HIGH ON LOVE – A New Novel, Input Needed.

CHAPTER ONE – STONED-BAKED PIZZA

 

There wasn’t anything particularly special about Daniel Jones. He was just your average, twenty-something kid trying to find love and happiness in a world he was desperately trying to understand. He wasn’t good looking, there was nothing striking about him, and his personality matched his physical appearance. He had no real ambitions to speak of, and spent most of his time trying to work out what it was he was going to do with the rest of his life. If you met him – not that you’d probably even notice him – you’d probably say he was a geek. He’d agree with that statement, he was a geek. He liked StarWars, and SciFi in general, computer games, the Internet, and weed. Oh, yes, he really liked weed.

In fact, weed was a very big part of his life. He’d discovered weed when he was a teenager, and it just ‘fit’ his lifestyle. He loved everything about it: the smell, the buzz, the culture, the fact that all his problems melted away when he was stoned, everything. He was stoned most of the time, which wasn’t a problem, it helped him cope with life. Although they didn’t notice at first (it took a year for them to actually realise) his weed habit was of great concern to his parents at the time, as his weed-induced cloud of apathy meant his grades were slipping and he didn’t really engage with anyone or anything.

In stark contrast to their son, Daniel’s parents were over-achievers. His Dad had charm and wit, and had made a name (and an awful lot of money!) for himself in sales. He had ‘the gift of the gab’, as they say. Likewise his Mum was attractive and popular, which helped in her role as a medical consultant for a large pharmaceutical corporation. They both worked a lot, an awful lot, and growing up they weren’t really very active in his life. That was all immaterial now, as they had both died tragically a couple of years back in a hit-and-run car accident. To many people that would have been a hard event to overcome, but because he was stoned when his uncle told him the news, and the fact that he’d just inherited a ‘small fortune’, all he could say was, “Cool…”

The small fortune turned out to be a very large windfall: two life insurance policies, investment portfolios, the house and other assets almost amounted to 8-figures. As an only child, it was all his. His uncle, being a financial consultant, packaged everything in such a way that Daniel would never have to work a day in his life, if he didn’t want to. An allowance check was deposited into his account every month from the interest of the collective portfolio, a check larger than most people’s salaries. This was very handy for a geeky stoner like Daniel, as it meant he could indulge his passion for pot without distraction.

That is exactly what he was currently doing, and had been for a good few hours. He was lying outstretched upon his couch, staring up at the ceiling. The ashtray – or ‘hashtry’ as he liked to call it – balanced on his chest, where he occasionally tapped the ash from his joint. He blew smoke rings up to the ceiling as he watched a very large spider crawl along upside-down.

‘I wonder if the blood ever rushes to its head?’ he mused, wondering if the spider was as high as he was. As if sensing his thoughts, the spider stopped directly over him, and very slowly started to abseil towards him on a tiny spidey-thread.

“Cool…” he said, exhaling a plume of smoke.

The spider stopped about two feet from his face and just dangled there, as if doing some David Blane trick.

“Totally cool…”

Daniel toked the remains of the joint and stubbed it out, as the spider climbed all the way back up the thread and continued its upside-down walk upon the ceiling.

“So, what are you going to do today, Dan?” He often talked to himself when he was alone. A little more worrying was that he often answered himself.

“What time is it anyway?”

He moved the ashtray to the table as he slowly sat up and looked around the room. He’d sold the family house shortly after the funeral and bought a smaller property not far from the beach. It wasn’t grand, but it was large enough: a few bedrooms, a great deck to the back, an adequate kitchen, and a huge living room. The couch was in the middle of the room, a large plasma TV on one wall, a coffee table, beanbag seats scattered around the room, and his pride and joy: a classic pinball machine. He rummaged in his pocket and retrieved his phone: 16:02.

“Fuck! No wonder I’m hungry.”

He stood, felt totally stoned, and collapsed backwards onto the couch.

“Fuck!”

He burst into uncontrollable laughter.

“Let’s try that again, shall we…”

This time the head-rush wasn’t so intense and he maintained his balance. He shuffled towards the curtains and slowly pulled them open. A brilliance of Californian sunshine exploded in his face. Like a paranoid vampire, he immediately drew them shut again.

“Oh, fuck!”

“Not a good idea, Dan…”

He blinked and felt rather confused. Like an amnesiac searching for a memory, he wondered what the fuck he was doing standing in front of the curtains.

“Oh yeah, food…”

As he turned in the direction of the kitchen, he caught a glimpse of his weed paraphernalia upon the coffee table, but thought better of skinning up again, and shuffled towards the back of the room. Because he didn’t like shopping, and he certainly didn’t like cleaning – and he could afford it – he had a cleaning lady that came twice a week, and he had a part-time house keeper that stocked the kitchen with food, so there was always stuff to eat.

The refrigerator doors were wide open still from that morning – the last time he’d remembered he was hungry. It was packed full of food: meats, cheeses, milk, juice, yoghurts, and beer – a lot of beer.

“So, what do you fancy for…” he paused, thinking, “is it too late to say breakfast? Is there even a specific time for breakfast…?”

