Monday, 22 August 2022

Looking through the eyes of love

 An extract from Chapter Six 'Joan - put on a happy face'

"What are you smiling about?" ask Pulcinella approaching me with his hands held out towards me. He took both my hands in his as always and kissed each one lovingly. He pulled me closer and the sudden closeness of his body took my breath away..."

Pulcinella knew he had very little to offer his new bride
A wastrell and a vagabond, just as her father had called him,
but she was 'Looking Through The Eyes of Love'
[Sung by David Cassidy - courtesy of YouTube]

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Where do I start?


Where do I start?

After writing my three-page rant and considering the possibility of making a video intended to catch the attention of the press, I spoke with a female Professor of Punch and Judy - Pat’s Puppets. I had a story coming to mind; a story that used a children’s favourite puppet show about domestic violence as its inspiration. In my story, Punch and Judy are real people. They’re alive today and living in the Lake District; why the Lake District I don’t know as I’ve never even been there, but it seemed to make sense that if she couldn’t be near the seaside, she’d be near the water somewhere entertaining the children.

The story was bringing out mental issues that Mr Punch and Judy suffered all types in fact. Did I know ‘enough about Punch and Judy to be able to answer any questions that the press might ask’ she said – I didn’t! In fact, I’d only ever seen Punch and Judy shows a few times in my life. I had to find out more about the shows...

1.    Who were the stock characters?

2.    If they’re real people how would they fit into the lives of Mr Punch and Judy?

3.    Who were Punch and Judy (I’d heard they had been derived from Pulcinella and Joan, Dame Joan to be precise)?

4.    Were Pulcinella, Joan, Punch and Judy ever real people?

So many questions and no ideas so where to start?

I started by researching as many Punch and Judy shows as I could find.

I'll continue My Journey Into Authorship  next week

Thank you for following me and  - Happy Reading!

'Joan - Put on a Happy Face' available on Amazon

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

My Journey Into Authorship

 Kate Garraway - I just want to thank Kate. July 2018 you interviewed a Punch and Judy Professor on Good Morning Britain and it was from a comment made during that interview that my book Joan-Put on a happy face was born! THANK YOU KATE GARRAWAY!

It was 28th July 2018 and I was watching a TV interview on Good Morning Britain that had one of my entertainers, Professor Brian Llewellyn, being interviewed about his puppet show Punch & Judy. One of the guests, Tricia Goddard, was making an issue about the domestic violence aspect of the show asking if the Professor had considered changing the storyline to accommodate present day attitudes and do a Punch and Judy show without the violence.  

The whole essence of Punch and Judy is that he is a horrible person who flaunts authority and hurts the people around him.

His wife, the puppet called Judy, tells the audience that Mr Punchs behaviour is NOT acceptable and he is reported to, and arrested by, the policeman.

The moral of the storyline is that if youre naughty you get punished. It’s a lesson meant to teach children morality through play and laughter the violence depicted in the show has a purpose.

The presenters had their own agenda... racism and domestic violence were the themes to their questioning and in the end Brian had just about had enough stating:

'I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It's slapstick comedy. They're only blocks of wood after all!'

Only blocks of wood?! ONLY BLOCKS OF WOOD?!!

 Judy would turn in her grave if she had a grave - and I got to wondering... What if she WAS a real person? How would she feel about being told that her puppets, her creations, were ‘only blocks of wood’? I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I began waking up feeling angry that her shows were being banned in Teesside England. I wanted to write to the press who had released the story that schools, authorities, and domestic violence units were banning Punch and Judy. It started with a three-page rant to the press about the injustice of stopping professional entertainers from earning a living to how censorship of plays was abolished in the UK many years ago and supported by our own Queen Elizabeth II herself!

Regarding the issue of portraying or promulgating domestic violence to the public I wanted to scream at them... it’s about awareness and what to do if you become aware of such naughtiness – you SPEAK OUT! And here they were trying to silence Judy when all she was trying to do was teach people to take responsibility and not be silent about such happenings! Ooo the anger was as if I was speaking out for Judy haha! Was she real? Was I channelling someone who is real?? Crazy I know, but her story drove me to write.

Interview with Professor Brian Llewellyn & Kate Garraway July 2018

Buy now on Amazon

Friday, 11 March 2022

CHAPTER 17 New Blurb for my advertising

 My Journey Into Authorship

And the winner of our last blog is...

A signed copy of 'JOAN-Put on a Happy Face' has been sent to Susan L and thank you to everyone else who responded and gave feedback to help make the decision about this new cover for my book 'Joan' that little bit easier.

Onward and upward they say and onto our next dilemma as an author...

How many times does an author have to write and re-write the blurb for their book, a question I've been asking myself of late? It seems an endless chore and a chore is what it is. How to get into the head of your reader. What do they need to know or want to know about your book before they decide to buy it? 

