Out Today! 13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black #AmWriting #PublicationDaySale

 

Today I’m spotlighting and reviewing the lovely Sacha Black’s debut non-fiction book – a masterclass in writing villains – for all you writers out there.

About the Book

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Title: 13 Steps To Evil- How To Craft Superbad Villains
Where is it published: Amazon, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Tolino, Barnes and Noble, inktera
No of Pages: 222
Release Date: 30th May
Formats: Paperback and eBook
Purchase: All good retailers! Universal book link.
Publication day sale: You can snap up the e-book for just £1.99 today! Limited time only!

Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.

Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?

  In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover: 

  • How to develop a villain’s mindset

  • A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up

  • Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible

  • What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs

Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.

These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.

 If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

Meet the Author

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Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.

Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.

When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.

Contact Information

Non-fiction Website: www.sachablack.co.uk

Fiction Website: www.sachablackbooks.com

Social Media

Twitter: @sacha_Black

Facebook: Sacha Black author page

Pinterest: Pinterest profile

Instagram: Sacha Black profile

Goodreads non-fiction: Sacha Black profile

Goodreads fiction: Sacha de Black profile

Tumblr: Sacha Black profile

Google+: Sacha black profile

Linkedin: Linkedin Profile

Amazon Author Page

Excerpt

Why Writers Fudge Up Their Villains

Villains are like newborn infants. So much glorious potential. Until we writers get our grubby mitts on them and balls it up. With the careless flick of a pen, we can turn a finely sculpted baby villain into a cringe-worthy cliché because we didn’t make him bad enough, or we create something so heinously evil it’s unrealistic.

A villain might be a plot device, but he still needs a purpose and a goal, or he’s unworthy as an opponent for your hero (See STEP 3 for motives and goals).

While researching this book, writers told me all kinds of problems they encountered while creating their villains. From getting the dialogue right and avoiding clichés, to knowing how evil to make a villain, to how to reveal her motives without using blatant exposition.

Behind all these issues lie two basic barriers that are the Achilles in every writer’s villainous heel:

1. Depending on the point of view (POV) the book’s written in, the villain is usually seen through the eyes of your hero.

A solitary POV gives you a page-limited amount of time to show your villain’s best, most authentic and devilishly evil side. Page-limited to the point it makes it eye-wateringly difficult to convey her backstory effectively without information dumping. You have to be better, clearer, more tactical and more concise with your words to create superbad villains.

2. Writers are hero worshippers.

We love our heroes and protagonists more than our spouses. And as a result, we spend shameful amounts of time honing our protagonist’s muscular heroics into shape. But that relegates our villain (the plot-driving conflict-creator) to the corner of our book, complete with a nobody-loves-you-anyway hat. In other words, writers don’t pay enough attention to their villain.

Review

I’ve been following Sacha’s blog for a while now and love the energy, humour and passion that she puts into helping writers hone their craft. In 13 Steps to Evil, Sacha has put together everything she has learnt about writing and focused on how to create superbad villains – something she believes is often overlooked.

I thought this book was brilliant. Even if like me, you’re not currently writing anything and therefore not using it directly as a writing tool, it’s still a great read and one that you can apply to any kind of writing. It’s full of tips, examples, and in-depth exploration of writing bad guys (and girls).

“It will teach you to craft villains so brilliantly twisted they’ll make your readers throw themselves like sacrificial lambs between the pages of your book.”

I was especially impressed by the way the book structured with each chapter acting as a different step, exploring a different facet of writing a convincing and complex villain, and each point is backed up with an example from a well-known book or movie. I thought this was a great idea – it made it really easy to picture exactly what Sacha was explaining, and each example was totally spot on.

The end of each chapter also has a bullet-pointed summary and finishes with questions to ask yourself as you work through your own manuscript. But the best part of this book, is definitely Sacha’s wit and wisdom. Her personality (and potty mouth – which I love, obviously) really shines through, making it an enjoyable read and not something to trawl through like a lot of writing books.

“Motives are story mechanics, pillars of structural necessity. Without them, you’re fuckled, sideways…With a giant piranha covered pogo stick.”

It’s also clear that Sacha did a lot of research for this book, and I felt like I was in good hands the whole way through! If you’re struggling to create an evil character, or even if you’re just interested in the writing process, I think this book will help and entertain.

Many thanks to Sacha for providing me with a copy of the book and letting me join in the publication day partayyy! Let’s dance!

