Book Reviews: When The Trees Held Their Breath

greta thunberg
Greta Thunberg

Since staging her school strike last year, Greta Thunberg, the young, Swedish student, has brought the urgent topic of Climate Change back into the media spotlight. But it is not enough for us to just read and talk about this crisis, we need action now! We all need to do our part, but most importantly we need to put more pressure on our politicians and big business to reverse the effects of Global Warming.

In 1986, when I was Greta’s age, I too was a strong campaigner for environmental issues, as I still am to this day. I have personally grown and planted thousands of trees in the countries I have lived over the years. Unfortunately, back when I was 16, we had no internet, no social media, and you had to walk to the local call box to make a phone call. On top of that, the majority of people still believed that “children should be seen and not heard”, so to get any adult to listen to you was practically impossible! The best I could do was to write about my concerns, so I penned “When The Trees Held Their Breath”, a short, but very powerful piece of poetic prose about the plight of our planet, and sent it to publishers. Hundreds of publishers later, at age 29, a very small imprint picked it up and released it the next year.

Trees 2019 Book CoverAlthough there was a lot of talk and hype in the media about Climate Change, Global Warming, Animal Extinction, etc. – it was all, quite literally, just ‘hot air’ – the book was a flop! The Right Wing media and book reviewers shredded it, including some hate mail.

It wasn’t all bad news though. Those that did read it were very praiseworthy, and the reaction from people that heard me read it at public events were often brought to tears.

Through the new technology of the internet and self-publishing, I am now able to release my words once more, and I hope more people are listening this time, as it’s now 33 years later and the problem is even worse than ever before. I thought I’d share with you some of the kind reviews people have posted from when it was first released:

“From the first few lines of this book to the very ending it speaks so loudly ! This is an environmentally awakening poetic prose which tells a simple story of how the world we live in has through ‘progress’ created a world of polluted and congested by-products. It is a simple reminder of the state of things on this planet Earth.”
“How can such a small book say so much? This book is deep, moving, enlightening… I could write many more adjectives, however… all that is needed to say is ‘Go read the magic for yourself!'”
“Oh God YES…!!! This book just says it all, says everything that needs to be said LOUDLY to the world about what we are stupidly doing to our dear planet Earth.”
“‘When The Trees Held Their Breath’ by Anthony James Donnelly,is a wonderful story,he captures your mind and brings you into a journey your soul has never been. It is sad that todays world justifies the killing of our Earth for the almighty dollar.This story allows you and encourages you to explore the effects that Humans and Technology have on Our Mother Earth.As an Environmentalist and a future teacher I would reccomend this Magificent Book…”
“This book… well, it blew me away! I’ve always thought I was ‘into the environment’ but once I read this book I realized how little we have achieved. Donnelly doesn’t really talk about ‘issues’ (well, how much can you talk about in so few words!?) but what he does do is write such powerful and poetic images that you are tranced… I was… just a few images in I was off, thinking about how bad this could get unless we REALLY do start doing something to change the mess we are in!”
“This amazing work of art is an inspiration to all; young and old alike to take a step back and look at the disintergration of our beloved planet. As important as progress is, we, THE EARTH’S PEOPLE, have gone too far; mining every last resource of the earth, detroying the forests, and worst of all, producing not just the wonderful products mankind is so proud of, but also the bi-product-POLLUTION. If everyone held their breath for a minute they would see just how precious oxygen is to us. I highly recommend this book to everyone adult, child, and every industry known to man.”

BUY THE EBOOK AND HELP SAVE OUR PLANET AND OUR PEOPLE

Emerald Book Reviews: My First Goal-setting Book

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindleI always say, “A review to an author is like applause to an actor.” This is ‘thunderous’ applause! What an absolutely amazing way to start the week and new month, and to end the year! With the New Year just around the corner, last month I reached out to some reviewers for my little goal-setting book –  since it’s the season of New Year’s Resolutions – and was thrilled to find this review today. I was so touched and humbled that it actually made me cry!

I cannot thank the reviewer enough, so I have copied it here. If you’d like to read the original review, and discover other great reads and reviews, click on this link: Emerald Book Reviews.

 

“Making a positive difference in people’s lives.”

