Mastodon The Writing Desk: 2013

30 December 2013

Special Guest Post: On Becoming A Writer By N. Gemini Sasson

What if you could remember another life? What if you could re-live it and find love again? 

In The Time of Kings: The new time travel romance adventure
set in medieval Scotland from N. Gemini Sasson
is available now on Amazon 

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On Becoming A Writer

When Tony invited me to guest blog, I said yes immediately. For ten days, I kicked around ideas, rejecting one after the other. I felt like it had all been said before. That writing, the process of it, really isn’t all that exciting. If you asked me what my work day is like and I told you, you’d probably yawn.

Then today, a friend asked me how I went about becoming a writer. Such a simple question, and yet … so profound. Well, there is no one way. There is no formula. You just sit down and do it. Day, after day, after day. Word after word. Page after page. Book after book.

You do it when you don’t believe in yourself. You do it when you don’t feel like it. You do it when you’re afraid to show it to anyone for fear they’ll erupt in hysterical laughter or tear apart every phrase you toiled over. You do it even when you’re not sure your story will ever be read by another human being.
To get past all that, you have to understand why it is that you want to write.

Do it because you have something to say. Something to share. Pain you need to heal from. Hope you keep close to your heart that things can turn out for the better, even if only in a fictional world. Do it because you believe in true love, conquering fear, happy endings and good guys saving the world. Write to connect with others. Because whatever you feel in the deepest, most hidden recesses of your soul, someone else has probably felt that way, too.

The Best Stories

The best stories reveal truths about ourselves and our worlds that we weren’t aware of before. They bring us closer together. They move us emotionally.

When I was a teenager, I was in love with the idea of being a writer. I had a typewriter and desk tucked away in my closet. I’d write a page or two of a story and abandon it. I didn’t yet understand that writing a book was a long and often tedious process.

That dream, though, of being a writer eventually drew me back – but not for another twenty plus years. Even at thirty, I didn’t yet possess enough confidence in how to portray my ideas, or understand the parts of a story, or have the commitment to write an entire book. To those of you at this stage, don’t let that stop you. Start somewhere. Write journal entries, write articles, write blog posts. Just … write.

Write as if no one but you is ever going to read it. Because when you start to worry about criticism, rejection or disinterest, you aren’t going to write in your most authentic voice. When you worry about even finishing the blessed book, the whole task can seem so daunting that you chuck it early on to save yourself the grief. 

Take it one paragraph at a time

A writing instructor once asked the class I was in what defines you as a writer. Most of us said having a book published. His answer was: Writers write. Plain and simple.

Now, becoming a ‘published author’ is another matter. Luckily, it’s more attainable than ever these days. Computers, the internet, and digital self-publishing make it a thousand times easier than it was a decade or two ago.

Just remember, before you can become a published author, first you must write.

Until later,


About the Author

N. Gemini Sasson is the author of six historical novels set in 14th and 15th century Scotland, England and Wales, including The Bruce Trilogy and Isabeau, A Novel of Queen Isabella and Sir Roger Mortimer (2011 IPPY Silver Medalist in Historical Fiction).

Her latest release is Uneasy Lies the Crown, A Novel of Owain Glyndwr. Long after writing about Robert the Bruce and Queen Isabella, Sasson learned she is a descendant of both.

If you'd like to learn more about N. Gemini Sasson's books, visit her website or blog and find her on Twitter @NGeminiSasson

24 December 2013

Book Launch ~ Forever Doomed by MaryAnne Kempher @MaryAnnKempher

It's not wise to wander the cruise ship FOREVER alone at night.
You might not live to see daylight.

Detective Jack Harney agrees to do an old Army buddy a favor. Curt Noble had some personal business to attend to, he didn’t say what. What he did say was he needed someone to temporarily take over his duties as head of security on the struggling cruise ship Forever. Jack hesitates, but he owes Curt his life so agrees. 

He’s told the worst mischief he can expect to encounter will be the occasional shoplifter, or drunk. Instead, one week into the cruise, a beautiful red head and a member of the crew are ruthlessly murdered. Are the two murders connected? It’s up to Jack to find out. He must find the killer before the ship returns to Tampa’s port, or worse, before another dead body is found. This won't be easy. The ship is old, it's security systems outdated, and clues are few, or so it seems at first

It’s not just a sense of obligation that motivates Jack to agree to Curt's request; Jack moved thousands of miles, started over, and still can't get Amy O'Brian out of his heart or mind. When she shows up on the ship, as part of a large wedding party, Jack must fight to stay focused. To make matters worse, Amy isn't his only distraction; a sexy and mysterious woman has made it her mission to seduce Jack.

