Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Guest Author Interview - Stephan Myers

Today I am pleased to introduce children's author and illustrator, Stephan Myers. 

The Fun Five:
1.  What part of the world do you come from?
I was actually born in Hull.  A Yorkshire man born, but not bred.  I come from a service family and we moved on a regular basis both in the UK and Europe.
2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wish I could say I had a particular ambition.  I was very much into athletics and it wasn't until later years that I chose a corporate career.
3.  List three words to describe yourself.
Tenacious, inquisitive, creative
4.  Who would play you in a film about your life?
I have no idea.  I don't watch TV and am a little out of touch, but it would have to be someone with a receding hairline!
5.  Who is your favourite author?
Carlos Ruiz Zafon has been my favourite author for many years.  Authors come and go but he has a magical turn of phrase that conjures a real sense of atmosphere in his books.  His children's books are simply superb.
The Sensible Six:
1.  What inspired you to write your first book?
My first story was actually The Prayer which I wrote after seeing an aide worker helping a young homeless child on a London street.  It was a little after midnight and something of an eye opener for me as I had just left a corporate dinner!  By the time my train arrived in the station I already had the story in my mind.  It's an image I will never forget and I often wonder what happened to the child they were helping.  It's had tremendous reviews and has reached over 100,000 readers so far.  Although the title suggests otherwise it isn't religious and has much in common with the Little Match Girl by HCA and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens in terms of tone and tenor.
2.  What made you write for children rather than adults?
I've written several books for young adult and adult readers.  The YA novels feature Loss beyond The Book of Dreams as she reaches her teenage years.  The first is called Shadows in the Dark.  It carries on from the picture books and will be released after The Colour Silver is launched.  I hope this will be in 2016 as I am currently taking a break from the series to complete a couple of stand alone novels I want to release.
3.  Tell us a little about your illustrations.
The books are illustrated by myself and Nick Smith.  I had a clear idea of the characters from the very beginning, but every story sees them evolve a little more.  Nick is very much a traditional illustrator who shuns digital mediums and works solely in watercolour where as I'm quite happy working in different mediums.  I hope your readers will agree there is a timeless and magical element to the illustrations which really convey the spirit of the words.  They really are a pleasure to illustrate.
4.  Is Loss based on anyone you know?
A big no on that one.  She's more the culmination of many characters I read as a child.  I wanted a character that had a certain naivety but loved adventure.  We also wanted to create a character who was immediately recognisable.  Alongside Ted, Loss is always found in her PJs with her red dressing gown.
5.  What can we expect from you in the future?
We are currently rushing to complete Just Ted which we hope to release before Christmas and there will be a long fiction children's book featuring Loss and Ted in the New Year, but thereafter there will be a break of at least a year before anything else is released.
6.  How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can find out more about the books at www.lossdeplott.com there is the usual contact form on the site.
You can find me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/stephanjmyers
To receive 30% OFF everything on Stephan's site, quote TCRB10  http://www.lossdeplott.com/#/buy-the-books/4586913605


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Time Management in 4 Easy Steps

Last week I delivered a course about time management to my Motivate Me workshop ladies.  The response was wonderful, and the evening was a huge success.  As I chatted to the group it became evident that we are prone to reject or forget many self-help tools.   We may see them as yet another chore rather than a way to help ourselves.  Our lives are far too busy to remember all that self-help mojo!

With the festive season screaming towards us it's the perfect time to claim some 'me time' before we all lose ourselves in mince pies and tinsel.  Managing the time we do have means we are more productive.

The term 'time management' is more often associated with the corporate world.  The business masses who fill their day and diary with copious emails, meetings, phone calls and networking events.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  Of course, seven years ago I was one of them.  My diary was full; my social calendar was a jumble of events and the children's sports days, parents evenings and school plays filled in any blank space.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Happy Business Birthday To Me!

This week I celebrated one of my greatest achievements.  The sixth birthday of my holistic health business, Body & Soul Holistics.

