Category Archives: short stories

The Role Of The Literary Agent

This week “The Bottom Line”, on BBC Radio 4 examines the role of agents (literary and otherwise). The information on the BBC’s website reads as follows:

“This week the programme looks at the business of agents. What exactly do they do and are they adding value to their clients’ careers? Evan Davis discusses their role with three agents from the worlds of showbusiness, football and books. …”.

To listen to the programme please visit, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09b0wbl.

Advertisements

Now In Audio – The Degu Books

I’ve posted here on Kevin’s blog in the past about the writing of my Degu Days Duo. But – for the benefit of those who may not have seen that post – I’ll briefly recap by telling you that it’s a duology that is essentially a semi-fictionalized account of two different days in the lives of my own four degu boys: Jacob, Jasper, Jenks, and Joshua. Those two books are told from Jenks’ point of view, and my most recent degu book “How To Trust Your Human” – which is a semi-fictionalized account of my attempts at regaining one of their trusts after we lost the first three – is told from the point of view of my last remaining degu, Joshua, under the nickname of “Buddy” (to separate it from the duology it’s not officially part of).

I call them “semi-fictionalized” accounts, because they’re based on real experiences, but since they’re told from the point of view of one of the degus, it’s difficult for me to be completely accurate about events, and they can’t really be considered non-fiction under those circumstances, can they? So, I list them as fiction, and advertise them as being semi-fictionalized.

There’s a fourth book too. One that is entirely fictional, though it was one of my boys – Jasper this time – who was the inspiration for the story, after an escape attempt on his part when I didn’t double check the cage door, and accidentally left it open. In this book, a degu named Oscar takes advantage of an unlocked cage door to escape his cage and explore the world outside of it without humans to supervise him and tell him where he can and can’t go.

You can read all four of them as eBooks or paperbacks, and now – thanks to narrator James Watkins – you can also listen to them in audio.

Working with James has been fun, and I’m pleased with his reading of all four of my degu books. If you buy the audiobooks, I hope you’re as pleased with them.

Regardless of the format you’d prefer, if you’d like to grab copies and explore the world from the point of view of a small and furry rodent, here are the main places where you can buy the books:

Degu Days, Book 1 – The Great Degu Round-Up
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/The-Great-Degu-Round-Up-Audiobook/B075WZP3WK/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/385933
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5493760
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-great-degu-round-up-victoria-zigler/1117667258
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-great-degu-round-up
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-great-degu-round-up/9781311126009-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-great-degu-round-up/id778182110
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/the-great-degu-round-up-degu-days-duo-volume-1-unabridged/id1290400235
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Days-Duo/dp/1512165131/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Days-Duo/dp/1512165131/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Days-Duo/dp/1512165131/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Great-Degu-Round-Up-Victoria-Zigler/9781512165135

Degu Days, Book 2 – A Very Degu Christmas
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/A-Very-Degu-Christmas-Audiobook/B0767MYSD9/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/385942
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5493860
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-very-degu-christmas-victoria-zigler/1117667259
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-very-degu-christmas
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-very-degu-christmas/9781310351044-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-very-degu-christmas/id778182118
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/a-very-degu-christmas-degu-days-duo-book-2-unabridged/id1294815308
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Very-Degu-Christmas-Days-Duo-x/dp/1512166014/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Very-Degu-Christmas-Days-Duo-x/dp/1512166014/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Very-Degu-Christmas-Days-Duo-x/dp/1512166014/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Very-Degu-Christmas-Victoria-Zigler/9781512166019

Degu’s Day Out
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Degus-Day-Out-Audiobook/B07664D83S/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/589067
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5841040
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/degus-day-out-victoria-zigler/1122874667
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/degu-s-day-out
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/degus-day-out/9781310137778-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/degus-day-out/id1054305510
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/degus-day-out-unabridged/id1294439347
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1519326319/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1519326319/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1519326319/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Degus-Day-Out-Victoria-Zigler/9781519326317

How To Trust Your Human
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/How-to-Trust-Your-Human-Audiobook/B0767Q6QPQ/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/724848
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/7188605
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-trust-your-human-victoria-zigler/1126412328
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/how-to-trust-your-human
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/how-to-trust-your-human/9781370897407-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/how-to-trust-your-human/id1237703591
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/how-to-trust-your-human-unabridged/id1294815409
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trust-Your-Human-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1546844899/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Trust-Your-Human-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1546844899/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Trust-Your-Human-Victoria-Zigler/dp/1546844899/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/How-Trust-Your-Human-Victori-Zigler/9781546844891

You can also find the books listed on Goodreads.

