Why I love Bookstores

books

So, the other day, I had finished university for the day and decided to take a trip into the city and visit Waterstones. It got me thinking about how much I love visiting bookstores. I love walking in, seeing books on every available shelf space. I love seeing the people in there, browsing for a new read. I love taking my time, walking through the store, picking up random books that catch my interest and checking out the blurbs on the back. I love sitting down to a cup of tea in the cafe, surrounded by books. Of course, I usually come away from the bookstore with a new paperback in my bag. The only way I can sum up the feeling is like when I was little and my mum would take me to a toy store and I could spend some of my savings and get a new toy. It gives me goosebumps to think that one day, my book could grace the shelves of a major bookstore. It’s a goal to work toward, I suppose.

I did get a good boost the other day. I was sent a picture of the paperback version of my novella that had recently arrived in Banchory Library (second shelf down). I don’t understand how libraries acquire new books but it was a pretty awesome feeling to know that my book is filtering out there into the wider world! library

The free promotion I ran at the start of the month went very well. Almost double what was downloaded on the first promotion. Again, my book went to #1 in the African sections on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. I know I keep harping on about this but if you downloaded it and read it, then please consider leaving a short review on Amazon or Goodreads (Both would be even better). It takes a few moments and helps any author get his work noticed.

So, I’m back to editing my novel, refining it into something to really be proud of. It’s an exciting time, even if it is difficult to tear apart your creation. It’ll be worth it in the end. Hope you’re all well. Until next time

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Only The Dead by M. W. Duncan: A Review

A fantastic review for my novella

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Free Kindle Downloads of Only The Dead: An African War 6th- 10th February

Hey guys!

Remember to check out the free downloads on UK Amazon and US Amazon right now!

Until next time!

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It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

santa

Ho!Ho!Ho! Hey all! Just thought I’d stop by and wish you all a Merry Christmas! My Christmas preparations have consisted of fighting off the zombie masses in the shops! Doing a load of shopping online and also organising my list of Christmas films to watch! I also got myself a Christmas jumper! First one ever! I’m pretty sure I’m going to wear it to university tomorrow. It’s the last class of the year, so I don’t think I’ll actually be doing any counselling. I’d better pack another top to wear, just in case. I don’t think anyone would appreciate having a session with their counsellor wearing a bright red Christmas jumper!

What’s that? You would like to know my list of films I’ll be watching between now and Christmas? Alright then, in no particular order!

Home Alone
Home Alone 2
A Christmas Carol(Patrick Stewart version)
A Christmas Carol(Jim Carrey version)
Jingle All The Way
Toy Story
Trading Places
Die Hard
Die Hard 2
Elf
Scrooged

So yeah, I’ve got a lot of films to get through!

On the writing front, not much is happening. I’m giving myself a little time off but I should have some good news in the new year. Also, Only The Dead Part 2 should probably be completed early next year. I’m having a bit of a dilemma with the title of it. I’ll perhaps ask for all your thoughts on it at a future date! Until next time!

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The Fallout From The Free Promotion!

Hey all! Time I sat down and reflected back on what happened with my free promotion for Only The Dead: An African War. First off, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who downloaded the book, helped get the word out or just offered some encouragement. It was a great success, much above what I ever hoped to achieve. The book went to #1 in the Africa section and #1 in the Military section on Amazon.com. In the UK on Amazon.co.uk, it went to #1 in Africa and #3 in Military. blog 2

blog 1

Again, thank you to everyone who helped! If you have read my book, then please consider posting a short review on Amazon. It really helps and doesn’t take long. Thanks.

I learnt some lessons while the promotion was on. The first thing is never run a promotion when you’re away from your laptop and relying on your mobile to interact with people on Twitter. I went down to Glasgow to enjoy some of the Christmas festivities. While it was lovely, I felt like I was glued to my mobile, with Twitter notifications going on left, right and centre. Another thing is that I both love and hate Twitter. I met some seriously awesome people on there, interacted with them, had a laugh. Brilliant. But then you get Twitter accounts that are automated by whatever program. These really annoy me. What’s the point of having a Twitter account if you’re letting a computer run it? Oh yeah, to force your product or website down people’s throat! Rant over! For those of you I did meet on Twitter! You’re all awesome!

I myself felt bad connecting with people and mentioning to them that my novella was free, but needs must. I’m sorry if I came off pushy(I hope I didn’t) but I really needed to get the word out there! I hope you’re all enjoying my book!

I suppose I better go and do something productive toward my university course. Is anyone else panicking about the speed with which Christmas is approaching? Yikes! Better get my shopping done! Until next time!

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Free Kindle Downloads of Only The Dead: An African War

Hey guys!

Remember to check out the free downloads on UK Amazon and US Amazon right now!

Until next time!

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I need you!

Kitchener-3Hey all! So I thought I would sit down and write a short blog this week! Not a lot of writing has been done so far. I have a university essay that is due next week so I’m putting all my effort into getting this complete! I’d rather be writing fiction but sometimes academic work needs to come first.

My big news this week is that I’m running a free promotion this weekend. From Friday the 29th of November until Sunday the 1st of December Only The Dead: An African War will be free to download on Kindle. I’m doing this for two reasons. One: I’m wanting more reviews and people reading the novella. Two: If I get more positive feedback then it might encourage me to pull my thumb out and get the follow-up written! Obviously, the more downloads it receives, the higher in the Amazon charts it goes and more people are likely to see it and download it.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to ask a big favour! Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download the Kindle app for your phone or PC. It takes very little time and is easy to use and understand! If you have a spare five minutes then please consider downloading my book when it’s on the promotion. It’s all about getting my book into as many people’s hands as possible. The Kindle app can be downloaded from the Amazon website.

