Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Blogger Ben Hatch

Ben Hatch was born in London and grew up here and in Manchester and Buckinghamshire. His latest bestseller, Are We Nearly There Yet? 8000 Misguided Miles Round Britain in a Vauxhall Astra has been praised by John Cleese ("Ben Hatch makes me laugh"), although, unfortunately, not by his wife Dinah ("I do NOT drive like Mr Magoo, you bastard!") His first comic novel, The Lawnmower Celebrity, based loosely on his time as a chicken sandwich station monitor at Darlington McDonalds, was named one of the Radio 4's eight books of the year in 2000. The International Gooseberry about a hapless backpacker with a huge ungovernable toenail was published in 2001 and described as "hysterical and surprisingly sad" by the Daily Express. Ben Hatch was on the long-list of Granta's 2003 list of the most promising 20 young authors in the UK. In association with his wife Dinah, Ben has also written guidebooks for Frommer's. The guidebooks are a mixture of helpful and humorous tips on holidaying with children, quirky reviews of attractions, and incendiary arguments with his wife about, among other things, what is the best type of owl.

If you think writing a guidebook is easy, think again! 'A family's 8,000 miles round Britain in a Vauxhall Astra' they were bored, broke, burned out and turning 40, so when Ben and Dinah saw the advert looking for a husband and wife team with young kids to write a guidebook about family travel around Britain, they jumped at the chance. With naive visions of staring moodily across Coniston Water and savouring Cornish pasties, they embark on a mad-cap five-month trip with daughter Phoebe, four, and son Charlie, two, embracing the freedom of the open road with a spirit of discovery and an industrial supply of baby wipes.

'disastrous five-month trip around Britain with two small children. The object... to write a travel guide.' -- The Bookseller, 29th April 2011

'mad-cap five-month tour of Britain... it turns out not to be quite the odyssey they had expected.' -- The Bookseller, 13th May 2011

"Ben Hatch makes me laugh." -- John Cleese

"A voyage of pain, suffering, argument, baby wipes, discovery and utter delight...Never travel in a car with children without this book by your side." -- Sir Terry Wogan

"A funny, touching cross country jaunt that's as much about being a kid as it is about being a grown up." -- Danny Wallace

“A wonderful book - hilarious and moving, all at the same time. Highly recommended for anyone with a family, a car or a sense of humour." -- Sophie Kinsella

“This is about a living, loving, occasionally quarrelsome but clearly very happy marriage and it felt curiously life-affirming to read about it. It’s very warts and all, extremely funny, very human and very sad. If you liked One Day or just like good books in general, don’t let this one pass you by.” -- Jenny Colgan

"Funny, touching and so, so, true to life. The must read of the year!" -- Mike Gayle

"Refreshing, insightful, very funny." -- Joanne Harris

"A wonderful book. Terribly moving and so so funny." -- Richard Briers

"Brilliant. Outnumbered in a car. I absolutely loved it. Funny, honest and moving." -- Tim Brooke-Taylor

“Very funny and equally moving. Ben Hatch is one of my favourite writers.” -- Lisa Jewell

"If you're dreading a weekend car trip with small children this book can't fail t`o cheer you up." -- The Mirror

"Hatch humorously recounts his 8000 mile odyssey round Britain with his wife and two small children." -- The Times

Friday, November 4, 2011

Guest Blogger: Jacqueline Corcoran

1) When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

My mother remembers me telling her that I wanted to be a writer when I was seven years old.

2) When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started my first novel when I was seventeen. I finished my first novel when I was 20.

3) How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?

15 Novels. A Month of Sundays, a mystery due out in October 2011 with Whimsical Productions, is my favorite.

I have also had published eleven textbooks.

4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I have to write when my children are at school, so ideally I’m able to get writing done then and after they go to bed.

5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I use lots of different ways to motivate myself – classes, writing craft books, sketching out scenes and then layering them. I write longhand first and then type a scene into the computer.

6) Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

They come from all different places – they could be a place like Dumbarton Oaks in D.C. (Time Witch), an experience (like working at the Austin Police Department), a class (I’m taking a Steampunk course right now).

7) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Exercise, reading, hiking

8) What do you think makes a good story?

I like mysteries, so a good story means that there is an unexpected ending.

9) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer?

It sounds simplistic, but you have to be willing to write – a lot – and take feedback.

Jacqueline Corcoran was born to Irish and Welsh parents in England. Influenced by the Celtic tradition of storytelling, witches, trolls, and winged horses inhabit her middle-grade fantasy. She has lived in the U.S. for most of her life – in California, Michigan, Texas, and now in Alexandria, Virginia.

She holds a Ph.D. in social work and has been a member of the faculty at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond since 2000. Before that, she was on faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work for four years. She has published numerous professional academic articles and eleven books in her field. Although Jacqueline has been writing novels for over 28 years, Time Witch is her first published novel.

Find the book at:


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guest blogger: JIm Baugh

Welcome Back Jim. I see that your book is only 99 Cents for the holidays. It would make a great Christmas book to load onto kindles.

Get "Hooked" for only $0.99

At Solstice Publishing

Or Amazon


"HOOKED" is based on the true-life story of Virginia outdoor television producer Jim Baugh. Jim Baugh Outdoors TV is one of Americas most diverse and entertaining outdoor programs and has been in syndication since 1989.

"HOOKED" is a hilarious look behind the scene stories of filming a southern outdoor TV show. From the Chesapeake Bay to Key West these on location excursions will make your sides hurt with laughter. A cast of sea faring characters full of color and humor. From the docks in Gloucester Virginia to the Atlantic Ocean and a boat load of jolly swashbuckling Pirates. The stories and characters in "HOOKED" are timeless and span a period of over forty years.

In contrast, "HOOKED" also explores the solemn drama of dealing with divorce, death, and mental illness.

The story also delves into the totally crazy insane world of mid-life on-line computer dating. This is a hilarious look at dating in the computer world after 25 years of solid marriage. These "Dating" stories are contemporary, racy, scary, cheerful, timeless, and based on true events. Anyone who is old enough to date will soon relate to "HOOKED" as the comical reference for dating in the new millennium.

This adult romantic comedy story also relates to the power and testament of faith.

50 Years of an exciting action packed extremely charismatic colorfull life and career, packed into 28 chapters . It is a fast ride for sure.

Bio: Jim Baugh has been producing National and Regional television shows for 25 years. Programs include: Jim Baugh Outdoors TV (220 episodes), Ski East, Classic Fishing. Fishing Virginia and, RV Times.

Jim Baugh has written over 300 columns for numerous magazines during the last 20 years including: Motor boating Magazine, Fishing Smart, The Chesapeake Angler, The Sportsman Magazine and Travel Virginia Magazine.

Stop by the bar to hang out with Jim!!!