Read the Book Jacket Blurb for “Under this Skin”

Here’s a peek at the back jacket blurb for “Under this Skin” – due out this Saturday 22nd Oct!

Forty-something, divorcee Trude doesn’t expect much from life anymore. Least of all a mysterious box, a possible romance and some distinctly unusual ‘growing pains’.

When a neighbour she barely knew dies and leaves her a box full of personal belongings, her life gets a boot up the backside. Her neighbour’s friend David tries to help her understand why – and provides the tantalising possibility of romance. Things should be looking up.

Except…

Trude begins to suffer disturbing symptoms and finds herself slap bang in the middle of a ridiculous nightmare. Plagued by painful changes and blackouts, she wakes up in strange places without her memory – or her clothes! She sees visions of other peoples’ thoughts. And the weirdest thing of all – something is stalking her inside her own head.

Uncover the secrets of this darkly comic contemporary fantasy debut by R. F. Walton.

 

Ps – I won’t keep banging on about my book once it’s published – promise!

6 Reasons Why you Might want to Buy my Book

Under this Skin book cover image

My ebook ‘Under this Skin‘, is up for sale on Amazon Kindle and here are six reasons to buy my book:

1. You like contemporary fantasy

This book is a fantasy/horror set in present day reality. And if that’s your bag baby you should give it a whirl.

2. You like a bargain

£1.99 is less than a cup of High Street coffee and for that sum you’ll get a gathering of original words in a pleasing order to be read again and again. Bargain.

3. You want something fast-paced

There’s nothing wrong with a Game of Thrones-type epic but sometimes you need something a bit more nippy. At 55,000-odd words, my book gets into the story with no messing about.

4. You want to be amused

Fantasy can be super serious. This book does deal with some nitty-gritty themes it’s true, but it’ll also make you giggle.

5. You like cats

If the Internet has taught me anything it’s that everyone loves cats. And this book has one. But not too much of one if you’re not enamoured with cats.

You’ll make me happy

And I’ll share that happiness with the people around me. So you’ll be ‘spreading the love’ far and wide. Massive Karma bonus for you eh?

So hopefully that’s piqued your interest. But if not, that’s okay. You can still come by and visit anytime (as long as you bring me a kitty).

Interested? Go get ‘Under this Skin’ now!

Related reads

4 Roadblocks to your Writing – and 4 Ways to Steamroller them!

The Book is Finished

 

Stone Cold Toad

Observe if you will the subject,
the glass across her shows,
a clear-cut image of the creature inside,
the gluttonous stone-cold toad.

See how it sits in the darkness,
concealed in the subjects gut,
with limbs of purple and emerald green,
with eyes sewed firmly shut.

You’ll note from its mouth emerges,
two protuberances of red,
these entwine and travel up the spine,
and finish inside the head.

Here it will feast, bloated and wet,
enough to maim but not kill,
but sometimes one can feed too much,
And the subject becomes forever still.

See now how your eyes widen in shock,
but without the glass there’s no trace,
of the foul and loathsome stone-cold toad
and where it sits in it’s place.

See you recoil from the subject,
see you mock or run and hide,
but this glass upon any of you,
t’would reveal a stone-cold toad inside.

 

Liked that? Try these…

Who Told you I was Leaving?

An Explanation of the Continous Necessity

Today

‘…I watched as my fingers snapped over one by one, shooting pain down my arms. My legs concertinaed upwards, folding over and over. My eyes shattered.’

The book is finished.

What you’ve read in the header above is a tiny taster of what it contains. And on Saturday 22nd Oct it’ll be unleashed into the great, wide world via Amazon. I know some people have mixed feelings about Amazon and the power they have in the Digital book market, but for someone in my position it makes sense.

And it really is an amazing opportunity. If you’d have told 14-year-old me I’d have the chance to publish my book and access a market of millions without an agent or publisher – I’d have thought you were on something.

I know I’m not going to get many downloads but that’s okay. I’ve got the opportunity to put my work out there, which ultimately is all most creators want. A chance for expression. And maybe a tiny bit of feedback.