He caught sight of the beer bottles and decided he really should have a beer while he pondered the question. He popped the lid and took a refreshingly long drink.

“Breakfast of champions!”

He closed the refrigerator doors, and stared aimlessly out of the kitchen window at the deck and yard. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d actually gone outside. He was sure he’d had a deck party not long ago, but it could have been weeks past. That was the problem when you spent every day smoking weed and just chilling out: life just blurred into one long foggy memory. Most of his bills were paid automatically through the trust, and about the only thing he had to worry about was that he had enough weed to smoke.

“Oh, shit…!”

The thought of running out of weed terrified him for an instant, and he forgot about food, and rushed as fast as he could (which wasn’t that fast) back to the living room. In a paranoid daze he surveyed the coffee table and took inventory: there was his pipe, his papers, a number of lighters, half a pack of smokes, and – thankfully – half a bag of weed.

He flopped back down on to the couch and took another swig of beer. His heart was racing. Pulling out his phone, he checked the time again: 16:32. There were no messages, which was a little odd, as he usually got a call or a text from one of his stoner buddies asking if they could come round and hang. Finishing the beer, he realised the buzz from earlier was wearing off, and he probably should skin up again.

He took a long, hard drag on the joint, held it for as long as he could, then exhaled a huge plume of smoke, and watched it merge with the semi-darkness of the room. The more he smoked, the more he drifted into the ether. He leant back into the couch, and connected with the extreme relaxation that flowed through his body.

“Have you ever wondered… if we really are spiritual beings having a physical experience, how come we don’t have super powers…?”

When Daniel finally woke up and came back to Earth, his living room was filled with ambient music mixing with the aroma of weed and incense, and three of his stoner buddies had materialised.

Nick the Hippy, so called because he looked like Nick Nolte and was an aging hippy, was posing his usual questions about existence. None of them were sure how old he was, as he knew so much about life and the world, but didn’t look old enough to know what he knew. He was a cool dude, and always had some amazing shit to smoke.

“We do,” replied Paul, “well, I do… I’m Blow Boy… I become invincible when I’m high…”

Paul was the youngest of the group, and a polar opposite to Nick the Hippy. He still lived with his parents, worked at the local coffee shop, and knew a lot about nothing. He was always good for a laugh, because you could guarantee he’d say something so ridiculous at some point and have the room in stitches of laughter.

“Blow Boy?” said Mike, chuckling, “You sound like some character in a gay porno!”

The room filled with snickers and laughter as the rest of them joined in the joke. Mike was probably the most ambitious of the group. He’d been a young entrepreneur and had created some really cool app that made him a lot of money at the time, but had since become obsolete. He’d never quite regained his former glory, but still believed his next best idea was just around the corner.

As Daniel slowly came to, he glanced around the room. Cartoons played on the huge TV screen, with the sound off, casting strange shadows across the walls. The two lava lamps ‘glooped’ like alien jelly fish in their tanks. Two large pizza boxes lay on the floor.

“What time is it?” he asked foggily.

“Hey dude!” said Mike, offering his lit joint, “Hit…?”

“Sure.”

“Welcome back to Earth…” Nick the Hippy always said that when someone came back from a trip.

“I thought Blow Boy was a good name,” said Paul, trying to regain some credibility and rekindle the conversation. Instead it just brought more giggles, which Dan joined in with this time, as the weed took root.

“Is it a bird…? Is it a plane…? No, it’s Blow Boy!” Dan’s comment sent them all over the edge, and laughter echoed around the cavernous room once more.

“Faster than a speeding blowjob!” added Mike, which stirred up even more laughter.

“It’s not that funny!” said Paul, the only one not joining in the laughter. “I’m getting a beer… anyone want anything?”

As he left the room Dan reached over and grabbed a slice of pizza, remembering he’d not eaten all day. He checked the time: 21:12.

“Fuck! No wonder I’m so hungry.”

“That’s the munchies, dude,” said Nick the Hippy, packing some weed into his pipe. “Try this. It’s some new shit I’ve been cultivating…”

Dan took a good, long drag. “Wow! That’s really smooth…”

“Wait until it kicks in…” said Nick the Hippy, a new moon smile beaming across his rugged face.

Ripples of serenity washed over Dan’s body, and he closed his eyes, it was like floating, like being a warm wave, like being vibration, like nothing he’d felt before.

“Good, right?” said Nick the Hippy.

“Oh yeah…” sighed Dan, as he drifted deeper into bliss.

Paul appeared in the kitchen doorway, an unopened beer bottle in his hand. “Has anyone seen the bottle opener?”

“Why don’t you use your super powers Blow Boy!”

As Nick and Mike fell into laughter, Paul turned back to the kitchen, irritated, and continued his quest for the allusive bottle opener. Dan opened his eyes again and looked admiringly at Nick the Hippy.

“That’s some seriously good shit, man!”

“Right?”

“And you recon that’s gonna be even better in a couple of weeks?” Mike had tried some about an hour earlier, and was still buzzing.

