A classic moment when I read a post about the two Awethologies by The Awethors which was published by Plaisted Publishing House in October 2015. How the heck did I miss this? Nearly. Being in New Zealand, means I’m a day ahead of most people. However I’d also like to celebrate both Awethologies we had and participated in. It was amazing team work with Editors galore, around 54 International Authors better known as Awethors who were part of the group. We ended up making two Anthologies with close to 600 pages apiece. The eBooks were FREE and, from memory, the Paperbacks were close to $21 USD.
Not only did we produce the books, we also did a live marketing book day to celebrate starting in New Zealand and Australia with myself and Michael J Elliott. Due to the time difference we were celebrating for a long time. I know I was sharing Author Interviews for 17 hours before retiring to bed. The celebrations continued in the Northern Hemisphere long after.
I will be sharing some of the old Awethor Interviews with you over the next few weeks, hopefully I can get some of the Awethors to update us with what they are doing now and over the last five years. It’ll be nice to catch up with everyone. Meanwhile, here are the links to the two Awethologies.
Plaisted Publishing House has opened its doors for our first Anthology of the year. Ghostly Youth is for anyone who writes ghost stories for ages 10 and up. Any genre suitable for children is acceptable as long as the story has a ghostly element.
Calling all Ghostly Rites Authors!
Submissions for Ghostly Youth—Vol 1 open 1st March 2020.
This is a new publication aimed for the young, and young at heart, aged from 10 to adult. Please remember your submission may be rejected if your content is not suitable (PG-13 as a guide).
Submissions close for editing: 1st May 2020, Publication: June 2020
Submission Requirements—Please Note:
¨ Submissions will be a non-refundable USD $10 up to 8,000 words. Please reserve your space in this Anthology by sending via PayPal Friends & Family to firstname.lastname@example.org with the reference “Ghostly Youth—*Author Name*”. Please note editing on your manuscript will not start until payment is received. You may submit multiple manuscripts, at USD $10 each.
¨ Please send your manuscript to email@example.com. Your document must include a cover page containing only the Title and your Author name for admin purposes.
¨ Documents should be set in Times New Roman at 14pt Black. Please ensure your document does not contain any TAB or SPACEBAR indents. If you are not sure what this means, please let Claire know and she will make a post about it and can send you a template guide to help you.
¨ After submission, your manuscript will be proof-read for content, grammar, spelling and general suitability. Should a rewrite or changes be required, you will be advised prior to a final proof being sent to you. Once you have signed off on the final proof, no further changes can be made.
¨ All purchases of anthologies will be at authors cost, and links will be published once they are uploaded and ready. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!
Calling all Beta-Readers, Proof-Readers & Graphic Designers!
If you can volunteer to be a test-reader, proof-reader or a designer of teasers for our trailers, please contact Claire Plaisted at firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your services.
We are calling for submissions from writers worldwide. This year we are producing three Anthologies.
Ghostly Romance, Ghostly Rites and one for children aged 10 to adult Ghostly Rites Youth. The Children’s story must be scary but not over the top…Every child loves Goosebump Stories so let’s see what you all have to share.
These Anthologies are for Marketing you and your fellow authors. The eBooks will be FREE and the Paperbacks close to cost, depending on the distribution site.
Calling All Ghostly Rites Authors
Here is your schedule of submissions for 2020. Details of how to submit coming soon.
Each submission will cost USD $10 per 7,000 words. Your manuscript MUST contain your author name and story title on the first page.
Ghostly Youth – Volume 1 This is a new publication aimed for the young and young at heart, aged from 1 to adult. Please remember content must be suitable for children Submissions due: 1st May 2020 Publication: Mid-June 2020
Ghostly Romance – Volume 2 Following on for our august 2019 edition, Ghostly Romance Anthology containing ghostly tales that will tug on the heartstrings and make you check under the bed… Submissions due: 1st July 2020 Publication: Mid-August 2020
Ghostly Rites 2020 Our flagship publication, to make the hair on your neck stand on end and make your skin crawl. The scarier the better! Submissions due: 1st September 2020 Publication: October 31 2020
We’d like to introduce you to Jane Risdon, one of our latest clients who recently released an anthology of shorts called Undercover: Crime Shorts. This book already has five 5 star reviews with readers enjoying the twists and turns within the stories.
