Saturday, 20 September 2014

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE #Excerpt by @TheobaldSprague #Climate #Divorce #Adventure

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with No comments
One of the main objectives for the trip and documentary was to come away with a fairly precise understanding as to the state of environmental affairs. I’m sorry to say that in this I failed. But I have an excuse. The heft of Mother Nature’s intentions was introduced to us far sooner and to a much larger degree than ever anticipated and became a very large part of our daily lives. By the time we got to The Passage, the scope and aim of the trip was simply to finish in one piece. The time planned for interviews and casual observations had turned into a race against the seasonal clock and we had to be satisfied with the few interviews that we got. Quickly the story of the trip changed focus from overview and observation to not getting hampered by the elements.
To have missed some planned interviews and time spent among the various communities in exchange for surviving the ordeal was fine with me. There’s a saying that in the 1800s, those hearty souls who took a stagecoach journey across the United States started off with great excitement and anticipation of all that they would see and encounter. By the end, they were just happy to reach their destinations alive. Never was it as true as with our trip to and through the Northwest Passage that summer.
The second area I wanted to investigate and learn from was the potential of commercial shipping through The Passage. What I learned from those I interviewed was more focused and defined compared to their beliefs on global warming. While some small commercial shipping does currently exist and some more will certainly start up, all of whom I spoke with felt that the large-scale supertanker-type of shipping would never happen.
I was told that when the area is frozen, perhaps more than three-quarters of the year, it provides not only migratory routes but ice roads as well. To one extent or another, all of the communities from the smallest fishing camps to larger ones like Cambridge Bay depend on these ice roads in and out of their area. Any interest in larger commercial shipping would meet great resistance.
The Northwest Passage is, for the most part, an uncharted area. When we were able to take soundings in some locations, the bottom would be ten- feet deep, then drop to perhaps a hundred feet, then come back up again to ten feet, all in the stretch of perhaps a quarter-mile.
It’s my feeling—as well as that of many of those who live in the Nunavut Territories—that if commercial concerns want to use this shortcut between the two major oceans, there would have to be extensive surveying and dredging to accommodate their needs, perhaps negating some of the immediate profits to be found. In dealing with the ice, shipping will find it to be completely unpredictable and each year it would present its own grave challenges.
Without the promises of immediate profits, I don’t see these concerns to have a large concentration span. Again, these are just my thoughts based on observations by the few who live up there and are by no means steeped in feasibility studies and corporate research.
One area that doesn’t seem to grab the headlines as much as global warming or potential shipping, but to me holds a far more frightening potential for disaster, is that of the natural resources to be found in and around The Passage.
The exploration of lucrative natural resources just under the surface is something that I feel could destroy one of the most delicate and pristine ecosystems on our planet. There are five Arctic powers vying for dominance: Russia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the United States. Unlike Antarctica, there is very little paperwork in place delineating which nation has what claim to which area. Far too complex to try to break down in this writing, suffice it to say it’s a bit like the Old West, all trying to stake a claim via interpreting antiquated laws and rulings to their benefit.
A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.
Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.

What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

(TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir, adventure, family, climate
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Sprague Theobald on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, 19 September 2014

7 Questions with #Author Karen Welch (Hearts Unfold) #AmReading #WomensFic

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments

Why do you write?
There are two answers to that question. Initially, before I published and gained a readership, I wrote because the words whirled in my head until they demanded to be put on paper, where they seemed quite content to remain. Now that my books have been read and I’ve heard the reaction from readers I also write for more of that kind of connection. I’m no longer content to keep my writing hidden. Whatever the reaction of readers now, the relationship we share is strongly addictive.

Have you always enjoyed writing?
I probably wrote my first “piece” before my tenth birthday. I was always scribbling something in notebooks, although the stories rarely got off the ground. In my teens, I wrote constantly, badly, and for the sheer satisfaction of pushing words around into ideas and images. All it took was a teacher or two telling me I had a “way” with words, and I was a writer. Anyone who writes knows the enjoyment is more like a compulsion and often comes at a price.

