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Just a quick one today. We finally got a new page up on Facebook for Creatives On The Couch 🙂

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Interview with Mikey Campling author of Trespass


About the Book


 Title: Trespass
Author: Mikey Campling
Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy
Publisher: Booktrope

Three stories, separated by five thousand years, united by one deadly secret:

Somewhere, sometime, the stone is waiting.

Trespass combines gritty, edgy modern-day action with a thrilling adventure across time. Discovered over 5,000 years ago, the Darkeningstone affects everyone who finds it.

Jake was too smart to believe the rumours about Scaderstone Pit, but now he’s in more danger than he could ever have imagined.

In 1939, as World War II looms, the lives of two men will be changed forever.

Over 5,000 years ago, a hermit will keep the stone a secret. But someone is watching him – someone with murder in his heart.

When it finds you, what will you see when you look into The Darkeningstone?

Author Bio


Mikey grew up in North Yorkshire, but he refuses to be classified according to Northern stereotypes, which is just the sort of bloody-minded attitude you’d expect from a Yorkshireman.  During his first day at school, he discovered the wondrous world that is The Book Corner, and he has never really left it.

He now lives in Devon, on the edge of the wilds of Dartmoor, with his wife, two children, and a black Labrador called Lottie who will only bark when she’s asleep. And lots and lots of books.

You can find out more on Mikey’s website:

You can also get two free books, free audio stories and free artwork by joining his mailing list at:




Tell us about you
I grew up in North Yorkshire, near the North York Moors, and that must have had some influence on me. We Yorkshiremen tend to be fairly stubborn and straight talking, and we like to think that we get stuck in and make a good job of things. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about writing, it’s that you need a damn good work ethic. I spend a lot of time rewriting, editing and polishing. And then, when one book is finished, you pick up a blank sheet of paper and start all over again. That might put some people off writing, but I love it.

I now live in Devon, on the edge of the wilds of Dartmoor, with my wife, two children, and a black Labrador called Lottie who, for some reason, can only bark when she’s asleep.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Although it may sound a bit twee, I can honestly say that my family are my greatest inspiration. I spent several years as a stay at home dad, and while it was harder work than many people might think, it was a wonderful opportunity to play a full role in my children’s journey through life. Even now, although the kids are much older, we still make time to be together as a family every day.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’m torn here between choosing a great scientist or a wonderful writer. I think I’ll settle on Charles Dickens. He had such tremendous energy and drive that I’m sure a day in his company would be a roller coaster ride. I’d love to tag along to one of his famous readings. He didn’t just know how to write, he knew how to put on a show and how to thrill an audience. If I had to pick someone living, I’d quite like to go on an expedition with Ray Mears. I find his survival skills quite fascinating and I’d love him to show me how some of our earliest ancestors lived and thrived with only basic materials and their own skill. We’d have to go somewhere nice though – I draw the line at tropical jungles full of snakes and bugs.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I don’t want to drop any spoilers so I’ll try and give a flavour. The Darkeningstone books have interconnecting stories that take place over several different time zones at once and they span 5,000 years. I began by asking myself a simple question: What if my mobile phone rang, but there was no caller? What if I’d strayed too close to a mysterious energy source? I like the idea that some places feel mysterious and powerful – they seem to resonate through time. I’m fascinated by the dramatic events of history but also by people’s daily lives. I like to try and imagine what it must have been like to live in those times. I started to wonder about the lives of people 5,000 years ago. Their lives were shaped by the basic forces of nature. They must’ve lived, worked and thought in ways we find hard to imagine. But what if there was some sort of portal – a doorway that could offer a glimpse into those distant times? And if a modern day person had that experience, how would they react? What would be the ramifications throughout history? And so the Darkeningstone was born.

Tell us your writing process
I started out by writing longhand but now I only use pen and paper for notes and planning. There’s quite a lot of planning for the Darkeningstone books as I have to make sure that all the timelines connect properly and that I don’t cheat the reader. They aren’t easy books to write but hey, that’s what I’m here for. I don’t mind putting the work in, so long as the finished story is fast-paced, richly complex and absorbing.

