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All the world’s a page…

Today is World Book Day, a fact I was made aware of by Audrey, who went to school dressed as a witch, (her class are all being Harry Potter characters for the day) as part of the global celebration of all things literary.

Obviously I’m going to cynically use this as an excuse to promote Stories In Green Ink, the anthology containing my first published works of short fiction (written as Guy Thair)

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…ahead of the second collection featuring another one of my stories, which should be out later this month.

But I’m also going to take the opportunity to recommend a few of my (possibly rather predictable) all time favourite book series, starting with one that is soon to make its long-awaited appearance at the movies.

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Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is an extraordinarily ambitious and groundbreaking epic that defies classification.
It takes a classic western theme and mixes it with elements of thriller, mystery, fantasy, horror and sci-fi, resulting in a deeply satisfying and unique tale that takes the reader on a thrilling journey that manages to combine our world and that of the anti-hero, Roland, the last Gunslinger in a way that is natural and seamless.
Many people have told me they hadn’t read the books “because I don’t like horror stories”, but King is so much more than a horror writer and if you appreciate a fantastic story that’s beautifully written then I urge you to enter the world of the Dark Tower, I promise you won’t regret it.

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I know I’ve enthused about the genius of Douglas Adams on many occasions, but this is simply because I cannot praise him enough.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books are without doubt some of the funniest I’ve ever read (even after reading them over a dozen times, they still make me laugh out loud) and the story of Arthur Dent and his adventures in Adams’ surreal universe are endlessly inventive and thought-provoking.

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I couldn’t possibly talk about books without once again plugging the awesome Terry Pratchett and his hugely popular and influential Discworld™ series.
Terry has been compared to writers as diverse as P.G. Wodehouse and Jonathan Swift; his talent for taking everyday situations and familiar stereotypes and relocating them to his own version of the universe enables him to discuss important social issues and intellectual concepts in a way that is not only accessible but hilarious, with a wit and warmth that very few authors have ever achieved.

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And finally, a series of which many of you may never have heard; G.W. Dahlquist’s Glass Books of the Dream Eaters trilogy.
“Steampunk” covers a wide range of styles, but I think the Glass Books series epitomizes the genre; a faux-Victorian setting, a rollicking adventure, dark humour, a creeping sense of dread, erotic undertones and mysteriously advanced technologies being put to sinister use, Dahlquist crams all this and more into his books, which follow three wildly differing protagonists who have to rely on each other to foil the dastardly plans of some truly despicable villains.

So there is my contribution to World Book Day, I hope you are sufficiently tempted by my choices that you go and seek out at least one of my recommendations. With nearly fifty titles to choose from, it should be a while before you need to top up your book pile.

To play us out, who else but Elvis Costello and the 1983 classic, Every Day I Write The Book.

 

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Published at last (aka the Big Reveal)…

Well it’s finally happened, I’ve been published.

In an actual book!

Yes, the waiting is over; I received an e-mail this morning from the lovely Catherine Broughton, writer of the blog Turquoise Moon, telling me that Stories In Green Ink, compiled by Anna Trowbridge, makes its debut on Amazon this morning.

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But that isn’t all. I’m also lucky enough to have had two stories included in the collection, and I was asked to supply the dedication for the book.

Now, somewhat confusingly for some of you, (possibly some recent readers may not yet have got the hang of my slightly peculiar nom-de-blog) I’ve chosen to publish these stories under my real name, Guy Thair, so don’t be too surprised when you can’t find any works of sparkling creative genius credited to “dalecooper57”.

However, there’s no need to worry about that, I shall still answer to “Dale” on the blog because, well, I’ve become rather fond of my fictional alter-ego and I don’t want him wandering around in my head with nothing to do, I have enough trouble keeping him busy as it is.

Plus, “dalecooper57” is quite a useful and unique trademark in itself and I don’t want to mess up all my internet search results.

My two contributions to this anthology of fiction by new writers are a couple of twisty little mysteries with a sting in the tale which I’m inordinately proud of.
So, please FOLLOW THIS LINK and avoid Christmas disappointment by ordering your copy immediately, (why not get a couple for friends too) and if you could leave a review and share the Amazon link, I’d be extremely grateful.

Thanks again to Catherine for all her hard work getting the book submissions organised and thank you, my loyal readers, for providing me with an audience.
Because without you lot for me to entertain, I may never have got this far to begin with.

 

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One liner Wednesday: First drafts…

“We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the allergies began to take hold.”

Fear and sneezing Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S Thompson,
1971.

#1linerWeds

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One liner Wednesday: First drafts…

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune and a fast carriage must be heading for a mid-life crisis.”

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)

#1linerWeds

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One liner Wednesday: First drafts…

“It was the day my grandmother exfoliated…”

– Iain Banks, The Crow Road, 1992.

#1lineWed

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One liner Wednesday: First drafts…

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the spring of hope, it was nearly teatime.”

– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 
(1859)

#1lineWed

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One liner Wednesday: First drafts…

“A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a….yes dear?…no, you’re right of course, filthy habit, I’ll go and smoke it in the shed…”

– Rudyard Kipling.

#1lineWed

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