Monday, 28 November 2016

Coffee chat with Aussie indie author David Coe, author of "1,101 Words2Watch" writer resource

The coffee chats have been hugely successful in highlighting Aussie indie authors of fiction, non-fiction, horror, historical, sci-fi, books for adults readers and younger readers. I'm an advocate of reading outside the genre your write, and reading widely and everything, so it's been a delight to showcase a broad range of genres and authors.

Today's coffee chat is with David Coe. David is an accomplished presenter, author, editor, animation producer, and script writer who quickly gets to the intellectual and emotional core of a business case. He's also the author of "1,101 Words2Watch", a great resource for writers everywhere.

And finally, someone else who drinks coffee! Read earlier coffee chats if you want to know what I'm talking about.

Welcome David,

DL: Firstly, since this a virtual coffee chat, how do you have your coffee?

DAVID: Latte please

DL: Are you a morning or afternoon person?

DAVID: Afternoon

DL: As a man of communication, which do you think is more powerful - words or images?  

DAVID: The brain engaging first with images rather than words. The words should underpin the message of the visual. If the words come first, the brain tends to skip over them without engaging deeply.

DL: I think the written English language is like skiing, you either love it or you don't. I love it and therefore want to learn everything about it. So it always surprises me that journalists would need help with writing. Do you think journalists put the story first and rely on editors behind the scenes to work their magic?  And if yes, why do you think that these editors aren't writing the stories?

DAVID: The term “journalist” covers reporters and editors, and there is no room in today’s cash-strapped media for reporters who can’t write. To write to a professional standard requires lots of practice under strong guidance, which people don’t get before they enter the media. When I was a cadet journalist, a senior editor went through everything I wrote word by word, line by line for a 18 months. The difference between a reporter and an editor is that the reporter is like a prospector who can find diamonds and the editor is like a diamond polisher who brings a fresh eye to the gem.  

DL: What sort of barriers do authors face when they don't have a great command of the English language?

DAVID: If authors don’t have a great command of English, their biggest challenge is find a way to reach readers without the most basic tools in their toolbox – words. Some overcome that with visual communications. Others use audio and video. Some may use a ghost writer. Whichever path the author takes will depend on the content they want to share.

DL: And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?

DAVID: Vanilla cannoli

Thanks David for sharing with us. Now let's read about your latest book.

D L Richardson says: "1,101 Words2Watch is a useful resource for writers. Not long ago on Facebook I played the homonym game with readers and we came up with over 100 words that sounded the same but were spelt differently. Such as there and their, ate and eight, cue and queue. As a writer, there is a vast difference between these words and if we get them wrong, we can change the meaning of our content. And worse, we look like idiots. We should command the English language. This book covers words that are often mistaken for another such as accept and except, allowed and aloud, admission and admittance. Spell check doesn't pick up these words because they are not spelt incorrectly."



David Coe is a communications strategist who rose from a classically trained cadet journalist to becoming the editor responsible for the Financial Review’s information graphics before establishing himself as Australia’s authority on investor social media. See WEBSITE for further details and resources and events.
Thanks so much for dropping by David. Best of luck with the book.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Coffee chat with Aussie author Karen J Carlisle

Good morning everyone! It's Thursday, and that means I'm inviting another Aussie author into my virtual café. Firstly, I can't believe how many people are not coffee drinkers! Maybe I should invite authors around for a glass of wine instead.
Today's coffee chat is with Karen J Carlisle. She is an Adelaide writer, artist, gardener, chocoholic, and tea lover. Karen writers speculative fiction including steampunk, Victorian mystery, and fantasy.
DL: Firstly, since this a virtual coffee chat, how do you have your coffee? Are you a morning or afternoon person?

KAREN: Coffee doesn’t agree with me. Do you mind if I make mine a hot cup of tea instead? Black. No sugar, please. When I was a kid, my great granddad used to make us tea and tell us stories of ‘home’, in a thick Scot accent. I remember him each time I have a cup, so it’s just not a steampunk thing.

I’m not a morning person. I struggle to function before 9 am. A good cup of tea helps. I’m more of a night owl and have been known to still be writing at 1 am (which possibly explains my morning issues).

DL: I love steampunk, and this looks like a great series. Your first series is based on Jack The Ripper. Is it difficult to come up with new adventures for your characters?

KAREN: Yes and no. (Don’t you love ambiguous answers.)

I need a spark to set me off – a title, a thought, an atmosphere, a ‘what if’ – then I’m off. Once I immerse myself in the research, I get more ideas and I can start twisting history into my alternate version.

There are those serendipitous moments when the idea just pops up. Sometimes it’s a title, sometimes a scene or a set of clues. Sometimes it is just a feeling – an atmosphere I want to create.

