The May edition of Electric Press – Literary Insights magazine is now ‘live’.
Read for FREE. Follow the link or ‘click’ on the cover image.
All Things Bookish and more…
The May edition of Electric Press – Literary Insights magazine is now ‘live’.
Read for FREE. Follow the link or ‘click’ on the cover image.
Whether you are writing your first book, consider yourself an emerging writer or are an established author, there is always something more, something new to learn about our business.
We may be well versed regarding grammar or have a literary doctorate under our belt; it does not mean we know what Etherpad or Zoho are. Trim sizes and paper weight may confuse us and we may never decipher the difference between the Frontispiece and a Colophon.
If you are looking to publish small press or mainstream it is good to know the accepted word counts of various genres. It also makes sense to understand publishers and agent’s jargon, such as Boilerplate, Permissions and Blues.
What does 4/0/0/4 mean to you? Or Casewrap? Are you familiar with Endsheets?… I’m just asking.
Who should write your books Foreword and who should write your Preface? Do you need either one if you include an Introduction?
Do you understand Copyright and why you might need a Disclaimer? Is it a legal requirement to have an ISBN… and where do you get them anyway?
How would you like some clear advice regarding the difference in formatting eBooks and Print books (Paperback and Hardcover) along with font style advice and free downloads?
How about some samples to help you write your back cover ‘blurb‘ and getting to know how literary agents work and what is it they do… exactly?
All these questions and more are answered, many with examples you may copy and use; along with links, site addresses and downloads to make your life a whole lot easier, to save you money, time, and ton of wasted effort and frustration.
Paul White, the founder of Electric Eclectic, has two books designed to aid authors and writers to understand the publishing world and what you need to know to be a successful indie author.
Paul’s books are not about the writing process, neither do they offer advice on promotion or marketing… there are a plethora of publications, blogs, vlogs and podcasts which portend to do that.
Do not expect his books to be ‘self-help’ handbooks or a ‘step-by-step’ instruction manuals… they are not.
‘The Frugal Author’ focusses on the cost of self-publishing, giving detailed information on reducing expenses while maintaining, if not increasing, quality.
Paul says’ “No one needs a large ‘book debt’ before publishing. I advise how authors can be in profit from their first few book sales.”
Following the success of The Frugal Author, (revised edition now published), Paul received many questions about publishing and writing. This encouraged him to write a second book on ‘being indie’ where he addresses, in detail, the most frequent questions asked.
The result is ‘Lots of Author Stuff you Need to Know’, a weighty tome of understanding, knowledge and experience of the printing and publishing world. It is a book every author needs to have to hand regardless of experience.
“These books are full of the distilled results, the acquired knowledge and personal practice of being a successful, award-winning, Amazon bestselling indie author.” Says Paul.
The Frugal Author: https://mybook.to/FrugalAuthor
Lots of Author Stuff you Need to Know: https://mybook.to/Authorstuff
Prices on hold until the corvid 19 crisis is over. So, now is the perfect time to download both.
As part of Electric Eclectics re-organisation and streamlining we are moving more information about Electric Eclectic to this site.
Regular visitors may notice the increase in the number of pages and there are more to come, along with links to relevant online pages, information and services.
Of course, we will still keep blogging so you are entertained with short stories, book excerpts and we will notify you when the latest edition of Electric Press magazine is ready for you to read. We shall continue recommending and reviewing books, hosting new book launches and, maybe, even indulge in the odd giveaway?
During the transition, we may not post as many times as we normally do, but please keep dropping by to see the changes we are making and feel free to browse the archives, which you can do by scrolling, selecting a date from the left-hand menu, or by selecting on the ‘archives page‘ from the top menu. Whichever way suits will lead you to a plethora of exciting and informative material.
Thank you for reading this and please come back soon.
I first posted this in November 2014, (how time flies) on my writer’s blog, Ramblings from a Writers Mind. However, I am re-posting it here, on Electric Eclectic’s blog simply because I think you will find it enjoyably informative… at least I hope you do.
Books, novels, novellas, whatever term you use it does not really matter. Neither does it matter, in this instance, if you are reading a hardcover book, a paperback or even an e-reader. Because this post is about the story that lays within, not the format, the genre or classification of the book.
A story is a most wondrous gift which can be bestowed on anyone. It affords an avenue of escapism from life, from reality. A tale can whisk you away to worlds which do not exist but feel real, feel true as you read and absorb each word on each and every page.
A great story will draw you in, make you part of its netherworld, a place where you can battle the bad guys, or be the bad guy, or girl, or dog or horse… or simply watch, from your lofty viewpoint, all that transpires below.
