Tag Archives: #bookworms

Once Upon A Time……

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time……
We’ve all heard it.
Having just read it, probably out loud in your head in a voice from your childhood, you now expect a story.
The art of storytelling predates written books and was a crucial element of society in days long since gone by. Storytelling was a means of passing on history, knowledge, beliefs, myths and legends, and, of course, entertainment. These tales were brought to life by the narrative of the storyteller and occasionally supported by dance and music.
As a little girl, I loved being read to. Bedtime story time was a time to delve into the adventures of various characters as read to me by my mum. She read me stories from some very old children’s story collections, books that already been old when she was a girl; she read me Disney stories from a big blue book I was given one Christmas; she read me library book after library book (I loved Mr Grimpwinkle!); she read me books we chose and bought together. Even when I was old enough to read for myself, we kept one “special” book aside for bedtime story time.
The bedtime stories ended when I was about nine years old…. I never did finish Anne Of Green Gables. We moved house part way through reading the book and, for a myriad of reasons, never got back to it and I could never bring myself to finish it alone….. the magic spell had been broken.
When my own children were little, I read to them, trying to instil a love of books in them. I read some from my childhood (yes, I read them the big blue Disney book); I read library books; I read tales of Katie Morag and of Hairy McLary from Donaldson’s Dairy and tied my tongue in knots reading Dr Seuss.  What even is a seven hump wump????
The last book I remember reading to both of them was The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. The three of us would sit in my bed and read a chapter a night. Precious memories……
Confession – now-a-days, I hate being read to. I really struggle to maintain concentration in lecture/presentation situations and I absolutely loathe radio programmes where they just drone on and on and on……. Give me music any day!
As an indie author, this has presented me with a dilemma. An audio book dilemma.
There’s a whole market out there that I’ve yet to fully explore but I suspect that I’d hate even my own book babies in audio format. That’s not to say that others would….. I just can’t bear to listen to audio books. I appreciate that they are a Godsend to those who love a story but for whatever reason are unable to read it for themselves. Audio books are great for people who drive long distances or folk who travel a lot in general; Audio books are great for book lovers who love to multi-task and don’t have time to sit down and read a book. They are readily available in CD, mp3 and other digital formats. But, as an author, where to begin?
A couple of years ago, I did a trailer video clip for Book Baby 1 aka Stronger Within and, if that short clip taught me nothing else, it taught me that I am NOT a narrator! (Here- listen for yourself –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VObOV6c0FXs )

If my Book Babies are going to find their niche in the audio book world, I’m going to have to find a narrator (or two).
I suspect this is not going to be easy……
I’m not sure if all authors feel the same about their work but I can “hear” it in my head as I read it. That’s the voice I’m searching for!
All four books have been added to ACX.com accompanied by a short audition script. The opportunity to narrate them is being offered on a “royalty share” basis so I suspect my target narrator is someone fairly new to the craft who is looking to build up their portfolio. Is that you? Is it someone you know? Does the person with “the voice” even exist?
Time will tell…….

If you wish to submit an audition please check out the link below:
https://www.acx.com

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A little pre-Christmas Silver Lake treat from me to you

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As regular followers of my ramblings will know, I’m knee deep in Book Baby 3. The first draft is almost typed up (technically it’s the second as the first is the handwritten one) The proof reading and editing and revising are underway once more (huge thanks to my Infamous Five- couldn’t do it without you guys.)

All going according to plan, Book Baby 3 aka Bonded Souls will be launched in Spring 2017.

As a little pre-Christmas treat, I thought I’d share a short excerpt with you.

Sorry, no spoilers. No plot give away. No hints of things to come other than the obvious one (well, its obvious if you’ve read the first two books in the Silver Lake series.)

I’d also like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your support and kind words this year. It really makes all the hard work worthwhile.

Have a wonderful Christmas when it comes and may all your dreams come true in 2017.