So the dates are 29th November- 1st of December!

I’d love to break into the top 100 free downloads for some of the categories! It would be an awesome way to start December! I’m probably going to be spamming this promotion of social media. Please forgive me! I don’t do it that often! Until next time

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There’s snow on the ground and a new blog to be written

Hey all! I know it’s been a while since my last blog but I’ve been so very busy! Both with university work, writing and editing Carrion City and other stuff. So where do I start?

Well Carrion City is pretty much complete now. It’s been with my editor for about three weeks. When I sent it to her, it was 109,000 words, when I got it back it had shrunk down to 84,000 words. I knew I wrote wordy, but not that wordy! Actually, I knew a lot needed to be cut and feel that as it is now, it reads so much better, streamlined and much more professional. One of my biggest issues is adding too much detail about what the characters are doing. I’m not good at having a block of dialogue without breaks for actions or observations. It’s something I need to work on and will get there! I’m pretty exciting to finally declare Carrion City complete! Not yet, but soon.

University is going well! I’m really enjoying working in a new class, even if I do miss some of my old classmates. I’ve applied for counselling training with a mental health agency in Aberdeen. I had my interview last Friday, which I felt went pretty damn good, even if I did worry about what to wear for it! If I get accepted onto the training program I’ll start in January, train for around six months and hopefully by August will be seeing clients! This would be a dream of mine, it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was quite young so feels good to be on the right track. Also, this training and counselling experience would form the basis of the second year of Aberdeen University’s counselling diploma course- after which I would be a fully qualified counsellor! Exciting!

My novella- Only The Dead: An African War was reviewed over at Purple Book Reviews http://purplebookreviews.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/only-the-dead-an-african-war/ I was really happy with the review, although the reviewer didn’t realise that the novella is the first of a series. Not their fault at all. It’s a great site with some really interesting books!

So it’s started to snow here in Scotland. Not bad, but enough to get everyone moaning about it! I really love the snow, however I’m not looking forward to the journey to University tomorrow morning! I really need to get a car! Until next time!

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Back after a wee break!

Hey all! I have to say sorry for the lack of blogging activity from me over the last three weeks. I have a good reason, though. Well, I have several actually. First of all, I had my surgery three weeks ago. It sucked, but thankfully, I was out of hospital in a few days. As usual, the staff couldn’t have been better and the care they provided was above and beyond. I have nothing but respect for the nurses, auxiliaries and doctors on the ward! I’m still recovering from my operation, which means that sitting is only now a possibility but it hurts a lot still so I avoid it when I can. Yep, a lot of lying on the sofa, balancing the laptop on the edge!

In writing, I’ve been rushing to complete my novel, Carrion City. It’s done and dusted! Hurrah! Well, it’s done and with my editor, Pauline. She’s making a fantastic job in helping me make it into something I am proud to have my name on. When I sent it to her, it was 108,000 words. Now, after the first round of edits, it’s down to 99,000. I’m hoping to take a few more thousand words out of it. I write overly wordy sometimes and need an independent eye to point out where I need to cut down. So, once I get the manuscript back, make the final changes I’ll have another completed novel! I’m very excited about this. It’s quite a surreal feeling for me when I actually complete something I’m happy with. I’m sure to keep you all updated on the progress!

I’ve started back at Aberdeen University for Counselling Skills 3&4. It’s great to be back and this module, I’m working with an entirely new group of people. Everyone is really nice and I’m looking forward to working with them in the future. What I’m not looking forward to? Having each session recorded to reflect upon for the essay this year! I hate seeing/hearing myself on film! Also, I’ve been given the chance to apply for a volunteer counsellor position with an Aberdeen counselling agency. This would be invaluable experience for me and is something I would need to progress to the diploma. So fingers crossed I at least get picked for an interview!

Because I completed my novel and am well underway with my editing, I treated myself to Grand Theft Auto V – like most of the male population, I am guessing. I’ve lost an afternoon to that game already. It’s a great game, quite different to what I expected. I’m making sure to maintain a balance between writing/editing, university work, gaming and of course, real life! Until next time!

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A concerted effort!

Hey all. Back again, time for another blog. So, what’s happening with me? Well lots actually. I’ve completed my last Open University Assessment for my Death and Dying course. While I found it interesting, I didn’t really feel that it had much relevance for the study of counselling. I felt it was directed toward those who would be giving palliative care. Still, I’m glad it’s done and I’ll get some more credit. I’ve decided to take a break from The Open University. I’ve studied with them for three and a half years constantly. I’ll go back to studying in the New Year, and have already picked out some courses that are interesting me. I won’t be idle however, I go back to studying with Aberdeen University at the start of October. I’m looking forward to resuming my training toward qualifying as a counsellor. I’ll also have a little more time to write, which is always a good thing.

This week, I’m making a real effort to get Carrion City finished. I’m almost there but I want it completed before I go into hospital at the start of next week. Hopefully this hospital trip will be better than the last. I hated having to stay in for a week. It was boring, sore and frustrating. If it wasn’t for the lovely nurses and all those who came to visit, I would have probably lost my mind. Still, I’m hopeful that this will be my last hospital trip for a while.

I’m off to get more writing done! Hope you all have a great week! Until next time!

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