Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

*~*~*~*~*Happy Easter!*~*~*~*~*
 
 
The Ferryman's Wife Blog
is taking a brief holiday
to spend time working on
The Heart Thief (Devils Light Book 2).
Post schedule returns to normal
April 8th.
Thank you,
and best wishes for the holidays.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Author Spotlight: Tabitha Short (ROYA #12)


Prolific, popular and undeniably skilled, YA & Horror author Tabitha Short is making a name for herself. Not content to just be a writer, she’s a top notch editor, and has also successfully designed her own book covers. Having already penned five publications, with more on the way, there seems to be no stopping her. I managed to catch up with her this week to ask some of those all-important questions about her life as an author.



Dreaming Up Ideas



 All of Tabitha Short's short stories are available
from nearly all online book e-tailers
incl. iTunes, Sony, Kobo, e-diesel,
Smashwords, and Amazon.
(See Purchase Links Below)
 “I don’t watch scary movies, I don't really like them, so it doesn't make any sense whatsoever that I should write scary stories.” Tabitha divulges. This isn’t surprising to me. Having communicated with Tabitha frequently in the past year, I’ve come to find her a very sweet, amiable person. What’s surprising is that such a lovely lady writes utterly horrific scenarios in such gruesome detail. Having recently read one of Tabitha’s shorts, Please DO Feed the Animals ZOO, I was intrigued to find what it was about the horror genre that appeals to her. Turns out, her published writing career began with this particular publication. However, the plot was, in fact, dreamt up by someone else. “All my short stories are in the horror genre. Most of them are products of my husband's scary dreams.”





 After publishing her first short, Tabitha then went on to write her second, full speed ahead. Initially this wasn’t how she’d planned on pursuing her career, “I never intended to write short stories, but I was unfamiliar with the self-publishing process. I needed a few opportunities to test the waters. I never thought I'd enjoy writing them as much as I did!”

There’s certainly something to be said for quick and easy reads. I’m not alone in my opinion.  Tabitha’s sales sheets are testament to this. Her shorts are selling like hot cakes. I asked her what it was about them that held so much buyer appeal. “They are wonderful companions on those long bus or train rides.” And when they cost as little as $0.99, you can’t complain. “ I plan to continue writing horror short stories. One of them in particular, The Corpses of Old Farm Hill Road, is the first in a series of shorts about an all-female serial killing family. When I've completed the series, I intend to offer it as a collection.”

Of course, there’s more to Tabitha Short than her…shorts. In fact, she’s been writing for years. “I've always been a writer,” she told me, “The storytelling part came a little later. I knew I was writer when I began winning contests and awards in grade school. It made me feel good to be recognized for something I'd written, so that encouraged me to continue.” Tabitha then went on to develop her skills on the school newspaper and yearbook teams, eventually rising to the rank of Editor-in-Chief.

Throughout school and college, Tabitha continued to write, taking inspiration from a wide variety of places. “I never know where my inspiration for my next book will come from. The idea for The Corpses of Old Farm Hill Road came to me while watching Deadly Women on the Discovery Channel. I was also briefly enamored with the history of Vlad the Impaler.Not long ago I went through a phase of being curious about psychics. I began looking online for information and research, about the plausibility of certain abilities. I learned that sometimes missing persons can be found by using psychics. I decided this'd make a great mystery/thriller plot.”

 

From Short to Long


 

I recently purchased Her Sister's Murderer, the product of Tabitha’s curiosity in psychic abilities. It’s a YA thriller about a girl who visits a psychic, only to have old memories resurface regarding her sister’s disappearance. With a chilling and intriguing cover design, I can't help but feel drawn to it.  “It was originally intended for National Novel Writing Month (November) of 2011. I wasn't able to finish it in time, so I stopped writing it about ¾ the way through. After a few unsavory events with a publisher, I decided to publish it myself. I finished it and created the book cover using stock images, stock Photoshop brushes and photos I'd taken myself. I must have done something right, because the book placed both 18th and 8th on the iTunes charts in December 2012, ranking higher than popular authors like David Baldacci and Lee Childs.”

Indeed, Tabitha certainly knows what she’s doing. As well as single-handedly releasing her own books, she ensures she remains in touch with her target audience. “When I write, I like to illustrate lessons to learn. The lessons are those that are generally learned when you're in the young adult age range, so I feel I connect with them very well. The characters in my young adult books are also teenagers and deal with teenage angst scenarios.”

