Is the Pen mightier than the Keyboard?

Dear Reader,

Do you write or do you type?

This question arose at a recent author talk. Of the two authors one wrote and the other typed. Personally, I do both.

The ability of a computer to instantly portray your words in a professional layout, crisp print upon the screen, certainly helps me feel as if I am at work. However there are downsides. As one author mentioned, the ability to instantly edit and delete your initial words means the original story can be lost before it is written. Not only that but I find, consciously or unconsciously, my mind keeps check of the word count. A good day of writing becomes about the number words written instead of the number of scenes created.
In essence, typing is fast, clean and allows you to listen to the rhythmic tapping of the keyboard.

On the other hand I find my most creative writing is done by hand. The flow of ink across a page creating worlds and characters filled with personality. Almost all of my poetry is written on paper, my desk filled with notepads and scraps of paper. Exercise books with novel plots and numerous chapters likewise struggle to fit on my bookcase.
When writing by hand there is no pressure to reach a certain word count or to write professionally. Everything is focused on exploring the story to its fullest. You get to be creative, write between the lines - or across them! You get to wake up in the middle of the night and write four pages without need for light to disturb your sleep (although if you're like me, writing blind leads to the occasional overlapping of sentences.)
Plus you get to draw little pictures around the edges of the page.
Trust me, it helps.

If only there was a way to submit long hand to publishers!

So which do you prefer? Do you find yourself drawn to one method over the other depending upon what you are writing? Let me know in the comments!

How to help fight cancer while writing

Dear Reader,

This is the first of my new 'author tools' posts. Today I'm going to give the number one best piece of advice I can to help boost your words per minute and creative flow. Keep reading to find out how it can also help researchers find a cure for cancer.

Lose the phone.

I'm not joking. Even having the device on your desk, or anywhere in eyesight, distracts your brain. That's valuable processing power you need to stay focused and pump out the next epic battle scene (or wipe the fog from your glasses after using yet another adjective in your latest steamy romance novel). 

Speaking of processing power, there's something amazing you can be doing with your phone while it charges in another room.
The Garvan Institute has developed a free app called DreamLab that harnesses your phone's processor when charging to help crunch data and speed up their search for cancer cure. So to save the world and write a best seller, all you have to do it;

1. Install DreamLab on your phone.
2. Plug your phone in to charge in another room.
3. Activate DreamLab.
4. Go write your critically acclaimed next manuscript while feeling good you are helping fast track a world without cancer.

This was not a sponsored post. I recently discovered the app and wanted to spread the world. It is such an easy thing to do and makes me feel like my phone is doing something good while charging. I hope you do the same. Best of luck with your writing!

Chris

Brief Update

Dear Reader,

I'll be starting guest posts this year and already have a fantastic author lined up for the first. Anybody interested in helping out other authors with a guest post on the writing process or how to market your book please feel free to get in touch.
Meanwhile the author toolkit will be blogged, starting tomorrow. It will be filled with little tips and tricks on how to write your best selling novel in 2018.

Wishing you all the best in your writing endeavours,

Chris 

Happy New Year!

Dear reader,

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and found your stocking full of your favourite things (books, wine, possibly kittens-I won't judge). With the new year here and ready for all we can throw at it I thought I'd give you a brief glimpse at what is upcoming on my calendar.

1. Announce Tango in a Teacup is now live in stores other than Amazon! This trusty link will take you to my Draft2Digital page which shows (with very nice buttons) the direct link for each store (Apple, Barnes, Kobo, etc etc). Due Date: NOW! It's already live!

2. Release my totally ultra cool modern Dystopian novel called Shards. Set in a city where drug runners make it snow with the drug ice (also known as crystal meth) there's no one you can trust. All Bastion ever wanted was a safe place to live with his family, but the day after his daughter is born the two of them are kidnapped and his house set on fire. Welcome to the world. Due Date: Late Feb, possibly March. Any publishers interested feel free to get in touch ;)

3. Release my next poetry book. Something a little different. Something a little strange. Something that shouldn't be read after dark.... Due Date: Late 2018

4. Put together an author's toolkit on my website for any one interested in this career. I know, I know, I think this particular goal was in my first post ever on my website all that time ago. It will get done!

