PitchWars Update – It’s Good News!

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Update on the PitchWars contest:

*drumroll*

“THE ENIGMA FILES: PHANTOM THIEF” got picked by a mentor!

Woohoo!

This means the lovely Jennifer
Malone, my new writing mentor, will read over the book throughout December. Then she’ll send me the most masterful, in-depth critiqueI’m sure I’ll have ever seen.

But the fun doesn’t end there! I’ll then revise the book in answer to all her feedback, and re-present it for the final stage of the contest: so 15+ agents can read it, and request more.

I’m so excited.

Dave

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New Facebook Page

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Following the steps and advice of published authors, I’ve decided to set-up an author page on Facebook. You can view it here. Please Like it and tell your friends about it – when the page gets 50+ Likes, I’ll celebrate with you all by posting an excerpt from my current draft of the first Enigma Files, so you can all have a taste of what to expect when the full book finally gets accepted and published.

Thanks,
Dave

PS: Blog, Twitter, Facebook… Are there any other social platforms I should consider adding to the list? Let me know in the comments!

What ARE The Enigma Files…?

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So, some of you may know that I’m working on the second Enigma Files book, working title ‘Cursed’. You may also recall that I’m about to send out the MS for EF 1, ‘Phantom Thief’ to several agents who expressed interest in my short twitter-pitch on such contests as #PitchMadness. Well! Another such contest, #PitchWars, is now looming on the literary horizon, I’m which mentors hook up with aspiring writers to help rhythm polish their novels ready to unleash upon the pack of slavering agents. I’m entering, with the first EF book in mind… And prospective queries were almost immediately answered by two such mentors, one of which pointed out there was no in-depth description of the book anywhere in sight. So, for Fiona McLaren, Brenda Drake and any other curious mentors/agents, allow me to give you a glimpse inside… The Enigma Files. When Mason Scott was uprooted from his home and friends in New York to join his mother in Nowhere, England (also known as Hetherby), he expected life to be boring. What he didn’t expect was that he’d soon make friends with a silver-haired, emerald-eyed super genius with a penchant for seizures, or the strange new world that the same boy would introduce him to. Because, in case you hadn’t realised it, Karl Breslin is no ordinary boy; whilst most his age are playing football and chasing after girls, Karl lives his life through the Enigma Files, an online wiki he’s created and runs to document and investigate the paranormal. There’s a thief about the school, but one unlike anyone’s ever seen – because they can’t be seen. But are they using elaborate tricks, or something more supernatural? Were they dealing with a psychokinetic mind, a poltergeist, or something else…? Karl seems to think so, and before he knows it Mason is dragged along on his investigation. Mason is happy to oblige – it gets him out of lessons for the rest of the day – but is soon targeted by the thief, who threatens his life if he doesn’t leave Karl alone. Unshaken, Mason and Karl continue the case to its startling conclusion, and a revelation neither expected. ~***~ That’s the best I can come up with on the spot. Hope it’s done its job, and piqued your curiosity! Until next time, Dave

Of Writery Things…

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Once again, a mix of flu, job-seeking, writing and general mobile app failure have postponed this blog. But LONG ENOUGH!

Today I just wanted to update everyone (read: you. No one else is reading this, let’s be honest) that I’ve recently submitted a sample chapter to Hothouse Fiction in response to their latest novel series brief. Can’t say more than that – some of you may know what I’m talking about, but confidentiality clauses mean I can’t discuss it any further. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun to write, and fingers crossed I land the gig!

In similar news, the second draft of the first Enigma Files book is nearing completion, and I’m up to chapter three of Book 2. It’s really fun to continue and expand upon the world, and to follow the adventures of the main characters as things keep getting weirder for them.

Watch this space for more news, involving the results with the few agents already interested in EF 1!

Dave

Interview with Fun London

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Three days ago, I reviewed the great short story ebook ‘LOST IN THE WOODS’ by Fun London. Since then, we’ve kept in touch, and he’s kindly agreed to do a quick interview – so here it is!

When did you realise you wanted to become a children’s author?

When I realised how much joy and entertainment I took as a child and an adult from stories and fairy tales, I wanted to be able to create that same excitement for others.

What made you decide to take the ebook path to publishing?

It’s the most A to B program for an author to get his work out and affords a great amount of control.

Do you have a writing process? Is there planning involved, or do you just sit down and write whatever flows out?

Good question. I do some of both. When a story is rolling, keep it rolling. When it needs some planning, I do some planning.

Do you have a special writing place? Are you an inside or outside person?

My wife has created a room we call “the cabin” where I do the heavy lifting.

I recently reviewed your short story ‘LOST IN THE WOODS’, which was wonderful. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Rudyard Kipling & Lewis Carroll are two authors I admire.

