Monday, 17 September 2012

Blogtalk Radio Interview with Renee Hand

Here is the transcript of my radio interview with Renee Hand. I enjoyed the chat about Dark Moon very much. Please listen to it and leave a comment.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

4****Star PRG Review

Book:  Dark Moon
Author:  Maggie Tideswell
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  All Things That Matter Press
Rating:  Adult

This is a story of love and the occult.  At the beginning of the book, we are introduced to the characters who are involved in the story.  At first it is confusing, but then we are taken on an interesting exploration of the characters and their eventual involvement with each other.
Storm Fenton is a psychologist living with her best friend, Donna.  Storm has been dating Trevor Heardt for almost a year and is hoping that he will propose marriage to her. But things change when Storm meets a man on the beach, Jarred Walters, a Navy Captain, and has a sexual encounter with him.  The encounter results in Storm becoming pregnant, leading to her decision not to marry Trevor, even if he asked. She is determined to raise her child on her own and doesn't even know the father's name. Since she was a virgin when she met the stranger there is no doubt that the baby is not Trevor's.
But a pregnancy and a onetime sexual tryst are just the beginning of the bad things about to happen to Storm.  When Jarred finally finds Storm and realizes that she is pregnant with his child, he is determined to marry her and raise his child. But Storm wants Trevor. Or does she?  Why is she constantly thinking about Jarred if Trevor is the one she wants?
While all this is going on someone is raping and murdering women.  There have been seven murders and no clues as to the culprit.  Can the murderer be someone no one would expect?  Trevor's actions become irrational.  His mother is a witch and he finds out that he has a long lost sister.  According to his mother there is something evil about Trevor, and he has plans for Storm.  What are those plans?  If his mother is a witch, does he also practice magic?  Does he practice Black Magic? Who is Trevor really?  Will Storm make the right decision in who she wants to be with? What about the baby?
Although I couldn't figure out what the characters had in common in the beginning, and it seemed a little confusing, it didn't take long for the author to clear everything up.  The love story was beautifully written and I couldn't help hoping that Storm would pick the right man.  Did she?  This is also a story of good over evil and who eventually wins. I really enjoyed this book it had it all, great characters, love, romance and of course, magic.  So many twists, turns and surprises.  You never knew what was going to happen next.  It held my interest throughout.

Reviewed By:   Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Dark Moon is available from the following fine online stores:

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Kindle Supernatural Romance Novel

 Dark Moon by Maggie Tideswell

Oh! Look! A Kindle Supernatural Romance Novel for $5.99 / £3.90!

A spellbinding novel of love, murder, and the supernatural.

Chance meetings can have far-reaching effects. Loved ones may not be who they seem. The line between comprehension and confusion is thin ~ particularly when one's thoughts are being manipulated by another.

In Dark Moon, the eternal triangle takes an innovative twist into the occult as dark magic fights against those who serve the Light.

The prize? A woman's soul.


"Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Southern African landscape, any reader who hasn't visited the country before will feel like they are taken on an explorative journey to the spectacular sights, sounds and colors of this strikingly beautiful tip of the African continent. The author doesn't hold back on the descriptions of the characters' surroundings and thus lets readers immerse themselves into the real-life world the story is based on."

"Maggie Tideswell takes the reader on a wonderfully written story that is infused with mystery, passion, sadness, unconditional love and of course magic. It will have you hooked with the first sentence, as you ride on a roller coaster of suspense and intrigue."

Bringing you the best romance books available!

