Don’t Hire An Editor… My Interview with a Vampire.


An interview with `Y` – a successful author.  

Define successful author.

Y: My Amazon royalties pay the rent and buy the groceries.

What do you think the key ingredient is towards making huge sales?

Y: My fans love my books, they know how I write.

Why do they love them?

Y: *shrugs* Everybody has fantasies lol. I guess they like the ideas.

The sex you mean?

Y: Yes.

All of your books sell well yet they have many low scoring reviews, most of which complain about flat or dumb characters as well as puerile writing. Don’t you ever want to put that right?

Y: Puerile???


Y: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the writing.

Perhaps you can’t see that but some of your readers obviously can. Are you a member of any writing groups where your peers might help you improve with the flat characterisation and the immature writing?

Y: I used to be a member of xxxxxxxxxx but don’t bother now.

Why not? The site you mentioned has a good review system in place. You could make your writing better.

Y: The writing is okay as it is.

Aren’t you interested in preventing those low scoring reviews?

Y: I really don’t have time. I’ve websites to look after and books to write. Fans are always demanding the next one.

I view the art of writing for the craft that it is. I can see its beguiling depths and love nothing more than to swim in its trenches of discovery, striving always to learn and improve, understanding that there is no perfection. Does the adventure of such discovery not twist your melons?

Y: You just said there is no perfection.

That was my point. The art of writing offers infinite possibilities and with a little effort on your behalf you could take your writing from puerile to great or even magnificent. Doesn’t that appeal?

Y: I don’t have time, like I just told you. My fans love my writing. They beg for more. I don’t need to improve anything.

What about pride?

Y: Of course I’m proud. I’m selling lots of books, something I’ve always wanted to do.

I’m talking about having pride in your writing.

Y: There’s nothing wrong with the writing. Those reviews are only opinions.

You don’t respect the opinions? If someone suggests the writing to be childish or the characters dumb and flat doesn’t it make you want to do something about that?

Y: Those reviews are only opinions.

So you have no pride in your writing?

Y: I’m very proud.

Of the many sales, yes, I get that, but you have no pride in your skills of the craft, would you agree?

Y: Maybe there are things that could be made better but I don’t have time.

That being the case we can break this down to a simple conclusion. You are like a vampire, leeching off the sexual needs of your clamouring readers, disinterested in improving their reading experience.

Y: Lol!

That wasn’t meant to be funny.

Y: I’m a successful author.

You are a successful salesman, but a mediocre writer.

Y: There’s nothing wrong with the writing.


Y: People shouldn’t be allowed to leave reviews like that.

Okay, let’s talk about the mistakes.

Y: Mistakes?

The typos, grammatical errors, continuity errors, punctuation errors.

Y: There may be the odd one just like any in any novel.

True, however, if we take your novel xxxxxxx as an example, there are glaring errors on every page.

Y: I think you’re exaggerating.

I can email you a doc with the errors highlighted.

Y: No thanks.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers who read this interview?

Y: You can’t use my name.

Why not? You have a great many sales with clamouring fans and many five star reviews, of which you say you are proud, surely our chat would garner more sales?

Y: I don’t need the publicity.

But your success is a perfect example of why writers should not hire an editor or a proof reader. Who needs such unnecessary expense when sales can be made without editorial aid. Isn’t that what you’re saying?

Y: I guess I am, but you can’t put my name to this.

I accept that your pride lies in making great sales, and I accept your conviction lies in churning out the next book, but shouldn’t you have the courage of your convictions?

Y: I don’t churn them out. I write for hours into the night, every day.

How long did xxxxxxxx take you to write?

Y: About eight weeks then another two editing.

You edited?

Y: of course.

Eight weeks for a full draft is mighty quick… I do think that could be classed as churning.

Y: Your opinion.

You didn’t answer my earlier question… What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Y: Just write and get your books out there.

What about employing an editor or a proof reader?

Y: That’s personal preference.

I’d suggest it’s down to whether or not you have pride in your skills as a writer. If you want your writing to stand out, want to keep those review scores high, want to hold your head high, then you should attempt to bring some quality to your work.

Y: I am proud.

But you won’t hold your head high?

Y: I do. My family are proud of my success.

If you are proud enough to hold your head high then I can assume it’s okay to use your real name?

Y: No, you may not use my name.

Then I guess I can’t link to your books?

Y: No.

Pick a letter.

Y: Why?

Thank you for your time.


There it is, folks. You don’t necessarily need an editor.

Simply determine where your pride lies and go from there.





Bargain Books for Halloween

This weekend is the first ever Tears of Crimson Halloween promotion, with more than twenty titles by 10 authors, all of them either 99c or free, a bigger bargain you won’t find this weekend.
Check them out here


Visit Tears of Crimson:

Wicked price for Halloween

Want to read something really scary?

