Friday, 22 June 2012

Maxi Shelton - Tagged in Miranda Stork blog


Meme Time “Lucky 7″

Darn it! I’ve been tagged by the lovely Tami Parrington over at her blog
Bruce Blake hit up Chantal Boudreau who then tagged Tami Parrington in a blog meme and she hit me up to be part of this Lucky 7 meme. In Bruce’s words, here’s how it works:
  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript
  • Go to line 7
  • Copy down the next seven lines/sentences exactly as they are
  • Tag 7 other authors
Now, I’ve never taken part in a meme before, so I thought this would be fun. I’ve used Conner, as I thought it would be a little more ‘reader friendly’ than Craving! :D
So here we are folks, page 77 of Conner, 7 fun sentences! :D

“….It does seem very radical, but then most methods of psychology, were at some point, also very radical. Let’s hope this method is one of the successful ones.”
The woman cleared her throat, and said, “Very well. If we are all in agreement, we’ll make the necessary arrangements, and fill out the forms needed. Dr Miller, you may go and tell Conner what is happening.” Erin nodded gratefully.
Dr Whitfield smiled at Erin. Erin returned the smile, butterflies starting to float up in her stomach at the thought of Conner in her home.

Now, muhahaha! Who is next? The seven authors I’m going to tag, are…

Maxi Shelton
Pixie Lynn Whitfield
Liz Long
Douglas Pratt
Christine Warner
Susan Buchanan
Nicola Rhodes

A big thank you to Miranda for the adding me to her seven authors shout out - Don't forget get to do your funky friday dancing! 

My page 7, line 7 from my new christmas special called 'Christmas Blood' by Maxi Shelton

She sank down onto the bed as the realisation of what she was hit her. 
A vampire. Surely they were just things you read about in books and watched on TV.  This was Britain for God’s sake; we did not have vampires in Britain. 
It was stupid to even think of it.  There had to be a very reasonable explanation for what was going on… there just had to be!  
Daisy became aware of voices moving down the corridor. She had to get out of here and fast.  She slipped on her sequined baby-pink pumps and then looked around the room for an exit. 
The window
That looked like her only option.
 Just before she climbed out of the window, Daisy realised she still had her phone and credit card in her bra.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Maxi Shelton appears in Indie Author news by John Cox

Indie Authors

Published by John Cox 

Maxi Shelton appears in Indie Author news by John Cox

Pen name John Dorset author to New Blood, Xannu, 10 Hr PM and Writing For Success


Art & Entertainment

Maxi Shelton - Lady Edith’s dying wish was to see her son, Sebastian, married.  He considered a wife an embarrassing, meddling and unnecessary addition to his life.  Isabel was a debtor prison daughter, Sold into Marriage

Buy from - 
A great big thank you to John Cox for adding me to his blog
updates this week. 

SurreyTimes Book Launch Article.


No. 10,357 Wednesday June 13 2012

 Local author in the local of a small village. 

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Really Lovely Tale - An amazing review from 5 star author Miranda Stork - Conner

Review of Sold Into Marriage by Maxi Shelton

Lord Sebastian Griffiths would do anything for his beloved dying mother. But he didn’t see this one coming: to see him married before she died. 
Sebastian, a 38-year-old confirmed bachelor, liked things done his way and his way only. Sebastian considered a wife to be an embarrassing, time-consuming, meddling and unnecessary addition to his life. 
After consulting with Dennis Burrows, a solicitor and good friend from university, he forms a plan to buy a temporary wife that could be paid off when his mother died.
Isabel couldn’t believe her own father could sell her into marriage. After spending nine years in debtors’ prison looking after him, Isabel had become a strong, independent woman. It was that or fall apart and die from hunger. 
But Isabel wasn’t ready for Sebastian. He was an attractive, arrogant, dangerous pig, yet she’d gone ahead with the marriage, for the love of her father, and the chance to get him out of the hellhole they had been living in for the last nine years.
Sebastian is caught unawares by the passion he experiences with Isabel. After his mother dies, and he leaves Isabel for the second time, he realises he’s truly fallen in love with his own wife. Miserable and drowning his sorrows, he is rescued by Burrows, who knows his friend has to pull himself together for the sake of his unborn child, something Sebastian has yet to discover.
Will Sebastian be able to find the courage to go back to Isabel and win her heart, or will she turn him out like the rat he’s been?”
I would like to start this review by saying that I don’t like normal romance books. And yet-I was so engrossed in this book I couldn’t put it down.
Good points
The storyline was amazing! It was so well told, with each tiny titbit of information being unfurled for the reader slowly, but at a pace that kept you reading-I almost burned the dinner! The relationship between the characters was really wonderful, and you could feel them falling in love, and felt their despair as they grew apart towards the end. (But don’t worry, it has a happy ending!)  The descriptions were wonderful as well, and the rooms were so vivid, I could practically feel the rich fabrics. The best part of this novel was the poetic language that the author used, really weaving the tale along.
Bad Points
Were there any bad points? It might be bad not to add any, but I really couldn’t think of any! The only bad point I can think of, (and it is a personal one) is that I got annoyed with Isabel for not being more angry with Sebastian at the end, but that’s because I’m far too argumentative for my own good, and she was far too lovely! :D
I thought it was a wonderful storyline, and it has just the right amount of romance, heartbreak and tragedy. You alternate between loving Sebastion, and hating Sebastion. I’ve got to admit I wanted to strangle Isabel at the end for not being more angry with him, but I guess that’s because I’m not as calm and lovely as she is! :D
This is a fantastic story, extremely well written, well thought out, and with wonderful characters that leap off the page. I’m sure that the author will go from strength to strength in her writing, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
I give this…5/5 stars!!!!

