Thursday, 22 January 2015
Writing is creative and therapeutic! Yeovil Literary Prize offers opportunities for writers of novels, short stories and poetry, but this year there is a fantastic category for anyone who loves to write. Read on...
Writing Without Restrictions A competition for all those forms of writing that literary prizes have never reached before. Language performing gymnastics to reach a whole new audience. The Writing Without Restrictions category is wide open; we are looking for anything you have written that is inventive, different or just plain fun. As long as it is legal, there are no restrictions. For example, it could be … a letter; a recipé; a science piece; an advert; a label; an essay; a biography or a Mini-Saga. In short, anything that you have written that has the WOW! factor. The unusual, the creative, the inspired, anything you have written is OK to enter. We are hoping for something different. YOU WRITE IT – WE WILL READ IT! There are three prizes to be won. The only competition rules you have to follow are those regarding age, over 16 years, no identification on manuscript, and entry form details as seen on www.yeovilprize.co.uk. The judges’ decision will be final.
Now writers everywhere, rummage in your files and enter your work that has been hidden away for what? We encourage all aspiring writers of creative writing..
Monday, 19 January 2015
Fan's of Ian Probert take note, he has a new release coming soon. I feel very privileged to have been given access to a sneak preview.
If you are not familiar with Ian's work then here is a short update:
Ian Probert has been scribbling down words ever since he learned to spell the phrase: 'Once upon a time...'. He is the author of Internet Spy, Rope Burns and a bunch of other titles. Internet Spy was a bestseller in the US and made into a TV film. Rope Burns is a book about why books shouldn't be written about boxing. Ian has also written things for a shed load of newspapers and magazines. When Ian was a student he used to write lots of letters to the bank manager.
Now remember where you read this first :)
By Ian Probert
Chapter 01 – sneak preview
“OMG! You’re in real trouble! You’re going to HAVE to give it back!’
That’s Sofia talking. She’s always so annoyingly sensible. She’s my sister. She’s younger than me by two years and a day but always SO sensible.
“Don’t be stupid… I haven’t done anything wrong. Let’s think about it for a bit…”
That’s me talking. Stephen Dawkins. Older than Sofia by 731 days and six hours and not sensible at all.
“How much is there?” she asks.
“I dunno. A lot. Thousands and thousands and thousands I think.”
“OMG! Is it real money?’
“Course it’s real money, idiot. It’s got the Queen’s head on it and all that.”
“Yes, but it could be counterfeit. Forged. We did about that in school.”
“Don’t be silly. Feel it.”
Sofia feels the money. She picks up a big bundle of it in her tiny little white hands and holds it to her cheek. She sniffs it. She runs her nails along it. “Well it feels real,” she says. “Where did you find it again?”
“Waterlow Park,” I say for the umpteenth time. “I told you: I was walking home from school this afternoon – got it down to 1.1 miles – and I noticed something in the bushes near the duck pond. It was a big black plastic sack full of this… Money.”
Sofia pulls a face. “Well it must be somebody’s money. People just don’t leave sackfuls of money lying around in bushes. Perhaps it was a surprise for someone.”
“You’re not listening to me are you? I told you I looked around and there was nobody about at all. It was raining and the park was completely deserted. Apart from some old biddy giving bread to the ducks.”
“Maybe it was hers?”
“I don’t think so. She had one of those walking frame things…”
“Yes, that’s it. She had a zimmer thingie and she was moving at about ten miles a year. She wouldn’t have been able to even pick up the money.”
“Well how did you manage to pick it up? It’s very heavy There’s a lot of it.”
I smile and try to wink but I’ve not quite mastered winking yet. This is where I was clever. This is where I used that devious little brain of mine. I try to sound as cool as possible – like this sort of thing happens every day: “Well I had to use my head,” I explain. “You can’t have people seeing me lug a big sackful of money through the park – can you? So I dragged it to another place – you know that clump of trees behind the playground with the climbing frame and the jumpy thing? And then I covered it with leaves and dog shit…”
“I’m telling!” Sofia immediately interrupts my story and crosses her arms. She’s such a prude is Sofia. “You’re not allowed to use that word!”
