Monday, 14 August 2017

Free From Fear Night: Maze - August 18th



On Friday night, at the Maze on Mansfield Road, Nottingham, there's a gig in aid of Nottingham's Women's Aid. I've been invited and I'm going. Tickets are a fiver and all the money goes to charity.



And what a charity. Let me tell you a story.

Just recently, I've been working with a young Muslim woman I met on a college course. 

She's one of the nicest women I have ever met, but more importantly, for the work I do, also one of the most determined. 

She wants to be a trainer, or work in the (currently becalmed) employability market. She wants to help others, as others have helped her.

I'm happy to help, even though all she really has is her determination to succeed, her enthusiasm and natural effervescence. 

Ten years ago, she left her native Yorkshire, at midnight, under the cover of darkness, with Police protection, after her husband attacked her and her two young kids with a claw hammer.

This was just one day of it, one tiny incident in a campaign of catastrophic terror which began on the fourth day of her honeymoon and lasted a decade. 

She had been hospitalised on many occasions and abused daily. She couldn't even go to the shops to buy a packet of fags and a pint of gold top without being followed by a friend of his, who reported back her less-than-nefarious movements.

In the days following his beatings, his belts and punches, his cigarette burns and barking dogs, he didn't even offer bitter tears, dog-eared flowers, heartfelt apologies and steadfast promises, in the time-honoured fashion of the repentant domestic abuser - it was just the way he was. 

She had to escape.

That winter night, her choices were limited. She couldn't stay. She couldn't escape to her family because, in Muslim culture, there are matters of honour to consider and a stigma that the word divorce rides all over, so she would have been asked to go back and conciliate. That wasn't going to happen.

Nor could she go to the local women's refuge, as all the rooms were full. 

As were the rooms in every women's refuge in Yorkshire at the time. 

So through a worker at her local Housing Aid, and a friendly Police liaison officer, she found a place with a Nottingham refuge. 

Part funded by Nottingham Central Women's Aid. 

She had never driven on a motorway before, nor did she know where Nottingham was. So the Police escorted her on the left hand lane of the M1, one car in front, one car behind. 

From their seats in the back, her kids watched every move their mum made, her gear changes and manipulations of the steering wheel every inch as interesting as children's TV. 

They knew what it meant - none of them were ever going back.

Suffice to say, ten years later, she's on her way. Working hard and trying her best. Step by step she's fought her way forward. I'm proud to help her out.

But without having that inner-city refuge open to her, and also willing to help, funded by Women's Aid (and organisations like Children In Need and the National Lottery), she would probably have had to stay where she was.

And she would be dead by now, she knows it. I know it. You know it.

That's just one example. 

I once worked with a man whose speciality was protecting sex workers from their psychopathic pimps. He has saved at least two young women from having their throats cut. 

Once, in scenes reminiscent of "Assault on Precinct 13", he single-handedly defended a sex worker in a Radford refuge from a pair of angry pimps and their henchmen who were desperately trying to break in. He succeeded and probably saved her life.

He was one of the few men allowed inside one particular Nottingham refuge, for sex workers and other seriously abused young women, which shall remain anonymous here. 

I worked with a woman recently whose jaw was broken in three places by her boyfreind for the crime of being late home from sixth form. She spent six weeks in hospital. 

Again, that assault was the tip of the iceberg, so she escaped her mining village at twenty one with the help of a family friend and thanks to that refuge in Hyson Green, she's never looked back. Nor has she returned.

You all know stories like this. 

What you don't know, is that many of these refuges are not publicly funded, or if they are, they cannot survive on that alone. 

They are absolutely essential asyla for women escaping shameful violence and serious, repetitive abuse that even a writer like myself couldn't conceive on a dark night. 

These refuges need funds and donations and ongoing cost to survive.



On Friday night, there's the afore-mentioned charity gig at the Maze. 



My great friend and colleague, Phil Pidluznyj and the New Apostles are playing, along with BBC1 playlisted Nottingham rapper, Alice Short, who I also know and like. 


I'll be reading something from the stage, as will my friends Nick Mann and possibly up and coming YA author, Carla Eatherington, if we can persuade her. 