As the body count rises, and time slips away, Jack has to ask himself, “Did someone commit the perfect crime?” 

10 5 * reviews on Amazon US - 'It will keep you guessing until the end.' 

Forever Doomed is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

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About the Author

MaryAnn Kempher's writing is infused with mystery and romance. She spent her teen years spent living in Reno NV where her first book, Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is set. The setting for her second book, Forever Doomed, was inspired by her love of the ocean. Her writing influences include favorite authors Agatha Christie, Jane Austen and Janet Evanovich. Her guilty pleasures include any and all sweets, including a good cup of Mocha. She is married with two children.

For more about MaryAnn Kempher, visit her author Facebook page find her on Twitter @MaryAnnKempher and visit her website:

Purchase MaryAnn’s books here:

If you purchase Forever Doomed in paperback for uner $11, you can get the Kindle version for just 99 cents.

22 December 2013

Forced Entry (MP3 Download) by Michael Brookes @TheCultofMe

Forced Entry audio short is now available! 

Terrorists have seized a suburban dwelling and a special forces unit is despatched to rescue the hostages. They're trained for every conceivable eventuality, but they haven't trained for the horror they encounter. Inside the house they find a sealed basement door and a trail of blood leading to the bedroom. None of them were prepared for what awaits them: Mystery and unimaginable evil...

Forced Entry is only £1.99 and can be downloaded from The Radio Theatre Workshop online store
  • Running Time: 18 mins
  • Cast: Janet Westwood Wilson, Benjamin Goodman, Liam McCauley, Christopher Jarvis
  • Adapted and Directed by Christopher Jarvis
  • Music by Allen Stroud.
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Writers: If you would like to discuss producing a high quality audio book get in touch with specialists The Radio Theatre Workshop HERE or find them on Twitter @theradiotheatre 

13 December 2013

What are you waiting for? START WRITING! ~ Guest Post by Madeline Courtney

Hey, guys! This is my first guest blog, so here goes. My name is Madeline Courtney and I'm a Writer from Carthage, Missouri.  I'm seventeen years old and I'm self-publishing my first novel, THE CASE OF IRENE ADLER, which is a retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA. It is also the first book in my Sherlock Holmes series.

So, I'm going to blog about Writing and my routines. I chose this topic because a lot of people (followers on Twitter, emails, etc.) have asked me how I make time to write a whole novel and continue going to school. My answer to this question is always the same. If you really want to do something then you'll make time. It's also easier because, after suffering from very serious bullying at school, I am being homeschooled and taking classes online. Because of this, I am not only publishing my first novel, but also graduating highschool a whole year early.

I have a very strict schedule, as all Writers should, and I follow it completely.

As of lately, my grandparents have had the laptop so I've been having to use the desktop (not fun, as it is located right in the middle of the living room, where everyone likes to hang out.) 

I force myself to push through it by plugging in my headphones and turning them up all the way to drown out the noise of the TV and family talking. My family know that if they want to talk to while I'm writing they either text me or wait until I'm done.
Usually I try to write two to three hours everyday without a break except for more British Tea. I guess, what I'm trying to say is, if you want to write a book YOU HAVE TO HAVE A CAVE. There is no other way around it. At least for one hour a day you have to go into The Cave and just WRITE because if you don't you never will. If you want people to take you seriously as a Writer, you have to take being a Writer seriously.

Ksenia Anske (@kseniaanske on twitter) is a big inspiration for me because she helped talk me into writing to deal with my depression.  If you can get past the Blocks, the lack of confidence (we all get it!), and everything else you should really try Writing. It's a wonderful way to relax and it's brilliant for therapy (part of the reason I started!) Writing THE CASE OF IRENE ADLER has helped me escape my depression. My best friend Melissa has always been supportive of my dream and for that I am thankful. I guess you could say I write because I have to. 

