Showing posts from 2013

2013 - my year of writing dangerously

What a strange year. Five book launches, two short stories, four video competitions and a whole lot of travelling.

Here's a review of the past 12 crazy months.

Happy New Year to family, friends and acquaintances old and new, and thanks to Crooked Cat Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Bluewood Publishing and SmashWords.

Click here or on the screenshot to view.

By Pamela Kelt

Anecdotal value from Pamela Kelt

Newsroom mystery book bargain. Tomorrow's Anecdote for just 77p on

Just another day in the the newsroom? Hardly.

Voting for Ice Trekker in video contest

My teen fantasy adventure Ice Trekker is in the You Gotta Read Reviews Video Contest this December. It's video entry #2 - currently on page two.

Voting will be between today, December 21 and December 27. Here's a guide if you're new to the process.

Start by clicking on 'Video contest'.

Find the vote button and scroll down to see Ice Trekker at #2.

Check the box.

Go to the bottom of the list and click 'Vote'.

That's it! Thanks.

By Pamela Kelt

Tomorrow's Anecdote - on the road

Thanks to Crooked Cat Publishing, my first novel is now on its first outing.

Find out more here:

It's been popping up all over the place. Here's what to look for ...

Just another day in the the newsroom? 


October 1987. Clare Forester is an overworked and under-appreciated features subeditor on a provincial paper in Somerset. She spends her time cheerfully ranting about her teenage daughter, the reclusive lodger, her spiteful mother, the Thatcher government, new technology, grubby journalists, petty union officials, her charming ex – and just about anything else that crosses her path.

If things aren’t turbulent enough, on the night of Thursday, October 15th, the Great Storm sweeps across Britain, cutting a swathe of destruction across the country.

Things turn chaotic. Pushed to breaking point, Clare finally snaps and loses her temper with gale-force fury – with disastrous results.

As she cont…

Eat Your Peas! Speaking to the middle grade reader

Concluding the series of articles to celebrate the launch of The Cloud Pearl, here's fellow MuseItUp Publishing Kai Strand with some excellent points about tuning into your audience.

Welcome, Kai. Over to you:

Eat Your Peas!Speaking to the Middle Grade Reader

Voice in children’s literature is crucial. It’s a safe bet to say that if the narrator sounds like a parent, your book probably won’t be read by more than your friends and family.

Lost orchid - for real

Orchid fans are buzzing with the news that one of the world’s rarest orchids has been rediscovered after 175 years.

Richard Bateman and Paula Rudall, from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, found the green-flowered plant on a wind-swept mountain ridge they compared to a scene from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World.

At first the team had focused on two kinds of butterfly-orchids, but by using morphology and DNA sequences, they were able to distinguish between the widespread short-spurred butterfly-orchid and the rarer narrow-lipped butterfly-orchid. It was only when the team surveyed an orchid population on top of a volcanic ridge on the central island of Sao Jorge that they made a surprising discovery: a third species.

On their return from the island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores to Britain the scientists realised that another botanist had first seen the orchid 175 years ago – but had never realised what he had discovered.

Gothic inspiration

Guy’s Cliffe house is the epitome of the Gothic. Crumbling towers, croaking jackdaws, a rushing weir.

One late summer’s day, I found myself walking the dogs round Guy’s Cliffe, a Warwickshire beauty spot by the River Avon, not far from home.

The Lost Orchid set to bloom

I've just heard the delightful news that Paulette Rea of Bluewood Publishing will be the editor for The Lost Orchid.

It's a tale of botanical shenanigans set in the 1880s when orchid fever was at its height.

The story set in and around Kenilworth. Expect photos!

Scottish connection

It's St Andrew's Day today. I took this shot over the ancient rooftops of old Kenilworth the other week. It seemed appropriate.

It's similarly dazzling today. In fact, I may just take a turn around the castle - and pick up a haggis on the way back.

If I can catch one. It's a little known fact that they roam free on Kenilworth Common and they're quick as the devil as they shoot through the bracken.

Voting for Half Life - not long to go ...

Voting closes today for the Yougottaread November video contest.

I'd love a vote for Half Life. It's a film noir-inspired 1930s romantic thriller, co-written with my husband Rob Deeth. Nefarious Nazis, northern lights, nuclear fission ... and cyclotrons!

Making fantasy real - author Rosemary Gemmell

Continuing the series about writing for younger readers to mark the launch of The Cloud Pearl, this week we hear from talented writer Ros Gemmell, author of The Jigsaw Puzzle.

The epublishing business is wonderfully global, however it was delightful to connect with a fellow-Scot. Rosemary and I have exchanged many an email over the past few months, so it's pleasure to have her as my guest today, to talk about interweaving fantasy with real-life issues.

