Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Writing. From a joke to (rather) serious business by Paul Kater

Well, perhaps not entirely a joke, although it was something not very serious that got me into publishing, but more of that later.

I've been writing since quite a while. I think I started a little when I was 14 or 15. So how can one write "a little"? It started when I read a book my mother owned and I asked if I could have it. She said I could type it over myself, so my Dad got me an old typewriter and a lot of paper and I started typing. At a certain point I reached a chapter that I didn't like very much so I started changing the story to my own liking. And that's where the trouble began...

I kept writing things. Small essays, stories, anything to keep going. The internet came and I found a group of amateur writers online, which started me to write in English. (My native language is Dutch, no one on the list would be able to understand that.)

At one point three of us did a little challenge, to write a story of 20,000 words in 2 weeks. That sounded like fun, but... we'd start the next day and I had nothing to write about. Quickly I came up with Hilda the Wicked Witch, as I like fantasy and magic. Magic allows for a lot of things. I finished the story and many people liked it. They asked for part 2. And this is where the joke starts, as I had only written this little thing as a joke, for the challenge. But part 2, Snow White Revisited, came to life, after which someone started pushing me to publish Hilda's first story. After a few months I gave in. That's almost 3 years ago now.
By now Hilda the Wicked Witch has many fans all over the world and I am writing the 11th book in the series. And by now it's become serious business, as I am sure the fans would come after me if I were to stop writing Hilda.

Apart from the Hilda-stories I've also dabbled in Steampunk and Science Fiction, two areas that I like very much as well. During all that writing-time I started to become more serious and quality-minded so I found someone to edit my newer stories, making sure that the use of English is correct, and I have recruited help in making the covers for the books I publish.

Something may strike you is my mentioning of English all the time. This has a reason: since I joined the writer's group on the Internet, I have written in English. So far I have not published a story in Dutch. This however is about to change, as long as you take "about" very liberally. At this moment I am writing a new Science Fiction story and I'm writing that in Dutch and English simultaneously. And I can tell you that it's quite a challenge, but a rewarding one.

Thank you, dear reader, for staying with me until this side of my author's tale, and thank you David, for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself on your site!


Paul Kater was born in the Netherlands in 1960. He quickly developed a feel for languages but did not pursue a career in those as his native language, Dutch, did not offer many options in that time.

After learning far too much about computers he started to make a living with them. During all that time he always wrote short stories, little things to entertain family and friends and also himself with.

Since 2003 he's been writing more seriously, first posting his scribblings on an amateur writer's mailing list, and then publishing shorter and longer stories on the internet. Due to the international character of the Internet, all Paul's stories so far are written in English.

Paul currently lives in Cuijk, in the Netherlands, with his 2 cats, his books and the many characters he's developed in the past years, who claim he is a figment of their imagination.

You can view all of Paul Kater's wonderful books here

Connect with Paul Kater


Monday, 29 April 2013

The Indie Ebook Review Site is opening its doors

Over the past few weeks I’ve been having a think and it centers on the name of the blog. The Indie Ebook Review Site seems to suggest that all genres are accepted for submission. I wish I could do that. But to be frank submitting a romance book would just not be fair on you - I don't like them and they would likely get a review that would show that opinion. Yet the name doesn't suggest that I only review Science fiction, fantasy, horror, paranormal and supernatural. Either the name has to change, or I have to find a way to expand the genres reviewed on this site.

Also as regular readers will know I suffered from a serious illness from the beginning of December and it has only been in the last couple of weeks I feel like myself again. During this time my production rate for reviews has been poor (I'll be honest there) and I haven't been able to source large amounts of guest authors. Also because now I have a published book out, my time has to be divided more and more with promotional activities and writing the next one.

At the same time I want to continue to produce excellent content and support other indie authors through this blog. That is why I have decided in trying to recruit additional reviewers to help me deliver this. I will be upfront, this is not a paid role, it is purely for the love of reading anyone should do this (and for some of the promotional benefits I am allowing).

If you are interested in this, please have a look at the role details below

The Role Responsibilities:

·         To review one book a month in The Indie Ebook Review Site’s standard format.
·         To liaise with authors over their review submissions
·         Not to promote yourself on the blog except in authorised blog posts.

Role Benefits:

·         Staff bio on blog with links
·         Allowed to post 2 guest posts per month on any publishing topic. Guest posts can include bio and links
·         Inclusion in the weekly news updates for staff (to include all blog posts produced by staff on their own blogs / other blogs, any news, etc)

I hope that some of you will consider this. If you feel you could do this then please send me an e-mail with the following details:

·         Name
·         Genres you like to read
·         Blogging experience (please note blogging experience not necessary)

Then I will send a short written interview to get to know you better and make sure that your style will fit in with the blog.

