Monday, 29 June 2015

Revolution Day

Thank you very much for inviting me onto your blog, Maureen, on the day my novel, Revolution Day, is published by Crooked Cat.

Revolution Day is my second novel. Unlike my first (Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the Ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta in the 3rd century BC) it is set in the present day, and the people and events - and even the country - it depicts are entirely fictional.  

It follows a year in the life of Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor, who has been the ruler of his country for 37 years. Now in his seventies, he is feeling his age and seeing enemies around every corner. And with good reason: his Vice-President, Manuel Jimenez, though outwardly loyal, is burning with frustration at his subordinate position.

Carlos’ estranged and imprisoned wife Juanita is writing a memoir in which she recalls the revolution that brought him to power and how, once a liberal idealist, he changed over time into an autocrat and embraced repression as the means of sustaining his position. In this brief excerpt, she recalls the immediate aftermath of the chaotic events which led to the deaths of both the old President Velazco and Raul, the leader of the revolutionary movement, and brought Carlos (unexpectedly and somewhat fortuitously) to power:

“I remember nothing of the speech that Carlos delivered from the balcony that afternoon. Or rather, I do not remember it as it was delivered then, though of course much of it has been repeated year on year for decades, gradually becoming empty and hackneyed, the subject of countless parodies. What I remember is my reaction to the speech at the time, my feeling that it was apt, and full of emotional power. It was also suspiciously well-structured and phrased, as if he had been planning this moment for years, even though it had always been glamorous, charismatic Raul, not middle-aged, pedantic Carlos who was supposed to become the President. But most of all, what I remember is the crowd. No longer an angry mob, they were dancing and cheering and singing songs. And they were cheering for us, for Carlos most of all, of course, but for all of us; when I waved, they cheered; when I blew them a kiss, they blew kisses back. I felt suffused by their joy and their love, and found myself laughing out loud, that this day of fuck-ups and murder and revenge and treachery had somehow turned out to be the greatest day of my life and possibly the greatest day in all history. Despite everything that has happened since, the happiness of that moment lives with me still.”

When Manuel’s attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. As he moves to undermine Carlos’s position and make his own bid for power, Juanita will eventually find herself an unwitting participant in his plans.

If your readers are intrigued, they can find out more on my website and Facebook authorpage, and they will be very welcome to drop in on the Facebook launch event, where there will be competitions and other fun things to do with the book.

Many thanks once again for hosting me, Maureen - and good luck with Trace your Roots!

Tim Taylor was born in 1960 in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, UK. He grew up just outside the city in Brown Edge, then at the age of 11 moved to Longsdon, near Leek.  Tim went to Newcastle-under-Lyme High School, then studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford. After graduating he moved to London and spent a couple of years playing guitar in a rock band. When it became clear that he was never going to be a rock star, he sadly knuckled down and joined the Civil Service, where he did a wide range of jobs before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing.  While still in the Civil Service Tim studied part time for a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, achieving it in 2007.

Tim married Rosa Vella in 1994 and their daughter Helen was born in 1997. In 2001 they moved to Meltham, near Huddersfield, and have lived there ever since. Tim now divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.

Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome (a finalist in the Chaucer Awards for historical fiction), was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015.  He has also published a non-fiction book, Knowing What is Good For You (Palgrave Macmillan 2012), on the philosophy of well-being. As well as novels, Tim writes poetry and the occasional short story.  He also plays electric and acoustic guitar and a little piano, and likes to walk up hills.

Connect with Tim on Twitter
Tim's Crooked Cat author page 

Buy Revolution Day on Amazon UK  and 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Flash Fiction Competition

 Write a complete story in just 500 words.

This quarterly open-themed competition has closing dates of 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December. The results are announced within six weeks of each closing date and the three winning entries each quarter will be published on the Flash 500 website.

1st - £300 plus publication in Words with Jam 
2nd - £200
3rd - £100
Highly commended - choice of The Writers' ABC Checklist or Bad Moon Rising
Entry fee: £5 for one story, £8 for two stories
Optional critiques: £10 per story
Full details HERE


Thursday, 23 April 2015

First Page Competition 2015

A few more weeks left yet to enter this year's First Page Competition. Words with Jam are looking for the most captivating first page (up to 400 words) of a story.
Entries can be from a novel published, unpublished, a part written novel, or simply a first page written purely for the competition. Entries will be judged anonymously. 

1st - £500
2nd - £100
3rd - £50

All three winning entries will be published in August 2015 on the Words with JAM website. All entrants will be notified via email with the results.