With Doctor Jack, I was watching a Jack the Ripper documentary and ‘wondered what if my Men in Grey had a hand in the whole affair?’ The story snowballed from there. With Eye of the Beholder, it was an Ancient Egypt documentary. The Victorians loved Egypt. Point of View is a short story told from the maid’s point of view. It was inspired by a documentary on the ‘below stairs’ of Victorian life. I used it as an exercise - writing in only one point of view for the entire story.

Unfortunately, ideas sometimes need to be pried out of my brain so I delve into my Ideas Box, full of snippets scribbled on paper. (You know those ideas you get at 3am in the morning, or in the shower?)

Currently, I’m compiling notes for the next book. I had no idea what hook I could use for the featured novella. I wrote a list of ‘very Victorian’ things to find something to inspire me. Now I’m researching 19thcentury illusionists, which has sparked off some unpleasant situations for the characters.

DL: Do you plot your series, and when you determine the "stakes" for your character, i.e. what they risk to reach their goal, do you reflect on personal experience or look at others' experiences?

KAREN: I must admit I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, which is probably why I take so long to finish one book. I do jot down copious notes on ideas to use for a story - a small list of main crisis points (explosions, murders), specific clues to be included, and I usually have a vague idea of how I want the story to end.
Sticky note plot board (c) Karen J Carlisle
I had tried detailed story planning - scene by scene - but I froze; it felt like I was trapped, triggering my anxiety. Now I use sticky notes on the cupboard, making it easier to order ideas, ditch them or add new ones as I go. My stories seldom resemble the original vision.

Some of their sticky situations have stemmed from personal experiences. I started writing again to face some daemons in my life. The writing was cathartic. Now it’s a compulsion. I have to write. I see the world in a different light (possibly coloured from a steady diet of ‘whodunits’, science fiction and fantasy over the years).

Ideas also come from documentaries, news items or research.

DL: I noticed that your book is featured in the Halloween Comic Con. I love the idea of a Halloween Comic Con. How did that come about?

KAREN: A group of local indie authors and comic book creators got together for a chat, after one of the local pop conventions, to brainstorm ways we could connect locally with our readers, ‘get our names known’ and maybe sell more books. Many of us can’t afford to travel interstate at this time. Darren Kaziol, of Decay Comics, convinced the organisers of the Flinders Street Markets to let us take over their space for a weekend. This is our second year.

DL: And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?

KAREN: I have a savoury tooth. I’m quite partial to Lemon Crisp biscuits. They’re both tangy and salty. And I do love a rich chocolate cake with thick chocolate icing.

Thanks so much for dropping into my virtual café for a cup of tea.
About the books

The Adventures of Viola Stewart

A Victorian Steampunk Mystery Series

Murder, mummies, mystery and a secret society plotting to take over The Empire.
The Adventures of Viola Stewart – introduces Viola Stewart, a widowed optician with a penchant fordetectiving, who stumbles upon a secret Society of Men in Grey. This Victorian Mystery series is set in a steampunk fantasy world and has a gaslamp flavour.
Author appearances
17th December, 2016: Adelaide Indie Author Pop-up Store. Karen will be signing her books at Greenlight Comics, 18 Stephens Place, Adelaide. 
Links to Buy
She is also on Goodreads:

About the author
Karen J Carlisle. lives in Adelaide with her family and the ghost of her ancient Devon rex cat. She is a writer, artist, gardener, chocoholic, and tea lover. Karen writers speculative fiction including steampunk, Victorian mystery, and fantasy.
She currently writes full time and can be found plotting fantastical, piratical, or airship adventures.
You can check out more of her books and art on her website

Places to find Karen’s Writing:

Social Media:



Monday, 21 November 2016

For Review: Welcome to the Apocalypse, sign up at Sci Fi and Scary

The Apocalypse Games is a state of the art virtual game designed to entertain doomsday preppers, gamers, and cosplayers. Over 100 people enter simulation pods and hook up to the computer with one goal: survive 24 hours of an apocalypse. Instead of game over at the end, they’re plugged straight into a new game. Then another. It’s clear the computer has malfunctioned. What's not clear is why.
For fans of The Hunger Games, Ready Player One, Robopocalypse

Release date: November 21, 2016
Genre: post apocalyptic sci-fi
D L Richardson is an author of paranormal books for teens, and author of apocalyptic and dystopian sci-fi books for adults. Lover of coffee, music, and animals. Lives in Australia with her husband and dog. WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE - PANDORA avail now: for fans of Robopocalypse, The Hunger Games, Ready Player One, World War Z.

Coffee chat with AnneMarie Brear, Aussie author of historical fiction

Welcome to AnneMarie Brear, author of historical and contemporary romance novels, plus the odd short story.
AnneMarie has wonderful news to share on the coffee chat today. She is one of a number of authors chosen to be published by Norwegian publisher, Cappelen Damm. Her book, "Where Dragonflies Hover", will be translated and published in Norway!
This is many author's dream to have books translated into foreign languages, so please join me in congratulating AnneMarie on this achievement.