I am a Writer. I am a survivor. And I hope everyone who reads my novel will finally understand the real me.  If you ever want to talk about Writing or publishing or just need to talk I am on twitter  @MaddieC123  my blog is and you can email me

12 December 2013

A Dylan Odyssey ~ A Series of Unique Dylan Thomas Inspired Tours

To celebrate Dylan Thomas’ centenary in 2014, Literature Wales presents A Dylan Odyssey,a series of twenty three totally unique and extraordinary events which will take visitors to the very heart of Dylan Thomas’ worlds, exploring the richness of these places by boat, canoe, horse-drawn carriage, bus, steam train, foot and even on horseback!
Tours will be guided through the eyes of some of Wales’ best living artists, including comedian Griff Rhys Jones, author and scriptwriter Andrew Davies, actor Helen Griffin, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, former Archdruid T. James Jones and writer Owen Sheers.
A formidable voice when it came to the literature of place, Dylan Thomas left an imprint on the memory of the vast seascapes, village tracks, urban greys, dusky moorlands, brimming meadows and lush parklands he knew, from Wales to England and the United States.
A Dylan Odyssey will run from May to November 2014 and forms part of the Welsh Government-led Dylan Thomas 100 Festival. One day tours range from £7.00 - £47.00 in price. In partnership with Rare Hospitality, Literature Wales is also offering a range of residential packages incorporating the Welsh Rarebits and Great Little Place country hotels, historic inns and boutique townhouses. 
For further information, see or download the brochure here or send a self-addressed envelope to: Literature Wales, Cambrian Buildings, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5FL or email

6 December 2013

New Book Review ~ Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir

One of the good things about the BBC’s well-intended series ‘The White Queen’ is it made a lot of people take a new interest in learning more about the women behind the thrones of medieval England.  They need look no further than this highly readable new book from Alison Weir, Elizabeth of York – A Tudor Queen and Her World.  

By my calculations this is her sixteenth non-fiction history book and her experience shines through. Alison has been accused of writing ‘popular history’ but there are worse insults levelled at authors. I particularly like the way we are drawn in to the excitement of her research. For example, Richard III was being dug up in a car park while she was writing about him – and there is the ‘startling’ new connection to the mystery of the princes in the tower (which I shall leave for readers to find out about.) 

It is also interesting to wonder how different things would have been if Elizabeth had been allowed to rule in her own right (like her granddaughter) as she was on of up to thirty people who arguably had a better claim on the throne than Henry VII. I did smile a few times at Alison’s love of noting the very precise details from the records of the time. (We learn not only that 156 pounds of wax were used for Elizabeth's embalming but also the details of where it all went.) 

This is an indulgent book but also one you will return to and learn more on a second reading. Elizabeth died young, on her birthday 11th February 1503, living long enough to see one son die but not long enough to see what became of her youngest boy – but of course that’s another story.  

Available now on Amazon UK and Amazon US

4 December 2013

Book Launch ~ Josephine: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon by Kate Williams @KateWilliamsUK

The incredible rise and unbelievable fall of a woman whose energy and ambition is often overshadowed by Napoleon’s military might. In this triumphant biography, Kate Williams tells Josephine’s searing story, of sexual obsession, politics and surviving as a woman in a man’s world.

Abandoned in Paris by her aristocratic husband, Josephine's future did not look promising. But while her friends and contemporaries were sent to the guillotine during the Terror that followed the Revolution, she survived prison and emerged as the doyenne of a wildly debauched party scene, surprising everybody when she encouraged the advances of a short, marginalised Corsican soldier, six years her junior.

Josephine, the fabulous hostess and skilled diplomat, was the perfect consort to the ambitious but obnoxious Napoleon. With her by his side, he became the greatest man in Europe, the Supreme Emperor; and she amassed a jewellery box with more diamonds than Marie Antoinette’s. But as his fame grew, Napoleon became increasingly obsessed with his need for an heir and irritated with Josephine’s extravagant spending. The woman who had enchanted France became desperate and jealous. Until, a divorcee aged forty-seven, she was forced to watch from the sidelines as Napoleon and his young bride produced a child.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateWilliamsUK  and visit her website

27 November 2013

Book Launch ~ The Tudor Tutor: Your Cheeky Guide to the Dynasty @tudortutor

Barb Alexander presents the long-awaited must-know info of the Tudor age and its players in an entertaining fashion. Like any good teacher, she leaves judgement of events and individuals open-ended, encouraging the reader to draw their own conclusions on commonly debated 16th century topics. 

