Book Title & Cover Reveal

Today, I can reveal that the second part in the Shane Henderson Diary Series will be called – Caught Playing Offside

The story, written as fictional footballer Shane Henderson’s diary, will continue from where Offside! left off and will tell of his life over the year where he returns to his beloved Milton Keynes Rangers.

Here’s the cover…

CPO Cover 1

JTD

The Shane Henderson Diary Series ~ The Soundtrack

Ever since I began work on the Shane Henderson Diary Series in 2011 (yes, it was that long ago), several songs have inspired the story for different reasons. So much so that they’ve sort of become the soundtrack to the series.

I’m not going to give a list of reasons as to why each song features, you’ll just need to buy the first book – Offside!: Not Everyone Plays By The Rules and the upcoming second book in the series and see where the songs fit in the story.

 

Offside! Cover 2

 

David Bowie ~ Absolute Beginners

Journey ~ Don’t Stop Believing

Bruno Mars – Grenade

Bryan Adams ~ Run To You

Dario G ~ Carnaval de Paris

Christina Perri ~ Jar of Hearts

Jason Aldean ft. Kelly Clarkson – Don’t You Wanna Stay

The Script ~ Hall of Fame ft. will i am

DJ Sammy ~ Heaven

© Jamie Tucker Dougan 2014

Tucker Meets… Alice Walsh

With it being Independence Day today in the USA, it seems appropriate that my guest is an American and someone new to my blog… author Alice Walsh.

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Born and raised in the United States, Alice worked as a freelance writer and journalist for a number of local and national media outlets in her early 20’s.

In the autumn of 2013, she moved to Edinburgh where she began work on her debut novel A Poker Game of Love while pursuing a degree in Journalism at Edinburgh University.

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In her spare time, she continued writing for online publications.

A Poker Game of Love, released in February 2014, has been compared to the witty and cynical “Bitter is the New Black” with its description of “real life out as opposed to the fluffy stuff we’re used to” and the “disturbing, observations about the relationship between the sexes” Reactions have been mixed with some readers finding it particularly difficult to relate to such unlikeable characters, but one thing everyone agree on – their struggles, disappointments and frustration are palpable throughout the book with Walsh’s “fascinating plunge into the depths of her very shallow and well-drawn characters is fascinating,”

Alice currently divides her time between writing and social networking. She is still very much dedicated to getting to know Edinburgh’s culture scene.

 

Thanks for joining me today Alice. Let’s get started…

Q ~ First thing you wash in the shower/bath?

The stress from the day.

Q ~ Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?

I just eat it; who has the time these days…

Q ~ Do you like your hair?

Yes, when it doesn’t get in my way.

Q ~ Have you ever met a celebrity?

I suppose I could have. Then again I doubt a more absent-minded person than me ever lived, so I wouldn’t have recognized Eva Green if we bumped into a taxidermy shop in Paris.

Q ~ Can you use chop sticks?

Depends on my mood, but usually I’m pretty crafty.

Q ~ Ever walked into a wall?

On more than one occasion.

Q ~ Have you ever slapped someone?

Only with a sheep on Facebook. Or was that ‘thrown at someone’. I’m confused.

Q ~ What is your favourite animal?

A raven.

Q ~ Can you put a Fruit Pastel in your mouth without chewing it?

I really don’t like those. I have a thing for the fruit-flavoured Mentos though.

Q ~ Do you sleep with the TV on?

No, I need my silence.

Q ~ Could you ever forgive a cheater?

I used to think I couldn’t. Funny thing life is.

Q ~ What was the last CD you bought?

RHCP’s ‘Californication’.

Q ~ Do you have any tattoos?

Q ~ What was your favourite toy from childhood that you’d gladly still play with now?

A furby.

Q ~ How many countries have you visited and can you name them all?

Russia, USA and the UK

 

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Now for something a little different. Come in outside and we’ll take a drive in my DeLorean, go back in time and see how things were when you were 21and 30.

At 21

Your home was… hostile

Your job was… boring

Your partner was… difficult

Your dream was… to get away

 

At 30

Your home was… to be continued

Your job was… to be continued

Your partner was… to be continued

Your dream was… to be continued

 

Thanks for that Alice; it’s been a pleasure having you on my blog.

You can get a copy of A Poker Game of Love on Amazon

And you can catch Alice at…

Facebook

Twitter

… and her blog!

 

Fakebook!

A few weeks ago, I launched a competition on my Facebook page. I was rather skeptical about doing so after running a similar competition of my wife’s crafting making page but I went ahead anyway.

The competition is for the 500th page “like” to win a £20.00 Amazon Gift Voucher. Similar to the competition ran on my wife’s page. However, that competition was pulled after less than 24 hours when the page fell victim to spam and fake followers who troll pages hoping to win competitions. I’ll not go into the remarks and abuse received from people who took offence at the competition being pulled. Needless to say though, none of them liked the page.

One of the hardest parts of being an independent author is selling yourself, trying to get yourself noticed. Most of my self-promotion is done through Twitter and my Facebook page. So I decided to go ahead with a competition on my own page, well aware of what might happen. It didn’t. I gained three new page likes.

