Friday, August 28, 2015

Tired of Newfie puppy pics yet?

Me either!

Wrapping up the week with another visit from one of my amazing Beta readers. For those of you thinking about throwing your hat in the Beta reader ring, this might hopefully take away some of the mystery. So, let's see what Caron had to say after this mini-request. Bottom line is that I need a good 20 more reviews for UnCivil War: A Modern Day Race War in the United States. I will gift you a copy or send you the epub or Mobi version. All you need to do is commit to posting the review. Yes, it is still okay if you don't like it. This is not trolling for positive reviews...just reviews PERIOD. Any takers? Email me at

1.      What do you like about being a Beta Reader (maybe not just for me, but for others as well).
I have like being a Beta Reader so much, especially as the story is set in my neck of the woods.

Being able to see a story slowly in the making, makes me feel privileged. And offering my help, may help the author if only a little. Also helping with the authenticity of the story, where it is set, I don't like the books I choose to read to be in imaginary places.

2.      For somebody seeing an announcement for being a Beta Reader, help demystify the situation for them and tell them what it is all about.
I had never heard the term Beta Reader untill I read the post on Todd’s wall asking for Beta Readers, I googled it, right up my street. I love zombie books which is a huge plus, and I knew how the author wrote. And being just down the road from me I thought I may have something to offer. As we all speak the same language here in Yorkshire it's often used very differently. If you enjoy the books you have seen an announcement for Jump in feet first you won't regret it. It's a little like editing really. But you do need to set time aside to do it.

3.      I did things different with this title. I sent a single chapter at a time every day or every other day. Then, I packaged up each third AFTER making the fixes or addressing issues raised by some of the Beta Readers. What were the positives and negatives of this method versus sending an entire project at once?
I prefer to read a chapter every other day, I like to read how it's developing first ,then read again for any missing punctuation, authenticity of area and characters. As I have never done this before I can only imagine what it would be like to be given the whole book to Beta read in one go. Way too much for me, as am sure there would be a deadline , and I would have wanted to read more than once before I had to send in anything. Keep it this way!

4.      Do you prefer this “new” method of Beta reading, or would you rather receive the entire project at once?
See above!
5.      What can an author do to entice more people to become Beta Readers?
An author maybe needs to advertise everywhere, at the back of a book, even saying you will be looking for future Beta readers for future books and to send an email to say you’re interested, even a little explanation of the help they could offer. Front of the book. Even when you can read a chapter of the new follow on book, put that you are looking for a wider audience.

6.      Now, we talk about DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. If there was one reason to grab this book, what would it be?
If you love Zombies you will love this book, great story writer and most characters are your every day, regular person next door. Yes you will get army, SAS trained people , die hard  gun enthusiasts,  peppers but with TW Brown there will be just normal "Joe soap" the people next door. And he always leaves you wanting more.

7.      Without giving away any serious spoilers, what scene stood out for you?
So far what stood out for me was when Shadiyah slaughtering the men that had zombies collected in the swimming pool, and what followed. A great, " oh noooo" moment. I tried to justify it for her.

8.      What makes the DEAD series stand out from other zombie series?
For me the DEAD series has been about communities trying to survive the apocalypse. There is more than one group of survivors in each book, and there are some seriously nasty "people" too. But to me the characters spring alive and jump off the page. You only need to read the first book to be hooked, the DEAD snapshot to me are tasters of the 12 book series.

9.      The DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here} series is a spinoff with each book being a standalone story set in a specific location. My hope is to capture the feel of the location and make the reader feel like they are “on location”. I bring up Google Earth and go down to the street level view as I write to try and bring the location in as a secondary character.  How likely are you to pop over to Google Earth to check out a strange and unfamiliar locale just to get a feel for where the adventure is taking place? Or does the location not really matter?
I do use Google Earth, all the time. I like to get a feel for a place, I like my fiction set in non fiction town, the story is more authentic, if the place is real the characters become real .
Whitby would be perfect, lol. There are smugglers caves, catacombs under the abbey that you could hide out in. Only accessible with boat at high tide. Secret passage ways. We have the moors, the army base in the middle of nowhere, which is UK early warning system. Deep valleys , where you could herd the dealers and fill in each side. Even the steam trains still run. There are old hidden carries at old station you could make as home.........sorry getting carried away. I have an amazing memory, and I remember stuff I have seen years ago, not just recently.

Location matters or it's just another story. Same old same old. You need a location to be authentic as possible. There are any wonderful places to visit to write about, but often it's not possible, Google Earth gives you that possibility. I know I got the rock wall wrong, whilst out on the steam train I saw them.

10.  Should I make it a point to invite the readers to utilize Google Earth in my introduction?
Yes get them to look, tell them , go see where this one is set. Although I can't find the horses or house my name sake's character lives.

11.  Last question: You are being asked to determine which of my main characters survives. Any pressure?
This is so hard, Shadiyah has reacted in a knee jerk way, act first think later. Most of the time she had good reason to. But I think she will come full circle, with a friend like Caron at her side am sure she will. But others may act first think later towards her too. She needs a strong man to help her heal and become a warrior princess. Because i Would want her on my team.

Then we have Simon, he's the dependable chap everyone needs, a natural leader, but doesn't really want it, but he is the best choice. As a couple they would be formidable. Every community needs them both.

As I wrote my answers on a few pages, I was still pondering who I want to win out. Thinking I would have made up my mind by the time I typed this up. NOPE still haven't................gimme five minutes!!!

It's Shadiyah........she needs to survive, growing up in the apocalypse young girls will need a fearless role model and I believe she could lead an army to save a community.


  1. What fabulous feedback and it's great to see she is loving your work x

    1. Yes...and after you have dealt with your sick kitty, I look forward to hearing from you on some of these same questions.

  2. i would love to be a beta reader . but i won't because i cant do a good job for you Tod. see audible revues under Michelle harting . dead book 11 is up .
    Vix i hope you kitty is OK