“A wonderfully irreverent and engaging introduction to the Tudors. Barb Alexander manages to be both jaunty and authoritative, a winning combination that will attract and beguile many a reader. Wearing her learning lightly, Alexander adds an ever-entertaining fresh new voice to the history world, which deserves to be heard.”

Suzannah Lipscomb, author of 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII

“An entertaining yet highly accurate guide to this larger-than-life royal dynasty. Alexander is spot-on with her descriptions of these monarchs and their reigns, and injects humor to keep readers of all ages entertained."

Claire Ridgway, author of The Fall of Anne Boleyn

"The Tudor Tutor brings the 16th century to roaring life for even the most jaded 21st century observer. Putting the events and people of 500 years ago into a clear, modern context, this is as witty and punchy an introduction to the period as you could hope for."

Justin Pollard, historical consultant for Showtime’s “The Tudors”

Now available on and Amazon UK, 

22 November 2013

Guest Post by P.M. Leckie ~ Stumbledirt: Creating From Catastrophe

 Walls are not built solely to keep people out; they also keep people in 

The inhabitants of the village of Everdirge believe that the Thorns have it all. Money, privilege and power. But within the stone facade of the family home, Stumbledirt, a family struggles, governed by tyranny, virtually held prisoner by their patriarch.

Widower, Hero Thorn, cruelly rules over his brood with a rod of iron and a heart of stone. None of his children, Wallis, Esme or Cyrus, dare to speak out against him. Love and hope are luxuries, absent in the Thorn household, until a tragic accident brings the arrival of the wayward cousin, Rook, and life at Stumbledirt is never the same again.

Stumbledirt is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

As a writer, I’m often asked about the inspiration behind my novels. Answering such a query can sometimes be difficult. Many of my stories seem to appear, then grow in my head and I have little clue where the seed for them came from.

With my first mainstream fiction novel, Stumbledirt, pinpointing the source of my motivation was a little more easy.

I found myself at a point of crisis in my life. My world had been turned upside-down. But my sudden upheaval prompted me to draw on the issues I was facing and the turmoil of emotions caused by them, to create a story. Something which I hoped would address an underlying concern for me at the time.

How does one recover from personal catastrophe?

My main character, Wallis Thorn, finds himself destitute. He turns to his family for help and old conflicts resurface, causing him to question his past actions and future intentions. The fact that we both suffered loss and turned to our nearest and dearest is where the similarities between Wallis and I end.

My family were supportive and wonderful. The Thorns have many skeletons in the closet and all are let loose in the process of a somewhat enforced reunion. While my situation was certainly peppered with amusing moments, his is filled with sometimes hilarious events.

But both of us ultimately come to the same conclusion. Life is not something to go through alone and the importance of having close family and friends around — albeit that they sometimes make you crazy — should never be underestimated.

P.M. Leckie

P.M. Leckie (aka Katsura) is a Scottish writer with a penchant for dark humour and classic British movies. Her comedy scripts have been performed in the Scottish Stand-up scene but she’s never taken to the stage herself. Latterly, her projects have mostly been collaborative works with the German artist, Yuramei, the most notable of these being the bestselling illustrated Yaoi prose series, Big Deal. But her latest novel, Stumbledirt, is a solo venture.

An avid reader of biographies and all things Joe Orton, she’s always got a few books on the go at a time. When not reading or writing, she loves to cook and spend time with her family. Passionate about politics, equality and the rights of the working class, she often rants about some or all of these topics and is best avoided at those times.

Guest Post by Alexander Kreator ~ Traditional and Self Publisher Authors Meet

I met Eifion Jenkins at the Tenby Arts Festival book fair in September 2013 and knew a conversation with him might prove a sparkly discussion.  On my unexpected visit to Tenby again last week we met over lunch.

The meeting was a first for me with a real ’proper’ author. Someone who has climbed higher up ahead by being tested in the heat and fire of agents and publishers, experienced rejection and finally acceptance and has been paid for his book and publishing.

Eifion has spent a lifetime with words in business and pleasure and has published factual books as well as his first long fiction book - If you fall I will catch you. He informed me he started this book after coming out of the dark of a cinema into the light some 30 years ago. Since meeting Eifion in September I read his book and in an echo of an editor’s comment about my writing I found the book “enjoyable and unusual” with a satisfying ending.

