Showing posts from 2017

Selling your book or selling your soul?

Snobbery and hubris from the traditional publishing world bred some hurt feelings on the self-published side of the industry. To ease the pain, "Selfies" like to point out that they maintain control over their work and don't have to sell their souls like the "Trads" do. I don't think many believe that argument completely, but there's a lot of self-satisfaction in the idea of being in complete control of your artistic vision.

This mask of creative integrity has morphed into a widely held conceit that we Selfies can write anything we like and, once our genius is recognized, we can reap the benefits of redefining the publishing industry. Only, that almost NEVER happens.

Sure, the internet is awash with stories of this person who made seven figures self-publishing, or that person who was writing a chapter at a time on their blog and now their book is a movie. Yes, it those two people. Generally, the rest of us struggle.

One of the most popular fal…

#Goodreads - Wolves of Dynamo Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway
The Wolves of Dynamo by Gareth S. YoungGiveaway ends July 14, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Enter to win - 5 signed copies of #Monsters up for grabs!

Goodreads Book Giveaway
Monsters by Gareth S. Young
Giveaway ends July 14, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

#movies - Review - King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

#KingArthurLegendOfTheSword was NOT as bad as I'd heard it was. It wasn't WOOHOO...*runs around doing the helicopter t-shirt thing*...but it also wasn't *cries into cornflakes* This is one of those movies you start one Saturday afternoon, take a well deserved nap, and don't feel in the least bit upset at missing any of it. You'll catch the bits you missed the next time you need a Saturday afternoon nap.
The downsides Guy Richie's choppy writing/directing ticks can be annoying in places. He borrows from himself, having Arthur carry out both sides of a conversation to show how far ahead he can think, much like Sherlock planning out his Holmes-Fu in a pair of better Richie movies. This occasionally feels like Richie is trying to do the same with the audience, handling both sides of the "movie conversation", never letting a scene land without jarring cuts back and forth, until eventually you just want to step out of the experience to let him get it out of…

#Music - Songs you didn't know were covers - 002 - "Blame it on the boogie"

This is a tale of two Jacksons. Michael and Mick.

Michael and his brothers had a hit called "Blame it on the Boogie."

However, the song was actually written by another Jackson: Mick Jackson, a white dude from England. Unbeknownst to Mick, his publisher sold the rights to his song to Joe Jackson (not the "Stepping Out" Joe Jackson, but the father of the Jackson Five.)

Confused yet?

What followed was The Jacksons and Mick Jackson releasing their own versions of the same song within a week of each other in the UK. And, contrary to what you might think, Mick did okay with his version, both in the UK and US. Sadly though, he never saw any royalties for the song because of his publisher's shenanigans.

At least we still have his funky white version to enjoy. :D


#movies - Wonder Woman - spoiler free review

A quick, spoiler-free #WonderWoman review...

I went to see this movie fearing the worst. DC have not had the best track record of late and there seemed to be seventy years of expectation resting on Gal Gadot's shoulders. Turns out, my fears were misplaced. DC have finally found a better balance in tone for one of their movies, and, in Gal Gadot, they have an excellent Wonder Woman.

Director Patty Jenkins has made no secret of the fact she's a fan of 1978's Superman, and there are a couple of visual nods to the classic Christopher Reeve movie. However, the spirit of Superman is most obvious in the chemistry between Diana and Steve Trevor, something that's been sadly lacking from the other DCEU movies. And most notably absent from the newer Superman movies.

Gadot owns the role and gives us much of what DC/WarnerBros missed the mark on with their "grim dark" superhero universe so far: optimism, charm, kindness, and humor - despite the wartime setting. And make no m…

#Music - Songs you didn't know were covers - 001 - "Mickey"

For many of my generation just saying "Hey, Mickey!" is enough to get half of you humming the tune to Toni Basil's one-hit wonder from the early 80s.

Decked out in pigtails and a cheerleader outfit, the forty-year-old Basil danced and chanted her way to the top of the American charts and a place in music history. However, the talented dancer was not the first to record the song. The tune was originally written for a group called Racey...and it was called "Kitty."

Racey recorded Kitty for their 1979 album, and despite being written by the very successful Chapman/Chinn songwriting partnership, never released it as a single. So, Toni changed the name, added the cheerleader chant and scored the hit, and Racey? Well, had you heard of them before I brought them up?


The Cream always Rises

In 1996, Dana Carvey had a comedy show. Don't worry if you don't remember it, only 8 episodes were made before it was canceled. Why is this important enough to mention more than twenty years after the fact?

Carvey was a huge deal in the mid-90s after a successful stint on Saturday Night Live, and appearing in Wayne's World and its sequel. ABC must've figured if he got a good writer's room they'd have winner.

