Archive for the General Category

Well, it’s been awhile…

Posted in General with tags on January 18, 2018 by Kate Jack

…but it’s happened again.

What? I hear you ask. Well, when I logged into twitter this morning I found I had four new followers, which came as a pleasant surprise, until I followed them back. Three out of the four appeared to be genuine followers. However, the fourth no sooner obtained my reciprocation than they unfollowed me, within the space of about three minutes. Why? My guess is that they’re trying to obtain more followers for their account, of which there weren’t many, by following other tweeters and then promptly withdrawing their follow, thus making them seem more popular than they really are. Unfortunately for them, I have an app that enables me to check for new followers and non-followbacks, etc. I therefore blocked this person; will they learn from this experience? Somehow I doubt it.

The second annoyance of the morning was a message from one of the aforementioned new followers, purporting to be interested in my book. Alarm bells should have rung straight away, as they didn’t mention the title and I tweet about several of my books, not just one. However, being a somewhat optimistic person, I decided they were referring to my pinned tweet and I thanked them for their enquiry, and proceeded to give them the lowdown on that particular novel. Guess what? They messaged me back and asked me to watch a YouTube video they’d made. Well, fair’s, fair, I thought, at least they’d asked about my book and not just demanded I watch their video. Accordingly I watched it, it was actually quite good, liked it and retweeted it. Now the thing about spammers like this is that they’re not only cheeky, but greedy too. They messaged me again, this all took place within about 5 minutes, asking me to read their book. My reply was a good deal politer than they deserved, but it boiled down to a refusal. Strange as it may seem, they’ve suddenly gone quiet. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and not block or unfollow them for the time being; that said I totally expect them to unfollow me at some point and I will then reciprocate. 

 

The thing is, what these gamers don’t seem to appreciate is that people soon cotton onto their shenanigans, and their reputation turns to crap. Since reputation is everything, especially on social media, all they’re doing is shooting themselves in the foot and it’s game over.

I will never understand why people can’t behave in a decent manner and use the likes of twitter and Facebook as they should be used, as a means of connecting and interacting with others who share similar interests. Ah well, maybe I’m being naive. 🙂

 

P.S Since posting this article, the spammer messaged me yet again about reading their book, despite my unequivocal refusal. So guess what I did – yes I blocked them 🙂

kate Jack @ twitter

 

 

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Everyone likes freebies…

Posted in General with tags on January 14, 2018 by Kate Jack

…so here’s one for all you lovely readers out there 🙂

Land of Midnight Days, book of The Silver Flute Trilogy, will be free to download for the next five days: 15th of January to 19th of January. 

myBook.to/downloadnow

And if you’d like another freebie, subscribe to my website and get A pocketful of Stories, a collection of short fantasy stories.

http://katejack9.wixsite.com/kate

Happy reading 🙂

http://katejack9.wixsite.com/kate/books

Spammers – IQ level – Zero

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2017 by Kate Jack

 

What is it about spammers? Why are they so thick? Is it something in the water? Or were they dropped on their heads when they were babies? Whatever the reason, I think I know the cause.

I’m obviously annoying some of them, 😀 😀 😀 as just lately they’ve been posting streams of gibberish and porn against one particular post:Spammers, predictable and stupid Does this annoy me? No, it doesn’t. Why? Because it’s easy enough to block the morons and delete their crap. Added to which it gives me a sense of satisfaction to dump their metaphorical fecal matter in the metaphorical toilet.

What does continue to baffle me, is why they do it in the first place – spam that is? I should imagine the few people sucked in by their feeble attempt to rip them off hardly makes it worthwhile. Most of the dialogue posted  makes no sense whatsoever, or is usually pornographic. Okay, you might get some takers on the latter posts, if your tastes run that way, but most people don’t respond.

So, thickos, carry on wasting your time and making yourself look as though you possess the IQ of a brain damaged newt. Most of you, in fact thousands, are blocked by my inbuilt filter. Those of you who do make it through never actually reach my blog, but are dumped in the spam folder and from there are deleted, blocked and obviously pissed off by my response to your cretinous attempts 😀

 

 

How do you learn to write?

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2017 by Kate Jack

I started writing when I was about fourteen. I’d always been good at writing essays at school and very much enjoyed it. I made stories up in my head too and this graduated into putting my day dreams down on paper, to feed my ever growing imagination.

However, apart from the essays, I had no formal education in writing fiction. Yes, I read, and even gleaned bits of other writers’ techniques, as a result, but I was mostly self-taught when it came to composing my own work. As a result I had no writing style, but a mish-mash of words, which resulted in some pretty bizarre results. My writing was, and still is, to a certain extent, instinctual. 

Now with some writers, instinct is enough, but most of us need a guiding hand. With that in mind, I joined a writers’ workshop. As a means of meeting other writers and gaining new friends, it was great. However, most of its members were hobbyists, which is okay, but for someone who wanted genuine feedback on how to improve their technique, or fresh ideas, instead of a mutual appreciation society, it was somewhat disappointing.