You may have already heard of Jane Risdon. Jane is one of our Ghostly Writers and has a story in each of our Ghostly Writes Anthologies. Introduction over here is the lovely, creative murder mystery author, JANE RISDON.
What & Who Inspires you to write?
Nobody inspires me. I am self-motivated and have always wanted to write. I may get ideas from overheard conversations, situations, and experiences I’ve had or come across in my ‘other life.’ Working in music, television and the movies is great fodder for a writer. Anyone who has spent time in Hollywood knows what I mean.
How did you get into writing? What was/is your journey like?
I have always written, even as a child, and I’d always promised myself that when my life on the road managing recording artists, songwriters, musicians, and record producers – with my musician husband – either got quieter or I decided I’d had enough, I’d spend my time writing the crime novels I’ve wanted to write since reading Agatha Christie as a youngster.
Who would you like to thank for supporting and assisting you to where you are today…?
Firstly my husband who has always supported me in whatever I’ve done, and secondly best-selling, award-winning author and life-long friend, Christina Jones. We got to know each other in the late 1960s when she was a rock journalist and fan-club secretary to my husband’s band. She’d always wanted to write with me and has encouraged me for years. We eventually wrote Only One Woman (Accent Press Ltd) together….published May 2018.
Thirdly, Margot Kinberg, author of the Joel Williams series of crime novels and Associate Professor, who kindly allowed me to contribute two short stories to one of her anthologies having read some of my other efforts before. She has always been the first to encourage me and introduce me to her writing/reading friends.
You are a Guest Blogger and wish to let people know something new about the writing world what would you write about?
I’ve written more guest blogs than I can shake a stick at. I always decide what I think the blog wants to say to its readers and what they expect from me and take it from there. I could write from a character’s perspective, or give in-depth detail about my writing process, or a particular book or story I’m working on or have just published. I do this regularly and enjoy it a lot. I always try to make it unusual – provide unknown facts perhaps, and to inform and entertain as well. I often write about my previous career in music and before that when I worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Whitehall and had quite a few adventures during the Cold War.
Tell us three things about your life that you love.
I love that I am still married to the same person I met aged 16 – 51 years ago – and with whom I have a son and now 3 gorgeous grandchildren.
I love that we have shared a fabulous career in the international music business with so many adventures and unreal memories and experiences.
Mostly I love not having to deal with hormonal-enraged female artists and testosterone-fuelled musicians any longer who came so close to being annihilated it is unreal.
If you could work anywhere in the world to write where would it be and why?
I’ve lived and worked all over the world including America, Singapore, and Taiwan to name a few places, and I guess being back in England is the bee’s knees for writing. For adventure and excitement – I’d go back to Hollywood and Los Angeles. That place is totally out there and unreal.
Choose one of the next three as a pet. Which one would it be and why? SNAKE, SPIDER or LIZARD
I cannot stand any of these so I’d not have any. Whilst I like animals, fish and birds (in general) I cannot stand anything near me which creeps, crawls, slithers or flies. We once managed a rock guitarist who kept a tarantula in his room – he lived with us for a year – and the sound of it eating crickets which he had sent through the post weekly, nearly finished me off. My sister-in-law kept a boa-constrictor in her sitting room and the sight of that eating its micro-waved rats and mice used to drive me demented. No pets whatever they are thank you very much.
Your muses are singing and dancing, totally annoying you. What music are they listening to? Do you like it or does it make you want to run screaming?
I keep hearing tell of muses. I’ve never had one, not got a clue what one is, and I am not sure I’d stand one. As for music – dear god! I’m married to a professional musician, lived all my life working with musicians, living with musicians, sharing hotel rooms, tour buses and whatever as well as eating, sleeping, and dreaming music 24/7 for the last 51 years – I enjoy silence – it is precious. Besides, listening to music for pleasure is something I’ve not done in yonks. Put music on and I’ll analyse it in detail: the notes, the tempo, the production, the performance and so on and so forth. Listening to music was my life. Now I just want peace and quiet. Unless my husband is playing his guitar – I can cope with him.
How did you stumble into Indie Publishing? What made you choose this way?