Seeking votes for Half Life

Half Life has reached the shortlist for the Yougottaread November video contest.

It's a film noir-inspired 1930s romantic thriller, co-written with my husband Rob Deeth. Nefarious Nazis, northern lights, nuclear fission ... and cyclotrons!

To vote, go here. Voting is from 21-27 November.

Scroll down to number #12 and click to vote if you like it.

You can also see the video here:

Picture power - thoughts from cover artist and writer Marion Sipe

Continuing the series about writing for younger readers, here's an interview with design artist Marion Sipe, who created the wonderful cover for The Cloud Pearl.

Welcome, Marion! Let's get straight down to business.  Apart from reading the cover artists forms, how do you set about designing a book cover? Do you ever revert to pen and paper, or is it all high-tech design?

Seeking votes for Half Life

Just back from Berlin doing research for the sequel of Half Life, our 1930s mystery adventure and guess what? I see the Half Life trailer’s in this month’s You Gotta Read Reviews Video Contest.

It’s entry #12 and you can see it here.

If you like a bit of ‘film noir’, do vote from November 21 and November 26.

When it comes to the day, to vote, visit the site, find the red, white and blue voting button between those dates and click on the appropriate number.


Boost your book - tips from Beth Overmyer

A warm welcome to fellow MuseItYoung author Beth Overmyer.

This is the third article in a series on books for the teen/tween market, to mark the launch of The Cloud Pearl (Book One: Legends of Liria). Today, the author of In a Pickle shares her tips for boosting your book.
Writing a Teacher’s Guide
Congratulations! You’ve written a book and now you want to make a teacher’s guide to accompany it.

E-books and e-readers – are we expecting too much?

This is the second article in a series on books for the teen/tween market, to mark the launch of The Cloud Pearl (Book One: Legends of Liria).
I’m in the classic demographic to possess an e-reader. Female, mother, and of a certain age. I woke up to the revolution two years, submitted several manuscripts and I have now have six books deals. They are all initially e-books.
I assumed everyone was familiar with e-readers, even if they didn’t own one. Well, I think I’m horribly wrong.
I was at the hairdresser’s, a classic place to catch up on my reading. I left my e-reader on the table and a crowd formed. Not one of the women there had ever seen one before – and it was a wide age range, from late teens to post-retirement. When I showed them the cover of one of my books on the screen, there was a general ooh and aah. Far from being flattered, I was horrified.

How old are you? Writing for younger readers ...

Hi Pam!Hello Pam's followers! waves coffee mug enthusiastically.
How old are you?
Thanks so much for inviting me to contribute to this discussion because although I don't consider myself a YA writer, as in so many things, it comes down to reader's choice.
For example? I still read and treasure some books that came to me in childhood – Alison Uttley, Beatrix Potter, the Narnia Series, Henry Treece's Viking trilogy, apart from all the classics. I have used the Wind in the Willows in magical ritual (yes, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, of course) andtaught English to adult students with early-readerbooks where the pictures tell the story and the words are there for vocabulary-gathering.

The Cloud Pearl - launch day

Today is the launch of The Cloud Pearl, book one of Legends of Liria.

The book's now on and Smashwords, among others. Hop over for some questing banter and epic pictures of swords and monsters. There's a giveaway, too.

Five stars for Ice Trekker

As I'm gearing up for the release of teen/tween fantasy The Cloud Pearl, I found this five-star review on Amazon for my previous adventure, Ice Trekker.

***** 'I read the whole book in one go - just could not put it down! If you like the Hobbit or the earlier Harry Potter books you will love this. It is full of weird and wonderful creatures - incredibly imaginative. This is the third book I've read by this author - all are completely different and all are cracking reads.'


Coming to a PC near you …

When I plunged into the unknown waters of epublishing, I had no idea what I was going to experience. I was quietly confident. Hey. I’m a sub-editor. I can do formatting.
Serves me right for being so cocky.
First step. Buy e-reader. Check. That was the easy bit.I began to submit manuscripts. It was odd because I had to do was ‘unlearn’ all the fancy submission documents I used to do. No footers, headers, no page numbers! Still, simple is good. I’m basically a low-tech kinda gal. I could down-size.

New Liria cover - The Cloud Pearl

I'm a great fan of teen fiction and fantasy. I'm delighted to introduce Legends of Liria, a six-part tween/teen series in six parts. The Cloud Pearl is book one.

It's inspired by my daughter Lauren's aerial skills acquired through the amazing Dream Factory, Warwick, mingled in with a fantastic trip to the inspiring country of Montenegro. A heady mix.

For more on the series, do check out the blog.

Here's the blurb:

Science + fiction

I've been watching a lot of film noir lately. British Intelligence, 1940, with Boris Karloff. Night Train to Munich with Rex Harrison.