Coral x

A little snatch of Bonded Souls, book 3 in the Silver Lake Series

Despite all the touring and travelling, Jake lay wide awake in the strange bed in his sister’s guest room. A glance at his phone informed him it was after midnight; his internal body clock has long since surrendered and given up trying to determine the time of day. He could hear one of his nephew’s snoring in the room next door. Reaching for his phone, Jake re-read his last message from Lori. “Sweet dreams, rock star. Love you L x”

With a smile, he laid the phone back down on the night stand. Only a few short hours until he would be reunited with her. After having Lori with him for two full weeks on tour, the last couple of days had felt empty without her presence. The final two shows of the tour had been incredible. In Zurich, the Swiss fans had filled the concert hall, but seemed more reserved than the other European fans had been. When they had reached Rome the following day for the final show, the Italian fans’ passion had blown the band away. All of them agreed that they had never heard such a loud crowd. The atmosphere in the venue had been amazing and Jake was genuinely sorry that Lori had missed it and the end of tour party that had followed.

His mind wandered to thoughts of the wedding and he ran through the music he had in mind plus his plans for a romantic dinner on Saturday evening. He had already booked a table at Lori’s favourite Italian restaurant and requested that her favourite champagne be waiting on them.

“The ring!” he suddenly thought. Where had he put it? Just as panic was about to sweep in, he remembered that Lori had both their rings.

Earlier in the day he had received messages from both his brothers and his dad promising to be in New York on Saturday. Knowing that his family were going to be there made him feel more than a little anxious. Although he had gone a long way to restoring relations with them, Jake still felt stressed at the thought of them all being together. He also felt guilty, knowing that Lori had no immediate family to invite.

With his mind still racing and no sign of sleep in sight, Jake slipped out of bed and crept quietly down to the kitchen to fetch himself a warm drink. His mother had always sworn that warm milk helped you to sleep. Trying not to make too much noise, Jake filled a mug with milk and popped it into the microwave to heat through. As the timer “pinged” a few seconds later, he heard the kitchen door open behind him and turned around to see Lucy standing there in her fleecy Pooh Bear pyjamas.

“Oh, it’s you,” she mumbled sleepily. “I thought it was one of the boys prowling.”

“Sorry,” apologised Jake, taking the mug from the microwave. “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Warm milk?”

He nodded as he took a seat at the table. “Can’t sleep and Mom always swore by it.”

“Yeah, she did,” sighed Lucy, fetching herself a clean mug from the dishwasher. “Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all,” replied Jake, sipping his milk. “Feels kind of weird being here. It’s like I’ve stepped into another life.”

“Not enough partying?” teased Lucy as she sat down opposite him. “I would’ve thought after the last month that you’d be glad to be able to relax for a while.”

“I am,” began Jake. “But it takes a few days to adjust after a tour. Plus, I’ve a wedding on my mind.”

“Nervous, big brother?”

“A bit,” he confessed, sounding almost shy. “I was lying in bed thinking about everything. Thinking about family. Stressing a bit.”

“And wishing mom was here to keep those guys under control,” finished Lucy quietly.

Silently, Jake nodded.

They sat drinking their milk for a few minutes, both of them lost in their own memories.

“I wish she’d met Lori,” said Jake, staring down into his empty mug. “Wish she’d seen the band come together. Wish she’d seen us play a show. Seen me get my act together.”

Reaching out to touch his hand, Lucy said, “I like to think she’s keeping an eye on us all. Sometimes I can hear her in my head. Hear her approval or disapproval. I know in my heart that she would be proud of you. Mom would’ve adored Lori. In a lot of ways, they are very alike.”

With a wistful smile, Jake nodded, “I still hear her too. Usually it’s when I’m writing late at night. I can almost smell her Chanel perfume as I hear her say to keep working on it. Hear her tell me when it’s time to call it a day and get to bed.”

“Speaking of bed,” yawned Lucy, getting to her feet. “I’m going back to mine. We need to be up early to get everything packed in the car. I’ve no idea where we are putting all your gear!”

“Sweet dreams,” said Jake with a yawn as he watched her head out the door and down the hall.