I am actually signed to a traditional publisher – Accent Press Ltd – for all my writing: novels and novellas etc., – but I am free to go elsewhere or self-publish if I want to publish collections of short stories or one-off short stories not covered by my contract.
My co-written novel with Christina Jones, Only One Woman, is my most recent publication with Accent.
I have contributed to 15 anthologies, online newsletters and magazines – before and during my publishing contract. Mostly Flash Fiction and short stories – not covered by my contract.
Recently, withPlaisted Publishing House, I have put out my first collection of crime short stories – Undercover: Crime Shorts, which I’d discussed with my publisher prior to going the self-published route. They cannot publish collections by a solo author – only anthologies with several authors – so I thought, blow it, I’ll do it myself.
When I was involved with music I used to write articles for music magazines, and if I had to I’d create press releases and bio’s for artists if I wasn’t impressed with their record label’s marketing department’s efforts.
Tell us about your book cover designer. Who are they? Where did you find them?
The designer for the cover of Only One Woman was in-house at Accent Press. They sent us several ideas which were what the publisher wanted basically and in the end, after a few alterations, we went with the cover you see today. So far we have 53 5* reviews on Amazon alone and on GoodReads and other book review places we have more than I know, so I guess the cover is successful. Most readers love it.
The design for Undercover: Crime Stories, was chosen by me from one of the online design sites you can find. I gave it to Claire and Mara at Plaisted Publishing House and they did the rest with consultations with me.
Marketing is the bane of our writing careers. How do you go about it? What’s your secret?
I do marketing every day – and of course, my publisher does as well. Whether it is for Only One Woman or Undercover: Crime Shorts I do the same. I spend a couple of hours every morning hitting the Facebook Groups, doing blogs, articles and if involved, blog tours. I am constantly looking for new ways to make something sound/look fresh. It is never-ending.
My work in music has helped me understand marketing – how to hone it down and change it for whichever outlet or entity I am aiming at. The secret if there is one, is keep at it all the time, putting your name and book out there and eventually via osmosis you’ll begin to make an impression and when someone is wondering what to read, give as a gift or whatever, the chances are your name/book will pop into their head.
CHALLENGE TIME – Write a short poem or story of no more than 500 words.
The Letter – Jane Risdon – under 500 words.
Haunted by the neat sloping writing on the blue Basildon Bond paper which lay accusingly on her writing desk the old woman sat locked inside her thoughts. She couldn’t bear to pick the letter up to read it again, but there was no need really. The contents were not unexpected after-all. She’d been waiting nearly forty years for something like this to happen. And now it had.
Every knock at the door, every strange hand’s address on an envelope had filled her with such fear the like of which she could never share. She had never told. The only reason she had an answering machine on her phone was so that she could screen her calls. Just in case. Now, there on the desk along with all her bills and other correspondence, the letter lay, the words terrorising her silently across the darkening room.
She didn’t ask herself how or why. She knew the answers and had known this moment would come eventually, either in the form of a visit, a phone call or a letter. Forty birthdays had come and gone and with each passing one she had agitated in case this time, it would be the one; the day when she would have to face her past.
Long ago she had put away the photo, the little sepia image now faded with age and fingering. There was nothing she could have done even if she had wanted to, and she wasn’t even sure any longer if she had ever wanted to do anything. At first, it was not a matter of choice but necessity, but there had come a time, many years later when she supposed she could have, possibly should have, tried.
Soon it would be over. Of course, she could ignore the letter but that might force a visit, in person, without warning. She could pretend it had never arrived and feign ignorance if anyone queried its receipt. Her stricken mind tried to battle with her emotions. Part of her needed this to happen, craved it and dreaded it, fought against it and longed for it.
Her tired faded eyes moved across the room to stare at the blue ghost beckoning her. A date and a time had been suggested and if she didn’t respond the writer would understand, after all, it must be an awful shock after so many years but hoped that she would consent to a meeting, without strings of course.
