Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – The Story Reading Ape and his Guest Billy Ray Chitwood


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Here is the fourth post from Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape. He suggested that having such an extensive archive, that I share some of his guest posts. It serves another purpose apart from showcasing that guest, as it is reminder to you that Chris loves having new guest write for his blog. This week I have chosen a guest post from an author who is also in the Cafe and Bookstore over here.. Billy Ray Chitwood.

The Story Reading Ape and his Guest Billy Ray Chitwood.

My name is Billy Ray Chitwood.

Giving my name gives me away…but, then, that’s what I wish to do! That’s what one does when one writes an honest introductory article – ‘rat’ on your life, where you’ve been, the scandals, the ‘ugly rap sheets’, the fourteen books I’ve written, the 350-plus blog posts…

Okay, cute, but leave out ‘scandals’ and ‘ugly rap sheets’ from the last sentence in the preceding paragraph. There are none! Really, there are none! Unless we go way back in time to a Sunday night car wreck caused by Lambda Chi Alpha, my fraternity and its initiation rite.

Okay, not so cute and not so true on the above last line of the preceding paragraph.

Don’t leave, please! I promise to play straight from this point onward.

Here is my true story…

My name does give away my heritage. Born in poverty in an Appalachian Saw Mill Camp prior to mid-century 1900s, there was enough emotional see-saws to ride to keep this young lad confused and immeasurably displaced with all the broken family messes. It was rather common for the time with a lot of good people sick with Malaria, out of jobs, and ‘the creek was rising’…ah, stop it! you can’t put a happy face on that part of your life. It was the pits!

However, I won’t use this space to cover that period, but there is a book I wrote that captures the essence of that memorable childhood and the era (actually, two books) – Woody Guthrie and his son, Arlo, had some songs to sing about those days.

My narrative takes a quick shift as I leave high school and escape the poignancy of youth for the adult world of neon lights, lovely ladies, and too much partying. That is, after my stint in the United States Navy. The old USN corrected my path as much as it could.

After serving part of my enlistment in Adak, a tiny military island in the Aleutian Islands where tundra and whiskey either makes a man or destroys him, my new duty station was Washington, DC where I worked in a security division, feeling somehow special, helping in some small way to keep our nation safe.

Well, the island of Adak and Washington did for me all they could.

Back stateside I became a ‘lotus eater’ for a while, you know, that group Odysseus discovered in mythology who spent their days in languorous daze (another cutesy – days, daze!), eating and imbibing their way to some sort of Nirvana.

Actually, most of that wild living period came after my honorable discharge from the Navy, after 10-years of a failed marriage, after a college degree, during some acting in TV commercials, film, and modeling.

What I ask you to believe in all this is that the ladies I met, some I married, were all beautiful of body and soul, and, for the most part, sensitive to where I had been up to that point in time.

My writing was something placed inside of me by the Almighty and, I suppose, by genetic structuring. I began as a young boy playing with poetry and with songs. I mimicked great vocalists like Nat King Cole and John Gary, like my hero, Frank Sinatra, like Perry Como and legend-still, Tony Bennett. What writing talent was mine stayed ‘on hold’ during the days of WWS – Wine, Women, Song! – to be taken up again in the eighties.

Sure, I’m aware of the portrait I’m painting here but nothing sets you free as well as the truth…and that is what’s being conveyed here.

The portrait is not very attractive, perhaps, but just think of the writing ideas that come to me during those sleepless nights when my demons visit me – and, without a doubt, I know in certainty and in my introspective moments that what has made its home in my Romantic and Wanderlust heart are the meek and humble beginnings in Appalachia.

This might very well surprise you (if you don’t mind being surprised!): despite my wayward journey from the hills of Tennessee lo those many years ago, there is really nothing I would change – even the sometimes agony and angst in my demon visits. It is that fodder for the soul that connects me with the characters and with the lines that embrace the narratives of my books and blog posts.

My writing, I believe to be good if not pure. Many of my novels are inspired by true life criminal acts, gritty and raw. I’ve had this curse of curiosity about the evil in our world, the psychopaths and socio-paths that abuse our children, kill them and so many other innocents. So, I write in the mystery, suspense, and thriller genres, but also write romance novels that have a suspenseful edge, even rich love stories with a ‘time travel’ element.

Of course, I wish my books to sell, but even if there be no best sellers that I pen, it will not stop my writing.

Writing gives me my therapy, my raison d’être, a new life to explore here in ‘Twilight’.

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About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

My thanks to Chris for allowing me to access his archives… and I am sure he would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

 

 

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – The Story Reading and his guest author A.C. Flory


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Here is the third post from Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape. He suggested that having such an extensive archive, that I share some of his guest posts. It serves another purpose apart from showcasing that guest, as it is reminder to you that Chris loves having new guest write for his blog. This week I am sharing the guest post in 2017 from author A.C. Flory.

The Story Reading and his guest author A.C. Flory

“Hi, my name is Andrea, and I’m a writer,” she said, stumbling over her words.

That’s me, A.C. Flory, science fiction writer and introvert extraordinaire. I’m not stereotypically shy, and if you ask me about one of my passions, I’ll happily chew your ear off, but talking about myself and my writing still feels…odd. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t start writing fiction until I was forty-eight.

I may have been a late bloomer when it came to storytelling, but reading was another matter entirely. I began reading for pleasure when I was eight, and by twelve I’d read Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment…and loved it. Before anyone gets too excited, I have to point out that education was very different back then, especially in the Catholic school system. We were expected to be really good at ‘reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic’ by the time we reached the end of primary school, so I was not all that precocious.

By the time I reached secondary school in the early 60s [1960s] I’d lightened up quite a bit, and I remember writing a brilliant, humorous essay about the digestive system for a school assignment. Well, I thought it was funny. The teacher disagreed, and that was where my fledgling writing career stalled for the next few decades.

When I say ‘stalled’, I don’t mean that I stopped writing; I spent most of my twenties in universities so I did a lot of writing. For my BA., I majored in Philosophy and Japanese. Lots of writing there. Then there was even more writing for my Dip. Ed., followed by lab. reports and statistical analyses for Behavioural Sciences. And finally, there was a decade of user guides for off the shelf computer software. But in all that writing, I didn’t write fiction. At All.

Some authors talk about writing stories from the moment they’re old enough to hold a pen, but I never did. I always saw myself as logical and pragmatic, so my imagination only came out to play in that twilight zone between true wakefulness and sleep. Yet in hindsight, I recognize that even in my day dreams, the story had to make sense.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, my waking self was having some adventures of her own. I spent a year in Europe, learned to ride a motorbike, went up in an unmanned glider [as a passenger] and almost lost my lunch when the pilot of a small aircraft showed me what a barrel roll felt like from the inside. And all the while, I was learning life lessons as well, not all of them pleasant.

Yet, unbeknownst to me, learning about my own strengths and weaknesses was another necessary step on the path to becoming a writer. Research is vitally important, but no amount of second-hand information can provide insights into the human condition. Only empathy and experience can do that. To write about life, you first have to live.