 

If you’ve missed the first two books in the Silver Lake Series, you’ve still. time to catch up before Bonded Souls is launched. The Amazon links to the books one and two are below:

Stronger Within https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

image sourced via Google

 

 

Happy First Birthday, Book Baby

“Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday to you

Happy Birthday dear Book Baby

Happy Birthday to you!”

 Trendy girl first birthday cake with first birthday cupcakes pictures

Scary to believe but my Book Baby aka Stronger Within celebrates its first birthday this Friday, 15th April. Can it really be a whole year since I unleashed it on an unsuspecting world?

Apparently it is and what a year it’s been!

As I realised that this anniversary was approaching, I began to reflect on the last twelve months. It’s been a creative roller coaster ride!

If I’m being totally honest, it still all feels surreal and I don’t know if it will ever really sink in that I’ve actually made one of my lifelong dreams come true not once but twice in twelve short months.

As a little girl, I was always writing stories and plays and dreaming of growing up to be a writer. I’d use my pocket money to buy a new notebook and pen then come home and curl up in corner to write. (not much has changed there- I’m still usually in a corner of the house!) Some of these stories were written. Others were barely started.

An English teacher at school almost put me off writing forever but, after reassurance from another teacher, I picked up my notebook and pen again. For several years, as a teenager, I wrote furiously, filling notebook after notebook with a family saga that spanned three generations of strong female role models. Looking back, the first incarnation of Jake Power is probably lurking among those pages. (I still have all of those reporter notebooks in the wardrobe. Who knows, maybe someday in the future I may re-visit that first “book”)

In some ways not a lot has changed over the years in my approach to writing. My handwriting has got a hell of a lot worse, I’ll say that much! As I’ve said before, I can write faster than I can type so all first drafts, blogs, music reviews included are handwritten.

I remember deciding to start Book Baby partly on a whim but the time felt right to bring the characters that had been living in my imagination to life. In true Coral fashion, I bought a couple of new A4 notebooks and some colourful pens. Those first few words were penned sitting on my front doorstep in the early evening sun on 8 May 2013. And, as time went by over the weeks and months, the words continued to flow.

By the time Book Baby aka Stronger Within was published last April, Book Baby 2  aka Impossible Depths had also been written in its first raw, naked state. (Yes, that required more new notebooks and pens. If I’m honest, one is written in pink notebooks, the other in blue so I guess you could say one’s a boy and the other’s a girl!)

Something I’ve not revealed before is that Book Baby 3 was already a work in progress this time last year. One pivotal scene from it was actually written in Dec 2013 but I began the main body of the tale in June 2014. All hasn’t run smoothly with this third book baby. It’s been a stop-start/love-hate affair ever since…until recently.

I’ve made some major changes to it, re-written some parts and I’m now feeling the love for it again. Perhaps It’s suffered a little from “third child syndrome” but I’ve collected my thoughts, given it some much needed TLC and am now working hard to nurture it to its final chapter. (Don’t get too excited! It won’t be ready for publication until 2017 at some point.)

I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself at this point in time. (I still work full time, write two blogs, admin two rock star fan pages and run a family.) I want to enjoy writing Book Baby 3 as, at this point in time, it is the last planned book in the Silver Lake series. But, hey, never say never, so who knows where my characters may lead me by the end of it.

A few days after the launch of Stronger Within, I posted a blog on here about the first few days of Book Baby Motherhood (https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/the-first-few-days-of-book-baby-motherhood) I drew up a short list of things to try to overcome about becoming a published author (eek! – I’ve finally said it out loud!)

First on the list was to stop feeling so self- conscious and allow myself to feel proud of my achievement. I’ve partly succeeded. I still feel very self-conscious and awkward when people ask me about the books. Inwardly though, I am proud of the achievement. I honestly don’t know how many copies have been sold  in either format or downloaded via Kindle giveaways or read via Kindle Unlimited. I did a rough count a while ago and it was into four figures. What makes me feel proud is the lovely feedback and reviews that the books are earning. Seeing other people love my characters as much as I do makes me feel proud. And each twinkly star makes all the long hours of typing, editing, proofreading and panic worthwhile.