I do some outlining but the way I really love to write is just to let the story flow. I know it isn’t a fashionable view, but to me, if I over-plan, it kills some of the fun. I like to discover the characters as the story unfolds. And as the characters come to life, they shape the story. I like to think of us going on a journey together. I write on a PC using either Word or Scrivener, and I write whenever I can. I like to get up early on weekends so I can write in peace while everyone else is having a lie in. When the first draft is complete, I go back over it and rewrite it and rewrite it until it’s as good as I can make it. It’s not fair on the reader to rush the process. I’m not churning out off the shelf stories here, I’m crafting something that I hope will stand the test of time. Did I succeed in that? I’ll let you judge for yourselves.

Do you have any advice on what has and has not worked for you that you can share with aspiring & upcoming authors?
This is hard to answer because the situation seems to change by the week. What didn’t work was launching work that wasn’t as good as it could be. I made that rookie mistake and it’s my only regret in my publishing journey. I’d advise every writer to hire a professional editor. If you can’t afford one, then wait until you can, but never launch a book that isn’t ready.

I’ve had some success with making a book permafree. I wrote a novella as an add-on story to the Darkeningstone novels. It was quite hard to slot a new set of timelines into the existing stories without dropping spoilers or confusing readers, but I think that the book Breaking Ground, is a nice addition to the other books. It adds a layer of extra detail to the existing books, it’s a quick read, and it gives people a taste of my work for free. And all it cost me was time and effort.

My advice is simple – keep writing. The more material you have to promote, the easier it becomes. I’d also advise writers to get going with their email list. Giving away work is a good way to attract readers and that can be combined with Facebook adverts to attract attention (check out Mark Dawson’s free video course – he can explain this better than I can). I use Mailpoet (a WordPress plugin) to manage my newsletters and I recommend it. I send the emails via Mandrill (a free service from Mailchimp).

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. When I went to visit my first school at the age of four, everyone thought they’d lost me, but I was sitting quietly in the book corner. I’d never seen anywhere so magical, and some might say, when they see my huge and sprawling collection of books, that I’ve never really left it. My first efforts at story writing, outside of school work, was to try and create my own versions of Kipling’s Just So Stories in an exercise book. I’m sure my versions weren’t very original but I remember the thrill of conjuring stories from my imagination.

Tell us about your main character
My main character in Trespass is a teenage boy called Jake. He begins the story as a fairly typical, disenchanted teenager, but we soon learn that, like all real people, he’s a complex character trying to come to terms with growing up, his relationships with his estranged parents, the importance of friendships – there’s even a hint at a potential romance. We also discover how he reacts when confronted with real danger and the threat of terrible violence. Jake has to grow up very fast indeed and leave his childhood behind him.

What are you working on next?
The next Darkeningstone novel. I’m currently nearing the end of the first rewrite. Its working title is Outcast although that may change before publication, and like Trespass, it’s a full-length novel. You’ll meet some of your favourite Darkeningstone characters in this book, but there are lots of new ones to encounter, and many unexpected twists and turns. The last thing I’d want to do is trot out a ho-hum book just to fill the series – that would be cheating the readers. The book has to bring new life, new characters and new situations into play.

There may be a fourth Darkeningstone book in the future. I originally planned to write a trilogy, but although Outcast will be the third book in the series, Breaking Ground is only a novella and I may want to explore the possibilities of the Darkeningstone in greater depth. I also have a collection of darkly suspenseful short stories coming out in summer 2015 called A Dark Assortment. After that, who knows? I have so many other great ideas for completely different books rattling around in my head that anything could happen. Watch this space folks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m a pretty keen cook so we eat well in our house and I’ve almost banished the takeaways from our table. I’m not a puritan about it, I’ve just got to the point where I look at premade food in the supermarket and think I could do better myself. We also have a couple of allotments where we grow our own fruit and veg. I even brew my own wine, and though my winemaking efforts are a bit haphazard, the end result usually turns out to be pretty strong.

