Update and reminder

Editing has begun on my next release, Dreamspinner, which I hope to have ready for release by the end of October, maybe a little earlier. I’m very excited about the concept of this novel and proud to have been able to bring the story out in a form that I hope will excite and hold readers. I will keep updating as progress continues.

Just a reminder that you can still enter my Goodreads giveaway for the chance to win one of three signed paperback copies of my novel, Fetish ~ Sinclair V-Log BY915/M.

We all have dirty little secrets, don’t we? 

When Sam Sinclair is called home to help solve the murder of a fellow law enforcer, he assumes the motive was revenge. Within hours, this case quickly becomes everything but straightforward. As the evidence points to deviance of the most horrific kind, they realise that a new breed of killer is stalking the streets of Sam’s home city. Fear grips the people of Alimenika and even the most hardened of criminals are terrified into silence.

A fetish is just harmless fun, until someone dies of course and as more victims come to light, Sam and his team must delve into the darkest side of man’s nature before they can hope to stop this monster’s reign of terror. Swept along by the most unsettling case of his career, the killer’s insidious influence makes Sam doubt himself as never before.

As his personal life is turned upside down, he suddenly becomes the killer’s latest plaything. Unable to free himself and battling the rising panic, the accusation of his own deviance forces him to examine his actions during those terrible four hours, almost twenty years ago.

To enter the giveaway, click below. Good luck.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fetish by Merita King

Fetish

by Merita King

Giveaway ends September 12, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/widget/150897

Pay to enter competitions – just why?

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Maybe it’s just me but I have never been able to understand the whole concept of pay-to-enter competitions. I view the winning of such a competition as being less desirable than a competition I did not have to pay to enter. The money thing takes the edge off, know what I mean?

Some of these pay-to-enter things are quite high profile, with big name companies running them, big companies who want you to pay big bucks for the pleasure of entering your work into a competition you most likely won’t win. It wouldn’t be so bad if you got your money back if you didn’t win but just losing the money and getting nothing seems a bit nutso to me.

If you want to throw money away, throw it at me. I’ll post on my blog that you’ve won a competition and I’ll even design and send you an E-certificate as a prize which, along with the considerable kudos of course, will make you feel all fuzzy inside. No?  Why ever the fuck not? It’s exactly what you’re doing when entering all those other pay-to-enter competitions so why not pay me to enter mine?

Seriously though, why are authors so desperate to get rid of their money? Have they no discernment? No common sense?

I seriously doubt whether winning such a competition actually translates into real lasting sales increases. Oh you might get a spike for a day or so until something else on facebook catches people’s attention, but will that increase continue for years into the future? I don’t think so. The other thing I wonder about is whether normal everyday readers actually give a shit whether you’ve won this or that competition when they’re wondering whether to shell out their hard earned on your book or not.

Maybe these competitions are more for authors to promenade and display to other authors, rather than to impress readers.

Creation inspiration tool – random word inspired story.

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I like to constantly challenge myself, to exercise my creative ability so that it remains strong and capable. I treat it like a muscle and assume it will respond positively to regular exercise and will keep functioning for me as a demanding user.

One of the ways I do this is what I call, The Random Word Inspired Story. I close my eyes and open a book, any book will do. Flip the pages and stop anywhere. Then I skim a finger over the page and stop anywhere. I open my eyes and whatever word my finger points to is my Random Word. Obviously, if I get words such as, him, her, and, it, etc I have another go.

This word then becomes the inspiration for a paragraph story.

Today’s word is, GLANDULAR

Troy thought back to when this all began. Six months, is that really all it was? It seemed like years since the first of the sick began to trickle into the local hospitals, all with identical symptoms which were at first diagnosed as Glandular Fever. That was before the death rate became apparent. Once it did, the medical profession realised that whatever they were dealing with here, it was not a simple case of Glandular Fever. Since those first news broadcasts announcing the outbreak had been aired, Troy had seen all but seven people in his local community perish, most of them within the first month. He and the other six quickly banded together, hoping to find strength and mutual support as a team and it was with an admirable but evidently doomed optimism that they set out to seek other survivors in neighbouring cities. One bus driver, a single mother with toddler, a liquor store manager, an overweight company director, a used car salesman, and Troy, a wheelchair bound veteran with fresh nightmares of world war three still keeping him awake at nights. Not the kind of group to inspire hope in times of trouble but it was all they had and Troy hoped their skill base would grow before they died of hunger, or worse.

