Friday, August 11, 2017

FREE Ebook Contest for your Kindle!

This is a contest everyone wins! Visit and you'll win just by clicking the Download button.

Free from August 10-12th is the multi-genre anthology of short stories Waning Metaphorically.
Imagine the number of stories a writer has inside them. Never mind the editor’s slush pile; author’s each suffer their own. I don’t mean to suggest we’re a bunch of word hoarders, but once a sentence or scene has been written, it’s a part of you, and not easily discarded. Speaking as one who often writes when struck with inspiration, these rogue scenes - more often than not – are unwelcome curiosities to whatever I am presently working on. All the same; I have to believe they were created for some purpose – and so: the pile.

Many of the stories within these pages are such refugees. At least, that’s how they’d begun their literary lives: a thought, a quote, a supposition. Realistically, I have to admit, some acts of inspiration will never find a home. Unsuitable for publication: The genre illiterate – The damned. I still keep them close. Like all of my failures: I learn from them.
Many of the stories and oddities I’ve compiled here are new, while others are decades old. The old have been revisited by a more seasoned hand, revised, expanded or shortened, while the new were the underlying inspiration which encouraged me to create this compilation.
I knew the vast majority of my slush pile scenes and false starts wouldn’t sustain a novel length work, and as attention spans crumble and commutes grow longer, I realized that literary shorts play an important role for the reader. Besides, what could be more rewarding than a quick read? Instant gratification through story-telling. 

Life is a Metaphor. A metaphor is a symbol. A symbol is a sign. Watch for the signs. Like all stories, they can be watered-down to act as metaphor or parables; but unlike parables, metaphors can be interpreted differently, depending on the subject. A waning metaphor therefore, only sustains resolve if a person decides to recognize it. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

MEME's and your book

MEME's - An idea that spreads like a virus by word of mouth, email, blogs etc. are important visualizations of key scenes or quotes from your new book. They are essential in offering your potential reader a glimpse inside the book. Not unlike writing a summary or your back cover description; MEME's allow your intended audience a look inside, in order to determine whether or not they'd enjoy your new work of fiction.

I've been using MEME's for years and have seen greater interactions via social media (the perfect place to employ this method) including comments, likes and even shares!

My newest book, a Sci-fi novel, is only entering it's second draft, but already I've been creating MEME's in order to build interest. I will place these again when the book is released on my own pages, as well as related group pages across multiple networks with links to purchase the book or ebook.

Writing and marketing go side-by-side and MEME's tend to excite your potential buyer through intriguing quotes and accompanying images. MEME's can vary in size and there is no rule to follow when creating one. However, if you plan to use it as an ad on Facebook, remember not to use too many words to get your point across. FB ads limit the amount of space the copy employs on your MEME.

Below are some examples of the resent MEME's I've posted for a book which is still months out form being completed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Visualizing Your Sci-Fi Universe

I've been quietly working on a Sci-Fi novel after having pulled so much enjoyment out of writing a short science fiction piece for an anthology I released in 2015.

Sci-Fi has always been a go-to genre for me in my personal reading and films, so I decided to write a novel. This of course did not happen overnight. I was writing what I thought would be another short story, but after putting it past my brother, who is a big Sci-Fi fan, we decided I could go the distance and make it a novel.

Happily, the characters agreed, and have been yapping their way through 100,000 words of science fiction suspense now with little interest in ending the war they'd started... But, I think i have a grasp on them now, and offering to leave some alive, they have graciously agreed to let me finish the book (with the possibility of making it a series).