Nick the Hippy had barely moved from his Buddha-like stance upon one of the beanbags, legs crossed, his distended belly exaggerating the colourful tie-die t-shirt he was wearing, a bead headband holding back his slightly-greying long mop of blonde hair.

“These are just some leaves I pulled off and dried, just to try it. In about two weeks I’ll try some again and probably harvest the whole plant…”

“Cool…” said Mike and Dan in unison.

Paul stormed back into the room still holding the unopened beer bottle.

“I give up!”

“Not much of a super hero Blow Boy if you can’t even open a beer.”

Finally joining the conversation, Dan said, “Oh, you need the beer opener…? I’ve got it here in my pocket…”

“Thanks!”

He took a long swig of beer and sat back down on his beanbag.

“Can we please stop with the Blow Boy shit now? It’s not that funny!”

Dan looked around the room again, and realised someone was missing, “Where’s Tram tonight?”

“Oh, didn’t you hear, he got a new job,” said Mike. “He’ll be by later with more pizza… that’s where the pizza came from… he’s delivering for Pronto Pizza now…”

“Cool…”

“What happened to his last job?” inquired Nick the Hippy, loading up his pipe again.

“He failed the whizz-quiz…”

“Bummer!”

“Yeah! Who knew you had to take a piss-test as a delivery boy, eh?”

“This world’s fucked up!”

“Amen to that, brother…”

Realising he was still very hungry, Dan asked, “Speaking of pizza… is there any left?”

“You took the last piece, dude.”

“Shall I order us some more…?”

“Your kitchen is full of food, mate…” said Paul, glad to finally get back into the conversation without the mention of Blow Boy.

“I went there this morning… and this afternoon… I didn’t fancy any of that…”

Taking a huge hit off his pipe, Nick the Hippy said, “Food, food everywhere, but not  a bite to eat…”

“I’ve got the latest StarTrek DVD! Anyone want to watch it?” Paul wasn’t sure why he’d changed the subject from food to StarTrek, but he brandished the DVD like he’d won an Olympic medal.

“This really is great shit…” exhaled Nick the Hippy.

“What time did Tram say he’d swing by?”

“After his shift…”

“What time’s that?”

“I don’t know, it’s his first day… Probably after eleven…?” Mike said, questioningly.

“What time is it now?”

“I’ve not watched it yet, but it got really good reviews…”

Everyone was ignoring Paul, the failing Olympian.

“Time is an illusion…” plumed Nick the Hippy.

“It’s almost eleven…”

“I’ll just pop it in, shall I…?”

“Time is as real as you and I… the ancients knew that…”

If the spider on the ceiling was still around, and had the ability to understand, it would have been completely disoriented by the disjointed conversations happening in that room. It might even have fallen off the ceiling in confusion, or it might have realised that it didn’t exist and disappear completely. But it wasn’t, so it didn’t. Instead, the door bell rang, bringing them all back to ‘reality’.

“Oh, fuck!”

“It’s the door,” said Paul, “shall I answer it?”

Before Dan had a chance to respond, Paul was on his feet, DVD in hand, and had opened the door wide to reveal their nocturnal visitor. In the darkness of the porch all that was visible were two overly large white eyeballs and an enormous toothy grin. The gunshot laughter immediately revealed who it was.

“Anybody order pizza?” said Tram, stepping into the room. “Oh, cool, the new StarTrek DVD, I’ve been meaning to get me a copy of that…”

Tram was a hybrid of Cedric the Entertainer and Chris Rock, all teeth and eyes, and an infectious laugh, very loud, until he got stoned, then he’d mellow out.

Strutting into the room, brandishing the insulated pizza case, he repeated, “I said, any of you niggas order pizza?”

“Perfect timing, Tram,” said Dan.

“Fer yo masser, I bringin yer favorit: Quatro Staggione…” he said, feigning a black slave, and handing one of the pizza boxes to him.

“Awesome!”

“An which one of you animal eating motherfuckers wants the meat lovers…? Fuck it, you’all can help yerself… I needs me some canna-bliss…”

He dumped the pizza case in the middle of the floor and started skinning up a massive joint. Toking strongly on the huge doob, he said, “Now that’s what I’m fucking talking about…” Flopping down on one of the beanbags, he added, “So, what you sad motherfuckers up to…?”

Tram was a new addition to the group. They’d met under very similar conditions as that night. He’d been delivering pizza for another company about a year ago, and rang on Dan’s door in much the same way as tonight. As Dan swung the front door open, Tram was hit with a cloud of weed smoke and an extremely high Dan.

“Damn motherfucker! No wonder you’all ordered so many pizzas! You must have the munchies of a motherfucker!”

Dan just smiled at him, holding the door for support. Tram stepped into the living room and looked at the motley group of stoners: Mike, Paul, and Nick the Hippy, who offered up his pipe.

“Would you care to join us…?”

“My kinda niggas!” he said, putting the pizza case down and sparking up the pipe. “Oh… now that’s some real smooth shit, man!”

The other four just nodded knowingly, and started tucking into the pizza.