Without strings, the old woman mused. There were always strings, and there would always be strings. She sighed heavily, tears brimming as she stood and made her way over to the letter. She picked it up, reached for the telephone and dialled.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I spend time listening to my husband playing his guitar – songwriting or messing around – and we both love long walks in the countryside or in gardens or around old villages, churches, and cathedrals etc. I am a photo addict and love to take photos of the places we visit – we belong to the National Trust and have done ever since we were young and managed to get a few hours off (on tour in the UK) when we’d wander off to look around a stately home or gardens. Overseas we loved exploring places where we were not in danger of meeting tourists. If I get time I usually write a blog post with information and photos taken on one of our ‘jollies.’
As a Publishing House, we watch technology to see how it changes relevant to Self Publishing. We are now getting more and more choices for Print on Demand Books.
Here are some distributors who can help you self publish your book. Do remember there is a lot of work involved after you’ve finished writing. Plaisted Publishing House has an Author Assist Program to help you get your manuscript in the best shape for Publishing with any of the companies below. You can find the Submission GuidelinesHERE
Distributors of Print on Demand
One of the most popular was Createspace which closed it’s doors and re-opened as KDPPrint. Fair enough they still do Print on Demand, though it seems there are still a lot of hassles for KDP Printto get it right. This seems strange considering how good Createspace used to be. I’d like to know how they’ve messed it up so much. It is one I now choose not to use as a Print on Demand Distributor, though we still use KDP for eBooks.
Then we have LULU. They also do Print on Demand and eBooks. It takes a while to learn all the ins and outs, not quite as simple as KDP Print. However, they print on cream paper…YAY, They have LIVE CHAT along with up to 50% Discounts. The only downer to many Independent Authors is you have to buy a proof before they will distribute WIDE whereas with KDP Print you can approve with a digital file at no cost.
SMASHWORDSonly do eBooks and it is still tricky. The layout for uploading is pretty easy to use, however, to get the document ready for their site is another matter. They are probably the fussiest of all distributors. The ebook cover has to be a certain size. For the uninitiated, it can be a nightmare of complications. On top of this, your manuscript has to be saved as Doc 97 which very few use anymore. We’ve been waiting for them to update for years.
Ingram Spark is a distributor of Print on Demand. We use this company with several of our clients. They do cost so it is up to the author if they wish to have an account with them. On top of this, they also do Book Covers differently. Instead of RGB colours, they use the CMYK which you use at home with your printer. You also need to download their templates for the book cover size and make sure you add the 5mm on the top, bottom and the unbound edge of the cover and the interior. Make sure you use margins or your file can be rejected.
Draft to Digital is a great distributor for ebooks. They have templates you can use, however, I’m not overly keen on them when I see the files. Some looked pushed up and without the correct spacing. To us this is annoying. They do a good royalty share. Today they ran out their Beta Print Book for testing Print on Demand for Authors to try out. We may well try. We’ve already heard about issues…They don’t do wrap covers…yet. We also noted in the email we received that the royalty share was 40% of the list price and they still take off print cost. Where does the other 60% go? We haven’t seen or read about this yet and will keep our eyes peeled to find this information. Confused? We are too.
These are the Print on Demand distributors most of us know about. However, Europe is digging in their heels with their own companies. Do you want your Self Published Book for sale in Europe? One site we were introduced to also do translations on a royalty share scheme. I suppose this would be a bit like with ACXand Audiobooks.
There you go…Information on ‘How to Self Publish a Book.’ Don’t forget we are here to help you.
We have NEW SUBMISSION GUIDELINES for clients and or anyone submitting work for an anthology at Plaisted Publishing (Author Assist).
THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!
All work needs to be automatically set up for when you write, this includes – Titles, Chapter Headings, Indents, Page Numbers, etc. You won’t need a Contents Page at this stage. Use Styles on your HOME tab on MS Word to set up the following.
A4 size Manuscript
1 Inch Margins, Headers, and Footers
Time New Roman, size 12
Make yourself a template to use with each manuscript you write or ask for a copy. We only give these templates out to clients and for our Anthology submissions.
IN THE HEADER, YOU NEED TO HAVE:-
BODY OF MANUSCRIPT:-
Auto Indents – 0.3 – 0.5 cm (Never use Spacebar or Tabs it is unprofessional and your submission will be rejected).
