GUEST POST TOM BENSON

You will be hearing more from me about Tom Benson in the next few weeks as he’s putting a book of short stories together and he’s included one of mine.

I don’t think this is Tom’s first guest post, as we have been virtual friends for years and it’s thanks to him I have a web site. He helped me so much in the early days.

TOM BENSON AUTHOR PIC 6

Soldier, Retailer, Author

Saying that you spend your time telling tales is akin to admitting you have an illness.

Hello … my name is Tom … and I’m a … writer.”

Hello, Tom.

Yes, it isn’t easy to be open at first, but when a writer’s work earns a few great reviews, it lends legitimacy. No longer are you one of those strange creatures who spend their time living in another world. You are an author, envied by others. You’re earning money from months of toil—perhaps not a lot, but for authors like me, the real reward is knowing from the positive feedback that you have entertained.

There is a widespread notion that writing is an exclusive, even exotic activity. Still, like many things, you can join the club if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort to learn your craft, plus, of course, accept criticism of, as well as credit for your work.

Consider a cake with elaborate decorations. Anyone can gather ingredients and lay them out on a clean surface. It’s the choices of quantity, how those items are blended, and how the mixture is processed, which creates the basic cake. Only with the foundation can the decoration be added; the edible ingredients with which will make it appealing.

Whether it be a short story or novel, there is a sense of fulfillment when you start with a blank screen and with god-like power, create a world from imagination. It must be a believable world with characters, dialogue, and imagery, supported by narrative, a plot, and subplots.

An author can make a book sound exotic. Among my published titles are Ten Days in Panama and Amsterdam Calling.

Continuing with international intrigue, one of my next books will be Czech Mate. In crime thrillers, I can offer such titles as A Taste of Honey set in the USA, or the Beyond The Law trilogy set mainly in Scotland.

I left Glasgow in 1969 aged seventeen and headed to England to join the British Army. While in training, I thought it might well be a short career. During the next twenty-three years, I patrolled streets in Belfast, manned a helicopter-borne camera over Londonderry, and operated a radio in the military train travelling through East Germany from West Berlin. I worked radios all over West Germany, trained young recruits in the UK, and served throughout the first Gulf War.

At the age of forty, I tackled fresh challenges when I became a retail manager. After six months of training, once again, I was in a uniform. I wore a badge and had a team of people who, sometimes with a bit of gentle persuasion performed as I asked.

I changed jobs a few times, going from food and supermarkets to car accessories and then on to stationery which is where I finally settled. Pens, pencils, paper, binders, staplers, punches, printers, laminators and much more besides and I was happy at work for the first time in a long time. As an artist and calligrapher, I was at home. After gaining experience, I spent five years roaming around the UK. I opened new stores and closed failing stores. I had responsibility for hiring, firing, training, disciplining and developing staff, so I enjoyed my second career, which lasted twenty-five years.

I’d always enjoyed reading, and while still in retail, my thoughts turned to a personal dream—to write a book. I’d tried to produce my military memoirs back in the mid-90s, but the writing was awful. By 2010, having read a lot more, I figured I was ready to try creative writing again. I first read several textbooks on the subject.

My poetry online got lots of good reviews. I moved on to short stories and won prizes, both national and international. My first novel was a crime thriller, but the literary creativity was like a drug, I had a burning desire to write for hours every day, at every opportunity.

It was several years and a few books down the line when I revisited those military memories of mine, and I tried again. I describe the tale as fact-based-fiction, but A Life of Choice is a five-ebook series based on my military career. In effect, I researched it over many years but wrote about it only when I had earned my stripes in writing. The story is my top-selling title.

My latest experiment isn’t doing too badly, my post-apocalyptic survival story Light at The End. Thanks to some great feedback, it’s now the first book in a trilogy.

Perhaps I’m biased in believing that to write convincingly you must have experienced highs and lows in life. I always gave my best effort as a soldier and retailer. I still do.

Tom Benson–author.

Now is a great time to pick up one of Tom’s books as he’s reduced them all to $/£0.99 during the Covid crisis – links below:

Website: www.tombensonauthor.com

Blog: www.tombensoncreative.com

Ten Days in Panama: mybook.to/Ten_Days_in_Panama
Amsterdam Calling: mybook.to/Amsterdam_Calling
A Taste of Honey: mybook.to/A_Taste_of_Honey
Light at The End: mybook.to/Light_at_The_End
Beyond The Law – Box Set: mybook.to/BTL_The_Trilogy
A Life of Choice – Box Set: mybook.to/ALOC_BoxSet

Thank you, Tom.

If you would like to be a guest on my blog, post in the comments below, or drop me a message on Facebook.

