Thursday 28 May 2020

Join author, Phil Lowe, as he talks about the inspiration behind his fabulous book — The Total Joy of Travelling on Public Transport #Humour #Transport @EM_Theatre

An Author’s Inspiration

By Phil Lowe


They do say that writers should write about what they know. For many years I travelled, on a daily basis, back and forth, hither and thither, on local public transport observing all aspects of human life unfolding, with its vivid dramas and silly humours. Inspiration, mainly comical, for The Total Joy of Travelling On Public Transport came dancing or silly walking toward me on most of my commutes and very often, did a nifty side step in-between. Eight years later and a lifetime's worth of commuting, a strong book idea started to form in my head and eventually in print.


The writing process went from rough notes scribbled on notepads and supermarket paper bags and integrated mini Dictaphone recordings to create fully explored stories. These inspirations often took a surreal turn in the finished tale. Creatively, I also found myself inspired to write in quite some detail about inanimate objects. For example, I explored the contents of an Argos catalogue and The Lady magazine, both found objects left on a vacated bus or tram seat. Conjecture about their history and connection with certain ages and types of people gave me opportunities as a writer of humour to be inventive – turning fact into fiction for fun.


Of course there are always plenty of annoying or odd 'characters' that use public transport that, creatively investigated, give rise to good story-telling. The vital key for me was to use their personalities but, in no way, exploit them by being racist or sexist. I find there is enough humour to mine in the day-after-day transactions of conversation and commuter frustrations to tell plenty of fascinating tales. Imagination is a great tool in bringing people to life on the page. In the book there are over a hundred such examples plus sprinklings of overheard comments.


The Total Joy of Travelling On Public Transport is mostly centred on Nottinghamshire with its terrific tram and bus systems. However to enjoy the stories one doesn't need to come from, or know Nottingham and its people. The tales are universal and in the book, I even discover what Londoners think of bus and  tube travel and relay what it felt like, pour moi, travelling on a Bordeaux tram system finding myself with an extremely desperate need to visit a toilet! Write about what you know indeed!


So, as the book blurb says:


'Ah, the total joy of travelling on public transport. Do you love travelling with the delightfully varied public and their dubious electronic gadgets and often odious habits? Do you mind when the person behind you has a full blown argument on their mobile phone with the speaker positioned at extra loud, just so you are sure to get both argumentative sides of the mutual yelling? Is it OK for someone to apply their nail polish on a hot bus, thereby nearly choking the other passengers to death with the toxic fumes? Would special mobile confessionals built into modes of public transport ease the congestion of verbal diarrhoea from total strangers? Do you balk at getting up close and personal with the great unwashed? Are you the kind of person that finds the joys of travelling on public transport highly amusing or, would you rather just throw yourself under a bus?


Grab your copy of

The Total Joy of Travelling on Public Transport

Amazon UKAmazon US


Many thousands of people in Great Britain travel to work and back on public transport. We commuters use the buses, trains and trams, on average, around five days of the week. We endure the pleasure of other passengers talking loudly on their mobiles. Season after season, we delight in strangers coughing their germ clustered spittle all over us, almost to the point where we wonder if it is actually raining inside the vehicle. Some other passengers sit crunching sweets like a starving deaf horse and some salivate wildly as they delve into endless bags of stinky squid and blue cheese flavoured crisps. And, quite often – well, let’s just say it - it gets much worse! I know. I have been there. I mislaid the tee shirt and bought an annual travel pass.'


Phil Lowe


Connect with Phil: WebsiteTwitter.







Computer Software Programs for authors #amwriting #amediting #writingcommunity

Computer Software Programs for authors

In this competitive market, your manuscript has to shine, regardless of how you hope to publish it. An agent isn't going to look twice at a manuscript full of school-boy errors, and if you are thinking about self-publishing, then your book needs to be at least as good as those produced by the big publishing houses. A Copy Editor (Line Editor) is a must, but there is also a great deal of software out there that states it can help you with the writing process, but also with the editing as well — a bold claim indeed.

So today, I thought we would look at some of the software that is out there for purchase. Please feel free to write in the comment below if you have had success with the software I am going to show you today.

