I am delighted to
have Helen Hart, Publishing Director at publishing services company SilverWood
Books, sitting round my pool. Helen started SilverWood ten years ago, in 2007,
to offer assistance to authors who wanted to self-publish…but didn’t know where
SilverWood is a small,
friendly, expert team that helps authors who don’t have the technical
expertise, knowledge, or confidence to DIY self-publish. Many writers use our
services if they don’t have the time to learn how to produce a book to
professional standards, or because they want to focus on their writing rather
than on running a publishing project.
We work with great
attention to detail, and over the years SilverWood has a established a solid
reputation for high standards and a caring approach — we don’t publish everything
that is submitted to us, but instead assess every manuscript in detail and work
out how to help individual authors achieve their aims in publishing a book. If
we don’t think the work is ready to publish, we’re honest about it and don’t
hesitate to recommend other organisations that can help.
Every author that
works with SilverWood is assigned a publishing assistant who will work very
closely with them at every step, from the enquiry stage where a writer might
written a book — is it good enough?” through to the time a finished book is
launched and promoted. SilverWood authors are supported with a range of
services such as editing, proofreading, book design, wholesale and retail book
distribution, and ongoing advice and information.
Why should authors
consider using a company like SilverWood?
Many authors find
that, in the long run, working with the right company saves time and can be
more cost-effective than going it alone and learning ‘on the job'. For many
authors, trying to reach professional standards in a constantly-changing
industry can be hard work, distracting, and expensive (both in terms of time
and money). Working with the right company means you benefit from expertise,
advice, and hand-holding, and you avoid snags and potentially-expensive
Kathryn Gauci has just signed up to publish her second book with SilverWood. “When
I decided to self-publish, I discovered that it’s not as easy as one might
think to find a reputable company to go with. When I contacted SilverWood I
felt an immediate rapport. Helen Hart and her staff were there for me the whole
way, guiding me whenever I needed it to produce a well-edited, top-quality
product equal to anything a good traditional publisher would do. The SilverWood
team are also there for their authors long after the book has been published,
and foster a great sense of community with their authors.”
It’s been wonderful having you here and
sharing how SilverWood works, thank you Helen.
love to keep busy… don’t you? I confess to being a person who is at my best
when I am very busy. So when I am not writing, promoting, running, snapping at
everything that moves or doesn’t, with my camera, playing with my Photoshop,
cooking and more… I run my latest project, Chill with a Book Awards.
have always been passionate about supporting authors, especially Indie authors
and that is why I developed an Award Programme for Indie authors. Since it went
live in September 2016 it has been more than well received with authors, from
all over the globe, submitting their books; Australia, USA, Europe and UK.
Within weeks the Awards were international.
are now four Awards, Readers’ Award, Book of the Month Award, Book of the Year
Award and a special PB Award. You can find out more about the Awards here. My
passion is to promote some of the best books published by Indie authors.
Today I have a fellow Yorkshire girl, Daisy James sitting
round my pool talking about her latest book. There’s Something about Cornwall.
To make you feel at home, I have opened a bottle of pink bubbly as I know it is
your favourite tipple. Please help yourself to a glass and then we will settle
down on one of the recliners.
Cheers Daisy, it’s all yours….
First of all,
a huge thank you for featuring my brand new release – There’s Something About
Cornwall - on your blog.
always very important to me when I’m writing. It’s almost as though it’s
another character that requires just as much attention, just as much crafting,
as any other. My first novel – The Runaway Bridesmaid - was set in New York. I
enjoyed an amazing trip there a couple of years ago, for a milestone birthday,
except, instead of spending five exhilarating days taking in the sights,
because of Hurricane Sandy we ended up being there for eleven. Everywhere was
closed, even the Broadway shows, so I grabbed a pen and some paper and started
writing and my first published novel was born.
When I began
researching my fourth book, I wanted my characters to have a fabulous backdrop
for their story, so it had to be Cornwall. The scenery is so beautiful and diverse,
not to mention the fact that the sun always seems to be shining. There’s Something About Cornwall follows
Emilie Roberts, a food photographer, who takes a culinary road trip around the
whole county as she works on a photoshoot for a celebrity TV chef working on
her next cookery book.
journey starts in Padstow where she meets Matt at a beach party. He becomes a
last-minute replacement driver for an orange-and-cream vintage campervan
they’ve nicknamed The Satsuma Splittie. There’s plenty of stops along the way
and lots of baking and tasting of the delicious Cornish food that is being
I wanted to
showcase not only the local recipes, but also the wide array of artisan
beverages that Cornwall is famous for. So, in Truro, they visit an apple
orchard where Emilie photographs the Cornish Cyder Cake and Apple and Caramel Loaf,
but they also indulge in a few pints of the local Scrumpy.