Second on the list was to relax and let things take their course. Confession – I’ve failed miserably here. I can’t do relax. Fact!

Third was to re-connect with my characters and storylines. I’ve definitely re-connected with my main characters, I’ve created a few new ones and the storyline is evolving. I’m very much a “go with the flow” writer and don’t meticulously plan. I do plan the salient points of the outline but occasionally my characters detour on their journey between these. There is no paragraph or chapter plan for any of the books in the series. It’s all in my head or the odd bit is on a post it stuck in the notebook. (I suspect several writer friends have just thrown their hands up and shrieked in horror at this revelation.)

And the final challenge was to learn how to stop blushing when anyone speaks to me about the books. A physical impossibility! I am now an expert at turning 50 Shades of Red in the blink of an eye!

So all that’s left to say is a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who have shown me your love and support of the past year. There’s a few of you that I couldn’t do this without (you all know who you are) and I’d like to add an extra thank you to these people for putting up with me. I know I must be a royal pain in the ass at times. (I hope you’re all ready for round three when the time comes though.)

So, how do I plan to celebrate Book Baby’s first birthday?

A few months after it was published someone said to me that they’d read it, quite enjoyed it but it wasn’t their kind of book. I admired their honesty. They then went on to say that by reading it, I had encouraged them to read other books. That statement alone struck a chord with me and made all the hard work worthwhile.

To celebrate Stronger Within’s first year, I’ve set up a FREE download day on 15 April on Amazon’s kindle store worldwide. Yes, the best way to celebrate it is to share it with as many people as possible. If it encourages just one person to discover the pleasure to be found in a book then it will be a very happy birthday indeed.

SW page1

( The first page of the first draft of Stronger Within)

 On Friday 15th April , Stronger Within can be downloaded for FREE via this link –

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stronger-Within-Silver-Lake-Series-ebook/dp/B00VXDSC1M?ie=UTF8&keywords=stronger%20within&qid=1460582354&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

 

Book 2 in the series, Impossible Depths, can be found here –

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebooks-Impossible-Depths-Silver-Lake-Book-ebook/dp/B01C0GS30K/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51WJPFtx6TL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_OU02_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=09P4V527TV80BES9NRE9

SW & ID

Second’s Out- Round Three!

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Sooner than I’d expected something has begun….

The one thing I’m not very good at is relaxing and doing nothing. Unless I’m ill, I struggle to slob on the settee. I watch very little TV in general and usually only watch one or two programmes a week. (That will change slightly as the motor sport season is about to begin again! Vroom Vroom)

After I had finalised Book Baby 2, I was mentally and physically exhausted. There were a few late nights in the final run up as I tried to squeeze as many hours into a day as possible. I promised myself I’d take a break. Give myself time for the batteries to recharge. But how long would that take?

Less than three weeks would be the answer!

I tried to chill a bit. I promise I did but it never really happened.

Within a few days of finishing Book Baby 2, I had turned my creative attention back to a serialised short story I return to every few months and picked up its tale once more (Woo Hoo declared fans of The Imp) It was a good diversion from all things Silver Lake and it was nice to just write and not be 100% focussed on proofreading and editing.

As I sat at the laptop, I could hear a wee voice calling from the book file perched on the corner of the table. It was whispering then ultimately screaming “Read me!”

Yes, the partially written Book Baby 3 began to stir.

I tried to ignore its cries but I felt like a stressed out mother of a sleepless child trying to master the controlled crying technique. Like I had many years before with the real screaming baby, I failed miserably. (To explain, Boy Child was a terrible sleeper as a baby and toddler. I tried the controlled crying with him and failed abysmally. He never slept through the night until he was three years old. That’s a lot of broken sleep and involved huge vats of coffee!)

After a few days, I surrendered and lifted the screaming notebook from the box and began to read. I tried to pace myself and read slowly. I failed there too.