Wicked reduced price for the Halloween weekend…

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The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing…

The idea of this is that a writer puts up a post on his or her own blog answering ten questions about his/her work in progress, and then “tags” three – or five, depending on which version you see – other writers to do the same. Then, the writer posts a link to his/her “tagger” and to the people he/she is “tagging” so that readers who are interested can visit those pages and perhaps discover some new authors whose work they’d like to read.

I was tagged by Prue Batten, author of:

The Stumpwork Robe ‘As exquisitely crafted as the sumptuous wedding robe from which it takes its name…’

The Last Stitch ‘Inventive, playful and beautifully written…’’

A Thousand Glass Flowers  ‘A sweeping gorgeously written tale…’

Gisborne: Book of Pawns  ‘Mesmeric and exact storytelling…’

And soon to be released The Shifu Cloth ‘A young woman, a message woven into rare cloth made of paper and silk, a man who seeks not just the woman but his identity – for these cousins, only time will tell if what makes a curse, breaks a curse.’

Prue’s writing fascinates me; with a writer’s eye capable of delivering microscopic observation, and a talent for capturing tone like no other, the resulting read brings hypnotic satisfaction. 

The writers I have tagged in my turn appear at the bottom of this post.

What is the working title for your book?

Kimi 2 – rather bland I know. I had so many ideas for a title along with multiple tagline concepts that keeping the working title simple was a must. The eventual title: Kimi’s Fear won the vote from my beta readers. Keep it simple, they said.

Where did the idea come from for this book?

The main thrust and subplots were a natural progression from Kimi’s first outing. When Kimi’s Secret ended the cast hung around and my mind would wonder and wander along the various threads; what happened next, to him to her to the situations, and so Kimi’s Fear practically wrote itself.

What genre does your book fall under?

I dislike pigeon holes, but I guess it’s a fantasy mix of sci-fi and paranormal with a hefty dose of madness.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This is a good and relevant question because the technique I use when imagining my scenes is to place actors or celebrities in the various roles; a technique which enables easy yet solid imaginings, and so, for me, those scenes and characters come alive in my head.

Mr Purse, magical proprietor of BoZone: Middling’s boutique for all things Balancerish, with his eloquent manner, quirky ways, his quiff and bent nose, is played by the lovely Stephen Fry.

Phenate Thrawn, an Elemental Balancer Supreme, so in tune with the atoms of Mother Nature that she merely has to sing to make the earth move, with her hair a thrash of bracken and brambles, legs like sticks and a body of spade-shaped leaves, Phenate would be none other than Helena Bonham Carter.

Adept Charles Babbage, overweight, deformed, in dark suit and with monocle, was, in my imaginings the inimitable Sir Patrick Moore.

Big Sue, (Sue is a man) a slightly camp Scottish giant with OCD, and was superbly acted by Billy Connolly.

Stella, two years older than Kimi and Kimi’s new best friend and mentor was imagined as Lily Cole.

Adept Blavatsky, with her wool suit bursting at its seams and her scathing tongue was portrayed in my mind’s eye by the brilliant Kathy Bates.

Adept Patina was bionic woman Lindsay Wagner with big hair.

Balancer Barry with his lost mojo was played by Timothy Spall.

Kimi herself was played in my imagination by 2008 Britain’s Got Talent finalist Faryl Smith.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

How many colons am I allowed? Let’s see…

‘Suspected of murdering a Greylian General, Kimi must leap once more through time and dimension to find and tame her childhood fear wherein the truth of memories resides and by which she will prove her innocence; but, with a ruthless Greylian bounty hunter after her brain and the boy of her dreams turning cannibal, Kimi needs more than her friends to help her out this time.’

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Soon to be self-published via and available in paperback and eBook.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Compared to the five years Kimi’s Secret took to `build`, Kimi’s Fear was a piddling six months. The story world existed fresh in my mind, and so did the characters, and, as I said earlier, the plot and subplots stood up and spoke for themselves so it didn’t take much weaving to put it all together.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I’m not sure I can. I wanted to create something different and hope to have achieved that.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Aliens, ghosts and magic. These things tortured my youth with bafflement, worked their way into my bones and have held me ever since.

Spielberg wowed me with Close Encounters of the Third Kind around the same time as my mother had us spellbound with tales of spirit forms, and around the same time the news was buzzing with young girls being flung around by poltergeists, Uri Geller bending spoons, and thousands of people throwing themselves into frenzies at PK (psychokinetic) parties.

Never a believer, always the sceptic, hoping to witness the evidence that would prove little grey men were real, that ghosts were indeed some manifestation of human energy, and that we humans could really defy the laws of physics and move objects just by thinking about it.