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Hope you all enjoyed it and if anyone finds it inspires them, feel free to use it. To those here in the UK, have a wonderful Bank Holiday tomorrow. Be safe if you’re on the roads.

The self publishing tornado

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Am I the only one who finds the whole self publishing thing  a bit of a hassle?

No, I can’t be the only one. I refuse to believe no one else feels this way. There has to be more people out there like me.

I’ve only been self publishing since 2011 so I’m a relative noob to this whole thing, but even in the time I’ve been doing it, I’ve noticed the whole thing become less of a joy and more of a chore. I’m talking about publishing here, not writing. That’s a whole different thing.

When I published my first novel, Redemption, back in October 2011, it was exciting to go through the whole process and come out the other end feeling like I was finally a ‘Writer.’ Now though, it feels like I’m walking into a black cloud that will eat me up, throw me around a bit and chuck me out miles from where I started and nowhere near where I wanted to be.

Advertising is a constant source of anguish. The hassle of actually finding effective advertising/promo space that doesn’t cost a fortune aside, the sheer volume of other authors all screaming their heads off about their books is enough to make anyone feel as though you’re trying to swim upstream. What readers must feel when trying to find a book to buy, I dread to think. There are those who react to this feeling of being overwhelmed by resorting to nasty practices to try and give themselves a leg up and although we all know it goes on, no one seems to be tackling it effectively. Is it even possible to tackle it effectively? Has anyone tried just telling them that it’s not a competition? There really is room for everyone’s book out there.

There are many who, when faced with yet another day of trying to get our name out there, look at the enormity of the task and think, “oh fuck, I’m wasting my time here.” Many days dawn finding me amongst them. On such days I go and do something else, hoping that with some time spent doing other things, the spark for the fight will return to me. I’m still waiting.

The lack of any feeling of ‘community’ among the author crowd doesn’t help either. Although they always declare themselves to be willing to help out and encourage other authors, try finding a comment by one of them on your blog or facebook author page. Try finding them among attendees at your giveaway event. Try finding them having bought your book. Try finding them having reviewed it. Yes of course there will be one or two lovely folks who genuinely care and try to help and we all give thanks for them, but there really are only one or two.

Self publishing today is something of an all-in wrestling match without a referee. It’s a dog eat dog world when you’re a self publisher, and you must be always on your guard or you’ll find someone chewing on your ankles. The lack of any real legislation is partly to blame, in my humble opinion, as is Amazon’s well known and continuing dirty tricks campaign, (that itself is a blog for another day). We all know that to get ahead, we must fight our way to the sunlight like creepers in the jungle, and just like them, the most successful are the strangler vines.

If like me you’re not the confrontational type, you will struggle as I struggle. I do not have the energy or drive to fight with other authors who are all convinced that it is imperative Merita King be kept out of the limelight as much as possible in order for the Earth to continue to revolve. Dramatic perhaps but you get my meaning here? Everyone is fighting everyone else and I’m not a fighter. Not because I don’t care about my work, I do, but because I’m not that desperate. It would be lovely to make money from writing, but that is not why I write. I think that is the difference between those who screech the loudest and those who don’t screech at all. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you which is which.

I’m like that seed that stays underground for years waiting for sunlight to hit the ground. When it does, the seed sprouts quickly and reaches for the sky. I’m just hoping that while I’m underground, writing and quietly self publishing, the sunlight hits my bit of earth before I shuffle off this mortal coil, never to return. I’ll be happy to bet my life savings that I’m one of those authors who will be extremely famous – fifty years after they’re dead!

Common themes for your protagonist and antagonist

A rather tongue in cheek checklist of the most often used characteristics for leading characters in novels.
ProtagonistAntagonistchecklist

Feel free to add more in the comments.

GIVEAWAY – WIN A SIGNED COPY OF FETISH

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Fetish ~ Sinclair V-Log BY915/M by Merita King

Fetish ~ Sinclair V-Log BY915/M

by Merita King

Giveaway ends September 12, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Mourning the loss of honesty

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It seems that every day I have reason to be a little more dismayed at how rare a thing honesty is. Everyone is out to screw you somehow, to part you from your money without thought to the quality of what they’re offering in return. Be it goods or services, quality is at an all time low today and I am constantly amazed at the generally shoddy quality of everything offered to me by individuals and large conglomerates alike.