Alright, that's all for now. I hope you are snuggled up in your reading nook somewhere, enjoying the spoils of Christmas undisturbed. If you want to get in touch or keep up with the latest things I'm trying don't forget to check out my Instagram account @chrisfosterwrites

Watt is going on?

Dear Readers,

What do writers do in their free time?

Okay, it's a trick question. Writers don't have free time. We are always writing. Which is why when I took a two day break from working on the latest novel I instead spent my time... writing. Yeah. To be fair it was a humorous backstory for a fantasy character who has never really fitted in. Oh, and he's blue. With horns. Used as a pinata as a child by the local bullies (and their parents) he sets off to become the world's greatest swindler. 

Interested? Good, because the story is free. While still a work in progress, feel free to follow along the writing process on my wattpad account HERE Want it all at once? The ebook edition will be getting released next year. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this story about the greatest swindler to ever live (no, not you Steve. Honestly.) Please comment and if you would like your name used for a character be sure to say so in the comments! Happy to include my supporters in my works.

C.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/126694443-a-story-about-fate

 

Reader's Choice Awards

Hello everyone!

Two announcements today! Am I over doing it? Writing - yes! Blogging - not as much :P

First of all my book 'Of A Dark Heart' has been accepted into the Readers Choice Awards by TCK Publishing. Please help get 'Of A Dark Heart' into the finals with your vote! All you have to do is go to the voting page and you will see a list of the books submitted for each category. You can vote on each page or you can click the right arrow next to the genre to skip across to the Fantasy section, where 'Of A Dark Heart' resides. It would mean the world to me to get your support! TCK Publishing is a great resource if you are looking to increase your author presence in the world no matter where you are on your writer's journey. 

Now, for those of you waiting for the next release there has been a slight change in publishing schedule. Working title Shards is still on the way however a surprise contender may be getting published first. Still early days, let's just leave it up to Fate shall we? Keep an eye out for the next post with more details!

 

Time for Tea

Dear Reader,

If you liked my previous post then you might like to know that Tango in a Teacup is now live and competing in the Amazon Storyteller Awards 2017!

What's that? You only read epubs? Fear not! While it is available only at Amazon, it does not have DRM. Therefore you can easily convert it into whatever file type your prefer :) Not sure how? Prefer the personal touch? If you can provide proof of purchase I'll email you a copy of the file direct. Hurry though, this offer is only available to the first 20 dear readers! (Why do I feel like the Shamwow guy....*shakes head*)

Forgive me ;)

 

 

Reader

Dear Reader,

I wrote a poem for you. It is in my new book Tango in a Teacup which is launching as we speak. However I felt you should have it free. Here it is, I hope you like it :)

Reader

I know not where she goes

Between ink and page

She travels she is not here

To forests and seas that don’t exist

I know not where she is

Planeswalker of the words

Present or gone matters little

To the flow of the river

This place between page and ink

Past her skin past her house

Past all that is

She goes and is gone and flies or swims or cries or lies or burns or plays games with kings

I know not but she has left

For a world between madness and dream

She travels like skin between sheets

Yet has not moved from in front of me.

 

Shall We Tango?

Dear Reader,

The next book is coming along, although progress has slowed as my keyboard wears thin from constant use! In the meantime my wall has been plastered with plot outlines, character sketches and the manuscript so far.

In coming days I'll be posting one or two poems from the new book. Keep your RSS in easy access, because once the new book is ready there will be a number of giveaways!

All the best,

Chris

 

Welcome to Goodreads!

Dear Reader,

This is just a quick update to let you know that my blog has now been synced with my author profile on Goodreads here! Woohoo! Now you can happily subscribe to and/or ignore my ramblings in your favourite book community :D 

Also my ebook prices have returned to normal...or have they? While the majority of my ebooks have returned to their regular price, it would seem my poetic collection Antediluvian Man has gone down in price! Marketing gremlins at work...

