Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Guest Post Tales of Virdura by Graham Downs

Title: Tales from Virdura
Author: Graham Downs
Series: Kingdom of Virdura (Book 2)
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 1 2016
Edition/Formats: eBook
Source: Author via RBTL Book Promotions
Explore Virdura, a world full of fantasy, magic, and drama.
Find out what happens when a dashing young farmer's son swoops a neighbouring daughter off her feet.
Meet Queen Tricia and the Royal Wizard Solon. Or Queen Celeste, her daughter, as she continues to struggle to come to terms with her new role as queen after the death of her mother.
Or read about Tobin the Bounty Hunter as he takes down Jarvis, a merciless criminal who brutally slit a blacksmith's throat.
All these stories and more await you in Tales From Virdura, a collection of flash fiction stories that take you deep into the world and the lives of the characters who inhabit it.
If you enjoyed reading A Petition to Magic, this might just be your next read.
You'll find out more about old characters and meet new ones. You'll read prequels and origin stories, and you'll read original stories taking place in new locales within the Kingdom.
This book can be enjoyed as a companion to, or separate from, A Petition to Magic Book 1 in the Kingdom of Virdura Series.

Balancing Act!!!! Managing Writing with Everyday Life.

It may or may not surprise you to know that most authors toil away at their writing for many years, while supporting themselves with day jobs.
Okay, maybe it doesn’t surprise you that much, when you think of self-published authors today, but did you know this is not a new thing? Many well-known authors throughout history had day jobs. Indeed, some of the best-selling authors worked full-time until the day they died; they simply never earned enough to sustain themselves with their writing, while they were alive.
Even those who did end up making it big had to start somewhere. Here’s a list of some of your favourite authors, and what they did to pay the bills before they became famous.
This of course means that writing is truly a labour of love, but it also begs the question: where do we find the time?
Most authors will tell you that in order to be successful, you have to write every day. But in order to be a great writer, you have to read widely, too. Plus, for indie authors especially (although increasingly for traditionally published ones as well) you have to market your work.
I’ve read advice from lots of authors juggling day jobs and family responsibilities, saying that the best time to write is early in the morning. They get out of bed earlier than they normally would and use that time for writing. Personally, I am not a morning person, so I have to find other times of the day which suit my personality better.
I’m a software developer in Johannesburg, South Africa; that’s my day job. But I’m “lucky” in one respect. I suffer from a hereditary eye condition, called Retinitis Pigmentosa, and one of the consequences of that is, I can’t drive. I have an amazing, supportive wife, though, who drops me off at work in the morning before going off to her own job, and then comes to fetch me in the afternoon. I honestly couldn’t do this without her!
Thanks to afternoon traffic, it takes her a while to get to me. So, when the office is all empty and spooky after everyone’s left, and I’m waiting for my “ride” home, that’s when I work on my writing career.
I sometimes work on writing stuff at home too, but it’s really difficult to get things done when I don’t have complete privacy. Besides, I need to juggle household responsibilities, and spend quality time with my loving wife, every now and then.
Of course, I need to read, write, and market, so I have a confession to make. I don’t write every day. You may be gasping now, at this cardinal sin from an author. I mean, how can I even have the audacity to admit such a thing, right? But I don’t believe I’m alone in this. I kind of alternate between reading, writing, and promoting. There are only so many hours in a day!
Sometimes over the weekends, when my wife’s out running errands, I have an hour or two to myself. Then I’ll work on my marketing, write blog posts (like this one), and maybe write a couple of paragraphs in my current work-in-progress.
I also had an interesting thought the other day: everyone assumes that the end goal of all authors is to ultimately quit their day jobs and write full time.
Well, that may or may not be true of most of them – I don’t know, since these articles never mention it. It’s not really true of me though. I love my job. I love to code, and I can’t ever see myself not doing it. But I love to write, too. It’s very conflicting, since “no man can serve two masters,” as the Bible says.
Oh, well. Maybe one day I can find a happy medium!

Graham Downs is a South African author. He was born in Alberton, in Gauteng, South Africa, and now lives in Germiston with his wife. Aside from being an independent author, he is a computer programmer in Rivonia.
Since publishing his first book (A Petition to Magic) in 2012, he has published four more, including his latest, Heaven and Earth: Paranormal Flash Fiction. This is a collection of six flash fiction stories, ranging from straight-up horror to downright weird.
Although he has always had a passion for writing, it wasn't until December 2012, at the age of 32 that Downs finally decided to unleash his imagination onto the world at large. The result was A Petition to Magic, a short fantasy story about a wizard who cannot perform magic, and a queen who demands his help.
Following on the success of A Petition to Magic, Downs was asked by fellow author Darren Worrow in 2013, to contribute a story to a charity anthology called I am not Frazzle, benefiting the Devizes Community Centre for Children, in the United Kingdom. He eagerly accepted, and penned Stingers, which was included. The anthology was released in December of 2013. (Stingers was released as a stand-alone story on 16 June 2014.)
While I am not Frazzle was being prepared for release, Downs released his second story, Heritage of Deceit, on 1 December 2013. It's a modern day thriller, and tells the story of a man working in an office, who stumbles across what he believes is a relic from an old genocide.
In October 2014, in time for Halloween, Billy's Zombie was released. It is a very short horror story, about a high school boy whom everyone thinks is a freak. In an effort to exact his revenge on his tormentors, he borrows a book on necromancy from the library, which he successfully uses to raise a zombie from the dead.
Wanting to continue his foray into the horror/paranormal genre, he went on to publish Heaven and Earth: Paranormal Flash Fiction in April 2015. This is a collection of six flash fiction stories in the horror/weird fiction genre.
His newest work is due for release in June 2016, and is now available for pre-order. It's called Tales From Virdura, and it continues the Flash Fiction format. However, he decided to revisit his roots, so to speak, as this collection expands upon the world and characters introduced in his first published story, A Petition to Magic
In addition to his published works, Downs has written many free flash fiction stories and essays, in a wide variety of genres. They're all available for free on his blog. You can also find a monthly crossword puzzle there, sometimes with prizes for solving it correctly. Find both his free writing, and the monthly crossword puzzle, by visiting his Blog.
Graham Downs is always working on new stories, in a variety of different genres, and he hopes to go from strength to strength as he releases better and better writing, and his popularity continues to grow.
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