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AUTHORS HELPING AUTHORS – PART TW0 ‘

‘YOU LIKE ME AND I’LL LIKE YOU’

 

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, Fandalism, whatever the platform, we can like or dislike posts we see, and select to follow or subscribe to the author. Often moderate success is determined by how many likes, followers and subscribers we may have and in addition, the number of views a post may get. At the top end of the scale there are those with thousands upon thousands of followers and at the bottom, folk with only a few. It does not matter if you are an author, musician, actor, poet, artist or whatever, you have to start somewhere and the opportunity to expand our personal networks on-line is where we begin. A craze at the moment flooding author and book sites particularly on Facebook, is where authors request ‘like for like’ with other authors on FB pages and Websites. It is very helpful in sharing each others work, raising profile and of course ‘likes’. A dilemma for many is, it can be time-consuming to respond to hundreds of posts, but it does work and one can see the effects after only a few days. The trick is to time manage how much ‘liking‘ and ‘responding’ we activate and this is made easier as every time we ‘like’ within a stream of content, we are notified of all comments on that post. So if you belong to several groups and lets say, some are featuring ‘like for like’ posts, of which you are part of because you have commented, you receive a notification. It then becomes simply part of one’s daily on-line administration of your networking and can be easily managed. We have to remember, huge followings do not happen overnight, and expanding our personal network within the global family takes time. Patience is essential, as is focussing limited time productively when networking and more importantly, maintain a positive attitude.  Nothing like others liking you to increase self-confidence. Good luck!

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AUTHORS HELPING AUTHORS – Part One

WONDER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

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In this day of rapid communication and exchange of information across the world-wide web, the art of self-help and helping others has grown considerably. In my younger days when I first started to write and perform, this technology did not exist and in later years began to emerge to the point we are at now. Yet that point is constantly evolving day by day as change is an ever constant feature of evolution. So time never stands still and for a writer  nowadays we have to be proactive in our own promotion. Before the web this was almost impossible. Be we self-published or fortunate enough to have a publisher, we still have to create publicity on a regular basis across the web. Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, Instagram, Blogging and so many other pathways giving instant access to a very important theme… each other! Personal communication through friends networks and like-minded groups enable us to exchange so much in the way of support, professional, personal and emotional.

Of course the web is growing rapidly as are the opportunities to enjoy the advantages of great choice. It is a little like fishing of course in that, not all you reel in will you keep as its value to you will be minimal. Trial and error is the only way to find what is good and works for you. The growth in groups across Facebook alone is providing all authors, writers, poets and performers to network with each other, share ideas and more importantly offer help. Words Matter Publishing offer various ways to support their authors, not least of which being an Authors Support Group where we are able to share ideas and support each others work under the safety and guidance  of WMP. There are so many possibilities for expanding our own work by learning from others, what has worked for them and what has not, everything is worth a shot. Some of my colleagues are very creative, exploring new ideas, giving it a go and then sharing with the rest of us. So use this wonderful opportunity and try, it really does not matter if you make mistakes, somebody from somewhere in this vast web of life will be there to help! We can learn and should, from the experiences and mistakes of others, that’s what it is all about.

NEXT TIME

AUTHORS HELPING AUTHORS – PART TW0 ‘

‘YOU LIKE ME AND I’LL LIKE YOU’

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MORE FROM CRACH FFINNANT – VOLUME TWO – RISE OF THE DRAGON – COMING SOON FROM WORDS MATTER PUBLISHING

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I took my time walking or rather slipping and sliding across the shale-blanketed incline. The sky, grey and overcast, shared drizzling rain, stinging my face like hundreds of midges flying in the wind. An early morning sun, hidden from sight, lurked somewhere high above in the vast sky. It looked like a grey day ahead. Stooped, in an attempt to shield my eyes from the rain, I struggled on, the path beneath becoming more and more precarious with each step, sloppy and wet, legs like jelly, feet slipping, and shale sliding under the soles of well-worn boots. A sound staff in my right hand provided some support, but even that slipped as well. This was a journey inevitably slower than in more clement conditions.

It was an important day, and I needed to be alone with so much to consider, both from what had passed and what was yet to come. Hence this journey to the secret cave.

Begging pardon from Owain, with the trial concluded and Usk and Edmund on their way back to London, I left Syncharth with a bedroll, trusty staff, and food for a few days. Of course, I could have used a time portal to get to this sanctuary quickly, but I needed time to think and walking always aided a clear head. Riding was out of the question for this trip, so Merlina, my old friend, and steed grazed in the paddock at Syncharth as I set out alone before the sun had risen this morning. The rain became heavier, huge drops splashing upon rocks, soaking my outer layer of clothing, my boots getting wetter with each step. I noticed an overhang of rock about two hundred paces in front of the track, halfway up the next turn in the ridge contour. Deciding this would make a good shelter until the rain passed and the sky cleared, I made my way towards it.