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: The Perfect Gift? #TTT #ChristmasGifts

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is… Holiday Gift Guide freebie

OK so this topic is kind of perfect because I’ve been meaning to do a little gift guide for a while. I’m an affiliate of Waterstones, The Book Depository, and Foyles and I don’t promote them as much as I should so in the spirit of full disclosure, unless otherwise stated, all of these links are affiliate links and should you purchase anything from the sites I will get a small (really, very small) commission.

1. Born to Run ~ Bruce Springsteen

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Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

Hardback, published: 27/09/2016

Who for: Rock n’ Roll parents
Best price: £10
Where from: Waterstones

 

2. Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

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Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is packed with all the classics you need for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious recipes for edible gifts, party food and new ways to love those leftovers. It’s everything you need for the best Christmas ever.

Hardback, published: 20/10/2016

Who for: Secret Santa; The In-Laws, that weird person in your life that doesn’t read fiction.
Best price: £13 
Where from: Waterstones

 

3. Lean in 15 ~ Joe Wicks

gift3Joe Wicks is a man on a mission. His goal is to get the world away from fad diets and miserable calorie-counting and into a pattern of healthy, sustaining eating and to become fitter, stronger and leaner.

Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach has inspired thousands to transform their bodies by shifting unwanted fat and building lean muscle and now he’s taking what he’s learned to the next level.

Paperback, published: 17/11/2016
Who for: Your health-conscious friend / your friend that fancies Joe Wicks.
Best price: £8.49
Where from: Waterstones

4. Selected Fairy Tales ~ The Brothers Grimm

 

gift4Part of a special set of 10 hardcover classics, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith, that innovatively use foil and a special new binding material to create a highly collectible set.

 Stepmothers, dark forests, strange beasts, broken promises, sinister brides, castle turrets, princes on horseback, magic lamps, industrious dwarves and a frog king. Collected and adapted from German folk tales, these imperishable stories can be read over and over again.

Leather / fine binding, published: 16/11/2015

Who for: Your favourite bookworm; little sisters
Best price: £14.99
Where from: Waterstones

5. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

gift5It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Hardback, published: 31/07/2016
Who for: That secret pott-head in your life
Best price: £10
Where from: Waterstones

6. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! 2017

gift6The Ripley’s Believe It or Not! annual has now firmly established itself as a Christmas must-have, with an ever-growing army of loyal fans. Following hot on the heels of last year’s Top 10 best-seller, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2017 offers a completely new compendium of strange but true facts and amazing stories, ranging from the Polar Bear robot, to the edible human skull, to the woman who still suffers from sea-sickness three years after her last boat trip, to the Swiss daredevil who soars over famous landmarks in his custom-made jet pack.

Hardback, published 08/09/2016

Who for: The little brother who has everything (and likes gross things)
Best price: £10
Where from: Foyles

7. The Chemist ~ Stephenie Meyer

 

gift7In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realises it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers.

Hardback, published 08/11/2016

Who for: Thriller fans!
Best price: £10
Where from: Foyles

8. Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Tales

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Experience the endlessly imaginative world of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth through the eyes of its most fantastical and beloved characters! Witness a day in the life of Sir Didymus, the recklessly heroic fox-terrier; Ludo, the lovable oaf; Hoggle, an ever loyal companion; and others as they play games, work together, and revel in the magic of the labyrinth. Written and gorgeously illustrated by acclaimed children’s book illustrator Cory Godbey (Have Courage, Be Kind: The Tale of CinderellaI), Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Tales takes readers deep into the adventure where magic knows no bounds.

Hardback, published 20/10/2016

Who for: Me! 😉 or anyone who has ever hailed Labyrinth as the best film ever!
Best price: £12.99
Where from: The Book Depository

9. His Bloody Project ~ Graeme McCrae

gift9The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows. Graeme Macrae Burnet tells an irresistible and original story about the provisional nature of truth, even when the facts seem clear. His Bloody Project is a mesmerising literary thriller set in an unforgiving landscape where the exercise of power is arbitrary.

Paperback, published 11/08/2016

Who for: The perfect ‘I can’t think of anything else under £5’ gift.
Best price: £4.24
Where from: The Book Depository

 

Friday Feature: Easter Deals (Books, Flowers, Gifts & more)

To celebrate the long Easter weekend, I have some great deals and promos to share with you!