Lucinda

MEET CHERIME MACFARLANE

Cherima MacFarlane joined the promo group and these slides make fascinating reading. I think we have a lot in common.

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(Again, check out the price first as this was a few weeks ago).

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https://www.amazon.com/Cherime-MacFarlane/e/B00EP24SZW 

This link takes you to Cherime’s Amazon page.

Till next time, take care.

TRAVEL  – AMSTERDAM

In May of this year DH and I spent a week in Vienna, and after only half a day I fell in love with the city. It’s absolutely beautiful and steeped in history.

VIENNA HOTEL

We stayed at the Erzherzog Rainer Hotel and I was thrilled to discover it had an interesting history as well. It’s located in the heart of the Freihausviertel also home to many small shops and was established in 1813 by Leopold Nedomansky who was the court supplier for picture frames. The appointment was quite an honour, except the nobles were lousy at paying their bills so he thought about businesses which demanded immediate payment – restaurants and lodgings. He went ahead and built a hotel, but was savvy enough to realize he needed a patron to give it a bit of class. He flattered Archduke Rainer by naming the hotel after him and he was on the road to success. – I’ve always said it’s ‘who you know’.

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The same family owned it for 80 years before selling it to another family of hoteliers, but in that time it has been used as lodgings for the top German soldiers during the Second World War, and if I remember Hedda Hopper and a couple of other famous people have also stayed there. And now, of course, there’s me too.

HISTORY

Now you must all have heard that behind every great man there is a woman – or preferably in front if the truth be known. In this case, as poor old George was catapulted onto the throne, the woman, lady behind, beside and in front of him was his wife, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, a Scottish lass who had married the Prince several years before.

GLAMIS CASTLE

She was brought up in this little shack north of the English border.

RED CHEEKED BIT

I’ve shared the opening pages of the Amie series here, now it’s time for the three memoirs. My first one, Walking over Eggshells sold all of 37 copies in the initial twelve months after it was published – before I found out I had to tell people about it – I had this belief that people would magically find it all by themselves!

 https://www.books2read.com/u/md7Py3

The first time I tried to leave home, I was three years old. Not that I could have told you that at the time, but many years later, while looking at some childhood photos, I asked my mother what age I was when I wore the red hat and coat. “Three,” she replied, and I remember quite clearly putting them on for my first intended escape into the outside world.

It was a cold, overcast day in a quiet suburb of Dublin at the beginning of the fifties. We were in the lounge, and my mother was sitting by the fire listening to the radio. I walked quietly to the door, hoping she wouldn’t notice, but as I reached up towards the door handle, she reminded me in her cold, hard voice not to let the cold air in from the hallway. I opened the door just wide enough to squeeze through and pulled it shut behind me.

I dived under my bed and pulled out a small brown, cardboard suitcase. I’d thought about this departure for some time and had already made a mental list of what I would need on the journey to my new life. I packed three Noddy books, my favourite doll, a comb and a clean pair of underpants. I struggled into my coat and hat and I was ready to run away.

Quietly, I crept back along the hallway to the front door and gazed up at the door latch. It was way above my head.

“And where do you think you’re going?” My mother stood in the lounge doorway, her arms folded across her chest and she looked furious. Having got this far, there was no turning back.

“I’m leaving home,” I squeaked.

“Oh, really? And where are you going?”

“I’m, uh …” I knew exactly where I was going. I’d thought about it very carefully, but I was not about to tell my mother. She would know where I was and maybe, just maybe, come and try to bring me back.

“Little girls who want to leave home should be tall enough to reach the doorknob. If you go, then don’t bother coming back. I never want to see you again. I don’t want you. You’re nothing but a nuisance. I wanted a good little girl who would do as she was told, not a bad, bad little girl like you.” My mother went back into the lounge and slammed the door.

I blinked back the tears. Why couldn’t my mother love me? I tried so hard to be good. Earlier that morning I had broken a glass full of milk. It had slipped out of my hands and crashed to the floor.

“Look what you’ve done now!” screamed my mother.

“I’m sorry, Mummy, it fell,” I burst into tears.

“Clear it up right now!”

“Yes, yes, but please don’t be cross with me, please. I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I was shaking as I looked at the mess on the floor. The milk was slowly disappearing under the stove.

“You never give me any reason to like you. You’re always saying ‘sorry.’ If you really meant it, you wouldn’t do the same thing again and again and again. You said ‘sorry’ when you broke my best cup. I suppose that just fell, too? Don’t say ‘sorry.’ ‘Sorry’ doesn’t mean anything to you.”

