Writing a book?

Liz-S-Writing-Workshop-101Over the past couple of months on several Internet sites for writers, I’ve read many questions and queries plus suggestions and comments regarding the use of correct grammar and speech.

The academically minded among us, plus the vast majority of editors still cling desperately to the fervent belief that a book sans correct grammar will inevitably never make it. While that may be true for books of a historical, biographical or academic nature  – for example, text books, when it comes to fiction the real key is whether or not the writer can actually tell a story, not if he or she adheres to the accepted rules of English.

When your characters speak, by insisting that they speak correctly you will do yourself no favours. In fact these days it almost guarantees that your book will be lucky to sell more than a dozen copies. In essence, the story and the way your characters converse in common parlance is the key, not the use of perfect English as rigidly laid down by close-minded professors within the English departments of universities worldwide, or even the majority of editors come to that.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the comments in favour of correct grammar are contributed by people from countries whose native language is not English. It’s not their fault. They are merely echoing what they were taught by their teachers.

Think about today’s best selling writers. Do they stick rigidly to the rules of grammar? Most don’t. Gone are the days when the likes of Emile Bronte, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe etal wrote to entertain the educated elite minority. And yet they are still held up as the ideal in literature. Why?

Today’s writers must write for the majority. In fact you must know your target readers better than they do themselves. I write specifically for the US market for two reasons.

1. The greater majority are brought up on soap opera and film, not so-called classic literature.

2. Because they are more switched on than any other people, I also only publish my books in Kindle form.

Trust me when I tell you that they are my readers, not my own countrymen (the English) and academics. They will be yours as well if you are brave enough to break away from the so-called rules.

Writing this article is one example of using correct English. But if I had written my books in the same way, I would not now be enjoying my regular monthly royalty income from them.

If you feel strongly one way or another about the subject of correct English and grammar, don’t just read this article and tut-tut under your breath. I don’t bite. Be brave. Write your comments below.


AUTHORS – When was the last time you?

Food for thought

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Said THANK YOU to a reviewer and clicked the LIKE button under their review?

like-button2The means to do both is provided by Goodreads and Amazon!

Authors often complain about the lack of reviews for their Bestselling Stories, but how many of you interact with readers who DO leave their reviews?

Having received thank you’s and/or messages from authors about my short, simplistic and unprofessional (but honest) reviews myself, I know how nice it feels (and I deal with authors on a daily basis!).

It may encourage them to read at least one more of your books!

Likewise, when Amazon sends me an email to notify me that someone has advised that my review helped them, (they had clicked the LIKE button under it), it pleases me and it’s not always, or only, the author who does so.

fightAVOID making comments or taking up arms against unfavourable reviews – read

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Book Marketing Blunders

Yet another writer navigating the morass like the rest of us. 🙂

Eileen Slovak

How a fellow blogger solved the mystery of my lagging Euro sales.

www.eileenslovak.com http://www.eileenslovak.com

We all need a little help now and again especially at book marketing. I freely admit to being a novice. I literally learn everything the hard way because it just suits my personality. My novel SECRET AGENT OF GOD has only been ‘out on the street’ since the end of January, but since then, I have learned an enormous amount about book marketing ─ mostly the hard way. If you are like me, you know how difficult it is to know where to invest your energy and marketing efforts. There are so many avenues promising to promote your book. I find it yet another mountain I now need to climb.

On the upside, every road I take leads to another discovery, so as with the writing journey and the publishing journey, I remain optimistic about this one.


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Wuffa’s Sword

Ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time to witness a historical event? Read on…

Have We Had Help?

A month had passed since Dr Gilbert Briggs became the first human ever to travel back in time; in his case, to witness the battle of Hastings. As the new director of the UK Advanced Science Institute based in the city of Norwich, Gilbert had demanded that he be the first. Not for selfish reasons as his detractors within the Institute would have the academic world believe, but merely because he was not prepared to gamble on anyone else’s life. He was the one responsible for designing the Teleportation Gate and the minute homing chip, designed to be inserted beneath the observer’s skin; therefore in his eyes, it was his responsibility to test it.
Many lessons had been learned during that first use of the Gate. As far as Briggs’ nemesis Professor Malcolm was concerned; under no circumstances should anyone who may be a direct descendant of the people existing…

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Why You Want Fellow Authors to Succeed

Help each other, don’t hate…



You want your fellow authors to be successful.