Well, Ad School has a pattern of thought to use as a guideline, starting with:

Paragraph 1 Section 1: Short intro of the Main Character and emotional state at start of the novel. Include in Paragraph 1 Section2: A longer sentence expanding on the character’s initial emotional state that raises the stakes. then finish with but included in Paragraph 1 Section3: The inciting incident presented as a cliff-hanger

Followed by:

Paragraph 2 Section 1: A bridge from the P1 cliff-hanger to the Main Character's new emotional state and bring in Paragraph 2 Section 2: A major complication that may thwart the Main Characters objective

Bring to a climax with a 

Final Cliff-hanger - Posed as a question

Selling Paragraph

Call to Action: Buy this book today or similar

So I came up with the following blurb which I hope you will like and encourage everyone to buy a copy of 'Joan - Put on a Happy Face' tell me what you think of it in the comments or email me.

“Loved this book! A definite page-turner and easy Sunday chill read. I loved the subtle references and historic notes and I look forward to reading more from this author!”

Joan looked into the mirror, the minute lines around her eyes the only hint to her 400 years wandering this world.

During those long years, she’d loved, married, lived out her dream of a family, but as she squinted at herself at the reflection, her current nightmarish situation overwhelmed her whole being.

Suddenly alone, her son missing, the only link to her former life a handful of puppets she’d used for decades to entertain both her family and the public. Joan has no recollection of how or why she was in hospital. She needs to know, she needs answers.

Joan has no friends, no one she can trust or turn to; she has only her family and now they’re gone...

She must find them or face immortality alone. A life where death evades her would be merely an existence – a living death!

Find out how Joan reclaims her life in this easy-to-read historical fictional with just a ‘hint’ of fantasy!

Let me know what you think of it in the comments section or email me 

Music Board (Song Finale) created for Joan Put On A Happy Face - 'I can see clearly now'

 The final song to my music board and to my story 'Joan - Put on a Happy Face' has to be

'I Can See Clearly Now' by Johnny Nash

"...muffled voices... becoming animated... and the door to my room flew open...I must be dreaming... My heart racing... the same swarthy good looks that I remembered... afraid to move for fear that it was all a dream..."

How does this story end?

Monday, 7 March 2022

CHAPTER 16 A work in progress.

My Journey Into Authorship - A work in progress

 Thanks folks, for continuing to follow me on my 'Journey Into Authorship'. Ad School help to work out why a book isn't selling and it's hard to admit that a book isn't selling well, especially when you've put your heart and soul into writing it and it feels like no one wants to read it. :-) But how does anyone know you've written a great story unless you can get them to buy it first? So what's the knack of selling books on Amazon, or anywhere else for that matter?

Well last week I mentioned I had a three-day free eBook promo running and there was a fantastic 24 eBooks downloaded, so a BIG THANKS to everyone who downloaded a copy and especially to the few that bought the paperback - you're amazing - just don't forget to write a review when you've finished reading Click Here 

So there's been great news this week... a sale in the US market, a break into international sales... FANTASTIC NEWS!!!

Not so good according to Ad School because the cost of advertising to get that one sale was too high. Something is wrong. The book cover or the blurb. NO..O..O..! My baby is being criticized.

One of the Ad School team redesigned my book cover from this
To these three in just two minutes!

I loved them all, especially the soft glow around Joan and the font on the middle copy, but at the end,  she told me that they were just examples of how a change of focus and font can make all the difference.  She didn't feel they were the right font for historical fantasy fiction. I loved them, even the font on the  right was great. It's not what I like that counts though, it's what the reader likes, so once again, I'm reaching out to you the readers to tell me which font you like, which font would make YOU  want to take a closer look?
Make a comment in the box provided or email me from here with your thoughts

A great new blurb has been added to my Amazon sales page, you're gonna love it!

"Alone as an immortal would be unbearable. Joan has to find her family. If only she could regain her voice or better still – her memory.

Monday, 28 February 2022

CHAPTER 15 The Challenges continue!

 My Journey Into Authorship

It's getting tough out there! Ad School is proving to be quite challenging. Last week I talked about the genre of my book and the advice given was that  I should be in Historical Fantasy Fiction, dropping the Biographical genre. 

Ad campaigns were set up with these changes in mind, but the response to the ads hasn't improved a great deal well not as much as it should have, so the Ad School team has me now looking at changing my book cover and my book description.  It's taking a bit of doing as each new design has to seek approval by a member of the team, which is great of course, for they are the experts and they know what a book cover should look like in order to attract readers and it's not always what I like, but what the reader expects when they look at you book cover. Whatever happened to not judging a book by its cover? haha!  

I have nothing more to tell you at the moment other than I just ran a three-day promo, a free download of my book and if you missed it, don't be dismayed as another free promo will be run on the last Saturday of the month, or you can read it free on Kindle Unlimited. 

There is a bit of research you could help me with if you're willing?

Most of Ad School tell me that readers like to know about the authors. They tell me that readers like blogs. So you could help with this by replying to this blog if you will? Let me know you've read my blog. Let me know if you read the author pages.  Will you do that for me - please? Fantastic!

But where can you buy  my book? Well Amazon of course! And as always... HAPPY READING! 👍

Click Here for the US Site

Click Here for the UK Site

Looking through the eyes of love

 An extract from Chapter Six 'Joan - put on a happy face' "What are you smiling about?" ask Pulcinella approaching me with...