“Yo having some kinda party or something…? Where the girls at…? Oh, this really is good shit…”

“It’s just us, it’s pizza night!” said Paul, which wasn’t particularly funny, but the rest were so stoned it set them into convulsions of laughter all the same. As soon as Tram started laughing with them, he had them rolling on the floor.

“You wanna hang?” inquired Dan, “Or do you have more deliveries to make?”

He didn’t, and the rest, as they say, is history. Tram became their delivery boy of choice, and a regular nocturnal visitor and toker.

“It’s pizza night!” said Paul.

Nobody laughed.

“Shall I put the DVD in?”

“I thought you’d done that ages ago, Blow Boy,” said Mike.

“Blow Boy…?” asked Tram, pulling the last remnants of the pipe.

“Yeah, it’s his super hero name…”

“Blow Boy? Sounds like some gay porno or something!”

“That’s what we said!”

Laughter filled the room once more.

Trying to ignore them, Paul put in the DVD, mumbling, “Alright, I’ll put it in now…”

“Nah! That’s the other guy’s line!” Tram snorted, sending them all into more fits of laughter.

The movie started, but nobody was really interested except Paul, who tried desperately to engross himself in the film and ignore the comments and laughter of the others.

The Blow Boy comments dried up, and finally Tram remembered, “Didn’t you say you were buying a gravity bong the last time I came round?”

“A gravity bong? Serious shit man…” said Mike, curiously.

“Yeah, I ordered it today… I would have ordered it sooner, but I got stoned and forgot.”

***

It’s just Chapter One… there’s more to come, but I’d really like to know:

  1. Did you enjoy it? Why? What?
  2. Would you read more? Likewise.
  3. Which character(s) do you like most? Why?
  4. Can you see this as a film?

I’d very much like to hear your comments below, and everyone that comments will get a signed copy of the final book.

I thank you all in advance for your help!

 

 

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindle

Anthony James Donnelly is an author, motivational and business coach, and life guide. He has spent over 20 years working directly with individuals and corporations to adjust their perspectives on life. In his latest book, “My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals”, he concisely explains how to get whatever you want out of life.

FREE Books For Christmas

Rainbows New CoverIt’s Christmas. A time for love, generousity, and for giving, or ‘forgiving’. For this reason, ALL my kindle books will be free both today (Christmas Day) and tomorrow (Boxing Day) as a way of saying thank you to all my friends old and new, and spreading more of the spirit of the season.

All I ask in return is, if you download a copy of my book, please take a few minutes to honestly rate and review the book on amazon 🙂

 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:

Dr Wayne DyerI’m not really one for making resolutions for New Year, but at this time I do like to reflect back on the past few months and take stock. Like many of you, I’m sure, this has been a great year, but also a bummer of a year. I lost two very great and dear friends: Dr. Wayne Dyer, a motivational force in my life, and Richard Anthony Eyre, an old school friend.

Richard Eyre
Richard Eyre 1970 – 2015

They will both be missed.

 

On the upside, I’ve met and made numerous new friends, mostly in the film and TV industry. Another positive to the year: I’m very excited at the great progress I’ve made since April of breaking back into the acting world again. A short film I starred in landed at Cannes, thanks to the wonderful director Miho Sugita. I finally got an agent! And I have two new film scripts doing the rounds. It’s almost as if my life has come full circle and I’ve arrived back where I was before I left sixteen years ago!

On the writing front, my books continue to sell – Thank you all for that! Although I feel a little lazy at not having completed ALL the new books I had planned to publish this year, they are still in the works and WILL BE published in 2016. How about that for positive thinking?!

Talking of positive thinking, it’s been wonderful to connect with some old friends (Tony Wilson, and Trevor Oakland, to name just two!) from the distant past and indulge my other passion for self-development and motivation. When there’s something you just can’t help yourself from doing, then that’s a good sign you should be doing it (if it’s positive in nature!)

 

Did I Give Enough, Live Enough, Laugh Enough, and Love Enough…?

When I reflect back on this year, there’s one question I ask myself, and that’s written above. I have certainly laughed a lot this year, thanks to new friends, Stephen, Jo, Louise, Helen, Ness, Rachael, and Darryl. Did I give enough…? I’m sure I could have given more, but within my financial constraints I think I gave as much as I could monetarily, on a personal level, definitely! As far as living enough, I don’t think there’s much more this little chap could have crammed into the last 12 months. I always consider myself as lazy, but then look at what I’ve managed to do and wonder why I keep thinking that! And then there’s love… ah, that sweet, alusive thing… As far as giving my love away, that has been joyously done over the year. More on a platonic level than romantic, but there is always hope…! I’m sure, somewhere out there, there is a young lady that has the patience to put up with my ‘insanity’.

Well, if you’ve read this far, I commend you. What a ramble! Here are the links to my free books. Enjoy! Share! And for all of you I have not yet wished a very Merry Christmas and a superb New Year, that was it.

FREE BOOKS:

Click on the book cover to take you to the amazon link for the book (sorry, these are US links. You’ll have to transfer to the country link you need!)

