The Return & New Services Offered

I’ve been remiss in my blogging duties over the past few weeks. I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes it seems very draining and I just want to drop off the radar for a while. It’s coincided with a lull in my activity over on Goodreads, and honestly I find it quite hard to keep up the marketing for my books when it doesn’t seem to have much of an effect. Plus, sometimes I just want to step back and excise myself from the internet bubble a little bit. However, I am going to endeavour to make more of an effort to update my blog regularly (part of the problem is that usually I’d post movie reviews to my blog but most of those have been going to Flickering Myth). 

I’ve also decided to start doing some freelancing work. I have dabbled with writing articles before, but now I’m branching out with proofreading, editing and formatting books for Kindle. I know that it can be very hard for indie authors to get their books proofread and edited, and some people may not feel confident with formatting their books, so I’m here to offer my help for a nominal fee that will depend on the length of the book and the services required. Also, if any authors want to be interviewed I’m happy to host them on this blog, check out the ‘Interview’ tab to see a few of the interviews I have conducted. 

If anybody would like to get in touch you can either find me on Facebook, Goodreads or my e-mail address.

Thanks,

Rob

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Indie Book Review – Dragon Killer

I received a free copy of  Rob May’s Dragon Killer in exchange for a non-reciprocal review. I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s very fast-paced and tightly plotted, but it still makes time for world-building, which is always one of my favourite aspects of the fantasy genre. The tales of the old gods were intriguing and I liked how the author showed how religion and superstition would work in a world where the gods had died. I loved the picture of life he gave us, about how the society worked and the economics and even how people in this world gamble, and how it was all relevant to the plot. Sometimes I feel with fantasy stories authors get caught up in constructing a world and a history and they forget about the actual story, so it was good to get a glimpse of the wider world but without drifting too far away from the main plot. I especially liked the history of the gods, and how the people now pleaded instead of prayed. It seems like a world rich with history and since we only get a brief taste it whets the appetite for more.

 The story was well-structured. The first chapter of each part is devoted to a flashback, until the last part, when the climaxes to both stories are told simultaneously and they complement each other well. I liked the characterisation of all the characters, each were given distinct personalities, although the stand-outs were Kalinda and Darklaw. Kalinda especially was a protagonist that I could identify with and root for. The villain was surprisingly nuanced, I say surprisingly because at first he seems a typical power-hungry villain but then we are given a backstory which engenders some sympathy. It’s a fantasy story, so here we have dragons and goblins and I hope in future works we get some more creatures because the author gives us an idea of how the various groups relate with each other (I particularly liked how humans viewed the relationship between goblins and dragons) and it would fun to see how other factions fit into this hierarchy.

Probably my favourite aspect of the story was the attitude it had to superstition and belief, and how it can often blind us to the truth. Kalinda managed to see through all that and her rationality was a core strength to her character. 

 As I said before the story is very fast-paced and there’s a lot of action, but it never feels confusing or repetitive and the climax to the flashback story is particularly visceral. My only complaint is that I feel the romance was underdeveloped. It was quite brief and it seemed to come out of nowhere, and I think if it had been developed more it would have given certain events more emotional impact. But overall it was a very enjoyable read and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

It can be purchased from Amazon here.

– Man of Yesterday

New Release – Fraudulent

Fradulent Cover2alternate

I spent yesterday making some final tweaks and today Fraudulent is available to buy. I wrote this story at the start of the year, it flowed quite easily and I wrote it in about eight weeks. I found myself in a very morbid place and the summer sun seemed a long way off and this novel is the result of a lot of soul searching. Before this I never would have thought that I’d write something in this period, but I wanted to deal with the themes of duty and responsibility and I think the setting was ideal. I’m very proud of it and it’s one of my favourite things I’ve written. It can be purchased from Amazon here and here’s the blurb:

It’s the late 19th Century. William Traven is returning home to England after four years of travelling. Along the way he feels as though he’s lost himself, so he comes home hoping to recapture his lost spirit. However, he’s worried that a sense of belonging will still elude him and if he can’t find it at home he fears that he’ll lose all hope. There’s also Eleanor, the girl who promised to wait for him while he went away. He feels an obligation to marry her but he doesn’t know whether he can carry out his duty if he doesn’t truly love her, or whether he can be the man his parents expect. He’s torn between honour, duty and love, and death hangs like a shadow over him as he struggles to find a place in the world.

– Man of Yesterday

Interview with Indie Author Sara Boyd

Today I’m joined by Sara Boyd. She’s the author of ‘Nothing Else Matters’, a romantic novel about two lovers fighting the forces that threaten to tear them apart, and ‘Deceptive Comfort’, a short story exploring the devastating impact of superstition. Purchase links can be found at the bottom of the interview.