 

New Stylings


Tabitha Short’s latest novel, Arena Games: Legend of Petrova is unlike anything she’s published before, and perhaps her most adventurous work to date.   “I tried to mimic old English stories, like Great Expectations. You'll find that even JK Rowling attempted this style in the last Harry Potter book. What happens is a sort of crescendo effect. We set a stage, show things the reader doesn't quite understand at first and then near the end: Bam! Something unexpected happens.”  Arena Games: Legend of Petrova is a full-length young adult fantasy novel, and is set for release April 15th.

 

Hints & Tips


With such a wealth of knowledge at her disposal, I simply had to probe Tabitha about any tips she might have for any of you would-be self-publishers out there. Thankfully she was kind enough to share with us some of her wisdom: “Get an editor. Even if you're editor, get an editor. I use beta readers as well, but don't waste your time with beta readers who only provide a paragraph about your work. Don't use someone who always tells you your work is great, either. You need constructive criticism. If you can afford it, hire a marketing team with experience in marketing books. Learn about your industry. Find people who are in the know and pick their brains for information.”


You can discover more about Tabitha Short, as well as find special deals, contests, giveaways and news by visiting Tabitha Short's blog and TabithaShort.com.


~Purchase Links~
 
 
 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Prescription for Delirium Tour

 

A Prescription for Delirium

(Van Helsing Organization #1)
 
 
Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise. She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.
However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession. Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil’s plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.
 
 
 
 

My Review

What a thumping good read! Rarely do I find a book so difficult to put down.  It’s action-packed from start to finish, with the most vivid imagery I’ve encountered in a long time. Gabby is a kick-ass heroine, cursed with immortality, but gifted with second sight. This enables her to see the invisible world of spirits and auras. This is skilfully conveyed by the authors knowledge of aura interpretation in full-spectrum colour, with grandiose imaginings of spirit beings. This alone makes it a compelling read. However, the characters in this story are so well-rounded and lovable, you need to know how things are going to work out.  Gabby’s loss, her fate, and her unyielding personality, combined with her irrefutable humanness, make her likeable, if not lovable. I adored the Van Helsing brothers, their personalities so diverse and well-crafted; they were great fun to read. What more can I say?  I highly recommend this book!

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Noree Cosper
Noree Cosper loves writing about magic in the modern world. While growing up in Texas she constantly searched for mystical elements in the mundane. She buried her nose in both fiction and books about Wicca, Religion, and Mythology. Everyday became an adventure as she joined a group of role-players, acting out her fantasies of vampires, demons, and monsters living in the world. She embraced her nerdom wholeheartedly. Noree grew, but never left her love for fantasy and horror. Her dreams pushed her and her hand itched to write the visions she saw. So, with her fingers on the keys, she did what her heart had been telling her to do since childhood. She wrote.
 

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
A Little Q&A with Noree Cosper...
 
Q: What was the inspiration behind this book?

A:The inspiration came from a role playing game. My friends and I play the characters. I loved them so much I wanted to write about them.

Q: Is there a particular theme or message you are trying to convey in your story? 

A: There are a lot of themes that came in the story naturally. I guess the overall one is about finding you place in the world and finding family.

Q: What's your next project?

A: A Prescription for Delirium is the first in a series. I’m currently writing the next book, named Omega Effect.
 
Q: Who is your favourite character to write?

A: That would be the main character, Gabriella Di Luca.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

A: I love reading, roleplaying, and playing video games. There are even a few shows I like to watch. My current favourites are Once Upon a Time and The Walking Dead.
 
Q: Tell me 3 things about yourself that's not connected to writing.

A: 1) I have a kitten named Mab. She’s about 4 months old now and really hyper. 2) I’m addicted the flash game Bubble Shooter. 3) I like to bake, especially pies, and I’m pretty good at.



A Prescription for Delirium by Noree Cosper is now on tour!
Check all the great tour stops out and don’t forget to join the International giveaway running at

Dark World Books!
 
A Prescription for Delirium Tour schedule:

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Looking for Fictional Love (ROYA #11)

I've been pondering on what it is I think makes a good fictional romantic interest, from a reader's perspective. I know what I find boring. Over the years I’ve made my way through a string of fictional boyfriends. This probably sounds peculiar to those who don’t read a lot of fiction. Those of us that do know a good story should have us investing our emotion in its participants. When reading to escape, you often encounter romance on the way. You don’t have to actually fancy someone in a book; you can just fall in love with the romance they’re in. For the record, I have in actual fact properly fancied fictional characters. I am a book geek, and I am proud of it.