Rainbows New CoverWHEN THE RAINBOW SMILED

A delighful, powerful short read accompanied by 19 exceptional watercolour paintings. Peace, love, harmony and balance.

 

 

The Shepherd Cover ArtTHE SHEPHERD

A new age parable about connecting and listening to your heart. Let the Shepherd guide you to where you should be in life.

 

 

 

cockroach coverTHE COCKROACH CHRONICLES

Can we learn about ourselves from probably one of the most detested creatures on the planet? Find out through a series of ten letters this brave, little thing writes back to those at home fighting the Eternal War…

 

 

49q cover49Q? THE ENIGMA CONTINUES

Not an easy read this one, I’ll give you that. This is an experimental novel, part of a trilogy, a film, and a musical album that never quite made it off the ground. Read at your peril, is all I say… It almost drove me mad writing it, but it’s full of philosophy, ridiculousness, and mischief. It’ll make sense once you’ve read it!

 

Remember, if you download a copy, please leave a rating and review, thank you very much!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL,

AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

#AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: Pat McDonald – “The Blue Woods Trilogy”

patmcdonaldWelcome to the next author interview… I have the great pleasure to introduce a very talented author, Pat McDonald. If you like intelligent crime fiction, this trilogy will have you hooked from book one. Imaginative characters and absorbing plot lines. If any of my production company chums are reading this, I think these would make excellent TV drama… But enough high praise, let me allow Pat to tell things in her own words:

 

  1. Your background is law enforcement. At what point in your career did you start thinking about writing a crime novel?

Writing is all I have ever wanted to do from when I wrote poetry and short stories as a teenager, it was my ambition to return to creative writing when I finished my career of which the latter part was spent in law enforcement. After seventeen years immersed in that arena it was inevitable that I should begin there although it wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened. Perhaps it was a need to download much of what my head contained and then leave it behind.

patmcdonaldbookI had a wealth of experience that I have used as a framework in which to allow my imagination to run riot. Inspiration for my books comes from my observations of the real world, which I think is reflected in them. The world is full of inexplicable phenomena and extraordinary people and provides me with sufficient material to allow my imagination to take it and ask ‘what if’ in those circumstances this was to happen. Just a twist can take something ordinary and make you wonder at it. I do think, however, that I have some deep recesses of my mind where lurks a murky pool of things to draw upon!

  1. You’re now on your third novel, do you find it is becoming easier to write or harder, and why?

I only intended to write one crime novel and as a ‘free flow’ writer my stories just pour out, so much so that I find it hard to end something I’m doing. This is why I have begun my crime fiction with a trilogy. I usually find I have more than one ending which leaves me with a cliff-hanger and a carryover plot – it is after all a potential real life series and real life doesn’t neatly fit most of our everyday time lines. I did manage to end the trilogy, although it would lend itself to a series if ever I chose to return to it. I would say that writing has perhaps become easier, although I would prefer ‘better’, sufficiently to try out something else.

  1. patmcdonaldbook2Do you draw on any specific experiences in your law enforcement career? Can you elaborate?

I haven’t taken any of the actual crimes from my experiences, but rather the setting and the process of law enforcement. However, I deliberately set it earlier than present day because some of the things I write about would not be allowed to happen today. My imagination can take a potential view of the ‘ordinary’ and turn it into something else entirely. Although my books are set within an imaginary police force, they also encompass the lives of the officers involved and the villains they have to deal with; sometimes the two become so fused that it is hard to separate them. My books are fiction with a real edge. They present characters and scenarios that I hope reflect reality, but the kind that doesn’t end in happy ever after – well real life doesn’t does it?

  1. If you couldn’t write in the crime genre, what would be your next choice and why?

My current work in progress is a move away from crime to a different genre. My Y.A paranormal thriller Breaking Free is about stalking and is set in the North of Wales, UK. It has a hint of historical W.W 1 drama that is surprisingly haunting! One of the characters in Getting Even escapes from the clutches of the bad Detective Chief Inspector and although he pursues her she drops out of the plot. I wanted to find out what happened to her, so I pick up the story when she returns to a small but close community in North Wales. I wanted to explore how someone could ‘lose’ themselves and to examine further about stalking and its outcome. I have recently found my ending to this story and am working the plot towards that end.

  1. What are the elements of writing you love and dislike the most?

I am a ‘free flow’ writer and as such do not plan my books. I sit with a blank page and allow the stories to develop as I write. I found this method surprising when I began, but love it and believe it works for me as a creative story teller. When I begin to write the next chapter or sub-chapter I have no idea what I am about to write. I love more than anything developing the characters that I create and imagine myself as each one whilst writing their particular chapter or sub-chapter. I love ‘oddball’ characters; describing and developing them gives me great pleasure. P.C Hugo Bott is a particular favourite and the most unlikely police officer who enters at Rogue Seed; he is a legend in his own police force for being in the right place at the right time and despite his communication limitations is a successful crime fighter or is he? I believe that most writers dislike the editing process the most; getting a book polished sufficiently for publication I found the hardest part of being a writer. But then my first book Getting Even is a lengthy one. I did however improve as the trilogy progressed and learnt how to reduce that, which may be why after publishing Boxed Off in December 2014 even that process began to become enjoyable!