What motivates you to write?
That varies. At times I write to meet a self-imposed deadline. At other times I write because I need to. Once a story is underway, I can’t wait to see where it’s going. I get attached to my characters and feel the need for their company. Then there are times when I just want to doodle with an idea, put down a scene that pops into my head, just in case someday it proves to have potential I don’t have the time to pursue at the moment.

What are you most proud of in your personal life?
Surviving. I’m proud to have survived parental suicide, my own bout with bipolar disorder, and an abusive marriage. I didn’t survive without help, by any means. But looking back, it was that determination I mentioned earlier that kept me looking up for a way to the top and not looking down at where I might have stayed.

What books did you love growing up?
Everything by Louisa Alcott. Historical fiction, particularly British. I read “Gone With the Wind” at age 12 and moved on to the classics before they were on the required reading lists for my grade level. Hemingway remains my idol for the stunningly photographic quality of his writing.

Who is your favorite author?
Impossible to name one. I’ve enjoyed everyone from P.G. Wodehouse and Agatha Christie to Maeve Binchy and Jan Karon. When I find a writer I enjoy, I try to read as much of their work as I can. Then I move on to another.

What book should everyone read at least once?
The one they always wanted to read, but haven’t gotten around to yet. Recently, I challenged myself to read Les Miserable. I’d started it half-a-dozen times. This time was the right time and it took me on an unforgettable journey.


~~Miracle at Valley Rise Series~~
Hearts Unfold~Book One
Entreat Me Not~Book Two
Heart of My Own Heart~Book Three
Offered for Love~Book Four

A secret Christmas homecoming, a blinding snowstorm, and in the course of one night two shattered lives will be changed forever.Nineteen-year-old Emily Haynes had lost almost everything she loved. Relying on what seems to be guidance from her invalid father, she returns to her past in hopes of discovering some sign toward the future. What begins as a joyous homecoming quickly becomes a nightmare when a badly injured stranger stumbles on the scene, his brief presence threatening to alter everything Emily believes about herself and the plan for her life. A less determined girl might have been shaken by such an experience, but not Emily. She is certain she's made the right choice, so certain that in the following three years, she almost convinces he

Superstar violinist Stani Moss appeared to have everything--fame, fortune and a career guaranteed to bring more of the same, until one hasty decision placed it all in jeopardy. Terrified and confused, Stani struggles not only to recover his former skill, but to find answers to the questions which haunt him. Throughout his slow journey back, one image lingers in his buried memories of that fateful night--the vision of a girl he's never met. The journey will eventually lead him to Emily, and beyond that day, everything about his life will be transformed.

Set in the years around 1970, Hearts Unfold begins the saga of two people whose paths should never have crossed, who defy the odds to create a place they can share. The first of four volumes in the Miracle at Valley Rise Series, this novel could stand alone as a triumphant tale of romance, but there's much more to the story, as Emily and Stani reveal their pasts and strive to bridge the distance between their worlds. Follow their progress, be entertained by their adventures, and perhaps be inspired by their unwavering belief in the transforming power of love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women's Fiction, Saga Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Karen Welch through Facebook


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Writing as Personal Therapy with Cheryl Rice @RiceonLife #Memoir #Relationships #AmWriting

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:00 with No comments
Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

If someone asked me what three things I’d take if I were stranded on a desert island I would say, my dog Gracie for love and companionship, dark chocolate as my drug of choice, and a very large, spiral bound, unlined journal with an attached Paper Mate InkJoy pen for therapy.

Writing has always been a safe haven for me. Through it I have found a sanctuary of comfort, clarity and sanity. I remember writing my first poem, which I spelled “pome,” in Mrs. Hilderman’s second grade class. It was about a mouse with tickly prickly whiskers. Mrs. Hilderman chuckled when she read it and gave me the ultimate compliment when she hung it with a clothespin on a strand of twine that stretched the length of her classroom supply closet.