In upcoming posts I'll be looking at Goodreads Giveaways vs Amazon Giveaways for my book Of A Dark Heart. If you have experience with either of these platforms let me know and you could score yourself a free copy before the giveaway even starts!

See you next week,

Chris

Congratulations Shoalhaven Library!

Dear Reader,

Hopefully you were aware of the fantastic video posted online by the staff of Shoalhaven Library. If not the link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLaWsjv92E0

Well, it was so good that they have just won an award! A friend sent me the news last night and I thought I had to share it. To quote the South Coast Register (their local paper);

"The conference was also the scene for the presentation of the NSW Public Libraries Association's Marketing Awards, with Shoalhaven Libraries taking out first prize  in the Social Media section for their video 'Librarian Rhapsody'."

Well done everyone! 

Has your library done something you're proud of? Would you like to show off the local talent near you? Comment below! Now if you excuse me, I'm off to my local library. :) 

Of A Dark Heart Book Launch

Dear Reader,

This Sunday (20th Nov 2016) the paperback edition 'Of A Dark Heart' will be launched at Bookoccino @ 11am in Avalon. It's one of the many exciting events happening during the Avalon Market Festival, so be sure to come to town and check it out!

Also this Friday (18th Nov 2016) the anthology 'A Fearsome Engine' will be launched at the Sunkissed Bar & Grill in Manly @ 6:30pm. It is a wonderful chance to meet some of Australia's best authors in a beautiful part of the world! 

Come one, come all!

Aurealis Issue 94 Review for 'Of A Dark Heart'

SOMETHING AMAZING HAS HAPPENED! Aurealis, Australia's leading SciFi and Fantasy magazine, has reviewed my latest book 'Of A Dark Heart'! How cool is that?

Here's a quick excerpt;
"Original, strange, and quite brilliant, this is a unique and highly entertaining book. Chris Foster is certainly one to watch."

You can get the full magazine at https://aurealis.com.au/store/aurealis-94/

Books Discounted for a Limited Time!

Dear Reader,

Starting tomorrow my ebooks will be for sale! Be quick as each day that passes the discount will lessen until they are back to normal. Below is a quick timetable of the specials.

Of A Dark Heart - Dark fantasy - $0.99 12th of August, increasing price each day until the 15th

The Potion Master - Fantasy - $0.99 15th of August, increasing in price each day until the 22nd

Seasons of the Soul - Award winning poetry - Free! 20th to 24th of August.

So be sure to keep an eye on the Amazon Kindle Countdowns page to grab a bargain! 

Or you in the UK? try this Amazon Kindle Countdowns page instead! Happy reading!

Pokemon Go: Where to catch Pikachu

One author, one yellow mouse and a kingdom of books.

Dear Readers,

As a child of the 90s Pokemon was a big part of my childhood. As such, when Pokemon Go was released I was pretty excited. I felt like I had been preparing for this app since first opening the cardboard box containing Pokemon Yellow- including a wonderful, large volume, game manual that explained so much of the game as if it was the journal of a real trainer. Those were the days....

So this post is a little different to the usual blog. Today I'm going to tell you where I found fan favourite Pikachu!

Option One: Most of you will have heard how to have Pikachu as your starter. A quick recap, when starting the game run past the first three starters. Keep running when they reappear. After doing this three or four times Pikachu will also appear. This was how I relived my Pokemon Yellow days.

Option Two: This happened by accident. I was reading in my public library, researching for my next book (which is coming along nicely, Dystopian fans get in touch for a chance to be an advanced reader!). A buzzing in my pocket revealed a happy looking yellow mouse with a spark-le in its eye (You're fired - Ed). This happened again at a separate public library, which leads me to suspect Pikachu must love books!

However Pikachu isn't the only bookworm- locally I found Weedle, Caterpie (Are you trying for the Pun King Title? Again? -Ed)  and THE THREE STARTERS Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander!!!

Next time you're Pokemon hunting, why not stop off at your local library and read a book or two while waiting for the next Pikachu to appear. I hear The Potion Master has been repeatedly on loan locally, it must be good :P

Have you found Pikachu somewhere else? Let me know in the comments below!