As soon as my mother had gone back into the lounge, I dragged a chair from the kitchen, climbed up and opened the front door. I jammed the suitcase in the gap and returned the chair to its place in the kitchen. Then, as quickly as I could, I grabbed the case and ran down the front driveway.

Till next week, take care.

 

MEET JIM MORRISON

Now I hope I have the correct picture up here for Jim Morrison, as I’ve had to do a bit of shuffling around with dates as some guests wanted features later, and some were not ready.  So, all the files I put neatly in labeled months are now being moved around and you can guess what happens then, can’t you?  Anyhow, I think this is a very nice author picture 🙂 I just hope its the correct author!

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I just want to thank Lucindae Clarke for this wonderful opportunity. Hello to all that read this, I am going to wing it as I have never done anything like this before, and have no idea what to say. So, if I ramble on a bit, then forgive me. Maybe I should start with my name, always a good place to start. My name is Jim Morrison, no not the famous rock star from The Doors. I was born in Raigmore Hospital in the year 1974, and the 19th day of the summer of June. I am from a wee town on the West coast of Scotland, Fort William in the bonnie Highlands to be exact.

I got the writing bug in high school. I think it was a test or exam I was doing. I had to write a short story about a war or something like that and my English teacher was very impressed and said I should keep it up and become a writer. I spent the next few years writing short stories at home, mainly featuring superheroes and I am sure I done one set in the wild west.

My childhood was very up and down, I do not want to say too much here. I will, however, be writing my biography someday and that will have all my heartache and shenanigans in that, so look out for that book. It will be 100% true life and will shock some people, and hopefully, make some people laugh at my crazy life.

I left school and home at the age of 15. Started work in a hotel as a kitchen porter. The job was okay, I was happy to be making money and partying way too much. Then I became a chef. This was a fun job that I enjoyed, I travelled around Scotland working in different hotels and meeting some cool people. I gave up writing and began to party a lot. I then became a breakfast chef. That was more enjoyable, I was in charge of the kitchen, I worked 5 days a week from 6am till 2 pm and had the rest of the day to myself.

But I gave up catering, it had lost its buzz for me and became a night manager. That was the best job, in charge of a hotel overnight. I loved it.

Going back in time now to 2008, I took an interest in photography. I still love to go for a walk with my camera and snap away at things. I have a photography page on Facebook if anyone wants to go and check out my work and like my page. Just look up J. Morrison Photography.    https://www.facebook.com/J-Morrison-Photography-268493803592438/

My photography work so far has been scenic shots, I have also made some videos. I would like to one-day branch out into all aspects of photography and try doing model shoots and helping people with their model portfolios.

Going back even further, around about 2003, I began to write again, this time it was poetry. I had notebooks that I took everywhere with me and used to write down what came to my head. I had over 300+ thoughts and poems at one point.

In 2005 I was offered a seven-year contract with the publisher, Publish America. I released a poetry book through them, that was a huge mistake. They only paid me 10% royalties and kept telling me my book was not selling, I knew my book was selling as it was in stock then out of stock on Amazon. I never published with them again, and you should avoid them. Fate's Monolith Cover Art  In 2015 I began to write novels again. I finally self-published my first book of poetry, it is a 182-page book of thoughts and poetry about social issues and the like. The book is called, Musings of a Highlander, and it is available online and in bookstores.  https://www.createspace.com/7295903

 

In 2005 I became a paranormal investigator and started my own investigation team, that was a fun time. I enjoyed it but everyone eventually left and it was just me so I gave up.

JIM MORRISON LIFE OF OWEN CONNOR

This is the cover for my latest novel, it is called “The Life of Owen Connor: Trapped in the Asylum & the Aftermath.” The story is about a famous rock star Owen Connor, his crazy upbringing. The bands rise to fame and the fateful night he ended up in an asylum. Read how he got trapped in the Insane Asylum and if he makes it out alive. The book is a thriller/horror with action and humour thrown in. Here are the buying links.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/197611537X

and all other outlets.

What I like to do when I am not writing is. Hill walking, playing Football (Soccer), Basketball, Mountain Biking, going walking out and about, exploring. I also love to read books, not into ebooks. I prefer a good hardback or paperback. I am currently working on a new novel, it is called, Highland Terror. The book is set in the Highlands of Scotland. It is a story about a girl that is just your average 20 something girl and she gets caught up in the worst terror of her life. Does she survive? If so how is she coping? Read the book and find out.

Thanks for sitting through my ramblings, look out for me on Twitter and Facebook. Add me and say hi.

 

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012304865403

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/JMorrisonAuthor

All Jim’s books are available from Amazon marketplaces worldwide, CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble along with Koko and the like.