REVIEW

By Piaras on December 3, 2018 (Emerald Book Reviews)

I really enjoyed reading this book. And, I suspect all fans of the Self-Improvement genre will love having a read of this one also! My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals, is a very well written life improvement book. This book is intelligent, wise and packed to the rafters with practical common-sense advice. It becomes very obvious as you read through this page turner that the author is imparting his wisdom and understanding as to what happiness and success really means. It’s an excellent guide for putting things into perspective.

The book description gives a sneak preview: ‘Have you always wanted to get more out of life? Have you wondered why some people are more successful than others? Do you make New Year’s Resolutions, but never seem to keep them? If so, this book is for you.

In this concise, easy-to-read book you will learn the simple secrets to setting SMART goals, learn how to create a strong reason why you want to achieve your goals to keep you motivated along the journey, and create a simple action plan that will ingrain new habits to help you achieve every goal you set in life.

Written in plain English, the author shares his experience and knowledge gathered over the past two decades working with people of all ages from around the world. His life purpose is simple: “To make a positive difference in people’s lives”.’

This book will help you to clarify your thinking, process your feelings, and make better decisions. If you are you ready to stop drifting and design a life you love, this read will help you on your journey. The author has put his heart in the pages of this book and will encourage and give hope to the reader. So many wonderful and courageous people share their experiences through books, and I thank this author for sharing his.

The overall tone was simply imparting knowledge, personal experience and wisdom in a gentle and generous way. His words will help to better equip you to interpret and handle life in a whole new way, which in turn will bring peace, love and joy into your life. If you are looking for inspiration and encouragement in the face of serious issues, this would come highly recommended from me.

No matter what your situation is today, this book will put you on the right path to better things. I’ve been around the block a few times myself and even I found this read to be very insightful. This wonderful new book will show you how to properly tune into life and the simple rules you must follow to achieve this. This by far is one of the best Self-Improvement books I’ve read in a long time. The author must be commended for his time and effort for producing such an insightful book. Also, the writing style is friendly which makes for an enjoyable read.

My First Goal-Setting Book: How To Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals is a wonderful read that will leave you feeling like a better person for having read it. It’s an impressive work for author Anthony James Donnelly and I’ll certainly be looking forward to reading more from him in the future. I would highly recommend this perceptive and intuitive read. A well-deserved five stars from me.

Taken from the original review here: https://emeraldbookreviews.com/2018/12/03/my-first-goal-setting-book-how-to-effectively-set-achieve-your-life-goals/

If you would like to buy a copy of the book for yourself or a friend, please click here or on the book cover image. Many thanks!

my_first_goalsettin_cover_for_kindle

The Essence of Goal-Setting
A step-by-step approach for moving from your status quo to your heart’s desire

By Mary Vinnedge

               If most goal-setting and action plans seem overly complex and intimidating, read on. Motivational coach-author Anthony Donnelly distills the process into easy-to-understand steps in My First Goal-Setting Book: How to Effectively Set & Achieve Your Life Goals. Goal-setting might seem new to you, but Donnelly says in practice, you do it constantly: getting out of bed at 6:30, doing your laundry, etc. The trick is to be conscious and intentional with goal-setting. “If you’ve been waiting for your wishes and dreams to come true, but nothing’s happened so far, it’s most likely because you are leaving it up to chance,” he writes.

               Begin by jotting down notes about what you want, possibly related to health, leisure, family, career, education, health and/or giving back. Be sure each is something you’re extremely passionate about. Passion is the fuel that drives every successful person, Donnelly says.

               Also key: Zero in on a modest goal from your wants. For instance, if you’d like to launch a business, try selling online or persuading a merchant to give you a corner display rather than leasing a 15,000-square-foot building straightaway. If you want to run a marathon but have never done more than dash to your front door in the rain, aim for a 5K race (3.1 miles)―not a half-marathon (13.1 miles)―in two months.

               A key early step in Donnelly’s strategy is the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) planning tool outlined by Albert Humphrey in the 1960s. Divide a blank sheet of paper into SWOT quadrants and fill them in honestly and without rushing. Your strengths might include technical skills and tenacity. Perhaps weaknesses are impatience or shortage of money. Opportunities? Maybe a trade show or a mentor offering help. Threats could be competitors or a recession. Donnelly explains that this exercise forces you to think deeply and long-term, revealing problems to fix or avoid.