Well, I did my living, and when life became a bit too stressful, I escaped into the worlds of science fiction and fantasy: the Lord of the Rings, Stranger in a Strange Land, Dune, The Left Hand of Darkness, Otherland, The Farseer Trilogy, Wool, Necromancer, Perdito Street Station…all brilliant novels that showed how character, world building, plot and beautiful prose could combine to create something truly extraordinary.

A lot of people think that writing good fiction requires nothing more than a novel idea, a firm grasp of grammar and a decent spell-checker, but they’re wrong. Fiction is all about persuasion, and learning how to persuade is not easy.

It took me thirteen years to learn how to create believable worlds and believable people, but the hardest lesson of all involved unlearning all I thought I knew about writing.

Writing fiction is not about precision and logic, it’s about feelings and effortless, flowing prose that provides the hidden ‘soundtrack’ to the action. It’s not poetry, but the choice of one word rather than another can change the whole rhythm of a sentence. And what is the core of music but rhythm?

I often read my work out loud, much to the confusion of my dog, to ensure the ‘music’ sounds right. And I always write with music, to put the technical writer in me to sleep.

In many ways, I’m still day dreaming for my own enjoyment, but at least now, I’ve found the confidence to share my dreams with others. And who knows? Maybe one day, I won’t stumble when I introduce myself as a writer. 🙂

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Amazon:

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About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

My thanks to Chris for allowing me to access his archives… and I am sure he would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – The Story Reading Ape with his Guest Michelle Clements James


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Here is the second post from Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape. He suggested that having such an extensive archive, that I share some of his guest posts. It serves another purpose apart from showcasing that guest, as it is reminder to you that Chris loves having new guest write for his blog. This week I am sharing the guest post in 2014 of Michelle Clements James who is a wonderful supporter of this blog too and most of yours I would imagine.

The Story Reading Ape – and his guest Michelle Clements James

I am a reader, not a writer. So why am I blogging?

I am a reader, and I blog about sharing the books I love whether romance, historical fiction, chick lit, biography, memoir, fantasy, classic, contemporary fiction, and children’s books. What I will never read are thrillers (I even hid behind a pillow during JURASSIC PARK). My blog is a place to talk about current reads, and many of the wonderful books I’ve read over the years, as well. Occasionally I throw in a post about my family. I recently participated in the A to Z Challenge to write a post every day during April. I invite comments and recommendations to all posts.

A bit about me…

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio and raised my children here as well. I went to college at the University of Cincinnati and majored in Geology with a minor in German and in English.

After college, I entered the workforce, but soon left that behind when my children were born. While raising my sons, I embarked on a fulfilling volunteer path for such groups as our local children’s hospital, church, neighborhood association, PTA, classroom volunteer, Kindervelt (a local non-profit to benefit Cincinnati Children’s Hospital), military academy parents’ organization, and Make-a-Wish. Volunteering enabled me to develop lifelong leadership skills and establish an extensive professional and social network.

Of course, I have always been a voracious reader, seeking out books that are both satisfying and enjoyable. I have endeavored quite successfully to pass my love of reading on to my sons and grandchildren.

I am married to my soul mate and have three amazing adult sons and two wonderful daughters-in-law. At present count, I have three grandsons and a granddaughter. My grandchildren bring me the greatest joy imaginable.

From a Reader’s Point of View

I started blogging to share my thoughts on books I’ve read and a few other things besides (grandchildren included). But, I am a reader, not a writer as is clearly stated in the first line of the  About page on my blog Book Chat. So why am I writing now? We-e-e-l-l, Chris the Story Reading Ape asked me to write something from a reader’s point of view.

Do I like to read? You bet! I will read anything I can get my hands on – short stories, the newspaper, books, poetry, magazines, cereal boxes. You get my point. I say anything, but that’s not quite true. I don’t particularly like science fiction, and I refuse to read anything spooky. No thrillers for me…none…zilch…nada…NEVER!

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Reading books is by far my favorite, so what do I look for in a book?

  1. Characters that seem real are a must. This to me is the most important attribute. I want to get to know the characters, have a relationship with them whether friend or foe, good guy or bad. I want them to have depth, to be flawed, have the same problems as everyone else. And…I want them to be memorable!
  2. Plot. Plot is the second aspect I look for in a book. I expect something that is plausible and yet intense. I want it to pull me in from the start. I will read as far as a hundred pages, and if it hasn’t hooked me, I will go no further. Hey, there are too many fish in the sea books to settle for something that is sub-par. Give me a unique story line. Nothing is worse than reading a book that retells the same story with different people and places. Surprise me! Be creative! Give me something new! Do your homework. Don’t tell me every detail, lead me there. Just show me the way and leave room for my imagination.
  3. The ending? Again surprise me. Don’t be predictable. I don’t want to figure it out half way through the book (why finish?). Bring your story to an ending that is unforgettable. Leave me with a moral quandary to ponder. Please don’t just ride off into the sunset.

If a book doesn’t hold my interest in the above three areas, I will probably not pick up another by the same author.

Will I read a book that expresses political or religious beliefs, cultural or racial differences? Absolutely, but my reviews are about what is written, and are not necessarily my personal views.

Am I critical of the author? Yes and no. I will tell it as I see (or read) it, but I don’t believe in trashing a book or its author. It is perfectly okay for you to like a book I can’t stand or for me to love one that you couldn’t bring yourself to finish. My goal is that the reader, after perusing my reviews, will find a book worthy of his/her time.

ebook_vs_book

E-Book or Physical Book? I love the feel and smell of a real bound book, but the convenience of being able to take a couple of books (okay, okay – a LOT of books) on my e-reader wherever I go is hard to resist. It is my favorite travel companion. There is no more finishing a book and wondering what to do for the next hour of the flight. I just start the next e-book.

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Ok folks, I’ve got to go. I hear another book begging to be read, but if you’d like to visit with me, you can find me at the following online links:

My WordPress BlogMy Tumblr Blog

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About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

My thanks to Chris for allowing me to access his archives… and I am sure he would love your feedback.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The Story Reading Ape – A selection of Guest Posts – Emily Gmitter


Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

The first blogger to give me permission to delve into his files is Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape. He suggested that having such an extensive archive that I share some of his guest posts. It serves another purpose apart from showcasing that guest, as it is reminder to you that Chris loves having new guest write for his blog.

This first guest post from Chris’s archives is from Emily Gmitter.... and when I read it I was very moved and I think you will be too.

Image from Pixabay, Title: Broken

Who Lives Here? by Emily Gmitter

Who lives here? Everywhere I look, I see boxes. Boxes piled one on the other, against every wall. Boxes delivered but never opened. Things bought but never used. Magazines and mail, unopened, sit in unsteady piles on the coffee table, alongside odds and ends that also did not belong there, but which had no choice but to make that table their home. On every chair sit empty food containers and soda cans … guests who have long since outworn their welcome.