I hope that some of you will be interested in this opportunity.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Review of "Eden M51" by G. R. Paskoff

Book Blurb:

Eden exists, tucked away in a remote corner of the universe.

In the year 2083, overpopulation, resource depletion, and climate change have pushed global civilization to the brink of collapse. Colonies on the moon and beneath the oceans, despite years of development, are struggling to survive. As international tensions escalate, and humanity faces an impending crisis for subsistence, a new race has quietly begun, one to find a habitable planet for human expansion outside the solar system. Thus far, however, every expedition sent has resulted in monumental disappointment, and occasionally, tragedy.

But all is not lost.

A U.S. interstellar probe, launched decades earlier, unexpectedly transmits a burst of tantalizing figures on a remote alien world in the M51 galaxy, yielding the first promising data scientists have seen in years. In response, an international team of experts is hastily assembled to investigate the prospective planet over thirty million light years away. Each with their own set of hopes and agendas, what they discover upon arrival is more than any of them imagined – something that forces them to confront the shadows of their past and to re-evaluate their choices for Man’s future.

Commander Nathaniel Hawke, a renowned pilot in the United States Department of Space Defense, is selected to lead the mission. Approaching middle age and driven by inner demons, he views the expedition to M51 as one last opportunity for redemption. But in the end, will the journey offer the salvation he seeks, or cast him further into despair?

Cover Page: 10/20

What I find disappointing about the front cover is that when I compare it to other space operas, it is bland and boring. Then I look down the category in which this book sits in on Amazon and compared to other books, it just doesn’t stand out. And that is the true shame about this novel because it truly deserves a great cover.

Character (and their development): 19/20

The characters come off very well. Like a lot of space operas there are several dozen characters to keep your head stuffed full of names, backgrounds and characteristics. And the way in which every single one of them interact with each other makes this story such a fun read. I especially love the character of Nathaniel Hawke; despite being the polar opposite of a role model officer, he is a character that is both likable and at the same time scary. If I was to compose a top 25 list of my favourite science fiction characters from books he would be in there.

Storyline: 19/20

It is probably unfortunate that at the same time that I started reading this novel I was also pushed into watching the Television series Terra Nova. Both of which have the same view of what is going to happen if we carry on our wasteful ways. It didn’t help either that the commander to save the human race in both are called “Commander Nathaniel [surname]” and that in both some secret organisation is trying to sabotage the mission.

However what was interesting was the differences in the get out clause they both took on how humanity fought for survival. While one used a time fracture to seed the past, the other, and the best in my opinion, was to send a ship to a distant galaxy to look at a planet which can sustain life.

The build up to the mission was excellently played out and was such a crucial part to the story. The actual mission was fraught with good action and drama and there were a couple of times I wondered if the story was going to turn into a “lost in space”. But I was pleasantly surprised that the novel took on a unique and refreshing path.

Style: 15/20

I have sometimes questioned that the Space Opera books which are out at the moment are very much the same. There is little difference here in this e-book, except that another author might have combined a few chapters together to make them longer. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the style and it has served the literary world well for so long, but it is nothing new either.

Spelling and Grammar: 19/20

Spelling and grammar were good for the most part. I found one mistake in the book, but lost where it was. What I think needed to have done was not using words which are not so much in use in everyday. There were some words which I had to look up just to get the meaning. I can imagine some readers having to do the same.

Conclusion: 82/100

If you are an avid science fiction fan or a casual science fiction fan then you will love this book. It is full of drama that is often missing from other science fiction space operas with characters that are both real and fluid to the situation. I truly recommend this book.

Buy Eden M51 from 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Guest Post - Gotta Read Reviews Excerpt

New authors have one massive problem; cash flow. The cost of financing a book can be rather expensive. The cost of editing ($500), book cover ($150) and formatting ($50) alone can run a large bill ($700). Then if you decide to buy any advertising your costs can practically spiral out of control. When you consider only 20% of books sell 100 copies or more, you’d have to be charging a high price just to break even.

So unless you are either really good at marketing; are exceedingly lucky or have tonnes of money stored in the bank (unless you are living in Cyprus): it is very unlikely that you would be able to fund two or more books. If you find yourself in this predicament and are currently pulling your hair out worrying about whether you should eat for the next month or pay the editor then read on. For I have found myself in this exact position.

Read full article here

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