               Now develop your goal statement based on SMART―aka Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound―guidelines. Don’t just write, “I want to quit my day job and be a solopreneur.” Instead be precise about your quest, establish a metric (perhaps a startup treasury plus emergency fund total), make sure it’s realistic (honest assessment), be certain the goal suits you (do you see yourself still reveling in this achievement well into the future?), and determine a deadline, something like “I will raise $15,000 and quit my job to do XXXX by next Dec. 31.” Type or write it out, and read it to yourself aloud for a positive affirmation.

               Also write down five reasons why your goal matters. An example for an aspiring personal trainer: “I feel great about helping others become fit.” Incorporate the reasons into a paragraph that starts, “The reason this is important to me is…” Read this reasons statement silently and aloud. If you don’t feel thrilled about the five-point summary, put your paper aside, perhaps overnight, Donnelly says. Then revise the statement until it feels empowering. Add it below your SMART goal statement, and read these statements at least twice every day, aloud if possible. Doing so at bedtime is especially beneficial as your brain will mull them as you rest and provide you with fresh insights after you awaken.

Of course, the best plan in the world means nothing unless you act.

The next step in Donnelly’s process is the creation of action items and intermediate goals. Referring to that $15,000 needed by Dec. 31, state what needs to happen after nine months (savings of, say, $12,000), six months, three months, two months and one month. Write out these interim goals and deadlines and track your achievements. Personal-development experts emphasize the importance of celebrating each milestone with a reward such as a new book, massage or special coffee drink.

As you push forward, write weekly goals and focus on each while also visualizing the big picture, that final goal. Donnelly considers the ability to visualize your progress to be crucial for success.

               Once you experience great results from setting and reaching that first modest goal, Donnelly predicts you’ll incorporate goal-setting into every area of your life, with your objectives becoming ever more ambitious.

Book Reviews: When The Rainbow Smiled by Anthony James Donnelly

Rainbows New Cover

I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas. I hope many of you managed to take advantage of my free books over the holiday season. My best presents this year are these two early reviews that have come in for my latest publication When The Rainbow Smiled.

A big thank you to both of these reviewers, what lovely words! Thank you both for taking the time to rate and write a review.

Beautifully written and illustrated short story for all ages.

A perfect accompanyment to ‘When the Trees Held Thier Breath’. This thought provoking story seems to have the ability to speak to you on many levels when considering what is happening around the world today and the society we live in. It’s a book that you can read and read again and reflect on the message of kindness, sharing and freedom of choice and what can happen when we do none of those things. If you are wanting something a little different to share with your children then buy this book!

Five Stars

Such a beautiful book. Thoughtful, thought-provoking and wonderfully illustrated. Warmth on a page.

 A beautiful book, with the charm

A beautiful book, with the charm, delight and unexpected discovery of childhood innocence. The way Anthony Donnelly has unfolded the parable, we are taken on a journey that makes not only the rainbow smile, but our hearts too. A book to read to be inspired, to be lifted and to share.

How lovely to have one of my books referred to as, ‘warmth on a page’. Here’s hoping your year ends well and the New Year begins well and continues to bring you love, success and happiness.

NEW BOOK: When The Rainbow Smiled by Anthony James Donnelly

Rainbows New Cover

Originally written back in 2000 as the sequel to my first publication, When The Trees Held Their Breath, this short, illustrated work tells the story of how colour first came to the world as a ‘smiling’ rainbow. At a much deeper level, the resounding message is one of peace, love, acceptance, and harmony.

This work is especially dear to my heart, as I thought it was lost forever. At the turn of the millennium, certain members of the UK education system were showing an interest in this work as an education tool for primary school children. Since I was living in the US at that time promoting “Trees”, I handed the project and all of my artwork over to an old Secondary School friend of mine, Richard Eyre. He had many contacts, and worked diligently with them to compile a teaching resource to accompany my short, powerful story.

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Artwork by Mani Navasothy

Sadly, the project failed to reach fruition at the last minute, and was shelved. When you are an industry outsider, it’s very hard to break into a market that is controlled by the larger organisations! Even sadder is the fact that Richard passed away this year in a tragic motorbike accident in Thailand, where he had been living for the past seven years working on humanitarian projects.