It didn’t take long for my poetry to grow in depth and drama as I grew into my awkward adolescence. Most of it was fairly melodramatic and maudlin but it provided a needed outlet for the loneliness and longing that suffused my days. My grandfather used to take fistfuls of poems that I had written into the bathroom with him and emerge with tears in his eyes and arms wide open. “Sherry,” he would say (my grandfather was the only person in the world I let call me anything other than Cheryl), “Please don’t tell me you’re as sad as these poems. I can’t bear it. Come here. Let me give you a hug.”

While my poetry served as an adequate outlet for my sorrows at the time, it was the daily journals I kept throughout most of my life that served as my gateway to self-knowledge and eventually self-compassion. In my late twenties I kept a journal addressed to my imagined future husband. It was a way for me to feel a hopeful connection to my eventual life partner and also to clarify for myself who and what I wanted in a partner. It’s amazing how many of the qualities and even characteristics – like being a lawyer and having two sisters – my real-life husband shares with the imaginary man I wrote to all those years ago.

Writing became most therapeutic for me in the wake of losing my mother. When I was mired in unprecedented grief I could bring my sorrow and anguish to the page without worrying I was burdening anybody else. I would write my feelings of course, but I also would write letters both to my mom and from my mom to me. I even wrote a letter from me to my unborn child. I cried as I wrote many of these letters but that cascade of words and tears provided tender comfort and healing to my wounded heart.

Another powerful writing experience was when I gave myself permission to write in an unlined journal. At first I was reticent and kept trying to write in straight imagined lines – as if someone would strike my hand with a ruler if my words weren’t straight. But once I got over that I found the experience quite liberating. I could write in circles, I could turn the page on its side or upside down, I could add drawings if I liked. The freedom was indeed therapeutic as it lessened my self-imposed rigidity and broke me free from rules I didn’t even know I had been following – ultimately allowing for a catharsis and clarity I hadn’t even known I was seeking.

Writing was even therapeutic for me when I was actually in therapy and wanted to take what I was learning in sessions deeper. I wish I could say my journal didn’t talk back but the amazing thing is it did! It would offer a fresh realization – like maybe it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t heal my father – or some much needed self-compassion when I was grieving my mother.

So, yes – I’m sure that if I was indeed stranded on a desert island I’d find meaning and a therapeutic sanctuary in my journal. I may even discover a way off the island.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning. 
With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

7 Questions with #Author S.D. O'Donnell (Shadow Journey) @sdodonnell #Fiction #AmReading

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments
Tell us a bit about your family.

I have two kids, both of them quite creative. My daughter has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and writes fantasy novels. My son is an autodidact and taught himself music. He started with guitar but he can play almost anything and composes beautiful pieces. He also writes hip-hop songs. It’s taken me awhile to get used to it but I no longer hate those pieces. My husband and I have a mutual admiration society going on about each other. Isn’t that how marriage should work?

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes. I have always had a talent for communicating through the written word.

What motivates you to write?

The stories in my head won’t leave me alone until I get them out on paper.

What books did you love growing up?

I liked Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys when very young. I read The Diary of Ann Frank at about 13 and that had a large influence on me. I began writing journals after that and moved from there to writing stories.

What book genre of books do you adore?

Okay. I admit it. I’m a big Jane Austen fan.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I was born in southern Louisiana, raised in New Mexico, spent some time in Texas, and have lived in Colorado almost all of my adult life. Since my next book is titled Deadly Bayou, you can probably guess that the Louisiana influence is strong in that book.

How did you develop your writing?

I have always been able to communicate with the written word. I worked on my high school newspaper and literary magazine, then studied some creative writing in college. After spending many years writing non-fiction, I had a hard time adjusting to creative fiction. I took an online writer’s workshop that helped me get started. After that, I’ve gotten better with practice. Another huge help has been finding a good editor. She teaches me so many things through her edits and comments. I learn something everything I have her look at my work.

Shadow Journey

Love ... Loss ... Secrets

A Haunting Psychological Read

She starts alone.

