difficult to use, but it’s scary how many people have never seen or come across one. I’d like to show a quick video here, to make more people aware of how easy they are to use, but also how they can save lives. If you’d like to share this post to help others find out more about allergy and anaphylaxis, or comment on any tips you have for coping with allergies, I’d be eternally grateful.

EpiPen Demonstration video.

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Further information:

NHS Allergy.

Allergy UK.

 

 

 

Introducing Christie’s Crafts.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Christine. I met her via Twitter and she’s a regular visitor to my creative networking hour there called #CreativeBizHour She’s a talented designer and is here to tell you more about her beautiful work.

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Meet Christine:

Hi there, I’m Christine and I’m the fairy ‘behind the scenes’ of Christie’s Crafts. I create custom-made fairy doors and accessories that give children a doorway into their very own Fairy Wonderland to start them on a magical, inspiring and creative journey!

Children have the most amazing imaginations and their creativity should always be supported and encouraged. Fantasy or pretend play is a fabulous way of doing this whilst at the same time giving them useful and amazing skills for their future so in 2016 I came up with the concept of a fairy doors and accessories business in order to give them the opportunity of developing these skills.

On my website you will find many of my custom-made fairy door designs, even some for teens and adults. Some of them even have 3D brick effect textures on them and I also create themed doors to cover any occasion. Each and every door, along with a wide choice of accessories is personally hand-painted by me and can also be personalised to suit. I hope you like what you see but on the off-chance you don’t, I do also take custom orders.

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Reasons why fairy doors are great for kids and part of the reasons why I do this! 😀

Imagination – children can develop their imagination through fantasy or pretend play.

Creativity – fantasy or pretend play can help a child to develop creative thinking.

Self-expression – children are encouraged to make up stories or to even draw pictures for their fairies.

Language skills – children develop these skills though writing notes for their fairies and reading the fairies replies.

Recognition – fairies recognise children’s efforts and hard work and love to praise them and sometimes even give them a reward along with a little note – “I love it when you keep your room tidy as it makes it so much easier for me to come in and out through my fairy door” – “Well done for all your hard work at school”.

Fairies love to praise children’s efforts and hard work and sometimes give them a reward  – well done for all your hard work at school.

Emotional Support – fairies love to listen to and try to take away children’s worries and sometimes even grant children’s wishes.

Christine’s Website and Social Media Links –

https://christiecrafts.com

facebook.com/christiecrafts

twitter.com/christiecrafts

instagram.com/christie.crafts

pinterest.co.uk/christiescraft

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Powerful words.

I hope you have all had a great weekend. I read an interesting article on Saturday about finding insights from inspirational quotes. It was explaining how we can look at the words used in popular quotes and to try and work out what is so powerful about them. Why do they make an impact and what do they mean to us?

Logic meme by Lizzie Chantree

We can turn this around and ask the same question of our own writing. Do our words convey the message we want them to? Are our readers going to feel an emotional attachment to our stories from what we have written? It’s a top tip when sitting back and reconsidering everything during the editing stage. Are you making the impression you want to? If not, what can you do to really make your story work?

Happy writing!

 

IYLMIY 6.15

 

Self-confidence meme by Lizzie Chantree 7.30

 

If you love me, I’m yours. A romantic comedy by Lizzie Chantree.

Introducing Val Penny.

Today I have an author who writes crime novels that will make you have to keep turning the page to see what happens next. Introducing Val Penny.
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From Val:
I took early retirement when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While I was being treated I had little energy to take part in my usual interests, swimming, yoga and travel. However, I did have energy to read and began my book review blog Val Penny’s Book Reviews . I then took the further step of beginning to write my first novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’. It took me a long time to write, largely because I was so ill, but I had a great sense of achievement when I completed the work and had it published by Crooked Cat Books.
Since then, I have been keen to repay some of the kindness and support my husband and I received from Macmillan Cancer during my recovery. I have arranged annual charity dinner dances in our village with two of my friends and we have raised money for the charity. The photo I have included is of one of these events. on that occasion our guest of honour who handed out the raffle prizes was Miss Teen Scotland.