Who lives here? I wondered, as my teary eyes took in the disarray, as my feet wandered cautiously through the cluttered rooms. Pain ripped my heart. I thought I knew who lived here. I did know the name. I even knew the face. But I didn’t know … this.

Her home is full of things old and new; ostensibly, the house is teeming with life. But there was no life. That energy had died long ago. The sights of sadness overwhelmed my senses. Loneliness came out of the shadows, shouting from each corner of every room. But there had been nobody there to hear.

She stood in the doorway now, a brooding, silent shell of the woman I knew. Watching me, sensing my disbelief.

It was a surprise visit. Perhaps I should have called first. But then I would never have known.

I look her way, a question in my eyes, and see despair in hers. But despair could not hide her shame, for all the things she could not honor.

I reach out to her and, without a word, she enters the safety of my arms. I hold her tight and reassure her that everything is all right . . . everything will be just fine.

Who lives here? Depression lives here.

©Emily Gmitter

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sunrise_photo3-758x194I think you will agree with me that this is a very powerful and moving piece from Emily Gmitter.

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Smorgasbord Easter Parade Blog Party – Part One – Eggellent time to add your links!! – Music, Dancing, Food, and Behatted Guests..


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Easter Parade with some behatted guests, music, humour and food. And since you have dropped in today.. please don’t leave without leaving the link to your latest post…. or your Amazon link and a little bit about yourself.

While you are all standing around waiting for the parade to begin.. here is the first of the entertainers…

Here we have Laura Ganley of the Ganley Sisters,  http://www.theganleysisters.com/ performing a Sean-Nos Barrel dance! All on a Wild West Irish Tour!

We have quite a few special guests today who have joined us from all over the world, wearing a hat of their choice or have brought a guest wearing one….and the first to join the parade is children’s author Darlene Foster who has travelled all the way from Spain to take part.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind” to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A small selection of books by Darlene.

Discover all of Darlene Foster’s books and reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA Find more reviews on Goodreads: Darlene Foster Visit her website: www.darlenefoster.ca

Please help yourself to a free coffee as you pass by.

The next guest is Science Fiction/Thriller author Richard Dee who has popped over from the South Coast of England..wearing his own version of an Easter bonnet…..

About Richard Dee

Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon, England He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. He contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection and is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Discover all the books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/ Read more reviews and follow Richard on Goodreads: Richard Dee – http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ Connect to Richard via his website: http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

Debby Gies will be joining the Monday Parade but in the meantime she has found all the funnies shared today. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog

Time for another guest and joining the parade is master storyteller Hugh Roberts who looks very Dapper in his boater and who has ferried it across from Wales this morning. Clearly prepared for the vagaries of the Irish weather!

About Hugh Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my posts on blogging tips. I’ve learned a lot about the world of blogging since I first discovered it in February 2014. All of the tips and advice I give are free of charge and will cost you nothing apart from, maybe, your time. To see all my posts that include blogging tips, click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ button on the menu bar.

I’m a member of the committee of the Bloggers Bash, a group set up to organise annual get-togethers for all bloggers. The next event is 15th June in London and full details can be found on the website about tickets and the awards: https://annualbloggersbash.com/about-the-bash/

Hugh is the author of two multi-genre short story collections and I can recommend both.

Books by Hugh Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP – Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:Hugh W. Roberts Connect to Hugh via his blog: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Time for a little more entertainment in the parade and still in Ireland… some music…Celtic dueling violins Smith & Nesbitt. Live from Hyde Park London. Uploaded by AdriFlaherty

If you are now feeling a little peckish.. here are some fresh Hot Cross Buns..please help yourself…

My next guest is Children’s author Victoria Zigler whose delightful books on family pets are very popular. She lives in South East England and has sent over a representative her much loved Kero.

About Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England with my husband, Kelly, a degu named Joshua, a pair of chinchillas named Mollie and Maizie, and a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I didn’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of being a published author. I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing eBooks via Smashwords. Three years later, I began using CreateSpace to make my books available in print. So now I’m a published author of children’s fiction, as well as a couple of poetry collections; all of which are available in multiple eBook formats, and as paperback books.

A small selection of books by Victoria.

You can read reviews and buy the books from Amazon in print and audio: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6 Victoria has many more reviews on Goodreads: Victoria Zigler Connect to Tori via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/

My next guest  is the entertaining author Geoff Le Pard whose humour overflows onto social media as well.. I hear that he had the flight crew from Gatwick in stitches on his way over for the parade. I have substituted Geoff’s original hat for this photograph which I think is far more Easter orientated…..and funny.

 

About Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0 – Read more reviews and follow Geoff on Goodreads: Geoff Le Pard  Connect to Geoff via his website: http://geofflepard.com/

Time to join in with the West Coast Swing dancers from Sydney just mind the puddles… thanks to Swing Skool

Following on behind the Easter Bunny we have our next guest in today’s paradeRitu Bhathal lives in London and has joined us with her feline companion today.. As you can see Ritu wears many hats.. including being a published poet.

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

The poetry collection by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: Ritu Bhathal Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

My next guest is one who is very familiar to most of you.. Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape who has gone the extra mile with his Easter photograph… thankfully his Cites wildlife permit was up to date to enable him to join us in Ireland today.

About the Story Reading Ape.

My literature Hero is Terry Pratchett who, in one of his Science of Discworld books, postulated that Homo Sapiens Sapiens survived all the pitfalls that made other Homo Sapiens species become extinct, by being story telling apes.

If this is the case, then in order to be effective, for every story telling ape there had to be a story listening ape.

I am descended from them, except I read stories instead of listening to them; and author’s are the tellers of the stories I read. I don’t so much read books as devour them, (sometimes re-devouring them several times), so I’ve set myself a long term task, to list all the books I’ve ever read on Goodreads – trouble is I’ve got the memory of a sieve and I must have read thousands of them!

The Indie author supporter.

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Chris and his sister compiled his late mother’s wonderful poems written about growing up in Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’? My Vibrating Vertebrae and other Poems by Agnes Mae Graham

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116   Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30845724-my-vibrating-vertebrae Connect to Chris, The Story Reading Ape: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com

And last but not least in the parade today is Carol Taylor who is the resident foodie here on Smorgasbord. I mentioned the word ‘Partee’ and the she whipped up a bunch of friends, chartered a flight from Thailand and landed this morning…..

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Please help yourself to a chocolate bunny before you join in the dancing of the incredible Indlondlo Traditional Zulu dance group who have featured as guest here on the blog several times in the last six years. You can find more amazing videos via their YouTube Channel. Indlondlo Zulu Dancers

Thank you for joining us today for part one of the Easter Parade.. Part Two on Monday with more guests and entertainment.

