New Author Friends Page (UPDATE!)

I think I now have everybody on who has asked. Due to there being a lot of people, I have split the page into four sections to try and highlight you all a bit more. I’ve done my best, but it was hard work. I might add more sections depending on if/how many more folk would like adding. Please feel free to click HERE and if you would prefer being slotted into another category just leave a comment.

Thanks everyone and I hope it helps

Richard

New Author Page For Friends

Dear all;

I have just published a new page on my site. This addition is dedicated to all my good pals in the book business. I have placed links to as many of you as I could think of off the top off my head. If you’re my pal, your books are clean, and you would like me to add you to the list, please comment below. Leave me your links and I will add you. Also, if you’re already on there and would like to be worded differently (I gave up halfway down) don’t hesitate to correct me. 

As some of you know, I have the memory of a goldfish, so this sort of intricate stuff is extremely hard. Don’t be afraid to ask to be added, I can assure you I’ll be more embarrassed at not having done so than you will at asking.

This is just my way of hopefully promoting some wonderful people with wonderful books. 

HERE is the page link

I hope it helps

Richard

Writer’s Resources


I subscribe to emails from The Review Review magazine, which is a wonderful resource for finding literary information. Their latest email highlights a writing magazine (Tethered By Letters) that also has a submission tracker page. What this does is highlight some reputable magazines and when they are open to submissions. This is extremely useful, so I thought I would pass on the information. I always encourage writers, particularly new writers, to submit work to such places. They are a great way to get your foot on the publishing ladder without too much pressure. And most good ones pay, too.

Here is the link: Tethered By Letters

And here is also the Link for The Review Review magazine: The Review Review

I hope you find the information useful.

Richard

Richard M. Ankers / Author of The Eternals Series

THE ETERNALS

HUNTER HUNTED

INTO  ETERNITY

How to Step out of the Dark

How to Step out of the Dark

A Writer’s Guide to Creative Self-Expression

As first published on Medium. Please feel free to join me there.

Writing is by its nature a solitary affair. Although we may duet on a poem, seek advice on this fact or that, in essence, we sit, write and publish on our own. Other people walk by our windows, peer in at our small, homemade offices, favourite seats and coffee mugs, shake their heads with pity at our flickering candles and laptop screens and wander away. Yes, writing is a lonesome trade, and it’s just how we like it. It’s the others that don’t understand, not us that’s strange.

For most writers, the hours typing on a keyboard are the best hours of our lives. We love the act of creation, be it in the thinking, or transferring said thoughts to paper, so to speak. There’s no effort to being alone because being alone is what we crave: time to think; time to reflect; time to unravel the worlds that others will tread. We impart our ideas to books, short stories and poems, lean back in our chairs and then think: what now?

For the introverted writer, the next stage of creation is the hardest. There are so many places to send work, so many ways to publish and we’re too scared to use any of them. At least, most are and I include my past self in this. So, what do we do?

The first thing is to not stop. No matter how scary the great, wide world appears, we should never stop doing what we love. Writing out our hearts gives us the same freedom that others find in sport, communal drinking, and social networking. And it is this latter item that can help a writer most.

Hiding behind a computer screen is much easier than hiding behind a book and not just because people cannot see your feet and hair — if you’ve got some. A computer gives us access to the world beyond our windows in privacy. And I assure you, the people out there really do want to read what we’ve written. There are so many great ways to find readers, magazines and publishers out there and just from asking/typing the right questions. We can all do that when no one is watching.

Below is a list of the most active and easiest Social Networks to scan and glean information from:

  1. Twitter
  2. Medium
  3. Facebook
  4. Instagram
  5. Google Plus
  6. Pinterest

All the above can furnish a novice or accomplished writer with great information. Type for example ‘UK/US Publishers’ into a Facebook search or Twitter and you will be amazed at what is revealed. Type ‘Literary Magazines’ into Medium and you’ll be furnished with lots of ‘in-house’ publications to try your hand with. Type ‘Writer’s Resources’ into Pinterest and it will knock your socks off. Then see if you like the look of what they have to offer. Do they sound like your cup of tea? Do they look good? There’s even a chance you’ll already know by association someone that writes for them. Just try those searches and different connotations of the same questions — they invariably yield contrasting results.