  1. patmcdonaldbook3If you could offer one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, or someone considering writing a novel, what would that be?

I think that every writer will be different and I do have my own way of doing things. I would and do advise writers just to write. I tell them to stop trying to conform to a preconceived set of ‘rules for writers’, which I believe stifles creativity. Let it flow as you think it, give reign to your thoughts, ideas and imagination. I do speak out about people who write books and articles on how you should write, what words you shouldn’t use and a whole gamut of advice on the destruction of the adverb, because I believe it frustrates and destroys genuine expression. Think about your story and be true to it; you conceived it because you wanted to tell it, so concentrate on how you imagine it could proceed and end. Your style and way of writing is as valid as anyone else’s. If we all conformed to the one set of rules it would be like writing to a formula – how boring would that be for literature? Ask yourself though, is there more than one ending? There is nothing worse than reading a book and finding yourself disappointed by the ending. But at the end of the day it is YOUR story, so be true to yourself – how would you want it to end with a ‘bang’ or a ‘whimper’?

British Crime Author Pat McDonald lives in a rural part of the Midlands, United Kingdom. She previously worked as a researcher, project manager and programme manager in the NHS and in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. She is now a full time novelist. Her crime trilogy (nicknamed ‘The Blue Woods Trilogy’ because of an over active imagination at disposal of bodies!) consists of Getting Even: Revenge is best served cold, Rogue Seed and newly published Boxed Off.

Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pat-McDonald/e/B00R372WK4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1424778904&sr=1-2-ent

Author Website: http://t.co/ImQ9ZT2ZbZ

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pat-Mcdonald/502374626484358?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: Pat McDonald @issyblack

 

 * * *

The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.

#Author Interviews: William D.Prystauk – “Bloodletting”

bloodlettingWELCOME to the first in this year’s author interviews series where my guest today is William D. Prystauk, an award-winning screenwriter, film producer, and teacher in higher education, to mention only a few of his talents. He is the author of “Bloodletting“, a dark, mystery novel, and if you love horror, you should tune into his weekly podcast, “The Last Knock,” on iTunes.

 

Q: Imagine I’m a new reader. Tell me a little about your books to pique my interest further.

Although I’ve wanted to write a novel for many moons, I indulged in screenwriting for many years to help cement my storytelling. Due to the nature of the film industry, which means few production companies buy scripts, I decided to adapt my award-winning screenplay “Bloodletting” into a novel. The screenplay, which led in the mystery category at the Screenwriters Showcase Screenplay contest in 2006, ultimately won second place overall. I used the screenplay as a glorified outline to shape my hard-boiled crime thriller.

Author of "Bloodletting", William D. Prystauk
Author of “Bloodletting”, William D. Prystauk

In “Bloodletting”, punk rocker and sadomasochist Denny Bowie, a “legwork guy” for a private investigation firm, is out to find the killer of five masochistic men and his childhood friend, fetish photographer Tommy Heat. He gets back with Penny Dallion, the Goth-girl of his dreams, and is enthralled by the hot and androgynous Erin Marr, his new boyfriend. While investigating Tommy’s murder, Denny discovers pictures missing from Tommy’s meticulous collection. These photos not only hold the key to the killer’s identity, but may also prove Penny’s involvement in the murders. Now, embroiled in New York’s vibrant S&M subculture, Denny revisits old haunts: fetish clubs in Greenwich Village to find the killer who’s a step ahead of him – and maybe right behind him.

If you’re like me and become critical of what you read, please know that I met with a former homicide detective, a private investigator, a New York City court reporter, a police officer, and more experts to make certain “Bloodletting” is accurate. In addition, I visited or lived in all of the places I wrote about. One can say I took “write what you know” seriously!

Q: What motivated you to write in your specific genre?

The story and characters always determine genre for me. However, in the case of “Bloodletting”, the hard-boiled subgenre allowed me to go a little bit deeper and get more “real.” Since the story is base on my experiences in New York’s Greenwich Village, this allowed me to create an honest narrative. Moreover, I have always been compelled by great mysteries, whether it’s Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects” or Frederick Busch’s “Girls”, and as a boy, I’d soak up as much as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as possible. In general, mysteries keep our minds alert and ablaze – we can’t check our brains at the door – and I wanted “Bloodletting” to be a journey that would entertain as well as keep readers’ minds engaged in the suspense.

Q: If you were not allowed to write horror, what would be your next best pick and why?

bloodlettingI’d have to go with thrillers like “Bloodletting” because conjuring suspense is no easy task. I love horror because it’s such a challenge. After all, creating a scare per page is far from easy. Thrillers, like horrors, allow me to draw out the intrigue while keeping the goings-on mysterious for as long as possible. The only thing a thriller doesn’t offer is the element of the uncanny or supernatural, and I like to write without those factors because real life comes with its own nightmares. The aspect of the thriller allows for a sense of reality most horror lacks, and this means the reader has a better chance of finding the story relatable.