No matter if you love a twisted plot of dirty deeds, or raunchy romance, fast action with death and destruction, a private detective prying into everyone’s business, or a love and betrayal saga of family and ever-changing fortunes; as a reader, you must consider how the author weaves such magic, how they are able to draw you into their fiction, into their deep mindbending imagination.
Whether you are laying on a recliner by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, or simply curled up in your armchair at home, a book is a magical portal, a gateway to another life, through which you can escape the humdrum of everyday tasks, at least for a while.
When you immerse yourself into a story the mundane evaporates, it disappears into the shadows of forgotten responsibilities, while you become absorbed into your own private world, a world that no other person can ever become part of.
Now, you may find my last statement somewhat beguiling.
Why would I say no other person could possibly enter the same world as you? After all, you are reading just one copy, a single edition of a book. Many other people must read the same story? They too have visited this fantastical world you now find yourself in?
Unlike watching the television, a downloaded video, or visiting the cinema where you sit with family and friends watching precisely the same action, hearing the same sounds, the same voices, a book is a far more personal experience.
It is a unique individual encounter.
When you read a story your eyes will be scanning the chains of words which are sequenced by the author. Yet it is not the author who is telling you the story. It is not these chains of words, mere ink blobs on the pages which paint those pictures in your mind. It is not they which lead you from one scene to another.
You see, in between the words there lies an invisible entity.
It is this entity which connects your mind to the authors, no matter how far away they may be in distance or time. Alive or long dead… you will become connected.
It is this which is the true magic of a book.
Wonderful plays and fantastic films work from the basis of good creative script writing, however, assisting the scriptwriters to deliver the words to an audience in a manner that will capture their attention are the actors and actresses. Their ability to deliver a speech or to convey dialogue convincingly is a wonderful skill.
Cameramen, directors, special effects, best boy’s and grips… and so on, produce the scenes and effects. But that vision, the moving images on the screen and the actor’s voices are not your story; they are the director’s interpretation of the screen-writers construal of the theatre play, which is based on the television series of the original book written by… whoever it may be.
Therefore, you are separated by degrees from the creators own thoughts.
I prefer a direct connection to the author, one without the intervention of another person, or persons, translation being foisted upon me.
Without becoming too technical, I am writing this post in a style far removed from the one I am using to write my novel. The way you are reading this is the way I have deliberately formatted my narration. In this instance as if I am speaking, talking directly to you personally. (Which I am)
In my fictional stories, the voice you hear is inside your head, may be omnipotent, or it may seem as if one of the characters is speaking, telling you the tale, it all depends on how I intend you to hear my story.
I hope I have explained that clearly?
The second reason reading a book is such a personal experience is, as you read, your mind creates a world so real and so detailed and in such a subjective form, it is only possible for it to exist in your own imagination.
Take a simple statement:
“The long black sedan drew up to the pavement outside the hotel.”
If it were a film I would agree because we would have both seen the same car, drive up to the same hotel, from the same direction, in the same weather conditions, at the same time of day….same….same…same.
However, when you are absorbed into the story of a book, you have to create the car yourself, imagine which direction it is driving, how the daylight reflects from its bodywork, or the lights glint on its polished paintwork as it drives under the portico of the main entrance… oh wait, your hotel did not have a portico? And it was not in the city centre… well, that’s ok, because this is your story and yours alone.
In mine it was night, the car was a dark blue stretched Bentley continental, what make was it in yours? Was it a stretch, was it blue or black… or white? What time of day, or night did you create for your story? Was it Chauffeur driven?
This is the reason you cannot read the same story as your friends, your mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt or Little Lord Fauntleroy. You can read the same book, but you can never experience the same story.
Ahh, now you are beginning to understand the true magic of a book, the amazing mystical power of narration.
It is something unique, something no other medium can offer.
Which is why I love the written word, why I love books above and beyond any other form of media for regaling a great story.
It is why I love to write.
Talking about writing… have you read any of my Electric Eclectic novelettes yet?
If not, you are missing a treat; each Electric Eclectic novelettes contain an amazing and captivating short story.
If you prefer paperbacks, I have now published several of my novelettes as Pocketbooks, smaller sized paperbacks which are perfect for slipping into a bag or, dare I say, a pocket. They will even fit into the back pocket of your denim jeans.
How’s that for convenience?
Visit @open24, Electric Eclectic’s Amazon store for readers and writers…
I first published this post, in June 2015, on a blog called Ramblings from a Writers Mind where I ‘write about writing for writers’.