It was at his funeral recently that I was surprised to be reunited with my text and some of my original watercolour artwork once more. Although a handful of my original art was missing, they had been replaced by the fantastic work of Mani Navasothy (an artist Richard had hired to ‘upgrage’ some of my images) which add even more depth and colour to my words.

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Artwork by Anthony Donnelly

With the advancement of online publishing and print-on-demand technology, I decided to edit and format this into a full colour publication in honour of my late friend, Richard.

Although I have no doubt that this short book alone will not bring about world peace, this is part of my continuing contribution to that effort. Perhaps some younger readers and their parents will take the themes and messages of my text and open a dialogue about how we, as a combined human race, can work towards that end. A good start would be to bring peace into our personal lives, more understanding in our daily encounters with friends and strangers, a daily focus on love rather than war… We can only hope that by a collective effort and focus on love and acceptance, our children may get the opportunity to live in a war-free world.

When The Rainbow Smiled is available in print format and Kindle via the Amazon website. I love to hear feedback from my readers, so please help spread the word by sharing, posting reviews, and leaving me comments. May this year end well for you, and may 2016 bring you closer to your dreams.

***

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.

BOOK REVIEW: “Into The Shadows” by Dr. Krista Breithaupt

Imagine being at the top of your game in the prime of your life: a single parent, working Mother, a director and leader in your chosen profession, a published accademic… life is ‘sailing’ along perfectly, then suddenly your world is ‘capsized’ through no fault of your own… What you think is just a migraine turns out to be a potentially fatal brain aneurism…! You wake up in hospital confused, paralysed, partially blind, and wondering what on Earth has happened…

This is exactly what happened to Dr. Krista Breithaupt almost three years ago.

Krista Book CoverNow, in an emotional and courageous account of what happened before and after, she pours out her soul, her inspiration, her encouragement, and her hope to help educate and assist those who have suffered the same (or similar) condition, and to help those family members often left on the sidelines.

I’m always happy and proud when friends and collegues complete writing projects. Putting pen to paper and writing a complete novel or book is no easy feat. Many begin with high hopes, but often never reach the end. It’s humbling when I’m asked for advice and support, and I’m always keen to help.

In Krista’s case, when I first met her, whilst on vacation in Costa Rica last year as part of her healing team, I was so inspired by her story, her energy, her ability to be so gracious and giving after such an ordeal, that I told her she HAD TO write her story down and share it with the world. I felt like a bit of a bully at the time, because she was still coping with so much, but I knew her story had such power in it – such a message of hope – that it simply MUST be shared to a wider audience. I also felt it would be a very useful exercise for her to personally come to terms with what had happened – a form of catharsis, if you like – and stimulate greater healing within herself.

“This book is an amazing survival story.”

To give you an idea of her mindset when I first met her, she was still under the impression that she would return to work, picking up where she had left off almost two years earlier, and it would be ‘business as usual’. It was quite obvious even to a layman like myself, that this was a complete impossibility. She could barely cope with mundane daily tasks, let alone head up a division of over 200 doctors and research professionals!!! But it is exactly this stubbornness, her ability to face impossible challenges head-on, and yet remain happy, upbeat, and bubbly that I believe played a large part in the early stages of her recovery.

“Krista is an inspiration to us all!”

Throughout her book, you will see patterns emerge where she has overcome challenges in the past – seemingly with ease – be it relocating to a foreign land and adapting to a different culture, dealing with being a young, single Mother, studying and working full time, or a host of other things (I don’t want to spoil the story!) which I believe all prepared her for this life-changing event.

Even if you are fortunate enough not to have had a brain injury, this is an amazing survival story of persistence, strength, and hope. Krista’s easy-to-read writing style, accompanied by the humourous illustrations by her ‘baby’ brother, Andrew, makes this work even more appealing. Personally, I believe a TV network will pick up this story and make it into a film, as this subject gains far too little media coverage. Brain injury is much more common than we realize, and has such far-reaching consequences for so many, it is about time more people got the message.

Krista is part of the 20% of people that survive a brain aneurism, and I consider myself honoured and fortunate not only to have met her, but to consider myself part of her circle of friends. I truly hope her message reaches those in need. Please help in any way you can, even if it’s simply by sharing this blog post on social media.

Thank you Krista for having the courage to write down your journey, for being brave enough to share such personal details with the world at large, but mostly thank you for being ‘you’.

