Friday, 22 November 2013

Doctorin' The Tardis

This weekend we're celebrating 50 years of one of the world's most iconic TV shows - Doctor Who. With nearly 800 episodes under its belt, the Doctor and his companions have time travelled their way into the homes, hearts, and minds of billions of people.

To celebrate, I compiled a short quiz for the people I work with. Feel free to have a go and no cheating! I'll post the answers later on.

1.    What does TARDIS stand for?
2.    Who composed the theme tune?
3.    Who played the first Doctor?
4.    When he reaches the end of his life, the Doctor can do what to remain alive?
5.    The Master is the Doctor’s what?
6.    The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) had a trademark piece of clothing. What was it?
7.    Which villain is characterised by its salt pepper shaker like appearance?
8.    K-9 was Doctor Who’s what?
9.    The Tenth Doctor’s companion was who?
10.    Doctor Who premiered on the day after which other big world event?
11.    The words TARDIS and Dalek have been added to what famous reference book?
12.    Doctor Who holds the Guinness World Record for what?
13.    Doctor Who can be formed into an anagram which is now used for a spin off series. What is this anagram?
14.    Which catchphrase from one of Doctor Who’s villains has made it into modern use?
15.    Which silver suited villain first appeared in 1966?

And, while we're at it, let's have a bit of music!

So, who's your favourite Doctor? Do you have a favourite memory of the show? Or a favourite villain? Feel free to share them in the comments, and thank you for reading!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Houston, We Have A Problem

I have a bit of a problem.

Actually, it's not a bit of a problem. It's a massive, lingering cloud which hangs over my head.

Let me try and explain...

I have absolutely no problem helping other people promote their music/books/events/causes/art. In fact, I love doing it! I love sitting down, putting my brain in gear, and helping other people.

If I love it so much what happens when it comes to my own projects?

I completely and utterly flat line.

I see all my friends doing all this cool stuff. They're off giving interviews and being on TV and the radio and doing more and more cool stuff. And I don't hate them for it. Not by a long shot. I'm so freaking proud of them! It's like watching baby birds learn to fly. Suddenly they're out there and doing some absolutely brilliant stuff!

But I can't do the same for myself. Part of it is because I don't know how to. The other is because I don't like asking for help. I don't like calling up the newspaper or the radio station or the events organiser or the website owner and asking them if I can do something. For some reason, it makes me feel like I'm intruding on their time and that I'm also not that interesting. Why would they want to speak to yet another author?

As I found out recently, places get inundated with requests from authors. So many that they have to turn them down. And that was a bit discouraging.

So how do you do it? Leave your ideas in the comments or feel free to drop me an email. I'd love to hear from you and thank you for reading!!

waking_the_dead @ (Just remove the spaces!)

Friday, 15 November 2013

My Tips For Authors

We've all seen the tips on writing and promoting books and other things literary. So here's a few I've picked up over the last couple of years on being an author.

Appearances Count

They say don't judge a book by its cover. But we do. So you've got the snazzy book cover, your website looks awesome, and you've got some cool as ice business cards. What else?

Get some promo materials. Not just business cards but flyers and postcards as well. People forget about emails you've sent, links you've posted to their Facebook walls, and things you've Tweeted them. They quickly get lost in the ever growing pile of electronic noise.

But you give me a postcard and I'm more likely to check out our wares. They don't have to be hard to make. A quick search of the internet turns up hundreds of discount printers who can turn around postcards, flyers and posters in a matter of hours. Artwork doesn't have to be a hassle either, just try not to use the site's standard templates. Have a look around for royalty free and creative commons images (always credit any artists you use. They'll thank you for it!) and pick one you like. Or hit up any artists you know. It might cost you a bit but you'll have something which stands out from the rest.

And Smile!

For the love of all things great, get some photos taken! If you find yourself giving an interview, or someone needing a photo of you for whatever reason, the last thing you want being used is a Facebook photo of you drunkenly gurning at the camera. You only have to take a look at some of the articles on music site Blabbermouth to see just how some atrocious photos are used (Yes, it's believed they do it deliberately!). Put on your finest clothes, brush your hair, and grab a photographer friend. Go somewhere nice, or somewhere interesting, or your back garden. Do something interesting. Get some nice photographs taken so you've got something to hand out if people need it.

The ones I use were taken by a friend in exchange for dinner. It did involve a hike up to a castle in high heels (never again!) but it paid off with some really pretty pictures.

Be Nice

Seriously. It's not hard to do and people are more likely to remember you if you've been nasty to them. Yes, we all have our bad days. We're only human after all. But try not to moan, especially about your situation as an author. Whether you're self published or traditionally published, there are people who follow you and will have a certain image of you in their minds. If you break that image, you've broken their trust in you and, in turn, probably lost yourself fans and readers. By all means moan about your day, the weather, the traffic, or whatever, but remember that, as an author, you're in a somewhat privileged position. A smile will make you a lot more friends than a frown (unless you're Grumpy Cat. But let's not go there because this post will descend into nothing but photos of our favourite frowny feline).

Saying that, play up to your quirks. I've managed to turn being grumpy into something which I think makes people smile. Thanks to everyone who sends me Grumpy Cat stuff! You're only helping to fuel that fire! ;) Be yourself and continue what you're doing but keep the moaning private.

No One Left Behind

Remember those who've helped you get where you are. You might not be selling books at the rate JK Rowling does but, somewhere around you, there'll be a team of people helping you along. This may be people at your publishers, friends, family, the local community, or work colleagues. Send them a card every now and again. Drop them a gift at Christmas. Say thank you. Again, emails, Facebook messages and Tweets are great but there's something so much more personal about sending something through the mail. Trust me, people love getting things which aren't bills and junk in the mail.

No One Left Behind Take 2

Some people do need a slap in the face with a shovel. But, for this one, we'll forget about them. Authors are generally a really great bunch of people. So let's help one another out! Promote each others books, help others who are struggling, hold competitions, and get involved with events. Together, we can do this!

Thank you so much for reading! I really appreciate it!


Rae spends her days running around a care home and her nights in front of a computer. When she's not writing or making people laugh, she enjoys listening to music, keeping in touch with her friends, and fangirling over various bands. She's threatened to write a novel about some of her life experiences.

Her first two books, Mars on the Rise (Veetu Industries #1) and Selling Mars (Veetu Industries #2), are available through TorquerePress. Her next two books, The Eve of War (Veetu Industries #3) and A Second Past Midnight, will be coming out in 2014.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Things That Go Bump In The Night - Part 4

Here's the final part of the Things That Go Bump In The Night series. I recorded this one as a video because, well, it really did freak me out. Enjoy... ;)

You can find Parts 1 - 3 here.