Please drop your links to your latest blog post that you would like to share.. and your Amazon Author Page if you have one… Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Odd Jobs and Characters – Pub Landlady – Saturday Night Shenanigans #Cowes


This series shares some of the jobs I have turned my hand to over the years, and some were very odd. Not many have sat at a table between two teams of champion dairy cows, selling bull semen!  From those experiences, I have accumulated a massive dossier of characters and events that now take centre stage in my short stories.

If you have read my novel Just an Odd Job Girl you will have met some of them but over the next few weeks I hope to bring you some of the others that inspired and stimulated my imagination.

Not all these posts appeared on Smorgasbord as some fantastic blogging friends allowed me to guest post. If that is the case of course I will include their books and links.

This episode was kindly hosted by Chris, The Story Reading Ape: The Story Reading Ape Enclosure

You can find the previous odd jobs here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/short-stories-odd-jobs-and-characters-2018/

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Following my management training with a well-known steak house chain and six months as assistant manager at one of their branches in Eastbourne, we were appointed as managers of a pub at the entrance to Cowes Harbour. A yachting centre and home to the Cowes Week regatta each year.

Public House Landlady – Saturday Night Shenanigans

It does amuse me slightly when people tell me that they dream of retiring and running a pub in the country. This is not a job for the faint-hearted and I am afraid the hours you need to put in are far longer than opening times. It is seven days a week and most pubs now are expected to serve food at lunchtimes and evenings, with drinking habits changing considerably over the last couple of decades. It is hard work and with increasing regulations to comply with, it can also be daunting. Not all customers are going to pop in for a quiet pint and go quietly on their way, and in some cases it can turn nasty within a few minutes.

The pub that we were appointed to in Cowes had been run for thirty years by the previous tenants. The clientele out of season, October to June, were the regular yacht crowd and a slightly older generation who came in for half of beer and a sandwich. We took over before Easter and my responsibility was to cook bar snacks at lunchtime and in the evening. I paid the brewery rent, running it as my own business, so had a certain amount of leeway. Having found the formula and tight portion control effective during my time with the steak house, I applied myself to creating a tasty but profitable menu.

Weekends were the busiest times as we had two large balconies that looked over the entrance to the harbour and out into the Solent. As we got into our stride and the summer season began, I could be serving 100 lunchtime snacks from my small kitchen and in the evenings, even more chicken, scampi and sausage and chips in a basket, flew out of the serving hatch from opening to closing time.

This was great, and we congratulated ourselves on our luck of landing such a great pub and its position. Then the summer cruises from Southampton began in the June and we found out what the locals had meant when they said…. ‘Just you wait’!

The trouble actually began on board these cruises as alcohol flowed cheaply and in great quantities. By the time the passengers arrived in Cowes an hour later, most were well inebriated and wanted to continue the spree. They landed at the far end of the high street from us and yet the flood ran unabated the entire length. The first Saturday we experienced this, we had wondered why our regulars, who would come in for their supper and pint were all missing. Then we heard a rumbling roar as if a tidal wave was about to pour through the double doors. Which it did as 200 or so skinheads swept into the bar; lining up noisily to be served more booze.

Luckily we tended to have more staff on for Saturday nights but clearly we were overwhelmed. Our new customers were not in the mood to eat, just to drink, and I went behind the bar to help out. They had about 90 minutes drinking time before embarking on their return cruise, and they had little interest in going out on the balcony to admire the sunset over the Solent. We served beer as quickly as possible, but no sooner had you cleared one wave, there was another shouting and swearing behind them. That first week they came and went without incident but we were not so lucky in following weeks.

Of course not all skinheads were out for a grand finale to the night with a good punch up. However, some were intent on getting drunk as quickly as possible, and things could kick off in an instant. Even then there were strict laws about serving drinks to minors and those who were already legless. The local police were out in force on Saturday nights in the high street, but even they would have found it difficult to determine the age of some of these lads and their ladies, let alone convince one of them that you were not going to serve them any more alcohol. We were legally obliged to be open for business because we belonged to a brewery who expected us to maximise takings. We had little option but to manage staff and security levels to ensure a smooth running operation.

Things came to a head about four weeks in, when the dreaded influx fell into the bar. I had bought a pick axe handle and it was displayed over the entrance to my kitchen in full view. Underneath were the immortal words. Attitude Adjuster. That night a fight broke out in the centre of the bar area and it was mayhem. I grabbed my attitude adjuster and shoved my way into the arena, where all the action was taking place, and managed to get a few of the combatants’ attention by shouting at the top of my voice. All went quiet as they were confronted by a very angry woman circling a pick axe handle around her head slowly but with intent! No doubt today I would be arrested for being in possession of a lethal weapon…but to be honest at the time, I really didn’t care.

In fact after that, word must have got out, that bad behaviour would not be tolerated and things quietened down somewhat. But, over that summer I was threatened by broken beer bottles, a good kicking and other repercussions. The police actually did us a favour by parking their vans outside our pub in the street, which deterred the more belligerent, and my kitchen after hours was used as a tea and sandwich spot for those going off duty.

Cowes Week was another highlight of the year, and we were warned that although the customers during that seven days were of a different age and temperament, that it would at times get very busy and difficult to manage. Firework Night in particular drew a huge crowd because of the two big balconies where you could view all the action. In preparation we had all the furniture taken out, plastic glasses for drinks and the only food served was sandwiches without any potentially hazardous cutlery. All week we had employed bouncers for the door, who were moonlighting wardens from Parkhurst, and doubled this up on Firework Night. Thankfully the two such celebrations during our time running the pub, passed off without major commotions.

I fictionalised this time in the pub in one of my books along with some of the characters that I met. Looking back at myself at twenty-five years old, I wondered at my ability to accept the summer shenanigans in my stride. Despite these incidents most of our days were unadventurous and wonderful experience for my future jobs, where I needed to be able to adapt and react quickly.

However, perhaps you can understand my amusement when people say that they dream of retiring and running a pub. Anywhere where people and booze come together has the potential to become interesting very quickly, even in a sleepy county village.

My short story anthologies.

You can find all my books at these links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sally-Georgina-Cronin/e/B003B7O0T6

Smashwords for Epub: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SallyGCronin

More reviews can be found on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

My thanks to Chris for his ongoing support for myself and all Indie authors.. we could not do it without him.

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

These are stories or narrative poetry centered in Ireland written metrically with rhyme. The language flows well. Even when the stories seem dark the author’s heart shines through to light the way. For example, in “Ulter’s Shame”, a dark narrative with “blood stained footpaths and bullet spattered walls” we are not left with “screams” and “terror” but a resolution: “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

She describes the people around her with kind brevity. The ending of “The Brownie Pack” states her love and humbly leaves it to God whether it is returned.

She describes the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of life. In “Tender to Touch” an old man buys a medicine from her. In his confusion he rubs it on his pained stomach rather than drinking it. Nonetheless, he’s cured and returns to thank her. In sadness, such as “Life!!”, she prays to God not to let the Devil win.

