Thursday, November 9, 2017

Andrew Joyce discusses his new book, “Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups”

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn't return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors' Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen's Book Reviews. Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.

D.O: Thanks for joining us today on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue Andrew Joyce, and welcome.

AJ: Thank you for inviting me Darmie.

D.O: The audience would like to know which part of the world you’re joining us from.

AJ: I reside in the state of Florida, in the USA.

D.O: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

AJ: One morning, about seven years ago, I went crazy. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and threw my TV out the window.

D.O: [HAHAHAHAHA!] You did what?

AJ: I threw my TV out the window.

D.O: That’s really funny. Please go on.

AJ: Then I sat down at the computer and wrote my first short story. And just for the hell of it, I threw it up on a writing site. A few months later, I was informed that it had been selected for publication in an anthology of the best short stories of 2011. I even got paid for it. I’ve been writing ever since.

D.O: Wow! That’s awesome opportunity. Before we dialogue about the various efforts that went into writing your book and bringing it to publishing stage, let’s dialogue about the distraction writers are facing in this age.

AJ: I have rid myself of most distractions. I have no TV and that helps a lot. I live alone with my dog and he’s not much of a distraction … while I’m writing. I don’t know what other writers have to put up with, but I live a simple life. I write when I want to.

D.O: My goodness! You don’t have a TV anymore? I don’t think I can do without a television. Even if I can’t see the images, I need voices around me sometimes when I’m writing. However, the voices other time can really be distracting too, depending on my mood. Talking of distraction, it’s a serious problem writers encounter. I for instance have, up to eight finished books/screenplays, which I’ve not brought to polished stages. In this age of distraction, writers are challenged to find the time and means to be productive. Between juggling commitments, other careers and fighting our own attempts at procrastination and self-sabotage, it can often feel like a losing battle. What can be done Andrew?

AJ: Writing is what’s important. I once knew a woman that spent forty-six years polishing her one manuscript. She never did publish it before she died. But that wasn’t important. Creating is what it’s all about. And you are creating. If getting published is imperative to you, then I suggest you take one of your novels and start editing it and no more writing until you are finished. Then have someone else read it and point out all the stuff that you missed. Make no mistake about it … a writer cannot edit his or her own writing alone. We all need help. And when all that work is done, you’ll have a book that you can publish. However, it looks to me that you enjoy the creativity of writing. So I say, go with it. Your words will be written on the skein of time and space where they will last forever regardless if you’re published or not.

D.O I don’t kid myself that my words are perfect just because I’m a concept creator. Every trained writer should know their project needs to be reviewed, rewrite and rewrite and then, professionally edited. Thanks for the advice. On the distraction, some writers even say why should I strive to be a super-productive writer? What inspiration can be consider when a writer feels this way?

AJ: You should do whatever you want to do as long as it does no harm to another.

D.O: In this age of distraction, it is also easy to be moving but without progress as a writer. What information do you think can help to achieve progress?

AJ: What is progress to you? Whatever it is, you can achieve it if you have “the fire in the belly.”

D.O: Hmmm… What should writers do to grow into successful professional writers?

AJ: Once again, what is successful? I think success is writing the book. You have eight. I think that is a success. It’s a very good success. As to being professional, I think that one who has the discipline to sit down at the computer every day and convey the words that are in their head onto “paper” is professional enough for me.

D.O: That’s very true Andrew. “One who has the discipline to sit down at the computer every day and convey the words that are in their head onto “paper” is professional enough for me.” Thank you for that thoughtful point. How can a person tell writing career is a good fit for them?

AJ: For 98.4% percent of us, writing will never be a career. It will be something that we love doing. And that’s better than a career. The writers that sell millions of books are chained to their desks. They have contracts with big publishing houses, they have to deliver a book on a set date or else they can be sued. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me. I write because I like to. I write when I want to. And when I don’t want to write—be it a week or a month—I don’t.

D.O For writers who have been dreaming about earning a good living through their creative writing, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t happened for them yet, what sort of investment would you suggest they make to move forward creatively and productively?

AJ: I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but as I’ve said, for most of us that is not going to happen. I know I’ll never be a Stephen King although I believe I can write as well as he does. I just do it in different genres.

