Author Spotlight – Merlin Fraser

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

Hi my name is Merlin Fraser, Scottish born but brought up in the Cotswold Hills of Gloucestershire before leaving to join the Royal Navy in 1963.
After the Navy, I joined the new UK oil industry that was starting to blossom in the North Sea and at last I found his true niche in life. Then as now, I enjoyed solving puzzles and challenges and found the oil business supplied both in abundance. Never a great lover of routine, I turned this skill of solving problems into a vocation that was to last for the next 30 years.

Writing is my third career and one where instead of solving puzzles I get to create them for my story characters and hopefully my readers.

When did you start writing?

Probably more years than I care to admit to but in truth I have always been a bit of a scribbler, I tried my hand at creating a Ships Newspaper but with only a manual typewriter and a hand cranked Gestetner printing machine to hand, that and being the sole member of staff to boot it was doomed.
Serious writing only started after 9/11 and the collapse of my oil industry career, not that I knew it was over at the time, but sitting watching children’s TV in the afternoons is a great motivator to get off your butt and try something new.

What motivates you to write?

Waking up in the middle of the night with a story idea that won’t quit, but also the notion that if I don’t act upon the idea immediately the thought will evaporate like the other dreams of the night. Of course, I am also a great people watcher and sometimes the things I see and hear create new characters that get stored away until needed. In addition, I am a undisciplined ‘Google’ wanderer, I may start doing some serious research but after a few key strokes, I am usually off track and visiting new places. However, it has to be said that such random wandering led me to the Pagan and paranormal worlds that fascinate me.

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

Tough question, I have had most success with my Inner Space Police Detective Nick Burton Murder Mystery stories, but this was not my first attempt at genre selection. Earlier I said I had spent, or wasted time watching Children’s TV in the afternoons, this led to the thought ‘what utter tosh this is’ and the thought that I could do better. Yeah right! Writing for the screen is not like writing a story, for a start you need to know what you are doing and I didn’t. However, by this time the story was in my head, so I started to write it down instead. Genre wise it crossed too many boundaries for an agent to promote to potential publishers, it was a sort of romantic, magical, fantasy, a bit like Harriet Potter meets the Walton’s if you can work that out. Anyway, it lays gathering dust on a memory stick somewhere. In addition, of course, there is also my sortie into stories for children with my creation of ‘Dust Bunny’ characters who take a young human girl into their world, something else that totally failed to capture anyone’s imagination. Finally, I have ventured into the ‘Non Fiction’ world of local history, limited interest but important to me.

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

All writers have dreams, at least when we start out; we are all going to be the next Mark Twain or Earnest Hemingway, and perhaps in the days before Amazon and the internet who knows ? Trouble these days is that anyone with a keyboard and a link to the internet can flood the marketplace. There is now just so much available online that it is almost impossible for anybody unknown to shine through, no matter how brilliant his or her work might be. Not sure, I had any dreams other than perhaps the usual ones of ‘Fame and Fortune’, although I would prefer fortune to fame, retirement is an expensive business, but a little bit of fame might not hurt.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I think all writers hit that wall at some time in their projects, I know I do. Sometimes, especially in fiction where you are trying to confound or misdirect the reader you can be too clever and write yourself into a corner. Life is another constant distraction and can play havoc with creative juices. When it happens to me I have found that the simple answer is to walk away, trying to force things just makes it worse. Do or start something else, I created the Dust Bunnies during a dark moment of total plot block in the second Nick Burton story, I didn’t go back to that story for four months. I then reread everything from my plot line, character creation notes, and the first six chapters then slept on it. At four thirty the following morning I switched the computer on, cut out two whole chapters and started from there. In the night, my brain had come up with an ending that I eventually reached eighteen chapters later. I guess what I’m saying is never give in to writer’s block, there is usually a logical reason it happens.

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Another tough question, but an important one nonetheless. Practice your art, write for fun, start with Blogs and see if you can gain a following, which happens if you are amusing or entertaining your audience. Don’t expect miracles, remember we are all minnows in a vast ocean and if you cannot take disappointment and rejection in your stride find another hobby.

Please, tell us about your work.