In the “The Lover” and “Kitty and Joe” we see death and love tied closely together and even though death wins in its ever objective way, I sense love redeeming each such victory as its own. This is a beautiful collection of very short stories or narrative poems that, perhaps because of their brevity, will linger in my mind enriching it.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116/

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris
http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
https://www.facebook.com/graham.christopher
https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – To Tweet or be a Twit? THAT is the Question! by Jo Robinson via The Story Reading Ape


Today is the last in the current series of archive posts from Chris, The Story Reading Ape. Chris is a massive supporter of writers and his guest posts are very popular and widely read. Jo Robinson is an author who has been a very welcome visitor to this blog since it began in 2013 and Chris is sharing one of her very informative posts on social media. I will share some of her work, including her illustrations, after this article on Twitter.

Tweet or be a Twit? THAT is the Question! by Jo Robinson via The Story Reading Ape

Before it occurred to me that I could write anything at all, I was a voracious reader. Certain authors have that certain kind of magical ability that makes you forget about the real world around you, and get lost in the worlds that they create. It’s a form of love, I think. I greedily awaited new books from my favourites, impatiently awaited sequels in series. For any book I truly love I’m always hopeful of sequels. I suppose that any writer who writes something that really resonates with a reader must share something in their character with that reader. Kindred spirits in a way. And the feelings or emotions that those books brought on always made me feel a very real connection to the author. It’s what kept me going back for more. That, and the personal touch. Knowing something about the real person behind the pen.

I remember always reading the “About the author” blurb before starting in on any new read, and I always wanted to know more, so I do that even if I’ve read ten of the author’s books just in case they’ve shared something new. Someone who can write a story that you can almost believe you’re living, someone who takes you places nobody ever has before – that is definitely someone you want to call friend. But famous people can never be your friend, not only because of the real live weird stalker trolls out there, but because they have way too many fans to chat to all of them. The few that they do chat to will be their slaves for life though. I’ll be Leo Sayer’s slave for life because I got a kiss on the cheek from him in a shopping mall when I was fifteen – had to bend down to get it though. No cracks about short people now. Ahem…

bcfo9

Things are very different with indie authors these days. Just the opposite in fact. Indie authors are very happy to connect with their readers, and if they’re not, they really should be. Most people lead busy lives. Even though I am a writer myself, and spend most of my hours dealing with others involved in writing, I’m very much a lover of reading. But because I’m also very busy these days, it’s not easy for an author I don’t know to catch my attention well enough for me to want to read their book. I actually have bought a couple of books from the “Oy, buy my book!” brigade, but that was only because my actually wanting them really, really badly overrode my normal reaction of not buying them on principal.

So, what is the indie author to do? I think that connecting with as many people on as many sites as you can manage is a start. My favourite places to be are my blog and Twitter. Twitter is often much maligned as too time consuming and a waste of time, but I truly believe that the time spent there can be one of the most worthwhile investments a self published author can make. I personally really have a lot of fun on Twitter these days, but until a few months ago I was terrified of it. I’d log on and wade through hundreds of retweets owed, and finish up hours later exhausted, and in a really bad mood. Auto retweeters and Hootsuite don’t do it for me because I have serious control issues – but that’s just me. I love that so many other people are on Auto Tweet though. I get a lot more retweets from them than I used to.

Back to the point I was getting to. I went through a few weeks where I couldn’t get to my computer at all, and by the time I logged back on, and the ocean of notifications from all of my sites hit me in the head hard enough to knock me over, bringing on a panic attack of epic proportions, I decided to just start from scratch. I’d got so stressed about being unfollowed and being thought of as someone who doesn’t pay her dues, that a line had to be drawn, so I shrugged my shoulders and decided to have a little fun with Twitter instead. I read through the tweets, and suddenly realised that there really are a lot of fun people out there. I have loads of followers who aren’t writers, and I follow all of my followers back, apart from the bots. There were tweets about all sorts of non book selling things that I really enjoyed. The short and sweet tweets, the funny photos, the fantastic musicians – so many people that I wanted to know.

It was never my intention to turn them into friends or readers, but that is what happened when I started to just enjoy Twitter. I still do, and even though it’s got busy again, I find that my silly tweets, my tweets of the funny birds that I love, and my replies to other tweeters actually have caught the eye of readers much more than the “Oy, buy my book!” ones have. These days I pop over to my gmail as often as I can, and if there is a notification from Twitter, I head straight over and either reply or retweet immediately, so I seldom get bogged down and have to do major catch-ups the way I used to. I’ve bought lots of things because I’ve found them on Twitter. Mostly books, and mostly because their authors caught my attention with something funny, cute, or interesting as I was zooming through.

So my advice for indie authors considering using Twitter as a marketing tool would be to tweet at least five personal tweets for every two book advertisements. Reply to others tweets. Don’t only retweet the bookish. Retweet a variety of things from a variety of people. Add pictures to your tweets. For instance, when you post a book link, add a gorgeous picture relating to it. I’ve used all sorts from angels to dragons. These are the things that catch the eye for long enough for a potential reader to click on your link. For indies it’s all about interaction. And it should never stop. Think Hugh Howey – he still spends lots of time on Twitter, no matter how many books he’s sold. He still interacts, and he still posts the funny and the cute. Instant fame is unlikely indie guys, so, go forth and Tweetaply.

©Jo Robinson 2014.

About Jo Robinson

Jo Robinson currently resides in her homeland, South Africa, after having lived in rural Zimbabwe for many years. Her obsessive affection for the African continent, most humans, and all creatures feathered and furred are what inspire her writing. Her stories are mostly about people, and the sometimes dark twists that life takes. She also writes science fiction/fantasy, humour, and horror, not being one to restrict herself.

Jo offers a number of author services including illustrations. Here is a recent book that she illustrated for Cynthia Reyes.

Find out more about Jo’s author services: https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/indie-author-services/

And more examples of her illustrations: https://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/illustration/

 

Apart from offering a range of author services, Jo is a talented writer of several books.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jo-Robinson/e/B009JB6IAW

and Amazon US: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jo-Robinson/e/B009JB6IAW/

Read more reviews and follow Jo on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6979970.Jo_Robinson

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I have always loved to read poetry and I do favour well written rhyming poetry as I enjoy the way it flows and how the words roll off your tongue when they are spoken. In my opinion, poetry is meant to be read aloud with passion and expression.

My vibrating vertebrae and other poems is a collection of delightful, rhyming poems that fall into this category. The collection features poems about people discovering inner strength, courage and overcoming adversity as well as delighting in the small pleasures and joys of everyday life in Ireland, before and after the Troubles. Each poem is packaged with sharp wit and an all encompassing humour which highlight the poets uncanny ability to pierce right to the heart of the matter.

I enjoyed each and every poem in this collection with my personal favourites being Ulster’s Shame and The Terror and Tears.

I have always retained five star ratings for poetry for the very famous and great poets like Shakespeare and Chaucer. Rightly or wrongly if feels to me that a collection of poetry would have to attain very heady heights to compete with these amazing works.