Here’s my best advice: AFTER you’ve written your novel, edited the hell out of it, and made it perfect, then you can worry about that other stuff.
After my first novel was completed, I went out looking for an agent. It took me one full year sitting at my computer for ten hours a day, seven days a week. It finally paid off and I was signed with one of the biggest agencies in the country—by the CEO nonetheless.

Then, for marketing, I had to do the same thing. I spent six months at the computer marketing my book, all day every day. I’ve done that for all five of my books. Even Stephen King has to market his own books in this day and age.
The short answer is, you’ve got to work hard. There is no way around it. There is no short cut if you want “success.”

D.O: What's the subject matter of your new book?

AJ: Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and nonfiction … some stories included against my better judgment. If I had known that one day they’d be published, I might not have been as honest when describing my past. This collection is a tome of true stories about my criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though I’m sitting next to you at a bar and you’re buying the drinks as long as I keep coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.

D.O: Wow! That sounds interesting. I would sure read my copy once I’m free. Thank you so much for all the awesome information. What are the various craft you've studied before you came into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies to write stories?

AJ: I’m just a natural born story teller. But I had to learn where all the commas go and about active and passive voice … all that stuff.

D.O: Those are quite necessary for every writer. What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

AJ: My latest book is a book of short stories. They are stories that I had written over the years and then put away. At the behest of my editor, I dragged them out, and together we edited them so that they were readable. Then we published.

D.O: What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

AJ: Nothing. I just told my stories in my usual way.

D.O: What sensitive materials does your book deal with?

AJ: That’s a hard one to answer. Being a book of short stories—a very long book of short stories (218,000 words)—I deal with a lot of stuff. I guess what is sensitive to one person is not sensitive to another.

D.O: How do you think your book will influence reader’s growth positively?

AJ: I’m not looking to influence anyone’s growth positively or otherwise. I only want to entertain people.

D.O: But of course that’s not bad. A story can either entertain or do the other. Any hint about your next book?

AJ: Not at this time. I’ve got two started, but I’m lazy. I don’t feel like working this month.

D.O: That’s not bad. Catch your breath and start writing again. What better effort do you suggest writers, should put into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

AJ: Just write the best damn story that you can, and do your research. Also, I might add … never ever respond to a negative review. Let it go. You cannot please everyone.

D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. I wish you the publishing best and hope that all good things come your way with your book.

AJ: Thank you for having me, it’s been a pleasure.

Andrew Joyce joined Authors’ Curtilage Book Dialogue via email from state of Florida, in the USA.

2018 PAGE Awards Contest

Are you planning to enter the 2018 PAGE Awards contest?

We will open for entries on Friday, December 1st!

Today, in order to help make sure you're submitting your most polished, professional work to next year's contest, and to give you the very best shot at winning an award, today I'd like to invite you to take advantage of our Judges' insights and expertise before you enter the contest.

So, for the next three weeks only...

In honor of our 15th Anniversary, we're offering you a $15 discount off all of our terrific Script Services.  To receive this limited-time discount, simply type this code in the Promotion Code box on your order form:15Thanks

The PAGE Awards Judges have the best reputation in the industry, and each and every week we receive rave reviews from writers who have used our Judges' Script Services to help develop, market, and sell their work. So, if you haven't yet ordered Judge's Feedback, an In-Depth Script Analysis, a Concept Evaluation, or one of our fabulous Marketing Packages, I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to try it out!

To learn more about all the terrific services we offer, click here:

And to receive your $15 Discount, just type 15Thanks in the Promotion Code box on your order form.

But remember, this special discount offer will expire on Thursday night, November 30, so don't miss out...

We'd love to help launch your career in 2018!

Sincerely yours,
Jennifer Berg
Administrative Director
The 2017 PAGE International
Screenwriting Awards

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Writers, is there stigma attached to self-publishing

Hi Writers,

A quick word regarding Marketing for Online Authors 

By now you will be aware that my latest course is about giving you power as an author - the ability to create a future based on your writing.

But, for some reason, I see you're holding back, even though the final deadline is looming.

Why are you resisting this unique offer?

Is it that you don't want to self-publish?

Do you assume there's some stigma attached to publishing your own work?

I want to reassure you that if you feel this way, you're kinda missing the point...

Today, there are only five big publishing companies left because they're having to consolidate, tighten their belts, and join forces as they try to "catch up" with what's happening in the real world. 