There's an open mic so come along and join us. Poets welcome. Most of all though, pop in, give us a fiver, or give me a fiver and I'll pass it along. 

If you cannot be arsed to come out on a Friday night, let me have a fiver and I'll go out for you. 

It's needed: The whole country's women's refuge network is on its knees because of Tory cuts. 

The network needs your fiver.

Incidentally, on average, 85% of donations benefit the abused clientele. I know one famous, lavishly patronised and nationally advertised charity where the figure is more like 20%, so your money on Friday night will make a huge difference.

Come and see me on Friday and I'll give you more info or buy you a half. But, please - try and make it. These refuges make a huge difference to people's lives. 

The life of my Muslim friend is owed to that Nottingham refuge, and those who tirelessly keep them going.

Thanks, Wiz

xx

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Shiny's One Star Review - and How I Dealt With It. Plus more FREE stuff.

Thank You

Just wanted to thank everyone who participated in Kindle Countdown last week for A Shiny Coin For Carol Prentice.  

I sold a bundle (well, relatively - I was happy) and, for a brief moment, hit some decent rankings, particularly in the US, thanks to E-Reader News Today and a terrific little site on Fiverr.

She's also hit 20 reviews on UK, where the Storyteller Contest is taking place. I'm delighted with that.

And that's down to you. Thank you xx. 

Carol, Steve, Marin, Rob, Pippa and the lovely people of Southwell/Wheatley Fields thank you too. 

Except Toby, of course. He's nasty.

Designed by Brenda Perlin
A Bad Notice

Shiny got her first 1* review last night. Quite a bitter and scathing one too. I'm actually glad in one way: I have been wandering about on little fluffy clouds about this book. That's dangerous for an artist so this was a much needed dose of reality. 



Thank you, E. Nicol, for firstly buying the book and secondly completing it. Sorry it wasn't your thing.

Contacts, colleagues and friends of mine all talk about how to deal with shocking notices. I shall find some links and include them. If you are reading this, and you have a link, please add it to the comments. I'll embed tomorrow.

My favourite, though, is from "Birdman" starring Michael Keaton. 

A once famous Hollywood actor, down on his luck, invests his life savings in a Broadway play. In a bar, he spots a critic enjoying a G and T on a bar stool at the other end. He wanders over to ascertain her feelings: They aren't particularly supportive.

I felt like Keaton last night, if I'm being honest with you.


 Here's another nice link:

Generally Beloved Books with Bad Reviews

It won't be the first bad review I've had and it won't be the last. It just looks worse when written down. 

I am used to verbal criticism about books from friends. I once had two really good football friends of mine come up to me in the stands at Meadow Lane to destroy my second-least popular book, Violent Disorder. 



This was in front of my dad and son. They didn't mince their words. VD, which I really like, and consider underrated, is now known between my son and me as the "less popular sequel".

I have other friends who have given kickings to The Ritual (a load of crap) and the second-person written Ultra Violence (why didn't you write it properly?) but mostly, you can tell whether someone likes a book you've written, not if they buy it, or even read it, but whether they complete it. 

Think of your own reading behaviour. You have to know how it turns out, right? If you can't be arsed with that, then the writer has failed and it probably isn't a book they would give even a 3* review to.

I generally know - of my acquaintances, contacts, networks, friends and family - who likes my stuff and who doesn't. I'm not offended.



Of course, the pagan high priest in any artist's fevered unconscious with that pathological need to be universally venerated will never be satisfied with that level of indifference, but life goes on - there's no need for the one star shocker - which is just exposition, really, when you think about it.

The Best Writers

I would say that the best writers get terrible notices. 

One of my favourites is contemporary fiction/avant garde author Tom McCarthy. 

My favourite trad-book of last year was Satin Island. It's a masterpiece. A beautifully written shaggy-dog story with some memorable set pieces and a sad recollection of institutional torture during the aftermath of a Turin G8 protest.


Satin Island Amazon UK

To my shock, it has some of the worst reviews I have ever seen. It also has an average rating which has me baffled. I stare at that rating and wonder what planet people are on - and why, exactly, they picked up a book like this in the first place. I

I guess it takes all sorts, a perception, which, fundamentally, in the cold light of day, is how I dealt with my own savage notice.