It began twenty or so years ago, reading bubble-gum trash for tweens/teens. As I matured, so did my library, introducing me to whole new ways to escape. However, of late I find I’m easily bored, and flit from one book to the next, desperately seeking my next fictional Mr Right. The problem is it’s the same characters that keep turning up. It’s as though a certain heartthrob formula is now being subscribed to. Bad move. Formulaic characters always end up 2 dimensional, simply because they have no personality of their own. When it comes to Young Adult books, I’ve observed this to most definitely be the case.

For  your amusement, I’ve compiled a list of some of the typical characters and romantic situations I keep encountering in YA books. If I’ve missed any out, please make sure to add them in the comments at the bottom.

The Shell


Of the cliché’s, this is the one I see most often in YA romances. It’s a main character who’s deliberately created to be generic. Not to be mistaken with The Ordinary Girl/Boy (see below), there’s little to know about them: nondescript looks, life, personality… The idea is that the reader finds it easier to see themselves in the role; slipping it on like a wetsuit and viewing the world through the characters eyes. As a result of Love at First Sight they end up in a romance with The Beautiful, The Goodie, The Unbelievable or The Misunderstood. The problem arises whenever The Shell actually does something, which ends up being so out of character  - and more often than not, stupid and highly irritating -  that you end up detesting them.

The Ordinary Girl/Boy


They’re just like you and me. In fact they could be you or me. Except something incredibly spectacular happens to them, and they fall in love with The Beautiful, The Goodie, or The Misunderstood. Yeah, right.  Is that ordinary? No.
 

The Unbelievables


These characters are always created by authors who clearly have limited understanding of the opposite sex. Ther are many examples of this. Think eighteen year old boy who talks like a thirty year old woman. Not realistic. On the other side of the coin, there’s the archetypal icy females, who are effortlessly calm, show few emotions, and always say smart things. Again, not realistic.  If you’ve ever met a woman you’ll know we’re all bat shit crazy. Some hide it better than others, is all. No matter how smart and calm we are, neurosis gets its claws into us eventually. These characters are created purely to indulge the reader’s fantasies, but it’s a romance that’s ultimately unsatisfying. Why? Because it’s not convincing.
 

The Beautiful


The Beautiful romantic interest is very much like The Shell, in that they have nothing going on in the personality department. Sculpted by the very Gods themselves, these characters are so heartbreakingly gorgeous, their impressive looks need describing in great detail at the slightest opportune moment. Sadly, their wit, intelligence and integrity are rarely discovered. Probably because they don’t have any. These beauties usually promise undying love, repeatedly, but that’s about as deep as it gets. Probably because the author continually distracts you by mentioning their cerulean blue eyes every five seconds. What I’ve noticed about The Beautiful is that they can pretty much get away with anything in a relationship, like continually lying, or disappearing mysteriously with no word of why. Of course, they’re forgiven simply for looking sexy with their cerulean blue eyes. Did I mention the cerulean blue eyes?
 

The Love at First Sight


It doesn’t matter what either person in this relationship does, Shell, Beautiful, Misunderstood or otherwise. If they fall in love at first sight then they’ll forgive each other anything. That’s right! Being rude to each other’s friends, frequent arguing, and having completely opposing views/morals/opinions doesn’t matter to these lovebirds. Anything goes. Granny mugging too, no doubt.
 

The Love Triangle

Usually happens to The Shell or The Ordinary Girl/Boy, who must decide between The Beautiful/Unbelievable/Misunderstood, and The Goody. Then there's the whole "Which one will they pick?" Obviously, the outcome is predetermined in the case of Love at First Sight.


The Goodie


Also known as the boy/girl next door, these characters are sweet, kind, and always do the right thing. You know they’re the one, but it normally takes dealing with a total bitch/jerk before you realise how good they are. It’s their unfailing goodness that makes them so lovable (Gag). At least there’s more chance of a well-rounded personality with The Goodie. After all, you need to know something about their personality to know that they’re a good person, and not just The Ordinary Girl/Boy or a Shell. Most of the time, The Goodie is cute. However, if they are too good looking it ends up overshadowing their personality, turning them into The Beautiful.

The Misunderstood.