Fact is, Amazon has taken over the book buying market, and is doing its level best to replace the need for the "antique" publishing paradigm. 

More and more independent writers like you are becoming bestselling authors, even getting to millionaire status, just by self-publishing with Amazon. 

It's the new normal.

If you're still fantasizing about having a "real' publishing deal, I'm afraid that's what it will remain: a fantasy. 

The Big Five Publishers now have to supplement their incomes by offering PAID publishing options - and they're not cheap, starting at around $5000 - and you don't even get their distribution network for that price, just a book, which you could get Amazon to do for zero cash!

Soon it will be those published with traditional publishers who will have to carry the stigma of not being good enough to sell their own books on Amazon.

Go HERE to get the course right now - before the Friday, midnight deadline. 

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell
Your Success is My Concern

PS: Check out the wonderful bonus items too:

* Marketing for Online Authors by Rob Parnell. 

The complete TEXT version of the entire course for you to download and read at your leisure and convenience.

* A Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing- compiled by Rob Parnell

See this detailed overview of how to interact with your subscribers for maximum effect - making your fans feel they're inviting you into their home. 

* Anatomy of a Perfect Facebook Post - compiled by Rob Parnell

Does what it says on the tin, with copious examples. Learn how to get the most positive engagement from Facebook.

* A Beginner's Guide to Online Article Writing - compiled by Rob Parnell

A step by step guide to writing compelling articles and website content - based on research, and all the facts and figures about the reality of how Internet people interact with writing. You'll be amazed! 

* A Beginner's Guide to Writing Copy That Sells - compiled by Rob Parnell

Writing good copy is an essential skill for modern authors. I present whole courses on the subject. Here is an introduction to this fascinating and lucrative discipline. You're gonna need it.  And it's here for you FREE when you enroll in this course right now!

PO Box 485
Morphett Vale
Adelaide SA 5162


Dear Writers,

The 2017-2018 Creative World Awards season is NOW OPEN!

AND... a special perk for our past writers, submit within the first 5 days (Before 11/6) and receive a $5 discount on your submission. To use the discount code, please submit your work via our website (not FilmFreeway or Withoutabox) and use the code: First5DaysCWA

In addition, if you choose one our coverage options, the Judge's Highlights or Script Analysis, you can receive $25 off your first submission within the first 5 days! Just use the discount code: Coverage5

The Earlybird Deadline is Nov 30th.

For those who submit and order coverage prior to the Earlybird deadline, you'll have it returned to you by December 30th or earlier. 

Submit your work at

Get your script in early if you would like to take advantage of the discounted Earlybird rates!  Past script entries are always welcome. 

We look forward to a great 2017/2018 season!

Very best regards,

Heather & Marlene Neubauer
Co-founders, CWA

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Inkitt launches a free program to help you turn your idea into a novel within 30 days

Have you ever thought about writing a novel? There are millions of people in the world who have ideas floating around in their heads that they want to write down but never find the time.

Inkitt, the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, will be launching their first ‘Writers Write Program’  on November 1st to help you turn your idea into an original novel. The 30-day program is completely free and filled with special benefits such as:
  • Free, 30 min private sessions with professional writing coaches (including the editor of The Martian)
  • Events and tips with bestselling authors like Andy Weir, Lauren Kate, and Gayle Forman
  • A variety of community features such as the choice to get a writing buddy who you can exchange manuscript feedback with

“Our intention is to enlarge the writing community by encouraging more people to become writers,” said CEO of Inkitt, Ali Albazaz. “The program is completely free so for us this isn’t about making money; it’s about encouraging talented and committed writers to keep going and finish what they started.”
If you are serious about taking on the challenge or want to finish (or start!) a manuscript then make sure to get your spot in the program now. There is less than a week left before it starts.


Friday, October 27, 2017

7 Ways to Kickstart Your Imagination

New writers often ask me what they should write about.

How do you get ideas? they ask. I know I want to write but I can't think of anything interesting enough to fire my imagination.

To be honest, I think that coming up with ideas is a largely a learned skill that gets easier with practice. Writing regularly has a way of triggering the mind into coming up with ideas, almost as a byproduct of the writing process.

But if you're stuck, how do you re-ignite your little gray cells? Here are seven strategies that may help you.