You even want books similar to yours to do well.

And it’s not just about creating good karma.

It makes good business sense, too.

Some would have you believe that the way to thrive in the competitive publishing business is to play the cutthroat game and slam the competition. Unfortunately, you can find stories of a few big authors and publishers slamming one another, not just recently, but even going way back. You can also find gossip about more underhanded activities.

But that’s just foolish.

And again, it’s not just because it’s not nice. Economically, it doesn’t make sense if you take a moment to look a few moves ahead.

Highly similar books usually sell together. Some customers buy them all at once. Some buy one today, another in a month, and another a few months from now.

Similar books help one…

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Globular Van der Graff’s UK Reviews

Glob the Paperback

Like most writers I know, I usually refrain from reading reviews of my books on Amazon, mainly because its in-house trolls still dominate the scene, especially in the US. But this morning I weakened.

It’s interesting that while the UK reviews of Glob’s tales only number eight in total, only one is written by an obvious Amazon troll hiding behind the pseudonym ‘Mr’. What a miserable existence ‘Mr’ must lead, being an anal nitpicker. It always amuses me that these individuals feel fully justified in tearing apart the product of all your hard work as the author of a book, while never having had anything of their own published…


5.0 out of 5 stars 30 short but immensely enjoyable stories, 30 Aug 2013
Chris Graham (Manchester, UK) – See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
This book has 30 short but immensely enjoyable stories about five Goblin brothers and their ‘Humin’ friend.
Unlike many fantasy tales involving Humans and Goblins, this book contains no gory bits, spurious violence or endless wars, nevertheless, it is very entertaining.
Be careful though, especially if you tend to read out loud to yourself, the temptation to utter the words spoken by the Goblins is overwhelming and if you are in a packed commuter train or bus, you may get funny looks from your fellow travellers.
Mind you, you may also get more space to stretch out and get comfortable as they sidle away from you….
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goblinland Tales to Tickle Your Funnybone, 19 May 2013
This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
Definitely a book full of quaint little stories geared towards adults. With unique names such as Bejuss, Heliotrope, and Eponymous Tringthicky, there is no lack of imagination in these unusual stories. I found myself amused with the situations the goblins got themselves into.

This is a great book to curl up with on a rainy day. Easily read chapter by chapter,as each is its own individual story, or at one sitting. The author shows you the lifestyle of creatures designed to live in a great forest. Bejuss was my favorite. A raven with quick wit, one eye and an endearing lisp.

The author serves this up in a simple,narrative style. A fun visit into a fairytale land with a grown-up flavor.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lobved it!!!!, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
What a fantastic book!!! The Goblins were very real, and the stories about their homes and lives were so well done, you could almost imagine yourself visiting them.

The only thing I didn’t like, was the bloodthirsty executions, which were very harsh indeed.

There were some touching moments as well, and on the whole, the book was written with sensitivity and a very good imagination – the characters really came to life.

I would love to see a full length novel about these creatures, followed by a film.

Read it and see what you think. If you like fantasy stories, you’re sure to love this selection of Goblin tales.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Neo might be the one…, 8 May 2013
This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
I found this to be an interesting new take on goblins (especially Neo – who brews his own ale). I’ve never read a story from the goblin’s point of view before and it was fun to learn about their home life, alliances and hierarchy. Despite being billed as `Goblin tales for adults”, I think kids would enjoy some of these as well (just make sure you read the tale in question first – some of them do stray into territory that may not be appropriate for younger readers).
Jack has created a delightful world, set in a time when goblins and `humins’ lived in harmony. His small family of goblin brothers come alive as you follow their adventures.
I was looking for a collection of short, enjoyable reads and this fit the bill.
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2.0 out of 5 stars 5 star children book Vs 2 star adult book, 24 Oct 2012
Mr (NEWBURY, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews
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This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
Yes 2 stars sounds harsh, but according to the title this book is aimed at adults. This is the main problem as although each story/chapter is told well they are quite simplistic. It would therefore make a fantastic bedtime book for boys (5 stars) and believe it would receive the success it deserves if it was listed as this.