Sitting under the overhang gave good cover from the rain. The roof jutted out from a rock face over boulders of varying sizes, providing a natural shelter for all who may pass by. Animal droppings scattered here and there informed me of recent visitors – rabbits, fox, and badger, but I was the only inhabitant that I could see today. Wolves, wild boar and bears roamed in the mountains and it was not unusual for lone travellers to be killed, especially in winter when it was hard to find game. A comforting thought for me, of course, was that now it was the height of summer, the month of August halfway through its time, so the chances of me becoming repast for a carnivore lessened, but not entirely, as there were always chance encounters.

It certainly seemed as if the rain would not let up, never stopping, simply fluctuating between light and heavy, yet ever constant. At least my clothes and boots now had a chance to dry out a little. When it became obvious I would be needing this shelter for longer than I would have liked, I lit a small fire in a recess, hung my outer clothes to dry and boiled some water for a mug of herbal tea. I always carried valerian root in my medicine pouch. It helped to calm me, especially when I was worried, and I was worried.

The ‘dragon was on the rise’ just as predicted by The Prophecy, The Prophecy which I and others had given their lives to serve. War loomed on the horizon between England and Wales, storm clouds gathered, and next month Owain would be crowned Prince of Wales. I knew this event would mark a turning point in history; it could not do otherwise. Wales had been dominated by unjust rule since Edward I. Stamped upon, ignored and ill-treated, it would soon rise, united as one, behind Glyndwr, the true Prince of Wales. But what of the outcome of such actions? This, together with other concerns, flooded my mind. I took a healthy sip of valerian tea and stared down the mountainside.

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Crach Ffinnant – Volume Two – Rise of the Dragon – COMING SOON FROM WORDS MATTER PUBLISHING

SNIPPET FROM CHAPTER ONE

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Tan-y-Mynedd suddenly stopped and sat down with a thump on his great haunches. Fortunately for me, by sidestepping intuitively, I avoided being crushed but fell head-over-heels, tripping over a rock jutting up from the cave floor. Tan-y-Mynedd turned his huge head and seeing me sprawled upon the ground, boomed with laughter. Suddenly I felt a strong hand grip my shoulder as its owner lifted me to my feet.
“Well, I never!” A familiar voice sounded.
Even though my ears rang from the fire-dragon’s guffaw at my clumsiness, I recognised the voice instantly. Gathering as much composure as I possibly could after such an
embarrassment, I looked up and there he stood, Fwynedd the Shepherd.
“Crach! How good to see you after so many years, old friend. Do you remember, I told you we would meet again?”
Fwynedd the Shepherd, my guide so many years ago at the beginning of my adventures, patted me on the shoulder. His words reminded me of our last evening together in
the shelter of our cave on my last night in Wales before I became a mute performing dwarf in a travelling circus. Yes, I did remember him telling me we would meet again and here we were at the Council of Blue Stone with The Prophecy still unfurling after so many years.
“Fwynedd!” I exclaimed with joy, as we grasped each other’s wrists in warm welcome. “You certainly did say we would meet again and here we are. You are looking well,
although much older of course!” I laughed.
“I have walked through portals in such timelessness for so long now, Crach, I do not remember the years as they seem to not remember me either.” He smiled with a familiar twinkle in his eye.
The years clearly did not remember him. His hair and legendary beard were now as white as driven snow, curtaining a well-weathered bronzed face. His cheekbones were high and slender, and his face as deeply lined and craggy as the walls of this great cave in which we now stood. With shoulders stooped, Fwynedd the Shepherd seemed less tall than the great height I remembered him to be, but not by much, I will wager. Fwynedd, waving his arm, silently beckoned me to look around at the folk gathered in this sacred place. I had seen the dwarves earlier, of course, seated at the great table. Glancing
around the enormous chamber, I saw at least another two dragons, and I thought maybe I could see a third. I had never seen nor known more than one dragon in my entire life, and that was Tan-y-Mynedd. I mused quietly, wondering how four dragons could be gathered together in the same vicinity, given the dragon has a reputation for being a solitary creature, their propensity to fly into rages and the likelihood that in one puff of a flared nostril they can fall out with themselves without even thinking. This could be very interesting indeed, with four of them under one cave roof! I could not help but titter under my breath at the very prospect of such a thing. I then noticed Carron who was busying himself nattering away to other ravens, all gathered in deep conversation high on a precipice above my head. I did wonder how he had arrived ahead of me – ‘raven magic’!

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READINGS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB AT ABERCRAVE MINERS WELFARE

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Abercrave is a village four miles from where I live and this,  the first reading of my books to be performed locally. It is a privilege to be invited, though perhaps a little daunting in some respect, as I was about to share two stories, both Welsh in origin, historical, and one of local legend. Ballad of Penygraig is a story born only five miles from Abercrave and factually, a part of local history. I have lived in this valley for seventeen years and nearly thirty in Wales. But I am from Yorkshire writing about Welsh history, some factual, some fantasy. Furthermore, Owain Glyndwr is the most famous and revered of Welsh hero’s, how would Crach Ffinnant be received? This group of wise folk share a rich tapestry of local and national history, thus  how would my work be received, me an english man? Food for thought but needless in the scheme of things.