“Oh all right,’ I say. “Dog poo if it makes you happy. I did this so nobody would touch it. Then I rushed home and got my backpack.”
“I did wonder what you were doing with your backpack,” says Sofia. “I knew you were up to something.”
“It took thirteen separate trips for me get all that money into my backpack and then back here,” I say, a little too proudly I think. “I had to be careful, you know. I had to make sure that nobody noticed me. And nobody did.”
Sofia frowns again and shakes her head. “So you’re telling me that you decanted all that money from the sack into your backpack and carried it back here thirteen times? You’re mad.”
Sofia’s such a brain-box. She’s always using big words like ‘decanted’ but this time it’s me who’s the clever one. “Well I could hardly carry it through the streets could I? People would have smelled a rat.”
Sofia holds her nose and stares over at the black plastic sack which still has traces of the dog shit I rubbed on it. “Well I can smell more than a rat,” she says.
It was a normal day like any other when I found the money. I can’t really say any more than that. It was raining a little. The sky was grey, I suppose. The grass was wet and I was making my way home from school. I’m eleven-years-old and I go to William Ellis Boys School in Hampstead. It’s only my second week at the school but I’m guessing that it’s still pretty unusual to find a big bin liner full of money in the bushes. I only found it because I was trying out a new route. I have an app on my phone that records exactly how far you walk and draws a line on a map that shows your route. I’ve been trying to find the quickest route to the school. On the first day I walked exactly 1.3 miles. On the second I walked exactly 1.21 miles. And it was only because I was trying to shave as much as possible off the distance that I ended up walking close to the bushes and spotting that bag of money. Today I walked 1.1 miles, which I don’t think I’ll better.
“What’s mum and dad going to say?” asks Sofia.
This is where I get annoyed. I don’t normally shout and things but sometimes you have to if you need to make a point. “Mum and dad aren’t going to say anything…” I say in a loud voice – not shouty like dad – just loud.
“…Because mum and dad aren’t going to find out,” says Sofia. Sofia has an annoying habit of finishing everybody’s sentences.
“They’re definitely not going to!” I say.
And with that I/we hatch a plan.
Stay tuned for release day news.
Have a great week,
Book and Author Links
Book promo http://youtu.be/xaWO4tR4oj0?list=UUzLRcpNMLRKKtJhes1s1C7w
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Dancing in Darkness by Margaret Eleanor Leigh.
“Charlotte,” he said slowly, as if pronouncing the name of something really delicious, like cherry brandy or chocolate. “I want to talk to you.”
“You do? What about?” Her knees were starting to buckle.
“ About last night...”
“What about last night?” If she hadn’t been leaning against the wall she’d have sunk to the floor. As it was she nearly dropped the phone.
“In three days you have turned me into a madman. Do you think I behave that way with every woman I meet?”
“I should hope not…”
“I want to do it again,” he said.
“Oh!” This time she did sink to the floor.
Dancing in Darkness - a suspenseful love triangle in which the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood becomes a matter of life and death.
Available from 1st February at:
Saturday, 3 January 2015
Welcome to my first blog post of 2015. Happy New Year!!!
I hope you have all had a happy and healthy holiday period. As myself and the authors and readers at Rukia Publishing get set for a great year in the book world, I thought I would share my recent interview with travel memoir author Robert Fear who is a valued Rukia supporter.
For those readers who are not familiar with you or your work can you tell us a little about yourself?