Liked that? Try these…

How long should it take to write a book?
4 Roadblocks to your Writing & 4 Ways to Steamroll them!
Write Every Day!
Save the Date – Are Deadlines a Good or Bad thing?

Visiting Alice Liddells Grave

20160618_093834

Any fan of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ will know that its eponymous heroine is based on a real person. Alice Liddell was the fourth child in the Liddell family. They were friends with Charles Dodgson AKA Lewis Carroll and it was on a boating trip that he whipped up the tale of Alice and the White Rabbit which Alice encouraged him to write down. ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ were born.

Alice lived most of her life in and around Lyndhurst in the New Forest. And it’s handily not that far away from where I live. It seemed only right that after photographing Lewis Carroll’s final resting place, I should do the same for Alice herself.

20160618_093750

You can find her around the back of the rather grand St Micheal and All Angels. A handy sign points the way. On the headstone, Alice is referred to as ‘Mrs Reginald Hargreaves’, which does jar, but put that down to the times in which she lived.

20160618_093758

The grave itself has a rather lovely white stone memorial. It contrasts with the very apt red and white rose bushes planted inside.

 

If you’re ever passing through, I would definitely recommend stopping by to  see this charming site.

 

Try these next…

 

Lewis Carrolls Grave, Guildford
Jane Austen’s Grave, Winchester
Take Five Books

Have you got a Colouring Book?

Image of colouring pencils

Adult colouring books are all the rage. And by ‘adult’ I mean they’re more complicated than ones for the kids, not that they’ve got er, ‘adult’ subject matter (maybe yours do, I’m not judging). You can’t walk into a book shop without falling over a table full of them, swoops and curls of black and white, sometimes with a hint of gold to look extra classy.

They seemed to appear as therapy for a range of mental health issues, including simple stress relief. The market for them has certainly exploded over the past couple of years, so there’s definitely a lot of people doing them.

I’ve got an Alice in Wonderland one (‘natch) that I’m working on.

As a child, colouring books were stressful, as my overwhelming perfectionism did away with any ‘fun’ I might have had. Now, older and wiser, I just go with whatever pencil comes out of the box.

Anyone else out there got the colouring book bug?

A Visit to Glasgow Necropolis

Glasgow Necropolis

The Glasgow Necropolis on a cold, bright morn; grand and Gothic and unsurprisingly, Victorian. Ever a society in love with death, elevating it into an art form fit for the ancients.

It’s easy to see why writers are fascinated by cities of the dead. Cemeteries tell a thousand tales. Inspiration and intrigue around every corner.

Graves in Glasgow Necropolis

Sitting on a hill in the heart of the city, the Necropolis wakes. It looks over the old and new of Glasgow, a stark mix of grey-red stone and dark shadows.

shadows and sunlight through gravestones

The living walk amoung the dead, tourists, visitors and others poetically extolling virtues of life over breakfast beers

Mausoleum in Glasgow Necropolis

The grandest mausoleums sit on the prime spot at the very top of the hill. They show off wealth from the then-new industrial classes. Everlasting memorials to countless engineers and entrepreneurs, doctors, priests and generals.

More graves in Glasgow Necropolis

You have no choice but to wander. No-one’s in a hurry. Walk and wind between the long forgotten and remember their tales.

Grave at Glasgow Necropolis

On the other side of the hill a great screeching disturbs the dawn. An industrial site behind this resting place belches clouds of smoke and noise enough to wake the dead.

Smoke and atomsphere in Glasgow Necropolis

If you liked that, try these…

Exploring Highgate Cemetery
Agatha Christie’s Grave, Cholsey, UK
William Shakespeare’s grave

In Real Life

The real world rushed into focus recently in the worst way possible. It’s why I’ve been so quiet on here. It was a full-on bolt from the blue and it’s sent everything I knew spinning.

We write to escape reality. Perhaps this is most true if you write fiction, but even those whose work is ultra realist are still escaping into the story. The beginning, the middle and the end. The place where we are in control. Where we have the power to go straight, diverge, rewind, erase and, if we don’t like where we’re going, switch off completely. The real world becomes clear and easy to hold. But now the sharp edges of life are here and they’re staying. They an’t be rewritten and they an’t be erased. These times remind me why we escape real life but also of the best parts of it. The people I love. You have to hold them tightly along with our precious armour; our words. It’s scant protection, but it’s all we’ve got.