To be honest, before I had finished the first handwritten draft of Book Baby 2, I had written the opening scenes of the next and possibly final part in the Silver Lake series. That was in December 2013. I then parked it until I had finished the first draft of what became Impossible Depths and then got caught up with preparing Stronger Within for publication through the latter half of 2014.

It all seems a very long time ago in one sense and just like yesterday in another!

I lifted and laid the third part of the story throughout the latter part of 2014, all of 2015 and had in fact last touched on the 3 Jan this year.

Perhaps the tale was losing patience with me! Hence the screaming for attention. Maybe it was feeling unloved!

As I read over the story so far, I could feel my inner creative voice begin to twitch and respond to its cries.

And so it begins….slowly!

I intend to take my time writing this one (famous last words knowing me!) and I’ve already identified an element of re-writing required and small continuity gaps, probably caused by the stop-start approach taken to date.

As the lighter evenings lie before me, I can see this story unfolding. It’s pace may be weather dependant! My favourite time and place to write is in the early evening sun, sitting on my doorstep with my iPod on. If we have a good summer, we may see Book Baby 3 emerge into the light sooner than if it pours with rain for weeks.

There’s no written plan or outline. No paragraph plans. I have a few key scenes in mind still to work into the tale and I have a vision of where it will end and that’s as structured as it gets for now.

So to return to the, probably by now over-used, pregnancy analogy, I’m in the first trimester again. A bit of me is feeling sick to the pit of my stomach with fear about starting this merry-go-round again so soon but another bit is bursting with excitement to let the tale out. It’s too early to say whether this will span to one book or two- who knows it may be twins! I’ll reserve judgement until I have the end in sight. I’m still promoting my original Book Baby, Stronger Within, and it’s younger sibling Book Baby 2, Impossible Depths, and am encouraged by the love the world is showing them both.

To answer a question that I’ve been asked repeatedly over the last week or two – I don’t know when Book Baby 3 will be out. Sometime in 2017 for definite but whether that’s April or November remains to be seen.

Will it be the end of the road for all things Silver Lake – who knows! I’ll see where my characters lead me.

Do I have visions of some Book Baby “cousins” that would see me expand on some of the characters? – most definitely yes!

All I need now is a long hot summer!

 

(credits to the owner of the photo.)

For your info – just in case you’ve missed them! – here’s the links to Book Babies 1 and 2.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00VXDSC1M?keywords=Stronger%20Within&qid=1458158745&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebooks-Impossible-Depths-Silver-Lake-Book-ebook/dp/B01C0GS30K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1458158830&sr=1-1&keywords=impossible+depths

 

Pause: Rewind: And Breathe!

Is it just me or has someone put the world into fast forward over the past couple of weeks?

I feel like I’ve blinked and lost a week!

So what’s been happening?

Quick whistle stop tour of the past couple of weeks coming up!

Mainly the “real world” has been taking more of my time.  No major dramas. Just busy busy!

On the creative front, Book Baby 2 has been monopolising my time in various guises.

The first draft is finally typed. Hallelujah! Now to start re-drafting and editing. Honestly, writing the story is proving yet again to be the easy bit.

I’ve also had the “torturous” task of sourcing an appropriate cover image/photo. I’ve finally agreed on one but I’m keeping it under wraps for now. I’m  confident the Jake Power fans among you won’t be disappointed.  😉

I have however come up with my “promo” shot for Book Baby 2. That I can share!

Impossible Depths promo shot.jpg

I also escaped  “out to play” last Thursday. The 149 day live music drought ended with a memorable night in The Cathouse watching Crobot.  Thanks, guys! Hurry back! My  ears were ringing, buzzing and hissing until Sunday.

I’ve already “blogged” about it on my other blog page The 525 To Glasgow. Here’s the link if you want to check it out –

(https://the525toglasgow.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/a-night-with-the-necromancer-crobot-at-the-cathouse-Glasgow/)

So now it’s time to pause, rewind a bit on the Book Baby 2 front as I commence the re-drafting and editing process and to breathe!

Normal blog antics will resume when I’ve caught my breath!