Born in Leicester, UK in 1955. My family moved south to a village in Surrey called South Nutfield when I was 11 years old. We moved into Dawn Cottage and this was where I spent my formative teenage years. Attended Reigate Grammar School, which was a five mile journey (mostly by train and bus). It was here that I picked up the nickname of Fred.In 1974, after gaining 3 A Levels (English Literature, British Government & Politics and History) I started work at a private bank in the city, with every intention of working for a year and then going to university. In the end, I worked there for nearly 3 years.During the summer of 1976, I went on a two-week holiday with three mates to the Spanish island of Ibiza. We had a fantastic time and all of us vowed to go back for the summer in the following year. Come the next April I went out there on my own, although two of my mates joined me later on. I ended up working in a bar called ‘Grannies’ and loved the whole vibe, met plenty of young ladies and had a great time, but didn’t sleep a lot!Returned to the UK for the winter and worked 12-hour night shifts at a plastics factory to get some more money together for the following summer. In the spring of 1977, I set off again, this time to hitch-hike around Europe. For 4 months I made my way through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece and several islands, Italy, France, Spain and back to Ibiza again for the last couple of months of the summer. It was during this return visit that Fred met Rita and this time when I left the Balearic Islands it was to head for Frankfurt in Germany. I moved in with Rita, who lived with her parents in a house in Ruppertshain, a small village in the Taunus hills. Initially, I got some work on a building site and then in a Coca-Cola factory. By the spring of 1979, there was enough money in the coffers to fund a trip to the States and Canada. I started in New York where I spent a week or so before travelling on a 3 month Greyhound bus pass up the east coast, across Canada, and down the west coast where I stayed in LA for a couple of weeks. Then headed back across the States to Florida and back up the east coast to end my journeys in New York, An incredible round trip.Back in Germany I got a job as a messenger at the First National Bank of Chicago. Within 6 months, I had been promoted to the accounts department as I picked up the language and proved my worth. The travel bug didn’t go away though, I stayed at the bank for 15 months before heading off again, this time to Asia. This period is covered by my travel memoirs, the only time in my life that I recorded almost everything I did, in sometimes excruciating detail. The trip lasted 158 days and I travelled through Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal,
The first part of my diary was released in 2009 and its title, ‘Time in Thailand’, probably indicates to you that things didn’t go as planned. ‘£99 to Hong Kong’ was published in 2011 and covers the first part of my trip where I did some work as an extra for Chinese television. The full diary, ‘Fred’s Diary 1981’, was made available on Kindle and paperback in December 2013. Returning to Frankfurt in the late summer of 1981 was a shock to the system, a real case of reverse culture shock. Things soon get back to some normality though as I went back to the bank and worked there for another 5 years, becoming group leader of the accounts department. By the time I left my German was fluent.During this period I lived in Sachsenhausen, the bar and restaurant area of Frankfurt near the Main, often staying out late and enjoying life. Holiday allowance was generous in Germany and I was able to take 4-5 weeks travelling time off each year. I enjoyed trips to the Canary Islands, Scandanavia and Turkey. After returning from Turkey in November 1985, my life changed as I got together with the love of my life and in July 1986 I moved back to Eastbourne in the UK to be with her. We are still together nearly 30 years later and have lived in the same house since 1988 (the mortgage is almost paid off!). We got married in Kenya in 1994 and are cat lovers, having had a succession of rescues. The travel bug has never completely gone away. We’ve had great holidays in Portugal, Crete, Germany of course, Australia and the Seychelles.I had to start from scratch with my career in the UK, but found my niche in accountancy and computer software. I have had the opportunity in the last few years to travel with work and have been all over Europe as well as Singapore, Australia (for a week!), Ghana (at a Guinness brewery) and Suriname (in the middle of the rain forest).
If you could share one thing about yourself that currently your readers don’t know what would it be?
I was born into a religious sect called the Exclusive Brethren (also known as the Plymouth Brethren). They allow no social contact with people outside of the cult and at that time we were not allowed to read newspapers, listen to the radio or watch television. My father took us out when I was around 9 years old and we were excluded from seeing relations who stayed within the cult. I never saw my grandparents again.
To read the remainder of this interview and for the links to Robert's books visit his Rukia page