Friday, 29 June 2012

How to Edit a Difficult Project

By Karen Cole
Words: 650

The job of a ghost writer (or anyone else who writes) is to create brilliantly written copy. Today’s book market won’t stand for anything else, even if the original material is creative and full of new, interesting ideas. Presentation is still very important, so you should know how to edit properly and with professional presence, style and sophistication. But sometimes, your material can be something of a nightmare or otherwise unwieldy and difficult to work with – don’t despair, there are ways!
When facing a huge manuscript that obviously needs to be pared down sizably, the first thing a ghost writer should do is ask the original author or client what he or she wants to see used in the manuscript primarily, and what needs to be removed. It helps to take out any excessive, redundant material, but as in all cases, communication with the client is crucial. You need to ask them what they want to see in the newly edited manuscript – tighter writing, more of a plot line, new characters, how they might like to see it reworked, etc.
It’s your job as the editor/ghost writer to go through the manuscript, and yes, although it may be a lot of work, going through everything (including any separate notes) is needed; but you must also decide for yourself what constitutes excess material. Fortunately, you can usually just read through everything once, make some liner notes yourself, and then begin the process of culling out unneeded material. If you make ample notes as you go: “Needs more drama throughout entire scene,” etc. you will have no problems in going back and editing what’s needed where it’s needed.
Meanwhile, what if the author client didn’t make an outline, or the outline or notes are a huge, misguided mess? Well, in all cases, again communication is paramount. You can’t read minds or do too much guesswork. Over time, I’ve found that most authors can write an outline and the general ideas in their notes so that I don’t have to worry; but sometimes people are a bit scatterbrained and need some direction. A phone call is best here, with plenty of discussion about what they want to see in the book and what can be safely removed without the author crying, “My baby! What did you do to my baby?”
Messy notes are really not as big of a deal as insufficient notes. You need to know where the book is going to stand, so if you have a lot of messy notes, going through them helps, as long as they are legible. I always ask my clients to send me their notes in Word 2007 or later. Handwritten notes can be a true nightmare; you don’t want to have to deal with those. As for the first draft, if the client can get you one of those – wonderful! It helps to have a first draft, even if it’s sprawling and messy, so you know basically what you’re working from and how to begin to go about dealing with it. Your job is to whip it all into shape for the second and final drafts. You may be adding background material, researching the material the author client included, asking the author to write about permission to use cited materials from other people’s works, etc.
Whatever you do, maintain constant contact with the client, sending along the installments of the work as you go. And don’t despair; if everything is sprawling, messy and excessive, that’s the very reason the client hired you to write for them in the first place. So it’s your job to get it all down to a dull roar, and then to rework it into something that might hit the best seller lists.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fantastic News!

What can be more exciting than a title change!

 During the edit it became clear that the title Storm's Choice was too cutesy and sweet - and therefore misleading. Make no mistake, the story is romance, but there is more to it, as the cover announces boldly.
My editor from All Things That Matter Press asked me to think of something different/better. I went blank
In the end
Personally I have always felt that the title was all wrong - and lets face it, the title of the book has a very important job - to give the reader a one-word synopsis of what the book is about. In this case, yes, Storm has a choice to make, but that's not all.
There are elements of witchcraft in it - don't get me wrong, there aren't people running around waving wands about! Nor is it a textbook on the craft. Read it with an open mind!
My daily posts will resume forthwith on Saturday with Symbol Saturday, Scribbly Sunday, Ghostly Monday, Cape Town Tuesday, Witchy Wednesday and Wobbly Thursday.
See you there!

Storm's Choice flows to Dark Moon

Fantastic News!

What can be more exciting than a title change!

 During the edit it became clear that the title Storm's Choice was too cutesy and sweet - and therefore misleading. Make no mistake, the story is romance, but there is more to it, as the cover announces boldly.
My editor from All Things That Matter Press asked me to think of something different/better. I went blank
In the end
Personally I have always felt that the title was all wrong - and lets face it, the title of the book has a very important job - to give the reader a one-word synopsis of what the book is about. In this case, yes, Storm has a choice to make, but that's not all.
There are elements of witchcraft in it - don't get me wrong, there aren't people running around waving wands about! Nor is it a textbook on the craft. Read it with an open mind!
My daily posts will resume forthwith on Saturday with Symbol Saturday, Scribbly Sunday, Ghostly Monday, Cape Town Tuesday, Witchy Wednesday and Wobbly Thursday.
See you there!

Interview by Carrie Bailey

Book Promotion with Maggie Tideswell

An effective book marketing campaign appeals to readers on a fundamental level and crosses the usual boundaries. Even if the genre doesn't interest a person, the author's objective is to leave the person with an impression of professionalism and quality. If it does, then the goal is to move them to learn more about your work until they are convinced to purchase. Maggie Tideswell, the South African author of Dark Moon published 2011 by All Things That Matter Press, offers insight to the process of marketing her novel in this interview with Peevish Penman. She has been writing off and on for 20 years.