I read 30% of the book and believe the only change needed for it to be a children’s book is to the following sentence within the ‘Evil’s Shadow Grows Longer’ chapter:”The following morning just as the sun rose in the east, no one noticed that Miranda had gone from her stable, especially Eodor who was still sleeping in the arms of a young maiden, physically exhausted from having satiated his carnal needs after charming his way into her bed the evening before.”

I also noticed a possible continuity error: Mica’s introduction said: “The five wood goblins I met one day several months ago in a glade not far from here, when I was having a snooze in the afternoon sunshine……….”, but according to the chapter ‘Glob and Me’, Mica first met Glob when he was a small child of barely four summers. “I was happily playing on my own at the edge of our village, beneath the trees………”, then sometime later met Glob and the other goblins when he fell asleep at night in a tree rather than a glade.

Also it mentions the goblins are barely 3 feet tall so when it refers to “an acorn barrel full of Neo’s freshly brewed special mead” and “the heavy acorn chest” isn’t there a scale problem as acorns are around 1 cm?

I appreciate this might seem a somewhat critical review, but I do hope with some changes it will make a great children’s bedtime read.

Hope the author finds this feedback helpful.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Entertaining, 29 Aug 2012
This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
I am only about halfway through this book, but felt the need to share my thoughts about the marvelous world Jack Eason has created. Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults is a collection of short stories about a band of goblins who live in a place called Goblindom. Now before you go on to the next book in your queue, you have to know, these are not the goblins we grew up fearing as kids. Those stories were meant to frighten young children into behaving and washing behind their ears. No, these goblins are a fun-loving, friendly, adventurous sort who want nothing more than to sit around a campfire, eat honeycomb and drink their goblin brewed mead. Mr Eason has skillfully developed five goblins, each with their own unique personalities and quirks. (My personal favorite is Neo, a cross eyed old goblin). From the first story, you can easily relate with any or all of the characters and will find yourself cheering them on through their adventures. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys lighthearted tales of friendship and family. Read this book. It will change your mind about goblins forever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker!, 24 Aug 2012
Mr. Jamie Boswell (Norfolk, England.) – See all my reviews
Another great little book from Jack Eason. This time it’s a little more light hearted than some of his other work, (which, of course is also brilliant).
A charming collection of tales about a little group of normally very misunderstood Goblins. Jack Eason writes with a rare charm and wit and this collection is a personal favourite of mine.
Thank you Jack for creating Bejuss!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goblins: The Untold Story!, 28 May 2012
This review is from: Globular Van der Graff’s Goblin Tales for Adults (Kindle Edition)
If you’re like me, you’ve probably held to the notion that goblins are ugly, green humanoids with the mentality of a swarm of gnats. From page one of this fabulous collection, you’ll realize there are more to goblins than their usual portrayal in literature.

Jack Eason has created a compelling, complex, and utterly charming world called Goblindom, where a band of five goblin brothers, led by Globular (Glob) share in one exciting journey after another. Humans (humins, as the goblins call them) are present, but unlike most stories in fantasy, they are not the focus, but exist as friends and wonderful minor characters.

What I particularly love about this collection is that the characters are so well done, they come to life on the page. Each goblin has his own unique quirks. You’ll soon connect with each of them as though they were old friends, whether it’s Make with his pipe or cross-eyed, grumpy Neo. My favorite character of all, however, isn’t a goblin at all, but a one-eyed, lisping raven named Bejuss. He completely steals the show on more than one occasion!

Each story is short enough to read in a sitting and different enough to keep you waiting for the next. Whether the brothers are seeking out the goblin queen or protecting the humins from ugly witches and dragons, their stories are lessons in friendship, family, loyalty, and perseverance.