Automatic Titles and Chapters via HEADINGS 1, 2 & 3
DON’T press ENTER for a new line, let it move automatically. ENTER is for New Paragraphs.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW…PLEASE ASK! WE CAN HELP GET YOU SORTED AND WILL HAVE INFORMATION ON HOW TO USE STYLES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Our latest client, Jane Risdon has just released her latest book of short stories with Plaisted Publishing House (Author Assist).
It is a wonderful collection of old and new stories, murder, mystery, detective and much more. She has some amazing reviews, our favourite is from Roger A Price author of Nemesis and Vengeance
Undercover – Crime Shorts; is a wonderfully satisfying anthology of seven short stories which transcend above the crime fiction genre providing a ripping yarn irrespective of the reader’s crime fiction preference. Jane Risdon has cleverly stitched together a mix of tales to suit all fans of the genre.
The book cover was made by our contractor, Award-Winning Digital Artist, Mara Reitsma of Covered by the Rose
Under one cover for the first time a collection of crime shorts from Jane Risdon with more twists and turns than Spaghetti Junction – a must for those who enjoy gripping yarns.
Jane Risdon began writing five years ago having had a successful career in the International Music Industry which has taken her all over the world working with everything from Rock, Thrash Metal, and R&B/Pop to Chinese Opera. Her work has taken her to North America, Europe, and Singapore: even to Taiwan. She’s been involved in Television, Radio, and the Movies around the world.
Travelling extensively and living overseas she draws upon her life experiences when writing Crime/Mystery novels, short stories in all genres – including humour, and she has dabbled in flash fiction.
Some of these experiences have found their way into her short stories about the Music Business, and she is presently working on a novel which will bring a lot of her crazier ‘rock ‘n roll’ experiences into one tome.
Her main focus remains crime, however, and she is working on a series of novels called ‘Ms. Birdsong Investigates’ centered around a glamorous ex MI5 Officer forced into early retirement, who is trying to keep a low profile in a rural village in Oxfordshire. Her past experiences come to the fore when she finds herself investigating murder. Soon she finds herself back on old territory with Russian Mafia, Ukrainian People Traffickers, and an old flame to deal with.
In addition to being a regular blogger with a considerable following, she has an author page on Facebook with many dedicated followers there as well. You can find her at @Jane Risdon on Facebook and @Jane_Risdon on Twitter.
She continues to work on Ms. Birdsong Investigates as well as several other novels including The White Haired Man set in Bollywood and based on true events.
Jane is a keen photographer and enjoys the countryside and visiting old buildings and historical locations and often uses photos as visual notes for her writing. She loves history and archaeology and is loves anything to do with science and astronomy.
With a background (early on in her career) in the Diplomatic Service in Whitehall, London, followed by a long career in International music, Jane has a wealth of experience and a huge pool from which to craft her stories.
This is a blog post written by Mara Reitsma who is one of my contractors. Mara gives her time to my Anthologies to help others get their names out there…It’s a good read…there again so are the Anthologies
Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.
Mary R. Woldering From Euclid, Ohio USA
Tell us about your writing journey?
I’ve always been a storyteller. Now I am a chronicler of dreams and visions. I began to publish my writings at 65, so technology is still a great unknown.
What is your story about?
Three ghosts in a haunted mansion. One is a demonic spirit trapped in a staircase, another is an angelic young girl trapped in an upper room. The third is the spirit of the witch who trapped them, returning to finish her work.
Why did you choose this topic/genre?
The story is based on some paranormal research my friends and I did in 1970 combined with stories we had heard about these spirits. I always wanted to write the story as it was, in part, an origin story for one of the characters in my Children of Stone series
Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies? It was suggested that I do that by another contributor.
Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.
I doubt I’ve been much help, but Mara Reitsma has helped me.
What other Anthologies have you participated in and for what reason?
Dreamtime Dragons 2017 – again, it was suggested that I write a story for that group
What scares you the most? A Snake or a Spider? Why? If something else, tell us about it.
Spider more than snake, but large jumping and flying insects like moths or cicadas or flying cockroaches upset me from my childhood. They would crawl across my ceiling in the house we rented and one night one fell on me.
What is your favourite part of Halloween?
Giving out candy and frightening passers by
How do you celebrate Halloween? Same as above
Share your favourite Halloween celebration from your childhood.