*Please note. I do not endorse any of the companies or software below. The blurb under the logos are the companies own words, not mine!*

Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

Our software helps turn your good writing into great writing.
Improve readability and eliminate errors.

Grammarly makes sure everything you type  is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.

Communicate quickly and accurately with Ginger Page's one stop writing shop – writing tools that help you express yourself better. 

Meet your new critique partner.

The fresh set of eyes your manuscript needs.
Instant, unbiased feedback without the hassle
Save time and take control of the editing process.
Polish your manuscript and write better fiction.

Expresso is a little tool to edit texts and improve your writing style. It will teach you to express yourself through writing more efficiently and help make your texts more readable, precise, and engaging.


Scribophile is a respectful online writing workshop and writer’s community. Writers of all skill levels join to improve each other’s work with thoughtful critiques and by sharing their writing experience.

StyleWriter will make you a better writer – we guarantee it. A bold claim we know, but that’s what our users tell us. Thousands of people download StyleWriter every month and use it to edit advertising copy, business reports, contracts, manuals, newsletters or web pages. Even professional journalists and novelists use the program to polish their writing style.

If you're working on contracts, proposals, reports, technical documents, articles and books, PerfectIt saves time on copy-editing, so that authors can pay more attention to what matters most: the words and their meaning. 

Hemingway makes your writing bold and clear. It's like a spellchecker, but for style. It makes sure that your readers will focus on your message, not your pose.

So there we have it. A list of software that claims they can help you with your writing and editing. Which software, if any, do you use? Let me know below in the comments!

Check out Laura Maybrooke’s fabulous book — Immortal Defiance (Dulcea’s Rebellion #1) #HistoricalFantasy #MustRead @LMaybrooke

Immortal Defiance
(Dulcea’s Rebellion #1)
By Laura Maybrooke

Some things never die. Hope. Heroes. Defiance.

Things take a strange turn for Dulcea, the elven enchantress turned war heroine and Dragonmistress, when a countryman's betrayal lands her in enemy hands.

As she awaits her execution, a stranger with mysterious powers offers her another chance at life. Will she die here or risk what sinister fate he has in store for her?

Can Dulcea reclaim her rightful place and lead her army once more? Or does Krath, the man who travels the Realm of the Dead as one of its own, prove to be the obstacle that fells her rebellion?

… Or will this immortal vampire warrior turn out to be the best chance she has of defying the ancient evil arising in the west?


The Coffee Pot Book Club


Highly Recommended

Read the full review HERE!

Pick up your copy of
Immortal Defiance

Laura Maybrooke

"I live in my own little world. But it's ok, they know me here." (Who besides me has this fridge magnet; raise your hand!)

That's sometimes what it feels like. Who says stories aren't real? I live in the land of the Midnight Sun and Polar Nights, together with my husband and daughter, and a cast of fantasy characters running around in my head. It's busy here. Care to stay and chat a while?

Laura Maybrooke is an 80s' child, who works too much and writes too little, but who'll never say no to a thrilling romance, a high fantasy adventure, or a cookbook full of delicious treats she'd like to bake one day.

Connect with Laura: Website • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest.

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Check out Linnea Tanner’s fabulous book — Amulet’s Rapture (Curse of Clansmen and Kings #3) #HistoricalFantasy #AncientRome @linneatanner

Amulet’s Rapture
(Curse of Clansmen and Kings #3)
By Linnea Tanner

Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom. The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her throne.

Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman general Mark Antony.

But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.

The Coffee Pot Book Club


Highly Recommended

Read the full review HERE!

Pick up your copy of
Amulet’s Rapture

Linnea Tanner

Linnea Tanner weaves Celtic tales of love, magic, adventure, betrayal and intrigue into historical fiction set in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology which held women in higher esteem. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Depending on the time of day and season of the year, you will find her exploring and researching ancient and medieval history, mythology and archaeology to support her writing. As the author of the Apollo’s Raven series, she has extensively researched and traveled to sites described within each book.

A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

Connect with Linnea: Website  Blog  Twitter  Amazon Author Page  Facebook  Linked-in   Pinterest   Google  Goodreads