By 5 star author Miranda Stork of paranormal romance - Conner 

Review taken from Miranda Stork blog

Also found in

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Making a Book Trailer by Maxi Shelton - Appeared in the South African Writers' Circle magazine.

(Appeared in the South African Writers' Circle magazine)

MAY 2012

Making a Book Trailer 
by Maxi Shelton

When my marketing guy advised me to get, or make, a 60-90 second trailer for my new book, I have to admit I felt like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. How on earth was I going to make a movie? And surely I can’t sell my book in 60 to 90 seconds?

The first thing I did was spend days watching book trailer after book trailer. And wow, there are some amazing book trailers out there. But I’m a new author, and self- published too, so I didn’t have the same financial backing as most of these authors. The golden rule of 60 – 90 seconds was about right though; anything longer and I’d lost interest.

And no, I don’t think it was down to a short attention span! The longer trailers just never quite got to the punch line, never made me want to buy the book. But the shorter trailers left me hanging on the edge in suspense, wanting to know more.

I asked my friends for advice but most of them hadn’t seen a book trailer before or didn’t have a clue where to start. Until someone said, “Why not just tell a small part of the story with a picture of the book?” He had the right idea, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I had done a voice over for a software training video before, but I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of my voice on the trailer.

There had to be a way for making a trailer without making a movie! Suddenly, PowerPoint came to mind. Now PowerPoint is something I’ve had sitting on my computer for years but I’ve never looked at it, or used the thing. My kids very kindly informed me it was easy. Hmm, only time will tell!

I remember opening the programme and looking at all the different tabs and thinking, oh dear, I think I’m over my headhere. But I was determined to have a go and after playing with different tabs, after a while it reminded me ofWord. I could useWord - I could use this!

Would you believe me if I told you I spent 2 days just looking at all the different page designs before I found the one I wanted? Eventually, I used the Inkwell design. I could have jumped for joy when I stumbled across the lace overlay for my page. There is a whole treasure trove of overlays and pages in the online templates tab.

Once I had duplicated my page design a few times, I sat back and looked at my computer at a complete loss. What do I put on these blank pages? Of course, it made sense to start with the title and my own name.

If you’ve never played with PowerPoint then I highly recommend you do, (just for the fun of it!) there are many different animations; one on entering the page, another while on the page and then one to leave the page. I had fun playing with these, but there came a point when I realised the moving, flashing, even dancing text was too distracting. What I needed was something plain and simple. I had 60 – 90 seconds to sell my book, not show off the different animations PowerPoint could do.

On the title page I used a flip animation for Sold into Marriage, while my name is a float-in animation. I didn’t feel I needed any more than that, I wanted people to watch the trailer and remember my name and book title if nothing else. I used the brown text because black was too harsh and to me the brown made it look old fashioned.

Then came the hard part! I’d already decided to have the book image on one side of the page; it was the words, what to say? To start with I had long paragraphs from my book that I felt were important or no-one would be interested. But, after watching the trailer, even I was finding it hard to read the entire paragraph and I’d written the book. The first run through was over 3 minutes long. Reducing the paragraphs felt like it took forever, and that I was taking away important information to sell my book. So I did the only thing any good author and designer would do. I walked away from it. I left it sitting there on its own and did something completely different.

What I needed was punch lines, key notes, almost like action points. I needed was something like Gordon Ramsay! If you’ve ever watched one of his shows you’d know he says things like, “Meat! Fry! Done!” or “Stir! Done!” Straight up. No messing around. To the point.

Then, of course, I had to work out how to apply that theory to my trailer, but once I started basically chopping away at my long paragraphs, it was easy. Eventually, I found my key words, the important notes.

I also had to be careful not to distract the viewer from the words with dancing text. My final choice of animations was ‘fade-in’ and ‘grow’. It made sense to bring the words to the reader. These animations can be timed in and out; it was just a case of playing until it worked!

To keep the reader’s eye moving across the whole page I used the checkerboard transition, simple to flip the picture and text over.

I already knew what piece of music I wanted to add to the trailer: Liszt's La Campanella. Isabel, my female lead character, who gets ‘Sold into Marriage’ is a very talented pianist. She plays La Campanella at an important turning point in the book, and it’s my favourite!

This part was simple: all you do is buy your chosen piece of music from iTunes (if you don’t already have it), then go to the first slide and insert your selected music. Oh, don’t forget to set the transparency on the speaker icon that will appear on the slide. To do this you go to ‘format audio’ and slide the transparency bar across.

Then press play. Well done, you have a trailer! Hooray! Now it needs to be transformed into a format YouTube will recognise. PowerPoint has an option in the file menu to ‘Export’ the presentation as a QuickTime movie file, which YouTube will accept.

To add videos to YouTube you need to create an account first, then when your trailer has been uploaded into YouTube, you can embed your YouTube trailer into your website. This way when someone watches your trailer from YouTube or your website, it adds to the viewing counter.

It’s worth noting that PowerPoint for Mac does a bad job of exporting to QuickTime. If you use a Mac like me, use Apple’s KeyNote software, as it is much better at doing this.

I only found this out after creating it in PowerPoint! I can’t vouch for the quality of exporting from PowerPoint on the PC as I haven’t tried that.

Maxi Shelton lives in Surrey, England with her husband, two children and dog. She is a full-time author and housewife, with an FdA in Interior Design. Writing novels has been a secret dream of hers for as far back as she can remember.