The subject, one of memory and nostalgia is, I feel, equally important to the readers among us as it is to those who write. It is on that premise I now re-publish this post here, on Electric’s Eclectic’s blog.
I am sure I am not alone when I say stations and trains hold countless evocative memories for me. Many of these recollections are from my childhood, others from my adolescence and beyond. But most are essentially pure nostalgic longing.
I say nostalgic longing rather than reminiscent memory because most of the evocative scenes which play within my mind, when I contemplate railway carriages and station platforms, are false recollections. They are simply wistful yearnings for a time and place I have never been privy to.
Those of you who may not have a creative bent, those who are not writers, poets or lyricists may not, as yet, comprehend my words. So I shall, in my usual arbitrary, chaotic and irregular manner, begin to ramble away and hopefully elucidate you all too where my thoughts have wandered regarding this subject.
If you will humour me, I shall ask you to close your eyes for a moment or two and imagine you are on a station platform in the nineteen forties or fifties.
Hear the sounds of the locomotive hissing steam as it waits for the passengers to disembark. See the porters as they wheel loaded wooden carts to the goods wagon, while others push handcarts laden with passenger’s luggage to the coach doorway where they assist the people to board.
In the waiting room, a small coal fire burns filling the air with a sooty but homely scent, a scent of warmth and comfort. From a small kiosk, a man wearing a scarf and flat cap sells newspapers to the passengers waiting on the platform.
All around, a cacophony of sound melds into this concert of life, whistles blow, milk churns clank, You can hear the ‘thunk’ as reams of newspapers are plonked on the platform ready for collection. Passenger’s voices are a constant murmur, a backdrop to the stationmaster’s call of “All aboard”. Doors slam shut, the train huffs and puffs as it pulls away. A metallic squeal pierces the air as the wheels begin to turn.
Those remaining on the platform wave off their loved ones who, leaning out of the windows, blow kisses back.
The pervading smell is of coal, steam, hot metal, wood, newspaper and soot.
This is how I remember railway stations. Or at least this is how my selective and partially false memories cause my mind to create this evocative picture in my head.
I am not quite old enough to had such an experience. I was not born into that era. My time came a little later. Perhaps I do have just enough knowledge, enough memory to blend some truth into this fantasy.
As a young child, maybe six or seven years old, I regularly watched the last few operational steam trains as they rattled over the railway bridge in Penge.
I remember ‘platform tickets’, tickets which allowed non-passengers access onto the platforms to say goodbye and wave off their loved ones, or to meet them on their return. I have sat in the comforting warmth of a British Rail waiting room which was heated by an open coal fire, the smell of which I shall never forget. I also recall when the green liveried trains had first, second and third-class carriages, as well as a goods wagon and guards van at the rear.
Some may say they were the ‘good old day’s’ and in many ways, I agree. But historical conclusion is not the topic of today’s rambling.
I was not born early enough to have encountered life in the forties, not early enough to truly know the scents, sounds and feel of travelling by train in ‘those days’. Yet I do have the ability to create with my pen an acceptable and, this is the important bit, believable account of ‘being there’.
This is where ‘false memory’ becomes a friend and not the enemy.
Mixed with the few true memories I have are the perceptions of what life was like during such times. I have absorbed and pooled many of these ideas by reading books and watching films from that era, such as Brief Encounter (1945), or The Lady Eve (1941) and many other such scenes from plays and television programmes.
If, as a writer, I do my job well I can utilise both the true, the false and the acquired to create a world which shall captivate the consciousness of the reader, draw them into my fantasy world as their eyes traverse the page. I want to fascinate and enthral the reader, not only with my characters and their antics but also by lending to them an illusory world where they can escape the mundane and humdrum of life, at least for the moment.
This is where nostalgia, or at least nostalgic imagery features. I believe it is something we all have a longing for. Who, for instance, would not wish to travel back, to at least one certain point in time, if they were able?
I know it is something I would do if it were at all possible.
So why, I hear you ask, have I focused on railways as a topic to discuss the past. The answer is simple. Trains were ‘the’ mode of transport for the majority of people ‘way back when’, when few owned a car, less could afford to board a ship and air travel was just an aviators dream, accessible to only the very wealthy. Most towns and cities, other than one’s own home town, were too far away to cycle and horses were all but history.
How many of us have not said at least one goodbye, waved off a loved one or shed a tear on a railway platform. Who has not been bursting with excitement and anticipation while awaiting the arrival of a train returning a family member, a friend or a lover home?
It is fact stations are a place many hold dear because this is where we have experienced numerous emotions, countless times.