Then comes the hardest thing sending your precious work out. The worries begin. What happens if they don’t like it? What happens if they think I’m rubbish? And the list goes on. Think of it this way and it might help. When I first started submitting work, I was very nervous. My self-confidence was low. I then saw an article backed up by several quality Online Magazines that said this: only three percent of all submissions are accepted. Argggghhh!!!!

You could go ‘OH NO!’ and never submit so much as a haiku. But I looked at it rather differently and it was a great help. I said to myself that I should not worry in the least until a piece of work had been returned to me ninety-seven times. Only after that was I a failure and even then only due to someone else’s opinion. But I’ve never had a piece of work rejected more than six times as it happens. So what a fool I would have been to have given up. You should never give up if you are doing what you love.

In conclusion, I say the following. Enjoy writing what you want, how you want, where you want. When you’ve finished, don’t be scared. I’d be surprised if you aren’t a member of at least one of the social networks above — you’re probably reading this on one of them right now. Use them. Plunder them. Take advantage of the world that is only a keystroke away. No more hiding in the dark when you’ve such wonderful lights to shine for others.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Into Eternity (Soon!)

The Rainstorm

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Like a drowned rat my mum always used to say. I couldn’t have described it better myself. Cold, wet and tired, I splashed home through slick city streets with no other wish but to get out of the rain. Any meagre shelters, shop fronts and the like, were taken and all were unwilling to share. All but one, anyway.
Her wings unfolded upwards into a large, conical canopy, a very definite shape against the liquid onslaught. She offered an umbrella for two, that’s all, a sanctuary from heaven’s tears. For a while, I couldn’t have asked for more. For a while.

Less Than a Dollar but More Than a Dime

The brick and glass facades swamped me in shadowed reflections and concrete wrinkles. Never had I felt less part of the city than on that desperate night. Never had life meant less to me than in a cold, winter evening’s weakening of the soul. But angels are there to watch over us in such times with their burning, golden eyes and swanlike wings. My angel wore purple eyeliner and fishnet stockings, but I’d worship her just the same.
I approached her with trepidation. Women were not my speciality one might have said. I lacked the confidence of most men and sex appeal of the rest a combination that never went down well with the opposite sex. It wasn’t that women disliked me just that they never got chance; I wasn’t worth a look. But everybody needs someone, and I was no less than anyone else. That’s why I traipsed the midnight sidewalks counting the notes with my fingertips in a pocketful of lint.
I came to a juddering stop before a woman more girl than gran. She kept on chewing her gum and watching the taxis whizz by without sparing me a second glance, six-inch stilettos clicking out a staccato beat on the curb side. Even to such as she, I was pointless. How desperate I’d become.
Clearing my throat, I tried to catch her attention, failed, and then tried again. Her eyes never left the opposite storefront, her own dim reflection more worthwhile than me.
“How much?” I whispered.
“How much what?”
“For…”
“Huh!”
“Sorry,” I said, and began to walk away.
“I’m just messin’ with ya, kid.”
I was older than her, I was sure of it, but stopped nevertheless.
“What d’ya want?” she asked.
“I… I don’t really know.”
“Well, if you don’t, I don’t.”
She looked me up and down as though I was hung meat in a butcher’s window. Her thick, purple eyeliner must have contained glitter because her eyes twinkled like the stars; I’d forgotten the stars since moving to the city.
“Reminiscing?” she sniffed.
“You have beautiful eyes,” I mumbled.
“What?”
“Your eyes, they’re beautiful.”
“Thank you,” she replied, a touch surprised, moving her hand from a hip to run slender fingers through long, dark hair. “So?” she said, her mind back to business.
“I don’t have much money.”
“Does anyone these days?”
“S’pose not. I’ll be on my way. I didn’t mean to waste your time.”
“Less than a dollar but more than a dime,” she said, the words hurrying from her mouth like water from a faucet.
“That cheap! I thought it’d cost loads more?”
“Not for this,” she said.
The girl sashayed over, put long bare arms around my neck and gave me the warmest, wettest kiss I’d ever had.
When she pulled away with a smacking of lips, she looked me up and down again as she had before and said, “There’s someone out there for you, kid, you’ve just got to look. Go home.”
And I did. And I did. And I always wondered if she did, too.

The Writing Process (Kiss and Tell)

The Writing Process (Kiss and Tell)

That really is my hand and I want no unauthorised use of it.

