Archives for posts with tag: media

Hi all:

Today is Friday and time for a guest author. I had the pleasure of meeting Sally Georgina Cronin (these days Sally Cronin, but she’ll explain) through her great blog and some common blogging friends. She asked me to visit her blog for an interview and I thought you’d love to meet her too. As she was working on two new books, it seemed the right time. But as she’s done so many things and knows about plenty of interesting stuff, I thought we’d get to know her previous work first. I promised I’ll keep updating you on her work and novelties in the future.

I usually include a short biography but when Sally directed me to her blog and I read about her I thought I should include it all, promotion and all (because I suspect many of you might be interested. I know I am!)

Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin

My name is Sally Georgina Cronin – I include the Georgina bit because a couple of my books were written back in the beginning as Georgina Cronin – it was my grandmother’s name and as a child I fancied it more than I did Sally – I announced at school age 9 and a little portly that I wished to be called that and instead I was saddled with Georgy Porgy until I went to secondary school as a very definite Sally.

However, on writing my first book I thought I would give it another go but it has reverted to Sally Georgina Cronin especially as my books have evolved into E-versions.

I am one of those people who has led an eclectic life. My father was in the Royal Navy so we lived abroad several times and I only really settled down in the UK at age 14. My education suffered a little from switching between seven schools in different countries but I now have a repertoire of swear words second to none!

I trained as a secretary as my parents felt that my dream to be an English Esther Williams was probably doomed to be waterlogged!  I started well in my first job but a pregnant chair side assistant who developed a phobia to blood meant that I had to step into the shoes of dental nurse, a career I enjoyed before moving to the hospitality industry.

This resulted in me meeting my husband (known as room 40) nine years later and we had a whirlwind courtship over five weeks and married 34 years ago. We still have the whirlwind courtship moving over several continents to reach the second to final outpost here in the mountains in Madrid.  We may possibly return to the UK at some point, if he can tear me away from the 300 days of sunshine.

I have spent a number of years in each of the following industries – Retail, Advertising and Telecommunications, radio and television and taken a great deal from each.

I have written short stories and poetry since a very young age and when I went ‘Indie’ in 1996 I combined my retraining as a Nutritional Therapist with this love of writing.  I began with columns in the media in the UK and Spain, my own monthly newsletter and my first health book Size Matters which told the story of my journey from a very overweight 24 stone – 330lbs to a slimmish and healthier individual.

Over the last ten years this love of writing has developed into another eight titles, my blog and also into Indie Publishing in 2004.

My husband came out of the telecommunications industry at 50 and because he was already a computer wizard he retrained very quickly in graphic and book design.

I was already working in author acquisition for a large self-publishing company and we both felt that a more personal approach might be attractive to authors who wanted to be published. Moyhill Publishing was born.  In 2004 our first book, by a Spanish author, The Red Tailed Hawk won best digital print award and since then we have been quietly working away.  We had to take a break over recent years due to family commitments but we continued to work with a few authors during that time who required David’s specialist design skills.

We are delighted to be relaunching in 2014, our tenth anniversary, with new services to include digital and audio packages.

In the last few months we have converted my print titles to E-versions which has been an interesting experience.  I did not realise how my writing style had changed until I edited my first novel written in 2002 to convert but I enjoyed the process very much.

Over the last ten years I have managed to fit radio and Internet television both in front of the microphone and camera and behind in a producing and directing role.  So whilst I never became the UK Esther Williams I did get to perform without getting too waterlogged.

At 61 I don’t consider myself the new 41 and I  am happy at the age I am.  I do hope that I can continue to learn and develop over the next 30 years or so and that my typing skills do not diminish until the very last second.

My next projects are in process – a health book focused on care of the elderly at home, a humerous tale of a cross dresser with memory impairment and another about transformation and wish fulfillment.

WARNING – SELF PROMOTION COMING UP.

I hope you will forgive a little self promotion – I am the marketing director of our publishing company and will get fired by the MD or divorced if I did not mention the day job.