The station, the train, the railway is a place indelibly ingrained, permanently embedded and entwined with both our memory and emotion, however true or however false those evocative recollections might be will still hold them close, we still cherish them.
We all carry within ourselves a simple wistful yearning for a time and place we have never been. If I can re-create that place in your mind, stimulate your emotions, have you feel the air, taste the scents of my imaginings as you read my stories then know I have done a good job.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope these few randomly scribbled words give you food for thought or simply entertained you for a short while, Paul.
To browse my books please feel free to visit my website, https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white
If you would like to read a shorter book, say as an introduction to my writings, then check out my novelettes and ‘Pocketbooks’ on @open24, the Amazon store for readers by Electric Eclectic.
How often do you get asked, or hear the argument asking which is better… eBooks or Paperbacks?
To me, both have their benefits and downsides.
The main thing against eBooks is, you need a device and you need that device to have power. An uncharged Kindle, iPhone or Tablet is nothing but a piece of useless junk.
Even worse, is when it cuts out halfway through a chapter and your miles away from a charger, like on the beach or halfway up a mountain.
Of course, good things for eReaders of any description is the number of books you can store on them and the lack of space they take up. (Not that you’ll read even a small percentage of the books you have stored, while on holiday… or ever.)
The good things in favour of paperbacks are, you can read them anywhere, power or no power, charging points or not. You can flick through the pages of a physical book whilst in the bathtub without the fear of totally ruining it if it gets wet.
Also, I have never (yet) seen an electronic device used to prop up the wobbly leg of a café table, I have seen this done with a paperback book.
If you drop a paperback, no harm done, just pick it up and continue reading, no broken screens, no expensive repair bills.
Oh, and when did anyone snatch a paperback out of your hands and make off with it? Never is my guess.
There is also the wonderful feeling of holding a ‘real’ book, sharing it and lending it to your friend, or having it displayed on a bookshelf in your lounge. You cannot do that with eBooks.
Paperbacks do have a downside.
They are quite large in comparison to an Android phone or a Nook, so take up a lot more room, which is fine at home but can take a good proportion of luggage space when going on vacation.
And so, the discussion goes on. You may prefer one format over the other, or you may take advantage of the benefits of each, as and when you want.
What if… you could read a paperback the size of an iPhone?
Think of how many of those you could slip into your suitcase or rucksack, a handbag, or even your pockets.
You could read them anywhere, no batteries to worry about, no signal needed, no damage if dropped and no fear of anyone stealing them. You could even leave it unguarded on your beach towel when you went swimming, knowing it will still be there when you return.
How amazing would that be?
The thing is, this is not an idle thought, a sci-fi fantasy, or simply a futuristic dream. These books actually exist NOW.
Electric Eclectic has a growing range of ‘POCKETBOOKS’, smaller paperbacks whose dimensions are just 6×4″, which makes them ideal for travellers and commuters. These small-format books easily slip into a case, rucksack, handbag or, as the name suggests, a pocket, even the back pocket of your denim jeans.
Each pocketbook is a complete book, an entire Electric Eclectic novella or novelette. Most have an eBook option if you really prefer the electronic version.
Electric Eclectic is increasing the number of pocketbooks in their library, so keep checking in for new releases.
Click on any cover image to read more on Amazon.
The following article is from a wonderful author whom I am lucky to count amongst my friends.
Julia Blake is warm-hearted, funny and straight-talking; her words dance across the page, keeping you entertainingly captivated from start to finish.
In this guest post for Electric Eclectic, Julia addresses a question many authors are asked.
One of the questions readers ask me the most is, where do you get your ideas from? The honest answer is most of the time I have absolutely no idea. I’ll be going about my daily life and suddenly a scene, or a name, or a scrap of dialogue will float into my brain. For a few days, weeks, months or even years, it will simply sit there, putting out little tendrils of ideas that twist and grow and take root in my imagination, until suddenly, bam, I have a complete plot in my head, fully formed, as if from nowhere.
Occasionally though, I can pinpoint the exact moment when a book was conceived and can say “there, that was when it all started.” It was like that for The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~ my most popular book to date. Over a decade ago I was at a family party. It was one of those parties where ages ranged from babes in arms up to great-grandfathers ensconced in the corner with a glass of sherry. It was getting late, the party was winding down, parents of very young children had taken them home and I was sitting on a chair sharing the dregs of a bottle of wine with my brother. Behind us, a group of elderly gentlemen were reminiscing about the good old days. Only half-listening, my attention was abruptly grabbed when one of them came out with the best line ever. Leaning towards the other gents, he enquired…
“Whatever happened, to old Wally Twitchett?”