Am I the only one left alive who still strives for excellence? Am I the only perfectionist left on planet Earth? Not that anything I create or do is perfect, but I STRIVE for it, I genuinely want it for everything I ‘put out there.’ Everyone else it seems, is either just too lazy to bother doing something well, not good enough at what they’re doing to do it well, or they knowingly don’t give a shit and actively try to get away with the worst possible quality for the highest possible price.

Today’s consumers are not entirely blameless either. They routinely accept shoddy workmanship and are happy to receive bad quality goods or services. Everyone is creating some crap for sale these days and it’s all badly made and over priced. I’ve seen some horrific shit for sale on Facebook, shit I’d be embarrassed to offer for sale. Companies big and small are expecting more from their customers and yet provide less and less themselves. No one seems to take a pride in producing quality goods and offering quality services anymore. We’re dumbing down in all areas of life and I for one do not approve.

I want a tattoo. I want a small design with some writing encircling it. Simple you may say. Yes, but they can’t do it unless I produce a photograph of the design I want for them. I’m not a qualified graphic designer with access to Adobe Photoshop software and I don’t know anyone who is/does. Not only must I produce the full design for them but they still expect me to pay them for doing it? What the actual fuck?

Twenty years ago, ten years ago, this would have not happened. The human race is no longer evolving. It’s going backwards and will soon be climbing right back up into the trees again.

We have lost control of our book details at Amazon

I noticed today that we are no longer able to log into our books’ details via Author Central at Amazon. We can no longer do any of the things we used to be able to do, like change the blurb, add a bold tagline, make sure the line spacing of the blurb was right, add a character outline or a review. I used to do all those things but now I can do none of them. I have no access to them, other than via the publishing platform dashboard, which does not allow me to bolden or underline, and always removes line spaces.

Just another of the rapidly increasing number of reasons never to publish with amazon ever again. I never have any of these problems at Smashwords or Lulu.

Fuck you Amazon, fuck your owners, fuck your governors, fuck your shareholders, fuck your grandmothers, and fuck the horse you rode in on.

I’m not horrible and it’s official

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53 years ago the world was a different place. Things we take for granted now either did not happen then or were as rare as hen’s teeth. We have evolved so much since I was born 53 years ago; our knowledge is greater now than at any other time in the history of mankind. We can do so much now that seemed impossible then. We understand so much more now and are able to make people’s lives so much better now than we could back then.

When I was born, kids with ‘difficulties’ had to clearly show 9 particular symptoms in order to be given an official diagnosis of autism, and even with that diagnosis, there wasn’t much real help available. If, like me, you didn’t clearly display all 9 symptoms, you were stuck with the label ‘problem child’ and had to deal with it however you could, which was usually not very well. Mother always knew I was autistic but without that official diagnosis, I was just another weirdo, the problem child, the horrible child who embarrassed everyone. However firmly you know in your gut what your problem is, unless you have it validated by those who know, you grow up believing you really are just a horrible person unworthy of friendship.

With the passing of the years, the medical field has increased its knowledge and understanding of the way we humans work and Autism is treated much more effectively. Diagnoses are more accurate and the help available is not bad, especially for children diagnosed today.

Finally, after 53 years, I got my diagnosis. Having what I always knew to be true, validated is a substantial comfort when you’ve spent half a century being told you’re just a horrible person who is unworthy of friendship or love. I am not labouring under the misapprehension that I will be snowed under with offers of help that will suddenly net me dozens of friends and invites to parties. No, I’m many things but stupid is not one of them. I’ve spent too many years without any help, learning to cope alone or just withdrawing when I can’t, to believe any help is out there for me now.

What it does give me is the chance to say, “No, I’m not a horrible person. I have autism.”

Wandering thoughts of a Writer

I have the honour of having my new book featured on the blog of my friend and fellow author Rebekkah Ford, author of Beyond the Eyes Trilogy and Tangled Roots. She has a great blog, with loads of interesting interviews, book spotlights and articles. Hop on over and have a browse.

Book Feature – Fetish ~ Sinclair V-Log BY915/M – click here

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