You suspect they’re no good for you, but you want them anyway. They’re so damn mysterious/brooding/shy. You know you mustn’t fall for them, as they’ll probably break your heart. But you can’t help yourself. Of course, eventually they let you in, open up about their feelings, and that deep dark secret which is tearing them apart. These characters are usually great fun to crush on, but they’re also highly unrealistic. For example, what happens when they cheer up? When they have their love reciprocated and turn into love-sick, gooey-eyed sweet-talkers?  Without their moody brooding they don’t have much else going on. Once their dark past troubles them no more, they invariably turn into either The Goodie, The Unbelievable or The Beautiful.
 

So What Works?


Of course, there’s a lot to be said for being able to identify with a character so as to indulge in their romance and fantasy, but surely not at the cost of their personality. This continual rehashing of the same, garden variety characters and scenarios really grinds my gears.  What then makes a good romantic interest? The answer is simpler than you might expect.  A little moodiness, reasonable good looks, and a good heart can go a long way. When these traits are stretched to their stereotypical extremes they leave little room for a well-rounded personality. Individuality, originality, confidence, flaws; these are the things that time and time again make us fall in love, with either a character or a romance in general. A little mix of the above, with a selection of foibles and quirks, can make any romantic interest someone who stands apart from the crowd. It’s the one-offs that make the difference, not the bog stantard. As an author I can tell you that it's easier said than done to create such a character. But as a reader, hell, that's not my problem!
They are out there, folks. We just need to keep on searching. Until next time.
 
Remember, if you have something that you think would be of interest to ROYA, email me at merrybawz@hotmail.com with ROYA and your name as the subject.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Review: Oz The Great and Powerful (ROYA #10)

(I don't usually like to do film reviews so close together, but I'm making an exception this week. One must take inspiration to write where one can, blah blah blah)

Synopsis: A Kansas conman (James Franco, 127 Hours) is transported to the wonderful Land of Oz, in Disney’s interpretation of L. Frank Baum classic children’s stories. There he encounters the wierd and wonderful, as well as the good and the wicked.

Oz, the Not Bad, but Not Great.


As the beginning credits whirled by in an animated cavalcade, my hopes were raised. Even though I was viewing in 2D, the opening sequence certainly had 3D qualities. To add my enjoyment the film also starts in black and white. This gave it an authenticity in-keeping with 1939 spectacular The Wizard of Oz, which heralded the dawn of Technicolor.  In fact, there was plenty about Sam Raimi’s version which kept true to the original film, including places such as The Dark Forest and the poppy field. However, this film relied heavily on CGI. From the moment Oz dips his toe in colour it becomes all about the 3D.

Smoke and Mirrors


I really wanted to like this movie, and I did enjoy it. But because it caters more to a 3D audience, in the 2D screening I became aware of the special effects. They really weren’t the best. There were times when the panning was so quick that everything was just a blur. It makes me wonder: why bother showing it in 2D at all? When something promises spectacle, then it had better bring it on, in all dimensions.  It was obvious that he actors were clearly working hard against a green screen, mainly from the rough outlines around their bodies.

Like Some Ham with your Cheese?


Now, please understand, I wasn’t expecting Oscar winning performances. But Wow! Rachel Wiez (The Mummy) and Mila Kunis (Ted) ham it up in a performance worthy of hanging in a butcher’s. Franco is very much the dashing rogue, while Michelle Williams is all eyes and smiles as Glinda the Good.  The Ham – and there was a lot of it - was a little uncomfortable at times, so I had to do away with my good sense and just go along with it for the ride. And I can handle a little cheese, especially when Evil Dead star and Sam Raimi favourite Bruce Campbell, cameos.

In all, it’s a good family film, if you don’t get too bogged down about the CGI, or the acting.  There are some lovable, quirky characters, and it’s full of fun and light-hearted fairy tale.  It’s far more likely to be enjoyable in 3D, but whether that makes it more a successful or not remains to be seen.  
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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Forever Girl Review Tour


The Forever Girl (Forever Girl #1)

 

“Whatever you do, fight.”

 

Sophia’s family has skeletons, but they aren’t in their graves.

 

At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.
 
Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she’d settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.
One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor’s hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.
Survival in his world, she learns, means not asking questions and staying out of the immortal council’s way. It’s a line she crossed long ago. If Sophia wants to survive the council and save the people she loves, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.
Forever Girl will appeal to lovers of paranormal fantasy, mystery, romance, and horror.
 