Getting candy as a child. Later on it was communicating with spirits
Friday has arrived and it is Karen Hansen’s turn to tell you about her extraordinary self. Such an accomplished young woman who is going places. Karen’s short story in Love from The Other Side – A Ghostly Writes Anthology is called Stay.
Introduce Yourself and where you’re from.
My name is Karen Hansen, and I am from an amazing fast growing city in New Zealand called Rotorua. We are the birthplace of tourism in our country, and the posterchild for geothermal activity. To be honest, we live in the Rotorua Caldera, INSIDE a volcano. Crazy and Wonderful huh!
Growing up, I moved house a number of times – but the place I identified with most was a little yellow cottage in Tiketere on the outskirts of Rotorua. This cottage sat on the complex of ‘Hells Gate’, so named by George Bernard Shaw. “George, a famous Irish playwright living in England, visited the area for a week (in the early 1900’s) and on looking at the thermal park decided that this must be the gateway to Hell, which his theologian colleagues talk about.
He was well known as an Atheist, however after being here a week it is understood that he changed his ways. Our people were so taken by the playwright that from that time on, they allowed the area to be known in English as Hells Gate.” (Hells Gate Histories and Legends, 2018)
As a child of HELL(s Gate) I played with sulphur instead of sand, bamboo forests instead of tree houses, played with free roaming peacocks instead of caged birds, cooked kai (food) in natural geothermal cooking pools and swam under the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere.. all in my back yard.
As an adult I have a close affinity with nature, studying herbal medicine and spiritual tradition from many cultures. I am a social entrepreneur, with a passion for people empowerment and social change through multi-media and artistic expression. I have three beautiful children, and am currently completing my BA of Creative Technologies and creating out of the box high end events with a community arts focus.
Tell us about your writing journey?
My writing journey began when I was 5 years old. My Mother used to write poetry, and I remember being inspired by a piece she wrote entitled ‘Self Confidence Story’. She wrote this at a time when she was at her lowest point, in hospital. I have carried those words with me forever:
“I am a castle,
Built upon a rock,
In the midst of an ocean
of unfriendly faces,
and nameless perils.
I fly my banner in the face of the world!
I shall triumph,
may occasionally falter,
But NEVER fail.
Though time may rip at my walls,
And batter at my gate,
I will not give in…
I shall survive…
I AM A WINNER”
(Gillian Hansen, 1988)
When I was about 9 years old, I started writing my own poetry. I wrote my first childrens book “Karen’s Burglar” when I was 12, although that is sitting unpublished (to date). Around this time, I began writing horror inspired stories along the line of my favourite authors at that age: R.L. Stine and Francine Pascal. None of these survived.
Over the years, I have written articles, speeches and media releases for companies such as Miss Burlesque New Zealand. However, Fantasy, SongWriting and Poetry are my favourite mediums.
I am currently working on two non-fiction books on life coaching and philosophy, and two fantasy novels “Pictures of the Lost” and “Ysabel’s Gate” I am aiming to have one of each released in 2019.
What is your story about?
‘Stay’ is about a love that transcends time. “A love so powerful, it stopped her heart”. It follows the main character Annie, through her lifetime – and a star crossed relationship. I won’t say much more, as it’s only a short story! You’ll just have to go read it 😉
Why did you choose this topic/genre?
I chose this genre, as I have always been fascinated with the paranormal … and you know… I’m a terrible romantic! I cried writing my own story.
Why publish in the Ghostly Writes Anthologies?
The Ghostly Writes Anthologies is a fabulous platform! I’m all about empowering the people, and it offers indie authors all over the world the chance to submit their work and be included in a number of collections. I am honoured to have this, my first piece of published work, accepted and printed for the world to see! Onwards and Upwards .. Watch out world!
Share your experiences of helping each other in the Ghostly Writes Group.
The Ghostly Writers Group is full of creatives, which is my kind of place to hang out. We all lift each other up, and offer constructive criticism and our own talents to help push the industry and the platform further. Thanks Plaisted Publishing, for offering such a great space and putting in many hours of complimentary work in order to bring our stories to the world.
Thank you for participating.
(Thank YOU for the opportunity, the love is reciprocal!)