Tag Archives: PR Hilton

I’m a hEARo

HearingLikeMe.com - A community for those who have been touched by hearing loss.
I have just become a PhonakhEARo, this means that I’ll be part of a community of like-minded people.  The Phonak “hEARos” program supports a community of inspirational individuals who harness Phonak’s passion to fighting the stigma attached to hearing loss, tearing down barriers for the hard of hearing and finding new and innovative ways to help everyone reconnect to the beauty of sound.

As someone who is both deaf and a Phonak hearing aid user, I’m very pleased to be part of something which is striving to make a very real difference to something which is part of everyday life for so many of us.

Hearing loss should not be a thing to be ashamed of. Wearing glasses has now become so normal, that in some quarters it’s become a fashion statement.  Wearing hearing aids should be no different.

I love my hearing aids and wouldn’t want to ever be without them, as they have made such a positive difference to my life.

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My Writing Style

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I call the way I write, organic writing, because it grows and evolves as a natural plant does. It needs tending, yes, certainly, but, the process is one of nurturing and helping, facilitating, if you will, but not enforcing or structuring.

I don’t plan before writing. That’s correct, I sit down and may have a title or not, but beyond this no real idea of what kind of work I will produce, beyond whether it will be a novel or a short story and the basic genre.

I do plan nonfiction, because I think there is a very real need to do so and I blame my journalism tutor, he was a hard task master and things learned, stick.

With fiction things are different. I have tried planning and structuring in the past. I took a couple of those creative writing courses back in the 80s when ‘The Plan’ was all the rage. Now, I know many people still love this way of working and I think it’s great, just not for me, it stifles my creativity.

Perhaps this way of writing stems from my background. As a stage actor I was used to being called on to use improvisation a great deal and as I morphed into writing, it was with plays, the first of which I workshopped with the actors as it was being written. This gave the written work a natural realistic flow and was often born of trial and error and spur of the moment creative thinking.

Once I have started something, I will make rough word sketches of possible places to go, but nothing is ever set in stone. If I walk away from the project, on my return things will have changed and I will then have to work around these new revelations.

My characters will often decide to do or say something which changes the whole direction of the story. I never fight this, because if I’m surprised, it makes sense that my reader will be as well.

To write in this way, you have to be very confident with your writing and also relaxed about the outcome, regardless of what that might be. For example, my first book, which was to have been written with another author, as a nonfiction title detailing the life, times and exploits of my infamous father, first turned into a novel and then morphed into a trilogy.

I use the same organic process when deciding on a book cover. I spend time with different mental images and once I feel that I’m close to something, move onto photographs, choosing how I want things to look. I then mock up my version of the cover (Not pretty) and send this to my cover designer, she then works her magic and give or take the odd tweak here and there, I end up with the cover that I know is right for that particular book.

To work the way I do, you have to be very flexible and not too needy. If you need to be in total control of your fiction writing project from start to finish, my way is a highway of nightmares. For me it’s an adventure and I’m never bored with the result, no sooner do I begin something and sit back, the story unfolds and I feel as though I’m along for the ride.

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Twelve Shards of Glass FREE Kindle Book. This weekend only

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A collection of short stories tied together by the central theme of glass in all its myriad forms. I see the collection as more fragments of a stained glass window. With each being a single piece, jagged or smooth, but complete only in its association with the macro-cosmic whole.
With the stories there is light and shade, twist in the tale and comedic. Depending on mood and taste, you will find something to savour within the pages of this collection. Each story looks at the human condition and how it is reflected in our emotions.
Each of the following stories was written specifically for this collection.

The woman who looked through a telescope
An executive sent to attend a conference from London, checks into a seaside hotel. What she finds in the sea changes not only her own perceptions, but her entire life. A tale which offers an insight into what can happen, if we allow ourselves to stop being so sophisticated and learn to relax, wonderful things can take place.

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An unexpected inheritance leads a man to not only learn of his past, but in doing so, discover his future in the process. A twist in the tale story

The Lasts Drops
A group of ceremonial magicians conjure up a demon during a ritual. When the thing is banished, something remains in its place and this has implications for the whole household. This is a dark comedy with a nod to Hammer Horror.

The Goldfish Bowl
Five strangers are trapped in a glass elevator and while awaiting rescue, discover that often it’s more how we view things, than how those things really are which counts. A cautionary tale about how easy it is to base our lives on our habits and assumptions.

Keep your eye on the ball
A serious accident gives an angry man a chance for more than he ever dreamed possible, including his own spiritual and emotional redemption. A story of not only possibilities, but also of love.

The Glass Bell
An old priest discovers an ancient glass bell and believing it to be a gift from heaven, has it set in a bell tower. However, when the bell rings, something comes in answer and it isn’t an angel. This story is my take on The Lovecraft mythos.

The John Trail
A woman gets more than she bargained for, when she orders new double glazed windows for her old house. This is a comedy played out across the backdrop of Britain during The 1980s.