1. Could you tell us a little bit of your background and how you discovered your love of writing?

My background is not exactly in writing since I studied Farming Business in Argentina. I also have an MA in translation. But I always loved writing. I started at school, writing stories when I was bored.

2. You released your first novel last year, was it a long process? 
It was. Nothing Else Matters was written a few years ago. Since then it went through a few changes and I started the process of publishing on Amazon. The technical bit took me a while to get used to but I think I’m still learning something new every day. 

3. What inspired you to write that story?

 ‘NEM’ just popped into my head one day walking through a maize field. It’s a love story between foster siblings and I guess what I thought at the time was, ‘what if you were stuck in the same house night and day with someone you have romantic feelings for?’

4. You also have a short story available, what prompted you to try that format of storytelling? 

I go to a writing group and we write 750 word pieces every week. Deceptive Comfort started as a 750 word exercise and the group liked it, so I thought I would try the short story format, something I have never tried before because I like to write longer pieces. It was like a self-challenge and I think it worked well.

5. Your short story, Deceptive Comfort, deals with superstition. Why did you find it important to tackle that subject? 

I was always fascinated with superstition and how people relate to it. I think most people have an irrational approach to superstition. An example would be someone that says ‘Oh no, I’m not superstitious AT ALL, but I never, ever, walk under a ladder. Just in case, you know…’

6. Who are your main influences?

Oh dear… As a writer I feel like I have to say ‘So and so influenced me,’ but the boring truth is that no one really ‘influenced’ me as such. I do have authors that I like for specific reasons. For example, I think Martin Amis’ style is superb, although I wouldn’t say his plots are as good. I also like Margaret Atwood’s dystopian worlds. There are also books such as ‘Catch 22’ that show you that a non-linear story can still be really catching if it’s well written.

7. Were these books inspired by real-life experiences? 

So far, Nothing Else Matters and Deceptive Comfort were not inspired by real-life experiences. Maybe a scene is based on something that happened, loosely based, but not the whole story. 

8. What is your writing process?

My writing process is very messy indeed. I write straight on the word processor because I touch type. When I sit down to write I can write anything from 2000 words to up to 8000 a day, if the scene is clear in my mind. However, I can’t write every day. I write until I finish the whole story and only then do I go back to improve the scenes, add or delete, etc. But the characters, situations and dialogues of what I’m writing follow me around all day, and sometimes in my dreams. Yes, it’s a bit weird to dream about what you’re writing and, in my experience useless, because when you wake up you realise that the dream was utter nonsense. I especially play dialogues or scenes in my mind when I’m driving, at the supermarket or on public transport.

9. What are your current projects?

I’m struggling with a novel that was loosely based on a screenplay I wrote and… lost. Yes, lost it completely, the printed version and the word doc I had somewhere but could never find it. The original story changed and evolved and I wanted to set it in the UK. But when I did some research, the results complicated matters a bit. So now I’m trying to find a way around it.

After this, I want to write a historical novel, which I know will be another struggle because it might not be believable. However, since I had the idea for this novel genres have changed a lot. Historical sometimes is not 100% accurate and I read many stories that had what would have been considered unbelievable scenes, so I’ll give it a go.

10. Is there anything you’d like to say to your potential readers? 

Hello potential reader! Nice to meet you. I’m Sara Boyd and I write light, feel good romance. My style is simple and to the point. My settings are shortly described and only when something is essential for the plot. I guess I do this because I tend to skip lengthy descriptions when I am reading novels. If this is not your cup of tea feel free to read any of the other thousand really good authors out there. 
This said, Deceptive Comfort is not as light or feel good romance, and I did make an effort to ‘describe’ the setting a bit more.

I just got rid of my blog, but you can find me on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/saraboydauthor and on Twitter @saraboydauthor 
I also have an author page on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/saraboydauthor 

Nothing Else Matters on Amazon

Deceptive Comfort on Amazon

Thanks to Sara for joining me, if you’d like to be interviewed or have any feedback send me a message to the address found on the contact page! I’m off to see Man of Steel tonight, so watch out for a review tomorrow!

– Man of Yesterday

Awesome Gang Q&A

Along with my recent interview with The Book Elf I’ve had another Q&A posted by the good folks at Awesome Gang who feature a number of interesting interviews with authors. I’ve got a few more interviews coming up so keep posted for them, but for now you can read the latest interview here. For any other authors out there who want to try and get a bit more exposure it’s an easy process and it’s a lot of fun! 

– The Man of Yesterday