Tourette’s Awareness Month Free Give Away

It seems there is a day, or week everything now. National cat lady day has just gone, but national bow tie is just around the corner (I’m particularly excited about that one). Right now we’re slap bang in the middle of Tourette’s awareness month (yes, we want an entire month). To me this is a particularly important one (not that ‘m saying bow-tie day isn’t) as Tourette’s has always been so misunderstood. The only time you see characters with Tourette’s on TV or in novels there’s a lot of shouting and swearing, usually with ‘hilarious consequences.’ I’m not saying that doesn’t exist. The vocal tics and the swearing is a rare form of Tourette’s called Coprolalia. It’s a harsh unforgiving condition, and certainly nothing to laugh about. I have the upmost respect for those guys.

But Tourette’s is more than that. It’s the jerky neck movement, the eye blinking, the throat clearing and wrist flicking. It’s millions of different tics that are individual and unique to each person with the condition. They continually change, new ones coming and going, and others sticking around for years.

That’s why I chose to write ‘Touretti Spaghetti’. It’s the story of Adam, a fifteen year old boy who suffers with Tourette’s. The story follows him through ten years of his life, from his days as the misunderstood ‘weird kid’ at school to…well that would be giving too much away. But what I wanted to achieve in the pages of this book is to tell the story of one boy’s struggle towards acceptance. I wanted to tell a real story about what it’s like to live with this, about what it’s really like. I wanted a leading character with the condition, and not just for comedy relief. I wanted someone you could cheer on and want the best for. It’s not a book of car chases and explosions. It’s about life, love, friendship and rising above adversity.

I wanted the book to help promote awareness, so it seemed only right that in Tourette’s awareness month I should make it available to as many people as possible. That’s why I have made it available for free on Kindle. It’s only for five days (sadly that’s all Kindle would allow me at one time) so get downloading it now – I’ve posted the link at the bottom. If yu like it, please help a brother out and talk about it, repost it, review it. Write ups on Amazon are particularly great. Even if it’s only just one line. It really helps. Or post something in the comments, or on my Facebook or Twitter. Even if it’s just saying ‘hi’.

Get it free on Kindle here.

Or hit me up on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Let’s get this party started

I have never been, and never will be an ‘aspiring writer’. It’s a term I see often from people on social media. Bit of you want to write, then write. If you’re writing, then you’re not aspiring to it. Being a writer doesn’t necessarily mean having books or stories out. It doesn’t have to mean you’re making money from it. If you sit down every day and write, then you’re a writer. It’s about having it on you, and practising it.
Writing has always been more of a hobby for me. Of course like any writer it’s the dream to be able to make a career of it, but how often does that actually happen? Last year was about something very different for me. I was really unhappy in my job, and my impending fortieth year on this planet was forcing me to majorly rethink my life. I got myself a new job, and finally took the leap and passed my driving test. All that took up most of my time in 2016. Despite getting both books that I’d worked so hard on in the past few years, promoting them was not really something I had time for.

So here we are in 2017. My ‘real’ life is sorted, so it’s time to move on to the next step and take this writing shizzle seriously. I recently did my first free giveaway on my second book ‘In Quicksand’ and I am spending my time chatting to book bloggers in the hope they’ll read my book and say something nice. As a music blogger myself, this is all a terrifying reversal of rolls. You never think when sitting at your laptop creating these characters that they’ll ever have to go into the world and face public opinion. 

I recently came out to all my friends on Facebook too. That is, I came out as a writer. Previously I have kept the two sides of my life completely separate, but have recently had the confidence to let everyone know what I’m upto. I’ve had some great feedback and a lot of support. People have been quite surprised that I’ve ‘brought a book out’. Whilsts it’s news to them, I’m on book number two. Both of which came out last year. I’m happy to be able to take those around me on the journey with me.

I see this post as the first in a new era of writing for me. Hopefully should keep you up to date with my mad ramblings. Please buy my books (they’re less than quid each on Kindle), share your reviews, or just say hi in the comments below, or on Twitter.