Apple & Caramel Loaf
research, I was amazed to find that vineyards flourish on south-facing slopes and
fabulous white and rosé wine is produced in Cornwall. The
county is also the only place in England that grows tea – Tregothnan Tea - it
offers a whole new meaning to the label English Breakfast tea!
I also came across the Southwestern Distillery, run by Tarquin Leadbetter, which produces not only Cornish Gin but also Cornish Pastis. The pastis is a modern take on the classic French aperitif and the first of its kind created in the UK. It is made with gorse flowers foraged from the Atlantic clifftops and fresh orange zest finished off with a touch of liquorice root. Tarquin also grows his own Devon violets for use in his Tarquin’s Gin.
readers will enjoy escaping to our southernmost county when they read There’s Something About Cornwall.
For a chance
to win a book on the history of the much-loved, iconic camper van, a mug and a
coaster, just follow Daisy James and retweet the pinned tweet. The prize will
be drawn on 31st March 2017 (UK only).
Life is far from picture perfect for food photographer, Emilie Roberts. Not only has her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, he’s also stolen her dream assignment to beautiful Venice! Instead, Emilie is heading to the wind-swept Cornish coast…
Emilie doesn’t think it can get any worse – until disaster strikes on the very first day! And there’s only one man to rescue this damsel in distress: extremely hunky surfing instructor, Matt Ashby.
Racing from shoot to shoot in a bright orange vintage camper van, Matt isn’t the conventional knight in shining armour – but can he make all of Emilie’s fairy tale dreams come true?
you Daisy for sitting round my pool, and I know There's Something About Cornwall is going to be a runaway success.
And thank you, my lovely visitors for stopping by and meeting Daisy. Until the next time, I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.
Award winning, The Wendy House has another 5 star review on Amazon... trying not to be so excited, but it is difficult.
"Something completely different again from Pauline Barclay. Once again I was transported into someone else's life, feeling the anguish of an innocent little girl and the pain of the damaged woman she became. Wanting to "shout out" for her when those around were oblivious to what was happening. Pauline has never disappointed before and this story was no exception. Loved it !!"
Available in paperback and Kindle
As always, thank you, not only for stopping by, but for all your wonderful friendship and support.
I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.
Today, I have sitting round my pool, the lovely, Julia Ibbotson talking about her exciting new services that are aimed at helping all writers and published authors and maybe you!
Ok Julia, I’ve opened the bubbly and poured into the largest champagne glasses I could find, so cheers me dear…. Take it alway….
Thanks Pauline, cheers!
Have you ever thought: I wish there was someone I could ask about this part of my narrative, or my research report? Does it work for the reader? Does it make sense? Is it accurate - or are there errors?
It doesn’t matter whether you are a new aspiring writer or an experienced, already published one … whether you are an Indie author or have a publisher to whom you’d like to submit a really polished manuscript.
I’m a published author who likes to get her manuscript just right without relying, in the first instance, on my publisher’s editorial team.
I also have over 30 years editing, mentoring and tutoring experience up to university (doctoral) level, supervising and supporting students, fellow authors, and my critique buddies. So I’ve been persuaded to start an online 1:1 editing support service. It’s called Archbury Consultancy and I aim to tailor support to my clients’ individual needs:
I can edit your work and point out where it could be improved, with tracked changes.
I can provide support materials to enhance your writing, or even a course or mentorship over a number of weeks (including Skype meetings if required) as you advance and improve your work.
I aim to help and support online, with editing, structuring, language and expression, and all the areas that so often let us down as writers. Sometimes we just need someone to be a critique buddy, a mentor, someone who can provide some support and encouragement with ideas for developing our work to make it the best it can be.
Often we would like to know what went wrong and to learn how we can avoid the same errors the next time, so that we don't have to keep paying editing fees!
Even when we proof read and edit ourselves, it's easy to miss spelling errors or punctuation problems, structural inconsistencies, or expressions that don't come across well to the reader, even though they may be perfectly clear to us in our head.