 
 
My Review

Excellently written and easy to read, The Forever Girl is a fantastic choice for paranormal romance lovers. Even though it’s more a coming-of-age story, it could certainly be appreciated by a 15+ Young Adult audience.  Sophia’s transition from petulant youth to strong young woman is gradual, but convincing, and easy to identify with. There are also plenty of supernatural beings and mystical goings on to whet your appetite.

The romance plays a big part in this story. It unfolds subtly, if somewhat assumedly, but it's tender and loving all the same.  Sadly, it didn’t make my heart didn’t throb, which is a must for me when enjoying romance. I suppose it all depends on what you look for in a fictional romantic interest. In this I found him to be a little two-dimensional for the most part. I prefer plenty of personality to fall in love with, as opposed to repeatedly reading about the colour of someone’s eyes, but hey! That’s just me. It was only at the end that I started to get a feel for who he really was. I imagine that as this being the first in a series, there’s more of the main characters romance to come.

At first I wasn’t sure I liked Sophia, finding her a little weak and simpering, considering the hardships she’d endured by the start of the story.  After finishing I’m still not sure if I liked her, but I definitely preferred her fiery, fighting side which came out towards the end. Regardless, the narrative works well being told from her perspective. As much as she and I may not be best pals in real life, there is something to be said for a believable, consistent and well-rounded main character.

Perhaps I was reading between the lines, but there were aspects of this book I took to be allegorical. There are various points in which certain topics were presented in such a way as to having universal relevance. These gave an otherwise fantasy story a deeper edge, which I enjoyed. The Wicca references added a nice touch as well, especially as the author clearly had experience of the craft. I couldn’t really be bothered with the vampires/Cruor, but thankfully they were atypical and didn’t suck the substance from the story.
While my overall experience of this book was good, I didn’t feel much of a sense of impending danger in the build-up to the finale. However, the climax is gruesome and action-packed, and every bit the story I was hoping for. What I will say is that after reading a little about what’s to come in the series, I’ll definitely be looking out for the next instalment.  
 
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Rebecca Hamilton
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Horror, and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and three kids, along with multiple writing personalities that range from morbid to literary. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. To learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder, please visit: http://www.autisticadvocacy.org
 

 
 
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The Forever Girl Review Tour schedule:

 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Author Spotlight: Jenny Phillips (ROYA #9)

I have my grievances with networking, but when fortune connects me to other like-minded authors (and editors) it's a real plus. One person I've been lucky to make my aquiantance is up-and-coming Young Adult author Jenny Phillips [pictured]. With four books out, and more on the way, she's kept pretty busy. Thankfully, she's found time out from her hectic schedule to sit in my spotlight for a spell.




It's Magic


I've said it before, but it warrants repeating: YA and paranormal/fantasy make a damn good cocktail. The wonder one experiences through fantasy fiction, combined with the urgency of youth, often makes a compelling read. More often than not you end up finishing it a little sooner than you'd planned, too.

It seems escaping the hum-drum of everyday circumstance  is common amongst us YA authors, and Jenny Phillips is  no exception. "I like to read about the impossible, the things that aren’t supposed to exist in our world."

So why is Young Adult Jenny's genre of preference? "It has something to do with the process of finding yourself. It’s such a vulnerable age and at that point everything feels like a big deal." This is a lady who knows what she's talking about when it comes to teenage behaviour, "I coached high school girls for ten years, it kept me in touch with the good, bad and ugly of teenage drama."

 

Starting Off


"I was all about starting new ideas and never finishing them," Jenny ponders on how she came into  her career as a novelist, "Writing a series of ideas without any discipline to produce a whole story. After hearing myself say 'When I write a book…' for the hundredth time I finally asked myself what I was waiting for. I pushed myself to finish an entire book, with the help of two amazing personal cheerleaders. It was like I opened a flood gate... and I haven’t stopped since."
 

Something Different

 
It's all very well writing prolifically, but it can be tiring when there's little diversity in plot. Personally, I have about had it with vampires. I've read too many books, seen too many films, and I need a break. I'm suffering from what I've started calling a fangover.  Maybe I'll return to fanged fantasies in the future, I loved them once before, after all. For the moment I crave something fresher to sink my teeth into, whilst endevouring to only produce stories that I'd enjoy reading.

Jenny also appreciates the need for a little diversity in the fantasy genre. That's what's driven her to create The Broken Soul and Twisted Fairy Tales series.  "As much as I love to read about vampires, werewolves, witches…I wanted to create something of my own that didn’t yet exist...I wanted  my own world and call all of the shots."  

 

Interested?