Hope to speak to you all soon.

Kev.

On Book Number Two

snoopy

Releasing a book to the world is a feeling like no other. On the release of my first book Touretti Spaghetti I felt an enormous amount of pride. How many people say they are going to write a book but never do? But that amazing sense of achievement was soon replaced with something else once the reality of what I’d one had set in. Fear. Trepidation. These characters who had existed merely in my head over the  previous months, years, were about to be released into the world. I loved them, of course. But I was always going to. They were my babies. I felt like a parent letting their kids go from the family home to university. I was proud of them, but to the same degree worried they weren’t going to be successful; worried no one would like them.

In many ways I felt that first book would be the hardest. My leading character Adam was in a lot of ways a part of me. Not only because I had created him, but also because he shared so many of my quirks and characteristics. Many of his experiences were stories from my own past. It makes sense that I should feel protective of him. So surely book number two should be easier, right? The characters I have created are no more than figments of my imagination. Whilst certain parts of them have come from people I know, or have met in the past (as all my characters are to some extent), surely I would be more disconnected from them, knowing they are merely fictional. But that’s not the case. I have spent just as much time with them, getting to know them, and building their characters. Their existence has dominated so much of my time, and they have become my children in the same way that Adam did.

Writing can often be a solitary experience. It’s something I do on my own on my laptop. As an introvert I guess that’s what appeals to me about it so much. But releasing a book is a whole different ball game. Coming out of the shadows and saying look what I made is a terrifying thing to do. But I have excitement on my side right now. Releasing this next book has been a long time coming. I have been working on it on and off for many years, and I’m really glad it’s finally going to see the light of day.I feel it’s worth it, and I feel it is ready.

There’s more news coming up on the new book over the next week or so. As always I appreciate any support you can offer. watch this space.

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In Loving Memory of Prince: A Personal dedication

As a music blogger, this is a post I never wanted to write. In fact, it’s a post I never thought I would write. Prince has always seemed ageless; immortal. I never considered there ever be a day we would lose this man, because I assumed he would outlive us all. I have never seen him as a mere person, but a superstar. Whilst the man himself has always been private and shy, his stage persona is one considered to be the greatest live performers of all time. I for one would have loved to be able to move, and do the splits the way he did. I can’t even do that now, and I am twenty years junior of his final age. But it is with a heavy heart that I do have to write this. Of course it is a huge loss to the music industry. But I don’t really care about how he shaped the musical horizon, and influenced the careers of those who followed him (which he inevitably did). All I have thought about since I heard of this tragic loss, it what his music meant to me personally. I am not writing this as a music blogger, but as a fan. His music has soundtracked my entire life, and it is hard to believe that that’s it. No more. There will no doubt be multiple articles you can read charting his career. This article is about one fan’s love of the singer, although I’m sure it will ring true with fans around the world.

I’m not going to pretend I was there supporting him from the start. I’d have had to be singing along in my mother’s stomach. His debut album was released the year I was born. By the time I was old enough to be in to music, he was well and truly the superstar he was at the height of his career. I remember hearing ‘Gett Off’ for the first time on the charts and I instantly fell in love with both the song, and Prince as an artist’s unique style. ‘Cream’ came out not long after, and by that time I’d saved up enough to buy the album ‘Diamonds and Pearls’. Whenever my parents took me into town and I bought new music, they would always play it for me in the car on the way home. As always they offered, but I declined a little too adamantly. They didn’t know much about Prince. It wasn’t music anyone’s parents listened to. They had no idea what filth there youngest son had just bought to listen to, and I planned to keep it that way. I didn’t want them to hear it anyway. It was mine, and I didn’t want to share it with anyone.
Buying that album was the start of an obsession. Every penny I got my hand on went towards buying up his back catalogue. I started with the more popular titles such as ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Sign O The Times’. Although I had become familiar with the hits, what surprised me was that it was often the album tracks that stood out. I loved songs like ‘Starfish & Coffee,’ and ‘Darling Nikki’ as much as I did the big hits such as ‘Kiss’ and ‘1999’. His music stood the test of time, and I continued being a fan through the years to this day. What made it so enduring, was that his old songs didn’t sound like old songs. I never thought of them as classics as I listened to them. They constantly sounded as fresh ten or twenty years on as they did the first time I heard them. When he released new material, I still got as excited about listening to it as I did when I bought ‘Diamonds & Pearls’. Whilst most of his biggest commercial hits were in the eighties and nineties, so many people failed to realise what an innovative and original artist he remained through the naughties to the current day. His albums ‘Musicology’ and ‘3121’ where amongst his career best. Recent single ‘The Breakdown’ was as much a classic as any of his bigger hits. For every important moment of my life, there has been a Prince song to accompany it. I listened to his funkier tracks whilst getting ready to go out. Whenever I was down, I would put on one of his slower numbers like ‘Nothing Compares 2 u’ or ‘The Morning Papers’.

