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A Date With . . . Tom Benson

Frank Parker's author site

My fourth candidate for “A Date With . . .” is Scottish writer Tom Benson. Tom writes across several genres and is also a founder member and administrator for the Independent Author’s Support and Discussion group (IASD) which brings writers together to help each other with everything from blurb writing to discussing the relative merits of different marketing strategies. I began by asking him about growing up in Glasgow in the 1960s, mentioning my mental image of the city as grey stone tenements and ship building.

“Your mental image is accurate and it’s how I remember the Eastend of the city where I spent my formative years. In 1960 our family moved west to a spacious apartment in a sprawling council estate. In the mid-60s from our secondary school we could see the hulk of the ‘Q4’ in Clydebank several miles away. When launched, the Q4 was named Queen Elizabeth…

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Exciting Times For Facebook Author Pages

Nicholas C. Rossis

This is a guest post by Marina Gioti. You may remember this author power couple from my recent feature of their booksMarina is revealing how she’s using the much-maligned Facebook Author Pages in a novel way that allows her to boost her sales without having to pay for advertising!

Exciting Times For Facebook Author Pages

Exciting times lie ahead for Authors when it comes to promoting their books on social media! Apparently, Facebook and Goodreads have identified the need for tools specifically targeted to authors. They seem to be engaging in a race to become the best platform for authors and help them reach and engage their audience. So far, Facebook seems to be the most user-friendly, but Goodreads is more targeted.

As we all know, user profiles have better penetration and reach than a page in facebook, but they also have certain limitations, such as…

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Raspberry Reads Rainbow Monsters

Raspberry Sassafras

Today, Raspberry Sassafras is reading Sylva Fae’s Rainbow Monsters and its sequel, Mindful Monsters. These fun, colorful books are aimed at children ages 3 to 7 and are suitable for bedtime stories, or as illustrated early readers. In addition to the rhyming story, each book has a puzzles and activities section at the back.


Rainbow Monsters

On a mixed up rainy, sunny day,
Rainbow Monsters love to play.

Jump on a cloud and join the rainbow monsters in their fun and games. Come and meet each of the monsters and learn the colors of the rainbow.

Available on Amazon

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Mindful Monsters

All the Rainbow Monsters are Mindful Monsters, too,
Respecting one another, like all good monsters do.

The Rainbow Monsters are back, teaching you how to be mindful. If you want to grow up as fit, happy, healthy and strong as a monster, join them in their colorful antics.

Available on…

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KDP Print Just Got A Whole Lot More Attractive

Nicholas C. Rossis

CreateSpace-Amazon logos | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksI’m sure most of you have heard the news by now, but if you haven’t, Amazon has announced some major changes to its KDP Print program. Only two days after I was telling people in this blog’s comments that I wouldn’t even consider moving to KDP Print from CreateSpace until Amazon addressed its two most glaring issues, the company announced it had. On top of that, it addressed my major problem with CreateSpace, thus making it a whole lot more likely that I will soon be moving over.

Problem #1: No Physical Proofs (Solved)

The first problem with KDP Print concerned its means of proofing your manuscript. Well, you can now order printed proofs from KDP. Proofs allow you to review a physical copy of your draft paperback prior to publication.

Note, however, that the process is a bit more cumbersome than the one CreateSpace uses. Specifically, here’s how you…

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The Turing Test in Ex Machina

Mystery Mondays: Val Tobin on the value of Beta Readers

I enjoyed writing the guest post on Kristina Stanley’s Mystery Mondays. Check it out.


This week on Mystery Mondays, I’m thrilled to host author Val Tobin.  Val has a great process for working with beta readers and editors.  Over to Val…

The Value of Beta Readers

by Val Tobin

I recently came across some writers who don’t use beta readers or who limit their beta readers to one trusted person. This puzzles me. I value my beta readers. Not only do I have a core group I can send my manuscript to, but I always recruit one or two new readers each time.

In his book On Writing, Stephen King mentions he writes for an ideal reader: his wife. She’s the first one to read his work when he’s ready to open the office door and share his creation with another human being. He values her feedback and wouldn’t consider not having her input on the raw material.

In my case, my ideal…

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My Earliest Memory #MFRWauthor

As my former therapist can attest, asking me what my earliest memory is would be a waste of effort. My childhood memories are surprisingly sparse.

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

I think I had a normal childhood — if your idea of a normal childhood includes starting school not knowing the language — but I can’t recollect much of it. My grandparents factored heavily in my life. We lived with them in Toronto, Ontario until I was five. Then we moved to a house in North York, Ontario.

Since my grandparents spoke little English (their native tongue was Hungarian), and both my parents spoke Hungarian, that’s the language I learned. I must have felt like a stranger in a strange land when I went off to kindergarten.

Perhaps that’s why my stories tend to explore memories and how they form our personalities. In particular, I enjoy exploring memory and perception. The idea that memories can be false fascinates me.

When I was in grade ten, the teacher did an interesting exercise with the class. The teacher sent three students out of the room, and while they were gone, she drew two lines on the board. She then told the rest of the class to lie about which line was the longest. It was an exercise in gaslighting.

Interestingly, I can’t recall if the three unwitting students stood their ground or if they caved and agreed with the rest of the class. No one in the rest of the class defied the teacher’s order and told the students what was happening to them. At the end, of course, they were told the truth, but it was the teacher who filled them in.

Even so, the exercise had an impact on me and fueled my interest in psychology.

For more posts from other writers on this subject, check out the MFRW 52-Week Challenge post for week 2.