If you want to find out more about the kind of things Jenny writes about, check the descriptions on Amazon via the links below. I for one shall be reading and reviewing Gifted once my commitments allow, so watch this space...
 
As for Jenny, there's plenty more stories in the works. "Keep an eye out, I’ve got a lot of ideas for the future and am hoping to lure in new readers by branching out to different concepts. I just may release your new addiction in there somewhere."
 
Connect with Jenny Phillips
 

Purchase Links

Gifted (The Broken Soul #1) 
Unbroken (The Broken Soul #2) 
 
Twisted (A Twisted Fairy Tale Novella #1)
 
Distorted (A Twisted Fairy Tale Novella #2)
 
 
Remember, if you have something that you think would be of interest to ROYA, email me at merrybawz@hotmail.com with ROYA and your name as the subject. Amazon.co.uk Kindle

Monday, 4 March 2013

Success?


Success is something I think about regularly now that I’m focusing on my writing career.  I see it as being similar to beauty: it’s in the eye of the beholder. What one considers a successful life, another thinks the exact opposite. How do you measure success? Money? Recognition? Love? Happiness? Or perhaps all of the above? In my opinion, happiness and love are key, but then perhaps if I suddenly made a lot of money I might soon change my mind. I’d like to hope that wouldn’t be the case.

Of course, not everyone wants to be happy. There are those who seek out misery. Discontent with their lot, they consistently do things that they’ll live to regret in order to moan about how bad their life is. I have difficulty comprehending their motivation for this, but I recognise it to be the case for certain individuals. These people usually have a definitive idea of what they deem as successful, most often another life in some unattainable dream .

Many authors consider having their work published as the pinnacle of success. Now, with the rise of self-publishing, the lines between published and self-published authors has begun to blur.  For instance, I perceive there to be a certain amount of success in simply producing a book on your own initiative. I’m not alone on this. Also, what of the authors who are celebrated in the writing world? There are plenty of them who are self-published too. So is the fact that they are well known a mark of their success? I agree that’s the case to certain degree, but what I’m coming realise more and more is that success, the concept, is somewhat of a paradox.

We’ve all heard it said that money can’t buy happiness. We also know that heaping praise on an author doesn’t always encourage the further production of quality novels. So why do we writers convince ourselves that this is the ultimate goal? This notion that success in being published begets success in life is nonsense. To chase this ideal of being a successful writer is folly, for it is the writing in itself that completes us, not the trimmings of recognition or praise. To be lucky enough to have the time to write: that ultimate release of Self from mind to word, that is where our sense of achievement derives.  
The way I see it, if you focus on writing instead of gaining success, it’s likely you’ll produce more and more work. In turn, you’ll find the more you put out there, the more others will catch on, giving you the recognition and praise you seek.  The upshot is, if you want to be a successful writer, artist, musician, whatever, then stop focusing on the notion of success. Do what makes you happy instead.  You may not make money, but you’ll continue produce work that makes you feel satisfied with your life, regardless of what others think of it. You will have found happiness.  If I can manage to do that consistently, then in my eyes I'll have achieved true success.   

Friday, 1 March 2013

Film Review: Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters 3D (ROYA #8)


We all know the story Hansel and Gretel, and the wicked witch in her house of candy. But what do you suppose happened to the children after they killed the witch and escaped? They turned into ass-kicking witch hunters, is what. Armed with an impressive arsenal, they make their living going town to town, taking out witchy scum. Jeremy Renner (Avenger's Assemble) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia) play the fairy tale siblings all grown up, while X-Men's Famke Janssen plays a high witch hell-bent on enacting her cunning plan.

Nonsense abound!         


Sublimely ridiculous, Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters 3D is one fun-filled, guilty pleasure.  The great thing is it doesn’t take itself seriously. There is no desire for any historical correctness, or for conforming to any other preconceived notion of “authenticity”.  The witches are grotesque, in a style reminiscent of the twisted souls in Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, and just as tongue-in-cheek. The leather-clad, wise-cracking siblings strut from scene to scene to scene with plenty of attitude and all-round sexiness. Jansen hams it up a little as the movie’s villain, but it works perfectly with the format.  With huge explosions, and weaponry most unbelievable, there’s really not much about this movie to be considered realistic, save for the special effects. There were plenty of good 3D moments that had me jumping in my seat. Okay, so the story line is a bit thin, but what else would you expect from a fantastical combination such as this? It is sheer fun and silliness, which are two things I very much enjoy.

 

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