However…

In a period of less than 15 hours, my page likes shot up. I gained almost 300 new likes in that short space of time.

Now, most people would be saying “woohoo” and thinking that their page had suddenly become popular. Not me. I’m skeptical about most things, especially when it comes to the internet. Things like that don’t just happen themselves, there is usually a human behind it.

So I decided to do a bit of research… and discovered that a sudden influx of likes on a Facebook page is indeed usually because of competition trolls looking for a win. Or people setting up fake accounts to do likewise. Or to spam!

fakebook

The official line from Facebook is…

“Authentic identity is important to the Facebook experience, and our goal is that every account on Facebook should represent a real person. Our efforts to allow only authentic users on the site can result in a decrease in fan count of Pages with which those accounts had been associated”

And the measures they have in place for controlling this are already active on my page, the like count has been slowly decreasing throughout today.

I would still like to reach 500 page likes, not out of vanity or to beat anyone but to increase my visibility. To let people know I’m there and I have a product for sale. That product being the books I write.

JTD

Fiction From Reality with Michelle Betham

This week ahead, Michelle Betham’s Striker (Book 1 in a trilogy) is re-published on Harper Impulse. Having been friends with Michelle for a while now and having been a big fan of this trilogy (still anticipating the final part), I’ve always been curious how she came up with the idea for her football themed romance, the characters and the locations.

Well now, I know.

I’ll let Michelle tell the rest of you…

 

Fiction From Reality

Striker Cover

The main character in ‘Striker’ is bad boy footballer Ryan Fisher – how did I finally decide on the perfect name for this fictional soccer star? Well, I suppose the name Ryan was on my mind because, for some reason, I’d been thinking about Ryan Giggs at the time of putting these characters together. I don’t think there was any particular reason for that, I can only imagine I was just subconsciously going through footballers’ names in my head, and I like the name Ryan. Where did Fisher come from? No idea. It just seemed to go well with Ryan, so it stuck, simple as that!

 

The main female character in the book is called Amber Sullivan, and she’s a sexy sports reporter with attitude. Why Amber? I’ve just always liked that name. And I didn’t want her to have an everyday kind of name. I wanted her to have something that stood out, just a little bit. And as I had a clear picture in my head of how I wanted this character to look – she’s tall, beautiful, highly ambitious, and just a little bit fiery at times, so the name Amber really suited her.

Jim Caveizel

American-born football manager Jim Allen is another main character who plays a big part in the ‘Striker’ books. And there is actually a reason why I chose the name Jim for this character. At the time of me planning this first book in the ‘Striker’ trilogy I was watching a programme called ‘Person of Interest’ starring the fabulous Jim Caviezel.  His character in the show, John Reese, was such an inspiration for the character of Jim Allen, and I think that’s the reason the name Jim stuck for my football manager.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

As for the locations of these books, they’re all real, ranging from Newcastle in north east England to the Spanish Canarian island of Tenerife, London to the bright lights of Las Vegas. But the fictitious football teams mentioned in the books are all just that – fictitious. Newcastle Red Star is the team Ryan plays for and the team Jim manages, and that’s the main club that’s mentioned throughout all three books. And I decided on that name because I wanted the city of Newcastle to be featured somewhere, making it clear that Ryan is coming back to his native north east to play for a local club. But I also wanted the colour red to be involved somewhere as a nod to the help I received from Sunderland AFC during my research for ‘Striker’. They play in red and white, my husband is a huge Sunderland supporter… I had to have red in there somewhere! But I also had to spend a lot of time Googling these fictitious football club names, just to make sure that they didn’t exist. You’d be surprised at how many of my ideas actually were real football teams!

 

The characters in the ‘Striker’ books are, however, all figments of my imagination. I have been asked if Ryan Fisher is based on any real-life footballers, but he isn’t. In all honesty there isn’t anyone out there who could even come close to Ryan, but, I did get a lot of help in creating his personality, his problems, his way of life from reading a book called ‘I Am The Secret Footballer’. After reading that – it was written by a Premiership footballer who lifts the lid on what it’s really like to be a top flight player – I knew there was nothing I could make Ryan do, nothing I could make him be that would be too far-fetched. So if you ever read the ‘Striker’ trilogy, and you think, even for one moment, that something was, maybe, a little too unbelievable… it isn’t. Believe me…

 

Striker Book Blurb

This summer, it’s time to play dirty…

Amber Sullivan is an ambitious, beautiful and feisty Sports reporter for a local TV news programme. With an ex-professional soccer player for a father, she’s grown up in and around the world of premiership football, and boy does she know better than to get mixed up with the men who play the game. As rich and charming as they are, Amber has a strict no player rule.

One of the biggest names in football, Ryan Fisher is young, hot, and talented. He has it all – looks, fame, money; not to mention women falling at his over-insured feet and a lifestyle he’s in no hurry to give up.

At the centre of a multi-million-pound transfer deal back to his home club, Ryan’s a big scoop for a local sports journalist and Amber can’t afford to miss this career-making opportunity – even if that means having to interview the cocky sports star.