Our publishing company is http//:moyhill.com and we would love to talk to you about your next project.  In the last ten years we have had worked with some award winning authors and won best digital print book in 2004 in the UK.  We work with a number of printers in the UK to ensure a best price and we offer inclusive packages that still allow you to have an original design for your cover and a style that you want for the format.  There is very few things standard about us but because we are the only two overheads we can keep the costs down for our clients.  We only work with one author at a time usually and that is on a one to one basis.  A book only goes to print or into E-version when both the author and David are satisfied that it is the very best it can be.  We usually prefer manuscripts to be edited before submission so that it stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Because of my background on television and radio I am the audio department and whilst we do not market for our authors I am very happy to assist in any way with social media, press releases etc.

We are happy to convert any print versions into E-versions with the minimum of fuss and expense but be aware that a book with lots of photographs or graphs does take more work than for print.

There is a selection of the books we have designed and published over the years on the site, but we now provide a webpage with selling facilities for our authors which they manage themselves.  An example of this would be some of my own books at the following links.  We also of course make sure that our author’s books are uploaded to Amazon and if in print too available at the wholesalers.

http://www.moyhill.com/sam/

http://www.moyhill.com/sm/

http://www.moyhill.com/jaojg/

http://www.moyhill.com/ftvpmac/

If you would be interested in finding out more then pop into the website or email David on david.cronin@moyhill.com for an informal discussion – we also work with Skype during the process.

If you would like to talk to me about guest blogging or anything health related you can reach me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Thanks for reading.

And now her books:

By the way, and so I don’t forget, I leave you the links in Sally’s own website, but just in case you find yourself in Amazon, this is her page where you can find all of them:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003B7O0T6

Just and Odd Job Girl

Just and Odd Job Girl

Just an Odd Job Girl

 

Imogen was fifty!

Life is unpredictable and will often throw you a curve ball that knocks you out of the park.

For Imogen this curve ball knocked her out of a twenty five year marriage and a lovingly renovated home into a single life at age 50.  She had been a very contented wife and mother of two children, who for every one of those 25 years had thought her husband had been equally as happy.  It was a shock to find out that she had been delusional and replaced so easily.

Her confidence was non-existent.  She had forgotten any skills she possessed and was totally unprepared to enter the modern job market.  Or so she thought.

When we find ourselves in a new place and time in our lives, it is not unusual to meet others who have experienced similar traumas and also those who understand how to help you pick up the pieces.

Surprising though these events had been, nothing prepared Imogen for the realisation that she still had what it took, both in the work environment and when it came to her heart.

It was a journey into the past to rediscover who she had always been and a step forward into the future and a new adventure in life.

http://www.moyhill.com/jaojg/

Although this novel was published in 2002 Sally has decided it’s time for it to experience the digital revolution, and reading about it, I would have to agree!

Sally has also let me links to her other books, and as you’ll see (and you will have guessed from her biography) she’s a multi-talented woman.

Just Food for Health

Just Food for Health

Just Food for Health (only available in paper)

Just Food for Health is a commonsense guide to the body, and the foods we need to eat to keep it healthy. It describes how the major organs & systems work; Why you need specific nutrients and where to find them; how to design your own Healthy Eating Plan, and avoid lifestyle-related conditions like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and excess weight.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1905597231/

 

Forget the Viagra, Pass Me the Carrot!

Forget the Viagra, Pass Me the Carrot!

Forget the Viagra, Pass Me the Carrot

This is a health and Nutrition book aimed at men – and their partners who are interested in keeping them fit and well. It provides a fundamental understanding of how to deliver essential nutrition to support all the major organs, with a focus on keeping a healthy sex life into old age.

http://www.moyhill.com/ftv – Forget the Viagra… Pass me a Carrot – A man’s health workshop manual

Size Matters

Size Matters

Size Matters Especially when you Weigh 330 lbs

Thirty years ago obesity was a rarity amongst children, and adults, and the related health problems were restricted to a small proportion of the population. Today, it is an epidemic and as we expand our waistbands we are forced into increasing our financial responsibilities for the resulting medical problems that can be life threatening.