I often sketch out characters and machines to help me visualize the story and settings, and this book is no different, as I scribble out what the spaceships  must look like. It's a bonus for me - as an Illustrator - to be able to put the blueprints down on paper. I wonder if anyone else does the same? I know after the fact there are plenty of fan fiction shorts and character drawings etc..., but how many authors do it for themselves along the way?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump in the Whitehouse and Indie Authors

So what's it mean to have tyrannical Trump in the Whitehouse for all of us indie authors trying to push our books north and south of the borders? Will he really follow through with his threats and break down NAFTA? Does that even matter to an indie author? Could it? What does Free Trade mean for an indie or self-published author? Let's lay it out. I'm Canadian, but I use Createspace to build out my books, print them, and it's where I order them from. Createspace is an American company. So what? How does Free Trade affect me? Am I going to pay more for shipping? No. At least I hope not! I ordered 25 books the other day and the shipping more then doubled the cost and then I had to pay the courier for the border BS. I'm rethinking the whole thing now. But what does Trump promising to stomp on NAFTA mean for me?

Is it all fear mongering? Surely that's how he won the election. But his fear mongering has divided the people of the United States. If you're going to use fear mongering; let's put everyone behind a single cause: the environment. This is something to fear. But now the self proclaimed climate change denier is going to ramp up manufacturing and fracking and drilling and just fuck the whole country up while putting a few dollars in the average American's pockets, and filling swimming pools with money for the elite. Not sure how I got onto this rant, but there it is. I hope I've answered the question. :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Should a Picture Book Teach About the Apocalypse?

Books have a responsibility to teach. That's all this is. It's a tool.
Is the dichotomy too much? A picture book.... about the end of the world... it's teaching consequence...

There are consequences to mistreating the environment, and children need to be taught that. I know they hear about it at school and learn which leaves are which, and that frogs eat bugs, and bees are important pollinators, but that's just stating the obvious. What about opening the class with - What if there were no more frogs or bees or trees? How about that for an entrance? Then you explain the negative effects of losing trees like: no more oxygen, or if the bee's disappear: no more fruits and vegetables. Lead with the frightening possibilities of a world without, and then get into how to make sure none of that stuff ever happens.

Get them interested in sustainable living at an early age, because if they don't practice it... scary shit's going to happen. I don't have a problem with scaring them straight on environmental awareness. It's for their own good - for everyone and everything's good who enjoy breathing oxygen and drinking fresh water.

An Angry Earth is the first of its kind to teach about an apocalyptic end via a picture book. It gives the worst case scenario. It also does so with graphic pen and ink illustrations. The author/illustrator is not going to offer a rainbow of colours to keep your attention, no. He's offering you a chance to understand the consequences of your actions or inactions where our environment is concerned. So pick up a copy and read through it. If you want your kids to read it, give it to them. If nothing else, it will make them think, and maybe even ask you questions about what they can do to prevent an apocalyptic end.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Writing with metaphor - Writing Style

Writing metaphorically is a style of story-telling which resonates with people. From the ancient world turtle story right through to modern day narratives, the metaphor has contributed deeper meaning and depth to our stories.

Many metaphorical tales have been borrowed from one generation to the next – updating the content - but maintaining the metaphor, in order to tell a similar story. The world turtle, for example, can be seen today in the new picture book, *An Angry Earth. The world turtle; based in the ancient Hindu belief that the world rode upon the back of a giant turtle could easily be seen as a metaphor that the Earth was alive. An Angry Earth then goes on to tell the story of a planet which had been abused by its people, poisoned and polluted until it had had enough, and sent earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and drought to its people. The metaphor remains the same – the earth is alive - yet the story changes to reflect a modern day problem.
Writing in metaphor is a powerful way to embed an idea or emotion in the reader. It offers real-world drama to its audience, while forcing their minds to work on that metaphorical level of understanding which has been with us since the beginning; since we began telling stories to each other.

If nothing else, metaphors add an interesting element to the act of story-telling and should not be overlooked in any genre for their powerful ability to build depth and interest into any tale.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Goodreads Contest for Environmental Picture Book

Goodreads Book Giveaway

An Angry Earth by Michael Poeltl

An Angry Earth

by Michael Poeltl

Giveaway ends October 31, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
Experience the latest in environmental awareness. The Blunt, tell it like it is and don't sugar coat what will happen if we don't stop polluting our planet picture book with pen and ink illustrations. Have a look. Join the giveaway.