DL: Firstly, since this a virtual coffee chat, how do you have your coffee? Are you a morning or afternoon person?

AnneMarie: Definitely a morning person. I find I get more things done in the morning. I have a coffee machine at home, so I enjoy a nice cappuccino with no sugar.  

DL: You have an impressive list of novels. 14 now, I believe. Does the writing get faster and easier with each new book, or do you still face the same challenges?

AnneMarie: Because I mainly write historical fiction, I still have to do a lot of research for each novel, which can slow the process down. No matter how much you think you know a period or era well, you still have to double check everything. So my novels now take about a year to write, unlike my first novel which took me 2 years to write because I had no idea what I was doing at the time. Now, when I write a novel I know the art and craft of writing one, so it’s only the research that will take the time.

DL: If you could go back in time to the Victorian ages, would you stay for a short visit or would you consider living there? And why?

AnneMarie: That’s a good question. I think I would only stay a short time, unless I was very wealthy. If I was rich back then and able to afford servants and a beautiful country house, perhaps I would consider staying. Servants to do all the hard work of everyday living such as cooking and cleaning would make life so much easier.

DL: I'm sure you're a fan of TV shows like Escape To The Country. Do you rely on TV shows, books, etc for your research, or have you visited England and Scotland for yourself?

AnneMarie: I actually live in England now. I’ve been living here for nearly 5 years, after marrying a wonderful Englishman. So I have the luxury of being surrounded by history. I really enjoy visiting country houses and exploring old buildings and castles in ancient towns. To see these places in person really does help my research.

DL: And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?

Anne Marie: I love cakes, much more than biscuits. I will try any cake at least once! My favourites are chocolate fudge cake, carrot cake, coffee and walnut cake. Actually I think I will eat just about any cake.

DL: Thanks so much for stopping by and congratulations on the Norwegian translation!

AnneMarie: Thank you for having me. 

About the book
You can check out her current book "Where Dragonflies Hover" which is described as being "choc-lit".

Sometimes a glimpse into the past can help make sense of the future …Everyone thinks Lexi is crazy when she falls in love with Hollingsworth House – a crumbling old Georgian mansion in Yorkshire – and nobody more so than her husband, Dylan. But there’s something very special about the place, and Lexi can sense it. 

Whilst exploring the grounds she stumbles across an old diary and, within its pages, she meets Allie – an Australian nurse working in France during the First World War.

Lexi finally realises her dream of buying Hollingsworth but her obsession with the house leaves her marriage in tatters. In the lonely nights that follow, Allie’s diary becomes Lexi’s companion, comforting her in moments of darkness and pain. And as Lexi reads, the nurse’s scandalous connection to the house is revealed …

About being translated into Norwegian

"The translation rights have been bought for Where Dragonflies Hover by Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm AS. This is an excellent opportunity for one of my books to reach an ever wider audience by being translated into another language. I am so thrilled with this new development and am looking forward to seeing this new partnership grow. More information about the trade deal can be found here."

Sounds like a great opportunity AnneMarie, we wish you the best.
About AnneMarie
Annemarie Brear has been a life-long reader and started writing in 1997 when her children were small. She has a love of history, of grand old English houses and a fascination of what might have happened beyond their walls. Her interests include reading, genealogy, watching movies, spending time with family and eating chocolate - not always in that order!

You can follow AnneMarie
Annemarie Brear on the web: 
Twitter @annemariebrear



Thursday, 17 November 2016

D L Richardson, Online store set up for Australian buyers of books

If you’re an Australian reader, you might notice something if you visit my website and click on the link to buy my books. I’ve set up my own online store.

As a self-published author, my books are uploaded to Create Space which is affiliated with Amazon. Create Space does offer the option to sell my book to other online sites where Aussie readers shop, such as Book Depository, Fishpond,  Angus & Robertson, Booktopia, Wheelers etc. However, the payment amount I receive is abysmal. 53c for a book that you’ve paid $22 for. The gap is too great to make this a viable option. So I’ve set up an online store where you can purchase the books through paypal and these are delivered in two ways – if I have stock I’ll post it via Australia Post, if I don’t have stock I’ll get it shipped directly from Create Space by purchasing the book at the author discounted price.
I hope you can understand my reasoning behind this. I want to ensure that Aussie readers aren’t penalised for living outside of the UK and US where Create Space and Amazon both ship from. You will save by purchasing through my online store. As much as $6 per book.

So why not go online now and check out my books and drop me a line if you’d like these signed. Happy to ship signed copies within Australia for the same price.