I must firstly, apologise for our lack of technical prowess in filming, as the beginning is a little shaky, but only for a minute or two, then a perfectly upright me is viewed. Secondly, I have not edited the film because I did not want to lose any audio. Each book is introduced with explanations of why I wrote them and then readings performed. I wish we had filmed the nattering over tea afterwards, so much interest shared, it was a super experience. For me, the learning curve continues.

Arriving as the formal part of their meeting began, it was very hard for me not to smile, when the chairman (91 years young) asked, “Has anybody died since last month?” Thankfully, nobody had and the minutes and announcements continued. Then it was my turn.

 

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‘CRACH’O’MAGIC’ IN ABERAERON

What an absolute pleasure to spend the day in Aberaeron, a picturesque coastal town, oozing with a rich heritage on the West coast of Wales. Karen Gemma Brewer & Niki Brewer organised a grand weekend of music and literature. Driving through torrential inclemency, enjoying what glorious scenery was revealed between enormous raindrops, spending a little longer than I would like behind a rather large horse-box, I arrived. A splendid day of varied readings from authors and tables of thousands of books. The atmosphere inspired me. The video below is live and unedited. I would like to sincerely thank Karen Gemma Brewer for my warm introduction. Such kind words from a wordsmith of her calibre are very meaningful and made me feel humble. Thanks to Derek and Sian for their help and to Dennis Robinson for managing the stage. I look forward to coming back in 2019.

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PR FOR CRACH FFINNANT THE PROPHECY

Like all artists wanting to be successful, and I am no different, our hugest stumbling block is getting stories and books on global platforms of notoriety. Press, radio, television and internet organisations across the globe are deluged by self-promoting writers, and the pile we may end up under, is like a mine shaft getting deeper all the time. We may have a publisher, and in my case, Words Matter Publishing are five-star however, it is up to me to get my book out there, take risks, enabling the possibility that the few who have fallen in love with Crach Ffinnant, will become many. I am now working closely with PR For Books who have many years experience. Together, and in partnership with WMP a three-month PR campaign is about to be launched live across the UK and beyond. So join me in raising a glass to Crach’o’Magic and Global Domination.

Some abstracts from PR Press Release

Crach Ffinnant – The Prophecy: Cinematic, Award-Winning Fantasy Novel Brings Wales’ “Forgotten Hero” Back to Life

Lazarus Carpenter’s ‘Crach Ffinnant – The Prophecy’ takes readers from 1375-1398, as they walk alongside Ffinnant himself; a dwarf, prophet and seer to Owain Glyndwr – the nation’s greatest hero. From magic and dragons to a unique fusion of fact and fiction, it’s no wonder Carpenter’s creation has recently won a coveted U.S. publishing deal. One critic wrote, “What an engaging and hypnotic tale, Crach Ffinnant a wonderful hero .. well-remembered!”

For those who love or live in Wales, Owain Glyndŵr (a Welsh ruler and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales) is considered their most cherished hero. However, few if any people know the story of Crach Ffinnant, one of Glyndŵr’s closest prophets and seers.

However, writer Lazarus Carpenter is bringing Ffinnant out from under the rug of time, in ‘Crach Ffinnant – The Prophecy’. While inherently a fantasy novel, the book melds its story with a heavy dose of Welsh folklore.

“According to what we know, Crach Ffinnant did in fact live back in the middle ages,” explains the author.” His story is fascinating, takes readers on a journey through Wales at one of its most pivotal times, and even provides a deeper understanding of the life of Owain Glyndŵr. For anyone who is Welsh, or obsessed with Celtic folklore, the book and its upcoming series will make for powerful, compelling reading.”

Continuing, Things have got off to a great start. Words Matter Publishing, based in the United States, ran a competition last year – with a publishing deal as the prize. “Of course, I entered, but didn’t hold up high hopes due to the sheer number of authors I found myself competing with. Can you believe how gobsmacked I was when I discovered I’d won?! This, along with my fans calling for Hollywood to sit up and sharpen their pencils, makes me very excited.”

Reviews have been glowing. One Amazon customer comments, “This book reflects the time, effort and dedication put into it to bring the book to readers and that gives me such a warm feeling. I honestly am marking this Author, my new ‘to follow author.’ Not only does his heart and soul reflect in this book, but in a world where good books and fantastic reads are lost under piles of junk, this was honestly such a pleasure to find. An absolute treasure to have Crach Ffinnant in my library collection.”

Another adds, “Absolutely loved this book. My daughter really enjoyed it too. Can’t wait for the next one!”

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