Then me, a figures mechanic all my life involved in the world of building and funding with my only experience of writing fiction all those business planning reports and projections. I started writing after a bad dream in June 2010 with a target of writing a million words, so I know I am an old beginner eager to learn before the grim reaper arrives. One perspective as a new writer and a reader is scepticism of the huge literary production machine between me and my potential readers.

We at least share the wish to concentrate on our creative writing as a start. Up to our meeting I had not realised how much space one appears to have as a proper writer once a publisher has taken on all those nitty gritty things to do with preparation for printing, distribution and a share of marketing.

Perhaps, as Eifion suggested, I have become too deeply involved in the detail of self publishing blinded by my wish to learn by doing and have control or know in depth the detail of all the processes, because after all it is MY book. When working freelance I stopped working for clients I advised who decided not to take my professional advice or did the opposite of what I recommended. I fear in many ways in self publishing I have done just that and can only laugh at my double standards.

Looking back on my work career I know life continues to change. The days when one trained and one’s professional word was accepted are now long gone. It is hardly a surprise with designers producing houses which leak and when users and those who pay are dissatisfied today with many professional and personal services. My self publisher said to me some things in the printing process which used to cost tens of pounds now can be done for a few pence with new technology.

Eifion’s view of my cover on Ywnwab! - Autumn Story-book did not come as a surprise “Something which looks like a holiday brochure of the 1970s because you have not used current technology to the full.” My self publisher’s adverse comment is unprintable, but then he would have liked my book to be printed in Times New Roman font. The only comfort I have is most other readers who have purchased and or read my book have praised the simple clean cover design, fonts and layout. My cover is not something run up in an instant, but the result of three years looking at other people’s efforts and twenty years involvement in the rough and tumble of an “eye balls” environment. I dislike most of the neat and tidy wispy picture and text designs of the thousands of new books on Waterstone’s sales tables. I did accept Eifion’s useful comment about technology and another about the need for the text extract to be in larger type. If I were to do it again it would also be cut to 10 to 15 words.

Eifion also offers editorial services and at least we agreed editors should not change your book into their book. I have found the real value from editors and readers who are prepared to be provocative about my writing is the potential improvement triggered by thinking about what they say and taking their advice.

We did try to put the world to right in other areas, talked about e books, genre pigeon holing, the power of Amazon and book writing and publishing in Wales. Overall a useful two hour discussion to be resumed I hope next year when I come to Tenby again.

In a change of view I think I may also at least try the traditional route when I have a long fiction book to offer and also look at a co operative for marketing e books.

 Alexander Kreator aka Douglas Burcham of the Allrighters

Read more and subscribe for email updates on

Eifion Jenkins 

Eifion Jenkins is a freelance writer and journalist living in West Wales. He has a passion for ancient stones and myths, as well as outer space. Those fascinations are reflected in his first novel If You Fall I Will Catch You published in 2008. He was also commissioned to write a short story to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in December of that year.His previous published and performed works include a stage play, stories for radio, short stories and poetry. He is the author of a social history of South Wales in the 20th century, Through the Decades. He is a member of Academi, the national literature promotion agency and society of writers in Wales. More current work, including ebooks, can be seen at his website 

8 November 2013

Book Review ~ Wars Of The Roses: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden was interviewed by Mariella Frostrup for the BBC programme 'Open Book' recently and said, "The wonderful thing about historical fiction is it has to entertain and inform."  Stormbird is the first in his new series about the Ward of the Roses and certainly achieves both. 

I've read quite a few books about this period but this the first to explore what it must have been like for the English settlers who suddenly found their lands in France had been given back to the French. Conn Iggulden  keeps up the pace by interweaving several plot lines (including one about Jack Cade's rebellion that could be a whole book in its own right.)

I was also intrigued by the way he made Richard Duke of York the villain and the Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole, into a tragic hero.  Most authors are quick to dismiss de la Pole as an inept blunderer but it all looks very different from his point of view.

In his end notes Conn comments on how historical fiction often involves filling in the gaps and unexplained parts of history.  When this is done well, as in Stormbird, it can really help to see the known facts in the context of the attitudes and conditions of the times. This is particularly the case with the complex ‘Wars of the Roses’, where the history was of course written by the victors.