Certain of the poems in My Vibrating Vertebrae, however, made a big impression on me and wormed right into my mind and so I am giving this book of poetry a five star rating.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Thanks for popping in today and I it would be great to get your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Things you should know about your characters by The Story Reading Ape


Chris the Story Reading Ape shares a very useful checklist on things you should know about the character your have created.

Things you should know about your characters by The Story Reading Ape

These are what I would consider to be the most basic, bare-bones questions of character creation.

  • What would completely break your character?
  • What was the best thing in your character’s life?
  • What was the worst thing in your character’s life?
  • What seemingly insignificant memories stuck with your character?
  • Does your character work so that they can support their hobbies or use their hobbies as a way of filling up the time they aren’t working?
  • What is your character reluctant to tell people?
  • How does your character feel about sex?
  • How many friends does your character have?
  • How many friends does your character want?
  • What would your character make a scene in public about?
  • What would your character give their life for?
  • What are your character’s major flaws?
  • What does your character pretend or try to care about?
  • How does the image your character tries to project differ from the image they actually project?
  • What is your character afraid of?
  • What is something most people in your setting do that your character things is dumb?
  • Where would your character fall on a politeness/rudeness scale?

From The Right Writing on Tumblr

©Story Reading Ape 2014.

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I have always loved to read poetry and I do favour well written rhyming poetry as I enjoy the way it flows and how the words roll off your tongue when they are spoken. In my opinion, poetry is meant to be read aloud with passion and expression.

My vibrating vertebrae and other poems is a collection of delightful, rhyming poems that fall into this category. The collection features poems about people discovering inner strength, courage and overcoming adversity as well as delighting in the small pleasures and joys of everyday life in Ireland, before and after the Troubles. Each poem is packaged with sharp wit and an all encompassing humour which highlight the poets uncanny ability to pierce right to the heart of the matter.

I enjoyed each and every poem in this collection with my personal favourites being Ulster’s Shame and The Terror and Tears.

This verse form Ulster’s Shame gave me goosebumps:

“The empty streets, the broken glass,

the vacant car-parks, the crumbling halls.

The smoke spirals on the skyline,

the blood stained footpaths and bullet spattered walls.”

This extract from The Terror and Tears gave me the shivers:

“You, who are on the evildoer’s side,

remember, our God both sees and hears.

The horrors you do, the deaths you cause,

you shall one day know the terror, and shed tears.”

I have always retained five star ratings for poetry for the very famous and great poets like Shakespeare and Chaucer. Rightly or wrongly if feels to me that a collection of poetry would have to attain very heady heights to compete with these amazing works.

Certain of the poems in My Vibrating Vertebrae, however, made a big impression on me and wormed right into my mind and so I am giving this book of poetry a five star rating.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Thanks for popping in today and I it would be great to get your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Saturday Meet and Greet – At the Watering Hole this week – Hugh W. Roberts, Rosie Amber and The Story Reading Ape


Welcome to the Saturday morning post where bloggers who have recently followed the blog can introduce themselves.  Each week I will share a small selection of bloggers at random.

Basically this is a watering hole for bloggers across all the areas of interest. Watering holes are very useful for meeting like-minded people and also a way to grow a supportive and sharing community.

If you are NEW to smorgasbord it would be great if you could introduce yourself in the comments.. a brief intro and then a link to the post that you feel best represents your blogging style.

If you are a REGULAR visitor to the blog then please do leave a link to your latest post too, so that we can visit and share.

The idea is to encourage more readers to your posts and an opportunity for us to get to know you better.

The community that kindly supports me is always welcoming, and you will find a great deal of support and encouragement especially for new bloggers.

I look forward to finding out more about you.  Sally

Over the next few weeks I thought I would feature some of the bloggers and reviewers who have watering holes we should all gather around. Some for the very useful information that they provide to help you blog effectively, and others who accept books for review. There are also bloggers who offer an amazing opportunity to be seen around their watering hole in the form of guest posts. This brings new readers to the blogs you have worked so hard to research and write.

I have a list of bloggers that I already follow who offer these services and will be sharing over the following meet and greet posts, but please feel free to add your links to the comments section if you would like to be included.

The first author and blogger, who provides excellent posts on blogging for new and those of us who have fallen into bad habits!!, is Hugh Roberts.

Hugh W. Roberts

Here is a recent post that has some excellent advice for all bloggers.

13 Free Blogging Tips For Every New Blogger

If you are new to blogging or are even thinking about starting a blog, here my thirteen quick blogging tips to get you on your way.

  • It’s all about me. Ensure you have an ‘about me’ page. Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you. However, don’t have an ‘about me’ page that starts off by saying ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page’. Click here to read about setting up an ‘about me’ page and what it should include.
  • Make a journey outside of your own blog. I’ve always been amazed by just what information is out there in the blogging world. I’ve learned how to self-publishing a book, how to use social media and make it work for me, how to bake gin & tonic cupcakes, take great photos and, of course, picked up lots of blogging tips. Reading other blog posts can also give you ideas for writing your own posts. Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, make sure you visit, read, and comment on other blogs.

Head over to read the other 11 essential blogging tips: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2018/01/02/13-free-blogging-tips-for-every-new-blogger/

Hugh Roberts is also the author of a short story collection – Glimpses.

One of the reviews for the collection

Do you like doing cryptic crosswords, do you love horror stories, enjoy thrillers or are you romantic at heart? Stories for everyone in this collection; tales that are snappy, but require your undivided attention if you are to work out what is going on.If you are a cat lover there is one story to be avoided, but I am not going to spoil the fun by revealing which. As I also enjoy writing about the dark and the unexpected I loved this collection.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glimpses-Hugh-W-Roberts-ebook/dp/B01N757S3P

And on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP

Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16123684.Hugh_W_Roberts

The next blog that it is essential for any author who blogs to follow is Rosie Amber who has gathered together a team of experienced book reviewers. It is very important when submitting your book for review, to follow the submission guidelines. Receiving the seal of approval from the Rosie Amber Book Review Team is a major step to promoting your book and obviously sales.

Here is feedback from some of the authors reviewed by the team which is followed by details on how to submit your own book.

Any author with faith in the strength of their work understands the importance of honest, critical reviews. As an author and reader, I trust in Rosie’s Book Review Team, knowing the reviews are written with genuine criticism, and praise given only when warranted. Authors seeking reviews that hold weight with and impress readers should look no further than Rosie’s Book Review Team.” H.A Callum, author of Literary Fiction

I rely on Rosie’s review team for honest and thoughtful reviews. I know they love reading and the reviews they post express both that love and their opinions of my (and other writers’) novels. Long may they continue. Their support has been invaluable.’ Carol Hedges, author of Victorian murder mysteries and YA

As well as introducing me to talented authors in other genres, I’m grateful to Rosie’s review team for helping raise awareness of my books to new readers.Tony Riches, Amazon best-selling historical fiction author.