1. Read Outside Your Comfort Zone
Don't read whole books, be a browser. Pick up books and magazines you would never normally touch and read things at random.

Go to Amazon and download lots of free samples on science, anthropology, astronomy, history, eclectic stuff you wouldn't normally expose yourself to. Let your mind read enough to be puzzled, intrigued or fascinated, then stop and move on.

This process will help fire different neurons in your brain - the first step to lateral imagining.

2. Stop Thinking
A great way to fall asleep is to force yourself to stay awake. A fabulous way to gain weight is to go on a diet. Put your brain on a diet.

For ten minutes, try to think about absolutely nothing. Force every single thought out of your mind. Push them away. Try to get to a still point of silence in your brain.

When you stop the inane chatter in your mind and force it to understand that nothing is important, you open up more creative pathways for your left brain to explore.

3. Brainstorm like a Child
We're born with fertile imaginations because every new input is strange and needs understanding. Everything needs analysis when you're a kid.

Recapture that youthful playfulness by asking why? of everything, just like kids do. Don't accept the answer your mind automatically gives you. Think harder. Imagine different explanations.

Good writers do this all the time. They learn not to accept the fail safe answer but to keep questioning. Just asking the questions make your brain more active and healthy.

4. Rip It Up
Go to a yard sale and buy up an old dictionary, a Yellow Pages and another fat book, maybe a bible. Tear out all the pages, tear the pages into pieces and stuff all the scraps into a plastic bag.

Then make it habit to pull out three or four pieces of paper and try to see connections between the words and names and events in your grubby little hands.

Making connections between random words has a name: it's called inspiration!

5. What If - With Scapple
The wonderful people who made Scrivener have produced a mind-mapping software called Scapple. With just a little work, you can create words and bubbles and links to your heart's content.

Type in a word and ask 'what if' questions to yourself. What if my mailman was a frog? What if the sky was green? That kind of thing. Put your answers in to Scapple and link them back and forth.

You can get a free copy of Scapple here: literatureandlatte

You can also get a free copy of Scrivener here:

The two programs are compatible - and if Scrivener doesn't get your imagination firing, you're probably not a writer!

6. Play Dice
Write down six names for imaginary characters. Number them one to six.

Throw a dice and pick the name that matches the number you just threw. Then write down six places, numbering them. Throw the dice, picking the numbered place you threw.

Now you have Patrick from Cincinnati for instance. Then write down six character attributes or plot ideas. Keep throwing the dice to choose between six options.

Let your mind do the rest. It's forcing your mind to make new connections that will jump start your imagination.

7. Make Lists
You may not believe it yet but your mind is teeming with ideas. We have around 80,000 thoughts a day but less than 2,600 actually impinge on our consciousness. Of those, around 90% were the same thoughts we had yesterday.

The way to come up with new ideas is to force your thoughts down new pathways.

Making lists is a great way of opening up your neural networks.

List ten names of characters. List ten ways to cook an egg. List ten ways to climb a hill. Push yourself. Don't settle for less than ten.

List ten obstacles to getting your perfect mate. List ten ways a criminal might rob a bank. List ten ways a warrior might kill a dragon.

You can immediately see that by a slight shift in your thinking process, you're already coming up with story ideas.

This is the secret to coming up with ideas- and now you know it!

Keep Writing!

Keep Writing!
Rob Parnell's Writing Academy

BeingAuthor is now accepting books

Dear Authors, BeingAuthor is now accepting books. It's easy, just fill the form on their website and they will take care of Social Media for your book. To read more and submit books, please visit: BeingAuthor All the best!

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Agent Opportunity

I have a great tip for novelists and screenwriters this week. Two of the best London agencies have started to offer a monthly Twitter submission day. Agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh will accept Twitter pitches for your books/screenplays on the 4th Friday of every month. 
Details are here:

Culled from Perfect Pitch

Monday, June 26, 2017

Dave Tomlinson discusses his new book, “Around the World in 80 Tales”

For Dave Tomlinson, the greatest fulfillment in being a travel writer is the potential to inspire the wanderlust that others may see the world for themselves.  If the world is a book, Dave wants you to read more than just the page you are on now.      Dave has passion for travel, outdoor adventure and cultural understanding.  This has seen him explore over 50 countries across 5 continents of the world.  He’s used his love of travel to create a website and write two books.  Travel Unravelled is a guide book for travelling the world on a budget and Around the World in 80 Tales is a collection of his experiences doing exactly that.