Wally Twitchett? What an amazing name. My imagination started humming. By the time I went to bed that night I could “see” Wally in my mind right down to his patched but clean clothes, his beak of a nose and protruding Adam’s apple. I could imagine him rattling around the village where he lived on his old boneshaker bike, because, of course, he had to live in a village. An old, isolated, insular village in a forgotten corner of Britain. A village that appears suspended in time and peopled with quirky characters all with names as odd and memorable as Wally’s. Maybe, the residents of this village never leave, ever. My, that is interesting. Why do they never leave? Because the village is slap bang next to a big old creepy forest with something evil at its core that’s placed a curse on the village and its people. Ooh, a curse! I love it. What type of curse? And so on…
You can see from this process how one simple name can spark a chain reaction in an author’s brain, where one idea tumbles onto the next and the next and so on until the whole plot lies before you. Rather like those domino effects where one tap sends the first domino falling onto the next and it’s only when the whole lot has fallen the picture is revealed.
I wrote the book.
Over a decade later, I published it.
To my joy, others loved the village and its characters as much as I did, and even though Wally ended up a minor character, he still finally found his voice in my story.
A sweet postscript to this story happened last year. I work part-time for a mattress and bed retailer and was one day putting through an order for a lovely young girl and her husband. They wanted to finance the purchase so in the course of completing the form I asked her for her maiden name. Twitchett, she replied.
I stared at her in disbelief.
“No relation to Wally Twitchett?” I tentatively enquired.
“Oh yes,” she replied, he was my great-uncle.
I couldn’t help the smile of disbelief that spread over my face and explained to her the significance of that name. Intrigued, she ordered the book there and then, wanting to share it with the rest of her family. It is touching to think that even though the real Wally Twitchett died childless many years ago, some small part of him will live on forever in The Forest.
“I met a man made of leaves, with roots for hair, who looked at me with eyes that burnt like fire.”
An impenetrable forest that denies entry to all but a select few. A strange and isolated village, whose residents never leave. A curse that reappears every generation, leaving death and despair in its wake.
What is lurking at the heart of the Forest?
When the White Hind of legend is seen, the villagers know three of its young people will be left dead, victims of a triangle of love, murder and suicide. This time, Sally, Jack and Reuben have been selected, and it’s their turn to be tormented by long-buried jealousies, aroused by the dark entity existing within its shadowy glades. Only by confronting the Forest’s secrets, can they hope to break the curse and change their destinies – if they have the courage.
Keeper of secrets. Taker of souls. Defender of innocence. Existing on the very edge of believing, there is the Forest.
This is its story
Love reading, find Electric Eclectic books on Amazon’s @open24, the store for bookworms, readers and writers.
The Electric Press Literary Insights magazine: February 2020 edition is now available online. Simply follow this link.
Hands behind her back, the zipper hisses as a snake disturbed. Black gown slithering to the floor; a crumpled heap of diamantes and silk.
No more the filaments of fabric obscuring flesh blemished from the harshness of years.
Sitting at her dresser she stares into the mirror.
Green flecked eyes reflecting paradoxical enigmas; Alice looking through the glass.
A thousand personas. Fractured self-refracted by perception. Splintered shards of being, gathered within feeble parchment.
Each is distinct; each is separate yet conjoined.
She wipes away the waxen red of her lips. Fullness fading; now smudges of sallow cracked pink, pastel shadows echo a thousand falsehoods spoken.
Fake eyelashes flutter, black spiders spiralling earthwards. Dead expectations. Used. Discarded.
Cotton wool pads smear shimmering sparkles of promises lost away from tired eyes.
Colours of dreams imagined, merge into streaks of disarray as hope and prospect mingle, as indistinct as soft falsehoods once whispered with bated breath.
Cleanser washes the city dirt, the dry cream and cracking powder from skin too long expose to fret and frown. Crow’s feet creep, long tendrils reaching out towards throbbing temples of greying hair.
Solitaire earrings, diamonds of love, earlier given, long past. Another life, still worn in optimistic anticipation that futures destiny may yet smile once more, gently set upon the shelf, a symbol of remembrance and hope alike.
Both to be cherished.
Now naked faced, laid bare, open, soul exposed. Shadows of age, ravages of time, wisps of days past disclosed. The harsh light revealing honesty.
Nothing now hidden, concealed, camouflaged.
Life exposed, fortitude eternal.
© Paul White 2015
Find Paul’s Electric Eclectic books on @open24 by Amazon
Visit Electric Eclectic’s blog, https://electriceclecticsblog.wordpress.com/
Browse Paul’s website, https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white