***

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: Jason Black “Titan Fleet: Invictus”

WELCOME to another author interview, this time with new writer, Jason Black, author of TITAN FLEET: INVICTUS, a great, new scifi fantasy set in outerpace.

 

AuthorPicHalfYour debut novel, TITAN FLEET: INVICTUS, was inspired by the death of your Mother, could you elaborate on how this was inspirational for you?

I have always written stories and poems, since I was small, as I was always alone as a child and only had my imagination as company, but I never finished anything, and growing up, I would start new projects, and never finish them.  My Mum and Dad would always joke with me about that fact.  I really enjoyed writing the stories, however, I never really had the confidence to share that part of me with anyone else, apart from my Mum, who was also very talented with artistic things.  After my Mum passed away in August 2013, I realised what a huge gap she had left in my life, and I needed to fill that gap.  I had promised her, jokingly, that I would actually finish something one day, but now this promise became extremely important to me, as I believe a promise should always be kept.  When my Dad passed on to me my Mum’s laptop, I found a new lease of life, and began to go back to the places I had once walked before in my imagination.  This time with a goal to actually finish a book, and to share it with others.  My Mum was always giving, and always bringing a smile to someone’s face, which is what I hope to do with my books. I am very much my mother’s son.

Where do you gain the inspiration for your main characters from?

Although my inspiration for sci-fi comes from a lot of years of watching sci-fi programs, Star Trek, Buck Rogers, Star Wars, Blake 7, etc., the inspiration for my main characters is not based on any one person.  For example, my inspiration for Megan is just the fact that I wanted a strong, independent woman to be really, more an inspiration for the reader, than anything else.  I believe women can be strong and beautiful at the same time, be compassionate and also tough.  And the same goes for men, they can be tough, strong, authoratative, rugged, but also at the same time, loving and caring and supportive.  These things are a good basis for any character I believe, and I hope this gives the reader something to connect with, and hope for maybe.  I also liked the mixture of different personalities working together with their differences towards the same goal.

imagecourtesyfrontYour genre is science fiction-fantasy, if you couldn’t write in that genre, what other genre would you write in and why?

I have started a fantasy book for the younger readers, but I also have several outlines for horror books in mind.  I really enjoyed writing the latter chapters in Titan Fleet: The Invictus, without giving anything away, where a different side to my writing came out, and I would like to explore this more in future books. My wife, and several others, have told me that chapter 81 is one of the best chapters in the book, and I’m looking forward to scaring them more in the future.

Can you give us a hint at what to expect in your first novel, please.

Titan Fleet: The Invictus is set in space, and it follows Pace on his first command, along with his first officer, Megan Frost.  Their mission turns into something a lot more than they expected and they are forced, not only to save themselves and their new crew, but also their planets population, from two evils.  It is fast paced, with plenty of action, not too techy, with a little bit of something for everyone.  Some romance, big space battles, aliens, conspiracy, horror.  I’m sure everyone would enjoy it, regardless of what genre they are into.

If you could give any advice to novice and aspiring authors, what would you suggest?

Just Write It!  You think you can’t do it, you think you don’t have the time, but you can and you do.  Just believe in yourself.  You just have to find your voice and your style, everyone is different.  Plan your writing time.  Make an appointment with yourself to set that time apart.  I have something I call my Sparks book, in which I jot down ideas (or bright sparks!).  I write down my plot outline, every single detail of each character, and have drawings of the ships, place names and descriptions, anything that helps you build your story world in your mind.  Then just write it, make no excuses.

Are you reading anything right now, if so, what is it and why?

I am reading Hollowland by Amanda Hocking.  I originally saw Amanda on Youtube talking about getting started and how indie publishing worked for her.  She inspired me to push forward with my book when I had writers block.  I enjoy zombie films and books, so it was a no brainer for me. (Pardon the pun!)

Thank you for participating in this interview, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that it was very kind of you to ask to interview me, and I am always open to answering questions from readers or potential readers. 🙂

 

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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.

 

 

#AUTHOR INTERVIEWS: Brian Connell “Msomi And Me”

WELCOME to another author interview, this time with an exciting adventure writer, Brian Connell, who was born in Kenya and spent most of his youth with famous wildlife photographers and film makers. He built and ran a game lodge for many years, and is a huge advocate for wildlife protection. His two books, “Msomi & Me” and “Elephants Are People Too” make exciting reading for both adults and children.