D.O: Thanks for joining us today on Authors' Curtilage Book Dialogue, and welcome.

DT: Thank you, it’s nice to be here.

D.O: The audience would like to know which part of the world you’re joining us from.

DT: Down under.  I’m originally from the south island of New Zealand but now living in sunny Brisbane in Australia.  

D.O: Thanks for joining us. When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

DT: When I realised that I could string words together in a way that informs, educates and entertains readers.

D.O: What are the various craft you've studied before you came into the entertainment industry or do you just possess some natural tendencies to write stories?

DT: I think travel and writing are intrinsically linked.  I always feel inspired to tell others about the people, places, the unique cultures and experiences that exist beyond their own horizons.   

D.O: What are the steps you took to develop your book from a rough draft into a published novel?

DT:  The interesting thing about this book was that originally it never going to be a book.  It evolved from a series of true stories I was writing based on my adventures.  When the title of Around the World in 80 Tales occurred to me, the book was developed from that. 

D.O: What did you do differently in your book to make readers feel fear, concern, sadness, love and laughter?

DT:  I felt a sense of obligation to describe my travels in the most real way that I could.  Like painting a picture that makes people
realise that for all the wonderful rewards, there are also some gritty realities that I’ve experienced along the way.     

D.O: What sensitive materials does your book deal with?

DT:  A couple of my stories shine a light into some of the darkest events in our history.  I relate my experiences of visiting the Killing Fields in Cambodia and the museums dedicated to the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan.  These were emotional experiences and that I’ve described objectively and didn’t sugar coat.         

D.O: That’s good. What's the subject matter of your book?

DT:  The highs and lows of travel through five continents of the world.  Through 80 unique tales, I’ve written about a diverse range of experiences in no particular order.  This makes for light, easy and enjoyable reading.   

D.O: What is the underlying theme that explored truth or moral in your book?

DT: The theme of the book is adventure that embraces the good, bad and ugly of travel.  It’s an insight into the life of a backpacker as he makes his way from one experience to the next.  Not always comfortable but always loving the journey.   

D.O: What town or city does your book story portray and what is the feeling we have in this dwelling places?

DT: A range of different towns, cities and places, each with their own atmosphere and daily rhythms.   

D.O: Having a unique point of view in telling a story provides your story with intention. From how many characters' viewpoint is your entire book seen from?

DT:  This is the world seen through my eyes. 

D.O: What do these points of views infuse into each of the chapter in your book?

DT: By nature, I’m an optimistic and happy person and I think that’s reflected in my writing.  I always try to see the good in people and places but feel it’s also important to be honest in my opinions.

D.O: What does the lead character of your book want most in the world?

DT:  To feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment through his cultural exchanges and experiences.  

D.O: What does he do to achieve this goal?

DT:  Travel the well-established tourist trails and also to some remote corners beyond them.  Often the most memorable experiences are gained on the road less travelled.    

D.O: How do you think your book will influence reader’s growth positively?

DT:  For me, the greatest fulfilment in being a travel writer is the potential to inspire the wanderlust others that they may see the world for themselves.  If the world is a book, I want them to read more than just the page they are on now.      

D.O: Any hint about your next book?

DT:  Around the World in Another 80 Tales?  No, I’ll probably need to create something different but I’m sure that the spirit of adventure will stimulate that.

D.O: [SMILES] definitely it will. What better effort do you suggest writers, put into their writing to have great sales in the ever-changing economics of the entertainment industry?

DT:  Pay attention to the detail of spelling, grammar and general readability.  Be professional in your approach and you’ll be rewarded accordingly.  

D.O: Thank you once again for joining us on Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. We
wish you the publishing best and hope that all good things come your way with your book.

DT:  Thank you.  It’s been a pleasure and I appreciate the opportunity.  Best wishes to you also.  

Dave Tomlinson joined Authors’ Curtilage Book Dialogue via email from Sunny Brisbane in Australia.

Happy Mother's Day

A mother's worth is incalculable and cannot be overstated. She gives up her wants and needs to ensure your happiness. Her presence in yo...