Where's the oddest place you've done it

Write I mean!

On trains and buses, boats and rooftops, beaches, balconies and the bottom of the sea, we writers will do it anywhere (get your minds out of the gutter please!) I’m sure you know what it’s like to have the Muse (or just the need to flex those writing muscles) strike at an unexpected moment.

Personally, the oddest place I’ve done it was a department store. Working 9-5, you can only re-arrange the cushions and lights and mirrors so many times before you start to feel a bit zombified. In the long periods between customers (because no-one buys lights on a Wednesday afternoon), I used scraps of paper we kept for customer notes to scribble out a ghost story set in, yes, a department store.

So, where’s the oddest place you’ve done your writing?

Related reads
How to Earn 700 Self-Publishing! 700 Simoleons that is
5 Ways to Wordsmith your Writing
Get Paid to do your own Writers Retreat

4 Roadblocks to your Writing – And 4 ways to Steamroll them!

Image of steamroller


For every writing problem you have, there is an answer.

Not necessarily an easy answer that involves lamps and Genies but an answer nevertheless.

Here are 4 common roadblocks that stop you from writing – and 4 ways to steamroll them flat.

1) I don’t have time to write

When I was younger, there was a TV show about a boy with a watch who could stop time. I think everyone would kill for one of those, writer or not.

You’re allowed to have a busy life, a job, a family, kids, pets and all sorts of other commitments. You’re allowed to have days when you don’t write. Don’t feel bad about them.

But –

the fact remains that your book/short story/poem/screenplay isn’t going to write itself. So you’re going to have to make time. That might mean making a few little sacrifices; you wake up a bit earlier, you write in your lunch break or skip an evening TV show for a couple of hours of writing instead. If you don’t drive on your commute, you could fit in a few words then. Or even keep a notepad in the toilet – multi-tasking to the extreme!

2) I’m just not inspired

You can’t write without inspiration right? Well…actually, you can. People who write for a living don’t have a choice. It may sound mercenary but if you have to, you’ll find something to write about.

If you’re stuck on a scene, skip it and move on. Try editing something you’ve already written. Or go and write something completely different to keep your mind active until you’re ready to go back to your WiP. Blog posts are good!

Physical activity can also get the creative juices flowing. A simple walk can work wonders for the old noggin. A trip to the Library is even better. Grab a book to find your inspiration.

3) I’m not sure my writing is any good

Join the club, we’ve got jackets.

Every writer ever, in the history of writing, has doubted their work or their writing abilities. And not just once either. It’s completely natural. And it may be that what you’re writing on isn’t going to work out.

Step back. Let your work breathe. When you return to it, give it a the once over and, if you decide to scrap it, don’t chuck it entirely. Keep a copy so that if nothing else you can cannibalise it for ‘parts’.

You also need to remind yourself why you writeWhy do these characters dance through your through your head and onto paper? Because they need to. Because you need to. You may not be the next Charles Dickens (I know I’m not), but you will always have to write. 

4) I keep getting distrac-oh a butterfly!

The internet is a wonderful and terrible place. So are Netflix and Instagram  and all the other distractions of the digital age. When you turn on your computer to write, you open up world of procrastination right at your fingertips. I know this. I’ve already been distracted six times in the last paragraph.

Hmm…what was I saying?

You can try swapping your laptop for a pen and paper. But if you’re anything like me, you type faster than you can write anyway. Then you’ll need to get serious and unplug the internet. You can do this literally or by using handy apps from Chrome or Microsoft. Use them to block the Internet on your computer for as long as you need to get things done.
Or try a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, with or without music, to help you focus.

And hide the TV.


 

What are your top tips to get past major writing difficulties?

Related reads
The Perils of On-demand TV
Write Every Day
Writer’s Block? Move it!
Get Paid to do your own Writers Retreat