Paperback

I've still got some paperbacks left if you want a free one. They're pretty nice for the shelf. Drop me a message on Twitter DM or FB DM with your address and I'll send the very next day.

Here's my friend, futurist YA author and psychologist, Carla Eatherington, reading Shiny. 


Carla, incidentally, has made her debut e-novel, Utopia, free this week. For YA fans and fans of apocalyptic fiction, it's a superb book that I read in three sittings. You'll be wanting the paperback yourself afterwards. Details here.

FREE Download of Carla Eatherington's Utopia - HERE




And that's it for this week. Thanks for listening.

Marky xx

You can buy Shiny and other Mark Barry books by clicking the icons on the top right.

Mark Barry Author Page











Thursday, 4 May 2017

Amazon's Contest for Best Self-Published Novel 2017 - Help Needed!

Like a blind squirrel will eventually bump into a succulent acorn in the forest, I have apparently written a pretty decent book. 

It's called A Shiny Coin For Carol Prentice and I've entered it in a big literary festival.




It has twelve reviews in six weeks since release - eleven 5*reviews amongst them.

*Shiny Reviews UK

Most say it is a page turner and most say they read it quickly and speedily. 

In today's day and age, busy people, living in the brooding shadow of FOMO**, are grateful for books which don't get in the way of a busy life. 

This fits the bill, yet its still complex and psychological. It will keep you guessing all the way through.

Best Self-Published Novel 2017

So, quite proud of what I have achieved, I have entered it into the aforementioned literary prize. Here are the details.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/jan/23/amazon-uk-literary-prize-kindle-storyteller-direct-publishing-authors



The prize is £20,000

Twenty large: Love those words when connected together like that.

I know I'm 100/1 to even get selected, but a few friends and I have had a look at the field of likely winners - and the books I'm up against aren't that intimidating.

There are some beauties, and there are some beasts - but there's nothing scary in there.

And I'll have well known supporters like Georgia Rose, Terry Tyler, Brenda Perlin behind me - all of whom rate Shiny and have blogged about it.

And Barb Taub too. 

I'm lucky that one of the best reviewers in the caper likes my work. That's a real stroke of fortune.

Have a read of this review when you've got time. 

She explains in one superb essay what contemporary fiction is all about and what I have tried to say in this book. Do you remember that? When novels tried to say something?

(Thank you, Barb).

Barb Taub's Review


I can win this competition. But I need your help. 

I will at some point be judged on the content of the book, and that's when things will get interesting, but first, I have to demonstrate to Amazon that I can sell a book and can get people to review it. 

In many ways, this element is more important nowadays than a writer's ability with a pen. 

Sad but true. It's the way it is.



I can win this or go close. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I am generally shy about talking about my stuff, but not this time. 

Shiny is a decent book. I worked hard on it, drafted endlessly, then redrafted, delayed publication, sliced off 15,000 decent words, and thought about every line.  I even, like Carol, had posters up on my wall to work out my Plan.

I'm going all out.

Here's how you can help me?



How YOU Can Help

1) Over the weekend beginning May 4th - that's today - Shiny is on Kindle Countdown. 

Which means that the price of the ebook for 160 hours is either 99c or 99p depending on where you are.

If you don't have a Kindle, download the book to your Phone/Laptop. 

The software is simple to download.

Seriously, you don't even have to read it: I need the sales/downloads to have credibility in the competition. 

Eventually, someone on a judging panel will read the book and that will hopefully be enough.

(Shiny is one pound/one dollar too. A quid. Please don't make me use the coffee comparison :-D  )




Over the weekend, I am being promoted on E-Reader News Today and several other websites. This is thanks to the managerial skills of my great friend, Georgia Rose. 

The book should therefore go out to around fifty thousand people, possibly more. 

If this works, I'll submit to Bookbub for a few quid and take a proper gamble.

Bookbub


2) If you are feeling daring, read as far as you can and then review it. 

I don't care what star rating you give me, it's 
immaterial. 

It's the number of reviews that count in a competition like this.