Size Matters is the story of a woman who had an appalling lifestyle and although intelligent and successful did nothing constructive to change the situation. It took a death sentence to motivate her to making some vital decisions. The first place to start was to find out the reasons for her obesity and then learn how to fix the problem. Georgina studied nutrition and health whilst taking back control of her diet and lifestyle. Three years later, when fit and well she opened her diet advisory centre in Ireland where she worked with 1,000 clients over a five-year period.

Size Matters explores the emotional, mental and physical reasons for obesity and offers strategies that empowers any one who is overweight or suffering ill health to change their lifestyles successfully. The second part of the book details the programme that can be personalised to suit readers’ individual needs for diet and exercise including healthy food options and nutritional information.

This is not a book written by a “thin” expert, but a “fat” expert who has lived through many years of obesity and ill-health and understands the emotional and physical barriers that prevent people taking the first step and then the next, and the next until they have regained their fitness and health.

Link:

http://www.moyhill.com/sm    Size Matters especially when you weigh 330lbs

Media Training: The Manual

Media Training: The Manual

Media Training: The Manual

“Media Training: The Manual” is a quick reference manual for anyone who needs to deliver their message via “the Media”, TV, Radio, Print.

http://www.moyhill.com/mttm – Media Training – The Manual

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

The true story of Sam, a rough collie, written from his perspective. A tribute to a true friend and a genuine family member.

http://www.moyhill.com/sam – Sam, A Shaggy Dog Story

So you don’t complain, I leave you links to the books that should be coming up our way in all formats soon, but thought you might want to check in her website:

First, Turning Back the Clock – anti-aging programme

Turning back the clock

Turning back the clock

Living forever is not an option!

However, feeling younger and looking younger is an option available to all!

The maximum lifespan a human being can currently expect today is around 120 years.

However, not many of us really want to be even 90 or 100 years old, if it means that we are going to end up filled with medication and tucked away in a corner in some nursing home, unaware of our surroundings.

Making healthy diet and lifestyle choices as early as possible will help you get as near as possible to your maximum age whilst enjoying good physical and mental vitality.

Turning Back the Clock
will show you how!

http://www.moyhill.com/tbtc/

And second, Flights of Fancy – Short story anthology and Novella The Sewing Circle

Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy

Ghosts, romance, friendship, revenge ….

A new collection of eleven short stories from Sally Cronin to enthrall and entertain.

Ghosts hint at a chance of coming back to say goodbye, exact a little payback, or simply to help someone else carry on living.

Romance is not just for the young and nor are second chances.

As for revenge, well … never underestimate a group of elderly ladies with contacts from the past!

http://www.moyhill.com/fof

And if you want to follow and contact Sally (I recommend it) here are her links:

Skype Moyhill2
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1
Latest books available in print and E-versions
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003B7O0T6
And http://www.moyhill.com/FTV
Daily health blog – http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

Thanks to Sally for her visit, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share, and CLICK!

Como recordaréis hace un par de semanas os presenté a Scary Guy y compartí la primera parte de nuestra entrevista. Hoy os traigo la segunda parte, donde hablamos de su cambio de nombre, del destino, de qué tipo de trabajo prefiere y de los medios de comunicación, entre otras cosas.

Scary Guy Portrait

Scary Guy Portrait

 

Le pregunté a Scary sobre su cambio de nombre legal a Scary Guy. Me dijo que sucedió el 22 de Febrero de 1998 en Tucson, Arizona, en el juzgado. Los reporteros, la televisión y otros medios de comunicación estaban esperando fuera y la sala estaba llena. La juez le preguntó algunas cosas y él respondió. Ella comentó que era el cambio de nombre más extraño que había juzgado pero que sus razones eran coherentes. Le pregunté si echaba de menos el nombre que le habían dado al nacer y me dijo que era el nombre que le había dado su madre pero que por dentro seguía siendo él. Su madre le dio su nombre en honor de su propio padre (su abuelo materno). La familia de su padre venía del Reino Unido. Su madre también se interesaba por la genealogía y había trazado su árbol genealógico hasta el 1610. Había encontrado 17 Thomas Buckinghams, y trece de ellos habían sido reverendos. Y ahora (irónicamente) vive frente a una iglesia. A él le parece que todo está conectado.

