Saturday, January 23, 2016

Guest Post: From Reader to Writer by Dane Cobain

From Reader to Writer: How My Love of Books Led Me to a Career as a Writer

by Dane Cobain

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember – my parents used to use them to keep me quiet in the back seat of the car on long journeys, and they worked a treat. A lot of people can’t read while travelling, but this early habit has led to me reading on the bus during my commute to work, which is where I usually get the most reading done.

When I was about fifteen, I sold the vast majority of my books on eBay, a decision I’ve since regretted – I’ve spent the last five years trying to rebuild that collection, and I’m back up to about 1,000 books, which I’ve been working on reviewing for SocialBookshelves.com, my book blog. I have about another 50 reviews to go before I’ve reviewed everything I’ve ever read, although not all of the reviews have been posted.

And it was SocialBookshelves.com that led, indirectly, to my publishing deal with Booktrope. As well as reviewing books, I also interview a lot of other authors, and many of these came through Allie Burke and Jesse James Freeman, two of the early members of the Booktrope crew. Jesse asked if I could share that they were open for submissions, I said I could go one better than that, and the rest is history.

For me, it’s important for writers to be readers because you can learn so much about the craft just by seeing what other people are doing and by learning from their mistakes, or by taking techniques that they’ve used and improving upon them. They say that there’s no such thing as an original idea anymore and that execution is the key – I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I do think that literature is a melting pot, and that it’s your job as a writer to take what’s already out there and to improve upon it.

I’ll always be a reader first and foremost; after all, as a writer, I write books that I’d want to read myself, and that’s how I make sure that I don’t just descend into self-indulgence. It’s a strategy that seems to work, at least so far, and I’m still keeping up my book blog because even after being published, it’s one of the greatest assets that I have from a marketing point of view. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to read and to write about the books that you love.

That’s why, when Clarisse was interested in hosting a guest post, I thought it would be fun to write about reading – two of my lifelong loves, coming together. It’s been a lot of fun – thanks for having me, and if you’re a keen reader yourself then be sure to check out No Rest for the Wicked. I’ll see you soon!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

GIVEAWAY! Dark Lands: Requiem by Lyn I. Kelly

Dante Alighieri, in his Divine Comedy, colored a view of Purgatory that has long reigned in the imagination. To some, Purgatory is a place where purification happens and redemption can be found. To others, it is a space for tortured souls living in limbo. All agree, though, that Dante is the definitive source for that world.

In his new book Dark Lands: Requiem, author Lyn I. Kelly offers a new twist on a tale of good versus evil in a setting seemingly nearby Dante’s Purgatory. A culmination of Kelly’s lifelong love of writing and quest to bring unique stories to the public, the story follows a brother and sister as they wake to find themselves in a land existing between life, death, and time, where the fate of the universe hangs in the balance.

“I started contemplating the idea of this other world of which we are completely ignorant, where the fate of our world is eternally in play between the most benevolent and most wretched souls to have ever lived,” Kelly said. “I began to flesh out the idea, and Dark Lands: Requiem was born.”
While Kelly has been creating unique stories his entire life for comics and other periodicals, Dark Lands: Requiem is his first novel. He feels strongly that the fantasy genre has enough witches, zombies, werewolves, and vampires to go around, but there is always room for something new. He set out to find a fresh take where everything previously known is suspended in constant turmoil.  

“Independent authors like myself have creativity to add to the marketplace.Dark Lands: Requiem is different in that it does not offer warring factions of vampires and werewolves or an authoritarian government determined to crush all resistance, nor does it take place during any kind of apocalypse,” Kelly said.
For more information, visit lynikelly.wordpress.com.
By Lyn I. Kelly
ISBN: 978-1-4834-3423-0

Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on AmazonBarnes & Noble and LULU


Lyn I. Kelly is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin. Writing since the age of eleven, he has been published in Diamond ComicsNewsweekand more. When he’s not writing or spending time with his wife and four children, he is also a marathoner. Kelly resides in Keller, Texas. Dark Lands: Requiem is his first novel.

And since you stick with us until the end, here is a giveaway for you guys!


a Rafflecopter giveaway