Who are your favorite authors?
I read very widely so this is difficult. I do have a few books on permanent standby duty by my bed: The Complete Works of Saki, Vintage Thurber by James Thurber, and The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Those are all books I can dip into when I’m between novels. I like to read classics such as Dickens and Thomas Hardy, but I’m also a fan of modern writers, e.g. Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy. I like Iain Banks for his sheer originality, but I’ll happily read children’s authors such as Michael Morpurgo and David Almond. Douglas Adams has had a massive effect on my teenage years, so I must mention the Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy books. It’s a terrible thing that Douglas Adams died so young – he was such an original voice and I’m sure he would’ve gone on to share more of his wonderful ideas with us all. 

I could go on all day. Let’s get a coffee and a slice of cake and talk about books – what could be better?

What do you like to do with your free time?
I do enjoy my daily walks with Lottie, our black Labrador. I complain when it’s pouring with rain and the fields are awash with mud, but it does me good to get outside and recharge my creative batteries. A walk is always good, but it’s more fun when we take Lottie along. I also have a weakness for browsing through second-hand bookshops, though I’ve been trying to limit my paperback purchases since I also started reading on my Kindle.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
After the next Darkeningstone book, I’d like to go back to a dystopian sci-fi book that I’ve been working on in the background. It’s set in a future where people live in isolated pockets on high ground (I won’t tell you why) and of course, there are conflicts and adventures to be had whenever people are forced into living together.

Any final thoughts?
I feel very privileged when someone takes the time to read my work. And if someone makes the extra effort and leaves a review or contacts me in some way, then I feel honoured by their attention. We all lead busy lives and have many calls on our time, so when someone invests their time in reading my work, I can’t tell you how much that means to me. And as for lovely reviews – well, they’re better than riches. A nice review or comment on twitter will always make my day. So while you’re here, reading this interview, please accept my thanks for your time. Basically, you rock.


Interview With …. S.M. Stryker

Hey readers. Today I chat with romance author, S.M. Stryker.

Shelly (SM), hails from Oregon WA; Has been married almost 28 years and has 4 grown daughters and 2 grandkids.

S. M. Stryker

Shelly, thanks for being my guest here today. Please tell our readers a little something about yourself.
To say I grew up in a dysfunctional family is putting it mildly. Although at the time it was the only thing I knew. I escaped by getting married right out of school which I thought was the only way to escape. However, that put me into another type of dysfunction. After five years and a child, I knew she was more important than I was, and soon I was on my own again. I always knew that my life would make a good story or soap opera, and I thought about writing, but I had a child to take care of and everything I did, I did with her in mind.

I never had a childhood; I started working at a very early age and didn’t stop until I remarried. We had agreed that we wanted to raise our own children. 25 years later and 3 more girls, I started to think about my life and the idea of writing again. I wasn’t an avid reader as I didn’t have the time. Between the girls’ school and sports, I ran non-stop for them, but once they were on their own, I needed some distraction other than work.

I had returned to the work force several years earlier to a career that was flexible to the girls’ schedule. Once my youngest was out of the house in college, I was offered a job that gave me the security I needed.

I had picked up a book to read during my lunch hour and found that I wasn’t the only one that lived a dysfunctional childhood. I contacted a few authors that I had read and asked them questions about writing, and they gave me their advice and in April of 2014, I came home from work, pulled out my computer and started to write. This was part of my story; I sat in front of my computer pulling old memories of my childhood and teen years. It was hard, but my hope was to let other people know that if they had gone through what I had, they could come out the other side. That was the start of how I started writing.

Every story I have written has a part of my life in it.