In 2007, he released his album ‘Planet Earth’. It was given away free on the front of The Daily Mail. I was away on holiday at the time, but my parents had the paper delivered every day. So I gave them their orders to keep the CD for me, and I would collect it when I got back. When I got back, they they told me of the panic they’d had. The delivery boy had mistakenly given them the wrong paper: a paper that didn’t have the free CD. They had to do a mad dash around the street, knocking on the doors of their neighbours, trying to find someone who took the same paper, and didn’t want the CD. Luckily they were successful, and I got my CD. Many music retailers were angry with his decision to give the album away for free. They felt they had supported his career for many years by selling his albums. The fact he had decided to bypass them and not charge for it was somewhat of a kick in the teeth. But Prince was only ever going to do things his own way, as he had right through his career. He was always about the music, and didn’t care about the industry or what it expected of him. Prince was fighting for artists’s rights long before Taylor Swift was born. She may be fighting the fight now, but Prince’s ruthless battle started long ago, even resulting in the changing of his name to make a stand against his label.

It’s hard to imagine how you would feel on losing an artist you truly love. Whilst I respected Bowie and recognised his important contribution to the music industry, it was Prince who really made the impact on my life. I never met him, and due to his private persona, knew little about him. But I felt I knew him through the way he expressed himself through his music. His presence in my has always been there. To know there will be no more music from this genius truly saddens me. But what a back catalogue, what a legacy he has left. He will be forever remembered through his music.

Touretti Spaghetti is out now

I remember starting out writing a book about a boy growing up with Tourette’s. I remember reading so many novels on the subject that made the Character with Tourette’s as one who shouted out swear words, with ‘hilarious’ consequences. There was never any explanation to the pain and the urges behind it. Writing it was so much fun, and I fell in love with Adam, the protagonist of the story. But when I first started out, I never made any thoughts to what I would do with it when I was finished. I just knew I needed to write it.

Self publishing was always an attractive route for me. It has a lot of the same qualities that made blogging such a passion to me. It’s instant, no waiting around. I could set it up as I wanted to, and get it out to the world at just the press of a button. Which is exactly what I did. But I was hasty, and didn’t get it edited properly. But after taking advice from other writers and editors, I did exactly that. Now I have a fully edited version of the book, and it’s ready for your reading pleasure (hopefully) now. I’ve also slightly adjusted the art work, so it’s exactly as I want it. Thanks to my brother for that one. It’s been a long time since finishing that first draft to getting it out. But out it is. I would love to hear your thoughts. I have some PDFs I can send out to book reviewers, or book lovers who would like to review it. Just leave a comment below.

I’ve relaunched this blog to talk about writing, but also to post my music reviews and talk about life in general. Will hopefully be adding new content soon. Giving it a bit of a face lift too, so keep checking back in. I’ve also set up a Facebook page (click here) There’s not too much on it at the moment, but give me a Like please, and I’ll be your bestest buddy. Will add more stuff to it soon.

Anyways, catch you all soon. Buy my book please (here). New proper blog post coming soon. I’ll leave you with a video from the album I’m reviewing at the moment.

Out for now.

Kev.