Read the rest of the feeback and the submission details: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/your-book-reviewed/

And here is a snippet from a recent review by Teri Polen for Ghosts of Manor House by Matt Powers.

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Give me a book featuring an eerie house and I’m a happy reader. Ghosts of Manor House appealed to me based on the title alone.

The author does a wonderful job at conveying the emotions of grieving parents who’ve lost a child – my heart broke for them. I also liked how the gruesome history of the tree was established in the prologue and gives a foundation for the mysterious happenings. Once the family arrives at the house, you just know nothing good is going to happen.

After the first few chapters, there’s a sudden shift and for a while, it allows the reader to feel disoriented along with Edmund. It’s easy to predict the path this story will take, but there are some tense, chilling moments along the way.

Read the rest of the review: https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/rosies-bookreview-team-rbrt-tpolen6-reviews-ghosts-of-manor-house-by-matt-powers/

The third blog that I would like to feature today is The Story Reading Ape. Guest posting on Chris’s blog is a wonderful way to get your blog or your book noticed. His Hall of Fame is legendary and you won’t find a more helpful or welcoming host.

If you are new to guest posting there are a couple of things to remember.

  • It is always a good idea to check out the blog that you are hoping to be a guest writer first.
  • Check out the submission details carefully to make sure that you are supplying all the information required in the right format and with all the links requested.
  • Think carefully about the subject matter of your post. This is a showcase for your writing skills be it as a blogger, author or poet and the post should reflect that. This is your sales pitch and needs to be interesting, informative, entertaining and well written.
  • Be prepared for a delay before posting as busy blogs such as The Story Reading Ape have a waiting list of eager guests. So make sure that your post is not out of date.
  • You have a responsibility as a guest to be proactive in the post’s success. This means sharing on your own social media and responding to all comments individually over a number of days. You can click the button to be notified when new comments come in. Reblog the post and I recommend one or two days later so that it extends the life of the post. This is important if you want to make the most of this opportunity.

Head over and find out how to submit your guest post to Chris: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/contact-me/