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These last few weeks, I have undertaken a writing marathon. Whilst awaiting the cover and final layouts of book two of The Eternals trilogy, Hunter Hunted, I decided to crack on with unfinished storytelling business. Today, however, I am taking a rare break from it and thought I’d answer a few questions that have been asked about my writing process. I realise people often find this sort of thing interesting — I hope — so I thought I’d reveal Everything! Patent Pending.

Beginning (The Zone)

The first bit is often the hardest. I am a writer who likes to write whilst listening to music. I can procrastinate with the best of them until the soft leather of the headphones slips over my ears; writing takes me then, and I’m lost to everything else. That sounded dramatic, and it is, but getting those headphones on my head can be an issue — I really ought to employ someone to just plonk them on every morning after my run. Then comes the listening. I have a playlist for every occasion, but the one I write most to is the following:

  1. Insatiable / Darren Hayes
  2. Lifelines / a-Ha
  3. White Flag / Dido
  4. Ordinary World / Duran Duran
  5. If You Love Me / Brownstone
  6. Wicked Game / Chris Isaak
  7. Only When I Sleep / The Corrs
  8. True Colours / Cyndi Lauper
  9. Everytime / Loreen
  10. Here With Me / Dido
  11. It’s Over (Remix) / Level 42
  12. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word / Elton John
  13. That’s The Way Love Goes / Janet Jackson Janet
  14. Other Side Of The World / KT Tunstall
  15. Born To Die / Lana Del Rey
  16. Flown Away / Lene Marlin Playing
  17. Something About You / Level 42
  18. Stranger In Moscow / Michael Jackson
  19. Requiem Mass in D Minor, K. 626: Sequentia – Lacrimosa / Mozart
  20. Beauty On The Fire / Natalie Imbruglia
  21. O Mio Babino Caro / Nicola Kirsch
  22. Red Rain / Peter Gabriel
  23. I’ll be dreaming. / The Pierces
  24. Running Up That Hill / Placebo
  25. Gravity / Sara Bareilles
  26. Haunted (Alan Wake Soundtrack Version) / Poe
  27. Nobody Wants To Be Lonely / Ricky Martin
  28. Russian Roulette / Rihanna
  29. To The Moon & Back / Savage Garden
  30. Too Lost In You / Sugababes
  31. A Love Before Time (English) / Tan Dun & Yo-Yo Ma
  32. Woman In Chains / Tears For Fears
  33. Spanish Guitar / Toni Braxton
  34. Everything (Is Never Quite Enough) / Wasis Diop
  35. As / George Michael & Mary J. Blige
  36. I Want To Know What Love Is / Foreigner
  37. As Long As You Follow / Fleetwood Mac
  38. Skyfall / Adele
  39. Black Coffee / All Saints
  40. Hunting High And Low (Remix) / a-Ha

I never tire of listening to what I enjoy and it really helps to get me in The Zone.

The Thought Process

Next, the easy bit. I count myself fortunate to never ever get writer’s block and the written words come as easy as spoken words do not. The trigger, or spark, can be anything from an image or a word, to a sound or a thought, everything is inspiration if given the chance. The trigger for The Eternals was a picture posted by the wonderful Morgan; The Snow Lily, (which one day I’ll publish) merely the thought of a child looking out at snow — I love snow; Britannia Unleashed (a Steampunk extravaganza that’s almost complete) was a made up name. Like I say, pay attention to everything because you never know where it might lead.

The Writing

Once I have that word or image, I immediately get the start and finish of the book. Just like that. I know it sounds too easy or made up, but it’s the truth. I could plan twenty books in one day if I felt that way inclined. Once I have the start and finish, the rest unfolds like a concertina or a flicked pack of cards. The whole process takes a minute at the most and I’m off and running. I will write a story, or more, with the same ease as eating breakfast; the editing is another thing altogether. I use a combination of repetition, speaking the lines out loud, Prowriter.com and Grammarly to iron out a story. I will go over and over it until I think it’s done. I have a thing about being made to look an idiot and it translates into my editing. I will not let it go until I think it can’t be improved and me belittled.

Notes

As a note, I rarely take notes, (did you see what I did there?) For a man with perhaps the world’s worst memory, I could rewrite a novel almost word for word, whereas a short story or poem is forgotten within minutes. I often find them on my laptop and wonder where on earth they’ve come from. If someone comments on a blog post, I can guarantee that I’ll have no idea what they’re talking about unless I reread it.