(I have a hilarious 1* review on one of the football books. I had a tee shirt made, which I sleep in. One of them said that there was "too much shit about clothes," which makes me and my son, Matt, roll.)

Here's a few easy tips. In this case, if you don't want to go through all this. 

The words I Liked It will do, plus the star.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/neal-wooten/tips-for-writing-amazon-r_b_6959118.html

I need plenty of reviews to stand any chance. No idea how many sales. Even then it is a longshot. 

But longshots win plenty of races.



3) If you don't like the book, send it back to Amazon. They will refund 100 per cent with no comebacks. I hardly ever inspire the refunding of books, which is a good sign.

4) If you don't have a spare pound or cannot be arsed with the downloading, then write to me and I'll send a PDF/Mobi file. For those who definitely like to review, I have twelve signed paperbacks left. I'll pay the postage. Contact me on the usual channels and I will send them to you.  Pass them to a friend.

Your help will be much appreciated. 

Marky xx


BUY Shiny Coin here - UK

BUY Shiny Coin here - US and ROW



*Loads more information exist about Shiny on this blog including it's origin, extensive reviews from Georgia Rose, Terry Tyler, Brenda Perlin and others, and an Outtake/Extract.

**FOMO = Fear of Missing Out: One of the prime reasons Psychologists believe people spend an inordinate amount of time staring at phones.

Wiz Green = Mark Barry

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A (Reluctant) Outtake from Shiny Coin - plus FREE stuff.

Don't forget - I have ten free paperbacks left. 

Drop me a line on the usual channels and I'll despatch a signed paperback, free of charge, after Easter. It's a lovely looking book and so far, it's been well reviewed.

Reviews


For e-book readers, I'm on Kindle Countdown on May 4th. 

You can avoid the Twitter Countdownquake by getting one of these, for free :-D


_________________________________________________

EXTRACT

Here's an extract from Shiny Coin. 
Well, its an outtake, but, really, it should have gone in. 
I'm kicking myself.



I have this idea, oft expressed, that readers don't want long books nowadays. 
Shiny, well reviewed so far, is under 70k words, but it is actually closer to 90k in uncut form. Contemporary dramatist, Terry Tyler, who has become a good cyber friend of mine in the past two years, commented in her review that the beginning was a slow one, like many of my books. 

I wasn't surprised, nor was I offended: Many people say the same thing. 
I guess this is how I roll. 

One of my favourite books is Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon. 



That opening is so funereal it is like reading backwards, yet the ending is utterly memorable, I realised that a slow, in-depth introduction was, in that case, a fundamental investment in the climax. 
I have forgotten much of the beginning of that book, written in the nineteen seventies, but I have never, ever forgotten the ending. 

Because of this, and some of King's best stuff, the early stuff, Rosemary's Baby (or any Ira Levin), and Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco, and films such as The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs (a major influence on Shiny Coin) and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, I write climaxes. 
That's my be all and end all. 
I want to make readers remember a climax for a long, long time. 

The 101 bloggers and MA lecturers tell you to put your best stuff at the beginning. 
I never understood that edict. A reader should trust a writer and they have more than enough evidence nowadays, with the free preview, swift reviews, and blogs and social media, to know what they are getting when they spend their two pounds or so on an ebook. 

Those of you who are into horror will, of course, remember Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man and it's astonishing, unpredictable climax. Yet, the vast majority of the book (and the film) is an introduction to that ending.  Nothing much happens. But I remember I didn't mind. I trusted the writer.
I knew something big was going to happen.


Times change and so do readers, it seems. 
I support work on a Creative Writing course. One session, I put up three free Amazon introductions as part of an exercise in Literary Openings. 
One, a popular Indie thriller - so poorly written I would have given up long ago if that were the extent of my ability - begins in the middle of the action, mid-torture, as it were, a young boy in a modern Nazi torture scenario, a bit of an Apt Pupil rip-off by the looks of it. 
I was expecting my students to laugh along with me, (which is, in itself, a cheap and nasty populist gesture), but to my astonishment, they liked it - some decent writers among them too. 
I took that away with me, still astonished. 