 

Author contact details

www.authorvalpenny.com

www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

https://twitter.com/valeriepenny

Book buy links

myBook.to/HuntersChase

myBook.to/HuntersRevenge

Sharing is caring.

Lizzie Chantree blog

 

Hello everyone. I hope you had an amazing weekend. Today’s Monday Marketing is about how shareable your blog posts are. I find it really frustrating when I find a great blog to read and want to share it with my 60.4k real twitter followers. I love tweeting about topics that interest me and hope my Twitter followers enjoy them to. I read a lot of articles and often add them to my social media timelines. If there is no way to share an article, I leave it and sometimes don’t return to that site.

Tip 1.

Add social media sharing buttons to each article. Most websites and blogs have plugins you can add to easily share to Twitter Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and more. It might be worth taking the time to call to whoever is hosting you site to ask how to add these buttons, but with WordPress, you simply click the plugin tab, find the ones for social sharing and then click install. They then appear at the end of every post you add to your site.

Tip 2.

Visuals. Always add visuals or photographs to your blog posts, Tweets and Facebook pages. Tweet images get on average 150% more RT’s than tweets without an image and on Facebook, posts with photos or images get approx. 87% more interaction. The images often catch the eye and engage the reader of the tweet or post.

Tip 3.

It’s often a good idea to add your Twitter timeline and Facebook details to your blog page or website at the side of the front page. This updates as often as you send out a new post, so your site has fresh content and it encourages readers to visit your other social media sites. You can do this by adding a widget to the sidebar on your blog post. Once again, a quick telephone call to your site provider will be the quickest way to understand how to do this. Most blogs and websites have a social sharing section in the plugins or widget sidebar in the menu, where you just have to say where you want it to go on your site and then click install.

CreativeBizHour Winners badge

Don’t forget to join me for #CreativeBizHour on Twitter tonight @Lizzie_Chantree for an hour of creative chat and networking. Just add the hashtag to tweets and replies to chat to join in.

The Pretender by Katie Ward.

The Pretender

Introducing Katie Ward:

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to author Katie Ward. Today, Katie has stopped by to tell us about her latest book, The Pretender. Over to Katie… 

Author Bio

Katie Ward always knew she wanted to write for a living. However, she was told by her careers advisor that “it might be more appropriate for you to work in a shop”. When Katie didn’t get the grades she needed to get into college, she negotiated a three month trial. After successfully completing the course she secured a place at her first choice university to study Journalism.

After realising she wanted to be an author, Katie moved to Dublin where she worked her way up from receptionist to Executive Assistant at Merrill Lynch. Katie continued to write in her spare time, submitting her short story into the “Do the Write Thing” competition being run by Irish TV show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. This story was originally written when Katie was 14 after she was inspired by an article in her favourite teen magazine. Katie was the only non-Irish author selected to have her story published in an anthology of the same name which reached 19 in the Irish Best sellers List. Katie was also shortlisted for a competition judged by MAN Booker Prize winning author Roddy Doyle which was run by Metro Eireann newspaper.

The Pretender Cover

Book blurb: The Pretender

France 2000: Two babies are born on the same day just two hours apart – but to very different lives. Isabella is a Princess and heir to the French throne, while Sophia is born into a life of poverty and abuse at the hands of her father. At the age of 18, Sophia runs away from home. That same night, Isabella is also fleeing from the burden of her royal life when she finds Sophia slumped at the palace gates. Amazed by how alike they look, Isabella proposes a daring plot – to exchange their lives for one week.
‘The Pretender’ is an emotionally intense and compelling story of friendship, love and the strange power of destiny.

Purchase from Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pretender-Katie-Ward-ebook/dp/B07GDTD2VH/

 

From Katie: 

I remember the moment I realised I wanted to be an author. I was 22 years old and working as a reporter for a local newspaper. I’d always thought I wanted to be a journalist but sitting there, typing away, it hit me…I wanted to be an author.

I quickly came up with the idea for my first novel, as well as deciding to move to New Zealand.

I’d like to say that I had a plan in place but as an eternal optimist they’ve never been mandatory! I’ve always preferred to just go with the flow and see where life takes me. However, no amount of optimism could change the fact that I needed a lot of money to move to New Zealand and I just didn’t have it.