Stolen Innocence

Shelly, What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Currently, it is writing. I find that I am not a very nice person when I go through withdrawals from writing. I love it. I love my characters and the stories they live.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I don’t know. I don’t ever want to be that person that weighs down another out of obligation. I would want them to want to hang out with me and not for just a day, but out of friendship.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
It’s about a girl that finds herself on the streets and what she has to do to survive, how she finds love and loses it and the friendships she finds along the way and how what she thought about a past love wasn’t really, what happened. It a story of second chances.

What are you working on next?
A story about a man that has put his life into his work. His parents are his only friends and what happens to him when they die in an accident. What helps him cope and what gives him the will to live and how he is shown love, the kind of love that he has never had before.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I don’t think so. I’m just a wife, mother, and grandmother that loves to tell stories to make people feel good. To let them know that life isn’t fair but they can come out the other side and be a survivor and not a victim

Who are your favorite authors?
Sylvan Reynard, JC Reed, HM Ward, Vi Keeland, Jasinda Wilder, EL James

What do you like to do with your free time?
Write, every second I get.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I am currently writing about some of the characters in my second book Never Forgotten Love. Book 3 Loved and Belonged (in editing not 100% on the name as of yet) is about two of the characters in the book. He is an ex-marine, she a young runaway looking for her mother. This book should be out in the next two months. My current book I am writing, book 4, doesn’t have a name as of yet, but it is also about a couple that are in my past books. He was introduced in Never Forgotten and she was introduced in book 3 (Loved and Belonged) these are not ‘series’ book but more sequels. You don’t have to get Never Forgotten to know what is happening in Loved and Belonged. Etc.

Awesome. Where can people find you on the web?

Although I have many social media places, I am primarily on Facebook.

Any final thoughts?
I never though I would enjoy writing so much. I lost my job of three years because of my first book Stolen Innocence. They didn’t like the content and always carried a composition book with me for ideas and phrases that I might come up with. It was eight months before I could get a job. Although Stolen Innocence is very mild compared to what I lived, it was my life. I changed my name not wanting others to know who I was and what I had gone through. I realized that I was doing the same thing I accused others of doing, sweeping sexual assault under the carpet. I was a victim all over again. Once it was published, I didn’t’ care, I wanted people to know what things I had gone through in my childhood and if I could help one person that is all that mattered to me.

Do I want to be a well-known author, Hell Yes! but that’s not why I wrote Stolen, it was healing for me, and even though Amazon banned it a couple times due to incest (I had to change that to an adoptive father) and water down the scene of abuse, people need to be aware that sexual abuse happens all the time, we have to start listening to our children, it might not be in words but actions, changes in personality. Don’t sweep it under the carpet because that person that might have hurt your child is a nice guy and that he would never do such a thing…He’s a pastor, and uncle, a brother. Stop worrying about the scary man because it is usually someone you know. (off my soapbox now)

Thanks Shelly for being my guest here today. Readers, if you want to grab a copy of Shelly’s books, you can get them on Amazon:

Stolen Innocence
Never Forgotten Love
and don’t forget to connect with the author on Goodreads, and Twitter.

Never Forgotten Love


Creatives Roundtable With Australian Author Max Davine

Be sure to tune in to our next BlogTalkRadio episode this week with our host from the listening post, Jett.

13 Questions With…CA Milson, 2nd Edition

Courtesy of TheWrittenUniverse. Thanks so much Tracey.

13 Questions with C.A.Milson – 2nd Edition.

When I started The Written Universe, I began the 13 Questions feature, to give my readers some insight into the authors I review.
This is the second time I have had the pleasure of reviewing CA Milson, and I wrote a second batch of 13 questions for him to answer.

1. You’re hosting a dinner party. What is the menu, and do you cook it yourself, or do you call a caterer?
Dinner party? That does depend on the number of guests that are invited. When I was in New Zealand I put on a few Murder Mystery Dinner Parties, which were alot of fun, but takes alot of prep and organizing, such as finding a good location, the menu to suit everyone and so on. But, if I was having a dinner party for a select few people I would typically do a 3 course meal. Entree I normally do something light. Main course is where I really shine I like to cook when I entertain, so I pull out all the stops. Jacket potatoes, roast onion, roast pork or lamb marinated and seasoned with all kinds of herbs, spices, condiments and of course wine Desert is my own brand of pumpkin pie.