Here’s what he has to say:

Author Brian Connell
Author Brian Connell

“Having been brought up in East Africa, in the company of some of the greatest wild-life photographers and film-makers the world has ever seen, it was only natural for me to attach a camera to myself and follow in their illustrious footsteps. I am by no means in their league, but the lessons I learnt from them has, in my humble opinion, led me to make some worthwhile images.

Taking photographic skills and a love of the bush, I started a bush-camp in the middle of nowhere with the intention of running photographic workshops in the wilderness of Africa. For seven years I had an absolute ball, enjoying a lifestyle that few have ever experienced. My mentor, Msomi, and I lived in close proximity to the wildlife; learning, teaching and above all: living!
This collection of anecdotes will give you, the reader, a fair idea of what living in paradise is all about. Interspersed in the text are a number of stories that I have collected during my travels – myths and legends and wonderful stories from Africa. While having little to do with life in a game lodge, they show a side of Africa that few people know about. I hope you enjoy them – I do.”

Acquiring, building, and running a game lodge in Africa must take up a lot of time, however did you manage to find the time to write your books?
Quite correct. Running the lodge was extremely time consuming, but a tremendously fulfilling experience. By no stretch of the imagination could it be called ‘work’. I unwisely formed a partnership with an aquaintance who skipped with all the cash and some of the assets, forcing me to sell up and leave the lodge just to try and stay out of debt. As it was, I ended up owing the banks an absolute fortune. The books were written quite a while after the devasating loss of the lodge, suggested by a good friend as a way of getting over the pain. It worked, to a degree.
There must be lots of adventure in your experiences growing up, how did you decide what to include and what to omit in your stories?

I was brought up in Kenya, in the company of many of the wild-life greats. Armand and Michaela Denis, Alan and Joan Root, Des and Jen Bartlett to name a few. It was their influence that engendered my abiding love of the wilderness. The stories in the books are solely experiences we had while at Nokuthula, my game lodge.

Do you think you missed out on anything important by growing up in East Africa? If so, what in particular, and how do you think you would be different for it?

I probably did miss out on a lot of important stuff, but each individual has his or her own idea about what constitutes ‘important stuff’. I was too busy having fun, adventure and excitement traveling around with my film-maker friends to worry too much about was going on politically, or even socially.  This desire to be in the bush as often as possible resulted in losing out in the girlfriend stakes and becoming a bit of a loner. On the plus side though, it exposed me to people from all religions, colours and social strata, making me tolerant of all and better person for it.

10749918_592661784195430_5264524405469079307_oWhat was your favourite book as a child and why?

I was, and remain, a voracious reader, but if any one book has to be singled out, it is Jock of the Bushveld. It really made me wish I had been born into a much earlier time.

Is there an element of writing you dislike or find challenging? How do you overcome it?

I have a well-known sense of humour and am able to find the funny side of virtually any situation. This trait comes over well in my books, but it is patently obvious, when writing about poaching, for instance, that my emotions are running wild. My writing style tends to change a bit, something my readers have commented on. The only way to overcome that sort of challenge is to write it as if I was speaking aloud, warts and all, and let the emotion flow. Writing about man’s inhumanity to animals is the most challenging and emotional experience for me.

Do you have any tips or advise for new authors and writers?

I write about my personal experiences, so it’s perhaps a bit easier than writing a novel. I tend to day-dream a bit, telling myself stories in my head and let my sub-conscious work away at it for a while. Then write! Let it flow., and it will! Let the words appear, disregarding good grammar or ‘correct’ sentence structure. You can always go back and edit. But above all, don’t be shy to display your emotions if writing about something dear to your heart.

Would you like to add anything?

My books tell stories of Africa, a place of mystery and adventure even today. But Africa’s wildlife is in dire straits with the terrible poaching epidemic currently underway. I would plead with anyone who has a heart and a sense of adventure to read my books, get a feel for the wonders of living in the bush and doing everything they can to help out.

 

Click on any of the pictures above to access Brian’s website, and please share this interview with your friends. Together we can all do our part to help protect the dwindling wildlife around the world that is being cruelly slain illegally. Once the wildlife is gone, there won’t be any more!

