STOP ASKING ME TO DO MY JOB FOR FREE: A guide to being a decent friend to a photographer


Wow, this tells it like it is… and the same could be applied to writers! You know the score; a friend says, “Oh, I’m writing a book, could you help me with it?” or, “Hey, do you fancy doing some work on my blog/website/newsletter? It’s all good exposure…” I have to say, all of the ‘exposure’ work I have done up until now is not paying the bills. Truthfully, it is not paying anything…

Originally posted on fromthebirdcage:

Raise your hand if you have a friend who is a photographer.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked that friend to do their job for free.  No seriously.  RAISE YOUR HAND. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU.  Because you’ve all done it.  How do I know?  Because I have a lot of friends and way too many of you have invited me to parties and told me to bring my camera or told me about this cool project idea you have that you’re certain I would love to be a part of.

Here’s the deal.  I MIGHT love to be a part of it.  AND, if I would, I’ll volunteer.  BUT STOP ASKING ME TO DO IT FOR FREE!  Ask to hire me.  THIS IS MY JOB!

Stay tuned long enough and I’ll give you the script for exactly how TO get us to do our job for free…

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Halfway There… I am on Fire! #NaNoWriMo2014

Phew! It has been a tumultuous week, my friends. It stared with me being the epitome of the writer in despair. Head in hands, grumpy and tired, I whined and complained because I just couldn’t get it. My novel was not working. The words were not flowing. And the worst part? I could feel them, simmering, somewhere just beneath the surface. But they were stuck. And I was frustrated.


As the week progressed and my mood worsened, I decided to take charge of the situation. I can’t fix the sleepless nights when my daughter refuses to settle. I can’t force my husband to take a holiday from work even though he desperately needs one. But I can write my novel for #NaNoWriMo. And that is what I am doing. Emerging from the desert of writer’s block, I got a grip. I sorted it out. I wrote.


Hooray! I am so excited about my work now that I feel physically exhausted. My mood has gone from exhilaration to despair, from sadness to joy, within a very short space of time. Right now I actually feel quite queasy, and it’s because I am channeling the heightened emotions of my protagonist, Hannah Oakley. She just killed her first vampire in ten years. She thinks her hunting partner is dead, killed by the vampire they were chasing. Her husband has no idea about her work, and he is sitting at home with the children, about to receive a phone call from the hospital. What happens next? I don’t know. But I will post a sneaky excerpt over on my author blog, Catherine Green. Take a look…

*Frustrated Writer image courtesy of Flickr

Posted in british horror, NaNoWriMo, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

I Finally Have a Title! #amwriting The Redcliffe Novels book 4

Last week I had a holiday in Scotland with my children and some friends. We had a lovely time. We stayed on a good old-fashioned family caravan park, we visited the town of Ayr, the city of Glasgow, and the Cocoa Bean Chocolate Factory near Kirkcudbright. It was both relaxing and busy as we tried to fit in activities for the children, R & R for for the adults, and enough sightseeing to feel we made the journey worthwhile.


I set my friend a challenge while we were away. I am back in the  groove with my writing, and currently working on book 4 in the Redcliffe novels series. I have been working on  it for almost a  year  now, and it remained untitled, simply listed as Redcliffe book 4 in my computer folder. I wanted it to be something a little different, something that represents the nature of the story, and something that still makes sense next to my first three books in the series: Love Hurts; Love Kills and Love Redeems.

Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel)

Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel)

My first novel, Love Hurts, was named after the classic rock ballad by the band Nazareth. My friend had brought along her rock ballad CD for the car. We listened to every song, and she would randomly shout out, “How about this?” “Would that fit?” “There’s a title!” Nothing worked, so we spent our car journeys half listening to the children chatter, and half listening to the songs for inspiration. Our efforts were rewarded. I now have a title. Thank you, Jo!


Here it is, drum roll please…. Book 4 in the Redcliffe novels series is called Eye of the Tiger.

*White Tiger image courtesy of Animal Kingd0m 

Posted in books, british paranormal romance, catherine green, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Three glorious, heroic reasons for you to do #NaNoWriMo when you can’t

Originally posted on Head Above Water:

If you are trying to fit writing into a busy life it might seem ridiculous to think you can write 50,000 words in a month but the NaNoWriMo writing challenge asks you to do just that. I’m writing here 5 days after the start so if you haven’t already signed up you’ll have some catching up to do. I’ve completed NaNoWriMo three times. It won’t get you a finished novel or anything like it but I’ll tell you what it is brilliant for and why you should consider doing it (or just doing your own version of it alongside the NaNoWriMers.)

1) Valour/Focus: It takes away all your excuses and faffing, you just have to sit down and churn out stuff. You’re life is full, it’s impossible but you’re going to do it anyway, to rise to the challenge in between the cracks of your life. And it works, words…

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Nothing special about this writer, but…

Originally posted on Head Above Water:

There are billions of novels out there. There are millions of fabulous writers and tales. There are well known writers who’s talent may be so so but who have captured something that connects with people. There are wonderful wordsmiths who remain obscure. There are authors who managed to get a book deal but then suffered the fate of “mid-list” authors and had to fight over and over to justify their presence on the shelves. There are authors who bypassed the traditional publishing arena and put themselves on the virtual shelves, authors who often give their writing away for free when their excellence should be paid for. There are writers in the wrong time and place and circumstance who have a more difficult task becoming known. There are writers who are hyped beyond worth. There is a laziness in the media sometimes where the same faces and the big names are…

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Free Holiday Promotional Opportunity for Authors (Read Tuesday Sale)

Originally posted on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog..... An Author Promotions Enterprise!:


Wouldn’t it be great if you could find a free opportunity to promote your books for the holidays?