PPM: Do you use a persona to promote your work? 

The way I see promotion is similar to branding. You have to create your brand and my brand is my name, Maggie Tideswell.

PPM: As authors, our writing style is often influenced by others, but can you identify anyone who has inspired how you market your work? 

Maggie: No, not really. When my book was released last year, I didn't know where to start promoting it. Then I was told that one should start the promotion at least a year before the release. The other authors of the All Things That Matter Press forum - we are all encouraged to join and take part in the forum - have been most helpful. We are all in the same boat and have to start somewhere. The help and support has been tremendous.

PPM: It sounds like you started promoting later than you wanted. When did you decide how you would market Dark Moon? 

Maggie: I was going to have a big publishing house with an experienced marketing team to do it for me, wasn't I? I never thought about marketing. But the face of publishing has changed radically and these days, even if your work is snapped up by a big traditional publisher, it is up to the author to market the book. The competition is fierce out there - I always say that this business of book promotion is not for sissies. And like most artists, money is always a problem. One could hire a publicist to handle marketing for you, but it is so expensive that I could not afford it. What I did do, and this is a great marketing tool and well worth the cost, was to have a promotional book trailer made professionally.

PPM: What other publications have you completed? 

Maggie: Dark Moon was my debut novel and my second, titled Moragh, will be released later this year. The biggest challenge in the life of any novel is finding somebody who believe in it enough to publish it without it costing you a dime. If the book is good, there will be a publisher out there who will publish it. It might take a while to find the right publisher, but if you are diligent in your search, you will.

PPM: How did you feel when you first saw the trailer for Dark Moon? 
 Maggie: I was thrilled! It is one thing holding the actual book in your hands for the first time - a moment all writers dream of - but to see your dreams transformed into a mini movie, was an indescribable feeling.
PPM: Is Dark Moon a book you can judge by its cover? 

 Maggie: Yes, definitely. I wanted the elements in the book on the front cover so that people looking at it, could see at a glance what they were going to get. The cover should be a summary of the book, and with Dark Moon, I think we have achieved that.

PPM: Is there anything you've learned about promoting Dark Moon that you can apply to Moragh when it will be released? 

Yes, I have learnt not to be so protective of my writing and to talk to people about it. Previously, I never used to tell people about my stories - not even that I was writing them - but if nobody knows about a book, they can't look for it and buy it. And word of mouth is the best marketing tool.

PPM: If you could go back to any point over the past 20 years that you've been writing and give yourself advice (something self-promotion related), what would it be? 

I would let people know that I am a writer. I would ask more people to read and comment, instead of keeping it all to myself and not allowing anybody to see any part of it. It is important to have a set of beta readers whose opinion you trust.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Ghostwriting is not Illegal, it’s Fattening!