So much has changed in six years.  My business has made many twists and turns along the way.  As a newbie entrepreneur, I assumed that I needed to offer as many treatments as I could.  I spent huge sums of money and precious time training in everything from the metamorphic technique to waxing.

I hated waxing!  I have a huge amount of respect for all the therapists out there who rip hairs off people's body parts day and night, but it wasn't for me!  Of course, to drop a treatment after you had paid for the course and dedicated hours to training and case studies was a sin, or so I thought.

The further along my spiritual/business journey I travelled, I began to realise that it was okay to walk away from the parts of my job that weren't working for me.  If they weren't adding benefit to my personal journey then why did I keep them in my life?  I took waxing off my treatment list, along with spray tans and facials.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Better Parenting, Better Kids Blog Tour, Day 7.

I'm incredibly excited to introduce a passionate author to my blog today.  I am honoured to host Nonnie on the final day of her blog tour and so without any further delay, over to Nonnie...
Hello, and welcome to the final day of my BETTER PARENTING, BETTER KIDS Blog Tour!  I'm so happy to be here today with my dear friend, Shelley and all her wonderful guests!  I so appreciate you allowing me to share a bit of me with you!
If you've been following my tour, I have been sharing tidbits of advice to help parents, do this job a little better, if they feel they might be failing.  If this is your first day joining us on the tour, then I'd like to invite you back to visit the other stops.  Here is the line-up.  It is my sincerest goal and mission to ensure that my kids and all kids are brought up in a safer world.  With the behavior of some of the kids we see today, if parenting skills don't change and improve, that may not be soon my reality. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Guest Author Interview - Peter Jones

Today I am joined by Peter Jones author of The Good Guy's Guide To Getting The Girl.

The Fun Five:

1. What part of the world do you come from?

I'm an Essex boy!  Was born and raised in Chelmsford, moved to Southend as soon as I was able (Mum used to take us there on the last day of the summer holidays).  I do have a fondness for London though, living so close.

2.  What did you want to be when you grew up?

One of my earliest memories is kneeling on my grandmother's living room carpet 'making books'.  I'd fold as many sheets of A4 paper in half as I could, and then use her stapler to create a spine.  Then I'd start writing a story and drawing the pictures to go along with it.  Other ambitions came and went, but for the longest time this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

15 Ways to Boost Your Well-Being

Writers' block is something I have never had to worry about.  I suffer from the opposite problem of having too much to write and no structure in place to streamline those thoughts.

However, as I was sitting at my laptop ready to type this week's post, I stopped.  I experienced that moment of emptiness with my fingertips hovering over the keys.  Not because I didn't know what to say, but for once in my life, I didn't know quite how to say it.

Allow me to explain.  This week has been a blessing for me, I love my holistic job and facilitated a successful workshop on creating vision boards.  I started my meditation classes up again for the new term and I completed the first edit on my debut fiction novel.  Just this morning I received a beautiful email telling me I had been nominated for another Blogger award (that's two in as many weeks) and a second email asking if I would like to be interviewed for a very prominent blog.  Fantastic!  Last week I checked the sales of my non-fiction book (How I Changed My Life in a Year - http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KAAUE88) and found that I was still in the top 50 of Amazon best sellers for self-help and memoir.  Feedback continues to be positive and reviews have been incredible.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

One Lovely Blog Award

Collecting 'things' is a favourite hobby of mine.  It's an odd phrase but I feel it bunches all the 'nic nacs', 'bric-a-brac' and 'random stuff' I have in my house under the one umbrella.  'Things', it rolls off the tongue nicely doesn't it.  Maybe I was a magpie in a former life, attracted to lustrous objects and glittering paraphernalia.

When I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Julia http://juliaproofreader.wordpress.com, I believed I had peaked in the collector status.  A shiny blog award is, in my humble opinion, as huge as an Oscar!  Okay, I may have a slight flair for the dramatics, but knowing that someone other than my mum is reading my blog is a big deal.

So Julia, I thank you for taking the time to nominate me, please do take a look at Julia's blog and at her other blogger recommendations - http://juliaproofreader.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/one-lovely-blog-award-and-other-blog-recommendations/