• Diary of an Author – UK Indie Litfest

    Yesterday was my first Indie Litfest, held at the Kala Sangam Centre in a very wet Bradford. I had a fantastic day, meeting fans and new readers, and catching up with other indie authors.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These kinds of events are perfect for authors, whether you have an established fan base or not, as it enables you to market your books to new readers.

    These readers will one day, hopefully, become fans, and your fans are your greatest weapon in spreading the work about your writing.

    The hardest thing about being an indie author is marketing myself. Unless I am constantly promoting, the sales merely trickle in. By attending events like Indie Litfest, I am able to increase my visibility, interact with people – some of whom buy a book – and pick up tips and advice from other authors. Sharing what works and what doesn’t is invaluable to us indies.

    Props and an attractive table are vital tools in helping attract customers to come and take a look at my books. It is up to the covers to entice a potential reader to pick up the book for a closer look. I then talk to them about the book, answer their questions and hopefully close a sale.

    As you can see from the photos, I have an array of marketing materials. For the Bonds series, I have the wooden box in which Becca finds the spells she needs to stop Antony, bookmarks and themed pencils. For The Misfits, I have the physical mascots of the characters, which I didn’t make myself, plus bookmarks and themed pencils. For Tales From a Scarygirl, I also have themed pencils made.

    My biggest change in my marketing has been to market me as a brand. As such, I’ve had a T-shirt, hoodie, mugs and bags made up, with my logo on one side and my Photologo signature on the other. If you zoom in on the mugs you will see, but I’ll post some photos of my new branding soon!

  • Film (Re)View – Child’s Play

    I must admit, I was a bit dubious about going to see this movie. After all, the original was so good, and I failed to see how they could improve on it, but the did. Well, maybe not improved on it, but they certainly delivered a knock out movie!

    I still have my reservations above Chucky himself, as he was almost laughable at the start of the movie, but once he was up and about, doing his own thing, he came to life… literally… well, almost.

    Instead of Chucky being possessed by a serial killer, this version has his ‘safety’ settings turned off by a much maligned employee who has just been fired. As such, Chucky has no filter, whether this be language, behaviour, or boundaries.

    He finds his way into Andy’s life through his mother, Karen. The Barclays have recently moved and Andy, who in this version is hearing impared, doesn’t really mix with other kids his age, choosing imstead to stay home and play video games. His mum, who works as a Customer Services Rep at the local toy store (I think it sells more than toys), convinces the warehouse guy not to send a recently returned ‘Buddi’ doll back to the manufacturer, because she wants to give it to Andy for his birthday.

    Predictably, Andy, who actually wants a new phone, is not impressed, but to keep his mum happy he starts to interact with the doll. Pretty soon they are ‘best buddies’ and Chucky (the doll named himself) starts to make it clear that he will do anything to protect his ‘best friend’.

    It is through teaming up with Pugg and Falyn, two kids who live in his apartment block, that Andy realises what Chucky is capable of and embarks on a mission to stop him.

    I do think this movie should have had an ’18’ rating, at the very least due to the kids walking around weilding knives, chainsaws etc. intent on destroying this doll. Yes, I know it is a doll, but if you watch the movie and take in a particular scene, you will understand where my thoughts come from.

    This movie is action-packed, necessarily gory, believable, and extremely well made. I have to say, I was impressed!

  • Film (Re)View – Ma

    Wow! Octavia Spencer is so good in the role of Sue Ann (aka Ma) and is bone-chillingly perfect for a horror movie role. Her facial expressions can go from happy and playful to murderous in seconds – perfect!

    Ma tells the story of Sue Ann, a middle-aged woman who was an outcast at school and who was cruelly led to believe the cool kids wanted her to be part of their gang. They played such a horrible trick on her it scarred her for life and allowed a deep-seated resentment and hatred to fester inside her.

    Maggie, the new kid in school, moves back to town with her mum, Erica. Erica used to be friends with Sue Ann and was accepted in to the gang, the same gang who were so cruel to Sue Ann, but Erica did nothing to help her friend.

    Maggie gets friendly with a group of kids from school, all the offspring of Sue Ann’s torturers. They hang around outside the liquor store trying to persuade people to buy them alcohol, as teenagers have done for many a generation. Sue Ann is one such person, and the only person who agrees to do it for them.

    And so begins Sue Ann’s tale of revenge, revenge which some might think is too slow a burn, but I disagree. The way she stalks and unsettles her prey is brilliant and culminates in a rather artistic way.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and feel Spencer played the stalker role to perfection. It should make those bullies out there sit up and wonder ‘what if’, should they bump into the person they used to prey on at school.

    Highly recommended!