"I SIT IN THE GAZEBO, alone. No cup of tea. No neighborly conversation to help fill the silence. Haunted by 85 years worth of musings, I watch the sun set and feel my age."

She ends alone.

And exposes a closely-guarded secret of 35 years in between.

˃˃˃ Meet Mrs. Vera Blackstone

First introduced in the thriller Deadly Memories, she quickly became a well-loved character -- even though she isn't the main one. But you don't have to read Deadly Memories before you enjoy this novella.

˃˃˃ Warning

This story will make you think and stays with you long after the last word is read.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Short Fiction
Rating – PG-13
Connect with S.D. O'Donnell on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, 12 September 2014

#BookReview - The Poetic Art of Seduction: #Erotic Poetry by @ClarissaClemens #ReviewShare

Posted by Ravina Andrea Kurian on 08:30 with No comments
The Poetic Art of Seduction: Erotic Poetry CollectionThe Poetic Art of Seduction: Erotic Poetry Collection by Clarissa O. Clemens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My husband and I have known each other for 20 years, we've been married for 13 years and we now have 3 kids. Keeping the romance alive needs more than the odd date night and books like these definitely are a must have for married couples anywhere.

Clarissa's writing style is lyrical and you know she is writing from experience which makes it richer. It was Hemingway who said "All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed" and this author definitely bled in every single poem.

My favourite poem from this collection was "Unhinged" and it is important to note that different people depending on which stage of the relationship they are in will have different favourites. In other words, there is something for everyone so give this book a chance. Seriously, just buy it for yourself or as a gift.

On a side note, this author was one of the best authors to have on a blog tour. She shared every single blog stop, left daily comments and interacted with others who had left comments as well. As the book club secretary, this was very much appreciated by myself and the other bloggers involved in her tour.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. This was a collection of poetry that was well-written, unique and a crucial ingredient for any marriage or relationship.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4.5/5
Editing: 4.5/5
Formatting: 4.5/5
Pacing: 5/5

Offensive content?: Based on language and settings, I would recommend this book for anyone aged 18 and above.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 11 September 2014

KS Ferguson on the Category for "Touching Madness" #AmReading #Fantasy #Contemporary

Posted by Bob Richardson on 10:30 with No comments
Do you read fantasy? Which kind? Back when I started reading fantasy—just before the invention of the printing press—fantasy was all wizards with staffs and cloaks, kids with magical objects that allowed them to fly to the moon, or crazy professors making trips to the center of the Earth. I don't recall there being separate sub-genres. If there were, the librarian didn't tell me about them.

Now days, sub-genres seem to multiply faster than rabbits. You've got your epic fantasy, your sword-and-sorcery fantasy, steam-punk, dark, superheroes, and urban, just to mention a few.

I just have to ask—why urban? I mean, isn't that a tad discriminatory? Is an urban setting somehow superior to a suburban setting? No witchcraft going on behind those perfectly trimmed hedges? No summoning of demons from the sinkhole that's just opened in the back yard?

Don't get me started on rural settings! No one thinks it would be amusing if the shape-shifter hero morphed into a dairy cow to blend into the herd or gored the baddie to death? No possessed pocket gophers taking over the town? If pocket gophers aren't a creation of the Devil, I don't know what is!

When I wrote Touching Madness and published it, retail sites insisted I classify it according to their prescribed list of genres. Because it involves traveling to alternate realities, it might fit the fantasy alternate histories category. But it's not about a single alternate reality.

Touching Madness isn't epic, sword-and-sorcery, or steampunk. It's sort of urban fantasy. But it isn't strictly confined to an urban environment. While River spends most of the book in Centerville, Kansas, important chapters see him in a Raptor military camp, snowy winter woods, and an underground compound of unknown origins.

So in keeping with current trends, I'm proposing a new category: contemporary, alternate-dimension-hopping-magic-advanced-technology-and-demons fantasy. What do you think? Will it catch on at Amazon?