So, when I wrote Shiny I resolved to be brutal, without compromising my principles. So I have taken notice of the market, what's out there, and come the drafting stage, I was savage. 
I chopped 15k words from the initial draft. 
Nothing superfluous survived. 
Mark Twain's famous dictum was observed as if it were a Parliamentary white paper.

This extract, placed before the appearance of Toby Gifford, the nasty villain of the piece, would have slowed the beginning down even more so it had to go. 
Yet, it explained, with minimum exposition, Carol's love of the night, and the darkness, and, again, without the need for explanation, it attempts to explain her love of the Gothlife too. It's a huge metaphor, which, I reasoned, would probably have been missed. 
So I binned it on draft three. 

I looked at it the other night and I found myself longing for the seventies and a world where people had time and patience. It probably should have stayed in.

Marky xx

PS: Oh, and beware; this extract contains a mother of a run-on sentence. I love a good run-on sentence. If it was good enough for Trollope, it's bloody good enough for YOU. 

PPS: Aren't you sick of staccato sentencing yet? :-D

PPPS: I mean, like, generally?



Night time. 
That night. A time for sleep and for peace, but I never sleep. Cannot sleep for more than an hour or two at a time. When I was a child, I slept normally and safely, my father in the next room, but that ended in my teenage years and the insomnia continues to this day.
Yes, I nap in the afternoon after the bookshop, and I can fall asleep listening to my music or reading a particularly relaxing book, but I come to life at night and have done for the past four years. 
I suppose it is only to be expected, of course. 
I have taken the tablets and the pills and the ointments and the alternative treatments but none worked for me and thus, I embrace the night and work with it, confront its messengers, accept their offerings.

I once stayed with a girlfriend on the Kent coast, on the estuary, within sight of the nuclear plant on the escarpment opposite those calm seas. 
My friend was from a prosperous family and their house stood sentinel, detached and severed, in the middle of acres of hop fields, rows and rows of orchards growing apples and pears and grapes and figs, and at night, as I tried to sleep, failing miserably, I cast my consciousness as far as it could go, but I could hear nothing and the night outside my window was a glorious, unequalled black.
I could see nothing and hear nothing.
Not rain, nor wind, not the hooting of owls, nor the crossing of geese, nor the passing of gulls. 

I experienced nothingness, the intense silence of the void. I learned that the night was something to embrace and experience and it was a thing of sheer wonder. That somnolent, endless quiet, that eerie hush of the grave. 
We sleep and we miss this. 

That insight was a wonderful feeling; sleep was an option, not a necessity. In Kent, I stayed up all night, by the window staring into the void, listening to its nothingness and it felt like sleep. It felt like peace in my soul. It calmed me and by the time the first cock crowed and the sun began its crimson ascent into its natural domain, I felt wonderful. I may have slept for an hour. I may not. 
My consciousness was calmed and somewhere in the distance, enveloped in the black of the night outside. 
I simply could not get that where I lived, in Manchester, where there is no silence. 
There is nothing but life and movement and noise.
I couldn't remember if I could get it in The Fields, my home town, but imagine my delight when I did finally come home and discovered I could.
I had forgotten how peaceful it could be here, in a town of old people, a country town, a town of conformity and order over chaos, a town of early nights and parish ordnances, of expensive beds and respectful neighbours.
It felt like peace in the middle of a conflict. 
These nights can be as special as those in Kent. They can be silent and dark and peaceful. Nights here are like death might be, a darkness of contemplation. 
At three in the morning, on a weeknight, no cars pass by on the way to Oxmouth or Follow Field, the drivers tucked up safely in bed. It almost seems rude here to drive past midnight. Streetlights are dim and there are no midnight walkers on my street, save the odd student full of themselves as they pass, and they are soon gone. 