Here is an excerpt from a recent guest post on The Story Reading Ape

Got this email from none other than the lovely Lisa Burton, the most advanced robot girl on Planet Earth, and spokesmodel for Craig Boyack.

~~~~~~~~~~

Hi, everyone, and thanks for having me over Chris.

I’m here promoting Craig’s newest book, The Hat.

This one is kind of a paranormal superhero origin story.

You have the cover and blurb to whet your appetite a bit.

One of the little games Craig and I fall into sometimes is casting the movie, if someone were ever to produce it. I’m sure all authors have this daydream at some point, but it’s fun to talk about. I mention this, because this story is a little bit different.

The main character, Lizzie St. Laurent, is also a singer, you know, eventually. This means if anyone were to play her in the movie, she would have to sing at some point. Craig thinks maybe a Disney alum of some kind could fill the role. The only physical descriptions are brunette and a long face.

The long face might be the hard part, but there have been plenty of attractive actresses who fit this description. Lizzie is in her early twenties, but Hollywood can add or remove a few years. They can also create brunette hair with ease. Our only holdup was most of the Disney alum have chubby cheeks, like Brenda Song, or Selina Gomez.

Read the rest of the post from C.S. Boyack: https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2018/01/19/the-hat-guest-post-and-book-promo-by-lisa-burton/

More blogs that have incredible watering holes next week..

Just a reminder that this too is a watering hole and a place to share your latest post and introduce yourself if you are new to the blog or would like to mingle with the other guests.

If you offer guest posts, reviews or other promotional services then please drop your contact or submission links in the comments.

Thanks for dropping in and look forward to hearing from you. Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The Story Reading Ape shares Researching for your novel: Effective Interviewing by Eric J. Gates


Delighted that The Story Reading Ape, Chris Graham has offered some of his archive posts for this series. Chris has archives full of great creative writing infographics and also guest posts from authors sharing their experience and expertise. This article is from Eric J. Gates from 2014 which is just as relevant today. You can find out more about Eric Gates at his website HERE

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Researching for your novel: Effective Interviewing by Eric J. Gates

As a writer you might be mistaken into thinking that knowing how to do professional interviews is not a particularly useful skill. You would, however, be wrong. I was a management consultant for many years and have interviewed hundreds of people professionally during this time. Eons ago, when I was starting out, I had the good fortune to be trained by some of the best. The techniques they taught me have proven themselves countless times and I still use them successfully today as part of my “writer skill-set”. When doing research, you will need to talk to people, irrespective of the writing genre you favour. Being able to do this efficiently and well is a great asset.

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you continue reading, you will never again look at your favourite news reporters or talk show hosts in the same way. I’m still amazed at how even some of the big names are lousy interviewers. I can think of at least a couple of examples of people who dominate interviews on TV… being the interviewer not the interviewee. I’m sure you are familiar with the situation: a half hour interview where the interviewer speaks for 20+ minutes, and you can’t remember almost anything the interviewee responded. That occasionally results in protagonist issues, such as jumping up and down on sofas (that’s “couches” for you in the colonies) for example (oblique reference to a Mr. Cruise).

Where to start? When I used to teach these skills to new consultants, the sessions on interviewing and active listening took a day and a half, albeit with role-playing exercises included. But I’ll try to be brief:

Before the interview.

If the interview is known about beforehand (i.e. not a spur of the moment event) then you MUST plan it.

Using a notepad (or tablet, if that’s how you roll) write out the objective of the interview, as a short phrase or collection of keywords, on the top of every page you use. This is to ensure you stay on track during the interview.

Then list your questions, ordered in a sensible fashion, so the interview flows smoothly. This is only a guide – you will quickly discover that it’s very easy to go off at a tangent if an interviewee mentions something that really piques your interest, but this method will help you find your way back. (More about this below).

The Questions

There are 3 types of questions, and it’s often not understanding this where the TV guys go wrong.

A CLOSED question can only be answered in binary fashion, that is to say black/white, yes/no, etc. Use these only to establish and check facts (whether previously known or stated during the interview). Some examples are:

Are you 83 years old?

You said you were born in London, correct?

Do you prefer tea or coffee, chocolate perhaps?

An OPEN question cannot be answered in binary fashion. You use these to elicit the maximum information about whatever interests you. How, what, when, who and where are typical question words for this kind of query, although be aware that using “where” can lead to a hybrid question if not careful. Examples include:

What did you think at the time?

Tell me how you crossed the Berlin Wall?

Where do you think the problem lies?

You should avoid HYBRID questions if possible. They can appear to be either Open or Closed, but offer both alternative response-modes to the interviewee; thus YOU lose control over the interview. Examples include:

How many siblings do you have? They could answer with a number (Closed) or tell you the life stories of all 13 (Open).

Do you prefer going abroad for your vacations or are you more of a stay-at-home type? Looks like a Closed question but again you may find yourself listening to an Open response.

A quick trick to help identify Hybrids is to apply the ‘WHY?’ prefix to the question itself. Then ask yourself if this is what you really wanted to know?

A variant of the Hybrid, used ad nauseam by bad interviewers, is the Open/Closed Bomb. You start with a nice open question, immediately followed by a closed addendum. For example:

“How did you survive in your first years in Patagonia? Did you become a sheepherder?”

What are they going to answer? 80% of the time it will be the last question. When you wanted to elicit information about the interviewee’s initial trials and tribulations in this new country, what you heard was “No.”

That’s the basics. Easy when you get the hang of it. The trick is being able to combine the Open and Closed varieties in a fluid fashion. (Incidentally, Professional Interrogators use these techniques very successfully as well).

Now… Write the questions down. Why? So as not to get sidetracked by an interesting answer. By having a reference sheet, you can follow-up anything intriguing that’s said, then go back to your script, in a fluid manner. Without this, it’s too easy to finish an interview, take your leave, then realize half the questions are still unanswered. It’s called the “I should have asked him xxxx” syndrome, where xxxx is usually something important.

Note-taking during interviews.

Where possible avoid having to write down their replies as you go along. If the interviewee gives their permission, use a decent digital recorder. Check that it can record both questions and answers clearly – position of you and the interviewee – and that background noises don’t drown out the responses. Also have about 2 hours of recording time available (the trick is at least 100% more than you expect to use so that if your hapless victim does uncover an information gold mine, you don’t miss anything).

As a standby, have someone else annotate the responses. Why? This is so you can concentrate on the interviewee, what they are saying, and how they are saying it. That’s the important part of the interview, after all. See Active Listening below.

BIG GOLDEN RULE: if you do note-take, NEVER, EVER write down anything you don’t want the interviewee to read. What? I’ve seen this happen. I was once with a colleague doing an interview of a top Executive from a multinational. We had previously agreed I would ask the questions and control the interview and my colleague would just take notes. After a few minutes, it became apparent to both of us the Exec was full of BS (this is a technical abbreviation for Bilious Speaking) and he was trying to do a snow job on us. My colleague decided to note his appreciation of the usefulness of the interview by writing “This guy’s a w**ker” (translation – British definition for a purveyor of BS) on the top of his notepad. All was well until… the notepad was ripped from his hand and read by the Executive as soon as the interview finished. Looking back, it’s funny now, but it caused much trouble back then.

Starting and finishing.

Always start your interview stating who they are, who you are, the place, date and time, and the objective of the interview (for the record). Then get on with it. Don’t waffle.

Always finish by thanking them and leaving the door open. The best technique for this is what I call the “Statement confirmed” trick:

“Thank you (their name) for your time and help. This is very useful for me. There’s a lot here, so I’m going to have to take some time to absorb all you’ve told me. If I have any further questions or need clarification of anything, I’ll get back in touch soon (the statement), if that’s all right with you? (the confirmation)”

99% of the time, you will have access to them again, when and if you need it.

Active Listening.

There’s a big difference between hearing and listening. In an interview, the latter is the only option.

Be aware of the context of the interviewee’s responses:

Are they in a country where they are not allowed to talk about certain subjects openly?

Is the subject matter “delicate”?

Do they manifest strong emotional involvement that could colour their responses?

Are they using terminology or concepts with which you have no familiarity (NEVER bluff, pretending you know what they are talking about)?

Are you getting conflicting or mixed responses?

Is what you want to know of such little importance to the interviewee that they are bored or downright hostile (passive or aggressive) towards you, the interview?

Be aware of whom you are questioning – the CEO may be giving you the company line, the production line worker will be able to tell you far more about the detail. Look for the essential data (the golden nuggests), but don’t discard the rest.

All of us have what are called “listening preferences”. These are opinions regarding certain people, professions, or whatever, that can easily colour our ability to extract the information we seek from an interview.

For example, suppose I hate Rap and Rappers, and I have to interview one of these Gangsta’ guys for needed research. It could happen that the BS they feel they have to say to fulfil their role-image completely switches off my ability to detect the information I seek. Be especially aware of your own preferences and how they can restrict you doing a good interview.

Use empathy, it’s an extremely effective tool. There’s a character on TV, played by Simon Baker, in the program “The Mentalist” who uses this to perfection. Watch and learn. Use false empathic anecdotes, if appropriate (“what a coincidence, my Dad was a cop too…” …er, no, he wasn’t, but I built a bridge based on apparent shared experience).

Use body language (lean slightly forward in the interviewee’s direction; nod from time to time as they speak; smile; make agreeing “noises” where appropriate; interact with the responses; maintain an open, receptive body posture – don’t cross arms or legs, or lean back) – also very effective.

Just how powerful are these techniques?

An anecdote from my distant past: As my professional reputation grew, Headhunters (the Executive Search variety, thank God!) started to contact me with offers to work for the competition. On one such occasion, I found myself in a room with an Executive from a potential employer, about to start an interview. Two things rapidly became obvious to me: the job was of no interest at all… and the interviewer had no idea of how to do an interview.

A “normal” reaction would have been to curtail the interview, thank the guy, state my lack of interest, and leave. But…

I’m still not sure whether I was having an inspired day, where my particular brand of the ridiculous triumphed over everything, or whether I just couldn’t give a damn. What I did, using the techniques outlined above, was take control of the interview. I questioned him about all sorts of issues, both personal and professional, finally thanking him for his time and escorting the hapless victim outside HIS OWN OFFICE! I closed the door and waited all of a minute before it opened slowly. The interviewer poked his head in and asked “WTF just happened?”

Yes, they work! Have fun.

©Eric J. Gates – The Story Reading Ape 2014

 

About The Story Reading Ape

It does not matter if you blog once a week, once a day or several times a day but it does matter that it is consistent. We all love the fact that people who have dropped in on the off chance keep coming back for more. In my opinion it is down to the quality of the posts and also the expectation that readers will find something of interest.

The Story Reading Ape has this down to a fine art and the list of subjects that adorn his enclosure is lengthy. He is certainly a huge supporter of Indie authors across all genres and stages of their career and offers articles and information that is invaluable.

Chris has also published a volume of his mother’s poetry

One of the reviews for the collection

A charming book that reflects a woman’s life and times in verse…and humour. Rosie and Willie had me chuckling, especially as I can see just where Willie is coming from! The poems are written from an Irish perspective, but there is much a Yorkshirewoman can recognise.

The verses about the Troubles made me think. I could feel the pain in the words. “What matters is the depth of God’s sighs.”

There are memories that I seem to remember through my own mother and grandmothers’ tales, of a time now gone and a world awakening before a young woman’s eyes.

And the story of the Old, Old Man had me in tears.

Published by her son as a labour of love, in tribute to his mother, Agnes Mae Graham’s work stands up all on its own. 

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Connect to Chris

Blog: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15359652-chris-the-story-reading-ape
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PromotionOfNewAuthorsAndBooks?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Storyreadingape

Thanks for popping in today and I it would be great to get your feedback. Thanks Sally