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Madi Brown Shares 10 Things About Becoming an Author @Madithe1brown #WomensFic

Posted by Bob Richardson on 11:30 with No comments
10 Things You Didn't Know About Becoming a Published Author
When you think about becoming a published author, most people think of  that individual being a creative person, or an intellectual individual. You visualize someone proudly John or Jane Hancocking stacks and stacks of books; each one containing wonderful content that they've provided. As a published author they've clearly “arrived,” but have you ever wondered about what it may have taken for them to get there? If you haven't, then you're about to be enlightened. And if you're an aspiring author then you'll probably want to thank me for listing these 10 Things That You Didn't Know About Becoming a Published Author.
1) You can be published, and  still be a nobody. Well, perhaps not a nobody, your immediate family and friends will know you. They'll give you kudos for what you did, but it'll only be because you told them that you wrote a book.
2) Being a published author doesn't happen overnight. You have two options. You can shop your manuscript around to literary agents or publishing house, or you can decide to publish it yourself. If you shop your manuscript around then you'll have to have a polished query letter, and your manuscript has to be top notch. You'll be submitting it to different people awaiting a yes or no. And if they do choose to give you a book deal, it could take up to a year for your book to be released.
Another note on going the self publishing route, It isn't to be taken lightly. Again, your manuscript needs to be polished in making certain that it has been proofed and edited. You'll need an eye-catching book cover, a marketing and promotion plan, and a few bucks to make it all happen.
3) You won’t be able to quit your day job. Don't you dare. Competition in the publishing world is fierce, and the stakes are high. The truth is, that you won't know how the general public is going to receive your work---not until
you actually put it out.
4) You need to have another book in the works. I know, it might sound crazy to be promoting one book while you're writing another, but if you're in this for the long haul, then you've got to have products. You need to be able to keep your new book reader fans happy while establishing your author platform.
5) If you decide to self publish, then you'd better do it right. Sure, it's okay to use Fiverr for a few simple gigs, but your book cover, editor, and formatters shouldn't be skimped on. Remember that this book is going to represent you.
6) You don't know it all because you have a book out. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from people who have more publishing industry experience under their belt. Helpful tips and being a part of a community can only benefit you in the long run.
7) You have to know how to sell yourself. Whether your book is traditionally published or not, you will have to be convincing about why they should read what you've written. The wise old adage, a closed mouth doesn't get fed really does apply.
8) You will doubt yourself. There will come a time when you may not like your sales numbers. It'll make you wonder why you even tried to be a writer in the first place. It'll be a test. You can switch up your sales tactics, pen another book, or completely give up.
9) If you misspell even one word while sending out any correspondence to anyone concerning your book, then you're inadequate. Okay, so maybe it's just me thinking that anything that I write should always be on point since I'm calling myself a published writer---even texts.
10) On the opposite side of the spectrum,  interviews of any kind will make you feel  super smart. Every time you answer complimentary questions about your title(s), it’s going to give a boost to your ego.You’ll feel like Stephen King.
There are lots of negatives and not too many positives in this list, but if you're ready to take on each challenge,then believe me, you're well on your way to being that published author; hopefully a very successful one!


"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown


29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown & 

her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter

7 Questions with #Author Mike Hartner @MHartnerAuthor #HistFic #Romance

Posted by Bob Richardson on 09:30 with No comments
Tell us a bit about your family.
 I have a wife of more than 24 years, and a son who just turned 13

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 
Day by day.

What scares you the most? 
Anything negative happening to my family

What makes you happiest?  
Watching people close to me, including my son and wife, succeed.

What’s your greatest character strength?
My loyalty to family and friends.

What’s your weakest character trait?
My loyalty to family and friends.

Why do you write? 
For the rest, relaxation and enjoyment


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Mike Hartner on Facebook & Twitter

HJ Lawson Redefines Storytelling @hjlawson1 #WriteTip #AmWriting #YA

Posted by Bob Richardson on 08:30 with 1 comment
Storytelling Redefined

I listened to a Joanne Penn podcast on about Wattpad, a new social platform for readers. Wattpad has 24 million users, the majority are readers, with only 10% authors. Average session length is 30 mins, and 85% read via mobile devices.