Night rain is the best, for an insomniac like me. 
I can sit, in my armchair, my recliner by the window, my dad’s old chair, and watch the rain fall and better, I can listen to it, unsullied by the sounds we humans make and which they now call pollution. 
In the darkness, the rain is even more glorious as it pitter-patters on my window and some nights, it is accompanied by a magnificent wind from all points of the compass. 
I have, in the conflict of a summer night, walked into the garden and stood, naked in the rain, my pale, guarded, protected body exposed to the elements, rainwater pouring from head to my varnished toes, the moonlit sky, blue and black and scarlet, the cloudburst a foreboding omen, a warning from Thor, maybe even Odin.
I have stood there and felt each raindrop touch me, the accompanying wind in my hair, tendrils stroking my face like one of the hundred lovers I have foregone this past four years since...since...
Toby. 
Toby, who came from a different kind of night, a rampaging night, a horror night, a night of vampires and beasts and monsters; a night so cold, I could never embrace its beauty, because what beauty there may have been was coated in fear and loathing and nothing but.



Sunday, 26 March 2017

Shiny Coin - a favour to ask my regular friends and readers

This particular post is intended for people who usually buy my stuff. 

If you're new - welcome aboard :-D :-D xx

_____________________________________________________

a shiny coin for carol prentice is live on Amazon on Kindle.



BUY LINK Amazon UK


BUY LINK US and ROW





It's also LIVE again after a few days down for maintenance. 

If you are fast, you can pick up a paperback for a fiver as I am buying a few myself for distribution to some regular readers and people I think would like the book. 

It's a lovely looking paperback btw.

BUY LINK Amazon UK

BUY LINK US and ROW

______________________________________________________________________________

Favour

I have a favour to ask you. Just like The Guardian does.

This is primarily addressed to my friends, colleagues, supporters, readers and people who read UV and Carla in such numbers. 

I have apparently about twenty days from yesterday before a shiny coin for carol prentice disappears into the wild blue yonder. 

It's know as the thirty-day cliff. I'd like to hang on by my fingertips. Or undercarriage, as it were.



Buzz

Shiny has had six reviews at the time of writing, after a week, and readers are enjoying the book. All the readers so far read it fast, in two cases, in one sitting.

The most common theme so far is I've written a page-turner, one of those books that keep you awake despite yourself. I'm really proud of that one.

Thank you xx 

Reviews

Book Bloggers

Two bloggers have featured the book so far.

Terry Tyler Book Reviews

and

Georgia Rose Books

Thank you both xx

I do think - and I suspected so when I was writing it, and I don't write this stuff lightly - that I have written my Girl On The Train novel.

I.e. One with the potential to get some attention nationally and which seems to have wider appeal than my usual stuff.



My landlord, bank manager and many, many creditors would be grateful if that were the case!!


Cut to the chase: I need to get the book out there and I need you to help me do it. 


Apparently, according to people who know, the way Amazon works, I now have 20 days to do it in. 

Many of you have said many kind things about my writing, so if you wish to support me - and you intend to buy shiny at some point -  can you buy the Kindle edition in the next 20 days or so? 

It's a couple of quid here and three dollars outside the Isles.

BUY LINK Amazon UK



BUY LINK US and ROW

It would help a lot. Ta! Wiz xx
______________________________________________________

Book Launch



I will (hopefully) be launching the book live early doors at Cafe Sobar in Nottingham, on Friar Lane, with Jason Loftus and Carolyn Hall, two great friends of mine. 

I will be reading live again and will (possibly) be interviewed about my work. I want our CW students involved too with their poetry, so it will be a solid old night.

Cafe Sobar is a dry bar. It is a self-sustaining social enterprise brilliantly supporting recovering substance abusers. 

This means that my non-drinking friends can enjoy themselves too. 

And my social drinking friends would only have an hour or so to wait :-D

I am busy getting the press involved: The launch will happen after the end of April which is five years after we launched Green Wizard Publishing. I am meeting Jason today to sort this out.

BUY LINK Amazon UK

BUY LINK US and ROW

_________________________________________________________________________________

Notts lads: I know this book has nothing to do with football, except for my usual Notts mention, but you can easily buy this for your partner who I am sure will enjoy it. 

Let me know you've bought it and I'll buy you a pint in return at one of the upcoming aways. Luton seems popular this year!! 

Ta, as usual xx






____________________________________________________


And finally...

Taken in Southwell Library, the scene of many of my writing sessions on this novel
and one of the nicest libraries anywhere
I have 30 Paperbacks to give away completely free of charge.  