Q: What do you love most about writing, and is there any element you dislike, if so, what?

I love the escapism associated with writing. It’s like being in the shower where no one can get to you. Plus, no matter what I write turns out to be a bit of therapy and leaves me feeling better about the world I live in. Finally, when writing, I create a universe where I control everything that happens: I chose who lives and who dies, if it will or won’t rain, and who gets the boy or girl. In real life, I rarely have that kind of control.

When it comes to dislikes, I sometimes wish I could blink my eyes and complete a troublesome manuscript. But the pitfalls and challenges of storytelling are part of the journey. Therefore, I hunker down and write through the problem. On some occasions, I let the manuscript go for a while and work on something else. Afterwards, I’ll go back to that pesky story and look at it like an editor. This usually provides me with new ideas to see the story through. It’s amazing what a little time off can accomplish. Allowing the manuscript to ferment on its own for a while is often a critical step between a great story and a weak one.

Q: Are your main characters based on people you know or are they imagined?

A little bit of both. Most character backgrounds include a hodgepodge stories from other people I know, though I never use anyone’s physical appearance. However, in “Bloodletting” the character of Penny is sort of a mix between an old friend, musician Siouxsie Sioux, and the one-time drummer for the alternative electronica band Indoor Life (I never got her name).

Usually what I do is daydream of my characters and follow them around in my mind to see where they take me. Eventually, they fall into place with their strengths and weaknesses, goals, loves, and hates. When writing a story, I usually think about them before bed, and that helps me relax and fall asleep. Sometimes, when I’m unconscious, this will unleash other things about the characters I can use in my stories, and I may even dream about them, which opens up even more doors.

Q: What one piece of guidance would you give to a novice or aspiring writer?

Read – a lot. Read inside and outside the genre you love most. This is because reading and writing go hand in hand. In addition, read books on craft and gain a better understanding of your new pursuit because you must know your writing strengths and weaknesses – and every writer has weaknesses regardless of skill level.

Ultimately, you must know good writing from bad, and as a writer, you have to be honest with yourself and know when you are creating something wonderful or something for the trash. I have many failed manuscripts to my credit, and they were all practice pieces that brought me to where I am today as an award-winning writer.

Furthermore, proofread aloud – when you read silently, your brain may fill in missing words or correct errors, but you will usually hear a mistake when reading aloud. And make sure others critique your work. I’m not talking about people who will pat you on the head like daddy or your girlfriend, but people who will give you honest feedback to help you improve your craft. For instance, I joined a professional screenwriter’s group and their expert recommendations made “Bloodletting” a better story, otherwise, it would not have won that award, would not have earned me an agent, and would not have been accepted for publication. But if you can’t handle honest criticism of your writing, it’s time to do something else.

Otherwise, practice your craft – and WRITE ON!

 

bloodlettingI thank William for participating in the first interview this year, and his excellent novel, BLOODLETTING is available on Amazon and other good book stores. Some of the wonderful reviews:

“If Philip Marlowe was reincarnated as a punk rock sadomasochist private eye working the mean streets of New York’s S&M subculture, his name would be Denny Bowie and this would be his story…”

Ken Vose, award-winning screenwriter of Greased Lightning and author

 “What rides through this novel is Desire and it’s Desire as we actually know it—not the desire that can be easily placated, bought off with good deeds or bargain basement optimism or forgotten with love or put to sleep with a warm glass of milk. Here, Desire is insistent, hungry, ever present and shadowed by The Reaper.”

Ross Klavan, author of Schmuck and screenwriter of Tigerland

 “A thrilling ride through kink and murder, Bloodletting will stay with you long after the last page.”

Patricia D. Eddy, bestselling author of erotic suspense

 

 * * *

49q hard coverANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His first novel 49Q? THE ENIGMA CONTINUES is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance.

 

 

49q? The Enigma Continues – REVIEWS

There’s a surprisingly good reason why 49q? The Enigma Continues is climbing up the Amazon bestseller charts – people are buying it and they like it!

49q hard coverIt’s a VERY unconventional book, and even when I devised the concept almost 20 years ago, I wasn’t sure how well it would be received. I still think readers will either LOVE IT or hate it. Here’s some reviews of those that (obviously) love it:

“One of the most interesting stories I have read on Amazon”

“This book is amazing. This book is insane. This book is vital. This book is unreadable. This book died for your sins.”

“Two thumbs up!”

“Each chapter unravels a totally unique plot that keeps me driven towards the story and I just can’t put it down.”

“This is an excellent story with lots of interesting action and great development of plot.”

“This is a very imaginative well written fantasy with lots of action and good character development.”

“This is a great concept novel from author Anthony Donnelly. His works are among the most interesting and ground-breaking on the Kindle store.”

VERY humbling reviews, and I thank ALL my readers that have taken the time to post their comments and reviews online. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about and write your own review, why not take advantage of the 80% discount that’s currently on offer. Order your copy today!