En el libro hay reflexiones sobre el destino y le pregunté si pensaba que él estaba destinado a ser quien es y a hacer lo que hace ahora. Scary me contestó: “Soy un propósito. Esto no es un trabajo. Esto es mi vida. La tarea de mi vida. No hay mucha gente que viva su trabajo.” Me dijo que solo cuando duerme, quizás, no está trabajando y que a algunas personas puede que les parezca que es una obsesión pero que así son las cosas. “Esto es lo que soy.”

Lo describió como un viaje y me dijo que cuando fue a una tienda de tatuajes y decidió hacerse un tatuaje en la cara (que me aclaró fue un proceso y llevó 7 u 8 años) fue una forma de decir “jódete sociedad” (‘Fuck you society’) porque no le gustaba la sociedad en la que vivía. Una vez empezó ese proceso no había marcha atrás. “Éste es mi aspecto final. Ésta es mi vida. Este es el sitio en el que me he colocado. Acepto la responsabilidad por todas mis decisiones. Así es como debe ser.”  Me comentó que no puede ser ninguna otra cosa a menos que se cubra la cabeza con una bolsa de papel, pero eso llamaría la atención aún más. (En la película y en el libro Scary explica que al principio tenía muchos tatuajes en el cuerpo pero los llevaba cubiertos con la ropa cuando iba a trabajar en una firma de informática, y al final decidió hacerse un tatuaje en el cuello y dejó ese tipo de trabajo, a sabiendas de que jamás podría volver a ese tipo de empleos.)

Seguimos hablando del destino y me comentó que mucha gente de diversas religiones le ha dicho que su papel en la vida, su función, es fruto de un poder superior. Él me dijo que siempre aceptaba las creencias de los demás y jamás les contradice y los respeta. Me dijo que quizás la muerte sea solo otro nacimiento, y que le resulta difícil de creer que una vez nos muramos, es simplemente como si no hubiéramos existido jamás, que es difícil creer que todo fue para nada, a menos que creamos que es todo solo para procrearnos y para la supervivencia de la especie. Mencionó que su vecino, Roy, había muerto hacía poco, un hombre con el que se sentía unido y eso le había hecho pensar más en la muerte y en el significado de la vida.

Scary me dijo que cree que todo lo que hace todo el mundo es residual y que ninguna persona es más poderosa que otra. Las acciones de todos tienen impacto y poder; ayudan a que se formen otras personas, a hacer cambios. Aunque todo el mundo tiene el mismo poder algunas personas son más conocidas que otras.

En el video y en el libro observé que trabaja con una gran variedad de personas y le pregunté qué tipo de trabajo le da más satisfacciones (aunque los trabajos aparecen en el momento oportuno) y me dijo que va a ir a los Estados Unidos en Agosto para trabajar en Andrews Air Force cerca de Washington DC. Me dijo que el Teniente Coronel James Armstrong le había pedido que vaya y les proporcione dos días de formación porque creen que el mensaje de Scary les será de ayuda. Me dijo que éste era un tipo de trabajo muy especializado y que siente que es un honor que le inviten a que se una a su comunidad y les ayude. Es una cosa muy importante, porque como Scary dijo, no es el tipo de persona en que tales instituciones pensarían en esas circunstancias. “Eh tú, tío tatuado ven aquí.” No, ese no es el tipo de persona al que se supone que deberían recurrir. Él no encaja con la imagen que la mayoría de gente tendría de a quién llamarían.