When I started writing and trying to break into that world the publishing industry was in turmoil. No one took new writers seriously; especially the mainline Book Publishers, they and literary agents were all looking for sure things. Things like ‘Celebrity Kiss and Tell Cookery Books’. Of course, at the same time Amazon was establishing themselves as the new road to market and the world of the 99¢ ‘Self-Publishing’ exploded onto the online market.
I could not have picked a worse time to start out. I tried the conventional way to market before I too turned to Self-Publishing. I probably made every mistake possible, even falling foul of the Sharks in the ‘Vanity Press’ scam. (Be careful they are still around, no one who asks for money to publish your book is your friend). Yet in spite of all the expensive errors, I finally got myself into print with my Inner Space Murder Mystery series. However once there you cannot rest on your laurels you have to push, push, and push all the time. The minute you stop, you slip down and disappear. Of course, in the wonderful digital world, there are always ways of reinventing yourself and every now and then, you come across someone genuine to help you.

In my case it was a couple of guys who took an interest in my Inner Space stories and suggested that they could turn them into Audio Books. I just about bit their hands off. It has been hard work bringing that to fruition, they had one or two ideas on how to improve the story, something no writer ever wants to hear, but they were right and between us, we revamped and revised without destroying my original story or plotline. The first book is complete and to compliment the Audio version I have renamed and released a new print version with a new cover.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Merlin:

www.linkedin.com/in/merlin-fraser-92a0b7b/

www.facebook.com/Merlin-Fraser-1389201244731921/

merlinfraser123@aol.com


Links to the new “Inner Space” books:

www.amazon.com/Inner-Space-Merlin-Fraser/dp/1999719522

Audio

www.amazon.com/Inner-Space/dp/B07FDPG3KD

 

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Blog Post Resume

After some more than three years of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest,’ I got curious. I have, of course, shared the most remarkable highlights with all of you. For example my three year blogging anniversary, my 1,000th blog post or my 1,000th follower.

What had me curious this time was, which of my blog posts were the most successful.
It was a surprising list, I admit.

1. (unknown or deleted) This was a poem I once wrote for my ex-boyfriend. Since he didn’t deserve it, I decided to delete it from my blog.
2. How to describe the perfect kissing scene
3. Analogies and Metaphors
4. Romance, Seduction, Taste – A Sexy Male Protagonist
5. 1st Halloween-Poem Contest
6. Fairy Tales reloaded – PG16
7. BOAW – Blog Fest 2016: Beauty changes during the time
8. How to promote on “Writer’s Treasure Chest.”
9. How to find a title for your book
10. Winter Wonderland
11. Author Spotlight – Renee Schuls-Jacobson
12. Featured Author – Interview – The return of Darlene Foster
13. How to start your own Author Newsletter
14. Author Marketing Support 2017 – here on Writer’s Treasure Chest
15. BOAW – Blog Fest – Girl Boner Entry – PG-18

I’m very proud that the list of these 15 most successful blog posts on my blog is a healthy mix of different posts I wrote through the time.

It contains a couple of poems, a few posts about writing and book marketing, Author Spotlights and the posts I wrote for August McLaughlin’s ‘Beauty of a Woman’s Blogfest.’

To me, this tells me, that every post on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ was worth the time and efforts, the thoughts, the worries and the smiles invested.

Thank you all for being part of my blogging adventure.

 

Picture courtesy of: http://www.erasmusplus.it/

Author Spotlight Gilda Evans

Welcome Gilda Evans!

1. When did you start writing?

I’ve written my whole life – it’s always been a very natural form of expression for me. I remember winning my first writing contest for poetry when I was nine years old.

2. What motivates you to write?

It can be any number of things. Usually the more passionate I feel about a particular subject, whether fiction or non-fiction, the more easily the writing flows. In the case of my upcoming book, S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens, I was motivated by the need for and dearth of this type material I perceived for my target age group of 13-17 year olds. I wanted to create a comprehensive and vetted resource for teens that addresses many of the salient issues they face every day in a way that would keep my audience engaged and inspired.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I write both fiction and non-fiction. My interest in children’s relationships, particularly those between teens and their peers and parents, began years ago when I associate produced a television documentary titled, What Are We Doing to Our Children? S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens was created to facilitate and improve communication among teens, and between teens and their parents and educators. I believe that the no-nonsense style the book is written in appeals to teens because it was developed with teens’ involvement, instead of authoritatively isolating and alienating them.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Whether it helps someone gain a new perspective and insight about themselves or life in general, or simply gives them a needed, enjoyable break from their daily routine, my goal is that my writing be a source of inspiration and entertainment.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Of course! Any writer who says that it never happens isn’t being honest. The most effective method I’ve found to get beyond it when it occurs is to have a change of scenery. Usually getting out into nature to clear my head is the best.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

It sounds cliché, but just keep writing! Focus on what you know or things that inspire you and create a fire inside that just won’t go out unless you get it down on paper or into a computer file!