By Karen Cole
Words: 800

That’s the most common thing I get when I tell people I’m a ghost writer: “Hey, isn’t that illegal and doesn’t it violate copyrights laws?” Nah, it doesn’t. It’s completely street legal, functions under “work for hire” clauses in each state of the USA and also in other countries, and the clients usually get to keep full rights and copyrights to all of the material you ghostwrite for them
However, it can be hard to talk about, as it’s kind of “hush-hush” stuff. When I work with famous people, they generally want all the credit for their work, so I can’t really discuss their names with other people. Recently, however, I have worked with a Holocaust survivor of ten different internment camps, who is going on a national book tour to sell his book, and the daughter of the FBI agent who caught Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassin, James Earl Ray.
One of the figures in that book, known as “the Dallas Duplicator,” was possibly the infamous Blonde Man of Dealey Plaza, who picked up one of the bullets that killed President Kennedy – he was also the FBI agent who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald in the Dallas movie theater. The Duplicator, however, refuses to admit that he was the Blonde Man, although he was in Dallas at the time. I’ve worked on projects involving the Mafia, which I can’t go on about at length, and the CIA – involving murders. And I worked on a book project concerning the infamous murder case where Amber Frey testified against the killer.
So I have dealt with some interesting people, such as a real life Nazi from the original party, some film stars (Nicholas Cage, Prince, Fabio) several makers of motion pictures, some famous book authors, and lots of book publishers and literary agents, as well as music industry moguls and top recording executives. But I can’t talk a lot about any of these people – I’m supposed to be purely a background figure, and to not release a lot of information about my clients or even about my business contacts – just enough about them to let the public know that I deal with them.
Anyway, I only work on commission for select book authors and screenwriters. They have to have a publisher literally all lined up, or a movie studio or producer ready to film their project for me to work only on commission. Sometimes, however, I run a deal when I think a book is likely to be published or a script is likely to be produced, where we take 5-15% of net sales and also a substantial upfront payment during the completion of the project. This deal is not our usual practice, which is to take solely upfront payments during the course of completion of the book or script project.
We also do other work as it comes in; but usually we don’t write articles unless it’s part of an overall greater project. And we never do academic writing for students, only editing and proofreading. We also always write and ask for permission for usage of other’s work, and we never plagiarize. As for how it feels not owning all of my own hard work, well, nowadays I mostly send out the incoming projects to other ghost writers on our team, and I only do some of the editing work that comes in. But in the past, I guess I have no real regrets. I’ve been paid well enough, and I’ve not had to deal with any of the problems or infamy that a book on a tender subject might bring.
As to advice for other writers: write, write and write some more, practice your editing of spelling, grammar and syntax, and become as expert as you can at “Show not Tell” writing and developmental or content editing. You will find that as a ghost writer, you will need thorough editing and rewriting skills. Also, get some of your own work with your name on it published, so that you can show it to clients, and build up a decent portfolio of your published work. You can get articles published on various sites on the Internet for free.
Once you’re ready, you should begin to take on those “interesting” clients for some terrific pay. But don’t be afraid to take on “first time” author ghost writing clients, if they are willing to pay you decently for your services. You don’t always have to work for famous people to get your name recognized (if that’s what you want) or to make a great living.

Friday, 8 June 2012

What it’s like to be a Professional Ghost Writer

By: Karen Cole
Words: 500

It’s hard to talk about sometimes, as there’s much I have to keep to myself. You don’t tend to take the credit for any of your own original work, or anything you’ve added either, in each case that you’re a ghost writer.
Sometimes the client is willing to share some of the credit, such as a blurb on the acknowledgments page: “This book wouldn’t have been possible without my Editor, So-and-So.” Or you might even get a cover credit, along the lines of “By (client’s name), as told to (your name). And sometimes, if you make a deal with your client, you can share spine and cover credit as a book’s coauthor. Sometimes clients will offer this in lieu of pay, but I never accept that.
The book market nowadays is so tight, it can be hard to tell if a book is going to sell, or if a screenplay is going to lead to a successful movie – things are even tighter in the film industry. But there are books that surprisingly take off and sell quite well. Two of the books I helped out on have been doing great over the past few months, climbing up high on Amazon and doing my feelings proud, for example.
But generally, in any case whatsoever, I prefer to receive advance pay while completing a manuscript. I only edit scripts and screenplays, and in recent years, I tend to only do book editing, too. I’m sending out a lot of work to our writer’s team instead, to free me to pursue potential other matters.
I like to edit more than I like to be a ghost writer, in fact. My style is a little sophisticated, and it’s not easy to keep to a client’s “voice” sometimes when I add new material, such as through ghost writing. But whenever I edit, I usually am able to find the client’s voice and keep to it stoically. I’ve ghost written award-winning, well-selling books, though, so I may go back to it at any time.
If you like to write, and you edit your own work, chances are that you would make a pretty good ghost writer. Have your friends review your work, and strangers whenever possible, too. This will tell you what kind of writer you are, and whether or not you should pursue the field of becoming a professional ghost writer.
Also, once you’ve written substantially, get everything you can published under your own name. That’s the mistake I made with my career – I have no books out right now published under my own name – but I use certain clients’ books as references, as they are letting me do so for my career’s sake. 