This fascination for everything Fortean was ingrained at that impressionable age, so when I had an idea for a novel; a time-travelling conundrum, fuelled by grey aliens – or greylians as I fondly christened them – I pondered the notion of uncovering a world where these things could brought into being, not just alien greys but my mother’s ghosts, the magic of psychokinetics, and anything else mythical or unexplained that I could make fit.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Apart from the notion of alien greys living amongst us and the millions of humans allegedly abducted to date – and apart from the concepts of time travel and the existence of other dimensions – Kimi’s Fear touches on the philosophic; the morals of self-preservation, supreme beings and the existence of soul. With both Kimi’s Secret and Kimi’s Fear, I set out to create a read that a child might enjoy as an exciting adventure story, yet that same reader might experience a different read with a greater understanding when reading the same book at an older age. I hope to have achieved that.

Kimi’s Secret Paperback or eBook:

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Kimi’s Fear… coming soon!


Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.

Prue Batten. A writer with a depth of observation like no other. I’m certain she’s a witch.


The writers I am tagging are:

Barbara Scott-Emmett:

Barbara has been writing for a number of years and has had short stories (two of them prizewinning) published in anthologies and magazines. She has also had articles, poems and a novel (The Man with the Horn) published conventionally.

Frances di Plino:

Frances di Plino is the pseudonym of columnist, editor, non-fiction author and writing tutor, Lorraine Mace. Writing as Frances di Plino gives her the opportunity to allow the dark side of her personality to surface and take control as can be witnessed in recently published thriller Bad Moon Rising. As Lorraine Mace, she is humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a deputy editor of Words with JAM. She writes fiction for the women’s magazine market, features and photo-features for monthly glossy magazines and is a writing competition judge for Writers’ Forum.

Jo Reed:

Jo won the Daily Telegraph Travel Writing Competition in 2008, and has many short story credits. In 2008/9 she won an Arts Council supported Apprenticeship with Adventures in Fiction for her first novel, The Tyranny of the Blood, which was subsequently taken up by Wild Wolf Publishing. A Child of the Blood followed in 2010, and the third novel in the series Malim’s Legacy is now available for Kindle and will be available in paperback from November 12th.


I can’t recommend these writers highly enough which is exactly why I tagged them as worthy authors for The Next Big Thing.

An Event Like No Other

An Event Like No Other.

The Truth Is Out There

Building a sci-fi world?

Want your readers to believe?

Check out my guest blog:



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Last night I was abducted by aliens…

…but they didn’t make a good job of it. Those little grey men who abduct millions of humans every year eventually got round to little old me and they screwed up.

It was the middle of the night when they came. Wifey was snoring and so was the dog but something had brought my eyes flickering open. I could not move among the fuzzy feeling of great warmth brought by the 40-tog duvet and the dog’s backside on my legs but I could see outside to the inky garden and the lapis sky and the feeling of being watched, of something out there, of something coming – was overwhelming. I could hear something outside; a faint, distant drone, and perhaps there were bells, tinkles maybe. I don’t know. I could not move a muscle.

Then it came with a sound like a mousetrap going off; a thick beam of ice-blue light snapped on, illuminating the garden, the trees, and suddenly I was moving, not upwards through the ceiling as one might expect from watching the movies but sideways, yes, passing through my pillows with silent ease, through the wall and window to the outside where staring black eyes on ovular grey heads watched me floating in my back garden. The distant drone was now a loud hum, the snores of my best friends no longer audible. I was leaving, being taken to a place I had always wanted to visit, even if that meant being probed where the sun don’t shine.

I wanted to see the craft before my body slid effortlessly through its hull, wanted to reach out and touch these greylian heads that stared at me like faerie visions from the mist outside the beam, but my paralysis was complete and I could not even blink. I found I could communicate telepathically with these grinning greylians. “This is pants,” I said. “For thirty-five years I’ve been waiting for this, waiting to rise from my bed with my sheets draped around me, to float through my loft, my rooftop, yet you slide me sideways through the wall and I can’t even see your bloody ship? You kidding me? Where’s the value of experience? Where’s the tension and excitement? We need to do this again.”

But the greys only murmured among themselves and still I could not catch a glimpse of their craft.

Then I heard the tune, the iconic five notes used by Spielberg’s Mothership to communicate with the humans… re- mi – do – do (octave lower) – sol, and again, repeated over and over and the lights, all colours lit up like a keyboard and my head could eventually move and there it was, my alarm clock, beeping and buzzing its lightshow. And so I hit snooze a few times and dreamed up ideas for my trailer producer to add to the trailer for Kimi’s Fear which were promptly emailed to him at 7am this morning and to which he replied he thought the ideas great and would be incorporated.

I think it’s quite wonderful that our dreams can bring creativity.

Still, I wish it had been real.

The trailer for Kimi’s Fear is coming soon. And so is the book itself.

In the meantime here’s the reduced version trailer for Kimi’s Secret:

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Trailer for Kimi’s Secret

Huge thanks to Olly @ for this rather mesmerising performance…

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Kimi’s Secret – Number 1 again for today’s Amazon’s recommendations…


Kimi’s Secret is top of the list again for Amazon’s recommendations…

“Are you looking for something in our Science Fiction & Fantasy Books store? If so, you might be interested in this…”

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A Pocket Full of Posies…

A Pocket Full of Posies….