In return, I would ask you to do one or more of four things:

a) Leave a note on my Facebook Line to say whether you enjoyed it or not. Many of my quieter readers are on my Facebook and will see this. 

Please also feel free to give the paperback to a friend when you have finished and/or ask them to send me a friend request

On my line, I don't do politics (I wish I did, especially today), religion or swearing, so I'm harmless enough :-D

b) Buy a Kindle copy. It's £2.00/$2.99 and it massively effects my rankings. The more people who buy, the more notice people take. 

c) Leave an Amazon review (and/or Goodreads, but I am not on there). 

This all helps an author tremendously. Only last week, I met a reader who read one of my books (Criminals, without knowing me) because it had such decent reviews. It really does help.


Oh, and for the cynics, with the exception of two or three on UV and one on Criminals, none of my reviews are from my wonderful and devoted Aunty Betty.  Thank you :-D xx

d) Come to my book launch!! Date to follow and we'll have a proper Steve and Carol booze up after.

e) If you'd rather have a free mobi or a PDF (especially my US and ROW readers - postage post-Brexit is a bloody fortune :-D ) just drop me a line.

So that's it, Extract to follow.  Thanks for listening.

Mark/Wiz xx











Monday, 20 March 2017

A Shiny Coin is LIVE, news on The Waiter, and I interview Carla Eatherington live on video...

First review from a customer in the US :-D

a shiny coin for carol prentice by Mark Barry is a dark, charming, moody story. One that I found hard to put down once I opened the book. The main character, Carol has a familiar quality that made me feel for her. I wanted to know her thoughts and why? I understood her sadness but there are layers to it, as with most of us.

The writing is sharp and clever. I had no idea what would come next but I read swiftly from the edge of my seat taking it all in. Things were not looking tidy and I had a feeling the outcome would not be good. No rocket science needed on that observation.

I read quickly, devouring the dialog as if I were on a timer. Curiosity got the better of me. This was not going to be a slow paced, casual read. I don't have that kind of patience, especially when I am that curious.

The author weaves a stunning tale that is full of mischief, cunning and danger. I liked the not knowing as much as it drove me crazy.

This is a great story for a reader who enjoys suspense, comedy and drama mixed with a fair amount of stressful energy.


A Shiny Coin For Carol Prentice is live on Amazon on Kindle.

BUY LINK Amazon UK

BUY LINK US and ROW



The paperback is also ready, but in Proof mode, so if you buy it and there is a horrible formatting error in there, it's your fault :-D

It shall be ready on Sunday and I will buy X Copies for distribution.

As I said last week, it is a dark and moody sort of book with the streak of humanity and humour I cannot help but include.

Like  Carla, also contains VERY adult material and occasional swearing. Please be aware of this.

There are NO happy tears in this book, though it is a romance, at heart. As I write in the front matter...

This is a love story.

I guarantee everyone who has ever read Carla, in particular, or any of my books, will like at least some of it.

It is the first piece of creative writing I have done for two years, with the exception of the three Billy Idol stories in Brenda's Punk Rocker series, which are GREAT fun, if you've not read them.



Oh, and The Jacket appears in Shiny Coin :-D *wink*

Shiny Coin is £1.99 $2.99

Please read here for more info.

Last Week's Blog Post with Blurb and Commentary


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Other news:

The Waiter will be out in paperback in three days, but not in ebook for two weeks. The MS is corrupt for some bizarre reason and I need to rewrite. That's me buggering about with dialogue notation again.


Embedded bloody fontage!!



However, I am busy on a terrific project for ten days so I need to put this to one side. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.


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On Thursday night, as part of my regular Creative Writing gig, I interviewed a good friend of mine, Carla Eatherington, about her debut YA novel, Utopia.

Someone was crazy enough to video it. Carla looks and sounds terrific, but I am clearly showing the impact of a day's five-a-day nourishment on the third day of Cheltenham :-D





Anyway, it's not about me. This is a sound book and thought provoking. I am trying to get Carla to come on the Wizard's Cauldron, which I plan to relaunch shortly. She's worth listening to.




BUY LINKS FOR UTOPIA US and ROW

BUY LINKS FOR UTOPIA UK

Thanks,

Marky xx