2. What is your beverage of choice?
If it’s first thing in the morning, coffee – strong. Any other time. 100% juice or Pepsi

3. Physical book Vs an E-Reader. Your preference and why?
Seeing how fast technology is advancing, E-Readers. Ebook sales are on the rise and quite sadly the days of paperback are declining. In 5 or 10 years we will be lucky to see any major bookstores as E-Readers are becoming quite the everyday thing now. Technology may be a marvel at times, but still nothing still beats seeing your own book in the stores. That is something E-Readers can never replace…

4. What kinds of books make up your personal library?
We have quite the range of books in our kit. Travel, ancient history, some fiction novels, foreign language, law.

5. How and when did you catch the writing bug?
That one started in 1989. When I lived in a small town in Winchelsea. Winch (as it is known) is a small town, and there was alot of inspiration for me, as at the time I lived in a cottage house on a piggery, outside of town. There was nothing for miles around, so you can bet that my imagination ran wild. At the time I had an old iron Remington Rand typewriter, and I would be on that thing for hours at a time, much to the annoyance of everyone else who lived there.

6. What is your writing routine?
I write when I am inspired and have a clear mind. Lately though that has not been the case, as my thoughts have been pre-occupied with my TV show and my short films. So it has been hard to get into the swing of things and continue on with book 3 – Prophecys End. Yet, when i do write, and am in the right frame of mind, I sit at the laptop, stare aimlessly at what I have and wait for that inspiration to hit. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.

7. If you ever encounter writer’s block, what steps do you take to get past it?
Grab a sledgehammer and break down that wall LOL… No, normally I review what I have already written and see where I can take the storyline from there. That’s what I did with Bloodline Of Darkness. There was a few spots there where i was wondering where I was going to take the storyline, especially in the section where Alex is sat on the balcony with his son. When I hit that point I had no idea where to take it, as that scene was not where I wanted it to go… So began the daymare sequences… and a whole new reality for Alex opened.

8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I try my hand at alot of things. Right now I am seeing if I have what it takes to direct a TV show. It is far easier to write a book than it is to create/write/ and direct a TV series. Let alone when Rise Of The Darkness gets turned into a feature film.

9. What was your best subject in school?
English and ancient history.

10. As in any entertainment, there are current trends. How much do these “current trends” influence what you write?
Current trends are okay, but if I followed the pack then I would have created a TV show “Office Downunder”. No, I don’t like to follow any pack, although there are some influences that I do like

11. Mac or PC?

12. Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come any source. Last weekend I was in Hervey Bay, which is in Qld Australia. Nice and relaxing place, then my sister told me about this real haunted house in The Bay that just got my create juices flowing. So next time I am up there I am going to check some haunted locations out and see if I can find some ideas for the next book.

13 What advice would you pass on to an aspiring author?
I would say this: If you want to write, do it. But do it for the right reasons. Dont think that because you write a novel it is going to be the biggest thing since JKRowling. Only less than 1% of new writers actually make become an overnight sensation. If that is your motivation, then don’t write. Yes, there will be fans of your book, but it takes work, much like a full time job. If you are going to research publishers, check out POD publishers. There are some good publishers out there, but you just have to find them and be aware of the fine print. Writing a book has to be a passion. If you have that passion, then follow it through to the end. it is worth it.

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 6,500 times in 2010. That’s about 16 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 36 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 200 posts. There were 22 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb. That’s about 2 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 20th with 61 views. The most popular post that day was POEMS WITHOUT RHYME .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bitch slap, quantum apocalypse review, quantum apocalypse, necrosis movie, and quantum apocalypse movie review.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


1 comment


Bitch Slap – Movie Review January 2010


….Welcome To Where Imagination Ends and Insanity Begins…. November 2008


Quantum Apocalypse – Movie Review January 2010


The Beacon – Movie Review February 2010
1 comment

C.A. Milson Books Available Soon in U.S. Bookstores

Horror Novelist, C.A. Milson has been in the writing world for years. Milson will see his book “The Chosen: Rise of the Darkness” re-released in American bookstores and online in early April.