A break from the questions for a second: tell us a bit about yourself.

In addition to writing I work as a private tutor. I’m a nature enthusiast and love spending time outdoors. I’ve always enjoyed team sports and group activities. And, needless to say, I love and enjoy spending time with children.

I saw in your book’s biography that you came from Italy, and that you’ve travelled a fair bit since then… Do you have a favourite place you’ve been to?

My favourite places have been in books like Tolkien’s Middle-earth
and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.

Dogs or cats?

Woof woof.

Last one: any advice for aspiring writers?

Stop thinking and start writing.

Oh, one last thing – do you have a recent book you’d like to plug? Or maybe just give a shoutout to your website?

I would recommend readers to check out The Dog Prince and The Dog Princess books. They’re fun.

Here’s a link to my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fun-London/e/B004FSQ9JY/

 

 

Thanks again to Fun London for agreeing to the interview. It was very insightful, and I hope you check out his work.

Until next time!

Dave

Me No Funny…?

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For those out there who didn’t know, I submitted two stories to the ‘Greenhouse Funny Prize’, a literary competition for new and unagented writers from the UK. The shortlist was announced today, and neither entry made the cut.

Am I disappointed? Only slightly: there were over 720 entries, so competition was tough. Plus, one of my stories was a madly-redrafted second draft after my betas tore the original a new one weeks before the deadline. And the other was a fantasy that only contained comical moments, so it stupid even less of a chance. But you don’t get anywhere if you don’t put your work out there!

My best wishes to all shortlisted entries!

Does this mean the end of my attempt at a professional writing career? Well, yes and no…

It’s the end of my attempt to be a funny writer – at least for the foreseeable future. Sure, I enjoy a good laugh, and making others laugh, but in trying to actually write something funny, I’ve spent more time staring at blank pages than with any other genre. It’s HARD.

So, I’m sticking to what I know – paranormal adventure! Don’t worry, there’s no angsty vampires pining over socially stunted wretches (seriously, though, if you were nigh-immortal, and as ‘gorgeous’ as Edward is supposed to be, why in the blue hells would you wait all your life for a plain, emotionless emo? Think it through, vamps…) – no, we’re talking good, old-fashioned paranormal investigation stories. Because, let’s be honest, there’s more to paranormal than vampires and werewolves… So much more. Some more disturbingly human than you know.

More on that at another time,

Dave

Lost in the Woods – eBook Review!

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A first for this blog, an eBook review! The author, one ‘Fun London’, contacted me on Twitter. He complimented me on this site, and said if I was interested in reviewing his book ‘Lost in the Woods’ that he could email me a review copy. I said Okie-dokie, and here we are!

… Don’t you all feel more edumacated? You’re welcome.

On to the review!

The story starts, and revolves, around 12 year old Jack Barton. He’s your average adventurous type, and loves climbing trees. After a fallout with his mother, Jack climbs a tall tree. A really tall tree. We’re talking the ‘endless corridor’ of trees, here, so it’s pretty tall.

But eternally tall or not, all trees abide by nature sooner or later, and it’s not long before Jack falls foul of weak branches and, erm… Falls.

(I’m so utterly brilliant at synonyms, me…)

Fortunately for Jack, a thick branch breaks his descent (hah, see? I didn’t say ‘fall’ – dammit!). With cautious steps, he sets foot on solid ground. Only, it’s not any ground he’s familiar with… And the tree he came down from wasn’t the one he climbed up…and is that squirrel talking to him?

… Yes, yes it is. Wait, wait! I know what you’re thinking; talking animals have had their day, and shouldn’t be heard unless they’re satirising the communist movement in a barn. That’s right, Dave has read ‘ANIMAL FARM’ – but that’s not important!

What is important is that Fun London does talking animals well. Each creature Jack meets on his journey home had a different, unique voice. And not all of them actually spoke to get their voice across. And not all of them are friendly… But instead of having random enemies, Fun London (in case you’re wondering, that is his pen name – I’m not referring to him by his Twitter name to confuse you all) makes sure that any and all foes have a personal and, more importantly, believable reason why they’re going after Jack.

But it’s a forest-wide disaster that brings everyone together, friend and foe alike, in a bid to save their home. And maybe – just…just maybe – Jack learns something about himself along the way…

‘LOST IN THE WOODS’ is a brilliant, old-school fantasy story that will entertain and delight children of all ages. If I had one complaint, it’s a tiny one; Allen (the squirrel) says “And so forth and so on” a few too many times for my liking. But, like I said, tiny – a slight characterisation hitch isn’t enough to get in the way of this wonderful tale.

Rating: 4/5

For those wondering (that’s probably just a few of you), I will be reviewing the rest of Barry Hutchison’s ‘INVISIBLE FIENDS’ books very, very soon.

Until then!

Dave

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