49q? The Enigma Continues

Proof Indie Publishing Works

Since making the switch from taking the traditional publishing route to independent publishing, I have had my reservations. Was being independently published just a ‘cop out’? Were the accolades the same? Would people still see me as a ‘real’ author…?

Although my time with a traditional publisher in the US was rather short lived, I never gave up the dream of having my other works published and find an audience. I am happy to say that yesterday gave me the answer I was looking for.

Over a decade ago, I thought I’d put my first full length novel (a concept novel, part of a trilogy) in its grave after five years of trying to find a home for it with the big publishing houses. There didn’t appear to be a way to publish it and there was no way to reach an audience. Independent publishing was still in its infancy, and the tools just weren’t there.

Yesterday proved that all wrong!

New 49q coverNever Give Up On Your Dreams!

Thankfully, with some hard work and great networking, I was able to use social media platforms like WordPress, Facebook, and (mostly) twitter to promote my free book giveaway. Obviously, I was a little apprehensive and wondered if anybody would download a copy. The feedback initially from Amazon was rather slow: after six hours I had barely made an impact, rating about #63 in one category, but people were downloading my book!

By persisting and experimenting with different posts and tweets (not too many, mind!) my novel began to get more and more downloads and crept up the rankings ladder.

The independent writer-publisher network is huge, I found out. It was an exciting and humbling experience to see online friends – ‘virtual’ strangers (lol) – retweeting my book and pitching in to help spread the word. They had nothing to gain from helping me. I wasn’t paying for any promotion. Yet, there they were, these invisible friends, all playing a vital role in launching and promoting my work!

Awesome! Thank you all.

When I awoke this morning, I almost cried, my humble little offering had made it to #1 in one category and #5 in another…!!! I thought I must still be dreaming. While I was asleep, my social media friends were hard at work, not doing much you may think, just clicking and retweeting, but as a team effort WE DID IT…!!! YOU did it 🙂

The number of free downloads amazed me – in the hundreds! In only 24 hours, and counting. Now, I don’t expect my novel to become a bestseller – it’s not that kind of novel – it’s rather hit and miss, whether the readers will enjoy it completely. Now comes the tricky bit… will people post reviews? What will the reviews be like? Can I face the music, if the response is negative?

Right now, I’m up on Cloud Nine, and the potential negative reviews will probably bounce off, I’m reeling in the awe of having my book make it to #1. If you’d like to find out what all the fuss is about, it’s still free for a while, and you can download it here: 49q? The Enigma Continues.

So, if you’re an indiepub or are planning to publish a book soon, I hope this will give you the strength to carry onward, to stay positive and publish and promote your book. It can be done! With a little help from your friends… helping them out along the way (maybe you didn’t know how important that retweet or share really was)… Together as a united team of independent publishers we can continue to bring diversity and unedited creativity to the readership, letting THEM decide what’s worthy of publication, not the (often) narrow-minded editors of big publishing houses.

Again… THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH… YOU ROCK!!!

If you have a book you’re working on or needs a little more promotion, PLEASE let me help pay back all the kindness I have received with my launch and give you a push in the right direction. Contact me in the comments section, or send me a tweet! Good luck with your writing endeavors.

#FREE 4 Three – #New #Kindle #Book For Free

It’s #FreebieFriday again, and here’s a great chance to get your hands on this awesome, high-concept novel for FREE…! From Friday Dec 19 to Sunday Dec 21 you can download this incredible, new epic totally free of charge. Why wait, download it now and get addicted…!

 DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY NOW !!!

49q cover 249q? The Enigma Continues is a mile-a-minute scifi romp that jumps through space and time… multiple plot lines… amazing characters… weaving in occult practices… philosophy… elements of conspiracy theory… and some heavy downloads of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll…

“Once you’re hooked into the story, you won’t be able to stop reading!”

“Like a rollercoaster, slow at first, but watch out for one hell of a literary ride…!”

 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY NOW !!!

#NEW #KINDLE Novel 4 #FREE

49q cover 149q? The Enigma Continues is currently FREE to download in Kindle format. Please help spread the word and share this blog, tweet it up, and post it on Facebook…!!!

Currently ranked #58… can we get it into the Top 10 together…?

“This is a great concept novel from author Anthony Donnelly. His works are among the most interesting and ground-breaking on the Kindle store. I think that Anthony is a very talented author and that we will soon start hearing of him in respected book publications.”

(one of the 5 star reviews so far)

 

 

#THANK YOU To Everybody That Helped

I cannot thank all of you enough who downloaded and retweeted by free book yesterday.

THANK YOU ALL…!!!

49q cover newWith your help, encouragement and support, over 50 copies of my debut novel, 49q? The Enigma Continues were downloaded. I got two 5-star reviews (with more to come, hopefully!)

Additionally, and I’m not really sure how this happened, I sold some copies of my other book on Amazon, The Shepherd…!!!

I also made a whole bunch of new friends and contacts.

 

What a brilliant day! Thank you all once again for all your help. Let me know if I can return the favor…

Be Happy! Be One!

#books #thankyou #iartg #indiepub #amwriting #followback #rt