7. Please, tell us about your work.

S’LIFE, Slices of Life for Teens is a concise, accessible and humorous book covering just about every major topic of concern in a teen’s life. It gently, yet boldly guides the reader through the various issues and scenarios in an educational and inspirational manner. It is written in a format that speaks with both the adult and teen voices to the teen and parent reader alike. This book’s appeal is universal and it teaches its audience to approach their challenges in a realistic, positive and constructive way. It is also intended to facilitate and improve communication among teens, and between teens and their parents and educators. It is unique in its format and approach, as it incorporates feedback from clinical psychologists, academicians from the field of education and the target teen audience itself. When finished, the reader will feel energized, enthusiastic and far more insightful about growing up on one hand, raising a teen on the other and life in general on both sides. Not only will they want to read and refer to this book time and again, but they will also look forward to the other books that follow in the series.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


Connect with Gilda:

www.gildaevans.com
www.facebook.com/gildaevansauthor
www.twitter.com/gildaevans
www.linkedin.com/in/gildaevans

1000 Posts On WordPress


Last month WordPress told me that I had published my 1,000th blog post on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’ 

Another achievement in my blogging life has been accomplished.

I don’t deny I’m quite proud of this one. 1,000 blog posts over roughly three years are something. But then, I have to say:

Part of these blog posts aren’t mine – they are YOURS!

I built ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ as a writer’s blog, and that’s how it grew. With your help, it became what it is now, and I hope, of course, it will further grow. But without your help, this wouldn’t have been working out.

The Author Spotlights, the re-blogs, the guest posts, the blog tours, the promotions, that wasn’t my work, it was yours!

Thanks so much for your work, for permitting me to re-blog, to pingback, to promote, to interview you! Thanks for making my blog a wonderful experience. Thank you for your help!

3-Year-Anniversary Of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’

March 5, 2018 I found a new achievement on WordPress:

 

 

I’m very excited to be a blogger of 3 years this month.

Writer’s Treasure Chest has grown significantly in the past year.

970 posts

over 5,500 comments

1,015 followers

and

almost 80 guests

I’m so lucky to be part of the blogging world with all your help. Without guests, friends, followers, supporters and people encouraging me again and again this blogging adventure would not have been progressing at this pace and wouldn’t have been as successful as it is.

To all of you:

Writer’s Treasure Chest’s New Look

It’s been year’s end. The stress of Christmas was over, and for a few days I got time to breathe and relax – or so I thought. Until I was informed that my wonderful blog theme has been retired and was recommended to pick a new blog theme and update ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’

Since I prefer my ‘theme’ not only on my blog but also on my different social media accounts as well as on my Website I worked like crazy on updating nearly every single one of my accounts.

I was a bit sad to see my ‘pink balloons’ gone.

That meant I had to think of something else. A few days ago I decided to go into the new year with this beautiful fantasy book picture. It took me hours to find what I was looking for, and since I’m a woman, another few hours to pick one of the prepared pictures. I love this one because it expresses so much the degree of fantasy my stories take.

Maybe one day I might find something else for me, but right now, ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ has a new look.

I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

Author Spotlight? BlogTour? GuestPost? New Book? Use Writer’s Treasure Chest!


I would like to remind fellow authors and followers to please use ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’ as a promotional platform.

To new readers, followers and friends of ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’:

• Do you plan to organize a Blog Tour?
• Would you like to introduce your new book?
• Do you feel like introducing yourself to my nearly 1,000 followers?
• Do you have an idea for a blog post and no blog yet?

Then use ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest.’ On the right side, below the ‘WordPress’ follow-symbol, there is the promotion contact form, looking like this:

 

Check it out and contact me, I’ll be delighted to work with you on your plans, your guest post, your blog tour or send you the sheet with the interview questions!

Let’s get a little more writer’s color into this blog!

I look forward to hearing from you soon!