Book Deals

30% off Bestsellers and selected titles half price

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1. The Secret Garden: £8.95
2. The Girl on the Train (hardback): £10.99
3. The Miniaturist: £5.99
4. Go Set a Watchman(hardback/preorder): £9.49 RRP £18.99!!
5. Mr Impossible and the Easter Egg Hunt: £2.99

Plus many more…

Click on the banner to get an extra 10% off at checkout
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Spring Flower Bouquets

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ASDA are offering free delivery (UK) on all bouquets – for any occasion – and Lipsyy Lost & Found readers can also claim an extra £2 off on orders over £25 with code: SPRINGFLOWERS2 or £3 on orders over £30 with code: SPRINGFLOWERS3.

Click on the banner to claim your discount

Days Out & Half Term/ Easter Trips

Asda are also offering 10% off a range of experiences, including some Easter and Half Term Fun… From Sporting Days out, Historic attractions and Animal Experiences to exciting Junior Driving and Segway Thrills.
Click on the banner below and use the code EASTER10 ! before 6 April 2015.

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T&C’s apply. See the website for more info.

Disclosure: I am part of the Waterstones and Asda Gifts affiliate programs. Any purchases will result in me receiving a teeny bit of commission

Happy Easter!

Vintage Book Shop ~ Now Open!

As promised in my proposed schedule, I’m dedicating some posts to all the goings on in my Etsy vintage book shop. Because we all love vintage books, right!?

The past fortnight has been a bit slow, but then I wasn’t exactly expecting to be bombarded with orders so I’m pretty happy overall.

Items Sold:

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A friend of mine took a shine to Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall, and instead of selling it to her we agreed on a swap for an old SLR Camera she was going to put on Freecycle. Score.

I also sold the first Holmes & Watson story, A Study in Scarlet, so that’s 2/2 Penguin Classics gone. I knew they’d be popular but didn’t expect them to go that quickly. Must find more!

Items Added:

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Le Petite Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1951 (in French, illustrated).

I love this book. Clearly, I can’t read French, but it’s a beautiful edition of the Children’s Classic. I hope this gets snapped up by someone who will love it!

 

The Complete Plays of Bernard Shaw, 1937

This is definitely a WOW book. The leather-bound cover complete with medallion on the frontispiece makes it look pretty grand. I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of Bernard Shaw, so I want it to go to a home that will appreciate it more.

You can view my shop here.

If you have an Etsy store, link me and I’ll follow you 🙂

Spotlight: The Goth Girl Series by Chris Riddell

Being unemployed – which I newly am – is good in the sense that I can wander around bookshops during the week as much as I wish, but bad in sense that I can’t actually justify spending any money right now. 😦

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My will power was really put to test when I saw the beautiful Goth Girl hardbacks on display in my local Waterstones this week. WANT!

The second book in the series, Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death was released on September 25th, and is Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month.

How perfect are these for younger readers this Halloween!?

I mean, look how pretty…

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Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death

GG2Preparations for the Ghastly-Gorm Garden Party and bake-off are under way. Celebrity cooks are arriving at the hall for the big event and, true to form, Maltravers, the indoor gamekeeper, is acting suspiciously. Elsewhere at Ghastly-Gorm Ada’s wardrobe-dwelling lady’s maid Marylebone has received a marriage proposal. Ada vows to aid the course of true love and find out what Maltravers is up to, but amidst all this activity, everyone, including her father, appears to have forgotten her birthday!

About the Author

Chris Riddell was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where his father was an Anglican priest and a member of the ANC. The family moved to England in 1963, when Riddell was one year old, and he spent his childhood in a number of different locations, as his father moved between parishes. Both of Riddell’s parents continued to be active in the anti-apartheid movement.

Chris Riddell is an internationally acclaimed writer and illustrator whose many awards include the Nestlé Gold Award and two Kate Greenaway Medals—the most prestigious prize for illustration in the UK. He is the creator of more than one hundred books for all ages, including the immensely popular series the Edge Chronicles and his latest chapter book series, starring the irrepressible Ottoline Brown, which School Library Journal called “exceptional.” Chris lives in Brighton, England, with his wife and three children where he invents his amazing characters in a very tidy shed in his yard. (Goodreads)

What Are People Saying About Goth Girl?

“Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is one of the best children’s books I’ve read this year. Possibly *the* best. Aside from its truly beautiful presentation, it’s a fantastic gothic story with unusual characters, clever writing and amazing illustrations. The whole package really is a work of art.” – Wondrous Reads

Both illuminated and illuminating this is a magnum opus from the singular talent of Chris Riddell and is certain to be the jewel in the crown of every book case it adorns.”

– Droplets of Ink

“Love. Everything.” – Sarah Churchill, Goodreads

Click on the banner to read the first chapter for free!

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