It's clear how Conn Iggulden has become one of our best-selling historical fiction authors - and I'm looking forward to the next in the series, which he says he is planned as a trilogy but will probably end up as a four or five parter.

Stormbird is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

You can find his website at  
and  follow him on twitter @Conn_Iggulden

31 October 2013

Book Launch ~ TETHERED by Brandi Leigh Hall @BrandiLeighHall

What if the life you were born into, was never really yours to begin with?

I’ve never felt normal in my own skin. Like an oversized pair of UGG boots, nothing about my life fits the way it should. At least, not the way I’d like it to. I was born a Witch, with an ability I despise. And I’d do anything to give it back. But how do you return a “gift” that came with no card? I learned long ago—visions are one thing—you can never send back. 

For six years, I’ve been an in-the-closet Seer, desperate to escape the murderous vision that ruined my childhood, and the Wiccan family I tore apart in the process. But I can no longer deny who I am. 

Something terrible awaits those I love. Something big. 

I’ve only seen bits and pieces, but I know I’m meant to move back home to save them. And who’s the tall, dark and delicious mystery guy in this vision with my family? He kisses me with more tenderness than I’ve ever known, yet I can’t tell how he makes me feel. Are we in love, or is it just a physical thing? 

All I know is, I have to meet him. And I have to protect my family. 

No more hiding from the truth. The time has come to face the ones I left behind. It’s time my visions of the future—go head-on—with the demons from my past.

Tethered is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

About the Author

Brandi lives in central Pennsylvania where she spends most of her time attached to her laptops, reading books and watching TV for motivation. Growing up in a haunted house inspired Brandi’s fascination with the paranormal, so it only made sense that she’d write Urban Fantasy books for both teens and adults.  In addition to the BirthRight Novels, she also has four additional adventures she’ll be writing over the next few years, so stay-tuned.

and on Facebook and Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 October 2013

Book Review ~ The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

The story of Anne Neville is a thread that connects the key players in the Wars of the Roses. Yet as Philippa Gregory points out, it is a story that has never really been told - until now. I enjoyed seeing events through Anne's eyes, although the first-person narrative was sometimes stilted and unconvincing. Reading The Kingmaker's Daughter I realised the real heroine of this story is Isobel, Anne's older sister, who seems to cope with much greater hardship. I would like to also see her story told. 

Richard the Third is always reminding people that his motto is "Loyaulte me lie" (loyalty binds me) and gets a lot more sensitive treatment than Anne's parents, who come across as hard and uncaring. On balance, this is a readable book that succeeds in shining the spotlight on the life of a truly important woman  - who was barely mentioned in history lessons when I was at school.     

The Kingmaker's Daughter is available on
Amazon US and Amazon UK

20 October 2013

Guest Post ~ Ywnwab! A Ten Act story about some writing experiences by Alexander Kreator

On 1 June 2010 the Allrighters set out to write 1,000,000 words for publishing from 2014 in books of about 60,000 words each. They are also writing 200,000 words of short stories. The whole project is their Dragoness.  The 920,000 draft word mark was passed on the 4 October 2013 so the Dragoness has reached her late teens with the usual problems of this age. Editing and re- structuring of all these draft words is in progress. 

Ywnwab! Autumn Story-book is the Allrighters’ first book made up of 30 poems and short stories by ten authors.  The title Ywnwab! came about in July 2010 when a long standing friend responded to news of the intention to write books with a challenge, “You will never write a book!” This then became the greatest spur to do so. The acronym – Ywnwab! pronounced Win - wab has been used as there could not really be another title for the book after accepting the challenge. 

The opening part of Ywnwab! sets out the reasons for the book and the origin of the Allrighters.  In the second and third parts the thirty contributions cover a wide variety of subjects based on fact and fiction with an icing of fantasy. Five guest writers describe how they started to write followed by a story or extract from their books. Another five stories are extracts from the proposed long books while others cover travel, interesting visits to gardens and buildings, observations on life, amusing stories about day to day events and writing. 

Writers who are about to publish or who have already published are invited to contribute short stories to future similar books. For further details and to follow progress in the mammoth writing task the Allrighters have set themselves see their web site. 

Ywnwab! is available from York Publishing Services Bookshop online - as preferred supplier of hard copy and epub
and also Amazon UK  and Amazon US

Dream 2010 to Ywnwab! in 2013

Or the end of the beginning of our writing in ten shades of colour  - a Ten Act story about some writing experiences from start to publishing and going on sale.