Degu Days, Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19286797-the-great-degu-round-up
Degu Days, Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19287273-a-very-degu-christmas
Degu’s Day Out: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27391344-degu-s-day-out
How To Trust Your Human: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35160154-how-to-trust-your-human

***~~~***

About the author:
Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time. To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Author links:
Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

***~~~***

About the narrator:
Canadian born James Watkins spent a number of years wandering extensively, studying and working at a variety of exciting things, including surveying in the Yukon, fighting forest fires in the boreal of northern Ontario, sailing on the merchant schooner Avontuur through the Caribean, working as a singing cowboy, and teaching in Central America, to name a few, until finally settling in San Diego, California in 2011. He loves good music, good stories, good writing, fresh air, animals, and a healthy balance between action and quiet time.

Working from his home studio, James offers a full suite of services – from voice over production and scripting, to sound design with music and effects.

James currently has a podcast in production together with SC Watkins, that will feature original spooky stories, set to launch in late October, 2017. You can check it out at http://thebonefire.com/

If you’d like to contact James, he can be reached at jameswatkinsvo@outlook.com

Launch of audio versions of “Toby’s Tales” by Victoria (Tori) Zigler

I’ve had poor eyesight all my life, and eventually – in my early 20s – lost the last of my sight to the Glaucoma I was born with. So I’m no stranger to those times when people without vision problems were doing things I couldn’t be a part of. Not to mention, those times when tasks people with sight take for granted were difficult – or even impossible – for me to do with my poor, and later lack of, sight.

Sometimes there really is no way for a blind person to do something a sighted person can do easily. But often there is. All it takes is a bit of creative thinking, a willingness to adapt the method used to do it, and maybe some special equipment or tools to make it possible.

Take the screen reader Kevin and I use for our computers, for example. Without JAWS (Job Access With Speech) I couldn’t have written this post, and sent it to Kevin, and he couldn’t have put it on his blog for you to read. In fact, without JAWS – and the fact it makes it possible for us to use our computers in the way we do – there wouldn’t even be a blog for you to read, let alone a post from me to go up on it. Sure, there are still things we need help from a sighted friend or family member to do. But it opens up a world of possibilities for us that would never otherwise have existed. Without JAWS, the day I lost my sight would have been the day I lost my ability to access the internet.

There are similar situations in other aspects of the life of a blind person. From simple things like pairing socks, to more complicated things like the above example using JAWS. It’s something that’s just a fact; it’s just the way things are.

But there are – as I mentioned – often ways to make it possible for a blind person to do things for themselves, or to be included when they otherwise might not be able to be. I explore some of these situations, as well as some possible solutions for them, in my “Toby’s Tales” series.

The Toby’s Tales series is a five book series that follows a little boy named Toby’s efforts to adjust after sight loss. I published the first book as an eBook in 2012, with the other four following quickly on its heals, and later made a paperback version of each book available. Now – with the help of the talented Joseph A. Batzel – I’ve also made them available as audiobooks.

Joseph has done an excellent job of bringing Toby’s stories to life. At least, I think so. If you buy the audiobooks, I hope you’ll agree.

Regardless of the format you’d prefer, if you’d like to grab copies so you can learn about the fears and frustrations Toby struggles with, here are the main places where you can buy the books:

Book 1 – Toby’s New World
Audible: http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-New-World-Audiobook/B074P7FV1M/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/229561
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5519989
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-new-world-victoria-zigler/1113041202
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-new-world
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-new-world/9781476234342-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-new-world/id562790799
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-new-world-tobys-tales-volume-1-unabridged/id1270858515
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tobys-New-World-Tales/dp/1512358908/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tobys-New-World-Tales/dp/1512358908/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Tobys-New-World-Tales/dp/1512358908/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-New-World-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358902

Book 2 – Toby’s Monsters
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Monsters-Audiobook/B074SZ9BJX/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/247103
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5519996
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-monsters-victoria-zigler/1113744687
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-monsters
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-monsters/9781301157921-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-monsters/id574780594
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-monsters-tobys-tales-volume-2-unabridged/id1272267691
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Tobys-Monsters-2-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512358975
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/cka/Tobys-Monsters-2-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512358975
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/cka/Tobys-Monsters-2-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512358975
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Monsters-Victoria-Zigler/9781512358971

Book 3 – Toby’s Outing
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Outing-Audiobook/B074W95DRX/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251587
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5520007
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-outing-victoria-zigler/1113846045
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-outing
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-outing/9781301643264-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-outing/id577001695
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-outing-tobys-tales-volume-3-unabridged/id1273856055
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tobys-Outing-3-Tales/dp/1512359041/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tobys-Outing-3-Tales/dp/1512359041/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Tobys-Outing-3-Tales/dp/1512359041/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Outing-Victoria-Zigler/9781512359046

Book 4 – Toby’s Games
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Games-Audiobook/B074WCT1W4/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/271594
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5520032
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-games-victoria-zigler/1114302957
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-games
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-games/9781301441082-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-games/id595641562
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-games-tobys-tales-volume-4-unabridged/id1274236264
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Tobys-Games-4-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359262/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/Books/Tobys-Games-4-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359262/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/Books/Tobys-Games-4-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359262/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Games-Victoria-Zigler/9781512359268

Book 5 – Toby’s Special School
Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Tobys-Special-School-Tobys-Tales-Volume-5-Audiobook/B0756Q5KB1/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/281507
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5520068
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tobys-special-school-victoria-zigler/1114473423
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/toby-s-special-school
Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/tobys-special-school/9781301489220-item.html
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tobys-special-school/id600171798
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/tobys-special-school-tobys-tales-volume-5-unabridged/id1277169221
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Tobys-Special-School-5-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359335/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/Books/Tobys-Special-School-5-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359335/
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/Books/Tobys-Special-School-5-Tales-Victoria-Zigler/1512359335/
Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Tobys-Special-School-Victoria-Zigler/9781512359336

You can also find the books on Goodreads.

Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15992610-toby-s-new-world
Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16098832-toby-s-monsters
Book 3: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16127032-toby-s-outing
Book 4: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17209761-toby-s-games
Book 5: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17314257-toby-s-special-school

***~~~***

About the author:
Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK. Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, has a very vivid imagination, and spends a lot of time in fictional worlds; some created by her, others created by other authors. When she remembers to spend some time in the real world, it’s mostly to spend time with her hubby and pets, though sometimes to indulge in other interests that capture her attention from time to time. To date she has published 8 poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the near future. She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II.

Author links:
Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

About the narrator:
Joseph Batzel has a BA and an MA from Brigham Young University in Film and Theater. He is also a professional actor for stage and film for over thirty years. Joseph has over 150 voice- over credits including radio, TV, audiobooks, and animation. He has traveled extensively throughout the US teaching voice over workshops. Joseph is a dialectician and can perform most American regional dialects and most foreign accents.

Mr. Batzel has just joined Deyan audio one of the world’s largest Independent producer of Audiobooks as one of their narrators. He is married to his wife Alice of forty-four years, she is a published playwright and working on her first novel. They have two sons and five grandchildren. He presently lives in Brigham City, Utah where he currently works as an adjunct instructor at Utah State University teaching courses in Creative Arts and Public Speaking.

Getting your self-published books into libraries

A useful article on how to get self-published books into libraries.

I know from my own experience, that approaching libraries directly is a productive means of getting your work onto their shelves.

I was delighted when Liverpool Central Library, wrote to confirm that they had added 2 copies of my collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind”, (http://moyhill.com/clock/), to their shelves.

As a result of me contacting Swansea University (my former place of study), they kindly accepted my donation of one copy of “My Old Clock”.

Consequently, from my own experience I can say that getting your self-published books into libraries is perfectly possible.

Writing Prompt, “Excuse me, have you got the time please?”

Licence to use image obtained – Copyright: worac 123RF Stock Photo

“Excuse me, have you got the time please?”

“No, sorry”.

In the early hours of this morning (Saturday 26 August), I became conscious of my dog wandering around my home. This is, generally a sign that he needs to go out so (with some reluctance given the ungodly hour), I threw on some clothes and took my restless friend outside. I am not at my best of an early morning. Consequently I received quite a shock when a young woman enquired about the time.

On returning home and checking the time, I discovered that it was 1:41. Idly I wondered what took a young woman out at such a late hour. Possibly she was waiting for a bus (there is a bus stop close to my home). She could, perhaps have been visiting one of the residents of the flats in which I reside, or someone in the neighbouring block. Alternatively …

In any event it occurred to me that a fellow writer out there might like to use this as a writing prompt. If so, I would be interested to read what you write.

Kevin

Reading for All

Being blind and unable to read print, I find the Amazon Kindle’s text to speech facility a huge boon. For anyone who is unaware of the text to speech facility, when activated, it reads aloud books where the author/publisher has enabled speech. While the reading voice is robotic, it has improved over the years and (in my experience) once the reader becomes lost in a good book, it is easy to forget that a dalek is doing the reading!

The majority of books in the Amazon Kindle store have text to speech enabled. Of those which do not, most (perhaps all) are available as audible downloads from audible.co.uk/audible.com. However, Audible titles are, on the whole more expensive than their Kindle counterparts, which means that someone who is unable to read print must (if the text to speech facility is not enabled on the Kindle version) spend more to obtain the book in audio form. Personally I believe that all titles should have text to speech enabled irrespective of whether they are available from Audible or other suppliers of audio titles, as it is wrong that a blind individual has to pay more for an accessible version of a book.

All of my books have text to speech enabled meaning that they are accessible to all. In addition my collection of poetry, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” can be purchased, in braille from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), while my latest poetry book, “My Old Clock I Wind” is in the process of being added to RNIB’s library.

To purchase “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind” in braille please go to, http://www.rniblibrary.com/iguana/www.main.cls?surl=search#savelist=General_*_LOSTLABYRINTH, and to buy it in print or ebook formats please visit, http://moyhill.com/lost/. To obtain “My Old Clock I Wind in ebook or paperback please visit, http://moyhill.com/clock/.

You can find links to all of my titles on my website, https://newauthoronline.com/about/.

Kevin