I'd be glad to help you. I aim to keep my fees as low as I can (because I know you have lots of other expenses!). As an introductory offer, for example, the fees for a full 85,000 word novel would be around £200 for a basic tracked-changes edit/critique;
£250 for a mentoring programme to run over 4 weeks and to include 4 online sessions and 2x30 minutes Skype session (if required);
£350 for the mentoring programme and a full final ms edit/ ms developmental critique after 4 weeks’ tutoring.
As most authors know promoting your book is one of the hardest part of the whole process of being a writer. Planing, plotting and writing, even on a bad day pales into insignificance when faced with getting out there and shouting about your latest baby
I do say shout, though if I am honest, my voice would not carry that far, though it can be persistent! But, no matter how loud or persistent your voice is there are hundreds if not thousands of voices that are much louder and can drown out what you are trying to say. Like most authors, I use Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. It does helps, but it is not the overall solution. What is the solution you might ask? Well apart from having your book in every High Street bookshop, supermarket and in airports, I haven't got an answer and that is where being published with one of the top six makes a difference. These authors books are there in shop windows, display cabinets in full frontal. So your book is not joining the mass at WH Smiths, but you still need to bang your drum.
In the absence of my books adorning books shops across the land, I produce posters to splash across Social Media. They are fun to produce and I still live in the hope they make a difference... we can dream. Remember having an over imaginative mind got us into this position in the first place! So what do you do to make a difference to your books visibility?
As always, thank you, not only for stopping by, but for all your wonderful friendship and support.
I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.
I'm sooo excited to announce that my latest book, The Wendy
House has been honoured with a B.R.A.G. Award https://www.bragmedallion.com. I
can’t begin to tell you how seriously happy I feel.
I never get over that nervous feeling, despite having six
books published, when my baby is set free into the big wide world. I know it is
the same for many authors when, having cherished their hard work from
conception and then letting it take flight.
I always feel honoured when readers leave a review either
publicly or via an email to me personally, so receiving a B.R.A.G. Award is not
just the icing on the cake, but the cherry too.
Here is the blurb from my Award winning book…
When Nicola changes overnight from a bright, happy young
child into a sullen, rebellious girl, ceasing to show interest in anything or
anyone around her, her parents struggle to understand why. As she develops into
a difficult, troubled, hostile teenager they put it down to hormones, believing
it will pass. Yet Nicola goes from bad to worse and no matter how much her
mother tries to reach out to her, it seems she is hell bent on self-destruction.
When she leaves home at seventeen, rushing into the arms of a man ten years her
senior and quickly becoming pregnant, her despairing mother almost gives up on
her. A decade later, the events that stole Nicola’s childhood and changed the
course of her life threaten finally to destroy her. She knows if she is to
cling on to her sanity she must tell her mother the dreadful secret she has
carried all these years, but her fear that she will be met with disbelief,
hostility and branded an evil liar drives her to the edge.
A heart-rending story of betrayal, secrets and gripping
This Dedication and Special Thank You is added to both Kindle
and paperback versions of The Wendy House.
This book is pure fiction. The people and places are from my
imagination and bare no relation to anyone living or dead. However, I could not
have written this book without the help of a special person I met some years
ago. What this lovely, brave lady shared with me, not only broke my heart, but
will live with me forever. Yet despite the pain of her years of abuse, she
wanted me to write a book on this subject. For this courageous, beautiful lady,
I dedicate, The Wendy House.
Today, I have
the lovely, bestselling author, Helen Hollick, who I am proud to have as a
friend, talking about her fantastic new project, Discovering Diamonds.
to a full gun salute on 1st January, Discovering Diamonds is a new
Review Blog site, but it is not just any ordinary Review Site, Helen please tell about this exciting new venture.
We review historical fiction (and maybe the
occasional non-fiction, but that will be by invitation only). By ‘historical’ I
mean anything that has 75% of the story set pre-1950 (this is because I was
born in 1953 and I refuse to be thought of as ‘historic’!) although at our
discretion we will review something history-based set in the 1960s. We might
even consider something contemporary if it has a very strong historical
connection – I am thinking specifically of time travel, or Alison Morton’s
wonderful Roma Nova series, which are
modern-day thrillers, but with the theme that the Roman administration
survived, which I think readers of Roman-Age novels (especially
mystery/thrillers) will find fascinating.
From those submitted to us, we select which
books to review which means just because you submit a book it doesn’t mean we
will automatically review it. A novel has to be a very good 5 star read to
reach the status of a Discovered Diamond!