Ghost Writer, Copy Editor, Marketer and Promoter - Please drop by Ghost Writer, Inc. for affordable freelance writing, ghost writing and copy editing, and inexpensive packages for marketing, sales and promotions. We even do publishing and optioning assistance - we are your full-service ghost writing agency for all your writing needs.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Nothing is as it seems…

The story Dark Moon is based on one that started about twenty years ago. Every day we meet new people, but who is to say which of those meetings will impact our future and in what way.
It is difficult to say how long it actually took me to write Dark Moon. I work in a very haphazard sort of way. I never have less than three stories going at the same time. I get bored easily so I’ll work on story 1 until that happens, then I move on to story 2 until I get fed-up and go back to story 1 and then I’ll skip to story 3 and so I carry on. And then I had a period of 3 years in which I didn’t write a word – didn’t even do editing or plotted new story lines. Nothing. Zip. Nada. But at a guess, I would say if I added the time together, it might have been about 2 years, maybe 2 and a half. And the incubation periods in between seem to do wonders for inspiration.
It started out as a straight forward, sickeningly soppy, love tale, but it is amazing how a story tells itself. It soon became clear that this tale needed more oomph, and resist as I might, the witchcraft element would not be excluded. The Trevor character was also a weakling to start with, but the story demanded he become something else completely. This character, more than any other in the book, personifies the notion of ‘nothing is as it seems’. We all wear different faces, pretend to be something other than we are, but in Trevor’s case, his faces were like day and night. I loved writing the Trevor character.
I had to be cautious when I incorporated the witchy bits to the story, though. I didn’t want my wondrous tale to turn into something like Harry Potter, with people calling themselves witches and wafting wands about and sparks flying, nor did I want to turn it into a textbook on the craft. People are strange and there will always be somebody out there who will actually try out the rituals and stuff. So, for the sake of safety – and my sanity! – I couldn’t describe anything fully. Less is more in my opinion. I wanted to draw the reader into the rites, without anybody being able to copy anything and causing themselves or anybody/thing around them any harm. A little knowledge is dangerous, you know.
Thank you to Mark Knox for the wonderful cover art and splendid video trailer that completed the growth of Dark Moon. And a special thank you to All Things That Matters Press for publishing Dark Moon.

Dark Moon is available from in paperback or kindle from here:

If you are in Africa, it is available on in paperback or on mobii from here:

Please follow me on twitter @lunamags 
and on facebook

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

New Review of Dark Moon by Pam Stacks

Reader Review – Dark Moon
By: Maggie Tideswell

“Dark Moon” is South African author Maggie Tideswell’s first published book and what a first book it is!!!!!  As a disclosure and blessed to have met Maggie on Facebook, she gifted me with a PDF copy of the book and I’m so happy to have this opportunity to talk about it.

My initial thoughts about “Dark Moon” came while I was reading – that this author understands about relationships and appears to be fascinated by them.  Her characters are well conceived and well developed not only upon meeting them but throughout the book.  Without giving too much away, “Dark Moon” tells the story of Storm, Trevor, Jarrod and Elle as the primary characters and Storm’s attempt to get Trevor to propose to her, and what happens when he does not.  Elle, Trevor’s sister, makes it her mission to catch Trevor and bring him to justice. Their mother senses what Trevor is doing and she uses her  experience as a witch to slow him down. This book is set in Cape Town, South African, the author’s home and it surprised me by painting a lovely complete portrait of Cape Town.  Tideswell’s descriptions are vivid and as a “visual” reader I was easily able to create the scenes in my mind’s eye, something by which I evaluate a book.  Interestingly, I could also imagine the voices of each person in this story, with kudos to Tideswell because they were so well written and alive.  I just love, love this book!  This genre is a mix of fiction and paranormal, one of my favorites and it appeals to both female and male readers.  While not wishing to give away the ending, I will say that it is surprising and ultimately satisfying.  This reader/reviewer gives this lovely book 5 stars and a very big recommendation to GET IT NOW!  Can’t wait for the next novel from author Maggie Tideswell!

Please find Maggie Tideswell on Facebook and  “Dark Moon” can be purchased from and is available in paper and e-book form.