I love the old movies - and there's always a bunch of science of technology lurking in those film noir shadows.

Hence Half Life. So, what a lovely surprise to get a mention in a science newsletter. And here it is.

Bringing chemistry to life, courtesy of the University of Warwick.

Why I love Flash Fiction – by Tom Gillespie

Please welcome fellow Crooked Cat writer Tom Gillespie, today. Author of the highly-acclaimed darkly surreal thriller, Painting by Numbers, he's sharing his passion for a different style of writing.
There's a bonus: he's written an exclusive piece for us all. It's fabulous and more than a little unsettling ... but what else would you expect? 
Here's Tom:

Calling all young readers

Blogging today chez author Kai Strand. Chatting about Ice Trekker and writing for young readers.

Catching up with Frances di Plino

A warm welcome to fellow Crooked Cat writer, Frances di Plino (Lorraine Mace), author of the D.I. Paolo Storey series, among many other titles.

She's taken time from her hectic schedule to share some fascinating insights into her writing, her family's past and her future plans:

Frances di Plino is a striking name – very powerful. It looks just right on the cover of a psychological crime thriller. How did it come about? Do you have an Italian connection?

Talking to Tina

This week, meet fellow Crooked Cat writer Tina Burton, author of the delightful Chapters of Life.

Hi, Tina. Welcome to the blog.

I'm guessing you're still celebrating the launch of your book, Chapters of Life. How did it come about?
I'd been in a bookshop, and thought how nice it would be if they had a cafe so people could sit with a coffee whilst reading, and suddenly had this vision of a bookshop with a cafe on the first floor. Then everything else came to me, the characters and setting etc.

Are the quirky characters in Chapters of Life drawn from actual people, or are they, perhaps, composites – or complete fiction?
Well, there's bits of me in Jo who manages the bookshop, and Graham has some of my husband's traits, but all the rest are complete fiction.

Great little city

Bath. A great place. Read in my latest blog visit about how it inspired a macabre mystery, Tomorrow's Anecdote.

I was there in the late 1980s and based all the locations on real places. Even the house the female protagonist lives in was based on our modest Victorian terraced house in Eastville.

Take a look - what a wonderful place.

Thanks to Michela for inviting me - and for coming up with such a great theme.

By Pamela Kelt

Attack of the graphics

How many people have tried their hand at fantasy novels with a ‘quest’ theme? The answer is, I suspect, just about anyone who’s enjoyed Lord of the Rings. That’s a lot of folk.
Some years ago, I began to develop a story set in the icy wastes of the north. It was based on a trip to northern Norway. The story only took off on the third edit, when I tried a different approach. I decided to ditch the traditional fantasy scenario and go for the flavour of a graphic novel.
Not everyone likes graphic novels. Our favourite country pub is owned by a chap, a former graphic artist, who’s lined the walls of the establishment with original front covers of graphic novels from the 1970s. Catwoman, the Incredible Hulk, Superman, The Shadow. Others were more obscure, but the powerful images are filled with exciting promise.
In my view, the figures and backdrops are striking and brilliantly drawn – with obvious good and evil connotations. This made them the perfect inspiration for an adventure story for …

Seeking votes for Dark Interlude

If you've a moment, my video for romantic thriller Dark Interlude is on Yougottareads this month. I'm canvassing for votes among my fellow Muses!

Just go to this link -

Then scroll down below the red and blue voting button until you come to the numbered list. Click on #5 if you'd like to vote for Dark Interlude. You can see the video here -

It's a romantic adventure set after Armistice Day, 1918, when dark forces are at work ... and revolution is in the air.

'A strange death ... a deadly mission ... a city on the brink.
Who says the war is over?'

Voting is open from today, 21 September (my 28th wedding anniversary, by the way) until 27 September.

Thanks so much,

By Pamela Kelt

Confessions of a fantasy fan

I’ve always loved tales of fantasy, whether in books, movies, comics or television. I'm especially proud of actually writing one myself. Ice Trekker is now out on MuseItYoung.

I used to share fantasy books with my daughter as she was growing up. I was always at my local library, pouncing on the latest Edge Chronicle or whatever, or rummaging through the boxes of books to be reviewed when I worked in magazines.

Some years ago, I turned my hand to writing myself. I began writing books for adults, but this changed overnight when I was lucky enough to accompany my husband on a work trip to Norway. Guess which part? Tromsø, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. What an adventure. It took three flights to get there. We felt like Polar explorers ourselves.
While Rob worked at the University, I went exploring. Tromsø is a beautiful city, laid out on the island of Tromsøya, surrounded by vast mountains. It has a beautiful Arctic cathedral, the most northerly botanic garden in the world – and …