Confidence (Boo! Hiss!)

Next, comes confidence. I have none. You might think I have, but I can assure you, you’re wrong. My trick is this, and again, I assure you it’s the truth. I don’t believe a word of someone saying how much they enjoy my writing, and don’t give a damn if they say they don’t. If someone comments in a negative fashion on any part of something I write, I ignore it, so don’t bother. This might be particular to me as I know it is said all criticism should be taken on board, as well as praise, but this is the only way I can pluck up the courage to reveal my writing. As I’ve said many times before, nobody could be harder on me than me. The method works for me, anyway. (I used me too much there. I hate repetition. I hate repetition.)

A Note On Marketing

Here, I am fortunate to have a wonderful publisher: they push, I do as told. Marketing is a side of writing I find hard to embrace. A lot of writers are introverts by nature and I am more than most. Bulling my own work up, selling myself, etcetera, etcetera, comes extremely hard to me. Even sending my work off for review is like pulling teeth. I read and see others that I would term as terrible, sometimes at best, selling hundreds and hundreds of books and gaining review after review and truly wish I had their chutzpah — that was just an excuse to use chutzpah. Likewise, in the blogging world, I could happily never comment on anything or return them, but as you know I do. This is because I really do try.

Apps

To those of you who enjoy my app posts, these are what I use to write the serious stuff on: Scrivener. That didn’t take long, did it. I use all sorts to post to my blog: Byword; Ulysses; iA Writer; Editorial, but Scrivener alone for the serious stuff. This provides focus. Focus is the single most important factor when writing a book because you’ll live and breath it. If you don’t, you’re in the wrong job. I trim all unnecessary applications off both my phone and laptop to facilitate better concentration. The addition of a notepad at the side of my bed is also a good tool to have for those just-in-case-moments. PS. On the chance my wife reads this, I’ll admit to having Neko Atsume on my phone. Cats visit you and leave you fish to spend on buying them toys. I saw it recommended on a writer’s relaxation post as a tool to unwind and thought — Yeah right! — and now I’m on it every day. Curse you whoever you were!

Relaxation

Lastly, comes relaxation, as I struggle with it and always have. Music again helps, as did sport when I was younger. Running every morning is also a blessing in disguise as it both helps me relax and lessens the headaches (I have one right now) that have plagued my life. Good old fresh air and all that. Relaxation is very important. Don’t make yourself ill.

Tips

  1. Write, write and write some more. Write until you can see your own mistakes because only then will you improve.
  2. Read a lot. An awful lot. This is not just to relax but to help with spotting the mistakes in number one. PS. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes.
  3. Write whatever you want as much as you can in as many ways as you can. Send the best off to magazines and if they send it back, check it, then send it to another: writingcareer.com is a good source for writing opportunities.
  4. Get a good writing program or at least a good writing process. A good workman is only as good as his tools and all that.

Finale

So there you have it: me. I never write long blog posts, and haven’t vetted this as well as I should because of it. I don’t like being preachy as I don’t like being preached to, so I hope I wasn’t.  With any luck you’ll have found this interesting, and if even some small part assists you, then it was worth me doing it. Enjoy your writing.

Thank you again for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals

Find me here:

Creativia

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

I could list more, but I don’t want to bore you.

African Ghosts


The drought from hell. That’s what they called it. So many people, so much hardship, and the sun never once let up.
It was a westerner who had the idea when he saw children covered in flies playing in baked mud. Provide them with netting! he’d declared. That should help.
He was good to his word, too, with fund-raisers and events in all the best cities. All the top people went. It was a triumph over adversity.
When I turned on the television to images of millions draped in white sheeting, I wept. That’s all, wept. African Ghosts, said the headline. But they needn’t be, was mine.

Distant Friends

Authors note: Dedicated to a distant friend.


A distant friend

Is like a silhouette 

Intangible, yet there.

A constant companion

When the world blazes 

Too bright,

Their dark stanchions

Supportive,

They aid in silence

No payment required.

And when the Fall comes,

Winter after,

They lie within the wan light

Biding their time

Waiting to appear:

They always do.

Thank goodness for distant friends.

Thank goodness

For those strength giving shadows.