The books that are not quite 5 stars – the 4
stars – will also get a review, and occasionally a new debut author will also
receive a review by way of support and encouragement. These latter reviews will
usually have a certain amount of constructive criticism included – maybe
another edit will be suggested to pick up some missed typos, or perhaps a note
to watch a tendency to ‘head hop’.
Let me stress that we are not a critique service, but our view is
that potential good authors (especially indie authors) need support to start
the climb up that long, steep, ladder, and I, and my ‘team’, take great
pleasure in seeing these new authors improve and grow as they write more books.
But to do so they often require that little bit of courage and confidence to
keep going, a thing that is so easy to destroy if enthusiastic encouragement is
We also accept any historical sub-genre:
romance, fantasy, GLBT, alternate… even erotica. Nor do we differentiate
between traditional mainstream or indie – a good book is a good book whatever
its sub-genre and however it is produced. The emphasis, though, is on the word good. We are looking for quality
produced books that are value for money to buy, and are suitable for
recommending by ‘word of mouth’ (the best way for authors to sell books!)
does Discovering Diamonds work?
With a lot of hard work from myself and my
wonderful Review and Admin team! It is fairly simple: fill in the contact form
on the blog’s sidebar (or just email me) and you will receive detailed
instructions of where and how to submit your novel.
We primarily only want e-books (mobi or e-pub
preferably) not hard copy paperbacks or hardbacks, this is because we do not charge
a fee of any sort (we are all volunteers!) so there is no funding to cover
forwarding books to various reviewers, nor do I want to give out personal
addresses. In some cases, if there is no e-book version, or there are complications
we can arrange to receive a paperback edition. We do not accept gift vouchers
by the way – they are too complicated to use when other reviewers are involved.
Once received our e-book editor, Nicky
Galliers, sends the files to our network of reviewers, who read the book and if
they enjoyed it, write a review, which is sent to me. I edit, add links to
Amazon and a cover image… and off we go!
no books are passed on, all are deleted once read.
We also have some interesting additional
pages – a regular slot for reader’s to have their say or comment on a selection
of monthly topics on our Reader’s Voice page, or our Guest Spot will have
tributes to special authors or books – we started with my own personal Best
Author, Rosemary Sutcliff. In February we have a tribute to |Bernard Cornwell.
there are several awards on offer, tell a little about them.
For the books we select to review we give
some nice logos for authors to use as and where they wish to promote their
books. The basic two are the Discovered Diamond and ‘this book has been
reviewed by Discovering Diamonds’. Then there is the Book of the Month and Book
of the Year – which are somewhat self-explanatory!
We also include the Indie BRAG medallion logo
and the Chill With a Book Award for novels that have achieved these honours.
(But authors must tell us about these, we do not have time to go looking!)
often do you post reviews?
Thanks to the ability to schedule posts…
everyday, except Sunday.
readers / authors make sure they keep up to date with what is happening on
Fill in the subscribe by e-mail form is
probably the best and easiest, and you will automatically receive notification
of new books reviewed every day. Alternatively, ‘like’ our Facebook page or
look for the hashtag #DDRevs on Twitter.
there is a monthly award for the best book cover can any author put their cover
forward for this?
Yes, this has kindly been promoted by graphics
designer Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics, and there will also be a Cover of the
Year at the end of 2017. Authors cannot enter for this, though – Cathy selects
a shortlist and an eventual Cover of the Month from the books we have reviewed.
So maybe your novel was reviewed but didn’t quite
make it as an elite Discovered Diamond … but it still might be chosen as
Cover of the Month!
do you see Discovering Diamonds in a year’s time?
I must be honest, once we get established I
would like someone else to take over the every-day running and organising, although
I’d still like to keep an eye on things (and maybe have more time to do some
actual reviewing!) Volunteers welcome to contact me!
I am hoping the site will keep a nice, steady,
tick-over of submissions and reviews and reaches a status of having your book
reviewed by #DDRevs is a sought-after achievement. I want this accolade not for
myself, but for the wonderful authors we review. I want an author to be able to
boast, with pride and pleasure, ‘Look, my book has the great honour of being
selected as a Discovered Diamond – reviewed by one of the best UK-based review
blogs on the Internet!”
Helen Hollick moved from London in 2013 and
now lives with her family in North Devon, in an eighteenth century farmhouse
surrounded by thirteen acres of fields and woodland. A variety of pets include
horses, three Exmoor ponies, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and geese.