Le pregunté a Scary si había experimentado mucha oposición/criticismo de fuentes oficiales u otros lugares a su trabajo. Me dijo que la CNN se había dedicado a hacer lo que a él le pareció un descarado ataque de su carácter (“character assasination”). Me dijo que cuando se pusieron en contacto con él para hacer un programa de 20 minutos sobre él y su trabajo sospechó que probablemente intentarían presentarle de la peor forma posible, pero no le importó. Me dijo que de su programa de formación completo que dura 5 días (eso haría que alguien llegara a tener un buen conocimiento de las fundamentos básicos) los de la CNN estuvieron filmando durante tres días con dos cámaras, unas 60 horas de film y luego lo editaron y cortaron escenas, todo fuera de contexto. Ellos mostrando algunos sketches, historias y técnicas que él utiliza imitando comportamientos problemáticos de la gente. En el programa eso permite que la gente reflexione sobre sus comportamientos. Sin embargo sacado fuera de contexto como hizo la CNN, minimizan el contenido, significado y mensaje, probablemente porque no creen que deba trabajar con niños, basando su juicio en su aspecto físico.

Scary me dijo que aunque mucha gente aún cree que los medios de comunicación son “neutrales” y se limitan a informar sobre hechos, eso no es el caso en el día de hoy y es dudoso que pasase alguna vez. Siempre son reaccionarios y tienen su propia agenda. Me dijo que a pesar de eso lo hizo porque no existe la publicidad negativa y que de los millones de personas que llegaron a ver el programa, incluso si solamente 10000 se dieron cuenta del prejuicio de ese tipo de reportaje y se sintieron lo suficientemente curiosos como para buscar más información eso justificaba de sobras el esfuerzo. Me dijo que cuando habla con los medios de comunicación les dice: “Vosotros os creéis que me vais a usar a mí pero yo os voy a usar a vosotros” y que es un toma y daca. Me explicó que hacía unos años le había dicho al Manchester Evening News de Inglaterra que si querían vender muchos diarios bastaba con que pusieran su foto poniendo cara de asustar y en la primera página el título: Asesinatos, Crímenes, Suicidio, Muertes y en letra pequeña: lean la historia en la página 3. Y funcionó! Porque la prensa siempre busca noticias negativas para poner en primera plana y las malas noticias venden. Los medios de comunicación puede que quieran que la gente se asuste de él pero una vez leen la historia el mensaje que reciben es distinto.

Dentro de poco os traeré la última parte de la entrevista (de momento).

Aquí os dejo el enlace a la primer parte:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/mi-reunion-con-the-scary-guy-el-tio-que-asusta-hay-on-wye-3rd-july-2014-parte-1/

Y los enlaces para que descubráis más cosas sobre Scary:

La página de Scary:

www.thescaryguy.com

Sigue a  Scary en su Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

La biografía de Scary : 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/

Message of Scary to school children

Message of Scary to school children

(No puedo seguir viviendo mi vida fuera de mí mismo, echándole la culpa a los demás por mis acciones. Si voy a comprometerme con quien soy, también tendré que comprometerme con mis palabras y acciones. Son los que definen quién soy.)

Gracias a Scary y a Cathryn por su amabilidad, a vosotros por leer, y ya sabéis, is os ha interesado, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y haced CLIC!

 

Hi all:

As you will remember a couple of weeks ago I brought you the first part of my interview with The Scary Guy, that I hope you enjoyed. Today I bring you the second one, where we talk about media, fate, changing names, and work…

Scary Guy Portrait

Scary Guy Portrait

I asked Scary about changing his legal name to The Scary Guy. He told me it was on the 22nd February 1998, in Tucson, Arizona in court. News, TV and other media were outside and it was quite full. The judge asked him some questions and he replied. She noted this was the strangest name change she’d presided over but the reasons were sound. I asked him if he missed his given name and he told me that his mother had chosen it but inside he was still him. His mother named him after her own father. On his father’s side they were descended from the UK. His mother was also interested in genealogy and had traced her tree back to 1610. She had found 17 ancestors called Thomas Buckingham, and thirteen of them were reverends. And again, ironically, Scary now lives across a church. He felt there was a sense of connection.