Here’s looking at you
Set during the 1930s. A woman racing driver and general all round daredevil appears to have a charmed life. Who is the mysterious woman she sees in the mirror? A classic twist in the tale type of story.

The moving glass
Newlyweds host a house warming and find the addition of a Ouija board offers far more than just party games. A supernatural tale with a twist.

The Night Shift
Two men who dislike each other find a common bond in a nemesis in the shape of a woman, who is even more threatening to their status as men’s men than was their imagined feud. A comedic tale which looks honestly at how men have a habit of seeing themselves as legends in their own minds. It also looks at how friendships are so often found in unlikely places.

The magician’s assistant
A magician’s new assistant finds herself trapped inside a living nightmare unable to wake up. This is a psychological tale with a twist.

The White Room
A sculptor meets a 60s Hippy in a mysterious white room and learns the truth about art, his life and the secret of living in the moment. This is a story about how each moment in life really can be a perfect moment, if only we take the time to see and experience it.

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Coming up for air

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What a good feeling it is to finish something. Last night I saw my first short story collection published, Twelve Shards of Glass. The feeling, as always is one of both sadness and elation.

A part of me gets used to being around the work in question and then suddenly that relationship changes and I have a different kind of relationship.

I’m very excited about this collection of stories because I think writing these for the book and with having a set theme in mind, connections with glass, I have been able to use different writing styles, as well as light and shade.

As an author, I’m all too often judged by the work at hand, as to my ability.  This of course is nonsense, as we can all turn our hands to different things, if we’re offered the opportunity.

Many of the stories have a twist in the tale and all are perfect coffee break short reads.

Amazon UK                   Amazon US

 

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An old fashioned wartime thriller FREE today only on Kindle

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If you like an old-fashioned wartime thriller without sex and too much violence, this might be right up your street.

The second book in my Harry Royle series is FREE all this weekend. It is book two, but can be enjoyed as a standalone read.

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Glass in its myriad forms

 

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I have been very busy writing brand new short stories for my forthcoming collection Twelve Shards of Glass.

I decided that instead of simply collecting a number of existing short stories together, giving the collection a name and putting it out as a book, I would do something more interesting.

Twelve Shards features twelve brand new stories, each with a connection to glass in some way or other.

Now you might think that this hasn’t given me much scope, but you would be very surprised at just how many different uses glass is put to.

The stories range from the mysterious to the comedic and so much more in between. The experience has been so interesting, that I’m intending to theme future short story collections too, though with different themes of course.

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If the eye is the window of the soul, what is a book cover?

An author might spend many months or even years working on a book. Didn’t Emily Bronte take thirteen years to finish Wuthering Heights?

Say what you like about Emily, she certainly had staying power. I digress, sorry, back to my point.

Having worked hard and any of my readers, who has written or is in the process of writing a book, novel or non-fiction, will know just how hard it really is.

You can forget these ‘How to write’ books that tell you that it’s simple, just sit down, plug into your Muse and away you go. No, not quite.

The writing has to be backed up by good quality research, even fiction, especially fiction if readers are to believe in its truth.

After the book is finished, comes the proofreading and editing, a huge task, even with a small book.

Along the way there are so many choices, what needs to go in, what should be left out? In order to let the work breathe and in doing so benefit the book.

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When it’s finished, being a book, it will need a cover. And here all too often is the big problem.

Why do so many people who have worked so hard and for so long, throw any old image on the book and call it a cover?

In this time of E-books, especially when it comes to Amazon Kindle books, covers are not just important, but vital in getting your work noticed.

I have seen books in the crime and thriller sections, which feature obvious pictures of pets. I’m not kidding, dogs and cats and a title and author name.

Remember that if your book comes out on Kindle, it will feature on The Kindle Carousel, once downloaded. The quality of the cover along may decide on that book being flicked past, deleted or opened.

When it comes to my hard work, I mock up all of my covers first and then send them to a designer. My book represents not only my hard work, but also my Author Brand.

I want to be able to stand behind each book proudly. I also want them to look good as both thumbnails and full size.

In an Amazon search, potential readers must be able to read the title and see the cover image, at least reasonably enough to decide if it might be of interest to them.

Remember that they’ll only get to read the blurb, as amazing as it might be, once they click through from the thumbnail.

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I like to have my covers before my books are written. That might seem odd and maybe it is. To me, it helps keep me on track.

It also holds me to account, because if the cover exists, the finished book has to follow. My thinking is like that great movie with Kevin Costner and Burt Lancaster, Field of dreams.

The quote from that movie was

‘If you build it, they will come.’

Now if you missed that one and I’d be surprised. The theme of the film was about believing in yourself and knowing that if you do what is right for you deep down in your heart, everything will work out.

So my covers are like that, I get them and the books will come. It works for me, but we’re all different and that’s what makes life so interesting.

 

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