 

 

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49q hard coverANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for both children and adults. His elaborate 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.

 

 

#Author Interviews: Mistral Dawn – “Taken By The Huntsman”

WELCOME to the second in my author interview series. A new, up-and-coming author today, Mistral Dawn – a pen name as intriguing as her romantic fantasies! Her debut novel, Taken by the Huntsman is doing well on Amazon, but first a few words from the pen-mistress herself:

 

  1. “Taken by the Huntsman” is a fantasy romance novel. Have you always written in this genre or did you evolve into this?

Taken By The Huntsman is my first novel.  The book I’m working on now is the second one in the series, so it’s also a fantasy romance novel.  Before Taken By The Huntsman my writing was mostly limited to school papers and letters of complaint. 😉

  1. Where do you gain the inspiration for your main characters from, people you know or your imagination?

TakenbytheHuntsman AmazonWell, The inspiration for Taken By The Huntsman came from a dream I had after a rather spirited debate with an online friend about the nature of consent (and some other political issues I won’t bore you with).  When I woke up I thought about the dream and realized it might make an interesting story (as well as provide me with a soap box 😉 ).  I texted a friend and asked her if she thought the idea had merit.  She said she did and so I wrote the first couple of chapters and emailed them to her asking her to read them and tell me if she was bored yet.  She was kind enough to say that she wasn’t bored and that she’d like to read the rest of the story, so I wrote it.  The ideas for the next few books and short stories came from characters who came to me and told me that they deserved a story too, and it was my job to write them.  So I will! 🙂

  1. What do you find the hardest part of writing a novel is, and how do you overcome it?

The hardest and easiest part of writing was the sex scenes.  OMG! They were so much fun to write! After all, who wouldn’t enjoy letting their wildest fantasies run wild through their head? 😉  But sometimes it’s hard to rein them back in to the realm of the possible.  Also, I’m a woman so I’ve never made love as a man.  What do men think about during sex?  How does it feel to them?  How, exactly, does one make love to a woman?  These are all important questions!  And has anyone ever noticed that many men have difficulty expressing feelings in words?  I need input people! 😉

  1. If you could give any advice to novice and aspiring authors, what would you suggest?

I’m very new to writing, so I don’t know that I’m the best qualified person to give others advice.  Someone told me to read a lot and write what you feel.  Maybe that will help others as well. 🙂

  1. Are you reading anything right now, if so, what is it and why?

At the moment I’m reading Seed by db nielsen. Seed was chosen as the first book being read by the #IndieBookBeSeen GoodReads book club.  Congratulations db! 🙂

  1. Thank you for participating in this interview, is there anything else you’d like to add?

You’re welcome, and thank you for having me Anthony! I’d just like to tell my readers:  Thank you so much for reading my book!!  I appreciate the fact that you’ve given your time and your money to experience my work; it humbles me that you have been willing to do so.  I value all of your feedback, both good and bad, because it can only make me a better writer and help me create a better product for you to enjoy.  So thank you, as far as I’m concerned you’re totally awesome! And please keep those reviews coming! 🙂

 

To keep abreast of Mistral Dawn and her future publications, check out her own blog here:  http://www.mistralkdawn.blogspot.com

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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.

 

 

#Author Interviews Coming Soon…!

Happy-New-Year-Wish-WallpaperTo start the New Year off the way I mean to go forward, I’m excited to say there has been a great interest in my author interviews, and I have some very exciting, new authors to interview this month.

Stay tuned for the first of them coming some time in the next few days…

I’m now booking authors for interview into February, so if you are interested, please read my earlier post: Looking to Interview Authors

 

REMEMBER: You can still get my books on Amazon too! And please like my fb page, if you haven’t already!

 

Looking To Interview Authors in the New Year

cropped-464125_10201158437581790_1769445202_o.jpgMy philosophy is to always help those around me and share my success. With this in mind, I have made a promise to help promote my fellow authors even more over the coming 12 months by posting interesting interviews with them on this blog and sharing it on my other social media networks.

So, if you are an author, know of an author, or would like me to approach an author for you to interview, please either email me here, or better yet, add a comment at the bottom of the page.

We all need more help promoting ourselves, and as writers it can be particularly difficult to juggle writing and promoting, I’m just trying to share a little bit of the love around…

Thanks for all your help!

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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.