But once the tape starts rolling it’s clear Ryan’s got more than just an exclusive on his mind… and he’s used to getting exactly what he wants.

Delving into the lives of those who live and work within the so-called Beautiful Game, ‘Striker’ is a story of sex, secrets and the true cost of fame.

Footballer’s Wives meets Jackie Collins in this sizzling scorcher of a summer read!

 

Buy Links: (Available to pre-order – Release date June 5th)

 

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Striker-HarperImpulse-Contemporary-Romance-Michelle-ebook/dp/B00JTMZ4RY/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1KYYF30AX5W9ATTS9C1E

 

Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/Striker-HarperImpulse-Contemporary-Romance-Michelle-ebook/dp/B00JTMZ4RY/ref=pd_sim_kinc_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1KYYF30AX5W9ATTS9C1E

 

You can also follow Michelle on Twitter @michellebetham

Like her on Facebook

And follow her blog – http://michellebethamwriter.blogspot.co.uk

 

Thanks again for being a guest on my blog. I can’t wait for the final part of the Striker trilogy and to see how it all concludes.

 

 

Relaunch

Today is relaunch day for the rewritten Offside!

What was the first part in a novella series about a fictional footballer has now become the first in a series of novels about the same fictional footballer.

The book now has a nice new cover, new subtitle and a new series title. It’s written in a sort of diary style but some of it is written as it happens.

My decision to rewrite the story was mainly because the original version jumped about from past to present and places in between and one reader whose opinion matters the most didn’t like that concept.  I also felt when writing the 3rd part of the Offside! saga, that I needed to tell of the relationship between the main character and a character who was only briefly mentioned in the 1st part. I needed to bring the whole story arch into chronological order because I was actually getting lost with what was happening as I wrote.

Maybe the original concept would have worked if I didn’t have to fit my writing in around having a full time job and being a dad to two lively little boys. The distractions of life often distract my train of thought when writing and I forget where I am in a plot. So it was back to keeping it simple and writing the story in the order that things happened in Shane’s (main character) life. Not as flashbacks and reminiscing  about things from his past.

I’m far happier with Offside! now, the released 1st part and the other parts that I’ll be working on once I’ve had a break from writing. For the time being, I’ll be concentrating on promoting the relaunched Offside!

You can get Offside!: Not Everyone Plays By The Rules for you Kindle or Kindle reader from Amazon.

 

JTD

Fiction from Reality with Amanda Egan

Returning to my blog today is the lovely Amanda Egan, fellow author and Twitter buddy. She’s here to tell us what inspired the characters in her book ‘Stilettos & Stubble’

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Over to you Amanda…

I had such fun coming up with the names for my novel ‘Stilettos & Stubble’ as it’s set in a drag club and I could let my imagination run away with me.

Here’s the blurb.

All her life Persephone’s been branded a ‘Big Girl’.

Criticised by her outwardly perfect mother, dearly loved by her father, she’s the ‘Queen of Low Self-Esteem’.

Finding herself suddenly immersed in a world of glitz and glamour, where nothing is quite as it seems, will she finally realise …… ‘It’s what’s inside that counts’?

My lead character is very ‘Miranda-esque’ – an exceptionally tall and large-boned tomboy – and I needed to call her something that could also be shortened to a male name, as that’s what she feels most comfortable with.  She hates the name Persephone (pronounced ‘Purse-eff-ony’ and prefers to call herself Percy – much to the disgust of her overtly feminine and fussy mother, who is the only one who insists on using her full name.

Percy’s best friend is tiny, perfect, lucky in love and happily married with two kids.  Mia seemed a petite and dainty name and suits her very well.

My love interest is tall and solid – he needed to be, to be so right for Percy!  Luke has always struck me as a good, dependable no-nonsense name.

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Now for the drag queens!  All fairly self explanatory!  Not an easy task though, as most of the names that I came up with and then Googled had already been used and I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of any hissy-fits for pinching them.  These are all my own work!

Annie Vestite – owner of ‘The Gossamer Glove’ drag club.

Tittie Late – Annie’s partner and fellow drag artiste.

The Drag Acts

Ma Might - you’ll either lover her or you’ll hate her

Lubov - or ‘Lube on’, as the audience like to heckle

Lady Ga-Garden - she’s known for keeping her bush trim

Vi Geena - not too much imagination needed for this one

Betty La Muff - this muff’s not all it’s cracked up to be!

Peculiar Tart - a cheeky spoonerism

Fanny Fiddle - get your mind out of the gutter; she plays the violin. 

If this has given you an insight into the mad world Percy finds herself in (and where she eventually finds love) why not check out ‘Stilettos & Stubble’ on Amazon UK or .com – and remember, ‘It’s what’s inside that counts.’

You can also find Amanda at here…

Twitter – @Mummy_Misfit

Amazon author page

Facebook

Blog

Thanks again for being a guest on my blog. You’re becoming quite a regular here, not that  mind.

If you’re an author and would like to tell us about what inspired the characters and places in your books, please get in touch. You can reach me on Twitter @JamieTDougan