Closing date is May 31 2015 (midnight GMT)

Full details and entry form HERE

Monday, 13 April 2015

£1,000 Writers’ Village short story comp

£1000 top prize for short fiction in Writers’ Village Contest summer 2015

£1000 is the top prize on offer for short fiction in the Writers' Village International Short Fiction Award summer 2015, with cash prizes totalling £2000. The second prize is £500, third prize £250 and there are five runner up prizes of £50. Ten further Highly Commended entrants will have their stories acknowledged at the site.

Everyone wins because every contestant, win or lose, gains feedback on how their stories were graded - plus tips for improvement.

Winners will be awarded the title ‘Winner, the Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award summer 2015’ and see their work showcased online.

Any genre of prose fiction may be submitted up to 3000 words, except playscripts and poetry. Entries are welcomed world-wide. The fee is £15 and multiple entries are permitted. Deadline is midnight 30th June 2015. Entry rules plus all winning stories since 2009 can be found at:


Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Double Launch for Nancy Jardine

A very warm welcome to my guest, Nancy Jardine.
Nancy's WEBSITE Nancy's BLOG

Hello ……. I’m totally delighted that you’ve let me come to share my new launch news with your readers.

Those who already know me a little will have learned that my writing spans the fiction sub-genres of historical romantic adventures; contemporary romantic mysteries; and time travel adventures for a middle grade/YA market. My next two books to hit the launch pad are from these quite different styles of writing – though both were delightful to create!

I’m very excited that on the 27th March 2015, Crooked Cat Publishing is re-launching a new general Monogamy Twist, a light-hearted contemporary romantic mystery. The fabulous quirky new cover, designed by Laurence Patterson of Crooked Cat, reveals a grand house at the centre of the story which is a really excellent image since the plot is based around a Dickensian theme. Luke Salieri finds he’s been bequeathed a dilapidated mansion in Yorkshire…but he can only fully inherit after some weird and antiquated stipulations are fulfilled! He’s never met his benefactress; hasn’t even heard of her but Luke’s never one to back down from a challenge. He needs expert help, though, to find out why Amelia Greywood chose him and Rhia Ashton seems ideal. Rhia, a historian and family tree researcher, seems perfect but it turns out that she has her own ideas of what will make Luke’s strange request worthwhile. Compromise is the name of the game for Luke…and for Rhia.

It’s probably no surprise that the plot for the novel came about as a combination of my watching the current BBC TV Charles Dickens serial of late 2010 and while I was also doing the first forays in researching my own ancestral background. I found a decided black sheep in one of my great-grandfathers: Rhia finds a good few family surprises for Luke in Monogamy Twist! Rhia and Luke were lovely characters to invent but some readers have told me that they love Thor, the Irish wolfhound, even more!

I extend a warm welcome to your readers to join my Facebook Launch Party for Monogamy Twist on the 27th March 2015. Quirky goodies can be won. There’ll be music; food; lovely locations in Yorkshire… Why not pop in and say hello!

My other new launch – The Taexali Game, a time travel historical adventure for a middle grade/ YA readership − will be in April 2015.

Set in northern Roman Britannia (current Aberdeenshire) in AD 210, my valiant trio – Aran, Brian and Fianna – must work through a set task list, part of which is to help both the ‘baddies’ and the ‘goodies’ in the story. The problem is that there are local
Celtic tribespeople who are just as nasty as the invading Roman Emperor Severus and his barbaric son Caracalla. Working out who to trust is a perilous business. Literally sparring with death is a daily occupation back in AD 210, but in The Taexali Game, my teens are up to the challenges facing them!

Graphic designer, Neil Saddler, has done a fabulous job of blending the main elements of the story in the wonderful cover design he’s created for me − depicting locally recognised background scenery in Aberdeenshire; the threat of invasion from the Ancient Roman Legions; my time trio who are about to launch themselves into the adventure!  The Taexali Game will be available in both paperback and ebook formats. 

Nancy Jardine lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She currently shares a home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, 3 year old granddaughter and 1 year old grandson. It’ll continue to be a busy household till late summer of 2015 when the new build home will be completed for the young ‘uns on what was Nancy’s former back garden. The loss of that part of the garden won’t be missed since there should now be more writing time available this spring and summer! Childminding is intermittent over the day and any writing time is precious. (If interested in how a new house is built these days, follow my blog posts named ‘Gonna build a house’)

All matters historical are a passion; Ancestry research a lovely time-suck. Nancy regularly blogs and loves to have guests visit her blog. Facebooking is a habit she’s trying to keep within reasonable bounds! Any time left in a day is for leisure reading and the occasional historical series on TV.

Amazon Author page for books and to view book trailer videos: US and UK

Novels also available from Barnes and Noble; W.H. Smith;; Smashwords; TESCO Blinkboxbooks; and various other places. 

Thank you for the opportunity to share my news with your readers!