In the book there are reflections about fate and I asked him if he thought he was meant to be who he is and to do what he does now. Scary replied: “I am a purpose. This is not a job. This is my life, my life’s work. Not many people live their life’s work.” He told me that only when he is asleep, maybe then, he’s not at work and some people might feel that’s an obsession but that’s how things are. “This is who I am.”

He described it as a journey and he said that when he went to a tattoo artist and decided to have a tattoo on his face (which he clarified the whole process took several years, 7 or 8) he said it was because at the time, it was his way of saying “fuck you society” because he didn’t like the society he lived in. Once the process started there was no going back. “This is how I ended up looking. This is my life. This is the place where I put myself. I take responsibility for all my actions. It is meant to be this way.” He noted there is no way to live as anything else other than maybe covering his head with a paper bag, but that could call even more attention to himself! (In the film and the book Scary discussed how at first he had many tattoos on his body but these would be covered over when he went to work for an IT firm by his shirt and tie, until eventually he decided to have a tattoo on his neck and this was when he left that kind of job, knowing there was no way back to that kind of corporate employment.)

In further discussion of the issue of fate he told me that many people from different religious beliefs had told him his role in life is the fruit of a higher power. He said he always accepted their beliefs and would never try to contradict them and he recognised these were their belief systems. He commented that perhaps death is but another birth, and that he found it difficult to believe that once we die, it is simply as if we had never been, difficult to believe that it was all for nothing, unless we believe we’re only here for the reproduction of the species. He mentioned how his neighbour Roy had died recently, a man he felt close to and it had made him think even more about the subject of death and the purpose of life.

Scary told me he believes everything everybody does is residual, and nobody is more powerful than anybody else. Everybody’s actions have impact and power; it helps to form other people, to make a shift. Although everybody has the same power some people are better known than others.

I had seen in the video and read in the book about the variety of people he works with and asked him what kind of job give him more satisfactions (although they will come at the right time) and he told me he is due to go to the United States in August to work at the Andrews Air Force Base near Washington DC. He told me Lieutenant Colonel James Armstrong had asked him to go and provide training there for two days because they felt Scary’s message could help. He told me this is a very highly specialised work and he feels it is an honour to be invited to come into their community and help. It is a huge thing, because as Scary noted, he is not the kind of person the institution might think of in such circumstances. “Hey, bring in a tattooed man.” No, that’s not the kind of people they are supposed to defer to for help. He doesn’t fit in with the image most people would have of who they would call for help.

I asked Scary if he had had much opposition/criticism from any official sources or other quarters to his work. He told me that the CNN had engaged in what appeared to him to be blatant “character assassination”. He told me when they contacted him to do a 20 minutes feature of him, he suspected they might be planning to present him in a bad a light, but he did not mind. He told me of his 5 days full training program (the amount of training required that would get somebody conversant enough with the basics of what he teaches) CNN attended and filmed three full days with two cameras; nearly 60 hours of film and then edited it and cut it completely out of context.  They focused on some of the sketches, stories and techniques where he role-plays some of the common negative behaviours that people produce. In the show, this allows people to reflect on their own behaviour. However, taken out of context as CNN did, they minimised the content, meaning and message – probably because they did not feel he should work with children, all based in judgement of how he looks.

Scary said that although many people think the media are “neutral” and just report on facts, that is not the case now and it is doubtful it has ever been the case. They are always reactionary and they have their own agenda. He said that despite knowing all of this, that he still went ahead because there is no such thing as bad publicity and of the millions of people who might have seen the programme, even if as little as 10000 people saw through that kind of reporting and felt curious enough to do more research, that would have more than justified the effort. He told me he tells the media: “You think you’re going to use me, but I’m going to use you” and it is a trade-off. He explained how he told the Manchester Evening News in the UK that if they wanted to sell many newspapers they just needed to put a picture of him making a scary face in the front page with the headline: Murder, Killing, Suicide, Death and in very small letters: see the story on page 3. And it worked! Papers always look for negative information to put on the front page because bad news sells. The media might want people to be scared of him but when they read the story; they are going to get a different message.