Douglas – a dreamer and his fantasy twin brother Alexander.
Isobel – a doubting or encouraging friend.
Henry, Henrietta, Florence and Alexander (again) - the fiction and fantasy Allrighters.
Moriati – his Doctor.
Duncan – his publisher.

Act One France 800 metres - Too high for sound sleep

Douglas had taken well of the red wine. The evening thunder had drifted towards the snow covered mountains to the east.
In the pitch black night without street lights he did not stay awake for long.

Scene One – In vivid dream colours 

The Sun shone on the warm balmy day. His frail parents and sister were enjoying their lunch by the blue lake. Douglas heard dragons’ hooves and looked south to see a mounted Queen and King, identified by crowns on their heads, galloping towards where they sat.

Alarm arose in Douglas’ heart as they stopped, their blue-and-gold dragons snorting fire while his eyes were out on storks gawping at the naked Queen’s quadruple breasts. He heard the King say, “no,” to no effect … his eyes had little time to linger as the Queen’s finger pointed at his parents and woof they turned to ash … her finger turned towards him and his sister as they ran for their lives.

“They should not have threatened my life when they did!” she screeched … a flash of lightning signified the loss of his sister and Douglas waited for the finger of death to strike him down …

Scene Two - In the dark 3.00 am

Douglas woke his pyjamas plastered to his wet cold body as he shivered in fear. His hand slowly moved in the dark towards a warm still slumbering form beside him and he relaxed.

He found sleep impossible and waited until dawn thinking about all the things his parents might have done in their lives to incur the wrath of a naked Queen on dragon back. He would have to write this story down.

The actual story in his dream, like his life he tried to write as a biography, was much less exiting. What had caused The Threat from something his innocent parents had done?

Douglas started to write at dawn on 1 June 2010 and has not stopped since writing on average at least 750 words a day. Frederick his main character paced the floor as he usually did when worried. Martin’s report about the French family being murdered meant he and his family might be next in line. By July Frederick became Henry and by Christmas his cousin Henrietta had joined him …1199 days later after writing over 900,000 words, towards a 1,000,000 word target, a first printed story-book, Ywnwab! arrived on his doorstep by white van man. Not by magic this time! Hard work. If you think writing and publishing will take you so many days then double the time for an actual, if not more. Douglas often wonders why he carries on writing … perhaps a drug … certainly his million words is a Dragoness.

Act Two – Challenge in blue

A month later July 2010

Douglas explained to his long standing friend Isobel about his intention to write a book and a million words.

“Impossible,” pausing …

“YOU” … smiling …

”You will never write a book!” – Ywnwab!

Challenge made and accepted. First title - there could be no other.

Act three – Vanity in purple and thanks to Mick

August 2010

“Your book sounds lovely and will sell thousands we will make sure of that … all you have to do is pay us a small amount now … and a little more later.”

Douglas could not understand how the lovely sounding lady from the vanity publisher in America could make the statement when she had not even seen any of his draft writing.

All sounded too good to be true…

Along came a gallant knight Mick Rooney advising writers about vanity and self publishing so plucking Douglas from a crevasse …

Act Four – Rejection in green and thanks to Helen

Douglas’ ever supportive daughter gave him a book about “How to Write a Blockbuster.” Douglas as always decided to start writing and learn by doing. His wife said to his friends “Douglas, like Frank, always does things in his own way so why be surprised.”

He did read the chapter on the traditional publishing route. While working he had experience of too many people, he had little respect for, telling him what he must do. Times did not appear to have changed. He had little appetite for rejection either.

Act Five – Meeting Authors in brown who made a difference

Stephen King meeting

Douglas “I found your book ‘On Writing’ really good.

Stephen “I seem to have helped many authors”

“I also liked your story and film Shawshank Redemption with its tremendous ending.”

Douglas also wanted to say - why are your books so long and why do you manage to say so well in two pages what everyone else says in two sentences? Only joking!

John Braine has written a similar book. Writing a Novel.

“John, I really liked Joe Lampton and found my love of writing in the first person here …memories also flooded back about the Treasurer’s Office.”

“Ha, my source would have been in the libraries dept where I worked for a time.”

Act Six - What to write? A coward in yellow.