Thanks for stopping by.
D L Richardson

Coffee chat with Aussie author Belinda Crawford, sci-fi author of The Hero Rebellion by Odyssey Books

I'm back from holidays and the coffee chats are lined up ready to go. Thanks for waiting while I soaked up the sun.

Let's continue with the coffee chats highlighting Aussie authors. It's my pleasure today to have Belinda Crawford in my virtual café. Belinda is a self-confessed geek who loves Star Wars and Doctor Who

DL: Firstly, since this a virtual coffee chat, how do you have your coffee? Are you a morning or afternoon person?

Belinda: Actually, I’m a tea drinker and I like it when it comes in a pot, preferably Lady Grey with plenty of milk on the side. Or, if it’s on offer, a nice flavoursome chai brewed the traditional way (in milk on the stove).

I am definitely not a morning person, at least not for the first hour. By the time I’ve thrown the cats outside (pity those poor beasts), fed horses and had breakfast, the neural pathways that facilitate speech have warmed up and I’m usually capable of communicating in more than grunts and growls.

The family knows not to expect a great deal of sense out of me until then.

DL: The first book in the series is Hero. It's a YA story without any of the usual love story trope, which is hugely refreshing. Did you find any pressure to add romance into the story, and can you explain why you opted out of romance?

Belinda: Frankly, I got sick of reading YA books where the heroine met a boy and obsessed over it to the point where she starts doing really stupid things, because, apparently, she lost her brains the moment she saw him. Invariably, the boy in question appears just in time to save her and from that moment on she’s stuck in a ‘sweet, innocent, fragile, not-to-bright female’ role.

It’s not a particularly flattering or accurate depiction, and it's incredibly disempowering for female readers. For one, it implies that the defining aspect and singular goal of a girl’s life should be to find herself a romantic relationship, and that she's weird if she doesn't (and comes doubly packaged with the idea that being weird is bad, which is horse poo. Embrace your weird, I say). There's also the implication that a girl can't kick butt, follow her dreams and change the world just fine on her own, which is what I find most offensive and why I wrote Hero the way I did.

What's really awesome is that, along the way, people only had good things to say about my decision to forego the romance angle. I think, if anyone had been inclined to say otherwise they lost their nerve as soon as I told them why I did (I’m quite passionate about the subject), or at the very least, realised that their opinion wouldn't have swayed me and saved their breath.

DL: Riven is Book 2 of the series. Is there still the illegal street racing? And does any of Wombat's - your horse - personality make it into the book?
Belinda: Yes, we have street racing and many other illegal things including blackmail, theft and err…can't tell you that bit, but it's awesome. Trust me.

A little bit of Wombat does make it into the book. Riven takes place a year after Hero and Fink isn't quite the ruc-pard we all know and love. He's become really grumpy (which is Wombat all over) and he and Hero tend to argue a lot, but they trust each other when it counts.

DL: I saw you at Oz Comic Con and at Conflux signing "Hero" and meeting readers. Is promotion a necessary evil or is it something you enjoy?

Belinda: I love meeting readers, and after the actual writing it's my favourite part of the whole author gig. It's both gratifying and humbling to meet people who enjoy the world of Hero as much, if not more than I do.

Some parts of promotion are more scary than fun, like going on panels at conferences such as Conflux, but that I’m slowly coming to like. 

The promotional activities that I find tedious tend to be the ones I don't do, my view being that I only have so much time and many, many books to write.

DL: And last question, what is your favourite biscuit and/or cake at the moment?

Belinda: Well, I'm honour-bound to eat any sweet, deserty thing called ‘Death By Chocolate’ (it's like waving a red flag in front of a bull), but I’m pretty happy with anything chocolate, and if it has mounds of gooey icing on top, all the better.

Now to showcase these amazing YA books

"Hero" Book 1
I bought the print copy at Conflux in Canberra.
I enjoyed reading Hero. It was well written, the description was lovely, and I was quickly pulled into this off-planet world. Loads of action, great technological contraptions, cute names for the genetically engineered animals which, as an adult reader I had to remind myself at this that this is aimed at young adults, so yeah, Hero is going to be feisty and cheeky. She's meant to be!
I have to admit that I loved Fink. He's a six-hundred kilogram genetically engineered ruc-pard. He's Hero's best friend, and they share thoughts. I want my own Fink, though I doubt my mini fox terrier will agree to this. Fink is one of those side-kick characters who steal the show - like Hans Solo.
There was suspense, intrigue, and I kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened. As with all series, I didn't find out what happened. Very clever. Now I have to buy Riven to see what happens, and see if those loose threads whose foundations are laid in book one are tied up in the next two instalments.
4 stars from me.

"Riven" Book 2
Published by Odyssey Books

Belinda is currently writing Book 3. If you'd like to stay in touch with Belinda about this YA sci-fi series, you can connect/contact via the below links:
Twitter @belindacrawford