First published over twenty years ago, her
main passion is her pirate character, Captain Jesamiah Acorne of the nautical
adventure series, The Sea Witch Voyages.
Helen became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) – the story of
Saxon Queen, Emma of Normandy. Her novel Harold
the King (titled I Am The Chosen King
in the US) is a re-telling of the events that led to the 1066 Battle of
Hastings. While her Pendragon’s Banner
Trilogy, set in the fifth century, is widely acclaimed as a different
telling of the Arthurian Myth.
She has written two non-fiction books, Pirates; Truth and Tale and as a
supporter of indie writers, co-wrote Discovering
the Diamond with her editor, Jo Field,a short advice guide for new and novice writers who are interested in
Helen is published in various languages
including Turkish, Italian and German.
Back in December I had great fun on Helen Hollick’s Blog joining
in on a special event that had Helen interviewing best supporting characters
from a number of top selling books. Today, I am going to share that interview
…. And The Best Supporting Character Is…
We all know the protagonist is the hero (or anti-hero!) of a
novel. He or she usually has a companion main character – often the ‘love
interest’ or maybe the stalwart side-kick, but what about that next rank down –
the supporting role guy or gal? You know, the one who doesn’t get Best Actor,
but Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars.
I thought it time that some of these supporting cast characters
had a chance to step from the shadows of novels and have a turn in the
limelight – join me here every day from [date] December to [date] December to
meet the next Supporting Character…
So, a rousing round of applause please for…. Zilda Gilespie
Helen: Hello, I believe you appear in Pauline Barclay’s novel
Satchfield Hall? Would you like to introduce yourself?
Thank you, but you might be talking about a novel, but it is my
life you are asking me to discuss here. I am not complaining, just putting
things straight for you. Right, my name is Zilda Gillespie. I am married to
Robert and we have one son, David. For many years we have been close friends of
the Bryant-Smythe’s at Satchfield Hall, indeed my husband has joined forces
with Henry on several business ventures and it is through these associations it
was rumoured David had been involved with Celia Bryant –Smythe. Believe you me
my son knows better than to sniff around Bryant-Smythe’s daughter.
Helen: what role do you play in the novel?
Goodness, this is not a play, it is real life. However, I will
humour you because I can see you mean well so I will play along. My role in
this heart rending story is an important one. I support my husband and run our
household. David, now grown up, is like his father, confident and independent
and more than able to take care of himself whilst seeking the life he desires. At
least that was what I believed, but events took an unthinkable turn and we
found ourselves plunged into a nightmare almost breaking us emotionally.
Helen: No spoilers. But are you a ‘goody’ or a ‘baddie’?
Let me say that I have my say to protect my family which at times
has caused unsettled feelings. At the end of the day, I want what is best for
those I love. How I am viewed by others I really don’t know and care less.
Helen: So you support the lead character? Who is he or she and
tell us a little bit about him or her?
A difficult question because whilst Celia Bryant-Smythe is the
leading character in this sweeping saga, my son should also take centre stage
at times too. Celia is a young wealthy lady who is adored by her mother,
however, her father’s views changed dramatically, with devastating consequences,
once he learnt what she has been up to behind his back. It is 1943 war or no
war there is no excuse for moral standards to slip whatever the circumstance. My son, David found himself being caught up
in all the nasty business. War, wealth and power can turn unpleasant people,
like Henry Bryant-Smythe into evil beings and you cannot always escape the fall
out as we were all to learn to our cost.
Helen: Now be honest – what do you really think of this lead character!
A liar and trollop, if I am blunt, but what really happened found me having to reconsider my judgement on every
level. I’m not always right, but I am never wrong, except this time I could not
have been further off kilter.
Helen: Do you like being the ‘supporting role’ or do you wish you
could have a lead part in a book of your own?
Supporting or leading role, call it what you will, but had I had a
leading role as you put it, I would have dealt with Henry Bryant-Smythe long
before he went out to destroy everyone else.
Helen: What is one of your least favourite scenes?
During the years there are moments and events that cause my heart
to miss a beat, but the one that will stay with me forever is the moment I
learnt the truth; it was heart breaking.
Helen: and your most favourite?
Pains me as it does to admit it, but knowing I was wrong.
Helen: Thank you – that was really interesting
Thank you to my surprise it was fun and at the same time
therapeutic being able to reflect on that time.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Zilda as much as Helen did.
Until the next time, I hope the sun is shinning in your heart and on your face.