All the business reports Douglas had written while at work seemed like good fiction now. His biography too dull … some relation’s lives maybe more spicy, but how could he see into their lives and bedrooms of 70 years ago?

“Find out what your readers want to read.”

Catch 22, chickens and eggs came to mind.

Douglas decided to write what he wanted to write. If others want to read it then fine otherwise Plan A - all the million words can sit on a shelf as a job well done. However, Plan B - the publishing monkey is still there.

Act Seven - Making a start and editing - blue words abound.

Ethel came in from the writing class and had not written much. Trouble with starting - like his old Ford Cortina on a foggy day.

“You must show not tell!”

The more Douglas heard this remark the more he wanted to throttle someone, but not Ethel as he quite liked her. He recalled the best selling author who admitted taking drugs and slipped something into her tea.

Ethel phoned him last week – “I have made a start 4,500 words.”

“Well done - whoopie – like Goethe that’s all you have to do!”


“Make sure you back up everything you write electronically and in hard copy as if you lose it no one can read it.” Life will otherwise be blue.

Another new writer said to Douglas “ My editor seems to want to turn my book and ideas into her book.” Douglas laughed. “Select your editor carefully.”

Act Eight - Self Publishing a green way to one’s own summit.

Douglas toured and contacted self publishers. Some did not respond, others did and said they would keep in touch, and did not - business must be too good. Others showed examples of badly printed books with poor covers.

One even purchased one of Douglas’ old cars.

Mick Rooney again came as a gallant knight with his self publishing book and web site with a league table of those in the market place.

Duncan Beal of York Publishing Services showed continued interest and Douglas liked examples of their high quality finished products printed on their own premises. YPS printed Ywnwab! on time to a high standard and put all up for sale in hard and e formats.

Act Nine - Allrighters created in May 2013 on a grey stormy day.

The lightning lit up the room dark from reflection back from the heavy grey clouds outside.

Everyone started to count one, two, three, CRASH the thunder cracked and rumbled around the bay less than three miles away towards Swansea.

Alexander grinned.

More heavy thunder rolled around as we sat together. I felt the ghost of Aunt Florence, saw Henry and Henrietta holding hands - anything further all forbidden of course, and heard Alexander giggling the cause of my problems. Dr Moriati, Leonid and Rebecca sat heads down in shame. 

“Why should you get all the praise when we as your characters make the books what they are?” Alexander said, grinning as usual.

‘Yes, I thought, and all I get is the rejections and the emotional upset of dealing with you lot!’

“Off you go all of you ... and I will write my book on ocean sailing and catch up with my reading.”

In my dreams Kathrynne in her bright-red shoes came to me and held me in her arms. She is having a rare warm day. Perhaps life is not so bad after all!

Of course the following day they came back to me. They realised they were not living in the Elizabethan Trimefrayme and would need me to market their books after I had prepared them for printing as well.

Act Ten - First book published and a few sold through rose coloured …

They all lived happily ever after – a nice idea.

Some after thoughts on 1199 days of writing.

Douglas found :-

The creative writing came easily. All the editing, processing, publishing, distribution and selling a necessary, but not always a welcome or enjoyable time overhead.

Too many people telling him whatever he did is not being done the right away.

Those in the business assume you know, what they know, about what comes next and what has to be done. Communications and learning are hard. Like the car maintenance manual it is the obvious next step to others which is often missing.

Information overload from ideas, web publications and other writing sources.

The END in black or deep in red if expressed in costs and time incurred.

Further Plays in the green grass next door.

Coming next

“Marketing and selling are the hardest parts”

Finding your readers!
Writing what your readers want!
Creating a web presence and following.
Getting people to open their wallets to buy YOUR book
when they have lots of choice especially the safety of well known authors!

Other short story-books are in preparation. Please join in with contributions for consideration for inclusion in these future books. International contributions especially welcome.

What do you have to do?

Ask to join the Allrighters below as an associate or guest in an e mail to

Fantasy fiction writers Henry Cross, his cousin Henrietta and his dead Aunt Florence who’s dream dairies are being used to complete more interesting and enjoyable stories and books.

Guest writers Angela, Calvin, Katharine, Monica and Nick have written 250 words or so on how they started writing and then included an extract of c 1000 words from their published or near published work

Many associates who will write a page or two have already signed up.

Read more and subscribe for email updates on 

Alexander Kreator aka Douglas