It is a very popular site for teenagers, fan fiction is hugely popular, search One Direction on the site and you will see hundreds of stories. It has been described as the YouTube of writing because of the way it enables authors to share their work with the world. Wattpad also has a global growth. US, Canada and UK are the largest, the Philippines stands apart. Wattpad is the #1 app and it is driving the physical bookselling bestseller lists.

Authors can upload either the completed or working version of their books for readers to read. It is not possible to upload a book as one single file; it has to be done on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Then your followers get notified the moment a new chapter is shared. The notification appears on the phone, tablet or computer. Then the best part; followers make comments and vote for your work.

I interviewed Bruce Elgin, on my website about his experience on Wattpad. Bruce’s novel Schism has been read over 117,922 time, has 4521 votes, 1732 comments and was selected for the Wattpad feature story.

I asked Bruce - Have you found Wattpad a useful platform for your work? Bruce replied: I love Wattpad.  I am a total dork for Wattpad.  How else can a writer get fans from every corner of the world?  When I started on Wattpad I was brainstorming ways to get the word out about Schism.  I had some casual fans from Voodootown, but didn’t know who most of them were.  But, on July 18, Schism will be a featured story on Wattpad and hundreds of thousands of people (who already love to read!) from every corner of the world are going to check it out.  And for everyone that votes for even one chapter, I will know who that person is and can thank them personally.  Add to that the ability to talk with readers as they read and we’re looking at a brand new paradigm of reading.

I asked him if he have you seen an increase in your book sales, from launching it on Wattpad, if yes by what percentages? Bruce: Yes!  It’s small so far, maybe a 30% increase, but with Schism being featured, I think the bump will get much bigger.

I have posted chapters of my first novel War Kids on Wattpad, and found that the readers are very supportive and they have given me useful comments. It is great to have a direct connection with the readers.


Hayley Lawson is the author of War Kids. She has written a young adult contemporary novel set in Syria; a story about the Syrian Civil war though the eyes of children.

She was born in Lancaster, England. Growing up in a single parent household with five other siblings; was hard, and also character building.

As a young child she found a passion for drawing, and continued this into adulthood, graduating from the University of Central Lancashire, England with a BA(Hons) in fashion design.

At aged twenty seven, Hayley and her husband packed up their belongings for a lifelong dream to move to California. Her America dream was complete with the birth of her daughter. Her love for traveling, continued after the birth of her daughter traveling around America with the family, and the best travelled dog.
A new job positioned opened up New York, and the family decide to relocate to Long Island, NY, which is where she currently resides.

On August 21 she was moved by the images of the Syrian conflict, and embarked on an unlikely journey of writing her first novel.


All profits from the book will be going to the save the children charity.

When fourteen-year-old Jada wakes up in a hospital, the last thing she thinks is that her life has completely changed forever. But when the very real civil war forces her to flee from every open space, she must use the firearm skills her father taught her to reunite with him and protect herself. Armed with a single gun and a key to an unknown locker, Jada crosses Syria on a journey with a group of children called the Fearless Freedom Fighters. With the leader, Zak, they mount a plan to rescue their fathers while they try to cope with the merciless murders of their families. As Jada and Zak lead the group together, love blossoms, but with soldiers hot on their tail, they need to stay vigilant in the face of war.

Reviews from Wattpad

Very interesting story, very powerful. I can really feel the emotion...Peter

This book really touches my heart because there is so much truth is in this book. The detail is so brilliantly displayed, its beautifuly written. There are pretty intense chapters, its good... scrap that its excellent. Loe the work ...although I am upset. I know this is a fictional story, but I just can't help but feel extremely bad for all the lost lives especially the innocent and young ones...Saddy

A REMARKABLE BOOK, DEMANDS TO BE READ Goodreads review from Joe Eliseon

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Genre - Young Adult 
Rating – PG-13
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