Sunday, 12 July 2015

All Things Hollywood: Shakedown, that is.

Hollywood Shakedown was my first book. 

Well, that's not true. My first novel was a horror novel I wrote based on the Black Sabbath album cover when I was twenty, er, a few years ago. 

A friend read it, slated it and said I should stick to studying Psychology. 

I didn't write a single word again until about twenty three years later when my friend Paul Vani, from Houston, Texas, set me a challenge. 

I've written about this elsewhere so I won't go on, but Hollywood Shakedown was the result. 

The Radio Interview

Hollywood is all over this blog, so instead of internal links, I'll point you in the direction of a radio interview I carried out with the brilliant Phil Naessens of the eponymous Radio Show. 

Phil is a top sports DJ who is syndicated around the US. A genuine Indie success story, when Phil first started, he dabbled in Indielit and interviewed me (and my good friends Mary Ann Bernal, K-Trina Meador and Brenda Perlin, who featured on GWP a month ago) on his radio show.  That's me on November 23rd 2012, some six months after Hollywood Shakedown was published.

Latest Reviews

Two of my favourite people - and blogs - reviewed the book lately. This is from Sheffield's finest E Lindley, author of many well received thrillers and romances and member of Rosie Amber's Review Site.

She runs a terrific review blog too with some eclectic choices from Trad and Indie publications - she really does do a book justice - getting inside the head of the writer, often picking up stuff most reviewers miss (and I don't mean full stops etc). I recommend following her stuff.

...and this came from Georgia Rose, author of the Grayson Trilogy (including soon, the long awaited third part of the trilogy) and all round top author and massive Indie supporter. Georgia has read all my stuff and I strongly recommend following her well written and upbeat blog. There is some terrific travel writing in there at the moment.

The Amazon Review Crackdown

I'm going to write my opinions on the Amazon crackdown on review protocols. They may prove controversial.  Coming soon.

Here's what Indie commentator, faction writer and supporter Brenda Perlin had to say on the subject on Indie support magazine, Indies Unlimited. 

The comments are excellent, for the most part, and they are well worth a read.

The Original Hollywood Cover

I still like that cover, the best of all of the first wave - except for the sunny cover of Kid Atomic, which I may re-release next year for history's sake (if I ever actually do any writing again). The above is still featured as the face of HS on, but it's no longer on my publishing bookshelf.

Thanks for reading,


*The Goldfinch, for me, only takes off when the action takes place in Las Vegas. The characters in those chapters are working class, hustlers, bums, addicts and losers - pretty much like normal folks. When the action switches to the rarified world of the rich and famous (a common problem, I find, with many "name" US writers), it grinds to a crashing halt. See, for example - Paul Auster, Invisible and James Frey, My Friend Leonard.

For EL Lindley :-)
Stop Press:

The Literacy Project Phil Pidluznyj and me deliver called Brilliant Books is now featured (unexpectedly) on A Woman's Wisdom Blog today.


  1. Great to see you actually promoting your stuff Mark, and many thanks for the huge mention :-) Reading is all personal...that's what it comes down to and some will rave about books that I read and scratch my head and fail to understand what it is they think is so great. Which is just as well because that means that as long as we write something that gets to the stage where we can bear to show it to someone else then there will be an audience, however small, out there somewhere for our work...we just have to find it :-) However IMHO Hollywood Shakedown deserves a huge's a cracker of a read and for the shockingly low price you have it up for everyone should take a punt on it...#justsaying

  2. A great post, Mark and thanks for the mention. I completely agree with both you and G that how we read and respond to texts is a personally unique experience. Reviewing is a funny old business because I do love writing them but I have to confess, when making a purchase, I never read them. Before I started writing, I didn't even know that people could leave reviews. I really enjoyed listening to your radio interview and agree with G that readers should really give HS a go and I know they won't be disappointed.

  3. Great fun to finally hear your voice on the Phil Naessens interview... you sound exactly as you do in my head, so good to know that's in sync! :) I look forward to catching up with this book, particularly as it's about my part of the world, and you've got a great "circle of wagons" who've given it a thumbs-up; I have no doubt I will be wowed by your wizardry.

  4. Seems that Amazon are cracking down on the genuine author-author reviews, and not on the 5* review swap groups, of which there are many, official and unofficial. Or perhaps they just don't complain about it!!! Now I am going to go up and hear what you sound like :)

  5. Loved the interview!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will tweet it :)