I stayed till the Ender, but only just…

A short while ago, I had a stay in hospital due to a sinus operation I was having. I had the opportunity, whilst there, to watch a couple of films.  There was no way I was going to sleep for my two night stint, so having the chance to catch up on some movies I’d been wanting to watch wsa ideal. 
One such film was Ender’s Game starring Harrison Ford. 
Now, I admit to being a fan of Mr. Ford. He’s made some bloody good stuff. From Indiana Jones and Star Wars to Frantic and The Fugitive. I’ve like many, many of his films.
Unfortunately, there’s often a piecevofbpoo mixed in with the nuggets. A ‘bum-nugget’ if you will.
Ender’s Game is Harrison Ford’s bum-nugget. 
Now I love science fiction films. If you read this blog you know that. I’m a huge fan, so I had high hopes for this.  The trailer looked good, the effects seemed excellent. 
Yes. Well. 
The trailer does look good. The effects are great. It’s a pity the film isn’t. 
I haven’t read the book, so I can’t compare. I have it on my ereader and have yet to decide if the movie has put me off. 
I thought the story was ok. Interesting premise, but, in the film version at least, I felt the plot and character development were lacking. I felt very little for the bit taken from his home to lead a galactic war. Ford seemed to be awkward with his character and lines. And the bully came out of nowhere with no real motives apart from simply being an arse and wasn’t missed when gone.
I carried on watching until the end, but that was only because I didn’t want to watch another episode of the NCIS marathon which seemed to be going on through the night.
Ender’s Game, for me, had less meat than a wet lettuce.  And the cast were less animated than those stumbling through the Walking Dead. 
3 stars. 
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Inspiring the Aspiring…

Once upon a time, a long time ago…

Don’t all the best stories begin like that? I’m sure they did, once upon a… erm… time…
Well, once upon one of those times we so love, I wrote a book. After years of attempting to and letting it fall by the wayside, I succeeded. After a decade of writing bits here and there, interspersed with short stories and poetry, Sin was complete. 
But then what?  But there where and how?
The tale told by many budding authors is “The Chronicles of Huh?”  You’ve written a story, a book, a while series!  What then?
Well, I found my way. I published. I wrote more and people said hey, it wasn’t half bad. 
So.  Every three weeks or so I meet with a couple of other writers. It’s nothing formal – just a drink in a pub and a laugh. We talk about all sorts, sometimes even about our writing. It was there that an idea was formed.  The wonderful Lynette Creswell, author of the acclaimed “Magic” trilogy, suggested we help others. We could give tips and guidance to others who were in the situation we found ourselves, once upon… Well, you know…
A. E. Murphy (the “Little Bit of” books)and myself were more than happy to dive in and lend our support. We knew there’s a whole lotta talent around and were more than happy to help nurture it. It’s difficult to know where to turn and each of us had differing paths we’d wandered. We’d scaled the cliffs and leapt the snake pits and still had a mountain to climb. But we had the tools to help. And we wanted to share. 
So, the Author Day was born. A day where we could hand out handouts (no, really?) and chat to anyone who might have a question or ten. Yes, we’d also be there to sign our books, but we were there more to shine a torch into the abyss of (self) publishing.
Freshney Place Shopping Centre in Grimsby kindly sponsored us and gave us the space to set up.  With plenty of information on such sites as Smashwords, Amazon KDP, Indies Unlimited and the differences between traditional and self publishing, we were armed to the teeth. 
We were meant to begin at 10 am but there was a throng of people already there whilst we were setting up at 9:30. Apart from a brief lull, we were fully engaged all day!  It was wonderful to see those who had visited me before, such as Matthew and his wife and the talented Jordan.  Matthew came to my Waterstones signing and I met Jordan at Humberston Academy where I saw some of his excellent work. Matthew actually made my day by asking me to sign a two pence piece!
The range of budding authors was widespread – all ages and walks of life. Almost all had something in common. A passion to write and a need to let the world see their work. It was a genuine pleasure to, hopefully, help them. 
We also had the company of the wonderful David Lane, radio personality and journalist for South Humberside Community Radio. David has been kind enough to support each of us and our event with unflagging drive. 
Lynette’s son, Alex,stayed with us for the day too, taking lots of photographs and videos, often without us knowing. He produced this film of the day, which is simply amazing. And he’s part of a group too (Raw Kadence), which is going from strength to strength. Look him up on Facebook: Crezwell Urban Artist and on YouTube under CrezOfficialMusic. You won’t be disappointed. 