Don’t let the “For Adults” in the title fool you. These stories are not erotic or overly graphic, so I recommend it for young adults and beyond! Grab your copy today!





Turning Point

If ever there was a science fiction tale that needed to become a movie, its Turning Point. I’m not just saying that because I wrote it, but because it begins and ends in New Zealand. Therefore it needs someone like Peter Jackson to bring it to the silver screen…

Have We Had Help?

Turning Point free weekend

For thousands of years, man in his arrogance, has believed that he is unique in the cosmos.

During the last decade of the twentieth century, the day finally arrived when a warlike alien species called the Drana returned to our solar system, intent on re-establishing their rule over the Earth once more. The last time they were here they left a subordinate race – the Khaz in charge of our early ancestors. When the Drana moved on to conquer more planets in the name of their emperor, the Khaz began to create a stronghold here on Earth, hopefully large enough to one day challenge the Drana. Over countless centuries all memories of the Khaz and their masters the Drana vanished from the minds of man. However, the Khaz are still calling the shots through a secret government they set up consisting of the world’s political and military leaders, as well…

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Are you a serious video gamer?


If you are a serious video gamer, by that I mean you play for several hours each day as I do, sooner or later the technology will let you down.

Before I go any further, you should know that I am retired and therefore able to finally indulge my passion for video games. As far as the current crop of game consoles go, having tried them all down the years, these days I stick with Sony Playstation – currently the PS3. I’ve tried Playstation’s main opposition in the form of the Microsoft Xbox. To say the product left a lot to be desired, would be a major understatement. Meltdowns being the chief problem.

As for the Playstation, it is a far superior product, or it would be but for its Achilles heal – the BlueRay player (the unit you insert your game disc into), and a major internal design fault. For some totally unfathomable reason (probably financial cost cutting), Sony never redesigned the inner workings of the console to fix the problem. Or did they? Read on.

It simply beggars belief that the company who manufacture the best laptop on the market today (the Sony Vaio) would allow their game console division to use inferior components like their current BlueRay player. My latest standard PS3 lasted thirty one days before the BlueRay unit inevitably died. This is a typical length of time regarding daily use. I have only had one console in the form of the Sony Playstation 3 500GB Super Slim, which despite trying to die after a month, actually lasted for six month’s daily use.

Down the years I’ve read all the ‘how to fix your PS3 when it dies’ articles, which if you screw it up still leaves you without a working console, not to mention voiding the warranty. I even inquired about getting a console fixed under warranty once. The problem there was that it was going to cost me even more than a new console is worth, making a total nonsense of the whole free warranty system.

The chief problem in the standard console is that the Blueray unit allows  your disc to descend into its bowels where the fan designed to keep things cool, also sucks in lots of dust.

The Super Slim console keeps your disc away from any dust attracting fan. But even though it is totally enclosed, the simple action of a disc spinning creates air movement, attracting dust. But at least with the Super Slim’s Blueray unit it is relatively easy to wipe away any dust on the unit’s lens with a soft tissue.

So this latest unit goes to join the seven other standard dead consoles in my spare room. Its back to yet another new Super Slim console next week. At least my other one lasted a bit longer than a standard console…


PS – Ok, then why not simply play your games on a proper computer I hear you cry? I tried that over two decades ago. The problem then and now is that you need a hard drive free of all normal software to accommodate most games. Plus, the real problem is controlling your in game characters movements and actions. Using a combination of joystick and keyboard is ponderous to say the least. Give me a PS3’s  Controller any day.

PPS – Since posting the above article yesterday, a good friend of mine has offered to take my latest PS apart to dust it. Of course I accepted. But, given that this particular console behaved like all my previous Playstations from day one, by staggering, locking up, etc, I do hope he will forgive me for being a little skeptical about his conviction that the problem is nothing more than dust and not, as I still believe, mechanical… 😉

PPPS – If your console is connected to the internet, isn’t it about time the manufacturers of video game consoles did away with Blueray players altogether? After all, most game suppliers offer downloadable content, thereby eliminating the inherent, nay inevitable, mechanical problems. Just a thought…