PR Log (Press Release) – Mar 19, 2010 – Horror Novelist, C.A. Milson has been in the writing world for years, but it is today that he is finally seeing all of his efforts pay off. Recently picked up by Washington D.C.-based publisher, EDGE Publishing Company, Milson will see his book “The Chosen: Rise of the Darkness” re-released in American bookstores and online in early April.

“I am very excited by this opportunity,” stated Milson. “It’s one thing to be available online, but when it comes down to it, the true book reader wants to be able to go into a bookstore and pick up a copy any hold it in their hands before they purchase it. Being in stores and being represented by a real publisher who is going to have your back in printing and marketing is very important, not only for sales, but for credibility.”
Milson was originally introduced to EDGE Publishing Company by his agent, Charlotte, North Carolina-based, Amanda Clark, who is also President of Grammar Chic, Inc. Clark founded her company in 2008 and has a history of working with authors to help them realize their dream of being published.

“I started working with Chris on an entirely separate project in early 2009, but one day we started talking again and brainstorming and before we both knew it, we were arranging a time to speak with Phil Vera, President of EDGE Publishing. I had known Phil from a book that we collaborated together on in summer of 2009 and I just knew that Chris would be a great fit for EDGE,” stated Clark.

EDGE Publishing Company works with first time authors who are looking for an advocate to help them navigate the sometimes confusing publishing industry. A veteran in the printing industry, EDGE President Phil Vera has surrounded himself with experts in various facets of the publishing trade and has brought together a fantastic team that is going to be releasing approximately ten titles this year.

“I started EDGE Publishing Company to help authors. I had met many people who just didn’t understand the industry and when you have a quality piece of work, this can be upsetting and discouraging. I am proud to say that we are going to be putting many imaginative, incredible stories in print this year, including Chris’s work. I am very excited that I have been able to help him increase his exposure in the U.S. book market, especially since it was challenging for him, geographically, to be noticed,” stated Vera.

Milson, an Australian native now living in Samara, Russia has two television appearances scheduled in March and April to discuss his publishing deal and the re-release of his book. He will be appearing on SOBYTIYA TV on Monday, March 22, 2010 and on SKAT TV Vashe Utro (Your Morning), a local Samara, Russia TV show on a currently pending date in April.

EDGE Publishing Company is located at: 8939 Sweetbriar St., Manassas, VA 20110. You can reach the staff at EDGE Publishing Company by calling: (703) 724-9235. President Phillip Vera can be reached by email at: EDGE Publishing Company is online at

Grammar Chic, Inc. can be reached online at or at (803) 831-7444.

C.A. Milson, through Grammar Chic, Inc., can be reached online at or at (803) 831-7444.


For additional information or a sample copy, Contact: Amanda Clark, (803) 831-7444 or Please reference author C.A. Milson in the subject line of your email.

Mind Fog Review

The Chosen” by C. A. Milson

If you “believe” or whether you “enjoy” reading about demons, gathering of souls and the like “The Chosen” by C. A. Milson covers them in this tale of horror. Almost all the vices of man are included such as sex, smoking, drinking, murder and mayhem and the like. It even includes the “proverbial” religious connotations in whether the characters believe in “God” and his protection or demons and their villainous ways. There is so much going on in this novel that you must read it carefully and with an open mind.

The energy of the author is reflected very well in this tome. One could say that you would be on the edge of your seat waiting for the next melee to happen. Powers of energy from the author and the characters will keep you reading until the end.

*** 3 Stars
Anastasia Cassella-Young, Reviewer
Mind Fog Reviews

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