Looking back now, we are able to see that not only did Carvey have a good writer's room, he possibly had one of the greatest ever assembled. Granted, at that time, a lot of them were unproven, but since then almost every one of them has become a major name in comedy or movies. They were a proverbial Wrecking Crew of comedic talent...

Louis CK (head writer) - now a hugely popular stand-up and auteur, who's had great success on television for a number of years...

Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert - Both became famous through The Daily Show with Jon Stewar…

Seven Questions for D.R. Willis

#SevenQuestions this week is with my new best friend: D.R.Willis who, aside from being an author, is a chocolatier - which has nothing to do with why we're now best dare you insinuate otherwise!

David has written four books, details of which can be found if you follow the links at the end of the interview...the sweetest, tastiest, most chocolatey links...ummm...sorry, I got distracted for a minute there. :)

Over to you David...

1 - If you weren't able to write, how would your creativity manifest itself?

Well, first I have to say I can never imagine myself not writing. But…I’ve been oil painting for many years, mostly landscapes. And I have been known to burst out into song at the drop of a hat. I could see myself in some sort of singing group. 

2 - If you won $100 million on the lottery would you still write?
Yes, much more than I do now. And I would buy a beautiful cabin on a lake to write in. Probably not very unique, but it would be like a dream come true for me.
3 …

Seven Questions for Sara Carrero

This week's #SevenQuestions features one of my all-time favorite people: Sara Carrero! If you love the cover to my book "The Wolves of Dynamo" then you have Sara to thank for that (I already have, several times.) She's a whirling dervish of creative energy, whether she's painting, crocheting, making jewelry, constructing Zoinkies...

 or cute bunnies...

 ...she is ALWAYS creating.

Last November, Sara was an ML (Municipal Liaison) for NaNoWriMo in New York, helping set-up write-ins and get togethers for groups of writers hoping to complete the 50k challenge. I'm exhausted just writing her intro, nevermind doing all the stuff she does. lol.

Sara somehow had time to answer my #SevenQuestions...I suspect she might be a Time Lord.

1 - Leather or lace?
BOTH! Leather trimmed with lace. There are certain things you shouldn't have to choose between.
2 - If you weren't able to write, how would your creativity manifest itself?
Drawing, painting, sewing, making tiny boo…

Seven Questions for Jacqueline Bach

This week's #SevenQuestions are directed at the lovely miss Jacqueline Bach. I have known Jackie for more than five years now - after I butted in on a conversation she was having twitter - and, since then, she's proven to be a great friend, supporter, Harry Potter superfan, and poster of pony videos lol. A visit on my blog is long overdue, so I will waste no more time...over to you, Jackie...

1 - Which character from another book/series would you like to bring into your own book/series?

Duh, Harry Potter (but my own version of him), or really any of the awesome minor characters -- I loved Sirius Black and Remus Lupin and would totally hi-jack those guys if I had the chance. Also Luna Lovegood, she was a great character too. Really, there are too many characters in that world that are great....I need to go back and re-read those books again!

2 - Which actor/actress would you love to see play your characters in a movie adaptation?

Oh, this is a fun one and will completely express m…

Seven Questions for Sara Allen Stewart

Welcome back to #SevenQuestions. My guest this week is Sara Allen Stewart, a vociferous advocate of things she believes in and a vocal supporter of her fellow authors and creatives. As usual, please take a moment to check out Sara's links at the end of the interview! And now, over to Sara...

1 - Which actor/actress would you love to see play your characters in a movie adaptation?

I actually have a file with photos of who I would have play my characters. It helps me to know how someone speaks, moves, facial expressions, etc. when I write a character. I don't worry about their age now (or even if they're living), I just picture them at the proper age in my mind. I have quite a few characters in my book and the ones I would choose for Those You Trust include: Erik Estrada, Constance Marie, Donna Murphy, Clancy Brown, Kendall Schmidt, Robert Downey Jr. (it's a wish list, after all), Maureen O'Hara, Mike Delfino, Queen Latifah, Bonnie Hunt, and Lindsay Wagner. So...that&#…

Seven Questions for Lexi Miles

The lovely Lexi Miles volunteered to be my first victim of the new year. Lexi's cheerful demeanor and positive attitude are a perfect way to get back into the writing frame of mind. So, without further ado, here are my #SevenQuestions for Lexi... 

Hi Gareth, I just want to say, I adored this opportunity to hang out with you for a bit. Thanks so much for having me over for a visit. Okay, I will jump right into answering.

1. Leather or lace?

I am a big fan of lace. Absolutely love to shop at Vicki’s Secret! (giggles)

2. If you weren't able to write, how would your creativity manifest itself?

Art, music, running a business, or acting. I totally dig those things!

3. One piece of advice for new writers?

Write the story you want to read.

4. Can you just sit down and write or do certain things like location, music, ambience, time of day, need to be right?

Yes, I can sit down and write pretty much anytime. But ideally, when I can swing it, I like an absolute quiet environment or to be lo…