Dejected and defeated I took a trip to Dublin, exploring the city in the sunshine, drinking in the array of bars and meeting new people. We had such a great time my friend was resolute that she was staying in Dublin to live. Every time she told anyone they would turn to me, asking whether I was staying too. My reply was always the same “No way, I’ve got a life to go home for.” Dublin was never on the cards for me. I had my sights set on New Zealand…eventually!

When it came to leave, I left alone with my friend opting to stay behind and move in to a house share.

Returning home, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should go to Dublin. Dismissing it, I held on to the reasons I had to stay. However, every excuse I’d had melted away like ice in the desert.

Should I stay or should I go? I had no money, I had no permanent job and this seemed the worst time to even consider it. But, what did I have to lose?

“Ok, I’ve got an idea” I said to my friend on her brief return home “I’m £30 over my overdraft; I shouldn’t be able to buy anything on this card. Let’s leave this to fate, if I’m destined to go to Dublin then let this airfare go through on this card and if I’m not then let it decline.”

Nervously tapping into the computer, I entered my card details. My friend and I huddled around the computer as I clicked the payment button. A few seconds later, the confirmation flashed upon the screen…I was going to Dublin.

Fact they say is a lot stranger than fiction and if that wasn’t true, I’d have been on the first flight home a week later. But I wasn’t. It turned out to be the best move I ever made. I quickly realised the long and vibrant literary history Dublin has. As I walked down the streets, I was enthused by the knowledge that years before me, the likes of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Bram Stoker had walked these same streets.

It was their treasured homeland where I too developed my writing skills, taking a course at the Dublin Writer’s Centre. My first writing break came in Dublin after I entered a competition on national Irish TV called ‘Do the Write Thing’ run by the RTE day time show ‘Seoige and O’Shea’. My short story selected out of hundreds of entries to be one of 14 authors published in an anthology of the same name. Shortly after this, I was shortlisted for a competition run by national newspaper Metro Eireann and judged by MAN Booker Prize Winner Roddy Doyle.

Seeing my work in print reaffirmed that this really was what I wanted to do. It gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. On the days where it all seemed pointless and never ending, it gave me the hope to carry on and strive to be in the place I am today, preparing to publish my own novel. Perhaps most importantly, it helped me see the value in taking calculated risks and if I hadn’t had that experience I would never have been where I am today. Never could I have even contemplated publishing my own novel but this whole situation helped me realise just what my capabilities truly are. In that way, everything I have is owed to my Irish experience, without it I could never be the writer I am today. That’s why I hold Dublin so close to my heart and why I always will.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KatieWWriter

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KatieWWriter

Website – https://katiewardwriter.com/

GIVEAWAY TIME: 

Giveaway – Win a signed original illustration from Emma Haines (Open Internationally) To enter the prize draw, follow the giveaway link.

Giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494134/

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Don’t forget to visit other stops on this blog tour!

The Pretender Full Tour Banner

Monday Marketing. 3 Quick tips.

Lizzie Chantree book quote 7

Hello everyone. I’ve been travelling in Spain and around the U.K. for the last few weeks and have been writing a new book. When I write I am inspired by views and the hustle and bustle of people around me, but I also like quiet writing time in my own studio, where I don’t have any noise other than the tapping of the computer keys while I type.

I have been working on social media and branding too and am trying a new app, Visme. I was offered a professional account to try and see what I thought of the software and so far so good. The basic software is ok, but once you log into the premium settings, there is so much to explore. I will write a blog post about it when I have found out exactly what the best features are. For now, check out https://www.visme.co to decide for yourself.

Some tips on discovering your own author brand:

  1. Define your brand. What is your purpose? How do you communicate your message and make an impact? For me this is letting my readers know what my ethos is, my writing style and why they might like my books. Take a look through my blog page and social media sites. They all have the same branding and hopefully tell my readers that I write romance novels.
  2. Do you have a professional headshot that you use across all social media platforms. It’s worth getting a proper photos taken or asking a friend to take one for you.
  3. Do you have a digital media kit? This is a marketing package that states what genre your books are, prices, page length, release dates etc.  This makes it easy for journalists to upload relevant information without hours of research. Check out my media kit page here for some tips.

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