I then moved onto a writing group, which was much smaller and consisted of serious writers, and fared much better. The feedback was ruthless, the praise hard earned, but genuine. I learned about the overuse of adverbs, gerunds, and the use of naturalistic dialogue. This encouraged me to do an MA course in writing at John Moores University, in Liverpool, which enabled me to obtain a more “formal” education in the techniques of writing.

Even after that, I still had an awful lot to learn and assimilated more writing knowledge as I wrote my books, learning as I went along. I’m still learning and suspect, as far as writing is concerned, will continue to accrue knowledge as trends, genres and techniques continue to develop and evolve. 

http://katejack9.wixsite.com/kate

 

Creating your own world view

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2017 by Kate Jack

As writers, we’re all aware of the need to build believable backdrops to our stories. In the case of speculative fiction, ie: science fiction or fantasy, they don’t necessarily need to be based on real places, but they do need to constructed in a way that aids the reader to suspend their disbelief. 

Personally, when I get an idea for a story, I have to decide where I want to place it before I start the plotting process. As I write YA urban fantasy, it’s obvious that the main setting has to be in a city; but what type of city: futuristic, realistic, or pure fantasy? In the case of my YA urban fantasy trilogy, The Silver Flute Trilogy, I decided to garner locations from my home town, Liverpool. The city is a fascinating mixture of the old and new, sometimes jarring, as the new stands cheek by jowl with the old, but always interesting. This jumble of architecture ignites the flames of the imagination in a way that can lead the observer along the paths of creativity, be it writing, photography, or any other creative process you care to think of.

That said, the contrast can be amazing. The more traditional parts of Liverpool take you back into the past, with cobbled streets, old terraced houses and Victorian buildings of such beauty, they take your breath away. The more modern architecture is also amazing, transposing their brilliance on their older brethren in a way that can be absolutely stunning, or annoying, depending on your point of view. Traversing the streets is a journey through time, with a rich contrast between the futuristic and the past. It’s a veritable treasure chest for a writer, pouring ideas for stories and books into the brain and creating a palette of creativity.

For me it’s a great place to seek out diverse locations for my work and is an endless source of inspiration. So, let’s all, as writers, stride out and seek new places and faces to fuel our work, and never look back.

The Silver Flute Trilogy

To Self publish or not?

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on September 17, 2017 by Kate Jack

Free to download from:

Amazon UK

Amazon.US

kobo

itunes

Smashwords

 

A lot of today’s writers seem to gravitate towards self publishing, rather than going the traditional route. Why is this? Well apart from the hassle of finding a traditional publisher to take you on, there’s also the freedom involved in owning the rights to your work. This means a writer has total control over how, where and when they publish. But what about marketing? Well most writers, self or traditionally published, have to do their own marketing anyway. Unless you’re in the top echelon of writers, publishers seem unwilling to spend any money on getting the word out there on your behalf.

I’ve just tried my hand at self publishing, using Smashwords guide to formatting a manuscript. It was hard work, but I found it satisfying; at last I’d achieved something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Once the manuscript was formatted, I then browsed the internet for a cover, which I achieved at a good price, for an excellent product. Also, now I know how to do it, it should be relatively straightforward the next time round. 

So, if you haven’t already done so, why not give it a go? 🙂

 

 

What is your word count?

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on September 11, 2017 by Kate Jack

As a writer, how many words a day do you churn out? Some authors can create whole chapters each day, others go long periods without producing anything at all. So why is this? Well, it could be due to lack of time, especially if you have to work full time, or run a household, or maybe even both. Another reason, and it’s a common one, is procrastination. You promise yourself that you’ll write something tomorrow – for sure; and what happens? tomorrow never comes.

So how to get round this? Well, for me, the solution is to write at least a few paragraphs a day, whether I want to or not. Far better than leaving half completed work to gather dust and lose the will to go through it again, in order to pick up where I left off. I might end up writing rubbish, but that can be amended or edited later on. As long as I stick to the planned story, how it ends up on the page doesn’t matter, until the whole book is written. After that the fun part starts. I love editing my work, tweaking here and there, tightening up, even rewriting whole chapters. Why is this? It’s because the end is in sight. 

The benefit of forcing myself to write each days, even if it’s only for a few minutes, is that my work progresses, albeit it by short spurts, but I’ve also found that more often than not, the length of time I write is gradually increasing. Another benefit is that if I attempt avoiding it, my conscience won’t let me rest until I’ve done some writing. Then of course the great sense of achievement I get when I do add to my latest wip, is fantastic 😀

So even a few paragraphs a day will, little by little, help you climb that seemingly impossible writing mountain, until you reach the top and reign supreme. 🙂

http://katejack9.wixsite.com/kate

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