This is the link to the previous post:

http://wp.me/p2OC9i-1iN

And links to get to know Scary better:

Scary’s Website:

www.thescaryguy.com

Join Scary on his Facebook Fan Page

(https://www.facebook.com/thescaryguyfanpage)

Scary’s Biography: 7 Days & 7 Nights

(http://thescaryguy.com/product/7-days-and-7-nights/)

Message of Scary to school children

Message of Scary to school children

Thank you very much for reading, thank you to Scary and Cathryn for their kindness, and help, and if you’ve enjoyed it,  you know what to do: like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

Some of you might know, many must suspect, but I love books. More recently, since I started publishing myself I became interested in the work of of ‘indie authors’. Authors who have published independently of publishing companies and in general have a ‘Do it Yourself’ attitude towards the business, being involved in all areas, not only writing the book, but proofreading, editing, formating, designing or choosing covers, and also, marketing and trying to ensure that their books reach an audience. Many of us meet in social media, support each others’ efforts, provide advice for each other, encouragements, suggestions, and we also read some of our fellow authors’ books. Nic Taylor is a member of one such group of authors and so am I. He posted the beginning of his book ‘A Plague of Dissent’ in his Facebook page and asked for comments and we got chatting. He sent me a copy of his book and although due to time constraints it took me a while to get aroudn to reading it, I finally made it and it was worth my while. Now in a new revised and improve edition, with new cover, don’t forget to click on the link and check the book!

Nic Taylor’s A Plague of Dissent

‘Be Scared, Be Very Scared’

Don’t let the title of my review put you off. No, Nic Taylor’s A Plague of Dissent is not a horror book (although I love horror books). At least not a horror genre book. What the title refers to is the slow realisation – whilst reading the novel – that it is not only topical and the socio/historical events described very close to the bone, but the fictional elements are more than plausible. Although one might have a different opinion as to some of the premises (who organises the terrorist attacks and their reasons, for example), the actual details and planning of it sound incredibly convincing and the more horrifying for it.

The author is well versed in British current affairs and he uses them to create a multilayered background to his fictional (? we hope) story. Recent big news items (phone hacking scandal and enquiry, riots, allegations of child pornography, coalition government…) are not only background setting of the novel but become an integral part of the plot, and they are seamlessly woven together to create a complex and realistic tapestry. I live in the UK and must say some of the incidents and situations made me chuckle.

The novel is extremely well plotted and even minor incidents that at first sight might appear insignificant are eventually relevant and their significance revealed. A woman accidentally run over by a car, a man caught up in the riots and injured, a rugby training session…everything falls into place like a well-oiled machine.

We get to know the main characters gradually, and they reveal themselves to be not only likeable, but also true heroes. Adam is a fantastic protagonist, who goes from being maligned by the media; in an attempt at revenge by a jealous husband, to risking his life to save…well, everybody. His brother, Dan, Ron, his friend and special agent, Isobel, his love interest, the few honest detectives and policemen, are all real people you can relate to but make a larger than life cast who can take on any situation. You would want them by your side in a moment of crisis.

‘A Plague’ is cinematic in its style, moving with ease from sweeping takes that quickly provide a general view of the national and international situation and the consequences of the events narrated, to minute takes of details such as weaponry, computer files and medication. The pace accelerates and you become gripped by the events, at once thrilled and worried as to what would happen if it were real. Would there be enough honest members of the police, and concerned citizens (like Adam and friends) to halt such a terrorist ploy?

I don’t want to give away too many of the details of the novel as not to spoil the many surprises, but I won’t hesitate in recommending it to anybody who enjoys well plotted thrillers, conspiracy theory based stories, current affairs (not only British but international), spy novels…In summary, anybody who loves a good book. I was pleased to read that Nic Taylor is planning to follow ‘A Plague’ with at least two more novels. I for one can’t wait.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to click on the links:

To buy in Smashwords, in a variety of formats:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/293433

Or in Amazon if you have a Kindle or a Kindle app (free to download):

http://www.amazon.com/A-Plague-Of-Dissent-ebook/dp/B00BRI7YMQ/

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