Wouldn’t it be great to find a huge holiday book sale?

Well, there is. It’s called Read Tuesday.

It’s like Black Friday, but for books.

In 2014, Read Tuesday falls on Tuesday, December 9.


Mark your calendars.

What do you have to do?

Very little:


Sign your book up for Read Tuesday at Click the authors page to learn more.


Visit on Tuesday, December 9. Browse the catalog of books on December 9, which will include links to Kindle pages at Amazon with amazing sale prices as well as Smashwords discount codes.


Send books for the holidays. You can gift an e-book, purchase CreateSpace paperbacks with discount codes, or give a paperback as a gift from Amazon and keep…

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Halloween Ghost Hunt: Lancaster Grand Theatre, Lancaster, 31st October 2009

It has been 5 years since I visited the Lancaster Grand Theatre, so in honour of the season, here it is. This is the diary of my first Halloween ghost hunt…

I love this venue and cannot wait to return again. The building actually seems very unobtrusive and not very grand from the outside. It is still used for productions but once you step into the auditorium you can’t help but feel the anticipation of everything that has gone before.


During our walk-round I could actually feel the anxious energy of previous performers over the decades in the backstage area and I felt very jittery myself. I led a séance on the stage, and as we sat in a circle in the dark we all felt strong cold blasts of air across our hands and around the edges of the circle, as though the spirits were walking around us curiously. We heard a shuffling sound at the door leading to the basement dressing rooms and knew that we were the only people in this area, so it was most definitely spirit activity.


The dressing rooms apparently had a reputation for being haunted and for making people very uncomfortable. So we decided to test them for ourselves! We started in one small room which was very cramped, and when we turned the light off and tried to communicate with spirits everyone in our group felt very uneasy. After only about 5 minutes we decided to move on. In another dressing room we tried to be a little braver and we spoke to a woman using dowsing rods. She wanted us to leave. We asked her to give an obvious sign like making a loud noise or showing herself, so she pushed the man holding the dowsing rods. He jumped forward with a shout that she had touched his shoulder and we agreed to leave!

When we stood in front of the stage I sensed a woman in one of the upper boxes. She appeared to be a lady of title, and was waving, apparently to the crowd sat in the seats below. She seemed unaware of our presence so I believe her to be a photographic memory in the building, an old-fashioned unconscious haunting. I asked my colleague and medium Gemma if she could see anyone in the stalls and she nodded and said yes, she had already seen the woman when we first arrived.


Upstairs in the bar area there is a huge mirror on one wall and when we entered the room we could clearly see small handprints across the bottom of the glass. We watched the theatre manager clean all of the marks away while he told us that there were stories of child ghosts in there. Later we returned to this area and the bottom of the mirror was streaked with tiny handprints and finger marks! I had not seen this phenomena before so was very impressed. Eventually while in the upper stalls we spoke to a child named Emma via the dowsing rods. She responded to my sister Emily who was the youngest person in our group and Emma seemed comforted by her. We think she was approximately eight years old.


When I first walked into the central aisle of the upper stalls I had an overwhelming fear that someone would push me down the stairs and over the balcony. It was so strong that I found myself hurrying to the side and literally holding onto the handrail as I pressed my back to the wall! It was an irrational fear but I was not comfortable at all in that upper area. While up there we checked that all the seats were in their upright positions and then after a walk around we found that some of the seats had been moved into sitting positions. I wasn’t the only person who felt this uneasy in the central upper aisle, a couple of fellow ghost hunters experienced the same irrational fear and we heard from the theatre manager that there was a story about someone who fell over the railing and died as a result of their injuries many years ago. Again there was no obvious ‘conscious’ spirit presence so I think this was another memory imprinted in the energy of the building.


We finished the night with some attempted table tipping on the floor in front of the stage, and then a few people sat in seats in different parts of the ground floor area to see if anything happened. The table did move a little for the people that were using it, and I think it was the spirit of a friend of theirs communicating. At this time I had chosen to sit down in the main theatre and watch what was happening but I found that I suddenly went very drowsy and had to stop myself from falling asleep! Now this might have been due to the late (or early!) hour of the night but I was interested to notice that I felt quite comfortable here and as though I was surrounded by friends, even though I was in a place I had never visited before with people I had only just met, and we were in the darkness with just our torches. Obviously there were more friendly spirits in this theatre than there were malicious. We were roused from our quiet mood by the sound of a bell being rung in the theatre lobby. I went out with a colleague to investigate, wondering if maybe somebody had walked past outside and rung the doorbell, but we found no bell and all the doors were securely fastened. It was also long past pub closing time and any late-night stragglers would not be likely to have been passing the theatre.


So it was a very active and exciting night in the Lancaster Grand Theatre. Here I experienced various forms of spirit and ghost activity, one of which was new to me, so it was a very rewarding investigation.

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