The day was gone before we knew it and it was with a heavy heart that we had to pack up. We met a couple of days later, still buzzing from the event and so ready for the next.  We really can’t wait to do it again!
Watch this space!
If you’d like to get in touch with our group, please drop us an email at aspiringCW (at) hotmail.com and we’ll be happy to respond. We hope to meet you at our future events. 

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A Special Event

The game is a foot.  Hold on…  A foot?  Left or right?  Does it have one of those toes next to the big toe that super long and pokes out past its plumper sibling?  Erm…
 
No, the game is afoot.  That’s better.
 
I have to admit to being a massive Sherlock Holmes fan.  I always have enjoyed the character – though I’ve yet to actually read one of the books…  But, from Basil Rathbone through Jeremy Brett, via Robert Downey Jr. to the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch (well done on your NTA award!) I’ve watched the shows and films.  I even have the Sherlock Network mobile game.
 
Anywho.  What was I going on about?  Feet.  No.  Games.  Ah, I know – Author Days.
 
Yes, I know that was a bit random, but the connection, however tenuous, was right there in my head.
 
Author Days.  Or, rather, Day.  Singular.
 
Book signings are pretty cool, I think.  I enjoy them, personally, and I think those that come to meet, greet and grab a signed copy of one of my books like them too.  It’s a chance, not just to hand over cash for what I hope is a good read, it’s a chance to get inside the head of the person who created this world you’re going to be venturing into.  Granted, there aren’t that many who actually ask questions or sit awhile and chat, but those that do add a great deal to the day.  I’ve been asked about the locations in Sin.  I’ve been quizzed on the connections between the book, the Prologue and Sin’s blog, his ‘Diary of a Madman’.
 
Being able to talk to potential fans about such things often prompts thoughts and realisations about my writing.  It helps me see insights about the characters and myself I, perhaps, didn’t actually see beforehand.
 
So.  Soon, I’ll be joining local authors Lynette Creswell and A.E. Murphy (Alex) to lay ourselves open for just such in-depth chats.  Well, not just that – there’s a whole lot more too.
 
On Saturday, 15th March, from 10am to 3pm, we’ll be holding an Author Day.
 
So what differentiates an Author Day from a simple book signing?  Well, don’t worry, you’ll still be able to purchase our books, but we’ll also be there to talk about writing.
 
None of us are saying we’re experts – far from it.  In fact, if we did, I’d hope you’d turn and walk away!  No.  What we are is experienced.  For aspiring writers and the like, we would like to take the time to share what we’ve learned.  If you’re wishing you could write that book, let us help with prompts and tips.  If you’ve written a book and want to publish, we’ll give advice on ways to self-publish and recommendations on queries and synopses.
 
We’ll also have with us handouts with copies of successful query letters and other information.  Added to this there’ll be sample chapters from our books as tasters and even as examples of writing methods.
 
And, all this advice will be completely free.  Each of the three of us had to start somewhere.  Each of us is still learning, too.  We genuinely do know what it’s like to feel afloat in a sea of possibilities.  If we can throw you a rope and help guide you to shore, it will be our pleasure.
 
Of course, you will be able, if you so choose, to buy our books.  Lynette and I have our books in both paperback and ebook, and Alex’s wonderful series is available in ebook form.
 
Buying a book, however, is not a prerequisite to asking for our help.  If you simply want to chat, be our guest.

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